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Showing posts from 2015

Hockey mornings at WPS!

Our Westminster staff and students showed some really fancy stick handling during our early morning pick up games!  All week different students and staff came to school early for energetic floor hockey games before school even started. Good sportsmanship and fun was had by all!  Are we ready for the NHL?

Thank you for your food donations

Thanks to all those who sent in food donations for our Food Drive. The Food Bank will make these available to families in need in our area. Our school donated 257 food items this year.

Through charitable initiatives such as this food drive our children are learning much about empathy and the value of giving to others.

Thank you!





Volleyball fever is spiking!

At Westminster students from our Junior Volleyball Team have been busy at their lunch time practices. They've been learning proper volleyball technique from their coaches Mr. Zuker and Ms Beckles as well as their Grade 7/8 student assistant coaches. Our focus on good sportsmanship is key for all our sports activities and we're proud of our students for showing excellent sportsmanship!  All those who have come out to practices will be playing in our own house league tournaments. In January, a Junior volleyball team will be chosen to represent our school at the area tournaments. 



In the meantime, everyone is having lots of fun playing the game.  We are also very excited to be hosting our annual WPS Student Vs Staff Volleyball game this Friday with the whole school watching to cheer us on....we wonder who will win?? Go Wildcats!!

Suggestions for a Happy Holiday

Question:  "My Kids' behaviours seem to get more unmanageable over the holidays.  What can I do to help them stay calm so that we can enjoy the holidays?"

Answer: "Many people find that over the holidays their children's behaviour can become increasingly unmanageable. Often times, this is because holidays equate to chaos and children are completely out of their regular routine.  Staying connected and mindful of your children's moods can help to reduce the potential for challenging behaviours...[For example, keeping irregular hours like staying up past their bedtime can take a toll on your children and cause challenges for the whole family].  Keep in mind, when children are out of their regular routine they are more likely to struggle both emotionally and behaviourally."  Dr. Arbus and Dr. Weidenfelder, child psychologists. 

Also, we suggest that when you notice your children are overstimulated, remind them of the strategies they are learning to keep calm …

Fire Safety at Home and School

As part of of our ongoing focus on student safety, our children practice emergency safety procedures regularly at school.  Staff and students discuss what to do in the event of an emergency and what to do if the fire alarm goes off at school.  Children know to walk quickly and calmly away from the school and line up in our back field with their teachers. This is something we practice at different times of the year at different times of the day so that all know what to do.
Recently, we had a fire drill over the lunch hour and the whole school was evacuated and safe in less than 2 minutes.
Our Kindergarten students also had a visit from our local fire department to further explain how to keep safe in an emergency.  Families are encouraged to discuss an evacuation plan in the event of a home emergency as well. Does your family know what to do? Do they know where to meet if they have a fire emergency at home?
Thank you for keeping our WPS community safe!

Our Modern Learning Club is a hit!

The Modern Learning Club met in the library last week at lunch recess. Our students were given the opportunity to engage in activities that they found of interest to stimulate their curiosity and problem solving skills. Those that participated quickly spread out throughout the library and picked the activity that they were most interested in doing. Some chose to build with Lego or blocks while others built communities on Minecraft on IPads or created code on the computers. All enjoyed collaborating and sharing with their peers.  

Donations of Lego, Lego kits, gears or any building games to add to our collection would be greatly appreciated! If you have any that your family is no longer using, our students would love more and will make good use of them here. Thanks!







Jungle Sport Consent Forms

A reminder that Jungle Sport is coming the first week after the holidays!  For four days our gym will be transformed into a climbing and swinging experience for all our students.  Each child must have handed in their signed consent form to participate. If you haven't already done so, please make sure that you send in your child's consent form this week, before the holidays to meet Jungle Sport regulations. Without consent, your child will not be allowed to participate. We want everyone to have fun with their classmates so don't let them miss out!

Stay tuned for more in January!


Character Assembly for Empathy!

On Tuesday, December 15th we will be having our Character Assembly focused on the trait of "empathy" hosted by Ms Basta's Grade 4 class. Children from each of our classes that have demonstrated empathy this month will receive a character award.  Parents are welcome to attend. 


