After The Bell
History: After The Bell is the result of an evaluation of the After School Achievement Program (ASAP) and Power Hour, an after school literacy program. Started in 2004, ASAP was created by the Norwalk Public Schools and the NEF. It allowed private companies and non-profit agencies called “providers”, to bid on after school services so that every elementary school would have a
before/after school program. Schools then chose which after school provider they wanted for their school, and the NEF provided Power Hour to that after school provider.
A three year evaluation of ASAP and Power Hour by the NEF initiated a change acceleration process in September 2007 to address several program shortcomings. The change process was facilitated by GE Commercial Finance and brought all elementary after school stakeholders to the table: the NEF, private donors, the providers, parents, and the Norwalk Public Schools. One important reason for change that resulted from the evaluation was the need for a much stronger connection between the school day and out-of-school time.
Program: After the Bell (ATB) was created to make this connection. It is a new before and after school program at Kendall and Rowayton Elementary Schools, managed by the Norwalk Public Schools, and run in partnership with Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County at Kendall School, and The Norwalk Education Foundation at Rowayton School. It is unique in that it bridges the school day with out-of-school time through a school employee who acts as the after school Site Coordinator for their school. Teachers, teachers’ aides, and outside companies then offer specialized classes in fun enrichment activities.
ATB Mission: In partnership with the community, The Norwalk Public Schools will provide an outstanding quality before and after school program that challenges our elementary school students academically, physically, and socially.
ATB Vision: We believe that an excellent before and after school program, managed by committed and skilled professionals in a safe, nurturing learning environment, is a key component of realizing every child’s potential.
ATB Goals: 1. Support academic achievement; 2. Provide a wide variety of high quality activities and enrichment programs; 3. Provide a safe, nurturing environment with high quality staff
PTO and Parent Involvement: After The Bell was approved by the Board of Education because it was presented as a financially self-sustaining model. This means that it is funded through fees from tuition and enrichment classes, school support in the form of grants, NEF grants from private foundations and local companies, and state subsidies from Care for Kids. PTO and parent support is needed for funding of enrichment programs, volunteer help to maintain a 10:1 student to adult ratio*, and parent advocacy to the Board of Education indicating your satisfaction with and demand for such a high quality program at your school. Your voice is the most important support that you can lend us at this time.
*Volunteers can only assist ATB employees, not run programs themselves unless they have undergone a background security check and fingerprinting through the schools.