Woodlawn Early Years School

February 2023 Newsletter

A Message from the Principals

February is I Love to Read Month and we have lots of fun activities planned. Reading however is not limited to one month. One of our school goals is in the area of reading: By June 2023, 90% of students (1-4) will demonstrate end of the year grade level expectations in reading (comprehension, fluency, phonics, phonological awareness, oral language).

Reading comprehension is the ability to make sense of text. To do this well students need to be able to decode the words in the text and understand the meaning of the words. Parents can help their child improve their reading comprehension by reading stories with their children and asking them “wh” questions (who, what, where, when, why).

Fluency is the ability to read a text easily with accuracy and expression. Parents can help their children build fluency by modeling while reading out loud. Also, letting children read their favorite books to you again and again.

Phonics is the relationship between the sounds of language and letters. Parents can help in this area by asking children questions about letters and their sounds. This can be a fun activity to do together in the car (h-a-t spells hat, how do you spell mat?).

Phonological awareness is the ability to recognize the spoken parts of language. Parents can help their children in this area by singing rhyming songs and playing rhyming games with their children. This is another good activity for long car rides.

Oral language includes speaking and listening. Oral language skills are very important for the development of reading fluency and comprehension. Parents can help improve their children’s oral language through storytelling, reading out loud, and singing and playing rhyming games.

Reading is an important and necessary life skill, but it can also be a lot of fun. We hope you all find joy in reading, not only during I Love to Read month, but all the time. If you have any specific questions about how your child is doing in reading or how you can help your child specifically, please contact your child’s teacher.

Karen Fraser and Tara Reimer

A Message from the Counsellors

It seems like there are so many new things to think about and learn about as parents these days, and it can feel overwhelming. We would like host an after school session to talk about… whatever you want to talk about! In the next few weeks, we will be sending a survey out to see if there are topics you would like to discuss with us, as the school counsellors, and other Woodlawn parents. If there is interest, we will gather resources to learn from the experts on your topic of choice, plan a date to spend time together to learn, support each other, and eat! We look forward to hearing from you.

Literacy News

Here’s a little riddle …

What is a massive amber vehicle that transports youth?

If you guessed ‘a school bus’, it’s because you’ve developed an expanded vocabulary and know other ways of saying ‘big’ and ‘yellow’. Teachers sometimes call descriptive words or new vocabulary “juicy words”. We encourage students to use juicy words in their writing and we love discovering the juicy words authors use in books we read aloud.

February is “I Love to Read” month and this year’s theme is Juicy Words. All month classes will be encouraged to participate in vocabulary-building activities. On Friday, February 10th, we hope to see students wearing sleek fedoras, lustrous tiaras, embellished sombreros or other headwear for Hat Day!

Vocabulary naturally builds in children when they are interacting with others. Simple habits such as having conversations over dinner or during car rides can be beneficial. You’ll encounter new words as you read together or explore a new interest. Following a recipe or building/fixing something together can help you to naturally encounter new words.

Seize opportunities to say things in a different way. Instead of “Let’s go!” try “Let’s depart! Instead of “Who won?” try “Who was the victor?” If your child says they’re hungry, respond with “I’m famished too. Let’s go make something to devour!”

Have fun exploring language, throughout “I Love to Read” month and always!

Numeracy News

February is I love to Read month so I thought I would create a list of some books that are either about math or that pull out some mathematical thinking. The next time you are looking for books, check out these titles:

One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab by April Pulley Sayre

The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns

The Doorbell Rang By Pat Hutchins

Spaghetti and Meatballs for All By Marilyn Burns

The Best of Times by Sturat J. Murphy

How much is a Million? By David M. Schwarts

Bean Thirteen By Matthew McElligott

We All Count: A Book of Cree Numbers By Julie Flett

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox

If you are looking for a great book to read as an adult about mathematics, I highly recommend the book Mathematics for Human Flourishing by Francis Su. I have read this book several times! It looks at mathematics from a lens not typically examined.

