Union Elementary Weekly Update

August 9, 2019

Welcome Back to School!

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We had a wonderful start to the 2019-2020 School Year! A special thank you to Rebecca Rozich and Julie Anthony, PTO Hospitality chairs, for all of their support with the beginning of the year events.

Upcoming Events

August 12-30- NWEA Testing Window

August 14- Hearing Screenings for Grades K, 1, and 4

August 21- Welcome Back Parent Coffee, 9:30-11:30 AM at Drees Model Home in Brookhaven

August 22- Curriculum Night, 5:30-8:00 PM

5:30-6:00 Kindergarten

6:00-6:30 1st Grade

6:30-7:00 2nd Grade

7:00-7:30 3rd Grade

7:30-8:00 4th Grade

August 23- Eaglefest

September 2- No School- Labor Day

September 7-Fall Festival Parade

September 10-Vision Screenings for Grades 1 and 3

September 11-12- Fourth Grade Field Trip to Camp Tecumseh

September 13- First Grade Grandparents Day

September 14- Dads Club Campout (rain date September 21st)

September 24- Picture Day

September 25- Jog A Thon

Beginning of the Year Event Details

August 21: New Parent Coffee, 9:30-11:30 AM

The Union Parent's "Welcome Back Coffee" will be on Wednesday, August 21 from 9:30-11:30 AM at the Drees Model Home in Brookhaven. This is an opportunity to socialize and learn more about Union's PTO. An invite will go out closer to the event date.

August 22: Union Curriculum Night, 5:30 – 8:00 PM

During this event, each classroom teacher will present a half hour session highlighting the curriculum, events, and expectations for the year ahead. Each grade level has a designated time, indicated in the calendar above. You will also be able to visit informational booths from various district and community organizations.

Lunch Guests

Students are doing a great job learning the procedures and expectations in the lunchroom. We will continue practicing while also building relationships with our new classmates this week. We will be ready for lunch guests beginning on August 19th. We look forward to welcoming you to the cafeteria and showing you how we "Take Care of Self, Each Other, and This Place" at this time.

Hearing Screenings

Per Indiana state guidelines, all Kindergarten, 1st and 4th grade students will have their hearing screened by our ZCS Speech Language Pathology Department on Wednesday, August 14th. If your child does not pass the hearing screening and needs to be re-tested, the Speech Language Pathologist will contact you.

Important-Updated Immunization Requirements for 2019-2020

State Law stipulates that the medical records of children on file at school show the required immunizations have been completed by the 20th day of the school year. That day is Sept 4th, 2019. The Indiana State Department of Health school immunization requirements for 2019-2020 have been updated. Click here to view these new requirements as they have changed.

Parents of children whose immunizations are not up-to-date should contact their health care provider or the Boone County Health Dept to schedule an appointment for the necessary immunizations. Some pharmacies also carry the necessary vaccines.

If parents object to immunizations, a written objection must be on file in the school office by Sept 4th, 2019. This must be updated yearly. Children who do not have up-to-date vaccination records by that date will not be allowed to return to school until the proper immunization information is on file. Students who have appointments with their health care provider after Sept 4th, 2019, may present proof of that appointment in order to remain in school. Contact the school nurse or your physician’s office with any questions.

Volunteers Needed!

The Media Center is asking for your help volunteering in the library during this school year! It’s hard keeping up with the thousands of books to shelve AND prep for fun activities and lessons. There just aren’t enough hours in the day! In order to maximize the media specialist’s time, parent volunteers are essential to a smooth-running library. You can volunteer for as long as you are able to be at the school – a perk to seeing your child during the school day during their media special! If you have a child who has after-school activities on certain days where you need to pick them up as a car rider, you can simply come to school an hour or two early, park front and center, help in the library, and leave right when the bell rings for dismissal – no waiting in the pick-up line! This is a great opportunity for you to contribute your time to your child’s school on YOUR schedule! Please email Jackie Lursen at jlursen@zcs.k12.in.us

NWEA Testing Information

Why Do We Give the NWEA Assessment?

We often get questions from our families about the NWEA assessments, which we give in the fall of each year to our students in grades K-8 (and again in the spring in order to determine academic growth in math and literacy skills). NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) is a non-profit organization that has developed brief (40-50 question) assessments in math and reading which teachers can give to assess their students’ knowledge/skills. At ZCS, we have chosen these standardized assessments to supplement our state-required test for several reasons. First, NWEA gives us instant results that we can use to adjust instruction and group students for learning. The tests are computer-based and yield a score, which the teacher can see in a report as soon as the student finishes. Second, unlike the state required test, which assesses only grade-level standards, NWEA has a bank of thousands of questions ranging far beyond grade level. The test is “adaptive”—meaning that as a student takes it, the test adjusts the level of questions he/she is presented with based on correct/incorrect answers, so that a student is always working on questions at his/her most appropriate level of difficulty—rather than “one size fits all” questions. Also, as a high-performing school district, we have many students learning and working far beyond their grade level standards. NWEA assessments allow us to see their level of performance and compare it (and their growth from fall to spring) to that of similarly-abled peers nationally. Finally, NWEA is based on one large bank of questions (not different tests divided by grade levels). Thus, the score a student receives each time he/she takes the test can be compared from fall to spring and year-to-year—producing a graph of a student’s growth over time (a lot like the way we mark a child’s height on a door in our home as he/she grows taller). Even when a student has a one-time drop in a test score, we are still able to see the whole pattern of his/her emerging growth as a learner. Although we typically give the tests in fall, spring and optionally in the middle of the school year, NWEA can be given additional times during the year in order to monitor progress in a goal area. For all these reasons, we are glad to be able to gather this data (and the more specific information it gives us about strengths and areas of challenge) to help us plan learning experiences for our students. Please know that your child’s NWEA scores are available in PowerSchool (under test history) for you to see any time you desire. Scores for most recent tests will typically be added to your child’s data when our testing window closes.

