NPS Highlights

We're proud to say that there’s a lot going on at Norwalk Public Schools!
 

2015-16 Highlights

The 2015-2016 school year at Norwalk Public Schools was marked by a continued focus on performance for our students and schools, as well as new programs and changes designed to prepare students for college and career.  An overview of progress at Norwalk Public Schools this year included the following accomplishments:

  • A strong, experienced senior management team is now in place with the hiring of Dr. Steven Adamowski as Superintendent of Schools, and with the addition this year of Dr. Michael Conner as Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Lynn Toper as Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Services, Frank Costanzo as Chief Operating Officer, Tom Hamilton as Chief Financial Officer, and Cherese Chery as Chief Human Resources Officer.

  • The Board of Education adopted of a three-year Strategic Operating Plan to guide the direction of Norwalk Public Schools through the 2018-19 school year. The plan includes a variety of performance measures which will be used to monitor progress over the next three years.

  • As part of the Strategic Operating Plan, the Board of Education adopted a new “Theory of Action” to drive fundamental change. Known as Managed Performance Empowerment, MPE provides autonomy to schools with improved performance and closely manages those that do not meet expected benchmarks for student achievement.

  • Following the presentation of the 2015 CREC Special Education Review, work began on the priority action items necessary to improve education of students with special learning needs. The role of Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Services was created as a new, senior management position that reports to the Superintendent.

  • The Board of Education approved a new policy that will establish School Governance Councils at all schools.  School Governance Councils will be the primary, local school decision-making body of a school, with members that include parents and guardians, teachers, community leaders, the school principal, and at the high school level, students.

  • A comprehensive Facilities Utilization Study has moved from the study phase to the implementation phase, with an extremely detailed plan now under review and $2.5 million in capital funding designated to start work with in 2016-17.

  • To increase academic achievement and close the achievement gap, the District convened a Middle Grades Design and Improvement Committee with the goal of identifying one or more element to roll out at each school in 2016-17.

  • To close the Achievement Gap, Norwalk Public Schools redirected grant funding to support implementing of Tier Ii and Tier II interventions, which includes increasing math educational time from 60 to 90 minutes per day in the elementary and middle school.

  • For the first time, Norwalk Public Schools has school calendars confirmed for two school years at a time.  With the Board of Education approving calendars for the upcoming school year and the one that follows, families and community organizations now have a head start on planning for the following school year.

  • In 2015-16, work continued on the new Norwalk Early Childhood Center, which will open this fall to serve both special needs and typical PreK students in a newly renovated facility on Allen Road.

  • The “After the Bell” after-school program continued to serve children in South Norwalk on site at the South Norwalk Community Center.

  • Following a request from Columbus Magnet School parents, staff and administrators, plans moved forward to transition the school into a K-8 program. 

  •  ‚ÄčAs part of our plan to create more choices that meet diverse student needs and interests, Silvermine Elementary School began the transition into a full dual language immersion school. 

  • The development of an International Baccalaureate program at Brien McMahon High School continued to move forward on schedule.

  • The district completed year two of Norwalk Early College Academy, a collaboration between NPS, NCC, the state of Connecticut and the IBM, with NECA students taking classes for college credit at NCC.

  • Throughout the year, planning was underway for the transition to block scheduling at both high schools for 2016-17 school year.

  • Norwalk Pathways Academy, formerly Briggs High School, was re-directed as a high school program designed to provide over-age, under-credited students with a path to graduation.

  • With the support of the Dalio Foundation, NPS rolled out the second year of the Fund for Teachers program, which offers Norwalk teachers the opportunity to design their own summer professional learning opportunities.                                                       

  • The NEASC accreditation process was completed at Brien McMahon High School, after NEASC accreditation was secured at Norwalk High School in the previous year.

  • A partnership with Norwalk Community College continued at BMHS, giving high school students hands on exposure to career opportunities in health care.

  • We continued the expansion of summer school programs in the city, serving more than 700 students in a variety of programs.