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NPS showcases choices for middle and high school students

Bob Killacky speaks to a family at the first NPS districtwide School Choice Fair for middle school and high school families, Wednesday at the Carver Center.

NORWALK, Conn. – Cayden Benitez walked into the first Norwalk Public Schools Choice Fair thinking he’d like to enroll in ROTC when he gets to high school. The eighth grader walked out thinking maybe he’d prefer marine sciences.

The free School Choice Fair provided middle and high school families an opportunity to learn about the choices available to students in the next school year, Rachael Chappa, NPS Communications Manager, said.

“I thought it was pretty cool,” Cayden said, of the fair held Wednesday in the Carver Center. “…It taught me a lot about the other programs.”

“The whole point of this is so that parents are aware of what the programs are that we offer before their kids come into high school, and it’s to make sure that everyone has access and information about what’s going on in the schools before they hit the lotteries,” NPS Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams said.

The turnout was excellent for the open-house style fair, for which no registration was needed, she said.

Options on display included the Norwalk High School media academy, the Center for Global Studies, where Japanese has become a popular choice according to Director Julie Parham, and a virtual academy.

Vincent Wong, 11, successfully uses chopsticks at the first NPS districtwide School Choice Fair for middle school and high school families, Wednesday at the Carver Center.

Vincent Wong, a West Rocks sixth grader, said, “I’m not sure what I should do yet but these all look like different options.”

His father, Shing Wong, said it was good to expose kids early, “planting the seeds of the ideas what they want to do, and expanding about the potentials of, like, choosing a path in high school.”
“It takes time to sink in,” he said. “As a parent, you want to do some influences, but you also want to cater to their potential, what they want to do. But it’s just a balancing act.”

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