United South Central Elementary

April 2022 - Rebel Preview and Rebel Review

April Newsletter

Rebel Rights

Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe

Happy Spring.

The snow has melted, April showers are here, the sun is shining, and the students at USC have been hard at work. This is the time of year when educators start witnessing big gains in social and academic growth. Students are using their Rebel Rights by being Responsible, Respectful, and Safe. Random acts of kindness are prevalent and students are stepping up to be leaders by doing the right thing. Parents, we appreciate you partnering with the school and working on Rebel Rights at home. In addition to social growth, academic growth is evident.

As I am out and about in the school, students are eager to share that their AR goals are being met and new goals set. STAR assessments have been occurring quarterly, the data is being tracked. Based on this data, instruction is adjusted to meet students' needs. And, last but not least, the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) in reading, math, and science are right around the corner. The MCA is a standards-based accountability assessment; students in grades three through eleven take this statewide assessment annually. The results of these assessments provide educators with a snapshot of student learning and can be used to determine whether students are mastering content knowledge as related to the Minnesota State Standards. Moreover, the results can be used to improve teaching and learning and determine areas where students do well so we can reinforce the way these skills are being taught. Areas for improvement are highlighted so teachers can increase their instructional time or adapt instructional time to better meet the needs of learners.

Please be mindful, these assessments provide us with a snapshot of your child's progress this year. Every day our staff witnesses tremendous gains in each and every child beyond what assessment data provides. Please keep this in mind as we move forward. Also, I want to encourage you to take an opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate the major milestones of progress, growth, and achievement in your child(ren). Give the gift of time to celebrate and create memories. Every student who attends USC is uniquely wonderful.

As the year comes to a close, we want your students to continue to work hard so they are prepared for the next grade. I want to acknowledge the incredible work the teachers and staff have done to get us to this point.

MCA Testing
Please refer to the following dates ↴

Reading MCA (grades 3 - 6) April 12, 13, and 14

Math MCA (grades 3 - 6) April 20, 21, and 22

Science MCA (grade 5 only) April 26, 27, and 28

Preparations parents/guardians can help with to ensure a successful test day:

  • Ensure your student charges their Chromebook and brings it on the day of testing

  • Ensure your student has headphones and brings them on the day of testing

  • Ensure your student eats a healthy breakfast, is well hydrated, and gets 8 hours of sleep

  • Encourage your student to try their very best

We appreciate the support you give your student each and every day. Thank you for partnering with USC in your student’s success.

It’s a Great Day to be a Rebel!
Jennifer Taylor, Elementary Principal

Take Time to Read

With Spring comes busy evenings with after-school sports, clubs, and activities. While it is important for our students to stay active and participate in various social activities, we want to remind you of the importance of our USC Rebels reading every night. This can be done independently or by a family member or friend conducting a read-aloud. It is important to remember reading books aloud to your children not only stimulates their imagination but expands their understanding of the world as they develop language and listening skills. Take time to read with and to your child(ren).

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Books Are Fun - Book Blast

During the month of March, USC Elementary partnered with Books Are Fun and their Book Blast Program to help build our students ‘home library’. Books are Fun has been in business for over 30 years and promotes literacy efforts by putting at least one book in the hands of every student. Students registered through a link and community members pledged students by donating money for books. At this time, we have raised enough money so every student will receive books. There is still time to register as the book blast goes until April 8.

Students who participate in the program have the opportunity to earn prizes and cash from a treasure chest. There will be a drawing for a Generation 9 iPad on Monday, April 4. In addition, the top contributors from each grade receive a $100 shopping spree and the top contributor in the school receives a $200 shopping spree. Classroom teachers can also receive a $100 shopping spree.

A huge thank you to Michelle Gottberg and everyone who has participated and pledged money to put books in the hands of our USC Rebels. We are beyond grateful and you are truly awe-inspiring.

Please watch for the next Book Blast during I Love to Read Month - February 2023


Now that spring has finally arrived, we want to make sure all of our students can take full advantage of our outdoor play spaces. Please remember that your child(ren) will be playing outside every day, weather permitting. Jackets/coats must be worn unless the temperature is 60 degrees or above. You may want to consider sending rain boots if you have them since it is wet and muddy outside. Thank you for partnering with us.

Lost and Found

The Lost and Found has a new location. Please check out the tables of items waiting to be reunited with their owners in the Commons near the vending machine. Stop in and take a look in the event your child is missing something. In order to avoid having your child's possessions wind up in Lost and Found, please make sure all clothing is properly labeled.

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Kindergarten Round-up is Back

After a hiatus during Covid-19, Kindergarten Round-up is back! We can’t wait to meet the students of the Class of 2033.

