WHPS Newsletter


Elementary Tours
It is officially admissions season for Fall 2019! 
Join us to learn about our Elementary Program and pick up an application.
Saturday, January 12  |  10 AM - Noon

Learn about the program
Meet the teaching staff
Tour classrooms
FREE childcare

Tuesday, January 8  |  10 - 11 AM

Tuesday, January 15  |  10 - 11 AM
Tuesday, January 22  |  10 - 11 AM
Tuesday, January 29  |  10 - 11 AM


Parent Speaker Series

Back by very popular demand, Todd Hioki will be at WHPS January 28 and February 25!

Todd is presenting a 2-part series for PARENTS, TEACHERS, and LOCAL EDUCATORS on addressing challenging behaviors.

● Understanding "misbehavior" as a skill gap
● Using a systems thinking mindset to deconstruct problem behaviors
● The power of language in shaping power conflicts
● The role of physical choreography in conflict resolution
● It’s not what you know, but how you practice

● Builds on CB 101
● It's ideal to attend both, but if you can only come to CB 201, you will still get a lot out of it!
● Advanced content, including even more real-life applications and videos of Todd's work

Todd’s current work focuses on the application of systems thinking and design thinking to early childhood education and parenting. Todd presents internationally on early education and child development topics and currently instructs at Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School, UCLA, Mission College and SMC.
Winter Show
BRAVO to the entire WHPS community for your support and participation in this year’s Winter Show. Thank you to the PAWS and PAG leadership teams for hosting flower sales.

Rosengren Family

Some Wonderful Library Books

Savary Family
Fabric Donation

End-of Year Giving
Remember that PAWS and PAG are accepting end-of-year giving, which may be tax-deductible. Please reach out to PAWS, PAG or our Head of School, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you feel inspired to contribute to either campus/organization.

Special Edition | Seth Pozzi -  Head of School

School leaders often wear many different hats, and some of their contributions happen behind the scenes and tend to fly under the radar. Our WHPS educational leadership team is no exception. As we jump into our new year together, I want to acknowledge some extraordinary contributions members of the WHPS leadership team make to the greater community.

Jacey Dexter - Inclusive Education Expert
Jacey serves as an Inclusive-Educational Expert for Conejo Valley Unified’s Special Education District Advisory Council (SEDAC). In this role, Jacey leverages her specialized knowledge of research-based teaching techniques to support the 19,000 children of the public school district. While it’s rare for Mrs. Dexter not to attend Elementary Morning Assembly, if you don’t see her on a Tuesday morning, it’s probably because she is serving the greater community in this role.
Robin Gee - A certain je ne sais qoui
After serving for over a decade as an Executive Director for multiple preschool sites, we are so fortunate to have Robin leading our Collins campus over these past eight years. Robin has accomplished one of the most challenging things for school leaders, which is to inspire, create and sustain a warm, inclusive, familial school environment that envelopes you the moment you walk in the gate.  
Dr. Tracy Ewing - Educating the teachers of tomorrow (and today)
Dr. Ewing develops current and aspiring educators here at WHPS and in her role as a college instructor, teaching in the department of Child and Adolescent Development at CSUN. Tracy says that the motto of her department is: "Changing Lives Daily," and she truly believe that's what they do. 
Christine Chiche - Advocating for adults with exceptionalities
You may not know this, but when Christine isn’t on campus serving WHPS families, she is a consummate advocate for adults with developmental disabilities. Christine is involved with an organization called L.A. Goal, which provides services designed to help people with developmental disabilities, including Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, and other neurological difficulties, reach their highest potential in work and life.
Ailin Sacks - Child Development Screening & Intervention Specialist
In additional to holding a Master's in Early Childhood Education, Ailin has earned her Developmental Screening Certification from the Child Development Institute (CDI). When Ailin is not serving in her role as the Collins campus Co-Director, she volunteers some of her time at CDI, conducting developmental screenings looking at cognitive, social-emotional and physical/motor development in children. In this role, Ailin partners with parents to discuss her findings and refers families to Regional Center or the School District for intervention or support services.  

Preschool News
Collins Campus
Robin & Ms. Ailin
Oxnard Campus
Dr. Tracy  Ewing & Ms. Christine
"How would you like it if someone did that to you?"
"Say sorry" ...after they’ve hurt a friend

While very common, these are actually not developmentally appropriate for most preschool children."

Find out why below!

