Washington Learning Center News
"Learning for fun, learning for growth, learning for life"
May 2023 Message from Principal Brown
Its Been a Wonderful Year at WLC
It has been a wonderful year of learning and growing at WLC. The children have made great gains in their academic and social growth along with their physical growth! It is amazing how tall some of our students are now compared to the start of the year. We have also developed wonderful relationships with the children and are so very sad that our kindergartners will not return to WLC next year.
Kindergarten children are currently finishing their FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers) testing. We measure the students' growth in reading and math. Final reports will be shared with you via email.
Teacher Appreciation Week
Teachers provide so much for our students—inspiration, motivation and, ultimately, their futures. Show your thanks and gratitude by treating them like a V.I.T. – VERY IMPORTANT TEACHER from May 8-12.
Teachers change the lives of millions of children every day and their work and impact extends far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Join us during Teacher Appreciation Week to #ThankATeacher for all that they deliver to our children.
Spring has sprung!
It is spring and just as we see large amounts of new growth in nature, we also see large amounts of growth in our children both physically and academically. You should be noticing your kindergartner reading and writing words they can sound out. This is a very exciting time for kindergartners!
As you engage with your child/children you will experience their new growth and learning. Children love to create stories and then share them with friends and loved ones. You can help develop their skills and imagination by providing them with simple materials or recycled items that allow them to create, read, write, and draw.
If you have concerns about your child's academic growth, be sure to have a discussion with your child's teacher. We want to work with you to help every child be successful and ready for first grade.
WLC Classroom Showcase Assemblies
We had our last "Classroom Showcase Assembly" on Friday, May 5, and what a wonderful event it was. Mrs. Syverson chose to do the assembly outside where the children have spent much of their school year engaged in outdoor learning.
Thank you to ALL of our WLC parents, family and friends who were able to attend our assemblies. We had excellent guest attendance which meant the world to the children! It is sad that we have had our final one for the year, but look forward to starting them again next fall.
WLC Yearbooks are on their way!
Food Services Director - Teri Jesperson
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.
ECFE - Betty Uehling
Thank you to those who attended our Community Baby Shower, Community Family Fair, Daddy Daughter Dance, and Mom and Son Superhero Dance as well as our weekly ECFE parent-child classes!
ECFE Upcoming Events:
Vehicle Fair on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 - 5:30-7:00 pm at the Jefferson School Parking Lot (flyer below)
ECFE in the Park
Eagles Preschool - Ms. Sara Ahrens
Mark your calendar for Eagle's Preschool Special Person Day Events
Kindergarten - Mrs. Berkner
April Showers Bring May Flowers!
April and May are a time for change.
Changes in the weather, changes in our learning and changes in our students.
In April, the kindergarten students learned all about the needs of plants and animals. We did experiments to see what plants need to grow. Will seeds grow without soil? Will seeds grow in coffee, pop, apple juice, milk, vinegar or water? Our students worked together to plant their own seeds and they are learning what it takes to keep a plant alive. We are preparing our garden beds for spring planting and we’re excited to see what grows!
The kindergartners have excelled in their learning in the areas of reading, writing and math. We are finishing up our last letters of the alphabet with the Superkids. The kindergartners know their letter sounds and they use these sounds to read, along with all of the memory words we have been learning. Students are constantly decoding words and we’re excited to say, we have readers! In writing, the students are creating fictional characters and are writing stories with a problem and a solution. It’s been fun reading these imaginative stories and sharing them with our classmates! During math, the students are hard at work learning addition and subtraction, as well as learning the new concepts of time and money to prepare for first grade!
Our students can sense that our school year is coming to an end. They are full of energy and we are making the most of the rest of the school year! These last days will be filled with lasting memories!
Library & Technology - Ms. Hoek
Reading to kids early and often primes young minds for a lifetime of learning. Here are just a few reasons to make reading part of your daily routine!
Reading to your child has a profound impact on their vocabulary-just 20 minutes of reading per day exposes them to about 1.8 million words per year.
If you read to your child for 20 minutes a day starting when they are in kindergarten, they will have read for 851 hours by 6th grade.
Studies have found that children who are read to for at least 20 minutes a day score in the 90th percentile on standardized tests.
Research has also found a common link between people who are successful in their careers and the size of their Vocabulary.
Reading strengthens the brain by creating new and increasingly complex circuits and connections. It also increases attention span.
Reading develops empathy by exposing kids to new perspectives and boosts their social, emotional, communication, and interpersonal skills. It also provides a safe way to explore strong emotions in themselves and others.
A child's health is also positively impacted by reading, which reduces stress and promotes better sleep.
