We are never truly alone because God is always with us, but we should always pay attention when we’re by ourselves because when everyone else’s voices go silent, that’s when we can hear the voice of God.
In this chapter, Mica is left by herself in the Nature Center while Mr. Heetderks takes Mac to give him a bath. She has been sent on a mission by her brother to find her parents, but she’s confused, scared, and upset. In this state, she’s not really paying attention to what’s around her, and she ends up across the room. That’s when she encounters the parrot.
Who is this parrot? One way to think about him is as the voice of God, the Holy Spirit. This voice is in direct contrast to Doc’s voice. Doc has a silky-smooth voice laced with manipulative suggestions and flattery. The Parrot’s voice in contrast is squawky, repetitive, and truthful. It isn’t always saying what you might want to hear, but what you need to hear. I think this feels right, doesn’t it?
If you think about your own life, you can probably think about someone who told you things you needed to hear. At the time you may have hated them for it, but now you can see the wisdom in what they were trying to say. Perhaps it was your parents, you know, the ones who were cramping your style and keeping you from having fun when you were a teenager. You know, the ones that you’re starting to sound a lot like as you raise your own kids.
They weren’t telling you what you wanted to hear, and they were certainly repetitive. But if you were blessed, you had parents who told you the truth and tried to help you get what you needed (and maybe some of what you wanted, too).
The big issue that Mica is facing is her insecurity. It makes her tentative, and it makes it difficult for her to know what she wants. The parrot speaks straight to this tension and gives her the truth, “What you should do now always comes right after what you’ve already tried.” God never expects us to be something we’re not, he ALWAYS meets us right where we are. When He meets us there, however, He expects us to listen to His voice and take steps that will get us going the right way, His way.
Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach us YOUR way, LORD….” The parrot is trying to help Mica open her eyes and look around. He’s trying to get Mica to hold her head up. He’s guiding Mica to turn back around and wait for Mr. Heetderks who has already told her the next step. Learning to hear the voice of God is hard for all of us but it is an essential part of our journey with him.
Here is an activity you might try with your kids: THIS OR THAT
In this game have them decide which of these things is something God would say to them? (The blue answers are correct.) Hopefully, this will seed more conversation.
You are beautiful. (God created man and woman and said, ‘very good’ – Gen. 1:31)
You will be beautiful if you wear that new outfit.
You should apologize for being mean. (Vengeance is mine, says the Lord- Romans 12:19-21)
You had a right to defend yourself.
If you do sports, I will be happy with you.
Whether you play sports or not, I’ll be with you. (God goes before & He will be with you – Deut. 31:8)
You have a purpose, and you need to be responsible. (I beg you to live lives worthy of your high calling – Eph. 4:1)
If you get good grades, you will be successful in life.
It's better if you just stay quiet and fit in.
Stand up for what’s right, even if it’s hard. (But those who are noble make noble plans and stand for what is noble – Isa. 32:8)
You can trust me, even when things aren’t going well. (Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus. – Rm 8:28)
If things aren’t going well, it’s because you did something wrong.
At the Fall Association Meeting, Westminster Board of Trustees Chair, Philip Floyd, and Head of School, Scott Jones, shared updates regarding Westminster’s strategic plan, steps the Board and school administration are taking to meet our goals, and our vision for the future. For the members of our community who were not able to attend, below is a summary of the information that was shared.
The Board's unwavering focus remains on ensuring the long-term sustainability of Westminster.
A significant decision was made to accept Florida state vouchers/scholarships for the 2024-25 academic year. This decision will be subject to annual reviews, with a steadfast commitment to monitoring legislative developments that do not align with our school’s policies or mission. If there is any threat to our mission, we will withdraw from accepting these funds.
Westminster is engaged in comprehensive site planning for future campus improvements. This extensive process involves collaboration with traffic engineers, architects, and a needs assessment. While no plans are set in stone currently, these endeavors are part of our long-term planning.
Our commitment to growth and long-term sustainability is demonstrated by a capital campaign aimed at raising $30 million for new buildings. Our fundraising priorities include enhancing athletic facilities, the Middle School campus, and fostering endowment growth. The Board has also chosen not to accept a $10 million pledge from a prominent attorney, opting instead for a broader community campaign.
In alignment with our commitment to attracting and retaining exceptional faculty, increases in tuition will be directed towards supporting competitive faculty salaries.
Some people gathered around Jesus with the intent to trap him. They wanted to catch Him saying something they could use in their smear campaign against Him, and asked, “What is the greatest commandment?”
This is an interesting question. The Bible tells us that the person who came up with the question was “an expert in the law.” In other words, he had a lot of experience in matters of the law. As an expert, he would have been asked similar questions by others. I think he asked Jesus this question because his experience had led him to conclude that there was no good answer. Life is too complicated and multifaceted to correctly instruct a person on what step they should prioritize. Clearly, he hoped to catch Jesus in the trap he had fallen in on countless occasions.
Of course, he significantly underestimated the supreme intelligence of Jesus. His response, recorded in Matthew 22:37-40, is brilliant, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Many of us want to feel satisfied that our life matters in some important way. As a student you’re trying to filter through myriad considerations to choose your future direction well. You are considering the things you’re good at or not good at, the expectations of those who know and love you, the barriers that stand in your way, the opinions of others and/or the trends of culture, the financial viability of this or that pursuit, the prestige, accessibility, cost, benefits, timing, etc.… of one choice over another, all in a noble attempt to piece together a direction for your life that will matter in some important way. If you’re older, you’re likely asking all the same things with the additional burden of evaluating past regrets and accomplishments. If we could know with certainty, amid all this scrutiny, that one step is the most important one to take, wouldn’t we cherish this knowledge.
For example, if before you sat down to write 23 college essays, or sell a portion of your business, you could know for sure that you were supposed to do one thing over another, wouldn’t that be very helpful information?
There is nothing wrong with desiring to live a life that matters. And the natural consequence of attempting to build a meaningful life will be to ask questions, like, “What is the best thing for me to do next?” In essence, this is what the pharisee asked Jesus, and I think Jesus used this attack to provide essential wisdom to us when He responded, “Worship God and love people.”
If we center our lives on Jesus’ answer, we will find the meaning we’re looking for.
Maybe you’re asking, “Should I be a doctor? A lawyer? An entrepreneur? An online influencer? A professional athlete?” Jesus’ response is, “Worship God and love people.” Maybe you’re asking, “Should I buy a new house? Start a new career? Tap into my retirement account? Spend money on this or that?” Jesus’ response is, “Worship God and love people.”
Our central purpose will never be in what we accomplish, but in giving all that we do over in worshipping God and loving His people. In other words, we were born to worship.
In this spirit Paul says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
Please keep Westminster's Severe Cold Weather Policy in mind as we experience cooler temperatures:
In the case of severe cold weather, either an announcement will be made on the school website prior to the start of the school day, or students may check the school website for AccuWeather information.
If the temperature indicates 50 degrees or lower at 7 a.m., it will be considered a Severe Cold Weather Day.
On severe dress day students may wear any heavy jacket or outerwear top but will still be required to wear a school uniform polo shirt underneath the outwear. Students may also wear uniform slacks, Westminster jogger warm-ups, leggings under uniform shorts, or uniform skorts. NO JEANS will be allowed.
Do you like waiting? Usually waiting is HARD! This week in chapel we learned about advent, what it means, and how waiting for something can be more wonderful than we ever imagined! For thousands of years people waited for the Messiah. He did not come as they were expecting but God’s plan is always grander than human minds can comprehend. We too are waiting. Expectingly waiting for Jesus’ return.
Advent is a time to prepare our hearts and minds for Jesus. We will spend the next four weeks doing just that. This week we lit the HOPE candle on the advent wreath. Hope is at the very heart of Christmas. The coming of Jesus offers hope for all who believe – a light in the darkness. We never have to feel lost because of God’s promises to us.
Romans 15:13 reminds us that “May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy. May you have perfect peace as you trust in him. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.”
Ask your child how he/she can be a light for Jesus this advent season!
The Senior Service Trip will no longer take place in Puerto Rico. Instead, students will be traveling to New York City from Monday, March 18, to Friday, March 22. Additional details, including itinerary and final costs, will be provided before the Christmas break.
We are allowing a second wave of purchases for senior yearbook ads with a deadline of December 11. WE WANT EVERY SENIOR TO PARTICIPATE, so please let us know if there is an issue we can help you resolve.
Commemorate your senior's time at Westminster with a full-page ad in the yearbook! We are honored to showcase your graduate’s special memories from the cradle to the cap and gown with pictures on a full page in Volume 60 of the Beacon yearbook.
Online payment for the ad is due on or before Monday, December 11, 2023. Please, the sooner the better. If you cannot meet the payment deadline, please email email@example.com or call Mrs. Casey Jones in the Business Office.
There are three available senior ad packages:
A) 1-12 photos with message
$250 by December 11
B) 13-16 photos with message
$275 by December 11
C) 17-20 photos with message
$300 by December 11
The more photos you include, the smaller they will be—sometimes less is more!
Within about two days of payment, parents will receive a link to an individual DropBox folder labeled with their child’s name to the parent emails listed in myWCS. (If Dropbox displays a message indicating you must upgrade your existing DropBox account, click away from it. An upgrade is not required.)
Choose your photos in advance. Please upload FULL-SIZE or ACTUAL SIZE photos in a jpeg format as soon as possible. Make sure that the resolution is as high as possible. We cannot make a grainy photo clear. Choose carefully!
You may also upload a Word document: Some parents include a message or a scripture. Other parents choose to have only the student's name. You can also include any specific requests as we design the page. (For example: Please use photo #2 in the red shirt as the largest photo on the page.)
If you choose to have a page pre-made and just submit it as a jpeg, please use these specifications:
8.33 x 10.83 inches, or 50 x 65 picas, or 2500 x 3250 pixels
Your page designer will need this information.
5. We will email you a high-resolution PDF for your approval. You will have 24 hours for any changes. At that time, the ad will be submitted for publication.
*Please remember that a jpeg file needs to be at least one megabyte so that the image will not be grainy if you are using only one picture for a full page of the yearbook. Any grainy photos under that size that you submit will appear grainy in the yearbook.
Join us at an upcoming information meeting for a mission trip to Guatemala where you will have an opportunity to meet the missionaries that work full time with Guatemala Deaf Ministries, interact with the deaf community in Guatemala and more! Any student interested is welcome to attend the information meeting. Space is limited to 15 students.
Meeting details: Monday, Dec. 4, @ 1:05 p.m. (during flex time) in the Media Center.
Attend the meeting for more details and register for the mission trip!
Questions? Contact mission trip student leader Jacob Dumas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 786-451-5548.
Many of us struggle to know what our purpose is. Maybe we even struggle to believe that we even have a purpose. It makes sense, we must fight against many competing ideas and expectations that people have for us. We have passions and interest that often run in different directions and are therefore competing for our limited time and resources, how do we choose between a passion for reading and a passion for fitness, for example, if those happen to both be pursuits of interest for us.
It is not an easy task to decide what our purpose is, or more appropriately, what our core purposes must be; there are likely multiple purposes we will pursue and fulfill in our rich lifetimes. In this article we will hope to accomplish two things: first, let’s decide that we are made on purpose by a God who has a specific idea of our role in this life and, secondly, that our purpose is discoverable; that we can, and should, take the time necessary to discern the things which compel us into the slipstream of God’s work in the world and embrace it wholeheartedly.
Consider for example that many people through the years have endeavored to create personality profiling tools to help people develop self-awareness. The reason these tools can be created comes back to two facts, general similarities that exist between groups of people and the absolute uniqueness of any individual. The way that one person can easily perform a task where another has failed, or the way one person interacts with people compared with another are often different and can approach extremes. One person may be aggressive and driven, while another is passive and laid back. One is seemingly wired to understand mathematics and concrete facts while another is drawn intrinsically to art and abstract thought. Consider Exodus 31:1-6 where God points to Bezalel who is, “filled with the Spirit of God…to make artistic designs.” He likely developed his skill over time, but the scripture makes it clear that it was the Spirit of God that gifted him.
So, how do we discover our own uniqueness? And then, how do we accurately apply our divine design? Maybe this analogy will help: Consider that you receive a package in the mail containing a machine you do not recognize. As you study it you find a power cord and on/off button. You plug it in, and it beeps and whirls until, after a few minutes, a digital voice says, “Temperature, 73 degrees, barometric pressure 29.92 inches of mercury etc.…” Obviously, this machine must have something to do with the weather. You now have some sense of its purpose by paying attention to how it functions. You would never consider trying to toast bread with this machine, it is not designed for that kind of function.
