School Committee: See What Happened at the June 6 Meeting

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By Kendra Foley, Watertown School Committee Chair

The School Committee met on Monday, June 6, 2022.

We started the meeting by celebrating and thanking our WPS retirees.

As part of the teaching and learning showcase, members of the WHS Robotics Team, known as the KwarQs, demonstrated the robot they built for competitions this year (their most successful year to date!). The team is an extracurricular group that teaches engineering, teamwork, and leadership skills while spreading the interest of STEM education throughout the Watertown Community. Their robot was impressive and the students were full of joy and curiosity!

Each spring, schools present their School Improvement Plans (SIP) for the following year. Our elementary principals presented a powerpoint overview of the Elementary School Improvement Plan. Our three elementary schools are doing a fantastic job aligning curriculum and goals so that all students receive a similarly rich experience, regardless of the WPS elementary school they attend.

Dr. McGuinness reviewed district level curriculum work focused on equity, ESL, literacy and math.

The District Management Group (DMG) was hired to conduct a review on district practices and supports for students who struggle, with and without IEPs. Their recommendations focused on the following areas: school schedule, content expertise, use of Instructional Assistants, social emotional learning, and ESL support. These recommendations are crucial as we identify ways to better support all our students. Some are already being implemented and others will be incorporated into our district strategy moving forward.

The Superintendent reviewed our ESSER III funding and implementation plan. These funding priorities may shift as student growth goals are identified each year.

As noted in a past update, an Attendance Zone Committee was created and has been working over the past few months to review elementary school zones. This work has been done in partnership with AppGeo, a consulting firm that specializes in school redistricting and geographical information system mapping. The School Committee unanimously voted to approve their recommendation (option 3). The proposed changes will not impact any current placements. Changes would take effect in September 2023 and only for incoming Kindergarteners without older siblings.

Finally, the committee approved gifts, and reviewed the FY22 BudgetEnrollment, and Personnel Reports.

The summer meeting schedule for the School Committee is as follows: July 25, August 29, September 19, 2022 at 7:00 PM.

Below are upcoming meetings/forums:

  • Ad Hoc CVTE Committee Meeting, June 13, 2022 at 6:30 PM
  • Last day of school for students, Friday June 24, 2022 (half day)
  • School Committee Meeting, June 27, 2022 at 7:00 PM

Agenda information and supporting documents can be found here. All supporting documents have also been linked in the update above.

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