The Puma Pride

December 16, 2019

Principal's Message

Hello, Willow Dale Families!

This week marks the last week before Winter break. We hope our families can join us for the Winter Concert on Wednesday, December 18 at 7 pm. Our music teachers, chorus, and band students have been practicing diligently over the last few weeks. You don’t want to miss their amazing performance. For those who may not be able to attend the concert, we will be broadcasting the 9:30 AM performance Live. The link can be found in the newsletter below.

Don't forget to support the Decem-Beard fundraiser this week. Vote for your favorite teacher beard by donating spare change to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Thursday, December 19th is a half-day early dismissal, as well as Pajama Day. Students and staff are invited to wear their favorite pajamas to school. We do ask for safety reasons, that students wear sneakers or other appropriate footwear to school before changing into slippers. Santa Claus will briefly visit the K-2 classrooms throughout the morning. The day will conclude with the annual holiday sing-along in the gym. All students will be dismissed, beginning at 11:45 am.

Look for the next newsletter updates on Monday, December 30.

As the holiday season quickly approaches, I wish all of you the gift of health, happiness, and time with family and friends this holiday season. I am thankful and blessed to be working with dedicated educators, supportive parents and community members, and especially, our talented students. Each of you is instrumental in making Willow Dale Elementary School such a wonderful place to learn and grow. To all of our families--Please take time to unplug, rejuvenate, and rest over the break.

With best wishes for the happiest of holiday seasons,

Dr. Perkins & Mr. Julius

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Willow Dale Students Spread Kindness and Cheer!

At Willow Dale Elementary, spreading kindness has been a priority. Daily, students recognize their peers for showing kindness. Kindness hearts are given to acknowledge the kind acts shown. The hearts are then displayed on a Kindness Tree located in each grade level hallway. We love to see the trees grow throughout the school year!

This year, Willow Dale Elementary School students in grades K-5 expressed that they wanted to spread kindness beyond the walls of the school during the holidays. When a staff member suggested that the children of St. Jude’s Children's Hospital could use some cheering up, especially at this time of year, the Willow Dale community jumped at the opportunity. Over 700 cards were designed and created by the students. Thank you to Jerry Findley, Centennial School District Courier, for paying for postage and shipping the cards to St. Jude’s Children's Hospital.

Reindeer Research Projects

While the internet was down, Mrs. Totans’ class wrote about their fictitious pet reindeers and then created their very own reindeer. This was a great way to wrap up their reindeer research projects.

Willow Dale Kindergartners Have Been Busy

The kindergarten hallway is busy with children that are eager to learn and show their progress. December presents a great time of year to show off our newly learned skills. At this point in the year, students have learned the sounds to all of the letters in the alphabet and kid-writing is in full effect. Students worked together to think of descriptive words to describe Rudolph's nose, as well as write about what makes Hannakah such a special celebration. Our sight word holiday lights have decorated the hallway from one end to the other. Kindergarten and 4th-grade friends share the excitement for the holiday as they read books and play holiday games together. You would never know these students have only been in elementary school for only three months.

Decem-Beard Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fundraiser

Decem-beard has begun! Students and visitors...bring in your spare change and vote for your favorite bearded teacher. This year, Decem-Beard will be the first fundraising event of two events raising funds to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Help Willow Dale be the top fundraising school in the district!
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Winter Concert

It is time to “Save the Date” for our Winter Concert! This year’s concert performance is slated for Wednesday, December 18th, at 7:00 PM in the Willow Dale Elementary Alta S. Leary All-Purpose Room. The concert will feature our 5th-grade band, 5th-grade orchestra, handbells, combined 4th, and 5th-grade chorus. It is certain to be a wonderful evening; one that should not be missed.

We hope to see you there!

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Watch the Winter Concert Live on December 18 at 9:30 AM

Willow Dale will broadcast the concert live and share a copy of the video for those who are unable to join us live.

Thank You Willow Dale Home and School!

A big thank you to our Home & School Association for everything they do throughout the year. This month the students and staff want to recognize Amanda Pierce for all of her hard work in hosting an awesome Holiday Shop for our students. The teachers and staff are very appreciative of the Hospitality Committee, headed by Mrs. Yuen for an amazing luncheon on December 6. Lastly, we would like to thank all of our parents who generously donated to the Holiday gift card, hat, and glove project. Our Home & School is the reason Willow Dale is such a great school and community! Thank you!!!!