Obviously, humans are not weather machines, but by way of an analogy I think it may be helpful to think like this. I believe with reflection, and humility we can come to understand the purpose(s) for which we have been created and eventually land on work that aligns with and fulfills it. It honors and glorifies God when we discover our divine design and apply it to His purposes.
Ask someone who has known you for a while, perhaps your parents or an aunt/uncle, to tell you stories about what you were like as a baby/toddler. Don’t judge yourself, instead, listen to their descriptions objectively and try to discover patterns. Ask others who have known you for less time and find the places where their experience aligns with that of people who have known you for much longer. Eliminate the extremes, or the critical or cutting comments and piece together some patterns. Pretend your life is a package and you are a machine and the patterns that emerge from these stories are evidence of your divine design.
And then take what you learn and do what Paul suggests in 1 Corinthians 10:31 “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
What if you woke up this morning with only the things you thanked God for yesterday? This week in chapel we read Psalm 9:1-2 and talked about how we should thank God with our whole heart. We challenged each other to be intentional and show gratitude to others through words and actions this holiday season. And ask your child what a donut has to do with being grateful!
Christmastime is almost here! Do you have a Christmas Devotional for this Christmas season? Join Westminster families as we will be reading 25 Days of the Christmas Story together. If you haven’t ordered yours already, contact Manya Glavach.
We are looking forward to seeing those of you attending our movie experience at The Falls. It’s going to be so much fun! Here are some details for you to review:
We are watching Journey to Bethlehem which begins at 4:40 p.m. at The Falls.
Arrive around 4 p.m. to get situated and purchase snacks prior to the movie starting.
It is a sold-out theater. The theater holds 327 and we have 315 tickets sold. Please do not leave seats between groups. Every seat will be needed, and we want to do our best to keep all parties together.
Tickets are going home today. The tickets are in an envelope. The envelope with the tickets was given to the oldest sibling. Please check their book bags as soon as they get in the car to ensure they have their tickets and didn’t leave them at school.
There are no drop offs for this movie. Students must be supervised by their parent or guardian.
Remind your child the importance of being a good audience member by not talking or standing up during the movie. Please use the restroom prior to the start of the movie to reduce distractions during the movie.
Hey, Warriors! Now is your chance to sign up to volunteer at the Warrior Family Fair and earn BONUS service hours. That means that a two (2) hour shift will count as four (4) service hours. Click here to register before the slots fill up.
Perfection is perhaps the greatest illusion, and the most damaging lie that the enemy is currently using to dissuade and discourage a generation of people. Whether it is in wasting time and resource attempting to keep up with the latest trends in fashion or finance, or in trying to edit and post the perfect dance routine, we seem to be nearly consumed with a desire to present ourselves as having it all together. I think we’re trying to be perfect. Are we losing the beauty of our uniqueness and perhaps joy in the process?
Our Christianity is not immune from this challenge. I think sometimes we prefer to put on a Jesus costume, rather than be lost in Christ himself. Wouldn’t it be the greatest tragedy for authentic Christians, for the church, if Satan succeeded at building his empire, on the backs of religious people who claimed Jesus as their Lord.
I should clarify this is not a criticism of the church or of any church in particular, instead, it’s an attempt to shine a bright light on the methodology of the enemy of our faith because it’s happened before. Jesus said, for example, “not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord’ will be saved” and had some choice words for the religious elites of his time who, paid special attention to the dress code of their religious position and yet heaped burdens on people that they were not willing to carry. He concluded by calling them whitewashed tombs. Ouch!!
I think it is important for all of us to keep our head on a swivel and pay attention to 1 Peter 5:8 which makes it clear “our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” We know from Genesis, that the devil did not outright lie. Had he done so, we might have seen through his deception, instead, he subtly twisted the truth. In another place in the Scripture, he masquerades as a messenger of the light. And what is this deception all aiming at? To leave believers content with an appearance of Godliness without commensurate power! The deception is trying to convince us to put on a Jesus costume without knowing Him.
In John 5:39-40 we find words of Jesus that deal a death blow to religious posturing and perfectionism when he says to a group of pharisees, “39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” I want, like Paul in Philippians 3:10, “to know Christ and the power of His resurrection,” and to that end, despite my many failures, I write, serve, and work.
Westminster families are invited to a Movie Night on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 4:40 p.m. at Regal Cinemas in The Falls to watch "Journey to Bethlehem."
DISCLAIMER: As with any movie, producers take liberty to embellish real stories for theatrical purposes. This movie is no exception. It is a fun way to get the children excited about the Christmas Story. There are depictions of Mary, Joseph and others which are not supported by scripture. This is a great opportunity to discuss the accuracies of the movie in comparison to the powerful nativity story found in the Bible. Please take the time to read the story found in Matthew and Luke with your child.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. No drop offs.
Parents of students of all ages are invited to the next Parenting a Warrior class, "The Gift of Failure," on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 8 a.m. in the Nature Center. Join us for a talk on how you can teach your child to turn mistakes into success.
This important topic will be presented by Westminster counselors Kim Brigham and Scarlett Saldana. Come ready to learn and have your questions answered!
Also, mark your calendar for upcoming Parenting a Warrior classes:
Friday, Dec. 8 - "Giftedness" with Westminster counselors and Claudia Pastrana
Friday, Jan. 19 - "Brain Health - Starting the Year Well" with Westminster counselors
Friday, Feb. 9 - "Rules, Routines, Reminders: How to Support Developing Executive Functioning Skills at Home" with Westminster counselors and the GRASP team.
This week in chapel we honored Veterans from our preschool and elementary school families! We are so grateful for their service to our amazing country and for helping us be free.
Parents, please take time on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. to stop, pause, and thank God for ALL Veterans – this will be the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. Let us remember to thank God for those who have paid the price for our freedom. Let us also remember to thank God for Jesus, who has set us free from the penalty for sin, because he was willing to pay the price. The Bible tells us in Colossians 1:14 (NIRV) “Because of what the Son has done, we have been set free. Because of him, all our sins have been forgiven.” We have ultimate freedom because of Jesus.
In 2005 Heather and I moved to Charlotte, NC to start Elevation Church. We moved into a small starter house that fit our family’s needs at that time, and yet, I quickly became dissatisfied with it for superficial reasons.
One dumb example was I didn’t like the living room. I felt it was too long and narrow. The fact is, the living room was awkwardly shaped but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was my perspective. I was suffering from a lack of gratitude and my discontentment over inconsequential things was stealing my joy.
Then in 2009 I went on a trip to Uganda, Africa and toured through the country observing food distribution, orphan care, church ministries and Christmas Child operations for Samaritan’s Purse. We also visited schools and churches and even spent half a day in the hut of a man who was dying from HIV. At one point on that trip, I was in Moroto witnessing a group of women worshipping in their local church, a structure that would not have passed for a crude barn in the United States, and yet, they were overflowing with joy such as I had not seen, enhanced even more so by the contrast of their destitute circumstances. They had nothing by way of material possession but nevertheless were overflowing with gratitude and appreciation!
That night I read in Matthew 5, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” I was struck to the core with conviction by Jesus’ simple words. ‘Poor in spirit,’ as I was learning from these unperturbably grateful women, is not a state of circumstances, but a state of spiritual reality. It, in fact, cannot come from fulfilling any earthly desire, but comes instead to the person who recognizes that before God we are all poor. He gives us breath, strength, and health. He arranges opportunities and holds back calamities; he works all things together in a way that puts us exactly where He intends for us to be with all we need in the moment He calls us to act. We are profoundly blessed, regardless of the shape and size of the living room of our house. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - 16 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
We invite you to the Fall Association Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 5:30 p.m. in The Lighthouse. The evening will feature a few words from our Board of Trustees chair and our head of school about the state of the school.
Arrive early for light refreshments served at 4:45 p.m. and a special opening by the High School Jazz Ensemble, beginning at 5:15 p.m.
In Chapter 3 of “Wandering Through WorldWonder: Mac & Mica’s Adventures” we meet Doc, and I wish we didn’t have to. Doc is a Burmese python that lives in a glass tank inside of The Nature Center. But he’s not just a snake in a tank, he’s a cunning, and deceptive snake, and he’s trying to trick Mac.
Doc is representative of the serpent who tricks Eve in the garden of Eden. And we know that the serpent is not just an innocent snake informing Eve of some missing information about a tree in Eden. He’s Satan, the adversary of God, bent on devouring the work of God to satiate his own desires. And the moment Eve engages with him, she’s made a grave error!
Revelation 12:9 is where we discover that the serpent of Genesis is Satan himself, though we already knew it because of his way. The Genesis story illustrates this way; at first, he is sly and appears friendly, “did God really say…” but that façade doesn’t last long. By the book of Revelation, he’s swollen to the size of a great dragon threatening to swallow up the people of God. Every story that includes God will have His adversary working against his efforts.
And that’s why there’s a Doc. Because where there’s a Mr. Heetderks, there’s always a Doc.
For the first time this year, the Warrior Family Fair is featuring a smoke and grill off competition, the Dub Rub, on Saturday, Dec. 2. Enjoy mouthwatering beef, chicken, and pork prepared by teams of experienced grill masters competing to win a top prize.
🐷 If you think you have what it takes to compete, click HERE to participate or contact event organizer Ody Lugo for more information.
🎟 Purchase your tickets to the Grub Dub in advance to save. Tickets include samples and sides from the Dub Rub Food Pit and Warrior Bake Off.
What does this mean? What is the spiritual realm? Does it have substance? Remember in Ghostbuster’s when they used their lightning bolt guns to shoot the ghosts and slime splattered everywhere, is it like that? Or is it more like the astral realm of Dr. Strange who pops out of an alternate dimension to instruct Dr. Palmer in how to operate on his heart?
It’s Halloween this week and many people who wouldn’t normally ever think about the spiritual realm will find themselves confronted with it everywhere they turn, even if it is only in costume form.
But it is more important to consider than just explaining whether we should or shouldn’t dress up for Halloween. Consider, for example, that when Jesus was walking on the earth, he healed a man born blind. With thousands of years of observation, study, and scientific advancement, with digital 3-D modelling, VR tech and Artificial intelligence and now a new mRNA writing tool we still do not have the capacity to restore sight to a man born blind. But Jesus did!
HOW?! He spoke a word and the damaged or unformed cells of the man’s eyes changed, and the man could see. Some power Jesus tapped into affected the physical realm so profoundly that we are still talking about it. He walked on water. He spoke to the wind and the waves, and they obeyed. He multiplied bread, we can’t even keep bread from getting moldy. These things happened in physical time and space, and they happened because a man named Jesus told them to.
I have found God to be a God of clarity and not confusion. His infinite wisdom foresaw every event of human history and made provision for its return to a right relationship with Him before he even created the first of us. In other words, if the spiritual realm is real then when the Bible tells us in Acts 15:8 that, “God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.” Then we should assume that a real transaction has occurred, and the Spirit was given. These are not just poetic words describing some nice idea. But what does it mean that God gives us the Holy Spirit?
Physicists have tried to explain away every observable phenomenon with a deeper and deeper study into the subatomic level. And yet, regardless of how small we break down particles into their component parts we are not able to escape the presence of the unexplainable. We have unlocked so many secrets about the physical world, we can even manipulate sand into curved glass to make corrective lenses for people with poor vision to see better, but we can’t heal a man born blind.
So, who is the Holy Spirit, or as the old country preacher might call him, the Holy Ghost? He is the Spirit of God, who brought the universe into existence and sustains it’s spinning through time and space with his being. When we place our faith in Christ, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit of God and are reconnected through Him to the image-bearing part of us that is spiritual.
The spiritual realm is real, and regardless of what form it might take in our physical experiences, we are connected to God through His Spirit. And when we pray, he hears us from the spiritual realm. And according to His will, He acts to affect our physical reality.
John 14:26 says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list at the Christmas Marketplace on Friday, Nov. 10, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the HS Concourse and Quad.
Shop from a variety of vendors offering jewelry, clothing for children and adults, accessories, home decor, skin care and cosmetics, Westminster spirit items, and so much more. Food vendors will also be onsite.
This is the final call for students that would like to spend Spring Break in Spain with Westminster. This will be an adventure that students will never forget. The trip will includes stops in Barcelona, Montserrat, Madrid, Segovia, and Toledo.
To learn more, join the Zoom call with our travel agent on Monday, Oct. 30, at 6:30 p.m. Please join us if you are interested. This will be the last opportunity to sign up.
