Updated February 28, 2020
We have reached the end of February which means we are putting a close in this country to the official study of black history. Once again today we had a great presentation from one of our classes on some historical figures that had a tremendous impact not only on our country but on the world today. As a history major in college, I can safely say that I have had many, many history classes over the course of my career as a student, many of them focused on US history. It is amazing how much I have learned from our students this month that my elementary, middle, and high school teachers (along with college professors) could not teach me.
As a school that values diversity, equity, and inclusion, I am hoping that our learning does not stop on February 28th, or February 29th this year since 2020 is a leap year. History should not be limited to a study during a certain time of the year as all of history is intertwined and is impacted by the smallest of events or inventions, both in a positive or a negative way. It is my hope that we highlight important historical, as well as modern day figures throughout the course of the year. It is not so much that we disregard the accomplishment of many caucasian males that have had a tremendous impact on the development of the United States but it is also to be sure we learn about the accomplishments and impact of Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Indigineous Peoples, those with Learning Disabilities, Physical Disabilities, and let’s not forget about a huge group of people called women.
I’m sure that I have failed to mention many deserving groups and I apologize for that (I’m on a deadline). My point is that it is critical that our students see representation of people who look like them in the stories we read, the people they study, or the people they see on a daily basis. Without seeing those representations, children learn at an early age that they are minimized or not as valued as when they are seen as an individual with many gifts. As principal, it is my goal to make sure that every student sees themselves in a positive light and that they know they are truly a valued member of our community, no matter their background. Although there is much work to be done in this area, I am encouraged by the direction we are moving. I hope you are as well.
As we head into Spring Break, I hope that everyone has a chance to get some needed rest and relaxation. If traveling in the United States, I encourage you to download the app “Native Land”. Wherever it is that your travels may take you in our country you can check to see and acknowledge those that inhabited our land before it ever became known as the United States. I find myself checking it out whenever I am in a different area of the nation. In our case our school resides on the land that once made up the proud Muscogee/Creek Nation. If you are traveling elsewhere, I give your student some social studies homework. I would love to hear from your child where they traveled and who were the Indigeounous People of that land. Perhaps you can google the nation and have an instant history lesson together.
Safe travels everyone!
Check out the Parent Community Website!
Whether you’re looking to volunteer or wondering when the next Parent Community event is, you can now find it all on the Parent Community website: www.woodward.edu/parentcommunity. Please be sure to check it regularly for details as we plan to update it weekly. You can also follow us on Facebook @WAParentCommunity.
Mar. 2-6: Spring Break!
Mon. Mar. 9: Teacher Work Day - NO School for Students
Mar. 16-20: Week of Understanding
Thurs. Mar. 19: Conference Day - No School for Students
Mar. 24-27: ERB Testing - 2nd-3rd students only
Tues. Apr. 7: Rising 4th Grade Parent Meeting@ LS
Fri. Apr. 10: No School - Good Friday Holiday
Mon. Apr. 13: No School - Spring Holiday
Weds. Apr. 15: Experience the Arts Day - Main Campus
Fri. Apr. 17: Big Night Out 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Sun. Apr. 26: Dance Concerts 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. @ Richardson Hall Theater
Widespread Flu in Georgia!
From the Department of Public Health: If you have not gotten a flu shot yet, do not wait any longer. Flu is widespread throughout Georgia. The predominant flu virus currently circulating is a B/Victoria strain that doesn't usually pop up until the end of the flu season. Vaccination is the best prevention against the flu for all ages, and the B/Victoria strain is included in this season’s vaccine.
There are other things you can do to help prevent the spread of flu – tried and true measures your parents taught you.
• Frequent and thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water. Alcohol based gels are the next best thing if you don’t have access to soap and water.
• Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or arm to help prevent the spread of the flu.
• Avoid touching your face as flu germs can get into the body through mucus membranes of the nose, mouth, and eyes.
• If you are sick, stay home from school or work. Flu sufferers should be free of a fever, without the use of a fever reducer, for at least 24 hours before returning to school or work.
• If you are caring for a sick individual at home, keep them away from common areas of the house and other people as much as possible.
Primary Singers at the Atlanta Hawks game!
