March Newsletter

Meeting Summary from February 25th

Thanks to those who attended last month’s H&S / School Council Meeting which featured students from Earl Grey Middle School, East Alternative School and Quest Alternative School. Many thanks to these former Withrow students who shared their experiences transitioning from primary school to middle school. We were also fortunate to have Gaela Mintz from TDSB speak to us about supporting pre-teen students navigating relationships.

Next H&S / School Council Meeting

Join us on Thursday, April 7th from 7-9pm to discuss classroom organization. Withrow will have its student numbers and teacher allocation for the 2016/17 school year by the end of March, so we need interested parents to provide feedback on the classroom models, while taking into consideration ministry and board constraints. Childcare will be provided.

Withrow Silent Auction

Withrow Silent Auction class art 2016

Here’s a sneak peek of the class masterpieces up for grabs at the Silent Auction

The 2016 Withrow Silent Auction is only three weeks away!  On Friday, April 1st, come out to see the Withrow gym transformed, socialize with friends and raise funds for our kids’ school. Be sure to check out all of the amazing items up for grabs here.

Don’t forget to:

  • Buy something fun to add to your child’s class basket. Get it in now before you forget – and remember to support local businesses.
  • Book your sitter for the event (the auction is a licensed event – no children are allowed.) and come out to the school for a great evening of socializing, fancy cocktails, class art and awesome auction items.
  • Volunteer! We need ticket sellers, bid sheet monitors (and lots more) during the event.  To sign up, go to our VolunteerSpot page at: http://vols.pt/jCmYxr 

Lunch Time and After School Clubs

Registration for the Spring Term is now open for both lunch time and after school clubs.  Please go to http://withrowafterschool.blogspot.ca/ for information. Programs start in early April and run for 8–10 weeks.

Lunchtime registration is open for Raising Readers for Grades 1 and 2, Chess (primary and junior sessions) and Drawing (Grade 2-4). The registration forms can also be found on the blog. Space in each program is confirmed based on the order that registration forms are returned to the office.

Withrow Parenting Series

Thanks to all of the parents and community members who attended the Withrow Parenting Series that took place on March 1, on the topic of Talking To Children About Dying, Grief and Death. It was very well attended, and we are grateful to Withrow parents Andrea Warnick and David Stark for sharing their knowledge and experience about this important topic.

For those of you who were unable to attend the session, they have graciously provided a copy of the presentation, which can be downloaded here.

Many thanks to Shannon Curry for organizing this series.

Withrow Fun Fair

The planning has started, the chatting has commenced and the organizing has begun. That’s right the Fun Fair will be here before you know it. The date is set for sunny Saturday May 28, 2016.

It goes without saying, this funtastic event could not occur without all our awesome and committed parents. And we are so thankful for all of you. The day of the event usually requires around 200 individuals to make it a successful and fun four hours. (yes, that’s all) We also need a team to organize and plan. (Yes, that’s you!)

We have three more spots to fill and now we are begging. Come on and join our team! We are a great group that like to have fun. Why else join the fun fair??

Obstacle Course: a new location, the kindergarten area by the main entrance. A whole new course needs to be planned, set up on the day and take down at the end of the day. Mr T has kindly offered use of some of the gym equipment. Thanks Mr T. Sounds like a sporty fit. Why not take this on …

Kids Poster Contest: Who doesn’t love seeing the kids posters around our community? Well you can make that happen. The form has been created so all that will need to be done is disseminate and collect, judge, work with our graphics guru Sammy Welch to create the final product, print and post. And the fun fair team is so awesome that we will all take some to post around our own streets.

Signage: On the day of the event there are signs everywhere! We need you to shadow Lisa R this year to learn the ropes so that you can make it even better this year and yours next year.  It’s a behind the scenes job that helps make the event run smoothly and look GOOD. Our sponsors love the signs and we love our sponsors!!

If you’re interested please email Lisa Rolland at nantucketreds@hotmail.com.

Thanks for reading
The Fun Fair Team 🎪

Community News

Street Parking Around Withrow

We all know how frustrating it can be some days to find a parking spot when you’re trying to drop off or pick up your kids. With the limited number of spots available on neighbouring streets, it is important to remember that we are not the only ones doing so. Please be considerate when parking, especially as we enter the rainy spring season. And parents, please make sure all caregivers who pick up your children are aware of this situation. Parking spots after school are at a premium and we all need to work together to foster a respectful and courteous environment at Withrow, both inside and outside of the school.

Could you help a Syrian refugee family?

Many of us are looking for ways to offer meaningful help to the newcomers to Canada who have fled war and are looking for a better life for their families. We are happy to use this newsletter as a way to facilitate communication on this issue. Below is an email we received from a parent at our school.

The following message is from Sarah Callaghan

The need for support for the resettlement of Syrian refugees continues. The privately sponsored refugees tend to have a fairly good support network on arrival in the country. The government assisted refugees have similar needs but are often very isolated once their housing needs have been met. The rents are high and most have minimal income once rent is paid. There is also a language barrier for many and the challenges of orientating themselves in an unfamiliar city.

I had the opportunity to connect directly with a government sponsored Syrian family and I wanted to spread the word in case it might be of interest to others. I have contact with an Arabic speaking Canadian lady, Layla, who has a list of families with specific details on the children’s ages, many living in the Scarborough area.

Layla initially visited the family with me to aid with translation and I will use Google translate going forward which is working well. A direct connection has facilitated the addressing of specific needs (clothes, household items,etc) as well as connecting the family with local services and hopefully assisting them with orientation to the city over the coming months. I found this a manageable project as it is one Syrian family, and I have been able to involve my children in it which has been a great education for them.

If anyone is interested in more information, please feel free to contact me at sarah1callaghan@hotmail.com.

*Withrow Home and School Association does not endorse one initiative over another, we are just trying to connect people who are keen to help.

Tutoring Offered for French Immersion Students

If your child is struggling with the acquisition of early reading skills, there is a summer training program offered by French Immersion Educational Consulting that may interest you. Find out more here.