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Side by Side is a regional public charter school located in the heart of downtown South Norwalk. As specified in our charter, our integrated student population reflects the diversity of our surrounding community. The 235 students of Side by Side, grades Pre-K through 8th, represent several surrounding Connecticut towns and cities.

Like all charter schools, Side by Side functions independently from any local or traditional public school system. At Side by Side, our innovative approaches toward education allow us to actively and equally involve parents, teachers, and students in our day-to-day operations.

September 28. 2018

Dear SBS Families,

Once again, welcome to the 2018-19 school year! The fall season is officially here and we are off to a great start.

Thank you to all of our PK-5th families who attended the Lower School Back to School Night.  We had a record number of families in attendance and we look forward to an impressive turnout of grade 6-8 families at our Upper School Back to School Night this Thursday, 9/27 from 6-8 P.M.

Thank you to all staff and families for your patience and cooperation during the opening of school.  Our new building is working out great and drop-off and pick-up procedures are definitely improving.  At the end of the day, our main priority remains getting children dismissed to cars as safely and quickly as possible.  Parents, please remember that you do not need to exit your vehicle when picking up.  There is no parking allowed on Chestnut Street during school hours.  The Norwalk Police Department have asked us to remind parents to remain in their cars when waiting, in order to minimize traffic congestion on Monroe, South Main and Chestnut Street.

R.I.S.E. meetings will again take place in the SBS gymnasium on the last school day of each month.  Parents are welcome to join us for these all school meetings each month.  Our Student School Planning Team (SSPT) facilitates these meetings, which include a variety of shares, songs, and “energizers” from our student body.  Please join us if you can this Friday, 9/28/18 at 2:30 P.M.  

The “Dress Down” day tradition will continue on the first Friday of each month.  Students are not required to wear their school uniforms on dress-down days; however, our school dress code still applies!

We will soon send individual student score reports for the spring 2018 Smarter Balanced Assessments home to all families with students in grades 3-8.  Our teachers begin the start of a new school year by looking at our students’ performance last year on both school based assessments and the Smarter Balanced Assessments given to all public school students, grades 3-8, in the state of Connecticut.  While we continue to outperform both the state and the local district in Mathematics, our reading scores are not as high as we would like.  As a result, the current focus of much of our instructional planning discussions are how to adapt our program to improve our outcomes. One way we are doing this is through extensive professional development for K-3 teachers in the area of early literacy.  Another way is to tailor instruction to meet the needs of individual learners.

Another approach we have taken to improve student-learning outcomes and their preparedness for the 21st century is by increasing overall student engagement with learning through technology integration.  We are launching two platforms in particular this year to varying degrees in PK through 8th grade.  The first platform, Seesaw (https://web.seesaw.me/), is a way for teachers, students, and families to engage with classroom learning and culture using a mobile device app that bridges the divide between home and the classroom.  The second, Nearpod (https://nearpod.com/), is a way for teachers to teach and foster ethical practices around digital literacy and citizenship, and to supplement the core curriculum with technology-integrated activities, virtual reality experiences, and lesson extensions.  After the teachers participate in an all-day training session using these tools, we will host a parent forum so that you can also become acquainted with these exciting new ways to enhance our learning community.

I look forward to seeing and getting to know all of you as the year progresses.  If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time at extension 133 or mnittoly@sbscharter.org. 

Thank you,
Mr. Nittoly