Union Center Elementary

Learn...to Achieve!

September 11th, 2020

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

Library Reopening (NEW INFORMATION)

We have been given the green light by the Porter County Health Department to begin reopening our library!

With that being said, there are still guidelines and protocols that will need to be in place for how our library will look and operate:

  • Each classroom will be given a 15 minute time-slot each week

  • Only five (5) students will be permitted to enter the library at once

  • No story time or library activities at this time- Students will only be checking out and returning books

  • Students must hold on to their books until their classroom returns to the library the following week because...

  • ...once a book is returned, it must sit for three (3) days before being returned to shelves on the fourth (4th) day

  • Students must still wear masks while in the library :)

Our plan is to reopen the library this Tuesday, September 15th: If you do not want your child to check out books from the library, please contact your child's teacher :)

Art and Music at UCE (NEW INFORMATION)

We have also been given the green light to begin integrating students back into their Specials classrooms!

The plan is to begin this process with Art and Music to see how this transition will work: SEL and Computers will still be pushing-in to classrooms, and PE will still be in the gym or outside.

The tentative start date for this is Monday, September 21st.

Between now and the 21st, both Mrs. Willis, Mr. Dickey, and I will be creating plans that will allow our students to safely return to both of their classrooms while adhering to our re-entry plan, which focuses on social distancing and proper sanitization.

If everything goes well, the plan would be to then integrate Computers and *possibly SEL back in to the classroom.

Both our allowance to reopen the library and have students return to the Art and Music classroom is a testament to our students, teachers, and staff and their adherence to the safety protocols we have in place for everyone :)

UCE Parent Teacher Conferences (NEW INFORMATION

Parent Teacher Conferences are almost a month away on Monday, October 12th!

This year's Parent Teacher Conferences will follow the same format as last year, with the one change being that all our conferences will be virtual.

October 12th will be an eLearning day for ALL students (both in-person and virtual) that begins at 9:00 AM.

Conferences will begin at 12:00 PM and last until 7:30 PM: Teachers will be sending out sign-up information in the coming weeks, so please stay tuned to your emails for more information from your child's teacher :)

Make-a-Wish Foundation (NEW INFORMATION)

Thanks to all of YOU, we were able to donate $361 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation during our Hawaiian Day last Friday!

From me to you...THANK YOU!

UTSC NWEA Parent Information Letter (NEW INFORMATION)

In just a few short weeks, our students at UCE will be taking their NWEA assessments, which is the assessment tool that is replacing both STAR and AR throughout our district.

For more information on NWEA and why the decision to change was made, please click HERE.

UCE Staff of the Week!

This week's UCE Staff of the Week is Ms. Caitlyn D'Elia!

Let's get to know Ms. D'Elia a little more :)

Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself

Well, I graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana (Go Hoosiers) with my Bachelor's in Education and with a concentration in Science. My fiance and I live in Valparaiso :)

How Long Have You Been a Teacher? Which Grade Levels and Where at?

This is my third year teaching at Union Center! I have bounced back and forth between 4th and 5th Grade since joining UCE three years ago! I have also coached our Spell Bowl and Science Bowl teams!

What Made You Want to Become a Teacher?

For me, school was always like a second home. I have memories of helping my mother with her lesson planning or mentoring of students through Kiwanis. I couldn't even imagine myself in a different profession!

What is the Best Part About Being a Teacher?

The best part about being a teacher is being a life-long learner. Every day I learn something new either from being challenged or from my students! Learning is a blessing that I am proud and happy to experience every day!

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

Normally when I am not at school, I love to watch movies, go kayaking, or spend time with my crazy family! Lately, I've been planning for my upcoming wedding, learning how to code, and swimming while the weather is still nice!

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

My favorite quote is, "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths" by Walt Disney. I love this quote because it rings true to all situations in life. You need to take time and patience with each step in life and good things will always follow.

Anything Else We Should Know About

I have been so impressed with the respect and responsibility of not just my own class but of the whole student body at Union Center! When I tell people about my Bearcat Pride, I mean it 110%! Keep it up Union Center!

UCE Spiritwear Through PTO (FINAL DAY TODAY)

Please see the below message from our UCE PTO regarding Spiritwear for this year:

The PTO is working hard to determine a plan for this year with the changes that need to be made. We hope to share some new ideas by next week.

Today we are excited to share with you this years spiritwear. You will find everything conveniently done online only. Thank you to Mrs. Konopacki for working so hard to get this done. Please check out the link below to order.


Thank you for your continued support!

Students Leaving and Returning to UCE (Last Week)

First and foremost, I want to thank every single one of our parents for their patience and understanding during these uncertain times. Every school across the county has been working with the Indiana Department of Health on a daily basis, and we appreciate both their help and yours in doing everything we can to keep our students safe.

As of earlier this week, we were informed by the Indiana Department of Health that if your child is sent home from the school, he or she no longer need a Doctor's Note to return... a Negative COVID Test will suffice.

Any child who is sent home for symptoms still needs to be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to school, but now a Doctor's Note is not necessary, if the school is provided with a NEGATIVE COVID TEST.

