Woodlawn Early Years School
May 2023 Newsletter
A Message from the Principals
At this time of year, the staff start looking ahead to the next school year. We are working to get our staffing in place for the 2023-2024 school year.
In early June we will start to put together our class lists. This is a complex process and as in previous years we are seeking parental understanding and support of this process. It is our strong belief that the learning atmosphere in the classroom must be the first consideration in the formation of class groupings. Classes are organized to ensure Appropriate Education takes place for all students. We make every effort to minimize the potential for negative student interactions.
Staff teams strive to create classes that are heterogeneous and balanced in all respects. The following criteria (in no specific order) are considered when determining class lists:
Our knowledge of social interactions and dynamics between individual students and groups of students
Placement of students new to Woodlawn School
Approximately equal class sizes
Parents can assist the class formation process by:
Helping their children to understand the importance of class formation.
Supporting placements that have been made.
As part of this process we recognize that having a positive learning partner contributes to this success and engagement. Classroom teachers will be reaching out to parents this month to get input on who parents consider to be good learning partners for their children. We ask that you please discuss this with your child and respond to the classroom teacher by the date requested.
Given appropriate support at home and at school, it has been our experience that the vast majority of placements are successful. Where a placement is proving to be difficult, we ask that parents and students give it the time required for friendships and classroom community building to develop.
The name of your child’s teacher for 2023-2024 will be included with the June report card. Should you have any concerns, you are asked to put them in writing addressed to the principal. Concerns will be dealt with upon return in August. Once the lists are compiled, the administration tries not to make adjustments. However, certain circumstances may arise where placements need to be altered due to students leaving or enrolling, registration of new students with high needs etc. In these instances, parents will be notified in late August of the change in order to prepare your child.
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to your child’s education at Woodlawn School.
A Message from the Counsellors
At our parent workshop last week we watched the first half of a video called Listening, Resistance, Power Struggles: How to Increase Cooperation in Your Home (By Dr Becky).
Just a few of the MANY great takeaways were:
Try reframing your thinking to ‘What’s going on between me and my child that is getting in the way of listening?’ Instead of, ‘Why isn’t my child listening?’
Try reframing your thinking to being on a team WITH your child against the problem instead of seeing your child as the problem
Consider seeing ‘not listening’ as a need for age appropriate skill building (learning to tolerate disappointment, transitions, etc), instead of ‘a listening problem’.
Ask yourself ‘Where can I set clearer, firmer boundaries to avoid ‘a listening problem’?
We need to build Connection Capital - an emotional bank account of deposits and withdrawals. We ask our kids to do a lot of things they don’t want to do. The more deposits you make, the easier it is to make a withdraw. If we don’t make a lot of deposits the emotional bank account is going to be really low when we want to withdraw from it.
Two of the All-the-time Strategies we learned about to build Connection Capital were:
PNP Time (play, no phone time) - play with your kid with no phone around. Our kids want our undivided attention. It tells them they are worthy, important and safe. Dr Becky calls this our best strategy because as a rule in all relationships, the more we feel connected to someone, the more we want to comply with requests. This can even be just 5-10 minutes. Let your child pick the activity or topic to discuss. Instead of asking questions or sharing advice, try to listen, nod, and voice-over what they are doing - ‘Wow, lots of different blues in your drawing’ or ‘What a great move you just made’.
Let Them Feel in Control - Kids have so little autonomy in life! This fun game will give them control in the short-term, so you can build connection and cooperation in the long-term. Tell your child: ‘For the next 5 minutes, I’m going to let you tell ME what to do. You can tell me to do lots of silly things, and I guess I’m just going to have to do them (remind them that they can’t force you to eat, spend money or act unsafely!). Have fun with it! Model resistance before you give in: ‘I really don’t wanna put my shoes on the wrong feet, but you ARE in charge… I guess I’ll do it!’
We are looking forward to watching the second half of the video together on Wednesday, May 24 at 4:30 and would love for you to join us! There will be snacks and babysitting is available if needed. Please let us know if you are planning to come.
Enjoy the beautiful spring weather!
Sandy Caners Courtney Gangloff
Summer is quickly approaching, so exciting! Have you planned it all out? What about doing some of the planning together with your kids? There are so many ways to do this, but here are just a few ideas for how you can involve your kids and also naturally build in literacy activities (speaking, reading and drawing/writing):
Make a bucket list for the summer - have a brainstorming session open to any possible idea, if you dare! Your kids could come up with some really creative options that are actually doable. Get them to draw or write down their ideas, with your help if needed.
Make a weekly schedule together and discuss it week by week so that your kids know what to expect and what to look forward to.
