Nominate Middle, High School Entrepreneurs for Chamber’s Awards

The Newton-Needham Regional Chamber provided the following announcement:
Each fall the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber recognizes two high or middle school students who demonstrate exceptional qualities around leadership, entrepreneurship and business. Past recipients have included students who’ve started their own business, created a unique app or product, or somehow demonstrated unique entrepreneurial skills.  
To qualify, students must currently reside in and/or attend a middle or high school in Newton, Needham, Watertown or Belmont and have not yet completed high school. Honorees will be recognized at the chamber’s annual Fall Business Breakfast on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the Newton Marriott Hotel. We are now seeking your nominations for our 2018 Young Entrepreneur.

Grades at Some Watertown Schools Full; Students Face Heat in First Week

The school year has begun in Watertown, and preliminary enrollment figures put classes at the town’s elementary schools at or under the class size guidelines, but some are right at the limit. Superintendent Dede Galdston gave the enrollment figures to the School Committee last week, just days into the school year. The Watertown Public School’s class size guideline calls for classes of no more than 20 for kindergarten and first grade, 22 for second and third grades and 24 for fourth and fifth. As the opening of school approached, there were some grades which worried Galdston. “One area of concern, originally, was kindergarten numbers,” Galdston said.

Sidewalk, Street Construction Around Hosmer School to Continue Through Fall

The Watertown Department of Public Works provided this update on the construction on the sidewalks and streets around Hosmer School. 

Work has progressed on the MassDOT Hosmer School Safe Routes to School Project. The majority of work on the west side of School Street and in front of the Hosmer School has been completed. A section of the intersection at Chauncey Street has been left in a temporary condition as we continue to await Verizon and Eversource wire transfer. The focus of construction will now shift to the east side of Boylston Street, towards Fairfield/Dartmouth Street. Construction will continue during the fall.

New Hosmer School Proposal Would Use Less Green Space, Cost More

The architects designing Watertown’s elementary schools presented a new alternative for the new classroom building at Hosmer Elementary School which would use less open space on the site, but would increase the cost of the project. Two weeks ago, another option was proposed where the school would stick farther out into the playing fields in front of the school. Neighbors objected to the loss of the green space and for obstructing their view. The new proposal would push the school closer to the existing building which has the cafeteria, auditorium and gym. The drawings presented by architect Scott Dunlap of Ai3 show the buildings linking in two areas, with a courtyard in the middle to allow natural light for the classrooms in the middle.

New Middle School Principal Thrilled to be in Town, Looking Forward to Working with Students, Staff

While some may shy away from kids in their preadolescence and early teens, Watertown Middle School’s new principal said she enjoys working with students in those grades, and believes they can be successful as long as they make connections with adults at the school. Donna Martin comes to Watertown after serving as assistant principal at McCarthy Middle School in Chelmsford for a dozen years. When she looked for her first principalship, she wanted to be closer to her home. “Chelmsford is a great community, too,” Martin said. “When I was looking for a principalship I wanted something a little different.”

Perkins Announces Additions to the School’s Board of Trustees

The following announcement was provided by Perkins School for the Blind:

Perkins School for the Blind, the first school for the blind in the U.S. and the international leader in blindness education has added long-time Members of the
Corporation Jim Down and Stephen Pelletier to its Board of Trustees, alongside Katherine McGaugh and Jo Frances Meyer, who was appointed by the Massachusetts Governor’s Office. Prior to his retirement, Down was vice chairman of Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), responsible for the overall direction and management of the firm. Over the course of his career, Down has been a senior advisor on strategic issues to a multitude of organizations including UPS, CSX/Seal-Land, AT&T, Agility, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and
Merck. Down will become chair of Perkins’ International Committee. Pelletier is executive vice president and chief operating officer of Prudential’s U.S.-based businesses, comprising more than $1.3 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2018.

School Building Committee Split Over What New Hosmer School Should Look Like

A vision for what the new Hosmer Elementary School might look like was presented to the School Building Committee last week, and members had a variety of opinions. There are already a mix of styles on the site, including the Brigham House (formerly East Junior High and before that Watertown High School), along with the 1960s era section with the auditorium, and the 2002 addition that connects that area to the old classroom building. That building will be torn down and a new building will be constructed. Architect Scott Dunlap of Ai3 presented conceptual drawings for the new building, which showed a three story building with clapboard style siding  — red is some areas and white in others —  topped by pitched roofs and a cupola. “We are not attempting to match it with the Brigham House or the exiting Hosmer,” Dunlap said.

Neighbors Concerned About Proposal for New Hosmer School, Loss of Field Space

The School Building Committee debated what the new Hosmer School should look like, but for residents living near the school the more important issue is where the new building will go. The Hosmer School will have a new classroom building, which may or may not be attached to the building with the gym, auditorium and cafeteria. The current classroom building (closest to Chauncey Street), will be torn down eventually, but not until after the school serves as the temporary home for students from Lowell and Cunniff schools while their buildings are renovated. AnnMarie Cloonan lives Winthrop Street, across from the field next to Hosmer where the new school building is proposed to be built. She had not even heard about the plans for Hosmer until recently. Her husband Fred said he thinks the Town should have alerted neighbors about the project.