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Showing posts from 2016

Happy New Year Westminster!

Wishing all our families and friends a happy and healthy 2017!

Winter Break and Happy New Year!

From all WPS, we wish everyone a happy and healthy winter break and a wonderful New Year!  School is closed for the winter break December 26, 2016 -January 6, 2017.

We want to thank you for your kind words, season greetings, yummy treats and gifts. Your kindest is much appreciated. 
May 2017 be filled with good will and compassion for all our children, families and staff.  See you on January 9th, 2017 in the New Year!

With much love,
Mrs. Joseph and the Westminster Staff

Twin Day and Holiday Assembly

On December 23rd, our last day of school before the winter break, we'll be having a TWINSPIRIT DAY.  Your children are invited to pick a friend or two...or more and dress alike. Just like twins!!

We're also having a Holiday Assembly at 11:15 a.m. We will have our Glee Club and a few classes perform, then we'll all sing along to our favourite holiday songs. We're looking forward to singing in the holiday season and the new year together. Parents are always welcome to join us. Tis the season to be, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!    

 Happy Holidays everyone!

Holiday Food Drive reminder...

A reminder to bring in your Food Drive donations. Our Holiday Food Drive is underway until Thursday morning December 22nd. The food we collect will be donated to the Humanity First Food Bank and will be given to families and individuals in our community who are in need of food this holiday season and beyond. On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Kaiman's Grade 7/8 class will be delivering our contributions to the food bank themselves and helping to sort packages to be given to those in need. This is an authentic example of charitable giving and giving back to the community.  We know that the contributions from our school and our students will be gratefully received by this charitable organization. 

Please send non-perishable food items to school with your children or place them in the bins located in the hallways outside of the office. 

Thank you.  

Hockey mornings at WPS!

Our students and staff have been having fun with early morning pick up hockey games this week... check out this mornings announcements by our hockey teams...

"Good morning hockey fans...Winterfest is in full swing.  The student "Montreal Canadians" took on the All-star Staff...the All-staff staff won 11 to 6 but the first star goes to Sarah K. for a stellar job in goal for the "Canadians".  In tomorrow's game the student Boston Bruins take on the All-star Staff again.   PS. The staff are undefeated...bring it on!!"
Go Wildcats!

Message from our Trustee

As we near the end of 2016, I hope everyone has had a great school year so far and found opportunities to get involved with the life of the school. 
It is wonderful to have opportunities to see not only what our students are learning, but to see how they are learning – collaborating and problem solving, using technology in exciting new ways, and engaged in hands-on activities. 
I want to take this opportunity to thank the dedicated staff members, students, families and community members across our Board.  Thanks to all of the great people we have in our system, we continue to advance student achievement and well-being.
Our Board continues to have a strong commitment to creating welcoming, inclusive learning environments that enable all of our students to thrive. Engaging families in your child’s education and the school community is in an important part of creating that environment.
There are resources for families available on our Board website at, including inform…

We're Collecting Recipes for our WPS Cookbook!

Do you have a favourite recipe that you like to cook with your children? Do you want to have it published in our Westminster School Cookbook so all can enjoy these yummy treats? So here's your chance to share it with our whole community and contribute your recipe to our school cookbook. We're collecting the best recipes from our community for our first fabulous WPS Cookbook!  Once we've got them all published they will be for sale with all proceeds going to enhance our fabulous school! 
Over the winter break why don't you practice your favourite recipes with your children, type out the measurements, ingredients and instructions...have your children practice their procedural writing and have fun while using their writing and authentic math skills. If you want, take a picture of your creations. Then email them to our school council. Make sure you let us know your child's name and grade. Our School Council Cookbook Committee will try to include as many as possible. Onc…

Popcorn and Frozen Yogurt Fridays!

Our Intermediate fundraising committee is selling popcorn and frozen yogurt on Fridays starting December 16th and 24th to raise funds for their end of the year events. If your child would like to participate and buy a healthy snack, please send them to school with $2 for each item.  

Thanks from our student committee!

Kindness Campaign

This month we've talked much about the importance of taking our responsibilities seriously. Our students show responsibility in many ways. At Westminster, we often talk about our responsibility toward our environment, through our recycling campaigns and the world at large, through our charity drives. We also discuss each students' responsibility for their learning and their work habits. They are also responsible for their actions and how they act towards each other.  
We remind our students that creating a positive school climate is everyone's responsibility. This responsibility is important to ensure the emotionally well-being of all our students. This begins by caring for one another and showing kindness and compassion to each other. 

