14 thoughts on “No Vote on Watertown Schools Moving to Hybrid; Supt. Optimistic for Oct. 27 Opening

  1. What a spineless lot this school committee is! After initially supporting Galdston, Portz and his entourage are leaving her to her own devices and we all know that this is trending towards an 11th hour decision to remain a remote learning community.

    • The district is using smoke screens the kids are not going back this year.
      Did you actually think they were actually going to do the right thing.

  2. The passiveness of our elected school committee in the face of this crisis is a truly remarkable and sad thing to behold. The chair John Portz is virtually a potted plant and you can’t even hear what he’s saying on the rare occasions he says anything. 6 of the school committee plus the superintendent were totally on board moving up the potential date for middle school but it only didn’t happen because Lily Read said she wasn’t comfortable with a vote and we need more data and teachers need more time to pivot- even though there’s no data coming in the next 2 days that is possibly definitive to Nov. 10 and our schools already have had more time to prepare than anyone in the state and the middle school teachers would still have more than 3 more weeks to keep preparing. 2 more days is just more time for the union to lobby against going back. Amy Donahue and especially Kendra Foley were visibly frustrated, but still wouldn’t just straight up make a motion for a vote.

    Watching this meeting it’s pretty clear how Watertown got into this mess. In the decision making process, the union and its people have a very clear goal and position they pursue aggressively: don’t go back until it’s normal. If you look at things strictly from an economic position for teachers- totally ignoring the needs of students- it’s a reasonable position. Meanwhile, the other people in the room are wishy washy and easily pushed through and around . The union rolled everyone else during the summer into the latest start possible and now that it’s coming up they are trying to push it back even more. The union should be criticized because their position is heartless, anti-social, and long-term devaluing to education and their jobs- but looked at from a strictly economic short-term view there is logic to it. There is no logic or good to what happens when people who are supposed to actually be leaders and make decisions allow that extreme position to define the situation and give into it. As a result of this dynamic that was on full display last night, we are in the middle of an educational and social tragedy for Watertown kids.*

    *Except the ones whose parents can afford private school.

    • I heard others say they did not think the School Committee should be voting to decide if the hybrid starts. Mark Sideris was clear about that.

      Also, I may have not been clear in the story but they would have had to hold a meeting Thursday to make a final decision so they would have the latest numbers and to stay with the plan.

      • I guess the conversation was a little muddled. My impression was everyone agreed the committee should not vote to direct the supt to open, but that the discussion was whether to vote to instruct the supt to evaluate opening Nov. 10 when the time came as opposed to evaluating opening Nov 30 like the plan currently says to do. Either way the supt would have the final call, and the committee only sets date to look. I only heard Ms. Read express any issues with that, but it is possible I missed something.

  3. Covid-19 cases are on the rise across the country, in Boston and here in Watertown. People may be tired of having their children confined to home and on the screen for remote learning, but we cannot allow our frustrations to direct public health policy. We’re going to have to be patient if we want to keep our kids, parents and school staff healthy. It’s my feeling that this means that moving to hybrid will need to depend on cases falling rather than rising. And we may have to wait for a vaccine. The health of everyone in the community should be the first priority.

    • You are right Mike. The health of all Watertown citizens and workers should be our first and foremost concern right now. I am shocked at the hostility toward teachers on this board. It’s almost as if some folks want them to get sick.

      We are better than that in Watertown. C’mon people, we’re all frustrated and we all have problems, but we need to be fully in touch with our sense of humanity and community in this time of great difficulty.

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