School Committee Votes Against Seeking Membership to Minuteman Vocational District

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Charlie Breitrose

About 70 students from Watertown attend Minuteman High School in Lexington. They may have a harder time getting in when the vocational technical school gets a new campus.

Charlie Breitrose

Minuteman High School in Lexington provides vocational/career education to students, including about 55 from Watertown.

The Town of Watertown will not seek to join the Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District, at least not this year. 

The School Committee voted last week to follow the recommendation of a subcommittee that looked into whether to join the regional district which runs the vocational high school in Lexington.

Watertown has consistently sent more than 50 students to Minuteman each year over the past 10 years. This year there are 56 students, or more than 10 percent of the total enrollment (516) and sends more students than all but one community. Arlington, a member community, sends 119 students this year.

There are 10 member towns, and students from those communities are accepted before the school looks at out-of-district applicants, Minuteman Superintendent Edward Bouquillon said at the joint Budget & Finance and Curriculum subcommittee meeting.

By joining the Minuteman District, Watertown would also get representation on the vocational district’s School Committee, which is weighted by enrollment. The Watertown Town Council would also get to vote on approval of the Minuteman budget, which must be approved by 2/3 of the member communities.

Minuteman is building a new school, and Bouquillon said that he expects interest in the school to increase. This could lead to fewer spots for Watertown students if the town does not join the district.

There used to be 16 members of the Minuteman District, but six have left. Bouquillon said that while the main reason was not having an interest in vocational education, the cost of the new school did play a factor for some.

The Subcommittees recommended remaining out of the Minuteman District, and explore what vocational opportunities can be provided in Watertown, or are available in other programs.

The School Committee voted 6-1 to adopt the subcommittees’ recommendation. Amy Donohue voted against the motion.

See the subcommittee’s report by clicking here. The data about enrollment and other information about Minuteman can be found here.

3 thoughts on “School Committee Votes Against Seeking Membership to Minuteman Vocational District

  1. What was their reasoning behind this decision? In two years when the new school is open it will be even more attractive to students, and not joining will limit our access. Watertown high school just doesn’t have the trades covered like Minuteman or the industry connections post graduation.

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