Parents, Students Wanted for School District Improvement Strategy Committee

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Public Schools:

The Watertown Public Schools is forming a District Improvement Strategy 2.0 Development Team, “the Strategy Team”, whose charge is to create a multi-year District Improvement Strategy, as a successor to the current Strategy that was established in 2018. The team will develop a clearly articulated improvement strategy that emanates from the District’s mission, vision, and core values. Once these have been established, the team will determine the necessary initiatives and action plans to attain the objectives and set measurable benchmarks to monitor progress. The development of this strategy is an iterative process that will involve input and feedback from the School Committee, the District’s Leadership Team, parents, students, WPS faculty and staff, and WPS community members throughout the months. Watertown Public Schools is looking for broad representation of stakeholders on the Strategy Team 2.0, representing all schools and serving in a variety of roles.

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.

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.

Governor’s Council Candidate’s “Dubious” Endorsements; Election Day Coincides With Watertown’s First Day of School

The race for District 3 Governor’s Council continues to grab headlines as one of the candidates claimed support from Massachusetts politicians that it appears she does not have. Also, the City officials want voters to be aware — with many polling places located at schools — that election day falls on the same day as Watertown students head back to school. During a recent League of Women’s Voters forum District 3 Governor’s Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney, from Watertown, stated that she had endorsements, which were later refuted. The 12-term incumbent faces Concord’s Mara Dolan in the Democratic Primary for the seat on the board which, among other things, votes on the Governor’s nominations for judges and nominees for other boards, and on vote on the Governor’s proposed pardons and commutations of prisoners. In the debate, which was shown by NewTV (Newton’s public access channel), Devaney said she had been endorsed by Congressman Jim McGovern and Democratic State Auditor candidate Chris Dempsey.

New Elementary Attendance Zones Approved by School Committee, Enrollment Rising

Watertown Public SchoolsThe Watertown elementary school attendance zone option approved by the School Committee. The buffer zones are shaded with diagonal lines. New boundaries for Watertown’s elementary school attendance areas have been approved, and include buffer zones that would allow families to choose between two schools. The School Committee approved the option recommended by Superintendent Dede Galdston on Monday night. The new areas will only impact students new to the district, not those already attending Cunniff, Lowell, or Hosmer elementary schools.

Last Day to Fill Out Watertown Schools’ Parent Climate Survey

Watertown school officials seek to find out about their experience in the Watertown Public Schools with a Parent/Guardian Climate Survey. Dec. 23 is the final day to submit the survey. The survey is being done in conjunction with the UChicago Impact, a group out of the University Chicago that provides tools and assistance to schools. Superintendent Dede Galdston sent out the following message:

This is a reminder that we are asking parents and caregivers to complete a culture and climate survey based on their experiences in the Watertown Public Schools.

LETTER: Parent Pleased With Watertown Public Schools Vaccine Clinic

This Wednesday, we brought my child (first grade at Hosmer) to the vaccine clinic the Watertown Public Schools arranged to take place at the Middle School. I’m happy to report that everything went off without a hitch! As of Nov. 3, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a reduced dose COVID vaccination for children ages 5-11. We were eager to get my child vaccinated and signed up for the WPS vaccine clinic without hesitation.