WHPS Newsletter

 

Fall 2019 Info Sessions
Fall 2019
Elementary
Information
Sessions

for
TK-5th Grade


Saturday, November 3
10 AM - Noon


Every Tuesday in November
10 - 11 AM


Come learn about our school's award-winning program, which is rooted in the science of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), which we believe is as important as a rigorous academic curriculum.


Current families are given
priority and may
avoid the waitlist
if applying by December 7
(first round of admissions).
Winter Show
Saturday, December 8


The 2018 WHPS Winter Show is coming up!  Below is information about the show and how to purchase tickets:

LOCATION
The Performing Arts Education Center (“the A-PAEC”)
28545 W Driver Ave., Agoura Hills, CA 91301

SHOWTIMES
Doors open 45 minutes before showtime.

Oxnard Campus
  • 10:30 AM-12 PM: Preschool and Pre-K: Rooms 3-7, 9, 12
  • 1:30-3 PM: Pre-K and Elementary: Rooms 8, 10, 14-19

Collins Campus

  • 4:30-6 PM: Preschool and Pre-K: Rooms 2, 4-10
TICKETS
  • $6.00* per person (*Tickets purchased online through the A-PAEC website incur an online convenience fee.)
  • Children 2 years old and under:  No ticket is required if sharing a seat with a parent or guardian.
  • Students performing: No ticket is required for performers. Performers must join their class when they arrive at the A-PAEC.

TICKETS ON SALE: November 5 @ Noon

  • All tickets will be sold through the A-PAEC.
  • Please purchase only the number of tickets that you need to ensure there is seating for all families.
  • Online - Purchase tickets through A-PAEC’s website.
  • A-PAEC Box Office
    • Mondays - Fridays, 2-4 PM
    • 1 ½ hours prior to any performance
 
THANK YOU


Just Announced!
After a successful beginning to the school year, PAWS has announced that they are increasing the funding to their Teacher Grant Program.

Every classroom (Oxnard Campus) will receive a $300  grant that can be used for special items to further enhance the program.

Stay tuned for updates as these Teacher Grants are...granted!

Anonymous Family

Donation of ALL NEW furniture
for one of our classrooms

PAWS & PAG
Fall Festival
Aquarium of the Pacific Experience
Contortionist Special Event

Nyle Ahmed
Birthday Book

Wells Family
Bike
 

Special Edition | Seth Pozzi -  Head of School

It feels like the school year has only just begun, and yet with the year ¼ of the way over, preschool families are starting to think about what comes next: Pre-K, TK or Kindergarten for fall 2019. Many families will apply for a spot in our Elementary Division, and parents often ask, “How do I know if my child is ready for Kindergarten?” What do we want kids to know and be able to do in order to be successful in an academically rigorous program like our elementary school? In public school, the main determining factor for Kindergarten readiness is whether (or not) your child turns five by September 1. In our school, that date helps to guide us but is by no means the final determining factor in Kindergarten readiness. And, misconceptions abound about what it really means to be ready for Kindergarten. 

What does Kindergarten readiness mean at WHPS?
Many parents excitedly report that their child is reading, can count astronomically high, or has a wealth of knowledge about Mt. Vesuvius. While those are talents/interests we will continue to nurture, we are actually more concerned with a set of skills that precede academic success and are more highly correlated with a child’s long-term ability to learn: Attention, Sequencing, Processing, Agility/Balance, and the term you keep hearing about, Executive Functioning (EF). When most of us were in school, we sat at a desk and filled out worksheets or read out of a textbook and answered the questions at the end. Based on the last 30 years of educational research, we now have a very different understanding of learning, which happens through social interaction. But, for children to engage in the sophisticated pragmatics of learning through partner/group work and collaboration, they need a specific set of social skills and a high level of emotional regulation.

Research has proven that children who come into Kindergarten “reading” and “doing math” but with low EF, actually fall behind their peers (who started Kindergarten with lower math and early literacy scores) by 4th grade. We have seen this many times over the years where otherwise bright children can fall behind when they reach Upper Elementary (grades 2-5) because they struggle to independently navigate the aforementioned skills.

