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Posted Date: 01/26/2023
Norwalk Public Schools is excited to give our elementary school families choice with Elementary School Choice. Families with children entering kindergarten through fifth grade will have the opportunity to learn more about our 13 amazing elementary schools and find the school that best fits them.
Families can take advantage of our magnet programs that focus on language, character, college and career readiness, and visual and performing arts. We also take great pride in our elementary schools that build community and offer their own unique programs and educational opportunities.
To achieve our mission to provide an excellent and equitable education for all students to graduate future ready, we need to provide options, and we’re proud that we can offer many of them to our families.
What is Elementary School Choice?
Elementary School Choice is an opportunity for families to have a greater voice in their child’s education starting as early as kindergarten. We have multiple schools that offer choice including Brookside (pre-K Montessori), Concord Magnet School, Jefferson Marine Science School, Kendall College and Career Academy, Silvermine Dual-Language Magnet School, Tracey Magnet School and Wolfpit Integrated Arts School.
Each school provides a warm and inviting learning environment that will introduce students to new friends, nurture their creativity, challenge them academically, and put them on the path to a successful future.
Each school will provide students with a typical elementary school experience enhanced by their magnet program.
Why is NPS offering Elementary School Choice?
Norwalk Public Schools is committed to giving our students more options for their learning experience that are not limited to the neighborhood where they live. A lottery system creates an equitable system, ensuring each family can find the best fit for their child to learn and grow.
How can I learn more about Elementary School Choice?
NPS will host the second annual Elementary School Choice Fair on Thursday, Feb. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Concord Magnet School. Each school will be represented, and it’s a great opportunity to speak with each school’s principal, staff members and students in one place.
Families are welcome to call the NPS Family Center at 203-854-4100 to ask more questions or call the schools directly.
More information will be available on the NPS website and posted frequently on the NPS social media channels.
Which students will be part of Elementary School Choice?
All students entering grades kindergarten through fifth can participate in the lottery for Elementary School Choice. Families will rank their top choices on the lottery application.
Magnet/choice schools included in the lottery process:
If you’re interested in transferring your child to one of our neighborhood schools, your family will need to make an Intra-District Transfer request. Click here to find the Intra-District Transfer request form.
Neighborhood schools include:
Do current elementary school students get to participate in Elementary School Choice?
Yes. Students already enrolled in a Norwalk elementary school can participate in the Elementary School Choice Lottery.
How does the Elementary School Choice lottery process work?
If students are interested in applying to one of our magnet/choice schools, they will have the opportunity to enter a centralized lottery for available seats in their school of interest. The Elementary School Choice Lottery will open in early February.
Parents will log into the lottery system where they can apply to multiple schools for their child. An algorithm based on prioritization set by the district randomly selects students for each school. Our lottery will be weighted for sibling preference.
Once the lottery has been run, the acceptance list is generated and a waitlist is generated as well for each program. Students will be notified by email to their application status as well as acceptance into each program.
The elementary school choice process will mirror our middle and high school choice processes.
What if my family wants to send our child to the school that we are zoned for?
Families that choose not to participate in Elementary School Choice will be GUARANTEED a seat at their neighborhood school. Families will only enter the lottery if they are interested in one of our magnet/choice schools.
What options are available through Elementary School Choice?
Norwalk Public Schools has 13 elementary schools that include seven magnet programs and seven neighborhood schools across the district.
How many students will each magnet/choice school accept?
The number of spots available for each magnet/choice school is based on program capacity.
Do I need to register my child entering kindergarten if they’re going to be attending the school zoned for our home address?
Yes. All students new to the district, including students entering kindergarten, must register with Norwalk Public Schools whether they choose to participate in Elementary School Choice or not.
What if my child requires special services or supports, do they need to choose a particular school?
No. All student services will be met for the child based on their IEP, 504, or MLL requirements at all high schools. Norwalk Public Schools provides specialized programs for certain identified students. Placement in these specialized programs is the decision of the PPT and could change school placement.
Can a younger sibling attend the same elementary school as their older sibling?
Priority will be given to students who wish to attend the same elementary school as an older sibling(s) during the same school year. However, the acceptance is dependent on enrollment availability at our magnet schools.
A younger sibling can also choose to apply to a different magnet school than the school where the older sibling attends.
Can my child switch schools during their elementary years?
Yes, but only after completing the school year. Families can choose to participate in the Elementary School Choice lottery during the next school year if they’re interested in transferring to a magnet/choice school or they can request an Intra-District Transfer to transfer to another neighborhood school.
Our family is new to the district and we missed the Elementary School Choice Lottery. Can we choose which school we want our child to attend?
When a family enters the district, they will first visit the NPS Family Center to register their child as a new student. Representatives from the Family Center will then assist families with getting on a waitlist for a choice school or registering them for the elementary school in their zone. If at that time they wish to request an Intra-District Transfer, they can complete the form.
Will transportation be provided for students?
Transportation is provided for students who are accepted into a magnet/choice school. Families who request an Intra-District Transfer must provide their own transportation. Transportation for students attending their zoned school is based on state guidelines.