The Buzz at Westbrook School

February 12, 2021

From the Principal...


Dear Westbrook Families,


While in a first grade classroom this week, I heard a first grader read aloud from a poster at the front of the classroom:


“I think people are happier when they make friends, what do you think?” - Ruby Bridges


After reading the quote, he said, “My friends make me smile.” He then asked his teacher, “Who is Ruby Bridges?” The teacher shared that they would be learning about Ruby Bridges and her story later in the day. After hearing the story of Ruby Bridges, the class had a discussion around these three questions:

  • What does this make you think?

  • What does this make you feel?

  • What does this make you want to do?


At Westbrook, we are guided by our three rules of being safe, kind, and ready. By hearing the voices and stories of people from our history, it helps students to understand the world around them. Discussions allow students to practice empathizing and thinking critically about what it means to be a good friend and what they can do to help make the world a better place.


In addition to continuing to celebrate Black History Month, our Westbrook friends celebrated being “100 days brighter” with the 100th day of school! We are so proud of our students! We also had some fun celebrating Valentine’s Day!


Mount Prospect Public Library

The Mount Prospect Public Library has a lot of wonderful resources for families. We encourage you to get a library card for your child!

  • May get a physical card by going to the registration desk

  • Temporary cards are available to access web resources, including: e-books & e-audiobooks. TumbleBooks & PebbleGo are great resources!

  • Available for check-out:

    • Books, movies, audio, video games, STEAM kits, and more!

    • Book bundles: contain 5 themed picture books & an activity

  • Zoom programming available - mppl.org/kids

  • PreK videos made by Mount Prospect Public Library Staff

  • Sign-up for their newsletter!


Social-Emotional Learning Resources

At Westbrook, we help our students to build social-emotional skills, including identifying feelings, managing emotions, establishing and building relationships, and making responsible choices. We do through this through a variety of ways, including class meetings, community building circles, social-emotional lessons, and more.


This link provides tips to help children be successful in learning and managing their feelings and behavior. We encourage teaching students the words to express their feelings and how to show feelings in appropriate ways.


This link provides a chart of feeling faces, including: frustrated, embarrassed, mad, scared, loved, happy, and more! We find it helpful to notice or name what students are doing when they are expressing an emotion. If a child is mad, we may say “Your face is going like this (while we furrow our brows and pout or lips) and your hands are going like this (with clenched fists). You are mad. You are mad because someone knocked over your snowman.”


Parking Lot Safety

Please take a moment to review the following reminders. Thank you for doing your part to keep our parking lot safe.

  1. Always use the crosswalk at arrival and dismissal times.

  2. Do not park in the handicap parking spots...unless you have the proper pass.
  3. Please only park in an actual parking spot...do not create your own space in an aisle.
  4. ALWAYS keep your children close (holding hands is best!) —nothing causes us greater fear than a child running unattended through the lot when cars are backing out of spaces.
  5. No cell phone use in the parking lot---your alert attention is requested and appreciated.
  6. Be courteous to others...we are all on the same team with the same mission—keeping our students and families safe and arrival & dismissal times smooth and efficient!


Help Needed!

We currently have instructional assistant openings at Westbrook! If you or someone you know are interested in becoming a part of our school community and supporting our students, please fill out an application by clicking here. If you have questions about this role, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!


Enrollment for Kindergarten and Circle of Friends

Information regarding Kindergarten and Circle of Friends enrollment for next school year can be found on our school website.


Calendar Reminder

There is no school on Monday, February 15th due to Presidents Day.


Wishing you and your family well,

Kristin VonderHaar


Follow Us on Twitter and Instagram

Please follow us on Twitter and Instagram! Our username is: westbrook_school_d57

Our wonderful PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization) also has an Instagram account! Their username is: westbrookpto

Upcoming Westbrook Dates

February 15 - Presidents Day - No School, Buildings are closed

February 17 - PTO Meeting

February 19 - End of 2nd Trimester

February 23-25 Preschool Lottery for 2021/22 - Appointment only - More information below

March 5 - Half Day 1st Grade Only - Remote

March 5 - No School for Circle of Friends and Kindergarten

March 22- March 26 Spring Break, No School

March 29 - Classes Resume

April 2- No School - Buildings Closed

April 6 - Staff Institute Day - No School

Friday, March 5 - Calendar Reminder

  • Circle of Friends - NO SCHOOL

  • Kindergarten - NO SCHOOL

  • 1st Grade Remote Learners - Students will login for synchronous instruction with their teacher in the morning from 9-11am.

  • 1st Grade Hybrid Learners - Both AM/PM students will receive instruction remotely in the morning from 9-11am. Students will receive synchronous instruction with their teacher during this time.

Circle of Friends Lottery - February 23, 24, and 25

Westbrook PTO Website

Please join the Westbrook PTO to receive the school directory!

District 57 is Hiring - Click Picture for Details

Are you looking for a little extra spending money? How about a way you can serve your child’s school? If so, consider applying online to be an instructional assistant or a substitute. The district website has the specific job descriptions and requirements.


If you are interested in being an instructional assistant, or substitute feel free to contact Tom O’Rourke at the District 57 Administration Office (847-394-7300 x1010) for more information, or please click here and start an application.