Washington Learning Center News

"Learning for fun, learning for growth, learning for life"

February 2023 Message from Principal Brown

Preschool and kindergarten children are busy at WLC!

The day in the life of preschool and kindergarten children is very exhausting. They are constantly learning, playing, and thinking. Therefore, they get exhausted and need to get recharged each day.

It is extremely important that children get enough sleep (see the chart below). When children are overtired, they actually get more energized. You have probably experienced that when your children were infants, you know they are tired but they can't settle down to sleep. That is what is different between children and adults. Adults get groggy when they are tired. Children get energized which isn't necessarily a good thing at school. When this happens children tend to have more problems at school such as:

  • weaker immune system
  • unable to pay attention
  • unable to remember things
  • distracted
  • moody
  • aggressive
  • unable to control their temper
  • weight gain (beyond the norm)

What to do...stand your ground and have clear routines and bed times. Keep electronic devices to a minimum especially an hour or two before bedtime. Reading books as part of a bedtime routine provides children with the one on one snuggle time with a parent, the nurturing that every child needs, and helps build vocabulary and imagination. Children need your attention, not in a bad way, but in a nurturing way. Electronic devices are not substitutes for eye contact, language development, loving words and touches, and nurturing.

It is important that dads read to children too. Dads tend to read to children differently than moms. Dads tend to be more unstructured, have more physical play during the reading, and talk about experiences that relate to the stories. Your child will have great literacy experiences from having both parents read to them which also strengthens the parent and child bond. And don't worry if your child wants to read the same book again and again. Hearing the same story again and again feels safe and secure, kind of like an old friend and your conversations and understanding about the book will get richer.

The Importance of Self Help Skills for Young Children

Children have the desire and drive to become independent in their activities for daily living. As adults, we must teach and guide the children in becoming successful in their self-help skills. These are the everyday tasks that help children to be prepared to participate in everyday activities. Here are some to work on for preschool and kindergarten:

  • Settling themselves to sleep at night
  • Toileting independently
  • Know where familiar items are kept
  • Put items away independently
  • Tolerating differing clothing textures, seams, tags, etc.
  • Choosing weather appropriate clothing
  • Dressing independently
  • Tying shoes independently (kindergarten)
  • Morning routines at school
  • Feeding self without difficulty
  • Expressing emotions
  • Developing friendships
  • Taking turns
  • Playing with 4 or 5 children in a group
  • Following rules
  • Opening lunch boxes, zip lock bags, food packaging
  • Use a napkin to wipe face and hands
  • Sitting at a desk, following teacher instruction, and independently doing simple in-class assignments
  • Coping in busy/noisy environments
  • Packing a bag for school or other outings with assistance

As much as we want to help our children and allow them to be children, we also need to help them learn how to be independent in basic skills. This doesn't mean that you cannot help your children when they need it, but providing children with these skills will help them be confident and successful children. You will help them build their self-esteem and pride in their independence. Remember, you (and other adults) are important role models for our children. They learn a great deal from watching and listening to us.

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Don't miss out on the Washington Learning Center Year Book!

The Washington Learning Center yearbook is 24 full color pages that include all preschool & kindergarten students (Headstart class is not included). Don't miss out on ordering. Late orders will not be accepted after April 10th & there will be a VERY limited amount of extras for sale in the office after yearbooks have been distributed.
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February MENUS

WLC February Breakfast Menus

Breakfast is FREE for all students from 7:30am-8:00am. Please remember if your child is needing to eat breakfast at school they need to be here early enough to make it up to their classroom by 8:00 A.M. Kindergarten does officially start at 8:00 A.M. and students will begin to be marked tardy if they are coming up late from breakfast. Thank you for your assistance and effort in helping the students be up to their classrooms to get their days started on time.

Food Services Director - Teri Jesperson

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ECFE - Betty Uehling

We are excited for our next session of classes to begin the week of February 6. There is still room in some of our evening classes, come make some memories with your child and connect with other parents!

Register online at <https://newulm.ce.eleyo.com/>

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Come in out of the cold & enjoy ECFE Family Gym Nights!

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Don't miss ECFE at the Lyric 3!

Pre-registration is Required. Click here to pre-register & make sure to register every adult & child that will be attending. Thank you!
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Don't miss the ECFE Community Baby Shower!

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Have fun at the ECFE Father/Daughter and or Mother/Son dances!

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Mark your calendars for an amazing parenting presentation by Celebrate Calm's Kirk Martin and his son Casey. FREE thanks to a grant from Families First of Brown County. This presentation is for ANYONE who cares for, lives with or works with children from 2-28 yrs of age.