Indigenous Perspectives

Our Elder and Knowledge Keeper programming is underway and it’s pure joy to see Woodlawn students soaking up the learning. Jacklyn Friesen taught us about rabbit snaring, fishing with her uncle, and living on the land. We talked about different habitats and the kinds of animals that live in different parts of Manitoba. We explored tools for cutting wood and shrubs in the bush and the difference between green and dry wood and how that affects fire making outdoors.

In February our guests will be Darla Contois and Elder Geraldine Shingoose. Darla is Cree-Salteaux from Misipawistik First Nation (Grand Rapids). Darla will be exploring storytelling and story-acting with our younger students and doing drama workshops with our older students. We are very excited to have such an accomplished artist working with Woodlawn students (see information about Artist in the School for more information about Darla).

Geraldine Shingoose, otherwise known as Gramma Shingoose, is an Elder who will share traditional stories. Gramma Shingoose is an ambassador for residential school survivors, however she will not be speaking about that with Woodlawn students. You can read her story here.

In addition, Marlene Henry and Diane Henry from Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation are making regalia with some of our students who have been asked to participate in the Gathering of Friends Powwow at Ginew School in spring. Marlene, an accomplished Traditional Powwow dancer herself, will also be teaching these students their powwow dance steps.

We are looking for parent feedback and connections for Indigenous programming in our school. Please contact Monica Martens (mmartens@hsd.ca) if:

  • your child would like to be part of the Indigenous Student Leadership Group

  • you, as a parent, would like to attend part or whole days with the Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and guests helping out with student needs and sitting in on the learning

  • you would like the school to explore traditional cultural learning (like making regalia) for your child

  • you have family connections to Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and/or community members who could spend time with our students


Monica Martens
Curriculum Learning Support Teacher

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During the winter months our playground can get quite icy. Mr. Wolfe works very hard to continuously put down sand around all of our entrances and walking paths. Even with the sand, we remind our students to walk carefully inside and outside of the building. There will also be recesses where our teachers may close down the structure or our hill when they become too slippery. When our students are playing on the hill, we do ask them to only slide down on their knees or bottom.

We try to get outside as much as we can. When the temperature with the wind chill is between -25 and -29, we will go out for a shortened recess of 15 minutes. When it is colder than -29 we do stay inside. We ask parents to make sure their children are dressed warm and prepared to go outside. Warm mittens, neck warmers, toques, and ski pants help to keep them warm and dry. We also ask that you put your child's name on these items as they often get misplaced and end up in the lost and found.

Valentine's Day

Classroom teachers will be sending out information in regards to Valentine's Day celebrations. If you are asked to bring a snack, it must be nut free. Please check with your child's teacher if you have any questions.


Are you looking for a more convenient way to let the school know about your child's attendance? You can enter your child's appointments and absences on the Parent Portal. You can even enter them ahead of time. The link to the Parent Portal is further down the newsletter. Check it out and give it a try!


If your child is eligible for Kindergarten Registration (must be five years of age on or before Dec. 31, 2023), our online registration is now available. Our new online registration process takes only a few minutes to complete. To begin, visit the HSD Kindergarten Registration page at https://hsd.ca/schools/student-registration/

If you do not have access to the Internet, please visit our school and we will assist you in completing the registration form on a school computer.

Registering early will assist our school in preparation and planning for the upcoming school year. Early registration also provides parents/guardians with the opportunity to participate in upcoming orientation activities.


We are super excited to be able to have the Book Fair back in our school this year! Here are the details -



8:30-8:55, 11:05-11:55 - (Kindergarten , Grade 1 & Grade 2)

1:10-2:00 - (Grade 3 & 4) 3:45-6:30** Open late only on Wednesday


8:30-8:55, 11:05-11:55 - (Kindergarten , Grade 1 & Grade 2)

1:10-2:00 - (Grade 3 & 4) 3:45-4:30


8:30 8:55, 11:05-11:55 - (Kindergarten, Grade 1 & Grade 2)

1:10-2:00 - (Grade 3 & 4) 3:45-4:30

Students will be browsing Monday, February 6 and Tuesday, February 7, 2023. Shopping will be Wednesday, February 8- Friday, February 10. Check out the preview flyer going home soon for a taste of what will be at the fair. You can also order virtually during the book fair as well. Stay tuned for more information in the letter that will be sent home.


