Teaching and Learning

Our Mission

Our fundamental purpose is to create a rigorous, collaborative and inclusive learning environment for all students so each individual is empowered to pursue a lifetime of personal success in college, career and citizenship.  


To achieve our mission, Norwalk Community Schools will create classroom and school environments that develop:

  • critical and reflective thinking
  • complex communication
  • creativity and innovation
  • collaboration and community
  • flexibility and adaptability
  • productivity and accountability


At Norwalk Community Schools, we believe…

  • In high standards of learning and performance for all students and staff.
  • Student learning is the collective responsibility of everyone in the system. All educators will work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students we serve.
  • All students can learn, but each child learns in different ways and at a different rate.  
  • All students deserve access to a rigorous, rich and engaging standards-referenced core curriculum.  Aligned content, instruction and assessment practices will ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all students.  
  • In a safe environment that supports the total development of the whole child: intellectual, social, emotional, and physical.
  • Leadership should be balanced, transparent and distributed throughout the system.  
  • Data, evidence and results inform all decision-making.
  • The best way to improve student outcomes is to develop high quality instruction in every classroom across the entire system.  We will prioritize resources and professional capital to support this value.
  • In providing equitable physical facilities and program offerings regardless of the students’ attendance center.
  • Smaller learning communities within a larger setting maximize learning and enhance efficiency.
  • In a collaborative culture that respects diversity, individual differences and community values. Relationship building requires trust, mutual respect, and open and honest communication.

Staff Professional Learning Goals

If we…

  • Build a K-12 Professional Learning Community (PLC) culture with a focus on collaboration, results, and high levels of learning for all students.
  • Develop, design and implement a guaranteed and viable curriculum aligned to the Iowa Core, Universal Constructs and the Characteristics of Effective Instruction.
  • Develop, design and implement a systemic instructional framework that includes a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) for academics and behavior.
  • Develop, design and implement standards-referenced instruction, assessment, grading and reporting practices that inform students, parents, teachers and administrators.
  • Create a systemic focus on teacher leadership, coaching, and job-embedded professional development.
  • Commit to an efficient, effective and equitable allocation of resources designed to support improved student learning.   

…then we can ensure high levels of learning for all Norwalk students and staff.

Contact the Teaching and Learning Department

380 Wright Road
Norwalk, Iowa 50211





Dawn Schiro
Executive Director of Teaching and Learning