News From Fort Zeller Elementary
With the second half of the year well under way, I want to thank everyone for your continued support of our students, teachers, and school as we collectively strive to provide optimal opportunities for learning each and every day. In addition, I want to also thank our PTO for working hard to make the first half of the year such a success with so many amazing events for our students.
Everyone at Fort Zeller values the important contributions families make towards a student's success in school. There is no question about it—success at school starts at home. Families are the most significant influence in a student's schooling. Families model both spoken and silent language in front of their children. One of the most important elements of a great school is the partnership between the school and families who work together for the best interest of all students.
February is often when the winter cold gets to the kids and they have an early case of “spring fever.” With that, this is also an important time of year for us to continue encouraging, motivating, and stressing the importance of working hard. We have nearly a full semester yet of learning, and we are excited to keep that positive growth going up to the final day of this school year. We appreciate your help as well so that our students can continue their learning and conversations when they get home.
As we are well into the 2022-2023 school year, I encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher anytime you have concerns, questions, or are curious about what they are experiencing at school. I am super proud of the work that occurs between 9 AM and 3:30 PM, but also know what an impact it can have when all adults are “in the know” about how a child is doing. Thank you for being amazing parents who care about Fort Zeller. We could not have a better school community! Thank you for your continued support of our amazing school. As always, my door is open and I welcome you to email or call anytime that you have questions, comments, or concerns. Take care and thanks again for your continued support!
1. Parent Request for Classroom Form - When making class assignments, the building principal must take many factors into consideration. Examples of these factors include the following (but are not limited to):• The total number of students in each class.
• The balance of boys and girls, both within a class and between classes.
• The balance of students with special needs.
• Academic recommendations from IEP and/or Data Team.
• Teacher/Team recommendations to separate some students from others.
• Teacher/Team recommendations to keep some students in the same class.
• Recommendation(s) from previous year’s teacher(s).
Parent requests will only be considered for educational reasons. If the form below is received between March 1st and March 31, 2023, provides educational reasons for the request, and does not conflict with other factors described above, the principal will make a reasonable effort to accommodate a parental request. ONLY non-preferred teacher request forms will be reviewed and considered.
***Completion of this form does not guarantee the request will be granted.
2. Drop Off - With the weather getting cooler and for student safety, please remember that parents SHOULD NOT drop students off prior to 8:30 unless you see a staff member outside greeting students and the doors are opened. Students dropped off prior to staff being available are out in cold weather and unsupervised which is not safe.
3. Power School Forms - We are still looking for a number of families to complete the required forms on Power School. These forms provide us with up-to-date important information. Please see below for more information. If you need help, please make sure to contact our office.
Feb. 1 (Day 1)
- Raider Readers Day
Feb. 2 (Day 2)
- Groundhog Day
Feb. 6: (Day 4)
- School Board Meeting @ 6:00 pm (First Grade Students of the Month honored)
Feb. 7: (Day 3)
- Picture Day
Feb. 8: (Day 2)
- PTO Meeting @ 6:30 pm
Feb. 15: (Day 3)
- PTO Sub Orders Due
Feb. 16: (Day 4)
- Early Dismissal @ 11:30 am
- Conferences (by invitation only) 12:30-4:00 pm
Feb. 17: (Day 1)
- Snow Make-Up Day - We DO HAVE SCHOOL.
- NED Yo-Yo Assembly @ 2:00 pm
Feb. 20: No School
- President's Day
Feb. 21: (Day 2)
- School Board Meeting @ 6:00 pm
Feb. 24: (Day 1)
- PBIS Assembly @ 2:50 pm
We have an exciting upcoming school-wide event. It’s called NED’s Mindset Mission on February 17, 2023.
To see a sneak peek preview video and gain access to free online resources, click link below:
Rising Raiders Workshop
Our next Rising Raiders Workshop will be held at Jackson Elementary on April 12 from 5:00-6:30 pm. Please help spread the word to any families who have children entering kindergarten next year. Thank you!
Our students are doing an AMAZING job working through the Spring Math program. If you would like to know more about the program, information about SpringMath can be found at springmath.org. We would love for you to see for yourself the amazing data that has been collected from districts across the entire country!
Please call or email your child’s teacher if you have questions about this or anything else related to your child’s academic progress.
Yearbook Cover Contest Winner!
Students and Class of the Month
Kindergarten - Jeremiah R. (Zurick AM) & Makenna W. (Yocum AM)
First Grade - AJ M. (McDonnell) & Melissa G. (Booth)
Second Grade - Paxton S. (Frederick), Annie R. (Lucky) & Bentley B. (Gettle)
Class of the Month - Miss Kolovani's Kindergarten Class
During the month of January, we were focused on tolerance. Throughout the month of February, we are focusing on honesty. Honesty means that we are truthful in what we say and do.
Correspondence with an Author - Jayce M.
