School Committee Update: MCAS Results, Policy Changes & More

The School Committee has met three times in the last 1.5 months. Below are some updates. 

The Watertown High School field hockey team won the State Championship with a 2-0 win over Sandwich. The team played with poise, intensity and impressive technical ability en route to an undefeated season, their second-straight state title, and the 20th state championship for head coach Eileen Donahue. Congratulations on an incredible season! 

Watertown had other athletic successes this fall: girls soccer had a fantastic season, qualifying for the state tournament and winning two exciting matches; boys soccer and football both made the state tournament; the cross country team had two runners advance to All-States; cheerleading advanced to States; lots of fun (and a great 21-7 win) was had at the 100th Annual Thanksgiving Football Game at Fenway Park. 

The WHS put on a fabulous production of Clue in November. And, the spring musical, Anastasia begins rehearsal this week.

School Committee Update: Teacher Honored, Equity Plan & District Improvement Strategy

The School Committee has met twice over the last few weeks (September 19th and October 3rd). Our own Jackie McCready (Lowell ESL teacher), was nominated by Latinos for Education for exceptional work at the Lowell Elementary School and within the community. She was also honored at the State House in early October. Congratulations, Jackie! Bianca Skraly, Watertown High School Student Advisor, provided an update on the happenings at WHS, including: academics, athletics, the new drop/add period and the upcoming school play Clue.

Group that Advocates for Special Needs Students Growing, Hosting Multiple Events for Parents

The group that advocates for students with special needs in Watertown has had a surge of activity, and will hold a number of upcoming events for both parents of special needs students and others. Parent Heather McManus, who chairs the Watertown SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council, told the School Committee Monday about some of the activities the group is participating in, including chances for parents to learn about services for their children, and how to get involved in the group. On Oct. 17, SEPAC will host a virtual Disability Listening Session. During the event, parents, guardians and caregivers can share disability-related concerns and feedback touched on in the WPS 2022 Equity Audit.

Superintendent Gets Good Grades in Annual Review

Charlie BreitroseWatertown Superintendent of Schools Dede Galdston. Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston received good marks on her annual performance evaluation from the School Committee. The School Committee discussed their job review for the leader of the Watertown Public Schools on Monday night. On the overall performance, Galdston received two “exemplary” evaluations (the top mark) and five “proficient” (second highest), said School Committee Chair Kendra Foley. “This is a very positive evaluation.

Watertown Schools Seeking Crossing Guards for School Year

The City of Watertown released the following job description:

The City of Watertown seeks to hire School Crossing Guards to work under the supervision of theWatertown Police Department. Responsibilities include monitoring vehicle and pedestrian traffic at assigned crossings to assist school children crossing the streets, while providing for the orderly movement of traffic. Must be able to communicate effectively with school children, parents, and drivers, ensure that children cross the street properly and safely. Must be able to stand for the entire shift and to tolerate exposure to all types of weather conditions, maintain a high level of awareness, be reliable and can use judgement and work independently. Required Qualifications

High School diploma (or GED).

YMCA Naming New Building at Summer Camp for Former Watertown Teacher

West Suburban YMCAThe new Loch Lodge at the West Suburban YMCA’s Camp Chickami is nearing completion. The multipurpose building is named after former Watertown teacher Jim Lochiatto. Jim Lochiatto, or Mr. Loch, made an impact on many Watertown children as an art teacher and working at the YMCA’s Camp Chickami, and now he is being honored by having a new building at the Y’s summer camp named for him. Since the 1950s, the West Suburban YMCA has run summer camps at its property in Wayland. It became a special place for Lochiatto having spent many years there, first as a camper and later working there.

LETTER: The Right Place for Solar Panels at Schools

We as a city are moving forward in many ways. However, the use of our land is not one of them. There is a place for everything. But do we put solar panels on the ground using up valuable acreage in our four-square mile city? Apparently, we did so at the new Cunniff School, installing an array adjacent to the parking lot on the north side of the hill. 

Solar panels belong on roof tops and on parking lot canopies; using valuable ground space is not a favorable location.