Westbrook School

August 28, 2020

From the Principal...

Dear Westbrook Families,


Thank you to all who were able to attend our virtual Back to School Night! The Westbrook Staff and I greatly appreciate you arranging your schedule to attend this important event. If you were unable to attend, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher to ask any questions regarding your child’s school year. An introduction to our Westbrook staff, as well as videos from our PTO, the District 57 Education Foundation, and the Mount Prospect Library can be found here.


We have loved building connections with our students this past week! In the first couple of weeks, we will be focusing on fostering community, teaching students how to use technology, reviewing expectations, and assessing students’ academic skills. Every child responds to the challenges of a new school year and grade level in their own way. It may take some students longer to adjust to new schedules, routines, and technology in the same way that it takes some children longer to learn to read, write, or compute. We will support them along the way and partner with you to ensure that their school experience is positive and happy.


Technology

If you experience a technical issue, please follow these steps to troubleshoot the problem:


  1. Restart the Chromebook (make sure it turns all the way off before turning back on).

  2. Quit any unused applications.

  3. Sign out of an application if it's not working, and sign back in.

  4. Move closer to your internet router if you are experiencing connectivity issues.

  5. Turn off any accessibility features i.e., contrast mode, special cursor that may be set on the Chromebook. These can cause applications to run slow.

If you would prefer to use your device, please click here to learn how to access the technology needed for remote learning.


Although technology can work well, there are times when it just does not work correctly. Teachers will not be available to respond to emails during instructional times. If you are still experiencing technical issues after trying the above steps, please submit a Remote Learning Technology Support form by clicking here. One of our District Technology Team Members will contact you to provide assistance.

All of our teachers will be using Seesaw and Zoom. I would encourage you to view the videos/resources regarding these applications on our district websites. There is a Student Academy and Parent Academy.


Benchmark Assessments

Our Literacy Support Services (LSS) and Math Support Services (MSS) teachers are working on individually assessing every first grader and every kindergartener on their early literacy and math skills. These assessments will be completed virtually, and your child will be placed into a breakout room to complete the assessments with members of our Westbrook staff.


The information teachers receive about each child’s reading and math ability will be used to inform their instruction and to monitor individual student growth. All K-1st students will be reassessed on these skills in the winter and spring in order to measure growth.


Early Literacy Skills

  • initial sounds (kindergarten only)

  • concepts of print (kindergarten only)

  • short vowel sounds

  • letter names and sounds

  • sight words

  • decodable words (1st grade only)

  • word segmenting (1st grade only)

  • sentence reading (1st grade only)

  • running records (1st grade only)


Early Math Skills

  • number identification

  • oral counting

  • numeral identification

  • number sequence (1st grade only)

  • decomposing numbers (1st grade only)

  • basic computation (1st grade only)


Reading to Each Class

One of my favorite things to do is to read picture books to classes. It’s wonderful to hear the connections that students make with their lives, other books, or to each other. Karl Anderson (Assistant Principal) and I have had the pleasure of reading to a few classes this week, and we look forward to reading to the rest of the classes in the coming weeks. Mr. Anderson’s book When Pencil Met Eraser by Karen Kilpatrick showcases two characters who discover that their artwork is even better when they work together. I read You Matter by Christian Robinson. The book tells the beautiful story of how everyone is connected and that everyone matters. At Westbrook, we are a family and each person is important and matters.


Meetings During Remote Learning

During a typical school day, there are times when teachers are called into meetings for a variety of reasons including data reviews, problem solving meetings on behalf of students, and meetings for students with special education needs. These meetings typically are an hour to 90 minutes in length. When this happens during remote learning, teachers will notify their students/families ahead of time and share with their students what they should be working on independently while the teacher is at the meeting. It might be that an activity is given and students are allowed to take a break when they finish, or students may be given a couple of options to choose from until the meeting ends. In these cases, the teacher will let the students/families know when he or she will return and when the students will resume with live instruction. This will not happen often, but I wanted parents to be aware of this procedure. Let me know if you have any follow up questions about this. We will still utilize substitute teachers on school days when a teacher is absent.


Follow Us on Instagram and Twitter

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


Thank you for your partnership! Have a wonderful weekend!


Wishing you and your family well,

Kristin Vonder Haar

Remote Learning Helpful Instructions: