News From Fort Zeller Elementary

March 2023

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Principal's Message

Spring is COMING! This is the time of year when we get to watch the Earth come back to life with vibrant colors blooming all around us. The warmth of the sun fills us with energy and enthusiasm to be outside. It is my goal to bring all of this color and energy into our work here at the school. Our Fort Zeller Team – students, teachers, support staff, parents and community are an amazing group of people. We are not afraid of hard work or the challenging demands that come our way.

We are seeing so much progress in our students. Their increase in capacity to accomplish their academic work and improve their decision-making skills in all areas is helping them find success. I am so proud of them. I am proud of the way they are treating one another, the way they are setting and meeting goals, the way they are willing to accept responsibility and the way they are problem solving both academically and socially. I hope that you know how much we, the Fort Zeller Staff, care about your children, not just as students but also as the wonderful people that they are.

As we wrap up this third marking period of the year this month…I know, can you even believe that we are almost three quarters of the way through this year, I want to encourage us all to carry on with the energy that spring will bring. We need to continue strong. It will take all of us to help our wonderful students to be able to show how far they have come this year.

As always, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement!


Mrs. Houck

Important Information

1. Parent Request for Classroom Form - When making class assignments, the building principal must take many factors into consideration. Examples of these factors include the following (but are not limited to):

• The total number of students in each class.
• The balance of boys and girls, both within a class and between classes.
• The balance of students with special needs.
• Academic recommendations from IEP and/or Data Team.
• Teacher/Team recommendations to separate some students from others.
• Teacher/Team recommendations to keep some students in the same class.
• Recommendation(s) from previous year’s teacher(s).

Parent requests will only be considered for educational reasons. If the form below is received between March 1st and March 31, 2023, provides educational reasons for the request, and does not conflict with other factors described above, the principal will make a reasonable effort to accommodate a parental request. ONLY non-preferred teacher request forms will be reviewed and considered.

***Completion of this form does not guarantee the request will be granted.

2. Power School Forms - We are still looking for a number of families to complete the required forms on Power School. These forms provide us with up-to-date important information. Please see below for more information. If you need help, please make sure to contact our office.

Parent Request for Classroom Form

Please click this button to access the classroom request form.


Mar. 1 (Day 4)

  • Beauty and the Beast Preview
  • Dutchway Tickets Go Home

Mar. 2 (Day 1)

  • Raiders Read Day

Mar. 6: (Day 3)

  • School Board Meeting @ 6:00 pm

Mar. 8: (Day 1)

  • PTO Meeting @ 6:30 pm

Mar. 10: No School for Students

  • Act 80 Day


Mar. 16: (Day 2)

  • Kindergarten Orientation 6:00-7:30 pm

Mar. 17: (Day 3)

  • Happy St. Patrick's Day

Mar. 20: (Day 4)

  • School Bard Meeting @ 6:00 pm (2nd Grade Students of the Month Honored)

Mar. 24: (Day 4)

  • Middle Creek Assembly @ 9:30 am

Mar. 27: (Day 1)

  • Book Fair Preview Day

Mar. 28: (Day 2)

  • Book Fair Buying Day

Mar. 29: (Day 3)

  • Two-Hour Late Start

Mar. 30: (Day 4)

  • Fort Zeller Math/STEM Night 5:00-6:30 pm (Please RSVP - see flyer)

Mar. 31: (Day 1)

  • PBIS Assembly @ 2:15 pm
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Read Across America

Your child should have brought information home regarding Read Across America. Fort Zeller will be holding our Read Across America week from February 27 - March 3. Please see information on the week below.

We will be holding our annual Battle of the Books event. The children’s author we are recognizing for Battle of the Books is Ame Dyckman. She has agreed to doing a virtual visit with the students to reveal the winning book. Date TBD! Probably late March or early April.

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NED Mindset Mission Assembly

On Friday, February 17, Fort Zeller had the honor of hosting the NED Mindset Mission assembly. Their school-wide character education program centers around a 45 minute assembly called The NED Show. NED is a lovable cartoon character whose name is an acronym for Never give up, Encourage others, and Do your best. NED is simple, relatable and kid-focused.

Our students and staff loved the assembly and the message it taught. Thank you to our amazing PTO for organizing this event for our school!

