Washington Post; Back to School

August 2018

Census Verification, Find out Child's Teacher and Early Entrance Conference Sign up

August 14, 2018

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s)

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year. Summer has flown by and we are eager to see all of our returning Wildcats and meet all of our new students. Back-to-school is an exciting time of year as we look forward to reconnecting with everyone in the Washington School family.

Parents are an essential part of making each child’s school year a success. The first step in that process is attending the entrance conference, which is designed to give teachers the opportunity to get to know your child and give you the opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, share important information, and set goals for the upcoming year. You can also bring your child’s school supplies to entrance conferences and pick up your child’s bus pass in the office if they will be riding this year.

This year, the process for finding out your child’s teacher and signing up for your child’s entrance conference has changed. We will no longer be posting the class lists in the foyer at Washington. This is for data privacy reasons. You will find out your child’s teacher through the Infinite Campus Portal and sign up for conferences using the PTCfast (Parent Teacher Conference) online sign-up. This is replacing the “You Can Book Me” program which was previously used. Here are the steps:

  1. Create a Parent Portal Account. If you already have an account, be sure you can log-in. For log-in instructions visit the ISD 77 website and click on “Infinite Campus Parent Portal”. Following the instructions will allow you to update your student information. If you do not remember your username and password, you could recover it directly through the portal. If this doesn't work, please send an email to ICSUPPORT@ISD77.ORG. If you have not yet set up an account, please call or visit the school secretary at Washington Elementary School.

  2. Complete Census Verification. The Census Verification link in the Parent Portal will walk you through the process. This is a critical step as it replaces paperwork you have completed in past years. If you need help with this, please call or visit the school secretary at Washington Elementary School.

  3. On August 21st, you will receive an email giving you directions to find out your child’s teacher and a link to sign up for a conference using the PTCfast online sign up system.. Steps 1 & 2 MUST be completed in order to do this step. The link you will use is: Book and Early Entrance Conference by Clicking Here (Link will be active on August 20th.) View this video for instructions on how to sign up for conferences.

  4. If you do not have access to a computer, or if you need help with any of these

steps, please visit the school secretary at Washington Elementary School.

Entrance conferences will be held on Tuesday, September 4th from 8:00-12:00 pm, and 12:30-7:30 pm and on Wednesday, September 5th from 8:00 am-12:00 pm. You will be picking up your child’s folder when you come in for conferences. Please complete the form that is included with this letter and return it at your conference. Lifetouch will be at school during Entrance Conferences to take school pictures. Please be sure to dress your child accordingly. Enjoy the remaining days of summer.


Shane Baier



** Lifetouch will be at school during Entrance Conferences to take school pictures. Please be sure to dress your child accordingly. After you have attended your child’s conference, please go into the gym to have your child’s picture taken.

The PTO is planning a welcome back picnic. More details to come!

Enjoy the remaining days of summer!

Washington Elementary is entering year two as a Leader in Me School

We are excited to kick off the new school year. Each year is an amazing opportunity to start fresh with new goals and expectations for success. At Washington Elementary, we are committed to developing the whole child through rigorous academic experiences, exploration of the arts, physical activity, technology and music. It is our vision that students will develop the skills and mindsets to lead their own lives, to be able to work effectively with others and make a meaning contribution wherever they go in life. To help us achieve this vision, we utilize the Leader in Me framework and the language of leadership outlined in Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

We recognize the importance that our students are knowledgeable when they leave our system; they must also be healthy, engaged, responsible, and caring people. The Leader in Me provides our school with the vision and language to lead us in a way that addresses all areas of development. As each child discovers and develops his or her unique gifts and talents, they are given opportunities to lead. As leaders, they become active, engaged partners in their own education and their self-confidence, responsibility, and initiative grows. The students quickly understand the benefits of different gifts and talents; they learn to listen to new ideas, work together to achieve results, and motivate one another to be the best. We are excited to partner with parents and community to watch each and every child grow throughout the year.

One early challenge for your family is to write or review your Family's Mission Statement. Mission statements have long been a part of organizations; they provide a clear path for what the organization wants to accomplish and how they plan to go about doing it. Yet, seldom does a family take the time to write a mission statement, and what organization is more important than the family?

By establishing and/or reviewing who you are as a family, how you want to be known, and how you plan to do it, you are practicing Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind. The process is a great way to practice all of the 7 Habits.

Step 1. Ask yourself these seven questions:

1. How do we want our family to be known?
2. How do we want to treat each other?
3. What is most important to us as a family?
4. What are some of our talents, gifts, and abilities?
5. What makes us the happiest?
6. What makes us unhappy?
7. What kind of home do we want to invite friends to?

Step 2. Write your Family Mission Statement.

Consider all four areas:
• Body (health and physical welfare)
• Brain (learning)
• Heart (relationships)
• Soul (inspiration)

Keep it simple, one to two lines, so the youngest family members can memorize it and find it meaningful. Examples: “We are builders,” “No empty chairs,” “To serve others,” “All for one and one for all,” etc.

Step 3. Stay on course:
As parents, you are the role models. Keep smiling and getting back on track.

