Union Elementary Weekly Update

Friday, December 17, 2021

Enjoy winter break! We wish you the happiest of holidays and a healthy new year! School will resume on Monday, January 3, 2022!

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We had a great week at Union!

A message from Mrs. Raycroft...

Dear Union Families,

Thank you for making this last week such a positive and memorable one! Your kindness has been truly heartwarming. For the past 8 years, Union Elementary has been my school home. It has been an honor to be part of such an involved and dedicated school community that works together to foster children’s growth. Our collaborative relationships, open communication, and shared purpose have facilitated a supportive learning environment of which I am proud and that will continue to flourish under Mrs. Kay’s leadership.

I am excited to serve our community in a new way in the days ahead as we enter the next chapter of our story as a growing school district. Starting in January, my role will focus on planning and preparing to open our sixth elementary school, Trailside Elementary. I look forward to continuing to cross paths with Union students and their families throughout their educational journeys here in Zionsville.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and safe Winter Break!

With gratitude,

Jen Raycroft

Welcome Laura Christie!

Laura Christie will be serving as our new Assistant Principal starting on January 3, 2022 as Mrs. Kay transitions to the Principal position. Mrs. Christie is an educator in her 22nd year who desires to see all kids engaged in classrooms where learning is the most exciting activity on the planet. She believes in developing bonds with students and helping them find their passion for learning. Mrs. Christie's educational belief is that higher-level thinking grows when students are problem solvers and active in the learning process. Mrs. Christie has a passion for literacy instruction and feels that being a life-long learner is the only way to live. Her passion is curriculum and helping lead educators to grow in their craft. Additionally, Mrs. Christie obtained a Masters in Educational Administration at Butler University. Her background is in Elementary Education with a Minor in Special Education from Ball State University. She has spent the last 21 years in Hamilton Southeastern and Millard Public Schools in Omaha, Nebraska prior. Mrs. Christie is a mother of two wonderful children: Emilie (freshman) and Andrew (fifth grader). She is excited to join Union Elementary as the new Assistant Principal!

Thank you, PTO!

We send a sincere thank you to our PTO for providing the Tinker Coffee Cart on Monday as we celebrate Jen Raycroft's last week at Union!

PTO also provided a delicious lunch for teachers from Maggiano's on Thursday! We had enough left over to treat everyone again on Friday.

Thank you for your support!


Union Teachers and Staff

Mark Your Calendar!

January 3 - Return from Winter Break

January 17 - MLK Jr. Day (no school)

January 18 - Teacher professional development day (no school for students)

January 22 - STEM/Wellness Morning (10 AM-12PM) - Explore the Outdoors! See details below!

February 14 - Valentine's Day

February 21-25 - Presidents' Day/February Break (no school)

March 11 and 12 - Spotlight Night (details to come)

March 15 - End of Quarter 3

April 1-8 - Spring Break (no school)

May 25 - Last day of school

May 26 - June 3 - Make up days (if needed)

May 30 - Memorial Day (no school)

Register for K-6th: Winter Break Access Days 2021!

K-6th Campers will be involved in lots of fun activities! These activities will include: crafting, 9 square, mini golf, pickle-ball, and so much more! During both weeks, Monday and Wednesday afternoons will be spent swimming at the Zionsville Aquatic Center from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Make sure to bring your swimsuit. All pickups after swimming must be at PVE! During week 2, we will have field trips on Dec 28th (Sullivan’s Holiday train) and Dec 30th (Indiana State Museum). There are no field trips during week 1.

Please make sure to bring a sack lunch and your water bottle every day and

please send your child with weather appropriate clothing!

Register in EZChild Track soon as spots are limited.

Where: Pleasant view Elementary - Door #2

When: December 20th-22nd and December 27th-30th

Time: 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Contact us: (317) 524-8038

Recess Reminder

The weather is certainly changing and we want students to be prepared to play outdoors. As the weather turns colder, students will need to come to school with their winter coats, hats, and gloves. Snow pants, waterproof boots, warm gloves/mittens are required to be able to play in the snow. Please reach out to our counselor, Mrs. Karnuta (lkarnuta@zcs.k12.in.us), if you are in need of assistance to obtain cold weather gear. All children play outside except on rainy, icy, or very cold days (wind chill below the 10-20 degree range). Inside recess will be held on those exceptional days.