What a wonderful Homecoming Spirit Week! As we celebrated with a "healthy edition" of dress up days, we learned what God says about taking care of our body, mind, and spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Don’t you know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit? The Spirit is in you, and you have received the Spirit from God. You do not belong to yourselves. 20 Christ has paid the price for you. So use your bodies in a way that honors God.
Our bodies are so important that the Lord calls them temples of God. Our bodies are holy. Because our bodies are important, our Father in Heaven wants us to take good care of them. He knows that we can be happier, better people if we are healthy.
Ask your child how can he/she honor God with his/her body, mind, and spirit? (Eating healthy, staying active, getting enough rest, being grateful, loving what God has given them, etc.).
We finished the week by celebrating our different countries and cultures with our International Festival. But no matter which country your family came from, we are ALL God’s family. We are all united in Christ. That is exciting and definitely worth celebrating!
Jesus gave his life for us. He died so that we would be saved from our sins and all live together with him in heaven one day. So until that time, let’s take care of what we have been given on earth. Let’s take care of our body, mind, and spirit!
Students enrolled in a Signature Program are invited to attend "Harmonizing Health: The Melody of Pharmaceutical Advertising, Music, and Wellness" on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 11:10 a.m. in The Lighthouse.
Join us as we explore the dynamics between health, music and advertising with Courtney Wainwright '00, vice president and account director at WILDTYPE and Robert Wainwright, managing director at Global Innovations HAVAS.
Come be inspired to learn more about the career opportunities in this industry.
Parents and grandparents who are veterans are invited to attend the Veterans Day chapel on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 8:10 a.m. in The Lighthouse. We will be honoring and thanking Veterans for their sacrifices and service to our country.
Students are encouraged to wear red, white and blue shirts with uniform bottoms on this day!
The Future Health Professionals (HOSA) high school club has partnered with OneBlood to host its next blood drive of the year on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All eligible students and parents are encouraged to donate. There will be two Big Red Buses in the high school circle collecting whole blood and platelet donations.
Students can sign-up on Friday, Oct. 27 during their social studies class or stop by HS 210. Students will receive a parent consent form when they register. Additional consent forms are available HERE. Students must be at least 16 to participate. Additionally:
Students who are 16 need a signed parent consent form at every donation, even if they’ve donated before.
Students who are 17 need an ID and a signed parent consent form. This form will be valid for all remaining drives during this school year.
Students who are 18 need an ID, but are not required to submit a parent consent form.
Parent consent forms must be returned to the high school office no later than October 30 in order to donate.
While Westminster will remain a closed campus during the blood drive, parents are encouraged to participate.
Please join us for the Middle School Veterans Day Assembly on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 12:10 p.m. in The Lighthouse. The Honorable Ron Johnson, former ambassador to El Salvador and retired Green Beret Colonel, will be sharing a special message about his years of service to our country, including his career with the CIA and Army Special Forces. He is highly decorated, having been awarded several honors including the State Department's Sue M. Cobb Award, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service award, and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Parents are encouraged to attend this meaningful assembly.
Now is the time to register your child for the the GR8 ESCAPE Washington, D.C. field trip, which takes place February 8-10, 2024. During this trip, your child will see where the foundations of this country were laid, witness our democracy in action, and honor those that paid the highest price for our freedom. Most importantly, they will learn about God’s role in this country and be reminded that apart from Him no country will truly prosper.
The deadline to register is November 15. The cost of the trip is $900 and will be paid in three installments, with the first installment due upon registration. The remaining two installments will be paid through your Blackbaud Tuition Management account (December 1 and January 1, 2024). The cost of Washington, D.C. trip is non-refundable.
Please submit the registration form and field trip waiver found in myWCS by November 15.
Students are ineligible to attend if they receive more than two after school detentions or any suspensions.
I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you thought the worst had happened only to be relieved that you’d been mistaken. Maybe you’d been working for multiple hours on an important assignment only to hit the wrong key on the keyboard and in a flash all your hard work has disappeared. For that moment you fear the worst, everything you’ve worked hard to produce is gone.
Then noticing the little bar under the word icon at the bottom of the screen, you click on it and discover that what you thought was lost had just been minimized. You open the document back up, breathe a heavy, grateful sigh of relief and immediately save the document while saying, “Thank God!”
This is a special kind of gratitude! The profound hope we cling to in the time that elapses between our fears and our eventual discovery of the outcome will give way to a flood of gratitude once our fears are dislodged and realized to be false.
Maybe you’ve experienced this feeling in a situation that was much more serious than an assignment you thought you’d lost. Perhaps you and your family were sitting in a waiting room at a local hospital waiting for the attending surgeon to come back and give a report. Maybe you came around the corner to find your new car was not parked where you thought you’d left it. Or someone you loved promised to show up at a certain time and in the delay, you worried they might disappoint you again.
We are vulnerable. We put on strength and confidence, and we harden ourselves against the worst case as often and as effectively as we know how but, despite our best efforts, we are not impenetrable. Situations like these reveal our vulnerabilities and when we’re in them we must cling to hope.
When after the wait the surgeon gives us a good report, or the car is found, or an acceptable excuse is made we can finally sigh and say, “Thank God!”
Isaiah 40:31 speaks directly to this hope, the kind of hope we cling to in the face of our great vulnerability when it says, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”
When we place our hope in circumstances and outcomes, we get to experience the great sense of relief and gratitude only when the situation resolves itself in the direction we’d hoped for. But what do we do when our great vulnerability is placed on display and the outcome is not what we hoped for? We place our hope in the Lord.
We give our whole hearts to God and with the psalmist we, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Homecoming Week is a special time for our school community to come together and celebrate our Warrior pride and the traditions that makes our school exceptional. To ensure that this week is both enjoyable and safe for all students, please take a moment to review important expectations for our Homecoming festivities.
Dub Hunting: Dub hunting is a beloved Westminster tradition that fosters competition, collaboration, and critical thinking among our students. We appreciate the enthusiasm and camaraderie that this event fosters. With the fun and excitement, however; there is also the potential for careless driving. Students who engage in careless driving or fail to abide by safety guidelines may be disqualified from the game and subjected to further disciplinary actions. We ask for your support in reinforcing the importance of safety and responsible behavior with your children during this event.
Homecoming Dance: The Homecoming dance is a wonderful opportunity for our students to dress up, dance, and enjoy time with friends. We request that students dress modestly and sensibly for the event. Please take the time to carefully read and sign the mandatory forms found on myWCS and discuss them with your children to ensure they understand our expectations. Westminster does not endorse any form of underage drinking. We urge parents not to endorse or support such activities, as we are a Christian school that values the rule of law and places a strong emphasis on safety and responsible behavior.
We cherish our partnership with both parents and students, and it is our shared commitment to uphold our school's policies that allows us to maintain a strong and vibrant community.
In summary, we are excited about Homecoming Week and look forward to creating lasting memories with our students. We believe, together, we can ensure that this week is filled with joy and celebration while also maintaining a safe and respectful environment that honors God. We hope our students are beacons of light in this community and serve as ambassadors of Christ in all they do.
Thank you for your continued support and for helping us preserve the traditions that make Westminster a special place.
The Scholastic Book Fair is back! Stop by the MS/HS Media Center to see the latest titles! The book fair will be open from November 6 to November 10 (Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and on Friday from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) A percentage of the proceeds benefit the library. For more information or to shop online, click here.
Our generous students raised $2,388 for CARE Elementary! These funds will be used to provide volleyball equipment for their after-school sports program, Christmas devotionals for every student and teacher, Christmas gifts through Be the Light Foundation, and a field trip to Westminster for CARE students in January. Thank you for your support and success in instilling mission-mindedness in your children’s hearts and minds.
In the second quarter, the Noisy Offering will support Mobility Worldwide, a faith-based, volunteer-powered, humanitarian organization that reflects the love of God by bringing the gift of mobility and dignity to those in developing countries who are unable to walk. PET (personal energy transportation) carts are designed to give the gift of mobility to those in countries all around the world. Each PET cart costs $400 and is built by volunteers. Our goal is to raise $400 per grade level, enough for seven PET carts, totaling $2,800.
Let’s get creative and raise enough to reach our goal!
Mark your calendar! Registration for the ES Athletics Winter Program begins on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 5:30 p.m. You can go to After School Programs under the Resources tab in myWCS to access the registration link or click here.
Programs offered this winter:
Boys and Girls Soccer Coed Lacrosse Coed Mutli Sport Clinics Girls Volleyball
Visit the After School Program resource board for complete information. Questions? Contact Taylor Infante at email@example.com.
Over this series as we discuss the aspect of our verse that would lead us to fear God’s name, we should consider how this kind of fear feels like honor and deference. It is the combination of God’s power and goodness that inspires us to honor Him and trust His ways in our lives. He is in charge and has not left us to our own devices in navigating our lives. So, as Peter suggests, we can clothe ourselves in Humility toward one another.
One of the first things we want to know before arriving in a new place is, “What should I wear?” Of course, we mean, what clothes should I put on, but we also mean, how should I present myself? We want to know if we should present ourselves as relaxed and easy-going, or professional? We think, “Should I stand out or blend in? Will I need to be comfortable, or can I risk more style at the expense of comfort?” We cannot escape the reality that how we present ourselves to others affects how they perceive and receive us.
There is wisdom in considering the context as we prepare to present ourselves in any given setting. On the flip side, how we present ourselves often implies something about our intentions and/or expectations toward them. If I overdress, for example, it may reveal that I expected the environment to be much more formal than it was.
So, when we consider what Peter is saying in 1 Peter 5:5b-6 his meaning should be self-evident. He says, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
Trusting that God will “lift us up in due time” will create a humble posture in us towards those around us. From this posture we can see how submitting to those in authority, for example, comes more easily as we trust that their authority has been given to them by God.
When our parents, who do not always make the best decisions, or fully understand our context, make a decision that we may not agree with or understand, we can trust that God has chosen them for that role in our lives. It doesn’t mean that we don’t set healthy boundaries and speak truthfully about tensions that arise, it just means we will do these things with humility. Similarly, with our teachers, coaches, bosses, government officials, law-enforcement officers etc. These people are not acting entirely of their own will, they have been granted authority by God and will be held accountable for how they steward it. We can trust God and humble ourselves under their authority knowing that we’re not unrepresented in our claims.
There is also a place for humbling ourselves before our equals, or those who may be subordinated to us. We might listen more than we speak, offering compassion and empathy where warranted, opening our hands and homes, and practicing hospitality. Doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility valuing others above ourselves, as Paul says in Philippians 2:3.
When we do not value and honor God, when we do not ‘fear His name’ we risk diminishing His status in our lives and exposing ourselves unnecessarily to fear of man. God is in charge and He’s not nervous. He’s got this and we can trust Him.
Mark your calendar for Wednesday, Oct. 18, for Signature Program Night at 7 p.m. in the Lighthouse. All high school students enrolled in a Signature program and their parents are invited to attend for a night of fellowship and recognition.
The 5th Grade field trip to Kennedy Space Center will be on Friday, April 5, 2024. The field trip information packet was emailed to you on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, and should be returned no later than Friday, October 27, 2023.
A parent information meeting is scheduled via Zoom.
Westminster Elementary's popular after-school club program begins its second quarter on October 27. Clubs meet once a week for six sessions from 3 p.m. to 3:55 p.m. (Thursday clubs meet from 2 p.m. to 2:55 p.m.)
All clubs are taught by Westminster's talented teachers and teacher assistants. Students benefit from a wide selection of offerings to create, discover, imagine, build physical and mental skills, enjoy friendships and more!
Visit the "After School Programs" board under the RESOURCES tab in myWCS to view club offerings. Registration begins October 16 at 8 a.m.
Our verse, Psalm 86:11 says, “11 Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” What does it mean to fear God? He is most certainly very powerful, and having a healthy fear of His power is not necessarily bad. The Scripture teaches us, after all, that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. But I don’t think that’s primarily what our verse is leading us to.
The meaning of the word fear in this context might be better captured with words like, awestruck, humbled, captivated, mesmerized, and overcome. The immense power of God is softened a bit by His perfect Goodness. Let’s consider, for example, what we learn about God’s wisdom and foreknowledge through a passage like Psalm 139:13-16, “For you created my inmost being you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
In part, we fear God because He is our maker! We are not unfamiliar with giving honor and deference to creators. For example, we stand ready to pay a premium for designer jeans. A talented, and/or famous person creates a cool pair of pants, and we place value on the pants and the designer.
Now consider for a second that God has designed you! A living, breathing human being. He’s planned your unique characteristics, personality and even takes a leading role in how your story unfolds. God is weaving together designer Genes and has been since he swept some dust together and breathed life into it to form Adam, the first man.
