Administrators announce Norwalk Middle School Choice program is optional after complaints from parents

Norwalk parents had a chance to air their complaints Monday night to school officials regarding the Middle School Choice program. After a rough rollout that left some parents angry and confused, administrators now say the plan is optional and that students can stay in their neighborhood.
The program allows incoming sixth graders to enter a lottery for any magnet school in the city, and transportation would be provided.
"What we want is for our students to be motivated and engaged and this affords that opportunity. We have heard our parents, we have heard their concerns and we have modified the plan," said Superintendent Alexandra Estrella.
Some parents at the meeting said they were glad the school board listened to their concerns.
"It is a good system, it just needs to be refined a little," said one parent.
Others are frustrated by the back-and-forth.
"Right now, it's going to be very hard for them because they say one thing and do another," said another parent.
Norwalk has a number of additional public forums scheduled this month, including a School Choice fair where families can learn more about the programs.