Current Parents

Guide for Families


Each child should bring a tote-bag to school every day.  Blue and red ones with the ECNS logo are available for purchase and the order form is on our website. The use of backpacks is discouraged as they take up more room in the classroom. The bag should have the child’s name on the outside and include a complete change of clothing (see “clothing and shoes”) on the inside.  Every child is capable of carrying his/her own bag and hanging it up at school. This encourages eye-hand coordination, self-sufficiency, hand/arm strength AND allows the child to know where his/her bag is when s/he needs to put something in or remove something from it.  We encourage parents to support this responsibility in the children.  (If a bag is forgotten, the child may ask to borrow a bag from the classroom teacher.)

Birthday Celebrations

ECNS loves to recognize children on their birthdays or half birthdays. Sign up for snack on the day closest to your child’s special day.  Snacks must be store-bought but do not have to be unhealthy to be fun. Some fun ideas include bananas with sprinkles, strawberries and whipped cream, fruit kabobs or simply spice up a regular snack with festive paper plates or napkins.

Class Parties

ECNS does not have traditional holiday parties. Each holiday season is marked with age appropriate art experiences, books, discussion and of course opportunity for play.  Halloween is celebrated through the Hats on Parade, there is a Babaloo concert before the winter holiday break and the children exchange simple valentines in February.

Class Play Dates

In August you will receive an email from your class rep inviting you to a class play date. These are usually at a local park or the ECNS playground. This is an opportunity for your child to meet other children in his/her class and a great way for parents to connect as well.

Class Snack

A snack sign-up up calendar is posted outside your child’s class. Healthy snacks are encouraged.  See suggested snack handout distributed at the beginning of the year for specific ideas. Snacks must not contain nuts or be processed in a plant that processes them.  Parents provide the snack only.  Paper products and water to drink are supplied by the school. If a child is absent on his/her snack day, the snack will be provided by the school.

Clothing and Shoes

Play clothes are HIGHLY recommended for daily attendance at school.  Children will be exposed to paint, glue, dirt, sand and more.  Their clothes may get dirty, and while stains are usually washable, we make no guarantees.  Please keep this in mind while shopping for school clothes.  Closed toe shoes are required for school—NO flip flops, sandals or crocs please. These allow children to fully enjoy play in the classroom and outside as well as keep their feet from injury.  If children would like to participate in the dramatic play by wearing ‘dress-up’ shoes,  socks are required.  A complete change of clothing is required to be kept in the school bag at all times.  This should include: shirt, pants/leggings, underwear and socks appropriate for the season.

DIAL (Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning)

This screening is provided at school for residents of the Kirkwood School District who are at least three years of age at no charge.  The screening is conducted by Kirkwood Parents As Teachers. Parents are not present for this screening, but will be given the results. If additional assessment is recommended, parents will be notified. Children may be screened while in class OR on a non-school day.  Advance registration (on-line) and completed paperwork is required and space is limited.  This event takes place in November.

Drop Off/Pick Up

At drop off, each child hangs up his/her bag in the classroom, uses the restroom and then is escorted to the playground by the adult.  The adult responsible for bringing the child to school should take him/her to the playground to make sure a teacher is present.  Once on the playground, the child should find his/her teacher to greet them.  At dismissal, the adult is responsible for reading the “Today We” note posted on the board outside of the classroom everyday.  If children are outside, the adult will then proceed to the playground to retrieve the child, bring the child into the classroom where s/he will then get the school bag to take home.

**At NO time should siblings be allowed to play in the classrooms.  The teachers have spent a lot of time preparing/cleaning the room and when siblings are left to roam, items get broken, misplaced, etc.  Children enrolled in ECNS should not be playing in the classroom without their classmates/teachers.

Adults are expected to give the children their full attention while at school and not be distracted by having extended conversations with other adults or on a cell phone.

Durbin-Schoenecker-Schweiss Fund

This fund is named for May Lu Durbin, Sally Schoenecker and Anne Marie Schweiss, who served as the first three directors of the school. The fund has two purposes. It is used to provide enrichment experiences for current students such as our annual field trip, the nature program, visit from musical guests and the family night at the Magic House. Secondly, it provides financial assistance to families in need.

Early Drop-off

This is available for children enrolled in a morning class.  Children may be dropped off at 8:00 AM at the earliest.  Children must be signed up 24 hours in advance.

Fall Fundraiser/ Trivia Night

Each fall the school hosts a fundraiser to benefit the Durbin-Schoenecker-Schweiss Fund. This year the school will host a Trivia Night and Silent Auction. This is one of the few chances ECNS parents have a chance to socialize without children in tow. It is a fun evening that benefits a great cause. Put together your own table of 8 or just sign up to join some new friends!  We hope you can make it!

