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Parents: Norwalk needs new schools

When the conversion the the Allen Road Senior Center to the Allen Road Preschool Center is complete, it will help alleviate some overcrowding.

When the conversion the the Allen Road Senior Center to the Allen Road Preschool Center is complete, it will help alleviate some overcrowding.

NORWALK, Conn. – While enrollments are down in many schools districts, enrollment is up in Norwalk Public Schools, Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons said Thursday in response to angst-filled cries regarding a classroom crunch for Marvin Elementary School third-graders.

Unfortunately, the spike is due to recent development, meaning that some schools are affected more than others, Lyons said. With more development on the books, Lyons, BoE member Mike Barbis, several parents and Mayor Harry Rilling all agree that something needs to be done. Lyons said Rilling will need to support capital budget expenditures for the schools; Rilling said he’s already thrown some ideas on the table.

The conversation started Thursday morning on the closed Facebook group page, Norwalk Parents for Education.

“There have been rumors that the Marvin 3rd graders will have 4 classes with approx. 18 kids,” a parent wrote. “Now the rumor is that there will be 3 classes with over 25 kids with ‘oversized class aids’. In what world would it make sense to have 3 huge classes vs 4 smaller classes where the kids can get the attention they need?”

“Yes, my understanding from Dr. (Steven) Adamowski is that this is the recommendation of the school principal based on classroom availability limitations,” Lyons replied. “I had been told by (former Deputy Superintendent) Tony Daddona that there would be 4 classes, but apparently he was in error.”

“Regardless of having an aide, it’s ridiculous to ask a teacher to try and teach to 25 kids,” Jessica Garnett wrote.

“Last year at Kendall we had 4 first-grade classes with 23 to 25 kids in each,” a parent wrote. “It’s in all the schools, so sending kids somewhere else isn’t a solution – building appropriate sized schools is the only acceptable solution. It’s year the same class (now second grade) is suppose to be divided into 5 classes, with one class moving into the old music room, but I fear portable classrooms are in Kendall’s future.”

“I don’t understand why as a condition of building these developments the builders don’t have to contribute to funds to improve infrastructure in our city,” Garnett wrote. “My friend lives outside of Orlando and it is a requirement from every builder to put up a school per x number of housing units they build. What a concept!”

“Bottom line seems to be Norwalk needs a new school. Preferably in Sono. State of the art. Let’s use that great bond rating. We need it yesterday,” wrote Barbara Sigrid Allen Meyer-Mitchell, founder of the FB group.

“Why do I see new schools going up all over the place in (Bridgeport) and there has not been one school built in Norwalk in the 11 years that we’ve lived here. There surely have been at least 11 new developments go up! District 99 needs a school. We need more buildings in this city to educate our children. Didn’t Dr. Rivera complete a facilities study with the intention of addressing this issue and possibly building more schools? What happened to the results of the study and does Dr. Adamowski have his pulse on this?” a parent wrote.

Board of Education member Mike Barbis (D-District E).

Board of Education member Mike Barbis (D-District E).

“The Facilities Study is still being worked on,” Barbis wrote. “They have not finished it. I believe we are to get the results in September or maybe October. It is a major undertaking.”

“We rebuilt Marvin School in the ’90’s (in fact, my wife Elizabeth chaired the building committee),” Lyons wrote. “There is no likelihood of expansion of Marvin in the near future. As Mike Barbis noted, the BoE has no control over new developments, and there remains little coordination with the city land use agencies on what they’re approving. The new Facilities Utilization Study is looking into better use of current schools (some are jammed, some [e.g., Wolfpit] underutilized), and we are also looking at possible re-use of a closed school and possibly (long shot) construction of a new one. Not to beat a dead horse, but there is a reason Norwalk hasn’t built new schools in years while Bridgeport and New Haven have built a while slew of them — the State pays almost the entire cost in those cities but, as with the ECS, severely shortchanges Norwalk (see https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/…/guest-opinion-skewed…).”

“I do not want Norwalk to become Stamford. My child isn’t even in school yet and I’m terrified,” a parent wrote.

“The proper people to raise issues of overdevelopment with our Mayor Harry W. Rilling and the Zoning Commission; you’ll get support from many on the BoE,” Lyons replied.

“Mike, can you tell us what we would need to do to get building a new school on the city agenda? We’ll do it, just lay out the game plan,” Meyer-Mitchell wrote.

