Busy times in MCP!

While there always seems to be so much happening at Woodhaven Middle School, things seem particularly busy for students, teachers and parents within our Maranatha Christian Program (MCP) recently.

I would like to start by giving a huge shout out to all of the staff and students within our MCP program who exposed our entire school to their “Breaking Bread” tradition last week. Under the leadership of Mrs. Cresswell, several students and 16 very dedicated parents gave their time to serve a pancake breakfast to all 630 students at Woodhaven! I can’t begin to tell you the level of organization, preparation and effort that this would have taken! We are truly thankful that they were willing to take the time to share with all of us.

1 Corinthians 12:14
“For the body is not one member, but many.”

 

As if serving breakfast to over 600 people wasn’t enough action for one week, our MCP teachers also took our entire Maranatha Christian Program to “Missions Fest” to finish the week. I had the opportunity to speak to a few of the students who attended and to ask what they learned and what they thought of their day. I was really excited by what I heard  from them, and am so grateful that our teachers gave this opportunity to our kids!

I learned that our students truly appreciated hearing about the International Missions that the speakers had participated in. I can only imagine what sort of thinking this would have inspired for our middle school students! I also heard from our kids that they would have like even more time at this event as they felt that they couldn’t see all of the booths. When I prompted a bit more about why this was so important, one student told me that while the speakers were great, the booths provided an equally engaging way to know Jesus. I am so impressed by what I’ve learned from our kids and the impact that this opportunity had on them.

MATTHEW 28
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s about 4000 words!

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I look forward to sharing more from our Maranatha Christian Program in the months to come!

Until next time,

Shaye Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

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High School Approaches!

It’s only February and we know that our grade 9 students are already thinking about their upcoming High School Adventures. For those parents who are new to this transition into Spruce Grove Composite High School (and as a reminder to those who’ve been through it before) we wanted to take a moment to let you know of the process in place.

If your child is transitioning to a high school other than SGCHS, please do not hesitate to contact our administration to discuss this process and the supports in place for those transitions.

A visit from Admin

The first step in this transition to Spruce Grove Composite High School is a visit from the administrators and grade level coordinators to meet with our students and discuss what high school looks like, expectations, and to answer questions for our students. While this meeting was originally scheduled for Wednesday, February 21st it unfortunately had to be rescheduled for Tuesday, February 27th in the morning. Students will be provided with Course Selection forms at that time.

Spruce Grove Composite High School Open House – March 1st, 2018 

Students and parents are encouraged to attend the High School Open House on March 1st from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. This provides a great opportunity to learn about the CTF Courses, meet teachers and administrators and to see the school.

Course Recommendations from Woodhaven Teachers

Your child’s core subject area teachers (Math, Science, Social and Language Arts) will provide a recommendation for course placement for your child for grade 10. This recommendation will be provided with your child’s term 2 report card, which will be available on your child’s Powerschool account on Friday, March 16th. These recommendations will also be indicated on your child’s course placement form.

If you have questions about your child’s recommended placement, you are encouraged to come with your child to attend our upcoming Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews on Tuesday, March 20th or Wednesday March 21st from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Information and bookings for these evenings will be provided in the weeks to come. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact your child’s teacher at any time to arrange a meeting to discuss the teacher’s recommendations for your child. We truly want to work with students and families to set up our students for success in their grade 10 year.

Online Course Registration 

In early to mid April high school staff will return to Woodhaven to support our students to complete their online registration for the 2018-19 school year. As this date is confirmed we will provide it to our parents.

One More Chance

While we strongly encourage all parents and students to attend the Open House on March 1st, for those  who are unable to attend the Open House  there will be an additional evening scheduled which will provide an opportunity to meet some high school staff in late April. As the details of this evening come available we will communicate them to our parents.

A Final Thought

The goal of Woodhaven and SGCHS staff is to provide a smooth and comfortable transition for all of our students. If there is anything else you or your child require to ensure this transition, please do not hesitate to contact the administration at either school.