There is an unspeakable power and intelligence at work in the creative hand of God as He knits us together, not just individually, and biologically, but also socially and historically. He is weaving the tapestry of human history and picked this exact moment for your unique thread to enhance the color and image of our time…WOW!
This is awe-inspiring! It should induce a sense of wonder not just in the designer but also in what He made. You are designed! Perhaps this thought could incentivize you to learn more of His ways and know His purpose for you.
On Thursday, Oct. 12, all students in grades 9 through 11 will take the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), an important test that provides many benefits that can help on the path to college.
The NMSQT only applies to juniors. The standard testing time is approximately two hours. We ask that you do not schedule any appointments outside of school on this date so all students are present as no make-ups will be administered. Please remind your child to complete updates and charge their Surface fully before coming to school. Students should also bring their chargers to school.
The PSAT is great practice for the SAT. Their score on the PSAT will unlock a free personalized SAT study plan on Khan Academy. In addition, students receive free college planning tools to help them start their college search as well as feedback on the types of AP courses for which they may be particularly well prepared. Taking these college-level classes can help students earn college credit while still in high school and provide them with a competitive advantage in the college admission process. The PSAT/NMSQT offers juniors the opportunity to enter competitions for college scholarships.
Please note that this will be an early dismissal day. Students will be dismissed after testing. For the most part, students will be released by 11:30 a.m. approximately. Students with 50% extended time, will be dismissed no later than 12:30 p.m., and those with 100% will be released no later than 1:30 p.m. Lunch will be available for all students.
Seniors are not to report to campus since all students in grades 9-11 will be testing. Seniors have a scheduled class photo at 9 a.m., the location will be sent out by Mrs. Plyler and Mr. Castaneda. Seniors should also use the day to work independently off campus on college applications.
In chapter two of Wandering Through WorldWonder we meet a new character named Cane. He’s named this because he’s a large Cane toad. He is also named this because his character is modeled after the Bible character named Cain, the son of Adam and Eve.
If you’re not familiar with the story you can read about it in Genesis 4:1-16. The short version of the story is this: Cain, and his brother Abel, both brought some of the rewards of their work to God. Abel worked with animals and brought God the best of his herds. Cain, on the other hand, brought God leftovers. God considered Abel’s offering acceptable but called Cain out and said that his actions were sinful. Cain responded to God in anger and his angry response led to him murdering his brother.
You might wonder how this violent Bible story relates to the toad in your kid’s book. Here’s the connection, both Cane (the toad) and Cain (the Bible character) are struggling with the sin of pride. They believe themselves to be far more important and powerful than they are. And they both resent authority and question the decisions being made, believing themselves to be the wiser judge.
So, what do we learn from Cain and Cane? And what do we teach our kids about this? We learn to be wholeheartedly devoted to God as Lord. Perhaps as we practice this posture, we will develop a sense of gratitude for all that God has blessed us with. And Gratitude is an antidote to the sickness of pride in our lives.
Our verse for this year is Psalm 86:11 which says, “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.” Remembering that we do not have all the answers and do not always see things clearly is a hard lesson to learn. But if we don’t learn it, we risk treating God as something other than Lord and hurting ourselves and others. Doing what is right is usually difficult and often costs us something, that’s why we need to rely on God’s faithfulness.
Here are some questions you may want to use in connection with chapter two. They are not intended to provide answers but may help generate interesting and helpful conversation. I’d encourage you to dig deep into your own life experience and share with your kid(s) the wisdom you have to offer:
Did you notice how Cane insists that Mac is a toad simply because he is a good leaper? This is called “jumping to conclusions” and making a final decision about something before you’ve learned all you could about it. Have you ever done that?
Cane is a prideful toad, and he sees himself as more important than he really is. What are some of the ways you remember him doing this in the story? What about Mac? Can you think of an example where Mac acted pridefully?
At the end of the chapter Cane mentions that “Mr. Heetderks will want to hear what I have to say.” Do you think Cane really has something to tell Mr. Heetderks that he doesn’t already know?
The 2023 Westminster Homecoming Dance will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. at the JW Marriott Marquis, 225 Biscayne Blvd. Way.
Tickets are on sale now for $100/person until Oct. 19. Tickets are $125/person starting on Oct. 20. Purchase your tickets HERE.
Parents must complete the Safe Partnership Agreement form located in the banner of their myWCS in order for their student to attend the dance. If your child wishes to bring a non-WCS student as a date, please complete the Non-WCS Student Guest Form, also available in the banner of your myWCS.
Westminster has been recognized by the College Board as an AP Platinum Honor Roll School. The AP School Honor Roll recognizes schools that have done outstanding work to encourage students to enroll in AP courses and to support them on the path to college success. Westminster exceeded the minimum criteria to be included as an AP Platinum Honor Roll School, as detailed below:
Expand your school's college culture by enabling at least 80% of your graduating class to experience one AP course. Westminster achieved 94%.
Assist with college affordability by enabling at least 50% of your graduating class to earn college credit by earning an AP Exam score of 3. Westminster achieved 71%.
Optimize student's college readiness by creating opportunities for at least 15% of your graduating class to take a total of five APs during high school, with at least one taken in 9th or 10th grade. Westminster achieved 56%
Congratulations to our teachers and students for their commitment to academic excellence.
Throughout Spirit Week, every homeroom will compete against the other homerooms in the same grade.
Your homeroom will earn one point for each person who dresses up each day including the teacher.
The total points earned will be divided by the number of people in the class including the teacher.
The homeroom which earns the most points per person in each grade will earn a trophy to keep for the year, bragging rights, and a basket full of candy.
GUIDELINES FOR ALL OF THE THEME DAYS
These are not free dress days. You must dress as stated above OR come to school in your school uniform. You can wear jeans, sweatpants, joggers, or shorts as long as they do not have tears or holes in them. If you wear shorts, they must be as long as your regular uniform shorts. Have fun, but dress modestly. Your stomach may not be exposed. No pajamas, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, low cut, or tight/form fitting tops. No basketball or athletic shorts. No Crocs, sandals, slippers, flip flops, masks, or face paint. You may wear leggings under shorts or tutus.
Mark your calendar for the next Parenting a Warrior class on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 8 a.m. in the Nature Center. Westminster's campus counselors Kim Brigham, Yeni Dumas and Scarlett Saldana will be discussing the very important topic, "How to Talk to Your Child About Pornography."
This class is for all parents, and we encourage you to attend.
Imagine you are walking down the street of an unfamiliar city trying to find the bus station and finally you decide to ask someone passing by for directions. They say, “take the next left and the bus station will be on your right two blocks down.” So, you take the next left and walk two blocks down and there’s the bus station on your right. This is a very unremarkable story. You are not going to tell this story at dinner the next time you invite friends over.
But let’s reimagine the scenario. You ask the passerby, and they give the exact same directions but at the next intersection you turn right and then after you go two blocks there is no bus station. Of course not! You didn’t follow the directions, even if you didn’t mean to.
Maybe, for example, you always get lost, and you’re known to be bad with directions and this is just part of what you deal with all the time. Maybe you were distracted that day by some terrible news you’d just received. Maybe this was your first time in this city, and you were overwhelmed. Maybe the streets were very crowded, and you got caught up by a crowd and were forced to go that way. Regardless of how/why it happened, this will likely be a story you tell later. How you tell it will depend heavily on how it unfolded. But, likely, no matter how you tell it, you will not focus on the passerby or his directions, you will focus on you and your application or misapplication of the directions he provided.
Mark your calendars! Thursday, Oct. 5, is Bring Your Bible to School Day for the PS/ES. Even though we read our Bibles daily at school, the students love to bring their Bibles from home and share with friends.
What has distracted you today?? This week in chapel we learned that we are so distracted – even good things in this world distract us from God and how He wants us to live. Anything that distracts us and takes us away from God is sin and divides our heart.
We read from Romans 3:23 that we all sin and none of us measure up to God’s glory. Sin is something inside of all of us, but lucky for us, we have a way to fight it. That’s the good news! We can beat sin in our lives because of JESUS. So, with Jesus, we have the ability to say “No” to sin and “Yes” to living for God.
The Holy Spirit does this for us. It is too hard for us to do all the right things on our own. We need Jesus and when we believe in him, He will give us the Holy Spirit so that we can stay focused on living how God wants us to.
When we stay focused on God and not let sin and the things of this world distract us – we can overcome a divided heart and be WHOLEHEARTED for God!
Oh and be sure to ask your child who Jenny the Kangaroo is . . . and how she distracted us in chapel!
Join us at the Parent Partners meeting on Friday, Oct. 6, at 8 a.m. for "Talk Early, Talk Often" with Mrs. Kim Brigham, LMFT and preschool and elementary school counselor. She will share wisdom on how to talk to your kids about sex, and will present an age-by-age guide for parents on this important topic.
The meeting will take place in SAC. Breakfast and coffee will be available.
There are a handful of questions that everyone will wrestle with and seek to answer. And one of the most palpable of those questions centers on our need to understand the existence of evil. Having been at Westminster for only two years I have already had this conversation with many students. For example, questions like, “Why are some people so mean?” or when put as an accusation, “Can you believe that she would do that?!” are just a rephrasing of the question, why do bad things happen?
This is a very difficult question. It is difficult because we all face difficult things; painful personal tragedies that flood us with uncertainty and grief. This article is not intended as a guide for those who are struggling with personal tragedy, that requires care and empathy, instead, this article hopes to assist those who are struggling with their belief in God in response to their experience of evil.
One of the consequences of the pain we experience is we sometimes doubt the goodness or even the existence of God. I get it, I’ve often struggled with my own doubts about God. I’ve learned that I can’t necessarily reason my way into a closer relationship with God, but I can reason myself out of my doubts about his existence or character.
For example, here is a way to reframe the problem of evil:
See You at the Pole™ is a student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led prayer rally where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and our nation to God. This year, National Junior Honor Society students will lead this special event on the Middle School on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 a.m. Please join us for a time of worship and prayer.
Recently, the eighth-grade class experienced an incredible retreat at the first GR8 Escape, and sixth and seventh grade girls participated in an amazing night of fun and fellowship at the Middle School Girls Lock-In event. Now, we would like to invite the sixth and seventh grade boys to a private showing of "What Rhymes With Reason."
"What Rhymes With Reason" is an adventure! Ignited by personal tragedy, a group of students set off to find a legendary landmark hidden in the wilderness. Together, they navigate the adventure while confronting complex struggles within themselves. The story wrestles with depression, anxiety, doubt, and identity. What Rhymes with Reason sparks a fun and emotional journey of hope for teens and families of the social media age, reminding everyone that no one has to struggle alone.
The sixth and seventh grade boys will be taking a field trip to The Falls Regal movie theater on Tuesday, October 10, 2023. Buses will leave the school at approximately 12 p.m. and will be returning around 4 p.m.
The film has been rated appropriate for ages 12+. Please visit this link for a full movie review and Dove rating details.
To register, bring $20 and this signed waiver to your Bible teacher by Monday, October 2. Concessions will be available for boys to buy snacks and drinks. Any questions, please contact Mrs. Dumas.
This year, seniors need to register for the AP exams they would like to take in May 2024. AP exams cost $125 per exam and $150 for each AP Capstone exam. The cost of the AP exam includes fees incurred from College Board and expenses for administering exams on campus. The fee for registered AP exams will be reflected in your Smart Tuition November billing statement.
We encourage all students who are enrolled in an AP course to take the respective AP Exam. Seniors must register for the exams they would like to take no later than Friday, September 29, 2023, for annual and first-semester courses. Registration for second-semester courses such as Macroeconomics will take place in January.
All students enrolled in an Advanced Placement (AP) course are automatically registered in College Board’s online platform, AP Classroom, with their respective AP teacher(s). AP Classroom provides the student access to online AP resources, including study questions that mirror actual AP exam test material. Students can independently track their progress online through Personal Progress Checks which the AP teacher unlocks. This invaluable tool is available for all AP students enrolled in an AP course at Westminster Christian School, not just for those who intend to take the exam.
Kendall Speech and Language will be coming to Westminster on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, to conduct speech, hearing, and vision screenings for our elementary students.
Please check your child’s homework folder to complete the screening consent form. Payment can be made via check or online through Venmo. All forms are due back by Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. Email Nurse Hathaway at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
This week in chapel we learned from 1 Samuel 16:7 that God doesn’t look at what people look at. People look at the outside and God looks at the heart. Ask your child about the choice of a gift Mrs. Chase had to make – and how looks can be deceiving!
We want a heart like David - a man after God's own heart. With the help of the Holy Spirit our hearts can be whole, and we can treat others the way God wants us to! We asked God to fill our hearts with love for others and hearts that love God more than anything else!