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Eagles Preschool - Ms. Jill Berdan

Eagles Preschool had their first “Special Adult Day”, January 19th at the New Ulm Civic Center! It was great to have so many special guests join us for some FUN and adventure with their preschooler! Everyone was full of smiles and it was great to get out and take the children on a fieldtrip!

“Special Adult Days” are every third Thursday of the month starting in January and will continue through May! It is the last hour of preschool and the adults spend the first 30 minutes discussing a topic related to what is happening in the classroom and the last 30 minutes are spent with the child in their classroom doing art projects and activities. Children love having their families come to see their school, classroom, and teachers... and this is the perfect opportunity to introduce family and friends to each other!

Our next “Special Adult Days” are:

Thursday, February 16, 2023 ~ Pyramid Model - Social Emotional Learning Program

Thursday, March 16, 2023 ~ Fine Motor

Thursday, April 20, 2023 ~ SMART

Thursday, May 18, 2023 ~ Outdoor Learning

We hope to see you there!

Ms. Jill

Mark your calendar for Eagle's Preschool Special Person Day Events

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Kindergarten - Mrs. Gasow

We were so excited to get back to school in January after our (longer) winter break! January has been a busy month for kindergarteners. We went on a field trip to the pinball place in town and the kids (and adults) enjoyed playing pinball and learning more about how they work before we make our own pinball machines in science!

We are working hard at learning all our new memory words. We met the rest of our Superkids, and now we will start learning about what our Superkids are up to in their “Superkids Clubs.”

For math, we love finding friends of ten, identifying and writing numbers 1-20, and learning all about our 2D and 3D shapes. The students have so much fun finding shapes around the classroom and our school!

We are preparing for February since it is “I Love to Read” month! We can’t wait for all the special activities that the kids will get to participate in during the whole month of February! We also look forward to “kindness day”, the 100th day of school, and our Flandrau field trip!

-Mrs. Gasow

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Library & Technology - Ms. Hoek

This month the kindergarten students will work on their keyboarding skills. The app they use helps them identify and learn where the letters are located on a keyboard. The app is called “Clever Keyboard ABC” by Absolutist. It has a “Practice” and “Play” section using an on-screen keyboard. The App is free to download at home.

-Ms. Hoek

Music - Mrs. Hanson

The kindergarteners continue to move, sing, and play in the music room! They continue to practice keeping a steady beat and are learning to dance or move their puppets to music that has opposites, like fast and slow, heavy and light, or loud and soft. The students love to sing and enjoy learning new songs and circle games to go with them. Another favorite are the scarf dances they do to all sorts of music-from classical to pop songs or from movies they love. The music room is a happy place to be!
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Special Education - Speech & Language Pathologist - Amanda Fuchs

In February, we celebrate I Love to Read Month. Language development in young children can be supported by using books. Here are some tips to support children’s language and literacy development using books.

  • Incorporate books and reading into daily routines such as bedtime ritual.

  • Remember, young children may not have the attention span to sit while an entire book is read. This is okay, reading a book partially is still beneficial.

  • As children get older, show them the words as you are reading them.

  • Keep children engaged by asking questions or letting them tell stories.

News from the Nurse - Tara Fausch, Licensed School Nurse

SMILE! It’s Children’s Dental Health Month

February is Children’s National Dental Health Month and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cavities continue to be one of the most common chronic diseases experienced by children in the United States. More than half of children between the ages of 6 and 8 years have had a cavity in one or more of their baby teeth. For older children and teens, those between the ages of 12 years and 19 years, more than half have had a cavity in at least one of their permanent teeth. Leaving a cavity untreated can cause pain and lead to infections. This pain and infection can cause your child to have issues with eating, talking, playing, and learning and children with poor oral health tend to miss more school and get lower grades than their peers whose oral health is good. The great news is, there are many ways to prevent your child from developing cavities. Read on for some tips and healthy habits to work on now to ensure that your child’s smile remains bright and healthy as they learn and grow.

Brush, brush, brush

Brush teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Children need help doing a thorough job of brushing until sometime between ages 6 and 10 years. Remind your child to spit toothpaste out rather than swallow it. Start using fluoride toothpaste as soon as your child gets their first tooth. Use just a smear, or about the size of a grain of rice, until age three and a pea sized amount from then on.


Start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth that touch and then continue to do so once daily.


