Already, our Winter Break is only a few weeks away! Our soccer, football , volleyball and cross-country teams did well in their competitions.
Progress Reports went home in mid-November and, interviews are over. If you did not meet with your child's teacher, please call the teacher to set up an appointment.
During the month of December, we will have our Giving Tree (which will be up in the front hallway). Parents and students can help to decorate this (with new mittens, scarves and hats). We will hold a “Ten Days of Giving” from December 5th and ending December 16th. We would really appreciate your help to give to those in need over the holidays.
At various times during the week of December 19-23, we will be singing songs from many different cultures and celebrations. Some classes may also be presenting small skits or songs. When we have this finalized, we will put it up on the website. Please feel free to join us. Remember too, to get your skates on and join us at the University Skating Rink at 6:30 on Thursday, December 15th. Bring your family!
However you celebrate this season, we (the staff of Westminster) wish you a safe and happy holiday season. Enjoy time with family and friends. We will see you January 9, 2012.
DATES TO REMEMBER
December 1 - Intermediate Girls and Boys Volleyball Tournament
December 5 - 10 Days of Giving begins
December 5 - School Council Meeting 6:30 Staff Lounge
December 15 - Skating Party at University of Guelph at 6:30
December 23 - Winter Holidays begin
January 9 - School begins
Progress Report Cards went home on November 16th. The purpose of the Progress Report is to communicate to students and parents your child’s progress toward meeting the expectations outlined by the Ministry of Education. It is also important to us that we help children to recognize their strengths and also understand the areas in which they need to improve. The Report provides an opportunity for parents to discuss both achievement and effort with their child. The Learning Skills section was moved to page one. This provides specific information about the student’s work habits and skills. Learners who develop good work habits early on will find learning easier and more enjoyable. Students who do their best in this area find that they also achieve better results academically.
We hope that you were able to meet with your child's teacher on November 17th or 18th. If not, please call them and arrange an interview time.
PARKING AND DROP OFF AREAS
We have noticed that parents are picking up and dropping off their child in unsafe zones around the school. The bus loading zone off of Goodwin Drive is not a safe zone for doing this, as this is a designated area for buses. Children are running in between the buses to and from the parent vehicles which is extremely unsafe for your child. Please use the Kiss and Ride in the back parking lot off of Hall Street. This parking area was designed for doing such pick ups and drop offs safely. Also, remember to drive slowly in this parking lot as it is a very busy place with children around. If you have any questions regarding this, please call our school office.
FOOD DRIVE - GIVING TREE
In the spirit of giving, Westminster Woods will hold a week long food drive. The theme will be the 10 Days of Giving. We will begin collecting on Monday, December 5th. To encourage the spirit of giving in a fun and non-competitive way, we will include some activities to go along with the food drive. Please help us help others this holiday season. If students reach the target of 40 boxes, they will have a movie reward and be able to wear their pajamas on December 22nd.
10 DAYS OF GIVING
Mon & Tues. Dec. 5th & 6th Toiletries (toothpaste, Toothbrush.....)
Wed. & Thurs. Dec. 7th & 8th Breakfast items (cereal, hot cereal....)
Fri. & Mon. Dec. 9th & 12th Lunch items (soup, Alphaghetti, Kraft Dinner....)
Tues. & Wed. Dec 13th & 14th Dinner items (canned pasta sauce, noodles, rice.....)
Thurs. & Fri. Dec. 15th & 16th Snack items (applesauce, pudding, fruit snacks....)
A reminder too, that we will have our mitten tree up in the front hall. We will gladly accept donations of new mittens, hats or scarves to decorate the tree from Dec. 5th to Dec.16th. These will then be given to needy families.
SCHOOL COUNCIL NEWS
The holiday season has arrived at Westminster Woods and the classrooms are filled with excitement! It is also a wonderful time of year for us to remember those in our community less fortunate and share our holiday cheer. Last year's Giving Tree campaign was very successful and we have decided to run it again this year. Our campaign provides you with two ways in which to give.
1. We collect food and essential items for the Salvation Army's Hamper program which in turn is distributed to families in need.
2. We also ask for your help in decorating our Giving Tree and spreading warmth by donating winter hats, mitts, gloves and scarves.
Please watch for a detailed note coming home this week about our Giving Tree campaign which will run from Monday December 5th to Friday December 16th
DO I GET PIZZA AND SUBS IF THE BUSES ARE CANCELLED?
