Union Elementary Weekly Update

November 8, 2019

A Week in Review

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This week in STEM, our Union second graders learned about how stress impacts the brain. Our STEM teacher and school counselor team taught how different parts of the brain respond to stress as well as strategies for decreasing stress. Some of our student ideas for reducing stress include playing outside, reading a book, taking deep breaths, and talking to a friend. Great ideas from our second grade stars!

Upcoming Events

November 8- PTO Movie Night, 6:15

November 9- ZEF Barn Bash

November 11- Veterans Day Programs, 9:30 and 1:15

November 13- Picture Retakes; Elementary Conferences after school

November 14- Elementary Conferences (E-day for students). See information below regarding child care options.

Week of November 18- Scholastic Book Fair

November 19- PTO Meeting, 7PM

November 20- Dads Club Third Grade Breakfast, 7AM

November 27-29- No School: Thanksgiving Break

December 3- Dads Club Meeting, 7 PM in Teachers' Lounge

December 6- PTO Meeting, 9 AM in Cafeteria

December 17- Dads Club Winterfest, 6-8 PM

Exciting New Addition to our School


Mrs. Kay was matched with a facility dog through the ICAN (Indiana Canine Assistant Network). Following successful team training, Mrs. Kay will be bringing her dog, Cocoa, to Union Elementary to support students and staff. Mrs. Karnuta will be trained as a co-handler and will be working with Cocoa as well.

What is a facility dog?
Facility dogs work with professionals who incorporate the dog into the care of their clients, patients or students, and are most frequently placed in hospitals or schools.

Who is Cocoa?
Cocoa is a 2 year old yellow Labrador Retriever (female). She received her name from her training sponsors, the Endangered Species Chocolate Company.

How was Cocoa trained?
Cocoa will graduate from the two-year ICAN training program in December and is a facility dog. Throughout her training, Cocoa learned how to do many tasks to support people in a school and/or facility through positive reinforcement. Pending successful completion of training, Cocoa will be Mrs. Kay’s dog, who will live in her home and work at our school. Cocoa and her team will participate in ongoing training each year to ensure Cocoa is supporting the people in her facility.

What is ICAN?

ICAN trains and places assistance dogs with individuals with disabilities and provides foundational life skills to inmates through their experience as trainers. ICAN is meeting two important needs in our communities: (a) providing children and adults living with a disability greater independence and an opportunity for a more enriched life by partnering them with a service dog and (b) preparing offenders to return to our communities better equipped to successfully reintegrate with their families and obtain a job. ICAN is the only service dog organization in Indiana that is accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI). ICAN is all about unleashing abilities and changing lives on both ends of the leash and is a 501(c)3 non-profit. (Source: icandog.org)

What will Cocoa do here at school?
We will integrate Cocoa slowly as she learns and connects to her new environment. Once she has acclimated to Union, Mrs. Kay, and Mrs. Karnuta, Cocoa will have various jobs here at school. Initially, Cocoa will work as a student support dog through social and emotional lessons with Mrs. Karnuta, as a literacy incentive support dog with Mrs. Farrar, and as a staff support dog as needed. Once we find success in these roles, we will consider expanding her role in the school. We are looking forward to adding Cocoa to our school community!


· If you have any questions about Cocoa, please reach out to Erin Kay at ekay@zcs.k12.in.us

· If you are interested in learning more about ICAN, please visit ICAN’s website at www.icandog.org

Veterans Day Programs 2019

On November 11, 2019, we look forward to celebrating and honoring our Veterans. We know there are many Union families whose lives have been personally shaped by one of the branches of our Armed Forces. It is our desire to plan experiences that are meaningful for our students while simultaneously appreciative of the brave men and women that have served or are currently serving our country. We welcome all members of our community to attend our celebration.

