Washington Learning Center News

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

December 2022 Message from Principal Brown

End of the 1st Trimester

November 22 marked the end of the first trimester for kindergarten at WLC. Conferences are being held on December 1 and 8. Parents are able to view their child's report card in the Parent Portal of Infinite Campus, our student information system. WLC has a standards based reporting system.

Why Standards-Based Report Cards?

Communication with families of your student's progress toward grade-level learning expectation creates a partnership in learning between the school and families. Standards-based report cards are intended to provide families with information about learning success and areas for continued growth opportunities.

What am I seeing on the Standards-Based Report Card?

Your child will receive a score of 1-4 for their standards-based reading score. The score is an indication of your child's progress towards learning, similar to the bike-riding example.

Remember a “3” should be CELEBRATED as it indicates successful learning progress towards the learning goals!! Note that all learning activities and assessments have been carefully aligned with new learning targets that ensure an accurate measurement toward meeting state-level standards.

As families, you can feel confident that learner outcomes accurately measure progress toward the learning goals for standards-based reporting.

Standards-Based Report Cards in a Nutshell

  • Your child’s score is an accurate reflection on the level at which they demonstrate proficiency of a standard, rather than how your child performed in comparison to other students.

  • The focus is on evidence of learning, not on compliance (example: was the work completed on time) or the accumulation of points. Separate progress marks may be included for behavior, attendance, character, and other accountability measurements.

  • The expectation for all learners will be to obtain a score of “3”. This demonstrates that your child has learned the required skills and concepts to meet grade-level expectations and standards. CELEBRATE every “3” with your student!

Standards-based reporting is just one of many ways we hope to communicate about your student’s learning. Please feel free to reach out to your building administration team or teachers at any time with questions about standards based-grading or your student’s progress.

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Routines and Expectations

As we look forward to the winter break it is important to ensure that children continue with their daily routines and expectations. It is a good time to introduce new responsibilities for children as well. They can help shovel, get the mail, set and clear the dinner table, make their bed and clean their room. Dusting the home is also a good responsibility for young children. A damp cloth (no chemicals needed) does wonders! These little responsibilities and expectations help your child feel valued, important, useful, proud, helpful, loved, as well as learning that expectations are normal at home, at school, and out and about at stores or restaurants and eventually they will become a good employee and/or parent!

Mark Your Calendars:

  • Friday, December 2 - 6pm - ECFE Gym Night at WLC
  • Wednesday, December 7 - Early Childhood Screening - please call 507-233-8300 if you have an eligible child and would like to schedule a screening.
  • Thursday, December 8 - 3:30pm-7:30pm - Eagles Preschool & Kindergarten Conferences + Scholastic Book Fair (at scheduled times. If you have not scheduled your time please click here to schedule a preschool conference or click here to schedule a kindergarten conference)
  • Friday, December 9 - Eagles Preschool Conferences (at scheduled times)
  • Thursday, December 22 - Kindergarten Gingerbread House Party & Pajama Day - we are asking for two parent volunteers from each class to help with this event. Information & sign up below. (*If you have previously volunteered for a field trip please wait until 12/12 to sign up to allow other parents/guardians the opportunity to partake in some of our kindergarten fun!)
  • Friday, December 23 - Monday, January 2, 2023 - NO SCHOOL, WINTER BREAK
  • Friday, January 6 - 6pm - ECFE Gym Night at WLC
  • Saturday, January 7 - Little Kids Connection Registration opens - click here to register.
  • Monday, January 9 - ECFE Registration Opens - click here to register
  • Tuesday, January 10 - Eagles Preschool Registration Opens - 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 & 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

December MENUS

WLC December Breakfast Menu

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

So many memories are being made at ECFE! The newsletter for our next session will be mailed after Christmas (maybe before!) and classes will begin the first full week in February. Keep an eye on our ECFE Facebook page for a sneak peak!! ECFE-New Ulm

Registration for the 2023-24 Eagles Preschool year will open on January 10. Families can register online at <https://newulm.ce.eleyo.com/>. Returning families will be re-registered first, then students will be enrolled on a first come basis. Contact our office if you have any questions.