Saturday, March 14 is Woodward Primary School Night at State Farm Arena. Our Primary Singers will perform the National Anthem on the main court prior to the start of the game! We hope you will join us in support of our Primary Singers and to cheer on the Hawks! For more information click here! Visit atlhawksgroups.com/Woodward2020 to purchase tickets. When you click on "get tickets", the highlighted sections will be in the direction the Primary Singers will be facing.
Neighborhood Meet & Greets
After hearing in the annual Parent Feedback Survey that you, as parents, are interested in getting to know and engaging with your Woodward neighbors, the Academy has facilitated a Meet & Greet initiative!
We have parents in several neighborhoods who have offered to host events at their homes for Woodward families and for neighbors interested in learning more about WA, across metro Atlanta. Please be on the lookout for invitations to events in your neighborhood from your fellow WA parents!
And we’d love to expand our group of hosts and volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering as a host for a Meet & Greet in your neighborhood, please contact the Admissions Office. We hope to create more connections within our Woodward community for our parents!
Greetings Woodward Academy Community,
What a fantastic start to 2020 at Woodward Academy! Interfaith student leaders are excited about our plans to showcase Woodward’s beautiful traditions throughout the school for the entire semester. We are currently preparing our first interfaith prayer service of the year and finishing the plans for the 4th annual Interfaith Immersion Trip. We are also planning various holiday assemblies for our religious observances, as well as on-campus services for Ash Wednesday.
In the coming month, our students will participate in the following religious observances:
- January 25 (Buddhism) - The Lunar New Year is the first day after the new (dark) moon. It is a religious and cultural festival celebrated by Chinese, Vietnamese, and Koreans of Buddhist and other backgrounds as New Year’s Day for the year 4718 in the Lunar calendar.
- January 27 - Holocaust Memorial Day is an international memorial day commemorating the tragedy of the Holocaust and the lives tragically taken.
- January 30 (Hinduism) - Vasant Panchami, a North Indian celebration, is associated with Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning, and with Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth. It marks the arrival of Spring and start of preparation for Holika and Holi.
- February 10 - Tu B’Shevat begins at sundown on February 9. It is the New Year’s Day for Trees, and traditionally the first of the year for tithing fruit of trees. It is a day for environmental awareness and is marked by special meals that include the seven fruits of the land.
- February 15 (Buddhism) - Nehan-e (Nirvana Day) is an annual Buddhist festival that remembers the passing of the Buddha at age 80 and his achievement of enlightenment.
- February 23 (Buddhism) - Losar (Tibetan New Year) is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days.
- February 25 (Christianity) - Shrove Tuesday ends the season of Epiphany and is the vigil for the starting of Lent.
- February 26 (Christianity) - Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period of prayer and repentance that precedes Easter.
Please feel free to visit our Interfaith Initiatives page to see the times of all interfaith prayer opportunities or to share a prayer request.
Rev. Katie O. Kilpatrick
Tennis - Spring 2020
Please go to puretennis.net to register for the spring session of tennis. Click on locations, then Woodward Academy.
We know our students participate in many outside activities and we want to honor those achievements. If your child has been recognized for their accomplishments outside of the Academy, please email Mr. Mitchell (email@example.com) and let him know. He would love to share those accomplishments with the Primary School during morning announcements.
Trek to Terranova
Every Wednesday, with a $1 donation, students may come to school in the footwear of their choosing. You may want to keep in mind that they will be going to PE and recess so footwear should be appropriate for those activities. The students will give their dollar to their homeroom teacher and the front office will go around to collect the donations from the classrooms. Each dollar will represent one mile of travel and we will then be able to research where on the globe we will have reached. Our goal at the end is to hopefully make it all the way to Zambia, some 8,000 miles away.This is completely voluntary. We encourage students to use their own money for this donation; with the goal of students appreciating what they are doing and how they are helping even more!
Co-Curriculars @ the Primary School for 2019-2020
Click here to see the full list of co-curriculars offered at the Primary School.
Update to Box Tops Collection!
There is a new Box Tops APP! Install the app, select Woodward Academy Primary School as your school and scan in your receipts. You can still clip and send in Box Tops that you currently have, but moving forward they will all be scanned through the app. The money raised by Box Tops, Publix and Kroger rewards helps to pay for Field Day shirts and more for the students, so please take the time to scan each of these as you shop. If you have any questions about how they work, please call the office.