The quality time spent reading together promotes bonding and strengthens the relationship between child and adult.
Vooks. Vooks, 2023, www.vooks.com/.
MUSIC - Mrs. hanson
In music class, kindergarten is jammin’ with our new Boomwhacker sets! The students are having fun learning instruments and playing along to their favorite songs. They even wrote their own tune for the class to try. When they aren’t playing Boomwhackers, they are singing and dancing away! We have worked hard to listen to notes and sounds and make our voices match.
Special Education - Mrs. Jennifer Lee
Summer is almost here!
This is a time to be outdoors with your child!
Put down electronics and make the most of what New Ulm has to offer!
New Ulm has a great park system. Play a New Ulm Park Bingo! (See below)
See how many parks you can visit in the summer!
A great book to invest in is “A Moving Child Is a Learning Child" by Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy.
Enjoy your summer!
News from the Nurse
Tara Fausch, Licensed School Nurse
End of Year Reminders
It is hard to believe that the end of the year is quickly approaching. It has been such a fun year of getting to know your WLC kiddos! For those moving on to adventures at Jefferson next year, we wish them well. For those that are returning to WLC in fall, we can’t wait for another year of learning, laughing, and growing together. See you then!
If your child has any medications at the school, these will need to be picked up by a parent. Arrangements will also need to be made for pick up of any other health supplies that are being kept in the health office. Medications and supplies will not be stored at the school over summer. Any medications that are not picked up by May 25th will be disposed of. If your child will need medication in the coming academic year, new medication authorization forms and orders from medical providers will be needed in fall as these must be renewed yearly.
If your child is on an individualized health or emergency care plan, these are only good for one year, so new plans need to be completed at the start of every academic year. These forms will be accessible on the school website at https://newulm.k12.mn.us/health-services/ prior to the start of the 2023-2024 academic year or they can be obtained by contacting the WLC health services office at (507)233-8304. You can also contact WLC’s licensed school nurse directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credit: https://kiddipedia.com.au/benefits-of-children-being-physically-active/
Move Their Bodies, Change Their Brains: A Look at the Link Between Physical Activity and Our Children’s Emotional Health
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month AND National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, which is fitting as the research shows a clear link between physical activity and mental health in us and in our children. Despite this well established link between physical activity and overall health, including mental health, only one out of every four children in the U.S. are getting the recommended amount of physical activity daily. The recommendation for three to five year olds is that they play and explore as physical activity for the majority of their waking day. Many children in this age group are very naturally active for much of their day, but for some children, encouragement or participation by their favorite adults may be needed to get them moving. So why should we put the time and energy into making sure our children land in the group of kiddos that are meeting that recommendation? Read on for some of the reasons why and some ideas on keeping your child moving.
*Ways that Physical Activity Can Improve Our Children’s Emotional Health and Overall Health
-serotonin, stress hormones, and endorphins, the chemicals in our brains that affect mood, increase when we exercise
-increases in the above chemicals in the brain help with anxiety and depression
-learning new things helps to build self-esteem, so exposing our children to a variety of types of exercise and activity is a great way to help them learn something new
-being active also helps to build confidence as children master new abilities, which leads to a better outlook on life in general
-regular exercise can help with self-regulation and behavior
-physical activity also supports the development of cognitive skills, strong muscles and bones, and coordination
*Ideas for Getting Active with Your Kiddo
-encourage a variety of age appropriate activities that your child enjoys
-offer time for free play as well as more structured activities or games
-play a game of tag or follow the leader
-go to the playground
-get out for a bicycle or tricycle ride
-play a game that involves catching, throwing, or kicking a ball
-play a game of tug of war
-try some gymnastics or tumbling
-go for a walk
-draw out a game of hopscotch or a sidewalk chalk obstacle course
-let them “help” with chores like sweeping or raking
-on a rainy day or a day that you can’t get outside, try an indoor snowball fight with crumpled paper, play the floor is lava, or play “tennis” with a balloon
For more information on the benefits of physical health on your child’s emotional and overall health or for ideas on how to stay active with your child, visit: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/exercise-benefits-children-physically-and-mentally#Changing-the-brain or https://www.childrenscolorado.org/conditions-and-advice/parenting/parenting-articles/mental-health-benefits-exercise/.
School Social Worker - Karla Diehn
Community School Director - Tammy Lorch
Community Resource: The Hermann Express
The Hermann Express is public transportation provided by Brown County Human Services. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM until Noon and again from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. It also runs on Saturdays from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. The bus has 17 stops around New Ulm and arrives at each stop once per hour, except on weekdays from Noon to 1:00 PM. The cost to ride the bus is $1.00 cash per ride for students and adults. The cost for children pre-K and younger is $.50 per ride with a maximum of two children per adult.
