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Showing posts from September, 2015

School Council Meeting update

Thank you to all those who came out to our first School Council meeting.  We had a very good turn out of both new and returning parents interested in hearing about our school initiatives and getting  involved in our school community.  We had an informative meeting with an overview from our Co-Chairs of the successful School Council events and programs that we had last year and plans for this year. I also provided a Principal's Report with an overview of our school initiatives and upcoming events. I shared our Board foci in the areas of Math, Literacy, Modern Learning and Student Well-Being.  I described our work to develop the social and emotional skills of our students through "mindfulness", growth mindsets and character education.  Also, I talked about our safety procedures, routines and  school events. I urge you all to consider coming out to our upcoming School Council meetings and events this year and get involved in our school. Please continue following our blog, n…

Letter to Parents Guardians re ETFO and CUPE job action - Sept 30 2015

September 30, 2015
Dear elementary school students, parents and guardians,
This letter is to provide you with a further update regarding the escalation of job sanctions by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents education support staff members.
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario As I shared last week, ETFO has made public statements regarding planned rotating one day strikes if progress does not occur at the provincial bargaining table. At this time, YRDSB has no additional information about when the one day strike will occur. Additional information regarding the existing strike actions is available on the Board website at
Canadian Union of Public Employees (i.e., caretakers, clerical, DECEs and educational assistants) On September 29, 2015, CUPE escalated its withdrawal of services, which includes:  not handling money;  not sweeping hallways or entrances unless there is a safety …

Milk and Lunch Orders

One of the goals of School Council is to provide parents with healthy and convenient meal choices for their children.Orders for our milk program, subway sandwiches and pasta lunches are now due (blue forms sent home).  Please send in your orders either into the office paying by cheque or go online to use our convenient cash online registrar at pay by credit or debit no later than Tuesday, September 29.
Milk and lunch options begin the week of October 6th.   Pizza Wednesdays will begin September 30th for those who have put in their orders.
All proceeds from these orders go to support our students and our school.  Thank you for your support.

School Council Meeting September 30th

You are all invited to our first School Council meeting of the year on September 30th at 7:00 pm in the school library. Come out and meet with the Principal, teachers and other parents to talk about our school. Hear about school initiatives and upcoming events and ask questions. Studies have shown that children do better at school when they see their parents involved and interested in their school.  Learn how you can support your children's academic, social and emotional growth. Help encourage school spirit and community involvement. See how you can get involved in making our school the best learning environment for your children. Hope to see many of you come out to our meeting this Wednesday or at any of our upcoming School Council meetings. We have parents willing to translate the discussions in several languages to encourage everyone's participation. Childcare will also be available. See you then!

Character Assembly and Terry Fox Walk

We will now be having our Terry Fox Walk on the afternoon of Thursday, October 1st. Students are encouraged to wear yellow to show school spirit and to bring in a "Toonie for Terry" donations of $2 or more. All donations will go directly to the Terry Fox Foundation for Cancer Research.We will also be having our Character Assembly focussed on the character trait "courage" on Thursday, October 1st at 11:15 a.m. This assembly will be hosted by Ms. Parekh's grade 5/6 class. Each class will be announcing the students who will receive this month's character award for demonstrating courage at school. Congratulations to all our courageous students!  Parents are welcome to join us!

Letter from our Director

Dear elementary school students, parents and guardians,

This letter is to provide you with a further update regarding the escalation of job sanctions by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which affects schools across the province, including in York Region.

Beginning this past Monday, ETFO Provincial directed teachers to begin “Phase 3” of their job action. The sanctions announced by ETFO earlier this week are primarily administrative in nature and classroom instruction continues. However, you will notice some activities previously completed by teachers are no longer being provided. Teachers have been instructed by ETFO Provincial not to participate in:

 class field trips during the instructional day;
 open houses, such as meet-the-teacher events, outside the instructional day;
 fundraising activities or collecting monies from students;
 updating classroom websites/blogs or completing/distributing class newsletters; and
 providing coverage beyond their own students/cl…

Safety Week is Every Week

In September we go over our emergency procedures to ensure all our students are aware of what to do in an emergency. Last week, we had our first fire drill. I was pleased to see how quickly and efficiently our staff and students are able to evacuate the building. Tomorrow we will be practising our Lockdown procedures. During such an emergency our students and staff practise how to stay concealed and secure. Although each year we prepare for such extraordinary situations to ensure the safety of our students, you can be assured that our school is very secure at all times. Awareness of what to do in an emergency is important and good to practise. I encourage you to discuss your own emergency procedures at home with your children. Thank you.