The promise: By writing a Family Mission Statement, the message to your children is that your family is important—you know what you stand for and how you are going to work together to accomplish it.

I look forward to seeing you soon!
Shane Baier, Principal

Washington Welcomes New Staff!

We have several many staff members joining the Washington Team this year and some familiar faces in new roles. Washington Elementary is excited about the amazing talents the following people will bring to our community:

  • Amelia Schmid, Special Education Teacher
  • Melissa Brueske, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Veronika Rodriguez, English Language Teacher
  • Rose McGregor, Health Assistant
  • Connie Gleason, 2nd Cook
  • Amanda Betz, Student Success Coach & Lunchroom Leader
  • Krista Stock, Special Education Teacher
  • Jasmine Zacate, Media Assistant & Lunchroom Leader
  • Courtney Jones, Student Success Coach
  • Payton Anderson, Lunchroom Leader
  • Mark McCarthy, Evening Custodian
  • Judith Buresh, Reading Corp.

PeachJar; New System for school and Community Ed Flyers

What does this mean? You will receive limited information in the Tuesday Folder. All community generated flyers will now be uploaded and accessible via an email from Peachjar. Only teacher and staff generated information and special school events will be included the Tuesday folder.
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It is Our Vision to Create a Culture of Leadership and Excellence

The Washington Wildcat Community is committed to a vision of creating a culture of Leadership and Excellence where, in the words of Stephen Covey, students will develop the skills and mindsets to lead their own lives, to be able to work effectively with others and make a meaning contribution wherever they go in life.

At the core of our vision is a commitment to each other; Wildcat 2 Wildcat. Positive relationships are supported by the Wildcat 2 Wildcat mentoring system where we work to build a commitment to community and personalization of learning. The result will be a safe and supportive environment focused on developing leadership capacity in all students. We envision a student centered culture with a laser like focus on our primary purpose of student learning; a place where differences are embraced and healthy relationships feed a culture of collaboration, creative thinking and high expectations.

In our school, the culture of leadership and excellence will include explicit instruction, authentic learning experiences inclusive of leadership development, student voice, goal setting and reflection. In the words of Stephen Covey, the ultimate end in mind with students is not academics, school culture, or leadership skills. Those are all means. The ultimate end in mind is for students to develop the skills and mindsets that will allow them to lead their own lives, to be able to work effectively with others, and to make a meaningful contribution wherever they go in life -- at home, at school, at work and at play.

We intend to engage parents in the process by inviting you to partner with your child on living the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Kids, encouraging you to attend school and PTO sponsored events and joining us for learning opportunities that will help us grow as leaders in our school community. We will be sharing more information on how you can be involved.

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Wildcat 2 Wildcat; Building a Community of Leaders

It is our vision to see that all students develop the skills and mindsets that will allow them to lead their own lives, to be able to work effectively with others, and to make a meaningful contribution wherever they go in life; at home, at school, at work and at play (modified from Stephen Covey).

Washington Elementary is creating the conditions for leadership in very intentional and strategic ways that will help provide all students the skills necessary to be life ready. Students will be gain experience as leaders through school-wide and classroom jobs. Additionally, students will participate in PRIDE Time activities that create mentor/mentee opportunities that lead to healthy relationships and strong community. PRIDE Time will pair classrooms (K-3, 1-4 and 2-5) to develop strong relationships and build community.

In these PRIDE Time groups, students will participate in teacher and student led team activities and challenges that will foster practice with the 7 Habits, develop healthy relationships and build community.

Creating Leaders through Wildcat2Wildcat Mentoring Program:

We believe all students can be a leader. It is our vision to see that all students develop the skills and mindsets to not only lead their own lives, but to be service to others. There are several formal ways we are intentionally building mentors as leaders:

1) Peace Makers: Students in grades 3-5 go through a selection process and training to be a playground leader. They assist students with conflict resolution and safe and respectful play.

2) Lunchroom Mentors: Fourth and fifth grade students will have the opportunity to apply for mentor roles in the lunch room. 5th grade students will support kindergarten and 4th grade students will support 1st grade students. They will serve as an extra set of hands in the lunch room, sit with students, help with dumping trays and being friend.

3) Playground Mentors: Fourth and fifth grade students will have the opportunity to apply for mentor roles in the playground. 5th grade students will support kindergarten and 4th grade students will support 1st grade students. Students will be trained as mentors. They will show up as friendly and helpful faces to students in kindergarten and first grade. The mentoring will be designed to give students the socio-emotional support on the playground. Mentors, will assist with picking teams, making sure play is fair and simply being a friend to students. The jobs will rotate weekly.

Creating a Healthy Environment

Dear Families,

Mankato Area Public Schools is making an effort to promote healthy behaviors among our children and adolescents by making our cafeterias, school stores, fundraisers and vending machines healthier. We have swapped the high-fat, -sugar, and sodium items out for whole grains, low-fat, reduced sugar and nutrient-dense foods.

In order to provide a consistent message throughout our district we are asking that classrooms celebrate students' birthdays, holidays and other classroom celebrations without food.

