Connecticut's #1 City School District!
March 25, 2021
Parent Public Forum On NPS Strategic Plan – Wednesday, March 31
As you may know, the district launched a strategic planning process in January. A representative task force was convened at that time and has been working with the Center for School Change to conduct an intensive needs assessment.

As important members of our community, your voice and perspective are important. Parents are invited and encouraged to take part in an important conversation about the future of Norwalk Public Schools on Wednesday, March 31 at 5:30pm via Zoom.                 
 
We would like to know what you see as the greatest assets and strengths of Norwalk Public Schools, as well as what areas of development you think should be prioritized in the coming years. Your voice will help us bring closure to our needs assessment as well as shape the early drafts of the plan.

NPS Employees will receive an invitation to participate in a special sessions for NPS staff.
 
Please register here to join us for this important conversation. The forum will be available in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. 
NPS Spring Break Survey for 2022-23 Calendar
In 2016, Norwalk Public Schools began setting annual school calendars two years in advance. The change was made to provide more advance notice about school calendars, so that families have more time to plan child care, work schedules and family activities.
It's time to begin planning for the 2022-23 school year calendar. To do so, we would like your input on the timing of spring vacation. This is a topic that has generated a lot of discussion and differing opinions in recent weeks.

In 2019, the Board of Education voted to approve a March spring break for the 2020-21 calendar, instead of the traditional April vacation. The reason for moving to a March break was to provide students with a more consistent period of uninterrupted instruction, during a time period when students are most attentive and receptive to learning. The March break is common in many private schools for that reason, as well as in public school districts in many parts of the country.
While state law sets a minimum number of total school days, Connecticut does not require regional school calendars. Each district in Fairfield County sets their own calendar. The result is different days off from town to town, even when spring break is scheduled for April. For this reason, the choice for vacation timing comes down to community preference.

So that all families have the opportunity to weigh in on spring break timing, Norwalk Public Schools has created a very brief survey for parents. Please watch your email tomorrow for the link to this short survey, which can easily be completed on your computer, phone or any mobile device.

Parents will be able to access the survey via ZippSlip. Please see below for registration information.

Thank you in advance for your participation! 
How To Register For ZippSlip
NPS utilizes ZippSlip to send out a variety of communications, such as surveys and other notifications. Families need to register with this service to establish their accounts.

Over the past few weeks, ZippSlip has emailed parents with registration information. ZippSlip will be sending another email with registration information later today. If you do not receive an email today from ZippSlip and do not currently have a ZippSlip account, please contact support@zippslip.com.

ZippSlip is a secure option that works with our PowerSchool database, and will allow NPS to send out parental forms, obtain consents and approvals, and let families digitally complete surveys.
New NPS District Website To Launch Soon!
We are excited to announce that the soft launch for the new NPS district website will take place in the coming weeks. The new website was presented during this week’s Board of Education meeting. The presentation detailed how the site will better serve our community and staff by providing easy access to important and up-to-date information.
 
Once the website is ready, we will be looking for feedback regarding user experience. Please look out for a survey link via ZippSlip in the coming months.
NPS Students Sweep Regional History Day
Congratulations to NPS students for winning in multiple categories at the Fairfield Regional CT History Day (CHD) contest! NPS students swept seven categories. Students submitted their projects to the virtual CHD platform. First, second, and third place winners automatically advance to the state competition in April.
 
CHD annually engages over 4,000 middle and high school students in historical research, interpretation, and creative expression through project-based learning. The program seeks to bring students, teachers, museums, and scholars together to support young people as they engage in history.
 
Junior Papers
First Place: The Dreyfus Affair: A 12-Year Scandal Built on Bias and Fueled by
Propaganda
School: West Rocks Middle School
Student: Kyle Nashe
 
Second Place: How Communication Caused a Genocide: The Role of Radio in the
Rwandan Genocide
School: Nathan Hale Middle School
Student: Amelia Schweizer
 
Junior Group Documentary
First Place: Sesame Street: Legacy and Impact
School: West Rocks Middle School
Students: Brooke McHugh and Brody McHugh
 
Second Place: How did presidents campaign before internet and television?
School: West Rocks Middle School
Student: Jacob Hong and Anthony Szarpa
 
Third Place: Birmingham Campaign
School: Nathan Hale Middle School
Students: Melanie Tanner and Cesar Diaz
 
Junior Individual Documentary
First Place: Still in the Darkness: Communicating with Daylight Savings Time
School: West Rocks Middle School
Student: Kayla Linder
 
Second Place: Changing the Narrative: The Story of Nellie Bly
School: West Rocks Middle School
Student: Tristan Meyer-Mitchell
 
Third Place: The Women of Bletchley Park
School: West Rocks Middle School
Student: Alexander Amann
 
Junior Group Exhibit
First Place: Jeremiah Denton: Communication in the Blink of an Eye
School: West Rocks Middle School
Students: Michael Wu, Lydia Yusi, and Stella Talisse
 
Second Place: The Forced Assimilation of the Native American Residential Schools
School: West Rocks Middle School
Students: Juliet Centeno, Karizma Reyes, and Taliyah Holley
 
