School Events

  • WMS P&R After School Program

    Use of cafeteria, gym and bathrooms near cafe

    Westbrook Middle School
  • WMS P&R After School Program

    Use of cafeteria, gym and bathrooms near cafe

    Westbrook Middle School
  • WMS P&R After School Program

    Use of cafeteria, gym and bathrooms near cafe

    Westbrook Middle School
  • WMS P&R After School Program

    Use of cafeteria, gym and bathrooms near cafe

    Westbrook Middle School
  • WMS P&R After School Program

    Use of cafeteria, gym and bathrooms near cafe

    Westbrook Middle School
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WMS Daily Information

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REMOTE LEARNING INFO SESSION - Taped Version

A remote learning information session was held last week.  The link for such is above. 

We discussed remote learning, what to expect, transitioning back to in-person learning when ready and a question/answer period. 

We hope this answers a few more questions. 

 

Welcome Back Meeting with Parents

SHORELINE FOOD RESOURCES

   

 

 

Student Support Services Virtual Appointment Link

District News

  • Covid-19 Update from Westbrook Health Department

    To Westbrook High School Parents/Guardians:

    On Sunday, September 13th, in accordance with the policy of Westbrook Public Schools' Reopening Plan, the Westbrook Public Schools community was notified of a positive COVID-19 case associated with Westbrook High School. The three-day closure of Westbrook High School and the advisement of class cohorts to quarantine for 14 days was conducted out of an abundance of caution in consultation with the Westbrook Health Department and Connecticut Department of Public Health.

    Proper mask-wearing and social distancing protocols were followed during school, however, students who were in the identified class cohorts on Thursday, September 10th and Friday, September 11th were advised to quarantine for 14 days, again, out of an abundance of caution.

    If you or your child were not contacted as being a part of the affected class cohorts, your child may return to school on Thursday, September 17th.
    Due to privacy reasons, personal and identifiable information related to case investigations will not be disclosed by Westbrook Public Schools and Westbrook Health Department.

    The health and safety of our community is of utmost importance. The Westbrook Public Schools and Westbrook Health Department will continue to work cooperatively to assess and investigate COVID related events in Westbrook Public Schools.
     
    Sincerely,
    Zachary Faiella, MPH, RS
    Director of Health
    Westbrook Health Department
    866 Boston Post Road
    Westbrook, CT 06498
    Tel: (860) 399-9869
    Fax: (860) 399-5661
    Email: zfaiella@westbrookct.us
     
    Covid Info
  • Positive Covid 19 Case at Westbrook High School

     

    September 13, 2020

     

    Dear Staff, Parents, and Guardians,

    This afternoon I became aware of a positive case for COVID-19 at Westbrook High School.  While we are unable to identify the individual due to the confidential nature of the medical information, we can share the steps we will be taking to respond to this information.

    What This Means for You and Your Child

    If your child was in the same class cohort, or in close contact with the confirmed positive individual, you will be contacted by the school and/or Westbrook Health Department and your child will be advised to self-quarantine for 14 days since last class cohort or close contact with the confirmed positive individual, per Addendum 9 of the Connecticut State Department of Education School Reopening Plan. Close contact is defined by the CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. The school and/or local health department will notify you if this action is necessary.

    If your child is sick, stay home and contact your healthcare provider. We encourage you to continue social distancing, washing your hands, avoiding gatherings, and monitoring symptoms. If at any time, you or your child begin to develop symptoms of COVID-19 (such as cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell), please keep your child home from school and call your healthcare provider for next steps. It is recommended that you call ahead to your healthcare provider before going to the physician’s office, clinic, urgent care, or emergency room so they can be prepared for your arrival. They may also refer you to a testing clinic. For the most up to date testing information, call 2-1-1 or visit the United Way of Connecticut website: https://uwc.211ct.org/coronavirus-covid-19-information/

    What This Means for Our School

    The Westbrook Health Director, Zachary Faiella, has determined that the Westbrook High School facility needs to be closed for three days, September 14, 15, and 16.  These three days will enable the school to be thoroughly cleaned and to conduct the necessary contact tracing. The students will participate in distance learning during this period. Pending further information on this investigation, students and staff who have not been identified as either being close contacts or in the same class cohort as the confirmed positive individual will be allowed to return to school this Thursday, September 17. Please note reopening may be subject to change if additional positive cases are identified.