The HSD Parent Portal is a communications tool designed to enhance and increase parent/guardian involvement in the education of their children by providing secure online access to their child's student information. With a single username and password you can access data for each of your children attending an HSD school. If you have not received the Access ID along with setup instructions for your student please call the school office at 204-326-6110.

Please take a few minutes to review the student information and contact information for your child. It is important that the school has current address and contact information for your child in case it is necessary to reach someone during the school day. Changes can be made through the parent portal. Parents can access their child's report cards, attendance information and permission and consent forms through the Parent Portal.

For additional information please click on the button below.

Is your volunteer status up to date?

We appreciate all our volunteer that help out in our school throughout the year. With field trips soon starting up, it is always a good idea to check your parent portal account to see if your paperwork is current. This will help prevent missing out on a field trip opportunity because of paperwork not being complete. If you have any questions, please email the office at: woodlawn@hsd.ca.


To ensure the safety of our students and due to the congestion of our staff parking lots and bus loop areas, parents are not to enter those areas between 8:00-4:30. If you are dropping off or picking up your child, please park on the street or on the church yard (do not block entrances) across from the school. Please do not park in the parking lot of the Envision home on Penner Street.

For the safety of your child, we request that you escort your child across Henry Street, Barkman Street and Penner Street.


At times, parents or designated others pick up their children during the school day or at the end of the school day. Most homeroom teachers recognize the parents but at times we have guest teachers or the children are in Music or Phys. Ed. It is virtually impossible for these teachers to recognize all the parents or the designated “picker-uppers”. So in order to provide a safer environment, parents are asked to report to the office to sign out their children during the school day. The secretary will be happy to call your child(ren) to the office for you.

If she is unfamiliar with you she can check our files to ensure your child is being picked up by the correct person.

If you are sending a different "picker-upper" than usual at the end of the school day please write a note in your child's agenda or phone the school office before 3:00. This applies to both walking and bus students. Please work with us as we continue to implement this safety feature.

As a school safety is of utmost concern to us. We have security cameras in various locations on the premise, both inside and outside. We have an extensive crisis plan in place and a crisis team who reviews the plan on a continual basis. We practice lock downs twice per school year in order to prepare our staff and students for a real crisis should it ever happen. All of our staff are trained to be on alert for anything or anyone suspicious and report it to the Principal immediately.


We ask that parents/guardians notify the school if their child will be absent or late. There are many ways to report your absent or late child:

- Parent Portal Account

-Phone the school at 204-326-6110 between 8:00 and 9:00 am

-Leave a voicemail at 204-326-6110 before or after school hours

-Email woodlawn@hsd.ca

-Email your child's teacher (email addresses are available at woodlawn.hsd.ca. Select the About tab, select Staff)

Students arriving after 9:05 or returning from an appointment during the school day are to report to the office for an entry slip before heading to their classroom.

Thank you to everyone for cooperating in reporting to the office when picking your child up from school during the school day.


All school busses that are running late or cancelled will be posted on the Hanover School Division website at www.hsd.ca
Under the Departments tab you will find Transportation, Bus Delay Bulletins, and a list of affected busses.

The transportation department will no longer be calling individual homes when busses are delayed. When a bus route is cancelled due to weather or road conditions it may be cancelled for the a.m. and p.m. runs. If you drive your students to school, you will need to confirm whether or not your bus is operating in the afternoon. Please call transportation at 204-320-2347.

Parents will be expected to obtain information, if needed, on the status of their bus through the website. Busses that are running more than 10 minutes late on a given day will have the bus number and estimated lateness posted on the page. Homes that do not have computer access to the web should make arrangements with another family on the route whom they could contact.


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