Superintendent Gets Good Grades in Annual Review

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Charlie Breitrose Watertown Superintendent of Schools Dede Galdston.

Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston received good marks on her annual performance evaluation from the School Committee.

The School Committee discussed their job review for the leader of the Watertown Public Schools on Monday night. On the overall performance, Galdston received two “exemplary” evaluations (the top mark) and five “proficient” (second highest), said School Committee Chair Kendra Foley.

“This is a very positive evaluation. It is not easy for a superintendent to get proficient. That means you are doing a really good job in your district,” Foley said. “Not only did the superintendent get ‘proficients,’ she got ‘exemplaries.’ That is no small feat, and congratulations to you. You are smart and thoughtful and dedicated, and you show it every day here, and we are grateful.”

On other evaluations required by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, she also received proficient and exemplary marks: instructional leadership (five proficient, two exemplary), management and operations (three proficient, four exemplary), family and community (six proficient, one exemplary), and professional culture (five proficient, two exemplary). She did not receive any of the bottom two marks, “needs improvement” and “unsatisfactory.”

She was also graded on goals set by the School Committee, which have a different grading system where “exceeded” is top, “met” is second highest, then “significant progress” and “some progress.”

Goal 1 was student learning and operations, including reopening schools from the COVID-19 shutdown and keeping them open whenever possible. Galdston received seven “exceeded.”

The second goal is creating structures and systems to ensure equity, anti-racism, and anti-bias. The superintendent received two “some progress” and five “significant progress.”

On goal 3, which is to foster a sense of belonging, the School Committee gave Galston four “significant progress” and three “met.”

For creating a tiered system of support for students, the fourth goal, the School Committee gave Galdston one “some progress,” two “significant progress” and four “mets.”

The school construction projects fell into goal 5. Galdston received one “met” and six “exceeded.”

The sixth goal is creating a district improvement strategy, and the School Committee gave Galdston one “did not meet,” four “some progress,” and two “met.”

Galdston thanked the School Committee for the positive evaluation, and said that she is just part of a team.

“This is a team effort, and in order to be successful at my level you have to have a team and you have to have a culture and district that supports the effort…” Galdston said. “Thank you for the acknowledgement of all of us working to get what’s best for the students of Watertown.”

She also pointed to her good working relationship with the School Committee as another key.

“I just came back from superintendents conference and often people speak about what their school committees are like, and I can tell you with great confidence that this one is unique in the sense in fully supporting education, truly understand it, and taking time to ask questions and get information to know what we are trying to do.”

She added that she looks forward to continuing to work to improve the Watertown Public Schools.

“As always, I am honored to be your superintendent and really look forward to the future, because the future is bright here in Watertown, and we have got a lot of things to do in the next few years, but it is exciting.”

See the School Committee’s Superintendent Evaluation report, with links to comments from each member, by clicking here.

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