Enrollment Up at All Levels in Watertown Schools, Especially at the High School

Enrollment is up at Watertown High School, despite moving into the temporary location at PFC Ricard Moxley Field. (Courtesy by City of Watertown)

Watertown’s schools are growing at all levels, and some classes at two elementary schools are near or at capacity, Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee. The biggest growth, however, is at the secondary level. Typically, School officials wait until September to provide the first enrollment report to the School Committee, Galdston said, but she wanted to inform members before school started incase they receive questions about it. “Our enrollment is up,” Galdston said.

Rising Special Education Costs Contribute to $1 Million Shortfall for FY24 Watertown School Budget

The Watertown Public Schools face a shortfall of around $1 million for the 2023-24 school year (Fiscal Year 2024), due in part to a large increase in the cost of special education. Monday night the School Committee heard the FY24 preliminary budget presentation from School administrators, who said the Watertown Public School’s level-services budget faces a significant deficit. This budget would provide the same level of services and programs available to students during the current school year, though it might require additional staff to provide the service due to increased enrollment in a certain grade or in a particular program, said Heidi Perkins, the WPS Director of Finance and Operations. The Watertown Schools will receive a 3.5 percent increase from the City over the FY23 budget, or $2.84 million, which would make the FY24 budget $55.64 million. The amount needed to cover a level-services budget is $58.47 million, as of Jan.

Several Watertown Students Injured in School Bus Accident

A school bus carrying Watertown Public School students collided with a vehicle on Belmont Street on Oct. 19, 2022. Several students suffered minor injuries. Multiple students went to hospital after suffering injuries when a school bus carrying Watertown elementary school student got into an accident on Belmont Street on Wednesday morning. The bus had been carrying 44 students to the Lowell West campus at the former St.

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.