Washington Learning Center News

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

November 2022 Message from Principal Brown

Important Information and Communication - Please Read

The WLC monthly newsletter is our main source of communication to families to address important information regarding activities, processes, procedures, changes, and pertinent educational information. We ask that you please read the newsletter in it's entirety to remain informed. Thank you!

School Starts at 8:00 A.M.

If your child is going to eat breakfast at WLC, please be sure to drop them off between 7:30 and 7:45 so they can be on time for the start of the school day.

Kindergarten Goals

  • Our kindergarten goals this year are from the Minnesota State Standards:

    By May 2023 all kindergarten students will be able to:

    • name all uppercase and lowercase letters in the alphabet.

    • make all letter sounds.

    • read, write, and represent whole numbers from 0 - 31.

    • count with and without objects, forward and backward to at least 20.

Spring 2022 Results:

  • 93% know all uppercase and lowercase letters. This is an increase from the fall at 34%.
  • 98.7% know all letter sounds - this is an increase from 16.25% in the fall.

Read, write and represent whole numbers:

  • Write: 98% - increase from 33% in fall
  • Read: 96% - increase from 56% in fall
  • Show a Set of Number Using Objects: 93%

  • Count Forward: 100% - this is an increase from 85% in fall
  • Count Forward Using Objects: 100% - this is an increase from 84% in fall

We are so proud of our staff who worked so hard with the students to help them reach this high levels of performance, for the students who did their best and demonstrated these results, and for the support of parents and community!

We are working just as hard this year to help our students make these same academic gains and prepare them for first grade.

Too Much Screen Time Can Have Lasting Consequences for Young Children’s Brains

"Growing data suggests that exposing young children to too much time in front of a TV or computer can have negative effects on their development, including issues with memory, attention and language skills."

PLEASE read the TIME magazine article linked at the top of this page. At WLC we are seeing the effects of children having too much screen time. When movies, television, phones, and video games are used to quiet your child they aren't learning the coping and social skills needed to adjust to their environment or expectations.

Parenting is hard work. Yet children need their parent's attention and are much more successful when parents have reasonable and age appropriate expectations, rules, and consequences. Children also need their parents teaching and reinforcing appropriate social skills outside of school as well. Let's work together to help all children be their best.

Big picture
Big picture

WLC Could use:

If you have any of these items at home & are considering donating them please consider the WLC nurse's office for your donation:

-boys & girls pants (sizes 5 - 10, especially sizes 6 & 7/Small)

Mark Your Calendars:

  • Saturday, November 5th - 9:00AM - 2:00PM - Jefferson Elementary School - New Ulm Women's Expo and Craft Fair
  • Nov 8: Election Day
  • Nov 10: Jefferson and Middle School Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Nov 11th & 18th @ 7pm & November 12th & 19th @ 2pm: New Ulm High School Musical - Addams Family
  • Monday, November 14th-Friday, November 18th - American Education Week - special dress up days (listed below) at WLC. Please help your child participate if able.
  • Nov 15: Jefferson Elementary Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Nov 23: Teacher workshop day, NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
  • Nov 24-25:Thanksgiving break, NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS OR STAFF
  • Thursday, December 1st & Thursday December 8th, 3:30pm-7:30pm: Kindergarten Conferences at scheduled times (signup will be sent out 11/11)
  • Thursday, December 1st (3:30pm-7:30pm), Friday, December 2nd (morning conferences), Thursday, December 8th (3:30pm-7:30pm), Friday, December 9th (afternoon conferences) - Eagles Preschool Conferences at scheduled times (signup will be sent out 11/11)
  • A Scholastic Bookfair will be held in the Media Center during all preschool & kindergarten conferences as well. It's the perfect time for Christmas shopping!
Big picture

Let's Celebrate American Education Week - November 14th-18th

Big picture

November MENUS

WLC November 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.

Director of Kitchen Services - Teri Jesperson

Big picture

ECFE - Betty Uehling

It has been a couple of busy weeks at ECFE! Some classes have ended while others are just beginning! There is still time to jump into an evening ECFE class with your child. Register online at <https://newulm.ce.eleyo.com/>

Thank you to all the "Trunks" who made our ECFE Community Trunk or Treat a huge success! We had about 1100 people come through on Saturday. It truly takes a community!

Join us for ECFE Free Family Gym Night on Friday, November 4 from 6:00-7:00 at the Washington Learning Center.

Grab your friends and stop by the New Ulm Women's Expo and Craft Fair on Saturday, November 5 from 9:00-2:00 at Jefferson School.

Preschool Information Night will be held on Tuesday, November 15 from 5:45-6:45 at the WLC. Do you have questions about preschools?Did you know that most preschools begin registration for the

following year shortly after January? Come to our Preschool Information Night where there will be displays, handouts, and a chance to visit with representatives from area preschools.

Big picture

Eagles Preschool - Melissa Nehls

This past month the preschool students have enjoyed watching the signs of fall! We learned about apples, pumpkins, and leaves. We noticed different kinds of leaves, read books about the changing colors, and went on a leaf hunt to collect our favorite ones. The children even used some leaves to create art! We also tasted different kinds of apples and graphed our favorite kind. One of their favorite activities was hammering golf tees into pumpkins. This improves their hand eye coordination and their fine motor skills!
Big picture
Big picture

Don't miss Community Preschool Information Night!

