Coronavirus COVID 19 Information - Please use the link below

Letter from Patricia Charles, Interim Superintendent - 7/1/2020

July 1, 2020

Dear Westbrook Public Schools Community,

I am delighted and honored to be back in Westbrook to support the school district as you search for your next superintendent.  Although many of the faces have changed since my tenure as superintendent 8 years ago, I have many fond memories and relationships I look forward to rekindling.  Westbrook is a special place and I intend to continue your efforts to ensure educational excellence is at the forefront of our work.

There is much to do in the upcoming weeks as we prepare for the reopening of schools this fall.  Last week the Governor announced that we will plan for all students to return full-time for the opening of school.  We will follow appropriate health and safety measures and work closely with our state and local health officials to put an initial plan in place to accomplish this goal.  Governor Lamont and Commissioner Cardona were clear that we must also be prepared to act on a contingency plan in the event the cases of coronavirus escalate.  The safety and health of our students and staff is our first priority.

Our administrative team has started working on these plans. A template and guidelines were provided on Monday and they will be our guideposts. (See link to Executive Summary below.)  I know teachers and staff are anxious to see their students again and, like you, want to know the details of these design plans.  I ask for everyone’s patience regarding the specifics of Westbrook’s strategies as we assess and adapt our learning environment to meet the State Department of Education’s expectations. Additional information will be forthcoming as we look to address the many details of how to best reopen our classrooms to students.  These are challenging times and the State Department aptly stated, “Flexibility will be the only constant.”

Thank you for placing your trust in me to lead our schools through these next potentially tumultuous months.  I assure you I will give this great district my full effort to ensure a smooth transition to your next superintendent. 

Sincerely,

Patricia Charles

Interim Superintendent

 Reopening_Executive_Summary.pdf 

Superintendent Search Information

Focus Group Press Release

The Westbrook Board of Education invites the Westbrook community to participate in the search process for a new Superintendent of Schools.

During the week of June 22nd, Mary Broderick and Paul Gagliarducci, CABE Search Services Consultants working with the Westbrook Search Committee, will conduct a series of focus groups via ZOOM to hear from the community on the qualities, experiences, and characteristics desired in a new leader. Town officials, teachers, administrators, other staff, parents, students, and community members will participate in interviews and focus groups.

All are also welcome to participate in an anonymous survey to help clarify the qualities and characteristics desired in our next Superintendent. Please find the survey link on the Westbrook Public Schools website (https://www.westbrookctschools.org) or at this site: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WestbrookPS

The survey will be open until July 1, 2020.

“We are hoping to get the thinking of the community to help us in this important process,” Lee Bridgewater, Chair of the Westbrook Board of Education, stated. “We invite everyone to participate.”

Feedback from the interviews, focus groups, and survey will be incorporated into a leadership profile that will help to identify candidates who best fit the needs of the Westbrook schools and community. The Board expects to accept the profile from our consultants at a summer meeting.

The Board anticipates the start date for this new leader to be January 1, 2021.

“We have a sound process that should identify a high-quality leader for our schools,” Ms. Bridgewater added. We are looking forward to attracting a talented pool of candidates from which to select our next leader.

 

ZOOM Focus Group Schedule:

 

Stakeholder

Date

Time

Parent

Monday, June 22

or

Tuesday, June 23

5:00 pm

 

7:00 pm

High School Student

Monday, June 22

6:00 pm

Community Resident

Tuesday, June 23

6:00 pm

Westbrook Administrator

Tuesday, June 23

10:00 am

Westbrook Teacher

Monday, June 22

11:00 am

Support Staff

Tuesday, June 23

11:00 am

Town Boards

Monday, June 22

7:00 pm

Please contact Mary Broderick (mbroderick.cabesearch@cabe.org)  or call 802-432-3150 to receive the ZOOM invitation.

 Focus Group Press Release - WPS Superintendent Search.pdf 

 Westbrook Focus Group Invitation - WPS Superntendent Search.pdf 

 Westbrook Focus GroupSurvey Town Invitation - Spanish 2.pdf 

 

Congratulations Westbrook High School Graduates.  We are proud of you!

