Is this a good place to start a dialog about the Middle School Choice announcement?
(I tried to attach the link to the article but wasn’t able to)
Where was the input from families on this program? How do we best make our voices heard? Is there room for compromise and change, or is this a done deal?? There are so many logistical considerations that seemingly have not been thought through, nevermind the burden this will put on families.
What successful similar programs are we modeling this after, and where can we find this data?? (and don’t say NYC, I taught in the East Harlem district where Estrella came from, and it was anything but a successful program.) I, for one, do not want my children to be the guinea pigs of this experimental model, I want to see other towns / districts that have made similar changes and how that worked out long term. We are going to continue to lose families to other districts if we keep making these sweeping changes without the buy in of those that will be impacted by it. We all need to make our voices heard on this, what is the best way to band together to do that?
I believe that New London is an all choice district
Re-posted with permission by Randy Funke:
Fellow Norwalk Residents…. The Norwalk Public School System has decided to make what middle school your kids goes to a choice regardless of where you live, with no mention of priority given to schools in YOUR district.
For those that feel like the new NPS "Middle School Choice" policy is a deliberate attempt to:
a) use our kids as guinea pigs for an untested and UNCOMMUNICATED experiment,
b) promote a fundamentally FLAWED concept that 5th graders already know what they should be focusing on at school for three years (effectively wiping out a very important discovery period)
c) create a transportation, SECURITY and logistical NIGHTMARE,
d) separate neighbors and friends for no good reason
We are also concerned that this will feed into the High School System and destroy all of our communites. We need to demand an in person meeting, starting with the the top down… Rillings, Robert Pennington, BOA chair Colin and superintendent Estrella please post your thoughts here.
We need to focus and organize a few fronts at once:
1) having a face-to-face meeting with the mayor board of Ed and superintendent immediately
2) filing an FOI request to get all of the communication that transpired on or after March 1 pertaining to this issue
3) finding out the process or pathways to amending or changing this policy
4) the actual details for the supposed implementation of this plan, like how the actual lottery system works, mathematically or logically who is choosing these things, and what bias’s they have.
5) how they plan on paying for this, including the transportation budget
6) what president exists that this is successful in suburban neighborhoods
… in more layman’s terms: 1) getting this policy reversed and having our voice heard since we pay over 24% of all Norwalk Taxes among other things. 2) The legality of the policy implementation itself 3) the possibility of a coordinated home schooling program for Rowayton middle school kids 4) can we secede or form a corporation?
If they kept a choice/priority to local residence to their neighborhood schools, I would probably be okay. And I’m sure they want to equalize funding from parents across all the schools… nothing to do with these marginal programs that kids don’t even know if they want to take ..ha! Should have known 😞
Keep in mind this was kept secret from all of us and with 0 input from the community...and they will not return calls or emails. here are the addresses of people to contact please start sending emails to the BOE & Estrella right away: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, flaherty-Ludwig@norwalkps.org (our BOE rep) looking forward to the comments!
Please read the details below. https://www.norwalkps.org/540240_3?articleID=114517 twitter: https://twitter.com/NorwalkPS
I have concerns as well. I watched the March 1, 2022 BOE Workshop on this in its' entirety. I've attached the link for others who are interested to watch.
It was not at all clear from this Workshop presentation that families would not have an opt out option. It was specifically discussed that they only anticipated 20% “opt-in” to middle school choice the first year.
So why are all 5th grade families being required to enter a lottery and rank 10 programs in order from first to last choice? The transition to middle school is stressful enough for students and families without throwing this curveball at us.
This is a great place to leave this post here. Thanks Jillian!