Kindergarten Enrollment Expected to be Down, District Adding PreK Class

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Charlie Breitrose

Hosmer Elementary School in Watertown.

Hosmer Elementary School in Watertown will have a second PreK class next year.

Registration for kindergarten has been lower that expected, allowing School officials to use money on other things. Meanwhile, space is available to add another PreK class for Watertown students.

Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee about the changes to next year’s school budget made possible by the lower enrollment on Monday night.

When the first Fiscal Year 2020 budget project was presented two weeks ago, four new teaching positions were included to accommodate enrollment growth at certain levels.

“We are almost finished with kindergarten registration, and we were expecting 59 at Cunniff (Elementary School),” Galdston said. “We have 40 enrolled at Cunniff, so we don’t need the extra teacher.”

The district will still add three new teachers to deal with enrollment “bubbles” in certain areas: a fifth-grade teacher at Cunniff, a third-grade teacher at Hosmer, and a second-grade teacher at Lowell.

The money that would have gone to the kindergarten teacher — about $64,000 — will be used on things that otherwise have been unfunded. One is a curriculum adoption fund, to give the district money to buy new textbooks and other materials when new curriculum is adopted, said Assistant Superintendent Theresa McGuinness.

“Each year we will work on each subject, but focus on one each year,” McGuinness said. “Next year we are looking at K-12 math.”

The funds will also be spent on upgrades to technology at the elementary school level, Galdston said.

The Superintendent encouraged anyone planning to enroll their child in Kindergarten in the Fall of 2019 to register. Information can be found by clicking here.


Another change next year is the addition of an additional Pre-Kindergarten class in Watertown, Galdston announced.

“Based on enrollment and available space at Hosmer, we are going to open a second PreK classroom in the fall,” Galdston said. “We are well over the amount for an additional class on the waiting list.”

School Committee members asked whether people on the waiting list from Hosmer would be given preference, or students from any school. Galdston said that students on the waiting from every school will have equal priority for enrollment in the new PreK class. If there is space available after going through the waiting list, more students can apply.

Galdston said interested parents should contact Karen Feeney, Watertown’s Early Childhood Director, at 617-926-7765 or

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