If busses are cancelled due to inclement weather, pizza and subs will be CANCELLED and rescheduled for another day. This means your child must come to school with a lunch as there will be no pizza or subs for them. Rescheduled dates will be announced.
LOST AND FOUND
Our lost and found bins are overflowing! Clothing items have been put on display in the front hallway. Items not claimed by the Winter Break will be cleaned and sent to a local charity for redistribution. A good way to minimize lost items is to label your child's clothing with Mabel's labels (www.mabel.ca). There is also a link on the home page of our website.
INCLEMENT WEATHER - BOARD POLICY
It is the parent’s responsibility to determine whether it is safe for their child to leave for school in inclement weather. Parents must be aware of the following:
a) When a bus does not travel a route in the morning due to fog, ice or snow conditions, it will not travel that route in the afternoon.
b) If a parent elects to drive their child/children to school, they are responsible for pick-up of their child/children at dismissal time (no later than 3:15pm).
c) The Board no longer sends buses home early in cases of inclement weather. When buses travel their route in the morning they will complete their afternoon route at the regular time. Each morning, listen to CJOY (1460 AM) or MAGIC (106.1 FM) to find out if buses are running.
1. While we have an excellent transportation system, buses may be delayed in the morning due to traffic, poor road conditions, mechanical breakdowns, etc. To ensure your child is not stranded at his/her pick-up point, please make sure they know what to do and where to go if their bus is more than 15 minutes late.
2. Each driver is ultimately responsible for deciding if it is safe to complete their route. If they decide to cancel or delay their route, they will ensure that every effort is made to inform parents of their decision.
SAFE ARRIVAL PROCEDURE IN WINTER WEATHER
Remember to listen to local radio stations (1460 AM, 106.1 FM) for information about bus cancellations and any school closings for bad weather. This information is also posted on the home page of the Upper Grand District School Board’s web site. From the home page at www.ugdsb.on.ca click on the link in the yellow box. The web site is updated daily by 6:30 a.m. to provide you with the same information that is distributed to the news media.
For cancellations, we are area “South Wellington and the City of Guelph”. The school will not call parents of bus students who are absent on those days when the buses are cancelled due to inclement weather and you do not need to call the school. We will assume that your child is absent because he or she could not take the bus to school. Parents of students who normally walk to school or are driven in are asked to call the school’s attendance line as usual if these students will be absent. Unless the Board closes the school due to inclement weather, the school will be open even if buses are not running.
Kindergarten Registration for the 2012/13 school year will take place Februrary 6-10, 2012. Students who will be four years of age by December 31st, 2012 are eligible to register for Junior Kindergarten and students who will be five years of age by December 31st, 2012 are eligible to register for Senior Kindergarten. Students who are already attending Westminster Woods Public School for the Junior Kindergarten program are not required to
register again. If you know of anyone with a child who will be four or five years of age by Dec. 31st, 2012 and who wants to register their child at our school, please ask them to call or stop in at our office. Please note: Westminster Woods's Kindergarten is a full day, alternating day program.
Often families like to give gifts to teachers at this time of year. While we appreciate your generosity, the staff would like you to consider, in lieu of staff gifts, a donation such as one of the following:
• Food Bank - Our annual food drive will take place from in early December. All donations will be passed on to the Food Bank who will create Food Hampers for distribution in our community. Please help make this year’s collection a HUGE success! Items such as toothpaste, canned goods, paper products and any dried goods are greatly appreciated.
• Giving Tree - We now have our Giving Tree up in the front foyer. Please consider sending in a pair of new mittens or gloves, a hat or scarf, which will decorate the tree throughout December and then be distributed to children in our local community.
• School Library - We always appreciate donations of new books for our school library. This is a gift that benefits all of our students.
• If you make a donation to the Upper Grand Learning Foundation in our school’s name, we will receive 100% of the donation. Tax receipts will be issued!
FROM LIBRARY LAND . . .
Primary Holiday Storytime
We would like to begin a series of primary holiday storytimes in the library during lunchtimes in December. We would love for parents to come in to read some stories to the children. If you have a favourite holiday book that you would like to share, please let me know by e-mail: email@example.com. Thanks!
Book Fair - A HUGE success!
It was lovely to see so many families at the Book Fair on Thursday night and Friday during the daytime for our Family Event. Thank you for coming and thank you for supporting the growth of our library by buying books and kits and school supplies. We are very excited for share that we met and surpassed our goal by selling $5004.32. This means that 60% of this total will come back to the school in Scholastic resources for our library. Thank you, again, the Book Fair was a huge success because of you. Thank you, as well, to all of the student, parent and staff volunteers who worked together to plan, promote and run the Book Fair successfully.