“At this point, let’s wait for the Facilities Utilization Study to be finished and presented,” Barbis replied. “Let’s see what these professionals propose. They have done these studies for a number of towns including Darien and Milford. We should have the Study shortly and we can then come up with an action/implementation plan.”

“First we have to plan it well – we need the Facilities study in to start that,” Lyons wrote. “Then we need to establish budget requirements. Then we lobby the Mayor and Council for capital budget funding. The planning process is in gear now. It takes time. I know people are frustrated here, but it takes years to address things like this, especially in a budget-constrained environment.”

Asked about all of this, Lyons, in an email to NoN, said, “The trend in school population is up in Norwalk (unlike many communities that are seeing drops), so it is district-wide.  However, it is not uniform; projects being built in town are not evenly dispersed, so the impacts on different schools can be pretty dramatic (contrast Jefferson to Wolfpit, which is literally about half its size in student population).  We’ve taken ‘hits’ from two developments recently – Avalon at Norden required a new bus route and affected Marvin, while the new West Avenue project would have burst Jefferson at the seams (we redirected those new students to Tracey to protect Jefferson).  And, of course, we’ve taken in an unexpectedly large number of Central American students recently, as you’ve covered (https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2014/09/rivera-cites-glitches-in-norwalk-school-year-launch-immigrant-minors).

“Realizing that we’ve been taking an ad-hoc approach to these issues, as you know, we retained two firms in January to prepare a detailed Facilities Utilization Study that should give us a system-wide perspective on the issue and allow some planning for better utilization of existing facilities and addition of new facilities if needed,” Lyons said.

Rilling said, in a phone call, that he agreed it’s a “serious concern.” He said he hoped the facilities study would provide recommendations.

Rilling said he recently met with Lyons, Adamowski, State Sen. Bob Duff and Economic Development Director Elizabeth Stocker and discussed the issue.

“I threw something on the table,” Rilling said, indicating that it would affect all Norwalk School children, including the students at the Pathways Academy at Briggs. “Everybody seems to be very interested,” he said.

There has been talk of making Columbus Magnet School a K-8 school and moving it to another location, he said. That would open up that building as a neighborhood school, he said.

Rilling recently spoke about the decades-long practice of selling school properties.

“I’ll be the first one to state that planning in Norwalk for years has been nonexistent,” Rilling said in May. “There is no plan about what is going to happen 5, 10 years from now regarding our schools, regarding our infrastructure. It’s been poorly done and I think we all agree with that. So now it’s time to try to get our arms around that before it’s too late. But at least the Board of Education now is funding a facility study analysis. I think they’re focusing a lot on the individual facilities, but now we have to start looking at do we build new schools and where do we build them? Yeah, it’s going to cost a lot of money, it’s going to cost a lot because of a failure to plan in the past. … That’s been going on for years. It’s nothing strange to Norwalk, believe me.”

There will be 1,000 new apartments in the West Avenue area once Waypointe and its companion development, The Berkeley, are done with construction, Rilling said at the time.

The topic came up at Wednesday’s Zoning Task Force meeting. Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan said less than 10 children have been added to the public schools roster from the West Avenue development, Waypointe, with nearly 300 units rented.

“Multi-family development in the urban core as matter of historic information creates virtually no school children,” Sheehan said. “… Obviously the agency is an advocate for affordable housing but that is typically in the developments where you find children coming into the multifamily housing units is on the set-aside for the affordable housing.”

 

The nuts and bolts of the enrollment issue

NPS Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams had this to say:

“We’re continuing to work on finalizing class sizes and assignments for 2015-16, and that includes updating enrollment figures and processing any new registrations that come in.  As part of that process, we have added two teaching positions to conform to class-size guidelines.  In some cases, when a class size is determined to be just in excess of the number of students provided in the NFT contract, a classroom aide may be added to assist the teacher.

NFT Contract

“At the same time, we do have schools that are near capacity. Marvin is one example of a school where there is no space available to add an additional classroom.

“There was a bus added last year for the new development (Avalon East Norwalk), but it’s more complex than just looking at a single cause. For that reason, the Facilities Utilization Study that is now in progress will be a critical tool for Norwalk moving forward. In addition to a thorough review of our current buildings, the study includes an analysis of demographic data, trends, economic development plans and other information that will help establish enrollment projections.  It will not only help with recommendations about our physical facilities – our actual school buildings – but it will also be valuable in helping us project future staffing levels as well.”

