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Showing posts from November, 2017

Invitation to free parenting seminar

Glenn Gould P.S. invites all parents and caregivers to join in for a free parent presentation  

A Simple Gift:  Emotional Regulation
For parents of children birth to 12 years of age   

Negative emotions (e.g., anger, sadness, fear, jealousy) and the difficult behaviours that may follow (e.g. temper tantrums, whining) are normal in young children. Not learning to manage negative emotions in the early years may result in later problems. 

This presentation will provide information and practical strategies to help families.    

You will learn about: 
What is emotional regulation Long term implications of negative emotions The importance of learning about your child’s unique temperament, strengths and areas of improvement Triggers that set off emotions The 8 principles of emotional regulation and how you can teach you child to identify and cope with their feelings   
Location:   Glenn Gould P.S.   675 Vellore Park Ave., Woodbridge L4H 0G5  
Date:         Wednesday, December 6, 2017  
Time:         …

New Director of Education Announced

Dear Families,    

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Louise Sirisko as the new Director of Education of YRDSB beginning in the new year.  Louise brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from 27 years in education, most recently as Director of Special Education/Success for All Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Education.   

Louise has a strong commitment to building positive relationships and working with students, families, staff and community members to advance student achievement and well-being. We look forward to welcoming her to the YRDSB and to working with her to continue creating safe, inclusive and welcoming learning and working environments for all of our students and staff.  

I would also like to express our most sincere appreciation to Kathryn Wallace who supported our system over the previous six months in the Interim Director of Education role. Her leadership was outstanding during a challenging time for our Board.  
Kathryn Wa…

Supporting a Mentally Healthy School

To support awareness of mental health, classes from K-8 have been discussing what it is to be mentally healthy and what you can do if you are struggling and need help. We are working towards our focus to support mentally healthy students and staff. Displaying empathy towards others and caring for one another helps us create a positive and inclusive climate at our school.

We have an informative display in our lobby to help our students understand what it is to be mentally healthy. It encourages us to open our channels of communication by explaining things in ways everyone can understand;

What's going on?
I feel angryI feel worriedI feel sadI feel lonelyI feel stress, panic, depression, anxiety 

What to do?
deep breathinggo to bed on timeexerciseplay a sportwatch a comedy, laughcall a friendlisten to musicsing, dance or drawgive a hugbe kind to yourselfbe in naturedo one thing at a timewrite things downpractise mindfulnessask and accept help  

Who can help? parentsgrandparentssisters…

Food Bank and Family Movie Night Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Remember to bring your food bank donations when you come out to our Family Movie Night on Wednesday, November 29th. Movies start at 6:30 p.m. and pizza dinners from 6:00 p.m.

All non-perishable food items are welcome and help us show our empathy towards those less fortunate then us. Our food drive will continue for the first couple of weeks in December so you can keep sending food in with your children.

Come out and enjoy the evening on Wednesday with your family and friends. Support our school and school community while at the same time make a donation to our food bank campaign. 

What a great way to give to others, support the school and have fun too! 

See you all at our Family Movie Night and thank you for your donations!

Remember our Family Movie Night is coming...

Family Movie Night November 29th Reminder Remember to come out to our Family Movie Night November 29th. Have fun with your family and friends at this Community Outreach event brought to you by our School Council.

Movies Showing: 6:30 p.m.              Captain Underpants              Spider-Man Homecoming
Doors open 6:00 p.m. Pizza pre orders due November 27th Snacks for sale while supplies last
Remember to bring your food donations for our Holiday Food Bank as well. 

Looking to Volunteer?

Every year, we have a group of committed volunteers who give of their time and skills to support our school. Volunteer duties can include working in our school library, supporting students in the classroom, listening to students read, etc. English does not need to be the volunteer‘s first Language. Volunteers make a huge difference to our students and our school even for a few hours a week. We are looking for people willing and able to volunteer at Westminster P. S. Anyone can apply. All that is needed is a little of your time and love for children. Volunteers will need a Vulnerable Sector screening letter which can be obtained from the police station and is a safety requirement for anyone working with children or schools. Those who are interested can obtain a letter of intent to volunteer from our office to receive discount for the Vulnerable Sector Screening letter. 
If you are interested or want to find out more information, please call the school or contact Mrs. Porat at rahle.porat…

Progress Reports go home November 21st

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 skill…

Our Book Fair is here!

