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Kindergarten & TK
Apply by December 3

Live Virtual Information Sessions
for TK-5th Grade

Live Virtual Info. Sessions
Tuesdays in November @ 10 AM

Campus Preview Day
Saturday, November 20 10 AM - Noon

Private Tours Available
Contact School Office

Avoid the waitlist:
Apply by December 3
Winter Show
December 2021

This year, we will be holding a modified Winter Show. All classrooms at both campuses will be performing acts, which will take place during school and will be edited into a Winter Show video. A copy will be shared with every family to enjoy. It will also be streamed in elementary classrooms on December 17 (before we leave for Winter Break).

The Winter Show is one of the most coveted special events of the year, and we are planning to resume the in-person event at the Performing Arts Education Center next year. 
Preparing for Colder Weather
We continue to prioritize safety while managing certain comforts (though we are thankful that we are in Southern California).
  • As we did last winter, we will max out our heaters to keep everyone as comfortable as possible.
  • Even with heaters running at full capacity, there’s no way to maintain a consistently comfortable indoor temperature with windows open on cold days.
  • Children should dress in layers, even hats and gloves, on cold days! 

Parent Workshop

Thursday, November 18 @ 10am
with Dr. Hilya Tehrani (Connected Strides)

We will discuss...
  • Recognizing how children's big emotions impact us as parents.
  • How our expectations make all the difference.
  • What are coping tools? How can we help our children develop them?

Special Edition | Seth Pozzi -  Head of School

Pediatric Vaccine Approved

What does this mean?

The FDA has given emergency use authorization (EUA) to the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11, and once the CDC green lights the process, we expect some of the first shots to be administered as early as this week. CA has announced a vaccine mandate for anyone who wants to attend in-person school. While many parents are anxious to get their children vaccinated, others see this as a weighty decision or may not want to vaccinate at all. Here is an update on what we know so far about the pediatric vaccine and some other pandemic-related issues. 

Vaccine Safety
The vaccine was subject to the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. The FDA found zero deaths or significant adverse events in the trials for kids. Kids will generally experience similar types of side effects from the vaccine as teens and adults—but likely with less severity, in part because the immune system doesn't fully develop until puberty. Throughout the history of vaccines, side effects are extremely rare after 6 weeks, and there is no evidence of vaccines affecting a child’s future fertility.

When does the CA mandate go into effect for elementary schools?
The mandate does not go into effect until the semester after the vaccine receives full FDA approval (not EUA) for each age group. For ages 5-11, we do not anticipate the mandate going into effect until fall 2022 at the earliest. When it does go into effect, it will apply to children attending any in-person school in CA. At this time, WHPS is planning to follow California's timeline in requiring the vaccine for children when full FDA approval is granted, which we anticipate may be for the start of the 2022-2023 school year. 

Will there be any exemptions?
Governor Newsom put forth the mandate through the regulatory process, whereas other school vaccine requirements and the elimination of the personal beliefs exemption were passed through the CA Legislature. There is still time for further legislation to pass, eliminating certain exemptions, and schools don't have a way to predict whether that will happen. WHPS, like all schools in CA, will be subject to following the requirements and laws in place at the time. 

When might the mask requirement go away?
On last week's DPH school briefing, Dr. Ferrer indicated that indoor masking would almost certainly remain in effect through the end of 2021. It is possible that fully vaccinated children and teachers may be able to be unmasked indoors sometime in 2022.

When do quarantines go away?
Currently, fully vaccinated people do not have to quarantine after travel or exposure to someone with COVID-19, as long as they do not develop any symptoms. We anticipate this will be the case for children who are fully vaccinated, which will mean fewer interruptions to school. As you plan for the upcoming holidays, remember that unvaccinated children must quarantine if traveling out of state. Be sure to account for a 7-10 day quarantine if you are traveling with unvaccinated children. 

What about preschools?
Trials are still taking place for children under 5. We will continue to update you as new information becomes available. 

Knowledge is power!
We believe high vaccination rates are one of the best ways for schools to return to normal for our children. We also respect the varying viewpoints and concerns of our families. We will continue to provide as much meaningful education and information to our families as possible. For now, we strongly encourage you to speak with your pediatrician about any questions you may have. Our friends at Agoura-West Valley Pediatrics are planning to host a live Facebook session soon. We will post the date once we have it, but in the meantime, you can submit questions on their Facebook page

Elementary News | Jacey Dexter - Elementary Principal

Deconstructing Bullying

What Parents Need to Know

Thank you to the families who were able to join our October Coffee & Conversation focused on Deconstructing Bullying. We had a meaningful conversation, and I’m happy to include some of the highlights below: 

Bullying is a term that can sometimes be misunderstood. Some of the key characteristics of bullying include an imbalance of power, repeated behaviors, and seeking to harm or intimidate someone intentionally. A bully is someone who intentionally and repeatedly hurts, harms or humiliates another person either physically or emotionally.

How is this different from typical, if undesirable, behaviors?
It's normal for children to exhibit behaviors that they never have before or don't at home. "They’ve never not wanted to go to school" or "They’ve never used language like that before." Sound familiar? As children move through elementary school, they are constantly expanding their social bubble and having new experiences. As a result, it's common and developmentally appropriate to see physical reactions and impulsive behaviors that stem from reactions to big emotions. Name calling and boundary pushing are also expected at the elementary age. While they certainly will be addressed, they don't necessarily constitute bullying.

As children expand their social circles and move from parallel play into deeper engagement with peers, you’ll notice more love/hate relationships between peers. This is especially common as children are learning how to navigate conflict with one another. It's common to hear children say things like: "No one likes me," at times. Rest assured that we are here to support your child, coach them, and help them learn to self-advocate.  

