800 Juliana Drive, Woodstock, Ontario

Phone: 519-539-1492

     

SNOW DAY!

JAN 23: Due to weather warnings and poor road conditions, all buses to WCS are cancelled today and the school is closed. Enjoy your snow day.

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January 21

The Daily 5

 

You have heard WCS teachers and your children refer to “the Daily 5”. In case you are wondering about features and purposes of this very effective literacy tool, here are some details.

According to their website (thedailycafe.com), the Daily 5 is a “literacy framework that instills behaviors of independence, creates a   classroom of highly engaged readers, writers, and learners, and provides teachers with the time and   structure to meet diverse student needs.”  Because it is a framework, teachers can insert curricular content   for their geographic / educational region (Ontario Ministry of Education & Ontario Christian Schools) and   make it work well.

 Often, when we read such claims, we are sceptical. When it comes to the Daily 5 at WCS, we love it and   support those claims! Read to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Someone, Word Work, and Listen to Reading   are the five tasks that make up the Daily 5 structure. God has gifted humans with words and language and it is wonderful to see students grow in communication skills. Teachers schedule several literacy blocks   throughout the week and students work through a rotation of tasks. These are routine periods during which   students read on their own, practicing old and new skills, but throughout there is focused instruction that   introduces new skills and guides student practice. And there is choice! Students have personal book bins   loaded with print material specifically geared to their reading level. When we host our WCS Education Week open house, or if you wish to make arrangements to come and observe, try to catch your child’s literacy block. Seeing students engaged in Daily 5 literacy work is seeing beautiful teaching and learning happen.

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January

January, the beginning of a new year and many new beginnings, is a great time to reflect and re -evaluate our habits and patterns. Some habits and patterns are difficult to break and change. One of our greatest challenges of parenthood is evaluating our children's uses of technology and being effective guides for them. 
"Everywhere I go, I see some kind of technology. It has transformed society, much like the printing press, radio or TV. However, what makes technology unique is that it's so intertwined in our lives that it's unavoidable. Technology was supposed to make life easier. More information at our fingertips. More shortcuts to simplify daily routines. But as parents, technology often makes our lives more difficult. Apps, video games and social media can become a time drain for our kids. They also create a direct - and sometimes dangerous - portal to our children. Instead of enhancing our kids' lives, technology can isolate them and open them up to cyber-bullying and risky behaviours. The goal of this resource is to encourage you to stop and think about the technology your family uses. It will also help you understand and navigate the pitfalls of today's most popular digital platforms and games. Technology will capture our children's attention. As parents, we need to educate and support them in developing healthy technology habits. God, through His Word, tells us to be attentive, be authentic and pursue unity with one another. That's great advice on how to live-and how to act in our use of technology"
This is an excerpt from Focus on the Family's Parent's Guide to Today's Technology 2018. It is full of questions, answers and conversation starters for your family Co to Focus on the Family Canada website to get your free copy.
Linda Westerveld
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Walk With God in 2019

Walk with God in 2019
 
Here we are in a brand new year - with brand new opportunities to learn more about God, about the world, about the people around us, and about ourselves. We have a God who loves us - a God who makes and keeps his promises to us and to the world. We've just come through the celebrations of Christmas - Jesus' birthday - and reminders that all of those prophecies and teachings in the Old Testament Bible really did come true.
What does God have in store for us this year? What will happen this year in our families, in our community, in world events? We can be assured that good things will happen - that we will be blessed. We also know that sad and hurtful things will happen. Our school theme is "Walk with God, Talk with God". The words of 1 Thessalonians 5 remind us: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." In everything, we will keep praising God, encouraging each other, and praying for those in our community - those who know Jesus and those who don't. We will pray that God will also use us to do his work - to love and serve others.
Last year is past, but not forgotten. Take what you learned last year, learn from it, and keep growing in knowledge and in understanding and in wisdom. May God bless you and guide you as you walk with Him and talk with Him in 2019.
 
