January 2015  
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Dr. Manuel RiveraSuperintendent's Message 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

During the past several weeks, I have been wrestling with the most difficult decision of my personal and professional career. But after careful consideration, I have regretfully resigned my position as Superintendent of Norwalk Public Schools, effective January 31, 2015.

The primary reasons for my departure are highly personal and it is with a heavy heart that I have reached this conclusion.

I sincerely appreciate the tremendous amount of encouragement and support I received from families throughout the District, as we worked collectively to advance what is best for our children and youth. I am confident that the Norwalk Public Schools of today are in a much better place than they were two years ago. With your support, we have accomplished a great deal:

  • We developed a comprehensive and viable strategic plan to make sure Norwalk students are college and career ready.
  • We approved a new K-5 Literacy Strategy that is continuing to roll out.
  • With the addition of a second site focused on early literacy, we nearly doubled the number of students in summer school programs this year.
  • We are developing standards of excellence to guide our schools and the work of our school leaders.
  • We hired full-time curriculum and instruction site directors for each of our elementary schools, partially funded by a major grant, and filled other key positions with highly qualified people.
  • We opened the State’s first P-TECH model school, Norwalk Early College Academy, and have other programs in the design and development phase, including the International Baccalaureate program at Brien McMahon.
  • We reorganized the Special Education department to better serve students and families.
  • We made wireless technology available in all schools, deployed more than 4,500 Chromebooks to all grade levels, and went live with a new ParentPortal and mobile app.
  • We established new ways to communicate with families and the community, including a new website, email blasts, and a reverse phone message system, and we established a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.
  • We have work underway for a Facilities Utilization study that will help NPS plan for the future.

Moving forward, I firmly believe that Norwalk’s established goals for the school district can be achieved with an environment of collaboration, a tolerance for risk taking, and the confidence and full support of the Board of Education.

I genuinely want to thank the entire Norwalk community for giving me the opportunity to serve as your Superintendent. I am committed to performing my duties during my remaining tenure here, which includes presenting next month another sound budget for the 2015-2016 school year. I will also work closely with our team to ensure a smooth transition.

Dr. Manuel Rivera

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