Superintendent

Contact Information

Patricia A. Ciccone
Superintendent

pciccone@westbrookctschools.org

860-399-6432

Immigration Resources: Connecticut Family Preparedness Plan

  For your convenience, the State of CT has developed a resource toolkit for individuals and families with immigration concerns.  Please read CT's description of the resource tools and go directly to the state website by clicking on the Plan version of your choice or the hyperlink below.

"To assist families who have concerns about immigration enforcement, particularly in regards to to the possibility of the deportation or detainment of guardians and the impact that it could have on their children, the State of Connecticut has developed a useful toolkit that people can utilize.  There is no cost to utilize any of the documents contained in the toolkit, and neither attorneys nor court action are needed.  If you are worried about what will happen to your children if you are detained or deported, you should make a family preparedness plan.  We hope that you never have to use your plan, but having one may help reduce the stress of the unexpected."

State of CT link to the Resource Toolkit   

For additional information on preparing your family, knowing your rights and finding legal representation, visit http://ctheretostay.org

Concerns Related to Netflix's "13 Reasons Why"

Netflix's rendition of Jay Asher's book "13 Reasons Why" has recently raised concerns related to suicidal thoughts in adolescents. Westbrook Youth and Family Services has provided us with some resources outlined below to help parents better understand this content and help them make decisions on whether the content is appropriate for their own children.  We encourage you to reach out to Westbrook Youth and Family Services should you have additional questions.

From Westbrook Youth and Family Services:

What is 13 Reasons Why?

It's a 13 episode Netflix series about an adolescent girl, Hannah Baker, who commits suicide. Hannah leaves behind audio cassette tapes that implicate 13 people in her decision to kill herself. Each episode portrays a painful account of how she believes each person contributed to her suicide.

Should Teens Watch This?

A simple question deserves a simple answer...but unfortunately there is none. It's a judgement call and to make that judgement, you need information.

Graphic Content and Images

This series shows two accounts of rape. Two teenage girls, including the main character, are raped and the scenes are explicit. This can be disturbing for all, but especially triggering for teenagers who have experienced sexual assault themselves.  

The last episode shows Hannah Baker's suicide by cutting her wrists. This scene is also graphic and an uncomfortably clear demonstration of a successful suicide attempt. 

The creator, Brian Yorkey, expressed that he wanted it to be painful and uncomfortable to emphasize how suicide should not be seen as a choice. 

Therapist's Perspective:

These graphic episodes can be very disturbing, especially for teenagers who may be struggling with their own mental health concerns, been victimized themselves, and/or know someone who falls into these categories.

 Even though there are warnings about graphic images, the series offers no real-world resources for viewers who have been victims of sexual assault and/or struggling with suicidal thoughts.

 However, 13 Reasons does depict relevant issues that effect our youth such as rumors, gossip, social media, reputation, date rape, and substance abuse

Glamorizing Suicide:

This series has received a lot of attention and many people are binge-watching the show. Singer/actress Selena Gomez is an executive producer of the series and lends her star power to the series. Gossip over cast members getting semicolon tattoos and dating has exploded on Instagram and other social media outlets.

 One of the risk factors of Suicide, according to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is exposure to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide.

Therapist's Perspective:

Hannah Baker leaves tapes and a detailed plan for how these tapes should be passed to each person who has influenced her decision to commit suicide. The viewer is left on the edge of his/her seat wondering who will be next, when will the main male character be on the tape, will the main male character ever finish the tapes, will any of them crack and tell their parents, etc. Viewers experience the main character's perspective and side with Hannah about how she had her revenge but viewers lose sight that it was her choice. The show never describes the infinitely preferable options available to Hannah or others struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Being exposed to sensationalized or graphic accounts of suicide will not lead to a person to decide to take their life. There are many other risk factors including history of mental illness, prolonged stress, substance abuse, access, family history of suicide, and more.

If your teen is struggling with a mental health issue or suicidal idealization, it might be triggering and traumatizing for them to watch the series.

IF You Choose To Let Them Watch...

Watch it with them. This show can be an opportunity for you to discuss relevant issues with your teenagers. Be CURIOUS about THEIR opinions, EXPLORE options that Hannah could have taken, WHO in their lives do they feel they could talk to about any of the problems she experiences, and most importantly don't be afraid to ASK if your teen has ever had thoughts of killing themselves.

Here is a Common Sense Media article that list five conversations to have with your teen about 13 Reasons Why.

