Watertown’s School Meal Pickups Extending Through Summer

The Watertown Public Schools will continue to provide free breakfasts and lunches through the summer, but will be distributing meals on different days. Since the shutdown of schools due to COVID-19, the Watertown School Nutrition program has been giving out meals from the parking lot at Watertown High School to families in need. The program is funded through a Federal grant provided to districts in Massachusetts. During the school year the meals were distributed three days a week, and more than 200 families took part. Over the summer they will be handed two days a week — Tuesdays and Fridays.

Officials Celebrate Groundbreaking for Construction of 2 Watertown Schools

Watertown school and town officials put shovels in the ground at the official start of the construction project Cunniff Elementary School. The ceremony also marked the beginning of the Hosmer School project. Standing next to the first of Watertown schools to be torn down and replaced with a state-of-the-art facility, Watertown School and Town officials celebrated the beginning of what will be several years of construction at school sites around town. Officials posed in hardhats, holding shovels during the official groundbreaking of the project at Cunniff Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon. The ceremony also marked the start of the project at Hosmer Elementary School, which will take place simultaneously.

Mass. Seeks to Bring Back Students in Fall, Classes Will be Social Distanced

Lowell School in Watertown, and all Massachusetts schools, will operate differently in the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Massachusetts school officials seek to bring back “as many students as possible to in-person school settings” in the fall, but the classrooms will look different with schools being required to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has put together its Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance, which is expected to be discussed by Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday. The plan, of which the Boston Globe obtained a copy, says getting students back into the classroom is the goal. Education and medical officials weighed the risks of COVID-19 as well as the impact of keeping students at home.

Groundbreaking Ceremony Planned to Kick Off Cunniff School Project

The latest rendering of the new Cunniff Elementary School, with the solar array in the parking lot. The first of Watertown’s new school projects will kick off Wednesday, June 24 with a groundbreaking ceremony at Cunniff Elementary School. The School Building Committee invites public is invited to the event, which begins at 4:30 p.m. at the school, located at 246 Warren St. in Watertown. Those who attend must wear a mask of face covering due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

MassBay College Offering Online Summer Courses for High Schoolers

The following information was provided by MassBay Community College:

MassBay Community College will add five online and remotely-formatted courses this summer to be offered for high school students, exclusively. The six-week courses start on July 6, 2020 and include Entrepreneurship, Principles of Management, Creative Writing, Drugs and Society, and Security Awareness (course descriptions are below). High school students can also enroll in other MassBay courses. “Due to the coronavirus, many high school students and their families have been contacting us to enroll in summer classes as they face limited job prospects, many uncertainties, and an empty summer calendar. Taking one or more college-level courses over the summer is great way for high school students to jumpstart their college education,” said Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management, Alison McCarty.

Members of Class of 2020 Receive Their Diplomas — Social Distancing Style

A Watertown high School senior smiles for photos after getting his diploma during a unique graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, standing next to WHS Principal Shirley Lundberg. Watertown High School’s seniors claimed their diplomas in person at Victory Field on Saturday, but that was about all that was normal about graduation day for the Class of 2020. The atmosphere around Victory Field because the frenzy of activity was just spread out throughout the day as Watertown Public School officials put on a socially distanced ceremony to comply with the state’s COVID-19 guidelines. Each half hour a set of cars pulled up, the graduate stepped out and walked up to a small stage where Principal Shirley Lundberg waited with a diploma. Meanwhile, the family could stand along the small fence along the baseball field to cheer and take photos.

School Committee Decides Not to Attend Watertown High Graduation; Looks Toward Reopening

One of the signs that went up around town to celebrate Watertown High School’s graduating seniors. The School Committee will not be attending Saturday’s Watertown High School graduation after most members thought it was not appropriate to be there when so many cannot attend. They also heard about the planning for reopening schools in the fall, which may include reduced numbers of students on campus each day. Traditionally, the School Committee has taken part in the WHS graduation, with one of the members standing on stage shaking the hands of graduates when the students receive their diplomas. June 20’s graduation, however, will not be a traditional one.

School Committee Approves Resolution in Support of People of Color

The Watertown School Committee approved a resolution to “promote the needs and safety” of staff and students of color in the district, as well as people of color in Watertown and beyond. The resolution also urges state and federal lawmakers to support laws that: protect the safety of people of color and guarantee the rights of those protesting; create an anti-racist curricula and teach students about the challenges faced by people of color; and to hold public officials and police accountable. The resolution passed by the Watertown School Committee on Monday night has also been approved, or is being considered for approval, by other local communities, said School Committee member Lily Rayman-Reed, including Woburn, Cambridge, Newton and Burlington. The impetus for the resolution was the efforts that have sprung up in the wake of the killing of Floyd George by Minneapolis Police and other similar incidents. The resolution reads:

Resolution on Affirmation of Support for Staff, Students, and Community Members of Color

Whereas, People of Color face greater discrimination, structural discipline, lack of social support both in schools and in society at large;

Whereas, children, adolescents and adults in the Black community face higher rates of social and structural violence and racial discrimination,

Whereas, students’ and staff’s well-being is a fundamental concern of the Watertown School Committee and school boards across the country.