School Committee Update: Changes to Student Handbooks, Rendering of New High School & More

The following information was provided by the School Committee:

The School Committee met on Monday, August 29, 2022. Over the summer, the School Committee completed and presented the 2021/2022 Superintendent evaluation. Dr. (Dede) Galdston was rated as proficient or exemplary by all members on all four standards in addition to her overall performance. She continues to show strong and steady leadership and we are grateful she is leading the Watertown Public Schools. Minor changes were approved for the Middle School handbook, High School handbook and District handbook.

Superintendent Gets Good Grades in Annual Review

Charlie BreitroseWatertown Superintendent of Schools Dede Galdston. Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston received good marks on her annual performance evaluation from the School Committee. The School Committee discussed their job review for the leader of the Watertown Public Schools on Monday night. On the overall performance, Galdston received two “exemplary” evaluations (the top mark) and five “proficient” (second highest), said School Committee Chair Kendra Foley. “This is a very positive evaluation.

School Committee: See What Happened at the June 6 Meeting

By Kendra Foley, Watertown School Committee Chair

The School Committee met on Monday, June 6, 2022. We started the meeting by celebrating and thanking our WPS retirees. As part of the teaching and learning showcase, members of the WHS Robotics Team, known as the KwarQs, demonstrated the robot they built for competitions this year (their most successful year to date!). The team is an extracurricular group that teaches engineering, teamwork, and leadership skills while spreading the interest of STEM education throughout the Watertown Community. Their robot was impressive and the students were full of joy and curiosity!

School Committee Approves Making Masks Optional in Watertown Schools

Almost two years to the day after schools shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Watertown students will be able to go to class without wearing a face mask. Monday night, the School Committee approved Superintendent Dede Galdston’s plan to make masks optional and a set of metrics to decide if they will be required in the future. Galston noted that March 13, 2020 was the date that school in Massachusetts closed in the beginning of the Pandemic, and two years later students will be able to choose not to wear a mask. She also stressed that teachers and staff will emphasize that students will be respected and accepted regardless of whether or not they choose to wear a face mask. The change in mask rules will be finalized this week, Galdston said, after the latest student and staff testing results are received.

Committee to Study Vocational Education Finalized, Will Get Help from Consultant

The ad hoc committee that will study vocational and career education available to Watertown students will have four members of the public, and a consultant will assist members. The Vocational, Technical, and Career Education Options Ad Hoc Committee will have a total of nine members, and will meet monthly from February to June. Ultimately, it will come up with recommendations to the School Committee. The committee was formed after access to Minuteman High School was reduced for Watertown students after the vocational school opened its new campus in September 2019. Watertown is not a member district, but instead pays tuition for students to attend the school located in Lexington.