Ensuring that every child has the opportunity to succeed and every voice is heard.

a little about


We are 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.

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a note from


Dear Side by Side Families:

I hope you are enjoying your summer break!  As we prepare for the start to the new school year, I have some important information to share.  School begins for all students on Wednesday, August 31.  You can find the 2022-23 school year calendar link above this section.

SBS Faculty and Staff:

We are excited to announce that all of our classroom teachers will be returning for the 2022-23 school year.  In addition, we will again be welcoming a cohort of Quinnipiac University Resident Interns who will be working and student-teaching in our classrooms.

We are still in the process of completing our schedule of “specials” classes for all students preK-8. Both Art and Phys Ed will take place as they always have.  At this time, it has yet to be determined if we will be offering a traditional “General Music” course, or if it will be a broader approach to introducing a variety of music/arts experiences to our students. Please stay tuned for updates on this topic.   

For our Grade 5-8 students, we are excited to announce the piloting of Rosetta Stone interactive language learning software in our classrooms.  This will provide each grade 5-8 student the opportunity to explore a variety of foreign languages at their own individual pace. Details about this opportunity will be coming soon.  

For the 2022-23 school year it is urgent that we return to a focused emphasis on two important school policies: (1) Uniform/Dress Code and (2) Student Attendance.  Please be aware that the SBS Board, Administration and faculty will be prioritizing a re-focus on these two important requirements.

Student Attendance:
Now that we have returned to full-time, in-person schooling, attendance has become one of our most important priorities as we work to help students develop some of the academic and social skills they missed learning during the height of the pandemic. Additionally, the Connecticut State Department of Education has begun closely tracking two key indicators of student attendance; chronic absenteeism and truancy. These terms are defined as follows:

– Students falling into the category of chronic absenteeism have missed more than 10% of the school year. Schools are evaluated by the state based on their rate of chronic absenteeism over the school year

– Truancy is defined as ANY student who misses 4 days or more of school in a month, or 10 days or more in a school year. Any student meeting these criteria is considered truant based on state monitoring of student attendance As we begin a new school year, it is important to keep the importance of in-person attendance in mind. Regular attendance is a key component of student success.

Uniforms and Dress Code: 
Side by Side Charter School is a choice education program with a required dress code/uniform policy for all students.  The Side by Side Board of Directors implemented the uniform policy in 2012.  For detailed information regarding what is required and allowed as part of our uniform/dress code, please visit

Drop-Off and Pick-Up:
The Side by Side school day begins at 9am and ends at 3:40pm.  

PARENTS: Please note that school does not dismiss until 3:40pm.  Unlike prior school years, the gymnasium doors to dismiss students will not open until the bell rings at 3:40pm.  PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE IN THE PARKING QUEUE FOR PICKUP PRIOR TO 3:35PM.

– Parents should NOT BE PARKING IN THE QUEUE PRIOR TO 8:50AM (for morning drop off) OR PRIOR TO 3:35PM (for afternoon pickup)

– During all morning and afternoon arrival/dismissal times, Chestnut St. converts to a temporary ONE WAY street (in a South moving direction — from MONROE ST. towards HENRY ST.) All student drop-offs and pick-ups will continue at the Chestnut Street entrance of the school (back entrance to the gymnasium in the Pre-K playground area).  All vehicles dropping-off/picking up should take MONROE ST. and turn onto CHESTNUT ST. Parents should wait in a car queue lined-up along Chestnut Street leading to the school entrance. 

– Beginning at *8:50am, students can exit their cars to enter the gymnasium at the playground area entrance.  SBS staff will be assigned to this area to assist. 

– At dismissal time, parents are to wait in a similar queue of cars no earlier than 3:25pm.  Pick-up students will be dismissed in the same area at 3:40pm.  School staff will be using a student/car tag identification system to escort students to their cars. 

– Please make note that Chestnut Street will remain a police-monitored, NO PARKING zone.  Parents will not be allowed to park or leave their vehicles unattended. Violators will be ticketed.  

– To ensure the safety of our students, drop-off and pick-up will not be allowed at any area other than this designated route on Chestnut St. during these times. 

Parents please make note – the Norwalk PD has notified the school that tickets will be issued for any vehicles not following the required laws for child restraint seats

Bus Transportation:
Bus transportation will continue to be provided by Norwalk Public Schools ONLY to K-8 enrolled students at Side by Side.  (PreK students may not ride the buses).  Bus routes and pickup/drop off locations will be provided by Norwalk Public Schools prior to the opening of school on 8/31.

General Information:
If your child is newly enrolled at Side by Side, please make sure all your paperwork is completed and returned before the first day of school.  No child will be allowed to start school without up to date medical forms (completed by your child’s physician) and any other student related information forms.  Also, it is very important that you inform the school of any changes in your address, phone number or contact information.  We need to be able to contact you at all times.  

We are looking forward to the new school year with you and your children.  Enjoy the remainder of your summer. If we can be of any further assistance before returning in August, please don’t hesitate to call me at extension 133 or

Very Truly Yours,

Matthew Nittoly
Executive Director