United South Central Elementary
August - Rebel Review - Rebel Preview
Welcome Back to School
TO: USC Elementary Students and Parents/Guardians
DATE: August 8, 2023
SUBJECT: 2023-2024 School Year
On behalf of the United South Central Elementary School staff, I welcome you to the 2023-24 school year. We eagerly anticipate the bustling hallways filled with students who are enthusiastic about learning and ready to make the most of what USC offers. Our commitment as a USC staff remains steadfast in aligning with the school’s mission, prioritizing high levels of learning for every student, and fostering an intentional culture that supports optimal learning. This academic year, our students will be continually challenged to think critically and creatively through a comprehensive curriculum aligned to the Minnesota State Standards that integrates USC’s Rebel Rights - Be Respectful ∙Be Responsible ∙Be Safe into all aspects of our educational approach.
The elementary staff is excited about forging a productive partnership with parents/guardians to ensure our children reach their fullest potential. We understand the importance of home and school support for children’s success. Your strong collaboration will significantly impact your child’s education this year, and we are eager to work alongside you. We appreciate your dedication to teaching your child daily and your willingness to partner with us.
As the summer days draw to a close, the skilled and dedicated staff at USC has been diligently preparing for the upcoming school year. We are confident it will be a fantastic year filled with valuable learning and growth. If you have any questions or concerns during the school year, please don’t hesitate to contact the elementary school office. Our staff is happy to help address any queries and would be delighted to meet with you.
This year we have four new elementary school teachers. They are Tara Lauwagie, kindergarten teacher; Jessica Woratschka, second-grade teacher; Lyssa Warmka, ELL teacher; and Emily Rajtar, special education teacher. We are excited these excellent educators will be joining our team. Please join me in welcoming our new teachers this fall.
Elementary Orientation will be held on Tuesday, September 5th, from 7:30 A.M. - 7:00 P.M. Orientation will allow students and parents/guardians to connect with teachers in-person.
Please call the elementary office at 507-553-5810 on August 22 or 23 from 7:30 A.M-3:00 P.M. to sign up for a 20-minute meeting with your child’s teacher.
Fifth and sixth graders will have a drop-in session with their teachers.
*Please note these conferences are mandatory and must be attended by both the parent/guardian and the student.
Technology - Chrome Tablets and Chromebooks will be distributed after school has started. We encourage all families to purchase insurance.
Under Minnesota State Law, it is mandatory for children enrolled in school after 1988 to attend either a public or private school for a minimum of nine months during each school year until they reach the age of 18 or graduate. Both parents and students share the responsibility for ensuring regular school attendance. Students must be punctual and present in class by 8:20 A.M. to avoid being marked as tardy. USC would like to encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with the USC attendance policy outlined in the student handbook. Parents or guardians can call the elementary school office after 6:00 A.M. to report a student's absence or tardiness, leave a message, or speak with a staff member directly. If the school does not receive communication from the parent/guardian and the student is absent, a personalized phone call will be made to inform the situation. Your cooperation and support are greatly appreciated.
School Supplies - The school supply list is available on the district website/Facebook and included in your back-to-school letter. Please bring your child’s school supplies marked with their name when they meet with their classroom teachers at the orientation conferences. Fifth and sixth-grade students may give their supplies to their first-hour teachers. Please send tennis shoes for gym class.
Back-to-School Forms - USC staff transitioned to a limited mailing while posting most information on the USC website or in JMC to efficiently send and receive information to all families. We have shared informational documents on the USC website and ask parents to answer questions and enter registration data in JMC. Note: If you need a paper copy of any document, please contact the elementary school at 507-553-5810 to ask for a packet.
To access the back-to-school forms, go to the USC district website, click on the Registration tab (far right on the menu bar), and select the Back-to-School Registration tab to access and complete all the back-to-school forms (see the picture above).