Eagles Preschool - Ms. Sara

We started the month of December off with a Teddy Bear Day!!!! We had so much fun with dances, playtime, the parachute and stories. We are looking forward to all of the great things going on during this month. Thanks to all those who have already attended conferences. I cannot wait to meet with the rest of you at our upcoming ones!

Ms. Sara's Morning Preschool Class with their stuffed animals

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Ms. Sara's Afternoon Preschool Class with their stuffed animals

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Kindergarten - Mrs. Niehoff

In November, the kindergarten class came up with many fun ways to disguise a turkey for Thanksgiving! Now that it is December we are busy getting ready for conferences . We can’t wait to tell you all the great things your child is learning in school. In math, they have been practicing number writing, measuring sizes of items, and comparing numbers. In reading we have learned the letter Ll for our Superkid Lily, and Ii for Icky . We will also meet three Superkid friends; Tic, Tac, and Toc, for the letter Tt before Christmas break. The students are excited about the snow that fell and are having fun playing outside everyday. It is getting cold so we have to be sure to bundle up each day. We are looking forward to our gingerbread theme in December so that we can make gingerbread cookies and gingerbread houses. The time will go fast and before you know it we will be on Winter Break!
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Kindergarten Gingerbread House Party & Pajama Day Information

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Kindergarten Gingerbread House Day Schedule

Mrs. Gasow: 9:00 - 10:00

Ms. Boelter: 10:00 - 11:00

Mrs. Berkner: 1:30-2:30

Mrs. Niehoff: 1:30-2:30

Ms. Dahle: 1:45-2:45 pm

Ms. Dummer: 1:45-2:45

Mrs. Sasser: 1:45-2:45

Mrs. Syverson: 1:45-2:45

Ideas for supplies you could send to help with our Gingerbread House Party:

  • Graham Crackers
  • Gumdrops/spicedrops
  • Mint/fruit disks
  • Sprees
  • M & M's
  • Skittles
  • Mini candy canes
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Sprinkles
  • Shredded Coconut (Snow!)
  • Sugar Cones (Trees!)
  • Gummy Bears or Teddy Grahams
  • Marshmallows
  • Twizzler Pull & Peel
  • Smarties

Don't forget every student will need to send one container of plain vanilla frosting. Please make sure to send it labeled with your child's name by by December 20th.

Library & Technology - Ms. Hoek

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Art - Mrs. Hanson

The kindergarteners are wonderful artists! They have finished their unit on line and are just starting to learn about the element color. During the winter months, they will explore rainbow order, warm colors, cool colors, the color wheel, and color mixing! Right now they are finishing up a process art piece where they drew, colored, and painted pictures of themselves catching snowflakes on their tongues! Next they will make pictures using the artist technique from Ezra Jack Keats, the author and illustrator of the book "The Snowy Day". When they are not working on projects, they are exploring their creative stations in the art room by choosing to color, build with cardboard, read art books, draw, build with legos, and more!
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Special Education - Ms. Jenessa Rothmeier

Winter is here and the fun begins! Let's get ready to play in the snow!

Encouraging independence is so important for young children. A great way to support children in getting ready to play in the snow is providing a visual of the steps to get their gear on. This visual can be posted for them to reference as they get ready. At Washington Learning Center, this order is taught and visuals are posted by every classroom to foster independence. Getting ready for outside takes much longer when snow pants, boots, coat, hat, and gloves are needed, so be sure to plan ahead and allow extra time for your child to practice getting ready independently.

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News from the Nurse - Tara Fausch, Licensed School Nurse

Shoppers Beware… That Toy Looks Fun, But is It Safe?

It truly is beginning to look a lot like Christmas with the recent snow and all of the lights and decorations that can be seen while out and about! As we prepare for family gatherings and celebrations that may include gift giving, please consider safety, in addition to fun, when choosing what to buy for any children on your holiday shopping list. Here’s why: In 2018, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 17 toy related deaths in children and more than 217,000 children receive care in an emergency room EVERY year for toy related injuries. See below for tips on how to ensure that the gift you give isn’t putting the gift receiver at risk:

-read all labels and instructions on the box or other packaging

-Is this toy age appropriate? Most toy manufacturers provide a suggested age range. This range is guided by safety factors, not by intelligence or maturity of the child, so should be respected even for children who may seem developmentally advanced when compared to their peers.

