Superintendent Unveils Goals for Watertown Public Schools

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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.

Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston’s goals for 2019-20 include providing more feedback to teachers, working on the school building projects and community more with parents and the community.

The School Committee heard the final draft of the goals at the September School Committee meeting. The goals are:

  • Goal 1 (Student Learning): Fair, Effective Educator Goal Setting, and Evaluation
  • Goal 2 (District Improvement): Effective communication with larger school community
  • Goal 3 (District Improvement): Building for the Future Elementary and High School Project
  • Goal 4 (Equity): Systems and structures that ensure equity
  • Goal 5 (Student Learning): Increase student achievement for all students in the Watertown Public Schools
  • Goal 6 (Student Learning): Tiered systems of support
  • Goal 7 (District Improvement): Shared vision for district improvement

Galdston said she wants to make sure teachers are observed and also get feedback about their performance.

“Last year, we focused on educational goal setting which did very well. This year we want to make sure we are in the classroom providing pertinent feedback to teachers,” Galdston said. “One hundred percent of teachers will be observed at least four times, and three time will give calibrated feedback to teachers.”

Communication is once again a goal for the Superintendent. She plans to provide an annual report about the accomplishments of the districts, and get more feedback from parents.

“We are working hard on two-way communication,” Galdston said. “We will get feedback from the parent community. One way to do that is to look at the culture and climate survey administered bi-annually to see how families perceive our schools and the impact we are having on their children.”

Three elementary schools will soon be under construction, and planning is about to start for the reconstruction of Watertown High School, so the construction projects will be another goal for the district, Galdston said.

Part of the equity goal, goal 4, is to have the faculty and staff embrace the anti-bias and inclusive practices. The district has started working with Facing History and Ourselves as part of the goal, and has started and Anti-Bias Coalition.

In an effort to boost student learning, the district is making sure that the curriculum used in different grade levels work together and build upon each other.

“We want to ensure we are moving ahead with multi-year curriculum alignment,” Galdston said. “We started with the K-12 math curriculum review, keeping with providing coaching and professional learning opportunities.”

The sixth goal is creating a tiered system of support, which provides help to students struggling, and also gives challenges to students who are ahead of their classmates.

“No matter how you look at it, we want our students to be growing, whether they are high achievers, whether they are low achievers, as long as they are moving forward and growing that is essential for all,” Galdston said.

The final goal is continuing the District Improvement Strategy. District officials will look at measurable outcomes and prepare an Annual Report for the community describing the District’s progress towards the benchmarks. A report on the progress will be given to the School Committee in early winter.

See the Superintendent’s goals presentation by clicking here.

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