School Building Committee Looking at Costs of Creating Net Zero Energy Schools

An example of a rack that holds photo voltaic panels. Similar racks are planned to go in the parking lots of Hosmer and Cunniff schools in an effort to generate electricity. Architects designing Watertown’s new elementary schools are searching for enough space to place solar panels to make them net zero energy schools, however the biggest challenge to meeting the energy efficiency mark could be the project budget. Scott Dunlap, project architect for the three elementary school projects, showed the School Building Committee plans for Hosmer to place enough photo voltaic panels to cover the school’s energy use, while at Cunniff architects still need to find space for more panels. Lowell School will be renovated, so designers are not seeking to make the school net zero.

Architects Examining Possible Spots for New Watertown High School

Designers showed a mockup of a new school building that could fit on the current Watertown High School site. One of the biggest questions with the project to rebuild or renovate Watertown High School is where the building will be located. Wednesday night, project architect Scott Dunlap, of Ai3 Architects, presented some of the options to the School Building Committee, along with some of the pros and cons of each site. “The challenge of the Building Committee over the next three months is not to decide on the design of the high school, or even pick a location, but to identify which sites would be viable for consideration,” Dunlap said. The three main sites being examined are the current high school site, the combined Victory Field complex/Department of Public Works Facility, and Moxley Field.

Snow Closes Watertown Schools, Delays Opening of Town Buildings

Snow started early Tuesday and will get much heavier during the day. Watertown School officials closed the Public Schools Tuesday due to the snowfall. Also, town facilities will open late due to the storm. A Watertown Public Schools Twitter post sent out Monday night reads:

“Due to the timing of the storm that is predicted for tonight and into the morning hours, all Watertown Public Schools, including the offices, will be closed tomorrow, December 3.” Watertown Town Hall, the Library and the Senior Center will open at 10 a.m. due to the snow storm, according to an alert sent out by the Town Administration.

Watertown High School Robotics Invites Public to Open House

The Watertown High School Robotics Team will be hosting an open house in December. The Watertown High School Robotics Team sent out the following announcement:

You’re invited to an Open House on December 14, 2019  from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Watertown High School, 50 Columbia Street, Watertown, MA. Come meet the team, learn about Watertown High’s robotics program, drive one of our robots and see our new shop, practice field and training space. Enjoy our silent auction, 50/50 raffle, theme basket draw & other fun activities. Looking forward to catching up with our student and mentor alums, sponsors, supporters, school professionals and community members.

Watertown Looking at Adding Technical Ed Programs to High School

Watertown High School may be getting technical education programs for students interested in engineering and medical assisting, but first the district must get approval from State officials. The vocational technical programs would be part of the Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Chapter 74 program. Laura Alderson Rotondo, the district’s Career Technical Education (CTE) coordinator, said the programs not just include classes, but relationships are formed between the school and people who practice the profession locally, as well as with local colleges. The high school currently has some engineering classes, but will need to offer more, Rotondo said.

WMS’s Kingian Nonviolence Program Expanding to More Watertown Schools

A closeup of the section of Watertown’s Kingian Nonviolence Mural featuring Martin Luther King. An effort to teach students and teachers about Dr. Martin Luther King’s nonviolence teachings that began four years ago at Watertown Middle School has now spread to all the Watertown Public Schools. Organizers hope that the program can get regular financial support to keep it going. Over the years, the Kingian Nonviolence teaching has spread from a small group of students at Watertown Middle School to include more teachers, Watertown Police officers and town residents. Now WMS offers a class focusing on the subject, and students from the middle school have sought to spread it to the other schools in town.

Watertown High School Robotics Team Receives Grant from Bayer

The following information was provided by the Watertown High School Robotics Team:

Students at Watertown High School have received grant funding for their robotics team as they work to enhance their skills in science and engineering. Bayer Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer, recently awarded a one-time $3,000 grant to Watertown High Robotics Team 2423 to support their participation in the FIRST Robotics program. Watertown High Robotics Team 2423 will use support from their Bayer Fund grant to participate in FIRST Robotics educational programs and competitions. FIRST enables teams of students to compete with others in building, designing and programming their own robots to perform preassigned tasks, giving students a chance to get involved with real-world engineering. 

“Students who participate in FIRST Robotics programming learn STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills and become experienced problem solvers,” said Michelle Insco, Senior Manager, Community Engagement. “Bayer Fund prioritizes the investment in hands-on learning experiences for students like those at Watertown High to encourage their development into future scientists, engineers, and computer programmers.”

Bayer Fund’s sponsorship of FIRST Robotics teams continues the nonprofit’s intentional support of programs that improve STEM education.

Designers to Give Overview of Watertown High School Project on Tuesday

Planning has begun for rebuilding Watertown High School, and a meeting will be held Nov. 19 to discuss the project. School officials seek input from residents about the rebuilding or renovation of Watertown High School, and the public will have a chance to weigh in this week. On Tuesday, Nov. 19, a public forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the WHS Lecture Hall.