Watertown elementary school students will return to school, part time, beginning Oct. 27. Superintendent Dede Galdston sent out the announcement Thursday evening. Superintendent Dede Galdston said the decision was be based on the state’s latest report on the number of COVID-19 cases and rate of positive tests in Town. In a letter to parents Galdston wrote: “…
The Watertown Public Schools are being audited by the state regarding the district’s decision not to move up the start of hybrid learning in the schools. Watertown School officials received a letter from the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) this week informing them of the audit. On Tuesday, Superintendent Dede Galdston confirmed that Watertown is being audited. The district is one of two being audited, according to a story on MassLive.com, along with East Longmeadow. Both were among the 16 districts to receive letters from DESE pushing them to return to in-person learning, at least part time, because the rate of COVID-19 was not high under the state’s virus tracking system.
School officials are optimistic that Watertown elementary school students will return to classes part time in a hybrid model beginning Oct. 27, and the middle school could go to a hybrid model weeks earlier than originally planned. The School Committee met Monday night, during a meeting held virtually over Zoom, but did not take a vote on the start of hybrid learning in Watertown. Instead, they left the decision up to the superintendent. On Thursday, Oct.
The state’s COVID-19 Community Level Reporting map showing Watertown in yellow, or moderate risk for the spread of the virus. Previously Watertown had been green, or lower risk. The rate of infection in Watertown has risen into the moderate risk (yellow) category in the state’s COVID-19 Community Level reporting. On Monday, the School Committee will be discussing whether to open the Watertown Public Schools for hybrid learning. Watertown’s infection rate is 4.5 per 100,000 residents, according to the state’s Community Level COVID-19 Reporting map.
Lowell School in Watertown. After hearing from several parents anxious to see the Watertown Public Schools open for in-person learning as soon as possible, the School Committee did not adjust the Oct. 27 reopening date for elementary schools. However, they will look into moving up the date for middle and high school students from late November. Monday night, about a dozen people spoke during public forum during the virtual School Committee meeting.
A screenshot of the parent petition asking for the Watertown Schools to reopen earlier. The Watertown Public Schools will not be moving to a hybrid model with a mix of in-person and remote learning, until Oct. 26 at the earliest, but a Hosmer Elementary School parent has started a petition asking officials to reconsider. The decision to start the year remotely, and move to hybrid later in the fall, was made in August. School officials have been under pressure from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to open earlier because COVID-19 rates put the Town into the lower-risk category (green) in the state’s Community Level COVID Data Reporting system.
Watertown School officials responded to the letter from state education officials asking them to reopen the schools to in-person learning, saying the Town’s school will remain on their schedule to have students return to elementary schools in late October and to secondary schools in November. Meanwhile, Gov. Charlie Baker announced the relaxing of some of the state’s COVID-19 rules. Last week, the Watertown Schools, and 15 other districts, received a letter from Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley strongly urging the schools to return to in-person learning because the communities have low rates of Coronavirus infections. Watertown remains a “green” community, meaning it is at lower risk of COVID-19 spread. The latest weekly statistics released by the State, as of Sept.
Lowell School in Watertown. When the school year begins, Watertown Public School students will start off learning from home, but officials have designed a plan to transition back to in-person learning without drastic changes to students’ schedules. Thursday night, the School Committee approved the “Bridge to Hybrid” plan proposed by Superintendent Dede Galdston. Under the plan students will start in remote learning, but Galdston said it will be more structured, and teacher focused than the spring. Meanwhile, the schools will be prepared to welcome back students while complying with COVID-19 heath and safety guidelines.