Big picture

If able we hope you will consider supporting WLC's Santa's Closet

Big picture

Kindergarten - Mrs. Sasser

Autumn is the season when leaves turn red and brown.

When the wind starts blowing, the leaves fall to the ground.

When it’s time to rake them, we do it with a smile;

And when we’ve made a giant heap, we jump into the pile!

~Author Unknown

Kindergarten students have been busy learning about the weather and why the temperatures are cooling off. They know all about thermometers and how to read this interesting tool. These spectacular little scientists can also tell you why the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Planet earth is slowly tilting away from the sun causing very different things to happen to our weather, as the seasons change. The proof is on our monthly weather graphs as we compare the ever changing data.

During the month of October, the winds became quite strong and blew us right down the street! Kindergarteners spent a blustery day on October 12, walking to the fire station. Students explored the scenery along the way and were happy to point things out as we encountered them. They found things that began with the sound of the letters Cc and Gg (clouds, cars, cones, ghosts, geese,garages) and were letter detectives searching for Cc,Oo,Gg, and Aa on every sign in sight. The Superkids would be proud of all they have learned these past couple of months.

We ended the month of October with a Fall Festival. Students came to school dressed in a variety of different ways. It was fun to dress up and have a day full of fun learning activities centered around pumpkins, scarecrows and colorful fall leaves.

As the strong winds blow us into November, we will continue to build our knowledge of the weather, learn about teen numbers, 2-D shapes, patterns and how to read and write both nonsense and real words. It's amazing how much learning is taking place all over the school!

Big picture
Big picture

Library & Technology - Ms. Hoek

Literacy O'Lanterns

Students and staff were been busy making storybook character pumpkins in October. The pumpkins were on display in the Media Center for the students to enjoy and hear the stories during library time.

Check out this year's pumpkins below!

Thanks for bringing in your pumpkins to decorate the library.

Ms. Hoek

Music - Mrs. Hanson

Kindergarteners are making noise and keeping that musical beat! We have had a great fall in the music room! Students have been having a blast exploring their high and low singing voices, enjoying fall songs, playing percussion instruments, and showing off their moves. Dancing, singing, and playing to music is so good for the soul! It has been so fun to see them shine and build confidence as they learn and explore all the amazing ways music enriches our lives! In November, we will continue to practice keeping the steady beat, use puppets to explore the different things our voices can do, and practice our dancing moves at different speeds!
Big picture

Special Education - Jaci Krueger

Although we have not hit the cold winter days yet, they will be here soon. There are many outdoor activities to participate in with your children such as taking a nature walk, making a leaf pile, sledding, making a snowman or snow fort in the yard, etc. There are many possibilities to elicit and stimulate speech and language skills through all of these activities.

There are also days when Mother Nature does not cooperate and forces parents to find indoor activities to engage and entertain children. The following are suggestions to engage children without using technology that will help promote learning while having fun.

  1. Build an indoor fort. You can name actions, problem solve, build vocabulary by using different concept and location words, work on sequencing (first, next, last), etc.

  2. Bake cookies or prepare a meal. You can increase vocabulary with kitchen tools, work on sequencing, action words (mix, stir, pour, bake), etc.

Play a board game. This increases attention, works on turn-taking, social skills, different vocabulary words, etc.

News from the Nurse - Tara Fausch, Licensed School Nurse

Respiratory Illnesses in Children: RSV, Colds, Flu, and COVID-19…

With fall well under way and winter steadily marching in, respiratory illness season has also officially arrived. We continue to hear about COVID-19 in the news often, and while COVID-19 continues to be a big concern this respiratory illness season, “the regulars” have started to make their rounds as well. So, what should we be keeping an eye out for to help us know if our child has a cold, the flu, RSV, or COVID? How can we tell what’s what? And how can we prevent these illnesses? For a quick view of how the four viruses differ, see below:

Big picture


Looking at the symptoms column in the above chart makes clear that distinguishing between these viruses may be very difficult. Testing is the only way to know for sure what is causing symptoms in your child and connecting with your child’s regular doctor is the best way to determine if testing for any of these viruses is needed. No matter the virus that may be the cause, if your child is having trouble breathing, is not responding to you, or is not able to eat or drink, get them medical care right away.

The good news is that prevention for all four of these viruses also looks similar.

-avoid being around those who are sick and being in crowds during respiratory illness season

-wash your hands often and well and have your children do so also

-practice good respiratory etiquette: sneeze and cough into elbows rather than hands, place used tissues in the trash, and wash your hands after blowing or wiping your nose

-talk to your child’s doctor about getting vaccinated as early in the season as possible

What do these illnesses mean for school? Overall, we encourage parents to keep their children home when they are sick with a respiratory illness or with any other illness. If they have a fever (temp of 100.0 or greater), they will need to stay home until they have been 24 hours fever free without taking any fever reducing medications, like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen, and they should feel up to participating in their normal school day activities before returning.

