August/September - 2011 In this issue: From the Head of School News of Note Arts Athletics WAPA Notes and News Welcome from Volunteer Organizations Healthful Hints Welcome New WIldcats
Links All-School Arts Athletics Scenes from School
From the Head of School Pat Bassett, the president of the National Association of Independent Schools, once posed the following provocative question: “We all want our children to be smart, successful, happy, and good when they grow into adults,” he said, “but how should we as parents, teachers, and school leaders prioritize this list?” Now, I’ve always been wary of false choices, and my immediate, and perhaps a bit frustrated, reaction to the question was to push back by demanding that we want our children to have all of these qualities. However, this is one of those questions that stayed with me for days, challenging my all-too-easy response. I found I had to open myself to the question and its demands, and as I did, a clear choice for the number one spot emerged. More than anything else, I want my children to be good.
Cobb Atkinson Photo by Photo Innovations
Perhaps more than anything, it was the memory of my mother’s voice that led me to my conclusion. Whenever I left the house, whether it was to go to play in the neighborhood as a young child, to head to school in the morning, or to drive back to college, her last words to me were always the same: “Be good.” Looking back, I have come to appreciate, in ways I never could as a child, what she meant by this. It was an allencompassing command, one that she hoped would touch every decision I made. While she certainly wanted me to stay out of trouble, in telling me to “be good,” she was challenging me to be far more than simply compliant with the rules. She wanted me to be kind, to be compassionate, to be generous, to be patient, to be forgiving, and much, much more. Here at Westchester we embrace the same goal for our students and for ourselves. In our mission we seek “to educate each child toward moral, academic, artistic, and athletic excellence,” and I take very seriously the priority that this list places on “moral excellence.” Here at WCDS we certainly want our graduates to be smart, to be creative, and to be competitive, but more than anything else we strive to teach our students to be good. In fact, we recognize that without a strong moral foundation, intelligence, creativity, teamwork, and the like are of limited worth. When I first came to campus nearly two years ago to interview, I was struck by the presence, in nearly every room on campus (including the Head of School’s office) of small, blue-and-white signs entitled “Code of Conduct in Support of Moral Excellence.” If you’ve spent any time on campus, you have no doubt seen these signs. They frame for all of us—children and adults alike—nine goals toward which we should strive in order to realize our mission’s lofty aspiration: 1) Speak Positively, 2) Respect Everyone, 3) Behave Responsibly, 4) Honor Others’ Property, 5)
Do Your Best, 6) Honor Commitments, 7) Serve Others, 8) Forgive Easily, and 9) Respect Your Mind and Body. As I made my way through my first year as Head of School, however, I was struck by how little we as a school family talked about these nine goals. It seemed as though the signs and the very positive, very powerful challenges that they offered us all had faded into the background. We talked a good bit as a school about student behavior, but seldom, if ever, did we turn to this code for guidance in those conversations. This school year, though, we will do just that and more. As we move into the 2011-12 academic year, all of us here on campus have recommitted ourselves to Westchester’s Code of Conduct and to bringing it out of the background. We hope, through a variety of efforts, that these nine tenets will become the common language in our community-wide conversation about building the foundations of moral excellence in our students. We intend to hold them accountable to our Code and to rely upon it as we implement our disciplinary system; to this end, when we give a middle or upper school student a demerit, we will make an explicit connection between this sanction and the Code of Conduct and make a point to share this connection with the student in question. Most importantly, however, as the adults in our school community, the faculty and staff will hold one another accountable to the Code. The most powerful tool we have to teach children to “be good” is the example that we set through our own behavior. They learn far more from watching us than they do from listening to us, so we have to show them how to behave by speaking positively, doing our best, serving others, and so on. No amount of instruction and accountability for a student can outweigh a bad example set by one of us. With this in mind, I invite all of you parents, grandparents, supporters, and friends of the school to join us in this commitment in the coming year. Talk with your children and grandchildren about our school’s Code of Conduct, help them learn to embrace it as a guide for their behavior, and show them how powerful these tenets can be by setting a good example for them to follow. Despite my mother’s instruction, I wasn’t always good when I went into the neighborhood to play, and in all honesty, I continue in many ways to fall short of her expectations in my own continuing struggle toward moral excellence. We should all recognize that in striving for moral excellence we all will experience moments in which we fall short of our goal. However, we should come to see those moments in which our students fall short as powerful learning opportunities rather than evidence that we have somehow fallen short as a school family. Indeed, it is often in these moments that we learn the most. Promoting moral excellence is important work, arguably the most important work we have chosen to undertake. It is neither simple nor easy, but the impact that our community can have on the children in our care is powerful.
