November News

How quickly the month of November has flown by!

Remembrance Day

On Tuesday, November 11th, our Grade 7 and 8 students walked to the Kanata

Cenotaph and participated in the Remembrance Day Ceremony. Here at school,

the Kindergarten students assembled in the Library to remember, while the

Grades 1 to 6 students participated in an assembly in the gym.

Parent Teacher Interviews

Thank you to all of the families who were able to come and meet with teachers

last Thursday evening and Friday morning. 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


Book Fair

Thank you to all of you who took the time to visit our Book Fair. It was most



Lockdown and Secure Your Classroom practices have taken place.


Students in grades 3 through 8 enjoyed a memorable day at the Canadian Tire

Centre, Monday the 24th, for the 67s School Game Day.

Upcoming Events

Intermediate Band Concert

The Band Concert will be held on Wednesday, December 17th, at the Earl of

March Secondary School, 7:00 pm start.


Please mark your calendars for Friday, December 12th, at which time Kindergarten,

Primary and Junior Concerts will be taking place. More information from

classroom teachers will be forthcoming.

School Council Movie Night

Don’t forget to bring the family to the Holiday Movie Night, featuring Arthur

Christmas, Thursday, December 4th from 6-9 p.m.

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 in a timely fashion.

Please call 613-592-4492 and leave a message on the voicemail 24 hours a day or

by email at


Family Movie Night
WEJ School Council will be hosting their first Family Movie Night of the Year, “Disney Muppets Most Wanted” Thursday, October 30th, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the WEJ Gymnasium. Be sure to register for your FREE ticket, on the School Council website. There will be a canteen and donations are appreciated.

Halloween Celebration
Students are invited to wear their Halloween costumes on Friday, October 31st or to come to school dressed in black and orange colours. It is appreciated that face paint be used rather than wearing masks.

Report Cards/Parent Teacher Conferences
Progress reports will be sent home on Thursday, November 13th. Parent-Teacher interviews will take place on Thursday, November 20th from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. and also on Friday, November 21st from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. Information on scheduling interviews will be sent home along with the Report Card on Thursday, November 13th.

Update on the Incident in Downtown Ottawa yesterday

October 23, 2014

Dear Parents/Guardians:

On behalf of the school community, I extend our support and condolences to all those affected by the events on Parliament Hill. It was a difficult day for our community.

At the school, our first priority is always the safety of our students and staff. When we encounter situations of risk, we implement appropriate safety measures to secure the school and we make every effort to maintain a calm and safe learning environment.

In response to this incident, our school moved to Shelter in Place. “Shelter in Place” mode means regular activity continues within the school, but all exterior doors and windows are locked, and students are kept inside at lunch and recess.

In emergency situations, we receive communications support from the school district. This allows school staff to stay focused on school needs and ensures consistent and timely messaging to the community. Information was provided to parents through the media, social media (Twitter and Facebook), our district website (, and direct phone calls and e-mail to parents, the school website and telephone calls. At times like this, we are reminded of the importance of having up-to-date emergency contact information for all parents. Please ensure that your contact information is up to date.

As we resume regular operations, we will be keeping a close eye on student and staff well-being. We know that children may be confused by what they have heard concerning what has happened in our city yesterday. Most likely they will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children cope by listening, acknowledging and validating feelings and by being reassuring. At the school, we will provide resources and supports to students as required. Attached is an information sheet for parents to help manage conversations with children. This information is also posted on the district and our school website.

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school. I appreciate your ongoing support.

Marilyn Burans

Communication Tips for Parents and Teachers

Children may be confused by what they have heard about what has happened in our city today. Most likely they will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children cope by listening, acknowledging and validating feelings and by being reassuring.

Model calm and control – children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives.

Limit exposure to media coverage. Images of a crisis can become overwhelming, especially if watched repeatedly. Adolescents may choose to watch the coverage- be available to discuss what they are watching and help them put it into perspective.