For more information on Colds vs Flu vs Common Cold vs COVID-19, please visit: https://www.chla.org/blog/covid-19/covid-vs-flu-vs-common-cold-vs-rsv-what-you-need-know

WLC School Social Worker - Karla Diehn

Second Step

Our kindergarteners are continuing to strengthen their social emotional skills through our Second Step lessons! Social emotional skills are crucial for connecting with others, managing emotions, and developing empathy for others. During the month of October, we have learned about:

  • Identifying physical and situational clues related to emotions

  • Identifying anger

  • Understanding similarities and differences among other people’s feelings

  • Understanding accidents versus intentional actions

  • Showing empathy for others

Big picture

Community School Director - Tammy Lorch

Your gently worn sneakers can help Eagles Preschool!

Did you know that Eagles Preschool collects old sneakers as a fundraiser and to keep them out of landfills? We are going to do a district-wide collection of sneakers! Our hope is to reach more people which will hopefully result in more sneaker donations. We will be collecting sneakers during fall conferences at Jefferson Elementary and the Middle School.

Drop the athletic shoes you no longer wear in the blue bin outside the WLC entrance or bring them conferences on one of these days:
Nov 10: New Ulm Middle School or Jefferson Elementary School (3:30-7:30 PM)
Nov 15: Jefferson Elementary School (3:30-7:30 PM)

Details of shoes we can accept:

  • athletic shoes only (please no sandals, dress shoes, crocs, etc.)
  • must be a pair of athletic shoes (no shoe missing its match)
  • must be at least 4.5" from heel to toe (about a size 4T)
  • any condition; from like new to falling apart (please be sure they are clean; i.e. not caked in mud, etc.)

Big picture

Can you give 2.5 hours of time to Eagles Preschool?

Did you know that Eagles Preschool collects old sneakers as a fundraiser and to keep them out of landfills? We are going to do a district-wide collection of sneakers! Our hope is to reach more people which will hopefully result in more sneaker donations. We will be collecting sneakers during fall conferences at Jefferson Elementary and the Middle School. This is where we need 2.5 hours of your time.

Would you please be willing to work a shift at a donation table during conferences? All you need to do is put pairs of sneakers into a donation bag. It’s an easy role and a way for you to volunteer outside of a typical school day.

Here’s when we need your help:

Nov 3: 3:00-5:30 PM (Middle School)

Nov 10: 3:00-5:30 PM or 5:00-7:30 PM (Jefferson Elementary & Middle School)

Nov 15: 3:00-5:30 PM (Jefferson Elementary)

If you are able to volunteer for one of these time slots, please contact Tammy Lorch, Community School Director at tlorch@newulm.k12.mn.us, 507.441.0533 (c), or 507.233.6171 (o).
Big picture

Claim the Expanded Child Tax Credit by Nov 15

Families with no income or low income could get at least $3,600 per child with the Child Tax Credit, plus $1,400 with the third stimulus payment - even if they have never filed taxes before and if they have not filed taxes this year. It is estimated that more than 33,000 children in Minnesota could miss out on this money if their parent/guardian has not filed.

Additional information is available online at https://childtaxcreditoutreach.org

A tool was created in partnership with the White House and the US Department of Treasury for families to file on their mobile devices in 15 minutes or less at www.getctc.org

Community Education - Crystal Fleck

Les Miserables at The Orpheum Theatre

Thursday, December 15, 2022 1:00pm show

Registration deadline November 11th, 2022

Fee: Charter bus and Ticket $90

Bus will leave at 10:30am from the Middle School Parking Lot on South Garden Street.

Featuring the thrilling score and beloved songs "I Dreamed A Dream," "On My Own," "Stars," "Bring Him Home," "One Day More," and many more, this epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. Seen by more than 70 million people in 44 countries and in 22 languages around the globe, Les Miserables is still the world’s most popular musical, breaking box office records everywhere in its 32nd year.

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.

Social Security & Taxes: 101

Instructor: Mark Santelman, Life/LTC-Insurance Broker

Dates: Saturday, November 12th from 9:00am-10:30am

$10 individual / $15 Couple (Every registration receives a $5-off coupon for the upcoming A Very Diva Christmas on Saturday, November 5th at State Street Theater.)

Washington Learning Center (door #1) Room #104

If you are nearing retirement or if you are in retirement but have not yet started social security, attend this workshop!

You’re coming up on retirement and you know Social Security is a key part of your income planning, yet, wherever you go online you just get more confused about what to do.Whether you are married, widowed, divorced, or single, in this workshop you will learn:

  • Full Retirement Age and how it affects everything
  • How taxes on Social Security can be minimized or eliminated
  • Strategies to enhance lifetime and surveyor income
  • Medicare and healthcare-in-retirement basics

Crystal Fleck

Community Education Coordinator

Washington Learning Center

910 14th North Street New Ulm, MN 56073 | (-507-233-8307 | *- cfleck@newulm.k12.mn.us

Visit our website at http://www.newulm.k12.mn.us/community-ed/

Like us on Facebook communityed.newulm

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

Big picture

Kindergarten Pickup

Big picture

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

Big picture