Washington Learning Center News

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

Message from Principal Brown - September 2017

Welcome to the 2017-18 school year at Washington Learning Center! We have over 300 students ranging from 3 year olds to kindergarten! If this is your first year at Washington Learning Center, we especially welcome you and welcome back our returning families!

I am looking forward to seeing each of you and partnering with you throughout the year to create the best education possible for your child(ren)! One of the best parts of being a principal is getting to know the students! I will continue to be seen in classrooms, hallways, the lunchroom, outside, and other places so that I can visit with the children and observe their learning.

Children will receive a “Happy Birthday” pencil on their birthday. Throughout the year student work will be displayed in the hallway outside of the office and throughout the building outside of each classroom.

Washington Learning Center has a very dedicated staff, and we focus on the learning of every child. A “We Are Committed?” bulletin board is located in the hallway by the canopy door. Each staff member has a little message beside their picture explaining what they are committed to at WLC.

It has been a great start to the school year. Parents have quickly learned about our routines and procedures, especially with our unique curbside drop off and pick up. It has been running smoothly and we continue to reduce the time it takes to get all of the cars through the line. Thank you for your efforts in making this a safe and convenient way to pick up you child(ren).

If you would like to contact me to share information and/or ask a questions(s), you can email me at: dbrown@newulm.k12.mn.us or call: 507-233-8300. Please leave a detailed message if I am not available. Visiting in person will also work and to be sure that I am available, it is best if possible to schedule a time so that I can put it on my calendar. If you stop in to see me, I may be in a meeting, not in the building, observing a teacher, reading to a classroom, and so on. Home-school communication is VERY important so please communicate with your child's teacher when you have concerns and/or me. We are a team!

Mark your calendars!!

Washington Learning Center & Eagles Preschool

Monday, October 2nd - NO SCHOOL - Teacher Inservice Day

Tuesday, October 10th - WLC Picture Day

Tuesday, October 10th - New Ulm Fire Department Visit to WLC

Thursday, October 19th & Friday, October 20th - NO SCHOOL - MEA Break

Thursday, October 27th - SPOTS presenting to WLC Kindergarten Students


Friday, October 6, 2017 - Open Gym Night - 6pm-7pm

Saturday, October 7, 2017 - Bushels of Fun - 10am-11am (REGISTRATION REQUIRED)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - Bedtime Stories at the Library - 6pm-7pm

Friday, October 13, 2017 - Family Fun at NUAGA - 6pm-7pm

Friday, October 27, 2017 - ECFE Halloween Party

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - NO EVENING ECFE CLASSES

Please help keep our students safe!

Student Pick up and Drop off Procedures:

We know that parents and staff want to be sure our students are safe when they are at school. Parents have quickly learned about our routines and procedures, especially with our unique curbside drop off and pick up. It has been running smoothly and we continue to reduce the time it takes to get all of the cars through the line. Thank you for your efforts in making this a safe and convenient way to pick up you child(ren).

The following procedures need to be followed in order to ensure the safety of our students.

Door #2 to be used ONLY for dropping off or picking up students curbside in your car. Drive through the drop off/pick-up lane. If you will be using this option, students will only be allowed to get in your car when your car is directly in front of the doors or farther up in the laneFor safety purposes, do not ever leave your car unattended and do not block the driveway. No walk up pick up is allowed in this area. Please be patient as you are waiting in line. The staff that are on duty in this area have your student's safety in mind and will be focused on being sure that the line continues to move and that child(ren) are picked up in the loading zone.

If your child will be picked up by you after school you may park in the parking lot and walk to Door #9 (under the canopy) to get your child. No students will be allowed to walk alone to a car. Please use the sidewalks to and from the building and refrain from walking through the parking lot as much as possible.

