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

Live Virtual Information Sessions
for TK-5th Grade

December 1 & January 5
10-11 AM




Learn about our award-winning program, focused on the individualized development of the whole child, with an equal focus on advanced academics and social-emotional learning, in a natural and nurturing environment.
2020 Winter Show
COVID-Safe

This year, we will be holding a modified Winter Show, based on the LA County Department of Health guidelines. 

PRESCHOOL - All classrooms at both campuses will be performing COVID-Safe Winter Show acts. These will take place during school and will be edited into a Winter Show video. A copy will be shared with every family to enjoy. 

ELEMENTARY - Since not all classrooms are back in person yet, we are hosting a virtual talent show. Be sure to submit your child's TikTok dance, magic trick, dance routine, comedy act/jokes, science project, juggling, poetry slam, dramatic reading, skit, rap, puppet show, break dance, or other act by December 11.

OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE: December 18
All shows will be released and shared electronically with families. Elementary will have in-class viewing parties before Winter Break. 
COVID-19 Restrictions
LA County has instituted a new "Safer at Home" order through 12/21/2020. 

Gatherings - Gatherings are prohibited with anyone who does not live in your household.

14 Day Quarantine Required - Do not return to school for 14 days if you:
  • Travel (regardless of transportation method or the accommodations).
  • Indoor Gatherings (with anyone who does not live in your household).
If you have any questions, please reach out to us for additional guidance.
Annual Giving & Giving Tuesday
 

December 1 is "Giving Tuesday," when people all around the globe come together in unity and showing kindness and generosity in all its forms by giving their voice, time, goods, and advocacy to support communities and causes. 
 
A special thank you to one of our Oxnard Campus families for a sizable gift to help with some of the costs of keeping school open in COVID-times.
-the family wishes to remain anonymous

2020 is a challenging year! Not every family has the ability to participate in Annual Giving. If you have the ability and feel inspired to pitch in this year, we hope you will consider supporting WHPS or one of our parent organizations. 

Some ways you can participate here at school:
  • WHPS ANNUAL GIVING - Speak with Seth Pozzi (Head of School) about how you might wish for your gift to be utilized.
  • FOOD PANTRY - Drop off food donations at both campuses through December 18.
  • TOY DRIVE - Drop off toys: New, in original packaging, non-gift wrapped at Oxnard Campus through December 17.
  • PAWS ANGELS (Oxnard campus) - Through the parent association, you can sponsor a special event, Chromebook Mobile Lab, classroom grants for special resources, or even a staff appreciation lunch or initiative. 

Special Edition | Seth Pozzi -  Head of School

Keeping School Open

in COVID-Times

 
The COVID-19 pandemic has shined an even brighter light on some of the key differences between public school education and WHPS. Most families were already aware of program differences, including greater opportunities for advanced academics and enrichment at WHPS. 

But one aspect of WHPS that I have been particularly proud of this year is our board’s commitment, sparing no expense and cutting no corners, so children could resume “regular” school 5 days/week as safely, as fully, and as quickly as possible.

WE NEED YOUR HELP - TO STAY OPEN
  • Under the new order, if a school has 3+ positive cases in a 14-day period, the entire school must close for 2 weeks
  • REPORT IMMEDIATELY any symptoms or COVID exposure, not the next day (reporting information).
  • DO NOT BEND THE RULES - Follow the “Safer at Home” order. Understand we have the best of intentions in following the restrictions, and we can't make exceptions for individual families. 
WHPS COMMITMENT
A few of the priorities of our board of directors this year:
  • No added tuition or fees.
  • No staggered schedules (regular school 5 days/week) as soon as possible for each age-level.
  • TK & K moved to preschool license (this limited our ability to enroll additional preschoolers but enabled TK & K to return right away in August).
  • Preschool - 3rd grade open in person 5 full days/week now.
  • 4th & 5th grade in school childcare option while waiting to fully reopen.
  • Distance Learning Option - Additional full-time distance learning teachers for families not ready to come back when school reopened.
  • Built and outfitted additional classrooms just to house regular number of students.
  • Additional technology and infrastructure investments.
  • Extra bathrooms, touchless faucets, hand-wash stations.
  • High standards for cleaning and sanitizing.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, with good news coming on the vaccine front. Let's continue to keep each other safe and give each other a little extra grace and kindness as we weather the remainder of this pandemic together. 
Elementary News | Jacey Dexter - Elementary Principal
Ask a WHPS Student
What do you think your rights should be?

 
Bill of Rights

  • Gender equality
  • Black lives matter
  • You can believe [or not believe] any religion
  • Every child should go to a safe and educational school
  • You can love anyone you want
  • Be a leader, not a boss!

This is just a sampling of our 5th grade student-created Bills of Rights, which they created to help link studying foundations of American history with their own loves and beliefs. As a school leader, I enjoyed seeing what our students value and think is important, and I continue to appreciate our teachers' unique and creative approaches to making learning meaningfully connect with students' lives.

This is especially true when I compare their approach with my own 5th grade experience, where I read a section in the social studies book and answered the question at the end. It is one thing to recite the battles that took place during the American Revolution, and entirely another for students to understand what it means to bring a group of people together and establish the rules by which they will be governed. While I consider myself an informed and civic-minded person, I definitely didn't share the passion I see in these children when I was their age.

2020 has been an imperfect and volatile year, but one that I hope will help these students—tomorrow's leaders—develop strong engagement in the democratic process, as well as resiliency, as discussed in last month’s newsletter.