At Westminster we talk a great deal about the importance of being mindful towards our own feelings and how our words and actions impact others around us.  We learn to have empathy for the challenges our friends may be experiencing and to show compassion, understanding and acceptance towards one another.  
We also do this in authentic ways such as encouraging random acts of kindness and charitable thoughts towards others. Thank you to all those who have sent in non-perishable food items for our Food Drive which will help families less fortunate this month. You can still send in items next week.  Thanks!

Genius Hour comes to Westminster!

Initially originating as a Google initiative to support employee creativity, Genius Hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom.  It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school.  Teachers facilitate from the background by providing guidance and support accessing necessary tools that students use for their inquiry. Much of the learning takes place through the process rather than the end product.  
At WPS, this week our students came out to our library to find out what Genius Hour is all about and were given the opportunity to join our Genius Hour Club. Presently, we are offering this club to Grade 4-8 at lunch recess.  Stay tuned for updates on the terrific ideas these kids come up with in the coming months!  This is another way we are encouraging Modern Learning at our school! 
For more information about Genius Hour check out the video...

York Regional Police Advisory and Safety Tips

The attached community alert was sent to us by York Regional Police with a request to distribute the information to our school communities. In accordance with the Police-Board Protocol, we are sending you the press release along with the following tips to remind your children about personal safety.  Please click onto this link for the media release http://bit.ly/wpsyrprelease.
Here's what children need to know:
Their name, age, telephone number, address, city and province.  This can be done through rhyme or song. How to contact their parents at any time, by memorizing cell or work numbers. How and under what circumstances to call 911. To never approach or enter a stranger's vehicle.  A responsible adult would never ask a child for directions or any other question for that matter. Make sure they know they have a right to say "no" to an adult, especially when the adult is asking them to do something they have been taught is wr…

Remember our Family Movie Night this Thursday!

A reminder to everyone to come out to our Family Movie Night on Thursday, December 10th. Doors open at 6:00 and movies start at 6:30 p.m.
Choose to watch "Minions" recommended for grades K-4 or "Tomorrow Land" recommended for grades 5-8. Parents and family members will love either one!
Admission is only $2 each which can be paid at the door if you have not already pre-ordered a dinner package.  All proceeds go to enhancing our school.  Please bring food items to donate for our Food Drive too.
Come watch a movie with your friends and neighbours. Hope to see you all there!

Bringing a Smile to others!

As part of our focus on the character trait of "empathy" this month, students in our grade 4 class recently wrote encouraging letters to children at Sick Kids Hospital in the hopes of bringing a smile to their faces.  We value such random acts of kindness from our students. Thanks kids! 

Dear friend, 
Hi how are you? I hope you are feeling okay. You are a very brave kid to enter the hospital. I hope you have happy holidays and have joy.  I wish that you will have a big smile on your face and shine.


Dear friend, 
This is a grade 4 student from Westminster Public School and I know how you feel and I feel sad for you.  I hope you feel better and I wish you happy holidays and here is a poem:
I wish you good luck  I wish you good health I wish you some happiness and a good holiday too! 
Dear friend, Stay happy Make a wish it might come true I'll make you smile Laugh  Everything will be okay 





Modern Learning is....

"Authentic, relevant, deep learning that enables learners to create, to connect, to communicate, to share their learning with the world and be ready for the future." 

​One of the goals for the York Region District School Board is to ensure that all our students are receiving the tools that they need to be ready for their future through a focus on Modern Learning outlined in the graphic above through Vision, Mindsets, Deep Learning and Skills. 

At Westminster P.S. we are well on our way to providing this modern learning experience to our students through our approach on growth mindsets, our focus on social skills and our use of problem solving models to help students make sense of problems in all subjects. We are engaging our students by encouraging real-life learning situations and integrating technology seamlessly as a modern-day learning tool that motivates their interest. 
Modern Learning Club in the Library

Besides the work that is going on in the classroom, one of the ways …

Happy Hanukkah!

To all our families who celebrate Hanukkah, we wish you a happy and enjoyable celebration full of light and happiness with your family and friends!


Westminster promotes Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety!

