Special Edition  |  Preschool  |  Elementary  |  Barnyard  |  This Month's Calendar
Kindergarten & TK Enrollment

How can an individualized approach 
maximize your child's success?

Saturday, November 16  |  10 AM - Noon
Tuesdays in November  |  10 - 11 AM
During the tour you will get to explore:
  • How the program and curriculum celebrate and support all unique learners, including intellectually curious, academically advanced, and gifted learners.
  • How the program is designed to encourage leadership, independence, responsibility, self-reliance, creativity, and critical thinking.
  • Differences between Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten.
  • Our unique approach to teaching social skills and leadership.

Current families get priority enrollment and may avoid the waitlist if you apply by December 6.
Support WHPS
Is Your Name on the Tree Yet?

PAWS is working to increase their budget and impact supporting:
  • Special Events
  • Teacher Continuing Education
  • Classroom Grants
  • Other Programs or  School Improvements
Some early pledges have already come in. Make sure your family is represented on the tree by donating NOW!

Thank you to the following families for your gift and for helping to launch the campaign:

Apoloff, Azmery, Booth & Oberholzer 
Become a PAWS Angel
- - - - -

Other ways to:
Give Back to WHPS
2019 Winter Show
Saturday, December 14, 2019

Tickets go on sale November 8 at noon.
A link will be sent out that day by email, as well as posted on our Facebook page and website blog.

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

Collins Campus
  • 10:30 AM-12 PM: Preschool and Pre-K: Rooms 2 & 4-10

Oxnard Campus

  • 1:30-3 PM: Pre-K and Elementary: Rooms 8, 10 & 14-19
  • 4:30-6 PM: Preschool and Pre-K: Rooms 3-7, 9 & 12
Upcoming Parent Workshops
November 21 6-7:30 pm

Learn how to identify anxiety your child (and surprising ways anxiety can manifest). 

• Learn about common types of anxiety.
• Learn tools to help children manage anxiety. 
• Learn tools to model anxiety management and emotional regulation for your child.
Giftedness 101
January 29 6-7:30 pm

Learn what it means to have a gifted and/or intellectually curious child.  Find out how these characteristics impact behavior, and learn strategies and to support and guide your child academically, socially and emotionally.

(free childcare available)
Books & Special Materials
Your donations are appreciated. Thank you for thinking of WHPS and helping to make a difference!

Brombach Family - Georgia O'Keefe Book
Soleiman Family - Felt Board & Stories
Bugliari Family - Copies of Mom's New Book for ALL Upper Elementary

Special Edition | Seth Pozzi -  Head of School

Person-First Language

It’s not just about being politically correct

Our language shapes our attitudes; our attitudes shape our language; they're intertwined. If you’ve been reading our newsletters and blog articles over the years, you know how strongly we feel that the specific words we choose can impact a child's mindset, motivation, self-image, and the likelihood they may comply with what’s being asked of them. Language also has significant implications in how we teach children to perceive others. Using person-first language is one way we convey respect and dignity to people and avoid instilling some forms of bias in children.  

What is Person-First Language?
Quite simply, it means putting the person first when talking about someone. Person-first language avoids using labels or adjectives to define someone, utilizing terms such as "a person with diabetes" or "a person with dyslexia" instead of saying the person is a diabetic or a dyslexic. The intention is for a person to be seen foremost as a person and only secondly as a person with some trait. Here are some examples:

Learning Profile & Personality Profile
In our school, in addition to striving to always use person-first language, we also like to use the terminology: learning or personality profile. We work with a lot of gifted (about 1 in 5 WHPS students) and highly intellectual children, and also children who experience a variety of learning differences or are on the autism spectrum. We find that viewing these traits as part of the child’s learning and/or personality profile helps to acknowledge that giftedness, high IQ, anxiety, ADHD, sensory processing, speech/language disorders, dyslexia or autism are only one, of many, aspects of the child’s learning or personality profile.

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

Want kids to be kind, accepting and inclusive?

They may not be getting the message!


Last month, the children and staff of WHPS took a stand against bullying as we participated in the celebration of Unity Day. Unity Day, an anti-bullying campaign, promotes kindness, acceptance and inclusion. As parents, of course you want to raise kind, accepting and inclusive children but are your children hearing that message? A recent Harvard study found about 80% of children said their parents were more concerned with their achievement or happiness than whether they cared for others. 

"As parents, of course you want to raise kind, accepting and inclusive
children but are your children hearing that message?"

Childhood is a unique time of development when children are literally learning how to become members of society, picking up on social norms and cultural values. They look to us to understand what those norms and values are. Most parents report that raising a caring child is very important and even rate it as more important than children’s achievements. Still, participants in the study were three times more likely to agree that, “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring member in class and school.”

So how can parents send the message that kindness, acceptance and inclusion are valuable? Luckily, there are a few things you can do now, during these formative preschool years, that will have lasting effects on the character of your child. 

  1. Embrace that we are not all the same: Don’t be afraid to participate in awkward conversations with your child. Unfortunately many parents avoid talking about differences in the hopes to raise kind and color-blind children. To truly encourage the value of inclusivity you will need to explain differences related to race, religion, culture, ability, family type, etc. to your child. When you have those conversations you can matter of factly point out that, yes, differences exist and that no matter how different people are, everyone has feelings.   
  2. Practice: Give children opportunities to practice. Instead of sending the message “we’re friends with everyone” help your child practice making a new friend. Invite someone out for a play date that your child doesn’t already play with. Encourage your child to befriend the new child in class. 
  3. Proactive role-modeling: Remember that children learn more from watching what you do than listening to what you say. Take a step back to ensure you’re speaking kindly of others and refraining from bad-mouthing or name-calling (especially in traffic!). Look for opportunities to diversify your circle. 
  4. Perspective taking: Encourage your child to take others’ perspectives from time to time. You can read your child’s favorite stories and ask how the characters might be feeling.  
Elementary News | Jacey Dexter - Elementary Principal

Student Perceptions

So what, now what?