Save the Date!

Feathered Friends and Winter Wellness will be our theme this year for our Stem/Wellness Event.

Come and join us for a morning of family fun on Saturday, January 22nd from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. The event will be held outdoors at Union Elementary, behind the school. This will be an opportunity for your family to explore nature and play some fun family games.

Winter Reading Fun at our Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library!

Holiday Assistance Information

As we approach the holiday season, we are aware that members of our school community may be seeking assistance to provide for their families. We have been working with a number of agencies to assist in connecting families with ongoing and/or holiday support for food, clothing, and financial assistance. Please contact our school counselor, Lori Karnuta, if we can offer any assistance in connecting your family with a support agency.

Please note the following agencies provide a variety of assistance for families. Please contact the agencies directly for a full list of services:

Love, Inc. Hours 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Mon/Wed/Fri (765) 482-6144 https://www.loveincbc.org/

Love, Inc. provides short term assistance and education services supported by numerous Boone County Churches

Zionsville Food Pantry – Serving all of Boone County

Located at Zionsville Presbyterian Church, (317) 873-6503.

The Caring Center 1230 Ransdell Ct., Lebanon, IN 46052 (765) 482-2020. Visit www.thecaringcenter.net for additional information. Assistance with holiday food baskets, Christmas gifts, Thanksgiving meals.

Boone County Toy Drive

(765) 482-4641. Provides assistance with toys and gifts for children and teens.

Help 4 Hoosiers Offers a variety of resources. https://www.help4hoosiers.org/

Indiana 211 Families can access resources by calling 211 directly or visiting https://in211.communityos.org/

Food Assistance Availability Map https://www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/food-assistance-availability-map/?fbclid=IwAR0qdNVKD-Dsxkn0_tAd2Bk5_PJo_newqBp1-qCcSiKFkGflBLtxXeTGqOQ

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry https://feedingindianashungry.org/find-your-food-bank/

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PTO Updates

Meeting Information

  • Next meeting is January 20 at 10 AM at Union Elementary. The link will be sent out via email closer to the meeting date.

  • Click here for instructions for linking AmazonSmile to support Union's PTO

Spotlight Night 2022!

Pack your bags! Get ready for a wild adventure! It is a Spotlight Night Year! Spotlight Night is a unique, very special tradition for our Union students that only happens every three years. Save the date for March 11 and 12. There will be more information to come!

If you would like to volunteer for this amazing event, please contact Rebecca Rozich.

Box Tops for Education

Attention Parents! You can help the PTO fundraise for Union just by doing your normal grocery shopping! Credits for our school can be earned when you shop for hundreds of your normal grocery items! Those credits translate to cold, hard $$$ for Union!

It’s very simple to get started! Visit https://www.boxtops4education.com to learn how to download the app and start earning!

Shopping via Shipt or Instacart? No problem! Visit the website to learn how to forward your digital receipts for credits!

Please consider this FAST and EASY way to support our Union Stars!

Dads Club Updates

Meeting Information

Our next meeting is Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at 7 PM at Union Elementary in the Teachers Lounge.

If you have any questions please contact Jake Webster at jwebster1220@yahoo.com.

Cafeteria Updates

Starting January 3, 2022 we may have some modifications to our procedures and offerings each day for elementary lunch. The January menu reflects the fact that there may be days when an additional hot entrée is provided. When known in advance, this entrée will be announced in school, prior to lunch. There may be times however when the entrée is simply provided on the line, without notice.

As always, look for the menu, which is planned using the nutritional guidelines of the USDA, to be published in advance and posted on the food service webpage ( ZCS Cafe Menus ). Please click here for the January 2022 menu.

These actions are occurring in part due to supply chain issues; we don’t always know that we can get enough of any one item for ALL the kids, so we will proactively supplement with another option. As an example, if we menu Chicken Sandwiches on Friday yet are shorted 200 servings on our Thursday delivery, we may need to offer Hamburgers along with the Chicken. In this example, know that we will do our absolute best to ensure that all serving lines get a choice of the advertised Chicken Sandwich menu item, this while hoping that 200 kids choose the Hamburger! Please also note that the nutritional information for all items we serve is listed on the nutritional data base on our webpage; the ZCS Health Clinics are aware of this information.

