Norwalk plans to open a new family center for the winter


NORWALK – Families will soon be able to access several school services and get their questions answered in one central location, when the new public schools NPS Family Center opens later this winter.

Norwalk Public Schools partnered with the Council of Social Services to open the center in the council building at 1 Park Street near Norwalk Green. The center will provide a one-stop-shop for families to access registration, obtain information, voice concerns and resolve issues.

An official opening date will be announced next month.

The idea for the family center came from research conducted in the district which showed that current families, as well as those new to Norwalk, found it difficult to access resources and information on everything schools had to do. to offer.

“One of our strategic priorities is to ensure that all families are informed, engaged and feel welcome in our schools,” Superintendent Alexandra Estrella said in a press release. “As a one-stop-shop for the most frequently needed district services, the NPS Family Center will provide better customer service and foster collaborative relationships with all of our clients, including our most vulnerable families. “

The district used funding from the Elementary and Secondary III Emergency Relief Grant to establish the center. The grant encourages schools to use the funds to stimulate direct engagement with families and the community and to create opportunities to increase school-family bonds.

The NPS Family Center will consolidate existing roles and responsibilities to serve all families in one place. Families can get help enrolling students in schools and get more information about Magnet schools and programs of choice.

The district’s Special Education Ombudsman, who is fluent in Spanish and English, will be stationed at the center to help families access services and programs. Collaborations with other city agencies and community partners will also aim to streamline services to families.

The Multilingual Learners’ Center will be located on site to facilitate registration, perform language assessments and assist with classroom placements. Other services at the center will include the transportation office, food services, technology depot, health services, and parent and community volunteer registration.

The building is already home to the Norwalk Next Steps program, a community-based life and work skills development program for students aged 18 to 22 with cognitive and / or developmental disabilities. Family center staff work with Next Steps to identify work opportunities at the center.

“We are delighted to welcome the NPS Family Center to our building,” said Anthony DiLauro, executive director of the Human Services Council, in the statement. “The concept of the NPS Family Center fits perfectly with HSC’s vision of enabling everyone to have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

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