October 2018 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

The first month of school is now officially under our belt and like the last few years it has meant changes at Westfield. Consider this, in June 2016 our projected enrolment for the “new school” was 505 students. Our current enrolment is 612. We’ve grown by over 100 students in two years with over 50 staff members. Such growth is a positive sign of a thriving community. It also means change for a school system. After the first day of school the board is responsible for reporting enrolment to the Ministry of Education and for meeting class room size expectations. Because we’ve grown, even since June numbers were submitted that has meant adding a new Gr. 7/8 class, and reorganizing some Grade 1 and 2 classes. In the long run smaller class sizes and additional staff are a great bonus for Westfield. In the short term it means some upset as we work to transition students and staff to new rooms or positions. As a school we often talk to students about growth mindset, being flexible and building resiliency. These class changes give us an opportunity to put those philosophies and learning into practice.

In April of this year you may recall that students in Grades 4-8 were asked to complete a School Climate/Safe Schools survey. As well, parents and teachers had the opportunity to do the same The student survey asked questions about sense of belonging, positive relationships, interests and motivation, levels of anxiety, learning climate, bullying, expectations and participation levels.

On Friday’s PD the staff analyzed all of the survey data and found that there are two main areas for us to focus on in the coming year. One has to do with anxiety
and stress levels particularly understanding what these terms actually mean and how to deal with those feelings. The second area to focus on is communication with parents/guardians. We want you to know that we are listening and paying attention to the survey results and we’ll be coming up with concrete ways to improve in these areas. If you have suggestions please contact me at the school. We’d love to hear from you!

Regards
K

School Council

Our next school council meeting is Tuesday, October 2 at 6:30 in the multipurpose. Child care is provided and we always welcome new members.

Vision and Hearing Screening for Kindergarten Students

In partnership with local Lions Club organizations, we are pleased to offer hearing and vision screening for JK and SK students. We understand the impact of having healthy eyes and good hearing on your child’s overall health, well-being, and education. JK and SK screening is coming to Westfield on Oct. 23 and 24.

Male Volunteers Needed

BE A VOLUNTEER! EMPOWER YOUTH!

The Perth District Health Unit is looking for men from the community to volunteer for the ‘Elements’ program, which will run at Westfield starting in November. The program will run on Thursdays from 11:05-12:05, from November 8th to December 6th.

In the program, grade 5/6 boys will discuss topics such as ‘Getting to know yourself and others’, ‘Healthy Relationships’ and ‘Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution.’ To supplement this program, the Health Unit is looking for positive male role models to come share life experiences and listen to the challenges of the youth of today. Currently, the program is short of volunteers. This program may not be able to run to its full potential as a result.

If you or someone you know may be interested in this opportunity, please contact the Coordinator of Volunteer Services at 519-271-7600 ext. 305, or toll free at 1-877-271-7348 ext. 305.

Communication

Most information will be posted on the school website; facebook page at North Perth Westfield Elementary School and through our Twitter account @NPWestfield. Newsletters will be sent in electronic format (by email) but we are happy to provide a paper copy if you wish. Many teachers use blogs, email, and websites to enhance home-school communication as well. Check with your child’s teacher.

Nut Free

Your child’s school is “nut-safe” for a very important reason. Even tiny amounts of nut residue on desks or books can cause someone with a nut allergy to have a strong reaction. “Nut-Safe” schools can only be achieved when everyone is committed. That’s why your help and cooperation are very important. The most important thing you can do is avoid sending any foods from home that may contain even traces of nuts or peanut products.

Before and After School Program

As part of our on-going commitment to make the school day as seamless as possible for our families, we ask parents/guardians to share their tentative childcare needs for September of the next school year (2019) by completing an online survey. The survey will be available October 1, 2018 and can be found on the AMDSB website.

Families that are interested in Before and After school programs for their Junior/Senior Kindergarten children and/or grade 1 – 6 children are asked to complete the survey by December 1, 2018.

We appreciate your assistance as we determine the feasibility of offering such programs.

If you require a paper copy, please contact the school.

Attendance/Safe Arrival Program

We operate a ministry mandated “Safe Arrival” program to assist the school in checking daily attendance. If your son or daughter will be absent on a given day, please phone the school before 9am (519-291-6147). Our answering machine receives information outside of regular school hours. Please leave a brief factual message including your name, your child’s name, teacher and reason for absence.