A message from the program:


As you know we recently hosted an all school event called NED’s Mindset Mission. We trust your student was encouraged by the show which taught about having a positive Mindset for learning and life!

If your student purchased a yoyo, here is an important link to help them get off to a good start with proper string length adjustment, click here.

Additionally, here are a couple of our favorite follow up home resources from the Mindset Mission website. You may want to use these with your child as they are designed to go hand in hand with the program.

NED Coloring Face Masks
Parent Encouragement Notes

If you'd like additional resources, they are available here.

And don’t forget to ask your student what they learned in the show about having a growth mindset from YET the Yeti, Captain Kindly and during NED’s visit on the spaceship!

Educating together!

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100th Day of School!

The students and staff at Fort Zeller had a great time celebrating our 100th day of school. Many students dressed up for the occasion and there were many fun activities to commemorate the special day.
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Spring Math

Our students are doing an AMAZING job working through the Spring Math program. If you would like to know more about the program, information about SpringMath can be found at We would love for you to see for yourself the amazing data that has been collected from districts across the entire country!

Each week, one classroom is selected as the "Spring Math Superstars" of the week. They are acknowledged with a fun video, trophy, and a call out on the morning announcements.

Please call or email your child’s teacher if you have questions about this or anything else related to your child’s academic progress.

Students and Class of the Month

Congratulations to our February students of the month and class of the month!

Kindergarten - Austin G. (Zurick PM), Taylor K. (Kolovani AM) & Camila D.C. (Wentzel)

First Grade - Wyatt M. (Hartman) & Lydia F. (Crandall)

Second Grade - Cole P. (Eshleman) & Paisley G. (Kane)

Class of the Month - Mrs. Jackson's 2nd Class

During the month of February, we were focused on honesty. Throughout the month of March, we are focusing on cooperation. Cooperation is when we work together to achieve a common goal.

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ELCO Food Pantry & Caring Closet

The ELCO Raider Food Pantry is Open!

The ELCO Raider Food Pantry is now open and available for the ELCO families. With the support of our ELCO staff, local businesses and churches, we are able to provide our ELCO families with an additional resource.

If you are in need of immediate assistance or you'd like to donate to the ELCO Raider Pantry, please reach out to Kelly Smith, ELCO Social Worker, at 717-306-3242 or the ELCO Food and Nutrition Department, at 717-306-3270 for a confidential appointment to the pantry.

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Link to Power School

We have several families that still need to do their yearly update on Power School. Please click this link to get started.

STEM Fun in Kindergarten

Students in Mrs. Stuart's Kindergarten had so much fun coding with our new Botley Robots with Mr. Wright. They had to code directions for Botley to get the ball into the circle. The added twist was that they had to navigate through obstacles they laid out. The students did an amazing job and loved every second of it!
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Camp Invention - Mr. Wright

ELCO Intermediate School is proud to partner with Camp Invention again for another fun filled STEM camp. The week of camp this school year will be June 19-22, 2023. I wanted to get this out early because if you sign up this month, Camp Invention is giving its largest discount ever of $50 off the price of registration. I am attaching a link and a flyer to this message for your convenience. If you have any questions please email me at Thanks and enjoy the school year!

Link to register:

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Counselor's Corner With Mrs. Brosius

Hello! I can’t believe we are starting March already! Things to ask your students about this month:

R.E.A.C.H. Lessons

K - We read A Little Spot of Sadness and discussed ways to help others and ourselves shrink those sadness spots. We used a sponge and some water to show how our hearts feel light when we are happy and heavy when we are sad!

1 - We met A Little Spot of Empathy and learned about perspective: how two different people can look at the same thing in different ways. We looked at some fun pictures to see the different perspectives of our classmates. Then we took a walk in someone else’s shoes (not literally!) to practice showing empathy.

2 - We spent some time talking about honesty, integrity, and trust. We played the telephone game to show how rumors spread and change quickly.

This month, we are going to be talking all about Cooperation and Teamwork! You can check out more details in my Schoology page!

Mrs. Brosius Schoology Course

If you would like to look over any R.E.A.C.H. lessons that Mrs. Brosius will be teaching, please click on this link.