On October 12, 2023, the PSAT will be administered in a new digital format to all students in grades 9-11. Students will be using their own school-issued Surface. Watch this video to see what students can expect from the digital PSAT 8/9 and PSAT/NMSQT.
This Thursday, Sept. 21, students in grades 9-11 will stay in Period 4 to conduct a digital readiness check during assembly time. Seniors will report to The Lighthouse during assembly time.
Please ensure that your child does the following to prepare:
Check and complete any updates on the computer.
Make sure their surface is fully charged.
Bring the surface charger to school.
Check the device to make sure they can complete the test on their surface.
The PSAT is great practice for the SAT. Their score on the PSAT will unlock a free personalized SAT study plan on Khan Academy. In addition, students receive free college planning tools to help them start their college search as well as feedback on the types of AP courses for which they may be particularly well prepared. Taking these college-level classes can help students earn college credit while still in high school and provide them with a competitive advantage in the college admission process.
For Juniors, the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) offers the opportunity to enter competitions for college scholarships.
To prepare, full-length adaptive digital PSAT 8/9 and PSAT/NMSQT practice is available on the Bluebook™ app which has been installed on your child’s device. Resources are also available at the Official Digital SAT Prep on Khan Academy. In addition, below are links to the informational guides which provide test information and practice problems.
In Psalm 86:11 it says, “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” You may not have ever noticed but in this verse and in many other places in the Bible where we read the word “LORD” it is printed in all caps. There is actually a very important theological reason why the decision is made to do this. Here is a brief explanation:
The Hebrew people had such a high view of God that over time they developed traditions and rules for how to write and speak His name. The name of God in Hebrew is transliterated to English as, “Yahweh.” With respect to the tradition of honoring the name of God, however, the Hebrew people would have left out the vowels, so Yahweh becomes, YHWH, rendering the name of God unpronounceable. Their thought was something like, “If you can’t say it, you can’t misuse it.”
So, in our verse when we see the word “LORD” in all capital letters, what we have in the original language is the unpronounceable name of God YHWH. So, what does this mean for us, in other words, Why LORD; WHY|YHWH?
Steckley Designs emailed your child's school picture notice to you. If you can't locate your notice, email email@example.com with child's name, school and grade, and they will resend. We also recommend you search your inbox and spam folder for "Steckley."
Order your photo package with free school delivery, or purchase the $15 retake product by Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. Please note: If your child was absent on picture day, you do not need to contact Steckley. There is no charge for a photo retake.
Join "Women of Westminster" on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 9:30 a.m. in The Lighthouse for a morning of worship, Christian fellowship, and a bit of laughter with Dede Lomenick, an inspiring speaker who understands the joys and struggles of women.
This annual event is open to all Westminster women, current and alumni moms and grandmothers, and high school students, who want to spend a morning together growing in faith. Friends and guests of our Westminster community are also invited.
Attendees will enjoy a light breakfast and will receive a special gift! No RSVP is required. We look forward to seeing you there!
Any student in grades 9-11 enrolled in an Advanced Placement (AP) course is automatically registered for the AP exams, which take place in May 2024. Each AP exam costs $125 per AP exam and $150 for each AP Capstone exam. The cost of the AP exam includes costs from College Board as well as costs of administering the exams on campus for proctors and other related expenses for Westminster. The fee for registered AP exams will be reflected in your Smart Tuition November billing statement.
We encourage all students who are enrolled in an AP course to take the respective AP Exam. However, if a student wishes to cancel their registration for an AP exam, he/she must complete the cancellation form no later than Friday, Sep. 29, for both annual and first-semester courses.
Any exams canceled after Sep. 29 will not be refunded.
All students enrolled in an Advanced Placement (AP) course are automatically registered in College Board’s online platform, AP Classroom, with their respective AP teacher(s). AP Classroom provides the student access to online AP resources, including study questions that mirror actual AP exam test material. Students can independently track their progress online through Personal Progress Checks which are unlocked by the AP teacher. This invaluable tool is available for all AP students enrolled in an AP course at Westminster Christian School, not just for those who take the exam.
The Scholastic Book Fair will be coming in October and we are in search of enthusiastic volunteers to make this event a resounding success! Are you passionate about books, literacy, and fostering a love for reading among young minds? If so, we invite you to join us as a Scholastic Book Fair Volunteer.
🗓️ Event Dates: October 9-13 🏫 Location: Hub 1 in the elementary school campus
Volunteer Opportunities: -Cashiers: Help students and parents complete their purchases at the checkout counter. -Personal Shoppers: Offer recommendations and assist shoppers in finding the perfect books.
No prior experience is necessary, and training will be provided for all volunteer roles. Just bring your passion for books and a willingness to help make this event unforgettable!
Every human being is creative. The Bible teaches us that we are made in the image of God. He is the creator of the universe. All things, from the most intricate details of subatomic particles to the vast expanse of space and the mechanism of time, came from the mind and mouth of God. So, when He made us in His image, he gave us a similar kind of creative power. The important difference being that He can create from nothing, whereas we can create with what he’s created. God made a tree by speaking and it came into existence. We can make a tree by planting a seed. We can also use the wood that comes from a tree to make a table. We can also say the word “tree” creates the idea of a tree in someone else’s mind. This, our use of language, is the purest form of our God-reflecting creative power. We can create ideas through written and spoken words. In other words, we, too, create with our minds and mouths.
When we speak, we pass air over our vocal cords, tongue and lips in a way that manipulates it to create sounds. These sounds create meaning. The person standing nearby receives those manipulated air particles through tiny vibrating hairs and bones in their ear and interpreting those vibrations through chemical signals in their neurons, creates mental pictures in their mind. So, I can think of an idea and then use air to create a similar idea in your mind.
You don’t even need to be in the same room as me to understand what I’m thinking about because I can use marks on a page or screen to represent the words I would say if you were. Through the written and spoken word I can create in your mind what was in my own.
The Preface and Chapter 1 of Wandering Through WorldWonder are written to make the connection between WorldWonder and the Garden of Eden. WorldWonder is a well-cultivated, beautiful garden with lots of trees and lush green plants. Here is the description of the Garder of Eden in Genesis 2:8-9 & 16-17:
“8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
This week in Chapel I shared a message with the Elementary school about what happens when we plant seeds. If you plant a tomato seed, you expect to get a tomato plant and you hope that it produces tomatoes. If you planted tomato seeds and got a pumpkin plant that produced bananas, you would be very confused.
In Genesis 2, we see that the “seeds” God planted in creation were for our benefit; good trees that produced good food. But then Adam and Even “planted a seed” of sin by eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when God asked them not to. As a result, the seed of sin got planted in the heart of humanity and now sin and brokenness grow up all around us. This is not good, but it makes sense, because when you plant a seed, you expect to get more of what you planted.
What are we grateful for? This week in chapel we learned about David, who God called "a man after God's own heart." David wrote our theme Bible verse for this year, Psalm 86:11. How can we be "a person after God's own heart?" A good start is by seeking God and thanking Him for our blessings. Students were challenged this week to wake up each morning grateful and thanking God for one blessing in life! Ask your child what he/she is grateful for!
Thank you to some PK3 students (and siblings!) for raising $159 for our Noisy Offering by having a lemonade stand over Labor Day weekend. This is awesome mission-mindedness! Our Noisy Offering this quarter will support the students attending CARE Elementary School in Overtown.
I read an article a few years ago that referenced a psychological study where participants were given random labels and then told to divide themselves according to the labels they received. The result was three groups of people. The focus of the study was how people responded to the new group and the researchers were surprised to see competition spring up in the resultant groups. The same tensions you would expect to find in entrenched politics, tribal warfare, and international disputes. The resulting groups, associated only by randomly generated and completely arbitrary labels, displayed intense loyalty to their group and fierce competition with the other groups in a matter of a few hours.
I was intrigued so I ran an experiment. We were taking a group of 100 volunteers on a tour and took two charter buses labeled bus A and bus B. I was the host on bus B. As we started, I stood up in the front of my bus and said something like this, “Hey everyone, my name is John Bishop, and before I say anything else, I just wanted to let you know that we’re bus B, the better bus, the Bishop bus…” I said a few other silly things, picking on my friend who was hosting bus A and then we commenced with the tour. By the time we had arrived at our first destination, 45 minutes later, the identity of bus B was so firmly entrenched that my bus B group started heckling bus A people on the sidewalk as we disembarked. Now, it was all in good fun, and we laughed about it. But the fact remains, there is something baked into us that drives us to competition.
I think competition, in general, is great. It drives us to achieve things we wouldn’t otherwise accomplish. It creates comradery and brings meaningful depth to our experiences with each other. But there are dark sides to competition that create very un-Christlike behaviors in us. Some of us, for example, commit to win at all costs and succumb to cheating, lying, and stealing to make it happen. Or in our relationships we compete in ways that damage intimacy and wound trust.
I don’t think we can get rid of competition; I think it’s in us and likely put there by God, but how do we compete in God’s way?
The honor society application is now open for submissions! Students that are currently members of an honor society do not need to reapply. However, Mu Alpha Theta associate members need to apply to become full members.
Westminster Christian School utilizes one digital unified application. Students must submit only one application, but they may select multiple honor societies for consideration. All students must also upload the following documents before submitting their application (both can be found in myWCS):
High School Transcript
Final 2022-2023 Report Card showing unweighted GPA
Select honor societies have additional application requirements such as a teacher recommendation form, service hour documentation, or submission of a writing sample. Go to the Resources tab in myWCS and click on Honor Societies to download teacher recommendation forms and review eligibility criteria prior to beginning the application.
All applications for honor societies must be completed and submitted by Friday, September 22, 2023.
Please note, applying for an honor society does not guarantee selection. Students selected for induction will be notified by the honor society sponsor on or before Friday, October 6, 2023.
If you have questions about a specific honor society, please contact the sponsor directly. Go to the Resources tab in myWCS and click on Honor Societies to view honor society sponsors. If you have a technical issue regarding the honor society application, please contact Mrs. Cabrera-Sarduy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to access the honor society application.
KIX Youth for Christ in North Miami and West Homestead thanks elementary school students and families for making them the recipients of their last Noisy Offering for the 2022-23 school year. KIX used the funds to help send children on field trips. Watch these videos they made to show their appreciation:
Today, Wednesday, Aug. 30, is our first day of Fall ES Athletics!
As a reminder, pick up for all teams and grade levels will be at the front of the ES building. Please have your placard placed inside the front windshield so that our coaches can easily see it.
Coach Antawn Borden and Coach Eddie Oliva have an away JV Football game, so we will have guest coach Scott Doan assisting with our second and third grade boys’ basketball. Practice and uniform distribution will still take place.
Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Allow me to unpack the significance of this powerfully profound principle through the relatively simple experience of caring for Hamsters.
Hamstee (my daughter’s first pet hamster) was a horrible pet. We cared for it diligently and did all we could to show it love, but it gave almost nothing back, excepting a lot of middle-of-the-night disturbances, horrible smells, and a few bite wounds. The commitment we made to caring for Hamstee felt like all burden and very little blessing. So, when my daughter came running into the kitchen in a panic and said, “Daddy, the Hamster is dead.” I’m ashamed to admit that my first emotion was not grief. Still my daughter was very upset, so we committed to bury the hamster in the yard. Unfortunately, while digging the hole I broke one of the sprinkler lines! And this experience perfectly sums up what it was like owning and caring for Hamstee, even in its death it was a burden.
Committing to care for Buttercup (our current hamster), however, has been the picture of simplicity and joy. Somehow the little rodent makes cleaning out its filthy tunnels a joy. “We don’t want her to have to live in that squalor…she doesn’t know any better,” we think. We take her out and hold her all the time. She brings so much joy and pleasure to our family. And yet, while on a road trip she gave us quite the scare. The latch on her cage got loose and, in the night, she escaped into my brother-in-law's house. We eventually found her (thank God) but not before emptying closets, barricading rooms, and worrying for 24 hours.
If you get the sense while you’re reading Wandering Through WorldWonder: Mac & Mica’s Adventure, that there is more going on than what is being described, that’s because there is. We have written and illustrated this story with the goal of helping children discover and fall in love with the truths of the Scripture. For example, in this preface you will read the line, “The gate is open and there are adventures waiting to be experienced, and Mr. Heetderks loves having visitors.”
Now on the surface, this is just a tease for the coming story, but we are leveraging WorldWonder allegorically to represent the kingdom of God. So, when we talk about the gate of WorldWonder we are referring to Jesus’ words about Himself in John 10:9 where He says, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” If the gate is Jesus, then Mr. Heetderks represents God the Father. WorldWonder becomes the Kingdom of God and “the adventure” is more than just a setup for the story; it is representative of life, with all its blessing and challenge.
