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TK & Kindergarten
Apply by December 2

TK-5th Grade Virtual Info. Session
Tuesday, November 1 or 15 @ 10 AM

Special Session:
Understanding ETK vs. TK Options

for children who turn 4 by September 1, 2023
Thursday, November 3 @ 9:30 AM

TK-5th Grade Campus Preview Day
for families not already attending Oxnard
Sunday, November 6 @ 10 AM

TK-5th Grade Small Group Tour
Tuesday, November 29 @ 10 AM

Avoid the waitlist:
Apply by December 2

28545 W Driver Ave., Agoura Hills, CA 91301
The Performing Arts Education Center (“A-PAEC")

December 10, 2022

WHPS Room 19 students

Tickets go on sale November 14 at noon
(current families were sent an email on 10/28 with more information)

Oxnard Campus
  • Preschool: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Elementary: 1:30 - 3:00 PM
  • Rooms 1, 2 & 12 - Their show will take place on campus on December 16: 10:00 - 11:30 AM

Collins Campus

  • Preschool: 4:30- 6:00 PM
Applications & Fall Registration
Elementary Admissions
2023-2024 Re-enrollment for Current Preschool and Elementary Families
  • November 14, 2022
    • An email with re-enrollment information will be sent out to all current families.
    • (Note: Current preschool families looking to move into the elementary division will need to apply.  See "Elementary Admissions" above).
  • January 20, 2023
    • Last day to re-enroll for fall 2023
Special Edition | Seth Pozzi - Head of School

ETK & TK Options

for fall 2023

We are excited to announce enhancements to our 4-5-year-old programs for the coming fall of 2023. Families with children who turn 4 by September 1, 2023, will have two wonderful options:

  • Early Transitional Kindergarten (ETK) - part of our Preschool Division
  • Transitional Kindergarten (TK) - part of our Elementary Division 

There are many similarities between TK and ETK, not the least of which is that almost all students in either program will enter kindergarten the following year. However, there are also some key differences, including the application process and schedule options. While not every 4-year-old is ready for TK and there are only a limited number of TK spaces available, ETK will also be integrating some of the unique learning structures used in TK, such as Singapore Math Readiness, so students will have a leg up when they enter our academically rigorous kindergarten program.

Both programs:

  • Continue to follow our philosophy of leveraging children’s highest level of interest and individualized learning goals to maximize learning.
  • Are designed with Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) at their core. 
  • Focus on critical thinking, reading, writing, and math readiness skills.
  • Use developmentally appropriate educational technology.
  • Have wonderful enrichment built into the school day.
  • Lead directly to kindergarten the following year. 

I encourage parents to review the comparison charts (linked here) with program and schedule differences, and if you’d like more information, please join one of the upcoming information sessions or tours.

Date/Time Event What to Expect Hosted by
November 1
at 10 AM
Elementary Virtual Tour  TK-5th grade program overview, Q & A Melanie Henson & Seth Pozzi (Principal & HOS)
November 3 
at 9:30 AM
ETK vs. TK Overview  Discussion of program differences, Q & A Preschool Directors - Both Campuses
November 6 
at 10 AM
Campus Preview Day TK-5th grade program overview, Q & A, Campus Tour Melanie Henson, Seth Pozzi (Principal & HOS) & Elementary Teachers
November 15
at 10 AM
Elementary Virtual Tour TK-5th grade program overview, Q & A Seth Pozzi (HOS)
November 29
at 10 AM
Elementary Small Group Tours TK-5th grade classroom visits, Q & A Seth Pozzi (HOS) & Elementary Students
Elementary News
Our fourth and fifth-grade program is designed to prepare students for a smooth and successful transition to middle school; the program is backward-planned in collaboration with the top 30 middle schools in the area. Upcoming newsletter articles will feature some of the unique aspects of these WHPS capstone years. This month's article was guest written by Mrs. Foster, our Upper Elementary Division Lead, and one of the fourth and fifth-grade teachers. Enjoy!