C. Verbeek, Principal
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Christmas

Christmas time for a musician is the busiest time of the year. Concerts, rehearsals, more singing and more playing from November 1st to December 25th. You get the picture. Sometimes it is easy to get so busy “giving” musically to your community that you lose perspective of what a gift community really is. This December I have had a big STOP put on my musical busyness. Instead of being the giver gifts to our community, I and my family have been given many gifts. Our community has given us help, time, talks, hugs, flowers, food, prayer...lots of prayer. What a wonderful display of God’s gift to us! As we all take a break from school to celebrate Jesus’ birth, I pray you will be givers and receivers of God’s gift of community as well. John and I say “Thank You!” from the bottom of our hearts. Merry Christmas! 
Elizabeth Martin
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A Christmas Tree Blessing



A Christmas Tree Blessing
 
“Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. (Psalm 96). "
“'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the forest will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. " 'I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.'" - Ezekiel 17:22-24
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. (Psalm 96). 
Source: crosswalk.com
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Our World is Small

Our world is smaller than it has ever been, in the context of seeing different cultures and hearing different languages. I have the privilege of teaching language at WCS, in both French and English. Throughout the year in my classes we are able to study both the language and the culture of different communities in France, Quebec, Ontario and Korea. It is sometimes the most interesting for students to see how communities who live very far away and speak a totally different language, still can have so many similarities to us.
While looking at language learning as a whole, I realize that there a lot more to language than just speech. One can understand what a person is saying through their facial expressions, by seeing their hand gestures, their communication with drawings, pictures and writing. There is even communication through humming familiar songs. By one way or another, bridges can be built to allow communication to happen. It is not always or often perfect, but sometimes the mistakes allow for the best learning and connection to occur.
It is so incredible that people from different places and cultures in the world, who have different walks of life and speak a totally different language can also love and serve the same Lord. The Christmas message that we will be focussing on in our churches this month and at WCS this week; the message that the angels brought to the shepherds outside Bethlehem many years ago, is the same message for believers in all languages and in all parts of the world. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”  “C'est qu'aujourd'hui, dans la ville de David, il vous est né un Sauveur, qui est le Christ, le Seigneur.”
Our Saviour Jesus Christ has come and we wait in hope for when He will come again. This is a message worth communicating in whatever language you experience and can share.
 
R. Sikma
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Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Thank-you parents for the prompt and efficient way in which you signed up for PTCs this year! We at WCS are blessed to partner with you in the education of your child(ren). Research shows that students learn more, have higher grades, and have better school attendance when parents are involved in their child's education. That's why attending parent-teacher conferences is so important: it's a great way for parents to become involved and stay involved throughout the school year. By attending conferences, you also send a positive message to your child that school is important. These conferences are intended to by two-way conversations. If you have questions or observations, the conference is a good time to share those with the teacher. Share what you know about your child, their interests and how they spend their time outside of school. You may want to ask your child if there is anything they want you to share with the teacher at the conference. Your information helps the teacher better understand and teach your child. Some classrooms will have conferences in which the student is included. Typically these students will have a portfolio or collection of work which they will share. Students show and discuss their learning - not just the end product, but the learning process with their parents. Be sure to check out the book fair with Usborne and the Christian Book Supplier vendors. Looking forward to seeing you at the PTCs this week! (sources: Mrs. Verbeek, meachamparknia.org & kidshealth.org)
 
C. Verbeek
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Community

“Community”
 
Community ~ one the three words in our school’s tagline. Community has been recognized as one of school’s foundational pillars. God created us to need other people and to live in community. In the Bible, there are loads of examples of the importance of living in community. For example, Romans 12:5 states, “so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Since I have started teaching at WCS, I have often been amazed at the strength of our school’s sense of community. It can be easily felt and observed at the numerous events and functions throughout the year including our back to school dessert social, golf tournament, chapels, Springfest, drama performances, track and field day, and graduation. It is not just current parents and students who show up to these events, but numerous grandparents, extended family members, alumni, and friends of WCS.
The Winterfest auction was held this past Friday evening, and it was another great example of community! Countless hours were spent by volunteers working over the past several months to pull off this event. Thank you! People packed into the gym for a night of talking, eating, laughing, good natured teasing, and spending thousands of dollars, all for the glory of God! It is humbling to be part of something so much larger than the sum of our individual parts. I am thankful to be member of a school community dedicated to providing excellent Christian education to the children in Oxford county.
Don’t miss out on one of our next community events, Angels Alert! Come join us in early December as we celebrate together the birth of Jesus Christ. Blessings on your week, WCS.
 