Schoology Assistance

If you need help in creating a Parent Account on Schoology to access information, please click on this button.

Library - Reading Rocks!

Kindergarten students were introduced to folk tales. They identified similarities and differences in various versions of The Little Red Hen. First grade students students explored folk tales about Anansi the spider and second grade students explored trickster folk tales. Both first and second grade students coded the Ozobots after doing research on biographies of presidents.

What's Happening in Music

Kindergarten is singing and dancing to songs from different countries. They will be using their iPads to practice drawing all the notes we've learned including ta, ti-ti, Takadimi and the rest.

First grade is practicing their new instrument, boomwackers. They will continue to incorporating the drums and other percussion as well.

Second Grade is practicing their songs from the musical Matilda and will soon be starting their instrumental song.

A Note From ART - Mrs. Panza

This month in Mrs. Panza’s art classroom, artists were focused on creating artwork for the Art to Remember project in collaboration with a fundraiser with Fort Zeller’s PTO.

Kindergarten artists are working with painting and printmaking mediums creating layers of color. Each artist chose 2 colors of paint to mix together, with teacher guidance to avoid creating neutral colors. Students used a stamping tool to add another layer of color. Finally, artists are using/used a heart shape/cookie cutter as a stamp to add the final layer.

First grade artists used colors to create “expressive marks” for the first layer for this artwork. Next a watercolor wash using just one color was used to fill in any gaps or white spaces. Finally artists used a heart shape that they created to trace/paint a heart shape on their work with tempera paint.

Second grade artists are creating artwork with layers of color. The first layer was created using 2 analogous colors (colors next to each other on the color wheel). These combinations along with 2 different stamping tools covered up the white space. Next artists created a heart shape on paper. Next we are planning to paint around the heart shape, creating positive and negative space. If desired, artists can work back into the wet layer of paint with a color shaper tool to add lines, squiggles, etc. to further emphasize the heart shape.

Get Moving in Physical Education - Mr. Babiarz

In the month of February, Physical Education students worked on their rolling, throwing and catching skills. Students learned all of the components of an accurate roll, as well as both underhand and overhand throws. They also learned to catch a ball from a self-toss and a partner toss. All of these skills were used in a variety of fun activities such as bowling, bocce ball, target throwing games, and catching contests. As we move to the month of March, we will be getting our jump ropes to learn jump roping skills and information about healthy hearts. Students will also participate in the big Helping Hearts event, which is an exciting day of heart healthy activities combined with a food drive that will benefit the ELCO Pantry as well as the Lebanon County Food Bank. Information on the Helping Hearts Event and Food Drive will be sent home with students and included in teacher newsletters!
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What's Happening in Kindergarten

Kindergarten continues to work on blending and segmenting words. The students are also working on recognizing high frequency words and are up to 40 words on their list. Students are enjoying all the fun that comes in the month of February. They are working on a math unit of composing and decomposing numbers up to 10. The children are very quick to give two numbers to make a new number. The students continue to practice recognizing and writing numbers to 20 through Spring Math. As a grade level, the students also engaged with some activities to celebrate Groundhog Day, 100th Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day. Although every kindergartener is still excited for any snow, they are also looking forward to Spring. In March, we are all excited for Read Across America Week and the Reading Challenge that comes with it!

What's Going on in 1st Grade

During the month of February, first graders have been working on long vowel “e” including the vowel pairs “ee” and “ea” and vowel teams ai, ay, oa, and ow, plus short vowel e (ea). We introduced compound words and continued to work on contractions.

In math, the concepts covered were two-digit addition and subtraction. Students practiced adding tens/ones with regrouping and related addition/subtraction facts of tens.

First graders also participated in Ground Hog Day and 100th day activities.

2nd Grade Updates

In math we reviewed coins, counted money, and will soon be starting our chapter on graphing and data collection! In Social Studies we read stories and learned about Famous Americans, including Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver and many more! We are happy that we no longer are segregated and are free to play with and attend school with anyone. For Valentine’s Day, we enjoyed fun activities and sharing valentines with our friends! We are excited to see what March brings!

