Quantcast

NPS presents safety committee; vocal mom disapproves

Norwalk Police Deputy Chief James Walsh is on the Norwalk Public Schools Safety and Security Task Force.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Public Schools has announced the members of its Districtwide Safety and Security Task Force.

Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Colin Hosten revealed the task force recently when a parent complained of fights in the schools. Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella formed the task force in November and it first met Dec. 1, NPS said.

“The task force’s work will include proposing revisions to the current NPS Code of Conduct and other policies, as well as recommending improvements to practices that keep students and staff safe,” the schools announcement said.

Members are:

  • Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella
  • NPS Deputy Superintendent of Excellence, Equity, and Inclusion Thomas McBryde Jr.
  • Board of Education member Godfrey Azima
  • Board of Education member Kara Baekey
  • Beverly Boyd, Brien McMahon High School teacher
  • Common Council member Greg Burnett (D-At Large), as a NAACP representative
  • NPS Director of Human Resources Lissette Colon
  • Brien McMahon High School Athletic Director John Cross
  • Norwalk Chief of Social Services Lamond Daniels
  • Jules Douge, ES Instruction Leadership SEL, Kendall Elementary Social Worker
  • Jay Getner, City of Norwalk Coordinator of Juvenile Justice & Prevention Programs
  • NPS Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Sandra Faioes
  • NPS Safety & Security Supervisor Ryan Harold
  • NPS Executive Director of Leadership Development Sandra Kase
  • Ponus Ridge Middle School Principal Damon Lewis
  • Norwalk High School Athletic Director Doug Marchetti
  • Norwalk Association of School Administrators (NASA) President Lynne Moore, Norwalk High School AP
  • Marvin Elementary School Principal Sue-Ellen O’Shea
  • Board of Education member Janine Randolph
  • NPS Executive Director of Leadership Development Mary-Anne Sheppard
  • David Walenczyk, City of Norwalk Director of Youth Services
  • Norwalk Police Deputy Chief James Walsh
  • NPS Interim Expulsion & Superintendent Hearing Officer Roger White
  • NPS Chief of Staff and Communications Brenda Wilcox Williams
  • Norwalk Federation of Education Personnel (NFEP) President Hope Wyatt
  • Norwalk Federation of Teachers President Mary Yordon

 

 

Former Common Council member Nora King criticized the list.

“Why are there no parents on the safety task force?  They are our children … You have everyone else even the union reps but no parents.  Why?” she said in an email to the Board of Education and others.

“Of course,” it’s not true that there are no parents on the task force, Hosten said.

Baekey, while running for the Board this fall, said her youngest child attends P-Tech. Randolph said she is the mother of two children attending NPS. Azima, while running in 2019, spoke of being on the Tracey Elementary School Governance Council.

The task force will “play a critical role in helping to update and develop our plans, which will be presented to the Board of Education in early spring,” NPS said.

11 comments

Seriously? December 19, 2021 at 8:31 am

Ms. King is right. The board, at least to date, has made itself subservient to the superintendent.
A member of this board who happens to be a parent is going to represent the board and its thinking, not necessarily the thinking of parents.

NPS needs parents who are free to speak as parents, which may require being critical of the district administration on occasion. No board member is going to do that.

DrewT December 19, 2021 at 9:29 am

Why aren’t there ANY parents not tied to the schools or hold a position in the schools?! How about we put parents on that work everyday get the news like everyone else and yet have to worry what’s being done and doesn’t even get a say?! There should have been 2 parents who aren’t on the SGC or any political organization or affiliated with the schools except their children attend. Once again MORE Political BS and not action. Nora King is 100% accurate in her statement. And if anyone remembers we had parents on the Reopening Task Force!

Nora King December 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

A BOE member is a politician not a dedicated parent representative. What is so scary is that Colin Hosten even made that statement and once again clearly displays delusional and unqualified behavior for his role as Chairman. When I think to myself it can’t get any worse than it is right now he comes out with a statement like that. How my politically party keeps supporting this is so unbelievable to me. He should be removed immediately.

