SM Early Childhood Education Center

January 2023

Administrative Team

Carla Heintz, Principal, Early Childhood Education Center

Tracy Smarr-Dolezal, Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator

In the News

From the Principal's Desk

Welcome back to school and to 2023! I am so very excited for all the things this second semester will bring. It is during this time that we often see so many changes in our students as they grow from the instruction they have received thus far!

Thank you so much for your flexibility as we cancelled school on Thursday to insure the students were warm and safe. The boiler is fixed and we are excited to see your child Monday!

During this winter season, make sure you are signed up for district alerts should the district call a snow day If we do not have school you should be alerted via a text message, a phone call, and it will be listed on the district website and local tv stations. In rare instances there is a chance it might be a remote learning day. Please check with your child's teacher in advance if you do not know how to access their Canvas learning page, or have technology available to do so. They can help get you prepared.

Important Calendar Reminders

January 16- No School Martin Luther King Day

January 24 and 25 - School Picture Day

Our building follows the district calendar and PreK schedule, with the exception of no school on Fridays. You can access the district calendar here. District Calendar 22-23

Outdoor Recess

Please make sure you send your child to school with the appropriate outerwear for outdoor recess. We follow the district guidelines for outdoor recess which states that is the temperature is above 15 degrees, wind chill is above 0 and there is no moisture falling we will be outside. Winter coats, hats and mittens may be required.

Donations Wanted

As a building we are continually looking for ideas to help support staff and give them little "gifts" of appreciation in order to keep their moral high and support the work they do. We continue have a need for $10 gift cards that can be part of a monthly prize table given to several staff who have received shout outs for going above and beyond to support others (students, families and staff members.

Another incentive we would like to try is to have a "treat trolly" once a week that teachers can grab a pre-packaged snack from. To do this we are needing the pre-packages snacks. Things such as granola bars, chips, popcorn, chex mix, individually packaged cookies or full sized candy bars would be great. (things you might find in a vending machine) If you are willing and able to help support our staff in this way, please either drop them by the office or place them in your child's backpack and mark them for the "office".

Finally, we are continuing to look for businesses in our community that would love to adopt our school and support children, families and staff. Either a one time donation or an ongoing relationship would be wonderful. If you work for a business that does community support type projects and would be willing to support our school, please let me know.

Keeping Our Students Healthy

You may have recently heard news reports about increases of illness this fall, as is typical with this time of year. In SMSD, we have begun to see increases in absence due to illness with a few physician-diagnosed illnesses and many generalized symptoms.

One of the most important things to help decrease the spread of illness is for those who are not feeling well to stay home. If your child has a temperature of over 100.0 or has vomited or has had diarrhea, they must stay home. Students may return to school when they have been free from fever (without medication), vomiting, or diarrhea for 24 hours.

Your child may also be ill but without these symptoms. They may have a sore throat, headache, cough, or generally not feel well. If you suspect illness, please keep your child home. If in doubt about sending your child to school, contact the school nurse or your child’s doctor

Kindness Week

Kindness week is January 23-27th. I would like to encourage you to work with your child to decorate a heart (either cut out or drawn on a piece of paper) for the staff that work with them with an encouraging note or what your child loves most about them. We will post the hearts in our hallways between January 23-February 14th spreading warmth building wide at this time of year.

2022-23 School Meals

Food service will continue to offer breakfast and lunch next year. Unfortunately the USDA nationwide waivers allowing for free school meals for all students will conclude at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Prices will be as follows:

Elementary Breakfast: $1.55

Reduced $0.30

Elementary Lunch: $2.85

Reduced: $0.40

Families can complete a child nutrition meal benefit application to see if they qualify for free for reduced meal prices after July 1, 2022. The information and link will be on the Food Service web page after July 1 and families are encouraged to apply as soon as it is available so that any benefits the family may receive are processed prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year.


Breakfast is available each school day. The breakfast menu includes an entrée, grain, fruit and milk. Students are served all items to receive a full breakfast; including the required ½ cup of fruit.


Lunch includes an entrée, grain, fruit, vegetable and milk. Students are served all of these five components on their lunch tray, including the required ½ cup fruit and/or vegetable.

Food Services has updated the School Meal Information flyer for parents. It is available on the main page of the Food Service web page and linked here for you convenience.

The “pig” symbol on the menu means that the item contains pork.

Menus, nutritional and allergy information are available online at

Special Diet

If you have an allergy or specific dietary concerns, contact your school nurse for a medical form to be filled out by your doctor.

Food service information is available on the district’s web site at or you can call the Food Service office at 913-993-9710.

Early Childhood Screening

SMSD offers an early childhood developmental screening which includes the areas of vision, hearing, problem-solving, personal-social development, gross/fine motor skills, and speech/language skills. The purpose of the screening is to identify children who may have substantial developmental delays and who may be eligible for special education services. SMSD’s Early Childhood Screening (ECS) is appropriate for children ages 2 years 9 months to 5 years old who reside within the Shawnee Mission School District boundaries.

How often are screenings offered?

Screenings for 2020-2021 occur monthly on a Friday morning and are by appointment only. Parent or other legal guardian must complete a request for screening and submit the required documents before an appointment is offered.

How do I request a screening for my child?

More information about the ECS program can be found on the district’s Early Childhood Special Education home page under Early Childhood Screening.

Connect with us via Social Media

We have new social media sites this year! Please feel free to follow us and like us!!

Twitter: @theSMECEC


Or search for #EarlyEDSMSD to see what's happening district wide in PreK!