Why is it so hard?
We have to understand and acknowledge that the past two years have been tremendously challenging for everyone. We’ve lived with heightened anxiety and unpredictability for a prolonged amount of time. Even for children who were fortunate enough to be in school pretty consistently, they were in smaller than normal cohorts with atypical restrictions on play, collaboration and group work. Students may be navigating new dynamics and challenges for the first time, and we are seeing a wider developmental range than ever in all age groups. It's also not lost on me that parents are experiencing this too, and it can feel jarring. This chart serves as a reminder of why.

How do we support children at school?

  • Social-Emotional Learning (you can read about the different aspects)
  • Accountable Talk (modeling language and effective communication)
  • Supervision (we are extremely fortunate to have 2 teachers in every classroom)
  • Validate Feelings (name it to tame it)
  • Logical Consequences (helping children fix mistakes)  

How can you support your child at home?

  • Validate Feelings (name the emotion your child is feeling)
  • Empower (help your child think about how they might handle the situation in the future, without fixating on what happened this time)
  • Focus on the positives of the day (don't fixate on the peer that was unkind)
  • Partner with your child’s teacher (remember the Advocacy Approach from our Parent Partnerships workshop)

Promoting Kindness
Finally, we discussed the ways that we can collectively promote kindness in our children. One of the biggest things we can do is model. Keep modeling what empathy, kindness, gratitude, and perseverance look like. At school, we are also discussing and practicing being upstanders vs. bystanders. An upstander will intervene if they see something wrong happening to someone else; a bystander may simply let it happen. Be on the lookout on the WHPS Facebook page for a special project on this topic in 4th and 5th grade.

Preschool News
Collins Campus
Robin & Ailin
Oxnard Campus
Vivien & Christine


How to Raise Thankful Children
At Thanksgiving & Other Times Too!

Thanksgiving: It’s about family, friends and being thankful. Human beings are hardwired to care for others. But, how do we teach preschool aged children to understand the true meaning of this holiday and, more importantly, how to be grateful in general? This goal requires a deeper emotional understanding than simply just teaching them to say please and thank you.

In order to raise thankful children, we can build on moments when we have opportunities to sincerely model gratitude. We can do this by providing children with opportunities to be a part of everyday activities such as washing dishes, sweeping the floor, helping with the baby, etc. The role of the adult is to talk about [narrate] why they are grateful. “You helped me feed the baby, thank you, it makes me feel happy inside.” Physically getting down to their level and sincerely noticing their specific effort is important. By modeling our appreciation in this way, we are helping children identify the emotion and learn how to express their thankfulness or gratitude.  

This Thanksgiving, encourage your children to help with making the feast, setting the table or maybe even taking pictures of the holiday. Print and put the pictures on the refrigerator or another part of the house so you can reflect on the day, talking about how everyone helped to make it a wonderful holiday and how that made you feel. 

 For more information on how to raise a thankful child, please visit: Raising a Thankful Child

"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center

Hi Barnyard friends,  

As you may know, Mr. Matthew will be returning this week from paternity leave. He has loved spending this time with his daughter and watching her grow. He is so excited to come back because he has missed all the animals and teaching, but he will also miss spending time with little Maysel. 

Our Preschool friends have been having fun with Ms. Cassidy learning about bones. Animal bones are surprisingly similar to ours, and the teeth of an animal can tell you a lot about what they eat. We also met a special guest last week, Mickey! When Mr. Matthew comes back, we will be looking at birds in even more detail. We will learn all about feathers, the most unique characteristic of birds. We will also get to play one of our favorite preschool games, Chicken Scratch.

Mrs. Savannah has had a great time working with our elementary friends. In Evolution, our creatures are starting to evolve into unique animals; next month we will be delving into DNA and genes. These play a huge role in who we are and what we look like. In Ecology, we get to play some fun games that illustrate the dynamics between predators and prey. We will also explore how and why populations of animals change over time. In Animal Care, we've been learning how to feed the goats and sheep. Next, we will put together all we have learned as we work together to design a home for an animal we don't have in the barnyard just yet.

We hope you are all following the WHPS Science & Nature Center on Instagram @whpschool. You can learn more about our animals and "Our Barnyard" team. Meet Our Barnyard is a new feature on our page and every Monday where we highlight someone new. 

Wishing you a happy and safe Thanksgiving,
Mr. Matthew and Mrs. Tanja

November Events
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events!
Nov. Collins Oxnard
1 Charleston Wrap Fundraiser Begins (through 11/12)  
2 Elementary LIVE Virtual Tour @ 10am
2 Farmer's Market - Hosted by Rm. 10  
3   PAWS Meeting @ 6:30-7:30pm
4-5   Elementary Student-Led Conferences - NO SCHOOL
5 PRESCHOOL CLOSES at 4pm (all staff professional development)
7 Daylight Savings Time Ends
9 Elementary LIVE Virtual Tour @ 10am
9 PAG Meeting (Zoom) @1-2pm  
11 Veteran's Day - NO SCHOOL
15-16 Mad Science - Sponsored by PAG  
16 Elementary LIVE Virtual Tour @ 10am
17 Restaurant Nights:
Sharky's - Oxnard Campus
Chic-Fil-A - Collins Campus
18 Parent Workshop: Tiny Humans, Big Emotions @ 10am
19   Farmer's Market - Hosted by Rm. 4-5
20 Elementary Campus Preview Day
(primarily for families that don't already attend Oxnard Campus)
23 Elementary LIVE Virtual Tour @ 10am
24 ChoiceLunch Closed - NO HOT LUNCH
Elementary Thanksgiving Feast (students-only)
25-26 Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL
3 First Round TK & K Applications Due
(open to outside community after December 3)
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22322 Collins Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367   •   22555 Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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