Union Center Elementary

Back to School Tomorrow!

August 11th, 2020

It's that time of year...school is back in session!!

As we continue our preparation to have our students return to school tomorrow, I wanted to reach out to give a few updates and answer some of the frequently asked questions that will hopefully have parents rest a little easier tonight :)

In-Person Elementary Safety and Guidelines at Union Center

To ensure that our students and staff are safe every day at Union Center, there have been several changes to how our building will operate on a daily basis.

Our Re-entry Plan, Frequently Asked Questions and other related COVID-19 Information is available at the district website:


  • Masks are required for all students (K-5) and staff when inside the building.

  • Masks are required for all students while riding the bus.

  • Students ​are required​ to hand sanitize or wash their hands when entering the classroom, entering and exiting the cafeteria, ​and​ entering and exiting the playground. ​Students will wash or sanitize their hands at least once per hour.

  • There will be ​no visitors ​allowed into the building until further notice, which include lunch and classroom visits.

  • Classroom desks or tables will be social-distanced throughout each classroom of at least 3 feet.

  • All PTO and school/classrooms events (​i.e., classroom parties, Fun Fair, etc.) are postponed indefinitely.

  • Both car riders and bus riders will be staggered into and exiting the building.

  • Bathroom breaks and various hallway activities have been scheduled and staggered to avoid large groups.

  • Art, Computers, Social Emotional Learning, and Music will push ​into ​the classrooms, and students will ​not ​visit those classrooms. Physical Education (PE) will continue to be held in the gymnasium or outside.

  • Meetings with teachers will be by appointment only.

  • Meetings with teachers (​i.e., IEP meetings, parent/teacher conferences, meetings with principal), should be held virtually, when possible. If not, a scheduled meeting will be created, ​if preferred.

  • Students will have their own school supplies, and any shared supplies will be sanitized between use.

  • Lunch times have been staggered so that proper sanitization can occur between lunch periods.

  • Water fountains will be replaced with touchless bottle refill stations. Please send a refillable water bottle with your child that can be kept at their desk for the week.

  • High traffic areas such as restrooms will be sanitized multiple times throughout the day.

  • Social Distance and Healthy Hygiene Signs as well as floor decals will be added to support our kids and staff.

We understand that there are a lot of new changes to how we operate, but in order to properly ensure the safety of all our students and staff, these changes must be made and we appreciate your understanding!

Elementary Virtual Learning

To all of our Virtual Learners, hopefully you were able to stop by Union Center today to receive your Chromebook and any supplies from your classroom teacher :)

As a disclaimer to our Virtual Learners and Parents, at the elementary level, the first several days of the school year are devoted to teachers and students discussing expectations, rules, and procedures, and that will be even MORE so this year.

The Virtual Learning that takes place tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday will be minimal as the classroom teachers will be working with their in-person students to organize and discuss those rules and procedures: Please check Canvas and/or email your child's teacher with any specific questions.

As a reminder, we do want to provide physical materials to our Virtual Learners throughout the year. Every Monday starting on Monday, August 17th, parents will be able to pick-up packets from their teacher from 10:00-2:00. These packets will be on a bookshelf in our glass vestibule: You should check with your child's teacher each week to see if there are materials your child will need for that week.

Virtual Parents, I ask that you please work with us as our teachers are vigorously working to provide wonderful lessons for both our in-person and virtual students :)

Arrival and Dismissal Changes at UCE

  • Arrival:

    • Building doors will open to all students beginning at 8:30 AM (CHANGE)

    • For car-riders, students will not be allowed to cluster underneath the awning at the front of the building; instead, students should remain in their vehicle until ushered out by a school employee. For bus riders, dismissal into the building will begin at 8:30 AM, and only one (1) bus will be allowed to enter at a time.

    • All students entering from 8:30-8:50 will either be in their classroom or the cafeteria, but only if they eat breakfast.

    • School will still start at 8:50 AM.

