Monday, October 15, 2018

Media is Changing Childhood...Did You Notice?

WCS Parents, We enjoyed an important parent discussion at school recently and many of you mentioned your interest in the notes. I have many to share upon request. The resources are so immense it would be helpful to let me know what you are most interested in. Students should have brought home a color copy of the most important elements of media management in their school folders. I hope you will keep it handy for reference when thinking about the pros and cons of screen time, entertainment, apps etc... With holiday purchasing on the horizon, you will be making technology decisions and I know you will appreciate the guidance. I highly recommend Common Sense Media as the premier resource for all technology related parenting issues. Children deserve our careful attention to this important matter. If you have a few minutes I know you will enjoy this information from Common Sense Media. Please let me know what you want to learn more about.

Friday, September 14, 2018

An exciting opportunity for our community

Hello Parents, Sept. 14, 2018 We are excited to be leading our children in a focused study of developing character and community this year. Each month will have a featured virtue. Early childhood is using activities from The Virtues Project and Lower School is using The Big Idea Experience. It is our goal to build virtuous characteristics within the hearts of our children from age two to ten years-old. Along this journey we are excited for the impact this effort will have on all of us. We would like to invite our parents to experience this with us. Raising children to be healthy, compassionate and responsible members of society is a big task and parents can easily feel overwhelmed. It happens to all of us all from time to time. We will be posting encouragement and inspiration for parents around campus and via Seesaw. We believe in the power of community and want to provide ways to build relationships among our families. In addition, the Early Childhood and Lower School teachers are reading the book The Power of Kindness, The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life by Piero Ferrucci. We welcome you to read along at home. This book is a treasure and we believe you will enjoy it as much as we do. The virtues focus has inspired many new ideas that we will need help to implement at school. We would love to have a group of parent volunteers to help us along the way. Some projects will involve creating graphics and designs for digital messages and printed posters. Other tasks might involve framing artwork, laminating and cutting, or researching inspirational quotes. If you are interested in learning more about ways you can help please let us know. We will schedule meeting times once or twice a month for parents to work together on the tasks of the month. Our first gathering will be Tuesday, Sept. 18th at 8:15am. If you are interested in being a part of this group, please reply to Becky at or Heather at Here’s to a great year of working together to become the best parents and teachers we can be for our children. Gratefully, Becky O’Hearn, Heather Eubank and Jennifer Hearne

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Welcome to WCS 2018-19

Welcome Early Childhood Parents, I am excited to begin this wonderful year of learning with you and your children. The start of each school year brings great anticipation and excitement for what is to come. At Wichita Collegiate School the children are the center of all we do. Those of us fortunate enough to teach, understand the growth the children experience during each school year. We love teaching because we love watching children discover how capable and talented they are. It’s a special privilege to experience this transformation with so many children each year. Next week we will begin again with 225 bright, eager faces from age two to six. We love them already and feel honored to be a part of their early education. Our summer has been a busy one. In addition to teaching 10 weeks of summer classes our faculty has voluntarily participated in two book studies. These books have led to greater understanding of best practices in reading instruction and the value of a knowledge-based sequential curriculum like ours at WCS. These books are “Language at the Speed of Sight” by Mark Seidenberg and “Why Knowledge Matters” by E. D. Hirsch Jr. Summertime is also a time for extensive professional development. On campus 44 WCS teachers completed a three-day training on Learning Profiles: Making Connections. This intensive workshop stems from the All Kinds of Minds Framework which defines learning into eight neurological constructs. As the teachers learned to identify the observable behaviors associated with the learning constructs, they developed tools and strategies to help facilitate growth in all learners from preschool to adult. These tools will help our teachers individualize their work with each child. Here is a link to more information: Eight of our EC and LS teachers are finishing a week-long workshop today in Portland, Oregon learning to implement The Scottish Storyline Method of integrated, active learning. Storyline is a structured approach to learning and teaching that was developed in Scotland. It builds on the key principle that learning, to be meaningful, has to be memorable, and that by using learner's enthusiasm for story-making, the classroom, the teacher's role and learning can be transformed. Storyline is a strategy for developing the curriculum as an integrated whole. It provides an opportunity for active learning and reflection as essential parts of effective learning and teaching. At the same time it develops in learners a powerful sense of ownership of their learning. – a quote from the Scottish Consultative Counsel on Curriculum. We are excited to see the creative ideas the teachers bring back from this highly specialized professional development. This summer, through the generosity of our families, we have been able to rejuvenate the beautiful features of our natural outdoor classroom back to its original glory. It is one of our greatest teaching assets in the EC division. Its beauty and function provides our littlest learners a place to explore, create, socialize, exercise and learn while benefitting from the calming effects of nature. It looks fabulous and I cannot wait to see the children playing on it again. One of the things we are most excited about is our school-wide focus on character education this year. Through an integrated approach all teachers, support staff, and student leaders will infuse character development into all we do. In early childhood we will focus on a virtue each month using literature, activities and spontaneous teachable moments to bring each virtue to life. We will help our little ones experience values in action as much as their young minds can absorb. Teachers will share stories and videos of what we witness in the children as they learn to practice patience, kindness, acceptance, resilience, cooperation and self-control. I am certain these moments will fill all our hearts with joy. Another exciting addition will be the use of a new online communication platform, Seesaw. Through the Seesaw app teachers can share text, photos and videos of classroom happenings directly with parents in real time. The Lower School has been using Seesaw for two years with great success and we are excited to begin. Parents will learn more at the upcoming Preschool Orientations and Parent Night for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. An important part of what makes our community strong are parents working together to support the school to raise healthy, well-rounded future citizens of the world. In this partnership the school strives to support and educate parents on a variety of topics relevant to each age group. In early childhood, we will host parent education sessions on the topics of behavior management and the effects of media and screen time on a child’s social and emotional development. We hope you will plan to join us for one or both sessions. Attached you will find the list of important dates which gives the details for the parent meetings mentioned above. I look forward to a wonderful year together with you and your child. If I can assist you in any way this school year, please let me know. I am devoted to each child’s success. For the children, Becky O’Hearn

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Holiday greetings

During this time of year we reflect on the many blessings in our lives and count each child a true treasure. The children who fill our classrooms bring us joy and fill our hearts with love. The early childhood faculty and staff say thank you and wish you Happy Holidays! Here is a link to Mrs. Johnson's kindergarten class singing Jingle Bells.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Eat, Sleep and Be Happy

From the Parent Discussion Group October 17th, Parenting Picky Eaters and other parenting topics:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Excellent parenting goals give perspective

I read many articles on parenting advice weekly and this one stands out. This article from summarizes my favorite ideas. It is a quick read and worth your time. I hope these ideas will support you on your journey of preparing your child to be a self-motivated, caring and responsible adult.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Conscious Discipline Parenting Support

September 13th a large group of parents attended Jennifer Hearne and Beth Reeder's presentation.  At WCS, Conscious Discipline guides our classroom management strategies and supports social and emotional growth in our young learners. When parents and teachers speak the same language and share common expectations the children are more successful regulating their emotions and behavior and ultimately have more focus on learning. We captured this wonderful presentation on video. You can view it here in four 15 minute segments We also have copies of the corresponding book "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" by Dr. Becky Bailey in the EC office if you would like to purchase a copy for $11.
I hope you enjoy learning more about Conscious Discipline!

WCS Parent meeting CD part 1

WCS Parent meeting CD part 2

WCS Parent meeting CD part 3

WCS Parent meeting CD part 4