Read through this preface with your kids, be on the lookout for ways to connect the story to faith. Let them share with you the things they like about it, or things that excite them about the book. And then maybe start the conversation by asking something like, “What kind of adventures do you think might happen in WorldWonder?”
It’s sometimes tough to have conversations with kids about spiritual things. We hope this book helps you relay the story of God’s love and care for us in a way that they can understand and enjoy. The kingdom of God is here, and we enter it with the innocence and faith of children. Let their curiosity inspire your imagination and enjoy the moment.
Girls in grades 6 and 7, get ready for a night of fun, friendship, and adventure at our First Annual Girls Lock-In event! Experience a night of joy, sisterhood, and faith on Friday, Sept. 22, from 9 p.m. to Saturday, Sept 23 at 8 a.m.
Together, we will strengthen our bonds with each other and with God. Through uplifting conversations and inspiring activities, we'll create a space for spiritual growth and meaningful connections. Join us for a night of worship, reflection, and laughter, as we celebrate our shared values and the love that unites us in Christ. Open your hearts to an evening of fellowship and devotion, as we journey together in faith and friendship.
To register, please return this signed waiver with $10 to your Bible teacher by Monday, Sept. 11.
A late-night snack and light breakfast will be provided. Soon we will share a list of the items to bring with you.
High School Meet the Teacher night, held on Thursday, Aug. 31, is an opportunity for parents to hear from their child’s teachers and to learn more about their classes and daily schedule.
High School offers parents the option to attend on-campus or remotely via Microsoft Teams.
REMOTE: Next week, all high school parents will receive an invite through their child’s Microsoft Teams account. To join remotely, please log in to Microsoft Teams using your child’s login credentials. Teachers created calendar invites for each class. Remote attendance provides full audio of the evening's presentations; however, views of the teacher and classroom are best in person.
ON-CAMPUS: For parents joining us in-person, please find your child’s class schedule and classroom locations in myWCS. Printed copies will not be available. To facilitate navigating the campus, click here for a campus map.
Our schedule will be as follows:
6:45 p.m. - 6:55 p.m.
7 p.m. - 7:10 p.m.
7:15 p.m. - 7:25 p.m.
7:30 p.m. - 7:40 p.m.
7:45 p.m. - 7:55 p.m.
8:00 p.m. - 8:10 p.m.
8:15 p.m. - 8:25 p.m.
8:30 p.m. - 8:40 p.m.
Please note that this is not a time for individual parent-teacher conferences.
Please mark your calendar to also attend "College Counseling, Coffee and Croissants" for parents on Sep. 6-Sep. 8. See details HERE.
Due to popular demand, we are pleased to add Homework Hangout 2 to our Monday after school clubs (beginning August 28) under the leadership of third grade teacher, Mrs. Jenea Riccio, in Room 204. Mrs. Riccio will lead this six-week club in a similar manner as the original Homework Hangout. Students will get their homework done and prepare for quizzes and tests while munching on yummy snacks.
If interested, visit After School Programs under the Resources tab in myWCS. Look for HOMEWORK HANGOUT MONDAY 2.
The Future Health Professionals (HOSA) high school club has partnered with OneBlood to host its first blood drive of the year on Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All eligible students and parents are encouraged to donate. There will be two Big Red Buses in the high school circle collecting whole blood and platelet donations.
Students can sign-up on Friday, Aug. 25, during their social studies class or stop by HS 210. Students will receive a parent consent form when they register. Additional consent forms are available HERE. Students must be at least 16 to participate. Additionally:
Students who are 16 need a signed parent consent form at every donation, even if they’ve donated before.
Students who are 17 need an ID and a signed parent consent form. This form will be valid for all remaining drives during this school year.
Students who are 18 need an ID, but are not required to submit a parent consent form.
Parent consent forms must be returned to the high school office no later than Aug. 28 in order to donate.
While Westminster will remain a closed campus during the blood drive, parents are encouraged to participate.
The Christian worldview includes this truth: our hearts are divided. Jeremiah 17:9-10 puts it uncomfortably direct:
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
10 I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.
I don’t like this. I would prefer that Jeremiah says something more like, “Some people’s hearts are deceitful and beyond cure, but not yours, yours is pretty good. I mean, not perfect, of course, everyone makes mistakes, but you’re a pretty good person.” He doesn’t. He says, “the heart,” meaning the central defining nature of humanity, the core of who/what we are, is deceitful. Isn’t that a little harsh, Jeremiah?
Enjoy a cup of coffee and light refreshments at an informal gathering with fellow Westminster parents and administrators from your child's grade/campus on Friday, Aug. 25 at 8 a.m. in the SAC. Each family will receive a complimentary Westminster coffee mug. We look forward to seeing you there!
If a student has a psychological evaluation and needs a Westminster Learning Profile and/or College Board Accommodations, please submit evaluation forms to Mirtha Regueiro by Friday, Aug. 25. Students who have already received accommodations, do not need to re-apply.
Please note, the College Board makes the final decision on accommodations request for the PSAT, SAT, and AP exams.
Seniors celebrate their return to campus on Monday, Aug. 21, with a senior caravan. This Westminster tradition is a fantastic way to kick-off their final year. Here are some important details about the event:
Seniors will meet in their vehicles at 7:45 a.m. at Paradise Point, just east of the intersection at SW 67 Avenue and SW 152 Street. Party buses are not allowed as part of the caravan.
The caravan will begin at approximately 8:05 a.m.
Seniors will enter Westminster through the south entrance on SW 67 Avenue following that route into the high school circle and end in the student parking lot.
Parents that would like to view the caravan should park off campus along SW 152 Street and gather in the high school circle.
We are excited to share our plans for chapel for the 2023-24 school year. This year’s theme is WHOLEHEARTED. Our theme verse is Psalm 86:11, “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." We will be going on an adventure with our chapel mascots, Mac, Mica and their momma, to discover answers to many questions they have about God, Jesus, the Bible, and living a Christian life. Over the course of the year, Mac will learn how to trust God with his whole heart as he and his friends explore WorldWonder. Here are some of the activities your students will be taking part in this year to help them to trust God wholeheartedly!
Tuesdays are chapel days. This year, we are all worshipping together in one chapel first thing in the morning. Please be sure to have your child wear their chapel shirt and to arrive to school on time. Parents are always welcomed to join us and sit in the first three rows.
Spiritual Emphasis Week (SEW)
There will be Spiritual Emphasis Weeks twice this year. These special weeks are hosted in the Hub or the Wild Acre and give students the opportunity to dive a little deeper into what we are studying in the Bible.
We want to pass the love of Christ on to other people in our South Florida community. We are looking for opportunities to get involved. Email Manya Glavach if you are connected with service opportunities in South Florida.
Noisy Offering for Missions
Every quarter, the chapel team picks an organization or ministry to bless with a financial offering. The purpose of collecting an offering is to teach our students to be ambassadors for Christ through service to others. The Bible tells is in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Encourage your child to get creative in supporting our Noisy Offering – do chores around the house, have a lemonade stand, sell cookies, pray for selected ministries or anything else you can think of! Thank you for your prayers and continued support in developing a mission mindset in your children.
In Class Connection
This year, together we will be reading the book "Wandering through WorldWonder: Mac & Mica's Adventure" written by Westminster's Director of Spiritual Formation John Bishop. Mac, Mica, and the many other characters found in this story were created to share the lessons found in Psalm 86:11, the central focus of Westminster's spiritual formation plan for the 2023-24 school year.
At Home Connection
We are so excited to be working together with our Warrior families to develop ambassadors for Christ by empowering learners, preparing hearts, and inspiring lives. Ask your child what they learn each day at school about God, during chapels, and in Bible. Please continue to pray for our school family!
You can also visit the Chapel board, under the Resource tab in myWCS.
High school students being dropped off or picked up from school should enter through gate 4 (main gate entrance with security guard gate off of SW 152 street) and pull in through the front circle. Students driving themselves should enter through gate 2 (HS student parking lot entrance).
Students need to register their vehicle with Mrs. Lorena Vicente to receive the parking decal (must be placed inside of the front windshield on the passenger side).
During school hours, all parents and visitors will enter through gate 4 (main gate entrance with security guard gate off of SW 152 street). Guests must have a photo ID to be checked in at the guard house and place the temporary parking pass on their dashboard, and their guest pass must be visibly placed on the upper torso.
The Westminster Christian 2023-24 Student/Parent Handbook is posted on the Parent Resources board, under the Resources tab. The Handbook serves as a guide in policy matters and contains school protocols, procedures, and rules. Please take the time to review the Handbook with your child.
The summer reading assignments and supply lists are also available under the Resources tab in myWCS. Be sure to visit the Resources tab for a variety of information available to parents and students.
Now is the time to register your child for the GR8 ESCAPE, a three-day spiritual and leadership retreat that will be held from Tuesday, Sept. 5 to Thursday, Sept. 7 at the Southwind Young Life Camp in Ocklawaha, FL. GR8 ESCAPE is part of the school year and attendance is expected.
Please click on the following links to complete your child's registration and required consent forms.
These forms must be completed no later than Tuesday, August 22.
At GR8 Escape, students will participate in activities that promote spiritual growth, team building, and develop leadership skills in a fun and safe environment, all under the supervision of middle school faculty and staff.
Stay tuned for more details and be sure to visit the GR8 Escape Resource Board in myWCS under the Resource tab for more information.
Registration is open for the the MS Robotics Club. The club meets Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after school at 3:05 p.m. in T150 for one hour. Visit After School Clubs under the Resources tab for more information.
Enjoy a cup of coffee and light refreshments at an informal gathering with fellow Westminster parents and administrators from your child's grade/campus on Friday, Aug. 18 at 8 a.m. in the SAC. Each family will receive a complimentary Westminster coffee mug. We look forward to seeing you there!
After Warrior Week, our first day of classes on campus will be on Monday, August 21. Student schedules and classroom locations can be found in myWCS. Some classroom locations have changed from previous years. Please be aware student schedules are still being updated; therefore, slight changes are still possible.
All students are to comply with our dress code each school day. Only Westminster-issued items may be worn. Be prepared early for cold weather by purchasing school-approved cold weather items.
We are aware that Dennis Uniforms have some supplies back-ordered until August 31. We are extending grace as the uniform company works diligently to fulfill these orders.
Enjoy a cup of coffee and light refreshments at an informal gathering with fellow Westminster parents and administrators from your child's grade/campus on Thursday, Aug. 17 at 8 a.m. Each family will receive a complimentary Westminster coffee mug. We look forward to seeing you there!
Enjoy a cup of coffee and light refreshments at an informal gathering with fellow Westminster parents and administrators from your child's grade/campus on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 8 a.m. in the SAC. Each family will receive a complimentary Westminster coffee mug. We look forward to seeing you there!
For families with children registered for the Elementary Multi-Sport Preseason Camp, the camp will be held after school August 15-18 (Tuesday-Friday) and August 21-25 (Monday-Friday). Please note the following important information:
Students will not be changing before camp. If your student would like to participate in different clothing, they can wear their practice clothes under their uniform to school.
Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle but do not need any sports equipment for this camp.
Students will be checked out by their teachers at the dismissal line and escorted to the courts/fields at the school day dismissal.
If parents are not present to pick-up the student at the completion of camp, they will be escorted to extended care by the coach. Parents are responsible for any additional extended care payments.
Pick-Up Times/ Location:
3:30 p.m. - K5 - Grade 1: Front of the Elementary School.
4 p.m. - Grades 2-3: Front of the Elementary School.
4 p.m. - Grades 4-5: Preschool pick-up/drop-off by Gutierrez Field.
Please have your school placard visible on your dashboard.
We will not be cancelling sessions due to the weather. In the event of rain, students will be participating in a sport-related activity in a designated covered area.
Please join us in welcoming Olga Ndhlovu as an associate director at the College Counseling Center. Ms. Ndhlovu replaces Ethel Ricardo and will be working with students with last names that begin with D-H. Ndhlovu has spent her professional career working in higher education, and is passionate about fostering leadership qualities, providing guidance, mentoring and assisting students in their academic pursuits, spiritual growth, college exploration and career development.
All students are to be in compliance each school day with the school dress code. Be prepared early for cold weather by purchasing long uniform slacks. On cold days, school approved Westminster jackets and Westminster sweatshirts may be worn, ONLY WESTMINSTER LOGO ITEMS MAY BE WORN. No jeans will be allowed.
