Superintendent Update

District

 

Dear Norwich Public School Families,

Attached please find the updated NPS school calendar for the 2020-21 school year that was approved last night
by the BOE (Board of Education). Our absolute priority is the safety of our children and staff, and this calendar
update reflects a priority in planning and training for safety.

On July 14, 2020, the State Board of Education passed a resolution of flexibility in the 180-day requirement
for students. For the 2020-2021 school year, students will be required to attend school for 177 days. The
additional three days will be for staff professional development, which must take place at the beginning of the
school year. Topics for professional development should include:

  • Adapting to a new school environment- health and safety and instructional considerations
  • Social and emotional learning and development
  • Meetings with staff and families on new safety protocols.

To that end, we have moved the opening day for middle school students to September 8, 2020, and the opening
day for pre-school and elementary students to September 9, 2020. Each day of the first week of school for
students (September 8-11) will be scheduled as early release days to give students and staff the opportunity to
get used to navigating school in cohorts, while social distancing with masks (as each are required by the
Department of Education). Early dismissal for students will also offer teachers and principals the opportunity
to debrief the day and determine what worked well and what we need to rethink to make the teaching and
learning structure better and safer going forward.

On July 24, we will submit Norwich’s re-opening plan to the CT Department of Education and will share it
with families and staff. At that time, we will also be asking parents about their preference regarding in-person
instruction, remote learning, and transportation.

Next week, I will host town hall-style meetings via Zoom for parents and staff (a schedule is forthcoming). I
will try to answer questions and gather feedback on our Norwich re-opening plan.

Thank you for your patience and your partnership. It is so very much appreciated. We know that these are very
difficult times and that our planning matters to the health and well-being of our children and staff. We are
taking this responsibility very seriously and we very much appreciate your support.

Sincerely,
Kristen E. Stringfellow, Ed.D., Superintendent

NPS Calendar 2020-21