Online Fund Raising Effort to Help Family of Young Boy Who Passed Away Recently

A screenshot from GoFundMe.com

Cunniff Elementary School lost a young student recently, and a crowdfunding campaign has been started to help his family. Second grader Ayyan passed away at the age of 7, and is remembers for his infectious joy, according to a building-based substitute, Pete Carron. “The loss of Ayyan is felt throughout Cunniff and the community. As a building-based substitute teacher I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ayyan on several occasions. He was quick with a smile and a high-five whenever I would see him. That kind of joy is infectious and the best kind of light to share with others,” Carron wrote.

Following False Alarms Watertown Schools to Hold Emergency Drills, Also Seek to Improve Communication System

After a series of false alarms in the security systems at Watertown’s new schools, the district plans to hold drills for the students, and will look for ways to avoid more incidents in the future. The Watertown Public Schools opened two brand new elementary schools, a third underwent a major renovation and expansion, and students at the high school have a new, temporary home. The new buildings also have new technology, including a multi-hazard notification system, said Superintendent Dede Galdston. All four new schools have had false alarms, she said, some due to wiring and other when the panic button was pressed by mistake. “We want to make sure people understand that these happen and that we will do to prevent that from happening again,” Galdston said.

LETTER: Watertown Educators Call for Emergency Protocol Training Following Third False Intruder Alert

The following is a letter signed by 50 Cunniff families and more than a dozen additional community members in response to the third false alarm of the intruder alert at the Cunniff since the new building opened. 

January 14, 2024

In the aftermath of an accidental activation of the intruder alert at Cunniff last week, we want to publicly share our support for the heroism, leadership, compassion, and professionalism that our teachers demonstrated during this crisis. Thank you for prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of our children and for the countless ways that you support them every day. The district has released information about physical safeguards being installed to prevent another false alarm. Last week’s incident was the third occurrence during school hours since the opening of the new Cunniff. Watertown Educators shared via Facebook that Cunniff Educators have asked for emergency protocol trainings since moving into the new building. The signers of this letter are calling for immediate action by Watertown Public Schools district leadership and Watertown School Committee to ensure this need be met.

LETTER: A More Walkable Watertown … And an update on Unwalkable Highland Avenue

Some of you will remember that I wrote a letter to the editor of the Watertown News on September 7th regarding the serious nature of the conditions on Highland Avenue for school children. A day or so later, I thought that I’d been heard. Construction on this project picked up, especially near the hidden school crossing that had no signage warning of that crossing, where a child had been hit in 2018. There was a police cruiser there, I presumed for extra help with this child safety crosswalk issue. Wow!

Enrollment Up at All Levels in Watertown Schools, Especially at the High School

Enrollment is up at Watertown High School, despite moving into the temporary location at PFC Ricard Moxley Field. (Courtesy by City of Watertown)

Watertown’s schools are growing at all levels, and some classes at two elementary schools are near or at capacity, Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee. The biggest growth, however, is at the secondary level. Typically, School officials wait until September to provide the first enrollment report to the School Committee, Galdston said, but she wanted to inform members before school started incase they receive questions about it. “Our enrollment is up,” Galdston said.

Our History: The Origins of the Name Watertown’s Elementary Schools

Dr. Alfred Hosmer (1832-1891) and Dr. Hiram Hosmer (1798-1862) Photographs courtesy of the Watertown Free Public Library

The following story is part of a series on local history provided by the Historical Society of Watertown. It was written by Historical Society of Watertown board member Bob Bloomberg. Bob is also on the board of the Watertown Historic District Commission. He is a genealogist (his contact information is on our website) and has written several book reviews and newspaper articles. He wrote this article for our July 2020 newsletter “The Town Crier.”

Pop quiz: What do Hiram and Alfred Hosmer, P. Sarsfield Cunniff, and James Russell Lowell have in common?

Stormwater Drainage at 2 Schools Need to be Repaired

A pond has formed in a rain garden that is not draining at Hosmer School, near the corner of Mt. Auburn and Boylston streets. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

Rain gardens at two Watertown schools that should be trickling water into the ground after storms have not been draining properly and have become standing ponds. The stormwater systems will have to be reinstalled so they work properly. The rain gardens were installed at Hosmer and Cunniff elementary schools during the construction of the new school buildings.

Watertown Schools See Influx of Students at Elementary, High School Levels

Charlie BreitroseThe new school building at Cunniff Elementary School, along with the new Hosmer School have seen an increase of enrollment this fall. Watertown High School has also grown. More students arrived at the Watertown Public Schools than expected this fall, requiring the addition of some new classes, teachers and support staff. Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee on Monday that she believes the district’s new schools are part of the draw. The 2022-23 school year is the first that students will spend the whole year in the new Cunniff and Hosmer elementary school buildings.