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Special Edition  | Elementary  |  Preschool  |   Barnyard  |  This Month's Calendar
Camp Woodland Hills
Camp Woodland Hills is our summer program for children entering TK-6th grade this coming fall. Camp will be open (with COVID safety) and FUN in mind!
REGISTER EARLY TO GET YOUR PREFERRED SCHEDULE
Elementary Orientations

ELEMENTARY ORIENTATIONS
for the grade your child will enter in fall 2021

GRADE DATE & TIME
TK & K April 15 @ 10 AM
April 20 @ 4 PM
1st Grade April 16 @ 10 AM
2nd & 3rd Grade April 21 @ 10 AM
4th & 5th Grade April 22 @ 10 AM

NOTE:  ZOOM ID: 897 897 5076, PW: whps
  • Meetings will be no more than 30 minutes, with time for Q & A at the end.
  • We will be sharing information about what to expect in the year ahead, including typical child development and how to prepare for a successful school year!
  • ALL families encouraged to attend: Parents, grandparents, and any other caregivers welcome.
  • No RSVP required, all meetings use the Zoom link above.

Special Edition | Seth Pozzi -  Head of School

A COMMUNITY OF LIFELONG LEARNERS

What a difference a year makes! 

March 2020 will be burned into our memories for a long time to come. One such memory that sticks with me was from March 12, at the conclusion of our WASC accrediting committee visit, when it became apparent schools would be closing. I remember getting our team together to start mapping out remote learning plans (for those 3 weeks we thought we’d be closed).

Here we are a year later, with a lot more knowledge about COVID, and open in person for all ages/grades. One thing that has not changed is our commitment to lifelong learning. I want to share with you just a few areas our team has continued to grow and develop during this school year. 

PANDEMIC PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (PD)
When the pandemic forced school closures last year, our monthly San Fernando Valley school consortium meetings shifted to Zoom; then they shifted to weekly calls. Schools that are normally friendly competition for one another all began sharing reopening plans, staff training, and every possible resource to support one another. We could not be more grateful for this amazing support system. 

One contribution our team made to the consortium was a returning to school training series we developed, which was shared and adapted by other schools (incl. our summer camp). Some these topics might not seem so revolutionary now, but they serve as a time capsule from the early days when our understanding of COVID—and certainly how to safely reopen schools during the pandemic—was still emerging. 

2020-2021 NON-PANDEMIC PD
This year was not just about weathering the pandemic, nor would a pandemic stop our love and pursuit of lifelong learning. While not an exhaustive list, here are a few professional development initiatives we've completed and continue to work on.

PD - DIRECT FROM COLUMBIA TEACHERS COLLEGE

  • Pre-K Institute: Research on the intersection of play and early reading and writing development (stay tuned as new programming and methodology rolls out in our program)
  • Elementary Reimagining Education Institute: Teaching, Learning and Leading for a Racially Just Society (upcoming summer workshops)

PD - ONGOING INITIATIVES

  • Differentiated Instruction: Singapore Math
  • Sensory Integration: Recognizing & Addressing Sensory Challenges
  • Diversity, Inclusion & Equity in Early Childhood Classrooms
  • Designing the Physical Environment to Promote Prosocial Behavior
  • Teacher Language: Empowering vs. Disempowering Words
  • Child-Centered Art

PD - FOR PARENTS

Elementary News | Jacey Dexter - Elementary Principal

One of my most important responsibilities as Elementary Principal is to leverage the collective talents, strengths and professional knowledge of our team to provide an unparalleled educational experience for our families. 

A few facts about the elementary team:

  • Our Lower Elementary team has more than 72 years combined teaching experience, 28 of those with WHPS.
  • Our Upper Elementary team has more than 73 years combined teaching experience, 52 of those with WHPS.
  • Our Specialist team has more than 108 years combined teaching experience, 51 of those with WHPS.
  • Our Elementary Leadership team has over 63 years combined teaching and leadership experience, 27 of those at WHPS. 

As we look ahead to next year, and dare I say perhaps even some semblance of normal times, one of my goals is to make sure every child and family get the maximum benefit of your investment in a WHPS education. One way we do this is through the special services we provide families, including early orientation sessions in the spring where we go over some common areas of child development for your child's grade next year and help you anticipate potential changes and hurdles (and how to address them) before they happen.

ORIENTATION SESSIONS
We invite you to join our upcoming grade level orientations, which is a great way to prepare for a successful fall start. Additionally, I will be sending out information in the near future on virtual family reading nights, a chance for families to meet some of our teaching teams on Zoom and hear a bedtime story. I look forward to seeing you at the orientations!

  • TK & K - April 15 @ 10 AM or April 20 @ 4 PM
  • 1st Grade - April 16 @ 10 AM
  • 2nd & 3rd Grade - April 21 @ 10 AM
  • 4th & 5th Grade - April 22 @ 10 AM
Preschool News
Collins Campus
Robin & Ailin
Oxnard Campus
Alessandra & Christine

FORCED APOLOGY = MISSED
LEARNING OPPORTUNITY

What to try instead

As parents, I think we can agree that it isn’t easy at times to navigate an incident involving our child hitting, pushing, or otherwise acting impulsively toward another child (or adult), purposely or accidentally. A common response when we witness something like this is to immediately ask our child to "Say you're sorry." 

