Newest Members of the Wolfpack

We are excited to welcome a few new members to the Wolfpack Staff. You may have heard that Mrs. Cherie Lovsund has joined our team as an Assistant Principal. Mrs. Lovsund brings many strengths to our team, including her background in Literacy.

Also new to the Wolfpack is Mrs. Amber Fijala, our Community Support Worker, who will work alongside Mrs. Scheidl (our School Counselor) to support our students and families. Mrs. Fijala sends the following message to our school community:

I’m very excited to be joining Woodhaven Middle School as a Community Support Worker! I will be working alongside Mrs. Scheidl to provide support to students and families, and will most often be working TuesdayThursday, and Friday.

I reside in Stony Plain with my husband and two children and enjoy spending time outdoors and attending various events offered throughout the communities of Spruce Grove and Stony Plain. I look forward to learning, sharing my knowledge, meeting new faces, and becoming a valuable member within the school community!

Finally, we are excited to have Mrs. Cindy Pitchford joining our team as an Educational Assistant.

Until next time…

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

 

 

 

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October Arrives!

While the month of September has flown by, there is much happening at Woodhaven Middle School in October. The calendar on our public website offers a quick glance at many of the events and activities of September & October, but I will highlight just a few of these.

School Council

We were very appreciative to have a great turnout at our first School Council meeting, filling all of our positions! You will receive information and an invitation to our October meeting in the upcoming weeks.

A few items of particular interest at this meeting was the discussion on school fees and communication between school and home. I will be presenting additional information to council on fees ranging from Volleyball and CTF/Option Fees to Field Trip Fees during our October meeting.

Council asked that I remind parents that there are many ways to stay connected with what’s happening at Woodhaven Middle School so I thought I would highlight these briefly once again.

Home/School Communication

Perhaps the most important source of information from our school comes from our School Website . Please subscribe on the bottom right corner. This subscription allows us to keep you informed of important events such as Hot Lunch, Yearbook purchases, and School Pictures to name just a few.

We would encourage you to consider following us on our Facebook Page, or our Twitter Account.  Another great source of school information are our daily announcements which are posted to our website by noon each day.  If you have a question you would like to ask of any staff member, you can find the email addresses on our staff list. If your child is on one of our many extracurricular teams or in Fall Ball, you can find information from our Physical Education team on our PE Blog, or the PE Instagram Account. Of course, we always welcome a phone call or the opportunity to schedule an appointment to meet and discuss your questions.

Other Important Events

We have a few important, upcoming events that I would like to remind you of.

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences are fast approaching on October 18th and 19th. Parents and students are encouraged to book an appointment with their child’s teachers to discuss the learning thus far. You should have received an email outlining how to register for these appointments online. If you require any support with this process, please do not hesitate to contact on our school office at 780-962-2626.  If these dates do not work for you, please feel free to contact your child’s teachers directly to make alternate arrangements.

Woodhaven Middle School Parents’ Association

The Parents’ Association will be holding its first meeting and elections this Friday, October 14th at 4:00 p.m. in our school library. All are welcome and encouraged to consider attending. Positions available range from President to Casino Coordinator. The Woodhaven Middle School Parents’ Association typically meets 3 or 4 times per year and supports the fundraising efforts of our school with initiatives ranging from Booster Juice coupon sales to our Bi-Annual Casino. This group of dedicated volunteers provides so many opportunities and items to the students of our school and we are greatly appreciative of their efforts.

At Woodhaven Middle School we are proud of the various opportunities that we provide to our students ranging from our Fine Arts to Extracurricular Sports and clubs. Please continue to stay connected with these opportunities through our website to make the most of your child’s middle school experience!

Until next time…

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

 

 

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Into October!

It’s hard to believe that we are already moving into October at Woodhaven Middle School!  Before we look ahead, we should quickly touch on a few of the many great events from September.

Very recently, we were excited to welcome Wade Sorochan to Woodhaven to speak to our students in grades 7-9 on the impact of Social Media on their personal wellness. Wade also spoke to parents in an evening session on Thursday, September 26th at Stony Plain Central School.

