Cedar Trails - Family Newsletter

Early Childhood

LAST NEWSLETTER FOR THE 2021-2022 School Year!

A note from Ms. Andrea....

Wow - here we are, the night before our preschool promotion and our 3-year-old students had their last day on Thursday. This school year has sure flown by. I wanted to send a quick note, thanking families for a wonderful year. EC has the most supportive families and we truly appreciate it. We look forward to seeing returning students in the Fall and BEST of LUCK to our students heading to kdg. They are ready!

Miss you all!


May 23rd Preschool Promotion: What to expect!

Preschool Promotion will be held at Cedar Trails at 2:00pm on May 23rd!

Guests may attend and doors will open at 1:40pm. Guests will need to enter through the front door and check in at the office.

The ceremony will begin at 2:00pm. We will have standing room and seats available. Extended family and siblings are welcome; however, we ask that guests leave the chairs for immediate family/parents. If possible, please leave large strollers at home so everyone can fit!

We do have some younger students attending in our afternoon classes that are not kdg eligible. Those students are welcome to attend the ceremony, sing the songs with their class and cheer on their friends as they receive their certificate of completion.

If you wish to take your child home following the ceremony, you will need to sign yourself and your student out in THEIR CLASSROOM prior to leaving. This is VERY important for safety. Please pick up your student and leave quickly as we will have some students staying for the remainder of the day.

Cookies will be available at the exit as a sweet treat to end this special day!

Congrats Ms. Summer!

Congrats Ms. Summer for being awarded with the USD 232 Making a Difference Award for April! Ms. Summer is a talented and dedicated SLP, who has supported numerous 232 students. This award is well deserved!!
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Read aloud: A Letter from your Teacher (on the last day of school) By: Shannon Olsen

A Letter From Your Teacher On The LAST Day Of School - Read Aloud

May 13th 2022

Important Dates:

May 19th: Field Day AND Last Day for Morning/3yo Students

May 20th: Picnic (Friday Students Only)

May 23rd: Preschool Promotion at Cedar Trails at 2:00pm / Last Day for Afternoon/4yo Students

Field Day Plans

Weather permitting, parents/guardians are able to join in the fun for our field day events.

All events will be held outside around the back and side of the building. Please see schedule below as to when your child will be participating in field day. Children MUST stay with with assigned class.

Due to this being our first field day, we are requesting that parents/guardians be the only guests at this time. We ask that extended family and siblings not attend this event so that we can learn the ropes and will perhaps expand in the future.

Please park on the side of the building and walk to the back to join teachers.

Morning Classes:

Yellow/Orange: 8:40 to 10:30

Green/Blue: 8:40 to 10:30

Purple/Red: 8:40 to 10:30

Gray: 8:20 to 10:10

Afternoon Classes:

Yellow/Orange: 1:20 to 3:20

Green/Blue: 1:20 to 3:20

Purple/Red: 1:20 to 3:20

Gray: 1:00 to 2:50

Please note - if it rains, field day will be cancelled for guests but we will be recreating the fun indoors for kiddos!

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Picnic: May 20th (Friday students only)

Families will receive information from your child's teacher regarding our picnic on May 20th. This is a short event so we are not able to have guests at this event.

May 6th 2022


Thank you families for a very successful Art Walk and Family Night. We also thank you for your kind words and generous gifts throughout staff appreciation week. We love our EC families!

April 29th 2022

Art Walk and Family Night Details - May 4th

Date/Time: Wednesday, May 4th 2022 / 5:30 to 7:00pm

Art Displays: Student artwork and classroom projects will be displayed outside of classrooms.

Art Raffle: Each class has created a one of a kind art piece for ONE lucky winner to take home. We will have a ticket sales table in the main hallway. Each ticket will be $5 OR 5 tickets for $20. Classrooms will have a jar to collect tickets and we will select a winner at the end of the night. Winners will be contacted via phone the following day. Please make sure to put your name and number on the ticket. If you are unable to attend the Family Night and want to purchase tickets, contact Andrea West at awest@usd232.org.

We have included a sneak peak of some of the beautiful art pieces below.


  • Gym: two make and take stations as well as three game stations
  • Playground: Open for PLAY!
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Congrats Ms. Tabitha!

We are very excited to share that Mrs. Tabitha Wagoner was voted the 2021-2022 Teacher of Excellence for Cedar Trails. Tabitha is currently a Special Education Teacher in the Yellow room. The award was voted on by Cedar Trails staff and it is well deserved. Tabitha was surprised today with the award from a very special student, her children and all of EC staff. Congrats Ms. Tabitha!

Reminder: Thank Yous on Wednesday May 4th!

May 2nd through May 6th we will be celebrating CTEC Staff to say thanks for all they do! We have something scheduled each day but need help from families on WEDNESDAY May 4th!

On Wednesday, May 4th we are asking families to have their student send in a small something to show their appreciation. This could be a note or picture for staff, item from the staff favorites list (document below) or class wish lists links are also below (if you want to treat a classroom to a supply they have been eyeing). We appreciate your help is showering out amazing staff with love!


Orange Room (Kristen Sharp/Riki Kisner):


Green Room: (Courtney Bova/Laura Lucier): https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2C6ARXNTFBF9H/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_2

Yellow Room (Samantha McWhorter/Tabitha Wagoner): https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3UF504TI07QB9

Purple Room (Sherri Goode/Aimee Oesterreich): https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/B8IOTOZ0VQFQ/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_2

Red Room (Becky Sullivan/Tina Carrera): https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/8MZPHU0L55UN?ref_=wl_share

Blue Room (Liz Rupe/Lisa Miller-Best): https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/251UELIWZK96B?ref_=wl_share

Gray Room (Tina Darling/Jessica Ramirez): https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2KWSQNNDGFVF1?ref_=wl_share

April 22nd 2022

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Art Walk and Family Night: May 4th from 5:30pm to 7pm

On Wednesday, May 4th we are very excited to be hosting our first Art Walk and Family Night for all Early Childhood and PAT families. Student art work will be out for display around the building plus each class will be creating a special collaborative art project to be included in a raffle that evening. We will also have activities in the gym for students/families and the playground will be open! Hope to see you there!

