At its meeting on March 1, 2016, the Norwalk Board of Education approved school district calendars for both 2016-17 and 2017-18. This marks the first time that Norwalk Public Schools has had school calendars confirmed for two school years at a time. With approved 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.
To view the calendars, click here: News & Information: General Information: District Calendars
As part of the District’s goal to Raise the Bar & Close the Gap, the approved calendars were designed to increase the amount of instructional time available for students, especially in the months before key state assessment tests in the spring. Other changes were driven by the need to align with new guidelines set under state law for Regional Uniform School Calendars. Those guidelines included a common start date, Uniform Professional Development days for certified employees and three uniform vacation periods. Districts had the availability of up to five flexible days to customize for local needs.
Highlights of the approved calendars include:
First Day of School: Norwalk will use one “flexible day” to start school on the Wednesday before Labor Day.
Staggered Entry for Kindergarten students: Half the Kindergarten class will attend school on the Wednesday before Labor Day, while the second half will be in school the following day. All Kindergarteners will be in school together on the third day.
Grade 6 Orientation: A District-wide orientation day will be scheduled for incoming Grade 6 students.
Columbus Day: Consistent with the CES Uniform Calendar, Columbus Day will no longer be a day off for students, adding an extra instructional day to the month.
Elementary Conferences: To make sure that elementary conferences are as effective as possible, elementary conference periods are scheduled for December and March. This timing better aligns with the availability of trimester progress reports.
Presidents Day Weekend: Beginning in 2016-17, the Professional Development day that has been held in March will be shifted to the Thursday before the Presidents Day holiday weekend. Students will be off that day. Friday, Feb. 17 will be designated a holiday for students and teachers.
End of Year: Early dismissal days at the end-of-year would be reduced from five to two.
Norwalk Public Schools has also updated the format of the calendars to make them easier to read and understand.
In keeping with best practices in high performing school districts, a District calendar for 2018-19 is expected to be proposed early in 2017, so that NPS will continue to have calendars in place for two school years at a time.