Staff Member Tribute to our 2020 Graduating Class

Interim Superintendent

Contact Information

Patricia Charles
Superintendent

pcharles@westbrookctschools.org

860-399-6432

 

News and Announcements

  • featured post

    SNAP Pandemic Benefit

    Helpful information about SNAP benefits for eligible families. 

    Food Services
  • 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
  • Summer Reading Information

    All Westbrook High School students are required to read ONE grade-appropriate book of choice over the summer.

    This Summer Reading 2020 Informational Packet includes all 2020 Summer Reading information, plus where to find your summer reads.

    Happy Reading!!

    Westbrook High School
  • 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
  • Technical Assistance for Parents/Guardians

    Need tech help with your child's Distance Learning Opportunities?

    Please email: techsupport@westbrookctschools.org

    Daisy Ingraham Elementary School
  • Information re: Distance Learning for Parents/Guardians

    Please read the important information in the attached letter regarding Distance Learning, to start on March 23, 2020.

    Wishing all good health,

    Ruth W. Rose

    Daisy Ingraham Elementary School
  • Coronavirus/Influenza Information

    Westbrook Public Schools

    Health Information & Guidance

    March 9, 2020

    Today’s Coronavirus (also known as COVID 19) updates issued by the Governor, the CT Dept. of Public Health, CT Dept. of Education and the CT Dept. of Public Safety and Homeland Security have prompted this informational memo. The purpose of this message is to share current advisement for schools and our Westbrook compliance including our preventive measures and future planning.

    Today’s Coronavirus (also known as COVID 19) updates issued by the Governor, the CT Dept. of Public Health, CT Dept. of Education and the CT Dept. of Public Safety and Homeland Security have prompted this informational memo.  The purpose of this message is to share current advisement for schools and our Westbrook compliance including our preventive measures and future planning. 

    At our COVID 19 planning meeting today, we cleared all of our cleaning products, which include sanitizers and disinfectants, with the Director of Public Health.  In addition, we discussed our daily and nightly cleaning protocols.  Both our practices and our products were approved as effective against this virus.  Further, we have placed significant product replacement orders with our vendors in order to keep our school supplies available for daily and nightly use and to replenish more frequently as we have stepped up our cleaning frequency.  Cleanings since the start of the flu season in January include wiping doorknobs/handles, desks, chairs, handrails, computers, keyboards, telephones and other common items.  Bathroom fixtures, doors, floors, etc., switch plates and other frequently touched items and equipment are washed, disinfected and sanitized nightly (additional wipe downs daily as needed). 

    The above state agencies are in agreement with the Governor that all events such as athletic competitions, plays, concerts, etc. that may generate large audiences or participation rates of 100+ attendees should be cancelled going forward.  Events that do occur should be reduced by live streaming and multiple locations to ensure crowds do not form and that participants are not in close proximity to one another.  We will be reviewing all previously approved events that might expose our students, staff and the public to large gatherings.  Further, field trip requests, that might also expose students and staff to crowds will be reviewed for the threat level that exists at the destination (e.g. numbers of presumptive or confirmed cases of the virus).

    In the event the COVID 19 virus is identified within our schools or community, we will follow the recommendations of our local Dept. of Public Health, with whom we are conferring regularly. If school closure is recommended, it will come from the Dept. of Public Health and will include a time limitation (likely to begin with 2 weeks).  Let me be clear, we have no school closure recommendations at this time.  In all of the above information, an important reminder from our Director of Public Health is to remain calm.  Stay connected to our school district website for updated information on our routine school processes.  Should you wish to contact the Westbrook Health Dept. for more information, you may reach our Westbrook Public Health Director, Zachary Faiella at zfaiella@westbrookct.us.  He may also be reached at 860-399-9869.

