Deadline Approaching to Sign Up for the 2018 Town Wide Yard Sale

The annual Town Wide Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2018, but the deadline to register is Thursday, April 19th. The money raised from registration fees benefits Watertown Community Education. The group sent out the following information:

Join us for the annual Town Wide Yard Sale. Schedule your yard sale on Saturday, May 19. For a fee of $10, we’ll do the advertising, provide a list of addresses to buyers and make it a community event for all to enjoy!!!

Proposed School Budget Adds Some New Positions, Saves by Eliminating Others

Superintendent Dede Galdston presented a $48 million budget to the School Committee that would include a $2.2 million (4.9 percent) increase over the current school year and would add some positions but also eliminate some positions on the book without any layoffs. The Fiscal 2019 (2018-19 School Year) increase fits within the 5 percent funding increase that Town Manager Michael Driscoll has put in the overall Town Budget for education. “Watertown is very generous with it schools,” Galdston said. “A 5 percent increase is phenomenal.” The School Budget would need an increase of 4.1 percent would provide “level services” for the Watertown Public Schools, leaving $414,500 for new initiatives, but Galdston rearranged and restructure items in the budget to make another $734,000 available for new initiatives.

School Committee Decides on Busing Changes for Fall 2018

The School Committee voted to approve having four school buses next year, one more than this year, in hopes of serving as many Watertown students as possible despite the change in start time at the middle school. The bus the fees will also change for some. The later start time for Watertown Middle School meant that it would be harder to make runs both there and to Hosmer Elementary School using the same bus. When the School Committee last met they considered keeping three buses but cutting down the number of students who would be able to ride the bus. Town Council President and School Committee member Mark Sideris said he and other got a “significant number of phone calls on the subject.

Find Out About the Well-Being of Watertown’s Youth at a Town Hall Meeting

The Watertown Youth Coalition will host its 2018 Town Hall Meeting on “The Well-Being of Watertown Youth” on April 11, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at the Watertown Free Public Library. 

The WYC provided the following information:

How well are Watertown youth doing with regard to their health and well-being? COME JOIN US for a presentation and discussion of the most recent Watertown Youth Risk Behavior Survey results. Hear the perspectives of youth and other experts in the field, and contribute to the discussion about how to sustain and increase what’s positive for youth and families in Watertown. Light refreshments will be served. Register here to confirm your attendance and to be entered to win a raffle prize.

Musicians Wanted for Annual Friends of Watertown Music’s MusicFest

The Friends of Watertown Music will host its annual fundraiser, MusicFest, in early April and the group seeks performers to take part. The event will be from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on April 6, 2018, at Watertown Middle School, 68 Waverley Ave., Watertown. Suggested donations are $8 per person or $25 for a family. There will also be pizza, refreshments and a bake sale. The event has raised more than $20,000 to support the music program in the Watertown Public Schools.for more information go to Watertownmusic.org.

School Committee Weighing Busing Options Under New School Start Times

The School Committee is considering options for school busing for next Fall when the start time of the high school and middle school move later. They seek to serve as many students without increasing school bus fees or adding greatly to the budget. The state requires students in grades K-6 living more than 2 miles from school to be bused for free by districts. Currently, Watertown buses students who live 1.5 miles or more from Hosmer School and sixth-graders living more than 2 miles from the Middle School for free. For students living closer, or seventh or eighth graders, the district offers busing for a fee of $300 (and a $475 family cap), with students living south of the Charles River going to Hosmer paying a discount rate of $200 (family cap of $320).

Youth Coalition Hosting Forum on the Well-Being of Watertown Youth

The Watertown Youth Coalition will host its 2018 Town Hall Meeting on “The Well-Being of Watertown Youth” on April 11, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at the Watertown Free Public Library. 

The WYC provided the following information. How well are Watertown youth doing with regard to their health and well-being? COME JOIN US for a presentation and discussion of the most recent Watertown Youth Risk Behavior Survey results. Hear the perspectives of youth and other experts in the field, and contribute to the discussion about how to sustain and increase what’s positive for youth and families in Watertown. Light refreshments will be served.

School Committee Votes to Increase Fees for Extended Day, Alter Them for Sports & Activities

Parents will be paying more to send their children to the Extended Day program at the Watertown Public Schools, but the School Committee hopes its decision will improve the program. The board also changed how fees are assessed for high school athletics and for extracurricular activities. Extended Day Program
The Extended Day Program, which has before and after school programs and ones over February and April vacations, will increase its fees by 20 percent across the board beginning in the fall of 2018. The last time the fees were increased was in the 2011-12 school year, said Director of Community Education Deb Cornelius. The proposal also asked for a 2 percent increase every year beginning in the fall of 2019.