School Committee Update: Teacher Honored, Equity Plan & District Improvement Strategy

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The School Committee has met twice over the last few weeks (September 19th and October 3rd).

Our own Jackie McCready (Lowell ESL teacher), was nominated by Latinos for Education for exceptional work at the Lowell Elementary School and within the community. She was also honored at the State House in early October. Congratulations, Jackie!

Bianca Skraly, Watertown High School Student Advisor, provided an update on the happenings at WHS, including: academics, athletics, the new drop/add period and the upcoming school play Clue. Sophomores and juniors are taking the PSATs this week, with all costs covered by the district, as a way to help prepare them for SATs and college planning. The district is also covering the cost of all AP tests as a way to eliminate financial barriers to student academic success. Want to attend the 100th Watertown/Belmont Thanksgiving football game at Fenway Park? Get your tickets here

We voted in favor of a budget transfer from the School Capital funds line to the High School Capital Fund for the new high school project. 

We heard an excellent update from Heather McManus, chair of SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) about the important work they are doing on behalf of the district. Joining SEPAC is a great way for parents to get involved (you don’t need to have a student with a 504 or IEP to participate). Please email with questions or to get involved.  

Every 3 to 4 years, the district revisits its district wide strategy. This collaborative process includes administrators, educators, School Committee members, parents and community members. The strategy team kicked off their work in late September and will wrap up by January.

We heard an equity update from Dr. Henry, the WPS Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging; a personnel update; and, an enrollment update (enrollment remains steady). 

The elementary school projects remain on schedule. The Hosmer playground should be complete by November and the Lowell Elementary School should be ready for the start of the 2022/2023 school year.

The renderings of the new Watertown High School continue to look fantastic. Cost estimates based on the 60% construction design documents will be discussed at the October 12, 2022 School Building Committee meeting.  Agenda with zoom link can be found here.

Below are additional meetings/events you might be interested in:

  • SEPAC Disability-Centered Equity Listening Session on October 17, 2022 at 6:00 PM, zoom link here
  • Ad Hoc CVTE Committee meeting on Monday, October 17, 2022 at 6:30 PM
  • Conversations with the Superintendent on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 9:00 AM
  • School Building Committee meeting on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 6:00 PM

The next School Committee meeting will be October 24, 2022 at 7:00 PM. The dates for all 2022/2023 School Committee meetings can be found here. Agenda information and supporting documents can be found here

Kendra Foley

Chair, Watertown School Committee

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