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.

Watertown Community Foundation Accepting Applications for Watertown Schools Program Grants

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.