Thank you for your Support at Chick-Fil-A!

We will be restocking our supply cabinet to finish out the year. Thanks again Families!

April 14 2022

Chick-fil-A Night (Lenexa Location) April 19th from 5pm to 9pm

Tuesday, April 19th from 5pm to 9pm is Cedar Trails Chick-fil-A night. Please enjoy some yummy food/treats and take the night off from cooking. When ordering please mention Cedar Trails Fundraiser! Thanks for your support!

Address: 15919 W 87th St. Lenexa, KS 66219

Carloop Reminders:

Friendly Car Loop Reminders:

  1. Display Carloop Tag Clearly (if you need another, please ask your child's teacher)
  2. Pull Up - when possible
  3. Refrain from Cell Phone Use - Once the line is moving

Our goal is to get students to parents safely and as quickly as possible. Thanks for the help!

April 8th 2022

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THANK YOU for your support!

Thank you parents for your support of Early Childhood at our recent Chipotle Night. These proceeds allow us to restock our student/teacher supply cabinet for 4th quarter as well as purchase decorations for our promotion ceremony.

Congrats Ms. Laura

Congratulations to Laura Lucier, an early childhood teacher at Cedar Trails Exploration Center, for being named the USD 232 Making a Difference Award winner for February 2022!

Laura joined USD 232 in 1999. With a combined 32 years of teaching experience, both in the district and Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, she has spent a majority of that time as a preschool special education teacher. She has taught in several buildings in the district, including: Countryside Preschool, Woodsonia, Starside, Prairie Ridge, Belmont, and now in the new Cedar Trails Exploration Center. She has spent time training early childhood staff on the importance of play in child development and, in addition, has tailored classroom instruction to meet individual learner needs.

Here is an excerpt from one of her nominations:

I would love to nominate my son’s special education preschool teacher, Mrs. Laura Lucier for “Making A Difference.” She makes learning fun by providing different learning strategies. Her students love her because of her gentleness and patience towards them. My son wouldn’t be where he is at today (academically) without her help. She teaches with love and guidance and makes every child feel loved.

The USD 232 Making a Difference award was created to celebrate the exceptional teachers and staff at USD 232 who are truly “making a difference in the lives of young people. The school district and the USD 232 Education Foundation present the monthly Making a Difference Award cooperatively with the program being sponsored by Great American Bank in De Soto.

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March 25th 2022


We would love to see you at the NEW Western Shawnee Chipotle location (22410 W 66th St, Shawnee, KS 66226) on Wednesday, between 4:00pm and 8:00pm. Make sure to mention if ordering in person that you are there for the fundraiser in person OR use the code T2Y99Q8 when ordering online. Early Childhood received 33 percent of sales that mention the fundraiser. Funds will be used to restock our teacher and student supplies as well as to support teacher appreciation week in May.
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A note from Nurse Noelle

For students with allergies, Spring also means an increase in allergy symptoms (itchy/watery/red eyes, itchy mouth/nose/throat, runny/stuffy nose, drainage down to throat and ears, sneezing, headaches, and occasionally a scratchy throat/throat “tickle”). Here are some ways you can help your student:

-Use a sinus rinse- a neti pot or over the counter sinus wash kit can help rinse allergens from your nose.

-If concerned, consider a daily allergy medication. Nasal Sprays and Eye Drops can also be helpful.

- Save Benadryl for bedtime and/or severe allergic reactions, as it often makes students too sleepy for use during school.

Lastly, please note the school health room does not have antihistamines for seasonal allergies available.

Call Nurse Noelle with any questions at 913-667-1820.

Afternoon Dismissal Carloop

After Spring Break - we have begun trialing new dismissal procedures to give the students a bit more independence. Students will still be supervised 100 percent of the time, both inside the building and walking to the cars, but they will not be holding the hand of an EC staff member (unless the student still needs this support). Our hope is to give the students a bit more independence, as they get older, but also keep a very close eye on them. Please reach out to your child's teacher if you would like to discuss these procedures regarding your child.

Ernie Miller: Guest Speaker

On Wednesday, ALL early childhood students were able to attend a wonderful presentation by Ernie Miller. The presentation was fantastic and perfect for young learners, including hands on activiites (e.g. touching non-living animal items such as feather and turtle shell), songs and of course the animals native to Kansas!

Previous fundraiser profits allowed this presentation - thank you to all parents for your support!

Kiddos outgrown their clothes? We might be able to use them!

Hi Familie,

We are trying to restock our extra clothes closet and thought maybe EC families would have items their children have outgrown. Examples of when we use the closet include: a student needs an extra set of clothes due to an accident, a student forget their coat at home or a student that might be in need of a new pair of shoes (and the family is unable to meet this need at that time.).

If you these gently used items at home, we would love to take them off your hands and let them bless other children. Thanks for your support!

Link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0A4DAFAF22AAFA7-clothes

March 4th 2022 and March 11th 2022

New STOP Signs Arriving Soon!

Coming Soon: The intersection directly in front of the building will soon be a three way stop. Please keep your eye out and once they arrive, make sure to stop. Safety is our number one priority at Cedar Trails!

Upcoming Cedar Trails Events:

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Free Parent Resource:

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February 25th 2022

Reminder of Carloop Drop off and Pick up Windows!

Friendly reminder of the pick up and drop off times for car loop. We appreciate your help in adhering to these times to reduce disruptions to student learning as well as to allow staff lunch and plan times. We understand that things can happen on occasion, especially when young children are involved! Therefore, if you do arrive after the window, please plan to check your child out/in the office.
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Zoom PTO Mtg- March 2nd (Wednesday Evening) at 6pm

The next PTO meeting will be on March 2nd at 6pm. The purpose of this meeting is to plan our Cedar Trails Family Spring Event.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 258 842 4772
Passcode: USD232

Thank you Cohen Family!