Westminster will be having a Book Fair November 20-November 24th!  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 book 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 23th and morning of Friday, November 25th during our Student-Led Conferences. See you there!

Invitation to Parenting Session: Emotional Regulation

York Hill E.S.  Invites all parents and caregivers to join us for a free parent presentation  

A Simple Gift:  Emotional Regulation
For parents of children birth to 12 years of age   

Negative emotions (e.g., anger, sadness, fear, jealousy) and the difficult behaviours that may follow (e.g. temper tantrums, whining) are normal in young children. Not learning to manage negative emotions in the early years may result in later problems. 

This presentation will provide information and practical strategies to help families.    

You will learn about: 

What is emotional regulation Long term implications of negative emotions The importance of learning about your child’s unique temperament, strengths and areas of improvement Triggers that set off emotions The 8 principles of emotional regulation and how you can teach you child to identify and cope with their feelings   

Location:   York Hill E.S.     350 Hilda Ave.,  Thornhill L4J 5K2  
Date:         Tuesday November 21, 2017  
Time:         7:00 p.m. …

Protocol for Bus Cancellations

Although it is hard to believe that winter is coming....We do need to prepare for this inevitable change in seasons and the inclement weather that sometimes comes with it....
On occasion bus service cancellation due to inclement weather conditions may be required.
To ensure all education partners (staff, parents and students) understand how they can be informed of any service cancellation.
A decision to cancel school bus transportation will be region-wide meaning all buses, vans and taxis will not operate.
Parents, students and school staff are asked to access local radio and television stations after 6:00 a.m. to receive bus cancellation information.  

A bus cancellation message will also be available at and 1-877-330-3001 or by following the YRDSB on Twitter.
Please note that school bus charters will not operatewhen regular home to school service is cancelled.
Student Transportation Services thanks you for your understanding and co-operation.

Now...let's hope it d…

Youth Voice and Peace Tree Student Conferences

To further support our learning on equity, social identity and diversity, two different groups of students represented our school at the Youth Voice and Peace Tree student conferences.

The Youth Voice Conference is a regional student conference to promote student voice and engagement

"On November 7th 2017, five intermediate students went with Mr. Kaiman to the Youth Voice conference with a focus on mental health. At the conference we learned and listened to personal stories on struggles with mental health and coming to terms with their personal identities. One of the main ideas that was stated several times as we heard the stories was that “you live with yourself 24/7” meaning that you live your own life no matter what others think.

After the speakers spoke the students went to different classes on emotions and social identities. In one of these classes the we learned about the LGBTQ+ community and the struggles that you may face when coming to terms with who you are. Another one …

Celebrating Westminster's Diversity

Here at Westminster we are very proud of the many identities, cultures, languages, religions and experiences that make our school so vibrant and unique. Our students and staff are incredibly supportive and understanding of one another and we see it in many different ways throughout the day.

Last year, students in Grades 5-8 were asked to respond to a School Climate survey asking many questions on their thoughts about our school environment, equity, mental health, healthy school and learning etc. As a staff we are looking at this information to help us continuously improve in these areas to make our school the best it can be.

We were happy to see that a large percentage of our students indicated that they felt welcome and safe at our school but we also noted that only about half indicated that they see and talk about their social identities (i.e. language, culture, exceptionalities). Our environment of support and acceptance is important to us but so is celebrating our differences and…

Shaun Boothe's "Live your Legacy" Performance

Westminster was happy to welcome Shaun Boothe's "Live Your Legacy" performance on Tuesday November 14th for students K-8 as part of our Arts Enrichment Package. Mr. Boothe's presentation supports and reinforces our foci on bullying prevention, growth mindset, perseverance, resilience and self-empowerment.   

In his inspiring multimedia performance and motivational journey, Shaun Boothe discussed strength, character, media and issues of identity and diversity. Through his biographical rap songs he captured the achievements of influential figures such as Terry Fox, Malala Yousafzai, and Bob Marley in a unique way. Shaun repackaged history through rap music in a way that connected with students and reinforced the importance of living a meaningful life.

