December 2014 Updates

Our students, from Grade 3 to 8, had a fabulous time at the 67’s Game Day on November 24th. The Canadian Tire Centre was filled with school aged children who thoroughly enjoyed watching the 67s win.

During the month of November, as part of our character education, the primary classes focused on the trait of Empathy.  The students demonstrate this trait in many ways; for example, people who are empathetic are compassionate, caring, and kind to others.  Congratulations to a number of primary students who demonstrated this very important character trait so well.  Their names are added to the other recipients from September for Respect and October for Acceptance,   on the upstairs wall.

Early in December, the Intermediate Boys’ Volleyball Team participated in their regional tournament at A. Lorne Cassidy. After the round robin games, they were tied for second.  They lost a close battle in the semi-finals.  Thanks to Mr. Osborne for his coaching and congratulations to the team! The boys then challenged the teachers to a match!!

The Girls’ Volleyball team participated in their regional tournament also at A. Lorne Cassidy.  After splitting their first game, they were undefeated until the finals.  They finished second overall.  Thanks to Mrs. Khan for her coaching and congratulations to the girls for their determination and effort throughout the season.  Well done!

Congratulations to the Junior Girls’ Bordenball team.  They played with determination and spirit at their tournament this moth and showed AMAZING improvement during their games. Thanks to Ms. Shank for leading the team.

Congratulations to our Tier 2 Junior Boys Bordenball Team who toughed it out at the Tier 1 tournament! Although they didn’t win, the boys gave it their all and we are very proud of how they represented WEJ! Despite the strong competition, they played with determination and got some really great goals! Way to go boys!! Thanks to Mme Marquis for leading the team.

Intermediate intramural volleyball and Junior intramural bordenball have been taking place throughout December during the recess periods.  Lots of cheering coming out of the gym!

Students are also enjoying participating in Chess, Scrabble and Choir activities this month.

 School Council Movie Night

 A number of families were out and thoroughly enjoyed Arthur’s Christmas which aired in WEJ’s gym, Thursday, December 11th.  A BIG thank you to our School Council parents for organizing a fun holiday evening.

Holiday Concerts

Friday, December 12th, was an absolutely marvelous and thoroughly enjoyable day. The Kindergarten, Primary and Junior Holiday Concerts were a huge success and were executed to perfection. The hard work of students and staff alike showcased everyone’s talents and dedication. A heartfelt thank you to all the parents and grandparents who attended.  Thank you to Ms. Stephens and her staff helpers who orchestrated the day.

Intermediate Band Concert

The holiday concert, held on Thursday, December 17th, at the Earl of March Secondary School was a tremendous success. Congratulations to all involved.  It was easy to see that everyone in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the performances. The junior band, the jazz band, and the senior band all performed brilliantly. Thank you, Mr. Steiner and all the band members for your hard work and dedication. The results showcased everyone’s talents. WEJ is very fortunate to have so many talented students and staff. Thank you also to the many parents for supporting the band with your attendance and the many yummy treats for the bake sale.  There was quite a crowd around the tables following the concert.

Holiday Cards

A BIG thank you to the teachers and students who made Holiday Cards for SENIORS in our community this year! Last year, students at WEJ made 262 cards….this year, students at WEJ made – 348 cards!!!! CONGRATULATIONS WEJ on spreading good cheer this holiday season!!

Family Holiday Baskets

Thanks so very much for your generosity in helping 5, less fortunate, Kanata families.  From books to toys and food and personal items, as well as an abundance of gift cards, all of these families will have enough to bring them through the holiday season.

This is our fifth year pairing with the Kanata food cupboard to create Holiday hampers for those who go without. May the legacy of giving continue at WEJ!

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

 Happy Holidays

As Principal at W. Erskine Johnston P.S., on behalf of all of us at the school, we send out to you all, our warmest wishes for a very Happy Holiday season in whatever way your family celebrates.  Best Wishes for a Happy New Year! 

We look forward to seeing the students next year! We return Monday, January 5th 2015.

Marilyn Burans



Snow Day

It is a Snow Day today.  Please be advised that the school buses are not running today.  If you have driven your child to school today, you will have to pick them up at the end of the school day.

On Snow Days, the lunch program in cancelled.  Pizza lunch will be rescheduled to tomorrow, Thursday, December 18th.

The Intermediate Band Concert, being held at the Earl of March Secondary School at 7:00 p.m. will go ahead this evening.

Strategic-Plan_Banner (1)

As an important member of our community, we want to learn about your experience with our schools and/or our District.  We have launched an online consultation process to help us better understand what you think we do well, where we can improve, and how we might better engage and support our stakeholders.  Your answers will help us to develop our future priorities.

​Here’s how you can be a part of the conversation:

Step One - December 1st – December 14th

Around December 1st, you will have received an e-mail with the subject line: #EverySchool_EveryVoice, inviting you to participate. Click on the link in the e-mail to answer three open-ended questions. If you don’t get an e-mail you can register yourself on our website

Step Two - January 9th – 18th

In January, you will receive an e-mail inviting you to help set priorities. The e-mail will contain a link so you can see the input received during Step 1. Pick what’s important to you. Everyone is welcome to participate – whether or not you shared your thoughts in December.

Step Three – February 2015

You will receive an e-mail about the results, which will also be posted on our website at

Need More Information?

Learn more from our introductory video or on the district website which includes some frequently asked questions. If you have more questions, please contact Paula Hall, Strategic Business Analyst at or call 613-596-8211, ext. 8402.​

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.