Fundraising (year-round)

We have decided to eliminate fund raisers that require participants to purchase items such as wrapping paper or pizza.  Instead there are three ways to help support ECNS financially without additional costs:

  1. Escrip – Pick up a Schnucks escrip card at school and fill out the registration (also at school).  Have the cashier scan it at the checkout counter every time you shop at Schnucks.  ECNS will receive a percentage of your purchase.  Give them to neighbors, friends and family members to increase the donation.
  2. – Register at and choose Eliot Chapel Nursery School as your charity.  EVERY time you shop at a donation will be made to the school. (There are some exclusions, but very few.) Encourage friends and family to choose ECNS as their charity as well.
  3. iGive – Go to to register and choose Eliot Chapel Nursery School as the recipient.  When you shop on-line (think Etsy, AT&T, Macy’s, plus 1721 more!)

General Communication

There are many ways to stay informed about ECNS activities and events. Look for emails from the office with reminders about activities and sign-up opportunities.  Be sure to check your child’s school bag for notes and scholastic book order catalogs. The school’s Facebook and Instagram Pages are also important tools for staying connected.  All families will be invited to join class Seesaw pages this year as well.  Of course your child’s teacher, Becky Steuby and your class rep are always happy to answer any questions.

Hats on Parade

This is one event you will not want to miss.  It is scheduled on your child’s school day close to Halloween. The children wear a hat to school. It can be a crazy hat or a simple baseball cap, anything goes, but please NO masks. Parents gather in the Chapel to watch the children sing songs. Then the parents move outside and the children parade around the Eliot Chapel building on the sidewalk. Children do not wear Halloween costumes at school.

Items from home

If a child has a ‘lovey’ that needs to come to school, s/he is encouraged to leave it in his/her school bag so it does not get misplaced.  Toys should be left at home or in the car unless they are to be shared with the class (for example: show and tell). Weapons of any kind are never allowed at school.

Lunch Bunch

The Lunch Bunch program is available Monday-Thursday from 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM.  Children are required to be completely toilet-trained in order to attend.  The sign-up binder is in the school hall.  Children may attend before an afternoon class, after a morning class OR on a day they are not scheduled for class. There is a two-hour minimum and sign-up should be done 24 hours in advance. Cancellations made by 9:00 AM will not incur a charge, however if no notice is given by 9:00 AM the child’s account will be charged.

Magic House Night

This is a fun ECNS only event. Bring your children and siblings in their pajamas (optional) and street shoes for safety to play with their school friends at the Magic House. This is an event for the whole family! The evening ends with everyone gathering to enjoy a simple snack. There is no charge for this event, just reserve your spot on the signup genius.

Mom’s Night Out/Dad’s Night Out

Each year there is a Mom’s Night Out and Dad’s Night Out. The event is held at someone’s home on a weeknight, there is sometimes a simple game and attendees sign up to bring a snack or beverage.  If you would like to volunteer your home, please let the office know.

Original Works

During the second semester, each child will create a work of art that will then be turned into a magnet.  The beginner children will use their handprints, and the older children will paint self-portraits.  The work is done at school during the class period. When the magnets have been delivered to school, they will be given to each family.  There are three options once the magnets have been distributed:

  1. Return the magnet to school and there is NO charge.
  2. Keep the magnet and send the money to your child’s class (check payable to Eliot Chapel Nursery School or cash).
  3. Order additional products and send the order form and payment to your child’s class.  (Pay for the original magnet OR return it with the order.)

ALL students will have their original artwork returned after being displayed at school.  There is NO charge for the original piece of art.

Outdoor Play

Children will go outside to play EVERY DAY (unless the playground is too icy and dangerous or there is thunder/lightening).  Please make sure your child has appropriate clothing including mittens (not gloves), hat, coat (winter/rain), boots (snow/rain), etc. There are NO hats to borrow due to health concerns.  There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing choices!

Parent Advisory Board

The ECNS board is comprised of parents who volunteer for specific positions at ECNS. The board serves an advisory role and is responsible for policy decisions. The board meets monthly, and all parents are welcome to attend. Meetings are typically held during the day, and free childcare is provided with a reservation.

Parent Reps

Each class has an appointed class representative. These parents will schedule one to two class gatherings a year. They will send out information and reminders about upcoming school events and are available as a resource for any questions you have about ECNS. They are identified in bold print in the buzz book.

Parent Teacher Conferences

These are held in the fall and spring. Look for a sign-up sheet posted on your child’s classroom door. Children do not have school on the day of their conferences, however free childcare for your preschooler and any younger children will be provided during your conference.

Parking Guidelines

To create a safe and respectful environment for everyone at Eliot Chapel, all families are asked to abide by these parking guidelines: 

Park only in unmarked parking spaces. Parking spaces that are identified as Accessible Parking Spaces are only to be used by vehicles with a distinguishing license plate or card. The fine for parking in Accessible Parking Spaces ranges from $50-$300. Please do not park in the Minister parking space or the Loading Zone as well. 

