BoE looks to extend Estrella’s contract

Dr. Alexandra Estrella, Superintendent of Norwalk Public Schools, speaks at the March 2 opening of the “Sea & Discover Zone,” a new STEM-focused learning center for preschool-age children in The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. (Maritime Aquarium)

NORWALK, Conn. — Another year would be added to Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella’s contract, under a proposal being considered by the Board of Education.

The Board is scheduled to meet Thursday at Jefferson Elementary School, though meetings are usually held Tuesdays. The agenda, which states “Approval to authorize Board Chair to enter into a contract extension with the Superintendent for the next three years,”  includes a review of the superintendent’s goals and expectations for the closing and upcoming years, followed by an evaluation of Estrella during an executive session.

“They’ll be voting for a contract that runs July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2026,” NPS Media Relations Specialist Emily Morgan explained in an email. “The same was done in June 2023, voting for a contract that ran July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025, and In June 2021, they voted for a contract that ran July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024. It’s standard practice.”

Last year’s superintendent evaluation and contract review was held in June. In 2021, it was held in a late July retreat.  The 2017 and 2018 evaluations were done in August, and  2019 was done in July.  Mike Lyons was BoE Chairman in 2017 and the late Mike Barbis was Chairman in 2018 and 2019.

Estrella began work here July 1, 2020.

People commenting Tuesday on the Facebook page Norwalk Parents for Education interpreted the agenda item to mean three years are being added to Estrella’s contract.

Again, it’s a one-year addition, according to Morgan.

One parent said the vote will come ahead of next week’s budget approval, meaning before the expected teacher layoffs.

“This is how the process is supposed to work, by statute,” said a mom who is very familiar with BoE circumstances. “It is unfortunate that trends statewide have led to shorter average terms for superintendents. The continuity and stability provided with longer contracts are invaluable. Per cuts etc, that is all the result of the budget approved by the mayor, common council and board of estimate and taxation. If you don’t like the cuts that Dr. Estrella and the BoE are going to be forced to make and that makes you not like Dr. Estrella and the BoE, you’re choosing to base your opinion on a misunderstanding of the process. Again, I really wish everyone understood more how little room there is to make decisions under these circumstances.”


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4 responses to “BoE looks to extend Estrella’s contract”

  1. Drew Todd

    So let me understand something..We’re rewarding a someone an extension to continue the mess that is now NPS?!?! How about we let her finish her current contract and actually get to see the results of her evaluations and lack of progress to the public instead of the normal “Norwalk Way” which is behind close doors and hidden from the public. She hasn’t even come close to delivering the results we expected but had a feeling based on her NY nightmare she wouldn’t. She thinks the Tax Payers are the schools personnel piggy bank. We are tired of constantly spending, spending and more spending for very few results..Oh WAIT we BS PD days that discuss White Supremacy and we get to teach kids in 1st grade which bathroom they can use. However, if they are a boy or a girl well, that’s not important. But here’s something that’s not new news but continues. The teachers are AFRAID of speaking up and telling anyone really in her administration or mini Superintendents what the real problems are in the schools because of RETRIBUTION!!!!! They don’t even want to tell their Union because the President is an actual NPS Employee so that would be useless. She has created a VERY Toxic atmosphere in our schools! And not only that there is absolutely ZERO Discipline for the students and accountability. And if you don’t believe just go a talk to any of our SRO’S that she wants to get rid of. The Middle Schools right now are a VERY Scary place. I know many students who have been jumped, got into fights and the people responsible what actions are taken!?!? Basically Nothing! And god forbid the student that brings a knife to Middle School gets caught we can’t arrest them on school property!??! WTH!?!? We should let them commit the act they brought the knife for then let them exit school grounds and they can be arrested. But given the new laws in this State will probably be released to mommy and daddy and charges dismissed. Our scores are low and teachers are even leaving as we had just this year in the MIDDLE because it’s so bad because of her reign of terror. She doesn’t need an extension which this Rubber Stamp Board will give her in top of the additional $35K she just got with this budget. What we need is new leadership and direction and someone that wants to TEACH our students Reading, Writing etc and not which is coming sooner then later Social Promotion with the new grading system. She rewards Failures and Not Success! That is what NPS is about under her leadership. We don’t raise the bar like Susan Marks said during her time we LOWER IT!

  2. John O’Neill

    Some people can’t admit they’ve made mistakes in order to cut their losses. I believe that’s the case with current and former BOE fans of Estrella.
    I especially enjoy the finger pointing everywhere except where it belongs in the above quotes.
    However, the real clowns in the room are the voters. After all, they keep voting for these Board members.
    Regarding the “Cuts” needed — At the end of the day Schools will have 8-9% funding than last year per the recent additions and “found” money. . AND to those who pay attention the Covid funds were short term support DURING the Covid Crisis. Those of us who know longer wear masks and are still alive can vouch to those
    non-believers that the Covid Crisis is over.

  3. Tysen Canevari

    How about we get a total of all the lawsuits the city has settled out of court on behalf of this great super queen!! $300,000 a year for nothing She is as bad as our mayor

  4. Jay Kressleman

    I agree with Drew and everything else written. It just makes no sense that creating a culture of fear is being rewarded.

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