A special thank you to Dr. Cohen for donating supplies and presenting to our four year old sections. This was a great addition to our oral hygiene lessons and introduced students to a real world dentist office.

Preschool Enrollment/Application Starting February 21 for 2022-2023 School Year!

Preschool Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year is NOW OPEN. An online application is be available via https://forms.gle/SyNdU5d8tr2DkbVW7. All applications must be submitted to the Cedar Trails Office by March 4, 2022 at 4pm, to be considered in the first round of enrollment.

All programs are half-day (Monday through Thursday), hold low student to adult ratios and use research-based curriculums tied to the Kansas Early Learning Standards. Grant funded (FREE) preschool spots are available for students who qualify. Transportation (busing) will also be available for grant funded spots and special education services.

For more information, please visit https://www.usd232.org/Page/8960

Contact the Cedar Trails Office at 913-667-1820 with questions.

Reminder: Current fee based students who wish to return for the 2022-2023 school year MUST complete an application by the deadline to hold your spot. An email will be send to parents when the enrollment window opens.

Kindergarten Round-Up Dates Announced!

Kindergarten Round-up dates for the 2022-23 school year have been announced for Spring 2022. Click on the school link for the latest details including registration paperwork and meeting information for each individual school event.

To find out which school your child will attend, use our School Locator App.

Belmont Elementary Tuesday, March 8th from 6:30-7:30 pm

Clear Creek Elementary Thursday, March 3rd from 6:00-7:00 pm

Horizon Elementary Thursday, March 10 from 6:00-7:00 pm

Mize Elementary Thursday, March 3 from 5:30-6:30 pm

Prairie Ridge Elementary Tuesday, March 8 from 6:00-7:00 pm

Riverview Elementary Thursday, March 10 from 6:30-7:30 pm

Starside Elementary Wednesday, March 9 from 6:00-7:00 pm

February 17th 2022

Special Board Meeting: Friday February 18th 2022

Special Board of Education Meeting The Board of Education of Unified School District No. 232 will hold a virtual special meeting on Friday, February 18, 2022, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The meeting will be viewable to the public via the district’s YouTube channel: https://bitly.com/usd232youtube. The purpose of this meeting is to review protocols requiring barrier face masks. Action may be taken. No agenda will be provided. Public comment will not be accepted during the meeting. Patrons may submit comments to the Board of Education through its online contact form. Comments need to be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on February 17, 2022.

February 11th 2022

Early Childhood LOVES 2 Give Event - SUCCESS!

On Friday February 11th, five boxes of supplies were delivered to Children's Mercy Hospital. Thank you all who generously donated.
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February 4th 2022

Donation Drive: Early Childhood Loves TWO Give.

Our Early Childhood Loves TWO Give Event has started! Starting 2-2-22 through 2-11-22, Early Childhood will be collecting donation items for Children's Mercy patients. Supplies needed included art supplies (crayons, markers, and coloring books), comfort items (fleece blankets, books, and fidgets.) and Games (card or board game).

Classrooms will also be making Valentine's Day cards for patients, and we will be delivering donated items and cards the afternoon of 2-11-22.

Parent Teacher Conferences: Feb 16th (Wed) and February 17th (Thurs)

It is almost time for Parent Teacher Conferences. Families will be scheduling directly with their child's teacher. Parents should receive confirmation of their conference time by the end of next week.

Currently, we are allowing parent choice of in-person or virtual (Zoom) meetings. District recommendations may change closer to conference dates and will be communicated in advance.

In an effort to keep everyone as healthy as possible, families are encouraged to participate in virtual conferences, via Zoom. If you prefer an in-person conference, please select or note such on the sign-up. In-person conferences require masks and social distancing. Additionally, should you feel ill within the five days immediately prior to the conference, please contact me to schedule a virtual meeting.

January 28th 2022

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Quarantine and Isolation Dates Calculator @ JOCO.gov

Need help determining Quarantine/Isolation Dates? CLICK HERE! PLEASE NOTE: Parents must still confirm information and dates with school nurse.

January 21st 2022

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place February 16th-17th, 2022. Currently, we are allowing parent choice of in-person or virtual (Zoom) meetings. District recommendations may change closer to conference dates and will be communicated in advance.

In an effort to keep everyone as healthy as possible, families are encouraged to participate in virtual conferences, via Zoom. If you prefer an in-person conference, please select or note such on the sign-up. In-person conferences require masks and social distancing. Additionally, should you feel ill within the five days immediately prior to the conference, please contact me to schedule a virtual meeting.

SIGN UP: Teachers will be sending out a survey via email next week (before Jan 28th) for families to indicate their date and time preferences for Parent Teacher Conferences.

Family/Community Resource on Anxiety

USD 232 is partnering with the USD 232 Education Foundation to host a special online screening of ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety the week of January 31-February 6.

ANGST is a film-based education program designed to raise awareness around anxiety, with an emphasis on youth and families. The film includes interviews with kids, teens, experts, and parents with the goal of helping people identify and understand the symptoms of anxiety and encourage them to reach out for help

Starting on Monday, January 31 through Sunday, February 6 families in our district will be able to watch ANGST as a Virtual Screening from home anytime that week. Also included with the film will be an informative, paneled discussion lead by the film’s experts and filmmakers.

Here is the link to gain access to the film ANGST which will be active starting at 5:00 p.m. on January 31 > ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety

The information regarding this streaming event, along with the link, is being shared with our families through Skyward.

Thank you for your interest in this film and continuing the conversation.

Chipotle Night - Rescheduled (NEW Date in March)

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January 14, 2022

A note from the Principal.....

Hi EC Families,

Thank you for the support during our unexpected day off school. Staff and student absences are at an all time time, mostly due to the COVID-19 virus. At school, we are continuing to wash hands/sanitize regularly, wear masks and clean rooms thoroughly at night. We ask your help in keeping our staff and students safe by keeping a close eye out for symptoms and communicating with Nurse Noelle when students are absent for illness. Nurse Noelle's email is ndrabek@usd232.org.