    The Westbrook Middle School will remain open due to the separate nature of that building and student traffic.

    Children may worry about how COVID-19 may impact them, their family, and friends. Parents and guardians can help children navigate this experience in an honest and accurate way to help minimize anxiety or fear. The CDC created recommendations to assist with these conversations: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/talking-with-children.html.

    Thank you for your support in these efforts and your patience, flexibility, and understanding as we work together to promote the health and well-being of our community.

     

    Sincerely,

    Zachary Faiella

    Westbrook Director of Health

     

    Patricia Charles

    Interim Superintendent

    Covid Info
  • Message From the Board Of Education Chairman

    Dear Westbrook Schools Community,

     

    The Westbrook Board of Education has been made aware of the resignation of Lee Bridgewater, a longstanding Board of Education member for the past 12 years and a former Chair of the Board of Education. The Board is grateful for Mrs. Bridgewater’s exceptional service to the town and the students of Westbrook. She served on countless committees and led the Board from 11/2015-7/2020. Her commitment to the Town of Westbrook will be sorely missed.

     

    This vacancy provides a new opportunity for leadership within our community. The Board of Education is seeking candidates to join the Board of Education. If you would like to be considered as a candidate for the Westbrook Board of Education, please send a resume, letter of intent, and information regarding your party affiliation by August 30, 2020 to Cecilia Lester in the Board of Education office at clester@westbrookctschools.org.

     

    A special meeting is set for 09-01-2020 at 7:00 PM for interviews and to select the candidate who will serve on the Board until the next regular town election in 2021. The Board will interview the candidates in executive session for discussion of the appointment of a public officer. The vote will be held in public session.

     

    We urge all interested community members to apply for this very important work with the Westbrook Public Schools.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Zachary Hayden

    Chairman, Westbrook Board of Education

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Athletics Update

    Good afternoon Westbrook Public Schools Families,

    This note is to provide updates on the status of sports programming at our schools. At this time the concept of public school sports in Connecticut is on hold until further guidance is provided to us by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC).  At this time we encourage our high school student athletes to work virtually with their coaches via their team Google Classroom, to register for their Fall Sport via Power School if they have yet to do so, so that they are prepared if the opportunity to play presents itself.

    Below please find information via a letter early this afternoon to athletic directors on our next steps. Per this update please note that CIAC has extended the August 24th revisit date to:

    ***The CIAC will delay the first date for all fall sports to Saturday, August 29, 2020.***

    CIAC High School Athletics Update – Friday, August 21st:

    The CIAC Board of Control met this morning to review last night’s discussion with the DPH and establish a timeline for decisions on the start of fall sports. The CIAC has requested that the DPH consider allowing our member schools to resume the non-contact conditioning workouts which they have been conducting since July 6, 2020 as early as Monday. Additionally, the CIAC understands that, at today’s ReOpen CT Rules Committee meeting, consideration will be given to the inconsistent guidance issued for CIAC interscholastic athletics versus non-CIAC youth sport opportunities. The CIAC and the DPH will continue our collaborative work once an update from those discussions is available, either later today or over the weekend.

    For our member schools’ planning purposes, the CIAC Board of Control has established the following timeline:

    • The CIAC Board of Control will meet again at 7:00PM Sunday.
    • The CIAC Board of Control will submit modified fall sport plan options to the DPH for consideration, which it has indicated it would welcome for review.
    • The CIAC will delay the first date for all fall sports to Saturday, August 29, 2020.

    This timeline will allow the DPH adequate time to consider CIAC’s revised fall sports plans, which it will submit early next week, and athletic directors the time necessary to begin a sports season. The CIAC will update member schools on the return to conditioning workouts as soon as more information becomes available.

     

    Article:  GameTimeCT article on Fall Sports 8-21-2020

     

    WMS Interscholastic Sports and Intramurals:

    At this time, all after school activities, including athletics, are on hold at the middle school.  This hold will allow the middle school to evaluate the effectiveness of the strict cohorting model before beginning any expansion. We will revisit the possibility of after school activities, including sports, the week of September 21st.    

    In the meantime if you have any questions or concerns related to athletics please do not hesitate to contact me via email at tcosgriff@westbrookctschools.org or the office at (860) 399 – 6214.

