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From Chanie’s Desk

Dear Early Childhood Leaders,

Last month many of you opened your doors to the dozens of children who have been in lockdown or at home for many months, started distance learning or started new extracurricular initiatives.

Congratulations on all the hard work and remember to celebrate your wins!

Every month there is so much that goes on in the Schools of Excellence membership from:

  • Support Calls
  • Collaboration
  • New Ideas
  • Checklists
  • Scripts
  • Resource Guides

There is one thing that always remains the same every month in the membership and that is the community, accountability, and high-level coaching that happens.

While there is a very specific roadmap in the membership called the pyramid of excellence we encourage members to participate and take what they need to build their schools of excellence

Here is a quick recap of what happened in the Schools of Excellence in August and hopefully this can inspire and motivate you to show you what is possible.



P.S. If you haven’t been following me on social media I want to share with you that I moved my family from NY to FL in August. Follow us on social to learn more.

“We went from 75% capacity to 95%!”

Kathy GrayOwner

“Parents continually thank us and are telling others about our center!”

Jennifer CertomaDirector

Monthly Leadership Check-Up Form 

To ensure everyone in the community is always taken care of, our team sends monthly leadership check-up forms to see where our members are holding. Chanie reads each of them to ensure that all support calls cover topics that leaders are struggling with in order to give the most up to date support.

These monthly leadership check-in forms allow the member to share their wins and roadblocks so that our team can keep track of personal progress to give each member specialized attention.

Membership Wins

“I have taken more deliberate time to do things I WANT to do, not HAVE to do!”

Amy CollumDirector

“Continuing to have tough conversations with staff to lead their own growth!”

Chrissy CarterDirector


Support Calls

**Here are the themes we spoke about- to get access sign up for Membership


Each month we have an hour-long support call where our members can come ask questions and get support from other members and Chanie.

During this ever-changing time, it is more important than ever to have a support system of leaders who are in the same position as you.

Chanie guides members on how to deal with difficult conversations and situations with staff and how to create a cohesive team that is accountable and responsible. Other members also share what has worked for them in the past.

Common topics we discuss are:

  • Staff accountability and respect.
  • How to organize meetings to be the most efficient
  • How to create a great culture with staff
  • The backlash to schedule changes and how to get staff onboard
  • Streamlining operations for new hires

“We all have the same feelings and obstacles! I am so glad to have you all [the members] in my life! I'm sending you a virtual hug to you all!”

Kathy G.In response to a support call

Guest Mentor This Month:

Our guest expert this month was Natalie Gingrich, an operations expert. With over two decades of experience in operations, Natalie’s goal is to bridge the gap and overwhelm when it comes to setting up solid business foundations.

Natalie discussed the process of the first 5 days of a new hire.

Our members learned the timeline of how to onboard a new person onto our team.

We learned:

  • How to get a new hire clear on the mission, vision, and values of the center
  • How to explain to the new hire what success looks like in 30, 60, and 90 days of being on the team.
  • How to explain policies, procedures, and safety.
  • How to give the new hire TOOLS and SYSTEMS they need to do their job successfully.
  • How to immerse the new hire and setting up specific meetings to review expectations.


“I'm noticing when staff come to me with concerns, they have already started the problem solving process instead of expecting me to have all the answers!”

Jessica EidenDirector

“Some days I literally want to cry because I am so impressed by the dedication, respect and hard work each person contributes. They genuinely love their job and each other.”

Amy CollumDirector

“We have been completing the parent partnership challenges each week-these are working to keep our families invested in our program.”

Kerstin BrinsonOwner

Kindegarten Co-Working Session

We held a co-working session for an idea generation hour for starting a kindergarten. This was for members whether they had recently opened a kindergarten, have had one for years, or are thinking about starting one.

This was a great opportunity for the members to come together to share ideas related to enrollment, curriculum, parent engagement, and more!

We introduced our first co-working session:

  • Directors and owners were split up into breakout rooms according to the status of their school (opened, Zoom-ing, or closed)
  • During the session, they had the opportunity to network with one another about the challenges and creative solutions they’ve been navigating.

“There is so much support and coaching on the support calls. The kindegarten roundtable was especially helpful!”

Alison PhillipsDirector


Monthly Playbook

Each month we release a monthly playbook based on a theme. Each playbook will have:

  • An Action Step
  • A Checklist
  • Educational Content related to the theme
    • Video
    • Step by Step Instructions

August’s playbook was all about how to lead your first staff meeting for the new school year.

We also included a Bonus PDF on the 5 mistakes leaders make at the beginning of the school year.

I'm just so thankful for the opportunity [my owner] has given me by signing me up for the Director's Inner Circle. I can't wait to see how much I can grow through this experience! Thank YOU!

Alison PhillipsDirector

Thank you for everything about this program. The tools, strategies and ideas have already made me a better Director!

Amy CollumDirector

Back to School Guide from Dr. Fox

This document is GOLD for any school leader.

Dr. Fox, Trauma Specialist, has allowed up to share his return to school PDF with all of our members. 

In it, there is a wealth of knowledge on how to prepare your students, your teachers, and yourselves to return to school.

It Includes:

  • Handouts and Checklists for Faculty
  • Guidelines for Faculty Returning to School
  • Gratitude for Faculty
  • Self Awareness and Self-Care Guidelines for Faculty
  • Self Awareness and Self-Care Guidelines for Teachers
  • Preparation to Address Students and Classes
  • Guidelines to Assess Students Needs in the Classroom
  • Checklist for Student Concerns
  • Preparation Documents for Parents to Prepare Their Children
  • Checklists for Parents


One of the Biggest Benefits of Joining our Membership is the Collaboration with Other Leaders!

One of Our Members Share her Time Blocking Schedule 

Time blocking is a huge part of our membership and taking back your time, but it can be difficult to figure out how to frame this. One of our members shareD her very thorough time blocking schedule and others LOVED IT!

This was a great template for other members to follow to cover all the grounds and being consistent throughout the weeks.

Another Member Shared An Amazing (AND FUN!) Idea She Had for A Staff Meeting

This member has done an amazing job at creating a strong culture amongst her staff and she shares ways other leaders can do it too. Especially in the time of COVID, she demonstrated that it is acceptable (and encouraged) to cut loose once in awhile.

Another Member Shared the Letters She Sent To Families When a Teacher Tested Positive for COVID When Another Member Was Dealing with the Same Issue

We are all navigating the new normal of COVID- we need to create new content and responses to problems. In our membership, we support each other and are able to offer support when we have gone through the same problems that the leaders already know have worked for someone else. No need to reinvent the wheel. As a member you are NOT doing this alone.

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