​District-wide communications from the Superintendent's Office are posted on this webpage. An archive from previous academic years is available online.
 


For updates on COVID-19, please refer to our Coronavirus Resources and Updates webpage.


June 2, 2020

 

Dear Westwood Public Schools Families:

 

This has been an especially difficult week of emotions as we are all reeling from the anger, protests, and acts of violence in our country.  As educators and as human beings, we stand committed to protecting and lifting the rights of all people.  We especially want to reach out to support our families of color and to reaffirm our work to help all of our students become kind, decent, citizens who are equipped with the skills to navigate the complexities and demands of democracy and who don’t remain silent in the face of injustice.

 

As educators, we know that we have a responsibility to help young people navigate and make sense of the world.  Even in this remote environment, teachers have been hearing from students this week who have lots of questions and feelings about, and in some cases are overwhelmed or consumed by, what they are seeing in the news and on social media. We have also heard from parents who are looking for help as they do their best to process with their kids what is happening in our country right now.  As adults, we might not always know the right thing to say, but just opening up the conversation is important.  We are providing some links below to resources that you may find helpful:

 

American Psychological Association

National Geographic

American Academy of Pediatrics

 

In addition, we have individuals who can support your child if he or she is struggling. Please reach out to your building principal if we can be of assistance.

 

We will also continue to critically examine our own curriculum, programming, and policies to ensure they support all students and create an educational environment that is anti-racist and inclusive of all groups. We remain committed to the Westwood Public Schools being a place where everyone feels welcome, heard, respected, and treated with dignity. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Emily Parks

Superintendent

 

Joshua Baumer

Deerfield Principal

 

Sean Bevan

HS Principal

 

Allison Borchers

Assistant Superintendent

 

Sarah Cronin

Hanlon Principal

 

Amy Davenport

HS Dean of Students

 

Kristen Evans

Sheehan Principal

 

Lateefah Franck

Metco Director

 

Lisa Freedman

Preschool Director

 

Debra Gallagher

Downey Principal

 

Nicole Haberman

HS Assistant Principal

 

Abigail Hanscom

Director of Student Services

 

Lemma Jn-baptiste

Director of Business and Finance

 

Matthew Kuklentz

TMS Assistant Principal

 

Steve Ouellette

Director of Technology, Learning, and Innovation

 

Michael Redmon

TMS Principal

 

Donna Tobin

Martha Jones Principal

 


November 1, 2019

Dear Families:

 

Last week, on a visit to the Sheehan School, I popped into a first grade classroom.  The kids were all holding paper airplanes that they had constructed prior to my arrival.  They were approaching the point in the lesson when they were going to fly their planes, making observations about how the design of each plane impacted or changed how the plane flew.  As you might imagine, the excitement level was high! As students went to various stations to begin their test flights, the teacher stood in the center of the action, projecting the calm of a veteran teacher, willing to let go of the reins and allow for exploration, while also confident that she would be able to rein it back in after a little “controlled chaos.”  Sure enough, ten minutes later, the class reconvened on the rug for a rich discussion about their observations. When one student hypothesized about how the results might be different if they had to contend with the wind outdoors, the teacher suggested that perhaps after lunch they could test the planes outside.  

 

You’ve been hearing a lot from me this fall about our elementary building project.  Clearly addressing our facilities needs is a focus for the district right now. Undoubtedly, therefore, you can expect more communication from me on this issue.  Meanwhile, every day the exciting work of the district continues in our schools. We have an articulated Strategy for District Improvement that lays out our goals for providing students with meaningful learning experiences in a healthy and supported school community.  I share the story of the first grade scientists with you as one example of how the important work of meaningful, engaging teaching and learning comes alive in our classrooms.  

 

We recognize and value that the school and families are partners in this work.  I want to make sure you are aware of two upcoming opportunities for parents:

  

First, in partnership with the WPS, on November 18th at 7 pm in the Westwood High School auditorium, Westwood Cares will present “The Secret Life of Teens and Tweens.”  This program will be led by Jon Mattleman, a mental health counselor, who helps parents with constructive tools for communicating, problem solving, and working with adolescents.  

 

Second, on December 4th at 7 pm in the WHS auditorium, Dr. Elizabeth Englander will return to Westwood to present “Parenting in the Digital Age.”  Dr. Englander is a nationally recognized expert in the area of bullying, cyberbullying, and children’s use of technology.  

 

Finally, thanks to everyone who attended our first building project community forum last week.  We are repeating the presentation and breakout group discussion this Monday, November 4th from 7-8:30 pm in the TMS cafeteria.  If you are unable to attend, you can view video on our elementary building project webpage.

 

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