WHPS Newsletter


Registering for Fall
Registration Information - coming soon!
Brochures and registration forms will be sent out by email. Once available, you can also pick up a packet in the office.

In order to guarantee space for your child, please note the due dates for each program.
DUE Registration For
March 4  Fall 2019
 All Preschool & 1st-5th Grade
March 4  Summer 2019 Preschool
April 12  Summer 2019 Camp Woodland Hills
Children going into TK-6th Grade
School Tours
In the winter and spring, we offer school tours for prospective preschool and elementary families. If you know someone who is interested, please have them contact the school to RSVP for a tour.

Elementary & Preschool Tours (10-11 AM)
Tuesday, February 5
Tuesday, February 12
Tuesday, February 19
Tuesday, February 26

Collins Campus
Toddler • Preschool

Oxnard Campus
Preschool • Elementary

Effective Parent-School Partnerships
Friday, February 15 @ 8:30 AM

Want to get the MOST out of your investment in a WHPS education? Our February Coffee & Conversation topic is one you will NOT WANT TO MISSOn February 15, our school leadership team will be facilitating a conversation on how to maximize your ROI through Effective Parent-School Partnerships. Even if you have had older children come through our program, there is a lot to be gained from this conversation!


Supporting Positive Behavior, Part 2 (CB 201)
Monday, February 25 @ 5:30-7:30 PM

Join us for the next Parent/Teacher Workshop, led by Todd Hioki, on building a simple, consistent effective approach to Positive-Behavior Support (PBS). The workshop is designed to provide ALL parents and teachers with strategies to guide children toward positive behavior.

An effective approach to PBS includes knowing:
  • What to say, what not to say, when to say it; how many times to say it
  • How do you physically intervene with defiance or misbehavior?
  • How to partner with your spouse, co-parent or co-teacher
  • What’s really going on in your child’s brain and body and how can you help?

Todd’s current work focuses on the application of systems thinking and design thinking to early childhood education and parenting. Todd presents internationally on early education and child development topics and currently instructs at Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School, UCLA, Mission College, and SMC.

Image result for rsvp for workshops button
WHPS Wine Night - Malibu Wines

The WHPS Wine Night event was a great success! Thank you to the PAG team for a truly lovely and fun evening.

Giving Back to WHPS
Remember that donations made through PAWS or PAG may be tax-deductible. Please reach out to PAWS, PAG or our Head of School, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., to discuss a gift of any size that can support a program or campus improvement.

Abram Family

Classroom Toys & Manipulatives

Brockman/Kalmus Family

Krauss Family
Sets of New Markers

Schilling Family
Classroom Toys & Books

Stratton Family

Special Edition | Seth Pozzi -  Head of School

WHPS Students vs. Private School Peers
Test Scores Reveal Key Strengths of Elementary Division

It is often said: The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A WHPS education involves unique and carefully selected “parts” that work in concert toward a “whole” that you can’t find anywhere else. In this month’s elementary and preschool newsletters, the principal and directors highlight some of the ways the programs promote critical thinking. I want to shine a light on something we don’t talk about all that often-test scores. While test scores are not necessarily the thing that gets me up in the morning, they do validate a lot of the work we are doing in our school.

These key pillars underpin the WHPS experience and reflect our core values. In broad strokes, they are designed to promote: Critical Thinking, Leadership Development, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL).
One of the ways we measure the results of our program and also validate the work we do with children is through testing. Each year our 3rd-5th graders take the ERB, which measures their achievement against other children in private schools across the country. This is quite different from the test children take in public school (and that you read about in the newspaper) because it measures critical thinking. Unlike the public school test, the ERB includes constructed responses, looking at students' thinking, not just their correct (or incorrect) answers. This section is also graded by a human being, not a Scantron machine.
And, because you can’t read about these scores in the LA Times, I want to share with you how our children are doing. These scores are for last year's graduates, the class of 2018.

The critical thinking sections of the ERB address quantitative reasoning and mathematical thinking.

