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Norwalk Public Schools Substantially Closes Achievement Gap In Reading and Math.

Norwalk Public Schools Substantially Closes Achievement Gap In Reading and Math.
Posted on 07/28/2017
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An Emphasis on Tier II Supports, Increased Instructional Time and Personalized Learning Combine to Make a Difference

 

Norwalk Public Schools has closed the achievement gap compared to the State in reading (English Language Arts) and math according to the latest Connecticut Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test results (SBAC). Closing the gap is one of the primary goals of the 2016-2019 NPS Strategic Operating Plan, which is designed to raise the bar and close the achievement gap for all students.                                                                          

The greatest gains were met across NPS in regards to closing the gap in math, with a decrease of 37 percent compared to statewide results. Norwalk’s English Language Arts (ELA) gap decreased by 32 percent compared to the state.  

The decrease in the achievement gap is largely due to the emphasis on implementing Tier II reading interventions, which provide added support for students at every elementary school who were reading below grade level in grades 1 through 4. Tier II math interventions were also available to students in grades 1 through 5 at every elementary school.  

Additionally, math instruction was increased by 30 minutes last year across the district, with a focus on differentiated instruction. The district has also embraced new approaches to personalized instruction, such as the Teach-to-One math program.   

“Norwalk has cut its achievement gap by one-third, which is right in line with the goals of our Strategic Operating Plan,” said Norwalk Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Adamowski. “We’re extremely proud of the progress our students are making, and of the teachers and administrators who are dedicated to the academic success of all our students. We’re committed to maintaining this momentum in the 2017-18 school year, and to continuing our work to raise the bar for all NPS students.” 

Several schools logged especially strong results. According to SBAC results comparing 2016 to 2017, the percentage of students scoring at proficiency levels in ELA rose by 10.7 percent at Naramake, 10.2 percent at Roton, and 9.9 percent at West Rocks.

The district also saw SBAC math gains as compared to 2016 with proficiency levels at Wolfpit increased by 14.7 percent, Naramake 12.7 percent, Rowayton 11.4 percent, Roton 9.9 percent, and West Rocks 7.8 percent. 

“Our steadfast focus on reform initiatives and Strategic Operating Plan priorities is making a difference,” said Dr. Michael Conner, Chief Academic Officer, Norwalk Public Schools.  “It’s a tremendous collective effort, with teachers, principals, Central Office staff, School Governance Councils, and NPS families all pushing hard to make sure all students succeed.”   

The NPS graduation gap as compared to the state was also closed this year, with an overall graduation rate for NPS of 90.5 percent compared to the state’s average of 87.4 percent.  Closing the graduation gap with the state is part of the overall district objectives to implement the right strategies, systems and supports to ensure that all students leave Grade 12 ready for future academic or work success.