Rivera looking to improve Norwalk snow day coordination

NORWALK, Conn. – Steps are being taken to make sure that snow days at Norwalk Public Schools will be handled better this winter, Norwalk Superintendent Manny Rivera said.

Rivera said, in his address to the Board of Education on Tuesday, that he and Mayor Harry Rilling had met with the Department of Public Works to address the issue. He also talked about efforts to enact the board’s strategic initiatives at the schools, improving accountability for school staff.

“I had very good meeting with department of Public Works as we gear up for the winter season,” Rivera said. “After all we went through last year where we had to cancel schools eight or nine times – I lose track – we thought it appropriate to walk through with them some adjustments that we could make that they have been anticipating making so that we can make a better call on snow days and a more timely one, in the nature we have more accurate information.”

It was a “very, very productive meeting,” he said. “DPW is putting into place some changes that we think will give us more timely information and we should be in sync about the driveways, the walkways, the roads…. We think knowing the condition of the roads is key.”

BoE member Mike Barbis commented that the schools are “last man on totem pole” as far as snow clearing operations are concerned. If the schools don’t open and a snow day is added in June, that costs the city a lot of money, he said. “It seems very inefficient for DPW to leave us last, when really maybe we should be first,” Barbis said.

Rivera also commented on the urgency he feels to begin working on the 2015/16 operating budget, which is due in 60 days, when there are so many other things to focus on. He suggested that the board form committees to work on issues such as the use of Title 1 funds, K-5 literacy, expansion of the after-school program and facility inspections.

Committee could host forums on detailed topics, he said.

Rivera said he and Deputy Superintendent Tony Daddona will spend two or three days visiting each school for several hours.

“Our goal here is to build greater consistency and really create a floor for certain essential leadership in school expectations and standards which we have been lacking in our system, and to create, I would have to tell you, greater accountability across all of our schools,” he said.


3 responses to “Rivera looking to improve Norwalk snow day coordination”

  1. Taxpayer Fatigue

    Dr. Rivera so far has proven to be an impressive, thoughtful leader. Thank you for this!

  2. Lifelong Teacher

    Dr. Rivera really gets it, and I think he sees the nonsense that has been going on for a long time. He’s the first good leader Norwalk has seen in a decade.

  3. Don’t Panic

    The expression, (as commonly used) is “low man” not “last man” and this expression should not be used by an elected official because it is both inaccurate and offensive.

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