Welcome to the Early Childhood/Preschool Directors blog for the Northern Illinois Lutheran School District.
This blog is to be used as a resource, support system, and networking tool for directors.
The blog will be updated monthly. May God richly bless your ministry.
September Network Meetings
Schools of the Month:
St. John's, Chicago
New Starts New Believer Stories:
1 -St. Paul, (Austin) Chicago- This is a new start preschool at St. Paul,
Austin, which has had a K-8 school. 12
preschoolers have been enrolled. The
classroom was remodeled and equipped very developmentally via a generous grant
- Zion, Ottawa- A story was shared about a young preschooler
who helped bring prayer into her family’s life.
- St. John’s Chicago- They hosted a parent night and attendance
seemed to be much better due to offering activities for the children including
an ice cream snack.
- Trinity, Naperville= They are up to over 35 students during this
first year of operation. They operate off-site from their church in an office
building. They have five different
native languages represented in their two year old room. They have site pastor who is helping with
intentional efforts of connecting their
largely non-member group of parents with Jesus and the church.
Dates to remember:
26, Jan 30, & April 24 NID Leadership Conference at Concordia University
with presentations geared at our NID elementary administrators, EC Directors
& Marketing/Admissions Counselors-
26 meeting- How to use the new Lutheran Portal and Admissions Counselor Ryan
Bredow will be presenting
30 meeting- Team Ministry with
presentations from ministry teams at Immanuel, Dundee and St. Peter, Arlington
24 meeting- TBA
1 -Camscanner- A free app which takes a picture of a
document, converts it to a PDF so it can be sent a readable document. Aimee Walsh recommends it.
2 - The NID Early Childhood East and West
Region brochures for 2016 – 2017 are done and being distributed. The East Region meetings will be on
Wednesdays and the West Region meetings will be on Thursdays. One per month for each region from 4:30 –
6:30 PM. The brochure (attached) outlines the topic for the month along with
information regarding the host school location, contact person, phone number
and contact email address. The topics for this year include:
a.September 14 & 22- Staffing
b.October 19 & 27- Faith
c.November 9 & 17- Allergies and
Other Health Information
d.January 18 & 26- Technology
e.February 15 & 16- Educating
f.March 16 & 23- Creative Arts
g.April 19 & 27- Building Bridges
between Family & Church
h.May 17- Planning Meeting for 2017 -
Program Discussion Topic: “Staffing”
Paul, Mt Prospect (Amy Cimarusti) will
be sending the group an electronic copy of their “Aides Handbook”. They use a system of volunteer aides in their
preschool program. The aides are mostly
school moms. They use their hours in the
classrooms as ways of reducing their
children’s tuition and fees. This
handbook does include such topics as expectations and evaluation.
resources for interviewing, training, and assessing early childhood staff :
Blue Prints for Action, 3rd
Edition by Paula Jorda Bloom ISBN: 978-0-9827082-4-8
It comes with a CD filled with assessments and other helpful
staffing/professional development tools.
$44.95 from Redleaf Press
Recommended by Amy Cimarusti & Julie Klopke
you don’t already have a Reduction in Force (RIF) policy adopted for your
school, do so soon! It needs to be ready
to go far before you start using it. The
LCMS does have some resources available to help with the development of RIF
members need to know the job expectations as assigned by the church and
school. These expectations need to be clearly
spelled out in a staff handbook, reinforced at meetings, and documented through
signed statements. St. Peter, Arlington
Heights (Julie Klopke) uses a “Covenant of Holy Manners” with its staff to
document the employees willingness to uphold the employment and ministry
we teach our children to “play nice with each other”, we as adults need to also
follow this guidelines with respect and seeing the need to assist others. A great resource for introducing and
emphasizing this concept with adults is the book Choosing Civility by
Forni “Choosing Civility
is a simple, practical, perfectly measured, and quietly magical handbook on the
lost art of civility and compassion.” Recommended by Doris Knuth, who leads
workshops on this topic.