The Westminster Christian Middle School 2023/24 Student/Parent Handbook is posted on the Parent Resources board, under the Resources tab. The Handbook serves as a guide in policy matters and contains school protocols, procedures, and rules. Please take the time to review the Handbook with your child.
Westminster Elementary's popular after-school club program begins its first quarter on August 28. Clubs meet once a week for six sessions from 3 p.m. to 3:55 p.m. (Thursday clubs meet from 2 p.m. to 2:55 p.m.)
All clubs are taught by Westminster's talented teachers and teacher assistants. Students benefit from a wide selection of offerings to create, discover, imagine, build physical and mental skills, enjoy friendships and more!
Visit the "After School Programs" board under the RESOURCES tab to view club offerings. Registration begins August 14 at 8 a.m.
Everyone is invited to the Back-to-School Celebration on Friday, August 11, at 7 p.m in the SAC and surrounding outdoor areas. Dinner and drinks will be provided for you and your family to enjoy in a relaxed, casual atmosphere with friends.
New parents and students are encouraged to stop by the Middle School welcome tent to meet faculty and administrators.
In middle school, the day begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m., except on Thursdays when it ends at 2 p.m. If students are not picked up 30 minutes after the end of the school day or do not have an after-school activity, they must report to after-school care for their safety. This free service is provided until 5 p.m.
To pick-up or drop-off your middle school student:
Please enter through the north gate off 67th Avenue and follow the loop around in front of the Student Activities Center (SAC). Pull to the most forward position and be sure your child is ready to swiftly exit the vehicle when dropping off so that we can quickly accommodate as many vehicles as possible. Do not park your vehicle in front of the SAC.
To keep every student and adult safe, DO NOT drop-off or pick-up your child along the way or from behind the SAC.
Thank you for your patience as traffic may be slow during the first few weeks of school.
As we approach the new school year, we would like to share the updated dress code policy regarding skorts and underscore some of our policies for middle school and high school students. The goal of Westminster’s dress code policy is to promote a professional learning environment consistent with our core values of excellence and respect. In line with these values, we have defined our dress code policy to provide more specific guidelines on acceptable styles.
The “double tab pleat skort” and “double pleat skort” are the two acceptable style choices for girls from the AA uniform collection. Please note, the double bow skort is designed for elementary aged students and is not acceptable for middle school and high school girls.
Uniform shorts/skorts, including the inner lining of skorts, may not be altered, rolled up, or shortened in any way. Shorts/skorts must pass the “fingertip test,” where the hem of the garment reaches the tips of the fingers when a student stands straight, and arms/hands are placed by their side.
Students may only wear Westminster-issued sweatshirts and collared uniform shirts. Chapel shirts may only be worn on Tuesdays. The school may offer occasional dress down or “swag” days to be announced periodically throughout the year.
Our school's dress code policy is essential to maintaining a learning environment that promotes excellence and respect, and fosters a sense of unity among students. It is crucial that students adhere to these guidelines.
Violations of the dress code policy will be documented in the student's file and will be immediately communicated to parents. The student will also be required to change into appropriate uniform dress. Subsequent violations will be met with disciplinary measures appropriate to reinforce the importance of adhering to the dress code policy.
Thank you for your commitment to our school community and for partnering with Westminster to create a positive and respectful learning environment. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the updated dress code policy, please contact your campus office.
As we gear up for the highly anticipated Warrior Week, we want to ensure the safety and well-being of our students throughout the event. For those students who require medications during Warrior Week, we have organized scheduled drop-off times to streamline the process. Please note that prescription medications require a physician authorization/prescription and emergency medications should have an accompanying action plan. All forms are located in the Health Clinic resource board. To access the resource board, log in to myWCS, go to Resources and click on Health Clinic.
Please take note of the WCS Health Clinic medication drop-off schedule:
· Grade 12 medication drop-off: Monday, August 7, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
· Grade 11 medication drop-off: Tuesday, August 8, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
· Grade 10 medication drop-off: Wednesday, August 9, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
· Grade 9 medication drop-off: Thursday, August 10, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
**Self-carry medications require a physician order and can be emailed to email@example.com. **
We kindly ask that you adhere to these specific drop-off times to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Medications and prescriptions will not be collected on the day students leave for their Warrior Week trip, so please plan accordingly.
If the designated drop-off time for your grade level poses a challenge, we kindly request that you email the Health Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an alternative drop-off time. You may also email the Health Office with any questions or concerns.
The Elementary multi-sport pre-season camp will take place after school from Tuesday, Aug. 15through Friday, Aug. 25. This camp is designed to expose students in K5 to grade 5 to a variety of after-school athletic opportunities. Students will participate in soccer, kickball, basketball, and more. Students will be checked out from their teachers at the dismissal line and escorted to the courts/ fields. Students can be picked up at 4 p.m. at the front of the elementary school.
The total cost for each student is $50 for the nine-day camp.
Uniforms don’t fit? Need another size? No problem! If you have gently used uniforms you no longer need, drop them off this week at the ES, MS, or HS office (lost and found bin) to be sold at the DUB Swap.
All families are invited to shop at the DUB SWAP on Wednesday and Thursday, July 26and 27, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the MS/HS Media Center. At the Swap, you can purchase any uniform item for $5 each.
Make sure you have everything you need by reviewing the trip's packing list. Click here to view.
If you haven't done so already, the following Warrior Week forms should also be completed as soon as possible:
The Warrior Week waiver and Student Registration forms. These are available in your myWCS account (in the same place as your enrollment forms.)
The Sharptop Cove waiver. This waiver is available on the Warrior Week Resource Board and by using this link. Please select both Westminster (Miami) and August 13-18, 2023, under the appropriate sections.
If your child has any dietary concerns, please use this link to submit the form directly to Sharptop Cove.
For students with prescription medications, your child’s physician must complete an Authorization for Medication form. Click here for more details.
Volunteer opportunities are still available. Westminster is also searching for nurses and doctors to attend. Click here to register to volunteer.
Westminster's College Counseling Center (CCC) will be hosting Senior Boot Camp August 8-11 to continue the college application process with students. All seniors are required to attend one session. If you have not registered, click here to register now.
Westminster student athletes in grades 6-12 are welcome to attend the annual on-campus physical day on Saturday, July 29, from 9 a.m.-11 a.m., in the main gym, sponsored by UHealth, free of charge. Bring your completed EL2 form.
Click here to view the new athletic clearance procedures for grades 6-12. Westminster will no longer use PRIVIT for athletic clearance submissions.
If you are completing your annual physical over the summer, please have your doctor sign the EL2 form. Also, please note that all Westminster student athletes in grades 6-12 are welcome to attend the annual on-campus physical day on July 29 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. in the gym, sponsored by UHealth, free of charge.
For students with prescription medications, your child’s physician must complete an Authorization for Medication form. This form includes medications administered by the nurse or carried by the students for self-administration. Additionally, students who require emergency medications must have an action plan completed by their prescribing physician. Please note, medication will not be accepted without a physician signed Authorization and/or action plan forms. To access these forms, log in to myWCS, click on the Resources tab, and then click on the Health Clinic resource board. We kindly ask that you do not delay in getting your child’s forms completed.
Please arrange to drop off medication, supplies, and orders at the Health Clinic the week of August 7, 2023. Each grade level will have a designated drop-off day and time, which will be communicated to you in advance. It is important to note that medications and orders will no longer be accepted on the day your child departs for Warrior Week. Please feel free to email Nurse Hathaway at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
English level placements for freshmen have been uploaded to myWCS. Students can view by logging in to myWCS and selecting course requests found under “My Day.” Reminder, placement is based on the placement exam, English 8 level, and final grade.
Please note, course requests are different from a student’s schedule. The students’ schedules will be generated from courses requested and assigned to select periods based on what fits within the school-assigned schedule.
Notification will be sent once schedules are posted in myWCS. Please check the Summer Reading information found under “Resources” to begin the summer assignments.
As senior year approaches, we want to provide you with information regarding senior yearbook portraits and introduce you to the new yearbook advisor, Mrs. Reisa Plyler. Mrs. Plyler brings a wealth of experience and creativity to the yearbook team. Her passion for capturing Westminster’s school community and highlighting the accomplishments of our students will undoubtedly result in a remarkable yearbook.
Senior portraits are an essential part of creating a memorable yearbook, and we want to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible. We have decided to partner with Fox-Mar Studio for this year's senior photos. Fox-Mar will share senior portraits directly with Westminster’s yearbook advisor. Parents may also choose to take additional portraits with Fox-Mar or contract a private photographer for individual senior portraits.
To schedule your child’s senior portrait session, please visit Fox-Mar Studio’s website at https://foxmar.sessionselector.com/. On the website, you will find detailed instructions, available dates, and pricing information. We encourage you to book your session quickly to secure your preferred date and time slot.
If you have any questions about your child's senior portraits, you may email Mrs. Plyler at firstname.lastname@example.org. She looks forward to working closely with you and your senior throughout the yearbook creation process. As we embark on this exciting journey together, we would like to express our gratitude for your ongoing support and partnership. Happy summer!
As families prepare for the next school year, please be advised that Westminster will no longer use PRIVIT for athletic clearance submissions. Westminster Athletics is moving to a new system and details on that system will be available in the coming weeks.
If you are completing your annual physical over the summer, please have your doctor sign the EL2 form. You may submit the form to Westminster Athletics once the new system is in place and operational.
Also, please note that all Westminster student athletes in grades 6-12 are welcome to attend the annual physical day in late July, sponsored by UHealth, free of charge. The exact time and date of those physicals will be communicated in the coming weeks.
Last week, Westminster Athletics hosted its first ever Westee Awards. Congratulations to all the varsity athletes, coaches and students that were recognized at the event. Click here to view photos of the winners. High resolution photos are also available for purchase.
More than 60 years ago, a small group of Christians had a vision for an educational institution that would partner with Christian families to promote schooling to the glory of God. Though much has changed about our culture, our community, and our school, the mission of Westminster of empowering, preparing, and inspiring students to be ambassadors for Christ has not. Our strategic plan and priorities point to this mission. At the Spring Association Meeting, Westminster Board of Trustee’s Chair Philip Floyd and Head of School Scott Jones shared updates regarding Westminster’s strategic plan, steps the Board and school administration are taking to meet our goals, and our vision for the future. For the members of our community who were not able to attend, below is a summary of the information that we shared.
We are currently accepting volunteer applications for Fun Camp! Register now to receive service hours. The deadline to apply is May 12.
We are accepting two weeks per volunteer. Volunteer hours are from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. If you volunteer for a week, you MUST attend all five days. No half weeks are available. You can mark yourself available for one week or all seven weeks and camp directors will choose based on need. No applications from incoming freshman, class of 2027, will be accepted.
For the first time next school year, Westminster's eighth grade class will participate in the "GR8 ESCAPE." GR8 ESCAPE is a three-day spiritual and leadership retreat that will be held from Tuesday, Sept. 5 to Thursday, Sept. 7 at the Southwind Young Life Camp in Ocklawaha, FL, just east of Ocala.
Under the supervision of middle school administrators, faculty, and staff, students will participate in activities that promote spiritual growth, team building, and develop leadership skills in a fun and safe environment during a two-night, three-day stay.
Students will travel via coach buses, leaving school on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 6 a.m. and returning on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. The cost is $650 per student. GR8 ESCAPE is part of the school year and attendance is expected. If there are any issues for this coming school year, please contact Mr. Manoogian.
For now, please mark your calendar for this exciting event. We will share additional information and provide important details over the next few months. Be sure to check myWCS for updates and @WCSMIAMI on Instagram during the summer.
We value the trust that you place in Westminster to empower learners, prepare hearts and inspire lives to faithfully become ambassadors for Jesus Christ.
Thank you to all who joined the fun at this year's Father Daughter Dance. Click here to see event photos. You can download a low-resolution photo or purchase a high-resolution version. Photos can also be viewed at any time by visiting the Resources tab > Pixieset Photo Gallery.
Westminster's sailing team invites interested students in grades 7 through 10 to join them at Carrollton School (3747 Main Hwy, Miami, FL 33133) this Tuesday, April 25, from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. to meet the coach as well as some of the team members, ask questions, and do some sailing! Interested students must register using this link, which also provides additional details on the opportunity. If you have any questions, please contact Coach David at email@example.com.
Westminster's Peer Counseling program is now accepting applications from the class of 2024! This program consists of a group of qualified student counselors trained to address a broad range of topics by providing one-on-one, confidential support to Westminster students. Peer counselors are carefully chosen each academic school year based on qualities of empathy, self-reflection, attentiveness, and discretion. The Peer Counseling program offers an encouraging atmosphere where students can talk openly about personal, social, and/or academic challenges and accompanying feelings.