Also, the district has a COVID-19 Dashboard that can provide more information on the district protocol as well as information on current case numbers and the test to stay program. Information is updated weekly. https://www.usd232.org/Page/8490

Lastly, despite our challenges these past two weeks. I have watched time and time again where staff pitch in and help out wherever it is needed. I am truly blessed to work on the best team and I can assure you, your child is very loved and have a lot of people ready to do what is needed to get their needs met. If there is a special staff member that works with your child, please consider nominating them for the USD 232 Making a Difference Award at https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=aUz9CgQJoUK_UkwYunmvB4Q1fkR0tW5PpX8Ex1zqelBUQ1NZS0lVSUpXN0ZLVTczUURUNU9FWE02Si4u

I hope everyone has a nice long weekend and those that are ill, can rest and recover, and those that are healthy, stay that way.

See you soon,

Ms. Andrea

PS - Make sure you are signed up for school text alerts to receive up to date info on things such as school closings. To sign up visit: https://www.usd232.org/Domain/83

Chipotle Night for Early Childhood - February 9th 4-8pm

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January 7 2022

Welcome Back and Happy New Year!

We were very excited to see our students return this week. As we move into the winter months, just a couple friendly reminders:

  1. Please send students to school with a warm coat and gloves. We will go outside for recess when we can (usually when 20 degree or above). If you do not have these items, please let us know and we would be glad to help locate a resource to provide these.
  2. It also might be a good idea to swap out the change of clothes at school for pants and long sleeves.
  3. With COVID-19 still active in our area, it is helpful to let us know what symptoms your child is experiencing when they are out ill. This helps us stay on top of illness, provide extra cleaning and also provide information to parents on next steps, return dates etc. We thank you for your help in keeping students and staff healthy.

A bit more information on Fees:

Fee Based Enrollment:

Fees for second semester have been added to Skyward family access. If you would like to take advantage of the 10% discount for paying for the semester in advance, please pay the discounted rate of $810 (4 year old students) and $648 (3 year old students) in family access by January 15th 2021. At that time, if the advance payment has been made, we will subtract the discount from your account.

Enrollment Fees:

All students, except grant funded students, will have the yearly enrollment fee of $50. This fee is added each year in August.


Payments may be made in the Cedar Trails office (check or exact cash) or online via efunds. Additional information on efunds (online payments), can be found at https://www.usd232.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=192. You will need your child's student number to make an online payment. This 6-digit number is available through skyward family access. If you have questions regarding online payments or your balance, please contact Tiffany Lewis at tlewis@usd232.org or 913-667-1820.

December 17th 2021 - Last Newsletter of 2021!!!!

A note from Principal Andrea...

Hello Families!

I cannot believe first semester is over and we have been in our new home at Cedar Trails for 5 months. Staff have done a phenomenal job transitioning to the space and setting up loving, nurturing environments. Students have learned so much but we still have lots of fun on the way. Parents have also been very supportive of the transition and the "road bumps" along the way. Early Childhood truly has the best families!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful winter break and has the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. We also know that the Holidays can be a stressful time. Please know you matter and that your child is very loved!

I look forward to seeing you all NEXT YEAR!

Ms. Andrea

Successful Trip on our Holidays Around the World Adventure

Over the past 10 days, students learned about different types of holidays and celebrations. Examples include: Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and Chinese New Year!

Spiritwear Orders

Spiritwear orders that were not picked up prior to Winter Break will be send home with students in January. Thanks again for your support!

December 10th 2021

Important Dates:

December 16th, 2021 to January 4th 2022: No School

Elf Spotting at CTEC

We had an elf spotting at CTEC! Mrs. West spotted an elf rolling in a huge cart of goodies for staff to enjoy next week prior to winter break. These treats were paid for out of our fundraisers. THANK YOU parents and guardians for the support!

Staff Favorites!

We have had several parents ask and here it is, Staff Favorites. The document below has a link for each staff member and their favorite things (e.g. candy, snacks etc.) just in case parents are ever wanting to provide a special treat for their child's teachers.

Spirit Wear Pickup

We are still waiting to hear back from the company on the exact spirit wear will arrive. We confirmed with the company that we are still on track for next week but they were waiting on a few items. We will send out an update next week as soon as we know more.

Family Time Activity!

We hope that each family will get to spend quality time together over winter break. If you are looking for a fun activity to do together, below you will find Holiday Light Bingo! See who can be the first to fill up their bingo card as you drive through your neighborhoods.

December 3rd 2021

Picture Retake Day: December 8th

Message from Inter-State:

If your student was absent on the first Fall Picture Day or is a new student AND you still need to place an order, you can go to https://inter-state.com/flyerentry and enter code: 64976K

If you were not happy with your student's fall pictures, please send the picture packet you received with all of the picture sheets enclosed with your student to school on Wednesday, December 8th. They will need to give the packet to the photographer. If you originally never ordered and just received the second chance proof it is not necessary to bring that back.

Holidays Around the World!

During the two weeks prior to winter break, each classroom will be exploring how people celebrate around the world. Each classroom is choosing different holidays to share with their students. Examples include Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali (festival of lights), Chinese New Year etc. We focus on multiple Holidays and accentuate that families can celebrate different holidays and that they are all special. I look forward to seeing the projects and fun activities the teachers have planned.

Clarification: COVID-19 General Notification Letter

We have received several questions regarding the general notification letter that was sent out via skyward on 11/22. This is a general notification for the entire early childhood program. If your child was exposed to COVID-19 you will receive separate communication from the JoCo Health Department. We send the notification just to keep parents informed and also so everyone is careful to watch for symptoms as a precaution. Thanks for helping to keep our students safe. We apologize for any extra stress that may have caused.

November 19th 2021

Order Cedar Trails Spirit Wear HERE!

Our Spirit Wear store is available until December 1st 2021. Orders should arrive for pick-up prior to Winter Break. A small percentage of each purchase will go to the school - Thank you for your support!

Thanks to EC staff! (Parent help needed!)