Finding Your Roots Project

A profound learning opportunity

A really exciting project that is part of the elementary curriculum is the 4th and 5th-grade Immigration unit. This unit follows our school's project-based learning (PBL) approach and weaves throughout the whole year with hands-on experiences and discovery. 

The unit starts by asking students, “What is Immigration?” We work with our students to create a KWL chart to capture what they already know about immigration, and what they wonder, have heard, or want to know about immigration. Here are a few examples of what our students shared:

  • “Immigration is when someone comes from a different country and goes to another to live.”
  • “It is where people move from a different country to escape war or natural disasters.”
  • “I know that immigrating is when you flee from another country because of war or natural disasters and find a home there.”

A few things students wanted to know:

  • “Why do they move? Is it just because of war or disasters?”
  • “How do you immigrate?”
  • “I want to know what are the main countries that do this.” 
  • The class discussion evolved into an essential question: “Why do people immigrate to America?”
To help answer this question, a special guest speaker who is a social justice advocate came in to talk with our students. We came together in a sharing circle and had a rather profound and engaging conversation. Some of the topics discussed included: issues involving border lines—the border—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), current government policies, and even some discussion about the different countries our families came from. To illustrate the connections among these topics, we took part in a web share, eventually creating an actual web. 

Some of our students wondered: “What can we as Americans do to help immigrants feel comfortable when entering our country?” As students shared around the circle, answers like this could be heard:

  • “We can create food baskets so people have their first American meal.” 
  • “Maybe we can give people money so they have something to start with.”
  • “We can set people up with jobs so they don’t have to look for one.”
  • “Maybe families would want to host immigrants so they have a place to stay and feel comfortable.”
In the next phase of the project, we discussed why people historically wanted to travel to America through push and pull factors such as religion, unfair treatment, and economic resources. Our students were especially interested in learning about the first, second, and third class systems. We studied articles and photographs about the journey to America and learned about the immigration station on Ellis Island. They were fascinated with the process involved in traveling through Ellis Island, and many students were surprised to learn about the health and legal inspections that the third-class passengers had to go through.

In the current phase of this project, students are researching their own family’s immigration story. They interviewed family members to find out as much as they could about their family's history and gathered pictures to help bring the stories to life. As part of a cross-curricular approach, the Tech teacher is working with our students on creating family trees using GoogleDraw. Everyone is looking forward to presenting their family histories to the class!

Everything our students have discovered so far will connect to other topics we will learn about, such as the Gold Rush, Chinese Exclusion, Japanese Internment, colonization, and the American concept of manifest destiny. Students will also draw on this knowledge when learning about the history of minority and sometimes marginalized people and as part of our Miry's List project through PAWS. In the spring, they will be creating a living museum as their final project. We can’t wait to share the final project and all this wonderful learning with the school community.
Preschool News
Collins Campus
Robin & Joette
Oxnard Campus
Christine & Roxana

What does play have to do with learning?


Children are born to be inquisitive. Why? What? Where? Who? How? Does this sound familiar? What is the best way to naturally teach children how the world works? At WHPS, we support and encourage learning through play. Through hands-on activities, children explore, observe, problem-solve, create, think, understand, and communicate. 

How does play support your child’s development and learning? 

  • Physical Development 
    • Running, climbing, digging, and dancing keep children active, and they learn to appreciate the outdoors. We are so fortunate on our campuses to have all the different yards, the Science & Nature Center, Mini-Ranch, Forest, etc.
  • Social-Emotional Development (Imaginative play, group play, morning circle)
    • Children develop self-confidence by working through challenges, finding success, and learning to self-regulate. They build empathy and fairness by making choices and decisions and experiencing the consequences (good or bad). They learn about different cultures.
  • Cognitive Development (Games, puzzles, blocks, books, painting, drawing)
    • Children critically think, focus, remember, and creatively use abstract thought. At the same time, they are strengthening their concentration and executive functioning skills. 
  • Literacy & Numeracy Development
    • Through play (especially in a teacher-facilitated program like WHPS), children develop vocabulary, listening, and speaking skills, and even writing development through scribbling, painting, and drawing.

