Subscribe to our newsletter!



Summer Camp - Registration now open!
Camp runs from June 5 - August 16, 2023

Registration ends April 17, 2023
  • Registration is first come, first served. 
  • Register early to avoid the waitlist.

Summer Camp - Tiny Treasures Nursery School | Daycare & Preschool Wall, NJ
Register Online
Registration ends March 1, 2023
for ALL current families
Summer 2023 Preschool Brochure

Special Edition | Seth Pozzi -  Head of School

This is the time
Take advantage of all the ways to be engaged!
School should be a place where...

1. It feels like home
2. There is an open door with the Principal and/or HOS
3. Your child is known and appreciated by everyone
4. Caring and respect are palpable
5. Diversity is valued and celebrated
6. Authentic work over “busy work”
7. Students can make meaningful choices about their learning
8. Everyone in the school is focused on continuous growth
9. It is an upbeat but professional environment
10. Your child’s best interest is at the heart of every decision

These are core principles I would look for in any school and certainly are some of our core values at WHPS. At a time when Chat GPT can write a book report or essay, and when an estimated 85% of the jobs our children may eventually hold have yet to be invented, schools need to be about more than low-level thinking skills like filling out worksheets or reading the passage and answering the questions at the end. Schools like ours are setting out to build well-rounded, knowledgable, empathic human beings who are creative critical thinkers and who will go out into this messy, imperfect world and make an impact. 

The core principles mentioned above don't only pertain to students. Families have a tremendous role and opportunity to be engaged in their child's experience. One thing, in particular, we have been focused on this year is further enhancing opportunities for meaningful parent involvement. Even just in the past couple of months, most of us had the pleasure of attending the Winter Show, a parent association meeting, one of many different Diversity, Equity & Inclusion events, and last week's SLCs. As we look ahead to the coming weeks and months, there are some wonderful ways families can get involved and make the most of their experience and education at WHPS.

With so much happening in such a short time, here is a quick run-down of what to look forward to:

DEI Committee Meeting - March 3 @ 12PM
The next Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee meeting (Oxnard campus) is on March 3 on Zoom, and it's open to everyone (link in WHPS calendar). We encourage families to join us and be part of the discussion!

Holi Celebration - March 8
One of the ways we value and celebrate diversity in our school is by learning about other cultures, often through celebrating holidays, special events, and even though food. Last year, we launched a new WHPS custom celebrating Holi, the Hindu holiday honoring the triumph of good over evil. This year's Holi celebration is on March 8 at both campuses. 

Principal Henson Returns [from maternity leave] - Week of March 10
Ms. Henson welcomed her new baby Emily on November 22 and has been enjoying this time at home with Emily and her family. Please join us for an informal coffee and morning snack on Friday, March 10 at 8 AM to celebrate her return.

Movie Night - March 10 (6-8:30 PM) - Open to ALL
The students have voted, and we will be showing The Bad Guys! Please bring your comfy clothes blankets and chairs and join us on the evening of March 10 (weather permitting). Doors open at 6 o’clock, and we will start the movie promptly at 6:30 pm on the basketball court. The event is FREE and is sponsored by PAWS. PAWS will have a snack bar with items available to purchase, and you can also bring your own snacks to enjoy. Open to friends and family! With our WASC visit happening the following Monday, we appreciate any volunteers to help with light clean-up at the end.

WASC Visit - March 13 (8:15-9:00)
The chair of our Accreditation Committee will be meeting with parents on March 13 from 8:15-8:45 AM. We would love to have a strong showing of parents to share their experiences and express any hopes and goals for the future of our school. 
Add your name to the list so we know you are coming

Havana Nights PAWS Gala - March 25
Some events are just for fun! This is the biggest fun-raiser for PAWS and will include dinner, live performers, dancing, and some special Cuban-themed activations and surprises. Come schmooze with families and staff.
Ticket Link

Elementary Spring Variety Show - March 31 (10 AM - 12 PM)
The same students who brought you the WHPS Winter Show will now be hosting the "WHPS Got Talent" Variety Show. It's a wonderful opportunity to see the students share their talents, interests, singing, MMA, dance moves, gymnastics, comedy chops, science experiments, drumming, and more. It's not to be missed!

Grade Level Orientations - Mark your calendar!
Each year, we host orientations to help families prepare to successfully navigate the next school year, including learning what to expect from their child (developmentally) and from the program in the year ahead. Please plan to attend the orientation for the grade your child will enter in fall 2023.

  • April 11 @ 2:30 PM: 1st Grade Orientation
  • April 12 @ 2:30 PM: 2nd & 3rd Grade Orientation
  • April 13 @ 2:30 PM: 4th & 5th Grade Orientation
  • June 17 @ 10 AM: TK & K Orientation - Takes place as part of our summer playdate and Admitted Family Cookout.
Open House - May 4 (Oxnard), May 9 (Collins)
For parents, children, and even newly admitted families. Come explore classrooms, meet teachers, check out special projects, and visit classrooms for next year.