Sincerely,

Mr. S. Patras & the Gr 9 Teaching Team

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Busy Times for the Wolfpack

It’s been a very busy time in the Woodhaven Learning Community over the past few weeks. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you a few of the exciting events that have happened recently, as well as to touch on what’s approaching our kids and families in the weeks to come so please read on.

Extracurricular Opportunities

We are extremely proud of our students for their recent success with “Beauty and the Beast”. Under the direction of Ms. Young and Ms. Weimer, over 50 students came together to produce a fantastic show which just wrapped up at Horizon Stage last week.

Not only have our kids been engaged with our Drama production, but our six basketball teams have been representing Woodhaven with pride and skill. Most recently Mr. Dhaliwal and I had the privilege of coaching our Jr. B boys in the season ending “Young Guns” tournament where the boys finished in 3rd place! We couldn’t have been more proud of their effort and development this season. The Jr. B Girls team, coached by Mrs. Traxel and Mrs. Murphy had a great season as well, placing 2nd in the St. Thomas Aquainas tournament earlier this year. We are looking forward to seeing how our Jr. A and Senior teams do in their upcoming tournaments as well.

For those students whose passion doesn’t lie with Fine Arts or Sports, we have lots of other opportunities as well. Our Wrestling Club continues to run on Tuesdays after school for any interested students. There is no cost and students are still welcome to join, they simply need to get a registration form from the office. Also on Tuesdays is our Art Club, run by Mrs. Smith. New students are always welcomed. Wednesdays after school Mrs. Wolfert offers an after school homework help club for any interested students.

Upcoming Events

As you may be aware, our next Health day is happening this Wednesday, February 21st. This is the first of two Health Days where our students will be exploring the Human Sexuality portion of the curriculum. Your child’s teacher will be providing you with information on the specific outcomes that will be addressed; however, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s homeroom teacher with any questions you may have. Should you choose to exempt your child from this portion of the curriculum you simply need to inform the school and alternate learning activities will be provided for your child.

Important Upcoming Dates

Just a quick reminder of the following important dates that are fast approaching:

Friday, March 16th – Report Cards are available on Powerschool – feel free to contact the office for any assistance you may require

Tuesday, March 20th and Wednesday March 21st – Parent/Student Teacher Interviews – online registration information coming soon

Thursday, February 29th – Term 3 option selections will be available online for students in grades 7-9

Opportunities for Input

At Woodhaven Middle School we truly appreciate the feedback we receive from our parents and students. Ongoing phone calls, emails and conversations help inform our work.

Accountability Pillar Survey – Parents of grade 7 students should have recently received the Accountability Pillar Survey from Alberta Education. Historically we have had low return rates on this survey, so I would really encourage our gr 7 parents to please provide your thoughts through this tool.

Tell PSD What You Think – You are invited to contribute your thoughts to a conversation about what we are doing well and where we can improve at Parkland School Division. Your voice is important as our school division and all our schools lay the foundation for a new multi-year Education Plan that will shape education delivery in all our schools.  In this new version of Thoughtexchange, you will be asked to share your thoughts then immediately review and rate the thoughts of others. You will also have a chance to review the top thoughts prioritized by the community.  This process is used for education planning as well as to determine directions for the division and the school as well.  Please take a few moments to provide some feedback and ideas. To access Thought Exchange please use this link. The survey will be open until Feb 26th.

A Few Additional Important Updates

Copperhaven Transition

As you may be aware, PSD is preparing for the opening of Copperhaven School in September of 2018. Transition plans are in the works for those students currently attending Woodhaven, who are designated to Copperhaven. There will be more information coming soon. At this time, we have confirmed that those students currently attending grade 8 at Woodhaven, who are designated for Copperhaven will be remaining at Woodhaven to complete their grade 9 school year. All other students designated to Copperhaven will be supported throughout their transition.

Modernization Updates

We are excited that the plans for the Woodhaven Middle School modernization continue to progress. You will be able to see updates as they become available on our school website.

