April 20, 2018
Welcome to this edition of The Westminster Weekly, where you will learn about what's been happening recently at Westminster School! We welcome story suggestions from parents, students, teachers, and alumni. Please email your news to Mrs. Nancy Schuler .
Mark Your Calendars
Upcoming Events

April 23-30
Book Fair
Contact Mrs. Polchert if you can help!

April 27 and 28
West Side Story
Contact the main office to order your tickets

May 17
Family Open House/International Day
Westminster Staff's Got Talent!
The most recent Talent Show featured our amazing staff! Fifteen members of the staff chose to share their considerable talents with the children, demonstrating to the students that they too can become nervous on stage, but that growth comes from facing those fears and doing one's best! The children loved getting to see another side of their beloved teachers and administrators. Acts included singing, yoga, a self-defense demonstration, art, music, and more. Check out the video montage above and we think you'll agree that the Westminster staff is indeed very talented and brave!
3rd Grade Celebrates "Egyptian Day"
The third grade enjoyed a memorable day celebrating their study of the Ancient Egyptians. Miss McIntyre organized many wonderful activities that included, making a scarab amulet out of a round rock, decorating a Senet board and playing a version of the ancient game discovered in King Tut's tomb, walking/dancing like Egyptians, enjoying a traditional Egyptian feast, and more! They children will always remember this very special day!
Kindergarten Visits Mount Vernon
The kindergarteners visited Mount Vernon as part of their study of American history. They enjoyed learning about what life was like during George Washington's time.
The children spent time touring the house and the grounds. Though it was a bit rainy, they were sunny all day long. They make us so proud!
4th Graders Learn about the Holocaust through Literature and Theater
As an extension to their study of World War II through Lois Lowry’s Newbery Award winner, Number the Stars , the fourth graders went to see a Discovery Theater Production, “Time Capsule in a Milk Can,” featuring a thought-provoking and interactive one-man show. The play told the story of Emanuel Ringleblum, a Polish historian and social worker who recorded the events and conditions during the height of World War II. Ringleblum encouraged others to write to preserve history and inspire hope and peace for the future. His words encouraged children to write about hope for change and acceptance. Other important primary sources were collected. All documents were preserved in a milk can and buried for safety during the war. Throughout the performance, the actor playing Ringleblum passed out copies of the documents to selected students, who then read them aloud. This informative and touching performance gave the students greater clarity and context to what happened during this pivotal time in history. An important message, that children have a fresh and hopeful outlook for the future, empowered the students and reminded them of the importance of writing.  

Congratulations to Miss Foster for seizing the opportunity to connect a real-life experience with the literature the children are exploring. Two museum guides from the Holocaust museum were in the audience to provide support and insight after the performance. We received a lovely message through our website from the one of the museum guides who said, " I want to compliment the Westminster students who attended a performance for Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater on Thursday, April 12th. I have been in the Museum field for decades and I have never seen such a kind, polite, respectful, engaged, and thoughtful group of elementary school students. They were attentive to the actor and subject matter and were carefully checking on a classmate with allergies to see if they were okay. Their presence made the performance and the Remembrance Day of Yom Hashoah even more meaningful."
2nd Grade Visits the Hirshorn Museum
Mr. Muntain says that, "the work at the Hirshhorn is so different from what [the students] have been exposed to on their previous two art field trips, and it is interesting to see their reactions."

The students learned about how modern art often attempts to deliver a message. How would you interpret the meaning of this piece?
The children enjoyed an activity that involved an installation piece of long, thin threads stretched floor to ceiling in a pattern. The student were given shorter pieces of thread and asked how they would arrange and install their strings. 
Alumni News
This week, we spotlight Abrah Shapiro, Westminster alumna of the Class of 2001. After graduating from Westminster, Abrah attended The Madeira School and then earned a B.A. in Film and Television from Boston University. While in college, she moved to Los Angeles to participate in a program sponsored by Boston University that allowed her to begin to pursue her dream. After starting as an intern, she moved through the ranks as a production assistant, coordinator, associate producer, and she is now a television producer, currently working on the TV show, Little Big Shots.

Abrah had this to say about her Westminster experience:

"Westminster has been a very important part of my life and I credit the school and the teachers and especially Mr. Glover for the bulk of who I am. I learned the importance of hard work, dedication and integrity there, and have carried it through my high school, college and adult life. I had attended public school before coming to Westminster and did not recognize the importance of education and did not have good study habits and work discipline until joining Westminster in 3 rd grade. It was my years in this school and through the discipline and attention received that I learned my work ethic, sense of self and morality. Westminster helped shape me into who I am today and put me ahead of the curve. I am confident in looking for better opportunities and giving it my all and facing challenges ahead. The bulk of my success is due to my strong upbringing by my parents, and Mr. Glover’s tireless dedication in helping me and my friends to become better people and competitors in life.  Any time I am in Northern Virginia, I make sure to visit the school and let him and his staff know how appreciative I am of all they have done and how important they are to me."

Her message to current students:

"You may not understand why you are taught what you are being taught, but you will understand its value later in life as you enter the life stage as an adult. You may wonder why there is this much discipline and instruction, and feel you are being pressured; but it helps you form into a more responsible individual and leap ahead of others competing with you in your field. Pay attention to what you are being told and taught today, and reference it in future, as all these lessons will come to help you excel in life."

Her message to Westminster parents:

"Westminster is a life style and mentality. It is more than strong academics and arts. While it offers your children strong academics and an art program, it teaches your child how to become a better advocate, volunteer, and effective participant in the society they live in. It provides education in philanthropy, gives you strong foundation in ethics, and a strong sense of self. Westminster education nurtures your children with lessons in life, friendship, and team work. My Westminster friends are my friends for life and no matter how far we are from one another; when we connect, it is as if we were never separated and we pick up where we left off."

Thank you to Abrah for these kind words. You make us so proud! Also, thank you to Mrs. Moghaddam, member of our Board of Trustees and mother of two Westminster grads, for conducting this interview with Abrah.

Don't Miss West Side Story !
Mark your calendars now for April 27 and 28, when the Class of 2018 will present the exciting musical, West Side Story. This award-winning Broadway musical features music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The Romeo and Juliet story set in late 1950's New York brings humor, tragedy, and fantastic choreography.

This show is likely to sell out, so get your tickets ahead of time. The Book Fair will be in full swing, so plan to dress up in your finest and come out for a great evening at the Gryphon Theatre! Curtain is at 7:00 P.M. Please join us to support this talented class and spend a wonderful evening at the theatre!

Tickets are going fast! Get yours today! Contact the main office to place an order.
Correction from April 13 Westminster Weekly
Last week's Westminster Weekly attributed this project to the wrong student. The project was actually created by Devin in the 8th grade. Devin, we apologize for the error and want to be sure you receive the proper recognition for your work!
Food for Thought
"Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years"
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