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Special Edition  |  Elementary  |  Preschool  |  Barnyard  |  Upcoming Events
Halloween will be SPOOKTACULAR
(student only event)

Halloween Magic Show
October 27 (sponsored by PAWS)

Halloween Parades
2 & 3 Year Old Classes
October 28 @ 9:30-10am

Pre-K Classes
October 29 @ 9:30-10:15am

TK - 5th Grade
October 29 @1:30-2:30pm

Kiddle Karoo Halloween Show
October 28 
(sponsored by PAG)

Halloween Parade
October 29 @ 9:30-10:15am

Tours & Applications 
for TK-5th Grade

Live Virtual Info. Sessions
Tuesdays in November @ 10 AM

Campus Preview Day
Saturday, November 20 10 AM - Noon

Private Tours Available
Contact School Office

Avoid the waitlist:
Apply by December 3
Parent Workshop

Deconstructing Bullying (ZOOM LINK)
Tuesday, October 26 @ 10am
with Principal Jacey Dexter

We will discuss...
  • What is bullying?
  • Distinguishing bullying from typical behavior.
  • What we do at WHPS to stop and support?
  • What you can do as parents?
  • How can you promote kindness?
Fall Festival Returns IN PERSON 
(open to both campuses, but tickets are limited!)

Special Edition | Seth Pozzi -  Head of School

A Gradual Return to Normal


Last month, I shared some of my hopes and goals for 2021-2022: 

  1. Safety
  2. Community
  3. Teaching & Learning

We are indeed trying to strike the right balance among these priorities. I think we all share the goal of giving our kids the most safe, consistent and minimally interrupted school year, and at the same time we are looking forward to being able to enjoy being part of this special community. While unfortunately I cannot predict the future, I wanted to update families on some of the things to expect as we go forward. 


Fall Festival - Saturday, October 23 (Open to ALL Families!)*
*Outdoor face-mask required event
We could not be more excited, Fall Festival is back! This is our first real in-person event since the beginning of "The Virus Who Must Not Be Named." Thanks to our outstanding parent association, families can come enjoy rides, a huge maze and slide, a train ride with a haunted tunnel (AKA preschool breezeway), trunk or treat, circus performers, a DJ & Thriller dance lessons, carnival games and arts/crafts. 

Farmers Markets
Farmers Markets are back!  Children will be able to shop for delicious fruits and nutritious snacks for only $1.00.  Parents will be able to come on campus to help set up the events. Please watch for more information as well as some new guidelines.
Morning Assembly & Bucketfilling
Elementary is phasing back in Morning Assembly. Currently, it remains a student-only event, but we are LIVE streaming on Facebook every Wednesday. This is a great chance for parents to see who got caught filling someone else’s bucket. Maybe your child will be called up!
Elementary Pick Up - Parents may now pick up from your child’s classroom
We are relaxing the elementary visitor restrictions to allow parents to pick up from your child’s classroom. This will allow for more frequent face time (in real life) with your child’s teacher, though we do ask that you keep the interactions brief, outdoors and masked (please don’t pull it down when you are talking!).  You are also welcome to continue pickup at the gate as well.

After piloting at the Collins campus this fall, we are gradually phasing back in extracurriculars in trimester II, with some safety guidelines in place any time children from multiple cohorts combine.  More information will be coming out in December, and classes will start in all divisions in January 2022. 

Thanksgiving & Winter Show
You can rest assured we will be doing a feast and a great show. As we get closer to the dates of these events, we will be able to make decisions about exactly how they will be structured. We also have some special activities in mind to make the holiday season meaningful. In the meantime, consider checking out this wonderful giving opportunity. Perhaps your family or classroom would like to provide support to an Afghan family urgently in need.

We anticipate children age 5-11 getting access to vaccines in the not too distant future. As that rolls out, we are all hopeful that we can keep taking incremental steps toward normal and resume even more of the activities that make WHPS a special place. This has been a long and challenging journey, and we are very grateful for your continued support.
Elementary News | Jacey Dexter - Elementary Principal

The Honeymoon Phase is Ending

What SPOOKY Things Lie Ahead?

