WHS Students Looking to Plant 150 Trees in Watertown, Selling Seedlings

Two types of trees are available from the Watertown High School Environmental Club, the River Birch and Eastern Redbud. The following announcement was provided by the Watertown High School Environmental Club:

The Watertown High School Environmental Club needs your help to offset school paper usage in the community! During a normal school year, WHS uses up to 1.2 million sheets of paper, which is equivalent to 150 trees. The club has teamed up with Tree-Plenish to sponsor an event in which you can purchase a sapling for $5, and opt to have volunteers plant it in your yard. Tree-Plenish’s mission is to create more sustainable schools by replenishing the environment with these lost resources. 

“As a member of the WHS Environmental Club, I am very proud to be working with Tree-Plenish to help our community,” said Cooper Petrie.

State Officials Have Questions About High School Project, May Delay Final Vote

A conceptual design of the preferred option for the New Watertown High School, looking down Common Street toward Mt. Auburn Street. The date of the public vote on funding for the Watertown High School project may have to be pushed back after state officials had questions about the size and design of the proposed new school. After reviewing the preferred design of the new WHS, the Facilities Assessment Subcommittee of the Mass. School Building Authority sent back comments, and request for more investigation into other options after their meeting on Jan.

UPDATE: Dozens of Pairs of Shoes Donated by Watertown Native, Rec. Dept. Will Distribute

Watertown native Robert Marra with Peter Centola, who was Marra’s fold coach at WHS and is now Director of Watertown’s Recreation Department. Marra donated 60 pairs of shoes to the Town, which will give them away to residents. (Updated Jan. 13, 2021 at 8:45 a.m.)

Watertown residents can get a free pair of shoes thanks to a Watertown native who wanted to help his hometown. Robert Marra works and lives in Ashland now, but he grew up in Town.

School Committee Opposes MCAS as Graduation Requirement During Pandemic

The Watertown School Committee passed a resolution opposing the graduation requirement of passing the MCAS for the Class of 2022 because the students were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The subject came up when the School Committee considered a resolution from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) that opposed requiring the Class of 2022 who missed the MCAS having to make up the test and pass it in order to graduate. It also called for a moratorium on high-stakes testing during the 2020-21 school year as well as the following three years. While School Committee members agreed that the pandemic adversely impacted students learning, not all agreed that the testing should be suspended for three years. The resolution was brought to the attention of the School Committee by Lily Rayman-Read, who is one of Watertown’s representatives to the MASC.

Schools Rolling Out Student COVID-19 Testing Week After Thanksgiving

Watertown students will be able to be tested for COVID-19 for free starting the week after Thanksgiving, in an effort to keep schools open for in-person learning and to stop the spread of the virus in the school and broader community. Galdston told the School Committee about the district’s testing program on Monday, the same night that a piece on the Watertown Public Schools’ COVID-19 testing program (for which she was interviewed) aired on the NBC Nightly News. “In the 45 minute interview, that was cut to 30 seconds, we spent a lot of time talking about how Watertown has really gone above and beyond to keep our students and our staff safe,” Galdston said. “Here is just another safety net we have for all of our people within our community.” School Committee member Lily Rayman-Read, who teaches in the Cambridge Public Schools, said the NBC story caught the interest of educators in other communities.

Students Traveling Out-of-State for Thanksgiving Must be Tested or Quarantine

Watertown students who travel outside of Massachusetts to a high-risk area must either get a negative test for COVID-19 or quarantine for 14 days before returning to school for in-person learning, Superintendent Dede Galdston announced Wednesday. Most states have been put on the the Massachusetts Restricted Travel list, but three of the lower risk ones are in New England — Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont — along with Hawaii. When returning from a high-risk state, students must get a negative PCR test prior to returning to school according to the Massachusetts regulations, Galdston wrote. Students must quarantine while waiting for test results. Galdston also wrote that the schools will have two remote days after the Thanksgiving break, on Nov.

Watertown High Drama Presenting Virtual Version of “The Crucible”

The Watertown High School Dramatic Arts Department has taken the saying, “The show must go on,” to heart, and will be presenting the fall play, The Crucible, in a remote format. The play will be recorded remotely, and will be available for people to watch online on Nov. 20-22 on the Watertown High School website. When the school year began, all the schools in Watertown operated remotely, and performances indoors were not allowed under the Massachusetts COVID-19 regulations. WHS student Ryan Leonard, who is the stage director for The Crucible, said it wasn’t clear whether there would even be a play.

LETTER: Watertown High Group’s Climate Demands

The following information was provided by members of the Watertown High School student group, Watertown Sunrise, which advocates to stop Climate Change. The demands were presented during a march and rally on the evening of Oct. 23, 2020. WATERTOWN SUNRISE DEMANDS

We demand that the Watertown town council declare a climate emergency. We’re also asking our town government, to help call on other town leaders and to sign onto the Green New Deal pledge to fight for our futures.