Cobb Atkinson Head of School
News of Note Upcoming Events Back-to-School Dinner
Thursday, August 25, 6:00 p.m. by Lower School playground
Grades 6 – 11, Monday, August 29 – Wednesday, August 31 Seniors – Monday, August 29 – Friday, September 2 Visit Forms & Lists on WestNet Community for class trip information and forms
Lower School Back-to-School Night
Thursday, September 1, 7:00 p.m.
Labor Day Holiday
Monday, September 5 No school
Wizard of Oz Auditions
Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. in the MS/US Music Room for students in Grades 4 and up Click here for more information
Wednesday, September 14, Grade K -11 Senior half-page photos with portraits are due to Mrs. Tuggle October 1
Middle School Back-to-School Night
Thursday, September 15, 5:15 p.m.
Upper School Back-to-School Night
Thursday, September 15, 7:00 p.m.
Fall Book Fair
October 3 – 6 Headlines SAVE THE DATES! Fall Parent Forums Scheduled
Attention Parents: Mark your calendars now for the upcoming Fall Parent Forums!
September 15 – “How Parenting Shifts” with Dr. Tammy Finch during the Middle School & Upper School Night Programs (US will be in the Finch Center from 5:30-7:00 and MS will be in the cafetorium from 7:00-8:30). MS and US Parents: You won’t want to miss it!!!
October 20 – B4USurf: Be Cyber-Savvy! – Join us as our very own technology staff here at Westchester will be sharing a wealth of information on being cyber-savvy, the do’s and don’ts of texting, etc. Appropriate for parents of students in grades 4 – 12. 7:00 p.m. in the Library.
November 17 – Is your student experiencing stress? Are you stressed? The holidays and exams are right around the corner, so let’s learn how to handle stress in a positive way! Join us for tips and skills to deal with stress in your home and with your student! This program is open to all parents but will be geared more towards Upper School parents. 7:00 p.m. in the Library.
Seven members of our Westchester community Beth Breece (mom), Haleigh Breece, Clayton Brewer, Jeff Green, William Jeffers, Mattie Strickland, Kennedy Thompson, and Spanish teacher Margaret Qualls - spent a week in Costa Rica in June. The group toured three different rainforests – a wet, a dry and a cloud - saw amazing wildlife including close-up encounters with white-faced monkeys, and relaxed in thermal springs – water naturally heated by active volcanoes - and this was after covering themselves with volcanic mud – a definite spa experience! They learned about the local plants, especially their medicinal purposes, and after visiting a local school, interacting with the students, and being entertained by folkloric dancing, the group decided to help out with the school’s needs and will continue to stay in touch with the students and faculty there. One day was spent ziplining, climbing and swinging through a breathtaking canyon formed by lava flows. The final day was spent sailing to a deserted beach to snorkel, kayak, and swim. The trip was a great success as everyone returned having had a wonderful experience and wanting to go back.
