November 30, 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

December 3
7th Grade FT to Folger Theater

December 4
8th Grade FT to GMU Experimetal
Geometry Lab

December 5
7th Grade FT to National Gallery

STAFF MEETING
(No after-school activities except enrichment and ASCP)

December 6
3rd Grade FT to National Gallery

December 7
6th Grade Play
Mary Poppins

School News
Generosity Overflows on #GivingTuesday
The Westminster community came out in overwhelming support of our school on "Giving Tuesday."
We are humbled and proud to announce that the total amount of gifts and pledges is a whopping $47,240.00! This represents a 46% increase over the amount donated last year! The number of donors increased from 80 to 92 and included current parents, alumni parents, alumni, grandparents, staff members, and friends.

This overwhelming display of generosity is quite a testament to our amazing community and such an endorsement of Westminster School's mission and philosophy. We are on our way to reaching our goal of $200,000.00 by June 30. If you missed "Giving Tuesday," it's not too late to support the programs at Westminster School. We sincerely thank all those who supported the effort on "Giving Tuesday" and those who still plan to give. Please click here to make your tax-deductible gift or pledge.
Reading Buddy Day for Preschool/2nd Grade
The annual Reading Buddy Day was held on Tuesday, November 27. For seven years now, Miss Sapper and Mr. Branum have brought the second-grade classes to visit the preschool to share the gift of reading. This tradition is one of the favorite days of the year. The preschool teachers especially love to see the children who were once Griffin Academy students coming back and reading to the current preschoolers. Such a rewarding experience for all involved! 

Now that the preschool is part of the main school, we expect to have more joint activities before the end of the school year. Perhaps, next time, the preschoolers will go to the second-grade classes and read to them! 
4th Grade Explores L'Enfant Plaza
The fourth-graders recently enjoyed a fascinating French field trip to L'Enfant Plaza in Washington, D. C. Prior to the trip, the students studied the architecture of two important buildings that were both built in the French "Second Empire" style of architecture: the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and the Renwick Gallery. The students compared and contrasted architectural components of those buildings with that of the Louvre in Paris and found many similarities.

The children also learned about Pierre L'Enfant, a French engineer who was responsible for the original layout of the city of Washington, D. C. What makes his plan distinct from those of other U.S. cities is the wide, diagonal avenues that cross over the typical grid pattern. The diagonal streets lead to open squares where statues and fountains are erected to honor famous citizens. As the children strolled through the city, they saw many such streets. They stopped at Freedom Plaza, which is a great example of this L'Enfant's design.
There were a few added perks due to the location of the excursion. Along the walk from the Renwick Gallery to Freedom Plaza, the group passed the White House and stopped to pose for a quick photo. After the visit to Freedom Plaza, they enjoyed a picnic lunch on the grounds of the National Mall, where they captured a few photos in front of the Washington Monument. Thank you to Mme Cagua for scheduling such a valuable and memorable field trip for the students!
5th & 6th Graders Enjoy a Hoedown
As a culmination of their dance classes with Mrs. Connell, the fifth- and sixth-graders donned their best western duds and kicked up their heels at the annual hoedown in the Gryphon Theatre on Thursday. During the first quarter, the fifth-grade students learned the "Virginia Reel," while the sixth-graders added some square-dancing to their repertoire. All of the students learned the "Cotton-Eyed Joe," as well as a few modern line dances.

The young buckaroos had themselves a good ole' time with activities like a Western-themed "photo booth," "pin-the-ponytail on the cowgirl," and "pin-the-tie on the cowboy." Of course, they also chowed down on lots of fine grub. Thank you to Mrs. Connell for teaching the students all of the dances and for arranging such a great celebration! A swell time was had by all! Yee-Haw! Fix your peepers on the video above and check out our Facebook page for photos of the shindig!

Word of the Week
quin·tes·sen·tial
/ˌkwin(t)əˈsen(t)SHəl/
adjective

representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class."He was the quintessential tough guy—strong, silent, and self-contained."

synonyms:

typical, prototypical, stereotypical, archetypal, classic, model, standard, stock, representative

Origin :

The philosophers and scientists of the ancient world and the Middle Ages believed that the world we inhabit was entirely made up of four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Aristotle added a fifth element, the aether or ether, by which he meant the material that fills the rest of space, mostly invisibly but sometimes taking the form of stars and planets.

Many writers described the element as a kind of invisible light or fire. In the Middle Ages, it was referred to as the  quinta (Latin for "fifth") essentia (Latin for "essence or substance") or "the fifth element."

It isn't surprising that "quinta essentia" came to stand for anything so perfect that it seemed to surpass the limitations of earth. Today, we generally use "quintessential" rather freely to describe just about anything that represents the best of its kind.
Food for Thought
How fortunate we are to live in the DC Metropolitan area where there is so much to see and do! This link provides a great list of fun things to do in DC, MD and VA this season. Many continue through January.
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