Rivera announces big news, thanks staff for hard work

NORWALK, Conn. – Technological successes in Norwalk Public Schools were touted Tuesday, along with a promise to offer a technology-related “first in the state” opportunity to Norwalk High School students.

Norwalk Superintendent Manny Rivera addressed both the Smarter Balance Assessment (SBAC) tests and a press conference planned to deliver big news Friday in his remarks at a sparsely attended Board of Education meeting.

“There is an announcement that is unfolding which we are excited about that would bring our Pathways to Technology program, be the first in the state of Connecticut, to Norwalk High School as we look to create an academy within the school there,” Rivera said. “There is a tremendous amount of excitement. It’s one that would be in partnership with Norwalk Community College. I don’t want to say too much obviously at this point in time with a press conference that’s scheduled but it’s a tremendous opportunity for both Norwalk and our students who will be entering from eighth grade into ninth grade and be able to participate in a program ultimately to earn a two- year degree in possibly as early as four years. So we’re excited about that.”

Last month, the board announced that it had a budget surplus. Part of that would be used for funding for P-Tech Academy (P-Tech), including an academy director and a technology assistant at a combined $167,329 in salary and benefits, Rivera said at the time.

SBAC has also been a topic. Rivera has reassured parents that the new comprehensive assessment test would only be used as a practice test in this, its first year, but he said testing began last week and things have gone much better than planned.

He had told administrators not to worry about potential glitches out of concern for the new wireless installation and distribution of equipment, he said.

“I am so pleased to say there have been very few glitches with administration of the SBAC,” he said. “Some of the reports back are that ‘yes the test is hard,’ and I think that’s another issue that has to be at some point reviewed by the SBAC company but I want to thank the people who invested a lot of time in that.”

Of the 19 Norwalk schools, only Norwalk High has yet to have its wireless installation completed, due to the thickness of the walls there, he said. There have been 1,900 Chromebooks distributed, he said.

One more thing. There has been “A lot of positive feedback for (new) website,” he said.


2 responses to “Rivera announces big news, thanks staff for hard work”

  1. David

    While the devil is usually in the details, and the details won’t be released until Friday, bgut at first glance…Wow!
    If this happens, and happens right, then this is massive for Norwalk schools and Norwalk students. This effort should – MUST – be accompanied by a solid economic plan to take advantage of the results. We should be looking at creating a tech incubator right here.
    One Mayoral hopeful (can’t remember whom) floated the idea that the city should set aside $300k in seed money for tech startups located in Norwalk – that idea should be revisited as a part of this plan.

  2. anonymous

    more good news coming from this superintendent.

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