Union Center Elementary

Learn...to Achieve!

September 18th, 2020

Parents and guardians, please check below for updates on all things happening at Union Center Elementary!

Picture Day- Thursday, September 24th (NEW INFORMATION)

UCE Picture Day is this Thursday, September 24th!

Pictures will be in the gymnasium in order to properly social distance and schedules have been created to stagger students in the gymnasium.

In order to limit the amount of money and envelopes being brought in to school and given to Inter-State Studios, we are asking that, if you are able, complete the online form as opposed to sending your child to school with the paper form and money.

Purchasing Photos Online is Super Easy:

1) Click HERE for the online link

2) UCE Cods is : 51205VB

3) Fill Out Your Child's Information

4) Choose Your Photo Package

5) DONE!

Virtual Parents, you should have received an email from Mr. Fuller regarding Picture Day: Virtual Learner Picture Day will be the same day as our picture retakes, and that date has yet to be scheduled. As soon as it is, we will let you know :)

If you have any questions about pictures, please call Mrs. Owens at 219-759-2544

NWEA Testing Begins Next Week (New Information)

Beginning next week, students in Grades KG-8 throughout Union Township will begin to take our new assessment platform, NWEA.

At Union Center, our schedule looks like the following, with specific days being determined by the classroom teacher and their schedule:

  • 5th, 4th, 3rd: September 22nd through September 25th
  • 2nd, 1st, KG: September 29th through October 2nd

Students will be taking both a Reading and Math test during their scheduled week. Both tests last between 20-45 minutes.

These tests are tailored to a student’s current achievement level, meaning that each student takes a test specific to them; as a result, the test length and difficulty may vary. It is important to know that students cannot pass or fail this test nor will it affect grades. It is normal for students not to know the answers to many of the questions. The results from this assessment will help us know what students are ready to learn, so please do not help them.

The NWEA test will be used for both virtual and in person learners and will be given each fall, winter, and spring. Virtual Learners, you will receive a separate email explaining how NWEA works from home.

If you have any questions regarding our new NWEA assessment, please contact Mr. Fuller :)


'Where we're going, we don't need roads'

Hawaiian Day was such a success, that on Friday, October 2nd, Union Center will have another theme day...80's Day!!

Students are encouraged to dress in their best 80's attire and bring $1 to purchase a pair of 80's Sunglasses: All of the proceeds will go to the Make-a-Wish Foundation!

So start planning now, folks!!

Library Reopening and Art and Music at UCE (UPDATED INFORMATION)

The re-opening of our library at Union Center has been a...HUGE....success!

Students have been THRILLED to check-out books once again, and with the safety measures put in place by Mrs. Ramirez, our students are both safe and happy!

As a reminder, students will be returning to both the Art and Music classrooms this Monday, September 21st. Both Mr. Dickey and Mrs. Willis have socially distanced their classrooms and have great plans in place for cleaning between class visits. I have NO DOUBT that this will be another smooth transition for our students :)

If you have any questions about the re-opening of the library or Art and Music, please feel free to contact Mr. Fuller :)

UCE Parent Teacher Conferences (UPDATED INFORMATION)

Teachers are diligently preparing for Parent Teacher Conferences on Monday, October 12th!

Be on the lookout in your email for a message from your child's teacher regarding how to sign-up for a VIRTUAL time-slot on October 12th!

Building Construction (UPDATED INFORMATION)

In September, contract bidders will be walking the grounds of Union Center to get a better understanding of our building and the project they are bidding on: I want to assure parents that we are scheduling these meetings while students are NOT in the building, even though there will be no construction happening, just a site walk-through.

  • There will be a special School Board Meeting on Wednesday, September 30th at 7:00 PM to announce the bids that were chosen.

  • Finally, the ground breaking for the beginning of construction is Monday, October 5th!! Woo-hoo!!

UCE Staff of the Week!

This week's UCE Staff of the Week is Mrs. Alexis Gage!

Let's get to know Mrs. Gage a little more :)

Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself

Hello! Indiana has always been my home. I was born in Michigan City, grew up in Chesterton, and I graduated from Saint Joseph's College (Go Pumas!).

What Do You Like to do When You Are Outside of the Classroom?

My husband and I live in Valparaiso with our Union Center Kindergarten student Gloria!! We enjoy going to church, hiking, camping, and swimming!

I really enjoy my husband's cooking, especially when he grills :) Our favorite moveis are Disney Classics and the Lego movies.

Do You Have a Favorite Quote, Book, Movie....?

My favorite quote is, "He restores my soul"

Anything Else We Should Know About

I remember struggling early in my elementary school years: Things changed for me when I received encouragement from my teachers and coaches! I finally decided to work hard, and it paid off, as I earned a scholarship for college.