You might want to watch it first so you know what you are about to see with your teen. Understand this is a DRAMA series and viewed through a fictional teenager's perspective.

IF You Choose Not To...

If you say no, stay calm and explain your thoughts on the matter. Then LISTEN to your teen's reasons for why they believe they should. You can VALIDATE their feelings while also setting firm BOUNDARIES.

An article by Rachel Sloan describes how triggering this show can be for someone who lives with a mental health disorder.

Resources Available:

Westbrook Youth and Family Services: 860-399-9239

Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services - Dial 211 when a child is at risk of acting dangerously, threatening to hurt himself or others or having a behavioral crisis you cannot handle.

Suicide Prevention - In crisis? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 

Or especially for teens or youth: Text 741741 when in crisis. Anytime or anywhere. A live, trained counselor receives the text and will respond promptly. Crisistextline.org is an anonymous service.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/

News and Anouncements

  • March is Board of Education Member Appreciation Month

    Board Members taking time out from a Board Retreat to support the Daisy Trick or Trot participants in October.
    March is Board of Education Member Appreciation Month - Thank you to each of our board members for volunteering countless hours in the interest of making Westbrook Public Schools succeed!

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • "Light on Westbrook" - A Community Collaboration

    Westbrook Public Schools and Oxford Academy are teaming up to sponsor a community event called, Light on Westbrook (a Photography Exhibition and Photo Drawing).  All proceeds from this photography exhibition and juried selection of winners will be donated to the Westbrook Schools Summer Meal Project for Westbrook youth.  Please review the attached documents to learn more about contributing photographic entries, donating to the summer meal project, or purchasing tickets to attend the evening gallery display and announcement of winners on Saturday, March 18th (6:30 pm - 8:30 pm).  Tickets for purchase will be available at Oxford Academy, or any main office in the Westbrook Public Schools (Westbrook High or Middle School, or Daisy Ingraham Elementary).  

    Click on the link below to view the attachments:

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Health Concerns 1-5-17

    Dear Westbrook School Community:

    I am certain you will recall an information notice that was sent on December 8th regarding an isolated case of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.  Since that time, we have had no other cases confirmed until today.  At this time, there is only one case of a student who was not contagious or displaying any symptoms while in school and this does not constitute an epidemic.  Still, I am sharing this information and turn your attention once again to our website where you will find simple measures that can be taken to prevent Hand, Foot and Mouth disease origination and spread.

    The link below will provide steps that we can continue to take to understand the symptoms of the disease, information on its course and how to protect and stop any outbreak.  The information will be found on our Health Dept. webpage that is created and maintained by our school nurses.  As you read through the information on this issue and the importance of good personal hygiene and environmental cleaning and disinfecting practices, please know that we have already upgraded our daily cleaning and disinfecting program in all three schools. 

    Thank you for your consideration of this non-life threatening health update.  Early notice of these practices and information for parents/guardians is, I am sure, why we have avoided any major outbreaks.  As always, please contact our school nurses with any questions or concerns regarding this information and your students.  And, of course, I am available to discuss our school district response to this and other health issues at your convenience. 

    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthg-issues/conditions/infections/Pages/Hand-Foot-and-Mouth-Disease.aspx

    Patricia A. Ciccone

    Superintendent of Schools

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Lead Testing in the Westbrook Public Schools Water

    The Westbrook Public Schools recently partnered with The Connecticut Water Company to test for lead in the water at our facilities.  The findings of the study as well as the presentation materials for the Board of Education meeting on December 13, 2016 are available below.

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Former Principal Honored

    Kit Bishop, former principal at the Daisy Ingraham Elementary School, was honored at the Board of Education meeting on December 13, 2016, for being granted the CAS-CIAC Hall of Honor Award.  Watch the video outlining her accomplishments at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKbdeJgOCnI.

    Westbrook Public Schools

District Events

  • WMS

    WMS Grade 5 Popsicle Tuesday

    Grade 5 Popsicle Tuesday 10:00 am -11:00 pm & 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

    Westbrook Middle School
  • WHS Auditorium

    Freshman Orientation

    Westbrook High School
  • Professional Development

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Professional Development

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Cafeteria; Kindergarten rooms

    Kindergarten Orientation

    Kindergarten Orientation

    Daisy Ingraham Elementary School
  • First Day of School

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • First Day of School

    Westbrook High School
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