WPS Announcements

Message from the Superintendent

posted Feb 16, 2018, 1:34 PM by Deanne Galdston

Good afternoon,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today, given the events that occurred at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this past Wednesday.  This tragedy has shaken school communities across the country, including here in Watertown.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this, and all senseless acts of violence, as this is just the most recent of several that have occurred this year.  

I am profoundly impressed by the level of caring and support that our staff members consistently demonstrate throughout times of crisis, and how they proactively support children through the challenges they face.  We need to continue to keep the lines of communication open between students and adults in the building for the safety and comfort of all.

Events like this serve as a reminder that school safety is our first priority and responsibility.  The Watertown Public Schools, in conjunction with the Watertown Police Department and the Watertown Fire Department, has a Critical Incident Team that represents all schools and all sectors, with the purpose of ensuring that appropriate safety measures are in place.  As a school community, we have several fully developed safety procedures and protocols, including enhanced lockdown procedures, that are practiced and reviewed each year to ensure a coordinated and appropriate response in case of any type of emergency in our schools.  

Derived from the American School Counselor Association and other support organizations, the following are suggestions for parents, caregivers, and teachers to help make your children feel safe:

  • Try to keep routines as normal as possible. Children gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
  • Limit exposure to television and the news.
  • Be honest with children and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.  Answer questions factually. “Yes, there was a very sad incident in Florida yesterday, but your teacher and principal are working very hard to keep you safe.”
  • Listen to children’s fears and concerns.
  • Reassure children that the world is a good place to be.
  • Remain calm and reassuring. Children take their cues from their parents, teachers and adults.
  • Be a good listener and observer. Pay attention to changes in behavior. If you have concerns, please reach out to your school principal or counselor.  

Additionally, I am attaching a resource from the National Association of School Psychologists outlining how to talk to children about violence.

There are Superintendent’s Coffees on February 28, at 9:00 am and 7:00 pm in the Phillips Administration Building.  This is an excellent opportunity for WPS community members to learn more about our school system, our school safety procedures, and other school-related issues that are important to you.  

Best wishes for you and your family over the February break,

Dede Galdston, Ed.D.  

Superintendent of Schools

Director of Human Resources Finalist Announced

posted Feb 16, 2018, 12:32 PM by Toni Carlson

We are pleased to announce that Mr. Ken Storlazzi has been named as the finalist for the Director of Human Resources for Watertown Public Schools.  Mr. Storlazzi has an extensive background in school human resources administration including thirteen years as an HR Director in three school districts.  Members of the community are invited to attend a formal public interview to be conducted by the Superintendent on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 3:45 p.m. in Room 301 of the Phillips Building.  An opportunity for attendees to provide written feedback to the Superintendent will be provided.  A copy of Mr. Storlazzi's resume can be accessed here.  

Introduction to Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation

posted Feb 16, 2018, 10:04 AM by Toni Carlson   [ updated Feb 16, 2018, 10:08 AM ]

Watertown Public Schools, Watertown police officers, and special guest Jonathan "Globe" Lewis, an internationally renowned Kingian trainer will once again be offering the introductory course for Kingian nonviolent conflict reconciliation.  This is a two-part class held Sunday, March 18th: 9-6 (12-1 lunch) and Sunday, March 25th: 9-6 (12-1 lunch) at the Community Room, Watertown Police Department, 552 Main St.  More details and registration is located at the link below.

[click here to sign up]   Registration deadline: March 10th

Public Forum: January 29

posted Jan 27, 2018, 10:55 AM by Deanne Galdston

The School Committee and the Watertown Public Schools will be holding a Public Forum on Monday, January 29  beginning at 7:00 PM in the Town Council Chambers located in Town Hall.  Watertown is ready to begin the renovation/reconstruction of its three elementary schools, and as such, we are currently in the process of determining the best programmatic and educational direction for Hosmer, Cunniff, and Lowell Elementary Schools.   Ai3, the architects for the project, conducted two large group visioning sessions in December and are now in the process of meeting with teachers and community members in each of the schools to further refine the vision for these projects.  Prior to beginning work on the schematic design for these buildings, three essential questions must be answered:

  1. Is the Lowell site a viable option for a new Watertown High School, or is it more appropriate to remain as an elementary school?
  2. What should be the capacity for each of the three elementary schools based upon enrollment projections and educational goals? 
  3. Should WPS design an early education center located at the Hosmer Elementary School with an integrated preschool/prekindergarten, or continue with one prekindergarten classroom in each of the three elementary schools?

Members of the School Department and our architects will provide information regarding these three questions and will solicit feedback at the Public Forum to help inform the Watertown School Committee as it seeks to answer these questions.  More detailed information about the questions can be found at the WPS website.   The Public Forum will also be broadcast live on WCA-TV.  We look forward to engaging with the community around these three important questions.  

