Cultivating minds and hearts through the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
Newsletter
November 4, 2019

Table of Contents:  
 
  • HM Letter

  • Volunteers greatly needed TODAY & this entire week

  • Literary Character Day

  • Boots & Belles - items needed

  • Attendance

  • Arriving on campus in the morning

  • No Walk Up Pick Up during recitals

  • Virtue Magazine

  • Athenaeum Sneak Peek

  • Toy Drive Friday

  • Open Enrollment

  • Important Dates

Letter from our Headmaster
"The main principle here is: homework is your child’s responsibility. You shouldn’t be correcting it, or hovering. It’s a way for the teachers to assess where your child is in learning the curriculum. It’s not a test of your own second-grade math skills. (Of course, you can be a resource if you child asks for some minimal guidance, or a check that he’s on the right track.) That holds for the amount of homework assigned. If you child consistently can’t finish the homework in a reasonable period of time, let the teachers know. Don’t be a collaborator in the overwork culture rampant in our society. This may seem like a radical position. But if you take charge of your child’s homework in first grade, or third grade, or sixth grade, or tenth grade, when does it end? When does your child take over responsibility? The stakes may seem very high, but they are lower when your children are still very young than at any time in the future".

Excerpt from Chapter 9, Limits and Routines
“The Good News About Bad Behavior”
By Katherine Reynolds Lewis


Dear GHWH Families,

One of the topics that comes up again and again in the Headmaster Coffees is that of homework . This is a good thing to think about and discuss, as homework is an interesting topic. There has been research done into how helpful homework actually is, and what types of things should be assigned as homework.

At Western Hills, there are a few principles that guide our practices with homework.

Homework needs to be intentional. There should be a good reason why something is assigned. There should be no busy-work or things going home to fill a spot in a grade book.

We want students to be able to spend time doing other activities and being with their families after school. We know a lot of students play on soccer teams, or are learning an instrument, or just want to spend time with their siblings. We want to honor those activities, and also give the students a period of rest at the end of their day.

If your scholar is sick, please let them rest. We want them to get better. The teacher will be happy to coordinate with you to make sure your scholar gets up to speed when they are feeling well and back in class.

Also, as a school that implements Love and Logic, we realize that homework is a great tool for developing responsible students. As in the quotation above, the stakes are low right now.

I would much rather my 4 th grader experience consequences for failing to turn in a history project than experience the consequences of failing to turn in a car payment when he’s 25. So in this sense, we want our students to learn from their mistake while the stakes are low, so those skills improve before the stakes are high.

But they can’t learn from their mistakes, if we don’t let them make mistakes . If you student forgets a homework assignment, please email the teacher and let them know, and together, come up with a plan for completing it at home or school. If you rescue your student from the consequence, they are missing a learning opportunity.

Please resist the urge to get on Facebook to ask others for missing assignments. This is the perfect time for our children to learn responsibility.

Again… the hope is to experience low stakes consequences now, so that students learn, and make good choices in the future.

And finally, we don’t send homework home to ruin your home life. I call this the “no tears” policy. If your student is stumped, send the teacher a note. Let them work on it and try their hardest, but if they just can’t figure out how to solve math problem #4, let the teacher know. As a teacher, it’s a lot easier to pinpoint where a gap in understanding may exist and then help the student, than to have a tired child come in to class, having spent the evening arguing with his parents, convinced that he’s “bad at math.”

If you have any questions, please reach out to the teacher.
If your student doesn’t finish, please reach out to the teacher.
If your student forgot the assignment at school, please reach out to the teacher.

Let’s give our students the advantage of learning from their mistakes while the stakes are low.
Matthew Vlahovich
Headmaster
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TODAY!
If you find you have an hour or two on any particular day, feel free to stop by the school! We always have ways parents can participate and help grow the Great Hearts Western Hills community! GHWH now has a PSO Volunteer Coordinator, Mrs. Cassi Diaz, to help us coordinate the many needs/efforts on campus. We are grateful to her for stepping up and helping GHWH! Please keep an eye out for communication from her from time to time. If you'd like to get plugged in, sign up to volunteer. Since we do not use front desk volunteers this year, we have updated the volunteer dress code to allow for jeans. We'd definitely want all parents to feel welcome to participate in helping our scholars.

Hearing and Vision Screening needs 3 volunteers today & also tomorrow, (Tuesday)!
8:30 AM to 12:00 PM
12:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Click here to sign-up!
Contact Nurse Scott with any questions.

Lunch Room Volunteers 2 needed today, 3 every day this week!
11:20 AM to 1:00 PM, Monday- Friday
Click here to sign up!

Recess Volunteers : 4 needed per recess, feel free to come any time between 9:00 AM-3:00 PM, Monday-Thursday; 8:20-10:30 AM on Fridays
Click here to sign up!
Contact Dean Arredondo if you have questions.

Student Read Aloud Volunteers : 16 needed every Tuesday & Thursday, 9:00-9:30 AM & 1:05-2:00 PM
Click here to sign up!
Contact AHM Absher with any questions.

Literary Character Day Read-a-thon Volunteers , Friday, November 8, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM
Click here to sign up!
Dressing up as a book character is encouraged but not required.
Contact Mrs. Garcia with any questions.

