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Black History Month

The Norwalk Board of Education is proud to recognize Black History Month at Norwalk Public Schools. Throughout the month, members of our community, schools, educators and students are encouraged to honor the accomplishments of Black Americans and their substantial roles throughout history.

In the 1920’s historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson and the organization he founded, raised awareness of the contributions of Black Americans. The celebration was held in February to coincide with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The observance was expanded in 1976 to a month-long-celebration as part of the nation’s bicentennial. Since then, every U.S. President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.  

This year’s national Black History Month theme focuses on the importance of health and wellness. This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths and herbalists. Additionally, the theme seeks to highlight wellness initiatives to build hospitals, medical and nursing schools and community clinics.

Every year, NPS classrooms across the district highlight Black History Month by learning about historical figures, inventors, educators and civil rights leaders. Educators highlight books written by Black American authors and poets, and incorporate videos and other resources into everyday lessons. Students discuss subjects such as school integration and civil rights, Landmark legal decisions, and the role of Black Americans in military history.

Jan. 17 marked the 27th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was established to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King, and to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities with a day of service.

NPS students across the district honored Dr. King’s messages on fairness, justice, tolerance and equality through discussions and celebrations of his ability to inspire action and bring about change. For example, each year, West Rocks Middle School students complete various tasks in their social studies classes culminating in an all-school day of recognition. This year, students shared their experiences with a video put together by the broadcast journalism class. Musical selections from the West Rocks chorus, orchestra, and jazz band were also a part of the program.

By declaring February Black History month and by recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Board of Education encourages all schools to share in activities and celebrations honoring generations of Black Americans who have positively influenced our community and country.

One comment

Piberman February 6, 2022 at 10:59 am

What better way to celebrate Black history than to demand our BOE encourage our public schools administrators ensure our graduating students meet CT Edu graduating standards and secure 4 yr college degrees. Almost all the graduating students in surrounding towns meet those CT standards and secure 4 yr college degrees. Why not Norwalk ? Most of our graduating students fail to meet CT Edu standards or secure 4 yr college degrees. We match salaries and per student funding. Isn’t securing much higher student performance more important than building new schools ?

While almost half of white students nationally secure 4 yr college degrees
for Black students the figure is only about 30%. And in our ever more high tech economy relatively few Black students are preparing for high tech careers. That helps ensure black and white income/wealth differentials will continue to grow. We need more black youngsters to secure 4 yr college degrees. And that’s where our public schools have a special role.

If we’re really interested in narrowing the growing income and wealth differentials between whites and blacks a good place to focus attention in on our public schools.
Our BOE needs demand much higher performance from our well paid school administrators. Why pay the highest Supt salary in CT when most of our grads fail to meet CT Edu standards or ever get 4 yr college degrees. What signal does that send to the community ? That spending monies but not demanding much better student achievements ?

In short, if we’re really committed to addressing the long standing issues surrounding how black Americans have been treated there’s no better place to begin than in our public schools. Here the object is securing more 4 yr college degrees. Our public schools overseen by our BOE’s have a critical role here. Our Norwalk BOE needs to roll up its sleeves and demand much better student performance from our highly paid school system. Just because “its the right thing to do”.

Until our BOE “gets the message” about demanding much better student outcomes lets encourage our Council to hold the school budget fixed.
Why isn’t our BOE taking a leadership role improving our student performance. And in advocating a 4 yr college for Norwalk ? We’re CT’s only City without a 4 yr college. Is just a 2 yr CC good enough for Norwalk’s students ?

Economists in recent decades have carefully studied reasons behind the growing income/wealth differentials between our white and black communities. We need focus on raising the numbers of black students secure 4 yr college degrees. Especially in the hi-tech well paid field. Here in Norwalk we have work to do. We need our Common Council encourage our BOE to secure much better student outcomes. Holding the school budget fixed sends the message. We need a BOE that secures desired student outcomes. Not a BOE cheering squad for new schools.

Our surrounding towns hold their BOE’s in high esteem. Because they secure student achievement outcomes. That ought be our goal for Norwalk. Decades ago our public schools had a strong reputation. So its an impossible demand.

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