We encourage our students to acknowledge "random acts of kindness".  An act of kindness helps everyone feel better. Thank you for helping your children identify kind acts in their everyday life and their responsibilities at school, …

December Character Trait "Responsibility"

During the month of December we focus on the character trait of "Responsibility".  On December 14th we will be having a character assembly to recognize those who have displayed this character trait as well as those who displayed November's character trait of "Honesty". Parents are welcome to join us for this assembly hosted by Ms Parekh and Ms Basta's 5/6 classes at 9:15 a.m. 

We are responsible for ourselves, our school and our environment. We are also responsible for the well-being of others. Please help us support this message and remember to send in your donations for our Holiday Food Drive. Thank you. 

Quest Conference Reflections

A couple of weeks ago York Region hosted our annual YRDSB Quest Conference. Quest is in its 20th year of providing relevant and inspiring professional learning for educators in York Region as well as all over Canada and the world. Each year at WPS, we arrange for some of our teachers to join the discussion and bring back new research and teaching strategies to our school. Our teachers come back rejuvenated and invigorating after connecting with like-minded people in a different environment. Here are some of their reflections:
"There's so much to take away from the Quest Conference that it's difficult to focus on just one thing. The focus this year was 'Deep Learning in a Digital World' ... a clear connection to the Modern Learning work we have worked on. We listened to a variety of keynotes and breakout sessions. It became clear that there was a common resounding message.  The message was the importance of authentic, meaningful learning that provided students with …

Bathurst Clark library programs

Thinking of things to do with your children? There are some exciting events and programs coming up at the Bathurst Clark Resource Library. They include:
Helping Hands, a family volunteering project, on Sunday, Dec. 11th at 2pmMake It! Learn It! Create It! programming, including:Hour of Code on Friday, Dec. 9th at 4pmColouring 2.0 on Thursday, Jan. 5th at 12:30pmLet’s Build a Computer on Friday, Jan. 20th at 11am (for ages 8-12, limited to 10 participants. Pre-register at the Service Desk at the Bathurst Clark Resource Library)Robot Day on Friday, Feb, 3rd at 11amSTEAM Club, Tuesdays at 7pm between Jan. 10th and Feb. 28th (for ages 7 and up)Puppet Show on Thursday, January 5th at 11amKid’s Book Club, first Wednesday of each month at 7pm (ages 8-12)Family Literacy Day on Thursday Jan. 26th at 6:30pm at the City Playhouse (pick up your free tickets at any VPL branch beginning Monday, Jan. 2nd)Family Day celebration on Monday, Feb. 20th from 1-5pm, including a Rob Joy Winter Concert at 2pm…

Family Movie Night December 8th Reminder

Remember to come out to our Family Movie Night December 8th. Have fun with your family and friends at this Community Outreach event brought to you by our School Council.

When: December 8th, 2016 

Doors open 6:00 p.m. Snacks and Pizza dinner available while supplies last
Movies start 6:30 p.m. 
Remember to bring your food donations for our Holiday Food Bank as well. 

Holiday Food Drive

A reminder that our Holiday Food Drive is underway December 5th- December 21st.  The food we collect will be donated to the Humanity First Food Bank. The food will be give to families and individuals in our community who are in need of food this holiday season and beyond. This year, Mr. Kaiman's Grade 7/8 class will be delivering our contributions to the food bank themselves and helping to sort packages to be given to those in need. This is an authentic example of charitable giving and giving back to the community.  We know that the contributions from our school and our students will be gratefully received by this charitable organization. 

We ask that everyone please help to make this year's drive as successful as possible and help our children see how they can personally make a difference to the life of someone else. Let's work together as a community and make everyone's holiday season happy and joyful.

Please send non-perishable food items to school with your children …

Our learning from the Holocaust survivor presentation...

Both our Grade 7/8 students and staff were very affected by Mme. Hans' presentation about her experiences during the war as a "hidden child" in France. Mme. Hans expressed that she felt it was her duty to share her difficult story to help our next generation learn from the mistakes of the past and the importance of tolerance and acceptance of one another. She also reminded our students of the debt they owe their parents and explained that her efforts to share her story were a homage to her mother who worked so hard to save her eight children and keep them from harm during the war. It was her way of saying "thank you" to her mother. Mme Hans evoked a great deal of emotion from all and she enjoyed the hugs of thanks from our students and staff after her speech very much. We thank you Mme Hans for coming to our school. 
Below are some of the reflections from our students:
"The most important lesson I learned from Ms Hans' story is to be grateful for everyth…

Hour of Code

Westminster will be participating in our 3rd annual “Hour of Code” this December 5-9.  

This international initiative for all grade levels K-8 is an introduction to computer science.  It is designed to demystify computer programming (coding) and show that anybody can learn the basics of computer programming. Coding provides a foundation for all students to learn fundamental skills in metacognition, problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, and inquiry. They get lots of good learning while having fun!

