Horace Mann & Leet Center Connect
February 19, 2021
As if living through a pandemic wasn't enough, Mother Nature decided to blast through our region with record-breaking cold temperatures this past week accompanied by rolling power outages. We think the meme on the right sums up how most of us are feeling right now.
With the snow days recently came a lot of questions about snow days, instructional time, and the way we plan the school calendar. A lot of thought goes into these topics and there are many factors and family situations to consider. Our calendar and snow day plan is reviewed yearly by our leadership team and published in advance to help families plan ahead.
As a result of the most recent snow days, we have had some parents ask to have more of a voice in the snow day policy. We have added this item to our agenda for our March 4th parent meeting at 6:30 pm. We will share the factors that are considered and the reasons the current policy was maintained this year. While the Director and the Principal roles do not have the final say in the matter, we will take all recommendations to the leadership team for further review. A zoom link will be shared with families through Brightwheel and Seesaw on March 4th to allow all families to attend and join the conversation. As always, you are welcome to send questions or agenda items to Mrs. King firstname.lastname@example.org or our PAC President Sarah Winters email@example.com for our monthly parent discussions.
At this time, we are continuing to follow the previously published school calendar despite changes in the university calendar. This decision was made early in the school year when the university was considering a remote/blended learning plan and when they decided not to have college students return after Thanksgiving. We felt face-to-face instruction was a better option for our young learners and several families expressed the concerns they had if we changed the school calendar. We took these concerns to our leadership team and were granted permission to maintain our school calendar without revision. Please see this year's calendar below. I have also included our newly published calendar for next year.
We realize the challenges from Covid that are making life very inconvenient this year. We feel blessed that our families have supported our efforts to keep children in school face-to-face as much as possible. Thank you for your continued support and collaboration for the safety and education of our children.
Stay warm and be well,
Mrs. King & Mrs. Rouner
New 2021-2022 School Year Calendar
Also, don't forget that we offer summer school for free in June to all our current families who re-enroll for next year. I will have more information about this next week to allow families to begin signing up. I can tell you that we are planning a STEM-based theme with math, reading, and science intertwined with coding, legos, and more. We hope you will consider signing your child up to attend.
- February 19 - March 4 - Scholastic Virtual Book Fair -https://www.scholastic.com/bf/horacemannlabschool1
- March 4 - Parent Advisory Council (PAC) 6 PM Zoom link will be shared on Seesaw & Brightwheel
- March 8-12 - No School, Spring Break
- Lost & Found - Please email LaTessa (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are looking for lost jackets or lunch bags.
A Note from Parent Advisory Council (PAC)
Every family enrolled at Horace Mann and the Leet Center are members of our Parent Advisory Council. We encourage every family to attend our meetings to help in making decisions for our schools.
Our next parent advisory council meeting will be on Thursday, March 4th at 6:30PM.
Thank you to our new leadership for taking on the following roles:
President: Sarah Winters
Communications: Chris Kuhlemeyer
Treasurer: Brad Cline
Ways and Means: Jessie Nuffer
Wellness Committee: Jackie Cochenour
New Families Coordinator: Elizabeth Dimmitt
Secretary: Michelle Vaught
Please contact Sarah Winters if you have any questions about PAC participation.
No Change in Face Mask Protocols
On November 12, 2020, the Nodaway County Health Department updated us on information regarding how contact tracing will be conducted in schools based on guidance from the Missouri Department of Health and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Under the updated guidance, proper mask-wearing may now prevent individuals from being identified as close contacts in K-12 schools. This means that if both individuals at school – the person diagnosed with COVID-19 and the person in close proximity to the positive case – have masks on and are wearing them correctly, the individual in close proximity does not need to quarantine.
Since Horace Mann mitigation measures are already in compliance with the recommended guidelines, there will be no need to change our protocols. We will, however, continue to encourage our students to wear their face masks and to wear them correctly. We appreciate our families continued support to help our children in wearing masks covering the mouth and nose. Please ensure that your child's mask fits well and send extra masks in case the one they come to school in becomes soiled.
Currently, Horace Mann and Leet Center have had a total of seven positive cases since the beginning of the school year resulting in the need to assist Nodaway County Health Department with contact tracing. We will continue to keep families updated and to follow the guidance of the Nodaway County Health Department.
We are continuing to implement a multilayer approach to mitigation.
