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Norwalk Schools Chief To Meet With Parents On Future Spending

Norwalk Schools Superintendent Manuel Rivera will hold five focus groups with parents starting Oct. 22.
Norwalk Schools Superintendent Manuel Rivera will hold five focus groups with parents starting Oct. 22. Photo Credit: File

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Public Schools’ district administrators are once again planning to hold focus groups to get parents’ input on the school system’s budget starting later this month.

New Superintendent of Schools Manuel Rivera will continue his predecessor’s practice of holding town hall-style meetings with parents and other members of the community before finalizing his budget plan for the next school year. The budget plan would be rolled out in December for a Board of Education vote in early 2014.

“As I visit our various schools and classrooms, it is evident to me that we hold high expectations for all of our students with standards for rigor that will support their success in school and in life,” Rivera said in a letter to parents last week.

Norwalk’s Board of Education plans to spend about $164.9 million this school year, a 3.4 percent increase over the current year. For reference, the current spending plan and all related documents are available on the district’s website.

The questions that will be asked at this year’s focus groups include the following:

? What do you value most about Norwalk Public Schools?

? What should be the top priorities in the district’s plan and the recommended 2014-2015 budget?

? What enhancements, improvements or items should be included in the 2014-15 budget that was not included in this year’s budget?

? What “efficiencies” should be considered for possible savings and/or improved productivity? Based on the needs of students, what areas could be identified as possible reductions or eliminations?

The meetings are scheduled for Oct. 22 at Nathan Hale Middle School, Oct. 23 at West Rocks Middle School, Oct. 29 at Roton Middle School, Oct. 30 at Ponus Middle School and Nov. 11 at Grace Baptist Church. All focus groups are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

District officials ask elementary school parents to attend the meeting at their school’s feeder school. Norwalk High parents are asked to attend the meetings at Nathan Hale or West Rocks, and Brien McMahon High parents are asked to attend the Ponus or Roton meetings. The final meeting is open to all who were unable to attend the other sessions.

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