    Please know many people are advocating for our student-athletes at all levels for a safe and healthy return to sports when and where appropriate.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    GO KNIGHTS!

    Teg

    Teg Cosgriff, CMAA

    Director of Athletics

    Westbrook Public Schools

    156 McVeagh Road

    Westbrook, CT 06498

    (860) 399 - 6214 (O)

    Covid Info
  • Westbrook Middle School Parent Meeting Regarding the Re-Opening of Schools

    On August 18, Westbrook Middle School Interim Principal Dr. Susan Miller hosted a parent meeting to help answer questions regarding the re-opening of Westbrook Middle School.  The presentation was recorded and is available to watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8L9pbRxhvI

    Covid Info
  • Athletics & CIAC Update: August 14, 2020

    Dear Parents, Guardians, Student-Athletes, and Coaches,

    The CIAC, following the recommendation from the Department of Public Health (DPH), made the decision today to immediately pause all in-person interscholastic fall sports activity, including conditioning programs and football OTA’s. This decision will be re-evaluated on August 24th, following further information from the DPH. As of the end of the day today, August 14th, all Westbrook Public Schools athletics activities are paused until further notice, with the earliest possible return being Monday, August 24th. Communication will come directly from the district once more information is received.

    Here is a link to a CIAC video statement from Executive Director Glenn Lungarini:

    CIAC Fall Sports Statement Aug. 14th

    High School coaches may continue to meet with their teams virtually to discuss best individual conditioning activities. We encourage each of our student-athletes to continue with individual, safe conditioning methods throughout this pause period.

    Thank you for your continued flexibility as we navigate the fluidity of the status of high school athletics at this time.

    Covid Info
  • Westbrook High School Parent Meeting Regarding the Re-Opening of Schools

    On August 13, Westbrook High School Principal Tara Winch hosted a parent meeting to help answer questions regarding the re-opening of Westbrook High School.  The presentation was recorded and is available to watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy_7HPRhLBA.

    Covid Info
  • Daisy Ingraham Parent Meeting Regarding the Re-Opening of Schools

    On August 12, Daisy Ingraham Principal Ruth Rose hosted a parent meeting to help answer questions regarding the re-opening of Schools.  The presentation was recorded and is available to watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM7hOGhFEeM&feature=youtu.be.

    Covid Info
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Re-Opening

    Please review some of the most common questions we have heard regarding the Westbrook Public Schools re-opening at https://www.westbrookctschools.org/covid_faq.

    Covid Info
  • Remote Learning Information

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

    I am writing to you regarding your decision to temporarily opt into Voluntary Remote Learning for your child.  We are pleased that your child will be learning along with his/her in-school peers in this modified manner.  Our program will include both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities with your child’s teacher(s).  This family choice, however, is not intended to be the same as the learning program that is provided for students attending in person or when school is canceled and all students revert to Distance Learning should public health data require it.  Please understand that access to classes and activities are more restrictive in this model.

    There are certain limitations to Remote Learning that apply:

    • Families are expected to supervise and support student attendance and engagement in instructional activities.
    • The voluntary remote learning programming may not result in the same offerings or matching instructional hours 1:1 with our in-person learning model.
    • Westbrook’s model includes synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Live streaming of classrooms and assignments will be offered as well as online assignments.
    • Parents may opt their children into remote learning by notifying the school principal. Parents are asked to provide advanced notice of one week if the student will return to in-person classes so the schools may properly plan for the child’s return. It is not necessary to wait until the end of a marking term to do so.
    • Remote learning is a full-day choice. Students may not elect to do some classes in-person and others remotely. 
    • Westbrook Public Schools must track the attendance of students participating in remote learning. Attendance will be tracked consistent with the State Board of Education expectations. Additionally, attendance at synchronous lessons, virtual meetings, daily work completion and student participation with the camera on will be used to track student participation. Students are expected to attend school for the full 177 days required by the State Board of Education.                                                                                                                                                         
    • Students will receive grades for their schoolwork completed in the remote model.
    • Students participating in remote learning will be expected to access statewide assessments in-person unless the assessments are available remotely.
    • The State Department of Education is planning to provide further guidance to districts regarding special education students who voluntarily choose temporary remote learning.

