Lowell PTO Walkathon Raises More Than $18,000

Students at Lowell Elementary School took to the obstacle house in the school gym for the second annual PTO Walkathon. The Lowell Elementary School PTO’s fundraiser brought in tons of money to help the school, and provided fun and prizes for the kids. Students got active and raised more than $18,600 during the second annual Walkathon, said Lowell PTO Co-President Lauren Coughlin Unsworth

“We decided to hold it on February 14th and call it the Happy Hearts Walkathon,” Coughlin Unsworth said. “We chose this date because we thought it would give us the opportunity to celebrate and promote kindness and get the kids moving in the middle of winter.” 

Lowell physical education teachers, Eileen Donahue and Tina Loguidice, created an obstacle course in the gym. “So, the kids were all smiles that they were doing more than just walking!,” Coghlin Unsworth said.

Watertown Students Make Art Inspired by MLK for Monday’s Unity Breakfast

Artwork created by Lowell School students. Ms. Jaclyn Zywocinski & Ms. Christine Talamas and their kindergarten & 1st grade students at the J.R. Lowell Elementary School created the centerpiece art for the annual Unity Breakfast while learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Students talked about how it doesn’t matter what the color your skin is… we are all so special, different and kind.  And all hands, even small ones, can help the world! The Unity Breakfast will take place on Monday, Jan. 20.

Cunniff Elementary Moving to Waltham Site Next Fall, Speeding Up New Building

When Cunniff Elementary School students return to class in September, they will attend classes at a different campus, in a different city. The move will allow the current school to be torn down and replaced by a new building sooner and will save the district money. Cunniff’s temporary home will be the St. Jude’s School, a former parochial school in Waltham. Watertown school officials came to an agreement with the Boston Archdiocese to lease the school during Watertown’s school building project, known as Building for the Future.

Architect Lays Out Timeline for 3 Elementary Schools; Committee Has Concerns About Impacts

Hosmer Elementary School will be the first elementary school in Watertown to begin reconstruction. While the 2019 calendar has not yet reached Thanksgiving, the start of construction at Watertown’s three elementary schools is just around the corner. Scott Dunlap, project architect with Ai3 Architects, provided a basic timeline for the move toward construction at Hosmer Elementary School, the first of three schools to begin the reconstruction process. The Design Development process will be completed later this month. In the spring the project will be bid, and construction will begin over the summer break, Dunlap told the School Building Committee on Nov.

School Officials Detail Reasons for MCAS Improvement, Areas of Concern

Watertown Middle School teachers and staff have a plan in place to raise the MCAS scores at the school after a poor performance in 2018. Monday night, the School Committee heard about the strategies being used in the Watertown Schools that led to improvements for the town’s schools on the 2019 MCAS test. The Watertown Schools have made an effort to use data to drive lessons and to address weaknesses in classrooms and even for individual students, said Theresa McGuinness, the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning & Assessment. “Student performance data is used to identify areas of strength and areas of opportunity, as a district, grade level, cohort and individual in English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, and science,” McGuinness said. She added that the MCAS data is used in conjunction with other assessment tools used in the Watertown Schools.

Watertown School Recognized for MCAS Results, No Schools Require Intervention

Hosmer Elementary School in Watertown. The State recognized a Watertown School for its results on the 2019 MCAS test, and Watertown Middle School improved its scores enough so that it will no longer be under special scrutiny by state officials. Superintendent Dede Galdston gave an overview of the Watertown Public Schools’ results on the statewide standardized test at Monday’s School Committee meeting. “We did very well on the exams,” Galdston said. “I am very proud of the work that was done last year, and we will no longer require assistance or intervention (from the state).”

Asbestos Abatement Will be Costly in School Projects, Soil for Foundations in Good Shape

Asbestos was found deep in the walls of Hosmer Elementary School, which will result in higher costs of demolition when the new school is built.

Architects gave the School Building Committee some good news and some bad news with the costs related to hazardous material removal and the grounds where foundations will be built for the upcoming construction projects. In preparation for the construction projects at Watertown’s three elementary schools, architects have been looking at the conditions for demolition of the current schools, and to put in foundations for the new ones. The Bad News

When the schools were examined the schools for hazardous materials some asbestos was found in some hidden places, said Scott Dunlap, project architect for Ai3 Architects. The school with the most was Hosmer Elementary. “What we found at Hosmer we have only seen it a couple times,” Dunlap said, who described a layer of asbestos buffering between the exterior brick wall and the cement blocks inside.

Architects Discuss School Gardens, Playgrounds & Outside Learning Spaces

A drawing showing the outdoor learning space outside Lowell Elementary School. The amenities surrounding Watertown’s three elementary schools after they are rebuilt or renovated are taking shape, but the School Building Committee and others have some concerns about handicap accessibility, deliveries and more. The designers of the town’s three elementary schools, Ai3 Architects, showed the School Building Committee details of the plans for the playgrounds, outdoor learning spaces, school gardens and even delivery areas at the Aug. 21 meeting. Gardens & Outdoor Learning Areas

The designers are working with teachers, staff and the district’s School Garden Coordinator, Judy Fallows, to help design the school gardens.