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

September 4, 2020
A Safe Return: 2020-21 Family Guidebook
for a Safe Return to School 

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! We look forward to having our students back to school on Tuesday, September 8, both in-person and remotely.

As you know, Norwalk Public Schools has put enhanced health and safety precautions in place in all schools throughout the district. We will reopen with an instructional plan that is built for consistency, but that allows for flexibility in case circumstances change. To provide parents with additional information, we have prepared a Parent Guidebook that covers many of the questions that we know families have about this upcoming year. The Guidebook will be available on the “Return to School” section of our website, along with school plans, links to public forums and much more.
 
We are ready for a safe and successful school year!  

Welcome Back Families And Students!

NPS teachers, administrators and staff are excited to welcome students back on September 8. As we get ready for a safe return to school, our staff has been working hard to plan for a successful year ahead. Teachers have participated in training and professional development devoted to technology, emotional support and more.

During the first week or so of school, please bring your patience for drop-off, pick-up and waiting for the school bus!
School Start & End Time Reminder

As a reminder, new school start times will be implemented this year starting with the first day of school on September 8. To read more about this shift and the benefits of later school start times for high school students, visit the NPS website.
 
To make sure students receive the best instruction and support during these unusual times, NPS has worked with the Norwalk Federation of Teachers to arrange for more weekly planning and training time for teachers. As a result, principals have communicated to families that each school will end 15 minutes earlier than originally scheduled.

The full list of school start times and end times for 2020-21 is also available on norwalkps.org. Please contact your principal directly for any questions.
 
Stay Informed: NPS Closures, Delays & Cancellations

Norwalk Public Schools wants to remind everyone of our procedures for school closings,
delays, early dismissals and after-school programming cancellations due to weather
related issues. On days when weather may impact the school day, we will ask that parents and guardians check the below sources frequently for information. Although rare, changing conditions may require that a delay be changed to a cancellation, or that an early dismissal is called after the school day begins. NPS will make every effort to avoid changes, but there are times when it cannot be avoided.
 
NPS sends out notifications to parents via email, automated voice message and SMS
text. If you are not receiving these messages, please make sure your student record has been updated at your school with the most recent information.
 
School delays, closures, early dismissals and after-school cancellations are
communicated in the following places:

  •  Norwalk Public Schools website: www.norwalkps.org
  •  NPS Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
  •  Our automated School Messenger phone and text message system
  •  NPS Info Line recording: (203) 854-4123
  •  Local TV, radio and online media outlets
Reminder: Two-week Quarantine Required in Connecticut After Travel To Restricted States
Per the State of Connecticut, anyone traveling into Connecticut from any state that has been identified as high risk should self-quarantine for a 14-day period, from the time of last contact within that state. NPS families with students who have traveled to one of these states need to respect the quarantine period before returning to in-person learning.

Thank you for your understanding and for helping to keep our students and staff safe. For a list of restricted states click here.
Updated Health Forms Required

Periodic health assessments are required of all students enrolled in Norwalk Public Schools. Students need to be in compliance whether they are enrolled in distance learning or in-person school.  

If your child is new to Norwalk Public Schools District, Pre-K, K, or a rising 7th or 10th grader, please schedule an appointment with your child’s provider for a physical exam and vaccines. 

If the student already had a physical exam and met the requirements, the appropriate blue or yellow State of Connecticut Health Assessment Record should be given directly to the school nurse as soon as possible. NPS School Nurses are in their buildings this week and can answer any questions directly.

New NPS Bus Protocols for Health & Safety

As part of our health and safety measures, NPS will implement standard protocols to keep both students and staff safe while riding the bus. As a reminder:
 
  • Masks are required to ride the bus at all times. If a student arrives to the stop without a mask, one will be provided by a staff member.
  • Students will have assigned seats based on where their bus stop is scheduled on the route. Students will not change buses or stops and will remain in their assigned seats during the ride.
  • Students will load the bus from the back of the bus to the front. Students will unload the bus from the front of the bus to the back.
  • On arrival at the building, staff will be available to direct students to their assigned entries.

