Perkins School for the BlindThe Howe Building at Perkins School for the Blind. Perkins School for the Blind will host the first Everybody In Walk/Move for Perkins this fall. The event will take place on Oct. 2, 2021, and participants can join others on campus for the live event from 9:30-11 a.m. or take part virtually. Perkins has a goal of raising $250,000.
Jessica Middlebrook announced her run for School Committee. She is shown with her two daughters at Watertown Town Hall. My name is Jessica Middlebrook and I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for Watertown School Committee. In the wake of the most disruptive and painful school year in living memory, our community needs experienced, empathic leaders who will build connections, foster difficult but important conversations, and work toward creating equitable school cultures where all students feel valued and safe. With my experience as a parent and school mental health professional, my strong progressive values, and my abiding love for our community, I know that I can help our schools work better for all our kids and families.
My husband, David, and I have been residents of Watertown for the past 12 years. We were drawn here to start our family because of its diversity and caring, engaged community.
School Committee candidate Jennifer Nicholson, her husband Ryan Nicholson (Assistant Fire Chief on the Watertown Fire Department), and their children. My name is Jennifer (Holt) Nicholson and as a lifelong resident of Watertown, I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for the Watertown School Committee. It would be a tremendous honor for me to serve with pride and give back to the community that has given so much to my entire family. My children, incoming third and first graders at Cunniff, are fourth generation students of Watertown Public Schools. My husband, who is currently Assistant Fire Chief for the Watertown Fire Department, and I both graduated from Watertown High School in 2003.
The following information came from the Watertown Library:
As the school year winds down, there’s a lot to look forward to! Watertown Free Public Library’s annual summer reading program begins when the academic year ends. We’re here to help keep your student’s reading on track.
How To Participate
Open the Challenge Card and print it from home. Challenge Cards are also available in the Children’s Room.Read!
Ai3 ArchitectsA rendering of what the new Watertown High School could look like. The view is from Common Street. The following information was provided by the School Building Committee:
The School Building Committee is in the schematic design phase of the new Watertown High School. An architecture sub-committee is being established and is looking for citizen input to assist in some of the design elements. We are looking for citizens with backgrounds in architecture, engineering and sustainability.
This is a commitment through this phase which will wrap up by the end of the year and may meet 3-4 times a month.
Watertown Schools Welcome Two New Assistant Principals, Administrator Who Will Integrate Technology into Learning
Superintendent Dede Galdston introduced the School Committee to two new assistant principals and an administrator who will focus on using technology in education. The new assistant principals will be working at Watertown Middle School and Lowell Elementary School, while the district also filled the administrative position is known as the Coordinator of Digital Learning and Libraries. The middle school’s new assistant principal, Susan Carle, is returning to the area after working in the Midwest. She has been the assistant principal at Northwest Middle School in Chicago since 2016, Galdston said. Prior to that she was an instructional support leader and resident principal.
The WPS Parent’s Action Group was formed in order to assess the impact of Watertown Public School (WPS) policies, including school closures, on Watertown families.
We are extraordinarily privileged to live in a school district which cares about social equity and our little group of parents seeks to aid the school district in understanding the needs and realities of Watertown families through, among other things, innovative and nimble data analysis.
The survey issued this week in relation to the WPS early closures is part of a broader project concerning accountability and transparency for the school district in making decisions that may disparately affect families. The ultimate goal of these inquiries is to both understand the impact of decisions on families, as well as to imagine creative possibilities for supporting families. Preliminary Report
Heat-Related Early School Closure Family Impact Study
Dr. Lisa Lucile Owens
January 8, 2021
WPS Parent’s Action Committee
While our survey addressing the family impacts of the recent early school closures is still open and gathering data, this communication shares some preliminary data. On June 7 and 8, 2021, the Watertown Public School (WPS) district, as well as a number of other suburban school districts in eastern Massachusetts closed schools in the afternoons due to temperatures which reached 94 degrees Fahrenheit. This closure was first communicated to parents past 9:00 PM the night before the initial closure. As mask mandates at WPS schools are still in place, and the schools lack sufficient air conditioning, the school district made the decision to close school in the afternoon for all students.
More Than $250K Raised for Walker Therapeutic & Education Programs, Including Watertown’s Beacon School
Walker Therapeutic and Educational ProgramsMaureen O. Kelly, EdD, Recipient of Walker’s 2021 Distinguished Community Leadership Award. The following announcement was provided by Walker Therapeutic and Educational Programs:
On May 20, 2021 Walker Therapeutic and Educational Programs (Walker) hosted a virtual Lives in Bloom Gala which raised more than $260,000 to support the organization’s residential, educational, and community-based services for children and families. For Walker – which is celebrating 60 years of delivering special education and clinical programming to youth and families in Massachusetts – this marked the first time their signature fundraiser was held virtually. The hour-long program featured families and children in the Walker Community (including the Beacon School in Watertown) who shared their experiences, plus a staff discussion forum examining the past year and looking to the future. Walker President and CEO Gene Takahashi reflected on how the pandemic impacted Walker’s programs over the past year.
School Committee chair John Portz will not be seeking re-election in 2021. After 16 years on the Watertown School Committee, John Portz announced he will not be running for another term. The current School Committee chair announced his decision at Monday’s School Committee meeting. “As my term ends this year I will not be running for a new term,” Portz said. “It has been a privilege to serve on the committee, and to support our efforts, and build and maintain the best possible school system.”