Sale of Grove St. Land to BB&N Closes, Demolition Delay on Shick House Approved

The historic Shick House is on property sold by the Mount Auburn Cemetery to Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, and may be torn down. [UPDATED Feb. 3, 2021. The year that the Shick family purchased the house was 1914]

The sale of the land on Grove Street from the Mount Auburn Cemetery to Buckingham Browne & Nichols School closed last week. The Cambridge-based private school plans to build two athletic fields and a field house on the property, which is also the location of the historic Shick House.

Snow Day for Watertown Schools on Tuesday

A snowy road in Watertown. The following announcement came from the Watertown Public Schools:

Due to the current ongoing snowstorm and variation in snowfall totals around the area, all schools will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, February 2, utilizing a traditional snow day. All in-person and remote classes are canceled- Preschool through grade 12. All offices are also closed. Decisions regarding snow days are done in consultation with the Department of Public Buildings and are done with the student and staff safety at the center.

Council Round Up: Zoning Change Request, Sec. 8 Housing Conversion & Upcoming Meetings

The Town Council approved the conversion of some Watertown Housing Authority units to Section 8, and got a request to change the zoning of a parcel near Watertown Square. This week’s meetings included an informational session about the plans for the Arsenal on the Charles, an discussions of changes to the Watertown High School project, and the Charter Review Committee will discuss mayor vs. manager forms of government. The Town Council met on Jan. 26, when they heard the $467.8 million five year Capital Improvement Plan, along with the following items:

The Town received a request to change the zoning of the parcel at 64 Pleasant Street, where Sasaki Associates is located, to allow life science labs to operate there.

Watertown Declares Snow Emergency for Nor’easter, Schools Dismissing Early

The Town of Watertown declared a Snow Emergency due to the impending snow storm forecast to hit the area on Monday afternoon through Tuesday. Also, the Watertown Schools will dismiss early on Monday, but the status of Tuesday’s school day has not been announced, as of 9:50 a.m. Monday. Superintendent of Schools Dede Galdston announced early dismissal times for the Watertown Public Schools on Monday. She did not announce plans for Tuesday, but said if a snow day is declared, there will be no remote learning, it will be like a normal snow day. See more details below.

Town’s Capital Budget Includes Nearly $300 Million for School Construction

Watertown’s five-year capital improvement plan calls for $467.8 million in projects and equipment purchases, and the Town maintained the top bond rating — which recently paid off with several million in savings. More than half the funds in the Fiscal Year 2022-26 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) will go toward the reconstruction of Watertown’s schools, said Town Manager Michael Driscoll when he presented the CIP to the Town Council on Tuesday night. The CIP went down $56.35 million from the FY 21-25 plan. The reconstruction and renovation of Watertown’s three elementary schools will cost $89.5 million, and $200 million has been budgeted for the reconstruction of Watertown High School and related costs. The CIP calls for borrowing $157.18 million for street and sidewalk repair projects.

Watertown School Surveys Find More In-Person Learning Wanted, COVID Testing Popular

The number positive tests for COVID-19 is going up for students and staff in the Watertown Public Schools, but they have remained low for those attending in-person. Superintendent Dede Galdston discussed COVID in the schools, as well as the results of the Watertown Public Schools’ surveys taken by parents, students and staff at Monday’s School Committee meeting. The district has 13 students and/or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, but only three of those people are attending school in-person: two at the Early Steps preschool and one at Watertown High School. A total of 44 students and staff are in quarantine, including 15 at the preschool and 12 at Lowell Elementary School. Since Sept.

See the Deadline for Applying to Minuteman High School

Students from Watertown looking to get into Minuteman High School must send in their application by the March 15 deadline. The town is not one of the nine member communities, so students cannot apply for the priority deadline. Minuteman sent out the following announcement:

The priority deadline for students living within Minuteman High School’s nine member communities to apply for admission for next school year is Monday, February 15, 2021.  

Minuteman’s nine member communities are Acton, Arlington, Bolton, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Needham, and Stow. Visit https://minuteman.org/admissions to apply or obtain more details about the admissions process. View a video tour of Minuteman High School. 

To meet the February 15 priority deadline, member-town student applicants should have submitted an online application, recommendation form, the last two years of school records (grades, attendance, conduct), and have conducted an interview with a representative from Minuteman.

Free, On-Demand Tutoring Available Through Watertown Library

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Library:

Brainfuse HelpNow, a digital platform offering on demand learning support for all ages and levels is now available to Watertown residents through the Watertown Free Public Library. “We want to help people get through this strange and difficult time and we know that remote learning and working is a real struggle for a lot of people,” says Carey Conkey-Finn who runs the Teen Department at the library. “We’re hoping that this resource will fill a hole that COVID life has created.”

HelpNow is available to all Watertown residents with a Minuteman Library Network library card from any computer with internet connection or via mobile app. To access HelpNow, please visit the library’s website at watertownlib.org/brainfuse. For more information, contact 617-972-6436 or libraryteendepartment@watertown-ma.gov.

About HelpNow

Live Tutoring (available 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. 7 days a week): HelpNow offers live tutor access for homework help, skills building and test preparation.