Schools have a list of alternative options in order to make the child or day feel special. As a parent, you could consider donating a book to the classroom, eat lunch with your child, or give small items such as pencils, gel pens or erasers to the students. Please visit www.isd77.org/page/4676 for more information.


Kelsey Rounds, RD, LD

Nutrition & Wellness Specialist
Mankato Area School District & Mankato Clinic Foundation - Partnership in Health
Email: kround1@isd77.org Phone: 507-207-4303

Shane Baier


Attendance; A Key to School Success

Regular school attendance is the first step to academic achievement. All students, once enrolled, are subject to compulsory attendance laws and we urge you to take whatever steps necessary to ensure your child is in school. When your child is absent from school, please call the school at 345-7696. Washington School office hours are 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM and voicemail is always available to leave a message after office hours.

In order to promote school attendance and verify records, families will be contacted about absences through letters generated by our attendance system. Our goal is to work with your family to support your child in getting to school each day and to create a plan to increase attendance. Each elementary site has an attendance team, which includes a School Social Worker, District Nurse, School Counselor, and the Principal.

If your child will not be at school, please call the health service office and leave a message with the name of the child, teacher’s name and reason for not attending school.

Appointments such as doctor, dentist, etc., should be scheduled before or after school hours. Should your child miss more than one hour of class in the morning or the afternoon, it will be considered a half-day absence. Students arriving after 8:15 AM without an excused absence will be considered tardy. Also, we encourage families to schedule vacations during school breaks.

If you must take a child out of school, please call ahead to the office (345-3059) stating when you intend to pick up your child. When arriving at school, please come to the office. The office will call the classroom for your child. Children will not be released to waiting cars or to anyone who cannot identify himself/herself to the satisfaction of the administration.

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Parent-Teacher Organization; A strong Parntership for Washington Elementary

Hi Washington Parents!

The PTO is gearing up for the 2018-2019 school year. Our first meeting is Monday, September 17 at 6:30 in the media center at Washington. We will review what the Washington PTO does, get to know each other a bit and talk about plans for the school year. We will also chat about opportunities for parents to get involved, whether it is bringing some fruit for a conference meal, helping with fundraising planning or stepping up to fill in an executive board spot.

PTO is a volunteer, non-profit organization that is made of moms, dads, grandparents, guardians and teachers who want to see students have the best possible educational experience. We fund many field trips, special events, classroom incentives and teacher appreciation treats.

You can follow us on Facebook for update at www.facebook.com/washingtonptomankato. We will also be sending flyers and posting information soon about our back to school picnic that will occur in mid-September. The picnic is a great opportunity to have fun with your family and get to know other Washington Families.

Looking forward to another great year at Washington!

Eileen Campbell – President

Casey Neitzel – Treasurer

Cherise Barker – Secretary

“Washington PTO is a group of parents, caregivers and school staff dedicated to supporting our kids through learning and enrichment.”

Wildcat Spotlight on Leadership and Excellence

Washington Elementary has designed a space in the foyer area to recognize leadership and excellence in our school. Teachers and staff will post and display examples of excellence in achievement and leadership.

Family Academy Workshop Coming Soon! Times are located in the registration link below.

Monday, Sep. 24th, 12am

Lincoln Community Center, Mankato, MN, USA

Mankato, MN

Please register to attend Mankato Area Public Schools' Family Academy on September 24, 2018 held at Lincoln Community Center. Family Academy workshops give families tips, tools and strategies to help their children succeed in school.

Food and childcare will be provided. Click here for current session descriptions. Register online or call 507-387-5501 with questions or for assistance.

School-Wide Title I Site

Washington Elementary continues to be a school wide Title I building. We are fortunate to have resources and additional staff in place to support all students. The philosophy is to support students with what they need, when they need it. Your partnership is essential to the success of each child. Please seek out ways to support your child’s learning here and at home. We will provide opportunities for engagement and resources to support the journey throughout the year. Classroom volunteers, PTO membership, field trip chaperones, and special events planning are just a few ways you can become involved.

Events Calendar

Sept. 4- Early Entrance Conference

Sept. 5- Early Entrance Conferences

Sept. 4 & 5- Fall Pictures During Early Entrance Conferences

Sept. 6- Classes Start, K-6

Sept. 14- Paws rotation Event, 9:10 am

Sept. 13 & 21- Dibels Rdg. Assess.

Sept. 12- Wildcat Rally

Sept. 14- Welcome back family picnic

Sept. 17- PTO Meeting, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18- PLC 2 hr. Late Start

Sept. 28- Great Am. Fundraising, 10 am

Oct. 4- Washington Elementary Open House6 -7:30p.m.

Oct. 9- PLC 2 hr. Late Start

Oct. 18 & 19- No School MEA

Oct. 25- Math Night at Washington, 6 pm

Oct. 31- Vision & Hearing Screening

Nov. 6- General Election

Nov. 2- Teacher Workshop Day (No School)

Nov. 13-PLC 2 hr. Late Start Day

Nov. 13, 15 & 19- Parent/Teacher Conferences 3:30 – 7:50 p.m.

Nov. 20- No School K-5

Nov. 21, 22 & 23 No School, Thanksgiving Break