A little honeymoon levity from the wedding of Q & U in kindergarten phonics. Enjoy!

The honeymoon phase at the beginning of the year is an exciting time filled with novelty! This year especially, the honeymoon phase was strong as students returned to campus in a more normal capacity, met new friends, and tasted the first phases of the new normal. Even with the honeymoon phase being a blissful time, quickly approaching (if it hasn’t already arrived) is the end to the honeymoon phase (cue scary music). This is when reality sets in and novelty wears off. Here are a few things that may come up as part of the post-honeymoon recalibration. 

I'm Bored! What does this really mean?
The dreaded “I’m bored” comes up frequently at this point in the year. When children report being bored in school, more often than not, it's not because they already know everything that is being taught or the work is too easy. This can relate to a multitude of things, including sometimes being over-challenged by the work (it’s easier to say "I’m bored" vs. "it’s too hard"). This can also reflect a mismatch between the student’s ability and the output required (e.g. having a lot to say but trouble writing it all out). In addition, it can stem from a disconnect between the student’s interest and/or perception of value of the subject. Long story short, if your child is saying they’re bored, it’s time to dig deeper through the conversation, and checking in with your child's teacher is a great place to start. HINT: Try using the Advocacy Approach (slides 7-10 from our Parent Partnerships workshop).

Regression after an easy start to the year
When everything is new and exciting in the beginning of the year students are highly motivated and use their bandwidth to navigate new norms. Once the routines have settled, we expect to see a bit of temporary backslide. For kindergarteners, this may mean trouble separating in the morning when this was easy before, challenges with peer relationships, including being more physical or bouncing between friends, or being more tired (kindergartners need an early and consistent bedtime). Older children may start to experience the “girdle effect” where they are a picture perfect student at school, but then it all falls apart at home, resulting in tantrums, angst toward siblings, and battles over homework. This may look different for every student, but the response is still the same: Don’t panic, keep a level head, this too shall pass; continue to support your child with consistency, routines and boundaries. 

No one likes me (or worse yet, I am being bullied!)
Conflict is a normal part of child development to expect in any school as they continue to learn how to interact and develop relationships with others. We are here to coach and support children through the learning process, but there may come a time when your child will get in the car and break down in tears because of a conflict with a peer or an injustice that occurred during the day. This happens with my own children, and sometimes, I might even feel frustrated with their peer long after they have made up and moved on. There may even be times when your child is moody or sulky, changes friendships quickly or says "nobody likes me." One of the most jarring developmental transitions for parents comes around 1st-2nd grade (see what I mean by comparing the social differences of 6 vs. 7 year olds). Children may also test out words they haven’t previously used (I’m sure many of you have heard the words "stupid," "poop," and "butt" by now). It only increases in complexity as kids get older.

What can sometimes be hard for parents to suss out is when peer conflict crosses the line between developmentally appropriate behavior (even if it's not a desirable behavior) vs. bullying.  That is why my next parent workshop will be regarding bullying:

Please join me for: Deconstructing Bullying (October 26 @ 10am on Zoom). You can also learn about other upcoming workshops on our website

Preschool News
Collins Campus
Robin & Ailin
Oxnard Campus
Vivien & Christine
Developmental Milestones

Helping Children Reach Their Full Potential

"It takes a village to raise a child"

Our preschool program dedicates itself to meeting the needs of the whole child: social-emotional, cognitive, language and motor development - helping children to reach their full potential. As preschool educators, we see and observe children throughout the day. We provide a safe and nurturing environment. We facilitate their learning and work with them to meet their developmental milestones. 

As children settle into their new school year, our teachers introduce new skills and activities. As the year progresses, we notice the children’s interests, strengths and areas for growth. We also observe areas where children might benefit from extra support. This could be something small that we can support directly in the classroom, like engaging with new friends, trying different sensory experiences, or participating in daily activities.

