Early Learning Center News

L. Daniel Hutto Early Learning Center at FSDB

A Montessori Environment Where Young Children Explore, Learn and Create

November 2020
FSDB logo and social media icons

Dates to Remember

Nov. 23-27 - Thanksgiving Break - students return on Nov. 30

Dec. 4 - Parent Engagement Workshop - 10:00 a.m.

Dec. 21-Jan. 1 - Winter Break - students return on Jan. 4

Jan. 18 - NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday

Jan. 29 - NO SCHOOL - Teacher Workday

"Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future… Let us treat them with all the kindness which we would wish to help to develop in them.”

Maria Montessori


Dear ELC Families,

As we approach the holiday season, we are focused on the topic of friendship and thankfulness.

We are reading books about friendship like, "Bear Says Thanks" by Karma Wilson and about what we are thankful for like, "Thanks for Thanksgiving" by Julie Markes.

Preschool social skills are built on three abilities - self-control, empathy and communication. In the ELC, we work to develop all three of these abilities everyday. Self-control and communication are topics with which most of us are already familiar.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

In our ELC Montessori program, we work to instill empathy in children in a variety of ways.

First, teachers and staff model empathy to each other and to the children. When adults demonstrate kindness and patience in their interactions with each other, children observe and absorb empathetic responses into their own behaviors. This sets expectations for the way we treat others.

Second, our daily instruction includes lessons in grace and courtesy that help the children to understand socially acceptable behavior.

These lessons include:

  • greeting each other
  • waiting patiently
  • taking turns
  • apologizing
  • learning how to interrupt politely
  • speaking politely
  • saying please and thank you
  • respecting others and their space
  • walking in line
  • taking care of materials
  • making friends
  • and being kind

Early lessons in grace and courtesy can set positive behaviors and patterns that will help the children throughout their lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you for sharing your children with us,


Montessori Moments


ELC Family 2020 Thanksgiving Recipe Book

The ELC will be celebrating our socially distant Thanksgiving by sharing our families' favorite Thanksgiving recipes with each other. We think it is the next best thing to being together with all of you!

We are hoping that the ELC Family 2020 Thanksgiving Recipe Book will include recipes from all of you! If you haven't already, please send Gail your recipe as soon as possible so that it can be included in our recipe book! strasselg@fsdbk12.org

Did You Know.......

  • 95% of the brain's capacity is developed by age 3
  • Playing is the most effective way for children to learn life skills and to find out what they like
  • If babies bodies grew at the same rapid pace as their brains, a baby would weigh 170 lbs at one month of age
  • Children learn how to behave socially and emotionally by imitating the behavior of those closest to them

ELC Toddler Class 2020-21

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Hello, FSDB Families!

View in ASL
Greetings from the President in ASL - Nov. 13, 2020
View in Spoken English
Greetings from the President in Spoken English - Nov. 13, 2020

Hello FSDB Families!

My name is Tracie Snow and I am the President of FSDB. I wanted to take a few minutes to share some information and updates with you.

Tropical Storm Eta
Wow! Just when you thought hurricane season was over, we had tropical storm Eta! The FSDB leadership team participated in multiple weather briefings from the National Weather Service and reviewed weather advisory notices throughout the week. I am so very grateful for the amazing and caring FSDB staff who are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our students.

Thank you for your patience and understanding through this past week. We hope the Skylerts, texts, phone calls, and emails as well as posts to social media and our website were timely and informative.

Staying Engaged

Since FSDB serves students from around the state, we know the unique challenge many parents may have in staying connected with FSDB. For many of you, FSDB is miles away from your home.

I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can stay engaged by visiting our FSDB website and following us on Social Media.

Alert Banner

The FSDB website will use our home page to announce any urgent information we want shared like weather alerts. You may have noticed the red alert banner being used this week with information related to Tropical Storm Eta. We also added a button which will take you directly to the archived alerts.

