The Watertown Public Schools will form a committee to look at the options for vocational and technical education available inside and outside the district, and the group will include parents and community members. For many years, Watertown has sent dozens of students to Minuteman High School in Lexington for vocational and technical education. Superintendent Dede Galdston said that the City is not part of the Minuteman High School District, but rather pays tuition for each resident to attend. “Watertown is a non-member, tuition-paying entity for Minuteman, which has worked for decades, but that changed with new (Minuteman) school — there are not as many students who can go to Minuteman,” Galdston said. Other vocational schools in the area, including Medford and Somerville, have vocational programs which are open to students who do not live in the district.
Minuteman High School vocational technical school in Lexington. The following announcement was provided by Minuteman High School:
Dear Minuteman Staff and Families,
As many of you know, our current Superintendent-Director, Ed Bouquillon, plans to retire at the end of June following a successful 15-year tenure leading the District. The Minuteman School Committee launched a formal Superintendent Search Process in October.
A Screening Committee of faculty, staff, parents, and School Committee members has recommended three finalists to the Minuteman School Committee. The finalists are scheduled to visit Minuteman on three consecutive Wednesdays – January 5, 12, and 19 – to meet with and answer questions from students, parents, faculty and staff, and advisory committee members.
The three finalists are Dr. Amy Perreault, Assistant Superintendent for Minuteman; Dr. Kathleen Dawson, Deputy Superintendent of Orange County Schools in North Carolina; and Kevin McCaskill, Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Secondary Schools in the Boston Public Schools. The finalists were first announced at the December 14 School Committee meeting. Read the candidate’s resumes at minuteman.org/suptsearch Each of the three candidates will spend the day at Minuteman on three Wednesdays in January. During their time at Minuteman, the candidates will meet with stakeholders for questions and take tours.
Classes will return in-person after winter break, and students will be tested for COVID-19 on the first day back. Superintendent Dede Galdston sent out a letter announcing the return. Cases of COVID-19 have been on the rise in Watertown and Massachusetts in recent weeks, including some confirmed cases among the Watertown School community. The district will hold a vaccination clinic on Jan. 11 from 3:30-7:00 p.m. at the Watertown Middle School.
Several cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Watertown Public Schools community, and Superintendent Dede Galdston said officials are planning how to handle the return from winter vacation. Details of what the plan is for the return to school have not been announced, but part of the Watertown School’s response will be a vaccination clinic in early January, according to a letter sent out by Galdston and Director of Student Services Kathleen Desmarais on Dec. 29. “We believe that there is community transmission at this time, so we are currently considering options to maximize testing and safety upon our return after the break,” the letter reads. Statewide, the Mass.
Charlie BreitroseThe public gathered outside the new Cunniff Elementary School. Elementary attendance zones will be studied by a new ad hoc committee. The attendance areas for Watertown’ three elementary schools may be redrawn by a new committee created to study the issue. Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee in December about the ad hoc committee to study the attendance zones. “As we complete (construction on) two elementary schools and are starting a third, it is the perfect time to look at attendance zones,” Galdston said.
Watertown school officials seek to find out about their experience in the Watertown Public Schools with a Parent/Guardian Climate Survey. Dec. 23 is the final day to submit the survey. The survey is being done in conjunction with the UChicago Impact, a group out of the University Chicago that provides tools and assistance to schools. Superintendent Dede Galdston sent out the following message:
This is a reminder that we are asking parents and caregivers to complete a culture and climate survey based on their experiences in the Watertown Public Schools.
Students at Perkins School for the Blind sang in the annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 16. Perkins School for the Blind held its annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 16, and if you missed it (or want to catch it again), the concert can be viewed online. The school included the following message with the concert announcement:
“Every year, our student musicians perform beautiful choral and instrumental works, showcasing the ways music can be accessible for all.
Ai3 ArchitectsA map of the proposed additions to O’Connell Field, shown in yellow. The white pathways are already in the plans. The athletic fields at O’Connell Field will likely be getting some upgrades as part of the construction of the new Hosmer Elementary School, but some neighbors are concerned about the loss of green space and other issues. At Wednesday night’s School Building Committee meeting, designers presented a preliminary design for upgrades to O’Connell Field, which runs along Mt. Auburn Street in front of the Brigham House and sits next to Hosmer’s playground.
Ai3 ArchitectsAn illustration of what the outside of the new Watertown High School will look like. The final design concept for the new Watertown High School project, and the budget of nearly $200 million, received approval from the School Committee and the School Building Committee on Wednesday night. The schematic design report, including the designs and the budget of $198.39 million, will be sent to the Massachusetts School Building Authority Board to be considered at its meeting on March 2, 2022. The project will be paid for by the City of Watertown through borrowing, but it will not require a temporary property tax override to cover the cost, said City Auditor Tom Tracy. “The Town is carrying $200 million in debt services for the high school project,” Tracy said.
The project design has reached its goal of Zero Net Energy, said Project Designer Jordan of Ai3 Architects, including 1.4 megawatts of electricity to be produced by the solar photovoltaic array at the school.