Early Learning Center News

L. Daniel Hutto Early Learning Center at FSDB

A Montessori Environment Where Young Children Explore, Learn and Create

April 2022
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"We shall walk together on this path of life......" Maria Montessori

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Dear ELC Families,

Hello to All!

Thanks to all who were able to join us for our Spring Fling 2022!

Thank you for sending in eggs, bringing delicious food to share and for all of your help in setting up, hiding eggs, cleaning up and everything else! We all had a wonderful time!

Spring is a busy time for the ELC.

The children are learning about all things related to spring - life cycles, seeds and plants, caterpillars and butterflies, etc. Our zuchinni and bean seeds have sprouted, our butterfly garden is flowering, and our tomato plants have tiny tomatoes on them! It's such a fun time of year.

Next month, we will add topics about summer activities, beach and ocean animals.

We have a LOT of events coming up - be sure to make sure to mark your calendars.

Below is a message from FSDB President Tracie Snow. Please read and respond to the school climate survey linked in her message.

Thank you!

Mark your calendars:

April 25: ASL Literacy Workshop for parents - see flyer below

April 26: Countdown to Kindergarten for parents of children transitioning to Kindergarten - see flyer below

May 6: Muffins with Mom


May 20: ELC Graduation - all are welcome - invitations to be sent soon


June 1: Field trip to Splash Park - plan to join us!

June 3: Last day of school

June 13 - June 24: ELC Summer Camp *registration info is coming

Please call or email with questions and thank you for sharing your delightful children with us!


Gail Strassel


V/T - 904-827-2835

VP - 904-201-4529

Important Message from FSDB President Tracie Snow

FSDB School Climate Survey for Parents

View in ASL

Dear Parents/Guardians,

At FSDB, we strive to do more, be more, and achieve more – as part of our continuous improvement journey. Your feedback is important to us. The information you share helps us understand what we are doing well and points out opportunities for improvement. Each year, we reach out to parents/guardians, staff members and students as our valued partners.

Our annual FSDB School Climate Survey for Parents will take about 15 minutes of your time. We know how important confidentiality is to you. I want to assure you that your survey responses will be fully protected. FSDB will not use your names or related identifying information as part of our data collection and analysis process.

Please complete the FSDB School Climate Survey for Parents using the link below by Friday, April 29, 2022. If you have more than one child attending FSDB, please complete a separate survey for each child.


I appreciate your time in completing the survey and for sharing your feedback. Your thoughts and opinions are especially important to me and to the school. I thank you for choosing FSDB to educate your child(ren). I thank you for partnering with us to ensure the FSDB experience is a positive one for all students.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Julia Mintzer, Administrator of Business Services at 904-827-2301 or via email at mintzerj@fsdbk12.org. You may also reach out to me at 904-827-2210, 904-342-1213 videophone, or via email at snowt@fsdbk12.org.


Tracie C. Snow
FSDB President

ELC April Family Focus - Independence

"The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence." - Dr. Maria Montessori

Every parent wants their child to be a "W.A.S.K." - a Well-Adjusted Successful Kid.

Because, a well-adjusted successful kid can grow up to become an independent adult and independence is the greatest gift a parent can give a child.

The Montessori Method promotes independence by giving children the ability to make their own choices - providing gentle guidance and allowing them to learn through discovery at their own pace.

In our ELC Montessori classrooms, the children are free to explore their environment, choosing work that satisfies their curiosity and learning needs while learning from their mistakes. Children have opportunities to figure things out on their own. By making their own choices, the children develop a sense of purpose, self-sufficiency and personal independence, which can lead to internal motivation and problem solving. Building independence skills is an ongoing process. As children learn to pour water, put on their own shoes, or clean up their own workspace, they become more confident and more independent and that leads to ongoing benefits throughout their lives.

6 Little Things You Can Do Everyday to Help Your Child Become More Independent

Helping your children become more independent is not always easy. Here are some things you can do everyday to help them to build independence skills.

1. Let them make mistakes

It may seem counterintuitive at first, but letting children make mistakes helps them to succeed in life. When they make a mistake, let them know it's ok and help them think of ways to do it differently next time. This mindset can guide anything from small mistakes like spilling something, breaking something, dropping something, etc. to larger ones like failing a test because they decided not to study. It's hard to see your child struggle. But, if you focus on helping them to overcome their mistakes and think about ways to do it differently, you are helping your child to develop a growth mindset which can help them to overcome any struggle confidently.