Over the next couple of weeks we will be speaking a lot about being thankful in preschool. One thing I am VERY thankful for is all of the kind, caring and talented staff in EC. Please help me spoil staff members (e.g. teachers, slps, paras etc.) with lots of thanks and appreciation for all of their hard work via the link below. Each time the link is completed, the staff member will receive a special certificate saying thanks with your personalized message!

link: https://forms.gle/4ByWYakbduYYrxio7

How to Teach Letter Sounds!

Below is a short video on the proper way to make (and teach) letter sounds. It is so easy to add on extra sounds to letters such as /ba/ vs /b/. Adding these sounds can create challenges for students later when learning to blend sounds together. Our fabulous District Literacy Specialist, Jeri Powers, created this video as a helpful tool for parents. Happy Teaching!
Consonant Sounds

Kansas Reads to Preschool Month!

November is Kansas Reads to a Preschool Month.

Ms. Andrea enjoyed reading this year's selected book titled The Grumpy Bird in the Green Classroom on Thursday.

Families can view an online book reading at (available in English, Spanish, ASL): https://kslib.info/1477/2021-Storytime-Videos

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November 12th 2021

Charlie Brown Feast!

On Tuesday, November 23rd classrooms will be participating in a Charlie Brown Feast. Lessons that week will be focused on friends, family and being thankful. Also on November 23rd, we will be holding our first annual Cedar Trails Day Parade at 10:15am and 2:45pm in our back car loop (weather permitting). Parents are invited. Please park in the back or side lots and walk to the back of the building. No need to check in at the office, just head out back.

Lastly, thank you to those who donated food for the Charlie Brown Feast.

Meet Dr. Kathi Spachek, USD 232 Audiologist

Dr. Kathi Spachek is our district audiologist. Her office is at Cedar Trails Exploration Center, along with the district's new sound booth! Ms. Kathi will be doing hearing screenings of all the preschool students throughout the school year and helps the staff throughout the district with any student who has hearing aids or cochlear implants. Ms. Kathi is in her fifth year working in the district and has been an audiologist for over 25 years. Ms. Kathi wants to be sure that all our students are hearing to the best of their ability in the classroom and always! She is so happy to be here! Please reach out to her if you have any questions about your child's ears and/or hearing.
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November 5th 2021

Information on COVID-19 PCR testing vs Antigen Testing

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Firefighter Visit

This week both our morning and afternoon students attended a presentation by the Lenexa Fire Department showcasing a real fire truck, gear and a short discussion on safety.
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October 30th 2021

Reminder: Please have up carloop folders up for drop off and pick up

If you need an additional carl oop folder, please let your child's teacher know. As the weather gets colder, having the car loop folders up lets us move through the line more quickly and ensures we get students in the right order.

Thank you for your help!

Trunk or Treat was a HIT!

Thank you families for coming to and supporting the Cedar Trails Trunk or Treat Event. We loved seeing everyone and we had so much fun.

Pumpkin Showcase Winners: Congrats to Arthur Redcorn and Mia Jason. Both will be taking home a giftcard to Dairy Queen. Thanks to all of the participants. If you have not checked out the Cedar Trails Early Childhood Facebook page, please stop by.

October 22nd 2021

Fall Festival Week is Here!

MONDAY (10/25/21): Field Trip Schedule (4 year old classes ONLY)

Morning Class (Gray Team)

  • Leave Cedar Trails @ 8:50am
  • Arrive back to Cedar Trails @ 10:50am

Afternoon Class (All Classes)

  • Leave Cedar Trails @ 12:45pm
  • Arrive back to Cedar Trails @ 2:45pm

Important Information:

  • Students must ride to and from the pumpkin patch on the school bus
  • Parents may follow the bus to the patch and will be responsible for entry fee (Student entry fees were paid for by Change Drive Proceeds!)
  • Unfortunately, siblings are not permitted on field trip.
  • Students will bring home a pumpkin from the patch later this week following fun fall activities in their classrooms.
  • School start/end times remain the same

TUESDAY (10/26/21): Fall activities happening in all classrooms

WEDNESDAY (10/27/21): Big Pumpkin Play and Truck or Treat

  • During school, students will watch the play "The Big Pumpkin" (put on by staff).
  • Truck or Treat is from 5pm to 7pm in the BACK of Cedar Trails. Parking will be available in the side lot. We would love to see all EC families for some fun and treats! (More information on flyer below).

THURSDAY (10/28/21): Fall Parties and Costume Parade

  • Fall Parties will occur in the preschool classrooms. Unfortunately, we are not inviting visitors at this time, due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, we would love to see parents at our costume parade (info below)
  • Students may bring costumes to school or bring costume to change in to for Costume Parade. Please leave any weapons (e.g. swords), masks or anything that will be difficult for the child to manage independently. Also, please no scary costumes as we want all children to feel safe.
  • Parade Route: Students will parade out the back doors around the playground, through the bus loop and enter through the other set of back doors. Parents may park in the back or side lots and walk around, no need to check in at the office.
  • Parade Times: Morning classes at 10:15am and Afternoon classes at 2:45pm (parents plan to arrive a few minutes early as you may have to walk a bit to get to the parade route.)
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Pumpkin Showcase!

Lets see those pumpkin projects from home for a chance to win a Dairy Queen gift card!!!

Check out the Cedar Trails Early Childhood PTO Facebook Page to enter.

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October 13th 2021

Trunk or Treat Event: October 27th 5pm to 7pm

This come and go style event will have trunks for students to stop by and receive a treat, as well as activities, a small snack and yes the playground will be OPEN! The event will be help behind the school, please park in the side parking lot and walk around to the festivities. All Cedar Trails students/families are invited this event (e.g. itinerant students, Parents as Teachers etc.) We are looking forward to having a lot of fun at this event.

Staff will be providing the trunks and most of the activities; however, we do have a few outstanding needs (including the treats for the kiddos!). If you are interested or able to help, here is the sign up genius with our needed items: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0A4DAFAF22AAFA7-trunk

First Picture Day was a success!