Eagles Preschool

Our Eagle Preschool team was excited to meet our new students! Before school began they met as a team to learn how to better use our amazing outdoor learning area, how to use “solution” cards to help students solve their own problems (i.e. share, take turns, ask a teacher, etc.). They also learned more about our community’s new Crisis Nursery – Ivy


This year we have five sections of Eagles 4 and four sections of Eagles 3…an increase from last year! Our Eagle 3 teachers are Ms Cheyenne and Ms Tiffany and our Eagle 4 teachers are Ms Connie, Ms Eileen, and Ms Sara.

The students love our outdoor learning area…the sandbox, bikes, lose parts…many opportunities to learn, create, work together and MOVE!

Going to the SMART- PreK Room is part of each preschool day…students are learning to help their brains and their bodies work together which will help them learn.

Students have spent September learning about school…meeting new friends, learning new routines, and trying new skills.

Fine motor development is an important skill all classrooms are working on…holding a pencil correctly, writing, and cutting. Children can work on these skills at home by writing and cutting but also by working with playdough, tweezers, kitchen tongs, even by tearing paper!

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We have 103 children and their parents registered for our ECFE class this fall! We offer eleven different parent-child classes each session…something for each age group from birth to kindergarten enrollment. We also offer two sections of Discovery Time…a once a week preschool. Children can either attend on Monday mornings or Tuesday evenings. We have many one-time family events coming up in October…Bedtime Stories at the Library, Free Family Gym Night, and of course, our Community Halloween Party. A huge thanks to the Optimist’s Club of New Ulm and 3M for donating funds to help make our party a success! Contact our office for more information on our program or check out our Facebook page…ECFE-New Ulm.

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Kindergarten - Mrs. Meghan Swedberg

Kindergarten has had a great start to the 2017-2018 school year. Students have been working hard to learn what a full school day looks like. They have explored our outdoor learning areas, the PLAY room, and the SMART room. We are also working hard in the classroom on our letters with ABC Bootcamp, focusing on a letter name and sound each day. This year kindergarten is using a new handwriting curriculum called EZ write. Students are learning the proper way to hold a pencil and 8 basic strokes this month. Finally, we are working hard on earning purple tickets by following directions and being kind to others.


Kindergartners are off to a great start in the art room! They have been reviewing the many different kinds of lines and worked as a team to fill in the silhouette of a classmate! Now, they are practicing cutting and gluing skills to create their very own shape monster. We can’t wait to see the imaginative creatures they complete!

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Library & Technology

We have been learning and having fun here so far in library and tech. We have played some games while learning the basics of coding and logic using Kodable. In Kodable students have the opportunity to select and test solutions to a puzzle. It also starts to introduce “if, then” statements through some basic conditional programming. You, and your student, are welcome to check it out at home. I will send home information how to access their personal account. For general information see www.kodable.com/parents.

We also read books, check out books and get on the stage outside when possible. This month we were outside on the stage acting out a Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. It is fantastic to see the students' growing confidence and excitement about reading.

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School Social Worker - Nan Huffman

Welcome to WLC and the 2017-2018 school year! I am happy to be back working with the Kindergarten students, families and staff as the School Social Worker! I am a trained and licensed mental health professional with a degree in Social Work. I provide services to children and their families in the areas of social, emotional and life adjustment to school or the community. This week I have been visiting the classrooms, explaining my role and allowing the kids to get to know me a little better. School Social Work Services consist of the following:

Services to Students:

  • Provide crisis intervention, as situations arise.

  • Group and individual sessions on the topics of grief and loss, social skills, or self-regulation.

  • Consult with school staff or families when developing intervention strategies for students.

  • Provide classroom lessons using Second Step, a social emotional learning curriculum.

Services to Families/Caregivers:

  • Communicate with caregivers to assess problems affecting the child’s school success.

  • Assist caregivers in utilizing school and community resources.

  • Home visits to assist caregivers with problem solving and behavioral strategies.

Services to School Staff/Community:

  • Coordinate community resources to meet students’ needs.

  • Assist in developing positive behavioral strategies.

  • Help the system respond effectively to each child’s needs.

  • Perform duties as the New Ulm Public Schools Liaison for Families In Transition by connecting them to resources mandated by the McKinney-Vento federal law.