Thank You Schragher Chiropractic!

A big "Thank You" is in order to Dr. Schragher and his staff for their generosity to the Willow Dale Community. Yearly, Schragher Chiropractic provides many generous donations. Recently, the staff collected and delivered over 200-holiday meals to families in need.

Girls Who Code Club (Grade 3 Girls)

Girls Who Code (GWC) club is an extracurricular program for 3rd grade girls that teach students about Computer Science (CS) in a fun and safe environment. This club serves as a place for girls to spend time together while learning about CS and building their confidence. This club will provide students with a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models, and an opportunity to use their skills to positively impact their community.

Sportsmanship Club (4th and 5th Grade Students)

This club is open to all fourth and fifth-grade boys and girls. The group is titled Sportsmanship Club and is designed to raise student’s self-awareness on working as a team on and off the field/court. Due to the weather conditions, we will start with football (5 sessions) and finish with basketball (5 sessions). Mr. Aninsman will be organizing this after-school group along with some special guests along the way. The Sportsmanship Club meets on Mondays from 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (11/25/2019- 3/9/2020; no session on 1/6/2020, 1/20/2020, 2/3/2020, and 2/17/2020).

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Mr. Aninsman at

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Family Reading and Writing Ideas for the Winter Holidays

Winter break means a well-deserved reprieve from homework and daily obligations. But before you know it, the holidays will be over and it will be back to the bus stop. To prepare for a smooth re-entry and a successful second semester, don't let school skills like reading, writing, and math slide completely during winter vacation. Try these family-friendly activities to keep skills sharp:

  • Read for pleasure. Whether your child is in the mood for holiday stories like The Night Before Christmas or the newest installment from his favorite series, winter break provides the perfect opportunity to stash schoolbooks and read for fun. Encourage relatives to give books as holiday gifts or gather in front of the fire (big kids too!) to take turns reading from classic tales.

  • Cook up an easy lesson. Invite your child into the kitchen to help you whip up a special dish — from Christmas cookies to potato pancakes. All of those half-tablespoon and quarter-cup measurements are great practice with fractions.

  • Write thank-you notes. Penning notes of appreciation to gift-givers teaches gratitude and helps polish writing and spelling skills. One final tip: a mug of hot cocoa can make this task feel more festive!

  • Make the most of car rides. Turn the drive to or from a holiday get-together into an opportunity to practice letters and numbers. You can look for license plates from different states, try to find the alphabet on the license plates, or count the number of red (or white or green) cars you see.

  • Maintain reasonable bedtimes. With no school to get up for in the morning, it can be tempting to let kids become night owls. A few days before school starts up again, ease back into the regular bedtime schedule so your child can start the year bright-eyed.

  • Have a family game night. Chances are many of your family's favorite board and card games reinforce skills such as counting, reading, and drawing. Gather the group to play games you usually don't have time for on school nights.

Below are some great electronic sites or apps that will reinforce what’s being instructed on in school. Your child’s teacher can supply you with passwords for any site that requires a login and password and he/she can’t remember!

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Counselors Corner

With the holidays right around the corner, here are some ways to reduce holiday stress.

The holidays are a time of great joy and excitement for children and their families. But they can also sometimes bring with them the added stress of trying to deliver the best holiday celebration ever. Children's Hospital Boston psychiatrist Stuart Goldman, MD, offers the following tips and advice to help children and parents enjoy healthy, happy holidays.

School Vacation

Add a little structure to your child's school vacation. Plan activities, such as playing board games, going to the movies or sledding outside. Consider scheduling activities the whole family can participate in together.

Get Outdoors

Keep children active. The winter brings less daylight, which can lead to more inside time and less physical

activity. Try to get outdoors, even if only for a little while.


Make sure children get plenty of sleep. Holiday time often begets later bedtimes. Make sure you get your child gets back on his regular sleep schedule before going back to school.


Be mindful of past events, like the death of a loved one or a divorce in the family, that may resurface around the holidays. Address these changes in advance, explaining that the holidays will be different and that it's okay to express feelings about it.