School pictures - will be offered on Orientation Day from 8:00 am to 7:00 P.M. Strawbridge will take pictures this year; see the attached information about back-to-school photos. If you wish to purchase photographs online, please click on this link to create an account. Please take your child’s picture even if you will not purchase photos, as we want to ensure every student is included in the school yearbook.
The student handbook - is available on the USC website at www.unitedsouthcentral.org; please take the time to review this information and talk with your child about it so they are prepared.
Transportation - will be addressed on an individual family basis. A bus driver should contact you about your student's routes and times.
The staff at USC Elementary School looks forward to working with you to provide the best education possible for your child this 2023-24 school year. Please get in touch with the elementary office or me with any questions or concerns. I look forward to welcoming everyone back and am excited to begin the 2023-2024 school year at USC Elementary School. I hope you are enjoying the last days of summer.
USC Elementary School Principal
USC Elementary Orientation
Kindergarten Staggered Start
Just a Reminder
On September 6 - 7 - kindergarteners will have a staggered start meaning half of the class will come on September 6 and the other half on September 7. Please watch for a letter to arrive to determine the day your child will attend.
New USC Website
We are currently transitioning to a new school webpage that will take place over the next few weeks. Our website will be managed by a company called Apptegy, and alongside it, we will also launch an Apple and Google Play-based USC phone app. We aim to have the new site activated by August 15th. The new website platform has a significant advantage - it allows us to update information and share content on social media platforms effortlessly. Please watch for updates and announcements on the new website.
A Message from the Minnesota Department of Revenue - Save Your Receipts
MINNESOTA FAMILIES ARE ENCOURAGED TO SAVE BACK-TO-SCHOOL RECEIPTS FOR TAX BENEFITS
August 8, 2023
Back-to-school time can also be tax savings time for Minnesota families who save receipts on school supply purchases. The Minnesota Department of Revenue reminds parents and caregivers to save receipts on school supply purchases to claim valuable K-12 tax benefits when filing their taxes next year. In addition, due to changes made during the legislative session, over 31,000 more Minnesota families can claim the credit this year.
Two tax benefits can help Minnesota families pay their child’s education expenses: the refundable K-12 Education Credit (income limits apply) and the K-12 Education Subtraction (no income limits).
“As a parent and grandparent, I know the strain families feel during back-to-school time trying to balance the need for new school supplies with other family expenses,” said Revenue Commissioner Paul Marquart. “Saving school supply shopping receipts and claiming either the K-12 Education Subtraction or the expanded K-12 Education Credit will help Minnesota families save some money when filing their taxes next year.”
Last year, more than 17,000 families received the K-12 Education Credit for an average credit of $280. Over 134,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction for an average subtraction of $1,266.
These programs reduce the tax parents pay and could deliver a larger refund when filing a Minnesota income tax return. To qualify, the purchases must be for educational services or required materials. The child must be attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private, or qualified home school and meet other qualifications.
Save those receipts
Remember to save your receipts to claim the credit or subtraction. Use a folder or envelope to store receipts for the upcoming tax filing season, or pick up a special envelope at our State Fair booth in the Education Building.
Most expenses for educational instruction or materials qualify, including:
Pens and notebooks
Rental or purchases of educational equipment such as musical instruments
Computer hardware (hotspots, modems, and routers) and educational software (up to $200 for the subtraction and $200 for the credit) *
After-school tutoring and educational summer camps taught by a qualified instructor
*Fees for internet service do not qualify
Household Income for the K-12 Education Credit
Number of qualifying children in K-12
Household income must be less than
1 or 2 - $76,000
3 - $79,000
More than 3 - $79,000 plus $3,000 for each additional child
Taxpayers who are not required to file an income tax return must do so to claim a refund for any eligible education credit.
K-12 Education Subtraction
There are no income limits to qualify for the education subtraction. Most parents qualify. Parents can claim the K-12 Subtraction for tuition paid to private schools or college courses used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.
Important Dates to Remember
Important Dates to Remember
September 5 - Elementary Orientation
September 6 - 7 - Kindergartners will have a staggered start meaning half of the class will come on September 6 and the other half on September 7. Please watch for a letter to arrive to determine the day your child will attend.
