Washington Learning Center News

"Learning for fun, learning for growth, learning for life"

January 2023 Message from Principal Brown

School Starts at 8:00 A.M.

Please remember that the WLC school day begins at 8:00 A.M. The children may arrive at 7:30 if they are going to eat breakfast. If you have children that attend Jefferson and/or the Middle School, their school day begins later at 8:10 A.M. Please be sure to drop off your WLC student prior to Jefferson and/or the Middle School. WLC teachers take daily attendance and need to begin their instructional day at 8:00 A.M.

WLC dismissal is at 3:00 P.M. Jefferson and the Middle School dismissal is 3:10 P.M. This staggered start and end for our buildings was intentional for bussing, drop off, and pick up purposes.


The driveway and parking lot are full of snow. Please use extra caution when driving through. Watch carefully for parents and children in the parking lot and be sure to keep the driveway open when dropping off and picking up at curbside.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • Saturday, January 7 - Little Kids Connection Registration opened - click here to register.
  • Monday, January 9 - ECFE Registration Opened - click here to register
  • Tuesday, January 10 - Eagles Preschool Registration Opened - click here to register
  • Wednesday, January 11 - Early Childhood Screening - please call 507-233-8300 if you have an eligible child and would like to schedule a screening.
  • Friday, January 13 & Monday, January 16 - NO SCHOOL, STAFF INSERVICE
  • Thursday, January 19 - Preschool Special Person Day/Boot Skate - AM Classes: 9:40am-10:40am, PM Classes: 1:40pm-2:40pm

January MENUS

WLC January Breakfast Menus

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

Online registration for the next session of ECFE classes opens on Monday, January 9 with classes beginning the week of February 6. Make a date with your child to play and learn together. <https://newulm.ce.eleyo.com/>
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Mark your calendars for an amazing parenting presentation by Celebrate Calm's Kirk Martin and his son Casey. FREE thanks to a grant from Families First of Brown County. This presentation is for ANYONE who cares for, lives with or works with children from 2-28 yrs of age.

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Eagles Preschool - Ms. Carla Berg

Ms Carla's class has been enjoying winter...inside and out! The huge piles of snow on the playground provided lots of opportunities for using large muscles to climb the snow drifts, problem solving how to get their boots unstuck, and discovering that there is so much snow that the swings are now on the ground!

Inside, the students have been working on their eye-hand coordination and finger muscles (fine motor skills) by poking holes around a pattern. They used a giant push pin with a piece of carpet or foam under the paper. Try this at home!

Finally, the class has been getting ready for Boot Skate by "skating" in the classroom! Empty cereal bags make the perfect "skates" on carpeting...try it at home!

Mark your calendar for Eagle's Preschool Special Person Day Events

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Kindergarten - Welcome Ms. Boelter!

Hello! My name is Hailey Boelter, and I started teaching kindergarten at Washington Learning Center in December 2022.

I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in December 2021. Once I received my teaching license, I was the long-term substitute teacher here at WLC for the remainder of the school year. I am very excited to be back at WLC, and I am looking forward to the rest of the school year!

Library & Technology - Ms. Hoek

WLC's Scholastic Book Fair was a great success!

Thank you to parents, grandparents, community members, and staff for supporting the WLC Library’s Scholastic Book Fair in early December. It was the top-selling book fair. The library will receive over $1800 worth of books and headphones for the students. Through the teacher wishlist program, your generosity also placed 65 books in the classrooms. Plus an additional $51 dollars were donated to the “All for the Book” Tootsie Roll sucker program. The money is used right away to buy books for the library while Scholastic matches the amount to support kid programs across the United States. Thank you again for your support.

Angela Hoek WLC Media Specialist.

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Physical Education - Ms. Mikayla Lindell

STRIKE!! Looking for a fun family activity that is indoors to avoid the cold, how about bowling? The kindergarteners will start off the new year with the bowling unit, and soon be ready to hit the lanes! They will learn how to hold the ball, which foot to step forward with, and how to get down low so the ball is rolled instead of thrown. After bowling, we will kick off the soccer unit focusing on dribbling, trapping, not using our hands, and kicking at a target to score a GOAL!!! Students will also be learning about the importance of physical activity to keep their bodies healthy, and how faster movements corresponds to faster heartbeat and breathing.