Information taken from:

December Rotation Calendar

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January Rotation Calendar

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Winter Concert School Performance

Wednesday, Dec. 18th, 9:30-10:30am

720 North Norristown Road

Warminster, PA

Winter Concert Evening Performance

Wednesday, Dec. 18th, 7-8pm

720 North Norristown Road

Warminster, PA

Sing-a-long and Pajama Day/ Early Dismissal

Thursday, Dec. 19th, 11:45am

720 North Norristown Road

Warminster, PA

All Schools Closed

Monday, Dec. 23rd, 9am to Tuesday, Dec. 31st, 3:45pm

720 North Norristown Road

Warminster, PA


Thursday, Jan. 2nd 2020 at 8:45am-3:30pm

720 North Norristown Road

Warminster, PA

5th Grade Spelling Bee

Thursday, Jan. 9th 2020 at 1:30-3pm

720 North Norristown Road

Warminster, PA

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Form will be sent home shortly in Wednesday Folder

Candy Bar Bingo

Friday, Jan. 17th 2020 at 6:30-7:30pm

720 North Norristown Road

Warminster, PA

More information coming soon........

Service Project Opportunity, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for all Willow Dale students & families

Between now and January 20, 2020, our school will be holding our annual used children’s clothing and equipment drive for

Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons is a local organization that provides, free of charge, the basic essentials that low-income and homeless children need to be safe, warm, valued, and ready to learn.

Here’s how you and your whole family can help:

  • Bring in gently used or new items (see list);

  • Come to WDES on Monday, 1/20/20, 9 – 12 noon, to sort and bag all the donations; and/or

  • Volunteer to drive to the C2C local site to drop off our school’s donations that same day.

We need to know who can help on MLK Day, (all children must be accompanied by an adult), and who is willing to drive to the drop-off site. If you would like to volunteer for either or both, please let Mrs. Kerber know at:

Sponsored by Willow Dale’s No Place for Hate Committee.

More Information

Cradles to Crayons

Monday, Jan. 20th 2020 at 9am-12pm

720 North Norristown Road

Warminster, PA

FEAST (Feeding Everyone at Special Times) program for the holidays

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Register for the Science Explorers Club- October to May

Science Explorers, an outside organization, will be offering a variety of science experiences for Willow Dale K-5 students. Click here for more information.

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Cold Weather Guidelines for Recess

Cold Weather Guidelines for Recess

Below 60 degrees—Jacket or long sleeves

Below 50 degrees—Coat and long pants

Below 32 degrees—Gloves and hats to go outside

Below 20 degrees—Shortened recess (5-10 minutes)

Below 10 degrees—Indoor recess

All temperatures represent the “feels like” number. Sometimes the windchill or windspeed may necessitate an indoor recess.

*If you are in need of coats, hats, gloves- Contact the School Counselors:

Ms. Zemitis:

Ms. LaRose:

From the Nurse's Office

The cold weather and the start of the flu season are upon us! Please consider having your child receive the flu vaccine. Check with his or her pediatrician regarding receiving a flu shot or flu mist. Your child’s physician will be able to guide you in making the best decision. Also, you may always contact the Bucks County Department of Health for more information on flu shot clinics throughout the year at (215) 345-3318.

Remember, GOOD HANDWASHING is key to preventing the spread of germs. Remind your children to wash their hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, washing the front and back of their hands, between their fingers, and under their fingernails, with a good amount of friction. Make it fun for them and sing songs to make sure they are doing a good job! Encourage them to try not to touch their faces, especially their eyes, nose, and mouth unless their hands are clean. Stress the importance of this to your children in order to keep them healthy and able to learn!

The Willow Dale Nurse’s office does not keep cold and cough medicine in stock. If your child requires over the counter medicine, we advise they take it prior to the school day. Please be careful when administering any medication that may make your child drowsy.

If your child is having any fever or vomiting, they should stay home until fever/symptom-free for 24 hours. We are trying to keep all of our students happy and healthy during this time of year!