Many of our students love to play video games such as Minecraft which practices their critical thinking skills and collaboration, now they will get to learn how such games are designed and maybe design their own game! 
Continue the learning at home as a family by investigating to be a maker, creator or innovator.

Family Movie Night December 8th, 2016

Hi Westminster!

Room 218 Grade 5/6P, is taking over the blog once more! We wanted to remind you about the Family Movie Night coming up soon on December 8th. It’s going to be lots of fun! How exciting is spending time with your friends & family watching a great movie and, enjoying lots of different snacks such as popcorn and even pizza! How much better can it be? So we hope to see you there at our Family Movie Night!
Doors Open at 6:00 p.m. Movies start at 6:30 p.m. Pizza and snacks will be available for purchase.
We are also having a Holiday Food Drive beginning Monday, December 5th to December 21st. So bring your non-perishable food items to contribute to our food drive at the Family Movie Night too.

"You're the Chef" Equipment needed

As one of our Healthy Schools initiatives, Westminster is pleased to announce that we are planning to offer our students the "You're the Chef" after school cooking program. These sessions will teach basic cooking skills to a limited number of students in grades 5-8 that the whole family can enjoy. Stay tuned for registration forms going out in the new year. In the meanwhile we're getting ready and are looking for help with our essential cooking utensils.

"You're the Chef" cooking sessions require basic cooking utensils and equipment. The following list is the type of cooking equipment the classroom will need to prepare the recipes. The more equipment available in each station tbe more smoothly the lessons will run.

We are asking for donations from our community to help gather the equipment posted below. Please take a moment to check which of the equipment below you may have access to and can donate to our school. Also, if you would like to volunteer to he…

VIP program at Westminster

We are happy to be able to participate in the VIP program offered by YR Police again this year. The Values, Influences and Peers program, has been visiting our Grade 3, 7 and 8 students for the last few weeks and will be coming back for extended visits in February for our Grade 6s. The program discusses bullying prevention, peer pressure, cyber-bullying and how to keep yourself safe. For the older grades the discussion includes the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse. This community outreach program between York Region schools and the YR Police has been very popular for years and is a very successful educational tool to help prevent our students from making bad choices as they move through their adolescence. 

These discussions supplement our own work to encourage positive social skills, mental health, problem solving skills and character education to promote a safe and supportive school environment for our students and staff.

We thank the YR Police and especially, Officer Alex fo…

Holocaust Survivor Visits our School

On Wednesday, November 30th we will have the honour of welcoming Mrs. Denise Hans to our school. Mrs. Hans will come to speak to our Grade 7 and 8 students about her life and experiences in the Holocaust during World War II as a "hidden child" in France.  As November is Holocaust Awareness month and as a follow-up to our Remembrance Day discussions, we think her visit will be a special one.  

Learning about this terrible time in history, brings with it a reminder about the negative and dangerous influence of racism and cultural intolerance in our world. At school, our focus on character education, bullying prevention and ongoing social skills is part of our equity and inclusivity policy. It is also our hope that through such experiences and discussions, our students will become mindful and make the connections to their own behaviour and interactions with one another. 

Along with you, our hope for all our children is that they will develop into kind and caring individuals with …

WPS Spirit Day November 28th

Hey there! Our Student Spirit Committee headed by Ms Parekh's 5/6 class has planned another spirit day to build out school's an easy one... WPS spirit gear or Red and Black day!  Show your spirit by either wearing your WPS spirit t-shirts or sweat shirts or if you don't have any spirit wear be innovative and make your own by decorating your t-shirt with WPS or our logo....

It's also "Movember" this month so why not wear a mustache on Monday too? 

Your to remember to wear it all and show your spirit on Monday morning! Go wildcats!  

Grade 3 Gifted Screening

The York Region District School Board offers the opportunity for all students in Grade 3 to participate in system wide screening for possible identification as a Gifted student. At WPS our Grade 3 students will be writing the gifted screening test on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. If your child will be writing the test, we ask that you ensure your child is present at school and not to schedule appointments on this day.   

This screening is only administered in Grade 3. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the school.

PA day Friday, November 25th

Remember that there isn't regular school programming on Friday, November 25th. We look forward to seeing those families who have booked their Student-Led Conferences on Friday morning. Otherwise, see you all on Monday.
Enjoy your long weekend!

Getting ready for our Student-Led Conferences...

We're getting ready for our Student-Led Conferences which is coming up November 24th and 25th. Our students are excited to be able to share their learning with their parents and have been practicing conferencing with each other. They can't wait to show you their learning. 

