Connecticut's #1 City School District for 3 Years in a Row!

December 3, 2020
Taking Attendance During COVID
State guidelines require teachers to account for students via daily attendance taking. Whether your child attends school remotely, in-person or hybrid, student attendance is important for both instructional and safety purposes. When students attend and are engaged in instruction, they are more likely to succeed academically. Accurate attendance records also help ensure more effective contact tracing should a positive COVID case arise.
NPS has developed new attendance codes to further clarify marking attendance for all learning models. All NPS educators are following and implementing these new attendance specifications to keep students safe, while engaging in a districtwide plan to decrease chronic absenteeism. For additional details on these codes, please contact your school directly. 
Cameras On For Student Visibility
To help educators successfully engage with students, students should be visible when streaming into class. We are looking for parent support in encouraging students to be visible during instruction. Cameras should be on, with students using “live” view during remote learning, instead of bitmojis. Alternative backgrounds are available and easy to use (please see instructions below).
The social emotional health of our students is of the utmost importance to us. When remote students are not visible during class time, it is challenging to provide the support needed from both an emotional and academic standpoint.
Thank you for your help to ensure a positive and successful learning experience for your child. 
How To Set Up An Alternative Background In Microsoft Teams & Google Meet
We understand that a student may prefer to have an alternative background set up when streaming into a remote learning environment. Alternative backgrounds mean that a student remains visible, but what is seen behind the student is either blurred or uses a different image.


NPS Honor Society Students Recognized
The Board of Education honored the 2020 - 2021 National Honor Society members of Brien McMahon High School, Center for Global Studies, Norwalk High School, and P-TECH Norwalk during a recent meeting.
The National Honor Society is the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, the National Honor Society serves to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921.
Community service work both in groups as well as on an individual basis remains a central pillar of National Honor Society membership. During this challenging time, this year’s honor students are finding unique ways to serve the community.
Board of Education Members Select Executive Board
The Board of Education is an elected body composed of nine community members who volunteer their time. Each year, an organizational meeting is held for the Board to elect members to leadership positions for the coming year.

At the Board's meeting on November 17, the following Board members were elected to serve on the Executive Board for 2021:

  • Colin Hosten, Chairperson
  • Diana Carpio, Vice Chairperson
  • Godfrey Azima, Board Secretary

Thank you to all our Board of Education members for your service to our schools and the community!
State Of The Schools Report

Each year, NPS compiles the State of the Schools report as a look back at last year’s achievements. The 2019-20 school year marked the final year of the Strategic Operating Plan approved by the Norwalk Board of Education in 2016. As the district moves forward to develop a new Strategic Operating Plan to guide NPS through the next five years, the State of the Schools reports on recent accomplishments.

The report also highlights positive news from last year including the appointment of NPS Superintendent Dr. Alexandra Estrella, a move to healthier school start times, and successes during the shift to distance learning in the spring. In addition, the report provides a snapshot of NPS as a whole, focusing on facts such as student enrollment, high school graduation rate and languages spoken throughout the district.

Look out for a copy of the State of the Schools in your mailbox over the coming weeks. English, Spanish and Haitian Creole editions will also be available on the NPS website.
Brookside Students Find Joy In The Sport Of Disc Golf
PE teachers have been exploring different activities, fitness routines, games, relay races, and obstacle course challenges to keep students active and safe during the pandemic. This year, Brookside PE Teacher Tim Downey taught his grades 3-5 students the sport of Disc Golf. During the 2-week unit, students experienced how to play a Disc Golf Tournament.

The students loved the game and were amazed at how the discs flew through the air. They also cheered each other on as they played the game. Students learned how to perform a variety of Disc Golf techniques including backhand drive, side arm throw, a roller, and putting. They also learned about the angle of release, where the Disc is tilted one way or the other to perform a right or left maneuver in the air.
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, December 9, Finance Committee, 6pm

Thursday, December 10, K-8 Conferences, 90 Minute Early Dismissal
All Day

Tuesday, December 15, Curriculum Committee, 5pm

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,, or call 203-854-4003.