Superintendent's Update

May 15, 2021

Welcome!

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COVID Vaccinations for Children ages 12 and Up

On Thursday, the CDC approved the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization for children ages 12 and up! This is a great step for our school community to keep our children safe and protected from COVID19. Appointments are easy to book, and I recommend using the vaccine finder search tool on the Mass.gov site: https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/. There are several convenient locations in or near Watertown that have the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The School Department is also pursuing options for a school-based clinic.


Additionally, our friends and Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols (BB&N) are offering a vaccine clinic on May 22, with the follow-up shot on June 13 for children ages 12-18. The clinic at BB&N will be managed by Brewster Ambulance Company and you may sign up for your child’s appointment through this BB&N COVID Clinic Registration site. Note that each person being vaccinated who is under the age of 18 years old will need to come to the clinic with a parent or guardian who is able to provide consent to the child receiving the vaccination. The vaccine will be covered by your insurance at no out-of-pocket cost to you. If you do not have access to insurance, leave the insurance information in the sign-up form blank.


Please use the same link to register for a second appointment on June 13—this is very important to ensure you have access to the second shot for your child! Both clinics will be held on BB&N's Upper School campus in the Nicholas Athletic Center gymnasium at 50 Gerry's Landing Road. Some parking will be available at the NAC with more parking next to the Upper School building at 80 Gerry's Landing Road. If you have any questions about the clinic or issues with registration, please reach out directly to Kelly at Brewster Ambulance at kmagyar@brewsterambulance.com. Thank you to BB&N for extending this opportunity to WPS families.


Please note that at this time, mask-wearing indoors and outdoors is still required on WPS school grounds, even for students and staff who are fully vaccinated. The guidance changes rapidly, and any modifications that we make regarding mask-wearing will be communicated as soon as decisions are made.


COVID testing will continue into the foreseeable future, as it is still possible to get COVID even if you are vaccinated.

Let's Talk About Equity : How to Talk to Kids About Race, Culture, and Racism- May 20

You are invited to an empowering presentation, "How to Talk to Kids About Race, Culture, and Racism", given by Dr. Kalise Wornum. This presentation is the first of a three-part series for parents on race and racism. Dr. Kalise Wornum is an Educational Consultant at KW Diversity Inc. Earlier in her career, she served as the METCO Director in the Wellesley Public Schools and currently collaborates with districts and communities across Massachusetts supporting their equity work, including Watertown. We are pleased to invite parents and caregivers to this excellent event.


The presentation will be held via Zoom from 6:30-8:00 pm on Thursday, May 20.

School Building Committee Meeting- Wednesday, May 19

The Watertown School Building Committee will be meeting on Wednesday, May 19, via Zoom to discuss the progress of the Watertown High School building project. I encourage WPS parents and caregivers to attend the meeting to learn about the options for the new building and swing space during construction. The link to the presentation provides you with a preview of what will be discussed at Wednesday's meeting.


At the April 27 Town Council meeting, the Town Manager shared a plan to fund the Town's portion of the new high school within the confines of Proposition 2 1/2, thus eliminating the need for a debt exclusion vote from the Watertown taxpayers. This is great news for Watertown residents and parents, and most importantly for our students! The support for education in Watertown is remarkable, and we are grateful for the commitment to providing state-of-the-art educational facilities for Watertown's children. The WHS building project is in partnership with the Massachusetts School Building Authority, who will fund a portion of the project as well.