How is your child doing?
Our entire preschool program is backwards-planned to foster a strong foundation with all of these skills, including early literacy and math. But, if all children developed at the same pace there would be no need to evaluate Kindergarten (or Pre-K or TK) readiness in the first place. For parents who want to gather more information, the best place to start is with your child’s teacher(s). They work with many children your child’s age and can offer perspective on your child’s strengths as well as tricky spots. The Preschool Directors are also tremendous advocates for your child and a trusted source of information. Don't forget you can still pick up an ASQ®-3 from the preschool office, and our directors will evaluate it and go over the results with you as a free service to our families. This is a great way to get information about your child's general development.

And finally, when you apply for our Elementary Division, we meet with your child 1:1 to conduct a thorough evaluation of your child’s individual learning profile. While our Admissions Committee ultimately has to make the difficult decision as to which students are accepted to the Elementary Division, we are able to share with you the results of your child’s assessment. This can help inform parents and the school on how to best support your child’s growth in the remaining ¾ of the school year so s/he is truly ready for what comes next.

I hope to see you at one of our November Information Sessions where you can get even more of your questions answered about all the options available to you in our program.

 
Preschool News
Collins Campus
Robin & Ms. Ailin
Oxnard Campus
Dr. Tracy  Ewing & Ms. Christine

Today’s young children have less time for free play than ever before, and preschool educators often find ourselves in the position of defending play. In a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) pediatricians are now being charged with the role of defending the value of play (The Power of Play). This new report emphasizes the many benefits of playful learning and makes strong recommendations for parents, pediatricians and preschools. Luckily for members of the WHPS preschool community, we have already been implementing these newly recommended practices! We are excited to offer a program supported and recommended by the most current research in the field.

Specifically, research has identified the strong connection between play and learning and the AAP argues that “adult success in later life can be related to the experience of childhood play that cultivated creativity, problem solving, teamwork, flexibility, and innovations…The benefits of play are extensive and well documented and include improvements in executive functioning, language, early math skills, social development, peer relations, physical development and health, and enhanced sense of agency.” The AAP also reported that lack of play opportunities may be “associated with the increasing prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.”  Further, they provide evidence demonstrating the direct effects of play on brain structure and functioning.

At WHPS, our unique child-centered, teacher-facilitated curriculum hinges on teachers’ role as a facilitator, guiding children’s play to strengthen children’s learning. Researchers suggest this type of guided play is critical to early learning. According to the AAP report, guided play has been “defined as a child-led, joyful activity in which adults craft the environment to optimize learning” and has “been shown to improve executive functioning skills...Executive functioning skills are foundational for school readiness and academic success...With increased executive functioning skills, they can begin to reflect on how they should respond to a situation rather than reacting impulsively...Executive functioning helps children switch gears and transition from drawing with crayons to getting dressed for school.”

Parents are therefore encouraged to play with their young children, avoid over-scheduling them with enrichment activities and to choose preschools that emphasize free play and guided play (preschools like WHPS!). Pediatricians are being encouraged to “advocate for the protection of children’s unstructured playtime because of its numerous benefits...and...advocate with preschool educators to do the following: focus on playful rather than didactic learning by letting children take the lead and follow their own curiosity; put a premium on building social–emotional and executive functioning skills throughout the school year.” Finally, the researchers argue preschool teachers “need to provide the appropriate amount of input and guidance for children to develop optimal problem-solving skills through guided play and scaffolding. Instead of focusing solely on academic skills, such as reciting the alphabet, early literacy, using flash cards, engaging with computer toys...cultivating the joy of learning through play is likely to better encourage long-term academic success.” These recommendations highlight how our emergent and inquiry-based learning approaches are grounded in research.  While the AAP states, “focusing on cultivating executive functioning and other skills through playful learning in these early years is an alternative and innovative way of thinking about early childhood education,” we are inspired that our WHPS preschool teachers do just that.

 
Elementary News | Jacey Dexter - Elementary Principal
Many parents feel like this guy!

Here are some key issues to be aware of if your child is going to be involved in online gaming.

Today’s families are faced with the challenge of navigating the ever-changing complexity of technology with their children. How much screen time is too much? When should your child get a smartphone? Should your child have access to social media? Should your child game online?

Believe it or not, there are many benefits to your child gaming online if they are mature enough to do so. Gaming can improve processing speed and problem solving skills, multitasking skills, and encourage leadership qualities. It can also allow your child to expand his/her social circle and make new friends. However, you need to know and understand that by gaming online, your child may be exposed to more peer pressure, it can put personal information at risk, and your child may become painfully aware of differences between your family values and the values/expectations in other families’ households. The online gaming world is vast, and your child will test boundaries with language and behavior.