Time Management and Homework ~ From the English Department Handbook
In the world of instant access and 24/7 communication, the idea of multi-tasking has emerged. We have been led to believe that we really can IM, email, chat on a cell phone, check out Facebook, and do homework at the same time. However, that is just a myth. Our brains do not multi-task. In fact, they must switch from one task to another, thus taking more time to complete all the projects than if we tackled one task at a time. It is this misplaced belief in multi-tasking that leads our students to claim, on the one hand, that they do their homework diligently while completing other tasks and, on the other hand, to claim that the homework load is too heavy and the tests too difficult. Neither claim is wholly accurate. Most homework assignments include reading, a skill that must be practiced to be mastered. It is also a task that requires sustained, focused attention. Many students feel that they are not good readers; therefore, they don’t read at all or they put off reading until the last possible moment when they are too tired to comprehend what they are reading. Thus their belief that reading is too hard is reinforced. We recommend that students read for at least twenty minutes a day in a quiet, distraction- and noise-free environment. If students follow this advice, as time progresses, their reading speed and comprehension will increase exponentially. Parents, you can help your student by providing that quiet environment and making it a daily routine. Students, if you read during study hall or in the afternoon – before you are physically and mentally tired - you will find your grasp of the material greatly increased. You will also
discover the joy of a good read and that homework takes considerably less time than when you were trying to do six things at one time.
PrivateSchoolSearch.com will be giving away $1,000 to help one lucky student cover private school tuition costs this fall! Itâ€™s easy to enter. Just fill out the short form at http://www.alloyeducation.com/psswin.htm by August 30, 2011. Students enrolling at all grade levels from preschool through high school are eligible. The winner will be announced on September 1.
Online Billing Statements
Billing statements will be available online on the 5th of every month after 3 p.m. The first statement will be posted on Monday, September 5.
If you are in fourth or fifth grade and love to read, here's a great opportunity for you Elementary Battle of the Books. Again this year our fourth and fifth graders will have the opportunity to be part of the Westchester EBOB team. The team will meet once each week during lunch to talk about the books members have read from the North Carolina EBOB book list and then will follow lunch with a 30-minute team meeting/practice time. The team will compete against other independent schools in early spring. Students may sign up to be part of this year's team with Mrs. Jones. Our EBOB coaches are Mrs. Debi Jones, Mrs. Vicki Sloop, and Mrs. Judy Tomlinson. Footnotes Sign Ups
Footnotes is our third, fourth and fifth grade singing group that sings at Westchester events and goes out into our community to sing and represent our school. Students may sign up to be in Footnotes during the first two weeks in September. Rehearsals are every Thursday from 3 - 4 p.m. in the Lower School music room and will begin September 15. Footnotes is directed by Mrs. Debi Jones and accompanist/asst. director is Mrs. Vicki Sloop.
Annual Asbestos Report
September 2011 Dear Parents and Friends: This notice is being sent to all Westchester Country Day School parents and staff in order to comply with the 1986 federally mandated Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
(AHERA). AHERA regulations require all K-12 schools to perform asbestos inspections and create a management plan for removal of any asbestos material found at the school. Triad Environmental of Kernersville, North Carolina performed an inspection at Westchester Country Day School facilities and no asbestos materials were found in any of the school buildings. Westchesterâ€™s Inspection and Management Plan, which notes the results of the inspection, is on file in the Business Office and the Facilities Office. Copies of the Plan can be obtained by calling either office. Sincerely, Wade Shigo Director of Finance
Fine Arts News Summer of the Arts
The Fine Arts were a big part of our students’ summer plans. Summer camps at Westchester in art (photo at left) and drama had record numbers of students-- the summer production of Disney’s Jungle Book Kids featured many of our brightest rising stars, and art campers created projects from around the world. Also in the drama field, Paige Hetley participated in the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival’s Young Actors at Work two-week workshop on all aspects of the actor’s craft. In July, 10 of our WCDS students attended the week-long “Summer with the Arts” program at Rich Fork, where the students had classes in piano, handbells, drama, music theory, choreography, storytelling, and recreation. Students attending the camp included: Madalyn Adams, Morgan Adams, Olivia Beaver, Anna Blackman, Anna Sloan Culp, Charlotte Martin, Madaline McWhorter, Henry Scott, Sophia Singer, and Jackson Tuggle. Recent graduate Ryan Jones assisted in teaching drama, and seventh grader Lily Grace Wolfe assisted with choreography. The camp, in its eighth year, is directed by our Lower School music teacher Debi Jones. Emily Bunch attended music camp at UNC-Chapel Hill where she studied both voice and piano. Sarah Wahid sang at a wedding and worked on her composing. George Heath expanded his composing repertoire with new technologies including GarageBand; hopefully, he’ll share his results with us this fall. Kamari Purvis was a featured vocalist at her church, and Terra Johns scored an “Exemplary” in a talent competition for her rendition of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” There are many, many talented arts students at WCDS, many more than are listed here! Please let us know of your accomplishments so we can celebrate YOU!