Lyons sent a late-night email with “some follow-ups:”

“1. At the elementary level, the guidelines are up to 22 for grades K-3 and up to 24 for grades 4-5.  There are three or four schools that currently have a class that is on the cusp. Marvin has a fourth-grade class at 24.

“2. The elementary schools are full. There is a no elementary school with any empty classroom available. Because the Allen Road Preschool Center is not yet available, the eight Inclusive Preschool classes continue to be located in elementary schools. Marvin has two such preschool classes. When the Preschool Center opens this year, it will free up those eight classrooms and allow some class size adjustments.

“3. Under these circumstances, if class size in any school including Marvin goes to 23 or 25 before we can free the preschool classes, the solution will be the assignment of a teaching assistant as is the intention of the NFT contract.”

34 comments

Gwen August 14, 2015 at 8:50 am

“Norwalk Needs new Schools”
I read the entire thread that was up on the Norwalk Parents for Education Facebook page before it was deleted. Yes, we need additional buildings, but several posters noted that their children’s schools needed modifications to ease the crowding that was happening at their school. Jefferson for instance, the largest elementary school in Norwalk has had portable classrooms up for 10 years, and are adding more. Supposedly Jefferson and Cranbury are slated for extensive renovations in the next two years. That remains to be seen. As one parent noted, “we moms used to joke that our kids would be in college before construction got started on Jefferson. My son is entering his junior year of college, and no construction in sight!”
Let’s take care of the schools that have been waiting years for renovations, but also keep our eye on the future with respect to building new schools.

MarjorieM August 14, 2015 at 8:57 am

Mike Lyons, there you go again. You are blaming the Deputy Superintendent when he doesn’t do enrollment projections, nor did he do 99 assignments for schools this year. Those assignments are done in July. Wasn’t he retired by then? I heard Ralph was in charge of 99 assignments. True or not? The 99 assignments need to be done correctly or they have a huge impact on class size. Furthermore the Avalon apartments were being watched carefully for the last two(?) years for their impact on the school. The former superintendent knew that and the Board knew that. Why do you keep playing the blame game? If you are going to blame anyone, get your facts straight.

Marie Avila August 14, 2015 at 9:31 am

I started at Kendall in ’98. At that time one 5th grade and the pre-school were in a portable trailer. Those things aren’t optimum safety anyway, but that’s another issue. FINALLY, in ’04 they started much-needed renovations. Office and a couple of resource people were in another trailer out in front for the ’05-’06 school year. Not overly convenient (not bathroom for one thing), but I had a beautiful view of the tree on the front lawn. In time for ’06-’07 school year we moved into the new office, altho there was still work going on for most of that year.
So ALREADY they’re overcrowded again and talking about portables? Maybe they should have just thought ahead and added extra rooms in the first place. That was the first renovation at Kendall in 50 years, so you’re in for a LONG haul folks.

Mike Lyons August 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

Marie, there have been no new schools built in Norwalk in decades (while places like Bridgeport and New Haven have built many) for a pretty basic reason – Hartford paid 95% of the cost of their school projects, but only pays 23% for projects in Norwalk (see https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2014/04/guest-opinion-skewed-ecs-hits-norwalk-in-ways-well-beyond-the-operating-budget). We face enormous financial constraints in Norwalk because of this, and have to pretty much fund everything ourselves. Despite that we spent over $100 million on school projects in the ’90’s and 2000’s, and just completed renovations to Naramake and Rowayton Schools. Next up are Jefferson and Cranbury (see our 5-year capital budget plan here: http://www.norwalkps.org/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=4559129).

I really wish we had unlimited money and could make everyone happy at once. We don’t, of course, so we have to make do with what the City can afford to give us.

Frustrated Teacher August 14, 2015 at 11:20 am

Jefferson would have been busting at the seems? Jefferson is already busting at the seems and continues to get a temporary fix year after year! We have been on “the list” for renovations for years and somehow keep getting bumped!?! Can someone please explain to us why? We are the largest elementary school in Norwalk and continue to get overlooked. Why? Because our staff and parents aren’t complaining on a daily basis? The portable building in the back of our school which holds 8 classrooms was infested with mold a few years back and they had to replace the entire interior of the building. Why keep putting money into what is a temporary fix? Those classrooms have been there for 10 years now and aren’t going anywhere since another 2 classrooms are being added on our field as we speak! Where are our children supposed to play? We no longer have a field but 2 small playgrounds for 600+ students. We now will have 10 classrooms not connected to our main building which means over 200 students have to walk from building to building in all types of weather. These children are 9-11 years old, not middle school or even high school children, we are not a campus, our children should be safe 24/7 and should not have to leave the building for another other than entry and dismissal!

