Early Excellence Express

March 2, 2020

A STRONG FINISH

"Everybody is pretty good in the first quarter. Second quarter, you have a little bump or two on you coming into the half. By the time the third quarter comes around, you're tired, you're laboring. When you come to the fourth quarter, it calls on your character. "


This quote was direct from Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones. Jerry was not in education by any means, but he does deliver some pretty powerful words in this line. We can all agree that in education, the third nine weeks is demanding and tiring. Why is it demanding? During the third nine weeks, educators are in one word, recreating.


EEA continues to put our foot on the gas pedal and push forward for a strong finish. We considered the third quarter as THE game changer. As a center, we fine tuned what we wanted for our students and families; decided what we are keeping; and what we wanted to improve, all before the buzzer sounds to end the year. Thank you for your continued input and support as we expand the services the Early Excellence Academy provides. We have some very big plans heading into the Fall of 2020 and we could not have done it without you!


This month, we will be spotlighting "support." Students will learn and engage in situations that teach both "cheering on successful friends" but also "showing encouragement when friends seem down." This target skill involves complex socio-emotional skills such as perspective taking and emotional knowledge, which are skills that rapidly develop between three and five years of age.


How can you support this skill development? Each evening, we are asking families to focus on gratitude and take a few minutes each evening to ask one another, "What made today special?" Gratitude is an experience that has four parts:


1. What we notice in our lives for which we can be grateful.

2. How we think about why we have been given those things.

3. How we feel about the things we have been given.

4. What we do to express appreciation in return.


Children will show more gratitude as they gain cognitive skills, practice with those skills, and begin to connect the NOTICE-THINK-FEEL parts of experiencing gratitude with the DO part of expressing gratitude. How can parents and teachers "teach" gratitude? By asking questions. Here are some examples of questions that can be asked about children's experiences:


NOTICE: What do you have or what have you been given in your life for which you are grateful? Is there something special behind a gift (i.e. someone is thinking about you/cares about you) that you are grateful for?

THINK: Why do you think you received this gift? Do you think you should give the giver something in return? Do you think you earned the gift because of something you did yourself? Do you think the gift was something the giver had to give you? If you answered no to these questions, then you may be more likely to be grateful.

FEEL: Does it make you feel happy to get this gift? What does that feel like inside? What about the gift makes you feel happy? These questions help children connect their positive feelings to the gifts that they receive in their lives.

DO: Is there a way you want to show how you feel about this gift? Does the feeling you have about this gift make you want to share that feeling by giving something to someone else? Prompting children after experiences of gratitude in order to motivate acts of gratitude, whether they be acts of appreciation or paying it forward, may help children connect their experiences and actions in the world.

March 16

March 16 is a district student holiday and staff workday. EEA will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Students will need to bring a sack lunch if attending.

The Lucky Leprechaun

Early Excellence is collaborating with THS CTE Child Guidance class for St. Patrick's Day. Our CTE students Cheyenne and Brekka have organized this event scheduled for Thursday, March 19th.


EEA students will use matching and identification skills to search for four leaf clovers and the lucky pot of gold located within Tomball High School.

In order for your child to participate in The Lucky Leprechaun, please complete this electronic consent form by Monday, March 16.


In order for your child to participate in The Lucky Leprechaun activity, please complete this electronic consent form by Monday, March 16.

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UPCOMING EVENTS: YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS OUT

March 2-6: Dr. Seuss Literacy Week

  • March 2: Hat Day
  • March 3: Where are the missing fish? (wear shirt that is red or blue or that has a fish on it)
  • March 4: Cool Socks Day
  • March 5: Dr. Suess shirt
  • March 6: Wear green


March 6: Aileen Kirkham: Award Winning Author Visits EEA!


March 16: Fall 2020 Enrollment for prospective families opens


March 16: Staff Development Day /TISD Student Holiday


  • EEA will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sack Lunch Day
  • Lucky Leprechaun Consent DUE



March 19: St. Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt @ THS

  • Wear your green for good luck!


March 27: Spring Picture Day

  • Background for spring pictures is available to view at the front office.

REMINDERS

EEA WEBSITE

WE HAVE MOVED!!


The EEA website can now be found under Departments on the TISD main web page! A huge THANK YOU to our Communications Department for assisting us with this move!

2020-2021 Enrollment is Underway!

Annual Enrollment for currently established EEA families closes Friday, March 6. Forms for annual enrollment are posted on our website.


For our currently enrolled families, a few reminders:

1. The annual physician's release statement is a requirement under licensing. The statement should come after the child has been seen for his or her most recent wellness visit. If your child's wellness check has yet to occur, please turn in your enrollment packet and then update your paperwork after the visit has been completed.


