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School Closures and Delayed Openings Announcement

State law requires 180 days of instruction and also requires that any school closures (“snow days”) be made up before June 30th.   School closures and delayed openings are:

  • Posted on the District’s website (www.watertown.k12.ma.us)

  • Emailed to parents and staff from the Superintendent’s office via the District’s email messaging  service

  • Broadcast to the following stations:  

    • WCVB Television (Channel 5)

    • WHDH Television (Channel 7)

    • WFXT Television (Channel 25)

    • WBZ Television (Channel 4)

    • WBZ Radio (AM 1030)

Please click this link to read more about our school closures and delayed openings procedures
Due to snow days, the current 180'th day of school is:  June 22, 2017

Press Release:  Superintendent Candidates Visit Watertown


The Watertown School Committee will host two candidates for the position of Watertown School Superintendent.  Arthur Unobsky, Assistant Superintendent of the Gloucester Public Schools, will visit Watertown on March 2, and Deanne Galdston, Assistant Superintendent of the Billerica Public Schools, will visit on March 6.  The candidates will visit each of the district's five schools, meeting the principal, teachers, staff, and students.  The candidates also will meet a group of high school students, town officials, and will hold a question-and-answer session with teachers and other educators in the district.  An open public forum will be held each day from 6:00 to 7:00 PM in the Town Council chambers in Town Hall.  Members of the public are invited to attend, ask questions, and meet the candidates.  From 7:15 to 8:30 PM members of the School Committee will interview each candidate in the Town Council chambers.  This session is open to the public. The public forum and School Committee meeting will be broadcast live on local cable.  Comments on each candidate are welcome and can be made in written form that evening or online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unobskey for Arthur Unobskey and https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/dgaldston for Deanne Galdston.  The School Committee anticipates making a final selection at its March 13 meeting.

Press Release:  Two Candidates Chosen for WPS Superintendent


Superintendent Search Committee Recommends Two Candidates

The Watertown School Committee is pleased to announce that two candidates for the position of School Superintendent have been recommended by the Search Committee for its consideration. The candidates are:

  Deanne Galdston, Ed.D. of Newton, currently Assistant Superintendent, Billerica Public Schools

  Arthur Unobskey, Ed.D. of Lexington, currently Assistant Superintendent, Gloucester Public Schools

At the February 13, 2017 School Committee meeting the names of these finalists will be formally presented to the School Committee. The Committee will discuss the ensuing process for interviewing and ultimately selecting one person as the new Superintendent, to start July 1, 2017. Each candidate will be invited to Watertown for a one-day visit that includes a tour of the school buildings, educator and community forums, and an interview with the School Committee. The tentative dates set for these visits are Thursday, March 2 and Monday, March 6. The School Committee anticipates making a final selection at its March 13 meeting.

Many thanks to the Search Committee for its extensive work in reviewing 31 applications for the Superintendent position and conducting initial interviews with 11 candidates. The Search Committee included Kendra Foley, chair, Magen Slesinger, Nick Kain, Kate Coyne, Candace Miller, Guido Guidotti, Maria Baia, Eleanor Donato, Elizabeth Kaplan, Robert LaRoche, Theresa McGuinness, and Debra King. Administrative support for the search process is provided by Glenn Koocher, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and Craig Hardimon, Director of Human Resources , Watertown Public Schools. 



Superintendent's Coffee's Schedule


Come Join Dr. John Brackett for coffee and a talk.  Click below for the scheduled dates.  These are held on the first floor of the Phillips building at 30 Common Street.


Wayside Youth & Family Services Presents Parenting your LGBTQ+ Teen: We’re on this journey together.

Enjoy the company of other parents who also have questions to ask, wisdom to share and stories to tell. Each session will focus on a topic and will be led by a team consisting of a Family Partner and at least one experienced and licensed Wayside clinician. Please click here for more information on March dates, topics and location.


WFPL and Watertown Youth Coalition (WYC), a project of Wayside Multi-Service Center present Screenagers

WFPL and Watertown Youth Coalition (WYC), a project of Wayside Multi-Service Center present a free special viewing of Screenagers on March 23rd.  Screenagers reveals how tech time impacts kids' development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.  Please click here for more details.


Boston Globe Article about Kingian Training in Watertown Public Schools


The Boston Globe published a story about the unique work happening at WPS.

[Click here to read the article]

February 2017: Interim Superintendent's Newsletter

As we move into the second half of the school year, the pace seems to have quickened.  Our students are in the heart of their classes and semester exams, and our teachers are (to borrow a baseball metaphor) in mid-season form.  If you haven’t read Dr. McGuinness’ most recent Teaching and Learning newsletter (click here) about the great things happening in our classrooms, I urge you to do so.  What she highlights is our real work and the reason we are here. 

In addition to what is happening in the classrooms, I would like to call to your attention to a few other items. 

