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Norwalk Next Steps 18-22 Transition Program

TRANSITIONThe Norwalk Next Steps Program works with students, ages 18-22, to effectively become valued members of the community. It offers a range of  services for students in need of functional academics, vocational experiences, and independent living skills development. The program focuses on daily living skills, vocational skills and self-determination skills lessons/activities, and works to broaden students’ abilities. The program also helps students develop the competence to lead successful and rewarding adult lives.

  • The program is designed for 18-22-year-old students who have completed their high school academic graduation requirements, but still have continuing transition needs.
  • This program is community-based with a variety of individual related services occurring in either a classroom setting or in the larger local environment as appropriate.
  • Employment related services such as job development, job shadowing and coaching, transportation training and daily living skills are provided based on assessment of student need.


Strong community partnerships with an expanding list of local businesses provide worksites for students including:

  • Board of Education/City Hall
  • Italia Pizza
  • Wall St. Theater
  • O'Neill's
  • Walgreens
  • Giant Laundry/Dirty Laundry
  • Broad River Homes
  • The Norwalk Inn
  • CVS
  • Silver Star Diner
  • Jordan’s Pizza
  • O’Neill’s Irish Pub and Restaurant
  • Hatch and Bailey
  • Pooch Hotel









Personal and independent living skills are the essential abilities and behaviors we all need to navigate every day life, to provide self care, and to maintain a healthy body and mind. Independent living skills and spending social and leisure time in the community include:

  • Banking/Budgeting

  • Dining out

  • Laundry

  • Cooking Lessons

  • Personal appointments

  • Shopping

  • Meal preparation

  • Area Restaurants

  • Focus on physical health/fitness

  • Museums

  • Libraries

  • Art Studio

  • Travel training (using the public bus, trains, etc)

  • Volunteer Opportunities


Setting and sharing goals, developing an environment where everyone is striving to be their best, creating momentum and breaking down barriers are all part of the team approach of Norwalk Next Steps. The Next Steps program provides opportunities for close collaboration between students, families and adult agencies including:



This Month's student highlight is Connor! Connor joined Next Steps in October, and has been a wonderful addition to the school program, and has easily made friends with his peers, and has built solid relationships with school staff.

In addition to his sociability, Connor is a hard worker who has worked at CVS, O'Neill's Pub, and has volunteered his time for Toys for Tots.

FUN FACT: Connor is an avid hockey fan, and his favorite team is the Seattle Kraken.


Norwalk Next Steps Students Honored For Their Toys for Tots Work!

The Norwalk Board of Education is proud to recognize Norwalk Next Steps Transition program students for their dedication and support of the Toys for Tots Foundation.

Throughout the holiday season, Next Steps students will assist Toys for Tots as official volunteers, completing a variety of tasks. Students began outreach several weeks ago, visiting local businesses to ask them to support Toys for Tots. Students then delivered supplies needed such as donation boxes and promotional materials.

The Norwalk Next Steps Program is an 18-22 community-based transition program that encompasses the Connecticut CORE Transition Skills. Young adults focus on a variety of independent living skills activities, vocational skills and functional academics. Students are given the opportunity to learn and practice skills such as accessing community resources, public transportation, leisure/social activities, post-secondary, vocational skills, interpersonal skills, rate of production, accuracy and independence.

The Toys for Tots partnership provides our students with the opportunity to serve the community, while assisting in the practice of interpersonal skills.

In addition to assisting with collection boxes, students will also help with clerical work such as scanning receipts and making lists related to common children's toys related to age level.

Located at 1 Park Street in the HSC building and the new home of the NPS Family Center, Norwalk Next Steps is also a drop off site for Toys for Tots. Anyone who is interested in providing a toy for the drive, may bring the item to this location or any participating local businesses.

The Board of Education honors Norwalk Next Steps students for helping to brighten the holidays for those in need

The Board would also like to recognize Next Steps Teachers Matt Sweet and Jonah Paone and NPS Transition Coordinator Jessica Ireland for supporting our students throughout this important initiative.  




Veronica Lenzen





Jessica Ireland

Transition Coordinator

203-667-9224 (Cell)



Matthew Sweet

Special Education Teacher




Jonah Paone

Special Education Teacher