Friends of the Fine Arts Meeting
8:00 a.m. September 6, Library
Wizard of Oz Auditions
Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. in the MS/US Music Room for students in Grades 4 and up
Click here for more information.
The 2011-12 Wildcat athletic year is under way! It is shaping up to be one of our best fall seasons in quite some time. Our varsity teams of volleyball, girlsâ€™ tennis, cross country, and boysâ€™ soccer are all returning strong and have been working hard in the off-season to compete at a high level. At the Middle School level, we have added a cross country team, coached by Tim Anderson (assistant varsity coach), and we have two new wonderful coaches for MS soccer and MS volleyball. Tiah Gartorn will bring his soccer knowledge and passion to a strong group of young soccer players, and Missy Epting has the up-and-coming Wildcat volleyball players ready to compete for a T-MAC championship. Check out the entire athletic schedule online at www.westchestercds.org, and come out and support the Cats!
WAPA Notes and News Innisbrook kicks off on August 26!!!
Packets will be sent home with students so check those backpacks and start supporting WAPA’s biggest fundraiser! Again this year orders will be taken using Innisbrook’s online ordering system at www.innisbrook.com (use school code 102665). Ordering instructions and additional information, including great prizes for Lower, Middle, and Upper School, will be online under WAPA on WestNet. Profits (50% of catalog sales) from Innisbrook benefit WAPA and help in the classrooms and other worthy school projects. Our goal this year is $10,000 in profit, so encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to purchase high quality wrapping paper, wrapping supplies, and other unique gifts. Don’t be left out-orders are due by September 26!
Harris Teeter Together in Education
You can earn money for WAPA and Westchester each time you shop at your local Harris Teeter store between August and May each year. When you purchase select Harris Teeter Private Label Products using your VIC card, Harris Teeter will give back to the school of your choice – Westchester Country Day School! Sign up anytime during the school year, beginning in August, to start earning money! You MUST RENEW YOUR REGISTRATION EACH YEAR. It’s easy to join! Simply link your VIC Card using the code number 2339. You can do this online at www.harristeeter.com or by registering at the customer service desk the next time you are shopping at Harris Teeter. Thousands of dollars have been raised for WCDS over the years through this program. Which brands qualify? Harris Teeter brand, H.T. Traders, H.T. Naturals, Hunter Farms, Premier Selection, More Value, and Highland Crest brands are eligible. However perishable items (meat, produce, deli-bakery, prepared foods) are not included in the program.
Please visit http://givebacktoschools.avery.com to learn about a promotion through Avery in which the top five schools will each win $10,000 worth of Avery School Supplies, 10,000 Bonus Box Tops coupons, and $1,000 worth of gift card! Twenty-five runner-up schools will also win 5,000 Bonus Box Tops coupons! The promotion runs through September 16.
Welcome from Westchesterâ€™s Volunteer Organizations!
We Want You to Become Involved
The parent volunteer organizations of Westchester – Westchester All Parents’ Association (WAPA), Westchester Booster Club, and Friends of the Fine Arts (FoFA) - would like to officially welcome all the new and returning families of Westchester Country Day School. Each of these organizations serves an important purpose at Westchester and would not be successful without your help! Please take the time to explore all three of these organizations through their websites on WestNet Community and learn about their mission statements, meeting dates, contact information, and much more. Then please visit our volunteer opportunities form to sign up to help! Wherever your interests are, we can find a way for you to help! A brief synopsis of each organization follows: WAPA (Westchester All Parents’ Association) is a parent volunteer organization that supports the school by enriching the educational atmosphere of WCDS, providing support for the faculty and staff, raising funds for the support of the school, and facilitating communication among all members of the WCDS family. As a parent/guardian of a Westchester student, you are automatically a member of WAPA and are encouraged to become involved. The purpose of the Booster Club is to promote the athletic program of Westchester Country Day School and encourage school spirit in a positive manner. The Booster Club supports and underwrites our Homecoming festivities and the Athletic Banquet annually. We are responsible for concessions, gate sales, and other spirit events designed to enhance the athletic program of WCDS. This past year Booster was able to buy new soccer goals and contribute
significantly to the refinishing of the gym floor. All WCDS families are automatically members of Booster and are encouraged to explore the many volunteer opportunities on our website. Friends of the Fine Arts (FoFA) is a parent, faculty, staff, and community-based volunteer organization. FoFA seeks to enhance Westchester students' experience and enjoyment of all forms of artistic expression through various types of assistance including financial, educational, and community outreach opportunities. By encouraging and supporting the Westchester arts, FoFA aims to cultivate a foundation for the students' lifelong involvement in, and appreciation for the arts. Please visit our website to explore the many ways that you can become involved with the arts at Westchester! Thank you for being a part of your child’s educational experience!