Learning to use public transportation is a life skill. The benefits of learning to use public transportation at a young age include future travel or even attending college in a larger city. Spend an hour this summer riding the full bus loop and teaching your children how to use the city bus. You could get off at a park and then an hour later finish the loop back to where you parked your vehicle. Some skills to teach are:
arrive at the bus stop 5 minutes before the scheduled stop.
when waiting for the bus, never stand in the street; always stand at the bus stop on the sidewalk.
have payment ready as the bus approaches.
allow passengers to exit the bus before boarding.
wait until the bus is stopped and doors are completely open before boarding.
leave the first seats open for seniors and people with disabilities.
stay seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.
if you need to cross the street after getting off, wait for the bus to leave and then walk to the nearest crosswalk.
You can find complete information about the Hermann Express including a list of bus stops and the code of conduct at www.newulmmn.gov/553/Hermann-Express-City-Bus-Service
Community Education - Crystal Fleck
Summer is almost here! Be sure to get your kids signed up for our Youth Community Education Classes! Check out the brochure on our website: https://www.newulm.k12.mn.us/community-ed/
Using Social Media Safely and Privately Online Zoom Class
Tuesday, May 16th, 2023 5:30 pm-7:30 pm Fee $26.00
Instructor: Sara Reiman
How safe is social media? If you use social media, is your personal information at risk? Can you be harmed using social media? The reality is that social media is as safe, or as risky, as anything on the Internet. If you use social media intelligently and responsibly, you can minimize whatever risks exist.
No Sew Sock Critters
Instructor: Korene Altmann
Tuesday, June 20th from 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Washington Learning Center (door #1) Room #104
Fee $20.00 Ages 7-12 years old Min 6/Max 15. Students will have several different "critter" styles to choose from, and if time allows, they may make more than one. All materials will be provided, but if you want to send an interesting adult-sized sock that is in good shape, please do so. It will make a nicer assortment to choose from.
Youth-Focused First Aid Training
Instructor: Jeff Allerson
Fee $15 per person Class Duration: 1.5 Hours
June 13th, 1:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m.
Washington Learning Center Room #104 (door #1) Description: This class will help anyone develop the basic skills necessary to manage a first aid situation. Students learn the duties and responsibilities of first aid rescuers and first aid actions needed for common medical and environmental emergencies. A few examples of the skills learned include caring for choking, minor cuts and bruises, broken bones and sprains, sunburn, heat/cold-related emergencies, allergic reactions, animal bites, and stings. The class will also discuss how and when to make a 911 call.
Kids Outdoor Art with Bridget-Glass Wind Chime
Instructor: Bridget Gusso
Monday, June 12th, 10:00am-11:30am. Fee $25
Washington Learning Center (door #1) Room # 104
Grades: K & Up Min 3/Max 12 Students will be designing and creating a glass-beaded wind chime. 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)
Community Education Coordinator
Washington Learning Center
910 14th North Street New Ulm, MN 56073 | (-507-233-8307 | *- email@example.com
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:
Scan the QR code below to sign up for a Community Education Class:
Mark Your Calendars:
-Friday, May 12th - Kindergarten Phy Ed & Art Parent engagement day!
-Wednesday, May 17th -ECFE Vehicle Fair in the Jefferson Elementary parking lot
-Thursday, May 18th - Eagles Preschool Special Person Day
-Tuesday, May 23rd - Kindergarten Flandrau Field Trip (two parents will join each class)
-Thursday, May 25th - Last preschool & kindergarten student day at WLC
- -Kindergarten Celebration Picnic - parents invited
Drop Off / Pick Up Reminders
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.
Parking and Entering the Building
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
U Turns on Franklin
The curbside drop off and pick up procedures have been shared with parents all throughout the year and have a permanent posting on our newsletter. It is so important that ALL drivers follow the developed procedures. The procedures are in place in order to keep ALL people safe.
We ask that all drivers enter the curbside drop off from the North (coming from 16th Street) and either get in line along Franklin Street curb and wait your turn to enter the curbside area so as not to block the driveway leading to the loading dock. We need to leave that open for delivery trucks, and our custodial and maintenance vehicles. Franklin is a very busy street in the morning and is not the place for U turns. If you haven't been following the procedures, please plan your morning routine to do so. If everyone is following the procedures, then everyone is assured to have a safe and positive experience.
Thank you to all the drivers who have been following the procedures all year. It is greatly appreciated!