Enrollment Up at All Levels in Watertown Schools, Especially at the High School

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Enrollment is up at Watertown High School, despite moving into the temporary location at PFC Ricard Moxley Field. (Courtesy by City of Watertown)

Watertown’s schools are growing at all levels, and some classes at two elementary schools are near or at capacity, Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee. The biggest growth, however, is at the secondary level.

Typically, School officials wait until September to provide the first enrollment report to the School Committee, Galdston said, but she wanted to inform members before school started incase they receive questions about it.

“Our enrollment is up,” Galdston said. “More people enrolled in elementary, more people enrolled in middle, and we have a lot more enrolled at the high school.” 

Galdston took note of the growth at the high school, which will be moving into the temporary high school at PFC Richard Moxley Field for the next three years while the new school is being constructed.

“Even though we are moving into Moxley they are moving in, which is very exiting,” Galdston said.

Watertown High School has 765 students enrolled for the fall, up nearly 70 students from the enrollment of 698 last school year. In the memo to the School Committee, Galdston wrote that the number of students at the high school often fluctuates because student who may who are moving to different schools, such as private schools, may not have informed Watertown officials that they will not be attending WHS.

The total elementary school enrollment is up 15 students from last year, to 1,269. The Lowell Elementary School expects to have the largest increase. Galdston said that students are returning after attending the two other elementary schools while Lowell was at the former St. Jude’s School in Waltham or the former Phillips School during the school’s renovation. Students are scheduled to move into the newly renovated and expanded school on Oct. 11.

Some grades are filling up at certain schools.

“There are some areas in our elementary schools that have plenty of space for people moving in and we do have a couple of classrooms that are at the (class size) guidelines,” Galdston said. “People enrolling at this point may not make it into that particular classroom. 

The Lowell Elementary School kindergarten and second grades are near the limit, and students who try to enroll there may end up at Cunniff or Hosmer elementary schools, depending on which is closer to their homes, Galdston said. Also, the Cunniff fourth grade is near the limit. That group has always been on the large size for two classes, she said, but not big enough to have three classrooms.

Watertown Middle School’s enrollment is at 560 students, which is 11 more than last school year.

Galdston said School officials will monitor enrollment numbers to make sure they can have the right level of staffing and resources for all the students.

2 thoughts on “Enrollment Up at All Levels in Watertown Schools, Especially at the High School

  1. Watertown has become a city of 5 story buildings .

    We have approximately 36, 000 residents with 2594 children in our schools k-12

    We don’t attract middle class people – sadly they can’t afford to live here to start a family.

    In my little way I had hoped to create a neighborhood of family housing on pleasant street .years back when I served as s councilor at large.

    I was the only town councilor who voted No on the zoning ordinance sponsored by then district D Councilor John lawn .

    The vote was 8 YES – and 1 NO

    It’s not always popular to do the right thing !

    The ordinance prohibits the building of a single home – or a 2 – 3 – 4 family home.

    And allows 5 story buildings and business on all those small streets from pleasant to Main Street .
    That’s when I decided not to run again for town council .

    My one vote didn’t count and I saw the start of this new 5 story building trend going east to west !
    Watertown. has brought in millions and millions of dollars but at what cost ?

    – Our quality of life .!!

  2. It is simply ridiculous to say that the presence of 5-story buildings on streets zoned for commercial/industrial use ruins anyone’s “quality of life.” On the contrary, those 5-story buildings provide many benefits to our community. But I *never* hear people talking about costs vs. benefits in a logical, balanced way.

    Also, there are plenty of middle class folks already living here in Watertown, and many of them have benefited from rising property values. I live on a street filled with 2-family homes. The 3 houses to the left, right and behind mine are ALL owned by longtime locals. In two cases, they rent both units out and in the other, the family has lived in the home for several decades and rents one unit out. All 3 of these locals have gained the benefit of rising property values and rents!

    The Comments section of the Watertown News is becoming the Fiction section.

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