NPS Verizon Innovative 2021

Norwalk Public Schools Joins Verizon Innovative Learning to Bring Internet Access, Devices And Technology Coaches to Middle Schools
Posted on 03/04/2021

Norwalk Public Schools is pleased to announce that Nathan Hale, Ponus Ridge and West Rocks middle schools have been selected to participate in Verizon Innovative Learning beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

Verizon’s education initiative addresses barriers to digital inclusion and is a key program under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. Nathan Hale, Ponus and West Rocks are among the 148 new schools joining Verizon Innovative Learning, bringing the program to more than 400 middle and high schools nationwide.

In partnership with Digital Promise, Verizon Innovative Learning will equip every student and teacher at middle schools across America with a device and up to a four-year data plan. In addition to free technology and access, schools receive extensive teacher training and support, along with the opportunity to engage in powerful teaching and learning that leverages technology in and out of the classroom.

“As the world discovered during the pandemic, technology is critical to connecting students with the resources that they need to learn successfully,” said Norwalk Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Alexandra Estrella. “To help our learners develop critical 21st century skills, every student needs equitable access to technology, and every educator needs professional development and support to integrate technology into their instruction. This initiative provides NPS with the ability to ensure that commitment to these middle school students.”

In addition to free mobile devices and accompanying 30GB 4G LTE data plans, participating schools will be assigned a full-time coach to train teachers in effectively integrating technology into their lessons. Keeping the initiative in mind during budget planning, NPS factored in technology costs covered by Verizon when requesting funding for new devices and internet for the 2021-22 school year. Devices used by students prior to the arrival of the new devices will be distributed to those who need a replacement device across the district.

“Distance learning has created a number of challenges for both students and teachers, and this is especially true of those in underrepresented communities who often lack access to sufficient support systems and resources,” said Bob Duff, Senate Majority Leader (D-Norwalk). “Providing these new opportunities for educators and students supports my long-standing desire to increase skill building and advancing tech equity in our community."

The Verizon Innovative Learning program launched in 2012, reaching more than 212,000 students and 14,000 teachers across 264 middle and high schools to date. Verizon Innovative

Learning is driving academic improvements as a result of the initiative.* In fact, 59 percent of Verizon Innovative Learning students believe assignments are easier when using a device, and 54 percent believe having the device improved their confidence in the things they can do. Moreover, Verizon Innovative Learning teachers felt more prepared for distance learning thanks to the initiative, with 92 percent reporting that Verizon Innovative Learning helped prepare them to teach remotely.**

"Verizon is proud to welcome Norwalk Public Schools to the Verizon Innovative Learning program (VILS),” said David Lamendola, Verizon Director of Government Affairs for Connecticut and New York. “Through this transformative program, we are working to increase digital inclusion and enable students to acquire the skills they need to thrive in a digital world. In particular, STEM is key in education and the workforce and VILS will be a great resource for the students of Norwalk's public school system."

To date, Verizon has invested over $535 million in market value toward STEM education efforts in support of digital inclusion, impacting more than 480,000 students nationwide.


* Source: Westat (2019).Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Survey Result Dashboard Dec 2019

**Source: Westat (2020): Verizon Innovative Learning Teacher Survey June 2020

About Verizon Innovative Learning: Verizon Innovative Learning, Verizon's education initiative targeting Title 1 schools in partnership with Digital Promise, addresses barriers to digital inclusion. It’s a key program under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. The program provides free 1:1 devices, free internet access and a technology-driven curriculum with the goal to transform the learning experience. Through exposure to cutting-edge technology, the program enables students to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to build an innovative workforce of the future. Since 2012, Verizon Innovative Learning has committed a total of $535 million in STEM education efforts in support of digital inclusion. In 2019, Verizon launched its first 5G-enabled Verizon Innovative Learning classroom, with the goal of 100 in the coming years. The company is committed to providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030. Learn more at