Third Place: Running the Extra Mile: The Story Behind the First Marathon
School: West Rocks Middle School
Students: Haley Mario and Carly Mario
 
Junior Individual Exhibit
First Place: The Telegraph: Important Communication in The Civil War
School: West Rocks Middle School
Student: Brandon Iliev
 
Second Place: “Join, Or Die.”: The Snake That United America
School: West Rocks Middle School
Student: Julia Newman
 
Third Place: Spying Ladies: Leading the Colonies to Victory and Additional Rights for
American Women
School: Roton Middle School
Student: Phoebe Strickland
 
Junior Group Performance
First Place: The Roaring 20’s
School: Columbus Magnet School
Students: Raniah Imran, Derek Argueta, Elizabeth Santamaria, and Victoria Perez
 
Second Place: Genghis Khan’s Pigeons
School: Columbus Magnet School
Student: Finnuala Cronin, Dasha Kurbanova-Martin, and Vivian Balazs
 
Junior Individual Performance
First Place: From Jumping Frogs to Connecticut Yankees: Mark Twain and his
Influence on the American Landscape
School: Roton Middle School
Student: Laszio Balazs
 
Junior Group Website
First Place: Conservator Calls
School: Nathan Hale Middle School
Students: Camila Fernandez and Grace Kimball
 
Second Place: The Tenerife Airport Disaster: How a series of miscommunications led
to a disaster that shook the world of aviation
School: Roton Middle School
Students: Stella Sweitzer and Ava Gigliotti
 
Third Place: BREAKING NEWS: Women to fight for their rights!
School: West Rocks Middle School
Students: Isabella Kibbey and Adelaide Reynolds
 
Junior Individual Website
First Place: Dropping the “Highball”: Miscommunication in the 1853 Norwalk Rail
Accident
School: West Rocks Middle School
Student: Holden LeGette

Senior Individual Documentary
Second Place: The First Fireside Chat: How FDR Gained America’s Trust in the Midst of the Great Depression
School: Center for Global Studies
Student: Vivien Ryen 
Elementary Parent Portal Account Access
Trimester two report cards for elementary school students are now available. Report cards can be accessed via the parent portal. The parent portal also has information regarding attendance, outstanding fees and more.
 
All elementary school parents will receive an email early next week with parent portal information. If you do not already have an account, please set one up using the instructions within the email attachment. Then, use the Access ID and Access Password to link your child to the account you just created. If you already have an existing account, and would like to link any additional children to your portal, please use the Access ID and Access Password to add children to this account.
Thank You NPS Food Service Workers
The Norwalk Board of Education is proud to recognize the district food service staff for their unwaveringly commitment to NPS students each day. Research shows that children from families who are not sure where their next meal may come from are more likely to have lower math scores and repeat a grade, among other challenges.
 
Throughout the ongoing public health crisis, thanks to the help of the City of Norwalk, Chartwells and NPS food service workers, free meals have been provided and continue to be served for Norwalk children ages two through 18 throughout the city.
 
The Board of Education recognized all food service workers during this week’s BOE meeting with a video. We thank all of the food service workers for all they have done and will continue to do for Norwalk Public Schools!
Tracey Magnet School Launches Farm To School Program With “Grow at Home Kits”
This month, approximately 460 students received “Grow at Home Kits” as the official kick off to the Tracey Magnet School’s Farm to School Program. Tracey’s farm to school program utilizes PRINT (problem solving, respect, integrity, being neighborly and taking responsibility) to educate and enhance relationships within the community to create, sustain, promote and inspire an equitable, local food system.

Each kit included seed pots, seeds, seed-starting soil, and a flyer with directions in English and Spanish. In the spring, families will be able to bring their seedlings back to the school for transplanting into the school garden. Families will also have the option to keep the seedlings and plant them in their own gardens to enjoy throughout the summer.
 
By the end of the school year, every Tracey student, in-person and virtual, will have had a farm to school experience through the school’s new farm to school specials rotations, led by FoodCorps service member, Meghan Hadley. Here students learn where their food comes from, how to grow, appreciate, honor, and enjoy food. 
NPS Alum Paves The Way For Future
ROTC College Students
Brien McMahon High School/Center for Global Studies Alum and Syracuse University Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet Madeleine Gordon became one of two cadets from any ROTC college program to attend the U.S. Army Special Operations Civil Affairs Assessment and Selection Course late last year.
 
Cadet Gordon’s success has helped set the path for other cadets to attend the course in the future. The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School will now expand the opportunity to all ROTC programs starting in the summer.
 
While attending NPS, Gordon’s focus on a foreign language, cultural understanding, and skilled negotiations helped provide her with the foundation needed for continued success. Congratulations to Cadet Gordon! We wish her much luck with future endeavors. 
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.

Monday, March 29, Ad-Hoc SPED Committee, 5:30pm
 
Friday, April 2, Good Friday - No School

Tuesday, April 6 - Policy Committee, 5:15pm

Tuesday, April 6 - 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.