We had a successful first picture day and have rescheduled retakes for December 8th. I caught this cute photo of a preschool teacher doing what they do best - supporting students. Yes, she laid down in front of the student and tickled him so the photographer could capture his smile. And yes - they got the photo!

A note from Ms. Leslie....

Dear families,

It's hard to believe, but the holiday season is almost here! We understand that many families are struggling to make ends meet during these difficult times. If your family is in need of assistance for the holidays (food, clothing, gifts for the kids), please contact Leslie Hellrung at lhellrung@usd232.org or via phone at 913-667-1820.

Heads up: morning traffic

The district plans to begin a test to stay program that will be utilizing the CTEC front car loop from 6am to about 7:50am. More details will be coming from the district. It is very likely they will be completely packed up and out of the way prior to parents arriving; however, we wanted you to have advance noticed - just in case.

October 8th 2021

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School Picture Day October 14th (Thursday)

If you wish to prepay prior to picture day the web address below (black button below that says click here!) should ONLY be used for pictures taken on the date above. Online ordering is available before and after picture day. Shipping and handling charges may apply to orders placed after picture day.

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding picture day or the ordering process please visit our information page https://interstatesupport.zendesk.com/ if you cannot find your answers here please feel free to contact our local office at 816-600-2454.

Link to prepay for 10/14 picture day (click here!)

Pictures packages and second chances will be delivered to the school 4-5 weeks after picture day.

SAVE THE DATE: Trunk or Treat October 27th 2021 5pm-7pm

This will be a come and go style event hosted at Cedar Trails by Staff and PTO. We will have several trunks for students to stop by as well as activities. Stay tuned for more information!

COVID-19 Procedures

After several questions this week, we wanted to provide a bit of proactive information regarding two scenarios:

1) your child is displaying symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose) but has not been exposed to COVID-19

2) someone in the home has tested positive for COVID-19

(see image and handout below)

Please don't hesitate to call Noelle Drabek, CTEC Nurse, with questions at 913-667-1820.

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Rideshare Connection/Potential:

Several parents have asked about potentially carpooling or ridesharing to/from Cedar Trails. Although USD 232 cannot be responsible for these rides or connections, we wanted to provide a forum for families who may be interested in a rideshare to connect. Below you will find a google doc where parents may enter their information. Please check back periodically to see if new names are added, if you are interested.

September 30th 2021

Thank You Families!

Thank you families for your participation in Parent Teacher Conferences. We know that students are most successful when school and home work together, so we appreciate you collaboration!
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A message from the Shawnee Fire Department...

Fire Prevention Week is Oct 3-9, 2021. This year's FPW campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” works to educate everyone about the different sounds the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make. Knowing what to do when an alarm sounds will keep you and your family safe. When an alarm makes noises – a beeping sound or a chirping sound – you must take action. Read more here: https://www.nfpa.org/Events/Events/Fire-Prevention-Week/About.

The Shawnee FD would like to help teach this and other fire safety lessons to your students and families. We have put together a video and homework assignment on our website. The homework can be taken to Firehouse Subs for a free meal! Please find our video, letter to parents, and homework on our website here: https://cityofshawnee.org/Departments/Fire/Prevention.

September 24th 2021

Early Childhood Families,

We did it!!! We reached our goal of $2,100 and in fact we raised just over $2,400. Hooray! These gifts will provide students with many fun activities and experiences in preschool this year, including our Fall Fest Week (more information coming soon.) Thank you for your generosity and support.

Along those very same lines- our greater community was also blessed by the numerous donations for the food pantry. We were able to restock their shelves and I was blown away at the sheer number of donations. Thank you so much!

We are lucky to have such supportive EC families,


PS - All students will get to enjoy a popsicle party next Tuesday (after it warms up a bit!).

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parents will receive a confirmation for the day/time of their parent teacher conferences.

Please note: masks will be required during in person conferences. Virtual conferences are available. If you have selected a virtual conference, the Zoom link will be sent to you by your child's teacher.

All parents should enter through the Cedar Trails front doors when attending conferences.

If you have questions, please contact the Cedar Trails office at 913-667-1820 or email your child's teacher.

Early Childhood - In the News!

The USD 232 Education Foundation granted a $500 Spotlight Grant to the Early Childhood Program at the new Cedar Trails Exploration Center. Grant funds were used to kick off the school year right for this newly combined program by purchasing team t-shirts for all staff. Let the Adventure Begin for Team EC shirts will help returning and new staff build a positive team learning environment which will surround their students.

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September 18th 2021

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Thank you so much for your support of both our community and Cedar Trails - EC! We will send out additional information next week with more details of our SUCCESSFUL Change Drives.

COVID Letters - starting September 20th (PLEASE READ- IMPORTANT)

Starting Monday, September 20th, Cedar Trails will begin to send families a general notification of COVID-19 positive cases at Cedar Trails. This is an effort to keep families informed in a timely manner so that they have the information. Notification will be sent via email. This letters does NOT mean that your child was directly exposed. An example letter is posted below.
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Sign up Genius: Parent Teacher Conference Lunch


Parents we need your help! We want to show a little love to our teachers and staff by providing a meal on Wednesday September 29th 2021. Please click on the link below to sign up for an item (or two) if you are able!

mid-week: Change Drive Update (9.15.21)

Hi families!

What fun we have had with our spirit, week with lots more fun to have! I have included an update below. Remember, our goal is for each class to raise $150 dollars to support our field trip fund and student/teacher material funds. Thank you so much for your support!

Also, I wanted to include a photo of the items collected for the De Soto Food Bank. My heart is so happy seeing such generosity and kindness for our neighbors. Thank you families!

We still have the rest of the week. Keep sending in those donations and we look forward to Tired Thursday (wear your PJs) and wear your Favorite Sports Team Friday!

Andrea West, Principal

PS - The Family Newsletter will arrive in your inbox over this weekend (vs Friday of this week!)

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September 10th 2021

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Spirit week and Change Drives: Next week

Hello families!

