The Buzz at Westbrook School
October 20, 2023
FROM the PRINCIPAL....
Dear Westbrook Families,
This year's Westbrook school theme is Empathy. Our staff is committed to helping our students develop empathy, which involves understanding and supporting the feelings of others. We believe instilling empathy in our students is essential for creating a compassionate and inclusive community.
Over the past week, Mr. Anderson and I have had the privilege of visiting classrooms to kickstart this exciting journey. We've been reading picture books with the theme of empathy, engaging our students in meaningful conversations about understanding one another's emotions.
Mr. Anderson has been reading the book “Birdsong” by Julie Flett encapsulating the essence of empathy. I have enjoyed sharing the book "Be Kind" by Pat Miller, a heartwarming story that reinforces the value of kindness in our daily interactions.
Spending time in classrooms, reading, and connecting with our students has been a heartwarming experience. We are excited to see our students respond to these important lessons and the theme of empathy throughout the school year. As we continue our school-wide theme, we will incorporate various activities, discussions, and events to further promote empathy and understanding.
As we look ahead, I wanted to let you know that kindergarten and first-grade students will participate in a classroom presentation delivered by Lisa Ryno, our School Social Worker, to educate in an age-appropriate way about childhood sexual abuse. These valuable presentations will teach students about personal safety, safe vs. unsafe touches, safety steps to follow if someone breaks the touching rule, and good vs. bad secrets.
Erin’s Law mandates sexual abuse prevention education for public school children in Illinois. More information about Erin’s Law can be found here. The resources used for the first-grade presentation include It’s My Body by Lory Freeman and this video (we stop the video at 2:11). The book used for kindergarten is Your Body Belongs to You by Teri Weidner. Please do not hesitate to contact me or Lisa Ryno (LRyno@d57.org) if you have any follow-up questions.
It is hard to believe that the first trimester ends Friday, November 1st. Report cards will go home with students on Friday, November 10th. We look forward to discussing your child’s progress with you at our fall conferences on November 1st, 2nd, and 9th. You can use this 2023 Conference Sign-Up link.
Please mark your calendars for picture retakes on Wednesday, November 8th. Please email your child’s teacher if you want them to participate in retakes.
For your children,
Halloween at Westbrook
Halloween is quickly approaching. The Halloween parade schedule is below. Families are invited to attend the outdoor parade at their child’s assigned time. We will walk out of door #1 and parade clockwise around the school. Please spread out so that all families can see the students walk by.
Students are invited to wear their costumes to school for the full day. It is important to ensure students are in comfortable costumes to sit in the classroom and use the bathroom. Please help your child make safe and respectful decisions about their costumes. Students may wear an appropriate mask in the parade but not during school. Make-up, weapons, fake blood, or inappropriate dress are not allowed. All costume accessories will be left in the classroom for recess and lunch. Students may not bring food or candy to share.
Monday, October 31st
Circle of Friends AM/ Kindergarten AM - 10:45 AM
Circle of Friends PM/ Kindergarten PM/1st Grade/ SOAR - 2:30 PM
Recognize a Staff Member
Westbrook teachers and staff work hard to support students and staff daily. We invite you to click on the link below if you would like to recognize a teacher or staff member for their hard work and dedication. We will pass on the good news to them.
Thank you in advance for sending an encouraging word, as we know it will mean so much.
Portrait of a Graduate Update
Teaching Empathy - Home Connection Lessons
Throughout October, students will learn about empathy as part of our work with the Portrait of a Graduate. Being empathetic means understanding and feeling how someone else is feeling. We can put ourselves in their shoes and show them kindness and support. Through these activities, we will define what empathy looks like, sounds like, and feels like throughout the day. This process will be repeated throughout the year with the other Portrait of a Graduate components: collaborative, critical thinker, resilient, and adaptable.
Additionally, students in grades K-5 will learn more about empathy as part of the Second Step® lessons. The following resources from Second Step® discuss what students will learn about empathy and how families can support their child’s learning both in and out of school.
PEPS (Partnering with Educators and Parents to Support student needs) is a networking group for parents of children with special needs in any of the District 57 schools.
Please check out the latest PEPS newsletter HERE.
Order Portraits TODAY!
The DEADLINE to order school pictures is TODAY, October 20th. Orders can be placed through HR Imaging using this LINK. Families are able to order online AFTER today but a late charge may apply.
Picture re-takes are Wednesday, November 8th. Please notify your student's classroom teacher if you would like a retake for your child. Any student who was absent on picture day will have their photo taken on retake day.
Mark Your Calendars
October 24th - October 26th - Hearing & Vision Screening, LRC
Friday, October 27th - Conference Sign Up closes
PTO Early Childhood Pumpkin Patch
Saturday, October 28th - PTO Trunk-or-Treat,
WB Parking Lot 9:30 AM -12:00 PM
Monday, October 30th - Kindergarten Community Helpers Day
Tuesday, October 31st -
AM EC/Kindergarten Parade - 10:45 AM
AM Kindergarten Party - 11:00 - 11:40 AM
PM EC/Kindergarten/1st Parade - 2:30 PM
PM Kindergarten/1st Party - 3:00 - 3:40 PM
November 1st, 2nd, 9th - Parent-Teacher Conferences
Friday, November 3rd - Hot Reads Assembly 10:00 AM / 1:30 PM
First Grade PTO Special Lunch
End of the First Trimester
Monday, November 6th - PEPS Behavior (Sped Parent Group), LRC 4-5 PM
Wednesday, November 8th - Picture Re-takes
Tuesday, November 14th - Board of Education Meeting, Fairview 7PM -
Spotlight on LRC STEAM / Coding
Wednesday, November 15th - PTO Meeting, Lounge, 7 PM
Thursday, November 16th - Lunch with the Principals Brooks/Grossmayer
November 20th - 24th - Thanksgiving Break, No School
December 4th - 8th - Westbrook Book Fair
For more dates, check out the district calendar: D57 Calendar
Library News from Mrs. Capra
KINDNESS Club for 1st GRADERS
Notes from the Front Office
- If the arrival bell has rung, you will need to come into the office and sign your student in.
- When you student will be absent, there are several options to notify the school.
- If your dismissal plans change, please notify the teacher and the office, especially if your student is a bus rider. If plans change last minute, please CALL the front office.
TRUNK OR TREAT
The Westbrook School PTO is excited to host our 2nd annual Trunk or Treat! The event will take place in the Westbrook parking lot on SATURDAY OCTOBER 28th!
This is a FREE event for the whole family! Costumes are encouraged! If you are interested in registering your car to participate, there is still time. Click here and register by October 21st.
PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES
Parent/Teacher Conferences are coming up on November 1, 2, and 9th. To show our appreciation for the amazing, hard work that the Westbrook staff does every day to help our children learn and grow, the PTO will be providing a meal each day of conferences from a local restaurant.
We would love your help to show how thankful the Westbrook community is. We are looking for snacks, drinks, and desserts to help fuel the teachers on these long days and to supplement the PTO-sponsored main dish. We are also asking for help with set-up and clean-up. If you are interested in helping, please click here and sign up using this form.
First grade and Kindergarten families: don't forget to read 20 minutes a night and complete the Read-Away calendar for a free kids pizza from Station 34! Return the calendar after the end of the month in your students folder. Click here if you need another copy.
First grade families, a reminder that the next Special Lunch is Friday, November 3rd from Tortorice's Pizza.