I am aware of the needs of other schools but until someone comes and takes a look at the size of Jefferson and what we have to do on a daily basis just to get through the day, I don’t want to hear another word about any other school and their needs. Enough is enough! Something needs to be done with Jefferson before anywhere else!

Mike Lyons August 14, 2015 at 11:36 am

Frustrated, the Board agrees. This is why the next project in the capital budget plan is Jefferson, with $358,000 for design work next year and $7.9 million in construction funding for the following year (as shown in my link above to our capital budget).

Frustrated Teacher August 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm

As the parent stated above, we will believe it when we see it. I’m sorry but, when you are told something for so long and it never happens it’s kind of hard to believe it will! Actions speak louder than words!

Another Frustrated Teacher August 14, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Mike I truly hope Norwalk finally follows through with Jefferson renovations. I have so say I am a bit skeptical. I have heard that promise many times in the 22 years I have been in the building.

Frustrated Parent August 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm

We have been hearing about renovations for years. My oldest is a sophomore in college and my youngest will graduate before we see any renovations to the highest populated school in Norwalk that is on the smallest piece of property. My kids have been in storage rooms that were turned into classrooms with no windows, art on a cart, academically talented on the stage when there isn’t a concert, strings, or lunch shifts going on. We are one of the only schools that has our lunch room double as the gym and now they drop 10 portables out back. Sharing a gym that doubles as a cafeteria for a school of 600 doesn’t leave much time for Gym. Have you ever tried to have gym in a classroom? I went in and watched! It’s not fun for anyone! Where do our kids play? On a hill because that is all we have? Where will field day for 600 kids be? Should we walk them all up the street to Kendall or will Norwalk provide bussing so our kids get at least 1 day of play? Gym was at least outside before during nice weather but not anymore unless he wants to run up and down a hill for the hour! We had to fight tooth and nail for a new playground. Again the biggest school with 1 full playground and 1 that is half broken and boarded up (4 years now) Those portables were supposed to be utilized for 8-10 years well times up, but wait don’t take them away….add more! Will they even be ready for the 1st day of school because by the looks of it…absolutely not! Where will our kids be placed? Those poor teachers do not even have a teacher’s lounge let alone an extra classroom. I really hope these classrooms are ready in 2 weeks and our playground looks presentable. Does anyone even care to come out and take a walk around? We haven’t had grass for years. Mike I hope what you say is true. You should take a field trip over and look at both playgrounds as well as the new buildings and how much room we have for 620 kids to play.

Mike Lyons August 14, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Frustrateds, you weren’t told those things by ME. We told Naramake and Rowayton that they’d be renovated, and they were. We’re telling you Jefferson’s next, and you are.

Bryan Meek August 14, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Besides the forthcoming facilities survey, I am also looking forward to the economic analysis UConn is doing for Manresa Island and hopeful it goes beyond suggesting more housing or commercial development. Avery Point is far enough away and the land would be perfect for a maritime academy serving high school vocational and collegiate programs in marine sciences, naval architecture, etc…

We’re also far enough away from SUNY Maritime where graduates consistently earn some of the highest salaries in the country. http://college.usatoday.com/2014/11/24/25-colleges-where-graduates-make-the-highest-starting-salaries/

Band-aids will help here and there for the school system, but it is time for this city to think big!

Adam Blank August 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm

As a Zoning Commissioner (but not on behalf of the Zoning Commission) I wanted to comment on a few things in this story. First, the Zoning office, Mayor’s office and representatives of the Board of Ed have met to ensure information flows smoothly between Zoning and BOE and I don’t anticipate that to be an issue going forward. Second, my understanding is that the large new developments going up in town have had a negligible impact on the school population; I would be interested in seeing hard numbers though so that we weren’t all speculating. Third, the BOE has recently sought, and obtained, approvals related to portable classrooms. We on the Zoning Commission have granted approvals for those portables only for a finite period of time so as to try to exert some pressure on the BOE/City to find permanent solutions.