FSDB Web Pages
A great way to know what is happening at FSDB and staying engaged is to check out the various pages on our website. We have information specific to your child’s school, academics, parent services, student life, outreach, news, COVID-19, re-opening, the innovative learning environment, and admissions.

Leadership Page
Recently we added a new page to the website - FSDB Leadership. Here you will find the President’s welcome and announcements in English, ASL and Spanish as well as photos and information about the Administrative Team.

Social Media

If you are a social media user you can follow The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Each school also has their own Facebook Group you can join so you can see pictures, announcements, and happenings specific to your child’s school.

Staying Safe and Healthy

Our students and staff have been doing a wonderful job following our reopening plan. They have been staying socially distant, wearing face coverings, cleaning, washing their hands, and staying home when they feel sick. We ask that you continue to monitor your child’s health and if at any time they are feeling sick, please have them stay home. For more information, please check out our COVID-19 webpage.

Our Thanks

I would like to extend a heart-felt thanks from our entire FSDB school community to you and your family for choosing and trusting us to educate your child. We wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

ELC Celebrates the International Day of Peace 2020

The ELC celebrates the International Day of Peace

On Sept. 21, 2020 the ELC celebrated the International Day of Peace. We read The Peace Book, by Todd Parr and created artwork related to peace. The classes joined together and we each took turns saying what peace means to us.

Days of the Week song - presented by the ELC BVI Class

Days of the Week Video

New ELC Facebook Group!

In order to enhance digital security for our students and their families, we have transitioned our school Facebook page to a private group, which affords us better screening and monitoring measures. Our goal is to share information, update the community on events and programs, and showcase the achievements of students, teachers, parents and other community members in a more private and secure way.

Since this group will be private, an administrator must approve your request to join. 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 pag.

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

FSDB Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/fsdbk12

Transparent Classroom

Make sure you are signed up for Transparent Classroom. The teachers are posting photos of your children working, descriptions of the lessons taught, messages from teachers.....and so much more.....Please go to the ELC website https://sites.google.com/fsdbk12.org/early-learning-center/home. for more information or click the transparent classroom link here: www.transparentclassroom.com. Watch for the lessons below to show up in your child's activities! Once you are in Transparent Classroom, you are able to click on the links you are sent of your children working to learn more about the lessons they are completing.

ELC Wellness Policy

Our number one priority is to keep our students and staff healthy as we come back to school. The ELC and FSDB staff have worked tirelessly arranging the classrooms, the schedule and the routines in order to provide social distancing and a safe environment. Each day, ELC teachers and staff spend at least an hour cleaning every shelf, table and work in the classroom to try to prevent the spread of germs. The staff and children are washing their hands, using sanitizer, wearing masks and/or face shields and doing really really well distancing from each other. Everyone is doing their part to keep each other healthy. You are helping us by keeping your children home if they are showing symptoms of illness. Thanks to all of your for coming to pick up your children and for keepting them home if they are exhibiting signs of illness.

Many of you have called asking for clarification about our ELC/FSDB Wellness Policy.

Please keep in mind, none of us have ever experienced a pandemic before and we are learning everyday. It is the responsibility of our entire community to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and families.

Please click here for a detailed explanation of the ELC/FSDB Wellness Policy and please contact Gail with any additional questions or concerns.

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PEW Dates for the 2020-21 Academic Year

Parent Engagement Workshops will be held virtually through the first semester of the 2020-21 school year. Dates forthcoming (Please confirm meeting dates prior to making travel plans, as these dates are tentative and may change.)

The second Parent Engagement Workshop (PEW) for the 2020-21 school year will be held on Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. via Zoom! We hope you can participate in this event. To join the meeting, visit: https://bit.ly/3ic2mb1

Future workshops will be held on Dec. 4, Jan. 15, Feb. 12 and April 23. Be sure to add these dates to your calendar!

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Contact Us:

ELC Office

PH or Text: 904-827-2835

VP: 904-201-4529

Health Care Center

PH: 904-827-2410

VP: 904-201-3910


PH: 800-992-8747

Vaill Hall (Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2806

VP: 904-201-4461

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