 

A message from the Woodhaven Middle School Parents’ Association

The Woodhaven Parents’ Association would really like to thank all of our parents for their support of our fundraising initiatives so far this year. Our recent recycling project and Wilhauk meat fundraiser were very well received. You may have noticed on our website and sign board that we are currently accepting receipts from area McDonald’s and the Spruce Grove and Stony Plain Boston Pizza Restaurants as they will return a portion of sales to our school as well!

Thank you for your ongoing support of our fundraising initiatives.

That’s it for now! Please continue to stop by the school to chat or call or email with any questions that may arise.

Sincerely,

Shaye Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

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Wolfpack Wellness!

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, “Lot’s of Action for the Wolfpack in 2018” where I outlined many of the opportunities available to Woodhaven Middle School Students as we started the new year.

It seems timely, with the Bell Let’s Talk Day fast approaching, that I share some of the work that happens within our school to support the Health and Wellness of our students throughout the year.

Previous posts have outlined many of  the opportunities for our students with respect to physical health and wellness. Everything from our Daily Physical Education, to Intramurals, Ski Club, our newly formed Wrestling Club and our six Basketball teams for  provide a variety of opportunities for students at varying skill levels and with diverse interests!

At Woodhaven Middle School we recognize that there is more to supporting wellness for our students. We are extremely fortunate to have an involved Parent’s Association who support our Grab and Go Breakfast program. This program is run through parent volunteers (we are always seeking more help for this worthwhile initiative). If you are interested please contact our volunteer coordinator, Lei Grys at leigrys@gmail.com.

Supporting Mental and Emotional Wellness at Woodhaven takes many forms. We are really proud of our Student Wellness Action Team (SWAT) who work with Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Fiala to bring small wellness initiatives alive in our school. Our students take the lead on efforts such as their “Post it” project in which they wrote positive messages on post it notes and placed them on lockers. They then encouraged other students to do the same and created some great, positive energy within our school!

Perhaps the most significant work going on within our school to support health and wellness comes from Mrs. Scheidl (our School Counselor) and Mrs. Fiala (our Community Support Worker). These ladies work tirelessly to support both our students and their families in so many ways.

This year, these ladies have supported programs such as:

  • Rainbows & Spectrum supporting students dealing with grief and loss
  • Our Girls Group, which works in conjunction with Family Community Support Services (FCSS) Spruce Grove
  • Social Skills Resilience Group
  • Blanket Exercise which is a “teaching tool to help share the historic and contemporary relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in Canada” (facilitated by Mrs. Scheidl, Mrs. Traxel and a team of student leaders)
  • Recess Club, which provides a supervised, structured alternative for students to interact together and build their conflict resolution skills in a supported and positive environment
  • Social Skills/Friendship Group which provides an opportunity for students to interact with each other and our facilitators and to apply social skills lessons and programming in an authentic setting with adult support.

While this is a pretty long list, it is truly only a sampling of the ways in which our staff are supporting the wellness of all of our kids. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to watch all of our staff interacting and supporting our kids on a daily basis within our school!

Keep an eye out for my next post, which will share a few of the really engaging learning opportunities that have been happening for our students!

Until then…

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

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Lots of Action for the Wolfpack in 2018!

We are really excited for the opportunities that 2018 will bring for our students, parents and staff! I am hoping to share just a few of the upcoming events with you in this post so please take a moment to read on.

The Wolfpack wrapped up a busy 2017, with lots of learning and fun! I encourage you to take a moment to learn about just a few of the recent activities of our students in my previous post, “Wrapping up the Year“.

The staff of Woodhaven Middle School works extremely hard to help each of our students find a connection to our school. While we know that the learning that happens within our classrooms throughout the day is absolutely critical, we also know that our students and parents truly appreciate the extracurricular opportunities we provide to our kids.

Here are just a few of the opportunities happening in January for your children.

Wrestling Club

We are pleased to be able to partner with Spruce Grove Composite High School and Greystone Centennial Middle School to offer a Wrestling program for both boys and girls in grades 5-9.  This program will be offered at Woodhaven Middle School, each Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. starting on Tuesday, January 16th and running throughout the spring. There is no fee for this club!

