Woodlawn Early Years School

January 2022 Newsletter

A Message from the Principals

As we are writing this, we have just heard the news from the province that all students will be back in school starting on January 17. This is great news and makes all of us here very happy. There will be some adjustments and tweaks, but our students will be in school and we will do our best to keep students healthy and learning. Details of our new plan will be communicated as they become available.

When all students return to their classrooms next week, teachers will take time to review class and school expectations with their students. So much learning in the early years is about getting along and treating others with kindness and respect. Our students also learn that others may have different perspectives than they do and that is okay. As adults, the pandemic has taught us how important it is to understand that we all have different beliefs and opinions and that we can get along with others who think differently than us. For all of us, adults and children alike we need to remember that even when we disagree, we can always be kind.

Karen Fraser and Tara Reimer

A Message From The Counsellors

Covid. Delta. Omicron. Lock down. Remote learning. Words that elicit stress in our bodies, even if we don’t realize it. Some of us have enough capacity to manage that stress without it impacting us and our relationships too much, and some of us already have so much stress in our lives and this added stress feels overwhelming. So if we feel overwhelmed, what can we do to bring us back to a place of balance and calm (or at least a little closer)?

Click here to read more.

Literacy News


Authentic Writing Experiences

When children write for real reasons they are empowered and motivated to communicate effectively. Suddenly having legible printing, leaving spaces between words, and spelling somewhat accurately have extra importance since they want the recipient of the writing piece to be able to read it. Opportunities to practice writing increase a child’s overall literacy skills. Families may already have time built into their daily routine for reading. Here are some ideas for writing activities which your child may do independently or as a shared activity.

Perhaps your child received a gift over the holidays and could send a thank you note. Valentine’s Day is approaching. How about preparing some hand-written Valentines? Consider keeping a family journal of what you each feel grateful for that day. You could start a joke book. Have your child help you by writing out a grocery or to-do list or by typing out a text message. Does your child want you to remember to add a granola bar to their lunch? Have them write it out on a sticky note.

Add a short writing component to activities that your child enjoys doing. If your child enjoys a sport or video game, have them keep a log of what skill or level they’re working on or of a favourite move or play they made. Young artists could be encouraged to label their work or write a sentence/story to go with it. Little bakers/chefs could write out a favourite recipe. Youth climate activists could write a letter to a politician or company.

Authentic writing activities can take the “work” out of the task and make this extra practice feel important and productive. It’s great to write, right?!

Numeracy News

The idea of supporting your child in numeracy during remote learning and in general may give some of you feelings of anxiety. Maybe you struggled in math when you were in school. Maybe you are worried about showing your child how to do something in a different way than their teacher. When it comes to working alongside your child with numeracy, I encourage you to enter the learning with curiosity. Don't worry about having the right answer or showing your child the "right" way to solve a problem. The truth is, we want our children (at home and at school) to learn how to think in math. We want them to try many different ways to work through math problems, situations, and questions. I encourage you to ask lots of questions that bring out their thinking:

1. "This is an interesting problem you need to solve. Where do you think we should start?"

2. "They have given us some numbers already. What do we know about those numbers? What do we still need to figure out?"

3. "We have lots of different things around the house that could help us. Should we get some (buttons, soup cans, Lego, etc.) that may help us with our thinking?"

If you are showing them something, show your thinking and why you are doing what you are doing. Math can be quite abstract (even for adults). Using pictures, drawing, and talking, we can make it a bit more concrete and easier to understand.

And finally, don't hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher if you have questions.

Tara Reimer

Indigenous Perspectives

Did you know that education for First Nations and Inuit children is funded federally and education for non-Indigenous children is funded provincially? Did you know that First Nations and Inuit children receive 30%-50% less in funding than non-Indigenous children? Cindy Blackstock has been fighting the government of Canada in court to create equity for Indigenous children living in Canada. Last week she won a $40 billion court case toward creating a more just and equitable system through initiatives such as Jordan’s Principle. This directly impacts Indigenous children in Woodlawn School. Cindy Blackstock cites public pressure following the discovery of residential school graves across Canada (long documented through oral history) for the positive result in this case. If you want to learn more about the work of Cindy Blackstock, you can watch an interview with her here and here. This letter, written by Cindy Blackstock, is a beautiful tribute to the children she has dedicated her life to. If you care for an Indigenous child or are an Indigenous family currently living in Steinbach feel free to connect with the school to learn more about how this might support your child at school and at home.


Monica Martens
Instructional Coach

Woodlawn School

Click on the attachments below to view more articles:

Preview YouTube video Canada's Indigenous education funding gap

Canada's Indigenous education funding gap

Preview YouTube video Could you tell us about Jordan's Principle?

Preview YouTube video Cindy Blackstock on the long-term reform of First Nations Child and Family Services | APTN News

Cindy Blackstock on the long-term reform of First Nations Child and Family Services | APTN News

Preview YouTube video Mansbridge One on One: Cindy Blackstock

Mansbridge One on One: Cindy Blackstock


All staff and students must continue to wear masks. Students must come to school with a few masks that fit them well. Masks must have ear loops and fit snugly over the mouth and nose. Neck warmer style masks or masks with mesh or vents will not be permitted. The school has a limited supply of masks to give to students. If your child comes to school without a mask or a mask that does not fit well, we will call home and ask you to bring one.


Online Registration for Kindergarten

Kindergarten registration for the 2022-23 school year will open on January 6, 2022. To be eligible, Children must be five years of age on or before December 31, 2022. The registration process will take place online at www.HSD.ca.

If you do not have access to the Internet, please visit the school office and we can assist you in completing the registration on a school computer. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to register their children soon after registration opens in January. Early registration will assist us in preparation and planning for the upcoming school year. Registering before March 1, 2022, will ensure there is sufficient time for school appointments and provide parents/guardians with the opportunity to participate in Kindergarten orientation activities. Visit www.HSD.ca for registration instructions.