Before leaving for winter break, the kindergartens got to do tumbling and yoga to learn all sorts of different ways to move and balance their bodies. Students also got to learn all different ways to move on scooters, while working on the 3 different pathways; including straight, zig zag, and curvy.

REMINDER: Students need their tennis shoes EVERYDAY for physical education! It is important to have good shoes that fit properly for running and moving to avoid injuries and to be as successful as possible while learning new skills.

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Special Education - Mrs. Adrianna Evers

Crossing the Midline

One important foundational skill for handwriting is crossing the midline. Reaching across the center point of the body is a skill that is developed in early childhood and used throughout one’s life – not just for handwriting, but for most coordinated skills.

To help a child develop the skill of crossing the midline, large motor activities like throwing and catching, crawling and moving through obstacles, or building and exercising play one part. These are important for all children and are a focus of SMART learning and classroom activities at Washington Learning Center.

Focused motor activities can help refine your child’s ability to cross the midline and transfer skills to handwriting later on. Examples of activities include the following:

  • Spraying water from a bottle with one hand and wiping a surface with a cloth in the other hand

  • Tracing large shapes on a wall using just one hand (not switching hands or moving body to the side while tracing)

  • Simon Says games that require crossing the left hand to the right knee, or similar

  • Hand contact games where the participants’ hands cross the midline to make contact (“Pat-a-cake” game)

  • Passing an object from one side of the body to the other while remaining seated

  • Sweeping the floor with a broom

  • Climbing

  • Dancing with ribbons or scarves

  • Fingerplays and songs (Wheels on the Bus)

News from the Nurse - Tara Fausch, Licensed School Nurse

Keep Your Kids Safe & Avoid Cabin Fever: Cold Weather Safety Reminders for the Family

Keeping your young child busy can be challenging even when the weather is perfect, but when cold weather (and ridiculous amounts of snow!) arrive and force us indoors, that challenge can be even greater. However, getting those kids outside to burn some energy is possible most days as long as you keep a few safety precautions in mind.

Keep an Eye on the Thermometer

There is no hard and fast rule on how cold is too cold to let the kids out to play, but consider both the air temperature AND the wind chill when using your judgment about outdoor playtime during cold weather. The chart below shows how quickly frostbite can set in based on various temperatures and wind speeds and can serve as a handy reference when deciding how much outdoor playtime to allow this winter.

Image (Wind Chill Chart) credit: https://www.weather.gov/safety/cold-wind-chill-chart

Layers, layers, layers!

Because children’s bodies are smaller than adults, they lose heat more quickly, so are at higher risk when out in the cold. Dress your child warmly and in layers when heading out into the cold. Wool is often warmer than cotton, so consider a wool layer. Cotton also soaks up water easily and doesn’t hold much warmth. Waterproof outer layers, including snow pants and coats, will help your child stay dry. Don’t forget gloves or mittens, socks, warm boots, and a hat. Mittens allow fingers to touch and maintain their warmth better than gloves and a good hat helps prevent body heat loss, much of which occurs through the head. Fingers, toes, ears, noses, and cheeks are the areas most prone to frostbite, so make sure all of these areas are as well covered as possible. Adding a scarf can keep the cold away from the neck, chin, and cheeks, while also protecting your child’s lungs from the cold air.

Image credit (Dressing Cold for Weather): https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/hsem/weather-awareness-preparedness/Documents/winter-safety-checklist-families-children.pdf

Check in frequently to enforce “warm up breaks”, have children swap out wet clothes, and ALWAYS supervise higher risk activities, such as sledding, snow tubing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Stay away from streets and snow plows as snow plows cannot slow down or turn quickly and cars may slide when trying to stop or turn. The snow, salt, and ice thrown by plows is also dirty and can cause injury. Do not allow children to dig deep into snow banks or build forts with a “roof” as these may collapse and cause injury or suffocation.