Access the Eliot Chapel parking lot only from Madison Avenue and exit via Argonne Avenue. Please obey all posted signs.

Never leave a baby or young child unattended in a vehicle. If you have a sick child in the car or need assistance, please park in an unmarked parking space and call the school office at 314-821-0982. Becky or Clare will be happy to walk your child to or from your vehicle. Please share our Parking Pledge with everyone who will be dropping off and picking up your child. We appreciate your cooperation and respect regarding parking at Eliot Chapel. 


This is held at Kirkwood Park or a local grade school playground in May. Bring your own dinner and an appetizer or dessert to share. There is usually a fun attraction like the Bubble Bus and an opportunity to play and visit with other ECNS families.  Bring chairs or a blanket and your own beverages. This is fun for the whole family!

Scholastic Book Orders

Book order forms will go home in school bags each month.  Parents may place orders on-line using a special code for our school and orders will be placed in your child’s school bag.  If the order contains a gift, please let the school know, and the order will be kept in the office.  This is an inexpensive way to build your child’s library, purchase gifts and support the school.  The school receives points and uses these points to get books, games and materials.

School Photos

Photos are taken in the spring.  An order form will be sent home with each child.  Only children with pre-paid orders will be photographed. All children will be in the class photo.  Siblings that do not attend ECNS may also have their photo taken with a pre-paid order.  Siblings have individual photos and are taken at the beginning of the class period before the school children. Retake day will be scheduled for any child who was pre-paid AND was absent on the original date.

Seesaw Website/App

All families will be invited to join class Seesaw pages.  Seesaw is a great to tool to share information, photos and videos.  Seesaw is private; you’ll only see posts created by the classroom teachers.  It is a secure site and teachers approve all users.  The photos and videos cannot be copied or shared on other websites.

Spring Field Trip

Each class goes on a spring field trip.  One highlight of this trip is that the children ride a school bus! There is space for parent volunteers on the bus. Parents are also welcome to drive themselves and meet the class at the park. We ask that siblings do not attend the field trip so parents can give their full attention to the children in the class.

Summer Camp

ECNS offers a summer camp program for children who are three years old and toilet trained through the summer before kindergarten entry—it is a great way to give your kindergarten child one last experience at ECNS. Sessions are two weeks long, meet Tuesday through Thursdays from 9:00 – noon with an optional add-on camp lunch bunch on Wednesdays. Camp lunch bunch requires advance sign-up and is an additional charge. ECNS teachers run the program with assistance from college students. The program provides many developmentally appropriate and fun outdoor experiences. The program fills quickly, so register early! Camp is also available to families who are NOT enrolled in the school year program, however priority will be given to current students until April 1.

Summer Play Dates

Play dates on the ECNS playground are a great way for children to become familiar with the school and meet some new friends in the process. Be sure to follow the ECNS Facebook and Instagram pages. The dates are also listed on the website calendar.  There is one scheduled for each month in June, July and August.

Teacher Holiday Gifts

The Holiday Gift Fund and Holiday Gift Books are two great ECNS holiday traditions to recognize teachers and staff. Contributions to the holiday gift fund are used to provide a monetary gift for each teacher and staff member. The gift fund is optional but a great and easy way to take care of holiday shopping.  The gift books are comprised of children’s drawings and messages.  Children make pictures at home for all staff members who are significant to their family, and they are used to create a book for each teacher. All families are encouraged to participate. Specific instructions will be provided in November.

“Today We” Note

This daily communication is from the teachers and will be posted on the board outside of the classroom.  It contains information such as the snack, the book read, gym/music information and much more.  Parent(s) should read this EVERYDAY to stay informed of class activities. Taking a picture of the note with a cell phone is a good way to share the information with adults involved in the life of the child.  This is particularly helpful if a babysitter, nanny, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc. is picking up the child instead of a parent.

Valentine’s Day Breakfast with Dad

This event is held on a Saturday near Valentine’s Day in the multipurpose room (Adam’s Hall) at the church.  Your preschooler together with their Dad, Grandfather or special adult male will share breakfast, make a valentine and have a cute photo opportunity. There is no cost for the breakfast. Look for the sign-up genius invitation to reserve your spot.

Vision Screening

Volunteers from the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments provide vision screening at no charge for all children at our school who are at least three years of age.  The children play an “E” game (see the “E” game book at school).  We encourage ALL children who are eligible to participate.  Children can be tested with parental permission.  Permission slips will be available at school and must be completed and submitted in advance of the screening day.  The screening is in February.

Weather Related Closings

If the Kirkwood School District is closed due to inclement weather, ECNS closes also.  ECNS will also post closings independently on and

We hope you and your child will have a great year at Eliot Chapel Nursery School!

If you have any questions regarding any of these items, please contact your class rep, Becky Steuby or Clare.

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