Are you familiar with the A to Z book series? Have you ever had an author write back to you? Imagine Jayce M.'s surprise when this happened to him! After reading several Ron Roy books, Jayce chose to write and send a letter to the author directly. What is truly amazing is that Mr. Roy took time to respond to his email on the very same day!
Mrs. Kapp asks all of her students to respond to something they’ve enjoyed reading by completing a “Book Talk” of sorts and she gives them lots of options to do that. Jayce decided to write to the author and they found his contact on the author’s website. They never expected to hear back from Mr. Roy. What a cool activity and experience for Jayce!
Our school library has many Ron Roy books for you to enjoy. Go check them out!
ELCO Food Pantry & Caring Closet
The ELCO Raider Food Pantry is Open!
The ELCO Raider Food Pantry is now open and available for the ELCO families. With the support of our ELCO staff, local businesses and churches, we are able to provide our ELCO families with an additional resource.
If you are in need of immediate assistance or you'd like to donate to the ELCO Raider Pantry, please reach out to Kelly Smith, ELCO Social Worker, at 717-306-3242 or the ELCO Food and Nutrition Department, at 717-306-3270 for a confidential appointment to the pantry.
We have several families that still need to do their yearly update on Power School. Please click this link to get started.
Camp Invention - Mr. Wright
Link to register: https://invent-web.ungerboeck.com/programsearch/moreinfo.aspx?event=39450
STEM Fun in First Grade
Each partner group was able to successfully make a design, and they had very creative inventions.
Counselor's Corner With Mrs. Brosius
In January, we met a Little Spot of Anxiety and a Little Spot of Worry in Kindergarten and First Grade. We talked about ways to calm our anxiety spots down! In first grade, we made Worry Pockets to hold our "Spinning Worries" safe until we have time to talk to a trusted adult about them!
In 2nd grade, we talked about Diversity and finding our SPOT in the world! We learned more about each other and played a guessing game to figure out the mystery person!
In February, we will be meeting more Little Spots: A Little Spot of Sadness in Kindergarten, A Little Spot of Empathy in 1st grade, and a Little Spot of Honesty (to go with our character trait of the month) in 2nd grade! Check out the R.E.A.C.H. Lessons folders under "Materials" to see more details about each lesson!
If you would like to look over any R.E.A.C.H. lessons that Mrs. Brosius will be teaching, please click on this link.
If you need help in creating a Parent Account on Schoology to access information, please click on this button.
Library - Reading Rocks!
What's Happening in Music
All students will be playing instruments this month! Students will be listening to stories and discovering new instruments through our listening activities.
Kindergarten will be learning about drum circles and practicing new rhythm patterns on Tubanos.
First and Second grade are playing xylophones and discovering how the Orff instruments make sound. They will be listening to musical stories and exploring new music genres.
A Note From ART - Mrs. Panza
This month in art class we reviewed the elements of art in all grade levels and…
1st grade: focused on creating art while experimenting with tools! First grade artists used washable markers and drew a snowperson shape and horizon line on wet watercolor paper. The colors will spread creating a fuzzy, washy effect. Some of the colors were very light or faint. We worked back into the artwork and created additional details with drawing tools to finalize our winter work. We will plan to focus on artwork for Art to Remember as a fundraiser with FZ PTO. Stay tuned for more details in the upcoming months!
2nd grade: focus on creating art while experimenting with creating tints & shades. Second grade artists will create monochromatic artwork. Each artist will chose a “base” color from the color wheel and will work on mixing the base color with white paint, and black paint. We will also plan to discuss abstract artwork and symmetry and create an abstract piece of work.
Kindergarten: This month in art class we reviewed the elements of art and then focused on continuing to add onto the penguin collage that was started in December. Artists practiced how to create a design and choose one they would like to create for the design on the penguin’s scarf and earmuffs! Next artists cut out shapes that “fit” for the scarf and earmuffs. Finally we will prepare the artwork for display!
Also, artists will plan to focus on artwork for Art to Remember as a fundraiser with FZ PTO. Stay tuned for more details in the upcoming months!
Get Moving in Physical Education - Mr. Babiarz
In February, we will begin a new unit that includes some more exciting gross motor skills. Students will be working on perfecting their rolling, throwing and catching skills in a variety of fun challenges and games from bowling to bocce!
What's Happening in Kindergarten
What's Going on in 1st Grade
January: In January, first graders started exploring CVCe words with the long vowel a , i, o, and u sounds. They were taught what the soft c and g sounds make like in words cent, page and fudge. The digraphs kn, wr, gn, and mb, were introduced, with a very sneaky silent letter like in words knock, wrist, gnat and lamb. Plus suffixes -y and -ful were touched on. The focus in math has been place value, with students reading and writing numbers to 120. They also are learning many interesting facts about Penguins and talking about winter fun.
2nd Grade Updates
What is reading fluency?
