Superintendent's October Newsletter

posted Oct 16, 2017, 7:35 PM by Deanne Galdston

Over the past several weeks, I have engaged the community in a discussion about possibly changing the start times at the secondary level to 8:30 a.m.  The proposed change reflects a growing body of research that suggests providing a later start time for our adolescents may increase student academic outcomes and benefit their overall health and wellness.  We provided a feedback survey to the community, which will close tonight, October 16 at 10:00 p.m.  If you haven’t had a chance to provide feedback, you can do so at the following link:  The School Committee will discuss the proposed start time changes, consider the feedback from the community, and potentially make a decision at the October 23 School Committee Meeting. 

Lately, the condition of our buildings has taken center stage, due in large part to the Building for the Future Initiative.  This past Tuesday, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), the state agency that grants funds to districts for accelerated repairs or core building projects, conducted a Senior Study Site Visit at Watertown High School.  The District submitted a Statement of Interest (SOI) this past spring for a core project at WHS, and the site visit indicates that we are certainly being considered.  During the visit, we were asked to highlight the deficiencies of our building. It’s difficult to speak about how our building hinders our ability to deliver cutting-edge instruction especially when our teachers constantly overcome the challenges of the building going the extra mile to ensure a high-quality, rigorous education for WHS students.   However, the reality of the building cannot be dismissed and we are working hard to find a solution in the near future for this aging building. 

Frequent communication and feedback is important to me.  In an effort to provide information about the District and to hear your feedback, I will hold Superintendent’s Coffee Hour this Wednesday, October 18, at 9:00 a.m. and at 7:00 p.m. on the third floor of the Phillips Administration Building located at 30 Common Street.  Our November Coffee Hour will be held on November 15.  In addition, I’ve scheduled more opportunities to gather together including a series of Parent Meet-and-Greets in each of the buildings on the following dates:

     October 17- Cunniff Elementary School     8:30-9:30 a.m.

     October 24- Hosmer Elementary School    8:45-9:45 a.m.

     October 25- Lowell Elementary School      8:30-9:30 a.m.

     October 26- Watertown Middle School       8:00-9:00 a.m.

     October 30- Watertown High School          8:10-9:10 a.m.

Kindest regards,

Dede Galdston, Ed.D.