Willoughby Elementary News September 10, 2010
Phone: 604-888-6033 Fax: 604-888-9598 www.sd35.bc.ca/schools/willoughby
20766 80th Avenue, Langley, B. C. V2Y 1X6
Principal: Mr. C. Leung Vice-Principal: Mr. N. Erker Admin Assistant: Ms L. Holyoak
Head Custodian: Ms L. Wiesner
P.A.C. President: Open
Wed. Sept 15 - Meet the Teacher 5 – 6:00 p.m. Fri. Oct 1 - School Improvement Day
- Corn Roast 6 – 8:00 p.m. STUDENTS DO NOT ATTEND
Mon. Sept 27 - Student Picture Day Mon. Oct 11 - Thanksgiving Holiday
Thurs. Sept 30 - Grade 6/7 Immunization @ 10:30 a.m. Fri. Oct 15 - Interim Reports go home
- Assembly @ 1:30, Terry Fox Run 2-2:30 Wed & Thurs Oct 20 – 21 – Parent/Teacher interviews
1 HOUR EARLY DISMISSAL
Fri. Oct 22 - Provincial Pro D Day
STUDENTS DO NOT ATTEND
Dear Parents and Guardians:
What a great first week! Lots of new faces - we welcome all of you (staff and families) to Willoughby. Of
course, a big welcome back to our returning families and staff. A strong school community is something that we
strive for and everyone plays a significant part in developing and maintaining a place where people can feel good
about belonging and learning. These feelings of belonging and comfort make higher quality learning possible. I
think everyone has made a fantastic start!
Certainly things can be a bit chaotic at times. I think that is what generally happens when you are in a highly
variable situation like ours. With all of the development and growth in the area, we have to wait and see where
our final student numbers will fall. This in turn affects our staffing and class placements. Some valuable life
skills to apply in these circumstances? Please be: flexible, adaptable, positive and smiling through it all! As other
schools nearby get their lists settled our student numbers get closer to our final count. It looks like we’ll be close
to 510 students to start the year. That’s a good healthy number and we may very well grow as the year
Meet the Teacher and PAC Corn Roast
We are looking forward to a fantastic event on Wednesday, September 15. Meet the Teacher will be from 5:00 to
6:00 and the Corn Roast will be from 6:00 to 8:00. Meet the Teacher will start in the gym at 6:00. This will be a
chance for families to learn a little about the teachers and their classroom programs for this year. The Corn Roast
is a long-standing tradition at Willoughby and we look forward to meeting and socializing a bit with families at
this fun event.
We are very fortunate to have such an energetic, caring, and professional group of people supporting your
children and their education. There will likely be a couple of changes over the next week or so but here is a list of
the staff for the 2010-11 year so far:
Mr. Calvin Leung, Principal, Mr. Nathan Erker, Vice-Principal, Ms. Laurel Holyoak, Admin Assistant
Primary Teaching Staff: Mrs. Paula Buch, Mrs. Elaine Markin, Mrs. Alison Armstrong, Mrs. Becky Jacobson,
Mrs. Jean Bobbett, Mrs. Sally Milligan, Miss Dorothy Friesen, Mrs. Sandy Sackville,
Mrs. Karen Morrison, Mr. Bill Harrington, Mrs. Pat Muench, Mrs. Angela Weber
Intermediate Teaching Staff: Mr. Barry Kroeker, Mrs. Maureen Paterson, Miss Wendy Sofiak, Mrs. Dana
Ballantyne, Mr. Don Arnot, Ms. Karen Irvin, Mrs. Diane King, Mrs. Nadine Keyworth, Mr. Dameon Lorensen
Music Teachers: Mrs. Joanne LeDressay, Mrs. Elizabeth Eckert, Band Teacher: Mr. David Mills
Mr. Colin Jenks, District Special Needs Teacher, Mrs. Iris Kuehn, ESL Teacher, Mr. Rob Butler, Counsellor,
Mrs. Donna Nylund, Intermediate L.A. & Resource Teacher, Mrs. Janet Ydenberg, L.A. & Resource Teacher,
Mrs. Sam Collie, StrongStart, Ms. Lindy Rae & Mrs. Michelle Jeter-Krasnikoff, Speech-Language Teachers,
Mrs. Carmen Lepage, Library Technician, Ms. Maria Weel, Youth Care Worker, Mrs. Vicki Gravelle, Aboriginal
Support Worker, Ms. Linda Wiesner, Mrs. Diana Chittick, Mr. George David, Custodians, Ms. Lois Peterson,
Noon Hour Supervisor
Special Education Assistants (SEA): Mrs. Natalie Clegg, Ms. Diane Klause, Mrs. Julie Strand, Ms. Terri Roberts,
Mrs. Shawna Dzus, Mrs. Sandra Sangha, Mrs. Lea Attrell, Mrs. Deb Krois, Ms. Lynn Bogart, Mr. Darren Brown,
Ms. Cathy Van Den Broek, Ms. Jennifer MacQueen,
PARENTS INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING
Parents have many roles in supporting their children’s education and our school. A big one is volunteering in
various ways. See if any of the following are possibilities for you.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
Currently, we were wondering if any parents had skills or experience that could assist the school in case of a
major emergency or disaster. We are developing our “emergency response plan” which includes names of staff
and parents who have specialized occupational skills such as: firefighter, nurse, doctor, paramedic, search and
rescue, etc. If you are qualified in any of these areas it would be a huge help for the school to know (it is not a
firm commitment – just people we could contact in an emergency to see if you were available to help.) Please let
someone in the main office know. Many thanks in advance!
