Norwalk BOE getting digital upgrade

The tentative homepage of the new Norwalk Public Schools website, as shown Tuesday to the Board of Education.

NORWALK, Conn. – The new Norwalk Public Schools website should be online by the end of February, Board of Education Communications Director Brenda Williams said.

At the request of Superintendent Manny Rivera, Williams, who was hired in early December, briefed the BOE Tuesday on that and other progress that has been made since she came on board. A Twitter account is in the works and there is now an NPS Facebook page, a good way to find out about snow days, she said.

The approach is to use multiple venues to reach parents, she said. That also includes emails with MP3 files, so parents can listen to announcements if they prefer.

The website is still a work in progress, she said. Material is being re-organized and outdated material is being cleaned up. The general look of the homepage has been decided upon, but it is still being rearranged and made user-friendly, she said.

There will be a link in the middle for Common Core State Standards information and quick links to things parents look for frequently, such as school lunches and the Parent Portal, where they can check their child’s test scores and other things.

Each school will get its own website in time, she said. There will be a drop down menu for events, she said.

Board member Heidi Keyes suggested having events of interest to everyone advertised on the main schools website. It would be good to have Norwalk Reads on the website and information about summer camps, she said.

Board member Sherelle Harris suggested a place to get information about summer reading. Chairman Mike Lyons asked if the school policies would be searchable.

Director of Technology and Innovations Ralph Valenzisi said the entire website will be searchable. That includes being able to look at old meeting minutes without having to scroll back page by page.

There will also be a “translate” button with 10 languages available.

Lyons said there is a lot of progress being made as the schools “go from the ’80’s to the 21st century.”


4 responses to “Norwalk BOE getting digital upgrade”

  1. EveT

    Sounds great. Now, when can the City of Norwalk website be brought into the 21st century?

  2. piberman

    Lets encouage the BOE to post the full written record of BOE meetings on its new website.
    That will bring us up to the 18th Century. And hopefully encourage more thoughtful discussions by both Boe members and public commentators. Public Boards ought to be fully public !

  3. dawn

    i had a problem the other day when i recieved an email with the mp3 message. i was unable to open the message.
    i assumed it was about the closing for snow. i had already gotten an email and a call
    i emailed mr. dadonna and have not heard back. the text of the message should be in the email because i may not be smart enough to assume they are the same message.

  4. Mike Lyons

    Piberman, the minutes and other records will be online with the new web site and the whole site – including the minutes – will be keyword-searchable.

    dawn – we’re working on it. We are in start-up mode with email and text messaging, and tested audio embedded in the emails (most computers can play the files). We will continue using R-911 until we know all the bugs are out. Our aim is to get to the point where people get one message on their preferred media (phone, text, email). While we go through ‘shake down’ people may receive multiple messages, but we figured better multiple messages than none. Our IT folks are fine tuning this on a weekly basis.

    We’re also on Facebook and about to start sending Twitter messages, and the new web site is coming. Growing pains, but we’re making good progress!

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