Nuffer Elementary School has been serving children and families in the Norwalk community since 1952. With over 450 students, our vision is that “We are a school with an unrelenting focus on learning. All students are expected to succeed; no one is allowed to give up.” Our teachers and parents work together through our School Site Council (SSC), English Learners Advisory Committee (ELAC), and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to support our school’s vision, to implement and monitor programs, and to ensure that all students’ needs are met.
During the past three years, our school has increased its focus on learning significantly in an effort to get out of Program Improvement status. To keep students engaged and achieving at high levels, our teachers use a variety of instructional strategies and resources. Through a systematic approach to intervention, our teachers are able to respond and provide additional support to those students who are not meeting the standards or are struggling with grade level work. English language learners, which number about 155 students, are receiving at least 30 minutes of daily English instruction geared toward their English level and specific English needs. Our teachers and the principal have been trained in Systematic ELD and teachers are using District developed ELD lessons to ensure that students receive instruction in grammar, vocabulary, register, and syntax.
Unique to Nuffer Elementary is our Joan Sander Memorial Unit, which is a building dedicated to the education and care of students with special needs. Our school is committed to helping all students with varying degrees of disabilities to reach their individual learning plan goals. We believe that all students can learn and show progress despite the various challenges they may face. About 18% of our students receive some type of special education service such as speech and language therapy, RSP assistance, adaptive P.E., orientation and mobility training, visual impairment services, physical and/or occupational therapy, behavior specialist intervention, braille/enlarged print services, nursing, and/or special day class placement. Ten percent of our students are classified as severely handicapped and receive instruction in a special day class setting in the Sander Unit. Students from the unit are very much a part of our school and students are mainstreamed for part of the day whenever possible. Typically developing general education peers can also be found in the special day OH preschool class three days a week.
We have many ways for parents to participate in the life of our school, and we depend on parents to keep our programs running smoothly. Parents can join our School Site Council (SSC), which works with the school to help monitor student progress and make program and financial decisions. Parents of English learners are encouraged to join our English Learners Advisory Committee (ELAC), which advises the principal and school about the instructional programs that help students with limited English improve their learning and achievement. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) organizes school-wide fundraisers to sponsor assemblies, study trips, and special activities such as Red Ribbon Week and College Week. Parent volunteers are always welcome to help with special projects in the classrooms and chaperone field trips. We invite all parents to attend Back-to-School Night in the fall, Open House in the spring, and all parent-teacher conferences. In order to assist parents in helping their children, Nuffer Elementary provides free parent workshops. The Parent Institute of Quality Education (PIQE) conducted nine-week workshops to help parents understand how to get their children on the track to college. Additionally, parents are encouraged to attend workshops on parenting skills, English tutoring classes, family reading, and many more. We believe that parents play an important role in their child’s learning and school success.
Our school receives approximately $320,000 in additional funding from Title I and Economic Impact Aide for English Learners. These federal and state funds have been used to pay for substitutes to provide teachers with professional development time; to pay teachers to provide tutoring afterschool; to pay for literacy assistants to be in every kindergarten classroom as well as to provide daily intervention support; and to pay for parent workshops. Teachers attend several professional development conferences that focus on student learning and improving student engagement. Funds have also been used to provide study trips, new computer setups, instructional materials, additional library time, and incentives for students.
In addition to federal and state funds, our PTA fundraises monies for study trips, books, and student activities and incentives.
Nuffer School will support the district's efforts to hire highly qualified teachers by screening applications provided by the staff in Human Resources and recommending only high quality candidates for an interview when a vacancy arises. Members of our Personnel Design Team will interview only high quality candidates and will recommend for hire the candidate(s) who best meet our needs. All of our teachers are highly qualified and credentialed.
Nuffer Elementary provides a safe and nurturing environment in which all students can learn and grow. We are committed to providing our students with a high-quality education; and we are confident that by the time our students leave our doors to promote to middle school, we will have prepared the whole child for success.