Stay tuned for some interesting discussions with your kids....

Elementary Progress Reports Go Home

The purpose of the Elementary Progress Report is to communicate the progress your child has been making since the beginning of the school year in each subject. The progress report also indicates how well your child is demonstrating in the various learning skills and work habits and identifies areas where you may be able to support your child in achieving success this year. This report is not an evaluation or a record of achievement levels. It reflects preliminary observations of your child’s learning to date and the next steps for their continued growth and improvement as they work towards the curriculum expectations for the term. The intent behind this document is to serve as a central part of rich discussions between home and school.
The Learning Skills section of the Progress Reports is an important part of your child’s progress at school. The Ministry direction stresses the significance of developing learning skills and work habits in our children. The development of learning skil…

Our Book Fair is here!

Westminster will be having a Book Fair November 21-November 25th!  We love seeing our students excited about getting a new book to read. We hope you can encourage this excitement and support our Book Fair. All proceeds from this fair go directly to upgrading our library and other resources for our school.

Classes will be able to view our selection all week and fill out their wish lists. Parents and families are welcome to come to the Book Fair during the evening of Thursday, November 24th and morning of Friday, November 25th during our Student-Led Conferences.

See you there!

Dressing for the weather...

We are asking parents to please remind your children to bring their warm outdoor clothing to school and wear them for recess when the weather starts getting cold. Our recess is outdoors and being cold is not an excuse for not going outside to get some fresh air, clear their heads and have fun with their friends outside. It is an an important break from their day and promotes health and well-being. 
It is also a safety concern if our students come into the building unsupervised since our supervision is outside. This message is particularly for our older students who it seems do not want to wear their warm clothing outside and then feel the cold. Indoor recess is only called during extreme freezing weather of -20 degrees...we're not there yet, thank goodness!  
We ask that all children come to school with warm sweaters, coats, hats, gloves etc. to suit the weather and dress properly when they go outside. That's the reality of our beautiful Canadian winter... :) Thanks for your hel…

Buses during inclement weather

To ensure the safety of students, school bus service may be cancelled from time to time due to inclement weather, extreme temperatures and/or poor road conditions. In these cases, parents and students should develop alternate care/transportation arrangements.
Cancellation decisions will only be made after thorough consultation with the Safety Officers of school bus companies servicing York Region and are based on several factors including precipitation, air temperature, road conditions and weather forecast. 
Please note the following;

A decision to cancel school bus service will be region-wide meaning all school buses, vans and taxis will not operateSchool bus routesmay be cancelled when severe weather is not affecting all municipalities in York Region. Both the YRDSB and YCDSB operate many regional educational programs.  Students attending these programs are transported over large attendance areas encompassing several municipal boundaries. This limits the ability to cancel bus service u…

Flu Season is on the way!

What parents need to know about the flu……..
What is Influenza (Flu):  Influenza is a serious, highly contagious, acute respiratory infection that is caused by a virus.  It is important to remind children to:

wash their hands with soap and water thoroughly and encourage regular washing especially before meals teach your child to sneeze or cough into their upper sleeve or a tissue, not their hand keep your child at home when they are sick and limit contact with others considering getting the flu shot for your whole family 
Get your family immunized.  For more information on the flu and flu shot clinic dates, times and locations, visit

November Character Trait is "Honesty"

In November the Character Trait that we are focussing on is "HONESTY".  We are all reminded of the importance of continuously developing positive character traits in our children and always modelling how we hope that they will behave with others ourselves. Thank you.  honesty /ˈɑːnəsti/noun :the quality of being fair and truthful:the quality of being honest
"Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life - all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity." 

School Events eCalendar

Westminster P.S. has an online community calendar to help our community remain informed of school events. Find the WPS Community Calendar by following this link directly going to our school website.  

Go to our new calendar for all school events at your finger tips and check it regularly for updates each month as we develop this service for our school.
Thank you.  
Example of our Community Calendar page for November

We Remember...

We had a beautiful Remembrance Day assembly at Westminster. Students from every class were highlighted through either their songs, poetry or beautiful poppy wreaths. All maintained respectful appreciation for the presentations from their peers and the somber occasion to commemorate our fallen heroes and to hope for peace in all the world.   

Even our youngest children understood the importance of this occasion and the meaning of Remembrance day.  In Kindergarten, we have taken time to reflect on the poppy as a symbol to help us remember the past and think about the future. We posed the question...  "What is important to think about during Remembrance Day?"

Here are a few of their responses...
"Peace for everyone in the world."
"The poppy helps us remember soldiers who help us be free."
"We need to be kind to each other."
"We show respect to everyone."

Some students chose to create their own versions of a poppy using loose parts and then p…