Staff and students from grades 4-8 were presented with an extraordinary learning opportunity to extend their learning about Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety. Westminster hosted several age appropriate presentations by Paul Davis from Social Networking Safety, an internationally renowned "TED" talks expert on the topic. Student's learned about accountability and responsibility related to their digital trails including safe use of devices, social media, gaming and cyber-bullying.
Reflections from a student that attended: "On December 3rd, 2015, Paul Davis came to our school to speak to us about internet safety.  He showed us how to safely be on the internet, and to make sure we're using it properly.  In my opinion, having Paul come in as a guest speaker was absolutely a great idea.  At first, I know there were definitely some students that were having doubts, and thought it wasn't very useful, but I can guarantee that by the end of the presentation, he ha…

Hour of Code at WPS

Hour of Code
Westminster will be participating in our 2nd annual “Hour of Code” this December 13-17.  

This international initiative for all grade levels is a one-hour introduction to computer science.  It is designed to demystify computer programming (coding) and show that anybody can learn the basics.  

Much of the learning will take place while using specialized games; a concept gaining momentum and known as #gamfication.  Our customized program will be delivered by our own Westminster teachers, many of whom are learning as much as your children through the process!  

Continue the learning at home by investigating www.code.org.





School Reminders December

Lots going on at WPS!  Please take note of the following school reminders:

-  Family Movie Night Thursday, December 10,  6:30 p.m.  Dinner from 6:00 pm. Orders due December 7th. "Minions" and "Tomorrow Land" showing.

-  Food Drive ongoing until December 11th (You can bring non-perishable food items to the Movie Night too) 

-  Big Brothers After School Program for ages 8-12 interest letters due December 11 (limited space)

-  Progress Reports go home December 11th

-  "Empathy" Character Assembly December 14, 1:30 p.m.

-  Holiday Assembly December 18, 9:00 a.m.

-  Winter Break begins December 21

Thank you!






Reminder Social Media Parent Seminar Thursday, December 3rd

A reminder to please plan to come to our Parenting Seminar on Social Media Safety by Paul Davis on December 3rd. 7:00 p.m.  Paul Davis will be presenting a session on Internet safety and how our children can stay safe when using social media. All parents/guardians and guests are welcome. Childcare will be available.   
Please RSVP on our survey to help us prepare and add to the comment box if you have a question that you would like answered by our speaker. Please click survey here: http://bit.ly/wpspauldavis

New After School Program for ages 8-12

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of York and Westminster P.S. are teaming together to offer our students an exciting new program that focuses on increasing the physical activity level and social skills of our children.
Children ages 8 - 12 will have the opportunity to participate once a week for 2 hours in organized recreational activities in our gym with two team leaders from Big Brothers and Big Sisters of York.  Activities include: soccer, basketball, hockey, parachute games, and obstacle challenge courses.
This program is free and will take place directly after school from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. beginning Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Students will need to be picked up from the gym at 5:00 p.m. sharp. Registration is limited to 20 students aged 8 - 12 only.  Thanks goes to our School Council for arranging this opportunity for our school. 
If you are interested in registering your child for this program, please fill out the form below or the one sent home with your ch…

Forest of Reading comes to Westminster

Westminster welcomes back the popular Forest of Reading! 

The Forest of Reading is Canada's largest recreational reading program! This initiative of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) offers several reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. More than 250,000 readers participate annually from their School and/or Public Library.  
Student’s at Westminster will participate in one of three programs depending on their age (K-3 Blue Spruce, 4-6 Silver Birch and 7-8 Red Maple).  They will be encouraged to read as many books from their category as possible and vote for their favourite books.  Philip Roy, the author who visited Westminster last month, has books nominated for these awards as well which is much to the excitement of his fans at WPS! New this year is Westminster’s own digital extension of the program where students will take part in ‘book talks’ and online reflections …

Family Movie Night coming December 10th

Our very popular Family Movie Night is returning to WPS on December 10th! Come out for "dinner and a movie" with family and your friends from our school community.  

Our students were surveyed and two popular movies were chosen to entertain different age groups. Recommended movies for K- Grade 4 "Minions" and for Grade 5-8 "Tomorrow Land" will be showing in the gym and library for only $2.  

Pizza dinner pre-orders as well as popcorn and other snacks will be available for purchase. Orders for dinner have been sent home to be returned to school or ordered online by December 7th. 

All proceeds go to supporting our school but mostly to supporting our community spirit! Looking forward to seeing you all there!




