Early Learning Center News

L. Daniel Hutto Early Learning Center at FSDB

September 2020
FSDB logo and social media icons

Dates to Remember

Oct. 12 - No school

Oct. 13 - Classes resume

Oct. 30 - End of 1st quarter

Welcome to the 2020-21 School Year!


Welcome back! We are SO happy to see everyone's smiling faces either in person or online through our innovative learning environment (ILE). We are working through the technology to make it a seamless learning experience for everyone. We are all adjusting to our new normal and I'm thrilled to report that the children are doing so well with our new routines.

The children jumped right into learning on the first day of school! Every day these past two weeks, the ELC staff and I marveled at how well the children were doing and all of the skills they've learned over the past six months. Please take a moment to pat yourselves on the back - you've done a terrific job and the children seem like they haven't missed a step. We know that the reason your children are doing so well in school this first week is due to your hard work over these past six months. Thank you for sending your children to school so ready to learn!

The children are wearing their masks and face shields, and social distance whenever they are asked. They LOVE our new handwashing routine and follow it so well, we wonder why we didn't put up step by step pictures years ago. Our morning routine now includes reviewing who is here, the days of the week, and a short discussion about the importance of wearing masks and/or shields. Thank you for sending your children each day with their masks.

Several parents have opted to drive their children to school this year.Thank you for arriving at school on time! It makes a huge difference in the children's ability to focus when they are all in school at the start of our classroom day!

Some children this week have developed runny noses or coughs when in school and needed to be picked up. Thank you for picking up your children and for keeping them home as necessary. Keeping everyone healthy is all of our responsibility and we so appreciate your responsiveness.

In addition to our new DHH teacher Becca, we added a new instructional assistant - DeShawnna "Shawnna" Boone (sign name twist "D" hand on your cheek at the end of your smile.) Shawnna transfered to us from the Boarding Program. She will be working in all ELC classes providing support where it's needed. We are so happy to have her on our team.

This year, we have also added two children to our DHH class and one to our BVI class: Xander (sign name - move an X handshape like "where") joined the ELC-DHH class for Distance Learning in the spring and it's wonderful to see his smiling face everyday now in person. He's loving learning through discovery. Landon (sign name put the pointer finger of your L handshape on the lower part of your cheek and twist your wrist) joined the ELC-DHH class this fall. He is busy making lots of new friends! His favorite part of the day is work time....and his favorite work is anything to do with math! Teddy (no name sign yet) is joining our ELC-BVI class through ILE and we are loving getting to know him and see his smiling face everyday. We cannot wait to have him join us in class soon. Thank you for welcoming new staff and new students into our ELC family.

Thank you for trusting us with your children. We will do our best to honor that trust and keep your children safe.

We are off to a very good start.

Thank you,


ELC Wellness Policy

Our number one priority is to keep our students and staff healthy as we come back to school. The ELC and FSDB staff have worked tirelessly arranging the classrooms, the schedule and the routines in order to provide social distancing and a safe environment. Each day, ELC teachers and staff spend at least an hour cleaning every shelf, table and work in the classroom to try to prevent the spread of germs. The staff and children are washing their hands, using sanitizer, wearing masks and/or face shields and doing really really well distancing from each other. Everyone is doing their part to keep each other healthy. You are helping us by keeping your children home if they are showing symptoms of illness. Thanks to all of your for coming to pick up your children and for keepting them home if they are exhibiting signs of illness.

Many of you have called asking for clarification about our ELC/FSDB Wellness Policy.

Please keep in mind, none of us have ever experienced a pandemic before and we are learning everyday. It is the responsibility of our entire community to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and families.

Please click here for a detailed explanation of the ELC/FSDB Wellness Policy and please contact Gail with any additional questions or concerns.

Transparent Classroom

If you haven't yet joined Transparent Classroom you are missing A LOT. Daily photos of your children working, descriptions of the lessons taught, messages from teachers.....and so much more.....Please go to the ELC website https://sites.google.com/fsdbk12.org/early-learning-center/home. for more information or click the transparent classroom link here: www.transparentclassroom.com. Watch for the lessons below to show up in your child's activities! Once you are in Transparent Classroom, you are able to click on the links you are sent of your children working to learn more about the lessons they are completing. Has your child completed any of the lessons pictured below?

New ELC Facebook Group!

In order to enhance digital security for our students and their families, we have transitioned our school Facebook page to a private group, which affords us better screening and monitoring measures. Our goal is to share information, update the community on events and programs, and showcase the achievements of students, teachers, parents and other community members in a more private and secure way.

Since this group will be private, an administrator must approve your request to join. If you would like to join the group, click the link below. Also, if you have not done so already, please like and follow the main FSDB Facebook pag.