Given recent developments in our country, especially the troubling and unsettling events of this last week,  I feel it necessary to reiterate and reassure that Watertown Public Schools is an open, welcoming, and inclusive place to learn and work.  When it at times seems that we are losing our moral compass, it is important that we return to our core values.  In Watertown, we celebrate our diversity.  We are committed to the safety and welfare of every one of our students regardless if she/he is 5th generation Watertown or moved to town on the 5th of this month.  A student or family entering our school house doors are now at home, regardless where their prior home may have been.  Our staff works hard to make our schools a safe haven for our students and families.  Please reach out to us if we can support your child or your family during this unsettling time.   We are here to serve, not to judge or exclude; we open doors, we do not build walls.  We treat all students with respect, have high expectations for all, want parents to be our partners, and will not tolerate uncivil discourse or personal attacks.  More than ever, we need to be a community.

A number of people have asked me about our intention to change the daily start time of our schools. Is there a possibility of moving the middle and high school start later than the current 7:40am and 7:55 am, respectively?  Yes, this is being considered; No, it will not be implemented next year.  Last spring a committee reviewed the research about the benefits of a later start and the importance of sleep on the development and learning of adolescents and teens. They recommended a change.  Now we are creating a task force, led by Dr. Kimo Carter, to create a plan to implement such a change.  This task force will include representatives of groups (e.g. parents, teachers, athletics, administrators, recreation, to name just a few) who may be impacted or who have an understanding of the implications of such a change.  The task force will work between March and May to prepare a report and recommendation of the feasibility, costs, logistics, and impacts of starting school at the middle and high school levels at, or near 8:30 AM.  The recommendation will be presented to the school committee for consideration; if approved, the earliest a change will happen is September, 2018. 

If you are interested in serving on this task force and helping us work through the myriad of issues, and if you can be available from early March into May at least once per week (likely Tuesday evenings), please send your name, the school(s) of your children, or other affiliation you may have with WPS to christie.fisher@watertown.k12.ma.us by February 24th.  Thank you for your help with this. 

From time to time, our teachers have to be absent from their class because of illness, training, or other unavoidable conflicts.  In these cases, we hire a substitute teacher for the day.  Like many school districts, the pool of substitutes available is quite limited and we struggle to cover the classes in creative ways or by reassigning other staff members.  We are enhancing our recruiting efforts for individuals who are interested in substituting in our schools.  Why am I mentioning that here?  We are hoping you may be one of those individuals.    

 If you have at least an Associate’s Degree (2 years of college), can complete a successful CORI check, possess a strong interest in serving in our schools, interacting with our teachers and staff as colleagues, can respond to a call to work with short notice, and are willing to work for $85 per day because you love being around young people and helping them grow, we would love to talk with you.  If that might be you, please contact Craig Hardimon at craig.hardimon@watertown.k12.ma.us.   We are preparing more information on becoming a substitute teacher and will make that, and training, available in the near future.

In future newsletters I hope to share some of the other important things happening across the district like MCAS testing, the search for a permanent superintendent, our continuing efforts to bring all of our schools to a condition that supports 21st Century Learning, and the development of the FY18 budget.  As always, if you have questions or comments you would like to share, please don’t wait for a newsletter to contact me.

John


Kindergarten/Prekindergarten Information

Kindergarten Registration Information - click here.

Click here for more information on Prekindergarten.


Winter Weather Advisory Alerts

In the event of inclement weather, information regarding school closings or delayed openings will be available through local media channels (ABC, CBS, 7NEWS and FOX).


 Behavioral Health Resources


Click here for resources from the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance.

 Information about our Extended Day Program 


Please click the link below to see frequently asked questions regarding our extended day program for both our elementary and preschool program.


  Registration update for new students entering WPS 


For all new students entering Watertown Public Schools, the new registration packet is posted as well as instructions for registering.  Please click here for more information on Student Registration.


  iPass and iParent Access


Online access to iPass and iParent has been disabled as the district is migrating to a new student information system.  We'll provide information on how to access the new system as soon as it's available.

 Boston College & Watertown Public Schools to Collaborate on Increasing Family  Engagement


Below you will find a report that presents findings from a yearlong assessment of the various ways in which the Watertown Public Schools engage families from diverse backgrounds. As part of a collaborative partnership between the district and Boston College, the report aims to document family engagement in the district, highlight innovative practices and identify ‘engagement gaps’ to address in strengthening relationships within the community.

    [Press Release]

    [Needs Assessment Report of Family Engagement 2015-2016 School Year]

  Bring the Library Home

    Apply now at InternetEssentials.com or call 888-972-5982 

    [click here for more information]

  2016-2017 Bus Transportation Information & Registration

    [click here to view and download document]

    ESL Resources Page for Families & Educators

    [click here for ESL Page]