    We understand that there are a variety of reasons why some students may not be able to return to in-person instruction at this time.  We hope that your child is soon able to return to school in-person.  How wonderful it will be to welcome the day when we are no longer concerned about health consequences from normal interactions with each other.

    Wishing you a safe and enjoyable time for the remainder of the summer,

    Patricia Charles

    Interim Superintendent

     

    Covid Info
  • Re-Opening Decision

    Dear Westbrook Families,

    I have been working on making the best decision regarding how our students will return to school in September.  After following the State guidance, speaking with our administrators, looking at the comments in the Google Form regarding reopening, and listening to the Governor's press conference Monday, Westbrook is well positioned for our students and staff to return to in-person learning.  

    Our incident rate of COVID-19 cases is very favorable compared to other areas of the state. Additionally, our in-person cohort sizes rival those of other districts going back to school in a hybrid plan.  Our students have already been away from school for so long; the more we can "normalize" their experience, the better it will be for them.

    While I understand that there is a good chance we will be in hybrid or distance learning later in the fall, I feel that teaching and learning in-person is the best decision for our children and families as we open our schools.

    Should you decide that this update changes your decision about whether or not your child will return to school, please notify the building principal.

    Daisy Ingraham - Mrs. Ruth Rose, 860-399-7925

    Westbrook Middle School - Dr. Susan Miller, 860-399-2010

    Westbrook High School - Ms. Tara Winch, 860-399-6214

    As a reminder, school starts on September 1st.  Please be sure you avoid large crowds and parties as we head toward the end of the summer and Labor Day.  Remember also to avoid traveling to any states that are on the Connecticut Travel Advisory list for having high COVID-19 infection rates. The link to the CT Travel Advisory page is https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Travel.  All affected travelers would need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to Connecticut.  It will take everyone's effort to ensure a safe and successful opening.  

    I look forward to working with you in these very uncertain times to provide consistency and quality educational programs to your children. 

    Please stay safe,    

    Patricia Charles, Ed.D

    Interim Superintendent

    Westbrook Public Schools

    860-399-6432

     

    Covid Info
  • Re-Opening Presentation and Survey

    Dear Parents,

    As we get closer to the start of school on September 1st, I am certain there are questions you have about the opening of Westbrook Public Schools.  As you know the plans are evolving based on local needs, the spread of COVID-19, and data that is updated constantly.  The district plan is posted on the home page of our website at www.westbrookctschools.org. It is a broad plan that addresses three different scenarios based on the level of threat from the virus. 

    An informational broadcast will be held on Wednesday, August 5th at 6:00 PM to discuss the district plan.  The administrators and I welcome your questions and will answer them based on our most current information.  Please complete the form available at the following link to submit your questions: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfwJ1OnhkrEMVYuGzprjPneYuYU15TV39b1diVPWXLnQoo-Ag/viewform.  It is also available on our Covid 19 page at https://www.westbrookctschools.org/covid19 in the link titled "Public Feedback for Re-Opening".

    The webinar will be broadcast on the district YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHi6y2EA0g-bsJmypyAxnbQ

    Follow up informational sessions will be held by school principals with specific details about how each level will respond to reopening its doors.  An invitation will be sent within the next two weeks.  Additionally, an informational program from the Athletics Department is scheduled for August 11th at 5:00.  The link will be sent out in a separate email.

    We look forward to getting back to school and the opportunity to work with you and your children.

     

    Sincerely,

    Patricia Charles 

     

    Covid Info
  • Letter to Parents

    Dear Parents,

    As we prepare for students to come back to school on September 1, the principals and I will be communicating frequently with you about the changes your child will experience upon their return.  Below is a checklist from the CDC that has been tailored for Westbrook that outlines some of the precautions and procedures we will be following. By working together, we can ensure the best possible health, safety and academic outcomes:

    *Before school each day you will be asked to record on an electronic form the following:

    • Check in with your child each morning for signs of illness. If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, they should not go to school.
    • Make sure your child does not have a sore throat or other signs of illness, like a cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting, or body aches.
    • If your child has had close contact to a COVID-19 case, they should not go to school. Follow guidance on what to do when someone has known exposure.

    When your child is sick please contact the school office:

    Daisy Ingraham 860-399-7925  Westbrook Middle 860-399-2010  Westbrook High 860-399-6214

    *Be familiar with local COVID-19 testing sites in the event you or your child develops symptoms. These may include sites with free testing available.