Compared to Critical Thinking scores of children in other private schools:

  • 94% of our students tested in top 40% or above
  • 83% of our students tested in top 23% or above
  • 61% of our students tested in top 11% or above
  • 33% of our students tested in top 4% or above
The literacy sections of the ERB address reading, writing and verbal reasoning skills.

Compared to Literacy scores of children in other private schools:
  • 89% of our students tested in top 40% or above
  • 61% of our students tested in top 23% or above
  • 50% of our students tested in top 11% or above
  • 18% of our students tested in top 4% or above

When I mention these scores with other educators or parents, they are often flabbergasted. How can a school where kids work at their own pace and where we don’t do a lot of test prep help children score so high on the bell curve? Some of the answers can be found in the articles below. And, we dig into this topic a bit more at our Tuesday school tours. I encourage you to join us for one of our tours where we discuss some of the ways these "parts" work together.

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

How to Grow Your Child’s Mind
WHPS Preschool Curriculum Develops Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking in Preschool-Age Children
A child’s natural curiosity, inquisitiveness and imagination are the foundation for critical thinking. Critical thinking essentially means taking in information, analyzing it, and making judgments about it. As children take in new information, they fill up a library-of sorts within their brain. They grapple with how the new information fits (or conflicts) with information they already hold to be true. In her book, “Mind in the Making,” author Ellen Galinsky explains how critical thinking skills are developed in young children.

Encourage pursuits of curiosity
Children develop critical thinking by testing theories, experimenting, exploring, and asking questions. This is precisely why our school uses an Inquiry-Based approach, hands-on science, math, and sensory activities. We encourage children to question their surroundings and investigate answers to their “why” questions.

Whenever possible, our goal is to guide children in finding answers to their “why” questions, but not to tell them the answers. Teachers use open-ended questioning to help children think about what they already know and what they want to learn about a topic. In some classrooms, you might see K/W/L charts that reflect this inquiry and learning cycle.

Help children evaluate information
In the real world, we are often given lots of information at one time, and it is increasingly important to be able to evaluate that information to determine if it is important and whether or not we should believe it. Even at the preschool level, we begin to help children develop these skills by teaching them to evaluate new information. Where or who is the information coming from? How does it match/conflict with what they already know? How might they find evidence? Why is it important?

Follow children’s interests/passions (teach them at their highest level of interest)
When children are deeply invested in a topic or pursuit, they are more engaged and able to learn at a much deeper level. This is why we build thematic studies in each classroom based on an Emergent Learning approach. Teachers identify topics the children are interested in and embed learning objectives for social-emotional, language, cognitive, and physical development into these high-interest topics.

Learn from the environment
One of our core beliefs at WHPS is that “the environment is a 3rd teacher.” By this, we mean that we pay careful attention to how the space (indoors or outdoors) supports exploration and engagement with the environment on children’s own terms and at times without adult mediation. Learning centers are designed to stimulate social interaction, problem solving, experimentation with loose parts, dramatic play, fantasy, even conflict and its resolution.

Conflict and its resolution
When working with others, problems or conflicts can arise. That’s good! Conflict resolution is a critical skill for children to develop, and you can't learn the skill if you don't experience conflict. This is one of the reasons teachers work with children to solve problems. We don’t simply separate kids or tell them how a conflict should be resolved. Instead, we coach them through and guide with questions and suggestions. The long-term goals is for children to become increasingly independent in resolving conflict. One of the ways we do this is by helping children feel safe, confident, and able to express how a situation made them feel.

Elementary News | Jacey Dexter - Elementary Principal

To sweeten, or not to sweeten, that is the question...
Critical Thinking in Writer’s Workshop

You may have heard that the USDA recently rolled back restrictions on healthy school lunches. Since 2012, schools had been required to meet healthier school lunch guidelines, requiring whole grain-rich breads/pastas, lower sodium levels, and phasing out high fat/flavored milk. Beginning in 2019, these requirements are being lifted, and schools can once again serve chocolate milk, as well as partial grains and higher-sodium foods. While the political debate wages on, so does the debate at WHPS. Some of our Upper Elementary students are taking a deep dive into this issue, using and honing critical thinking skills in the process.

