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Showing posts from November, 2016

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…

Remembrance Day Assembly November 11th

On November 11th, our school will gather for our annual Remembrance Day Assembly.   Students have prepared to perform songs, drama and poems to commemorate this solemn occasion. Students will share with us the meaning of the day. Our assembly will begin at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, November 11th. Parents, guardians and family members are welcome to join us. All children will be given a poppy to wear.  We ask, if possible that they dress in black.
Across Canada, and in many other countries, people gather on November 11 to honour the courage and devotion of brave men and women who made the supreme sacrifice for their country. The First World War ended on November 11, 1918, at 11:00 a.m. the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. 
The following year marked the first observance of a day to remember and honour those who died, as well as to give thanks for the sacrifices of those who came back from serving their country.
Since then, Canadians have fought in other wars and conflic…

Bus Safety Discussion

On November 9th, all our students participated in a Bus Safety presentation and workshop. Members of our Transportation department and bus drivers came to speak to all ages regarding how to keep safe on and around our school buses. Students practice how to conduct a safe evacuation of the bus in the event of an emergency.

Our school bus drivers have an important job to transport our children to school and back home safely. Their main focus must be on the road and upcoming traffic. Children must remember to follow our safety rules and behave in a respectful manner at all times while on the bus. Otherwise, they contribute to distracting the bus driver and could cause a dangerous situation. Riding the bus is a privilege and children who do not adhere to these rules may lose the privilege of riding the bus. 

Please remind your children of all ages that they must follow all safety and behaviour rules while on the bus. These rules include:

follow direction and instruction from the bus driver a…

Parenting Tips and Student Well-Being: Sleep

Sleep and School-aged Children (5-12 years)
Children aged five to 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep. At the same time, there is an increasing demand on their time from school (e.g., homework), sports and other extracurricular and social activities. In addition, school aged children become more interested in TV, computers, the media and Internet as well as caffeine products – all of which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, nightmares and disruptions to their sleep. In particular, watching TV close to bedtime has been associated with bedtime resistance, difficulty falling asleep, anxiety around sleep and sleeping fewer hours.
Sleep problems and disorders are prevalent at this age. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and cognitive problems that impact on their ability to learn in school.
Sleep Tips for School-aged Children:

·Teach school-aged children about healthy sleep habits. ·Continue to emphasize need for regular and consistent sleep…

Student-Led Conferences November 24th and 25th, 2016

The Reporting to Parents Process includes the progress report card, student-led conferences and ongoing parent/teacher communication as a format for reporting on the progress of our individual students.  Teachers include ongoing diagnostic, formative and summative assessments to provide information about student needs and to direct instructional strategies.  Ongoing communication with the teacher takes many formats – daily signing of the agenda, a telephone conference between the teacher and parent, and the teacher or parent setting up a parent/teacher meeting to discuss areas of student needs and strengths. 
The Student-Led Conferences provides an opportunity for students to take responsibility for their own learning.  Providing students with chance to talk about their learning with peers, teachers and parents provides students with an opportunity to plan for and take responsibility for their next steps.  Student-led conferencing effectively engages parents and provides meaningful in…

Daylight Saving Time Change

Daylight Saving is here!  Don’t forget to turn your clocks one hour back on Sunday, November 6th and sleep an extra hour this weekend.

November Principal's Message

In November we will be sending out your child's progress reports and inviting you to your child's Student-Led Conference.  The Progress Reports will provide you with some important mid-term feedback on your child’s progress as they work towards the expectations for Term 1.  The Term 1 report cards with final marks for the term will go home in February.  Your partnership with the school is invaluable to your children’s academic and social success.  We thank you for your efforts to work with your child’s teachers to support their development. 
One factor that is important to review is the impact that irregular attendance and punctuality has on our student’s success in school.  Please make every effort to schedule appointments and family events outside of the school day ensure your child arrive to school on time.  The following are some of the ways that parents can help ensure student academic success in school:

Check and sign student agenda or class website for homework, assignmen…

Our Halloween Parade...was so much fun!

Our primary students had fun displaying their spirit on Monday afternoon by parading through our halls and showing off their Halloween costumes or their orange and black spirit colours. Our older students loved cheering them on and bolstering their confidence as they proudly walked our halls for this awesome little Westminster parade....short but oh so sweet!

Family Autumn Ball...was lots of fun!

Thank you to all those who attended our annual Family Autumn Ball and making it a huge success again. Each year we enjoy seeing the happy faces of young and old alike when they walk into our gym which has been transformed with colourful and glow- in- the- dark lights especially for our Autumn Ball. It's great to see children and adults dancing to the music together. Some came out in costumes that delighted and intrigued but all came out to have fun! 

Thank you to our school council for their hard work putting on this family event. We hope that such community outreach events help our school community feel connected with one another and with our school. Also remember that every time you come out to these events you support your child's school through the admission fee and purchases. All proceeds from these events are fundraising for our school to support programs and upgrades for your children. So thank you for your generous contributions.