Also last week, our Maranatha Christian Program participated in See You At the Pole and many students at Woodhaven participated in Orange Shirt Day.

As we look forward to October we have quite a bit happening that I would like to tell you about.

Later this week, on October 4th at 8:30 a.m. our Maranatha Christian Program (MCP) will be hosting the first Joint Chapel, inviting our friends from Brookwood School. All parents are invited to join us for this opportunity.

On October 5th our public health nurse will be coming out to discuss the impending immunizations for our gr 5&9 students. This will be followed up with forms coming home for those parents, so please keep an eye out.

As you are likely aware, Friday October 6th is a Professional Development Day in Parkland School Division, so students will be excited for a super long weekend, as they are not required to attend on Friday, or on Monday October 9th as it is Thanksgiving.

Also coming soon are our 1st Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews on October 18th and 19th. You will be receiving information soon on how to book an appointment for this next opportunity to discuss your child’s progress so far. We strongly encourage parents to bring their children with them, as they are the focus of all of our efforts and have much to contribute!

There’s so much happening at Woodhaven, (just a bit of what I’ve touched on here) and so many ways to learn about it. Please continue to check out our Facebook Page, our Twitter Feed, the PE blog and Instagram Account and our Daily Announcements!

Until next time,

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

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What’s Happening With the Wolfpack

I would like to start by thanking all of our parents for your efforts in supporting your kids through the start of the school year. We have seen lots of smiling faces and excited learners over the past two weeks.

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We are grateful that so many of you were able to attend our recent Meet the Staff Night where we served over 650 Hot Dogs! It was a fantastic evening of food and conversation. If you were unable to join us for that evening, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teachers to arrange an alternate time to meet them. You can find your child’s teachers on our website .

Woodhaven students also enjoyed a great afternoon this past Friday raising funds for the Terry Fox foundation with our annual Terry Fox Run.

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While the first two weeks of the year have flown by, there’s much more coming our way that I wanted to share with you.

School Pictures

Our school pictures are happening tomorrow, Monday September 18th. If you did not receive the reminder email you have not yet subscribed to our school email list. Please consider doing so for important information such as hot lunches, school presentations and upcoming events just to name a few.

You can subscribe to our emailing list by scrolling down to the bottom right corner of our website and entering your email address, then clicking “subscribe”.

Extracurricular Sports

Our Cross Country team recently participated in the Tomahawk run and won several medals and top 10 finishes! All students are welcome to join this team, just see Mr. Bock. This Thursday, September 21st we are hosting the Woodhaven Cross Country run so come on out and cheer on the Wolfpack!

Our volleyball teams are beginning to take shape and are excited to represent our school this season. More updates to come as the season progresses.

School Choirs

Ms. Young and Ms. Weimer are excited to share that they have over 60 students participating in our Senior Choir this year! More info to come on the other choirs in the upcoming weeks.

School Council

Our School Council’s AGM and elections are being held this Thursday, September 21st at 6:00 p.m. in our School Library Commons. All are welcome to attend and share their thoughts. School Council is a great way to connect with other parents, School Administration and our Trustees.

Social Media Learning Opportunity for Students and Parents

Woodhaven Middle School is proud to be partnering with several other PSD schools to bring Wade Sorochan to our school on Wednesday, September 27th to speak with our grade 7-9 students on the impacts of Social Media. Wayne’s presentation, titled “Unsocial Media; Virtual World Causing Real World Anxiety” takes a look at the effects that social media can have on our children. Wade will speak to our students about the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between the real and digital worlds.  Wade will share his story with students and will discuss some strategies that can be used to help address some of the negative feelings that people sometimes experience as a result of their time online.

One of the things that is also clear in looking at research around resiliency and supporting students is the importance of having a strong connection with the adults in their lives.  As a result, in addition to the student session that will be delivered on the 27th at Woodhaven Middle School, we will also be hosting a parent information session on the evening of September 28th from 6:30-8:00 at Stony Plain Central School.  To get an idea of numbers we are asking that parents register in order to confirm attendance and ensure that we have enough space.  There will be no charge for this event.  To register please go to http://bit.ly/WSParentinfo.

