Watertown’s Effort to Bring MLK’s Teachings to Schools Honored at Unity Breakfast

The Watertown High six students who received the Unity Award for their work spreading Kingian Non-violence teachings to WHS. Pictured from left, Fred Laboissiere, Tino Themelis, Eva Henry, Claire abian, Catherine Fabian and Shivani Sharma. The people who brought the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. to the Watertown schools and the community came together, and were honored during the the 20th annual Watertown Unity Breakfast on Monday. The annual celebration on Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been put on by the World in Watertown for two decades, and at the 2020 breakfast the local efforts to teach the principles of Kingian Non-violence in town were at the forefront. The keynote speaker was one of those who trained Watertown teachers, students and police about applying King’s non-violence teachings today, and the Unity Award went to six students who spread MLK’s teachings to Watertown High School.

Several Options for New High School, All Have Some Headaches

An illustration of how a new high school building with a four story academic wing could fit on the current WHS site. Architect Scott Dunlap stressed this is just a mock up to see if it would fit, not a design. Designers of the new Watertown High School presented several options for how and where new building could be built, but none of the options were simple and all have challenges. Last week, Scott Dunlap, the lead architect from Ai3 Architects, showed the School Building Committee some of the options for how a new high school could be built. With no obvious piece of unoccupied land, all the scenarios require tearing down existing buildings or displacing facilities, such as fields or the Senior Center. At a meeting in December, Dunlap presented some locations, including the existing high school site (both with or without the nearby former-Phillips School), the Victory Field site (both with or without the DPW facility), and Moxley Field.

Discuss the Options and Vision for the New High School at a Meeting on Jan. 21

The following information was provided by the Watertown Public Schools:

The Watertown High School School Building Committee (SBC) invites you to a community forum to discuss educational visioning and preliminary options for the High School Building Project. This is an opportunity for community members to learn about 21st century education and share their thoughts about the future of secondary education in Watertown. It will also provide an opportunity for community input on conceptual options and potential sites for the new high school at a very early stage of the project. WHEN: Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Watertown High School Lecture Hall, 50 Columbia Street

The community is encouraged to come hear the progress on initial planning around the new high school. Contribute to the conversation and make your voice heard as we envision the future of high school education in Watertown.

Parents & Students Can Have Their Say About Next WHS Principal

As Watertown School officials seek to find the next Watertown High School principal, parents and students will have an opportunity to talk about what qualities they would like the person to have. Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee Monday that, while the deadline to apply for the position closes Friday, the district has already has nearly 30 candidates. She said the next principal, who replaces the retiring Shirley Lundberg, will have a chance not only to build a learning environment at WHS, but a new school. The high school project has been accepted into the Massachusetts School Building Authority program, and planning for rebuilding or renovating the school has begun. The applicants for WHS principal will be screened by a committee made up of school officials, teachers, staff, parents and students.

Watertown Science Students Get a Look Inside a Real Biotech Lab, Meet Scientists

Watertown-based Enanta Pharmaceutical’s Michael Tchen shows a group of WHS biology students around the company’s labs. About two-dozen Watertown AP biology students took part in what is becoming a tradition for Watertown High School when they got a look inside a real biotech lab that is working on cures and vaccinations for diseases, including HIV and hepatitis. The group of WHS students took the field trip to Enanta Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Arsenal Street earlier this month for what is known at the company as a Lunch & Learn. The group of mostly juniors and seniors got to see the different phases of developing a drug, and talk to people who working on the cures. Last March, the WHS AP chemistry classes took the tour of Enanta.

Students Lead Effort to Bring Kingian Non-Violence, Reconciliation Circles to WHS

Watertown High School students (from left) Catherine Fabian, Eva Henry and Claire Fabian led the effort to bring the Kingian Nonviolence Principles and Reconciliation Circles to WHS. A group of Watertown High School students took what they learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s principles of non-violence at the middle school and created a program to be used with all students at WHS. The efforts have been recognized by district leaders, and education officials at the state level. Those interested in the effort can take part in upcoming events, including Community Introduction to Restorative Justice Circles on Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the WHS Lecture Hall, from 6-8 p.m.

The following piece was provided by those involved in the effort at Watertown High School:

Background and Context

The Kingian Principles of Nonviolent Conflict Reconciliation were the basis for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work in the Civil Rights Movement.

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.

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.