It would be very beneficial to have one volunteer in each classroom to help on the few occasions we need phoning
or someone to find a couple of helpers for a class activity. Please contact the main office or the PAC if you could
assist us in this role.
BAND CAMP PARENT
Mr. Mills (music teacher from R.E. Mountain) will be teaching grade 7 band this year. He is organizing a camp
for the grade 7s on the weekend of October 1, 2, and 3. If you have some basic/rudimentary knowledge of any
band instrument or could be a parent supervisor, he is looking for helpers. See us in the office.
OPEN FOR INPUT & PAC HELP
Research has shown one of the biggest factors that make for a successful school is effective communication
between the school and its community. Staff, students, parents, and the greater community all play important
roles in educating for the future. Please feel free to call or write us a note if you have ideas, questions or
concerns. Even better – come in and talk to us. A five-minute conversation can accomplish much (and save lots
of writing!) We’re all looking forward to a fun and productive school year and your input is always appreciated.
Another great way to be involved is through the PAC. You can make a small or large contribution of time. It’s
The PAC will soon be underway with a major fundraising effort. Information will be coming home next
Thursday. The books provide tremendous value for families so keep an eye out for them and encourage your
family and friends to purchase one! The monies raised are used for many beneficial purposes in the school. From
classroom resources, field trips, families that cannot afford supplies, to large purchases, the impact of fundraising
efforts like this benefits everyone in the school. The PAC’s efforts are greatly appreciated by the Willoughby
Staff have been working overtime to create the actual classes that the students will be in for the rest of the year. A
great deal of thought and time is put into making these lists and everyone (staff, students, and families) tends to
worry and do lots of hand wringing over the results. The lists will be posted outside the school sometime over the
weekend. These will be the classes that the students move into starting on Monday, September 13th.
TRAFFIC SAFETY REMINDERS
Some of the issues we face as a growing school are the traffic and parking problems. A reminder to everyone of a
few things: 1) do not park or stop too long in the pick up and drop off lanes, 2) the first parking space in the
middle isle is a designated disabled person’s parking spot (you must have proper permits for parking in this spot).
The township has been sending by-law enforcement officers and they have been ticketing for j-walking and
parking violations. If you park across the street in the church parking lot, please do not j-walk to get to the school
(this is not a safe habit to be modeling for the children.) 3) Please drive slowly and cautiously in the parking lot.
REMINDERS TO EVERYONE
- Walk your bicycles on school property.
- No skateboards, roller blades, or “heelies” (skate shoes).
- Avoid going in between cars or being unsafe walking/running in the parking lot.
- At the traffic lights, get eye contact with the drivers and make sure the cars come to a stop – don’t just dart out
when your light turns green.
IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS COMING HOME SOON
Once we have students in their actual classes, we can start sending home some important documents that need to
be filled out and returned to school. Next week please look for:
Student Registration Forms – Contacts, emergency info, photo permission, etc. Look on both sides! These will
be coming out next week. Fill and return as soon as possible. For the “media permission” it would really help out
a lot if you check “yes.” If people reply “no,” all the photos have to be checked and those students must be left
out of slide shows, class DVDs, newsletters, etc.