We may also notice areas where families might want to check to ensure their child is hitting developmental milestones, so we can bring out their full potential. Educators have been trained to work with young children, but we don't necessarily specialize in all the specific areas where some children may need extra support. These could include speech & language, motor control, coordination, posture, vision, or even certain behaviors.

Part of the WHPS philosophy is that "it takes a village to raise a child."  This month we have partnered with Minds2Grow at both campuses for speech and language assessments. They are one of several wonderful resources we have available if parents or teachers have questions about their child's development:

Not every child will need some extra support or evaluation, but there are countless benefits to early intervention. We are linking some great reference tools (above) that can help parents and teachers identify any areas they might want to look into further. And, of course, if parents or teachers have any questions, our Preschool Directors have an abundance of great free and paid resources and referrals and will be pleased to assist you.

"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center

Hello Barnyard Friends!

October is rolling in, and it seems to be bringing some cooler weather with it. The animals are probably just as excited as you are, but no one is more excited than Mr. Matthew and Mrs. Tanja. Especially Mrs. Tanja, whose favorite season is fall. Mr. Matthew is excited for a different reason. For the next 6 weeks, he will be off on paternity leave. He gets to spend every moment with his baby girl, Maysel. Don’t worry, Barnyard classes will continue, with two amazing teachers. Ms. Cassidy will be working with our preschool classes, and Ms. Savannah will be teaching elementary until Mr. Matthew returns on November 1.

Preschool has gotten off to a great start. Ask your little one what special thing mammals have that makes them mammals, or reptiles or birds. They also got to meet one animal from each group up close and personal. Next month, with Halloween coming, we are exploring all kinds of bones. We get to see how similar animal skeletons are to human ones. We will also be learning about teeth, in particular how very much we can learn about an animal just by examining their teeth.

Ms. Savannah is excited to lead the elementary classes. In Animal Care, we will start by comparing/contrasting wild and domestic animals. What exactly makes an animal domestic? Then, we will delve into how different animals feed, and the students even get to feed our animals in the barnyard! Our Ecology students will continue their food web lesson by creating food webs/chains using local flora and fauna. Next, we will look into the interactions amongst different predators and their prey. There is a lot more to it than you might think. Finally, in Evolution & Genetics, we begin our evolution simulation project. Each student starts working with an [imaginary] creature that will keep evolving in different ways throughout the year. The first way they will change is through adaptation. With many small adaptations, a species of animal slowly changes until they are unrecognizable from the original creature.

Mr. Matthew looks forward to seeing you all at the Fall Festival on October 23.

Wishing everyone a wonderful start to the fall season,

"Our Barnyard" Team
Mr. Matthew, Mrs. Tanja, Ms. Cassidy, and Ms. Savannah

Follow us on Instagram @whpschool!

Upcoming Events
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events!
Oct. Collins Oxnard
3   Shani Barrel - Family Photo Shoot FUN-raiser - by PAWS
6   PAWS Meeting (Zoom) @6:30-7:30pm
11 Indigenous Peoples' Day
11   Speech & Language Screening
12 PAG Meeting (Zoom) @1:00-2:00pm Speech & Language Screening
17   Shani Barrel - Family Photo Shoot FUN-raiser - by PAWS
20 Restaurant Nights
CPK in Tarzana (PAWS, Oxnard Campus)
Sharky's in Woodland Hills (PAG, Collins Campus)
21 Great CA ShakeOut - Earthquake Drill @10:21am
21 Speech & Language Screening  
22 Speech & Language Screening Middle School Info. Session (for 3rd-5th grade families) @2:00-3:00pm
23 PAWS Fall Festival
26   Deconstructing Bullying w/Principal Dexter @10am
27   Halloween Magic Shows (all ages) - Sponsored by PAWS
28 Kiddle Karoo Halloween Show - Sponsored by PAG Halloween Celebrations 2 & 3 YO Classes (Rm. 1-4 & 11) @9:30-10:15am
29 Halloween Celebrations @9:30-10:30am Halloween Celebrations
Pre-K (Rm. 5-7, 10 & 12) @9:30-10:15am
Elementary School @1:30-2:30pm
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