Thank you to everyone taking time to attend this event!


Helping Mr. Jenson

Angela Ruiz, Director of Curriculum and Invocation, Heritage Christian School

Mr. Jensen is the teacher who is always doing anything to help students. We hear the story of the student, Clint Pulver, who just couldn't quit tapping his hands and fingers in class. Most teachers saw this as a problem and he was constantly reprimanded for this behavior. Finally, Mr. Jensen asked him if he'd ever thought of becoming a drummer. He gave him his first pair of drumsticks and helped him channel his energy into drumming. He is now grown and a professional drummer. See the video on here.How can administrators help teachers become like Mr. Jensen?

  • Empower: Not only with supplies and curriculum, but with personalissues; Make sure the teachers know that you are in it with them; Keepthe staff happy and healthy
  • Encourage: to be leaders, to find their personal talent
  • Educate: Knowing who your teachers are and what is going on withthem; Be in a classroom every day for at least 5 minutes
  • Leadership is an action, not a position!

Mental Health in Early Childhood - Megan Peck, MiniMinds

MiniMinds offers variety of therapy services for ages pre-k through elementary age; Classes teach mindfulness and meditation o Neuroscience–brain science

  • We hear the story of animals who within hours of arriving in this world can walk and are independent. Whereas human infants are helpless for a long time.
  • Human brains are huge and wouldn't be able to fit through the birth canal if they were fully formed.
  • Brain doubles in size in the first year of life. By age 5, it is 90 percent formed. Brain is not fully matured until mid-20's.
  • We are born with all the neurons we will have. Need to provide connections (synapses).
  • 1 million connections are made every second of the first year of life.

We should teach young children about their brains to make them feel empowered to know the connections between their thoughts and feelings.

  • The brain is wired to respond to stress
  • The feeling part of the brain is in the middle
  • Executive functioning skills are in the prefrontal cortex (top)
  • Prefrontal cortex is being built in early childhood
  • Author, Daniel Segal, The Whole Brain Child Segal presents the Hand/Brain Model: Forearm represents the brain stem, takes in info and filters it through the amygdala, hippo-campus and lymbic system (represented by the thumb)
  • There is a window of tolerance when we start to experience stress – and we should focus efforts there
  • 3 Strategies to bring neuroscience into the classroom. These strategies activate problem solving sequence.
    • Listen to your body: signs of stress to self-observe include increased heart rate, increased breath rate, butterflies in stomach, toes curl, sweat, tense muscles
    • Name feelings: for children as young as two (use many names such as annoyed, frustrated, etc.) Expand the vocabulary of feelings. Just naming your feelings can help you calm down.
    • State the problem: (I feel _____ because....) This starts a relationship for collaborative problem solving.
    • Threat can make us “flip our lid” (represented by opening the hand)
    • Here is an example with pictures (found with Google search): Humans have fight, flight, freeze or faint response to stress (The fourth F, Faint, was recently added)
    • Fingers folded over thumb represent prefrontal cortex (the thinking part of the brain)

On My Way Pre-K Expansion Update

Marla Segal and Joy McCall

  • Now available in all 92 counties in Indiana. (Less than 10 providers are participating in Hamilton county)
  • Must be a Level 3 or 4 in Paths to QUALITY to apply
  • Families must be working or in school to qualify
  • Families choose their provider from a list of eligible providers
  • Child must be 4 by August 1st (This program only applies for the Pre-K year. Applications are now closed for 2019-2020)
  • Reimbursed bi-weekly like CCDF
  • Learn more here

Carter’s Play Place

Tasha Cleaver and Cindy Carter

  • ELAN’s own Peg Rideout was Tasha’s “Mr. Jensen” for her child!
    Carter’s Play Place is available for inclusive play for all children.
  • They also offer therapy services on site as well as memberships, party adventures and fieldtrips.
  • Learn more here


Dr. Jody Britten and Captain Mike Johnson Fishers Police Department, School Resource Officer HSE Schools

Captain Johnson is an expert in school safety, oversees school resource officers o Dr. Britten has started a for-profit arm that will help fund the work of the non-profit ELAN. Mainly for insurance purposes, SafeLittles will be structured as a for-profit. SafeLittles is brief is a system to notify preschools when things are happening in the area. You can see more HERE.


  • Why? 26,000 kids under age five in Hamilton County
  • Preschools, including private schools, can register for this alert system
  • It will text alerts for incidents and all clears
  • Example: Heightened awareness protocol (robbery in area, etc). No recess during this time period
  • Programs control and maintain contact information - can add up to 5 contacts per location
  • There is a field trip option
  • Currently only available in Fishers, hoping to extend to Hamilton County soon
  • Free service for those in Fishers
  • Online training is coming soon. Programs must complete the training to activate an account.
  • Safe Littles umbrella stickers will be provided to all registered programs for the 2019-2020 school year.

Early Childhood Foundations for Social Emotional Learning

Sarah Parks-Reese, Indiana Department of Education Pre-K Expansion Specialist

  • The goal is to connect schools and community providers
  • Guidance on the Foundations – online tool HERE
  • See the crosswalk (handout) HERE
  • Foundations have not changed, just added guidance
  • Social Emotional competencies increased
  • Guidance resources help teachers bring out the best in kids
  • Myths about Social Emotional Learning: It’s all about feelings, It’s not just for kids with problems/challenges, It’s not taught separate from academic skills
  • Learn more about the IDOE SEL work HERE
  • Teacher Self-Care: No better tier 1 intervention than an encouraged enlightened teacher

Early Intervention in Early Childhood

  • A draft resource document aimed at parents/families has been developed and was posted in the room for comments.
  • We will follow-up with the Systems of Care Early Childhood committee and find another opportunity for feedback from this group.

Hamilton East Public Library - Jennifer Harmon

Preschool Fairs– A collaboration between the Early Learning Alliance Network and the Hamilton East Public Library are scheduled for November 9 and 16 from 10AM-12PM. Each Fair is a FREE opportunity for preschool providers to promote their programs and connect with potential preschool families in our community. As a preschool provider, you must register in advance and serve families in the community of each Fair.

  • Fishers Preschool Fair, Saturday, November 9 10AM-12PM at the Fishers Library
  • Facebook Event:
  • New this year! Noblesville Preschool Fair, Saturday, November 16 10AM-12PM at the Noblesville Library
  • Facebook Event:

Early Learning Alliance Network

  • Successful “Big Skills for Little Learners” online webinar (see it online here)
  • Rubrics for integrating play
  • Free Resources! from PNC Grow Up Great Sesame Street growth chart and
  • Schools and centers can borrow Osmo tools
  • Early Learning Community Survey - coming soon!
MR JENSEN presenation

See copy of our opening speaker Dr. Angela Ruiz here.