    Local Testing Options:  CVS Guilford and CVS East Lyme for adults.  Children must go through their pediatrician, your local hospital or Community Health Center in Middletown or New London - 475 -241-0740.

    *Make sure your child is up-to-date with all recommended vaccines, including for flu. All school-aged children should get an influenza flu vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. This is especially important this year because we do not yet know if being sick with COVID-19 at the same time as the flu will result in more severe illness.

    *Review and practice proper hand washing techniques at home, especially before and after eating, sneezing, coughing, and adjusting a face cover. Make hand washing fun and explain to your child why it is important.

    *Pack a water bottle for your child each day.  Water fountains will not be used, except at the middle school where there are water bottle filling stations.

    *Develop daily routines before and after school—for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer and an additional (back up) cloth face covering) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately and washing worn cloth face coverings).

    *Talk to your child about precautions to take at school. Children may be advised to:

    • Wash and sanitize their hands more often.
    • Keep physical distance from other students.
    • Wear a cloth face covering.
    • Avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devices, writing instruments, and books.
    • Use hand sanitizer (that contains at least 60% alcohol.) Make sure you’re using a safe product. FDA recalled products that contain toxic methanol.
    • Monitor how they feel and tell an adult if they are not feeling well.

    *Develop a plan as a family to protect household members who are at increased risk for severe illness

    *Make sure your information is current at school, including emergency contacts and individuals authorized to pick up your child(ren) from school. If that list includes anyone who is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, consider identifying an alternate person.

    *Be familiar with Westbrook’s plan for communicating with families when a positive case or exposure to someone with COVID-19 is identified.  Student confidentiality will be maintained.  Students and staff who become sick at school or who arrive at school sick will be sent home as soon as possible. We will keep anyone sick separate from well students and staff until the sick person can be sent home. The Health department will assess students and staff who have been sent home due to suspected symptoms.

    If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, the cohort or school will most likely be dismissed for a time determined by the health department.  The superintendent will immediately call Health Director Zachary Faiella and the school will be cleaned and disinfected. The Westbrook Health Department will follow up with the student/staff member and their family to provide additional guidance.

    *Plan for possible school closures or periods of quarantine. If transmission is increasing in our community or if multiple children or staff test positive for COVID-19, the school building might be closed for an extended period of time. Similarly, if a close contact of your child (within or outside of school) tests positive for COVID-19, your child may need to stay home for a 2-week quarantine period. You may need to consider the feasibility of teleworking, taking leave from work, or identifying someone who can supervise your child in the event of school building closures or quarantine.

    Students who are out of school for quarantining can participate in distance learning.

    *Plan for transportation:

    • If your child rides a bus, your child must wear a cloth face covering on the bus and talk to your child about the importance of following bus rules and any spaced seating rules. Students of the same family will sit together.  The bus will load from back to front. Changing seats will not be permitted. 
    • If carpooling, plan on every child in the carpool and the driver wearing cloth face coverings for the entire trip. Each school will use grade level cohorts to the extent possible to reduce exposure to other people. Consider finding families within your child’s group/cohort at school to be part of the carpool.

    * If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan or receives other learning support (e.g., tutoring, speech, OT, PT, counseling), ask your school principal or the Director of Special Education, Madeline Illinger, how these services will continue.

    * Consider limiting your child’s in-person out-of-school interactions to children in the same cohort where possible or to activities where physical distancing can be maintained.

    * Reinforce the concept of physical distancing with your child.

    * Plan for increased outdoor opportunities in gym by sending them with a hat, wear shoes conducive to the outdoors, encourage staying a minimum of 6 ft apart.

    Parents who temporarily choose not to send their child to school should contact the school if you have not communicated your decision or want to change your decision at any time.

    We look forward to seeing our students in September and appreciate your partnership as we work together to establish protocols to keep our students and staff safe and healthy.  I will continue to keep you updated on our school opening plans.  For more information visit the district website to view Westbrook’s Reopening School Plan.

     

    Sincerely,

    Patricia Charles

    Interim Superintendent

     

    Covid Info
  • Westbrook Public Schools Re-Opening Plan

    Please find attached the re-opening plan for Westbrook Public Schools.  Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 860-399-6432

    Covid Info
  • Practice Wearing Your Face Mask

    We're looking forward to welcoming our students back to school on September 1st.  Please know that we have been working all summer developing plans to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.
     
