NPS Highlights

Teach to One Class
 

2016-17 Highlights

 

As we near the end of the school year, Norwalk Public Schools has a lot to celebrate! Thanks to the hard work of our teachers, staff, and administrators, and with the support of NPS families and the Norwalk community, 2016-17 was a year of great progress. We’re happy to report that implementation of the district’s three-year Strategic Operating Plan is on schedule, with more than one-third of the priorities either completed or in progress.

 

Below are just some of the highlights from the 2016-17 school year: 

 

Raising the Bar

To improve the achievement of all students, ensuring students graduate and are college and career ready, Norwalk Public Schools:  

  • Completed the rollout of the CK3LI elementary literacy initiative across, increasing the percentage of students reading on grade level and earning recognition in as the gold standard across Connecticut. 

  • Launched Phase 1 of middle school redesign, with the implementation of block scheduling for increased instructional time, and structural supports for students who need it in math and reading. Results to date have proven that our lowest performing students are making progress with these supports.

  • Launched the Teach-to-One Math program at Nathan Hale Middle School, becoming a national model for best implementation. Teach-to-One will roll out to all grades at Nathan Hale next year.

  • Piloted an “Encore” program at Roton Middle School that will deliver exploratory, hands-on experiences as an extension of the curriculum.

  • Established the “Edgenuity” blended learning classroom at Norwalk Pathways Academy, providing a path to graduation for over-age, under-credited students.

  • Developed and implemented a rigorous new reading/English Language Arts (ELA) and math curriculums in grades K-12.

  • Evolved the traditional science fair into a highly successful “STEM Expo.”

  

Closing the Gap

To increase the achievement of Norwalk’s high needs students and reduce achievement gaps, NPS:

  • Implemented new math and reading supports at the elementary level, making huge strides in the assistance provided to students who need additional help to reach grade level.

  • Added more support (Read 180, Math 180, Systems 44) for middle school students who need it, resulting in unprecedented gains that have been recognized nationally.

  • After seeing the achievements from last summer, continued the expansion of school-based summer learning, with grade 4 to be added for summer 2017.

  • Created programs to better serve our special needs students right here in Norwalk, with creation of an autism classroom at Wolfpit and a therapeutic program at Norwalk High. 

  • Developed systems and a manual on assistive technology to ensure accommodation for students with a “504 Plan.”

  • Revamped the Extended School Year summer program for special needs students, working with parent input.

  • Advanced plans to establish an in-district dyslexia clinic within Norwalk, which will give NPS the ability to diagnose and treat dyslexia.

 

Increasing Choice

To create educationally robust choices for parents and students, this year Norwalk Public Schools:

  • Took the first step towards creating several K-8 options for families, with the addition of a Grade 6 classroom to Columbus Magnet School next year, and with the development of educational specifications for a K-8 campus at Ponus Ridge.

  • Began the transition of Silvermine Elementary into a full dual-language magnet school.

  • Expanded Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA) with additional grade levels. The program is on track to graduate its first class next year. Some 2018 graduates will earn both a high school diploma and a college degree at the same time.

  • Earned official authorization designating Brien McMahon as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Diploma Program, following years of preparation. Many students with IB diplomas enter college with credits already earned.

  • Expanded a Health Sciences Academy at Brien McMahon, in partnership with Norwalk Community College and Norwalk Hospital.

  • Initiated a New Media pathway at Norwalk High School in conjunction with Connecticut Public Television.

  • Began work on an updated music curriculum, designed to continue Norwalk’s statewide leadership in the participation of our students in the arts.

 

Developing Teachers & Leaders

To develop teaches and leaders so that positions can be filled from within, Norwalk Public Schools:

  • Reorganized Human Resources into a modern talent management function, revamping recruitment, bringing more services online, and providing more support for training and development.

  • Expanded the district’s leadership development programs, ensuring a pool of qualified internal candidates through residency programs, fellowships for aspiring principals and a program for emerging leaders.

  • Implemented a new onboarding protocol for new employees.

  • Developed a year-long induction program for new teachers.

  • Launched the first annual “Excellence in Education” awards in partnership with the Norwalk Education Foundation and Norwalk Federation of Teachers, honoring NPS educators who are making a difference.

 

Safe and Attractive Schools

To ensure safe and attractive schools that support learning and provide a nurturing environment, NPS:

  • Opened the state-of-the art Norwalk Early Childhood Center, providing a high quality program that serves both special needs and typical children.

  • Finalized a comprehensive school building program, which was recommended by the Board of Education and approved by the City of Norwalk. This historic investment includes a new school in South Norwalk, a full renovation of the current Columbus building on Concord Street, and a new K-8 campus at Ponus Ridge.  The plan includes priority repairs and maintenance projects for every school.

  • Approved a comprehensive new district Wellness Policy.

  • Conducted a foodservice review, the first step in working to improve lunch options and the food service system across all schools.

 

External Partnerships & Operating Systems

To provide the partnerships and operating systems necessary to cost-effectively support strategic priorities, this year NPS:  

  • Established School Governance Councils at all schools, giving more autonomy to schools for their own operations

  • Implemented Phase II of Student-Based Budgeting to address high school funding and intra-district magnet school support issues.

  • Continued to evolve use of major grants to better support high priority instructional purposes.

  • Launched a newsletter for families to provide timely information to parents about districtwide news, initiatives and accomplishments.

  • Implemented a new Residency Policy to identify and resolve questions about students who may not eligible to attend Norwalk schools.