    Patricia A. Ciccone

    Superintendent

    Westbrook Public Schools

     Coronavirus and Flu Update 3-9-20.pdf

     

    Westbrook Public Schools

    Health Information & Guidance

    February 28, 2020

    Since our last updated guidance on precautions to avoid the flu and other seasonal illnesses, school district administration and health care professionals have been monitoring best practice guidance regarding the Coronavirus.  I want to assure you that while we have no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in our schools, we continue to stay close to state and local health dept. updates in our planning and preparation for Coronavirus detection. Symptoms of Coronavirus may include fever, cough and shortness of breath.  As these symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of flu, we are encouraging everyone to continue to follow the protocols and best practices on our website and always refer to your primary care physician if you or your children are experiencing the aforementioned signs of illness.  Remember that for the general public who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from Coronavirus is considered to be low especially if we practice good illness prevention as a first line of defense. Recommended measures that lower risk of contracting any flu, including Coronavirus are:

    • Frequently wash hands with soap and water.
    • If soap and water are not available, use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol is recommended.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
    • Avoid sharing drinking cups, food, and other personal items.
    • Stay at home if you are ill to minimize any transmission of illnesses.

     

    Stay connected to this website for updated health information and information on any changes in our routine schooling processes and schedules.  We will continue to monitor both state and local health department advisories as they have the primary jurisdiction over town and school responses to public health matters.  Should you wish to contact the Westbrook Health Dept. for more information, you may reach our Westbrook Public Health Director, Zachary Faiella at zfaiella@westbrookct.us  He may also be reached at 860-399-9869.

    Patricia A. Ciccone, Superintendent of Schools

    **************************************************

    Schools are a prime location for the flu virus to spread. It is hard to prevent kids from getting the flu this time of year for various reasons. The flu virus is spread by respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, and talking.  Droplets can spread up to six feet away and land in the mouths or noses or people who are nearby. It can also be spread by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth or nose. 

    • Children are three times more likely to get sick with the flu
    • Children can pass the flu virus to others for a period of more than seven days after the symptoms start
    • On average, one-third of family members in families with school age children are infected with the flu each year.

    The flu is different than a cold. Both a cold and flu are respiratory illnesses, however they are caused by different virus’s and have different symptoms.  The flu normally comes on suddenly.  An easy way to recognize the flu symptoms are to remember the FLU FACTS.

    (Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness, and Sudden onset)

    Sometimes vomiting and diarrhea are seen with children.

    Complications of the flu virus can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Key points to remember:

    Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water. You can set a good example by doing this yourself. Good hand hygiene is the first line of defense against the flu. Hand sanitizer is acceptable if your hands are not visibly dirty.

    Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food or unwashed utensils, and to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissues. If they don't have a tissue, they should cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve, not their hands.

    Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees or greater), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.

    Don't send children to school if they are sick. Any children who are sick at school will be sent home. Keeping your child home when sick will allow them to rest and also allows you to monitor their health closely. Keeping your sick child home is the responsible thing to do. It protects fellow students and school staff, especially those who are at higher risk of severe illness from the flu.

    Remember- if you are sick, please STAY HOME!  Please be vigilant of others and aware of the serious risk to students and staff when coming to school with flu-like symptoms. Thank you in advance for doing your part in keeping our schools healthy! If you have any questions or concerns please let me know.

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Daisy Ingraham School Featured on WTNH's "What's Right With Schools"

    Daisy Ingraham was recently featured on WTNH Channel 8 for our KINDNESS Initiative.  

    Please view the video clip below as our students share "100 Ways to Be Kind!"

    https://www.wtnh.com/on-air/whats-right-with-schools-on-air/whats-right-with-schools-daisy-ingraham-elementary-celebrates-day-100-of-the-school-year-by-counting-acts-of-kindness/

    As always, we are so very proud of our students and staff.

    Warmly, 

    Ruth W. Rose, Principal

    Daisy Ingraham Elementary School
  • Superintendent Patricia A. Ciccone Announces Retirement

    Superintendent Ciccone has announced her retirement.  Please visit the district homepage for an announcement from the Westbrook Board of Education.

    Westbrook Public Schools
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District Events

  • Regular BOE mtg. - 7 pm - WHS library - Pending

    Westbrook Board of Education
  • Regular BOE mtg. 7 pm - WHS library

    Westbrook Board of Education
  • Regular BOE mtg. 7 pm - WHS library

    Westbrook Board of Education
View Monthly Calendar

Report to Board of Education on Distance Learning

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."

Family Preparedness Plan

Plan de preparacion familiar

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