Our new WPS sign looks great!

We love our new Westminster P.S. sign at the front of our school. We're proud of our school and happy that everyone can now see our name front and centre!
Welcome to Westminster everyone!

Support our Food Drive and Empathy for others

In December we focus on the character trait of empathy...thinking of others - considering different points of view and treating each other with care and kindness.  

Especially at this time of the year we are encouraged to show gratitude for what we have and think of how we can help others. This year our staff and students have decided to organize a Food Drive for their December spirit activity and demonstrate the spirit of giving. 

Each class is encouraged to collect non-perishable food items which will be donated to our local food bank. Classes will collect spirit points for their efforts but most of all they will be able to feel good about doing something to help others in need.   

Please help us collect as much as possible by sending food donations to school between November 30-December 11th.  Also, families attending our up coming Family Movie Night on December 10th are asked to also bring a food item to add to our Food Drive.

Together we can make a difference to a family in need and …

Wear a Mustache for "Movember" November 30th!

Our spirit day for November is to acknowledge "Movember" an awareness campaign to support cancer research.  For our Movember Spirit Day, students and staff are invited to come to school with a mustache on November 30 to get class points!  

Have fun Westminster!

Social Media Internet Safety Parent Presentation December 3rd

Social Media is a reality for our children and technology is a strong learning tool that we must embrace for today's learner....but how do we keep our children safe as they navigate the internet and become responsible digital citizens? 

On Thursday, December 3rd, 2015, Social Media expert, Paul Davis will be presenting a session on Internet safety and how to stay safe when using social media to our students in Grades 4-8.  Through such education we hope to prevent cyber-bullying and help our children stay safe as they navigate the cyber world of the Internet.

Parents and guardians need to be aware of how their children are using this technology. We need to be educated on how to keep our children safe on social media as well. At 7:00 p.m. that evening, Paul Davis will come back to give a parenting presentation for all parents and guardians with children of all ages on this important topic.  

As seen on CTV News, Global TV and Breakfast TV, Paul's expertise on this subject has been…

Spirit Wear Orders Due!

Remember to send in your orders or go online for our gorgeous t-shirts and hoodies by December 1st. This will make a fantastic holiday present for everyone who loves Westminster P.S!  All orders must be in on time so we can get them all back to give to you before the winter holidays. So don't delay do it today!

Go to https:yrdsb.schoolcashonline.com to register for payments online.


Remember to come to the School Council Meeting!

A reminder and invitation to attend our School Council meeting this Wednesday, November 25th.  Come and hear about school initiatives from your Principal, teachers and student representatives.  7:00 p.m. School Library
Child care available

Come and help our committed group of parents/guardians make Westminster the best that it could be for our school community.


Let’s all have a Growth Mindset!

Having a positive mindset or a “Growth Mindset”, allows us to believe that we can learn and improve even when things are difficult. Having a "fixed mindset" shuts us down when it is difficult and has us seek what is easy because it is what we know. Through educational research, we have discovered that we must develop a growth mindset to improve and progress in our learning especially when things are difficult for us. If we only look for what's easy we don't learn anything new. By developing this attitude and willingness to learn in our youth, they learn to persevere in their learning and develop their self-confidence in all that they do. 
We can all make a difference for our children and help them have a growth mindset. It can be as simple as watching the way we talk to them about their learning.  Do we praise their effort and perseverance?  If a learning strategy isn't working for them, what are they doing instead? Are they trying something else or do they shut d…

Student Health: Don’t give the 'flu' this holiday season

Take some simple steps to keep you and your family healthy this flu season: Wash your hands frequently:Approximately 80 percent of common infections like the cold and flu are spread by hands. Hand washing, when done correctly, is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases..Get a free flu shot and get it as early as possible:  Through your family doctor, participating pharmacies or public clinics. Visit http://www.ontario.ca/page/flu-factsfor more  information.Cough and sneeze into your arm:If a tissue isn't available, cough or sneeze into your arm avoiding your hands where infections are commonly spread.Avoid touching your eyes and face:Flu germs can live on surfaces for up to 8 hours.Don’t share personal items such as drinking cupsDo the fist bump instead of shaking handsStay home when you are sick:if you have the flu, avoid going to school so you don’t spread the flu to others.
Dr. Jim Downey, Infection Control Practitioner at Toronto East General Hospital …

PA Day November 27th

A reminder that Friday November 27th is a scheduled PA day.  Parents are welcome to call and pre-arrange appointments to meet with their child's teachers for Parent/Teacher Interviews throughout the day or at other mutually agreed upon times.  There is no school for students.