Other EOY Events

Here are just a few of the special ways we close out the school year and celebrate together. 

  • 5th Grade Culmination
  • Kindergarten Stepping-Up
  • Pre-K Promotions
  • ALL Elementary Zuma Beach Trip
Elementary News | Cynthia Baroudi
Including tips about homework, examples of the "bar model" approach, and links with at-home resources

In February, we hosted a parent workshop with Bill Davidson, Singapore Math guru and staff developer. We are excited to share more information about what was discussed.

Why is Singapore Math Different?
The program was designed by Singapore’s Ministry of Education after analyzing teaching methodology in the highest-achieving countries. It teaches concepts at greater depth and through a unique three-step learning process: concrete, pictorial (which is missing from most math curricula), and abstract (symbols). With this curriculum, the teaching methodology is at least as important as the books, which is why we have focused extensively on teacher professional development even prior to adopting the program in 2019. 

More Than Memorizing
Many people "hit a wall" at some point in their math careers (algebra, physics, calculus, etc.) Otherwise bright children who learn math by memorizing algorithms (knowing the rules without a deep understanding of why they work) are likely to hit that wall even sooner, the moment the work becomes too complex to just remember and follow steps. This program's pictorial "bar model" methodology helps solidify that conceptual understanding. 

Flexible Thinking Strategies
Kindergarten appears to start small. Parents will sometimes ask: "Why are they only doing numbers to 20? My kid can count to over 100!" It’s not about the sheer ability to count (or memorize). What the program is trying to instill is flexible strategies to manipulate numbers. We want young children to be able to start at 17 and count backward, count forwards, and skip count. Maybe a student hasn't memorized 4 x 8 = 32, but they know that 2 - 8s make 16 and 2 - 16s make 32.

NO Drill & Kill
Because the program is teaching primarily for conceptual understanding (not drilling kids on large numbers of problems), you should not expect to see lengthy homework assignments. Sometimes, homework may just be 3-4 problems with multiple steps/layers of complexity. We included some tips in the parent information to help if your child gets stuck on homework. Especially in the upper grades, if children draw out the model, they will often be able to figure it out.

Less Transfer & More Scaffolding 
There is less transfer, meaning students are not asked to copy problems back and forth out of a textbook. If a child has slower fine motor or dyslexia or any other learning difference, this helps keep the focus on mathematical thinking, not getting bogged down in busy work. The pictorial approach is less reliant on the student's reading level, so even students in Lower Elementary can exercise their critical thinking, as they are still learning to read. There is also a lot of built-in scaffolding. The homework/workbook generally starts with 1-2 partially solved problems.

The Model Approach "Bar Models"
The model approach can apply to virtually any problem and any kind of operation:  percentages, ratios, fractions, decimals, etc. This approach starts with "number bonds" in first grade and transitions to "bar models" beginning in second/third grade. There are two kinds of models (see below). The model is the "pictorial step" that promotes conceptual understanding and helps children tackle increasingly complex multi-step problems and show all aspects of their thinking.
Part-Whole Model
Works for any problem involving parts of a whole. Students learn different ways to divide the bar so parts are of equal size (there are even some strategies to "break" the bar if there are too many boxes to efficiently draw).
Comparison Model
These models can compare two or more quantities. We focus a lot with students on making sure they start with equal parts. In this case, they would be equal, but John is 15kg heavier. 
There are so many reasons we chose this program, and we hope families enjoy some of the tips and information we've put together.
Preschool News
Collins Campus
Robin & Joette
Oxnard Campus
Christine & Roxana

"Risky Play"

Why it's important in the great outdoors

Playing outdoors is a risk for any child growing up. Adults often use well-meaning reminders like: “Be careful,” “Don’t run too fast,” and “You are going to hurt yourself." Without a doubt, as parents and caregivers, our number one priority is to keep our children safe, and we try to balance that with giving children the freedom to explore the world around them. Children are curious. They want to know: how the world works, how their bodies work, and the idea of a relatively safe space. When children play, they test the environment and what they are comfortable exploring. 

Outdoor play offers many developmental opportunities for young children. It can provide new sensory experiences, executive functioning skills, self-confidence, gross motor skills, and risk-assessment abilities. Studies have shown that most injuries associated with risky play tend to be minor bumps, scrapes, and bruises. Our fears get in the way of allowing children to explore and learn risk management skills. When you see your child engaging in risky play, try the 17-second rule; stand back and observe what your child is trying to do, and watch them solve the problem. Research says children participating in risky play tend to have fewer injuries because they constantly work on their risk-assessment skills. You may be surprised at what your child can do. 