2. Involve them in household tasks

Try to encourage your child to take on small tasks like cleaning up their toys, helping to put away groceries, washing dishes or helping with laundry. Make sure the chores are age appropriate and necessary. Children tend to be willing to help out when they feel they are contributing. The tasks don't have to be big, just something that requires them to think ahead and plan. For example, if the laundry needs to be done, talk about the process and let your child help load the machine, push a button, fold or sort the clothes. All of these small tasks help will help your children to feel empowered and eventually they will get to the point where they can do their own laundry.

3. Offer choices and freedom within limits

Allowing children to make choices is a great way to help them build confidence and decision making skills. Making choices helps children to build a sense of responsibility. Children get better at making choices for themselves with practice. Too many options can be confusing. Instead of saying, "what do you want to do today?" offer 2-3 options that you are comfortable with and let your children decide such as, "do you want to go to the park or the beach?" or "do you want to play inside or outside?"

4. Give them space

Children need space to learn and develop. They need opportunities to explore independently. If they are playing in a safe environment like another room, let them play for a while on their own. If you are outside, let them walk a little bit ahead of you while keeping them within a safe distance. Try to find at least one opportunity everyday where your children can accomplish something "on their own" without you right by their side.

5. Avoid over-correcting

As much as possible, avoid correcting your children when they are trying to do something independently. For example, if you ask your child to put something away and it's not perfect, resist the urge to fix it. Always keep in mind that perfection isn't the goal. The goal is to allow your child to take on the responsibility. They may not want to keep trying if, everytime they do, they are corrected.

6. Design space with independence in mind

How you organize your space will impact your child's ability to practice independence. Can your children reach cups, plates, etc? Is there a small pitcher of water they can use to refill their cup if they are thirsty? Do you have a hamper where they can put their dirty clothes? Can they access the sink, soap and towel to wash and dry their hands without help? Think about ways you can increase the chances of your child being able to do something independently. You could add a hook at their level to hang their backpack after school or keep a stepstool near the sink so they can wash their hands without your help. The more you do for them, the less they have to do for themselves. Maria Montessori said, "Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed." We help children become more independent by allowing them to be independent.




April 25

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April 26

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May 6

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Getting Ready for Graduation - May 20!

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Bus Transportation Questions - call Kerri Dunne 904-827-2434

Health Care Center Questions - call 904-827-2410

ELC Health and Wellness Policy

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Our Year in Pictures 2020-21 Early Learning Center

We Made it Our Year in Pictures 2020 21 Early Learning Center Florida School for the Deaf & Blind

The Early Learning Center presents...... "The Watermelon Seed"

The Watermelon Seed - Early Learning Center - Florida School for the Deaf and Blind

"The most important period of life is not the age of university studies but the first one, the period from birth to six." Maria Montessori

Join the ELC Facebook Group!

If you are on Facebook - please join our ELC Facebook group!

The ELC posts cute pictures of cute kids doing cute things.


FSDB posts notices to keep you aware of all of our FSDB Parent Classes and other activities.

If you would like to join the group, click the link below. Also, if you have not done so already, please like and follow the main FSDB Facebook page.

ELC Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/fsdbearlylearningcenter

FSDB Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/fsdbk12

Contact Us:

ELC Office

PH or Text: 904-827-2835

VP: 904-201-4529

Gore Hall Office (if you cannot reach anyone in the ELC)


Health Care Center

PH: 904-827-2410

VP: 904-201-3910


PH: 800-992-8747

Parent Services

PH: 904-827-2212

VP: 904-201-4527

Campus Police

PH: 904-827-2315

207 San Marco Avenue,

St. Augustine, FL, USA


ELC Webpage

ELC Facebook Group

The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, political opinion, affiliation, marital status, genetic information, disability, veteran status or any other basis as mandated by federal and state law in its educational programs, services or activities, or in its hiring or employment practices. FSDB also provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups as required by law.

Contacts for questions, complaints, or requests for additional information are as follows:

Student Discrimination/Harassment

FSDB Boarding Program Administrator

PH: 904-827-2603

Requests in writing can be sent to:

Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind

207 San Marco Avenue

St. Augustine, FL 32084