The dates for all district assessment windows are available on our ZCS website at this link: add link (https://www.zcs.k12.in.us/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=458765&type=d&pREC_ID=1001116)

Summer Reading Program

Union Elementary is partnering with Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library for a fun-filled summer reading challenge. Start reading when school ends and keep track of your reading in one of the following three ways. Choose to record your reading: 1) number of books (For Babies- Grade 3 only), 2) number of hours, or 3) number of days(20 minutes or more each day).

During the first week of school in August, return your reading log to your new teacher. Those students who have met a goal will be able to participate in a special event! Come Join the Fun of Reading at Union Elementary!

Now Hiring

Looking for a job that works with your child's school schedule? Union is hiring instructional assistants! Across the district, we are also looking for guest teachers and lunch monitors. Learn more and apply at:



Ladies and gentlemen, moms and dads....welcome to the Union PTO! That's right, YOU are a part of the PTO just by having a student enrolled at Union.

The PTO provides things our teachers need to enhance their classrooms and engage your students like Chromebooks, alternative seating, books, math manipulatives, supplies for new teachers and so much more. PTO committees organize events like Movie Nights, the parent Soiree, Staff Appreciation for the teachers and the Union Express Mail. Please join us for the Welcome Back Coffee on August 21 from 9:30-11 at the Drees model home in Brookhaven to meet other parents, hob nob with celebrities like our own principal and vice and learn how you can get involved with the Union PTO.

Be sure to follow the Union Elementary PTO on Facebook and regularly check the webpage for updates and information.


Dads Club

Calling all Dads! Join us the first Tuesday of every month for our monthly meeting. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 7 PM in the Teachers' Lounge.

Community Events

See the link to learn more about local events:


Opportunity Tonight!

Come join the African Children’s Choir as they perform in our community during their US Tour! The Choir will be performing at Zionsville United Methodist Church on Friday, August 9 at 7:00-8:30 pm. Come and experience a performance that shows the beauty, dignity and potential of each child! Admission will be free for all ages; a free-will offering will follow the Choir’s concert. Everyone is welcome!! The African Children’s Choir melts the hearts of audiences with their charming smiles, beautiful voices and lively African songs and dances. Nearly every performance is concluded with a thunderous standing ovation! In spite of the tragedy that has marred their young lives, the children are radiant with hope, musically gifted and always wonderfully entertaining.

Here is short video clip of what you can expect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtkDb0mmv0c

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Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers

We value partnerships with our families and welcome parents and guardians to serve as volunteers in our schools. Each ZCS building offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities.

Examples include:

  • Field Trip Chaperones
  • Out of Town/Overnight Chaperones
  • Tutors
  • Volunteer Coaches
  • Classroom Helpers (PTO parties/room parents)
  • Library Helpers
  • After Prom Workers
  • Field Day/Jog-A-Thon Volunteers
  • Book Fair Sales/Athletic Ticket Sales

During the school day, all volunteers are expected to sign in at the front office. Prior to the volunteer opportunity, all volunteers must sign a Non-disclosure Acknowledgement Form and have successfully completed a Full Criminal History Background Check. Necessary background check paperwork is available on the ZCS website at the Volunteers/BRAVO link and should be submitted at least 10 days prior to the intended volunteer date. Volunteers must also view the state mandated confidentiality/bullying video, provided on the Volunteer/BRAVO website. The volunteer will pay the fee* for the full background check which will expire after 5 years. The link to apply for the full background check can be accessed on the Volunteers/BRAVO link on the ZCS main webpage. For more information, contact the Volunteer/BRAVO Coordinator.


During the school day, all visitors must enter via the front door and sign-in at the front office. Visitors need to be prepared to present a government issued photo ID which will be scanned against the National Sex Offender Registry. All visitors will be issued a visitor badge/tag to be worn inside the building at all times.

Examples Include:

  • Lunch Guests
  • Classroom Guest Speakers
  • Classroom Special Events (Grandparent Day/Famous Hoosiers/etc.)
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences

We ask that all visitors schedule an appointment to meet with teachers, counselors, administrators and all other staff members so that we may best serve everyone. Visitors other than parents/guardians must be prearranged and organized through the main office.

*ZCS thanks all volunteers for generous support of our youth and schools. Thank you, too, for supporting assurance of student and staff safety by completing and paying for a volunteer background check

Union Elementary School

Union Elementary strives to create a nurturing and kid-focused learning environment where teachers, students, and parents work together in supportive and collaborative partnerships so all students can meet their potential.