Woodlawn Early Years School
May 2022 Newsletter
A Message from the Principals
It is really hard to believe that we are entering the final stretch of this school year. We are really looking forward to some warmer weather and a dry playground!
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 2022-2023 school year. Next year we will include some grade 1/2 combined classes to our school. Please read the section included in this newsletter in regards to multi-age classes.
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.
Given the criteria used to generate class groupings, it can be difficult to accommodate requests that we get to place a particular student with a particular teacher. We will attempt to accommodate requests that are based on student specific needs, but we do not guarantee that requests will be honoured. Any such requests should be submitted in writing by May 13, 2022 to the school principal. Late requests will not be considered.
As part of this process we recognize that having a positive learning peer contributes to this success and engagement. We ask that you please discuss this with your child and together, complete the survey that was sent on April 27.
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 2022/2023 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 2020. 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
Feelings Check In
Have you ever tried to get your child to tell you how they are feeling and they can’t seem to find the words or just don’t know how they are feeling?
Each of us have many feelings inside of us at any given moment. Learning to notice and name emotions is a really helpful skill that gives us a chance to take a step back and make choices about what to do with them.
One activity we do at school with kids that come to visit is make a ‘feelings jar’. You
might want to try this at home with your kids as well!
Draw the shape of a jar or container. It will represent your heart.
Check out a feelings chart (You can google ‘feelings chart for kids’ and pick the one you like best). Or, come up with a list of as many emotions as you can name together.
Think about which feelings you are feeling at this moment.
Choose a colour for each feeling and decide how much of your heart is filled by that feeling, and colour it in.
You can choose to label the feelings or keep them just as colours.
Talk about the feelings you feel comfortable sharing about
**Feelings are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but some feelings make us feel comfortable or uncomfortable. We pay attention to all of them because they give us information about what we need or what is working for us.
This is a great way to get an idea of what’s going on for your kids' right now and it helps them learn to practice identifying and talking about their feelings. It is also a great way to open the conversation with your kids about uncomfortable feelings they may be having. Remember though, they will notice if their feelings make you uncomfortable. Accepting whatever they feel without judgment or question, will help to create the conditions for them to want to share their feelings again and again, and will teach them all feelings are ok - it’s what we do with them that matters.
So, if you find you need to warm up after a day of playing outside in the rain - a puzzle may be a fun activity for the whole family.
We may think of viewing visual media such as television, videos, and photos as a relaxing and passive activity. While it may be relaxing, “viewing” is an active process that requires us to attend to and comprehend the visual input. Viewing is also one of the six language arts.
One great way to exercise your viewing muscles is to take in media that is void of written or spoken words. Wordless books and videos encourage the viewer to pay closer attention to the visual details and gives the viewer the freedom to make their own meaning without being guided by words.
There’s something really wonderful about wordless picture books. They tend to have very appealing illustrations and can be enjoyed over and over because of the many small details that may not have been initially noticed. They are accessible to all: non-readers, emerging or proficient readers, and you don’t even have to speak the same language as the author/illustrator in order to understand. Wordless picture books are perhaps best enjoyed with someone else. The lack of words to take in tends to spark an output of conversation about what you are discovering and about the meaning you are making. The same could be said for wordless videos. The only difference is that the viewer can’t as easily control the pace.
This website offers many suggestions for wordless picture books that you might find at a bookstore or library. Some titles, such as Chalk by Bill Thomson and Wave by Suzy Lee, can be found on YouTube.
You can also find some short, wordless videos such as Soar or a channel called “Simon’s Cat” on YouTube. If you have a Disney+ subscription, I’d recommend Piper, La Luna, Partly Cloudy, and For the Birds. This article contains recommendations and links for over 30 wordless videos.
Perhaps your next family movie night or bedtime story could be a wordless one! You might be surprised by the amount of conversation and memory making that could happen!
Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation has invited Woodlawn parents to participate in a day of Indigenous led learning called Gathering of Friends on May 12. The day will include an opportunity to attend sessions about Anishinaabe life, ceremonies from birth to death, drum making, Residential Schools, Indigenous place names, hunting and trapping, treaties and dancer regalia among others. The day includes lunch and the opportunity to watch and participate in a mini Powwow.
This event is for adults. If you are a guardian of an Indigenous student, please check with your child's social worker to have the conference fee paid for.
