Bitty Brickie Beat

ELC November 2020 Newsletter

Talking Goals and Grit With Our Students

Grit is working hard, persevering and never giving up! We all need grit to get through life. Angela Duckworth and her team from the University of Pennsylvania are working on clever strategies to help students learn to work hard and adapt in the face of temptation, distraction and defeat. When Angela was asked why she studies perseverance, she said, "Why? Because life is hard. Because there are just obstacles every day in everything that we want to do. If it were easy, it would be done already, and I think that goes for any work that's worthwhile." In other words, children need to be taught to appreciate that it is normal to struggle when working hard on a challenge that exceeds their skills. It is normal to feel confused. Frustration is probably a sign that they're on the right track and to gut it out through natural human aversion to mental effort and feeling overwhelmed. Think of the story "Little Engine That Could." When it got hard, he never gave up and continued to tell himself. "I think I can!" Teachers are here to assist your children when they struggle and encourage them to keep working to accomplish their goals. In addition, they teach students the process of working through the tough work and never give up.
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Practicing Gratitude Daily For Strong Minds and Bodies

Our school shares a lesson each week that teaches our students the concepts of a strong and positive mindset to guide them through each day. We follow an established curriculum that helps to tie each lesson to the next and keeps all of our students lessons consistent. We practice a Mindful Moment every morning on our announcements where we lead students through a minute of deep breathing to help them learn and establish the habit of deep breathing and healthy thoughts. These are life skills that can help us all and finding gratitude and joy in the daily moments is incredibly rewarding during these uncertain times. Our students are incredibly inspiring and it is so rewarding to see them embrace learning and the simple experiences school can offer them each day. November is a wonderful time to reflect on the gratitude you have. We are thankful for our Brickies! They inspire us to find and be the good. We hope you are finding ways to incorporate gratitude and mindfulness into your parenting and family.
How to Talk with Kids about Gratitude

PBIS....Celebrating the Good

The ELC promotes Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports as a way to enrich student behaviors at school. This program recognizes and rewards students who are meeting expectations everywhere at our school with their good behavior, strong choices and leadership skills. Teachers put names of students into the raffle each week who have gone above and beyond in the recognized categories. On Friday, our winner is chosen and awarded a prize and certificate. We have a PBIS raffle for in person and elearners. We also have a quarterly celebration via Zoom for all of our classes. We will award one Grit Winner who has exemplified exceptional work and study habits and one student who goes above and beyond consistently to show kindness in every way at school. During our quarterly celebration, all students turn in all of their tickets to try and reach a goal. Everyone can earn tickets by making smart and strong choices during the school day. Teachers award tickets as a means to recognize those good choices each and every day in school. When the goal is met, the whole school wins an award, which is usually an experience like a dance or popsicle party.
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Kindergarteners Honor Our Heroes for Veteran's Day

For Veteran's Day, the ELC is teaching our students what a Veteran is and how much we appreciate them and their sacrifice. Classes will hold an observance on Veterans Day where students will participate in various activities that help them understand the concept of a soldier and Veteran. Students with Veterans in their family will recognize them with a special gift that they make. All students will create a craft, watch a video of one of our own Veteran's right here at the ELC, learn a song and listen to a read aloud. Our Helping Hands Club, which is open to anyone via the Facebook Group, has been collecting items for Soldier Care Packages and students will get to see just how much our school has collected to present to those family members among us that are in active duty. Solder Care Packages are items that have been brought in by our students and staff and it is a service project that is very close to our hearts. It is wonderful to see the children participate in the supply drive and then see the stack of the items boxed up and ready to be mailed to our soldiers. Our Helping Hands Club does a wonderful job of creating service projects within our school to demonstrate to students how their kindness and generosity can help others in our community. Helping Hands does many wonderful service projects throughout the school year and is a great way for our families to get involved and make a difference. We hope you will consider joining today and thank you for your support with our efforts to raise awareness of charitable acts to our students throughout the school year!
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Oh, the Places We're Going!