Shaun's message reinforces the work that we are doing with our students at Westminster on social justice, equity, social diversity and our responsibility towards one another. He reinforced that our personal legacy is ho…

Family Movie Night November 29th, 2017

Come out for "Dinner and a Movie" with us!
Our very popular Family Movie Night is returning to WPS on November 29th! Come out for "dinner and a movie" or just a movie and snacks with your family and your friends from our school community.  

Our students were surveyed and two popular movies were chosen to entertain different age groups:

 "Captain Underpants" will be showing in the gym (K-4)
 "Spiderman Homecoming" will be showing in the library (5-8)

Admission $3 a person  or 2 for $5

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 no later than November 27th . 

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

Mrs. Joseph is retiring...

I would like to announce my upcoming retirement on December 31, 2017. I share this news with mixed emotions because on the one hand, I am looking forward to the next phase of my life and personal growth. On the other hand, I know I will miss the role in education that has fulfilled my life for over three decades. The thousands of children who have inspired me and provided me a sense of purpose, the hundreds of staff who have impressed me with the dedication they have for the well-being of their students every single day and the families that have entrusted me to do the very best for their children. 

The last three and a half years at Westminster have been ones of incredible achievement and pride as I have seen the continued growth of our students and the hard work of our staff. I have felt blessed with the support of our parent community and their involvement in the many initiatives we have put in place to provide an excellent education for our students.  

The new principal who will rep…

Launch of OHIP+ Children and Youth Pharmacare

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is releasing additional resources ahead of the January 1, 2018, launch of OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.
On the ministry’s website (, you will find information documents about the new OHIP+ program for downloading and printing: We would like all students, parents and caregivers to be aware of OHIP+ and be able to take full advantage of its benefits. Through this program, Ontarians aged 24 years and younger, who are OHIP insured, regardless of their family income, will be eligible for over 4,400 medications and drug products at no cost. 

Examples of common drug products used by children and youth, age 24 and under that will be covered by OHIP+ include: 

• Antibiotics to treat infections 
• Inhalers for asthma 
• Various insulins, oral diabetic medications and diabetes test strips 
• Antidepressants 
• Epilepsy drugs 
• Medications to treat mental health conditions
• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADH…

Visit from First Nation People's Elder Mr. Dan Shaule

In addition to our Remembrance Day observances on November 10th, Westminster is proud to host a First Nation People's Elder as part of Treaties Recognition week.  We have invited Mr. Dan Shaule, a Garden River Ojibway Nation Elder, to share about his rich culture, traditions and provide insight into the various Treaties between the government and First Nation People's in Canada.  
In First Nations, Metis, and Inuit cultures, Elders and traditional teachers play a prominent, vital and respected role.  Elders and traditional teachers are held in high regard as they are the knowledge keepers. They are leaders, teachers, role models, and mentors in their respective communities who sometimes provide the same functions as advisors, professors, and doctors.
In 2016, the Government of Ontario designated the first week of November as Treaties Recognition Week, to recognize the importance of treaties and increase awareness of treaty relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous comm…

School Council Meeting Monday, November 13th, 2017

Please note the change in date for our next School Council meeting which is now on Monday, November 13th, at 7:00 p.m. Childcare will be available. 

All parents/guardians are welcome to this important meeting where we will share and discuss many of our school initiatives and events. Please come out and spend some time getting to know other members of our school community and staff. Get a glimpse "behind the curtain" to learn about your child's school and their education. Discover how your voice can help us continue along our journey and support this excellent school.  See you there!   

Student-Led Conferences November 23th and 24th, 2017

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 inv…

Remembrance Day Assembly at WPS November 10th

On November 10th, 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 10th. 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…

Picture Retakes November 8th

Picture retake day is Wednesday, November 8th for those who missed our picture day or need a retake.  Smile!

Flu Season is on its way – are you ready?

Flu season is nearly here. Be prepared by getting the flu shot as early as possible. The first and best step to preventing influenza (the flu), is to get the flu shot every year. Influenza spreads quickly and easily from an infected person to others. Everyone six months of age and older can get the flu shot. 

Flu shots are available at: 
• Health care provider’s offices for people six months of age and older 
• Participating pharmacies, for people five years of age and older  

Visit to find where you can get the flu shot. How can the flu be avoided? 

• Get the flu shot! 
• Wash your hands well and often with soap and warm water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer 
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue out immediately. Wash your hands afterward. Cough into your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue. 
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth 
• Avoid large crowds and stay home when you are si…