Next week is a BIG week at Cedar Trails. We will have TWO change drives and a spirit week. Our first change drive, has a goal of positively impacting our community by providing donations to our local food shelter. Please see calendar above for specific day plans for food pantry and spirit week.

We are also having a FUNdraiser to support our Field Trip Fund as well as our Student/Teacher Supply Funds. We have found that students love to bring in change to support their classrooms (hence the change drive); however, we will also gladly accept cash and checks as well (checks can be made out to Cedar Trails.). Each classroom that raises $150 will celebrate with a popsicle party the following week.

Top Need Food Pantry Items:

  • Fruit - canned, applesauce
  • Dried Beans
  • Cereal
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Boxed Meals (e.g. Hamburger Helper)
  • Tuna or other Canned Meat)
  • Personal Care Items (e.g. razors. shampoo)
  • Toilet Paper

Parent Teacher Conference: Day/Time Preferences (BY SUNDAY Please!)

(Same survey from last week. Still missing a few.)

Please complete the survey below to indicate your preferred days/times for parent/teacher conferences on September 29th and 30th. If you have multiple children at Cedar Trails, please make sure to indicate this in the special notes section as well as if you would like for specific support staff (e.g. social worker, principal etc.) to attend the conference. We will try to grant parents preferences as much as possible.

Survey Link: https://forms.gle/m2aDPGXyrJx8Q7sJ6

Staff Spotlight: Noelle Drabek, CTEC Nurse

Noelle Drabek, RN, is our School Nurse for the Cedar Trails Exploration Center. She served in the United States Army when she met her husband in San Antonio, TX, where they were both stationed at the time; being an Active Duty Soldier has given her the opportunity to directly serve others while being able to travel often. Since Christmas of 2018, Noelle has finally been able to hang pictures on the walls in their Kansas City home. Noelle is a mom of 2 young kiddos (plus dogs) and loves to read in her “spare” time. In addition to providing direct care to students and staff, Noelle serves the school by promoting a healthy environment conducive to learning and teaching. She is very honored to practice servant-leadership in her role as the School Nurse.

Noelle can be reached at 913-667-1820 ext. 3337 or at ndrabek@usd232.org

September 2nd 2021

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Wear RED on Friday September 10th to support the Chiefs!

PTO: Next Meeting and Help Needed

The next PTO meeting will be held on September 7th at 6pm (zoom as well as in person participation available.).

At this meeting, we will confirm required PTO positions (e.g. President, Secretary, Treasurer). If you are interested, please email Andrea West at awest@usd232.org. We can have co-positions, so that the responsibility is shared. One position that is VERY important to the success of a PTO is a treasurer with a background or experience in book keeping and/or taxes. If this is something you have to offer and are willing to help - we have a need.

School Fire Drills

Our first Fire Drill will be on Monday, August 30th in the afternoon. We try to ease into fire drills with first using walkie beeps/noises and eventually getting to the real alarm. Preparing for a fire is an important conversation at home and at school. Attached below is a social story for parents to read to their child about school fire drills. We will also prep students prior to on Monday.

USD 232 Parents as Teachers Program

Are you pregnant or currently parents of a child BIRTH to 3 living in our school district?

Do you wonder if your child is developmentally on target?

Would you like to have more parenting support/ideas and be able to participate in activities

and playgroups with other parents of young children?

See USD 232 Parents as Teachers Flyer below for more information!

August 20th 2021

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Cedar Trails - Main Line

Quick Note: The main number to Cedar Trails is 913-667-1820 and the Fax number is 913-667-1821. When an outside (of district) line calls Cedar Trails a prompt menu will answer asking callers to press 1 to leave a message about student attendance or press 2 to speak with office staff.
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Car Loop Tid Bits!

First - GREAT JOB! Car loop can be a stressor for both school staff and families but ours is getting quicker each day. Here are a couple of tips to keep that line moving and keep everyone safe:

  1. Keep car folders in window for drop off AND pick up. (Change from original guidance. Apologies!). This allows staff to see what classroom the student belongs to and helps keep less crossover between staff/students from different rooms. Other staff can help out but as much as possible we will try to have staff from your child's classroom meet you for carloop.
  2. Wait for staff member to come to you. Please wait for a staff member to come to you (verses sending the student to walk up the sidewalk.). With traffic so close, we want to make 100% sure our students are safe.
  3. Pull all the way up. Please use the entire sidewalk for car loop by pulling all the way up if you are first.

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A bit about Second Step, our Early Childhood Social Emotional Core Curriculum:

The preschool years are very important. We want your child to be as ready as possible for kindergarten. This is not just about knowing letters and numbers. It’s also about knowing how to learn and get along with others. We will be using the Second Step early learning program in your child’s classroom to teach these important skills.

The Second Step program teaches skills in the following four areas:

1. Skills for Learning: Children gain skills to help them be better learners, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, and ask for help.

2. Empathy: Children learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Children also learn how to show care for others.

3. Emotion Management: Children learn how to calm down when they have strong feelings, such as worry or anger.

4. Friendship Skills and Problem Solving: Children learn how to make and keep friends and to solve problems with others in a positive way.

P.S. Make sure to join www.secondstep.org with the activation key SSPE FAMI LY68 to get information about what your child is learning in the Second Step early learning program!

PTO MEETING reminder (8/24 at 6pm)

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August 13th 2021

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Well, our adventure has just begun. The students have arrived and fun was had. It was great to finally have students in this wonderful new building. We have missed them and are looking forward to a fantastic school year.

Also, thank you for everyone that came to our Family Welcome Night. Having collaboration between home and school is a priority for USD 232 Early Childhood and we love to have our families at school.

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A few updates and reminders:

1.) District Text Alerts: Families can start signing up to receive texts specific to Cedar Trails (e.g. school closures). Sign up here: https://my.textcaster.com/asa/Default.aspx?ID=971ddb95-1fcd-46dc-94a5-8ca560ae927e

2) PTO Information Sign up (LINK FIXED): If you would like to receive information regarding PTO events and meetings, please sign up here. https://forms.gle/cDrKph7tsf1mGQJe6.