Volleyball Tournaments

Good luck to our Intermediate Boys and Girls Volleyball Teams going to their volleyball tournaments this week!  Have fun and do your best!  Thanks to Ms Beckles and Mr. Zuker for coaching. Go Wildcats!

School Council Meeting Wednesday, November 25th

A reminder and invitation to attend our School Council meeting this Wednesday, November 25th.  Come and hear about school initiatives from your Principal, teachers and student representatives.  Come and help our committed group of parents/guardians make Westminster the best that it could be for our school community.
7:00 p.m. School Library
Child care available

Our "School of Fish" is swimming in....

We are so excited to see how beautiful our school-wide "School of Fish" is looking on our Kindergarten fences. All our students from K-8 worked on creating their painted fish to represent the importance of preventing pollution and preserving our waterways.  

For weeks students, staff and parents worked on this collaborative art project and created these colourful fish. Now they are being mounted to beautify our school. We are all excited to find our art work swimming in....

Special thanks to our parent volunteers who have worked so hard with us and are in the process of mounting our fish, Mrs. Maleki and Mrs. Kazeminejad and to our teacher coordinator Mrs. Porat.

Amazing work!




Bullying Prevention Week

Our Board has identified this week as Bullying Prevention week. At Westminster PS bullying prevention is a focus every day, all year.  We educate our students to identify and prevent bullying behaviour through our focus on character education and our instruction on self-regulation and social skills. We encourage bullying prevention through our "mindfulness" activities, Random Acts of Kindness campaign and conflict resolution through restorative approaches. Bullying is targetted and repeated negative interaction in an imbalance of power which can be physical, verbal, emotional or cyber-bullying. Not all social conflict is bullying but can become so if unchecked. While our children are being taught how to resolve their own conflicts they also know how to get help from the trusted adults around them if needed. This year as part of our Enrichment Package, we will be having a special guest, Paul Davis talk to our grade 4-8 students about internet safety and cyber-bullying. So the…

Fabulous WPS Spirit Wear for Sale!

Westminster Spirit Wear is now available for purchase!  Beautiful WPS t-shirts and sweat shirts with our WPS Wildcat logo will make a cool addition to your child's wardrobe and a terrific gift for the holidays.  
All orders are due December 1st.  Either send in the order forms going home this week or order online.  Sample sizes are available in the office to try on if needed.  Any proceeds will go directly to supporting our school so its a win-win for everyone!  Thank you to our School Council for making this happen for our school community this year.  Yeah Wildcats!! 

Character Trait for November is "Respect"

The character trait that we are focussing on for November is "Respect".  Demonstrating this trait in life is essential for our children and ourselves - young and old alike.  Showing respect for others, our environment and ourselves is what will make our world a better place.

We do this by teaching our children the importance of respecting each other and treating each other with kindness and courtesy.  

We can only teach our children this by modelling it ourselves. 

You are welcome to join us at our Character Assembly on November 26th at 9:00 a.m. hosted by Ms. Einhorn's class.  Thank you. 



Progress Reports and Parent/Teacher Interviews

Re:  Progress Reports and Parent/Teacher Interviews
The Elementary Progress Report Card is designed to show a student’s development of learning skills and work habits, as well as his/her general progress towards Term 1 curriculum expectations in all subjects. Grade 1-8 students will receive either “progressing well”, “progressing very well” or “progressing with difficulty” for each subject.  Progress Reports will be sent home on December 11, 2015.
This letter is to clarify the adjustments this year in regards to parent/teacher interviews. Where teachers are concerned about student progress, parents will be offered a formal interview. Teachers will be available on Friday, November 27th for parent/teacher interviews and any other time arranged between the parents and teachers. The evening of Thursday, November 26th will not be scheduled for formal interviews as in previous years.
Parents are welcome and encouraged to connect with their child’s teachers at any time throughout the year to d…