A Snow Day Reminder

  • In the event that busses are cancelled please remember:

If you are a walker:

  • Leave a message on the attendance line, 613-592-4492, if you are NOT attending school or
  • Send an email to werskinejohnstonps@ocdsb.ca

If you are a bus student:

  • You do not need to call to report your child(ren)’s absence
  • If you choose to drive your child to school you must be able to also pick them up at the end of the school day at 3:45 pm

If you child participates in the Hot Lunch program, please remember that pizza, pitas and Lunch Lady will not be operational.  If you bring your child to school, please ensure they bring a lunch on a Snow Day.

Listen to local media, check the OSTA website at ottawaschoolbus.ca, or visit the OCDSB website for cancellations and updates.



On Monday, the students at W. Erskine Johnston P.S. were introduced to a new school-wide program called WITS. The WITS program brings together schools, families, and the community to create a responsive environment that helps elementary school children deal with bullying and peer victimization. Today, the WITS programs have spread to more than 600 schools across Canada and the United States, earning endorsements from several authors and organizations.


WITS Primary Program (For K-3):

  • Stands for Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out and Seek help.
  • Teaches Kindergarten to Grade 3 children to make safe and positive choices about peer conflict.
  • The program provides a common language children and the adults in their environment can use to talk about and respond to peer victimization.

Click on the letters below to learn more and find out what each one stands for!



 LEADS Program (For Grades 4-6):


  • Stands for Look and listen, Explore points of view, Act, Did it work? and Seek help.
  • Teaches problem-solving strategies to help Grade 4-6 children deal with conflict and stay safe.
  • Provides developmentally appropriate strategies and resources to older elementary so they can become WITS Leaders in their school.

Look & Listen

  • Develop an understanding of what can be learned about others’ feelings, intentions, and inner thoughts by carefully observing their behaviours and nonverbal expressions, and by listening to others

Explore Points of View

  • Understand others’ points of view
  • See how words, thoughts and feelings can vary for different people
  • Look and listen to words, thoughts and feelings
  • Learn to understand indirect or relational aggression


  • Identify conflicts that involve direct aggression (hitting, pushing, threatening) or relational aggression (excluding people, ignoring, spreading rumours, teasing) by looking and listening
  • Brainstorm and act out solutions to identified conflicts

Did it Work?

  • Identify the short- and long-term consequences of actions chosen to deal with a conflict
  • Identify factors that suggest a solution has worked
  • Demonstrate social responsibility by solving problems and resolving conflicts in peaceful ways
  • Learn to exercise democratic rights and responsibilities
  • Recognize different types of bullying and the roles of bystanders in refusing and reporting it
  • Learn effective leadership skills

Seek Help

  • Learn when to seek help from an adult and when to handle a problem independently
  • Learn to use the WITS LEADS problem solving skills together
  • Learn to identify and solve problems

Remember that telling is not tattling. If you’re faced with bullying and you walk away to get help, you are helping to make your school and your community a safe and fun place for kids to be!




Welcome to 2016

December was a short school month; however the students were busy with:

Junior girls and boys Bordenball

Kanata Food Bank

Holiday Concert

Holiday Cards for Seniors

Fund Raising for Syrian Refugees

Pajama Day


*NEW* PA Day

A Professional Activity Day has been added to this school year’s calendar. Please note the date of this PA Day is Friday, 15 April 2016.

 Outside Play/Recess Time

Children well dressed for the cold learn to enjoy and play in our Canadian winters. Students go outside for all recesses unless it is so cold as to be unsafe. Please ensure your child comes to school with warm clothing; hats, mittens, boots, and snow pants. We appreciate an extra pair of socks and mittens being put into their school bag.

Our school play structures are now closed. A reminder that all children are not to play on the playground structures before, during or after school.

 From the School Council

Please visit the School Council website at www.wejcouncil.ca. There is also a link to it from the school website. Check it out for updates, information and Council news! Next meeting is Monday, January 11th at 6:30 in the Library.

Reminder: When buses are cancelled, so is the School Council food program at school. Send your child to school with a lunch from home.

 Registration for Kindergarten

A Parent Information Night regarding the Full Day Learning Kindergarten program will be held on Wednesday, January 27rd at 6:00 in the school Library. This is for those parents of new kindergarten students, who are planning to attend W. Erskine Johnston P.S. in September 2016. If your child is already in Junior Kindergarten and is going on to Senior Kindergarten, you do not have to re-register him/her.

Kindergarten Registration will be from January 25th– January 29th, 2016, however registration is ongoing throughout the year. Parents can register in the school office from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Please bring proof of age, your child’s Ontario Health Card, Proof of Address, and Immunization record.

 Student Transfer Timelines

The application period for a cross boundary transfer to another elementary school is only from February 8th – 19th, 2016. Applications can be obtained from school office staff.

Guidelines for the transfer process can be found on the OCDSB web site: www.ocdsb.edu.on.ca

Middle French Immersion

If your child is in grade 3 and you are contemplating their entry into the Middle French Immersion program for grade 4, the program is offered here at W. Erskine Johnston P.S. A Parent Information Night is planned for Thursday, February 18th, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in the Library. Registration for Middle French Immersion begins on February 16, 2016 through to February 22nd, 2016, however it is also ongoing. Transportation for students is provided by the Board, for those students who meet the criteria.

 Ottawa Public Health Immunization Notice

This week OPH will be sending suspension letters to parents if their child’s records are not up-to-date. To avoid school suspensions, parents who received a letter requesting immunization information must contact OPH by phone at 613-580-6744 or submit immunization information online, by fax, by mail or by the ImmunizeCA app.

