Greetings Ballard families!
It has been a long couple of months. With that said, we are excited to announce we are officially open on June 1. All parents will receive a form outlining our new policies and procedures. Our new hours are 8:30-5:30, with drop-off taking place between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. All further instructions can be found in the policies and procedures document.
Although we are open, there will be an adjustment period as we find our groove in this new normal. Our SER workers, who make up a handful of our employees, will not return to the Ballard Center until at least June 29. In addition to running the pantry, these are the workers that answer the phone, unlock the front door for visitors every day, and other unseen but important tasks at the Ballard Center. Our pantry remains closed, but be sure to check our Facebook page and website for updates.
Please bear with us as we delegate their tasks to our employees who will be in the building. If you call the Ballard Center during business hours and don’t get an answer, please remember you can get ahold of teachers and additional staff members on the Brightwheel application. You can also contact staff members by cell phone if you have their number.
There are still some familiar faces in the classroom, as Ms. Jori, Ms. Rachael, and Ms. Mariah are here to welcome your children back! Ms. Mitra will be around as well but in a part-time role. However, there will be some new faces at the Ballard Center to welcome the children back as we open! We are pleased to announce three new staff members:
- Robin Briles – Ms. Robin is the lead teacher for the Bears classroom! She recently moved to Lawrence from Winfield, KS, and spent the last 23 years running an in-home daycare for children ranging from infants to 11-year-olds. Being around children has always been uplifting for Ms. Robin, and she’s looking forward to helping the Ballard children prepare for kindergarten.
- Taylor McPherson – Mrs. Taylor is our Social-Emotional Teacher, which is a newly created position at the Ballard Center! She will a social-emotional lesson in each classroom once per day that is trauma-informed and focuses on big feelings. Mrs. Taylor previously worked as a toddler teacher at First Christian Church Child Care Center in Topeka. She enjoys working with young children because early education sets them up for a successful future. She is working on her bachelor’s degree in psychology and plans to pursue a master’s degree soon after.
- Chris Coffey – Mr. Chris Coffey comes to us with nine years of experience as a para! He spent that time as a para at Southwest Middle School, but he’s excited about the change of getting to work with our young children. Mr. Chris will float between classrooms, assist our teachers, and play an integral role in the development of our children. Away from Ballard, Mr. Chris is a certified firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and hopes to eventually work as a first responder.
None of us can say for certain what lies ahead, but we do know this: We are so excited to have our children back in our building. We will get through this by working together!
Ballard Center Staff