You can look forward to another message in the upcoming weeks with information on the various ways to stay informed about what’s happening at Woodhaven Middle School. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call, email or simply stop by the school to introduce yourself and ask questions.

Sincerely,

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

 

 

 

 

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First Day Fun!

As the Principal of Woodhaven Middle School, (and as the parent of a middle school daughter) I think I understand the excitement and tension that surrounds the first day of the school year for our kids.

Many kids are excited to see friends they haven’t been around for awhile and others are anxious to wear their new clothes. While the first day is eagerly anticipated for many students, there are others who feel quite anxious and stressed about what seems like an overwhelming experience!

It is with this range of middle school emotions in mind that I write this particular blog post. It is my hope that having a bit of information on how the first day will look will help parents to prepare their kids and to reduce any anxiety that may be occurring.

When students arrive at school next Tuesday September 5th, they will be welcomed by teachers and administration. We are excited to see how they’ve grown and matured over the summer months, and to welcome those new to our community.

While we continue to work on class lists and accommodate our new registrations, we do have our staff list posted on our website. You and your child can look at the teachers for their grade level.

Students will be directed into the gymnasium where they will find their class lists posted according to grade level.

Our PE staff will be there to help anyone having difficulty. Once they’ve determined which teacher they have and what room number they are looking for they can proceed into the front foyer where teachers and administration will be available to help them find their classroom. There will be signs on each of the hallway doors also indicating where they can find their classroom.

Students will be with their homeroom teachers throughout most of the day, with an opportunity to meet other teachers who may be working with them. They will receive their schedules, be assigned locks and lockers (have time to practice working those finicky locks), receive some forms to bring home, they may select their options (gr 7-9) play some “get to know you” games and much more.

The afternoon will again start with students with their homeroom teachers and peers, to be followed by a school wide activity outside to wrap up the day. In the past we’ve had grade vs grade Omniken and many other fun activities.

We are excited to have your child join us and hope that this bit of information will help them as they prepare for their first day of school.

See you all soon,

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

 

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Grade 9 Farewell – A Student’s Perspective

Recently we hosted our Grade 9 Farewell at  Woodhaven Middle School.  My previous blog shared my perspective as a proud staff member. What we are really proud of is the perspective of two of our students, Emma Wilton and Savannah Bay.

Good evening family, classmates, and staff of Woodhaven Middle School. My name is Emma Wilton and I have been attending Woodhaven for the past five years with my friend Savannah Bay. We are both honoured to have been chosen to represent this year’s group of grade nines.

From the beginning Woodhaven has been a welcoming environment that strives to make the transition into middle school smooth and exciting. Ever since grade four we have had chances to participate in activities such as Spring League Basketball and track meets. This allowed us to familiarize ourselves with the people we would spend the next five years of our lives with.

However, I can still remember the first day I walked into Woodhaven. I was amazed by how large and confusing the hallways seemed. My first thought was how I would manage to avoid being stepped on by the “big kids”. Now I realize that Woodhaven is not the frightening maze I thought it to be. I have to say that I was most excited about the new responsibility of having a locker. We can all fondly look back on the time where we filled up the extra locker space with fancy chandeliers, rugs, and trinkets. This feeling of luxury didn’t last long as now it’s a struggle to even shove in my backpack and a binder or two.

In grade five we were introduced to the variety of options available at Woodhaven. We were able to try things such as foods, art, music, drama, and industrial arts. French became more predominant in our studies and most of us looked forward to learning a second language.  Grade six we fell into a regular routine of core classes and learnt bigger expectations. Academics became more important because of approaching P.A.T.’s but the things that stand out the most were the good times we had with our teachers and friends.

We both recall the times in Mr. Bradshaw’s class where he would assist us in pulling off elaborate pranks on our classmates. An example of this is when we all worked to cover a student’s desk and chair completely with sticky notes. His reaction was priceless.