Parents can visit parentinginottawa.ca/immunization for more details about how to submit their child’s immunization information to Ottawa Public Health. Suspension letters for OCDSB students will be sent home starting in January 2016. Information has been added to our website and sent home through backpacks as well. This information has also been translated into: Arabic, Farsi, French (Canadian), Nepali, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Urdu, Vietnamese, Chinese (Simple), Chinese (Traditional)

Please note that only those parents that received a letter from Ottawa Public Health in the last month and have not responded need to contact Ottawa Public Health.

Dental Screening for Students in JK, SK and Grade 2

Lucy Charbonneau, a registered dental hygienist with Ottawa Public Health, will provide a dental screening using a tongue depressor on February 2, 2016*, for grades JK, SK & 2 and other children as necessary. If your child’s grade is not selected, but you wish for the dental hygienist to see him/her, please advise the school. Only children identified as having dental needs will bring home a form. Follow-up school visits by the dental hygienist for individual children may be done. THIS DOES NOT REPLACE REGULAR DENTAL VISITS WITH YOUR FAMILY DENTIST.

* Some date(s) may be subject to change

This dental screening is offered in accordance with the Ontario Public Health Standards from Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Personal Health Information is collected in compliance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Protection Act and will be used for the purpose of dental assessment, treatment and oral hygiene instruction, and for statistical purposes. Questions concerning the collection and use of this information should be directed to the Supervisor of Dental Health Promotion, Ottawa Public Health, 400-1580 Merivale Rd., Ottawa, ON, tel.: 613-580-6744 ext. 26376.

                                                                 Dates to Remember

Friday, January 22 PA Day

January 25 – 29 Kindergarten Registration

Wednesday, January 27 Parent Information Evening for Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten

Thursday, February 4 Report cards home

February 8 – 19 Transfer Period

February 16 – 22 MFI Registration

Thursday, February 18 MFI Information Evening











WEJ Food Drive

 We are extending food cupboard donations until next Wednesday afternoon, November 16th.  Please drop off a canned or non-perishable food item if you are attending the Holiday concert on Wednesday.

Your generosity is greatly appreciated by those who need it most in the community.

November 2015 News Update

How quickly the month of November flew by and now December is here.  A number of students have been participating in The Recess Guitar Club, Junior Boys and Girls Bordenball, and the Remembrance Day Assembly.

Two “Red Black Days” were recognized as the staff and students supported our Ottawa Football team in their quest for the Grey Cup.

The primary students had a ball with Kevin Nelson, the soccer coach, who provided a unique opportunity for the students in learning wonderful ball skills and all thoroughly enjoyed their soccer sessions.  A heartfelt thank you to Mr. Nelson, who kindly made a generous donation to the school, to support our students in their athletic endeavours.

 Remembrance Day

On Wednesday, November 11th, all our students from Kindergarten to grade 6 participated in a moving Remembrance Day assembly in the gym.

 Parent Teacher Interviews

Thank you to all of the families who were able to come and meet with teachers during the parent teacher interview times. There was a very positive feeling throughout the school.  It is important that home and school work together to support student learning.  If you were not able to meet your child/ren’s teacher(s), please contact the respective teacher to arrange for a phone conversation or to schedule a meeting.

Progress Report Cards will be sent home Thursday, December 10th.  A reminder that the reporting period is from September 8th to October 30th, 2015.

School Council

Many thanks to our School Council for organizing the Milk, Juice, Jo-Jo’s Pizza, Pita Pit Pitas, and the Lunch Lady.

Safe School Practices

Lockdown and Secure Your Classroom practices have taken place this month.

 Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 16th, at which time some of the Kindergarten and Primary Concerts will be taking place. If your child’s class is performing at this time, their classroom teachers will be communicating that information to you through their class blogs.

 Winter Weather Is Coming

Although winter weather has yet to really arrive, please make sure your child/ren come to school dressed for outside recess play and outside gym.  The children are outside daily for recess and outdoor physical education classes. Only extreme weather cancels our outdoor time.

 Student Absence

Thank you very much for calling in your child’s absence or late arrival.  It is a tremendous help in ensuring students have been accounted for. Please ensure you call in before the start of the school day, as it is a requirement that we check each absence every day.

Call 613-592-4492 and leave a message on the voicemail 24 hours a day or by email at werskinejohnstonps@ocdsb.ca

 Vaccine Letters

If you have received a letter from Ottawa Public Health, you must update your child’s immunizations and report the information to Ottawa Public Health.

Marilyn Burans

Changes in French Instruction – Kindergarten and EFI Grades 1-3

Information About Proposed Changes to French Instruction in Kindergarten and Early French Immersion

This fall, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) has been considering changes to the delivery of French as a second language which would affect all kindergarten programs and grades 1-3 in the Early French Immersion (EFI) program.  In October 2015, parents and staff were asked to provide feedback about the recommended changes to how we deliver these programs and the recommended changes went forward to the Board of Trustees.

The school district heard from many parents who felt that more time was needed for school councils, parents and staff to be aware of the recommendations and to have the opportunity to discuss the recommendations, consider the research on this topic and to provide feedback to the Board. As a result, the Board asked staff to undertake additional consultation on this topic and to do that with a timeline that could still allow for a September 2016 implementation, if the Board decides to proceed with of any changes.  

It is important to know that no decision has been made yet about the changes or the date of implementation.  Additional consultation will occur in December and January; staff will present a summary report, and Committee of the Whole will consider the recommendations on February 2, 2016.  

Attached is a document which explains the proposed changes in more detail.  Please take a few minutes to review the document and to complete the online survey by January 11th.  If you have additional questions, there is plenty of information on the district website at www.ocdsb.ca.

Parent Information Sheet – FSL Kindergarten and EFI Changes

Thank you very much,

Marilyn Burans