Going on a road trip? Invite your kids to help with figuring out accommodations, writing or drawing a packing list, and making a map that they can follow. They could also come up with some interesting activities to do in the car (which could include reading and/or listening to audiobooks).
Trying out a new destination? Give your kids a “research project” to learn about the place you’re going and some activities to do there.
Going camping? Invite your kids to help plan the menu and make grocery and packing lists.
Summer is short and even though the days can seem wonderfully (and/or terribly!) long, the whole summer can slip by in an instant. With a little extra planning, summer can have a good mix of activities and free time and be enjoyable for the whole family.
Have fun planning a fantastic summer full of great memories!
The grade 3 and 4 Indigenous Student Leadership Groups have been invited to attend Gathering of Friends at Ginew School in Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation on May 12. It will be a day of cultural learning with learning stations in the morning and a powwow in the afternoon. Some of our students made regalia this year and will be dancing in the powwow for the first time. Here are some photos of the regalia the students have been making.
Thank You Steinbach Pistons and Steinbach RBC!
- The grade 1 performances will be on Tuesday, May 9 at 2:00 and 6:00.
- The grade 1/2 performances will be Thursday, May 11 at 12:00 and 5:30.
- The grade 2 performances will be at 2:00 and 6:30.
Due to limited space in our gym, we are asking anyone who is able to come to the afternoon concert to please do so.
For the evening performances:
- Grade 1 parents are asked to drop their children off at the classroom at 5:45.
- The grade 1/2 parents are asked to drop their children off at the classroom at 5:15.
- The grade 2 parents are asked to drop their children off at the classroom at 6:15.
After the performances, the children will return to the classroom with their teacher and parents will pick their children up at the classroom. This will help make sure everyone is safe.
Kindergarten Welcome Night
In the coming weeks, you will receive an email with the time your child will be invited to join the Kindergarten Welcome Night.
Volunteering In Our School
Field trips will be starting up this spring. This means our teachers are going to be looking for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please make sure your volunteer status is up to date with the Hanover School Division. Parents will not be able to volunteer without all the checks being cleared. This process can take several weeks so please do not delay.
Click HERE to read what will be needed to volunteer.
Kindergarten Registration is open online. If you live in Woodlawn’s catchment area and plan to send your child to Kindergarten in September 2023 but have not registered your child yet, please follow the link on our website. Please pass this information along to any friend, neighbor or relative who may have children eligible for Kindergarten and who might not be aware of the registration process. To be eligible for Kindergarten children must be 5 years of age on or before December 31, 2023.
Here is some additional information for those registered for Kindergarten 2023-2024
- We are hosting a Kindergarten Welcome Night on May 25. Keep an eye on your email for details.
- We will be hosting our Stay and Play in June where we will invite 4-5 new Kindergarten students to join our current Kindergarten classes for 45 minutes of play! More information will be emailed out.
Bussing for 2023-2024
"Hanover School Division Transportation Department has been very busy this year trying to accommodate all the changes that we have been facing throughout the school year. In order to help us prepare for the next school year - if you know that you will be moving locations/returning from home school; you are welcome to call or email our office at any time before school starts at 204-320-2347 or email email@example.com so we can ensure your child will have transportation set up for the school start up. We are open all summer long.
Jump Rope for Heart
Woodlawn will be participating in the Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser this year. All fundraising will be online and more information on that will be available closer to the date. Some important dates to remember are May 19th that will be the kick off assembly and start of fundraising. Then June 2nd which is our Jump Day and fundraising deadline. Thank you ahead of time for any fundraising.
Grow A Row
For over a decade, Woodlawn students and their families have been involved in harvesting root vegetables for Southeast Helping Hands. We started with a Woodlawn Community Garden, and have since transitioned to inviting our families to donate from their own gardens, or to purchase and donate vegetables in the autumn. These vegetables have benefited families in need from our local community.
We are inviting Woodlawn students and their families to participate in our annual: Grow a Row for Those in Need gardening campaign. We are looking for root vegetables like: potatoes, carrots, onions, turnips, beets, pumpkins and squash.
Participating families are asked to send an email confirmation to Miss Kristen Reimer (firstname.lastname@example.org) pledging their donation of one or more rows of root vegetables for our project. In the case of crop failure, you are under no obligation to provide produce, unless you so desire.
If you don’t plan on having a garden, but would still like to donate some root vegetables, your contribution is greatly appreciated. Please stay tuned in the autumn for more details.
Your child will be sent home with a reusable bag for our collection week in the autumn. Stay tuned for details in our September newsletter.
If you are interested in donating vegetables, please send a confirmation email to email@example.com by Friday, May 19.
Thank you for your willingness to participate! We are excited to continue Woodlawn’s legacy of giving back to our local community and teaching children how to be generous, thoughtful, and caring citizens.