March 29th, Update

Good morning! On this rainy Sunday, we invite you to join us today join us at the library today from 3-4 pm. We want to problem solve.~ Informational Community Meeting Sunday, March 30, 3pm Watertown Public Library, Raya Sterns room

We also invite you to dig into the WSS document. Get your coffee or tea, sit back, and find it here: http://www.watertownstrongschools.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/WatertownStrongSchoolsv3_26_14.pdf

The opportunity cost of not engaging in this debate, or not funding schools adequately, is a failed public school system. Our children will suffer the consequences daily in the classroom and over the course of their lives if their parents, school and town leaders and other residents, do not stand up on their behalf. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Town and school leaders, parents and teachers have given us great feedback on the document. Please, read the executive summary, a few chapters, or better, the full document. Several of our town leaders have promised to read it this weekend. If you haven't felt ready to join the discussion, you will after reading. Here are the chapter headings:

1.       What do WPS need to return to the schools we've all loved?

a.       Fully understand what WPS need: Reasonable class sizes and time on learning; curriculum opportunities; tiered instruction for all learners; infrastructure, materials and systems of support; and reforms to the business office.

2.       Why Watertown is uniquely complex

a.       We bet you did not know the full extent of Watertown’s demographic changes.

3.       The "dire" situation the schools are now in

a.       MCAS and SAT scores, participation in MassCore, drop-out rate, our teacher's quotes)

4.       Expenditure trends w/in WPS

a.       The devil is in the details.

5.        That WPS has received insufficient town, state, and federal funds

a.       Understand why we are in the situation we are in. All sources –town, state, federal, grants, fees and tuition—have come up short for our kids.

6.       Where to find funding for 2015 and other sources for 2016 and beyond

a.       We call for the town to make a solid commitment in 2015 and we believe the money is there. See where.

7.       The strong link between schools, economic development, and real estate prices

a.       We thank Hammond Realty and the Warren Group for this info. Did you know the incredibly strong link between investing in public education and real estate prices?

8.       Responses to arguments against adequate funding.

a.       Many of the positions that the WPS administration is asking for are key to ensuring that WPS is in compliance with federal requirements and state accreditation standards, reducing class sizes; or improving school safety and adding support for administrators and teachers. Many of these positions will provide tiered instruction that is instrumental in reducing the Special Education costs. The goal is to find the resources that will return Watertown schools to a budget and staffing scenario where our educators can carry out their mandate. 

 

All the best,

Candace and WSS