    One of the new health protocols that all students and staff members will need to adjust to is the wearing of face masks.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends face coverings to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and the State of Connecticut is requiring the wearing of masks by all students and adults in school as part of our Reopening Plan.  
     
    In order to be more informed on the proper use of face masks and also for tips on helping your child adjust to wearing face masks, please check out the following helpful links from the CDC:
     
    How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings:
     
    Helping Students Wear Face Masks:
     
     Please be assured that our students will get "mask breaks" throughout the day and we will utilize outside spaces as much as possible, where students will be able to social distance and enjoy some fresh air without a facial covering.  Our Reopening Plan recommends mask breaks during outside recess; physical education outside; lunch and water breaks.
     
    One of the best ways to encourage students' appropriate use of facial coverings is for the adults around them to model this. We intend to model the appropriate use of face masks at school and we ask parents/guardians and other adults in the family to do the same with your children when you are in public places.  Please develop the practice of wearing a mask now with your child so it is not as such an adjustment when they get back to school and must wear them for an extended amount of time.
     
    As always, thanks so much for your support during these challenging times.
     
    Patricia Charles, Ed.D
    Interim Superintendent
    Westbrook Public Schools
    860-399-6432
    Covid Info
  • Changes to District Calendar

    Dear Westbrook School Community,

    Last week the State Board of Education passed a resolution offering flexibility to the 180 day school requirement for students to allow teachers additional professional development to prepare for return to school as a result of the coronavirus. Last night the Westbrook Board of Education voted to revise the school calendar to allow for three additional professional development days. Teachers will be engaged in workshops that will help them address new health and safety protocols, adapt to new instructional strategies, and plan for social and emotional considerations in our schools.

    A revised 2020-21 calendar may be found on the district website at https://www.westbrookctschools.org/20202021_school_year_calendar.  The first day for staff is August 24.  The first day for students is September 1.  September 1st and 2nd will be early dismissal days.

    I will continue to keep you informed of the work we are doing to open our schools.  

     

    Sincerely,

    Patricia Charles, Ed.D

    Interim Superintendent

    Westbrook Public Schools

    860-399-6432

    Covid Info
  • Superintendent Search Information

    Please read the attached document regarding the superintendent search process, or visit the district website at https://www.westbrookctschools.org for more information.

     

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Connecticut State Department of Education: Moving Forward Together

    Message from the Superintendent:

    Everyone:

    The press release below is the letter that was sent to superintendents yesterday from Commissioner Cardona.  It reflects the Commissioner’s concerns and his certainty that we, as educators, may be strong voices in helping children and families process the turmoil and emotionally-charged atmosphere they are seeing and experiencing.  The Commissioner’s letter (now press release) below includes a roster of excellent resources to assist students, families and community members in dialogue around the issues of racism, hatred, and violence; now risen to frightening levels across our country.  These resources and information will be placed on our School District Home Page.  I am urging administrators to please send the Commissioner’s letter and its roster of resources to each school’s faculty and staff so that where appropriate, they may assist our students and families, as well as one another, to navigate the emotionally-charged coverage.  As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns.  Thank you.

    Pat

    Patricia A. Ciccone

    Superintendent

    860-399-6432 

     

    Message from Commissioner of Education:

    For immediate release: June 2, 2020

                                                  

     

    Dear Connecticut Education Community: 

    The protests and riots that are taking place across our country are the culmination of several tragic, high profile and disturbing acts of violence against people of color at the hands of police. It’s inescapable that our children and students have also seen and heard about the unrest and root causes on TV, on the internet or social media, in a school setting, or from their friends. Processing and making sense of the emotions that incidents of racism and violence, and the consequences, evoke can be very difficult for all of us regardless of our age. Likewise, engaging in meaningful, developmentally appropriate conversations with our children and students about these issues and events presents an understandably sensitive challenge for many parents and educators.

     

    If we are to prepare our students to become productive members of a diverse society who embrace diversity and foster school communities in which all members feel valued, respected and safe, remaining silent on these current events is not an option. As adults and educators, we must be proactive about making this a teachable moment by addressing issues of racism and inequity head-on. It starts with ensuring children and teenagers know their schools are safe places to learn and grow. It involves providing age-appropriate information to allow them to cope with and form an understanding of upsetting current events as well as asking what they may understand already about the situation and, just as importantly, listening to their perspectives. It’s also critically important that Social and Emotional Learning is implemented systematically is schools, homes, and communities and that adults and students work together to apply the five SEL competencies of: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills. 

