WBC Life Science Panel Spotlights Collaboration Between Schools & Life Science Companies

If you missed the fourth annual Watertown Business Coalition Life Science Panel on April 9 focusing on the collaboration between the Watertown Public Schools and local life science companies, you can see the video produced by Watertown Cable Access Television. The collaboration is known as CoLAB High School STEM Career Collaboration, and has been organized by Watertown’s Merle Kummer and the group’s board. CoLAB is a nonprofit organization in Watertown where local life science professionals and high school educators collaborate to inspire student interest in STEM careers — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — and build new levels of STEM self-confidence.  The Life Science Panel was held at Mosesian Center for the Arts. The event included panelists from Addgene and Acrivon Therapeutics, and a Watertown High School Junior shared his experience on what it is like to have a real scientist as a mentor.”We are proud to partner with life sciences professionals, working together to mentor our students and future scientists,” the Watertown Business Coalition said after the event. See the video below:

Information About Watertown’s Free PreK and Preschool Programs

On Monday, the School Committee approved Superintendent Dede Galdston’s plan to provide free universal prekindergarten in the Watertown Public Schools beginning in the fall of 2024. Galdston provided more information about the program in an announcement sent out this week, see it below. Watertown Public Schools is pleased to announce that PreKindergarten and Preschool classes will be tuition-free for children who turn 4 by August 31, 2024. Applications for the 2024-2025 school year have already begun, and we are excited to be able to offer up to 40 additional spaces for Watertown children in our prekindergarten and preschool classrooms.

Here is more information about our Early Steps PreKindergarten program and process:

PreKindergarten is for students who turn four by August 31. The classroom has 18 students in it with 1 certified teacher and 1 instructional assistant. The curriculum is age-appropriate with an emphasis on socialization, early numeracy, and early literacy skills.

LETTER: Watertown Educators Call for Emergency Protocol Training Following Third False Intruder Alert

The following is a letter signed by 50 Cunniff families and more than a dozen additional community members in response to the third false alarm of the intruder alert at the Cunniff since the new building opened. 

January 14, 2024

In the aftermath of an accidental activation of the intruder alert at Cunniff last week, we want to publicly share our support for the heroism, leadership, compassion, and professionalism that our teachers demonstrated during this crisis. Thank you for prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of our children and for the countless ways that you support them every day. The district has released information about physical safeguards being installed to prevent another false alarm. Last week’s incident was the third occurrence during school hours since the opening of the new Cunniff. Watertown Educators shared via Facebook that Cunniff Educators have asked for emergency protocol trainings since moving into the new building. The signers of this letter are calling for immediate action by Watertown Public Schools district leadership and Watertown School Committee to ensure this need be met.

Watertown Assistant Superintendent Heading to Marblehead to be Interim Superintendent

Watertown Assistant Superintendent Theresa McGuinness will be leaving Watertown after eight years to take a position in Marblehead. (Courtesy of Watertown Public Schools)

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Public Schools:

Dr. Theresa McGuinness, Watertown’s Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, has accepted an offer to become the Interim Superintendent of Marblehead Public Schools. During her 8 years in Watertown, Dr. McGuinness demonstrated a relentless focus on the inclusiveness of instruction, valuing high expectations and equity for all students and staff members. Dr. McGuinness, like so many educators and administrators in Watertown, has worked tirelessly to create a fully inclusive, strong, and welcoming school district. “Watertown is a special school district and a microcosm of the world in many ways,” said Dr. McGuinness.

LETTER: Parents Back Watertown School Committee Candidate

As parents of students at all levels in the Watertown Public Schools, we write to enthusiastically express our support for Lisa Capoccia for Watertown School Committee. The three of us have separately known Lisa for over a decade in various capacities – as a public health colleague working in suicide prevention, as collaborators on school and community initiatives, and as fellow parents. Lisa has dedicated an incredible amount of time to the Watertown Public Schools over many years, and often behind the scenes, by advocating for resources for students, families, and staff who need them the most, improving transparency of health data to the community, sharing and compiling resources on a community and individual level, and much more. As long as we have known Lisa, she has deeply valued the diversity among families in Watertown and has seen that as one of the greatest strengths of the Watertown Public Schools. She is a tireless advocate for equity in public education and has offered important feedback to the district through the Equity Audit process that was developed last year.

State Recognizes Hosmer Elementary for Improvements on MCAS

(Courtesy of Watertown Public Schools)

The following information was provided by the Watertown Public Schools:

The Hosmer Elementary School has been named a School of Recognition by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education following the release of 2023 accountability data. Hosmer is just one of 65 schools in the state to earn this honor. The Hosmer School outperformed 2023 MCAS targets in both Math and English Language Arts while also improving on scores from 2022. Hosmer recorded a 93% score in DESE’s Progress Towards Targets metric. The state considers 75% as the threshold for meeting or exceeding targets.

Watertown Schools Appoint New Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

Superintendent Dede Galdston announced the hiring of Dr. Ceronne Daly as the Watertown Public School’s Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Galdston announced the hiring to staff on Monday. Daly has worked in the Boston Public Schools for more than 10 years, most recently as the Managing Director of the Office of Recruitment, Cultivation, and Diversity Programs.

Daly will officially start working in October, but will be attending events starting this week, Galdston said in her statement. Daly succeeds Kimberlee Henry, who was the first Director of DEIB. The School Committee approved the creation of the position in 2020.

Watertown Schools Retirees Include Spanish, Social Studies & Music Teachers, a Special Educator & More

The Watertown Public Schools will say farewell to nine educators and staff at the end of the school year, including some who have worked in the district for decades. At last week’s School Committee meeting, Superintendent Dede Galdston spoke about each of the nine retirees, who work in schools and departments around the district. Mark Boudreau

He worked as the woodshop and construction technology teacher at Watertown High School for 21 years. “Mark is the very epitome of a vocational educator, a consummate wood working and construction technology professional who takes pride in mentoring students in the safe operation of tools to achieve a desired hands-on result,” Galdston said. “Mark’s projects and classes introduced numerous students into the very real possibility of careers in Finish carpentry and the trades in general.”