The Watertown School Budget for the 2021-22 school year includes an additional fourth grade teacher, additional custodians for the new elementary schools and someone to help with the district’s technology. Superintendent Dede Galdston presented the $53.75 million Fiscal Year 2022 budget to the School Committee Monday night, and the Committee will make a vote on Thursday to approve the budget. It will then be presented to the Town Council later in April as part of the FY22 Town Budget. The budget includes 3.5 percent increase in funds from the town, or $1.81 million. To provide a level-service budget, the same level of services in FY22 as the prior year, will cost $53.53 million, Galdston said, leaving $216,157 in funds for additional positions or programs. Much of the increase will be used on salary increases, additional pay for teachers who moved up a step, and increases to deal with enrollment increases.
The following information was provided by MassBay Community College:
MassBay Community College is pleased to announce it has been awarded $79,990 from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) for the Training Resources and Internship Network (TRAIN) grant program. This grant is designed to support long-term unemployed, under-employed, and new entrant adult workers who seek to enter and reenter the workforce and address regional workforce shortages. MassBay will use these funds to subsidize all costs for 30 students to attend MassBay’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program. “MassBay’s CNA program has been providing students with the training they need to succeed in the growing healthcare industry,” said MassBay Director of Corporate Partnership and Workforce Development, Phara Boyer. “Certified Nursing Assistants are in-demand, with local employers reaching out every week to hire our students when they complete our program because they know our graduates have the know-how and compassion to provide excellent care.
The following information was provided by the Rotary Club of Watertown:
All residents of Watertown who are high school seniors and applying to college are eligible for Watertown Rotary Scholarships. The amount of each award and the number of scholarships granted are determined on a yearly basis. All eligible residents must submit completed applications, postmarked no later than April 16, 2021, to:
SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEEROTARY CLUB OF WATERTOWNc/o Anthony Donato
42 Arden RoadWATERTOWN, MA 02472
The form must be completed in full and accompanied by a transcript and letter of recommendation to be considered a valid application. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee. All information supplied on this form will be kept strictly confidential.
Watertown Town Hall
Town Council approved $22.2 million in projects and equipment purchases as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 capital spending plan, including funds for the elementary and high school building projects, improvements to Town parks and the Mt. Auburn Street reconstruction. The plan has 33 items on it. The Town Council’s budget policy is to spend between 7.5 and 8 percent of the total Town budget on capital spending. Council Vice President Vincent Piccirilli, who is chair of the Budget & Fiscal Oversight Committee, said the figure would represent 14.02 percent of the projected Town expenditures, or 7.11 percent without the $10.9 million earmarked for the school building projects.
Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston announced the selection of the district’s first Director of Equity & Inclusion. The School Committee approved the creation of the position in December following racial bullying incidents that took place at Watertown Middle School in the fall, which led to a highly attended meeting of parents calling for action. Galdston included the following statement in her Superintendent Newsletter:
Introducing Our New Director of Equity & Inclusion
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Dr. Kimberlee Henry was selected as our new Director of Equity & Inclusion for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond. Dr. Henry is a strategic and creative leader who is dedicated to advancing the District’s equity work in this leadership role to help Watertown Public schools become an anti-racist and anti-biased school system. Dr. Henry’s background in public schools as a teacher and principal at both the elementary and secondary levels, and present role as the Principal at the STEM Academy in Lowell, MA have provided her with extensive experiences to take forward in her new role.
Watertown students who attend school in-person will be required to be part of the district’s COVID-19 pool testing when they return to five-days-a-week classes. The School Committee approved the requirement on Monday night. Superintendent Dede Galdston said that the move will help keep students and staff safe. “We have all the strategies in place to prevent infections, but it is a highly infectious disease and our students are not vaccinated yet,” Galdston said. “Let’s do what we can across the board to keep our students and our community safe.”
A Watertown student was one of more than a dozen from Minuteman High School who won medals at a recent SkillsUSA Massachusetts competition. The school sent out the following announcement:
Minuteman High School students recently competed against 13 other high schools and were awarded 18 medals in the SkillsUSA Massachusetts District 3 Competition for demonstrating knowledge in their career technical area of study, employability skills and safety. Minuteman brought home six gold medals, seven silver, and five bronze. Twelve students of the 18 students will advance to the SkillsUSA MA States competition to be held in late April at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School. The winners are listed below, those with asterisks will continue onto the state level competitions:
Competition: Advertising Design
GOLD: Ariana Calder, Design and Visual Communications career major, grade 12, Lancaster*
Competition: Auto Service Technology
BRONZE: Ryan Breen-Aronson, Automotive Technology career major, grade 10, Arlington
GOLD: Olivia O’Neill, Carpentry career major, grade 10, Lexington*SILVER: Annie Brosnan, Carpentry career major, grade 10, Arlington*
BRONZE: Caleb Begley, Carpentry career major, grade 10, Arlington
Competition: CNC Milling
GOLD: Ellie Vail, Advanced Manufacturing career major, grade 12, Arlington*
SILVER: Jonathan Corbett, Advanced Manufacturing career major, grade 12, Watertown
Competition: CNC Turning
GOLD: Henry Price, Advanced Manufacturing career major, grade 12, Brookline*
BRONZE: Bradley Winters, Advanced Manufacturing career major, grade 11, Lexington
Competition: Commercial Baking
SILVER: Alex Findeis, Culinary Arts career major, grade 10, Belmont*
Competition: Culinary Arts
SILVER: Josh Formaggio, Culinary Arts career major, grade 10, Acton*
Competition: Early Education
BRONZE: Maria DaSilva, Early Education and Teaching career major, grade 11, Arlington
Competition: First Aid
SILVER: Sophia Magdeleno, Health Assisting career major, grade 10, Stow*
SILVER: Harrison Hathaway, Plumbing and Heating career major, grade 11, Newton*
BRONZE: Marc-Andre Noel, Plumbing and Heating career major, grade 10, Medford
Competition: Robotics and Automation
GOLD: Gabriel Herbertz, Robotics and Automation career major, grade 12, Stow*
GOLD: Peter Loschen, Robotics and Automation career major, grade 12, Winchester*
SILVER: Nathan Doherty, Metal Fabrication and Welding career major, grade 12, Lancaster*
Minuteman’s Faculty Advisors for the SkillsUSA Club are Denise D’Ambrosia, teaching assistant, and Clifford Keirstead, carpentry teacher.
A rendering of what a two-story modular building could look like (in white) on Moxley Field. It would be the temporary location for Watertown High School while a new school is constructed. Watertown Middle School can be seen behind the modular campus. The School Building Committee told designers that they like the direction they are going with a single building on the current site for the new Watertown High School. That design would require students to go to a swing space during construction, and Moxley Field has been identified as the preferred temporary site.
Watertown-based Food Truck Ventures teams up food trucks and schools for fundraisers. Here a food truck visits Wellington School in Belmont as part of the StrEATS for Schools program. The pandemic has made fundraising for schools and PTOs more challenging, but a Watertown-based company has provided a way for schools to bring in money and also provide a tasty meal. This school year, Food Truck Ventures started offering StrEATS for Schools, where food trucks can come to the school or neighborhood and provide food and bring in some funds. Several schools in the area, including Lowell Elementary School in Watertown, have taken advantage.