Ways to Help Primary School Students!
- Box Tops and eBoxTops through the Box Tops website (see the article above).
- The Publix Partners program - log in at corporate.pulblix.com, community, Publix Partners to register. Be sure to select WA Primary!
- Kroger Rewards program.
What’s Happening in Classroom Guidance:
Over the last few weeks, our students have been working on emotional regulation and solving conflicts. We have been discussing that some feelings may become so strong it makes us uncomfortable. In each grade level, we have discussed ways to calm ourselves back down when our emotions become too strong. Below are a few highlights from lessons by grade level.
Pre-Kindergarten: During our lesson, we read the book When Sophie Gets Angry...Really Really Angry by Molly Bang. We discussed ways that Sophie calmed herself down during the book. Students then sat in a circle and practiced using different tools that can help you calm down such as using a breathing ball, hugging a stuffed animal or someone you care about, getting a drink of water, doing jumping jacks,and blowing a pinwheel. We practiced “I feel___. I need___” statements to express feelings and ask for help. We also practiced deep breathing by blowing bubbles. Students filled their belly with air and released slowly to make a big bubble.
Kindergarten: We read When Miles Got Mad by Abbie Schiller and Samantha Counter. Students discussed with a partner what makes them feel angry. We then practiced different strategies to calm ourselves down through stations. Stations included rainbow breathing, wall push ups, hugging a stuffed animal, using a sequin pillow, watching a liquid timer, and more. Students then shared the strategies that they think would work best for them if they were to feel a strong emotion.
Grade 1: We have completed our fourth lesson conflict resolution. Students practiced ignoring small problems. Students also learned a three step apology. A three step apology is “I am sorry for___. Next time I will____. How can I make this better?”. We then modeled how when a small problem comes up you can Talk It Out first and then apologize, if needed. Students practiced apologizing for small problems. I have encouraged students to use two out of the six strategies first before getting a grown up for small problems. These strategies include ignore, walk away, share and take turns, talk it out, take a break to cool off, and apologize.
Grade 2: We read Anh’s Anger by Gail Silver. The book has wonderful discussion points around how a person can experience a mix of emotions in a short period of time (excitement, disappointment, sadness, and anger). It also discussed strategies such as counting steps, walking, taking a break, deep breathing, being present in the moment, and talking about our feelings. Students then rotated through nine Help Now! Stations to use if they have a strong emotion. Stations included getting a drink of water, noticing 6 colors around you, focusing on an object in the room, walking and counting to and from 10, touching a piece of furniture and noticing the temperature and texture, listening to three sounds inside and outside the room, rubbing their hands together until they feel warm, walking around the room and noticing how their feet feel on the ground, and pushing or leaning against the wall. Students rated each station of if the station made them feel pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. They also reflected on the stations they could use the next time they have a bad day.
Grade 3: We discussed the concept of Flipping Your Lid. We discussed the brain and how it relates to our feelings and three parts of the brain and how it affects our emotional response. These three parts are the prefrontal cortex (“the wise owl” who helps us make smart choices), the hippocampus (“the elephant” that is our memory saver) and the amygdala (“the guard dog” who responds to keep us safe). We discussed that when our prefrontal cortex is in control we make good choices, think things through, and can remember important information. However; when we experience a strong emotion our amygdala will focus on our safety and can cause a fight, flight, or freeze response. We discussed if we are not in danger this can make a situation worse and ways we can get our prefrontal cortex back into control. Students then rotated through nine Help Now! Stations to use if they have a strong emotion. Stations included getting a drink of water, noticing 6 colors around you, focusing on an object in the room, walking and counting to and from 10, touching a piece of furniture and noticing the temperature and texture, listening to three sounds inside and outside the room, rubbing their hands together until they feel warm, walking around the room and noticing how their feet feel on the ground, and pushing or leaning against the wall. Students rated each station of if the station made them feel pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. They also reflected on the stations they could use the next time they have a bad day.
Let’s Keep in Touch
Check the Counselor Corner for updates and more information on the Counseling Program. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if I can be of any support to you and your child.