September Newsletter

Hello everyone,

Thank you to all those who have asked to subscribe to our blog.  Welcome!  I hope that you find this method of communication helpful and convenient. I've attached the link to our September Newsletter in case you haven't seen it already with more information about our school.  You can view previous School Newsletters from our website.  Thank you.

Holiday Greetings

To all those in our community who commemorate Yom Kippur, we would like to wish you and your families an easy fast and a healthy New Year ahead.
To all those celebrating Eid-ul-Adha, we would like to wish you and your families a very happy celebration.
Greetings to all!

Terry Fox our National Hero!

Every year, schools around the country talk about the example that Terry Fox provides our students. His struggles to raise awareness of cancer while fighting his own battle with the disease was a true example of courage, perseverance and optimism. Three of the character traits that we teach our students and hope they can apply in their own lives when facing their own challenges. Since September's character trait focus is "courage" Terry regularly comes up as one of our national heroes that displays this trait in all he did.
This year marks the 26th year that Westminster will be participating in the annual Terry Fox walk/run at school. On September 30th all our students will be running or walking the perimeter of the grounds behind the school. We are asking all those who wish to donate at least $2 a "Toonie for Terry" to send it into school before that day. These funds will go to the Terry Fox Foundation for cancer research. You can also make your contributions o…

Student ID numbers for School Cash Online

Today, your child will be given their York Region District School Board STUDENT NUMBER and PASSWORD.
This unique number/password combination will be used for a variety of learning purposes in school including computer login access, network access, etc.
Parents of younger students may choose to copy this information into their agenda for easy access when at school.
The student number is also required for use when registering for School Cash Online (YRDSB’s new online payment system).  Please use your child's Student Number to register for our online cash system. 
If you have not already done so, please navigate to the school cash online icon on Westminster’s website to register:  or go directly to register at://
Thank you.

Our First Day!

Our first day at school went very smoothly despite the rain in the morning and the exhausting heat during the day!  It was great seeing everyone back again excited for the new year to begin. Students and teachers quickly started getting to know each other and setting routines for the year.  Students enjoyed seeing their friends and making new ones. Our first assembly set the tone with a reminder of our goals and expectations for a positive school environment.  It also included an introduction to "mindfulness"  activities to help our children be aware of themselves and their surroundings. These breathing and calming exercises are meant to help reduce anxiety and support their self-regulation skills and attention. They provide them time to refocus so they can better learn especially after coming back from an active recess. Throughout the year we will let you know more about our efforts to develop mindfulness along with a growth mindset in our students. Please help us encourage…

Start-up packages and forms

Parents/guardians are reminded to read the start-up package and the many letters and forms sent home yesterday.  Please take the time to read them all as they have much information about our school that you need to know. All forms especially the "purple" forms must be signed and returned to school no later than next Friday. Please also consider signing up to volunteer at the school or join our School Council on the "yellow" forms. Last year this vibrant group of involved parents provided our families with many community outreach events to truly encourage the community spirit at Westminster PS.We thank you for your help with this and look forward to your continued support.Thank you!

Welcome Back to School!

Welcome back to school! Its amazing how quickly the summer has gone bye. I hope you all had a great vacation and your children are excited about starting school again and seeing their friends and teachers. I, along with my teachers and staff are looking forward to seeing everyone and having another terrific year at Westminster P.S.I want to thank you for subscribing and viewing this blog which we began last year and are planning to expand this year. On this blog we will continue to post quick and current information about school events and reminders. We ask that you please encourage your friends and community neighbours to subscribe to our blog which we hope will be an effective and convenient method of communicaton. Our office is open this week between 8:30-4:00. School starts on Tuesday, September 8th at 8:35 a.m. As class lists continue to be revised, we cannot share class placements until Tuesday. Teachers and staff will welcome our students in the back of the school at 8:20 a.m. …