School Committee Gives Superintendent Good Evaluation

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Charlie Breitrose

Dede Galdston, current assistant superintendent in Billerica, interviewed for the Watertown Superintendent's job Monday night.

Dede Galdston, current assistant superintendent in Billerica, interviewed for the Watertown Superintendent’s job Monday night.

Superintendent Dede Galdston received good marks from the School Committee in the evaluation of her second year as the head of the Watertown Public Schools.

The School Committee gave Galdston ratings of “proficient” across the board for her overall rating from the seven School Committee members. The ratings required by the state have four levels, from “unsatisfactory” to “exemplary” with proficient second highest.

Galdston was also measured on how well she met the six goals agreed to by the School Committee and herself earlier this year. These ratings were measured on five levels from “did not meet” to “exceeded.”

Town Council President Mark Sideris, who sits on the School Committee, lauded Galdston.

“Congratulations to the superintendent for a job well done,” Sideris said. “She is in a good place for continued improvement next year and hopefully will move to exceeds expectations.”

The highest ratings came in communication with the greater community and the Building for the Future project, where she got three “exceeded” expectations.

The lowest marks on the goals came in narrowing the achievement gaps, in which she got two “some progress” and three “significant progress” ratings.

School Committee Chairman John Portz also congratulated Galdston on her evaluation. He added that data to measure some of the goals is not yet available, but would be by the fall. So, Portz suggested moving the evaluation to October in future years.

Some of the comments from the School Committee’s evaluations were compiled into a summary by School Committee Chairman John Portz. One of the comments for Galdston’s communication abilities said: “I have not had one single parent tell me that the Superintendent was unwilling to meet with them. She is a good listener and an effective speaker.”

A comment about her role in the building projects at Watertown’s elementary schools and high school noted that she played a key role in the hiring of the two Owner Projects Managers for the elementary schools and high school project. She also is part of the group hiring the high school designer.

One area of concern, a School Committee member wrote, is the central office leadership and administration.

“There have been issues both throughout the district, and issues that have led to the resignation of talented and respected staff members. Staff have indicated unease about approaching the superintendent with concerns about specific administrators or other staff members, and this unease must be addressed.”

Another School Committee member said Galdston has faced many complicated issues, some of which not everyone will agree how they should been handled, but she has done an outstanding job.

“I believe that Dr. Galdston and Watertown are well-suited to each other at this moment. After her first two years as a Superintendent, she has given me no reason to doubt her ability to meet the challenges of a demanding community, and to set some challenges for us in return. I look forward to seeing her exceed my expectations in the future.”

Here are a summary of the ratings. The entire summary can be seen by clicking here.

Ratings on District Goals

Goal 1 (Student Learning): Fair, Effective Classroom Teacher Evaluation: Significant Progress 2, Met 5

Goal 2 (District Improvement): Effective communication with larger school community: Met 4, Exceeded 3

Goal 3 (District Improvement): Building for the Future – Elementary and High School Projects: Met 4, Exceeded 3

Goal 4 (Student Learning): Increased student achievement for all students in the Watertown Public Schools: Significant Progress 5, Met 2

Goal 5: (Student Learning) Narrowing the achievement gap: Some Progress 2, Significant Progress 3, Met 2

Goal 6 (District Improvement): Shared vision for district improvement: Significant Progress 1, Met 6

Ratings on State Standards

Instruction Leadership: Proficient 7

Management and Operation: Proficient 7

Family and Community Engagement: Proficient 5, Exemplary 2

Professional Culture: Needs Improvement 1, Proficient 5, Exemplary 1

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