I’m proud to see our elementary teachers weaving in today's historic events as they analyze the past. I look forward to some of the other things coming down the pike, including family history and immigration projects, in which students dig into where their families came from and piece that together with their historical understanding of the US. This process also helps our students understand their family's values and promotes appreciation of diversity, one of our school's core values. At a minimum, these kids can go out into the world (starting with middle school) and, as one student put it: "Be a leader, not a boss!"

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

Raising Independent Children

7 Ways to Build an Independent Mindset

One of the most important goals in parenting is to raise children who become independent and self-reliant. As preschool-age children grow, they become more independent in basic areas of living but still depend on you for love, protection, guidance, and support.

Independent Children
Competent and capable of taking care of themselves.
  • Intrinsically motivated (less dependent on rewards)
  • Confident and able to recover from setbacks
  • Good decision-makers as they get older
Contingent Children
Are dependent on others for how they feel about themselves.
  • Depend on incentives and rewards
  • Depend on others for their happiness
  • Poor decision-makers as they get older

Independence is a gift you give your child that they will benefit from their entire lives. The responsibilities children have when they are 2-5 can help build an independent mindset that will have life-long benefits. Here are 7 ways parents can foster this.  

#1 - Responsibilities
Children's responsibilities should center on: being responsible for their belongings, giving their best effort/giving opportunities a realistic try, and following through on commitments, as well learning to be cooperative and expressing appreciation and gratitude for others' efforts.

#2 - Be Explicit
Make a list with your child of their responsibilities. It can also be helpful to identify other people in your child's life who will have responsibilities (and what they are), such as teachers, coaches, or a nanny.

#3 - Clear Boundaries
Parents (and other caregivers) often overstep and take on their child's responsibilities for two reasons:

  1. We think we are showing love by doing it for them.
  2. We may want to avoid a power struggle or tantrum.

#4 - No Negotiation - (Say what you mean and mean what you say)
There should be consequences for not fulfilling responsibilities. The best consequences are those that remove something of importance to your child and give them the control to get it back by acting appropriately (e.g. lose a privilege but earn it back). Remember if you say: "If you push her again, we have to leave," when that next push happens, you have to be ready to follow through. Natural consequences can also include not fixing or replacing something right away if your child breaks it. 

HINT:
At WHPS we believe the way we speak to kids is incredibly important. But, did you know:
logical consequence does far more for brain development
than a lengthy conversation.

#5 - Mistakes & Failures
The reluctance of children [and some adults] to take responsibility for their actions is based on a desire to protect themselves from failure. By blaming outside factors, such as other people, bad luck, or unfairness, children can safeguard their egos from harm. Yet, responsibility is two sides of the same coin. Helping children learn to take responsibility for their mistakes and failures helps them also own and take pride in achievements and successes.

#6 Safety & Basic Needs
Early in children's lives, we keep them on a fairly short "leash" to ensure their safety. This care builds a sense of security by demonstrating that they have a safe place to return to if they venture too far and that you are there to protect them when needed.

#7 - If it's not a safety concern...
There is, however, a fine line between security and dependence. When your child has established their sense of security, it's important to allow them to explore the world beyond the safety net that you provide. Everything from pouring the cereal, to carrying their backpack, to putting away the toys, maybe even being a little uncomfortable if they forget their jacket (within reason), and setting clear limits/trusting that boundaries and consequences are quite literally building your child's brain. This push allows your child to test their own capabilities in the "real world" and to find a sense of competence, security, and independence within themselves.

"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center

Hi Barnyard friends!

This has been an exciting month! Most of our students are back on campus, and it’s great to see our friends. Every class has had an opportunity to go back into the barnyard to visit our animals again, and even the animals are excited. We have a new Bearded Dragon, just like Stanley. Since this is certainly a time when the significance and importance of voting is worth discussing, even in Our Barnyard, we had the children vote on the new Bearded Dragon's name.  The choices were Rex (like a dinosaur) or Rusty (because he has rust-colored scales). The votes were tallied and the winner was...do a drum roll in your head...Rex! Look for an announcement on our Instagram along with pictures of Rex.

We have enjoyed having 1st-3rd grade back on campus this month and getting back into in-person learning!  We have been learning about Mickey, Ms. Tanja's African Bull Frog. You might have seen Mickey in a few cameos on Instagram. Every class, from preschool up, got to visit Mickey and learn about amphibians. Most animals live their entire lives either inside the water or on land. Amphibians are special because they can live both in water and on land. Amphibians can often be confused with reptiles because they look so similar, but our students now know how to tell them apart. HINT: Reptiles are covered from head to tail in dry scales, while amphibians have very wet skin. They have to stay wet in order to be happy and healthy.

Mr. Matthew and Mrs. Tanja

We're on Instagram @whpschool
December Events - 2020
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events!
Dec. Collins Oxnard
1 Elementary Live Virtual Tour @ 10am
2   PAWS Meeting @ 6:30pm
4 K & TK - Early Application Deadline
6 Preschool - Fall Registrations Forms Sent Home
7 PAG Meeting @ 6:30pm  
18 WHPS Winter Show & Talent Show - Video Release
21-31   Elementary Winter Break
24-25 WHPS CLOSED - Christmas Eve & Day
31 WHPS CLOSED - New Year's Eve
Jan.  
1 WHPS CLOSED - New Year's Day
4 All Classes Resume
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