Educators use many tools to support all areas of development through play. One especially important aspect of our program is child-directed art. As children mix colors, they make inferences on how to create new colors and make observations that our teachers are there to record. 

Educators facilitate learning by providing materials that promote opportunities for sorting and classifying (essential skills needed for mathematics). Different manipulatives, such as small interlocking blocks, magnets, and pegboards, stimulate various math readiness skills. 

Next time you observe your child playing consider the following:

  • Sorting aids in the understanding of patterns and functions. 
  • Placing items in order enhances number sense. 
  • Using small manipulatives strengthens fine motor muscles for future writing.
  • Using measuring utensils in sensory play provides an understanding of more, less, equal to, and volume. 

As a play-based program, we want children to learn organically and have fun doing it!

"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center

Hi Barnyard friends,  

October is one of Mr. Matthew’s and Mrs. Mackenzie’s favorite months. Fall finally starts cooling off and Mrs. Mackenzie did an amazing job decorating Our Barnyard, so make sure you come to check it out. We were also really excited about the Fall Festival, which was a great success. Mr. Matthew wasn’t there, but luckily we were graced with Spider-Man! 

Evolution & Genetics classes ended the month with our first big lesson on DNA. This lesson introduced the difference between phenotype and genotype. We will now be investigating heredity and questions like: “Why are my eyes blue when my parents' eyes are brown?” Just how likely is that to happen? Animal Husbandry classes are doing a lot of hands-on activities, including feeding the animals. When it gets close to Thanksgiving, Mr. Matthew’s mind always turns to food. We make sure to give the animals special treats this month so they feel included. And what happens to every animal after they eat? It’s our favorite lesson, of course, poop (or scat)! It is amazing how important poop is to animal caregivers and what it can tell us. Finally, our Ecology classes will dive deep into how different animals interact with each other in their environments. Are they helpful to each other? Parasitic? Symbiotic? Each one is equally important, even if we are not a fan of the parasites. We will eventually look at different populations and how they ebb and flow. Why do some populations grow explosively, while others take their time?

In honor of the season, Preschool has been learning all about bones and skeletons. It turns out, animals with bones all have the same ones! But, even if each bone is only a little different from ours, it can easily cause big changes in the entire animal. At the end of the month, each student had the opportunity to walk our horse, Gracie, or one of our donkeys, Muslo. Make sure to check out those pictures! Next month, we will continue our horse lessons and learn all about the daily care they need. From grooming to hoof picking, horses take a lot of work. After that, we will begin our lessons on birds. What game do chickens play every day to find food? Why do birds need to be good builders? Find out in November!

Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween,
Mr. Matthew and Mrs. Mackenzie

November Events
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events!
Nov. Collins Oxnard
1 TK& K Virtual Tour @ 10am
3 ETK vs. TK Overview @ 9:30am
3   PAWS Meeting @ 6:30-7:30pm
4 Vaccine Clinic at Both Campuses (Required to register beforehand)
6 Elementary Campus Preview Day
8 School Picture Make-Up Day Farmer's Market, Hosted by Rm. 1 & 5
9 Fire Truck Visit PAWS Restaurant Night @ Dog Haus
11 Veteran's Day - WHPS Closed
13 Shani Barel - Photography Sessions
14 PAG Meeting (Zoom) @ 5-6pm
PAG Toy Drive Begins
15 TK& K Virtual Tour @ 10am
15 Farmer's Market, Hosted by Rm. 7  
16 Restaurant Night @ The Stand  
17 Gabi's Barnyard, Sponsored by PAG  
21-23 Progress Reports/Report Cards - Sent Home
23 School-Wide Pot Luck Elementary Thanksgiving Feast @ 11am (parents invited)
23 Choicelunch Closed - No Hot Lunch
24-25 Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL
29 Elementary Small Group Tours @ 10am
2 TK & K Applications Due
(open to outside community after December 2)
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22322 Collins Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367   •   22555 Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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