Reading fluency is the ability to “read accurately, at an appropriate pace, and with expression.” When a reader is fluent, they are more likely to process the meaning of the text. In other words, if a child is making too many errors, or reading slowly because of having to decode unfamiliar words, they are using too much mental energy to read the text, which will then impact their ability to understand the story. For our young readers, they are learning how to read and “crack the code”. So developmentally, we expect them to be sounding out unknown words, which will therefore impact their ability to read quick and correct. However, that does not mean that they should not be working on fluency skills.
The following are research based activities that families can implement at home to help their child become a fluent reader. These activities were described in Reading Rockets: “Growing Readers” newsletter:
- Paired or “buddy” reading-The easiest and best way to help your child develop fluency is to sit with your child and read! Read together every day, which is often called paired or buddy reading. To use paired reading, simply take turns reading aloud. You go first, as your reading provides a model of what good fluent reading sounds like. Then, ask your child to re-read the same page you just read. You’ll notice that your child’s reading will start to sound more and more like yours. Do this for several pages. Once your child is comfortable enough, and familiar enough with the book, take turns reading page for page.
- Reread favorite books-Another way parents can help develop fluency is to build a tall stack of books that your child can read quickly and easily. Encourage your child to reread favorite books over and over again. With each reading, you may notice your child reading a bit easier, a bit faster, and with a bit more confidence and expression.
- Record it-Another fun way to practice reading and build fluency is to have your child create her own audio books. This can be done simply with a tape recorder or audio recording feature or app (like Audioboo) on your phone. Or, use something more sophisticated like StoryKit, where a user can create an electronic storybook and record audio to accompany it. Regardless of the method you choose, your child will be practicing what they want to record and that reading practice is critical. Sharing your audio recordings with family and friends is a great motivator too!
To learn more about fluency, check-out the following resources:
Social Media #ELCOexcellence
ELCO School District is growing our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. Click on the icons and follow along!
Celebrate our students.
Keep parents, students, alumni, and the community in the loop of what is happening in our district.
Promote the great things happening such as athletics, activities, and other events.
Build an ongoing conversation about the positive impact our district is making in the lives of our students!
What do I need to do?
If you are on these social media channels – follow us!
Help promote these accounts to your family and friends.
If you aren’t on these platforms – that’s OK. The district will continue to provide communication through traditional channels.
Parents of 2nd graders: Please look for the dental exam sheet sent home with your child. If your child is being seen by their private dental provider, please have the form completed and returned to the school upon completion for the 2023 school year. Thank you and stay healthy!
Thank You! ☺️
1. On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at 6:30, our PTO will host its next meeting at Fort Zeller in the library. We hope that you will consider joining our meetings and provide your valuable input to support our students and staff at Fort Zeller.
2. Volunteering: If you have an interest in being a volunteer in your child's classroom or in our school, please use this link, https://www.elcosd.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=918, to complete the necessary paperwork on clearances. Don't hesitate to call our office at (610) 589-2575 if you need additional assistance.
News from Fort Zeller's PTO
Hello Fort Zeller Families!!!
PTO Roller Skating Party
We had a wonderful turnout to our Roller Skating Party at the Mount Gretna Roller Skating Rink on Saturday, January 28th. There were 217 skaters and that doesn't include all of the parents and friends that didn't rent skates. Thank you to everyone who joined in the fun! (Pictures below)
2022/2023 - Yearbooks
Congratulations to Anderson Bord, winner of the yearbook cover contest! There were many great designs submitted by our talented students. Thank you to all who entered.
Yearbooks may be ordered using Yearbook ID # 10866223 at the following link:
📷📷📷 Spring Pictures/Class Pictures 📷📷📷
Tuesday February 7, 2023
Volunteers needed to assist teachers and photographers.
Please sign up -
Save the date - February PTO Meeting
Wednesday, February 8 - 630PM - Ft. Zeller Library
If you are interested in volunteering this Spring, start obtaining your volunteer clearances today!
If you have any questions about the process, please let us know!
HAPPY FEBRUARY BIRTHDAY!
1 - Giovanni Cintron, Reece Kerschner, Axel Garcia & Ezra Hoffman
2 - Landon Galarz & McKenna Gill
3 - Melissa Gorenbuh
4 - Riley Umbenhauer
6 - Mya Fortna
7 - Isabelle Hess-Weiant
11 - Austin Arndt
13 - Delilah Keener
14 - Dexter Sholley
16 - Gabriel Myer & Rickey Batz
17 - Madilyn Foore
18 - Emersyn Burkholder
19 - Isabella Matarazzi
20 - Mason Wise
21 - Elizabeth Strunk
22 - Dante Cook, Lucas Derolf & Rosealyn Morris
23 - Athena Santana Ruiz & Mae Snyder
24 - Jeremiah Wenrich
25 - Jackson Liskey
26 - Charlotte Lincoln & Rosalie McMullen
28 - Laura Long
Fort Zeller Elementary School
243 North Sheridan Road
Richland, PA 17087
Phone: (610) 589-2575