Follow, don’t lead. Make time to talk, but don’t force discussion with children who don’t feel the need to discuss the issue. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. Be patient. Children do not always talk about their feelings readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or other chores. Some children prefer writing, playing music, or doing an art project as an outlet. Young children may need concrete activities (such as drawing, looking at picture books, or imaginative play) to help them identify and express their feelings.

Answer their questions. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate- young children need brief, simple information that is balanced with reassurances that the daily routines of their lives will not change.

Acknowledge and validate their feelings. Regardless of what emotion is being expressed, it is important for children to feel heard and believe that their feelings are accepted. As feelings are discussed, help children put their feelings into perspective.

Monitor your own stress level. Don’t ignore your own feelings of shock, worry, anger, etc. Talk to your support people – your family and friends, counselor. It is okay to let your children know that you too are surprised, confused, worried, saddened by has happened. You are better able to support your children if you can express your own emotions in a healthy manner.

Reassure children that they are safe. Emphasize that Ottawa is a safe community and that home and schools are very safe. Review safety precautions and review a plan for whom to talk to about any concerns they may have.

Update on Downtown Activities

We have been advised by the OCDSB that we are able to lift the Shelter in Place. Our children will remain inside the school until the end of the regular school day. Our Extended Day Program will operate as usual.

Students will be dismissed at our regular dismissal time. Transportation will run on our regular schedule, however, there may be some delays due to traffic disruption.

We want to thank you for your understanding and support over the course of today. A system wide Synervoice message will be sent to all parents/guardians from the OCDSB later this afternoon.

M. Burans and W. Erskine Johnston staff

Activities Downtown

Due to the activities that are happening downtown, our school is presently in Shelter in Place. The school doors are locked and we ask parents not to pick up your child until the shelter in place is lifted. Our field trip to the Beaver Pond this afternoon for some of our junior classes has been cancelled. All after school and evening activities, including community use, are cancelled.

WEJ School Council is offering Pizza and Pita Lunches and Milk or Juice

Please read the information and how to order regarding Jo-Jo’s Pizza and/or Pita Pit Lunches for students in Grades 1 to 8 and Milk or Juice for JK to Grade 8 students in the WEJ School Council link.

Pizza and Pita Lunch Orders are now OPEN (for the first term)!

Orders will be open until October 24, with deliveries starting the week of October 13 (milk/ juice will start on Tuesday, October 14, first Pita delivery on Tuesday, October 14 and Pizza on Wednesday, October 15). During the order period, you must submit and pay for your order by Wednesday to receive the food deliveries the following week (milk and juice is slightly different and will be delivered within a 7 day window). The ordering system will make this obvious to you and block out dates which have been missed such that you cannot order for those days.

Pita Pit Pitas: Tuesday Delivery

Fresh, healthy pita sandwiches are offered in a 6-inch size called a Petita™ that’s perfect for children.

Pita Pit is approved by the OCDSB and their food meets all the nutritional guidelines for food served in Ontario schools. Fun food doesn’t have to be junk food! Full nutritional and independent test kitchen results are available upon request.

Five tasty pitas are available (chicken breast, turkey, chicken souvlaki, ham, and veggie), each with the choice of five toppings, cheese, and a choice of two sauces!

Pricing $4.50 per pita.

Jo Jo’s Pizza: Wednesday Delivery

Locally owned and operated, Jo Jo’s Pizza will be operating WEJ’s pizza program this year. They meet the nutrition guidelines of the Board and are going to be great corporate partners!

Pricing: Pizza Slices are $2.50 each, Cheese and Pepperoni.

WEJ Reorganization

At the end of each school year, we organize the next year’s classes based upon the information we have at the time.

When we return in September, the OCDSB reviews class sizes and organization in all schools. To meet the Ministry’s directive, some class changes had to be made here at W. Erskine Johnston P.S. The parents of the effected class reorganizations have been notified. These changes came into effect on Monday September 29, 2014. As a result of this reorganization, some classroom timetables were affected. If this applies to your child’s class, your child’s teacher will inform you of the new schedule.

I want to extend a sincere thank you to all parents/guardians for your support, understanding and cooperation through this reorganization process.

Marilyn Burans