As a reminder, and per the USDA waiver, a reimbursable school lunch is available to each student at no charge for the duration of this school year. Don’t forget that since we are feeding over twice as many students compared to last year, your help is greatly needed. Consider joining the cafe team and apply now by clicking here ! You will discover more than 7,500 GREAT reasons to work at ZCS and know that ONE of those reasons might be your child!

Thank you for working with us and please reach out to your Union Café Manager, Maggie Proctor at mprocter@zcs.k12.in.us if you have any questions about this change.

Car Rider Notes

Thank you for your support in making sure students begin and end their day safely!

  • Please make sure students exit and enter their cars from the passenger side.
  • Please do not pull around a stopped vehicle when in the car rider line (unless motioned to do so).
  • Please refrain from using your cell phone when you are in the car rider line.
  • Please make sure you have a sign in the front window of your car at pick up that clearly displays students' first and last name and their grade level! Please write in bold!

Additionally, if you are waiting and parked to drop off or pick up your child, please turn your engine off and do not idle. Please see policy here: DIESEL EXHAUST AND VEHICLE IDLING

Textbook Rental

Elementary fee statements for the 2021-22 school year were emailed on September 20, 2021.

If you did not receive your fee statement, please check your spam or junk mail.

You may also log into your PowerSchool account and click on the Balance tab. You will see your student’s itemized statement, payments made, and current account balance. Please use the web browser to log in using a laptop or tablet, do NOT use the PowerSchool mobile app.

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding Curricular Materials (Textbook Rental & Consumables), please visit https://www.zcs.k12.in.us/apps/pages/textbook_renta

Union Elementary School Directory

We invite you to visit https://unionelementarypto.membershiptoolkit.com to see your 2021-22 online Directory. This link can also be found on the Union Elementary website under the Parents tab, PTO tab, then Directory. Once you create a Membership Toolkit Account, you will have access to the Directory.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Go to https://unionelementarypto.membershiptoolkit.com.
  • Click on the Register/Login button.
  • If you already have an account with another organization that uses Membership Toolkit you can use the same email and password to login. You can then proceed to the numbered steps below.
  • Select "Create Account" and fill in the name, email, and password information.
  • Click "verify my email" and then check your email for a link to complete the process. The link expires in 2 hours. If you do not receive the email, check your spam or junk folders.
  • Once you have verified your email address, log back in and finish the registration process.

1.Complete the Parent/Family and Student Information.
2.Complete the Directory/Publish Preferences.

Once the Primary Account is set up, the Primary User can "invite" other email addresses to access his/her account. This allows the Secondary User to have their own login information, but still have access to the family account.

Now Hiring

ZCS is now hiring Instructional Assistant at multiple locations (including Union!). Join the ZCS team and make an impact on the lives of our students. IAs work in the classroom with individual and small groups of students. Union has a 2 day a week position available with a pay of $13 per hour. Your weekends and evenings are free and you work on the school calendar. Please apply online at https://www.applitrack.com/centralindiana/onlineapp/jobpostings/view.asp?choosedistrict=true&district=1452 or contact Robyn Nelson at rnelson@zcs.k12.in.us with any questions.

Major Changes to the 1:1 Computer Program at the Middle Schools starting in the Fall of 2022

During the November 8 board meeting, ZCS school board members approved an updated 1:1 technology plan. Beginning in the fall next year (2022-2023 school year), Zionsville Middle School (ZMS) and Zionsville West Middle School (ZWMS) will be using a staggered approach to transition into a 1:1 rental program that will eliminate the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). *These changes will only affect the current 4th grade class (class of 2030), students who are incoming 5th graders next year at ZMS and ZWMS.*

How it works.