This school year has brought many changes and uncertainties for everyone, but one thing is for certain, our Brickies are having an awesome school year! We are so proud of our elearners and their extraordinary support system at home as they are pioneering an entirely innovative way to be a student. All of our students have had to accept, endure and overcome many more challenges that our students of past years with all of the restrictions in place. But out of all of it we are seeing a new learner upon us! They are flexible, safety minded and oh so excited for their learning experiences! Our staff is creating virtual field trips for all by exploring the community for options to visit and video locations to share with our students. The videos help us to bring the experiences to our students and explore many wonderful things outside our building while keeping everyone safe. We visited the fire station, Johnson's Farm, the apple orchard and Deep River County Park. We supplemented some of those virtual trips for our in person learner with on site experiences and zoomed our elearners along the way. We even recreated a pumpkin patch here at the ELC for ALL of our students to come and pick a pumpkin! We themed many of our days around books and gave all students that book to add to their home libraries. We want to ensure that all of our students are having the best experience they can while working within the restrictions. What an incredible school year it has been so far and what a wonderful group of students and families to be in this with!
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Fire Safety Lessons in October

Kindergarteners took a virtual field trip in October to Hobart's Firehouse #2 and toured the inside of the fire station. We learned that firemen report for duty sometimes for up to 24 hours so the inside of the station has many of the same rooms you would find in a house. We learned about the drone that fire fighters use to identify and explore many dangerous threats. Firemen visited the ELC with a fire truck and an ambulance to show our students the different compartments and gear that the vehicles carry. Once a fireman was dressed in full gear to show students up close what he would look like in an emergency and help them realize there is no reason to be afraid even though he has all of that gear on.
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Hello parents!

Last month we wrapped up Red Ribbon Week at the end of the month, teaching our students about making strong and healthy choices. Students did classroom activities that promoted a positive self-image and self-care and had fun with our spirit days!

November 13th is World Kindness Day and we are ALWAYS promoting kindness at the ELC. We will be reading the book "Wonder" to our students. There will be follow up activities that the classrooms will do on November 13th that relate to the book reading as well. If you don't do this already, try asking your child "were you kind to anyone today?" If they say no, you can respond with something like "that's ok. I'm excited to find out who you were kind to tomorrow". It starts to plant the seed of being kind everyday no matter what.

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Sweet Rewards for Our Super Savers!

Kindergarten students who sold 5 or more pies during our 529 Pie Fundraiser were able to cash in on their reward of putting a pie in their teachers face! We had the largest pie sales in our history of this program, totaling over $9000 in college savings contributions! We are so proud of our students efforts and the impact on their future!
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PTO Elections

Our PTO board for the 20-21 school year will be established on Wednesday, November 4th. We will have election during the meeting, which will be held on Zoom, and notify our new board members. We appreciate all those who are willing to volunteer for our PTO as it helps us make great things happen throughout the school year for all of our students! PTO helps us raise funds and organize efforts for all the little extras we do at the ELC! Thank you for any support you can give and good luck to all of those who are running for the board!
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PTO Zoom Meeting Link and Password

You can join our PTO Election/Meeting here.

Please enter passcode jrM13M

Meeting ID: 770 7470 1506

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Flu - Don’t Waste Fall By Being Sick. Get A Flu Shot! It’s Super Quick.

Handwashing is so important! Don’t forget to get your flu shot and stay protected. Contact your healthcare provider or make an appointment at our Brickie Clinic 219-945-9383

Sick students-

PLEASE KEEP ALL SICK OR SUSPECTED SICK STUDENTS HOME FROM SCHOOL. PLEASE MARK THEM OFF IN SKYWARD. SYMPTOMS INCLUDE: fever greater than 100.4 degrees, CHILLS, SORE THROAT, COUGH( especially new onset, uncontrolled cough), DIARRHEA, VOMITING, HEADACHE( particularly new onset of severe headache, especially with a fever) , NEW LOSS OF TASTE OR SMELL, MUSCLE OR BODY ACHES OR FATIGUE, CONGESTION OR RUNNY NOSE, SHORTNESS OF BREATH OR DIFFICULTY BREATHING. If you are unsure, please call your healthcare provider or school nurse for advice. Please do not send your student to school and instruct them to go directly to the nurse before the school day begins. Again, if you have any questions or concerns please contact your school nurse. For more information, please visit our website:




Notify your school immediately of COVID-19 symptoms or any exposure to a COVID-19 positive test:

COVID-19: When a student, faculty, or staff member can return to school (Indiana Department of Health) Updated 8.25.20

Indiana COVID-19 Testing Sites - Added July 18, 2020

Click Here to access the Indiana State Department of Health's Indiana COVID-19 Testing Sites

Note: For each testing site, the following information is provided: Location, Scheduling Options, Hours, Requirements to be Tested, Payment Options, Phone Number, Days/Hours of Operation, Format of Testing Reporting.

