Norwalk took the next step in improving Briggs High School Tuesday, entering an agreement with a Hartford-based organization that will help turn around the school.
Norwalk will partner with Our Piece of the Pie (OPP), which specializes in urban youth development.
"Briggs will be something to be proud of very soon," said OPP Chief Operating Officer Hector Rivera.
As part of the city's turnaround plan, OPP will provide what Assistant Superintendent Tony Daddona called wraparound services.
"Services that provide social and emotional support to students," he said. "Services that ensure our students are attending school, and if they're not attending there will be home visits."
According to the agreement, OPP will provide the Board of Education with quarterly progress reports. Daddona and superintendent Manuel Rivera said OPP has fared well in similar plans with Opportunity High School in Hartford and a school in Bloomfield.
"There are aspects of the services they provide that I'm aware have worked very well for other students and have helped turn their lives around," Rivera said.
The Board will pay OPP over $750,000 a year. About $125,000 of that comes from Alliance District funds; the rest comes from the state's Commissioner's Network, the driving force behind the turnaround.
The city still handles the school's administrative side.
Daddona said the contract is renewable on a yearly basis.
"We look forward to working with them for the next three-to-five years," he said.
To learn more about OPP, visit www.OPP.org.