- Masks are our first line of defense with all ages wearing their masks. Children are reminded respectfully to keep their masks on whenever they are within 6 feet of others. Children are encouraged to distance themselves on the playground if they need to take a moment away to take their mask off. We are very pleased with how well the children are doing with this and the need for reminders has decreased. This is a good thing with flu season coming up.
- Distancing is used as much as possible through the placement of furniture and designated spots marked on the floor.
- Vinyl barriers are used at the children's tables as another layer of protection. However, these barriers are not intended to replace the use of wearing a mask.
- Frequent hand washing is used in all classrooms with soap and water. We wash our hands A LOT!! Hand sanitizer is also readily available.
- Faculty and staff are taking extra measures to sanitize materials and surfaces. Children in grades K-6 have individual learning kits to decrease the number of shared materials. Toys are sanitized after each use in both the Leet Center and Horace Mann. NW provides additional cleaning in the evening and the Maryville City Council has provided cleaning supplies through Cares Act funds.
- Hallway traffic is limited by having the Art and Music teacher go to each classroom for instruction. In addition, lunch is provided in the classroom.
- The library cart travels to classrooms to allow children to check out books. Returned books are kept in isolation for 72 hours before returning them back to the library checkout rotation.
- Nurse Cara actively walks the building to keep an eye on children watching for signs of illness and conducts temperature checks at 11:00 am. We have also increased Nurse Cara's hours to have her at school when children arrive and to conduct temperature checks. An isolation room has been set up with provisions to care for sick children.
- Families are complying with all protocols and following our wellness policies. We appreciate how well everyone is cooperating and for the advice our Parent Advisory Council provides.
- Even with all these measures, nothing is 100% effective in preventing illness but it can significantly reduce the chances of spreading illness.
With all the increased handwashing and colder weather coming, we could use some donations of fragrance-free Eucerin Hand Lotion for our children. Donations can be sent to school with your child or you can call the office to arrange a time to donate.
Changes Coming Soon Due to Construction
Winter Weather Policy
The Leet Center and Horace Mann do not participate in late starts or early dismissals for weather conditions. However, we do encourage our families to use their best judgment and there will be no penalty for children if they arrive late or leave early when weather conditions exist. Safety is the top priority.
The Leet Center and Horace Mann Laboratory School will be closed due to inclement weather IF the Maryville Public Schools cancel school. Decisions made in the early morning hours or late evening hours will be given to KNIM and KXCV radio stations.
Notifications are pushed out through Textcaster, Brightwheel, and Seesaw. We encourage parents to sign up for the Leet Center and Horace Mann Text Caster; you will receive texts regarding HMLS. Sign up at http://my.textcaster.com/ServePopup.aspx?id=1003. Also, be sure to sign up with Brightwheel (Leet) or Seesaw (Horace Mann) through your child's teacher or contact Mrs. King or Cindy Rouner for assistance.
Extended care (K-6) and Snow Daycare (preschool) are available for children that are enrolled in after-school childcare BEARCAT CLUB on days Leet and Horace Mann are closed for inclement weather and NWMSU is open. Students attending Bearcat Club on snow days will need to bring a cold lunch.
If NWMSU is closed due to inclement weather, school and snow daycare are also closed.
Horace Mann Laboratory School * Phyllis & Richard Leet Center
Horace Mann Laboratory School is located on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University. Horace Mann is one of only a small number of laboratory schools in the United States. Horace Mann provides a hands-on, project-based learning, individualized approach that is only possible with small class sizes and multiple teachers. Students of all ages make Horace Mann home, from our youngest kindergarten students to University practicum students. Master teachers provide a unique learning environment for all students that include technology, innovative best practices, and exemplary educational experiences. From measuring temperatures and creating data tables at our University Pond, learning about recycling at the on-campus recycling center, roller skating and swimming lessons in Physical Education class, and multicultural education from student organizations on campus, Horace Mann provides the best educational experience for your child.
At the Leet Center, family relationships and children are our passion! At the heart of our learning together, you will find educators who see children as capable learners. Children learn through investigation, exploration, and communication. Our pre-school environment is a natural home-like atmosphere that is filled with inquiry and joy each day.
The Leet Center is also home to our developing outdoor classroom and we believe that all the learning that happens indoors can also be present in the outdoor spaces. Open-ended materials and carefully cultivated spaces provide a place for collaboration, thinking, and representation of ideas. Our learning community includes educators and university students who are working together to listen and learn with children. Children, educators, and families each play an important role in honoring the intellectual and emotional integrity of children.
If you have any questions related to preschool, please contact Cindy Rouner.
If you have any questions related to grades K-6, please contact Laura King