This motivated me to become a teacher in hopes to make a difference like others did for me. Plus, children are happy and they make me happy!

Special Birthday Treats (RECURRING)

Does your child have a birthday coming up? If so, our kitchen is here to help provide a little something extra!

Since we cannot bring in shared, outside food into the building, our UCE Kitchen has decided to provide a little birthday surprise to our kiddos!

If you are interested in having milk and cookies delivered to your child for their birthday, please contact Mrs. Kim Camplan, our Kitchen Manager, for prices and details at kcamplan@union.k12.in.us

Job Opportunities (RECURRING)

Want to work at Union Township Schools? If so, please take a look at the below postings or click the UTSC Corporation website HERE:

  • Special Education Classroom Aide at UCE (9:00-3:30)- Interested applicants should email Chrissy Giraud at cgiraud@pces.k12.in.us

COVID-19 Student Guidance (Recurring)

  • The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has released some wonderful tips to parents about how to begin having the conversation with your child regarding wearing a mask. Please click HERE for more information.

  • For a look at the difference between Quarantine and Isolation, please take a look at the attachment HERE.

A Day in the Life at Union Center!!

Click Here to Register for the KidStop Program

Please click HERE to register for the before and after school program, KidStop.
Big picture


Friday, Sep. 18th, 4-6pm

272 North 600 West

Valparaiso, IN

Virtual Learners can pick-up any supplies in our glass vestibule! Please contact your child's teacher to see if there will be supplies for that week!

5th, 4th, and 3rd Grade NWEA Testing

Tuesday, Sep. 22nd, 9am to Friday, Sep. 25th, 11am

272 North 600 West

Valparaiso, IN

Students in Grades 3-5 will be administered the NWEA Test for both Reading and Math.


Thursday, Sep. 24th, 9am-2pm

272 North 600 West

Valparaiso, IN

UCE Picture Day! Stay tuned for more information!

Virtual Learners Supply Pick-Up

Friday, Sep. 25th, 4-6pm

272 North 600 West

Valparaiso, IN

Virtual Learners can pick-up any supplies in our glass vestibule! Please contact your child's teacher to see if there will be supplies for that week!


Monday, Sep. 28th, 4-6pm

272 North 600 West

Valparaiso, IN

Virtual Learners can pick-up any supplies in our glass vestibule! Please contact your child's teacher to see if there will be supplies for that week!

2nd, 1st, and KG NWEA Testing

Tuesday, Sep. 29th, 9am to Friday, Oct. 2nd, 2pm

272 North 600 West

Valparaiso, IN

Students in Grades 3-5 will be administered the NWEA Test for both Reading and Math.

Special School Board Meeting (UCE Building Project)

Wednesday, Sep. 30th, 7-8pm

599 West 300 North

Valparaiso, IN

A special School Board Meeting regarding UCE Building Project!

80's Day

Friday, Oct. 2nd, 9am-3pm

272 North 600 West

Valparaiso, IN

Students are encouraged to dress up in their favorite 80's attire!

Students can purchase a pair of 80's Sunglasses for $1: All the proceeds go to the Make-a-Wish Foundation!

Principal Fuller's Thoughts

One of the best aspects about being a teacher or a principal is that we not only are blessed with the opportunity to teach academics to our students, but that on occasion, we get to help with life lessons, as well.

Sprinkled all throughout our lives are *small* learning moments that culminate in shaping the people we become.

Thinking back to my time as a coach, I would constantly preach to my student-athletes that the way we practice is the way we would play: If we gave a poor effort during practice, how could we expect to be mentally or physically prepared to play in the game?

We've all heard the old football coach saying: This game is a game of inches...every inch counts!

Or perhaps you've heard of this saying: There is no such thing as small things...The small things all add up to big things.

Either way, both are 100% true! Those *small* moments in life really shape who we become.

Earlier this week, I had a conversation with a student regarding a small setback in class. We had a great conversation where we talked about the way in which we respond to the small challenges in life will dictate how we respond to the big ones.

If we don't give our absolute best effort to everything we put our name on, it is going to make it slightly easier to not give our best effort or even quit on something when the stakes become more challenging.

If we can recover from the small challenges in life with positive energy and integrity, we will be able to do so when we face those more difficult situations.

Putting your name on something, whether literally or metaphorically, means that is a representation of YOU.

Don't we want others to see our best in what we have to offer?

These teachable moments is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a Principal, and I don't take for granted the impact they can have on a child.

I encourage everyone to find those teachable moments throughout life and face them with positive energy, and remember...

...after all, there is no such thing as a small teachable moment :)