Reading Corner

The purpose for our Family Reading Program is to increase opportunities for our students to practice critical reading skills that are necessary to become successful readers. We also want to provide beneficial and engaging reading materials in order to increase reading motivation in the home environment. Finally, the following link will take you to a presentation that describes the materials that will be sent home and how you can effectively help your child read the variety of reading materials that will sent home. Happy reading!!!

Valentine's Day Fun

Fort Zeller students had so much fun handing out and receiving Valentine's from their classmates.
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Social Media #ELCOexcellence

ELCO School District is growing our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. Click on the icons and follow along!

Facebook - @ELCOSD

Twitter - @elcosd

Instagram - @elcosd


  1. Celebrate our students.

  2. Keep parents, students, alumni, and the community in the loop of what is happening in our district.

  3. Promote the great things happening such as athletics, activities, and other events.

  4. Build an ongoing conversation about the positive impact our district is making in the lives of our students!

What do I need to do?

  • If you are on these social media channels – follow us!

  • Help promote these accounts to your family and friends.

  • If you aren’t on these platforms – that’s OK. The district will continue to provide communication through traditional channels.

Nurse's News

A friendly reminder from the school nurse that if you haven’t already indicated that your child would receive a private dental exam, the school dentist will be coming into the school this March/April to conduct dental examinations. Please let me know if you intend on seeing your private dentist, so I may take your child off our school dental list. The state requires children to submit proof of a dental exam prior to Kindergarten and third grade. If you have any questions, please reach out to the school nurse at 610-589-2575.

Thank You! ☺️


1. On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at 6:30, our PTO will host its next meeting at Fort Zeller in the library. We hope that you will consider joining our meetings and provide your valuable input to support our students and staff at Fort Zeller.

2. Volunteering: If you have an interest in being a volunteer in your child's classroom or in our school, please use this link,, to complete the necessary paperwork on clearances. Don't hesitate to call our office at (610) 589-2575 if you need additional assistance.

News from Fort Zeller's PTO

On Friday, 2/17, we had our NED Assembly. The Fort Zeller students had so much fun! Attached to this email is a PDF of some pictures from the assembly. Yo-yo’s were available to purchase until 2/27.

Never give up!

Encourage Others!

Do your Best!

📘 2022/2023 - Yearbooks 📘

Yearbooks may be ordered using Yearbook ID # 10866223 at the following link:

🍪❤️ Thank you to all of the contributors of the Cookie Treat 🍪❤️

Pictures are attached to this email

2023 Dutchway Sub Ticket Sale

Thank you for your sub orders! We sold 1,404 tickets.

Tickets will be sent home with students this week

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Save the Date - March PTO Meeting ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Wednesday, March 8 @ 630PM

📚 📚 📚BOOK FAIR 📚 📚 📚

Spring Book Fair is on March 27 & March 28

Please visit our sign up genius to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer Clearances

If you are interested in volunteering this Spring or going on the Kindergarten or 2nd grade field trips -

Start obtaining your volunteer clearances today!

If you have any questions about the process, please let us know!

Rewards Programs -

Please download the BoxTops App


Start scanning your grocery receipts.

Here are all of the products that can earn money for the PTO.

Coca-Cola Give is rewards program from The Coca-Cola Company designed to support local schools.

To donate, select a local school (Type in “FT ZELLER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, RICHLAND, PA, 17087”) or cause partner on your phone, tap SCAN NOW, and scan by taking a picture of the cap code or enter the code manually.

**If you drink Coca-Cola products and do not have the time to enter the codes, please send in the bottle caps to the school office.

If you have any questions in regards to the Fort Zeller PTO, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email or check out our facebook page -

Fort Zeller PTO

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1 - Jordy Lutz

3 - Nolan Stager

4 - Paisley Strause

5 - Jordan Kirsch Padilla

6 - Mia Isabella Portillo Hichose

10 - Charlie Miller

12 - Sutton Fullerton

15 - Chase Clubb

16 - Bentley Betz

17 - Camila Diaz-Cuevas

23 - Evelyn Miller

26 - Ellis Entrekin

27 - Caden Doster

30 - Diana Gerhart

31 - Hailey Axe

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Contact us

Fort Zeller Elementary School

243 North Sheridan Road

Richland, PA 17087

Phone: (610) 589-2575

Fax: 610-589-5815

Twitter: @ElcoFort