Healthful Hints from the School Nurse
Welcome back to Westchester! I hope everyone had a great summer. It is such a joy to see the halls come alive again. I’m sure I’ll see some new faces and I look forward to meeting these new students. I wanted to mention some important basics that will help us all to ease in to this new school year. Parents of sixth grade students are reminded that I must have your child’s certificate of immunization documenting his or her recent Tdap booster. Make sure I am aware of your child's medical needs. Each child should have a Health Information Sheet on file in the Health Annex. These forms need to be signed by a physician. If your child uses an asthma inhaler, Epipen, or is a diabetic it is imperative that we meet at the beginning of each year so an individual health care plan can be formulated. We feel very strongly at Westchester that good attendance is extremely important to your child's success at school! Children must be here to learn. However, there are also important health reasons for keeping your child home from school, so here are some helpful guidelines to consider when you hear those words, "I feel sick; I don't want to go to school today." If your child has a fever of 100 degrees, he or she should stay home. Pamper your child by encouraging consumption of fluids. Your child should be fever-free for 24 hours (without medicine) before returning to school. When running a fever, children are contagious and will spread their illness if they return to school too soon. A runny nose is the way many children respond to pollen, dust, chalk, or a change of seasons. It may be an allergy, and allergies are not contagious. Children do not need to stay home. A child with a bad cough or cold needs to stay home and possibly see a doctor. It could be a severe cold or possibly bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia. If your child has a fever, difficulty breathing, or extreme coughing, check with your pediatrician, but when the cough improves, and the child is feeling better, then it’s back to school. Don’t wait for the cough to completely disappear because that may take a week or two. Diarrhea or vomiting will make your child uncomfortable, and the big priority is being near a bathroom. Please keep your child at home for 24 hours after the last episode (without medicine). Consult your pediatrician or family doctor if symptoms continue or worsen. A minor sore throat may not be a problem, but if it is accompanied by a rash, headache, or stomach upset, it could be strep throat. If the sore throat is severe or is accompanied by the additional symptoms listed above, keep your child home and consult your physician. Your child can return to school 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has begun. If your child has an earache, he or she needs to see a doctor.
