Special Edition  |  Preschool  |  Elementary  |  Barnyard  |  This Month's Calendar

This Month's Highlight:
Public Service Announcements videos from our 5th Grade Class
Collins St. Campus Back to School Night 
Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 6:00-8:00 pm
6:00-7:00 pm Rooms 1-5
6:00-8:00 pm Book Fair and Extracurricular Activity Booths will be open
7:00-8:00 pm Rooms 6-10
Donations & Birthday Books
Your donations are appreciated. Thank you for thinking of WHPS and helping to make a difference!
Scott Family - Toys/Manipulatives
Lamattina/Vollen Family - Art Supplies
Wirkkala Family - Library Books
Getting the Most out of Your WHPS Investment

Please choose which workshop date to attend:

Collins Campus*
Wednesday, October 2, 9-10 am 

Oxnard Campus*
Thursday, October 3, 4:30-5:30 pm 

Friday, October 4, 8:30-9:30 am

*Parents are welcome to attend either campus' workshops.

Join our leadership team for a conversation about how to get the MOST out of your family's investment in a WHPS education through Effective Parent-School Partnerships. Strategies discussed will be helpful for preschool or elementary; even if you have children in other school(s), we believe you will find this topic useful. 


Special Edition | Seth Pozzi -  Head of School

We are excited to have your family in our community for the 2019-2020 school year.  Every year, we gather information from our Parent Survey and discussions with families, staff and students. This data highlights some of the best parts of WHPS and helps inform some of our goals for the future.

According to the 2019 Parent Survey:

  • 100% of parents [who have experienced a transition - preschool to elementary or elementary to middle school] stated that our graduates were well-prepared for their next level of education!
  • 98% of parents cited critical thinking as an area of strength. 
  • 97% of parents cited emphasis on academic, cognitive, social and emotional growth in children as an area of strength.
  • 96% of parents cited fostering positive, healthy social groups as an area of strength.
  • 87% of Elementary Division parents indicated their child is taking part in advanced academic curriculum.
  • 84% of parents cited strengthening their child’s leadership abilities as a major area of strength.
  • According to parents, here are some of the best parts about WHPS.

You also gave us feedback about some hopes, goals or improvements you would like to see. Here are some initiatives that stemmed, in part, from parent feedback. 

Parent Education - Parents said they would like to see additional workshops for families with older children. Quite a few parents asked about tools for parenting high achieving or gifted learners, a large segment of our student population. This fall, we are launching:

Critical Thinking & Singapore Math - Many of you attended the first of our parent workshops for Singapore Math last spring (presentation available here). This year, Lower Elementary is excitedly launching the program. Stay tuned for highlights and continuing parent education opportunities. 

Civic Engagement - To paraphrase some of your comments, parents would like to us to expand opportunities for students to investigate social issues such as homelessness, bias, civil rights/responsibilities, global warming, etc. We believe there are some key areas where we can involve students in civic learning and engagement in a developmentally appropriate way. Some of these discussion and lesson materials will come from: 

Community Outreach - Instead of Student Council (only a few students serve as leaders) we use a Student Leadership Committee model (every student can be a leader in an area of passion). While each Committee will ultimately decide on the major initiatives they will undertake, here are a few things to look forward to:

  • Waste-free days 
  • Homeless care packages
  • Visit(s) to a local home for the aging
  • Community participation in the WHPS AIDS Lifecycle training ride rest stop
Technology - Quality schools are never done with technology training, adoption and curriculum development. We are excited to move into the next phase of:

As is the case every year, there are even more hopes, goals and ideas we would love to incorporate. While we may not be able to do everything right away, we are excited as we look ahead to our year together.
Preschool News
Collins Campus
Robin & Ms. Ailin
Oxnard Campus
Ms. Tracy & Ms. Christine

As we start a new school year we want to warmly welcome all of our new and returning preschool families.

Parents often comment on how well the children listen to their teachers or how surprised they are to see their child trying new things at school. Many parents wonder aloud about how the teachers are able to work such magic in the classroom. There are definitely some tricks that teachers can share but probably most important is that we work together, parents and teachers, to create a positive and memorable preschool experience. 

During these first weeks of school, as parents adjust to the new year, our teachers devote this time to helping children settle into the rhythm, ritual, and routine of preschool. 

Children will quickly learn the rhythm of the day and before long the rhythm of week. They will know what they can expect from their teachers and what they can expect from themselves. Our teachers work to help children understand that they are safe, secure, and loved in preschool. Children learn to trust the teacher and begin to feel comfortable with the ebb and flow of the school day. 

Teachers will build rituals into the daily life of the preschool classroom. They will find special little ways to connect with the children and to help them find moments that are unique to the preschool day. Rituals also support a peaceful classroom which in turn children to feel calm, competent  and ready to learn. Yoga poses before class begins or silly songs before snack time, high fives, blowing kisses, pushing Mommy or Daddy out the gate. These are the rituals that let the children know they are loved and valued. Overall it adds comfort & security.

Together, as a class, routines are being built each day. The children are learning what to expect after they are dropped off, during circle time, before snack and more. Knowing what to expect children are better able to participate and to act independently. Routines are essential to young children who have not yet fully grasped the concept of time. They instead organize their days by the sequence of events that take place. This is why routines are at the cornerstone of the preschool day. A child may not understand that Daddy will be back at three o’clock but they do understand that Daddy will be back after lunch. 

                "Creating a consistent, predictable, short and sweet drop off routine is one of the best ways to help children more easily separate in the morning."