ELC Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/fsdbearlylearningcenter

FSDB Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/fsdbk12

Montessori Moments

Big picture

Virtual Parent Sign Language Classes

FSDB Parent University is hosting two virtual sign language classes for FSDB families starting the week of Sept. 21, 2020 and continuing weekly through the end of October. Beginner and intermediate classes are available, both from 4-5 p.m. No advance registration is required and classes will be held via Zoom. Click here for dates and more details.

School Advisory Council Meeting

The School Advisory Council (SAC) meets four times a year to discuss FSDB-wide issues and topics including reviewing district-wide assessment data, parent survey feedback and School Improvement Plans. The purpose of the council is to hear from stakeholders about issues that impact our community as a whole and make recommendations for change/improvement. Members of the council include parents, several high school students, the principal for the Blind Department and the principal for the Deaf Department, and several staff members including a boarding department representative.

Parents and caregivers please join us! Our first meeting is scheduled on Friday, September 11 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. virtually using Microsoft Teams. At this meeting we will be reviewing the School Improvement Plans (SIP), that the assistant principals have developed, prior to them being submitted to FSDB’s Board of Trustees for approval. Most of our meetings are held on a Friday afternoon for about an hour to make it easier for parents to participate.

PEW Dates for the 2020-21 Academic Year

Parent Engagement Workshops will be held virtually through the first semester of the 2020-21 school year. Dates forthcoming (Please confirm meeting dates prior to making travel plans, as these dates are tentative and may change.)

Parent Right To Know (PRTK)

Section 1119(i) of ESSA (formerly NCLB) states that districts receiving funds under Title I shall ensure that all teachers hired and teaching is a Title I school are “highly qualified." This changed slightly with the reauthorization of NCLB into ESSA; teachers are no longer given a highly qualified status, but the school must let parents know if a teacher does not have the required state certification.

Parents of students in a school funded through Title I part A must be notified if a teacher who is not state-certified is teaching their child within four weeks of the beginning of school (and beginning of second semester if there is a class change). Teachers may not have the state certification because they are teaching an out-of-field class, lacking an endorsement, or not yet certified in their subject area or grade span.

Paraprofessionals in a Title I school hired after Jan. 8, 2002, must have a) obtained an Associate Arts degree (or higher) or b) completed at least 60 college credits or c) passed a paraprofessional assessment with a score of 464 or higher. At FSDB, the Parapro is administered twice a year for those interested in taking it.

As a Title I parent, you have the right to request information regarding the professional qualifications of any teacher or paraprofessional teaching your child. You may request to know:

  1. Whether your child’s teacher is state-certified;

  2. Whether your child’s teacher is teaching under emergency or other temporary/provisional status;

  3. The bachelor’s degree (or higher) of your child’s teacher;

  4. The certification areas of your child’s teacher;

  5. Whether your child is receiving services from paraprofessionals; and

  6. If so, the qualifications of the paraprofessionals.

To receive this information, please contact the Director Gail Strassel at trasselg@fsdbk12.org

904-827-2835 (V or T) or 904-201-4529 (VP).

Keep your Brailler Clean During COVID 19

Join the Ancient City Brailler Repair team to learn how to properly clean and oil a brailler to keep it brailling through the years. Although this is a virtual FIMC-VI workshop, we encourage you to get your hands dirty and follow along with a brailler. For maximum participation, use a document camera to receive the best support. More information about the tools needed to participate will be sent out to registered participants. This series will be held over four sessions and will be recorded. Sessions will be on Wednesday afternoons, 4-5:30 p.m. on the following dates: Oct. 28, Nov. 4, Nov. 11 and Nov. 18. Register here.

Virtual Festival of Families Hosted by FIMC-VI Sept. 25-26

Florida Festival of Families is a free two-day event for parents, family members and caregivers of children with visual impairments. Adults will attend sessions led by mentors who are visually impaired, other parents, and professionals in the field. While parents are networking and learning, children in grades K-12 can participate in activities to facilitate social skills, independent living and concept development. This year's festival is being held Friday, Sept. 25 from 6:30-8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 26 from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Register by Aug. 19 for a family goody bag.

FDLRS Offering Free Monthly Parent Workshops

The Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS) is offering free monthly parent webinars throughout the 2020-21 school year. First one is being held Sept. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on "Understanding ESE: An Overview." Registration is available here.

FSDB Early Learning Center 2019-20: Our Year in Pictures

FSDB Early Learning Center 2019-2020: Our Year in Pictures

Contact Us:

ELC Office

PH or Text: 904-827-2835

VP: 904-201-4529

Health Care Center

PH: 904-827-2410

VP: 904-201-3910


PH: 800-992-8747

Vaill Hall (Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2806

VP: 904-201-4461

Parent Services

PH: 904-827-2212

VP: 904-201-4527

Campus Police

PH: 904-827-2315

207 San Marco Avenue,

St. Augustine, FL, USA


ELC Webpage

ELC Facebook Group