Superintendent Jean Fitzpatrick revealed her proposed goals for the 2015-16 school year, and they include creating a foreign language program in Watertown’s elementary schools, starting an anti-drug program and get state money for a high school building project
Last week, Fitzgerald told the School Committee about her goals. The School Committee will wait until the Sept. 16 meeting to vote to improve them because they want to give parents time to comment on the goals.
Among her draft goals, Fitzgerald proposed creating an implementation plan for a five-year comprehensive foreign language program at the elementary school (FLES). She said she plans to present the plan to the School Committee in February 2016, so that there will be time to include the program in the in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget process.
Another goal would be for the Watertown Schools to work with the Watertown Police Department and other partners to develop a “Youth Opposed to Using” (Y.O.U.). The program would work with students at Watertown Middle School and Watertown High School to have them avoid using alcohol and drugs.
“The program was done in Waltham a number of years ago and it was very successful,” Fitzgerald said. “After meeting with experts we decided the high school is too late to start, so we are starting at the middle school.”
She would report back to the School Committee in December 2015 and again in June 2016.
School officials have identified the high school as the building in most need of rehabilitation or even replacement. Fitzgerald said one of her goals would be to develop a plan for the anticipated work on the high school that would be paid for with help from the state’s Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). The district must submit a Statement of Interest to the MSBA. She will report progress on this goal to the School Committee at each meeting.
Fitzgerald’s three other goals are:
- Continuing the goal to conduct a two-year study of Watertown’s K-12 Scence, Technology, Engineering, Math plus Arts (STEM + A or STEAM). She will provide initial presentation to School Committee in June 2015 and final presentation the following June.
- Conduct a study of the how much for Watertown Public School students are able to learn and participate in local and global citizenship activities. Fitzgerald plans to present the study’s findings in June 2016, and develop a plan to expand students’ access civic engagement and build global competency skills. A plan for that will be present in June 2017.
- Look at the district’s Special Education programs and present the findings in January 2016. She also plans to look at adding new Special Eduction programs to the district to serve the needs of Watertown students. She plans to present that plan by February 2016 so it can be included in next year’s budget process.