Annoyed Mom of 3 Fox Run Students August 14, 2015 at 2:25 pm

My kids go to Fox Run but they used to go to Jefferson and the amount of space they have there is very sad! We are a town that pays high taxes and only certain schools that make noise seem to get what they want. Why wasn’t Jefferson 1st on the list! Why didn’t get a parade when they won the NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON. They recieved very little recognition. Maybe the new super if he stays long enough will help a little more. Band aides do not work. Look at the big portable air condition unit Mr. Hodel thinks is a gift. Makes the school look even more like a storage place rather than a nice inviting school. We are sad to leave Jefferson because we love the experience but the fact that they are always placed on the back burner is very sad! We used to look for houses in the area until the mold issue with the 8 portables that were already there!

Outrageous August 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm

It is unbelievable to me that the situation at Jefferson is shoved down everyone’s throats as acceptable practices. Portable, moldy classrooms, children walking in and out of buildings at all hours and in all types of weather, no designated area for gym class and no room to play outside….if these factors aren’t against some type of state regulation, they certainly should be. They DESERVE the desperately needed renovations. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on ALL of you!!

Stay tuned! August 14, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Yes Mike, who is to blame. Down town is good at passing the buck or blaming the little guys! Who is to blame? Why is everything so last minute! I pay a lot of taxes and have to send my kids to private schools because this is how the show goes year after year! Does anyone really know what these kids and schools are lacking? Do they care? Shame on the big wigs! I hope the new administration down there puts his foot down!

Lifelong Teacher August 14, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Space constraints at Jefferson are nothing new. Storage closets, a windowless library workroom, book rooms, and even out of commission student bathrooms (!!) are used for teaching spaces and classrooms.

Ten extra classrooms out back, a 600+ population, yet the main building is meant for +/-325 children. PE instruction is shut down during the lunch shifts as 200 students must eat at a time. And the children in the portables, ten classes, must walk through the elements to the main building for all special education and related services, nurse visits, lunch and specials. This area isn’t covered – it hasn’t been for the entire decade of its existence – so they must walk through rain, sleet or snow all year round.

Teachers long ago gave up a faculty room. They eat in their classrooms, but assistants have to grab hallway tables and are forced to eat there. There’s nowhere for a private conversation or to take a real break. It’s a testament to their dedication and professionalism that they haven’t complained.

You can’t blame Mike. This awful situation has been in place for a very long time, overseen throughout by the deputy and other superintendents. I’m putting my trust in this BOE that at last, Jefferson’s children will get a decent building. They deserve no less.

Enough is enough August 14, 2015 at 5:32 pm

My kids have graduated king ago from Jefferson at a time when K-5 were in the main building!! My nephews now attend as magnet children and chose to be there despite the lack of attention that building gets! We have come across some great staffing from parents who were on the PTO with my wife Cara and now work there who she is still in contact with even know we are 3000 miles away! She is now a teacher herself and we just left CT visiting family and she was almost in tears when she saw the shambles that school grounds are in! She herself attended there and it is just horrific that such a great place has been put on the back burner but we have turf fields at middle schools and people fired/but paid their entire salaries! Who’s hands are in whose pockets! I can’t say I miss the politics of Norwalk but I do hope that school is in tip top shape in the next two weeks! How would you all feel if you had to drop your kindergarten student off when it looks like a war zone ?

MarjorieM August 14, 2015 at 5:42 pm

“You can’t blame Mike. This awful situation has been in place for a very long time, overseen throughout by the deputy and other superintendents. ”

Before the Blame Game gets ridiculously out of control, could we please have the title of the persons(s) involved who are actually in charge of creating new schools?

Non Partisan August 14, 2015 at 6:00 pm

There I go stepping on the third rail again but
If we weren’t a sanctuary city what would our enrollment be?

Doubt I’ll get a suitable answer.

Gwen August 14, 2015 at 7:26 pm

Until I see a foundation being dug (and not for another portable) I won’t believe it. We were at Jefferson for 11 years. Time and again we were told that we were “next in line” for renovations. There was always some excuse. Budget cuts, etc. There actually was a study and blueprints done at one point. Meanwhile, other schools got renovated and new additions. It’s a real testament to the teachers, staff and principal that they have such a successful program, despite the conditions that they have to endure. They won the 2009 Lone Pine award, 2011 ConnCAN Success Story, and was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon school last year. This school should be held up as a Norwalk success story that has overcome many obstacles. It’s shameful the way the city has passed them over again and again. I really hope and pray that this school finally gets the attention that it so desperately needs and deserves.