Fluoride varnish can be applied by your child’s dentist and can prevent up to 33% of cavities in your child’s baby teeth. This is considered preventive care, so should be covered by all private and public insurances. Having your child drink tap water in most areas also provides them with fluoride. If the tap water in your area is not fluoridated, talk to your child’s doctor about whether or not oral fluoride supplementation is needed. Also, as mentioned above, brushing with fluoride toothpaste daily also offers protection.


Talk to your child’s dentist about getting sealants applied when the time is right. Sealants can prevent 80% of cavities when applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

See the dentist

It is recommended that children start seeing the dentist by age one and establish a “dental home” where they can continue to receive dental care regularly.


Avoid foods and drinks that are known to contribute to the development of cavities, including candies, cakes, cookies, juices, sodas, and any others that are high in sugar. Only offer water to drink between meals and plain milk with meals. The foods and drinks that a child is offered in their first five years can shape their preferences for the rest of their lives, so start them young on options that protect their teeth and promote overall good health.

Know What to Do in An Oral Health Emergency

Read through the infographics below to know how to respond to an oral health emergency at home and how to prevent oral injury at school.

Image credit: https://www.mychildrensteeth.org/age-group-resources/safety-first2/

So let’s work together to keep these tips in mind to keep our littlest learners healthy and smiling… Happy Children’s Dental Health Month!

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School Social Worker - Karla Diehn

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Community School Director - Tammy Lorch

Community School Director - Tammy Lorch

Community Resource: Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program

With the rising cost of food, we want to remind you of the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC). WIC helps young families eat well and stay healthy. WIC serves families with children birth to age five who meet income guidelines; you do not need to be a U.S. citizen. The program provides foods high in calcium, iron, vitamin C, fiber, and protein. To apply, contact the Brown County WIC Office (507.233.6800) or submit the online application. The New Ulm WIC Clinic is located in the Community Services Building at 1117 Center Street. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

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Community Education - Crystal Fleck

** What are you interested to learn about? We are looking for requests on NEW Community Education Classes! Please share your ideas to Crystal @ cfleck@newulm.k12.mn.us. **

Babysitter Training - Boys and girls ages 10 and up

Instructor: Kiersten Dean

Saturday, February 25th 9:30am to 1:00pm Fee: $57.25

Washington Learning Center (door #1) Room #104

Babysitting, often the first job for a young person, is a chance to earn money and develop a sense of responsibility. This course will cover appropriate games and activities, telephone common sense, basic first aid, good decision making skills and much more. There will be take home materials for all in class as well as some items for their babysitter bags. **Each student will need to bring a sack lunch and a doll to class.

Home Alone

Instructor: Kiersten Dean

Saturday, February 25th 1:30pm-3:00pm

Fee: $26 For 3rd Grade and older.

Washington Learning Center (door #1) Rm #104

This class will cover the basics of staying home alone and coming and going from home safely. Topics include appliance safety, responsibilities , house rules, first aid and more are discussed. There will be time allowed for questions and answers from the attendees. You will feel confident and educated to stay home after attending this class. There will be take home materials for all in class. This class is for completed 3rd graders and older.

Kids Canvas Painting with Bridget- Heart Painting

Instructor: Bridget Gusso

Monday, February 27

4:00pm-6:00 p.m.

Fee $25

Washington Learning Center (door #1), Room # 104

Grades: K & Up Min 3/ Max 12

Students will have a choice to create one of these heart paintings. This will be done on an 11x14 canvas using different mediums. This will be a very simple and exciting guided painting. Remember to wear clothing that can get messy and bring a snack if you would like!

Kids Canvas Painting with Bridget- MultiMedia Flower Project

Instructor: Bridget Gusso

Monday, March 27th

4:00pm-6:00 p.m.

Fee $25

Washington Learning Center (door #1), Room # 104

Grades: K & Up Min 3/ Max 12

Students will be Painting paper plates and assembling them into flowers. We will then be attaching them to an 8x10 canvas. This will be an extremely exciting, creative process! Remember to wear clothing that can get messy and bring a snack if you would like!

Registrations can be received by:

Online with a credit card at http://newulm.ce.eleyo.com

Phone: 507-233-8307 (registration is complete only after payment has been received)

Mail: Community Education, 910 14th St. North, New Ulm, MN 56073

Stop in at our office at the Washington Learning Center, 910 14th St. North (door #1)

Crystal Fleck

Community Education Coordinator

Washington Learning Center

910 14th North Street New Ulm, MN 56073 | (-507-233-8307 | *- cfleck@newulm.k12.mn.us

Visit our website at http://www.newulm.k12.mn.us/community-ed/

Like us on Facebook community ed.new ulm

Scan the QR code below to view a pdf copy of the Community Education Brochure:

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Scan the QR code below to sign up for a Community Education Class:

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Opportunities for Parents:

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Mark Your Calendars:


  • Monday, February 6th - ECFE Session 2 Begins

  • Monday, February 6th - Summer Kids Connection registration opens for kindergarten students.