Wrestling is a unique sport in so many ways, offering a different opportunity for our students. “Wrestling is one of the few sports that does not requires a certain physical aspect in order to be successful. An athlete does not need to be large or small, heavy or light in order to be a good competitor in wrestling.” (Alberta Amateur Wrestling Association)

We are fortunate to have a highly qualified Wrestling coach, Mr. James Pratt who will be leading the program for our students. Mr. Pratt will be supported by staff from Greystone and Woodhaven throughout the program.

Permission forms for this program can be picked up in the office and must be completed and returned to the office prior to participation. Please feel free to direct any questions to Mr. Patras at Woodhaven Middle School.

Art Club

If Wrestling isn’t your child’s thing, perhaps Art Club is! Mrs. Smith has been running an art club for the past several weeks on Tuesdays from 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. in her classroom. Students are given a few choices of the type of artwork they would like to create and Mrs. Smith is there to help! This club is drop in style, meaning that students do not need to commit to every week if they are unable to do so. Art club is free of charge and a lot of fun! Feel free to contact Mrs. Smith if you have any questions about this great opportunity!

Homework Club

This one is pretty self-explanatory 🙂 On Wednesdays from 3:15 – 4:15 Mrs. Wolfert, and Educational Assistant in grade 6, is available to support any students who require some extra help and time to complete work, study or catch up on the learning in their classes! This opportunity is absolutely free and a great opportunity for your child. If you would like your child to participate in this activity please feel free to email any one of your child’s teachers to let them know.

Basketball

We are very proud to again be offering 6 basketball teams this season! While the tryouts for these teams were completed just before Christmas, we have over 70 kids participating on these teams and representing the Wolfpack! All students are encouraged to come out and cheer on our teams throughout the week at our home games. Games are announced each week during morning announcements.

Triple Threat Theatre

Under the direction of Ms. Young and Ms. Weimer, we are really excited to see the upcoming performances of “Beauty and the Beast” at Horizon Stage in just a few months! Our talented actors and actresses have been rehearsing almost everyday for the past several weeks and will continue to do so!

These are just a few of the opportunities available to our students currently at Woodhaven Middle School. Please continue to check our school announcements, which are posted on our website daily to learn about more exciting upcoming opportunities such as intramurals and Spring League Basketball.

Until next time…

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

 

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Wrapping Up the Year!

It is almost impossible to believe that we are already at the Christmas break and approaching a new year! So much has happened at Woodhaven  that the time has flown by. Before I get into sharing some of the most recent events at our school I want to make sure that. on behalf of the staff of Woodhaven Middle School, I take a moment to wish all of our families a safe, restful and fun holiday season with family and friends.

Just this week we have had so many events that I want to share with our families. Most recently, today we hosted our Wolfpack Winter Celebration where we invited all 630 students and our staff into the gym to celebrate the contributions our kids have made to their communities. Our kids did everything from making Christmas cards and delivering them to people within our community, to signing Christmas Carols in our community, to organizing door decorating contests, to volunteering in shelters within the inner city of Edmonton.

On Thursday evening we were entertained by the gr 6/7 band and the gr 8/9 band at Spruce Grove Composite High School as they performed several pieces and shared their musical talents with us. It is amazing to see how quickly they have progressed with their musical skills!

 

We were also very fortunate to have had the opportunity to join the MCP students and staff of Brookwood School on Wednesday for our second Joint Chapel of the school year. It was a great opportunity to bring our entire MCP program together to share and celebrate.

 

As you can see, there’s been lots going on within the Wolfpack just this last week, and much more to come in the new year! Keep an eye out for information on our newly formed Wrestling Club, which will be open to all students, male and female in grades 5-9 starting on Tuesday, January 16th!

Have a wonderful Holiday break. We look forward to seeing you all in the new year!

Sincerely,

 

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

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Coming Soon… Report Cards

As many of our parents know, Woodhaven Middle School will be issuing our report cards this Friday, December 1st. With this in mind, there is much to share and discuss.