Dede Galdston, Superintendent

January School Committee Update

posted Jan 12, 2018, 6:58 AM by Christine Carletti

The School Committee met this past Monday, January 8, with several important agenda items.  Please see this School Committee Update which provides the community with a summary of the reports that were heard and items that were discussed.  The School Committee will be updating the community after its meetings on an ongoing basis in order to provide parents, staff and community members with an overview of the items on the agenda.  All School Committee agendas and supporting documents can be found at the WPS School Committee webpage.

Dr. McGuinness' Teaching & Learning Updates

posted Jan 11, 2018, 4:01 PM by Toni Carlson   [ updated Feb 3, 2018, 11:34 AM ]

Please click the link below to read Assistant Superintendent, Dr. McGuinness' January 2018 newsletter.

Team Members Wanted

posted Jan 5, 2018, 1:49 PM by Deanne Galdston

The Watertown Public Schools is seeking members to serve on two important teams:  the Strategy Development Team and the Communications and Marketing Team.  Please see the attached postings for more information about each of these teams including the purpose of the team, team composition, dates for meetings, and application procedures. 

2018 WPS Strategy Development Team Posting 

2018 WPS Communications and Marketing Team Posting 

We appreciate your consideration of serving on one of these teams as the work that will be done will help shape the future of our schools.  If you have any questions about either posting, feel free to email me at any time at deanne.galdston@watertown.k12.ma.us

Dede Galdston, Ed.D.

Superintendent, Watertown Public Schools

School Cancellation January 4, 2018

posted Jan 3, 2018, 1:22 PM by Deanne Galdston

Due to the incoming snow storm, all Watertown Public Schools will be CLOSED tomorrowThursday, January 4.  All school-related and extracurricular activities are canceled tomorrow as well.   

Stay warm and be safe!

January 1 Newsletter: Happy New Year!

posted Jan 1, 2018, 6:29 PM by Deanne Galdston

Happy New Year!  I hope that you and your families have enjoyed the time that the winter vacation afforded you and that we are ready together to continue the excellent learning and growth that was established this past fall.  

Given the continued arctic temperatures that our region is facing over the next several days, I encourage both our students and staff to dress in layers.  Some classrooms may be warmer than usual and others colder, depending upon the location of the classroom in the building.   Our custodians and maintenance staff have been working diligently over the vacation to ensure that our schools are ready for tomorrow. 

Over the past several months, I have met with several members of the Watertown Community to learn more about the strengths, opportunities for growth, and hopes for the future for our schools.  I will be reporting out what I discovered at the January 8 School Committee Meeting.  If you did not have the opportunity to provide me with feedback about our schools, there is an online form available for you to reflect on our strengths, challenges, and hopes for the future.  The online form can be found at https://goo.gl/forms/g2Dv7Ew7kBKOf2aq1 and will be open through this Friday, January 5. 

Later on this week, I will be inviting members of the school community to join two very important teams:  the Communications Team and the Strategy Development Team.  The Communications Team will focus on improving communication and public relations in order to ensure that our community is aware of what is occurring in our District.  The Strategy Development Team will work together to create a three-year improvement plan to achieve the District’s vision.  This plan will include strategic objectives, initiatives and action plans to attain the objectives, and benchmarks to measure our progress over the course of the next three years.  Please look for the invitations to be part of these teams this Wednesday.  The teams will meet once a month, January through June, 2018. 

The month of January will be very busy for the Watertown Public Schools as we prepare the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget and continue with the Building for the Future initiative.  Throughout the coming weeks, the School Department will be providing you with updates and information about both of these endeavors, as several key steps will take place this month.  Please check our website for updates, follow us on Twitter @watertownschool, or on Facebook @watertownpublicschools. 

Stay warm!

Dede Galdston, Ed.D.

Superintendent, Watertown Public Schools


Feedback Form for the WPS Superintendent

posted Dec 22, 2017, 10:49 AM by Deanne Galdston

As part of the Superintendent's Entry Process, I have met with several people and groups in the community to discuss the strengths, challenges, hopes, and traditions of the Watertown Public Schools.   As it was not possible to meet with everyone, I am offering you the opportunity to share your thoughts with me as I finish up my entry process.  Please use the following link to provide me with your feedback:  https://goo.gl/forms/g2Dv7Ew7kBKOf2aq1 These questions are open-ended.  Answer however you see fit and use whatever lens you would like when framing your answers.  I am so pleased to be part of this phenomenal District and the larger Watertown community.  -Dede Galdston, Superintendent 

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