-If the toy is fabric, it should be labeled flame resistant.

-Art materials should be labeled as non-toxic.

-If labeled ASTM D-4236 this means that they have been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials

-make sure that the toy isn’t too loud for your child as this can damage their hearing

-avoid toys that shoot or have parts that “fly off”, toys with sharp edges or points, and toys that are not sturdy enough to not be crushed or come apart during play

-if gifting sports equipment, be sure to also gift the appropriate protective equipment if the child does not already have it

-avoid toys with small magnets and/or button batteries as these items pose a serious risk of injury or death if ingested

-research products and sellers-less expensive can mean counterfeit and counterfeit toys may not meet all of the usual safety standards

Looking beyond the gift giving, parents should regularly check their children’s toys to ensure that they haven’t become unsafe due to wear and tear or breaking. Check wooden toys for splinters, outdoor and metal toys for rust, stuffed toys for broken seams or exposed removable parts, and all toys for broken parts or pieces that could cause injury or be a choking hazard.

Lastly, make sure your child knows how to use the toy appropriately and play should be supervised. Playing as a family not only has the benefit of creating lasting memories for you and your child, but can also reduce stress, a benefit that any adult can appreciate during the holiday season.

See below for some additional safety tips for shopping online:

For more information on toy safety, visit any of the links below:





The checklist below can be found at: https://playsafe.org/app_themes/playsafe/downloads/holiday-shopping.jpg

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School Social Worker - Karla Diehn

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Community School Director - Tammy Lorch

What is a Community School?

New Ulm Public Schools is embarking on a journey to become a full-service Community School. What is a Community School? A Community School is both a place and a set of partnerships between a school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, services, supports and opportunities leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. All children should have the opportunity to achieve their dreams and contribute to the well-being of society; that’s the central purpose of public education. However, not all children have access to the same resources.

Community Schools work with partners, like Brown County Human Services, and nonprofit organizations, to provide comprehensive supports that are carefully selected to meet the unique needs of students and families. Explicit attention to challenges students face - such as lack of stable housing, hunger, trauma, prejudice, and exposure to violence - helps students attend school and be ready to learn, setting them up for academic and school success. A Community School has four “pillars”: 1) integrated student supports, such as health care, behavioral health, and dental services; 2) expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities, including offering after-school and summer programs; 3) family and community engagement; and 4) collaborative leadership and practices, such as shared goal setting among students, families, teachers, school staff, school/district administrators, and staff from community-based partner organizations. When a school has all four pillars in place, it is referred to as a full-service Community School.

My position as Community School Director is a new one for New Ulm Public Schools. I began my role on July 1 and have spent my time getting to know school administrators, school counselors, and Brown County Human Services staff. I have just begun connecting with community organizations like NUMAS Haus and Ivy House. As New Ulm Public Schools embarks on building a full-service Community School, each implementation step will be based on the immediate needs of students and families in the district.

This 3-minute YouTube video will give you more insight into the Community School strategy:

English: https://youtu.be/5dTXujuJRc0

Spanish: https://youtu.be/-oxd3il_qL4

Community Education - Crystal Fleck

Seated Abdominal Strengtheners that Won’t Stress back or Neck Joints Online Class

Instructor:Janice Novak, M.S.

Monday, December 12th 6:00pm-7:30pm Fee $26.00

Abdominal muscles weaken and loose shape due to past pregnancies, surgeries, sitting at a desk all day, being sedentary and poor posture. Learn a series of extremely effective exercises to quickly strengthen all four layers of abdominal, WITHOUT stressing your back or neck joints and WITHOUT getting on the floor. Common abdominal exercise like crunches can place too much stress on back and neck joints.

Registrations can be received by:

Online with a credit card at http://newulm.ce.eleyo.com

Phone: 507-233-8307 (registration is complete only after payment has been received)

Mail: Community Education, 910 14th St. North, New Ulm, MN 56073

Stop in at our office at the Washington Learning Center, 910 14th St. North (door #1)

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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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