Current 4th grade students (Class of 2030) will be required to rent a Lenovo 11e from ZCS for the start of their 5th grade year in 2022. Students in grades 6-8 will maintain their BYOD status for the 2022 school year so as not to interfere with already purchased devices. All current middle school students who started with BYOD will have the option to maintain BYOD status throughout their middle school years. The chart attached shows the staggered approach over the next four years as we transition out of BYOD and into this new rental program.

For more details about this change, including financing, please visit the following

link: https://www.zcs.k12.in.us/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=458767&type=d&pREC_ID=2267749.

If you have questions, reach out to Dan Layton at dlayton@zcs.k12.in.us.

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COVID Quarantine Guidelines Update

Governor Eric Holcomb’s executive order changes the quarantine requirements for those masked individuals considered close contacts to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. ZCS will continue to follow our district mask mandate, but effective immediately, anyone identified as a close contact in a masked setting is no longer required to quarantine (as long as the close contact is symptom-free). Please make sure your child(ren) has extra masks in their backpack!

Masked School Settings:

In settings, such as classrooms or on the school bus, where all students are wearing masks, close contacts who are within three feet of positive case will be notified to monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Those students will continue in school as long as no symptoms develop. If symptoms develop, students must isolate and obtain testing whether or not fully vaccinated.

Unmasked School Settings:

Close contacts within six feet of a positive case and in an unmasked setting (i.e. lunchroom, band) must quarantine with one of the below options.
1. Quarantine for 14 days (no test required).
2. Quarantine for seven days with negative test (PCR or rapid test done in lab) on days five, six or seven. Return on day eight if no symptoms develop.
*Unless fully vaccinated or previously ill with CoVID-19 within the previous three months and recovered, and without any symptoms.


ZCS will continue to follow established CoVID-19 protocols and mitigation strategies including:

  • Masks are mandatory in all district buildings and on school buses.
  • Families of students considered to be close contacts will still be notified.
  • Close contacts in unmasked situations must quarantine.
  • Close contacts in any setting must quarantine if showing COVID-19 symptoms.


Please keep your child(ren) home if:
1. Child (ren) are sick or showing symptoms of CoVID-19.
2. Anyone in the household is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, exhibiting CoVID-19 symptoms, or has tested positive.

Please continue to carefully monitor your child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms and do not send any child(ren) to school who show signs of sickness.

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Volunteer Procedures

We will be welcoming instruction-based visitors/volunteers to our campus per the Eagle Start Guide. In addition to our background check requirements, guests to campus will also be required to complete a C-19 Waiver. Access to campus is subject to change. Note that at this time, we will not have lunchtime visitors or classroom party volunteers.


During the school day, all visitors must enter via the front door and sign-in at the front office. Visitors need to be prepared to present a government issued photo ID which will be scanned against the National Sex Offender Registry. All visitors will be issued a visitor badge/tag to be worn inside the building at all times.


During the school day, all volunteers are expected to sign in at the front office. Prior to the volunteer opportunity, all volunteers must sign a Non-disclosure Acknowledgement Form and have successfully completed a Full Criminal History Background Check. Necessary background check paperwork is available on the ZCS website at the Volunteers/BRAVO link and should be submitted at least 10 days prior to the intended volunteer date. Volunteers must also view the state mandated confidentiality/bullying video, provided on the Volunteer/BRAVO website. The volunteer will pay the fee* for the full background check which will expire after 5 years. The link to apply for the full background check can be accessed on the Volunteers/BRAVO link on the ZCS main webpage. For more information, contact the Volunteer/BRAVO Coordinator.


The linked document is the Covid Volunteer Waiver, which is new this year. This form must be filled out by every guest who enters our building. This is NOT a one-time form as it must be filled out every time a guest visits our school. You may print and bring this to the office with you or complete a copy when you arrive.

Above and Beyond

Please take a moment to share with us when you have experienced something extraordinary because of the work of a ZCS teacher, counselor, bus driver, school administrative assistant, food service worker, coach, nurse, school leader or Board member. When you have an experience, please go to the ZCS website and fill out the Above and Beyond Nomination Form.
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Union Elementary School

Union Elementary strives to create a nurturing and kid-focused learning environment where teachers, students, and parents work together in supportive and collaborative partnerships so all students can meet their potential.