Health screenings started in the nurse’s office last month. For elementary schools, this includes a vision exam assessing near and distance vision and height and weight checks for all grades, kindergarten through 5. Also, under the Pennsylvania state mandates, hearing screenings are performed for kindergarten through grade 3. Yearly hearing screenings are only performed for grades 4 and 5 under special circumstances or concerns regarding a child’s hearing expressed by a parent and/or teacher. If there is a concern with your child’s vision, hearing, or growth during the school health screening, a letter will be sent home to notify a parent of the concerns and to recommend follow-up with a doctor. If necessary, notification of a parent via a phone call will be made. More information about health screenings can be found at the PA Department of Health website.

Please do not hesitate to call the nurse’s office for questions or concerns.

Mrs. Salita, RN, BSN, CSN

Mrs. Kleinschmidt, RN, BSN

Reporting Absences


Attendance Notes can be Submitted Electronically via email at Please know you will still receive automated phone calls (to the primary phone listed in Skyward) if you have not submitted an absence note via email on the days your child is absent from school.

**Absence notes must be submitted within 3 days of the student's absence, otherwise, the absence will be recorded as unexcused.

E-Mailing Attendance Notes

  • Parents with children in Willow Dale may e-mail attendance notifications/notes to the following address:
  • E-mail notifications are encouraged on the morning of the absence day. However, e-mailed absence notes may be sent on the day following the absence.
  • When sending an absence notification please include the following information:

  1. Child's Name
  2. Child's Grade
  3. Child's Homeroom Teacher
  4. Date(s) of Absence
  5. Reason for Absence
  6. Contact Phone # for Parent/Guardian
  7. Other Pertinent Information

  • While you may still continue to call the school on the day of absence, a follow-up e-mail or a written note is still required for the absence to be excused.
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Visitors to the school must enter the school’s front foyer (white doors) and ring the bell, located next to the door that leads to the main office. Once buzzed in, our fantastic staff will be happy to serve you!

  1. Visitors must obtain a visitor’s pass from the main office.
  2. All visitors to the building will have his/her photo identification card scanned through the Raptor system to ensure everyone’s safety. Please make sure you have your driver's license or state photo ID card available upon entrance. The system was upgraded this year, therefore ALL visitors must present their driver's license when they enter the building.
  3. Visitors or parents may be escorted to their room where their business or volunteer work is being conducted.
  4. Students are requested not to bring guests to school unless permission is granted in advance by the principal.
  5. Forgotten books, lunch money, lunches, etc. should be left in the office. We will see that they are delivered to the student.
  6. If a parent or designated adult is picking a student up from school early, photo identification is required to release the student.

Thank you very much for helping us maintain a safe school for our students and staff!

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Children who attend school regularly make the best academic progress, graduate, and go on to successful post-secondary education and/or careers.

Students, who arrive late (after 8:45 am), must report to the office for a late slip. Parents should accompany tardy students to the office to sign in the student.

If your child is going to be absent, please notify the school to let us know.

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Over the course of the school year, schools are required to conduct monthly safety drills.

We will practice fire, lock-in, lock-out, and weather emergency drills. These drills may or may not be announced. Unannounced drills more accurately indicate the preparedness of the school and the effectiveness of safety procedures. Your child's teacher will review the exercises and procedures with their classes. Please make the teacher aware of any concerns regarding your child's participation in the safety drills.

The Warminster Director of Emergency Management Services and the Warminster Police Department will be invited to observe our drills and provided feedback for improvement.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Perkins or Mr. Julius.

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Family Trips Scheduled During the School Year

Dear Centennial Families;

The Centennial School District Board of School Directors approved Policy 204.1, Family Trips Scheduled During School Year.

Although the scheduling of family trips during the instructional year is not encouraged, the Centennial School Board recognizes that students may benefit educationally by accompanying their parent(s)/guardian(s) on trips. The revision to the policy will allow the schools to approve up to five (5) days instead of three (3). Any trip beyond five (5) days will need the approval of the Superintendent.

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) who are requesting approval for a family trip need to complete and submit the attached form to their building principal at least two (2) weeks before the trip.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Perkins or Mr. Julius.

Willow Dale Elementary School

Willow Dale Elementary School creates a safe and caring atmosphere focusing on growth through innovation, risk-taking, and character development in order to foster the success of all students