October 10 - Two-Hour Late Start; buses will be two hours late, and breakfast will not be served that morning; Students may arrive at school at 9:45 A.M.
While You Were Away...
USC Trap Team - State Champions
During June, the Minnesota State High School League state tournament witnessed an impressive achievement by the United South Central Clay Target Team. They secured both the team and individual championships, a remarkable feat deserving of congratulations to the team and their coaches. Notably, Zale Bushlack delivered an impeccable performance, earning the individual championship. Congratulations to Zale for this outstanding accomplishment.
Little Miss Kernel
During the past week, students from USC Elementary enthusiastically participated in the Little Miss Kernel Pageant. The event provided a platform for these students to display their talents, spanning from graceful dancing, hula hooping, and skillful piano playing to even go-kart racing. Witnessing their composure amidst pressure, unwavering determination, proactive spirit, and strong work ethic was truly commendable. Additionally, these students exemplified exceptional sportsmanship, further enhancing their accomplishments. Congratulations to all the girls who took part in this event and to Jaylee Ignaszewski for being crowned Little Miss Kernel 2023.
USC Custodial Staff Deserves Appreciation
While you were away this summer, the custodial team and summer staff diligently relocated all furniture from the rooms, meticulously waxed the floors, thoroughly cleaned every surface, and then moved the furniture back in. Their dedication to this laborious endeavor is commendable, and we are immensely grateful for their hard work. If you come across any custodial staff members, kindly express your appreciation for their unwavering efforts in ensuring the school is in pristine condition for the student's return.
Elementary School Vitals
Drop off and pick up at USC Elementary
Students will enter the school by the main door by the elementary office
Students can enter the building at 8:10 AM after they are lined up outside. Please be mindful to drop your students off as close to 8:10 A.M. as possible to alleviate a long wait before the start of the school day.
Students who eat breakfast can enter the building at 7:50 A.M. Students must go directly to the Commons and remain in the Commons or go back outside to wait by the door until 8:10 A.M. when they can walk to their respective classrooms
Students will be dismissed from the main doors by the office.
Entrance into the Building:
Parents are encouraged to drop off and pick up students outside the main doors. If a parent/guardian needs to enter the school building for any reason, including dropping students off, picking students up, and eating breakfast, they must check in at the elementary or high school office and get a name badge before entering the building. Student safety is our number one priority, and we appreciate your help.
Parking Notice: When picking up students before and after school, ensure you are legally parked to avoid potential pitfalls. We need to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and visitors.
Parent Contact Information:
Please make sure to notify the elementary office if your email address or telephone number changes. It is imperative that we can contact you in case of a school-wide emergency or your child becomes ill. In addition, keeping your contact information current will ensure you receive notices and announcements from the school.
USC policy states If your child has been absent for an illness, they should be healthy before returning to school. The child should be fever-free (less than 100.0 F) without fever-reducing medications for 24 hours before returning to school. The child should not be vomiting or have vomited for 24 hours before returning to school.
Please send an extra set of clothing with your child. We must have extra clothing for spills, mud, accidents, and wet clothing from recess. Thank you.
Outdoor Recess: As fall sets in and the temperatures drop, please remember that your child(ren) will play outside daily, weather permitting. We need your help to ensure your students come to school appropriately dressed for the weather. Jackets/coats must be worn unless the temperature is 60 degrees or above. Moreover, as the snow flies, students need additional outdoor gear, including layers, hats, mittens/gloves, scarves, boots, and snow pants. Thank you in advance for your help in ensuring your child feels comfortable outside during recess. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Elementary Office at (507) 553-5810.
Lost and Found: Please check out the tables of items waiting to be reunited with their owners in the Commons near the vending machine. Stop in and take a look in the event your child is missing something. Please ensure all clothing is appropriately labeled to avoid having your child's possessions wind up in Lost and Found.