Message from Our Prinicpal

Dear Rowayton Community,

 

I begin this letter with a very important request. Please read the next section especially carefully:

 

SCHOOL SURVEY – VERY IMPORTANT

 

All of Norwalk’s public schools are required to survey students, staff and parents, in order to assess the school’s climate, i.e., the feelings and attitudes that these groups develop as a result of the school environment. The data from the survey will be reported to the board of education, and it will also be available to the public. The primary focus, though, will be to inform school improvement.

 

As principal, I hope that the data will be excellent because this is an excellent school, but also because I know that the survey can have impact on the community’s perceptions of our school. It can affect us when we need to hire staff because the best qualified teachers, administrators and others will not likely apply to a school that is considered dysfunctional or unsafe. Moreover, people considering a move into the community will consider the quality of Rowayton’s public elementary school when making the decision. Those who have choices will avoid a place where the school is perceived to be substandard.

 

Rowayton School has just been recognized for educational excellence by the Connecticut State Department of Education, and we are the only Norwalk school to earn the designation: School of Distinction. Your survey responses can help us also win recognition for being a school that is safe and supportive for our students and staff, and that is responsive to our parents. If there are areas in which we need to improve, we need to know that, too.

 

Last year, only 20% of Rowayton School parents submitted surveys, and that concerns me, especially in this community, which is so connected with our school. I have established a goal of 50% or RES parents completing their surveys this year, so please find the time to do this as soon as possible.

 

You are asked to complete a survey for each child you have in our school; i.e., if you have two children at Rowayton School, you should complete two surveys, one for each of your children. Your survey responses should reflect your experiences during the current school year only. If something, whether good or bad, happened during an earlier school year, it should not be reflected in this year’s survey.


Please complete the survey by March 16.


English version: http://www.schoolclimate.net/survey/schools/parent.asp?caseid=1183647&survey=4

 

Spanish version: http://www.schoolclimate.net/survey/schools/parent-spanish.asp?caseid=1183647&survey=4


And now I offer you some notes about events and information that have occurred since the last edition of The Rowayton Reporter.

 

Rowayton School - Connecticut School of Distinction

 

Of the many public elementary schools in Connecticut, approximately 50 have been recognized as “Schools of Distinction,” a designation received because of academic growth during 2016 – 2017. Rowayton School is proud to be one of these elite schools.

 

We are a School of Distinction in part, because our total student population demonstrated impressive academic growth on state testing on a school-wide basis, but that alone would not have been enough. Our high-needs students also demonstrated growth in the top 10% of the state on the same tests. So what distinguishes RES from most of the other Connecticut elementary schools is that ours is a great school not only for academically superior students, but also for high-needs students. RES out-performed all other Norwalk elementary schools, and we also earned the designation of being a Category 1 (the academic top rating) School. There is only one School of Distinction in Norwalk, and that is RES. There are only two Category 1 schools in Norwalk, RES and the Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon.

 

While we should thank our teachers, we also give thanks for the excellent parent support and involvement that we have at RES. We also benefit from the support of After the Bell, for its homework help, Rowayton Academy for its many enrichment activities, and our special education teachers and paraprofessionals, who provide academic support to our students who have special learning needs.

 

Dance for Heart

 

On Friday, February 9, we had our Dance for Heart assembly in the gym. Our students raised over $3,000 in pledges for the American Heart Association, and instead of having a Jump Rope for Heart event, we had a dance-a-thon, conducted during two assembly programs, one for K - 2 and the other for grades 3 - 5.

 

Mr. Lib used the portable Smart LED board purchased earlier in the school year with funds from our PTA, supplemented by district funds. There was loud and lively music, and many happy dancing feet and swaying arms, including those of many teachers. It was an event that turned out even better than we had anticipated.

 

Breakfast in the Classroom

 

On February 21, Rowayton School will join Norwalk’s eleven other elementary schools in the Breakfast in the Classroom Initiative, made possible by a grant received from The School Superintendents Association.

 

After picking up breakfast at the breakfast cart (positioned just outside the cafeteria) children will eat together in their classrooms at the start of the school day. They will enjoy nutritionally well-balanced meals, such as breakfast yogurt, cereal, and fruit, during the time before formal instruction begins.

Why do this? This is so important because we believe that some of our students don’t consistently have a proper breakfast at home, and studies have shown that this can impair children’s development and achievement. Students who eat breakfast at school have improved academic performance, attendance and behavior.

 

The breakfast will be available to all children and will work in the same way as lunch, through the students’ meals accounts. Students who qualify for free lunch will also qualify for free breakfast, and students who get reduced-price lunch will pay 40 cents per breakfast. Students who pay full price for lunch will pay $1.25 for breakfast.

 

Thanks,

Joe