Here is a breakdown:

  • If your child is sent home from school because he or she has symptoms, he or she must go home and be away from school for 10 school days, unless....
  • ...you take your child to get a Doctor's Note OR a COVID Test (results must be negative): Either will suffice.

If you have any questions about this or any other issues COVID related at school, please contact our School Nurse Mrs. Julie Burian at jburian@union.k12.in.us

Building Construction (Last Week)

As we gear up in the month of September for the UCE building addition, there are a few components I want all parents to be aware of:

  • During this month, 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 an individual walking with contract bidders at all times :)

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

  • Finally, the start date for construction has been pushed back slightly, and will now start after the special School Board meeting: Once I have a definitive date, I will be sure to pass it along :)

September Lunch Menu (RECURRING)

Please click HERE for the September UCE Lunch Menu!

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

NWEA Testing (Last Week)

Union Township School Corporation has a new assessment tool this year called NWEA!

NWEA is replacing our STAR and AR program, and the plan is to begin rolling this out on September 21st. If you have yet to purchase your child headphones and a wired mouse, having those two items by September 21st will help them tremendously!

If you need assistance in helping with headphones and a mouse, please contact Mrs. Ana Brocksmith at abrocksmith@union.k12.in.us


Picture Day is set for Thursday, September 24th!

If you are a Virtual Learner, a schedule of times will be sent in the following weeks for times when your child can come to Union Center to get their picture taken!

For our in-person students, information for purchasing digitally and the day-of will be sent home in the coming weeks, as well :)

Elementary Virtual Pick-Up (Recurring)

The 4:00-6:00 Virtual Learner Pick-Up window is working GREAT, and I hope it is making life easier for parents to be able to pick-up their child's supplies for the week!

As a reminder, the vestibule will be open on both Monday and Friday from 4:00-6:00 PM.

Parents, please contact your child's teacher to see when materials will be ready for your child to pick-up, as to avoid any unnecessary trips :)

Breakfast and Lunch at Union Center (Recurring)

In order to properly social distance our students, our tables have been spread apart in the cafeteria and only 4 or 5 students will be allowed per table. Students will have assigned seats for the foreseeable future, after the first day of school.

We are asking that lunches be funded through check or credit card. You may find information at this LINK to create an account or add your child to your Mealtime account. Please make sure the check is in an envelope marked with your child's name and indicate amount. Our kitchen manager, Kim Camplan, will get all Kindergarten and new student families their lunch account information the first week of school, should you choose to create a Mealtime account, this will be needed information. Please contact Mrs. Kim Camplan at kcamplan@union.k12.in.us for more information.

The Free and Reduced Price Breakfast and Lunch Application may be completed online through your Harmony Family Portal Account or picked up in our office anytime. Applications need to be completed each year. Families who applied and qualified last year will need to reapply at the start of school. If you would like us to send a copy home with your child during the first week of school please call the main office.Our school serves breakfast at 8:30 AM and lunch each day, and an August menu can be found on our website HERE.

Ice Cream Friday and Snacks: These will be available to students after we get our school year started. More information will be communicated in an upcoming newsletter.

Lunch Visitors: To start the school year, we will not be allowing visitors during our lunch periods. Thank you again, for understanding the changes in place to support our safety measures this school year..

Lunch Times:

10:45-11:10 (KG Lunch/1st Recess)

  • 5 Min Clean Break

11:15-11:40 (KG Recess/1st Lunch)

  • 10 Min Clean Break

11:50- 12:15 (2nd Lunch/3rd Recess)

  • 5 Min Clean Break

12:20- 12:45 (2nd Recess/3rd Lunch)

  • 10 Min Clean Break

12:55- 1:20 (4th Recess/5th Lunch)

  • 5 Min Clean Break

1:25- 1:50 (4th Lunch/5th Recess)

  • Cafeteria Cleaned/Closed

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. 11th, 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!

Virtual Learners Supply Pick-Up

Monday, Sep. 14th, 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!


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!


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

272 North 600 West

Valparaiso, IN

UCE Picture Day! Stay tuned for more information!

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!

Principal Fuller's Thoughts

On this day 19 years ago, the world as we know it was changed forever.

I remember being in high school when the news broke: The wave of emotions hit everyone so differently, and the lasting effects of what happened are felt even to this day.

My wife and I had the opportunity to visit New York City last year, and there was one destination above all that was important for us to visit: The World Trade Center Memorial.

As the son of a Military Police Officer, the armed forces have always held a special place in my heart, and when I think back to the events that happened on September 11th, my heart swells with pride for those who continue to protect our country in the almost two decades since.

While at The World Trade Center Memorial, I learned of such harrowing stories of firefighters, police officers, and every day citizens who risked and ultimately lost their lives to help their fellow man and woman. Their bravery and courage inspires me to be a better person, and I can't express my deepest gratitude to all our serviceman, servicewoman, police officers, and firefighters for their every day acts of sacrifice.

As an English teacher, I made sure to teach my students about the importance of September 11th and how it has shaped the world we live in.

Today, on September 11th, 2020, I ask that each of us remember the 2,977 individuals that lost their lives that day. Regardless of political affiliation, we can all agree that they and the families they left behind will never be forgotten #bearcatpride