Social Action at Westminster
The students at Westminster Woods have truly embraced the "Me to We" moto, choosing to live in a way that thinks about others more often and more effectively. Our "grab and go" table this month centres around empowering students for social change and positive community action. It is also about giving and kindness, important values to remember at this time of the year.
Books over the Holidays
Students are permitted and encouraged to take books home over the holidays. They are cautioned, however, that books can easily go missing at home when they are there for such a long period of time. Please help your child keep track of their school library books by keeping them in a safe spot. Designate an area in your house for your school library books -- a specific bin, shelf, bag, etc. Thank you for your support.
Wishing you a wonderful safe, holiday! I can't wait to hear about the students' holiday reading.
THE GREEN TEAM AND THE GREAT GARBAGE SORT OF 2011
(The following report is a compilation of comments written by Grade 2 students who participated in this year’s waste audit.)
“We did a waste audit on Wednesday November 16th …to see how much garbage the school had. We sorted the garbage in the gym. We used special gloves so our hands wouldn’t get dirty. We sorted paper, cans, containers and cardboard. Then we weighed them. What we did well is that we recycle a lot (especially paper). Another thing that we did well is that there weren’t too many popcans. But, we found lots of things that didn’t belong in the bins they were put in. For example, I found a popcan in the paper bin. We also found a whole sandwich that had been thrown in the garbage!!”
The majority of our waste is uneaten food, food packaging, and paper. Here are some of our ideas to help reduce the amount of garbage:
• If we do the litterless lunches again, that will be great! (Masooma)
• We can use recyclable containers in our lunches. (Lucas, Yara, Ethan, Rodeen, Seamus)
• Use a water bottle (Allie)
• Use less paper towels and use both sides of paper. (Amanda)
• We could use less paper. (Ethan)
• Put garbage in the proper bins. (lucas)
• Bring home the food you don’t like and don’t throw it out. (Allie)
• Buy a block of cheese instead of cheese strings (Allie)
• “I think we can put on a video about how the thngs in the wrong bins can harm mother nature and us.” (Kaitlyn)
We “shouldn’t make so much garbage so we could protect the earth” (Rodeen)
So…we will be starting “Litterless Lunch Wednesday’s” starting Wednesday, December 7th. (Of course, it would be wonderful if every day was litterless!!). Please help your child to bring their lunches in containers to reduce the amount of food packaging that ends up in our garbage. As well, talk to your child about their lunches. Do they eat all the food you send, or, do they end up throwing some of it out? Having this conversation will help to ensure that your child is getting the nutrition they need to have the energy to learn and be active, reduce the amount of garbage, and save you money!
SCHOOL COUNCIL COMMUNITY BUILDING TEAM
The Parent Council Community Building Team is looking forward to hosting the 2nd Annual Family Skate Night at the University of Guelph, Gold Arena on Thursday, December 15th from 6:30 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. This event is sponsored by Parent Council and is free of charge. We look forward to seeing many Westminster Woods PS families enjoying the evening. Reminder that parents must attend with their children but are not required to skate.
Bullying: It’s Up to Everyone to Stop It
Bullying is; • being mean to others, on purpose, to hurt them or their feelings
• about power and control
• occuring every seven minutes on elementary school playgrounds and most often happens while others watch
• does not stop when children are left to deal with it themselves
What to Do If a Child Is Being Bullied;
• Believe what they say, listen and try to understand their feelings
• Involve children in community activities to help them make friends
• Contact the school to talk about the problem and get support
Communication is important, talk to your child about bullying.
A BIG THANKS!
Since the beginning of school last year, various families have donated items to kindergarten that they are no longer using at their home. The Kindergarten Team would like to thank these families for graciously donating these items to our classrooms and outside Kinderyard. The students love playing on the slides, on the riding toys, in the play huts, and in the sand boxes. We would also like to thank Sharpe's Farm Supply for the bags we are using to weigh down our sand lids from the windy days!
If you need to find a new home for items you think we can use, our doors are always open. Some things we find helpful include old clean socks, plastic grocery bags, shirts to use as cover ups for painting, dress-up clothing, puzzles, educational games and manipulatives. For outside the children love to play with children's snow shovels, pails, trucks, riding toys, sand toys, and balls.
We just want say thank you for your help, in advance and for what has already happened!
The Kindergarten Team