Watertown Teachers Get Some Love With Car Parade

Students and parents at Lowell Elementary School showed their love for the teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. Teachers at Lowell School got a special celebration during Teacher Appreciation Week, which was May 4-8. A car parade, escorted by the Watertown Police Department, visited the school. They even had a surprise appearance by the Lowell Leopard, the school’s mascot, and Watertown’s resident sousaphone player (also known as the Tuba Guy)! “I believe we had about 100 cars of families lined up all the way down York Ave and out into Belmont Street,” said Lowell PTO Co-President Lauren Coughlin Unsworth.

Progress Being Made on School Building Projects, But it May be Slowed by Social Distancing Orders

Watertown School officials continue to work on the school building projects at the three elementary schools and the high school during the Coronavirus outbreak, but they may eventually hit a roadblock due to restrictions imposed during the outbreak. Town Council President Mark Sideris wrote an update to the School Building Committee about the progress of the School Building Projects. Progress could be slowed by the social distancing requirements, particularly limiting the number of people who can gather in one place. “Work on all projects is still continuing even though we are not meeting as a committee,” Sideris wrote in the letter. Work at Hosmer and Cunniff is planned to start in late June, right after the school year ends, but the School Building Committee had to postpone community meetings at both schools where they planned to update the communities on the projects.

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).”