In grade seven we had many fun collaborative projects such as building bridges and constructing thermoses. I remember carrying Emma across the soccer field wrapped in newspaper, duct tape, and string during one of Ms. Hunka’s science classes. The reason for this assignment has been forgotten, but it is something we both look back on and laugh about. In grade eight we were fortunate to be the first generation of students who worked on chromebooks as an alternative to paper.

Woodhaven was keeping up with the rapid pace of technology in our world, it was exciting to learn with this in a classroom setting. Our class was filled with over sixty students which was something new and provided us with the ability to bond with a larger group of people. As a group we all looked forward to Fridays where we could ask Mr. Luck any question, it was interesting because he always seemed to come up with an answer. We took a trip to the Calgary Zoo to wrap up the unforgettable year.

This year has been fast-paced and memorable for a variety of reasons. Together we were given many opportunities to flourish and reach our full potential as young individuals. This was demonstrated throughout many stages of our grade nine year.

Our teachers have been preparing us from day one for the transfer from middle school into high school. They have given us time to go out into the real world and see what it’s really like. We all looked forward to missing a day of school to go with a professional and observe during a work day. We also went to NAIT and were able to see all of careers available there. These were two chances we were given to help us prosper later in life.

This year we were privileged to participate in the bike-a-thon for The Down Syndrome Society. We were given the responsibility to support the cause by donating and keeping each bike in constant motion for six hours. Not only was this for a great cause but it gave us a fun day to spend with each other.

The teachers of grade nine have gone above and beyond what is necessary to make a classroom environment enjoyable. One of my favourite memories includes Mr. Teliani taking Mr. Huedepohl’s students out of his classroom and hiding them behind the counters. It was hilarious to watch Mr. Teliani try and convince Mr. Huedepohl that his students had run away. This was only one of the many practical jokes our teachers have attempted to pull off on each other.

Throughout my time at Woodhaven I have always been involved in athletics. I started playing basketball in grade four on a spring league team and with the support of my coaches I have played ever since. Woodhaven offers chances to show off and improve athletic abilities in many different areas. From rock climbing in gym class to trips to Marmot Basin there is truly something everyone can enjoy participating in. I will always remember and now appreciate the extra lines we ran on the Senior girls basketball team with Mr. Chan and all the wall sits we had to endure with Ms. Foster on the Volleyball team.

Woodhaven basketball has given me time to grow as a player and develop leadership qualities on and off the court. Savannah and I have both been given the chance to coach younger Woodhaven athletes which is beneficial to both us coaches and the players. We are truly grateful to the teachers that volunteer their time and commitment to give us sports teams and other athletic opportunities such as the Vancouver Sun Run. The Sun Run allowed me to find my appreciation for running, grow friendships and left me with many memories that I will never forget.

My athletic experience has been slightly different than Emma’s. Basketball was never my sport, but I played both volleyball and badminton which gave me skills and confidence during the seasons. I also remember trying out for our soccer team the first year it was established. The soccer coach was pregnant at the time and I recall her saying that if we couldn’t keep up with her we didn’t deserve to be on the team… I didn’t make the team. I’ve never seen a pregnant lady run like that before.

Woodhaven is remarkable with recognizing student achievements. They give out athlete of the month awards, Pack Pride, and there is always a large award ceremony held at the end of each year. This is important for motivating students to do their best. Every year we have the Slam Dunk Competition and Talent Show that give students an opportunity to show off skills that we otherwise wouldn’t see at school. Students always seem to look forward to our annual Woodhaven events such as student-teacher hockey games and the Terry Fox Run.

We are so glad that Woodhaven is an open environment for each and every one of us. Thanks to the staff at Woodhaven we all feel welcome and included. The familiar halls and faces will be missed, but we are ultimately looking forward to a new beginning. The grade nines would like to thank all the staff members who have helped us through these significant five years. As we look forward to high school we will never forget our time at Woodhaven. Thank you all.

Inspiring thoughts from two wonderful students at Woodhaven Middle School.