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Report Cards Available on Powerschool

First, a reminder that report cards will be available through your child’s Powerschool account again this year. If you need any help setting up your account or accessing the report card, please call one of our awesome secretaries (Mrs. Golinowski, Mrs. Anderson or Mrs. Farris) who will step you through the process. If you require a hard copy of the report card, you simply need to call the office to let us know and we will be happy to send one home with your child.

Revisions to the report card for 2017-18

Parkland School Division No. 70 has been listening to feedback from parents, students and teachers and has made some revisions to the report card that you will see coming home.  In this video Superintendent Tim Monds discusses much of our journey thus far.

While you will see several changes to the report card this year, I would like to bring a few to your attention. You can also find a great summary of the revisions to the report card on the PSD website with this link.

Samples of the Gr 4-6 report card can be viewed here, with the 7-9 report card being found here.

Citizenship and Social Responsibility (CSR)

You will notice that the revised report card no longer has a section dedicated to CSR. Rest assured that staff continue to support the development of our students not only as learners but as people as well. Our work through Health Days at Woodhaven Middle School, our “Connects” projects and guest speakers such as Wade Sorochan who spoke on the topic of Social Media and it’s impact on our relationships are just a few of the ways we continue this important work.

21st Century Learner Competencies

Students are the artists, scientists, thinkers, innovators and leaders of the future. They will be tasked with solving the problems of today, while imagining and creating a new tomorrow. Competencies are critical for equipping students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that they will need to successfully navigate their personal journeys in learning, living and working. (Ministerial Order on Student Learning #001/2013)

I can’t really say it any better than that!

  1. CRITICAL THINKING
  2. COMMUNICATION
  3. PROBLEM SOLVING
  4. COLLABORATION
  5. MANAGING INFORMATION
  6. CULTURAL AND GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
  7. CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION
  8. PERSONAL GROWTH AND WELL-BEING

You will find brief comments on your child’s progress on the competencies listed above within our report card. More information about the competencies can be learned with the “Competencies: Frequently Asked Questions” .

Grade Level of Achievement

You will see, within each subject area, an indication of the grade level your child is currently achieving at. Based on the level of understanding your child has demonstrated of the learning outcomes and skills to this point, teachers will determine whether your child is either “At” or “Below” grade level at this point in the school year.

How is my child doing? A clear answer

You will see a much more clear explanation on the Achievement Indicators within the report card as the wording has been changed as shown below.

BEG (Beginning) – Achievement is not yet at what is expected for the grade level
APP (Approaching Proficiency) – Achievement is close but not yet at what is expected for the grade level
PRF (Proficient) – Achievement at what is expected for the grade level
EXM (Exemplary) – Achievement extends beyond what is expected for the grade level
U Unable to assess – outcomes not taught, insufficient evidence to assess

In addition to the achievement indicators being provided for the various skills within each subject, teachers will be clearly indicating if a student is currently performing AT, or BELOW their grade level of instruction at that point of the year.

Report Card Comments

On the revised report card, you will find the comments to be shorter, and they will no longer be exclusively on the last page. You will find comments embedded throughout the report card, with the corresponding subject.

Our aim with these comments is to provide you just a quick snapshot of your child’s learning. Please feel free to email, call or set up a meeting with your teacher to review your child’s progress. We are always happy to get together with you and your child to discuss progress.

So Many Ways to Communicate Learning

While the report card remains an important piece of the reporting puzzle, please know that at Woodhaven Middle School we work hard to communicate about your child’s learning throughout the year.

You may be receiving emails, phone calls, or blog posts discussing the learning happening in your child’s classroom. Our recent Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews provided a great opportunity to discuss the progress of our kids. While we look forward to the chance to connect with you during these scheduled interview times, please do not hesitate to call us anytime to arrange a meeting to discuss your child’s learning progress at any point within the school year.

You can find more information about the revised report cards on the PSD website, or by calling me at the school. I welcome your questions.

Until next time…

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

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