Norwalk schools secure $1.4M for research and data program

The new research and data evaluation program will provide Norwalk Public Schools educators real-time data to imporve their classroom instruction.

The new research and data evaluation program will provide Norwalk Public Schools educators real-time data to imporve their classroom instruction.

Kristen Penta / Contributed photo /

NORWALK — A $1.4 million award aims to help the city’s public schools establish a comprehensive research and data evaluation program. The money comes in addition to the $2.7 million in foundation funding already secured by district for the 2022-23 school year.

The Ritter Family Foundation, the Per and Astrid Heidenreich Foundation, the Grossman Family Foundation, and the Be Foundation are funding the new program that will establish in-house data systems including a data warehouse, data analysis solutions, and data visualization tools, according to a release from Norwalk Public Schools.

With these systems, the district “will be able to better use data to inform instructional practice and improve outcomes for all students. Educators will be able to collect and evaluate data in real time to improve daily instruction,” the release read.

The district can also use the funds to hire faculty to help implement the data-driven processes.

Norwalk Public Schools has already secured $1.67 million for next year through its partnership with Digital Promise and Verizon Innovative Learning to address ongoing technology needs. The district also received $210,000 from the Dalio Family Foundation to support the RISE Network, which is helping students at Brien McMahon High School stay on track for graduation through staff funding and data support.

Other foundation contributions are helping fund several pathways in the district.

“Norwalk Public Schools has established excellent relationships with private funders, who appreciate the district’s emphasis on execution, data-driven instruction and professional development,” Superintendent Alexandra Estrella said in the release. “These organizations recognize that innovation is essential to make sure students are future ready but that gaps in public school funding can limit a district’s ability to evolve.”

emily.morgan@hearstmediact.com