     

    As we find the academic year drawing to a close, we at the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) feel a very real sense of urgency to make sure our educators and families are supported and have the necessary tools needed to have these conversations and promote anti-racist learning environments. 

     

    I am sending you the following resources to provide teachers, students and parents with insights and strategies to help engage in a dialogue about racism, hate, violence, and other tragic events that children may hear about at school and/or see on the news. Together, as leaders, as educators, as adults, we can ensure our school communities are learning environments in which all students feel valued, respected, and safe to learn and grow.       

     In Partnership, 

    Miguel A. Cardona, Ed. D.

    Commissioner of Education
    State of Connecticut 

    Written Materials

     SERC Racial Equity Online Discussions

    On the following Thursdays from 4:30–5:30 p.m., participants in these facilitated online discussions will have the opportunity to share their perspectives around a specific topic.  All are welcome! Please register separately for each session.

     CSDE Leadership Webinar

    • SCHOOLING FOR CRITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS: Engaging Black and Latinx Youth in Analyzing, Navigating, and Challenging Racial Injustice

     

     

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • School Closure Information Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

    Dear Parent/Guardians:

    I am writing to inform you that the Westbrook Public Schools will be closed until further notice, beginning at 4:00pm today.  At this time, we are prepared to say schools will initially be closed minimally for two weeks.  Please be aware that our ongoing guidance updates will keep you apprised of any need to extend our closure time frame.

    On the advice of our local health departments, school superintendents in southeastern Connecticut have come together to make a decision to put the health of our communities (both school community and the community at large) at the center of our decisions to close schools.  We have been advised by state and local health authorities that the implementation of social distancing measures is a proven science-based intervention that has been shown to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with communicable disease outbreaks. In the past, communities in which schools were closed as preventative measures were able to positively impact and reduce the spread of disease. We felt compelled to make this decision to prevent the spread of illness among our students, staff, and our communities. 

    We also clearly heard that we cannot confirm that this illness will run its course in two weeks; in fact, it is not likely that it will.  We made the determination to make this closure “indefinite” based on that information.  This decision was made in consultation with and with the support of the health departments, elected officials and emergency management professionals.

    There has been much discussion about the concept of distance learning during prolonged absences.  At this time the Connecticut State Department of Education has discouraged districts from utilizing this approach due to concerns over instructional consistency (especially in the early grades), equity of access both intra-district and inter-district, disruption of special education services, and multiple employee contractual issues.  We will continue, during this school closing time frame, to seek ways to provide supplemental education to our students. Should we be able to utilize a distance learning model as we go forward, we will notify parents, students, and staff members of how this will be implemented and when it will be initiated, if at all.

     

    At this time, please be advised that you will be updated on relevant information that is received and vetted from our public health directors, the CDC, and other state officials.  Please continue to monitor our district website and email to ensure receipt of the most current information.  My next official School Closure Update will come to you by end of day (4:00pm) on Friday, March 20th.  Of course, should relevant information be made available sooner, I will update you as needed. 

     

    Thank you for your consideration of this important information.  As our public health depts. have reminded us, it is important to remain calm and informed.

     

    Sincerely,

    Patricia A. Ciccone

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Parent and Guardian Survey Related to Distance Learning

    The link below will open a survey that has been designed to give you a chance to provide valuable input toward improving our distance learning education program.  Specifically, we are seeking your feedback (and that of your student(s) in a separate survey) in areas of curriculum delivery, ongoing interactions with school staff, as well as special education and social/emotional support.  Our goal to improve our continuity of education program starts with our commitment to engaging all of our stakeholders.  Please take a moment to fill out this very brief survey to help us pinpoint areas that can be retooled to more adequately meet everyone’s needs.

    Your privacy is of the utmost importance.  All response information will not be linked to the responder and will be kept confidential in any aggregate data reporting.

    Link to parent and guardian survey:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdM-FRX3msxmG28fB6U343nnf_dzz7ycyo7uBOwg1aGcQRrOw/viewform

    Westbrook Public Schools
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