If you have an hour out of your day to give, we have lots of opportunities for you to be a part of the Great Hearts Western Hills community. We'd love to get you involved!
Literary Character Day




This Friday!
November 8th

This is a beautiful day that honors our Great Hearts curriculum.
Please do not bring any candy, goodie bags, or treats (These will not passed out if so and will be returned back to you in your scholar's back pack.)

For details and guidelines, click here .
From our PSO

Boots & Belles - Donations Needed
Please help make the first ever Mother-Son "Boots & Belles" event a success! Ways to volunteer and contribute are on the sign-up genius below!

To donate items or volunteer on the evening of the event,
please click here!

Click here for tickets!

Click here for the downloadable invitation.
Attendance
 
Please note: we receive daily funding for   all students who are in their classrooms at 9:55 AM   . Therefore,   we encourage parents to schedule doctor appointments before or after that time so that students can be in their seats at 9:55 AM   . Please bring a doctor's note for all doctor appointments or they can fax it directly to us at 210-888-9484. (Please specify GHWH on all faxes.) Please remember to relay any planned absences to your student's teacher. For all other questions or concerns related to absences (that cannot be addressed by your teacher directly), send an email directly to: Attendance@GreatHeartsWesternHills.org   .

Please turn in all sick or doctor notes within 2 days of the absence   . Written documentation must be provided for ALL days your student is absent from school. Acceptable forms of written documentation include email, handwritten letter, or doctor's note.
 
Tardy Policy - Please Discuss the Following with your Child/Children :
As a reminder, any scholar who is not in their seat at 7:50 AM will be counted “Tardy”. Often times scholars will stop for bathroom breaks, getting water, etc. This can often prohibit your scholar from arriving to their class on time. Please ensure that you are arriving to campus with ample time for your scholar to make it inside the building and into their classroom prior to the 7:50 Attendance Submission. 

No Walk Up Pick Up during Recitals

In order to facilitate the winter music recitals, there will be no walk up pick up on Tuesday, November 19, Wednesday, November 20 & Thursday, November 21 . All scholars not performing on their specified grade level day, must be picked up through the car line. (This includes siblings of those performing.) After car line is completed, we will then open the doors to allow parents and siblings on campus to attend their child's performance.

For recital and concert details, please click here .
Institute for Classical Education


Click here for the Fall 2019 issue!



Athenaeum - Sneak Peek Days
Come try Athenaeum for free!
(registration required - see below)

Dear Great Hearts Families,
We are excited to announce that we are going to offer a “Sneak Peek” of Athenaeum on Monday and Tuesday, November 18th and 19th . These two days will be free of charge but do require registration . Space is limited and is on a first come, first serve basis. You may select one of the two days to attend the program. If you are interested in having your child(ren) participate in this Sneak Peek for Athenaeum, you may obtain a registration form emailing Verona Labrador . All registration forms must be returned via email to Programs@GreatheartsAZ.org . We are looking forward to this!

Registration for Athenaeum for the 2019-20 school year is currently open for all grades except 4th grade. Click here t o read more about our options and pricing schedules or to put yourself on the wait list for 4th grade. Registration is on a first-come first-serve basis, so please make sure that you put your student on the wait list if you are desiring a spot. For any questions related to Athenaeum, please contact Sarah Solombrino, Athenaeum Co-Curricular Campus Coordinator.
November Phileo Project - Toy Drive
November marks a special time when we, in America, traditionally emphasize being thankful.
GHWH will kick off the first Phileo Project for the year during this season of gratitude!

Toys will be collected November 8

As we celebrate our children’s favorite characters from the tales that they are reading in their classes, please consider sharing that same joy with the Children at Methodist Hospital by donating a new, unwrapped toy for these children to love and play. Toys may be dropped off at the school lobby. This project is spear headed by the PSO Care & Concern Committee.
Open Enrollment for New Scholars
for the 2020-2021 school year
begins November 13, 2019!

Tell all your friends to apply to Great Hearts Western Hills for the 2020-2021 school year beginning November 13!


(Re-enrollment for current GHWH scholars is March 2020.)
Important Dates

  • Wednesday, November 6, 9 AM, Great Hearts Texas Board Meeting @ GHFH
  • Friday, November 8, Literary Character Day
  • Friday, November 8 - Toy Drive, All Day in school lobby
  • Wednesday, November 13, Open Enrollment for New Student for 2020-2021 school year
  • Saturday, November 16, 6-8 PM, "Boots & Belles" Mother-Son Round-Up, MPR
  • Monday & Tuesday, November 18 & 19, Athenaeum Free Sneak-Peek days
  • Tuesday, November 19, 4:00 PM,Kindergarten Fine Arts Recital, MPR
  • Wednesday, November 20, 4:00 PM,1st Grade Fine Arts Recital, MPR
  • Thursday, November 21, 4:00 PM, 2nd Grade Fine Arts Recital, MPR
  • Friday November 22, 6 PM, 3rd-6th Grade Winter Concert, McAllister Fine Arts Center @ SAC
  • Friday November 22, Spirit Day, R&R Weekend, 1:25 PM dismissal
  • Friday, December 20, Spirit Day, R&R Weekend, 1:25 PM dismissal


Don't forget to re-sync your digital calendars!
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