Schools Using COVID Grant to Help Make Up $1.3M Deficit

The Watertown Public Schools face a shortfall of $1.38 million for the next school year, but the gap will be narrowed by using some grant funds Watertown received for COVID relief. On Monday night, Superintendent Dede Galdston presented the district’s budget for Fiscal Year 2024. The Watertown Schools will have an operating budget of $57,583,829, which is an increase of $1.947,279 over FY 23, or 3.5 percent. To provide a “level services budget,” where the same educational experience and programs are provided, Galdston said there was a deficit of $1.38 million. Salaries account for about 80 percent of the budget, Galdston said, and the level services budget includes the raises for teachers in the recently approved contract, along with the step and lane change increases given for years working in the district and earning work-related college credits.

Deadline Approaching for 55th Lt. Paul Sullivan Scholarships

Lt. Paul Sullivan was killed in Vietnam in 1968, and a scholarship in his name has been given out for 54 years. High school seniors can apply for the 55th Lt. Paul Sullivan Scholarship. The deadline to apply for the scholarship named for a Watertown resident who was killed serving in Vietnam is April 13, 2023. The organizers provided the following information:

We are looking for well-rounded student-athletes who are actively involved in their school, religion, and community. While grades and athletics are important components, CHARACTER is by far the most essential quality we look at in determining finalists.

Watertown Preschool Worker Being Investigated for Neglect Allegation

A worker at the Watertown Public School’s preschool has been placed on leave after an allegation of neglect was reported in March. A staff member at Early Steps Preschool, which is run by the Watertown Public Schools (WPS), has been placed on administrative leave after WPS officials got report of “potential classroom neglect,” according to Assistant Superintendent Theresa McGuinness. The district, the Department of Children and Families, and police are investigating the incident, according to a report in on Fox 25. School officials learned of the incident on March 3, Superintendent Dede Galdston told the Boston Globe. “Our district immediately placed the staff member on administrative leave and, per protocol, filed a report with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families,” Galdston said in a statement to the Globe.

Few Options at Area Vocational Schools, Watertown to Work with Students to Find Best Solution

Medford High School and Vocational Technical High SchoolOne of the options for Watertown students seeking a vocational education is in Medford. The options for Watertown students looking for a trade or vocational training program have shrunk recently, but local school officials will work with them to try to find a place for them at Watertown High School or in surrounding districts. The School Committee heard the report from the Vocational, Technical, and Career Education Options Ad Hoc Committee on March 27, and unanimously adopted the recommendations. The study of vocational programs in Watertown and at other schools in the area found that spots are difficult to find these days, especially for incoming ninth-graders in the fall of 2023. School Committee member David Stokes, the chair of the ad hoc committee, said that many of the schools in the area have been undergoing changes in leadership, have recent or ongoing construction projects, or both.

Watertown Student Art to be Displayed at Local Mall

Artwork created by students in the Watertown Public Schools will be on display beginning this week. The Watertown Schools announced the Visual Art Show at the Watertown Mall, 550 Arsenal St. The show features works from students in grades K to 12. It begins April 6 and runs through May 2. An opening reception will be held on Tuesday, April 11 at 6-8 p.m.

Watertown High Students Bring the Musical ‘Anastasia’ to the Stage

Karen CentolaWatertown High School students staged Anastasia as the spring musical in March. Watertown’s young performers took the stage at the high school to present this year’s spring musical, Anastasia. Karen CentolaThe cast of Watertown High School’s Anastasia. The cast and crew put on three performances of the musical adaptation of the 1997 film on March 10, 11 and 12. Karen CentolaA ballet dancer in the WHS production of Anastasia.

Four Watertown Students Make Dean’s List at Simmons University

The following announcement was provided by Simmons University:

The following local students were named to the 2022 fall semester dean’s list at Simmons University in Boston. * Eileen Coleman, Watertown

* Niamh Murphy, Watertown

* Krishna Patel, Watertown

* Paria Reich, Watertown

To qualify for dean’s list status, undergraduate students must obtain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, based on 12 or more credit hours of work in classes using the letter grade system. About Simmons University

Located in the heart of Boston, Simmons is a respected private university offering more than 50 majors and programs for undergraduate women and graduate programs open to all on campus, in blended formats, or entirely online in nursing and health sciences, liberal arts, business, communications, social work, public health, and library and information science. Founded in 1899, Simmons has established a model of higher education that other colleges and universities are only recently beginning to adapt: the combination of education for leadership in high-demand professional fields with the intellectual foundation of the liberal arts. The result is a Simmons graduate prepared not only to work, but to lead in professional, civic, and personal life – a vision of empowerment that Simmons calls preparation for life’s work.

Watertown Students Can Apply for Charles River Chamber Scholarship

The Charles River Regional Chamber is pleased to offer scholarship opportunities for up to four deserving students who either live in Needham, Newton, Watertown or Wellesley and/or who attend school in Needham, Newton, Watertown or Wellesley and who plan to attend an accredited college or university in the next academic year. The student(s) selected will have a check (approximately $2,000) sent to their college or university to be applied toward tuition upon successful completion of their first semester. Selection will be made by a panel of local leaders who will review all applications completed by the submission deadline of March 31. Decisions will be made based on a combination of the application’s completeness and accuracy, letter of recommendation and responses to essay questions. See more information and get the application form by clicking here.