The key to making online gaming beneficial to your child is to be engaged in their experience. Talk to your child about the importance of privacy and set boundaries. Once you establish rules and boundaries, do not negotiate. It’s good to establish the ground rules in collaboration with your child, but be clear about these boundaries, consistency is key. Pre-plan what to do if they are exposed to something that makes them uncomfortable (it will happen!). Keep online gaming out of their bedrooms - I encourage you to keep their experience in a public space of the home where you can hear the conversations that are taking place. I would also suggest avoiding headphones altogether.

One way to understand if your child is mature enough for online gaming is to consider whether they are capable of separating from the game appropriately, based on the house rules you establish. If the rule is no gaming after 7pm, but your child has a tantrum when it’s time to put the game down, then they are not ready for online gaming. The same rule can be applied to younger children using iPads, phones, even the TV. An unhealthy relationship with technology can lead to social isolation, addiction, and attention deficits. If your child is already struggling with separating from their technology, you’re not alone. You can read the article - How to End Screen Time Without the Struggle for some helpful ideas. Remember, the benefits of gaming are negated if your child isn’t spending time outside playing regularly and fostering healthy peer relationships in real life (IRL).

Ultimately, almost all of the questions about technology and online gaming will be answered differently by every family. Online gaming is not inherently bad and can be very beneficial to children but can be harmful when elementary-age children are gaming unsupervised. You can also check out our presentation from our last Coffee and Conversation about Online Gaming with additional information including setting parental controls on different devices.
 
"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center
Hi friends of the barnyard,

Wow, is it that time already? The end of the first trimester is coming up, and it’s time to see what our elementary students (aka future veterinarians, scientists and environmentalists) have learned. Second and fifth grades are almost finished studying genes and will soon learn more about how nature “decides” which genes will be passed on and which will not. Kindergarten, first and fourth grades have discovered many different ways animals interact with each other. In the weeks ahead, we will build on this, looking at ways the environment and animals interact. Finally, third grade has had a chance to put their animal care knowledge to the test and started looking into how they would care for their assigned animal.

Preschool has been learning about the big three different categories of animals we have here at the WHPS Science & Nature Center: Mammals, Reptiles and Birds. We have been learning about the traits that make each category of animal unique. This week we are going to have a special guest star for them, Mickey, Mrs. Tanja’s African Pixie frog. He will help our little ones learn about Amphibians and their special qualities. After that, in honor of Halloween, our friends will be learning about animal bones and how they are not so different from ours. With the next holiday being Thanksgiving, we will be investigating what and how different animals eat. This ties nicely with bones because teeth alone can teach us about what animals eat, and teeth are bones too!

Our animals always get excited when October comes around. This is the pumpkin time of year! Just as you enjoy your pumpkin spice lattes, the animals all enjoy their pumpkin treats, so make sure you come over to see us!

Mr. Matthew & Mrs. Tanja

We're on Instagram @whpschool!

 
November Events - 2018
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events!
Nov. Collins Oxnard
2   Elementary Dia de los Muertos Assembly & Community Ofrenda 8-8:30am
3 Elementary Info Session @ 10am
4 Daylight Savings Time Ends - Fall Back
6
7   PAWS Meeting @ 6:30pm
9 Preschool Professional Development
PRESCHOOL CLOSES @ 4pm - NO PRESCHOOL EXTENDED CARE
10 PAG Kids Night Out 5-9pm  
12 Veterans Day - SCHOOL CLOSED
13
13 PAG Meeting @ 6pm  
14 PAG Event - Kiddle Karoo  
14 PAWS - Restaurant Night @ McDonalds (Platt & Victory)
15 PAG - Restaurant Night @ Jimmy's Famous American Tavern
15 Farmers Market - Hosted by Rm. 1 & 3  
16 Picture Make-Up Day @ 9am Elementary Trimester I Awards Assembly 8-8:30am
Farmers Market - Hosted by Rm. 6 & 10

PAWS - Parents Night Out 6-10pm
19 Coffee & Conversation - Raising Kind & Empathetic Children
20 Group Tours - for Elementary & Preschool @10am
21   Elementary Thanksgiving Feast @ 11am
22 Thanksgiving Break - SCHOOL CLOSED
23 Thanksgiving Break - SCHOOL CLOSED
27   Group Tours - for Elementary & Preschool @10am (OX only)
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22322 Collins Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367   •   22555 Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
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