Happy New Year! For many of us the new year brings new goals. One goal we have at WHPS is to support young children’s social and emotional development. An area that is particularly important during the preschool years is empathy. Parents and educators agree that we want children to be empathetic and caring individuals. Understanding how children’s minds develop can help us improve the way in which we teach our little ones to be more kind and empathetic.

Three Aspects of Empathy
Empathy actually encompasses three distinct aspects: Emotional Sharing, Empathic Concern, and Perspective-Taking.

  • Emotional Sharing - “Occurs when we experience feelings of distress as a result of observing distress in another individual.” For example, your child who was perfectly fine before may begin to cry upon witnessing another child crying. This is commonly seen during preschool drop-off.

  • Empathic Concern - “The motivation to care for individuals who are vulnerable or distressed.” This is the aspect of empathy we most often think of, and we see this in preschoolers when one child tries to comfort a crying friend by offering a tissue, a toy, or a hug.

  • Perspective Taking - "The ability to consciously put oneself in the mind of another individual and imagine what that person is thinking or feeling."

You can think of these as stages of empathy development. It starts with Emotional Sharing. As young children have opportunities to practice, they develop Empathic Concern. The last aspect to develop, Perspective Taking, is the hardest for children (and some adults too). Developmentally, many preschool children may not yet have the ability to truly take another’s perspective.

Theory of Mind & Perspective-Taking
Researchers have conducted a variety of experiments to better understand when and how children can understand other people’s mental states (theory of mind). “Theory of mind is the ability to recognize and attribute mental states—thoughts, perceptions, desires, intentions, feelings—to oneself and to others and to understand how these mental states might affect behavior. It is also an understanding that others have beliefs, thought processes and emotions completely separate from our own” (Pedersen, 2018). Children younger than approximately four years old are typically unable to understand perspectives separate from their own and the majority will not pass a simple false-belief task, which is designed to test how well a child can reason about other people’s thinking.

Instead of: “How would you like it..”
Have you ever asked your child: "How would you like it if someone did that to you?" Or asked them to say sorry after they’ve hurt a friend? While very common, as you can see, this is actually not developmentally appropriate for most preschool children. There are some specific things parents and teachers say and do to give children the opportunities they need to practice and develop these skills.

Tips for Parents and Teachers from (Teaching empathy: Evidence-based tips for fostering empathy in children):

  • If you observe someone in distress (in real life, on TV, or in a book), talk with your child about how that person must feel (Pizarro and Salovey 2002). Even a very brief conversation might have an effect.
  • One of the best ways to encourage empathy is to make children conscious of what they have in common with others.
  • Another is to get out and meet people from different backgrounds, and learn about what life is like in far away places.
  • Conversations are helpful, but it's worth remembering that kids are heavily influenced by what we actually do, and less by what we say. Decades of research indicates that one of the biggest predictors of racial prejudice—and a failure to empathize with members of other groups—is having little or no contact with people who aren't like you. Moreover, this enhanced empathy is linked with increased happiness and scholastic achievement (Le et. al 2009; Chang and Le 2011).
  • Fictional stories and real-life narratives offer excellent opportunities for teaching empathy and sharpening a child's perspective-taking skills. What do the characters think, believe, want, or feel? And how do we know it? When we actively discuss these questions, kids may learn a lot about the way other people’s minds work (Dunn et. al 2001).
  • Other research has shown that kids are more likely to develop an internal sense of right and wrong if their parents use inductive discipline—an approach that emphasizes rational explanations and moral consequences, not arbitrary rules and heavy-handed punishments.
Elementary News | Jacey Dexter - Elementary Principal

It is time to get our “game faces” on!

Welcome back from winter break. I’m excited to kick off the 2019 year together. The New Year gives us an opportunity to renew our commitment to our most significant values and priorities (and for many of us, a little post-holiday dieting).

Getting the most out of the WHPS Experience
There is a popular saying around the WHPS campus: “You will get out of the program what you put into it.” And, the New Year is an excellent time to be thinking about how to help your child get the most out their WHPS experience.  

Morning Meeting & Arriving by 7:45 AM Each Day
One way you can support your child’s educational experience at school is to renew your commitment to getting to school on time. Morning Meeting is one of the most important times in our students’ day. This is the time we set aside to work on social skills and warm up for the academic content of the day. Arriving by 7:45 am will ensure your child is able to get the most out of each day at school.