Mike Lyons August 14, 2015 at 7:39 pm

To those who want me to play the blame game, I decline. I’m interested in moving forward, not blaming past Boards and superintendents for how we got here. Here’s what’s important. THIS Board is the first in decades to invest in a thorough evaluation of Norwalk’s current physical plant, demographic trends, and facilities needs (see https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2015/01/norwalk-board-of-ed-paying-230k-for-study-of-school-facilities). This study, started in January and to be completed this fall, will (as noted above) “be a critical tool for Norwalk moving forward. In addition to a thorough review of our current buildings, the study includes an analysis of demographic data, trends, economic development plans and other information that will help establish enrollment projections. It will not only help with recommendations about our physical facilities – our actual school buildings – but it will also be valuable in helping us project future staffing levels as well.”

Not only are we trying to get a handle on our overall facilities (that hasn’t even been attempted in decades), but our adopted 5-year Capital Budget plan calls for Jefferson to get the next renovation project (also as noted above, and linked again here – http://www.norwalkps.org/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=4559129).

Attacking the first Board in living memory that’s actually trying to DO something about our facilities in general – and Jefferson in particular — strikes me as very strange. THIS Board kept its commitments to Naramake and Rowayton, and intends to keep its commitment to Jefferson. Instead of blaming us for apparently broken commitments made before most of us even joined the Board, why not support our efforts to rectify these problems, and gear up to help us lobby the City to fund the Jefferson project next year?

Enough is enough August 14, 2015 at 11:39 pm

We will support as soon as it starts !! Are the going to redistrict ? This new tight board, because there are schools with 36 class rooms and schools with 20 but administrators still make the same pay and last year each school got a full time VP and before that schools with double the kids split VP evenly…. Seems crazy to me! Lots of wasted money going in all different directions! These big schools have 1 Gym teacher, 1 Music Teacher,1 social worker to service double the kids at the same pay! I hope you are right and from this point forward all kids are treated equally!

Gwen August 15, 2015 at 7:23 am

Noone is trying to play the blame game. It’s just hard to believe that something (construction at Jefferson) is actually going to happen, when They’ve been passed over again and again. I appreciate what this current board is trying to do, but as you know this has to pass through many channels. Apparently we have to “gear up to help lobby the City to fund the Jefferson project next year”.
Nothing in this town is a done deal.

Worried August 15, 2015 at 7:29 am

Non partisan you’ll never get an answer but yes maybe our kids would have half a chance at a decent sized classroom! Also the new board well let’s see how long this “Super” sticks around! We heard he said this was last run at it! How fast will he get ran out of town? Will the money and grants follow him like they followed Dr. Rivera who in our opinion was a horrible loss for this town! How many people have resigned since him down there? What are you guys doing with our money Norwalk? My kids are very active in high school sports both coming from Kendall and started K-1 at Jefferson two schools that are frowned upon by produced two high honors children who are both being looked at my D1 schools! Kudos even if treated unfairly

Marie Avila August 15, 2015 at 9:40 am

Parking at Jefferson is dangerous, as is the way the buses have to load and unload, and even driving by.

McKeen Shanogg August 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Remember 5 Board of Education seats are up for election this year. Be aware of who you vote for.

MarjorieM August 15, 2015 at 3:24 pm

I am playing the “Unblame Game,” which I was hoping would be done by Mike Lyons, but was not. A comment was made that past superintendents and the deputy superintendent did nothing to help the Jefferson overcrowding issue. The fact is that the Chief Financial Officer, WHO REPORTS DIRECTLY TO The superintendent, is in charge of facilities. So Rich Rhudl’s replacement is where you need to go to complain. The Deputy Superintendent has nothing to do with facilities.

Notaffiliated August 16, 2015 at 9:42 am

The elephant in all the elementary school classrooms are the number of illegal immigrant students. Without addressing this as a country, city or town, were simply going to see more of the same. Taxes high now? Sit back and wait. The impact of the wave of illegals also delivers high unemployment to under educated citizens. The lack of affordable housing in neighboring towns helps those towns. Do we really believe the average teacher in Norwalk isn’t as good as New Canaan?

Change It Up August 16, 2015 at 1:03 pm

When election time rolls around please remember who did and DIDN’T do what! Empty promises? Make your vote count!

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