  • Wednesday, February 8th - Early Childhood Screenings held at the Washington Learning Center. An appointment is required to attend. To schedule a screening please call 507-233-8300.

  • Saturday, February 11th - ECFE Movie at The Lyric 3 - pre-registration is required. register every child & adult who will be going.

  • Monday, February 13th - Friday, February 17th - Random Acts of Kindness Week! Take some time to do a random act of kindness or two if able this week!

  • Tuesday, February 14th - Valentine's Day! Eagles Preschool & Kindergarten classes will celebrate in different ways that have been communicated by teachers.

  • Wednesday, February 15th - 100th Day of school for kindergarten! (If no more snow days prior to)

  • Thursday, February 16th - Kindergarten Winter Flandrau Field Trip (if weather is too cold it will be rescheduled for Friday, February 24th)

  • Thursday, February 16th - Eagles Preschool & Kindergarten Conference sign ups will be sent out electronically for parents to sign up for a conference time. Watch for them!

  • Thursday, February 16th - Eagles Preschool Special Person Day (AM: 9:30am-11am, 10am-11am in the classroom. PM: 1:30pm-3:00pm, 2pm-3pm in the classroom)

  • Friday, February 17th - NO SCHOOL FOR ALL STUDENTS, staff workshop day

  • Monday, February 20th - President's Day - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS OR STAFF

  • Friday, February 24th - Make up day for Kindergarten Flandrau Field trip (if needed)


  • Friday, March 3rd - NO SCHOOL FOR ALL STUDENTS, staff workshop day

  • Wednesday, March 8th & Thursday March 9th - Early Childhood Screenings held at Washington Learning Center. A scheduled appointment is required to attend. To schedule a screening please call 507-233-8300.

  • Thursday, March 9th - 3:30pm-7:30pm - Eagles Preschool & Kindergarten Conferences & Scholastic Book Fair - Only scheduled conference times will be honored.

  • Friday, March 10th - 6pm-7pm - ECFE Gym Night at Washington Learning Center

  • Wednesday, March 15th - last Early Childhood Screenings to be held until next fall at the Washington Learning Center. A scheduled appointment is required.

  • Thursday, March 16th - Eagles Preschool Special Person Day. (AM: 9:30am-11am, 10am-11am in the classroom. PM: 1:30pm-3:00pm, 2pm-3pm in the classroom)

  • Thursday, March 9th - 3:30pm-7:30pm - Eagles Eagles Preschool & Kindergarten Conferences & Scholastic Book Fair - Only scheduled conference times will be honored.

  • Saturday, March 25th - ECFE Community Baby Shower (information below) Registration is not required but is very encouraged and appreciated!

  • Thursday, March 30th - Lifetouch Spring pictures at WLC

  • Friday, March 31st - ECFE Cookie Jar Class - Registration Required


  • April 5th, 6th, 7th & 10th - NO SCHOOL FOR ALL STUDENTS (Staff workshop & Easter Holiday)

  • Monday, April 10th - Yearbook ordering deadline. Late orders will not be accepted.

  • Sunday, April 23rd, 1:00pm-2:30pm - Daddy Daughter Dance. Tickets required. Click here to purchase.

  • Sunday, April 30th - Mom & Son Superhero Dance. Tickets required. Click here to purchase.

Drop Off / Pick Up Reminders

Franklin Street

Please refrain from parking on the WEST side of Franklin Street throughout the school day.

Preschool parent cars will be lining up along Franklin, the length of the parking lot, as they wait to turn right onto 14th N Street.

Kindergarten parents will continue to line up along the WEST side of Franklin just north of the parking lot entrance.

Thank you for your efforts in following these plan to keep everyone safe.

Please review the 2 maps below for preschool and kindergarten traffic plans.

Preschool Pickup

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Kindergarten Pickup

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Parking and Entering the Building

Please use the PARKING LOT when you plan to leave your vehicle and enter the building with your child.

We want to keep Franklin Street free of parked cars during drop off and pick up so parents waiting in cars can line up there and not block the street.

Thank you for your efforts in following these plan to keep everyone safe.

Please see the maps and contact the office with any questions. (507) 233-8300

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