"Children participating in risky play tend to have fewer injuries
because they constantly work on their risk-assessment skills."

Fixed structures are fun but can actually limit play. The greatest learning and development can happen during unstructured play—freedom to build on imagination using loose parts, boxes, and recycled materials. A natural environment that provides logs, mud, sticks, planks, rocks, sand, and water is the ideal learning environment for young children. During play, supervise, facilitate, and support them rather than guide them. 

Here are some things we can say to help children experience the richness of learning through outdoor "risky" play: 

  • Notice how…these rocks are slippery, the log is rotten, that branch is strong.
  • Do you see…the poison ivy, your friends nearby?
  • Try moving…your feet slowly, carefully, quickly, strongly.
  • Try using your…hands, feet, arms, legs.
  • Can you hear…the rushing water, the singing birds, the wind?
  • Do you feel…stable on that rock, the heat from the fire?
  • Are you feeling…scared, excited, tired, safe?

At WHPS, you will see preschoolers run up the slide, swing on their tummies, and walk on balance beams. We allow children to explore sand, water, rocks, shaving cream, sticks, and leaves. While our campuses have some fixed structures, we strive to leverage our natural settings where children can use tree stumps, puddles, sand, water, pots, and more, all in a safe and loving environment. 

"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center

Hi Barnyard friends,

We have been having a little bit of a rollercoaster ride with the weather here in Woodland Hills! The rain postponed some of our planned planting, but we have still been busy learning about animal intelligence. What is it and how can we determine just how smart an animal is? 

We are getting close to the culmination of some of our big projects and simulations. Here is what our different classes have been up to.

  • Evolution & Genetics - As our students have learned, we each get half our DNA from our birth mom and half from our birth dad. A mutation is a small change to the DNA we inherit, and each person is born with hundreds of them. How big of a change does this cause? Find out soon!
  • Ecology - We have begun studying reptiles, an ancient group of animals, to see how their anatomy is different from ours. Next, we take a look at birds and how being able to fly greatly changes the way they can live their lives and spread all around the world. During this month, weather permitting, we will also begin planting herbs.
  • Husbandry - We will begin the month by looking at the more dangerous animals that live here and how that changes our approach to handling them. We will also be looking at how animals raise their offspring and what we do as caregivers to help them. Hint: Sometimes the best thing to do is leave the animal parent alone to their work, while other times they benefit from a helping hand.
February was all about what we feed the animals, and on rainy days, we really enjoyed being up close and personal in the Reptile Room. As the mud starts to dry, we will be playing some fun Barnyard games. One is a simulation: “A day in the life of Mr. Matthew.” We will go through different activities to give students an idea of what it would be like to live in Mr. Matthew's shoes and learn even more about animal enrichment. We will also revisit Vet Day and learn some more of the amazing things vets do for us.

We are looking to update and enhance our reptile room classroom in Our Barnyard, and we can use your help!  To support this effort, we are joining the PAWS Gala Auction (click to see all auction items), along with the other fun auction items from Our Barnyard, including Barnyard Helper for a Day.  We will be posting more details about how to sponsor the reptile room re-do efforts on our Instagram @whpschool_barnyard in the upcoming days.

-Mr. Matthew and Ms. Mackenzie

The WHPS Science & Nature Center is on Instagram @whpschool_barnyard

March Events
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events! 
Mar. Collins Oxnard
1   PAWS Meeting @ 6:30pm
2   DEI Committee Meeting @ 12pm
7 Elementary Virtual Tour @ 10am
8 Holi Celebration - Both Campuses, Sponsored by PAWS & PAG
8-10 Picture Day  
9 Preschool Mini-March for Cystic Fibrosis - Both Campuses
10 Movie Night on Campus. (Oxnard)
Doors open at 6 (movie begins at 6:30), FREE Event Sponsored by PAWS

Preschool Summer Schedule Change/Registration Due
12 Daylight Savings Time Begins
(spring forward)
13 WHPS Accreditation Visit - ALL DAY
Parent Forum 8:15-9am
Oxnard St. Campus
13 PAG Meeting @ 5pm  
15   -Restaurant Night at Mendocino Farms, Sponsored by PAWS
- Farmer's Market, Hosted by Rooms 2, 11 & 12
17   St. Patrick's Day - Bagpipers, Sponsored by PAWS
21 Elementary Small Group Tours @ 10am
25   PAWS Gala 
26 Summer Camp Open House @ 1-3pm
(everyone is welcome)
31   Elementary Spring Variety Show @ 10am
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
22322 Collins Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367   •   22555 Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Copyright © 2023 Woodland Hills Private School, All rights reserved.


High Quality Free Joomla Templates by MightyJoomla | Design Inspiration FCT