Connecticut's #1 City School District!
April 22, 2021
Early Dismissal for All Students on Monday, May 10
Each year, the Connecticut State Department of Education requires that K-3 elementary teachers participate in the Foundations of Reading Survey. The purpose of this survey is to identify strengths and weaknesses, so that professional development can be scheduled to improve reading instruction practices. This survey can take up to four hours for each teacher to complete. Additionally, it must be done in one sitting and only on location at the school site.

In the past, principals have been able to cover classes and find time for teachers to take the survey. However, following the many Covid challenges our schools faced this year, there are many teachers who have not yet been able to fulfill this requirement. 
As a result, to make sure that all teachers are able to complete this required reading survey, there will be early dismissal for all students districtwide on Monday, May 10.  All students will be dismissed two hours earlier than their regular dismissal time. All teachers who are not required to take the survey will remain in school for professional development until the end of their Monday extended day schedule. 
 
We try very hard to avoid unexpected changes in the school calendar, as we know it can be a challenge to family schedules. Unfortunately, we have been unable to find a better way to complete this requirement by the State deadline this year. Thank you for your understanding. 
Facilities Review Looks To The Future Of NPS
As we develop the new strategic plan to help ensure that all students leave grade 12 ready for future college or career success, NPS understands the need to analyze and address the current state of our facilities and buildings.
 
To help support the various educational models and diverse learning taking place throughout the district, NPS engaged Newman Architects and DLR Group in early January 2021. The group has worked to complete a comprehensive overview of the physical assessment of each one of our buildings, and the learning environments within.
 
Over the past months, representatives from Newman Architects & DLR Group shared insight regarding data collected from walkthroughs, co-labs and focus groups with students, parents and staff members. The group gathered “day-in-the-life” input regarding space, activities, culture and context, furniture, safety and security. Flexible seating options, open concept spaces, indoor environment quality, technology integration, and sustainability were also a focus.
 
This week, the Board of Education held a workshop meeting to review findings from the comprehensive 2021 NPS Facilities Plan Study. Presented by Newman Architects and DLR Group, the workshop covered a summary of school building capacity, physical conditions and educational adequacy.  
 
Annual State Testing Assessments
In the next several weeks, students in grades 3-8 will participate in the annual state assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics; students in grades 5 and 8 also take a test in science. Schools and educators use these tests to see how students are progressing at each grade level so they are prepared for college and careers when they graduate high school. Parents/guardians can use the same high-quality tests to see how their child is performing on the standards, especially given that we did not test last year. 
 
Even though state tests will continue this year, the test results will not be used for school accountability measures. They will be used mainly to learn how students are doing, so that NPS knows what resources and supports students need at our schools.

It is best to administer these tests at school. However, if your child is learning remotely, we will make every effort to test your child safely in the school setting. If that is not possible, then the Smarter Balanced ELA and math, and the Next Generation Science tests, can be taken at home on a computer with a remote testing tool.

When testing at home, parents/guardians should not help their children to answer questions on the test. However, parents/guardians can support their children to test successfully by:

  • providing a quiet area, free from distractions;
  • encouraging them to do their best; and
  • ensuring they work on the tests without the use of online or electronic resources or assistance from others in the home. 

For questions, please contact your student’s principal directly.
NPS School Shout Out
Kendall College & Career Academy
This week's “NPS Shout Out” video features Kendall College & Career Academy. Click here to watch the clip on the NPS YouTube page!
 
Each "NPS Shout Out" highlights the fantastic learning and hard work that is taking place in our schools each day! Videos are shared in the district newsletter as well as on the NPS YouTube page, and social media.
Norwalk Students Selected Into CMEA All State Ensemble Groups
We are proud to announce that we have five students selected into the Connecticut Music Educators Association All State ensemble groups. 

This is an extremely competitive audition process against the best musicians in the state. Congratulations to these students on their hard work this year! 

Choir:
Christline Edward, Norwalk High School
Alexandra Kharenko, Norwalk High School
Christos Kutrubis, Norwalk High School
Kevin Chuba, Norwalk High School
 
Orchestra:
Zachary Go, P-TECH Norwalk
West Rocks Middle School Odyssey Of The Mind Team Places First At Connecticut Competition
Congratulations to The Odyssey of the Mind team at West Rocks Middle School! They won first place at this year's Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind competition. Coached by Gifted & Talented Teacher Jessica Stargardter, the six 7th grade students wrote, designed, and performed in a skit about injustice and overcoming adversity. They will have the opportunity to go onto the world finals in June.
 
WRMS Odyssey Team: Adrien Danso, Yana Divakaran, Holden LeGette, Connor Oatis, Tristan Meyer-Mitchell, Rylie Peterson
Brien McMahon Students Place In Lockheed Martin Global Cyber Security Competition
On March 20, Brien McMahon High School AP Computer Science Students Leah Pascarelli, Jacob Kolman, and Lucas Danburg competed in the Lockheed Martin global Cyber Security Competition. They earned second place in the Connecticut division! Leah, Jacob and Lucas now qualify to apply for an 8-week paid Lockheed Martin summer internship. Congratulations to these Computer Scientists. Job well done!

Lockheed Martin Corporation is an American aerospace, arms, defense, security, and advanced technologies company with worldwide interests.
Norwalk Artist Inspires Roton Students To Create Positive Messages
Norwalk Artist and Author 5iveFingaz visited with Roton students virtually on April 9. To prepare for his visit, Art Teacher Mrs. Stefanie Bronner asked her art students to create art that spread positive messages, inspired by Five’s "Love More Than Ever" movement.  
 
The entire student body participated as well by creating art or writing poems or songs with the theme of "What It Means to Love More Than Ever.” Students were able to hear about 5ive's journey to becoming an artist, ask questions and share their creations. A gallery of the students' work can be viewed here.
Board of Ed meetings will be held by videoconference until further notice.

Full Board of Ed workshop and business meetings, as well as committee meetings, will be Live Streamed on the NPS YouTube channel at the times listed below. More information on the process for public comments for Board meetings will be available on our website.

Wednesday, April 28, Facilities Committee Meeting, 6pm

Tuesday, May 4, Policy Committee Meeting, 5:30pm

Tuesday, May 4, Board Workshop, 7pm

Meetings also will be recorded and available
on YouTube within 24 hours of the meeting time listed below.

Norwalk Public Schools
125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06852
Phone: 203-854-4000
This newsletter is compiled & published by the
NPS Communications Department.
Have a question about our school district or an item to share?
Contact Brenda Wilcox Williams, Chief Communications Officer, williams@norwalkps.org, or call 203-854-4003.