For more information or assistance, please call Nan Huffman directly at 233-8330.

Kitchen Services - Teri Jesperson

Easy-to-Access School Menus

New Ulm Public Schools Lunch Menu’s can be viewed on Nutrislice! The way we access our school menus is changing in an exciting new way! New Ulm Public Schools in partnership with Chartwells K12, is now using Nutrislice to publish the school menus to a new interactive website and a free smartphone app. Now our school community can access our menus anywhere, anytime!

Find the menu’s at: http://newulm.nutrislice.com

You can view the menu in two ways:

1. View the menu’s online at the website newulmschools.nutrislice.com
2. Select the school you want to view
3. Select the school menu you would like to view
4. Once within the site, the menu is interactive with pictures, nutrition information and allergen

2. Download the Nutrislice App.

Using the App

Select your state, followed by your school district
Select the grade level, school and then the school menu you wish to view.

Once within the menu, you will be defaulted to the current day. The menu is interactive with pictures, nutrition information and general allergen information (not for use with students with documented food allergies/special diet requirements).

Easy-to-use features include:

•More information about menu items, including a photo and description •Filter for common food allergens like nuts, wheat and dairy

•A translation feature to translate your menus into a number of different languages •Access to nutrition information like carb counts and calories with just a few clicks!

Notes from the Nurse

WLC Newsletter September 2017

Four weeks into the school year already! We’re starting to see an increase in some common illness in the schools…. Illnesses like common colds, stomach flu, and some strep throat. It happens every year once kids are exposed to other kids. Please keep your kids home if they are running a fever over 100.0 or are too sick to participate in normal activities.

There has been a policy change, regarding medication, that goes into effect this school year. If your child needs to take prescription pills during school hours, a parent or guardian is required to bring the prescription pills into the nurse’s office and count them with the me or the secretary. This will be a safer way to handle medication, from getting the pills to school, to assuring that the number of pills brought to school is accurate. As always, we still require a doctor’s order and parent signature for any prescription medication in school.

We’re looking forward to another school year and hope everyone stays healthy!

Sharon Larson, RN

School Nurse

Special Education - Carla Berg, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

Why go outside?

Recent studies have exposed the benefit—even necessity—of spending time outdoors, both for kids and adults. Most studies agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors.

Did you know…. There is a national panic about kids spending too much time indoors and it has become so extreme that the crisis has a name: Nature deficit disorder.

Did you know…. The average American child is said to spend 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors and over 7 hours a day in front of a screen.

Did you know…. Children spend only half as much time playing outside as their parents did.

Here are some simple outdoor activities for kids to get outside! Outdoor activities for kids don’t have to be elaborate so browse the list of fun things below and enjoy nature!

  • Paint with water on the sidewalk

  • Go on a bug hunt

  • Run through a sprinkler, play with a hose

  • Melt some crayons in the sun

  • Play in a sandbox

  • Investigate your yard with a magnifying glass

  • Paint some rocks

  • Ride a bike or scooter around the block

  • Climb up a tree, a wall or a jungle gyms

  • Go on a nature scavenger hunt

  • Have a family meal outside

  • Dig in the dirt, look for worms

  • Jump in puddles

  • Have a soccer shoot out all you need is a ball

  • Make a nature collage

  • Catch and release some frogs

  • Take some books outside and read under a tree

  • Stack and balance rocks

  • Go on a sound safari

  • Make a treasure map and find treasure

  • Make mud pies

  • Find shapes in the clouds

Did you know…. Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive and show better concentration.

Community Education

Community Education is offering many class options this Fall/Winter! First Aide, CPR, MANY new painting classes, financial classes, tons of new health/ fitness classes, new FUN classes for new Mama's and MANY more! Check out our Brochure or website for class offerings- you can also view the classes on www.nupseagleshop.com !! Be sure to sign up early to ensure you get a spot in that class! I will also put info on our Facebook Page, so be sure to like us!! New Ulm Area Community Education @ https://www.facebook.com/communityed.newulm#