School Committee Member Rachel Kay Hosting Office Hours at Filippello Park

Watertown School Committee member Rachel Kay announced she will be available to meet with the public during office hours on Friday, June 7 from 4-5 p.m. She also moved the location of the office hours, see info below. A quick update on Friday’s office hour. I discovered that Filippello Park’s Splash Pad is re-opening at the same time! Thus I’m moving my office hour this week to the picnic tables near the spray park. Look for me sitting with a clipboard (and hopefully enjoying some Ben and Jerry’s!).

School Committee Wraps Up FY25 Budget, Approves 2024-25 School Calendar

By Kendra FoleyChair, Watertown School Committee

It has been a busy month for the Watertown School Committee as we wrap up the FY25 budget process. In the last three meetings, our board has heard a number of important presentations, voted on policy changes, and celebrated major accomplishments. We have come to an agreement with Superintendent Galdston on a 4-year contract extension through 2028. Dr. Galdston has been an excellent leader for Watertown, bringing expertise, commitment and stability. We are thrilled to have her leading the Watertown Public Schools for another four years.

Superintendent Given Four Year Extension Which Will Take Her to Over a Decade in Watertown

Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston. The School Committee thanked Superintendent Dede Galdston for her efforts in Watertown this week when they approved an extension to her contract. On April 8, the School Committee unanimously approved a four-year extension for Galdston. Her salary increased by more than $26,000 to $220,000 in the first year of the contract, with future year’s salaries to be set by the School Committee after her annual review. Galdston said she looked forward to finishing some of the initiatives that have started in her time in the Watertown Public Schools.

This Week: Short Term Rentals and School Budget Presentation

Watertown City Hall

Tuesday night, the City Council will consider the proposed rules for short term rentals, aka Airbnb or VRBO, in Watertown. On Monday, the School Committee will hear the Superintendent’s budget presentation for the 2024-25 school year. The City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on a zoning amendment about short term rentals (i.e. Airbnb and VRBO) in Watertown on Tuesday. In March the Planning Board supported the proposal which allows short term rentals with some restrictions, including that the homes or rooms in homes must be the owner’s primary residence, they can only be rented up to three months a year, and they will not be allowed in adjacent units in a multi-family home, such as half of a two family or an accessory (mother-in-law) unit. (Read more details here).

School Committee Member Rachel Kay Hosting Office Hours

School Committee member Rachel Kay

Watertown School Committee member Rachel Kay will host virtual office hours this week. Kay sent out the following announcement:

I will be available on zoom on Thursday February 15 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Click here at 7 p.m. on the 15th to log in. Please come with your questions and concerns, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

School Committee to Look at Ways to Make Overnight Field Trips Affordable for All Students

Watertown Public School music students perform at Bandarama. Those in high school take a trip to New York every two years. The School Committee approved a field trip for Watertown High School music students to spend a weekend in New York, but had concerns about the price and making sure that all students can participate. The trip to the Big Apple has become a biannual tradition for the chorus, band, and orchestra. The trip includes a performance and workshop with professional musicians, a Broadway show, a dinner/dance cruise around the Statue of Liberty, visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and walking around Central Park.

Watertown’s City Council Has Some Big Issues Waiting as New Term Begins

City Council President Mark Sideris outlined the accomplishments of the past two terms and issues facing the City Council in the new term at the 2024 Inauguration. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

The New Year also ushered in a new term for Watertown’s elected boards, and the City has some issues on its plate to tackle soon, including a show shoveling ordinance, short-term rentals, and reusing some former city buildings. City Council President Mark Sideris addressed the crowd Tuesday night at the Commander’s Mansion after members of the City Council, School Committee, and Board of Library Trustees took the oath of office. Watertown’s elected officials waited to be sworn in at the 2024 Inauguration at the Commander’s Mansion. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

When the Council meets on Jan.

LETTER: Candidate’s Post-Election Message to Voters

David Stokes

Voters of Watertown,

You have spoken, and the results are in! I offer a hearty thanks to each of you who cast a ballot in this election. And many more profound thanks to all the candidates across the ballot, both successful and unsuccessful candidates alike – I know that the run for elected office is trying and can be tumultuous. Although I was unsuccessful in my run for re-election, I am confident that the collective wisdom of the democratic process has provided a robust School Committee going forward. I am grateful for the opportunity that you provided me 4 years ago to serve on the School Committee as your elected representative.