When: Thursday, April 14, 2022

Times ↴

Session 1 9 - 10:30 am

Session 2 11-12:30 pm

Session 3 1:15 - 2:45 pm

There will be no school on Thursday, April 14 for current preschoolers and kindergarteners to allow for this event.

Spotlight on Mentor AJ Bullerman

Having the elementary, middle, and high school students in the same building definitely has its advantages. Every year the elementary is lucky to have several of the high school students mentor the elementary students in a variety of ways. Some students work on academics, supervise recess, and serve as Big Rebels. Spending time with the older students is undeniably the best part of the day for many.

For several years, student Aaron Bullerman (AJ) has been an integral part of USC Elementary. It is hard to miss when students' faces light up as AJ enters the hallways and classrooms. In the lunchroom when he walks by you can hear the familiar chant “Go AJ, Go AJ, Go AJ…” from his cheering section especially when he is wearing a football or basketball jersey.

Take a moment to read the following interview with AJ and please find time to thank him for his service at USC Elementary School when you see him. He is awe-inspiring and the students have been lucky to have him as a part of their lives. We wish you the best AJ!

Parents: DJ and Kristin Bullerman

Siblings: Blake (Sophomore) and Andrew (7th Grader) Bullerman

Favorite Teacher(s): Mrs. Stenzel and Mr. Neseth

Future Plans: I plan on attending Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) to major in Finance/Business Administration

About Me: I am a Senior here at USC. I work at the Wells Pool as a lifeguard and a Water Safety Instructor (Swimming Lessons Teacher) for ages 2-13 during the summer.

Post-Secondary: This year I decided to take some college classes while still in high school through a program called PSEO. PSEO stands for Post-Secondary Enrollment Options. College classes are a little different than high school classes because you don't meet as a class every day. This means I only have classes through MSU three days a week and only two hours of high school classes. So instead of sitting in my five study halls, I decided to give back and help out in the elementary school.

Volunteer Work: One of the things I do here at USC is help supervise kindergarten recess when they need help. I also work in one of the kindergarten rooms working with students who need a little extra help. Some of the things we work on include writing our names and letters, letter identification, sight words, and how to properly behave in a classroom setting.

Sports: I played football and basketball all throughout high school and was a football captain this year.

Best High School Memory: My best high school memory is when I sacked the quarterback in football my senior year, the stands were full and everyone cheering as loud as they can.

Best memory working in the Elementary School: My best memory when working in the elementary would have to be when one of the students I had been working with for over a month finally started to understand what we were doing.

Favorite Quote: “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great”

-John D. Rockefeller

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United South Central Elementary School erupted in celebration upon hearing the good news that our very own Bebo Getchell’s cancer is in remission. Bebo was first diagnosed on October 30, 2016, with B-Cell ALL. In January 2020, a month shy of his end of treatment date, Bebo had a relapse. For the next two years, Bebo valiantly fought to get to his remission date of March 23, 2022. Bebo will be the first to admit he has encountered many life-changing moments throughout his fight. So have the students at USC Elementary. Let's take a moment to look at a few of key learnings...

Appreciation: appreciate life and cherish the little things for they are the BIG things

Fight: fight for health and what you believe in and never give up

Sacrifice: sometimes you have to forego things in your life and keep your eye on the bigger goal

Patience: often the best things in life don’t come easy but are worth waiting for

Friendship: true friends will be there through thick and thin.

Last but not least…love fiercely. Put your arms around those you love and let them know how much they mean to you

Thank you to Bebo for all of the lessons taught and learned.

You are an awe-inspiring fighter.

We are beyond grateful for your prognosis.

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Spotlight on Math with Mrs. Henning

Students in Mrs. Henning's class learned how to measure distances in the school. Students made an educated guess on how many inches it would be from the main door of the school to the principal's office. Then it was time to measure.

Hands on learning with movement is the best!

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Spotlight on Science with Ms. Jewison

Students in Ms. Jewison’s science class learned about thermal energy this week. Each group of students made predictions, asked questions, and clarified what they were learning about using the jigsaw method of learning and presenting. Students observed beakers of water and determined the temperatures based on their sizes in conjunction with a story. At the end of the lesson, they found out if their predictions came true and why.
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Spotlight on Physical Education with Mrs. Bullerman

This quarter, the ability to work together to accomplish a goal was a focus in physical education. Mrs. Bullerman's class participated in a Teamwork Challenge with parachutes. From this activity, students learned to communicate with others, socialize, problem solve, build friendships, and ultimately achieve a goal. This is one example of how students can learn important life skills through physical education.

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Spotlight on Title I with Mrs. Gormley

Elementary students are lucky to partake in Title I services during their specialist rotations this year. Students have an opportunity to work on math and reading during this time and hone their skills. Students who need additional support are able to work with the Title I teachers in small groups. This past week, Mrs. Gormley presented a math game to the students. As you can see in this photo, students are eager to begin the game.
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