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.
Watertown Public Schools is now forcing a COVID vaccine mandate on all WPS staff, even though, according to school committee members that I emailed, 96-98% of their staff are already vaccinated. The schools have already achieved herd immunity. Clearly, this new mandate is targeting the handful of people who do not want to try this new vaccine. There is plenty of evidence, both anecdotally and statistically, showing that some people have been severely injured or even killed by the new COVID vaccines. This is not a conspiracy theory, it’s a fact.
The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Community Foundation:
The Watertown Community Foundation (WCF) is pleased to announce they are accepting applications for the Watertown School Grant Program. This program focuses solely on Watertown’s public schools and seeks to support activities that improve instruction and learning. For the first time WCF is partnering with Life Science Cares to fund STEM grants. The application form is available online. Eligibility
Applicants must be public entities or nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.Organizations implementing programs within a school(s) are welcome to apply. It is also required that applicants review their proposed project with the school principal or department chair before applying.
UPDATE: Superintendent Dede Galdston announced Wednesday that the Oct. 21 Listening Session has been postponed, and the new date is to be determined. The Watertown Police Department and Watertown Public Schools will host the first of a series of listening sessions to allow people to share their experiences and speak with department leaders. The event will be held Thursday, Oct. 21, from 6:30-8 p.m, at the Watertown Boys & Girls Club, 25 Whites Ave., Watertown.
The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Community Foundation and Life Science Cares Boston:
Life Science Cares Boston is collaborating with the Watertown Community Foundation and four Watertown-based life science companies to launch the Watertown STEM Education Fund, a special effort to fund science, technology, engineering & math programming in the Watertown Public Schools. Four corporate contributors — Arranta Bio, C4 Therapeutics, Forma Therapeutics & Landmark Bio — and Life Science Cares have committed a total of $15,000 in funding for teacher-driven requests for supplemental materials, books, equipment, special events and speakers, student programs and experimental school or district-wide initiatives. The fund builds on the Watertown Community Foundation’s annual school-based educational grants program and will increase total funding for the foundation’s grants this fall. “This exciting new partnership and funding commitment will expand our ability to support Watertown teachers through our annual education grant program. Each year we receive far more grant requests than we can fund, particularly in the area of science and technology. This STEM Fund will truly transform our grant giving capacity and provide teachers and our schools with more resources to support students in the classroom,” said Jan Singer, Watertown Community Foundation Executive Director.
The Watertown Public Schools are having a trouble ensuring they are getting enough food for the school lunches, due in part to the closing of Russo’s market. Shortages in food deliveries from national food chains, plus the loss of a key local source of food has left the Watertown Schools school lunch program uncertain what they will be able to serve to students each day, Watertown’s Director of School Nutrition Brandon Rabbit told WBZ Channel 4. Adding to the difficulty in securing items for school breakfasts and lunches is the closing of Russo’s. The market, which closed after decades in Watertown on Sept. 18, used to be a key provider to the Watertown Schools and about 90 other districts.
School Committee Candidate Rachel Kay’s recent letter to the Watertown MA News regarding a requirement for Watertown teachers to be vaccinated was not surprising given the level of political discourse that has recently besieged our country. In the letter, Ms. Kay is dismayed that there is not a vaccine mandate in place for teachers in the Watertown Public Schools. Her letter implies that the Watertown Educators Association and Watertown Public School District are opposed to a vaccine mandate. Ms.Kay appears to be uninformed regarding this matter. Had she inquired about a vaccine mandate by asking WEA leaders, School Committee members, or Superintendent Galdston, she would have learned that this matter is currently in negotiations.
As far as I’m aware, Watertown has not yet announced a policy for COVID vaccination in schools. I’m writing today to urge you to adopt a mandate as many other jurisdictions are now doing. COVID vaccines are safe and effective, and are by far the most effective way to prevent COVID outbreaks in our schools and keep our teachers and students safe. I got vaccinated at the first opportunity and will get my children vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.
Masks, ventilation, social distancing, and testing can help, but there is a limit to what ventilation can do, and in many ways masks, social distancing, and testing are far more burdensome than getting a vaccine because the vaccine is two doses at single points in time, whereas masks and social distancing restrict what people can do every single day. It seems incongruous to mandate the less effective, more burdensome intervention, while leaving the more effective, less burdensome intervention up to the individual.