Until next time…

Shaye Patras

Principal, Woodhaven Middle School

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Grade 9 Farewell – A Fantastic Celebration!

This past Friday, May 26th I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak at our Grade 9 Farewell. I, and the staff at Woodhaven Middle School are extremely proud of all of our kids who will be transitioning to high school very soon.

While we can’t possibly know what’s in store for our kids, I am hopeful that they will come back to visit us in the upcoming years to tell us how things are going. I have included the message I shared with them at their Farewell (I am not sure they are words of wisdom:) below for those parents who weren’t able to attend, or those who just want to know a bit more about our awesome group of kids.

Good evening. My name is Mr. Patras and it is my honour to stand up here this evening to speak about this amazing group of students. I would like to welcome all of you, our parents, grandparents, friends, family and community members here to celebrate with us tonight.

This has been a really unique year for the Woodhaven students and staff as we have seen so many new students join our community, and grade 9 is no exception. We have been very fortunate to have had an entire class of grade 9 students in the Maranatha Christian Program join the Wolfpack and contribute so much to an already fantastic group.

Throughout this year, I have had the opportunity to watch so many of these young men and ladies and I have been amazed by the character that they have shown. I can say, without hesitation, that sitting here in front of me is an awesome group of students. Parents, you should be extremely proud of your child here this evening. They would be here without you.

What I am most proud of from this group of kids is their accepting and inclusive attitude.  As I mentioned, we have had an entire class of new students join us this year. While this can prove to bring challenges with it for students, our students have not only managed it, they have embraced it.

As a staff, we talked about how to support all of our students to build a unified culture and to help all of our kids feel welcome and excited to be at Woodhaven. We discussed all of the things we would do and say, how we would help them navigate through problems… With our years of wisdom and experience, we had it all figured out.

What we didn’t figure out was the kids were way ahead of us! These guys didn’t require a whole lot of support. Like middle schoolers often do, they just made it happen.

One of my favourite memories this year is really a simple one. Late in the fall I was walking through the halls during the lunch recess and as I moved through the grade 9 hallway I saw something basic, but great! I saw students in Mr. Dhaliwal’s class that were not only from his homeroom but also from Mr. Schock’s MCP homeroom! Then when I looked in Mr. Schock’s room I saw students from Mr. Dhaliwal’s room. We shouldn’t be surprised that our kids were way ahead of us on adapting to change!

This ability to not only manage change, but to embrace change has been something we have noticed from this group throughout the year.

In this class of 2017 we have amazing athletes, fantastic actors, awesome learners, and most importantly, great people. I have had the opportunity to witness many of these students share their gifts and talents throughout this school year and it has been an absolute privilege. Through everything thing from our Talent Show, Drama Productions, and choir, on to our Sports teams our kids have shown us the many varied talents that they have and it’s been exciting to watch!

We have been able to watch our Drama group bring home several awards from the One Acts Festival. Our Basketball teams competed for banners, just recently our track team won the entire meet! We have many of our grade 9 students serving as mentors in their mentorship option, others coach fall ball and spring league… I could go on and on about their character and leadership.

These kids have been successful because they have the support of so many people… Class of 2017… you wouldn’t be sitting here for your farewell without the support of your parents.. let’s give them a huge round of applause… Not only did your parents help you reach this point, you have a fantastic group of teachers who have helped you through the challenges of middle school … how about a hand for them.

Now most importantly you guys… we have to give credit where it is due. You have not only survived middle school, you have thrived through it! We haven’t had a group like you before, and likely will not have another one again for a really long time!

If I can leave you with one message as you move onto your next adventure in high school, I would tell you to stay honest to who you are… keep accepting others… keep supporting others… don’t feel the need to conform… continue to be exactly who you are… grow, mature and find your own path.

Maya Angelou had the Woodhaven Middle School class of 2017 in mind when she said…

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

Congratulations to the class of 2017! You will be missed around here by all of us!

Check out my twitter feed for some pictures of an awesome evening.

 

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