Union Elementary will be honoring our community’s Veterans with convocations on Monday, November 11, 2019. In order to accommodate all of our guests, this year we will hold 2 separate convocations. Classes will participate as follows:

9:30 AM- Hine, Curdes (Sorgen/Pourcho), Beck, Russell, Michener, M. Smith (Pottorff), Masters, Paunwar, Knue, Hamelmann, Kellum, Valentine, Burns, Tisch, Wuethrich

1:15 PM- Merrell, Williams, Fremion, J.Smith, Boggs, Steward, Voege (Martini), Munley, Manna, Whiteman, Clark, Luke, Off, L.Smith, Magoni

We ask all of our guests to enter the gym directly through door 10. No pre-registration is required. Guests may park in the bus lot. All cars will need to vacate this lot by 2:00 so that our buses may park for dismissal.

If you or a member of your family have served our country in this capacity, we would like to recognize you in a special way. We will hold a brief reception for our Veteran guests before the morning program, beginning at 9:00. You will be able to enter door 10 at 8:50. Veterans will be able to enjoy a treat with their Union student(s) and receive a token of our appreciation before we begin heading into the gym for the morning program around 9:15. If you are a Veteran attending the afternoon program, you are welcome to come to the morning reception and return to school later in the day for the afternoon program.

So that we may plan accordingly, if you have a Veteran guest attending the program and/or reception, please complete the form below:


For additional information, please contact Jen Raycroft at jraycroft@zcs.k12.in.us or 733-4007 x16999.

Veterans Day Collection and Spirit Day

On Monday, November 11th Union Elementary will be celebrating Veterans Day. Your child will learn about what a veteran is and why we celebrate this holiday. Also, please dress in red, white, and blue or camo to celebrate with our country! We are asking for quarter donations to go towards the Honor Flight and helping Veterans get to see the memorial in Washington D.C.! We will continue the coin collection on Monday.To date, we have already raised $415.00! Thank you for your support!

Please show your school spirit and dress in red, white, and blue or camo for our convocation on November 11th! Thank you for your support and Happy Veterans Day.

-Your Union Elementary Student Council Members

Elementary Conferences Child Care Information

Dear parents/guardians:

We are looking forward to our upcoming elementary conferences and spending time with you to focus on your child’s goals and educational journey here in ZCS. While conferences are taking place on November 14th, students are offsite spending the day doing their coursework at home, a friend or relative’s house, or a variety of other locations parents have chosen. Some students will also be participating in conferences with their parents as communicated by the classroom teachers. For parents who may be experiencing some difficulty in making arrangements for their child to participate in E-Day away from school as designed during the conferences, each school will have some availability for child care. In order to take advantage of the opportunity, you must register by Monday, November 11th.

Hours of operation:

8:00 am – 2:30 pm on Thursday, November 14th

*Transportation is to be provided by the family. Drop-off/pick-up logistics will be communicated by GROW to participating families in the days leading up to Elementary E-day.

*Students will need to bring a sack lunch.

*Please note that since E-Day homework is not due for one week, access to the computer lab/machines at each school site will be limited. Please contact your child’s teacher for additional access time if your family has needs for a device or does not have access to WiFi at home.

To register for the November 14th E-day, please click on the link below:


Current BAC/Bridge participants: log into your EZChildTrack account and look for November 14th E-day on the left hand side.

New GROW participants choose “New Parents Open Account” then choose November 14th E-day.

For questions contact the GROW office at GROW@zcs.k12.in.us or call 317-733-4847.

From the Cafeteria

The Second Grade has spoken and their selection for next Friday’s (11/15) Student Choice Lunch will be:

Chicken Noodle Soup with a Dinner Roll

Green Beans

Fruit Slushy!!



The next PTO meeting will be Tuesday, November 19 at 7pm in the Maker Space Room. Childcare will be provided.


The online spirit wear store is now OPEN! Check it out here — https://union.185promostore.com/

Union Elementary Spiritwear

Welcome to the Union Elementary Spiritwear Store! Click "Start Shopping" to view the available items! The webstore will be open from now through Friday, August 31st !

You’ll find a variety of Youth, Men, & Women apparel in both Union and Zionsville options.

We will have sample items on display during conferences next week as well as at the Book Fair.

Store closes 11/22 and all orders will ship in time for the holidays.

Questions? Contact Sara Brauer (sarambrauer@gmail.com) or Sarah Janicki (sarahjanicki99@gmail.com).

Happy Shopping!