  • Dismissal:

    • The car-rider process will begin at 3:00 PM (CHANGE)

    • Students will still be called to exit the building through the front entrance as parents arrive.

    • Bus riders will be called in the order that busses arrive (approx. 3:15 PM). Staggering of bus dismissal will occur and two exits will be used to ensure social distancing as students walk to the bus.

Breakfast and Lunch at Union Center

In order to properly social distance our students, our tables have been spread apart in the cafeteria and only 4 or 5 students will be allowed per table. Students will have assigned seats for the foreseeable future, after the first day of school.

We are asking that lunches be funded through check or credit card. You may find information at this LINK to create an account or add your child to your Mealtime account. Please make sure the check is in an envelope marked with your child's name and indicate amount. Our kitchen manager, Kim Camplan, will get all Kindergarten and new student families their lunch account information the first week of school, should you choose to create a Mealtime account, this will be needed information. Please contact Mrs. Kim Camplan at kcamplan@union.k12.in.us for more information.

The Free and Reduced Price Breakfast and Lunch Application may be completed online through your Harmony Family Portal Account or picked up in our office anytime. Applications need to be completed each year. Families who applied and qualified last year will need to reapply at the start of school. If you would like us to send a copy home with your child during the first week of school please call the main office.Our school serves breakfast at 8:30 AM and lunch each day, and an August menu can be found on our website HERE.

Ice Cream Friday and Snacks: These will be available to students after we get our school year started. More information will be communicated in an upcoming newsletter.

Lunch Visitors: To start the school year, we will not be allowing visitors during our lunch periods. Thank you again, for understanding the changes in place to support our safety measures this school year..

Lunch Times:

10:45-11:10 (KG Lunch/1st Recess)

  • 5 Min Clean Break

11:15-11:40 (KG Recess/1st Lunch)

  • 10 Min Clean Break

11:50- 12:15 (2nd Lunch/3rd Recess)

  • 5 Min Clean Break

12:20- 12:45 (2nd Recess/3rd Lunch)

  • 10 Min Clean Break

12:55- 1:20 (4th Recess/5th Lunch)

  • 5 Min Clean Break

1:25- 1:50 (4th Lunch/5th Recess)

  • Cafeteria Cleaned/Closed

New Staff at UCE- Alexandria Schooley (4th Grade)

Alexandria comes to UCE through Purdue University Northwest, having recently completed her degree after student teaching at Lincoln Elementary in LaPorte! Alexandria is excited and eager to hop into her own classroom, and she can't wait to meet her students!

New Staff at UCE- Belinda Black (Social Emotional Learning)

Belinda has over 15 years of classroom experience in various grade levels! She is passionate about supporting kids in reaching their fullest potential as well rounder-individuals.

"I look forward to getting to know everyone over the coming year, and we will make this a great year together!"

For more information on how we will be structuring our Social Emotional classes, please click HERE!

New staff at UCE- Amy Asher- (High Ability)

Amy shifts into a new role at both Union Center and John Simatovich as our High Ability teacher! Amy will take on the roles and responsibilities of our High Ability program, which is anchored around pushing our kids to see what they can achieve!

(QUESTION) What Does My Child Bring Tomorrow?

In order to keep our building as safe as possible, parents will not be allowed to enter the building to walk their children to a classroom. While we would normally have an in-person Back to School Night where parents could drop-off supplies, that too is not happening this year.

We recommend only sending your child on the first day with items they will need, which include a mask and any cleaning supplies (i.e., wipes, sanitizer, etc.). If they can bring their normal school supplies, GREAT, but we don't want too much on their plate for that first day back.

We completely understand that students will need to stagger their supplies throughout this week!

(QUESTION) What Bus Does My Child Ride? How Will I Know?

The Union Township bus drivers were given their student lists yesterday, and bus drivers should be contacting parents TONIGHT.

If you don't know right now, please don't worry! A UTSC bus will be coming through your neighborhood, and we will do our very best to help you find your child's bus.