Mrs. T. Bulthuis
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Tree Planting

Tree Planting at Hodge's Pond
Last Friday, students and teachers from our seventh, sixth, and fourth grade classes put on their overalls, boots, warm
winter coats, toques and gloves and boarded the bus for some community earthkeeping work at Hodge's Pond, south of
Woodstock. Our bus driver, Gerry Huinink, remembers decades ago when Hodge's Pond was the site of summer
camps and outdoor recreation for families. In recent years, the former mill pond became warm and stagnant, so the
dam has been dismantled and the natural flow of Cedar Creek and accompanying wetlands restored. A partnership
between Ducks Unlimited, Oxford County, Stewardship Oxford, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
(UTRCA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has been established in order to re-naturalize this site.
WCS students have worked with the UTRCA frequently in the past eight years planting trees and shrubs throughout
the county. The latest phase at Hodge's Pond includes plans to plant 1200 native trees and shrubs. WCS students were
the first of many groups of local students who will work to expand the natural habitats for wildlife in this area. Our
Grade 7 group planted 120 deciduous trees and bushes, while the grades 4 and 6 group planted about 130 trees,
including maple, tamarack and others. Students were industrious, efficient, and enjoyed being given specific
instructions and tools to do the planting work. Students returned to school chilly, dirty, but pleased with having had the
opportunity to work outdoors, and to provide new habitats for wetlands wildlife such as herons, turtles, snakes, and
birds. Future plans for Hodge's Pond include opening the area for public use as a natural space for hiking and enjoying
wildlife. We are thankful for this opportunity to work with community partners to be keepers and restorers of creation.
C. Verbeek, Principal

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Community

Community
 
Community is a word we hear a lot of these days. Topics and trends come and go but one thing being paid a lot of attention to in our world today is the correlation between community and connectivity. Think about the ways technology has brought connectivity to people, but ironically studies have continued to indicate that currently there has never been a time as we have today in which so many people out there do not have “community.” They are genuinely lonely. The Christian periodical Relevant Magazine comments on community. It poses the following questions: “What about our relationships with other believers that God has placed into our lives? What about mentorship, discipleship and friendship? What about community?” 
Read more at https://relevantmagazine.com/life/whole-life/10-unexpected-benefits-real-community. 
The article continues by listing ten direct benefits of healthy community. It is a worthwhile read! Hopefully there are many different types of community we currently engage in. An example of a very functioning and helpful community was the one that met at the Membership Meeting held last Thursday evening. The community of people supporting the education of our children gathered and not only talked about the functioning of our school, but we also heard Pastor Martin Dam speak about guiding our children in experiencing and relating to secular culture and questioning how that fits with our Christian belief system. He spoke of the challenges of doing that in a culture in which many choices available do not lead to God. The community which gathered at this meeting received mentorship, discipling and of course support  through friendship. We are all in this together, all traveling a road, following Jesus’ instruction and trying to honour Him in all that we do. Sometime we forget that actually the rituals or habits we participate in are there for our mutual blessing. We are blessed through community.
 
M. Dieleman, Librarian
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The Bigger Picture
 
We, at Woodstock Christian School, are part of the bigger picture of education. There are times when we focus on our school and our particular joys and challenges. The annual Christian Educators' convention helps to provide perspective and is a wonderful reminder that we are part of something bigger. We are part of the education system in Ontario - the independent schools sector. We are part of a larger community of provincial and national Christian schools. We are part of God's family and His story, partnering with parents to raise children who will learn how God has gifted them and how they can use their gifts and skills as citizens and in service to their communities.
Did you know that more than one quarter of independent school enrolment in the province of Ontario is in Christian schools? The Edvance group of schools represents 75 schools in Ontario & the eastern provinces which contribute an enormous service to the population. As Christian independent schools, we are in a unique position to collaborate with our families. We are blessed to be able to unfold the beautiful story of Christ. God has called us to be people and schools which show and build character, competence, and courage. We are part of God's bigger picture - part of His story - as we learn and serve in our communities.
 
C. Verbeek, Principal
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