Watertown Teens Tackle the Tough Issues at Recent Town Hall Meeting

Three of the Watertown Youth Peer Leaders act out a scene where the boy in the middle asks his friend for money so he can buy drugs from the student in front of him. The group spreads awareness of substance abuse and other issues facing teens. Showing that teens do care about more than video games and shopping, a group of Watertown High School students presented a Town Hall meeting about issues facing youth in Town: addiction, depression, racism, and sexual identity. The Watertown Youth Coalition’s Youth Peer Leaders helped organize the Well-Being of Watertown Youth Town Hall meeting, held at the Watertown Free Public Library on Wednesday. It was also sponsored by the Watertown Youth Coalition.

UPDATED: Catch the Watertown High Musical, “Urinetown,” This Weekend

Watertown High School will present the musical “Urinetown” three times this weekend. (The time of the Sunday production of Urinetown has been updated.)

Watertown High School will present three productions of the musical, Urinetown, this weekend. The WHS spring musical will be performed at the Watertown High School on Friday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m.

Musical Theatre International had the following description of the show:

Urinetown, is in fact, a satire of almost every musical you can think of. More than this it parodies the traditions of musicals as a whole in terms of style, structure and story. It also jabs at the legal system, capitalism, corrupt corporation, waste in terms of the environment and our sense of entitlement (amongst other things).

New Phys. Ed. Option to be Offered for Watertown High Students

A requirement by the state that Massachusetts students must take a physical education class each year of high school has complicated schedules, especially for seniors, but Waterotwn school officials are introduced new alternatives to help the situation. On Monday, Joe Lampman, the district’s Coordinator of Health, Physical Education and Wellness, and WHS Principal Shirley Lundberg presented a new alternative to the School Committee that could allow students to take an alternative class, while still fulling the PE requirement. They also presented new classes that include wellness as well as physical education as part of the change to the WHS Program of Studies. When the requirement that students must have at least a semester of physical education each year of high school started five years ago it was not popular, Lampman recalled. “I taught senior PE when I first started five years ago,” Lampman said.

School Officials Confident Asbestos Hazards Have Been Dealt With, Schools are Safe

Responding to concerns of parents and staff, the Watertown Public Schools administration presented a report on asbestos in the town’s schools on Monday night. Afterward, School Committee members said they are confident that Watertown’s students and teachers are safe from asbestos exposure. Many of the calls and emails came after an online petition started by people concerned about asbestos in the Watertown Public Schools. The petition cites the suffering of a former Watertown teacher, and calls for the closing of the Watertown High School and Watertown Middle School buildings until the asbestos hazards are identified and dealt with. Because Watertown’s schools were built during the “age of asbestos,” Superintendent Dede Galdston said, asbestos is certainly something to be concerned with.

Rebuilding of Watertown High School Moves a Step Forward with State Board’s Vote

Plans to renovate or rebuild Watertown High School cleared a major hurdle Wednesday when State officials voted to move the project to the next step — doing a feasibility study and create a schematic design

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Board voted at a meeting held in Boston on Wednesday. The WHS project now moves to the second step in a series of eight. The School Building Committee will hire an owner’s project manager to oversee the design and construction, and hire a project designer. 

Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston announced vote on Wednesday in a statement in which she wrote:

I am pleased to share with you that the Massachusetts School Building Authority unanimously voted to invite the Watertown High School building project into Feasibility at their board meeting today.  In attendance were Senator Brownsberger, Mark Sideris, Michael Driscoll, Shirley Lundberg, Heidi Perkins, Steve Magoon and me.The next step in the process is the selection of the Owner’s Project Manager which will begin soon.  Once the OPM is in place, the designer will be selected through the MSBA’s Designer Selection Panel process.  These steps are considered Module 2, which should be complete within four to six months.  This is great news for our community!  

The MSBA’s vote came after the Town Council voted to spend up to $1.6 million on an owner’s project manager and to hire a designer at a meeting in late November. At that meeting, Galdston showed what she called a “best case scenario” timeline, in which students and staff would move into the new school in the fall of 2023. A feasibility study will be created, which will include examining possible locations for the school and what the new construction and/or renovation will include.

Big Shift Coming to Watertown High School Class Schedule

Watertown High School students and teachers will have to adjust to a very different class schedule beginning in the fall of 2019. School officials say the new schedule will allow for more projects, longer times for labs and pefromances. Currently, the high school has a schedule with six equal length class periods which meet in the same order every day. It is on a seven-day cycle in which advisory meets once a week. 

The current schedule has been in place for 20 years, but there has been a desire for some time to change it, Watertown High School Principal Shirley Lundberg told the School Committee Monday night. Discussions began last year, but the decision was made to delay making the change until the fall of 2019.

WHS Robotics Team Will Demonstrate its Robots at Driveathon

The Watertown High School Robotics Team will be demonstrating their robots at the WHS Gym 

The Watertown High School Robotics Team sent out the following information:

Come join the WHS Robotics Team for a Drive­a­thon, Alumni Reunion & Robot Rodeo on December 15, 2018 at 11 a.m.

Students, mentors and alums will divide into three member drive teams to see how many laps they can drive a robot around the course on the basketball court, including traversing obstacles during a five minute time period. Pledges can be made for the number of laps completed by a drive team within the time limit or a lump sum donation made. Several team robots will be on display for family, friends and sponsors to view. Why not give driving a robot a try too? All are welcome!

Two Watertown High School Students Named National Merit Commended Students

Two Watertown High School seniors received recognition from National Merit Program for being among the top scorers on the PSAT. Nathan Follett and Robert Leonard were named Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Program, based on their scores on the 2017 PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test), Superintendent Dede Galdston announced at this week’s School Committee meeting. Approximately 1.6 million students took the PSAT in 2017, and the top 50,000 were identified by the National Merit Program. “They are approximately in the top 3 percent of students in the nation,” Galdston said. School Committee Chairman John Portz added, “Congratulations to both of you.