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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