It may be getting cold outside, but this year's Arctic Book Fair is going to be hot, Hot, HOT! Please sign up below if you are able to help us out any time during this week long sale! Book Fair will be Nov 18-22 and more information about store hours and eWallet will be coming soon.


Dads Club

Calling all Dads! Join us the first Tuesday of every month for our monthly meeting. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 7 PM in the Teachers' Lounge.

Our next event is the Third Grade Breakfast on November 20 at 7 AM. Sign up to help or contribute an item for breakfast at https://signup.com/go/wCXxBee

In December, we will have our annual Winterfest. It will be held on Tuesday, December 17th from 6:00-8:00 PM. Please note the change of date. We hope you can be there!

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Picture Retake Day- November 13

If your child was absent on our original picture day (Tues. Sept 24) or you are not happy with the photo that was taken, please return your child’s envelope along with the form below with an explanation as to why you would like it retaken (ie. smile, hair, pose).

Yearbook photo FAQ’s

Did not purchase photos initially or need to order more...

Ordering or reordering is quick! To place an order, simply go to the website listed on your package reference insert. Use your assigned password to view and order your image. Second chance packages differ slightly from original offerings. Packages will be shipped directly to your home.

Missing package or wrong item received...

Do not contact your school. Please fill out our Customer Service Contact form at www.cripephoto.com. We will work as quickly as we can to resolve any issues.

School Safety Information

We have completed all of our lessons from Preschool through fourth grade regarding our ALICE lockdown protocol. On the day of your child's lesson, you should have received a letter home in their folder that provided some additional information. We will be conducting our school-wide Lockdown drill in the near future. This is required to be completed within the first 90 days.

Please reach out to Mrs. Raycroft or Mrs. Kay with any questions.

BYOD Information

This time of year, the ZCS Technology Department is asked quite often, “what kind of computer should I get my student for the Bring Your Own Device 1:1 program in grades 5th-12th?” Normally we just give the minimum specs for the computers but this year we have worked with Lenovo to provide our families with an option to purchase the same device that ZCS uses for the rental program. It will be at the same discounted price ZCS pays ($506), tax free, and shipped to your door with free shipping in 2-3 weeks. If you wish to purchase instead of rent the device we selected as a technology team for its ruggedness and performance, just follow the link below and create an account with Lenovo.


After creating your account, we will approve you as a ZCS resident and you will receive an email from Customer Registration at ecomm.accounts@lenovo.com. After being approved, simply log in, select products, then “laptops and ultrabooks” in the upper left corner to select the only option, the Lenovo ThinkPad 11e 5th Gen. For a full explanation of the process and detailed instructions for ordering, please visit https://www.zcs.k12.in.us/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1655035&type=d&pREC_ID=1801359.

Barn Bash 2019

Thanks to the amazing support of our community, Barn Bash 2019 is SOLD OUT! While there are no longer tickets available, you can still support ZEF by participating in the Barn Bash Silent Auction. Adventures, sports tickets, dining, health, jewelry, and unique experiences are up for bid in support of our schools. Bidding closes at 9:30pm on November 9th. Register with Qtego for the Barn Bash Silent Auction at www.qtego.net/qlink/zef.



During the school day, all visitors must enter via the front door and sign-in at the front office. Visitors need to be prepared to present a government issued photo ID which will be scanned against the National Sex Offender Registry. All visitors will be issued a visitor badge/tag to be worn inside the building at all times.


During the school day, all volunteers are expected to sign in at the front office. Prior to the volunteer opportunity, all volunteers must sign a Non-disclosure Acknowledgement Form and have successfully completed a Full Criminal History Background Check. Necessary background check paperwork is available on the ZCS website at the Volunteers/BRAVO link and should be submitted at least 10 days prior to the intended volunteer date. Volunteers must also view the state mandated confidentiality/bullying video, provided on the Volunteer/BRAVO website. The volunteer will pay the fee* for the full background check which will expire after 5 years. The link to apply for the full background check can be accessed on the Volunteers/BRAVO link on the ZCS main webpage. For more information, contact the Volunteer/BRAVO Coordinator.

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Union Elementary School

Union Elementary strives to create a nurturing and kid-focused learning environment where teachers, students, and parents work together in supportive and collaborative partnerships so all students can meet their potential.