Insurance Forms – One of those “we hope we never need it” items, but please consider your family needs. This
does not come back to the school but is sent directly to the insurance company.
Medical Forms – if your child has an anaphylactic type of allergy, you need to do two things. 1) fill in the
appropriate information on the student registration form, and 2) come to the office to fill in a medical form. We
Students who go home for lunch – if your child will be routinely going home for lunch, we need to have a blue
coloured lunch form filled out so that we know your child has permission to go home and come back to school
during the school day.
Aboriginal Ancestry Forms – if your family has Aboriginal ancestry, there are several services and programs
that are available that can really help student learning. Even if you have declared “yes,” in the past, it must be
redone each year!
STRONGSTART CENTRE NOW AT WILLOUGHBY!
This is a fabulous program addition to Willoughby. We are excited to welcome Samantha Collier who will be
operating the StrongStart program in room 20 (look for the signs on the corner between the parking lot and play
equipment.) This is a drop-in centre for children (5 years old or less) and their parent(s). The goal of the program
is to help families learn and use play-based strategies to prepare children emotionally, socially, and academically
for their future growth. Please note that the parent stays with the child. The centre will open on Monday,
September 13. Hours of operation will be 1:00 to 4:00. On your first visit, please be sure to bring a birth
certificate for the child.
FOOD DANGER AND ALLERGIES!
We do have quite a number of students with various food allergies in the school. Some of these are anaphylactic,
life-threatening types of allergies. The most common of these is peanut (or other nut) allergies. It would be great
if we could have a peanut free school but this would be a challenge. For classrooms with children who have
specific food allergies we will be sending home a note to parents. We request that families not send the identified
foods to school for lunches or snacks. If a child does bring one of the foods that is an allergen he/she will be
asked to eat the food outside the classroom. Best would be to not bring the food at all!
It is understandable that parents and guardians are excited about seeing their children go to school and wanting to
capture the “Kodak moment.” There have been people snapping photos in classrooms but at this point I must
inform everyone about “Media Release.” Please be aware that you must be extremely careful about taking photos
of other children in the class. There are kids in the school for whom it could be a danger to have their photo
posted or distributed in the public forum. Custody disagreements and guardianship issues are very real and in
some cases, children need to be hidden from certain people. If a staff member asks you to stop taking photos, it is
out of consideration for the safety of all the kids in the class – please comply. If you do have photos of other
children, please check with the classroom teacher for media release. Likewise, please only check the “no media
release” box if there is truly a dangerous situation existing for your child. It really does complicate things when
there is a great beach day photo or Christmas concert photo and we don’t have release permission for everyone in
the photo – it can’t be used for the yearbook, class newsletters, or other such uses.
CAN YOU SEE ME? CAN YOU HEAR ME?
On occasion students struggle with their learning in the classroom. In some cases this has nothing to do with
intellectual capabilities. Instead, it has to do with the fact that they cannot see what is on the page or written on
the front board or they can only hear some of the words being spoken. It is critical to have your child’s sight and
hearing tested. Eyes are easy; you can get free eye exams in the mall! Ears might be a bit tougher to test but there
are telltale signs: Do you have to repeat yourself? Does your child sometimes do the wrong thing even though
they are trying to please you? Does he not notice sounds that other people hear? Does your child understand you
better when he is facing towards you? Does she miss details or misunderstand conversations even though she
appears to be listening? Take your child to your doctor if these are issues for your child, it could be that her ears
or auditory processing are not working as well as they should.
Our schedule has changed a bit from last year.
Warning bell 8:55
Start bell 9:00 (classroom doors open)
Recess 10:35 – 10:50
Lunch play 12:25 – 12:50
Eating time 12:50 – 1:10
Lunch end bell 1:10
School end 2:45
KIDS AND THE INTERNET AT HOME
There have been many articles recently about internet safety and children’s use of computers in the home. One of
the most important aspects of this is having the home computer located in a public place. I urge you not to put an
internet capable computer in a room where your child can close a door or change the website if they “hear you
coming.” A computer should be in plain sight so that a parent or adult can monitor and supervise internet activity.
It is very easy for children to stumble into inappropriate sites. Even worse, if your child goes into chat rooms,
they can be tricked into thinking that they are texting back and forth with another child of the same age and
interests with the reality being that it is a 35 year old male. There have been numerous online occurrences
between young kids that led to friendship problems or bullying and harassment. Be aware and know what your
child is doing!