Norwalk Schools Celebrated for Exceptional Gains

Norwalk Schools Celebrated for Exceptional Gains
Posted on 02/22/2018
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At the Norwalk Board of Education meeting on February 20, Norwalk schools were celebrated for making significant progress in the 2016-17 Connecticut Next Generation Accountability Report.   

“With an overall increase of 56 points in our Accountability Index, Norwalk’s growth exceeds that of the state overall and represents the highest gain of any of the state’s 21 cities, “ said Dr. Steven Adamowski, superintendent, Norwalk Public Schools. “These accomplishments are a testament to the hard work of our educators and staff, and also reflects the support of our city and the community. If we continue to invest in our schools and follow our Strategic Operating Plan, our students will continue to improve.”  

Fifteen schools improved results in a year over year comparison, while four schools led the way in delivering exceptional gains:  

Rowayton Elementary School was named a Category 1 school for the first time, a designation which represents schools that score in the top 25% statewide.  Rowayton was also designated one of only 114 Connecticut Schools of Distinction as a result of its overall performance growth as well as for the growth of its high needs students. 45% of Rowayton students are high needs, a term that includes students from low-income families, English Language Learners (ELLs) or students with disabilities.    

Cranbury Elementary School achieved the largest point gain of any school in Norwalk with a rise of 59.8 points. Designated as a Category 2 school due to an achievement gap in Science, Cranbury’s Accountability Index of 77.6% is high enough for a Category 1 rating once the achievement gap is closed.     

Tracey Elementary School rose to become a Category 2 school as a result of a 35.1 point gain.  The school progressed from a Category 3 rating in the prior year after closing the achievement gap.  A school known for its strong emphasis on Character Education, Tracey now rates among the best performing elementary schools in Norwalk.  

Roton Middle School led the way in middle schools by delivered a gain of 55.6 points in the Accountability Index, with West Rocks Middle School a close second. All four Norwalk middle schools increased their scores for the 2016-17 school year, which was also the second year of a comprehensive middle school redesign program.   

Other individual school highlights include the Category 1 rating for the Center for Global Studies (CGS) at Brien McMahon. This was the first year that CGS received a separate accountability report. In addition, both Norwalk High School and Brien McMahon High School registered point gains, rising 42.7 and 11.5 points respectively. Both high schools now have comparable scores in their accountability indexes.   

At the elementary level, several other schools are also approaching the Category 1 level, which represents schools in the top quartile.  An achievement gap or gap in the participation rate for state testing puts an otherwise top quartile school into Category 2.  Those schools include Cranbury Elementary with an accountability index of 77.6%, Marvin Elementary with 75.8%, Columbus Magnet and Naramake Elementary, both with 75.7%. 2016-17 marks the second year that Naramake has made a significant gain.  

The State Accountability Index report is made up of a broad set of 12 indicators that help tell the story of how well a school is preparing its students for success in college, careers and life. The system is intended to move beyond test scores and graduation rates, providing an overall perspective of district and school performance and incorporating student growth over time.  

More information on the accountability system is available on the State of Connecticut’s Department of Education website.