2. The Medical History is required only once. We already have it on file and do not need another copy.


3. The All About Me sheet is completed only once. There were two forms dispersed to families this year; depending on time of enrollment. The updated form (completed for those who enrolled July forward) does provide deeper insight into developmental history and milestones. While this is great information to have on file as we design instruction, it is not required for continued enrollment. If you would like to fill out the detailed form, please contact Megan Parker at meganparker@tomballisd.net and a copy will be sent to you.


A few highlights for the 2020-2021 school year:

1. Tuition rate of $150 per week remains the same.

2. EEA will be providing breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack when TISD is in session.

3. Operational Hours will move from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm.

4. EEA will move to modified operational hours for all staff development/teacher workdays. Hours of Operation were published in the 20-21 Handbook as 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. These hours are tentative and will be updated by March with any changes.

4. Toilet Training Guidelines were published for our students who are actively potty training.

5. A biting policy has been implemented.


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Megan Parker at meganparker@tomballisd.net.

MENU UPDATE

Take a look at the upcoming menu for the 2020-2021 school year! A huge THANK YOU to our Child Nutrition Department for putting together our menu. EEA will be offering a morning breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack when TISD is in session.


Our menu options follow the Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Patterns guidelines which can be found here.


We are hoping this helps ease the nightime routine for our busy families, as you will not need to pack daily snacks or remember water bottles.

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PICTURES NEEDED

We are expanding our language lab and we need your help! We are looking to parents to submit photos of students exploring the world around them!


Please send in pictures (no bigger than 4x6) of you and your child exploring and learning about their home and community environments. Examples include:


  • Cooking in the kitchen
  • Cleaning the house
  • Shopping at the grocery store
  • Working with tools
  • Folding or sorting clothes
  • Watering plants


Pictures will be displayed in our Language Lab to build oral language skills. Please submit photos by Friday morning!

SUMMER CAMP

We are beginning to draft plans for our two week summer camp program. Our summer camp will be offered June 1 through June 12. Hours of Operation have been tentatively set for Monday thru Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Please complete the following google survey HERE to help us gather information for summer enrollment. Your information is valuable in considering hours of operation.

SACK LUNCH DAYS

Students will need to pack a sack lunch on the following days:

March

  • March 16 (Monday when we return from Spring Break)

May

  • May 28
  • May 29

SNACKS

At EEA, we are growing minds and bodies!


Please remember that each child needs to bring two nutritious, ready to serve snacks from home each day. One for the morning and one in the afternoon. Snacks should not require cutlery, cutting or reheating.


Balanced snacks help to keep our kiddos full longer as they spend a lot of energy exploring their environment. Great snack choices include one item of produce (veggie or fruit) and one item of either a fat, protein, or whole grain cereals or breads. (American Association of Pediatrics).


Some excellent snack ideas are:


  • sandwich cubes
  • cheese and crackers with Applesauce squeeze pouch
  • Plain low-sugar cereal (Mini Wheats, Cheerios, Kix) and fruit
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CHANGE OF CLOTHES

Spills and accidents occur any day and at any time. Please make sure the following items are ready for your child daily:


-Two complete changes of clothes, including socks, pants, shirts, and underwear

-Morning and afternoon snacks

-Nap time materials

-Reusable water cup


For actively potty training students:

-Wipes

-Pull Ups or training underwear

These items should be restocked on a weekly basis.

Conferences

Parents may request a conference with a teacher if they would like to discuss their child’s progress. Parents must call the Academy to schedule a time that does not restrict the learning of other students.


Teachers will reach out to parents to schedule a conference at any time they feel there is a need.

LUNCH COUNTS

Great job families on keeping us updated with our lunch counts! We VERY much appreciate it!


The staff at THS needs our lunch count by 9:15, so parents please let your teacher know whether or not a lunch will be needed if your child is coming in late.

Coffee in the Cafe

Parents, we continue to invite you to join us for "Coffee in the Cafe." Coffee in the Cafe is a designated time devoted to visiting with our families weekly as we continue to grow. Families can build supportive relationships with each other and center staff as they offer feedback regarding EEA. Your feedback will then be used to facilitate our families' needs as well as to develop our center.


Coffee in the Cafe is held each Friday from 3:30 pm to 4:45 in our center's cafeteria. If you are unable to enjoy a cup of coffee with us, please leave us an "EspressNote." EspressNotes can be completed at any time and reviewed by staff on Fridays.


We will keep the coffee pot full for you!

Contact Us

Continue to log into Brightwheel for all daily activities and notes from staff. If you are having concerns with receiving updates, please let any member of EEA know!


When dialing into EEA from an out of district line, please dial the main number to our district, 281-357-3100, then dial our EEA extension, 2620. If you are phoning from an in district line, please dial the extension only, 2620.

2019-2020 Early Excellence Academy Staff

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