power of prayer before the start of the school day works so well. It’s great when parents see your staff
praying, too. Zion Ottawa is faithful in
using this tool.
for staff moral and support: “Whine
& Wine Meetings” (St John’s,
Chicago) are monthly meetings for
relationship building amongst their staff members.
you have questions regarding the placement of LCMS trained teachers contact
Mark Waldron at Concordia University, Chicago firstname.lastname@example.org Work:
area universities to contact for faith based trained teachers:
These laws have specific implications for teacher aides,
custodians, secretaries, etc. who are working at an hourly rate. Exempt from this law: Commissioned ministers
including, but not limited to teachers;
for finding more substitute teachers:
media advertising on Facebook in your local area. @$20 per ad which goes out to specific
geographical areas. Aimee Walsh has
effectively used this tool.
oINDEED: a job placement site http://www.indeed.com
your local public elementary school principal for the names of retired
kindergarten/lower grades teachers
moms’ networks. Aimee Walsh has had
success with the Naperville Moms Network
Christ the Rock, Rockford
New Starts New Believer Stories:
Belvidere: A parent shared with the
staff that she wanted to know the words to their class prayers since their
child was trying to teach them to their family.
Lutheran: A visiting pastor shared with
them that she felt a truly enthusiasm
for the Gospel within the children in chapel that day that motivated her
to be even more excited about sharing her message with them.
Belvidere: Students were making a
variety of crosses in their classrooms using all types of manipulatives
following a chapel service.
the Rock, Rockford: One of their moms,
who was relatively new to their preschool,
started assisting in the Sunday School program. She enjoyed it so much that she is now
teaching a Sunday School during her second year in their preschool.
Lutheran is having their Commissioning Service at Christ the Rock on September
Belvidere is having their annual Literacy Fair for the community on February
16, 2017. This year it will feature Eric
Litwin, author of the Pete the Cat books. There will be three different time sessions
for this year’s fair. They invite the
area public schools, daycare centers, homeschool families, etc. It takes place in their sanctuary.
Staffing Insights, Ideas & Resources which were shared:
great “5 Minute Walk-Thru” form was recently shared on the LEADnet list serve. It was written with many very positive
elements in the following categories:
a.The students were….
b.The teachers were….
c.What I observed today included….
It will be attached to
document from the NID Educational Resources was passed out. It is called “Daycare Centers and Preschools
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
It has information regarding some of the updated labor laws and how they
pertain to places like daycare centers and preschools with part-time
workers. It can be found on the NID website
3. A discussion
took place on “How Do You Show that You Care About Your Staff?”
them special lunches
treats with attached notes
note messages placed on great places on a teacher’s desk, bulletin boards, etc.
candy bars such as “Paydays” with cute messages to go with them.
A Tour of the Christ The Rock’s
which focused on their yearly theme of
on the “Farm” took
place. This theme is used throughout the
year in the classroom’s dramatic play equipment (farm foods, clothes, etc),
classroom decorations (country chair, curtains, table decorations, bulletin
boards), science center (real plants from a farm such as sunflowers, corn, etc)
manipulatives (farm play sets).
Here’s an idea for easy gluing with young children. Take 1-2 regular kitchen sponges
them in a food container which can be air-tight sealed. Pour two bottles of school glue
container covering the sponges and seal the container. To use this container with glue….
open the top
and place a piece of paper on the “glue-filled” sponge. It will adhere an appropriate
amount of glue
on the paper so it can then be attached to something else. These glue containers
can been used for
several months…even over a full year…. as a source for easy gluing (see photo).
The tour also showcased a church-school event called “Chalk for Peace” in which both church
members during a Sunday
morning worship service, as well as the preschoolers during preschool,
went outside and drew with
colorful chalk on the sidewalks around the church & school building.
They were also given some pieces of chalk
attached to an index card with the words “chalk for peace”
so they could do the
same types of drawing on the sidewalks around their own homes. Both church
and school families enjoyed the
activities and it was well documented on the bulletin boards around