Students who selected in-person or hybrid learning, and who are eligible to ride a school bus, will receive their bus assignments today via the parent email that we have on file. If you do not receive it for some reason, the Transportation Office will be available to help by phone or email on Saturday, Sept. 5 from 8am to 4pm. If you have any concerns regarding your student’s bus assignment, email transportation@norwalkps.org or call 203-854-4074.   
 
Please have your student arrive at the scheduled bus stop 15 minutes prior to the estimated arrival time. As new bus routes have been created to reflect the new bell time schedules, we ask that families allow a grace period while the school community adjusts to the new schedules. 
 
Durham School Services is our new bus company and can be reached at 203-428-4192 between the hours of 6am and 6pm. Information regarding a new bus-tracking app for parents will be distributed in late September.  
POD APPLICATION FORM: Remote Learning Support for Middle & High School Students

Norwalk Public Schools plans to provide supervised work space for a limited number of middle and high school students who are on the hybrid schedule in their schools, and who need support during the days they are not in school. Students will be placed in Pods consisting of twelve students. They will meet at either the main Norwalk Public Library on Belden Avenue, the South Norwalk Library or the Carver Center. Students will be selected for these Pods based on the following criteria listed below. If you are interested in having your child participate in one of the Pods, please click on this link.

Space is limited so please return your application NO LATER THAN THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10. Decisions will be made by September 14th. TRANSPORTATION WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE.
Norwalk Public Schools is Pleased to Announce the Opening of our Virtual Parent Help Desk! 

The NPS Virtual Help Desk can assist with basic application support, questions about your computer and assistance with items such as password resets etc. 

The help desk will be open from 8:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00 
 
To access the support page you can: 

  • Click on this link (make sure complete the registration), or  
  • Call in:(646)558-8656 
Meeting ID: 918 3017 1136 # 
Passcode: 988022 
NPS Parent University Presentations

Parent University is a virtual learning experience for parents, guardians, and all Norwalk community members. This resource is designed to help parents learn skills to work with their students and help them achieve. Our mission is to provide parents and families with experiences to create a lasting learning partnership that will transfer to positive outcomes for our students.

Families enrolled in Parent University have the opportunity to attend collaborative learning sessions with their students. Sessions are designed to be either live presentations with Q&A or pre-recorded informational sessions about the various technologies and activities students are using at Norwalk Public Schools. All sessions are family oriented and can be attended by all members of the family.

Supporting Students in K-2 Reading
Wednesday, September 9 @ 6pm

Supporting Students in 3-5 Reading
Wednesday, September 9 @ 7pm

For more information, please visit our new Parent University homepage.
Preschool Openings Available For 2020-2021

Preschool openings are available for three and four-year-olds in the School Readiness classrooms located at Kendall, Fox Run and Jefferson.

Tuition is on a sliding fee scale based on family size and income.

For more information visit the School Readiness Website, or contact Catalina Estrada at 203-854-4113. 
Wolfpit Elementary School Earns Arts Schools Network Exemplary School Designation
The Arts Schools Network Board of Directors has designated Wolfpit Elementary School an Exemplary School in recognition of its commitment to excellence. The five-year designation is awarded for 2020-2025. Wolfpit’s curricular shift from a traditional program to an arts-centered focus, provides students with the opportunity to have an integrated arts education, while engaging in rigorous learning practices.

Over the next few years, the Wolfpit community will continue to implement a multi-year, tiered strategic operating plan incorporating the arts focus into curriculum, professional development, staffing, budget, and facilities.

Congratulations to Wolfpit!
Adult and Continuing Education
 Fall 2020 Program Registration
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.

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

Monday, September 7, Labor Day

Tuesday, September 8, First Day of School - All grade levels

Wednesday, September 9, Finance Committee, 6pm

Tuesday, September 15, Curriculum Committee, 5pm

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.