(If you signed up on Family Welcome Night, there is no need to sign up again.)

3) Classroom Helper Sign up (LINK FIXED): If we are able to have class parties and fun events, we will need your help. Classrooms also need help with copies and cutting items from time to time. If you are interested in being contacted IF help is needed in your child's classroom, please sign up here: https://forms.gle/AxeSkrtjpqLw41Jm8

(If you signed up on Family Welcome Night, there is no need to sign up again.)

4.) Carloop Folder: Please have carloop folders visible during dismissal carloop. Thank you!

5.) Carloop Procedure Video: Great Job Parents! We had a very successful first car loop. If you have questions, please watch this video or contact us at 913-667-1820: https://youtu.be/tEpCR0YtpOw.

The very first Cedar Trails PTO meeting will be held on August 24th 2021. We have a few positions that need filled and we will discuss the goals/hopes for the 2021-2022 school year.

We hope to see you there! Please enter through the front office doors.

August 6th 2021

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Let the Adventure Begin......

The 2021-2022 Cedar Trails Exploration Center theme is LET the ADVENTURE Begin! Preschool students have daily adventures as we explore new ideas and concepts together. This year we will have an extra special adventure as we transition to our new home at Cedar Trails! Cedar Trails is located next to Mill Creek Middle School, at the corner of 83 St. and Mize Blvd. Like any adventure, travelers will experience excitement, challenges and exploration. This too will be the case for our adventures this school year.
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Family Welcome Night at Cedar Trails- August 12, 2021

Family Welcome Night

Thursday, Aug. 12th 2021 at 4:15-6:15pm

8201 Mize Blvd., Lenexa, KS, USA

Family Welcome Night will be held on August 12th from 4:15pm to 6:15pm. To reduce the number of people in classrooms at one time, we ask families to attend within a specific window of time based on the first letter of their last name. Last names beginning with A - L from 4:15pm to 5:15pm and last names beginning with M - Z from 5:15pm - 6:15pm*.

(*If you are unable to attend at your designated time, please come when you can. However, our hope is that we will be able to spread out visitors as much as possible.)

This come and go event will provide an opportunity for students to see their new classroom, meet teachers and drop off school supplies. Families are able to come at any time during their window as there is no formal presentation. Parking is available on the side of the building and we ask that parents enter through the front entrance.

Parents please make sure to stop by the PTO booth. We are needing PTO positions filled for the 2021-2022 year as well as members and volunteers. We appreciate the support!

Masks will be required for parents, staff and students in the building (per board policy). If preschool students have a current mask exemption, are still working on wearing a mask or are unable to wear a mask at this time, exceptions may be granted from administration.

School Supply Lists

First Day of School!

The first day for 4-year-olds is Friday, August 13th 2021.

The first day for 3-year-olds is Tuesday, August 17th 2021.

Parents may walk their student down on the first day only. Parents/students will need to go through the front entrance and wear a mask. Parking will be available on the side of the building. Additional information on carloop procedures will be sent out next week. Basic carloop information is attached below.

Meet Mrs. Andrea West, Principal

Hello Early Childhood Parents!

Welcome to our 2021-2022 School year ADVENTURE. I am looking forward to meeting new families as well as seeing our returning families at Family Welcome Night on August 12th. Please make sure to stop by and say hi!

A bit about me, this is my 9th year with USD 232 and my first year as Principal. Prior to this role, I served as a School Psychologist and as a Special Education Administrator. This is my sixth year in USD 232 Early Childhood and I can honestly tell you we have THE BEST team. Our staff is top notch and they will provide an amazing early childhood experience for your child. I cannot wait to see those smiling student faces in classrooms soon.

Have a great day!


2021-2022 Enrollment

Please make sure enrollment is completed ASAP! Staff are currently contacting parents with missing items. If you have questions regarding your child's enrollment please call the Cedar Trails Office at 913-667-1820 (our phones are now working!)

The following is needed to complete student enrollment:

- Immunization records,

- Birth certificate,

- Proof of residency (utility bill with name and address),

- Health Form (copy of information from most recent well child visit),

- Completion of online enrollment through skyward family access,

- $50.00 enrollment fee (cash/check accepted in person/mail and online payments are available through your Skyward Family Access - eFunds). There is no tuition for students receiving special education services. The enrollment fee is a yearly fee only. Grant Funded Spots do not pay fees.

Documents may be scanned or emailed (pictures of documents accepted) to trwilson@usd232.org.

Directions for accessing your Skyward Family Access account and paying via eFunds are below. Please note: you will need your child's student ID from Skyward Family Access to pay online via eFunds.

August 27th 2021

Staff Spotlight: Meet Ms. Leslie, Social Worker

Hi! My name is Leslie Hellrung, and I am the school social worker for our Early Childhood Program. I am excited to be working full-time at CTEC and have been spending time in our classrooms the past week to get to know all of our students! As a school social worker, my job is to help support all of our students' social-emotional well-being here at school. Partnering with families is vital to helping our kids have a happy, safe, and successful school year. I'm here to help families connect with community resources and am always here to brainstorm with families about how we can work together to help our kids at home and at school. Please don't hesitate to contact me via e-mail at lhellrung@usd232.org or phone at 913-667-1820 anytime. I am looking forward to a great school year!


October 18th (Monday): No School All Students

October 25th to October 29th - Fall Fest Week (more details coming soon)

  • Field Trip to Kerby's Pumpkin Patch (4 year old classes only) - 10/25
  • Truck or Treat (evening event) - 10/27
  • Fall Costume Parade (weather permitting) - 10/28

Important Dates:

February 18th - NO SCHOOL

February 21st - NO SCHOOL, President's Day (Enrollment Link Sent and Available)

March 2nd- PTO Family Night Committee Planning at 6pm

March 9th- EC Advisory Board Meeting at 6pm

March 30th - Chipotle Night (rescheduled)

April 19th- Chick-fil-a Night