Water Bottles Are Important

We are asking for parents help to have each student bring a refillable water bottle each day to school with them. Our water fountains are only for bottle filling. As a school we cannot be handing out cups at the rate we are. If your student forgets their water bottle, we will be calling home for one to be brought for them. We thank you in advance for your participation in this matter.


Thank you to Woodlawn students for making our toy drive a HUGE success! We collected MANY toys for Southeast Helping Hands! Many children in Steinbach and area will have had a brighter Christmas because of you!

Outdoor Play in Winter

There are many benefits for our young students to get outdoor breaks during the school day, even in the winter months. Many of us grew up being told that the cold weather makes us sick. That is simply not true! Illnesses like the cold and the flu are caused by viruses, not cold weather. In fact research states that spending time outside in the winter months actually improves our immune systems and gives us an escape from all of the germs and bacteria that are huddled up indoors. Outdoor recess time provides children with a brain break and helps them get their bodies ready for more learning. Spending time outdoors in the winter provides us with vitamin D which is essential for children’s physical well being and also their emotional well being. Vitamin D has been found to change serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone that is important in regulating mood (Dennison, 2008). In other words, spending time outside may help children manage their emotions and improve their self-regulation.

Making sure that your children have the proper clothing for outdoor play will help them enjoy the time they spend outside at recess. Dressing in layers is always a great idea in our Manitoba climate!

In addition, our belief at school is that if children are too sick to go outside, they are also too sick to be at school. We will send all children out for all applicable recesses.

Only in some exceptional circumstances will students be permitted to stay inside. If you feel this is the case for your child, please contact your child's teacher to discuss if staying inside is an appropriate option.


If local conditions indicate that with the wind-chill the temperature is -30 or colder we have indoor recess. When temperatures with wind-chill range between -25 to -29 we normally have a shortened outdoor recess during the activity block.

As we all know the weather in Manitoba can change from one moment to the next. The main reasons students find winter outdoor recesses too cold is that they do not dress warmly enough or they do not get active enough. Please send your children dressed to deal with the elements. Good boots, mittens, and a hat added to ski pants and a parka makes all the difference between a child enjoying the outdoors or tolerating it. Please label all your child's outwear items as our young students often lose or forget items in various places!


When extreme weather or road conditions call for a school closure you will receive a recorded phone call from Superintendent Shelley Amos beginning at 6:45 am. This additional communication effort is to help ensure that all students will be aware of school closures and no students will find themselves in an unsafe situation where they may be facing extreme weather unnecessarily. When school is cancelled due to weather and road conditions there are no staff members at the school. If your phone number has changed since the beginning of the school year please call the office at 204-326-6110 to update your information.

Schools will be closed due to extreme cold when the temperatures in most locations in the division are

–35 degree Celsius or colder with –45 degree Celsius or colder wind-chill.


Please stay tuned for information coming about our Book Fair next month.


8:53 am Bell Indicating Student Entry Inside the Building

9:00 am - 9:05 am Homeroom Time or Religious Exercises (in designated area)

9:05 am School Begins: O' Canada and Announcements / Attendance

9:05 am - 11:05 am Learning Block 1

11:05 am - 11:55 am Nutrition/Activity Break

11:55 am - 1:10 pm Attendance / Learning Block 2

1:10 pm - 2:00pm Nutrition/Activity Break

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Attendance / Learning Block 3

3:30 pm - 3:40 pm Students Proceed to Homeroom

3:45 pm Dismissal of All Students

If you need to pick up your child during the school day please report to the office to sign out your child and the secretaries will call your child to the office. It is very difficult to find students outside during the activity breaks so we ask that if you must pick up your child you do so before or after the activity breaks.


To ensure the safety of our students and due to the congestion of our staff parking lots and bus loop areas, parents are asked not to enter those areas between 8:15 - 4:30. Also note there is no public parking available at Entrance D (Barkman St.) at any time. All parking is reserved for school staff.
If you are dropping off or picking up your child, please park on Henry Street or on the church parking lot across from the school. When using the church parking lot please do not block entrances or exits. For the safety of your child, we request that you escort your child across Henry Street. For students’ safety, please avoid parking along Barkman Street across from the school during 8:30 - 9:00 am and 3:30 - 4:00 pm.
Please do not park in the parking lot of the Envision home on Penner Street. That is a private residence and your vehicle may be towed.
Thank you for choosing safety over convenience for the sake of all our children.


Thursday, January 6 - First Day Back After Christmas Break

Friday, February 4 - PD Day- no classes

Mon-Fri, Feb 7-11 - Book Fair

Friday, Feb 18 - Winter Fun Day

Monday, February 21 - Louis Riel Day - No Classes

Friday, February 25 - HTA PD Day - No Classes

Friday, March 11 - Admin Day - No Classes

Friday, March 18 - Report Cards released on Parent Portal

Mon-Fri, March 21-25 - Wacky Week

Tuesday. March 22 - Student Led Conferences

Friday, March 25 - Community Pancake Breakfast (TBD)

Friday, March 25 - Last Day of School Before Spring Break

Monday, April 4 - First Day Back After Spring Break

Friday, April 15 - Good Friday- no classes

Monday, April 18 - PD Day - No Classes

Tuesday, May 10 - Aft/Eve Spring Concert - Grade 1 (TBD)

Thursday, May 12 - Aft/Eve Spring Concert - Grade 2 (TBD)

Monday, May 23 - Victoria Day - No Classes

Wednesday, June 29 - School Picnic and Last Day of Classes

Wednesday, June 29 - Report Cards released on Parent Portal

Thursday, June 30 - Admin Day