Thinking Critically (there are multiple perspectives on every argument)
In Writer’s Workshop, Room 19 students have been learning what goes into a strong Argument Essay. This includes some pretty sophisticated work: collecting evidence, developing a position, outlining, using evidence to back up a claim, and unpacking quotes to show how they relate to your claim, all while learning how to convey this information with their own “author’s voice.”

Connected to the Real-World
The chocolate milk debate serves as a model for children in learning to develop and argue their position. Each student had an opportunity to collect evidence and develop a strong position about the issue, in this case chocolate milk. They then learned how to unpack quotes and present reasons for their claim. 

Debating & Disagreeing Respectfully (can someone PLEASE teach this to the adults)
The next step in this unit of study is a debate, in which students will practice the art of persuasion: backing up their statements with evidence while also applying what they’ve learned about disagreeing respectfully with one another.

Leveraging their Passion
All of this is a primer for the students to take a stance on a cause or issue they are personally passionate about. After the in-class chocolate milk debates, children will work to transfer the skills they have learned into their own writing project. They will develop and eventually publish their own Argument Essays, which they will share with an authentic audience of parents and peers at their next Publishing Celebration.

Third Grade Prepares for the Next Level
This is one of my favorite culminating units in Writer's Workshop. There is a lot of emphasis throughout 3rd grade on understanding and working with non-fiction texts and features (Table of Contents, Headings, Bold Words, Captions, Photographs, Graphs, Charts, Illustrations, Glossary, Index). It’s a sweet reward to see 4th/5th graders using all the information and skills they have gained in our program to go out and change the world.

"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center
Hi Barnyard friends!

The sky keeps opening up and pouring down on Our Barnyard, but Elementary is moving right along. Our 2nd and 5th graders are studying Evolution & Genetics. This month, we will be looking into how different animals from different locations on Earth can experience the same adaptations if their environment is similar enough. Part of this unit of study involves chronicling a creature as part of our Evolution project, which will begin to evolve in very unique ways. Kindergarten, 1st, and 4th grade will be getting a glimpse into the lives of animals, looking into how animal vision can be different from ours and how some animals use other senses to “see” the world. 3rd grade will be learning the difference between poison and venom; we will be playing a learning game that is always a fan favorite. We will also continue investigating differences between wild vs. domestic animals. 

In January, preschool learned about how to examine an animal to determine if they are healthy or not, including how to perform a physical exam and observe for strange behavior(s).  We used stethoscopes to listen to our own hearts and also used them to listen to our rabbits' hearts!

Mr. Matthew and Mrs. Tanja.

We're on Instagram @whpschool!
February Events - 2019
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events!
February Collins Oxnard
5 Elementary & Preschool Tours @ 10am
5 PAG - Animal Tracks  
6   PAWS - Lion Dancers
PAWS Meeting @ 6:30pm
7 Science & Nature Center Visit - Room 5 & 6  
8 Science & Nature Center Visit - Room 8 Farmer's Market - Hosted by Rm. 5 & 8
9 PAWS - Big & Small All-Star Ball @ 1:30-4pm
12 Elementary & Preschool Tours @ 10am
12 PAG Meeting @ 6pm  
13 Restaurant Night @ Mod Pizza (sponsored by PAG)
13   Picture Day (make-ups)
15 Coffee & Conversation - Effective Parent-School Partnerships
15   PAWS - Babysitting Night @ 6-10pm
16 PAG - Kids Night Out (babysitting) @ 5-9pm  
18 WHPS Closed - President's Day
19 Elementary & Preschool Tours @ 10am
20 Farmer's Market - Hosted by Rm. 7  
25 Supporting Positive Behavior Workshop @ 5:30pm
26 Elementary & Preschool Tours @ 10am
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22322 Collins Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367   •   22555 Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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