Pink eye (Conjunctivitis) may be contagious and is uncomfortable. It may be due to an allergy, virus, or bacteria. Keep the child home until a doctor has given the OK to return to school. Rashes could be due to allergies or an infectious process and should be evaluated by a physician. If a child has a rash, he or she should stay home until cleared by a physician. Iâ€™m ready for a healthy, happy school year! If you have any questions anytime, please call me at school (Ext. 288) or at home (336) 7699669 Beth Kennedy
Welcome New Wildcats! Kindergarten Mallory Atkinson Mr. Cobb Atkinson Mrs. Raegan Atkinson Andrew Chinnasami Dr. Bernard Chinnasami Mrs. Nalina Chinnasami Rebecca Davis Mr. Justin Davis Mrs. Elizabeth Davis *Clark Easley Mr. Gregory Easley Mrs. Kim Easley Devon French Mr. Robin French Mrs. Dana French *Ben Hunsberger Mr. Brian Hunsberger Mrs. Mary Beth Hunsberger
Max Verellen Mr. Tom Verellen Mrs. Sabine Verellen Laura Yocum Mr. Kent Yocum Mrs. Elizabeth Yocum
First Grade Charlie Erikson Dr. Scott Erikson Mrs. Katy Erikson *Maddie Felten Mr. Jason Felten Mrs. Jeannie Felten *Jonah Guerra Mr. Leonardo Guerra Ms. Jacqueline Goble
Second Grade *Chase Easley Mr. Gregory Easley Mrs. Kim Easley
Abby Keever Mr. Wes Keever Mrs. Mary Keever
Henry Erikson Dr. Scott Erikson Mrs. Katy Erikson
*Thomas Kopchik Mr. Chris Kopchik Ms. Debi Kopchik
Cooper Lowe Mr. Grant Lowe Mrs. Jacquie Lowe *Maggie O'Keeffe Dr. Michael O'Keeffe Mrs. Amy O'Keeffe Bella Reid Mr. Chris Reid Mrs. Ashley Reid *Will Rives Mr. Leon Rives Mrs. Laurie Rives
*Madison Conner Mr. Julius Conner Mrs. Jamelia Conner
Fourth Grade *Mya Brown Mr. Alan Brown Mrs. Belinda Brown *Caroline Clodfelter Mr. Fred Clodfelter Dr. Christine Clodfelter Gwyn Erikson Dr. Scott Erikson Mrs. Katy Erikson Grace Roberts Mr. Stewart Roberts
Mrs. Cheryl Roberts
Fifth Grade *Kyleigh McEachirn Mr. Kyle McEachirn Ms. Joyce Mac-Palm
Sixth Grade *Tyler Brown Mr. Alan Brown Mrs. Belinda Brown Savannah Kirkman Mr. Leon Kirkman Mrs. Michelle Kirkman *Kyla McEachirn Mr. Kyle McEachirn Ms. Joyce Mac-Palm Tiffany Neza Mr. Sam Munyaneza Mrs. Jocelyne Uwase
Seventh Grade Terry Neza Mr. Sam Munyaneza Mrs. Jocelyne Uwase Eighth Grade *Nate Blakeney Mr. Mo Blakeney Mrs. Monika Ousley-Blakeney *Hunter Miller Mr. Alton Miller Mrs. Carla Miller
*Morgan Kushner Mr. Keith Kushner Mrs. Mary Kushner Savannah Lewis Mr. Scott Lewis Ms. Tracy Wei *Tyler Marion Mr. Tim Marion Mrs. Monica Marion *Will Misenheimer Mr. Todd Misenheimer Mrs. Faith Misenheimer *Beau Myers Mr. Eric Myers Mrs. Pam Myers *Troy Polen Mr. Todd Polen Ms. Suzette Polen *Josh Wilkerson Mr. David Wilkerson Ms. Kimberly Wilkerson
Tenth Grade *Olivia Byerly Ms. Amy Byerly *Cosmar Chen Mr. Zhifei Chen Mrs. Jufang Shen Host Family: Ms. Pattie Barnette *Tyler Chilton Ms. Laurie Chilton
*Yeong Choi Mr. Jung Choi Mrs. HeaJin Choi
*Corey Cook Mr. John Cook Mrs. Stephanie Cook
*Chelsea Eley Mr. Eric Eley Mrs. Cheryl Eley
*Justice Cuthbertson Ms. Selena Cuthbertson
*Kayla Kushner Mr. Keith Kushner Mrs. Mary Kushner
*Thomas Wright Mr. Greg Wright Mrs. Gretchen Wright
Eleventh Grade Charlie Branson Mr. Herb Branson Ms. Amy Branson Clayton Brewer Mr. Mike Brewer Ms. Cheri Brewer *Jan Luehr
Mr. Volker Luehr Mrs. Ulrike Luehr Host Family: Mr. and Mrs. Kim Bauman *Sydney Richards Mr. Calvin Richards Mrs. Judy Richards *Julie Tugwell Mr. Jerry Tugwell Mrs. Donna Tugwell
*Denotes new family to WCDS. For address information, visit the Student Directory on WestNet Community.