National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development recognizes Westbrook

Nation at Hope

Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Westbrook Public Schools and its work to support the whole student is included as an exemplary approach to supporting students’ social, emotional, and academic development in a report released today by a prestigious national commission.

The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development’s “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope” asserts that our nation is at a turning point, understanding that social, emotional, and cognitive development underpins children’s academic learning. This breakthrough understanding about how people learn is fueling a growing movement to educate children as whole people, with social and emotional as well as academic needs, the report says.

Westbrook has espoused the integration of multidimensional skill development to optimize learning.  We believe that social, emotional and cognitive skills can be taught, that learning happens in the cultivation of positive relationships and that social, emotional and cognitive development offsets the effects of stress and trauma; adverse childhood experiences.  In that work, we have seen the increase in academic proficiency and less disciplinary exclusions.  See the work noted in the Aspen Institute feature entitled Caring Communities: Linking School Culture and Student Development p. 9-10 and in the Practice and in the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development Practice Agenda in Support of How Learning Happens, p. 39. 

Westbrook thanks the commission for recognizing our school district and the students who are emerging as our strongest resource.  In pledging to continue this work, we have made a commitment to work with our students as resources, true partners in setting the climate of our schools and district, so that students can emerge as leaders on the importance of empathy and kindness.  From her unprecedented step of asking high school students to collect and analyze school and community climate survey data, the superintendent commented that “our students are transforming their school and the district (Pre-K – 12) and inspiring others across the state to do the same.”

“A Nation at Hope” emphasizes that translating knowledge about how people learn into practice and helping students develop skills like collaboration, empathy, and perseverance requires systemic change. It offers specific actions in research, practice, and policy to fundamentally shift how we teach children, with the understanding that the social, emotional, and cognitive dimensions of learning are mutually reinforcing rather than distinct.

The report recommends taking these key steps:

  • Set a clear vision that broadens the definition of student success to prioritize the whole child.
  • Transform learning settings so they are safe and supportive for all young people.
  • Change instruction to teach students social, emotional, and cognitive skills; embed these skills in academics and school-wide practices.
  • Build adult expertise in child development.
  • Align resources and leverage partners in the community to address the whole child.
  • Forge closer connections between research and practice to generate useful, actionable information for educators.

Nearly 100 organizations that have signed on in support of the report’s conclusions and recommendations as part of an ever-widening coalition committed to advancing the work. This groundswell of support that has surged over the course of the Commission’s work, and now supports action across communities following its release, sets the report apart and offers promise for the movement to grow nationwide.

As Chet Bialicki, Teen Leadership teacher/mentor, has noted that his, “priority to give Westbrook students  increasing opportunities to respond to invitations from organizations such as CEA, the Community Coalition on Children, National School Climate Center, FaceBook and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to present their leadership in setting a climate conducive to social, emotional and academic development.”

Drawing on input from more than 200 scientists, youth and parent groups, educators and policymakers, the report seeks to accelerate and strengthen efforts in local communities. These recommendations are especially pertinent as states and communities continue to leverage their increased authority on education policy under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The report includes specific strategies that schools, districts, and communities can pursue related to each recommendation and examples of places that are engaged in these efforts.

The report also outlines evidence that confirms that supporting students’ social, emotional and academic development has a positive impact on their attendance, test scores, success in college and careers, and overall well-being. This approach also improves students’ feelings about school and makes schools safer.

More information is available at NationatHope.org.

 Read the Full Press Release

Student and Staff Recognition

Superintendent

Contact Information

Patricia A. Ciccone
Superintendent

pciccone@westbrookctschools.org

860-399-6432

News and Anouncements

  • "One School, One Book" Kindness Day--Monday, February 4, 2019

    Our culminating event for "One School, One Book" project will take place on Monday, Feb. 4.  All students will be involved in a day of art, music, movement, Yoga, reading and writing activities focusing on a theme of kindness.  An all-school assembly will take place at 2:15 pm in the gym and families are welcome to attend.  In honor of our preschooler, Jack Livernoche, and his family, we are collecting toys for Yale New Haven Childrens Hospital Toy Closet and Child Life Program.  Donations will be accepted at school through February 14, 2019.

    Daisy Ingraham Elementary School
  • Case of Measles Confirmed in Connecticut

    Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that it has confirmed a case of measles in a New Haven County adult, the first confirmed case this year in the state; three cases were confirmed during 2018.  DPH is collaborating with local partners to identify contacts and implement appropriate control measures. 

    For more information regarding measles, please visit our measles page, which contains the full press release and links to CDC materials.

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Join the use for the OWS Choral Festival

    Wednesday, February 6 at 7:30pm

    Old Saybrook High School Auditorium

    Westbrook High School
  • National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development recognizes Westbrook

    Visit https://www.westbrookctschools.org to read about the Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development's recognition of Westbrook Public School's successful school climate work.

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • Free and Reduced Lunch

    Be sure to look at the updated information on Free and Reduced Lunches at Westbrook Public Schools available on our Food Services page:  http://www.westbrookctschools.org/groups/5756

    Food Services

District Events

  • February Vacation

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • February Vacation

    Westbrook Public Schools
  • WMS LIBRARY

    WMS HOMEWORK CLUB

    Westbrook Middle School
  • ROOM 115

    WMS ART CLUB

    Westbrook Middle School
  • HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA

    WMS WINTER SPORTS AWARDS

    Westbrook Middle School
  • ROOM 206

    WMS MATH COUNTS

    Westbrook Middle School
  • ROOM 203

    WMS NEWSPAPER CLUB

    Westbrook Middle School
  • WMS MATH OLYMPIADS

    WMS MATH OLYMPIADS

    ROOM 107

    Westbrook Middle School
  • WMS LIBRARY

    WMS HOMEWORK CLUB

    Westbrook Middle School
  • WMS LIBRARY

    WMS HOMEWORK CLUB

    Westbrook Middle School
  • ROOM 115

    WMS ART CLUB

    Westbrook Middle School
  • ROOM 206

    WMS MATH COUNTS

    Westbrook Middle School
  • ROOM 203

    WMS NEWSPAPER CLUB

    Westbrook Middle School
  • WMS MATH OLYMPIADS

    WMS MATH OLYMPIADS

    ROOM 107

    Westbrook Middle School
  • ROOM 108

    WMS STUDENT COUNCIL MEETING

    Westbrook Middle School
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Letter From the Superintendent Regarding the School Shooting in Texas on May 18, 2018

May 18, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

 Once again, we find ourselves stunned by yet another school shooting; this one at Santa Fe High School in Texas.  In light of this tragic news and the even more tragic realization that our country has experienced 22 school and soft-target shootings since January 1st of this year, it is not surprising that our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and those who have been injured  in this latest attack.

 With every such devastating event, we are reminded that the safety/security of our students is our top priority.  In that commitment, I once again want to assure our community that we take safety and security seriously and work daily to practice our schools’ safety procedures.  And, as with each tragic event we have experienced in the past, I hope the resources available on www.westbrookctschools.org will help you and your students to cope with this most recent tragedy.   Please feel free to share the approved resource information with other families and friends as well.  Our school support professionals and I hope that these resources will be helpful to you.

 As always, please contact me via email at pciccone@westbrookctschools.org or phone at 860-399-6432 with any questions or concerns regarding school violence issues and talking with children about it.

 

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