Weekly Newsletters
I implore all parents to read your weekly class newsletters. The newsletters are an invaluable tool to give you a window into the classroom. Also, check the classroom Facebook pages! The combination of these two tools gives our families unparalleled access to what is going on each day. This will also arm you with the tools to talk to your child about what they are doing in school. It will help you avoid the: “What did you do at school today?” “Nothing.” paradigm.

Effective Parent-School Partnerships
I am thrilled to continue working with the parents and families in our community. My 2019 goal is to bring our community even closer together by further strengthening our communication, collaboration, and commitment to what’s best for students. Starting with communication, I encourage every parent to attend our February Coffee & Conversation: Effective Parent-School Partnerships. We will be talking about strategies to get the most out of your investment in WHPS by maximizing the partnership between parents and the school. Conveniently, this comes right before our last round of Student-Led Conferences at the end of February. Please make every effort to attend!

Coming Down the Pike
I continue to be grateful to work with a teaching team that is truly committed to academic excellence. This January, we are excited to dive back into our curriculum and drive our students forward. Upper Elementary is preparing to take our annual overnight trip to AstroCamp, where our 4th and 5th graders have a chance to develop independence and leadership skills, while spending three days in Idylwild with their teachers. In Lower Elementary, we’re getting ready to dig into the next units of study in Readers and Writers workshop. In addition to setting new reading goals, students will be preparing for their next writing unit and the subsequent Publishing Celebrations, as well as strengthening problem solving and effective communication skills.

Cheers to another year of growth, progress, and excellence!

"Our Barnyard" News | WHPS Science & Nature Center
Hello Barnyard Friends!
December blew through faster than anyone could have imagined. Before you could blink, winter break was here, but that doesn’t slow down our important work together in Our Barnyard! In fifth and second grade, we have been learning through a Hands-On Evolution Simulation. Each student created their own “creature” by following a process of natural selection. The simulation continued as each creature gained traits through artificial selection (students had to make a choice each time we met). When we return from winter break, our creatures will be evolving using other methods, such as adaptation. Fourth, first and kindergarten played a fun game of hide and seek with many different animals and learned how to sort them based on the biome they live in. Next, we will learn how each class of animal adapts to its biome. Third grade used their iPads to conduct research about animals for our husbandry unit. We engaged in great inquiry-based learning as we discovered more about what it really takes to care for different kinds of animals properly. When we come back in January, we will discuss what we’ve learned so far and determine what questions we need to investigate next.
January is going to be a fun month for Our Barnyard. We have had a few empty homes in the Reptile Room and Rabbitat, but hopefully soon all that is going to change! First, our friend Athena the Tarantula is moving to a different home within the reptile room. She loves visitors but has always been a little too hard to see. Soon she will be visible to even our smallest friends. Not too long after that, our Reptile Room and Rabbitat will have some new inhabitants. I can’t spill all the beans yet, so make sure to check in now and then.
It may still be cold outside, but it would warm the hearts of all our animals to see you back next year. Happy Holidays everyone!
Mr. Matthew and Mrs. Tanja

We're on Instagram @whpschool!
January Events - 2019
Check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events!
January Collins Oxnard
1 School CLOSED - New Years Holiday
2 Classes Resume
4 Coffee & Conversation - Diversity & Inclusion #SelfieStation
7 Winter Extra-Curriculars Begin
8 Elementary & Preschool Tours @ 10am
9 PAG  Snow Day PAWS Meeting @ 6:30pm
11   PAWS Babysitting Night 6-10pm
12 Elementary Information Session @ 10am
12 PAG - WHPS Wine Night @ Malibu Wines 5-8pm
15 Elementary & Preschool Tours @ 10am
15 PAG Meeting @ 6pm  
16 Restaurant Night @ Dog Haus (sponsored by PAG)
18 Kindergarten & TK Registrations Due - for Fall 2019
18   PAWS ❄ Snow Day
21 WHPS Closed - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
22 Elementary & Preschool Tours @ 10am
Restaurant Night @ The Stand (sponsored by PAWS)
23 Kang Chiao International School Visit
Child ID Program (both campuses)
24 Shanghai Acrobats Trip - Rm. 7 & 9  
25 Science & Nature Center Visit - Rm. 4  
26 PAG Parents Night Out 5-9pm  
28 Coffee & Conversation/Parent Workshop
"Challenging Behaviors 101" @ 8:30am
28-Feb. 1 Elementary Grade Level Spelling Bees (grades 1-5)
29 Elementary & Preschool Tours @ 10am
30 Farmers Market - Hosted by Rm. 10  
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