Welcome to the 2018-19 School Year

Welcome to the 2018-19 School Year
Posted on 08/28/2018

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Within this context, our student data suggests at least three priorities for NPS as we go into the 2018-19 school year:

1.  First and foremost, the student data from the Connecticut Next Generation Accountability Plan signals that science is our lowest area across all grades.Curriculum writing institutes were held this summer to adapt the curriculum to implement the Next Generation Science Standards. Inquiry-based units of instruction will be piloted K-8 this year. We have to use this year, in which the new State science assessment will be piloted for baseline data, as the opportunity to begin to create quality Tier I science instruction across all grades and schools.

2.  We need to expand and invigorate our approach to Tier I reading instruction, particularly as it relates to comprehension in grades 4 through 6 and the reading – writing connection in grades 3 through 8. I am very confident that this can be accomplished at the same level of excellence that has characterized the implementation of CK3LI early literacy instruction by our elementary teachers in grades K-3. Appropriately, our speaker at this year’s Convocation, Dr. Harold Asturias, focused on equity in the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, and the connection between language and Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) instruction.

3.  Finally, our redesigned and expanded Gifted and Talented program will provide a greater opportunity to learn for more students and serve as an example of effective differentiation. We look forward to the result of the implementation of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SM) at the pilot schools of Tracey Elementary, Cranbury Elementary and Roton Middle School.

While we have a lot yet to do to achieve our Vision, we are blessed by talented, committed teachers at all levels, good school leadership, and active, caring parents and students who rise to new opportunities to learn. At the end of the day, our District, our City, rises or falls on the effectiveness of each of our 19 schools. This summer, an unprecedented 98 positions in Norwalk schools were filled by a group of diverse, top-quality teachers and administrators – 10% of our teaching force.

They include 17 special educators to staff programs that enable students to return from outside placements and attend school in a less restrictive environment; three new teachers of the Gifted and Talented; 12 Teach for America corps members in an alternative route to certification programs; four minority paraeducators who graduated from the RELAY teacher certification program with District support; 20 high school faculty at all subject levels needed to implement the new, rigorous graduation requirements; 6 new elementary specialist teachers for those schools that will be extending their day by 30 minutes; and three new music teachers for schools that will be offering band instrument lessons for the first time in grades 4 and 5. Our new educators are in many cases, not new. They represent the best practice and teaching expertise of nine states and 12 other Connecticut school districts.

With effective teachers at all levels and lots of success from the prior year to build upon, we look forward to 2018-19 school year. I want to thank our Board of Education and City for giving us the necessary tools and support to enable Norwalk’s schools to grow and thrive. I want to thank all of you – staff, parents, and partners - for the capacity and commitment to raise the bar and close the gaps for all of Norwalk’s students. 

Let’s make the 2018-19 school year the best yet for Norwalk’s students.

Steven J. Adamowski, PhD.
Superintendent of Schools