We encourage our families to develop your own rhythm, ritual and routine with your preschooler. Recognize the unique rhythm of your family life and create rituals that your child will always remember. A favorite song every morning on the way to school or a special goodbye wave for example. Aim to provide your child with predictable morning and evening routines. Creating a consistent, predictable, short and sweet drop off routine is one of the best ways to help children more easily separate in the morning. Most importantly enjoy this time because it flies by all too fast!
Elementary News | Jacey Dexter - Elementary Principal

Congratulations! Your children have made it through the first two weeks of school. You survived the summer to fall transition, hit your stride with a morning routine, and have your sights set on making this the best year ever for your student. In the classrooms, our teachers are keenly focused on laying the foundation for the best year yet!

The First Six Weeks of School
At WHPS, we believe the first six weeks of school is a sacred and critical time for building classroom community, putting place routines that will maximize learning, and building connections with families. Teachers and students spend time discussing their hopes and goals for the year and participating in our version of a constitutional convention, developing and agreeing on the rules by which they will be governed. 

These conversations are important because when teachers and students speak publicly about their hopes and goals, a sense of group identity emerges. Morning Meeting (8-8:30 each day) is objectively the most important time of the school day. Morning Meeting helps to ease the transition from home to school as well as helps students develop a strong sense of connection and community. Our students have been busy practicing routines, simple things, including; how to line up, how to make a request (e.g. bathroom or question), and how to find materials in the classroom, to name a few.  Finally, our teachers spend time helping students get excited about what is to come in the new school year. In the first six weeks, all of our students set PIGs (Personally Important Goals) and WIGs (Wildly Important Goals) and work with the teachers to make a plan on how to reach their goals.

All of this is to say that there is a great deal of intentionality (to everything we do in our school) but particularly to how we use the first six weeks to set children up for a successful year. And, during their first week back, some of our 5th graders created video tutorials and dramatizations to share some tips to make your year go smoothly.

Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

5th Grade Public Service Announcements
Click on the images below to hear tips from WHPS students.
I’m looking forward to working with ALL of you this year and supporting our students in their growth. Cheers to celebrating many successes in the year to come!

Happy Back to School!

"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center
Welcome back to “Our Barnyard”. All of our animals can’t wait to see you again, and we hope you will come visit. We are open from 8:15am until 3:30pm. 

We are excited to jump back into our elementary curriculum this year. Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 3rd grade will be studying animal care. We will start by exploring what it means to have a pet or to be in charge of caring for an animal. Over the next few weeks, we will investigate how to create appropriate homes for various kinds of animals. 4th grade will be discovering all we can about ecology. Ecology is the study of how life interacts with other living things. We first learn about food webs; then students will develop their own food web consisting only of local animals. Starting with just our own region and biome helps ground children's knowledge to better understand when we study other more exotic places and animals later in the year. Finally, 2nd and 5th grade will be learning about evolution and genetics. Evolution is the bedrock for almost all modern study of biology, and we strive to give our students a deep foundational understanding of this topic. We start the year with one of the children’s favorite projects, an exploration of natural selection. For this project, each student will “create” their very own creature that will evolve with us throughout the year.

In preschool, we will be using this month to get to know the Barnyard and its rules. We have many new children in the program this year. Whether it’s their first time interacting with barnyard animals or even for our returning students, everyone will benefit from setting our norms and routines for the year. We learn how to treat and respect each animal and their home, which animals we are (or are not) allowed to pet, and how we use walking feet when we move around. Each day, we will also come face to face with an animal outside of their home and interact with them. Mr. Matthew is excited to spend time with all his preschool friends and share his love of the animals.

Finally, we couldn't resist sharing a little bit of habitat trivia from one of our favorite podcasts. See if you can name the animal whose home is being described as a real estate listing. Can you figure out the answer to the last one?

Both Mr. Matthew and Mrs. Tanja can’t wait to see all of our new and returning students here at Woodland Hills Private School. Make sure to stop by!

Follow us on Instagram @whpschool!
Upcoming Events
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events!
Sept. Collins Oxnard
School CLOSES at 5pm
Back to School Night
@ 6:00-8:00pm
PAWS Meeting @ 6:30-7:30pm
7   PAWS - Welcome Picnic
@ 11am-1pm
9 Fall Extracurricular classes begin
9-10   Rhythm Child Event - Sponsored by PAWS
10 Captain Carl Event - Sponsored by PAG  
12 PAG - Restaurant Night - BJ’s in Woodland Hills @ 11am-11pm  
13 Coffee & Conversation: WASC Accreditation Forum
Voice Your Hopes & Goals for the School
 (no RSVP required)
17 PAG Meeting @ 5:30-6:30pm  
18   PAWS - Board Elections & Room Parent Meeting @ 6:30-7:30pm
19 Room 6 - Farmer’s Market  
20   Room 7 & 11 - Farmer's Market
24   PAWS - Restaurant Night @ CPK
24-26   Fall School Pictures
27   Kids Night Out - Sponsored by PAWS @ 6-10pm
28 Kids Night Out - Sponsored by PAG @ 5-9pm  
Oct. 4
  PAWS - Photography Fundraiser w/Shani Barrel
2   PAWS Meeting @ 6:30-7:30pm
2 Effective Home-School Partnerships (Parent Workshop)
9-10 am @ Collins St. Campus
3 Effective Home-School Partnerships (Parent Workshop)
4:30-5:30 pm @ Oxnard St. Campus
4 Effective Home-School Partnerships (Parent Workshop)
8:30-9:30 am @ Oxnard St. Campus
5 WHPS Adults-Only Wine Night
@ Malibu Wines & Beer Garden
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22322 Collins Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367   •   22555 Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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