If you are interested in helping peers in a professional setting, please submit this application by Friday, April 28.
Those interested should carefully respond to the questions on the application form. If your application, recommendations, and evaluations pass the first round of review, you will be called for an interview. Please note that the Peer Counseling program receives an abundance of applications annually and openings are limited. Peer counselor selections are final. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Saldana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Wednesday, April 19, at 8 a.m., the CCC will be hosting an Essay and Case Studies Workshop for the juniors. Please check your SCOIR account to familiarize yourself with the case studies. Room assignments have been posted on the CCC window. Be sure to bring your College Workbook and surface. Contact your counselor if you have any questions.
Westminster Football is hosting an interest meeting for current fifth grade parents whose sons are interested in trying out for football in sixth grade. Come learn more about the program and meet the new sixth grade football coach Keyon Elam on Wednesday, April 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Gutierrez Field.
Prom is coming up in a few weeks, and we know that students are eager to make plans and purchase tickets. We are grateful we can coordinate and sponsor this event as well as other activities that enhance the Westminster student experience.
To maximize the fun and safety of our community, we want to communicate our expectations for students who participate in Westminster-sponsored events. In this, we hope to clear up any misunderstandings, answer questions you may have, and set expectations for students and parents. We also feel it will be helpful to clarify the potential consequences associated with behavior that contradicts the standards outlined in the student handbook that occurs at this and any school-sponsored events.
It is with this goal in mind that we are asking you to read and complete the safe partnership agreement found in myWCS. Please read through the entire agreement, sign, and submit. After completing the form, your student will be given the opportunity to secure his/her tickets. Westminster students who do not have this form signed by a parent will not be permitted to attend prom.
We invite you to learn more about the dangers of teen alcohol use and the significant dangers, legal risks, and consequences to parents associated with underage drinking. Please refer to this resource, which includes a presentation by MADD and an attorney and former Westminster parent about Florida law related to liabilities associated with teen alcohol use and having alcohol present in a home where an after-party occurs.
We appreciate your attention to this matter as we seek to partner with you in educating our students to make good choices.
The Future Health Professionals (HOSA) high school club has partnered with OneBlood to host a blood drive on Wednesday, April 12, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All eligible students and parents are encouraged to donate. There will be two Big Red Buses in the high school circle collecting whole blood and platelet donations.
Students can sign-up on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 4-5, during their social studies class. Students will receive a parent consent form when they register. Additional consent forms are available HERE. Students must be at least 16 to participate. Additionally:
Students who are 16 need a signed parent consent form at every donation, even if they’ve donated before.
Students who are 17 need an ID and a signed parent consent form. This form will be valid for all remaining drives during this school year.
Students who are 18 need an ID, but are not required to submit a parent consent form.
Parent consent forms must be returned to the high school office no later than April 11 in order to donate.
While Westminster will remain a closed campus during the blood drive, parents are encouraged to participate.
The week leading up to Easter, Westminster will enhance the normal school schedule with opportunities for students to participate in worship activities. During Worship Week, middle school and high school students will also have the opportunity to participate in service projects. Students may donate new men's and women's underwear or donate $7 to provide a backpack with food to a child in need. See the flyer for more details and click on the link below to register for the backpack service project:
When I was 18, a freshman in college, and heading back to school after Christmas break, I wasn’t a Christian yet. I was riding in my girlfriend’s grandparents’ minivan.
I was crammed between yard sale knick-knacks, canned vegetables and fruit, a dehumidifier, and my own travel bags, I was uncomfortable and a little claustrophobic. I needed something to pass the time. For the first hour I listened to papa describe all the fantastic qualities of the dehumidifier humming beside me; he did so thoroughly, and with proud enthusiasm.
Eventually, we all settled into the 12-hour trip and turned to our own strategies for passing the time. Nana and papa discussed boring adult details, Heather fell asleep, and I was left with absolutely nothing else to do, so I pulled out the Bible Heather had given me. I had been casually reading it to impress her, but I really didn’t know what it was about. I’d heard someone say I should read the Gospels, so I turned to the table of contents and then flipped to the page.
A special evening awaits fathers and daughters at the annual ES Father/Daughter Dance on Friday, April 21, at 7 p.m. in the SAC. Students from PK3-Grade 5 will enjoy dancing, delicious food, and more. If the child's father is unable to attend, she is encouraged to attend with another adult.
Students enrolled in an Advanced Placement (AP) course have been registered in College Board’s online platform, AP Classroom, with their respective AP teacher(s) and have been registered for all of their AP exams that take place in May 2023. We encourage all students enrolled in an AP course to take the respective AP Exam at the end of the school year. However, if the parent and student elect to forgo the exam, the cancellation process must be completed before the deadline to avoid associated costs and fees.
For second-semester courses, if there are any exams students wish to cancel, they must complete the cancellation form no later than Friday, March 10, no later than 11:59 p.m. Since all students are automatically registered for the AP Exam, only complete the cancellation form if you would like to cancel a second-semester exam(s). CLICK HERE FOR THE CANCELLATION FORM.
The cost is $125 per AP exam and $150 for each AP Capstone exam. The cost of the AP exam includes costs from College Board as well as costs incurred by Westminster to administer the exams. The fee for registered second-semester AP exams will be reflected in your Smart Tuition April billing statement. Please note, that any second-semester exams canceled after March 10 will not be refunded.
If you are interested in canceling a first-semester or annual course exam, please complete the cancellation form by Friday, March 10, no later than 11:59 p.m. CLICK HERE FOR THE CANCELLATION FORM. This will be your final opportunity to cancel your exam. Please note that there are no refunds for first-semester or annual canceled exams.
In addition, if a student is not present for a registered exam there is an additional $40 fee per missed exam.
“So, let us get this right…” the chief priest might have said to Judas. “You're prepared to betray Jesus to us in exchange for 30 pieces of silver?” “Yes, that’s right.” Judas agreed.
“Aren’t you one of His followers?” The Jewish leaders must have wondered. “What has driven you to this point of turning Him over to us?”
Amid the angry, halting, complex, and likely confused reasons provided by Judas there would likely have been a reference to the scene that had unfolded a few hours earlier.
Jesus and his disciples were gathered in the home of Simon the Leper, as is described in Matthew 26:6-13. During this situation, Mary poured an expensive bottle of perfume (let’s say it was Louis XIII at $4,100 a bottle) on Jesus’ head. All the disciples, the Bible explains, were indignant. Everyone was asking, “Why this waste? This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
As of this week, Westminster students have raised $17,575 in our third quarter noisy offering to send 703 children to camp with KIX Haiti. We have exceeded our goal and donations are still coming in!! Students will celebrate with a Gratitude Chapel on Tuesday, Mar. 7.
Thank you for your continued support of this important project. Here is the breakdown by homeroom:
Learn more about Haiti Hope Alliance and how your donation will be used HERE from Godwin Altidor, Coordinator of KIX Haiti.
Join your fellow middle school families for an afternoon of fun, kickball, BBQ, music and more on Saturday, Feb.25, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Gutierrez Field and SAC! The entire family is welcome to get in on the game. Game begins at 2:45 p.m. and dinner will be available starting at 4:30 p.m.
Shorty's BBQ, Kona Ice, drinks and dessert will be on site and is included in the registration fee of $10/person. Register at the door.
Steckley Photo emailed parents information to place orders for class group pictures. Please order by Thursday, March 2 at 5 p.m. for free school delivery.
If you can't find the email you were sent, please search "Steckley" in your email box and don't forget to check your SPAM folder. If you still cannot locate the email, please send an email with your child's name, school and grade to: email@example.com.
Growing up in New York, snowball fights were an all-day event. We would scope out the best place in the yard, the deepest snow drifts, the best cover, and then we would set our perimeters.
“You’re not allowed to go past the big rock,” I would shout to my brother who was busy piling snow into a bunker-like wall.
“You have to stay on that side of the driveway,” he would shout back as I packed extra snowballs and placed them in the crook of a tree. “If you don’t,” he would add, “I get a free throw,” upping the ante.
These were not mere snowball fights; they were complex military campaigns wherein you were at risk from all sides. In that volatile and tenuous situation, it was imperative that you set the perimeter. Physical boundaries. Rules of engagement. Clear alliances (though these were often abandoned without preamble).
We are grateful that 132 of 156 seniors will be attending. To accommodate a group of this size, we will be traveling on several flights from MIA and one from FLL. For the FLL group, the school will provide transportation to and from the airport. The below link provides departure time and location information. We have also provided a link to the trip itinerary.
Join us for the Mother/Son Field Day on Friday, March 10 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the ES Field. This fun-filled event is about moms creating fun memories with their sons. So, suit up in your best camo gear and take on the challenges of relay aces, dodge ball, obstacle courses, tug-of-war and so much more.
Food, drinks, and dessert are included in your ticket price. Click HERE to purchase tickets.
Fine Arts-branded garments bags are now available for purchase in the Fine Arts office for $20.
Garments bags are required for costumes and concert attire when we travel, so this is especially important for high school students who are going to Hawaii over Spring Break, middle school students going to Orlando in May, and dancers attending competition.
You are free to use a garment bag of your choice, but why not represent Westminster Fine Arts with one of these? Cash, credit and Apple Pay available, so come on by the Fine Arts Office, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
The College Counseling Center is hosting a College Admissions Presentation for junior parents on Thursday,Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m. in The Lighthouse. Come learn about next steps, important milestones, best practices and more to help your child succeed in college admissions.
I am fascinated by the concept that boundaries and restraint provide opportunity for freedom and even increase freedom. This idea is different from the common perception in our individualistic American culture that freedom is the pursuit of doing whatever we wish without any boundaries or restraints.
There are plenty of examples in life that illustrate how boundaries protect us and enable us to experience freedom. For example, consider the rules of the road. Though we sometimes wonder whether drivers follow any rules at all on the Palmetto Expressway, we can understand that the rules are in place to promote safety. Can you imagine highways and roadways where there were no rules about the side of the road on which we must drive, no lines on the roads, no signs, no speed limits, and no stop lights? The rules of the road do not take away our freedom as drivers; rather, they provide freedom – freedom to drive with little stress or fear, freedom to get to our destination safely, freedom to drive a small car without worrying that an oversized truck will use its size to dominate the roadway. Guardrails along a bridge do not limit our freedom; guardrails keep us on the road so that we can safely experience freedom without careening off the bridge into disaster.
The ES Office is selling surplus elementary spirit shirts for $10 each until supplies last. Available styles are v-neck women’s cut, gray shirts and youth and adult size green shirts. Parents and teachers may stop by any time during our normal hours, 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., to purchase a shirt with cash or a check made payable to WCS.
This week, juniors and seniors attended a presentation on the importance of networking that included a step-by-step guide on how to create a LinkedIn account. If you missed the lecture or would like to review, click here to watch.
Registration for the spring season of the after-school elementary sports program runs from Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 5:30 p.m. until Thursday, Jan. 26, at 10 p.m. Mark your calendar to secure your child's spot. Space is limited.
To learn about the sports available, register and pay, visit After School Programs under the Resources tab in myWCS.
If you have any questions, please contact Coach Gonzalez at 305-889-7941, ext. 1277, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is it that we prefer to celebrate with a community of family and friends as opposed to celebrating by ourselves? As I am writing this article, the high school students and faculty are wrapping up Homecoming Week. In the midst of the hall decorating, team competitions, W-hunting and triplets wearing Ghostbusters costumes, I have not once heard someone say, “I really wish I could just be the only one decorating my hall.” In fact, in my eleven years of working at Westminster, I have never heard a student say during HOCO, “I wish I could hunt the ‘W’ by myself” or ask, “Why can’t I be the only person dressing up today?” Why is that? Because God has created in us a desire to celebrate together. In the same way, God has decided that we are to invite others to share in the joy of knowing Jesus personally as our Savior.
As educators, we often feel we need to know the “right” answer to every question a student asks. Otherwise, we can be seen as incompetent. However, there is wisdom in being self-aware that not all answers have to come from our own knowledge and abilities.
Join Westminster parents at the Parent Partners meeting on Fri., Jan. 13, at 8 a.m. in the Lighthouse.
Co-author of "Emotionally Resilient Tweens and Teens" Luis Fernando Llosa will speak on the very important topic of how to support your children when they experience bullying, teasing and social exclusion. Llosa is an award-winning sports writer, editor, speaker, investigative reporter and youth sports consultant who has worked with kids and teens for 25 years.
Parents also have the opportunity to fellowship and enjoy a hot breakfast.