Current Testing Sites in Lake County (As of July 18, 2020):

  • Methodist Hospital-Southlake Campus - 8701 Broadway, Merrillville, IN 46410

  • Family Urgent Care - 1217 US HWY 41, Schererville, IN 46375

  • Methodist Hospitals-Northlake Campus - 600 Grant St, Gary, IN 46402

  • NW Indiana ER & Hospital - 7904 Cabela Dr, Hammond, IN 46324

  • Physicians Urgent Care Indianapolis - 10343 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, IN 46322

  • HealthLinc Community Health Center - 1313 W Chicago Ave, East Chicago, IN 46312

  • ISDH Drive-Thru at Ivy Tech CC - 410 E Columbus Dr, East Chicago, IN 46312

  • ISDH Drive-Thru at Oliver P. Morton High School - 6915 Grand Ave, Hammond, IN 46323

COVID-19: When to Isolate (ISDH Resources) - Added 8/12/2020

COVID-19: When to Quarantine (ISDH resource) - Added 8/12/2020

Don’t Touch Your Face

To help prevent infections, keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. WHY? Touching the mucous membranes on your face with your dirty hands allows germs that cause respiratory infections to enter the body.

Why Is Not Touching Your Face SO Important?

It is estimated that people touch their faces about 23 times per hour! Respiratory infections can be caused by many different bacterial, viruses, and other disease-causing germs. When you touch your face with dirty, unwashed hands, germs can take up residence in your mucous membranes which can lead to an infection.

How Are Respiratory Infections Spread?

Respiratory infections, like pneumonia or the flu, can spread through droplets in the air when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks near you. Respiratory infections can also be spread by direct contact with bacteria, viruses, and other disease- causing germs. When we touch people who are sick, or touch dirty surfaces, we contaminate our hands with germs. We can then infect ourselves with those germs by touching our face.

How Can I Protect Myself From Respiratory Infections?

There are several ways that you can protect yourself from getting a respiratory infection:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Never touch your face with dirty hands.

  • Wash your hands frequently. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations.

  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands if soap and water are not available.

  • Get a flu shot every year. Encourage your family and friends to get a flu shot too!

  • Ask your healthcare provider if the pneumonia vaccine is right for you.

  • Avoid being close to people who are coughing and sneezi


Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.

How Germs Spread

Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:

  • Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

  • Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands

  • Touch a contaminated surface or objects

  • Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects

Key Times to Wash Hands

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food

  • Before eating food

  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea

  • Before and after treating a cut or wound

  • After using the toilet

  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste

  • After handling pet food or pet treats

  • After touching garbage

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, you should also wash your hands

  • After you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may have been frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cash registers/screens, etc.

  • Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth because that’s how germs enter our bodies.

Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospital

Follow these five steps every time.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Why? Read the science behind the recommendations.

Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water

You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,

  • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.

  • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

  • Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.

Caution! Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning if more than a couple of mouthfuls are swallowed. Keep it out of reach of young children and supervise their use.

How to use hand sanitizer

  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).

  • Rub your hands together.

  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds

CDC’s Handwashing Campaign: Life is Better with Clean Hands

CDC’s Life is Better with Clean Hands campaign encourages adults to make handwashing part of their everyday life and encourages parents to wash their hands to set a good example for their kids. Visit the Life is Better with Clean Hands campaign page to download resources to help promote handwashing in your community.

For more information on handwashing, visit CDC’s Handwashing website or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Vaccinations- All students SHOULD be up to date on their vaccinations. Indiana state law requires you to have up to date immunizations. If you have any questions or concerns about the new school year 2020-21 requirements, please contact your school nurse.

Health Conditions- If your student has a specific health condition or needs special care during the school day such as medication, treatments, or monitoring, please inform your school nurse and provide your nurse with a care plan. Individual health care plans help keep your student safe and healthy.

Head Lice- It’s that time of year where our students break out their coats, scarves and hats. Please encourage your child not to share such items as hats, scarves, brushes or any personal items. Lice is not a danger to your child’s health, it is simply an annoying problem that comes around this time of year, so no need to panic. Please know that anyone and everyone can get lice. Getting lice has nothing to do with you being clean or dirty, it only has to do with the fact that you are human. It is very important to check your family for lice this time of year regularly. If you find any live lice or eggs, it is absolutely necessary to treat each “infected” person, but more importantly, you must notify the school so that we can effectively and confidentialy assist you with monitoring. The school nurse can assist you with proper treatment options as well as identify and demonstrate for you what to do.

CLOTHING- Please make sure your student has an extra change of clothing in his/her backpack incase needed for unseen circumstances that may arise during the school day.

If you have any questions, please call your school nurse or visit our school web page at for more information on student health, school forms, and other helpful links

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Click the Link Below For November Calendar

November Reading Connection...Great Tips!

November Early Years Bulletin Below