If you as a parent/guardian are interested in attending please contact the school. The cost is $150 and includes lunch. Monica Martens (email@example.com), the learning coach at Woodlawn School, can answer any questions you might have about this event and how to get to Ginew School.
Due to limited space in our gym, we are asking anyone who is able to come to the afternoon concert.
For the evening performances parents are asked to drop their children off at the classroom at 5:45. The gym will open at 5:45. 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
If you have have a child registered for Kindergarten next year, you should have already gotten an email. If you have not, please call the school. In the coming weeks, you will receive the time your child will be invited to join the Kindergarten Welcome Night.
Volunteering In Our School
We are excited that volunteers are being allowed back into our schools and classrooms. With restrictions opening up, field trips will also be starting. 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.
We are very excited to have combined classes at Woodlawn again next year. In addition to our grade 3/4 combined classes, we are adding some grade 1/2 combined classes.
One advantage of having combined classes is that students are able to have the same teacher for two years. Teachers and parents who have experienced this have reported the benefits of having a teacher who knows his/her students right away in September as the relationships are already established. This is true as well for parent-teacher relationships.
In the area of academics students will continue to learn at their own level in the areas of literacy and numeracy. In the areas of science and social studies the teachers will use the specific outcomes of the grade 4 and grade 2 curriculums to teach the skills in these areas for the 2022-2023 school year and will teach the specific outcomes of the grade 3 and grade 1 curriculums to teach the skills in these areas for the 2023-2024 school year.
If you are interested in learning more about multi age classes, the Government of Manitoba has a very detailed document that can be found here. If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to call Karen Fraser at the school.
Grade 4 Celebrations!
- Monday, June 27 - Grade 4 farewell. This will take place in the morning at 10:00. Parents are invited. A picnic lunch will follow. Lunch will be provided by the school for the students. Parents are invited to bring their own lunch and join us.
- Tuesday, June 28 - Rainbow Stage - The Hockey Sweater. Cost will be covered by the school. More information and permissions will be sent home shortly.
Kindergarten Registration is open online. If you live in Woodlawn’s catchment area and plan to send your child to Kindergarten in September 2022 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, 2022.
Here is some additional information for those registered for Kindergarten 2022-2023
- We are hosting a Kindergarten Welcome Night on May 19. Keep an eye on your email for details.
- We will be hosting our Stay and Play on June 1, 2, 8 and 9. Keep an eye on your email for those details.
- Please send in your Step 2 documentation if you have not done so already. Please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bussing for September 2022
"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.
News from the Parent Advisory Council (PAC)
It is with excitement to announce that we have purchased 2 pergolas from Costco for our school. One for each side of the playground.
With this excitement comes work. Once the frost is out of the ground(hopefully mid May) we will be looking for 2 teams of 3-4 people to build our pergolas.
Our hope is to have these in place for those hot summer days ahead.
If you would be interested in helping, whether as an individual or put in a team, please reach out to us or the school.
We are so grateful our Hot Lunch program could continue this year. We recently added more Hot Lunch days in April and they have been going great!
April alone, Smitty’s served up 385 Hot Lunches to our students!! We will happily be continuing with the same process, menu, and timing for the remainder of the year.
Big thanks to our own Melissa Thiessen for everything she does to help us execute this program with ease.
Please stay tuned for more exciting events to come for our school. Follow us on social media for any updates.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd at 11:05am in the school gym. We welcome everyone to join us.
If you are unable to attend the meeting, but are interested in helping PAC or have any questions, please feel free to email the PAC President, Sara Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you again to our Woodlawn school. community
Mom's Pantry Fundraiser
Thank you to all who participated in any way raising money for our playground project. Together we sold over $15000 raising $5269.64
What a great job everyone. The PAC donated prizes for the top 2 sellers and a random draw for a 3rd prize winner. 1st place Harlow won movie theatre tickets for her family. 2nd place Callie won swimming for her family and 3rd place Payton also won swimming for her family. Congratulations. This was a wonderful fundraiser made easy by Mom's Pantry.
Lisa Funk - PAC Fundraiser
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 will be available closer to the date. Some important dates to remember are May 27th which will be our kick off assembly and start of fundraising. Then June 2 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 (email@example.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, May 20th.
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.