The UCE Office Staff will be in the office starting at 8:00 AM tomorrow, so please give us a call at 219-759-2544 if you have questions.

(QUESTION) Can I have lunch with my child?

At this time, no visitors will be permitted to enter Union Center, which includes parents having lunch with their children.

All parent meetings will be held virtually to start the year. If you would like to speak with a teacher or Principal Fuller, please call or email that person to schedule a meeting in advance.

(QUESTION) What about birthday parties in the classroom? Can my child bring cupcakes, cookies, and snacks?

Your child may bring a snack to eat throughout the day!

However, students will only eat the snacks that are provided to them from home: There will be no sharing of food or snacks in the classroom.

Unfortunately, this includes treats for birthday parties. We will celebrate student birthdays in the classroom, but we cannot distribute treats (cupcakes, cookies, etc.), even items that are pre-packaged.

Building Construction Update

You may or may not have noticed that a large fence has been placed behind our gymnasium! That is because our new addition to Union Center is starting to become a reality!

Architects and construction workers have been frequenting our building, and the plan is that they will begin breaking ground sometime in early to mid September.

This is VERY exciting for all our UCE students, teachers, and staff, and I hope exciting for our families, as well!

As we inch closer to the beginning of construction, I will share updates about our plan for safety, pictures, and hopefully some early renderings of what the new addition has to offer :)

New Website Under Construction

You may have noticed that Union Township has updated the layout and look of their new building websites!

The current UCE website is under construction, so please check these newsletters for updates and information!

Job Openings at Union Center

If you or someone you know is interested in any of the below job openings at Union Center, please contact Principal Fuller at 219-759-2544 (ext.2) or at pfuller@union.k12.in.us:

  • Evening Custodian (12:00-8:00)- Responsibilities include cleaning of individual classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, etc.

COVID-19 Student Guidance

  • The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has released some wonderful tips to parents about how to begin having the conversation with your child regarding wearing a mask. Please click HERE for more information.
  • For a look at the difference between Quarantine and Isolation, please take a look at the attachment HERE.
Why Do People Wear Masks | Little Ones Version | Jack Hartmann

Click Here to Register for the KidStop Program

Please click HERE to register for the before and after school program, KidStop.
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First Day of School!

Wednesday, Aug. 12th, 8:30am-3:30pm

272 North 600 West

Valparaiso, IN

Welcome back, everyone! We've missed you! :)

School Board Meeting

Wednesday, Aug. 12th, 7-8pm

Union Township School Corporation, Union Township, IN, USA


Virtual Learners Supply Pick-Up

Monday, Aug. 17th, 10am-2pm

272 North 600 West

Valparaiso, IN

Virtual Learners can pick-up any supplies in our glass vestibule! Please contact your child's teacher to see if their will be supplies for that week!

Principal Fuller's Thoughts

UCE Families...the time is here!

Tonight you will tuck your children in to bed, and tomorrow morning will be the first day of school!

As we get ready to embark on this journey together, I can't help but feel my heart swell with pride. Throughout the past two days, but really throughout the entire summer, our entire UCE Staff has been working to gear up for this moment. Teachers, Office Staff, Custodial, Kitchen Staff, Technology, Aides...EVERYONE has been preparing Union Center for the safe return of your children.

...but full disclosure, tomorrow won't be perfect. Glitches will happen and plans will need to be adjusted.

More than ever, we must work together for the betterment of our children. Our teachers and staff have been working tirelessly to prepare for the school year, and we know that parents have been going through the same struggles, wrestling with the same questions.

While I can't promise that everything will be perfect, I can promise that each day we will do everything we can to keep our children safe: That is a guarantee!

I am truly excited to take this journey with our students, parents, teachers, and staff. If we stick together and focus on what is most important, our children, we will come out of this stronger than ever!

...on a side note, I became a father in April to Baby Benjamin Ryan Fuller! He is the cutest and strongest little man I've ever seen, so I must going apologize in advance for the many pictures I will be sharing!

Sleep well tonight, and we will see everyone tomorrow morning!