November 16, 2023
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A Message From The Superintendent
Today, we will be celebrating the construction of our new high school with our groundbreaking ceremony being held on Columbia Street at 3:30. The street will be closed and we invite anyone who wants to attend this event to join us as we dig our shovels into the dirt where the new high school will be. And in the coming days, the building will be coming down quite quickly. I highly recommend driving around the high school site, especially if you have young children who are fascinated by large earth-moving machines!
I, along with our Central Administration Leadership Team, will be holding a Community Forum to share the District’s four-year Strategy for Success on Monday evening, November 20, at 6:30 at the Lowell Learning Commons or via Zoom webinar. The Strategy For Success was developed throughout last year, and finalized in late spring, with this being the first year of implementation. We are pleased to be able to share with the community the priorities for the four-year plan and the initiatives that we are actively engaged in currently. I will also be sharing our 22/23 Annual Report that highlights and celebrates the accomplishments from last year, and there were many!
As we enter into our season of gratitude, I want to extend my appreciation for our WPS Community as I am continually reminded of the kindness, caring and support that surrounds our students every day. This is exemplified in so many ways, especially with the strong community service programs that we have in middle and high schools. I am proud to be part of this giving community and look forward to all we will accomplish together in the coming years.
Wishing you and your families a healthy, happy, and gratitude-filled week next week!
Dede Galdston, Superintendent of Schools
Groundbreaking Ceremony Today - Construction Begins at WHS
Demolition of the old building has begun and the current structure will come down in the next few days. By the end of the year, the foundation of the new building should be laid and steel will begin going up early in 2024.
If you missed the School Building Committee's most recent community forum or meeting, you can find all the information for all SBC meetings here, including presentation links and full video recordings of all meetings.
The new WHS is scheduled to open in 2026.
Hosmer 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.
Having our Hosmer designated as a School of Recognition is a tremendous honor and tribute to the strong support that we have put in place for all of our students and to our hard-working, dedicated educators.
DESE's accountability report for our district and all of our schools showed growth for our district and we are very proud of this data. We are making substantial progress towards our goals at both the district and individual school level.
Welcome back to our Lowell Elementary School!
Hundreds of students, staff, families, and members of the Watertown community joined us for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, celebrating the grand re-opening of our beloved Lowell.
The nearly 100-year-old building underwent a significant renovation and has been completely transformed into a modern learning environment. Generations of Watertown students to come will benefit from the hard work of the last year and a half.
The new Lowell is a truly beautiful building. Take a look!
One School One Book Author Visits Watertown Middle School
While reading the WMS One School One Book Alone, several Watertown Middle School students took the initiative to reach out to the author of the book asking questions about the book and what inpired her. Their outreach caused Author Megan E. Freeman to reach out to WMS to see if she could come to WMS and answer their questions directly!
She recently stopped by Watertown Middle School to discuss her book, Alone, which was the WMS summer reading choice. Students heard about the inspiration for the book and how the story came together, providing students with an understanding of how an author works through the process of writing a book. This was a great opportunity for students to further their thinking about the themes and lessons that can be gleaned from the book.
Kudos to our students for being curious and reaching out to the author directly!
WHS Fall Play This Weekend!
Instrument Boot Camp
Middle and high schoolers showed their younger friends how their instruments work, how to hold them, and how to play them.
We're looking forward to a great year of music in Watertown and we are grateful to our student leaders for helping the next generation of musicians in our community.
Raiders Field Hockey Heads To Third Straight State Final
Raiders Hold 41 Straight Opponents Scoreless, Breaking National Record
The streak has spanned both the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The Raiders have not conceded a goal since September 10, 2022 when they defeated Andover 2-1. The Raiders are unbeaten in their last 74 games and have extended the shutout streak to 41 games.
The Raiders are heading to the finals this Saturday at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as they try to win their third state championship in a row. They will play Newburyport in the championship game. The game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tickets are available here.
Meanwhile, Coach Eileen Donahue recorded her 750th career win earlier this year. Only two coaches in the U.S. have reached 800 wins. And Senior Molly Driscoll has broken the team record for most goals scored with 147. There is much to celebrate about this program -- Congratulations!
Strong Fall Season and Looking Ahead to Winter
The Thanksgiving Day football game will take place Thanksgiving morning at 10:00 a.m. at Victory Field. Tickets can be purchased in advance in the athletic trailer ($5 for students, $7 for adults). Game day tickets at Victory Field can be purchased for $10.
Cunniff Multicultural Fair
Attendees enjoyed delicious food, dancing, and a musical performance from the Cunniff chorus.
We are grateful to all those who attended and to those who made the night possible.
WBZ Features School Resource Officer Anna Margaryan
Dr. McGuinness Taking Over Marblehead Schools
Theresa served tirelessly over her time in Watertown, even serving as the interim superintendent back in 2016. She accomplished much during her tenure here in Watertown- establishing several systems and structures to support learning for all students that will remain in place long after she left.
We could not have asked for a better partner over the years, and we are grateful for all that she has done for our schools. Dr. McGuinness will be missed!
As for replacing Dr. McGuinness, the search for the new Assistant Superintendent will begin the first week of January and should be complete before February Break. I will be asking for volunteers to serve on the Screening Committee as well as soliciting feedback from staff, students, and caregivers in early January as well. In the interim, various members of our strong leadership team will be assuming Dr. McGuinness' responsibilities.
We Are Hiring
We are also actively looking for substitute teachers.
Recently, the Watertown School Committee unanimously approved an increase in pay for substitute teachers, which brings our compensation for substitutes in line with surrounding districts. The new pay structure is:
$125/day for non-certified subs.
$135/day for certified subs.
$145/day for retired Watertown teachers.
And the Watertown Police Department has positions available for Crossing Guards. This is a vitally important position for our schools. For more information about how to become a crossing guard please contact Sergeant David Sampson at email@example.com
WPS UPCOMING EVENTS
WPS Strategy For Success Community Forum
Monday, Nov 20, 2023, 06:30 PM
Lowell Learning Commons and by Zoom Webinar
Anti-Bias Coalition Meet and Greet
The Anti-Bias Coalition will begin is work for the 23/24 school year on Monday, November 20 at 5:30 in the Lowell Learning Commons. This first meeting will be a "meet and greet" to learn more about the Anti-Bias Coalition, and to get to know more about the mission and vision of the Coalition. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. The ABC meets monthly to determine how best to support all of our students in our inclusive and diverse schools.