We may feel embarrassed and quickly react 
asking our child to say, “I’m sorry.”

In our roles as Preschool Directors, we have heard this play out many times. But, there are some issues with this approach:

  1. Young children are still learning to control impulses and may not know why they did what they did. Children also take longer than adults to digest an experience and process it.
  2. The pressure to apologize right then and there takes away their chance to learn from the situation. 
  3. What they do learn might be the wrong message. Forcing a child to say “I’m sorry,” can send the message that apologizing fixes everything and is a quick way to automatically right every wrong.  
  4. A true apology requires empathy, which develops gradually throughout the early years. Young children may not be developmentally ready to understand, much less own the words they are saying.

So what should you do if your child hurts another child?

  • Prevention - If you know your child is more apt to hit or act out when tired, frustrated, or overstimulated, try your best to remain close by so you can intervene before an incident occurs. Use a firm but even tone: “I won’t let you hit,” creating a physical boundary between the children with our hands. In a recent parent/teacher workshop, the presenter referred to these as "ninja hands."
  • Model Appropriate Response - If we are too late and a child is hurt (for example), you can apologize to the injured child and their parent/caregiver. Something as simple as, “Ouch, I’m sorry that Sammy pushed you. Let's help you up and see if you need an ice pack or a bandaid. Is there anything we can do to make you feel better? We are so sorry.” By taking such action, you are modeling to your child an appropriate reaction to take when accidentally or purposely hurting someone. This allows the child to also help care for the injured child, continue to develop empathy, and repair the situation. NOTE: This is similar to the "apology of action" approach we use in elementary school.

There is a reciprocal connection between learning an empathetic response and learning about forgiveness. When we model an appropriate social response, our child is also learning about forgiveness. This is one important way we help our children develop into empathetic human beings.

"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center

Hi Barnyard friends!

March has been a crazy month for the animals in our Science & Nature Center. They were just getting used to the idea of not having a proper winter when we suddenly got some intense rain and even hail! The hail started coming down while we were out for a walk with Quito. We think he rather enjoyed it. 

ELEMENTARY
In Evolution, we learned about artificial selection. As part of our evolution simulation, each student had an opportunity to select their creature's color and patterns on their bodies. Our 2nd and 5th graders have great imaginations, and we can’t wait for you to see how their creatures turn out at the end of the unit. In Ecology, we discussed the many different ways animals move around in the world. Walking, running, and flying might come to mind right away, but there is also hopping, gliding, climbing, swimming, and slithering. We tested them all out and, to no one’s surprise, humans are best at walking and running. 

PRESCHOOL
This month, we played the chicken scratch game, simulating how chickens walk, and one of the children's favorites. We also investigated the different kinds of food our animals eat, seeing and touching the different items, including pellets. Pellets are like cereal for animals, except they're super healthy (I can't say that about all cereals). We also created an obstacle course for the children, modeled on: “A day in the life of Mr. Matthew". Our friends had to pick up “poop” (cotton balls), give an animal medicine, catch an animal with a net, and teach a class by describing a shape on the white board. Our aspiring zoologists, veterinarians, and animal keepers all enjoyed this simulation. 

The end of March brings the beginning of spring. This is the animals' favorite time of year, and the time of babies and growth. We hope the sunshine can bring some happiness to everyone!

Mr. Matthew and Mrs. Tanja

We're on Instagram @whpschool
April Events - 2021
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events!
April Collins Oxnard
2 Preschool Spring Half-Day
Pick-up Times

12-12:10pm: Rm. 1-3
12:10-12:20pm: Rm. 4-6
12:30-12:30: Rm. 7-10
Preschool Spring Half-Day
Pick-up Times

12-12:10pm: Toddlers & 2s
12:10-12:20pm: 3-4 YO
12:20-12:30: PreK
5   Elementary Classes Resume
6   Spring Picture Day
7   PAWS Meeting @ 6:30pm
8   Spring Picture Day
9   Spring Picture Day
13 PAG Meeting @ 6:30pm  
15 Virtual Wine Tasting, Sponsored by PAG @ 7pm TK & K Orientation
10-10:30am 

*attend 1 of the 2 sessons
16   1st Grade Orientation 
10-10:30am 
16 Last Day to Register for Camp Woodland Hills
(summer camp for children going int TK-6th grade)
20   5th Grade Graduation Pictures
(on campus in the morning)
----------
TK & K Orientation for Fall 2021
4-4:30pm 

*attend 1 of the 2 sessons
21   2nd & 3rd Grade Orientation 
10-10:30am 
22   4th & 5th Grade Orientation 
10-10:30am 
22  🌎 Day - Preschool Go Event (children only)
26 Restaurant Night @ Sharky's  
27 Mad Science (day 1)  
28 Mad Science (day 2)  
29 Mad Science (day 3)
Virtual Open House - Sent out at 5pm
 
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