John O'Neill December 19, 2021 at 11:55 am

Nora King although not “technically” correct in her statements still makes a very good point. People who don’t have a political or economic motivation to go along with NPD leadership should be part of this group. That’s the “spirit” of Nora’s point.
While we’re talking about Policy Changes I think Lynne Moore is an interesting pick: Last I read there was a lawsuit charging NPS and Lynne Moore for not responding to a Nathan Hale student being bullied. I’ve attached link so everyone is clear on it.

http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/DocumentInquiry/DocumentInquiry.aspx?DocumentNo=20499169

Back to Nora’s point — I think parents should have direct representation on this board. In fact I think the Latino Community Parents should have a stronger seat at this table. After all, our school system is probably 60% Latino at this point. And I don’t mean Bureaucrats or Rubber Stamping acolytes of our political system. Let’s keep politics and job seekers out of this.

Seriously? December 19, 2021 at 10:31 pm

This piece reminds me of the quote about how a person can’t serve two masters. The board of education members who are parents of NPS students can be credible representatives of either the board or of the parents, not of both. Parents in the district need to have confidence that the parent representatives have parents’ thinking at the center of their work, while board of education members who happen to be parents of NPS students ought to be focused on their responsibility for oversight of the district. Educators so often speak of parents as necessary partners of educators, especially when the educators need their help for something, and yet parents weren’t invited to serve on this committee.

I can’t imagine that the omission of parents was unintentional, especially in light of the superintendent’s actions to limit the influence of SGCs. Also, it was a parent who made the complaint that resulted in forming this group, and yet there is no parental representation.

There are risks in having too many people on committees, and one of the risks is that there is far less opportunity for for input and discussion by each representative. If each representative is important, then the district needs to know that each of them has a voice that will be heard when necessary.

A few more thoughts:

There are a few people who are definitely not needed. There is no need for the bargaining unit presidents, and I can’t imagine any meaningful role that the HR director would play.

Teacher representation is very thin on this committee. Special needs students have historically had very high incidence of discipline referrals, sometimes related to their exceptionalities. A couple of special education teachers would be good. Also, the one person identified as a teacher is a high school media specialist. While she is classified as a teacher, but I would have expected traditional classroom teachers from the elementary, middle and high school levels.

I realize that there are the 2 athletic directors, but as stated at the beginning, they should serve as athletic directors, not as teachers. This said, there is no need to have both ADs on the committee. Both are very strong leaders, and either is capable of effectively representing the athletic program.

Did no one think to include one of the School Resource Officers? It would be helpful for the perspective of one of the officers who are in the schools everyday and who have countless interactions with students, staff and parents.

Tysen Canevari December 20, 2021 at 9:27 pm

Really people? You need a committee for this? How bout first time is a one week suspension and police notified. Second offense is arrest and your ass is out of here! This is school not the playground. Kids are here to learn. So stupid to think a group of highly paid administrators will make a difference. Might as well add Harry and Estrella to the list then

Skip Hagerty December 20, 2021 at 10:59 pm

There is only so much that well intentioned task force members and administrators can accomplish. Teaching kids good morals and self-discipline must start, and be reinforced, at home by the parents. If parents do their job, teachers can do theirs. Pretty basic.

Norwalk Resident December 21, 2021 at 10:18 am

I agree with Nora King (and many others who have commented here) – parent representation is a must. As a parent, it’s so scary sending your kids to school everyday and hoping they are safe when we are hearing of so many threats here and across the country. Parents need to feel comfortable that the right measures are in place to keep our kids safe.

This superintendent likes to say that parent involvement is important to her, but, in my opinion, her actions clearly indicate a lack of interest in any meaningful parent involvement. @Seriously brings up some excellent points on who should and shouldn’t be included. How come the third highest paid superintendent in the state can’t come to the same conclusions? In my opinion, this is for optics and she wants to surround herself with people who will agree with whatever she puts forward. And I agree – BOE members are not able to serve both roles – there is clearly a conflict as they so readily align themselves with the superintendent and avoid any open debate. Hopefully the new members of the BOE can help change that.

Steve Mann December 21, 2021 at 11:38 am

I’ve always been amazed at the taxpayer dollars spent on advisors and consultants to lead the city employees who were hired because they were qualified to do the jobs they’re being advised on.

Steve December 21, 2021 at 9:47 pm

Most of the people on the boe have no higher goal than serving . They are not angling for state assembly, senator mayor or President. There interest in serving on the boe is because of their experiences with the district and their own children. Nora Kong regularly tries to find some hidden agenda, the others are the usual critics- who find nothing positive

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>