When your child is:

  • Absent from school – notify the office as soon as possible. Leave a message on our answering machine. The automated message will direct your call.
  • Late for school – please bring your child into the office to sign in before the child goes to your classroom. Parents can not accompany their child to the classroom.
  • Leaving for an appointment – send a note to your child’s teacher or record information in your child’s planner agenda. The note should be dated and signed by the parent.

When you come to pick up your child you must come directly into the office so that we can call your child to the office and the child can be signed out. To ensure everyone’s safety, we ask that you wait at the office for your child. Parents are asked not to go directly to your child’s classroom.

Calling All Three Year Olds

Do you have a child born in 2014 or 2015 who can start JK or SK next September? Westfield’s CATYO day will be Thursday, November 15th. To register a child:

Step 1) Register your student (s) online  (paper copies can be picked up from the office if you prefer)

Step 2) Call the school to book an appointment time

Step 3) Pick up a registration package from the office (if you have a child already attending Westfield we can send the package home with them)

Call for Pictures

As part of our Remembrance Day Assembly this year, we would like to honour family members who have served in the military. We intend to create a slide show from pictures submitted by students and staff at Westfield. If you would like to contribute to the slide show, you can submit pictures two ways:

  1. Scan the pictures, and send them to jacqueline.alexander@ed.amdsb.ca. Please also state the name of the person, his/ her relationship to your family and information about where and when they served.
  2. If you do not have access to a scanner, you can bring a hard copy of the picture into the office. If you do this, please put it in an envelope, along with the information on a separate paper. Please also make sure to leave your name on the envelope, so that we can be sure to return the photo to you after we have scanned it.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 2.

Music “Notes”

This month we start Band, Intermediate Choir, Junior Choir, Recorder Club and Bell Choir. Students should stay tuned to announcements for rehearsal times.

On Tuesday October 30 we will have a short Primary Fall Sharing Assembly, at 9:30 in the morning. This will be a chance for classes to perform songs for each other and their parents. Parents of students in Kindergarten – grade 3 (and the 3/4 class) are invited to attend.

On Thursday November 8, our band will be performing at the Community of Character Dinner. More details will follow.

On Friday November 9, we will have a Remembrance Day Assembly in the morning. Parents and community members are welcome.

Yard Supervision

Before school our yard is supervised from 9 – 9:15 a.m. Students should not be on the yard before the 9 a.m. bell. After school there is supervision from 3:35 – 3:45 p.m. All students are to go directly home when they are dismissed at the end of the day and the yard should be cleared by 3:45. In rain and extremely cold weather, students remain inside and are supervised in their classrooms. All students who are well enough to attend school are expected to participate in outdoor play breaks.

Math Night

Save the date, our annual Family Math Night will be the evening of Thursday, November. 8. We are looking for student (grades 7 and 8 only) and parent volunteers. If you are interested please email Mr. McCutcheon.

Nutrition Program Donations

For the month of October we will be running a fundraising campaign on schoolcashonline for our daily snack program. Please consider giving to this amazing program. The majority of our funds are given to us by the Ontario School Nutrition Program (OSNP). Additional funds will allow us to purchase a greater variety of nutritious treats for our warriors. Donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt through the Foundation for Enriching Education. Even a small donation of $2 would be greatly appreciated.

Fundraisers

There are still a few days left to contribute to our three great fundraisers Fresh from the Farm Fundraiser, QSP, & SPC Cards.

Fresh from the Farm:
Paper orders are available at the school office (or via Westfield students) or online through schoolcashonline

There are 2 produce bundles for sale:

A – $14: 5 lb white potatoes, 3 lb carrots, 3 lb yellow onions, 3 lb sweet potatoes

B – $15: 8 lb box of 20-25 fancy grade Empire apples.

Due Tuesday, October 9.

QSP

Order catalogues can be picked up from the office (or via Westfield students). You can also order online at qsp.ca using our code 4721718. Paper orders will end on October 9, however you can order online at any time throughout the year.

SPC Cards

Student Price Cards are on sale now for $10. Receive awesome discounts at many stores. This is a fundraiser for our Grade 8 Camp Celtic Trip. See Mrs. Bailey in the Library.

School Messenger

Our school board uses the application School Messenger to communicate with families. We use this to send out email and text communications. In an attempt to reduce paper consumption we send out our monthly newsletters and other important information by email. We also text out any bus delays, cancelations or other important emergency information.

To receive texts:
This is a 2 step process.

  1. We must have your correct mobile number on file at the school
  2. You must ‘opt in’ by texting YES to 978338.

School Cash Online

Register today.  Please note: you will need your students OEN number from any Ontario report card, if you need this information please call the school.