The Buzz at Westbrook School

January 29, 2021

From the Principal...

Dear Westbrook Families,


I have been so impressed with the resiliency and flexibility that our students have displayed as they experienced transitions from remote to hybrid learning or moving from one classroom to another. This has truly been a challenging time in our world, and we are so appreciative of the way that our school community has come together to support our students. Thank you for your continued support.


I want to highlight our PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) officers:

  • Kristen Benwitz, Co-President

  • Roseann Houghton, Co-President

  • Lisa Dister, Co-Vice President

  • Jacki Kochanski, Co-Vice President

  • Mallory Reyes, Secretary

  • Lauren Seidel, Treasurer


Our PTO continues to find new and creative ways to support our school community, including having volunteers help with arrival/dismissal, organizing reading incentive programs like Westbrook Read Away, creating additional opportunities for students to develop their love for reading through programs like Leapin’ into Literature, and more! We can’t thank our PTO and the countless volunteers who have supported us this school year!


Upcoming Half Day - February 12th

In the afternoon of February 12th, our teachers will be reviewing data to inform teaching and learning practices, as well as to identify which students may require additional supports in the areas of math and literacy.


No students will report to the building on half days.

Please see below to see how your child’s schedule may be impacted on half days:

  • 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.


Hybrid/Remote Learning Models

As you may remember, when you chose between a full remote and half day hybrid you were committing for the second trimester, which ends on February 19th. As this date is quickly approaching, we need to start planning for potential changes that will begin on February 22nd.

If you wish to keep your child in their current selection of half day hybrid or full day remote, there is no action needed. If you would like to change your child(ren) from half-day hybrid to full-day remote or from full-day remote to half-day hybrid starting on February 22nd, please send an email to me at kvonderhaar@d57.org by Friday, February 5th at noon. Please state your choice and indicate AM/PM preference if requesting to move to half-day hybrid. AM/PM preferences are not guaranteed but will be honored if possible.


Please carefully consider your selection because we will be looking at our numbers on February 5th and making decisions on the number of hybrid and remote sections needed. We would not want to resection classes and change schedules based on inaccurate information and would like to minimize unnecessary disruption to students as much as possible. We are not certain what the rest of the year will hold. If the current hybrid/ remote plan remains intact, your selection for the start of the third trimester will continue throughout the rest of the school year.


Enrollment for Kindergarten and Circle of Friends

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


What Happens when a Hybrid Student is Unable to Attend School In-Person

If a hybrid student is home for any reason but not taking a sick day, she/he will join the class during their 2.5 hours of in-person learning times via Zoom. The child's parent must contact the classroom teacher before the school day begins to request a Zoom link. Our teachers will not have a Zoom link set up on a daily basis, so families must contact teachers in advance if they would like to request a Zoom link. The child will log in on Zoom and the teacher will position her/his laptop so that the child can see the instruction. The interaction between teacher and students that we have known in the remote Zoom classroom setting will not be the same, however the student will be a viewing member of the classroom.


We Are in This Together

To ensure the success and sustainability of the hybrid model, we must all commit to wearing masks, practicing social distancing, frequently washing hands, and staying home if we have any exposure to or symptoms of COVID-19. Thank you for helping to keep our students and staff safe! We would like to remind families to wear masks during drop-off and pick-up times. Thank you!


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

Upcoming Westbrook Dates

February 8-12 Kindergarten Enrollment 2021/22 (By appt only, see flyer below)

February 12 - No School for Kindergarten and Circle of Friends

February 12 - Half Day for First Grade - All remote see below

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

Friday, February 12 - 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.

Kindergarten Enrollment for 2021/22

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.