When getting out to sled, make sure all equipment is in good condition and look for a hill that is not too steep, has a level run off for stopping safely, is free of bare spots, holes, fences, rocks, trees, or poles, and does not end near a street or body of water. Always sled feet first or sitting up. It is also recommended that your child wear a helmet while sledding.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia and what to do if they occur.

-Frostbite: skin turns white or yellowish gray and can blister, your child may say that the skin hurts or feels like it is burning, or the skin may be numb. If you suspect frostbite, bring your child indoors immediately to begin warming up. Do not rub the affected area or pop any blisters. Soak the affected area in warm, not hot, water for 20 minutes or apply a warm washcloth if soaking is not possible. Then dry, cover child with blankets, and give something warm to drink. If symptoms persist, have your child seen by a healthcare provider.

-Hypothermia: shivering followed by sluggishness, being clumsy, slurring words, unconsciousness. This is a medical emergency. Call 911. While waiting for help to arrive, bring your child inside, remove wet clothing, wrap in blankets or warm clothes, and give something warm to drink.

So get out and enjoy this snow crazy winter while keeping your family safe and taking breaks to keep warm!

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School Social Worker - Karla Diehn

In December, we worked on managing some difficult feelings!

We learned about:

Handling Waiting

  • First, calm down if you’re feeling frustrated.

  • Think of something quietly to do while you wait that doesn’t distract others such as I Spy or finding things in the room that are the same color as your favorite color.

Managing Anger and Frustration

  • Identifying what your body feels like when you’re angry or frustrated (Face feels hot, heart beats fast, body tight/tense)

  • Use your calm down steps as soon as you realize you are angry/frustrated.

  • Tighten your muscles and then relax them to help get your body relaxed (ask your child about the spaghetti body exercise!)

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Community School Director - Tammy Lorch

Community Resource: Ivy House

Tammy Lorch, Community School Director

One of the community resources we have for families right here in New Ulm is Ivy House. Ivy House provides 24-hour care and material support for families in stressful situations. Stressful situations vary from family to family and can include anything from parental exhaustion to homelessness. There is free care for children ages 0-12 available for up to a maximum of 72 hours at a time. Parents who use Ivy House for their children may participate in their family advocate program. Ivy House is also able to distribute donated items such as clothing, diapers and other essential items to families who use their services. You can learn more about Ivy House online at https://ivyhousemn.org/services and in the event you need their services, you may call 507.766.6925. Ivy House’s services are confidential.

Community Education - Crystal Fleck

Kids Canvas Painting with Bridget - Snowman

Instructor: Bridget Gusso

Monday, January 23

4:00p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Fee $25

Washington Learning Center (Door #1), Room #104

Grades: K & Up Min 2/Max 12

Students will choose between two snowmen. This will be a fun and simple guided painting. It will be on an 11x14 canvas. Remember to wear clothing that can get messy and bring a snack if you would like!

Kids Canvas Painting with Bridget- Heart Painting

Instructor: Bridget Gusso

Monday, February 27

4:00pm-6:00 p.m.

Fee $25

Washington Learning Center (door #1), Room # 104

Grades: K & Up Min 3/ Max 12

Students will have a choice to create one of these heart paintings. This will be done on an 11x14 canvas using different mediums. This will be a very simple and exciting guided painting. Remember to wear clothing that can get messy and bring a snack if you would like!

Kids Canvas Painting with Bridget- MultiMedia Flower Project

Instructor: Bridget Gusso

Monday, March 27th

4:00pm-6:00 p.m.

Fee $25

Washington Learning Center (door #1), Room # 104

Grades: K & Up Min 3/ Max 12

Students will be Painting paper plates and assembling them into flowers. We will then be attaching them to an 8x10 canvas. This will be an extremely exciting, creative process! Remember to wear clothing that can get messy and bring a snack if you would like!

Drop Off / Pick Up Reminders

Franklin Street

Please refrain from parking on the WEST side of Franklin Street throughout the school day.

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.

Preschool Pickup

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Kindergarten Pickup

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Parking and Entering the Building

Please use the PARKING LOT when you plan to leave your vehicle and enter the building with your child.

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

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