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to serve on a WASC Accreditation Committee, conducting an in-depth evaluation of another school. I spent three days on campus meeting with the school’s leadership team and parents, observing teachers/students, and learning what their program is all about. I enjoyed serving on the committee and gaining some wonderful insights into their program. But, it also reinforced how special and outstanding our program and community are. This year, our school is also renewing our WASC accreditation, and I can’t wait for the committee to come see what we are all about. 

What is WASC Really Looking at?
We develop a self-study and action plan, outlining our goals for the next six years, addressing the areas below. These goals are based on feedback from: students, parents, teachers, and the leadership team.

  • Organization & Support for Growth - How well does the school live out its vision and support the needs and academic achievement of all students? 
  • Community Involvement - How is the school involved in the community and how involved is the parent community with the school? 
  • Resource Management - Are resources allocated equitably to best support the needs and academic achievement of all students?
  • Curriculum Instruction & Assessment - To what extent is the school’s curriculum rooted in educational research and proven to be effective? 

Student Survey
Part of our self-study includes a student survey, which we recently conducted with the entire elementary school. We asked students about their school experience. You can find a list of the questions here. I am sharing some data from the survey (a full analysis will be included in the WASC report available to parents this spring). 

The above answers help to validate: students' connectedness, satisfaction with their teachers knowing them as an individual, and availability of good technology and resources. 

When we examined the data and comments about the library, we found that some students would like to see us expand on the resources available to them in the leveled library. 

Since the survey, further expansion of the leveled library has already been added to our Resource Management Action Plan. The above questions reflect just one small example of how feedback (in this case from students) is used in shaping our goals. 

I DARE not to smile when you read this last part.
In the survey we asked students the following open ended questions (click the links to find out what they said).

  1. I think my family chose WHPS because...
  2. The best part about WHPS is...
  3. Something I wish we could learn about is...
You can learn more about our action plan and goals throughout the year. And, I strongly urge you to come meet with our Accreditation Committee when they are on campus this March. Stay tuned for more information.
"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center
Hello animal lovers!

October has been a very interesting month! Winds and smoke have been plaguing our community, and I’m sure many of you are wondering how our animals are doing. I’m happy to report that everyone is doing well. Everyone is just gearing up for the cold weather in the coming months.

Evolution classes (2nd and 5th grade) have gained a firm grasp of the basics of genetics. The kids can’t seem to get enough, even showing disappointment that we are almost done with a lesson! Soon we will be assigning recessive and dominant traits to our creatures as part of our evolution project; we will use Punnett Squares to determine the traits of our creatures’ offspring. 4th grade has been looking into the many ways animals interact with each other. Ask a 4th grader about the push-pull of predator vs prey,  competition, mutualism, and parasitism. We will also be investigating ways an animal population can grow or decrease. Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 3rd grade have continued their lessons in caring for animals. We learned why it’s so important for animals to stay groomed or preened (ask which animals groom and which preen), and even got to help our hoofstock with their grooming. Next up, we will be discussing substrate and how to decide which to use with our animals, as well as the importance of keeping our animals at the proper temperature. 

Preschool has been weathering the storm. We have held some classes in the Reptile Room, which kept us safe from the winds and allowed us to discuss and explore all kinds of reptiles. In November, we will continue our lessons into all things birds! We are looking at down feathers, learning how they keep birds warm, and we will be observing how chickens look for food using “chicken scratch.” Our little ones always love the chicken scratch game; finding toys inside hay using only their feet! We will also be delving into bird behaviors such as nesting, and by the end of the month we will be talking about how our barnyard animals deal with cold weather. 

Hopefully with November here we can dial down the winds and temperature. Stop by and see all the fall decorations Mrs. Tanja has set up too! 

Mr. Matthew & Mrs. Tanja
We're on Instagram @whpschool
November Events - 2019
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events!
Nov. Collins Oxnard
1 & 4   Elementary Student-Led Conferences (NO SCHOOL, Childcare Available)
3 Daylight Savings Time Ends
5 Small Group Tours @ 10am
6   PAWS Meeting @ 6:30pm
7 Restaurant Night @ Corner Bakery, Sponsored by PAG
8 Preschool All-Staff PD: SCHOOL CLOSES @ 4pm, NO EXT. CARE
11 Veterans Day: NO SCHOOL
12 Small Group Tours @ 10am
13 Animal Tracks, Sponsored by PAG
Rm. 10 - Science & Nature Center Visit
14 Rm. 7 & 9 - Science & Nature Center Visit  
15 Kids Night Out, Sponsored by PAG @ 6-10pm
Farmers Market, Hosted by Rm. 3 & 4
TK-5th Grade Info. Session @ 10am
16   Kids Night Out, Sponsored by PAWS @ 6-10pm
19 Small Group Tours @ 10am
19 PAG Meeting @ 5:30pm  
21 Anxiety! Parent Workshop @ 6pm
26 Small Group Tours @ 10am
27   Elementary All-School Thanksgiving Feast @ 11am
28-29 Thanksgiving Break: NO SCHOOL
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22322 Collins Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367   •   22555 Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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