March 26th Update

Dear friends, parents, residents, town and local leaders, and other supporters of Watertown Schools,

Last night at the Town Council meeting, we entered the Watertown Strong Schools Platform Document  into the Public Record. We plan to use the data and information in this document in many forms (one pagers, quotes on our website, PPT etc.) to continue to advocate strongly for the financial resources to fund the 2015 WPS budget. This version of the document (the last we shall send by email) includes a full acknowledgement page where we thank everyone for their contributions.

We wish to thank many Watertown administrators, leaders, teachers, and families for contributing to this report in a variety of ways such as ongoing conversations, interviews, sharing data, responding to questions, participating in public meetings, attending Watertown Strong School’s meetings, and engaging in discussions on social media. In particular, we wish to thank the Watertown Public School system including Dr. Jean Fitzgerald, Darilyn Donovan, Arlene Shainker, Allison Levet, Allison Donovan, James Carter, Jason DelPorto, Elizabeth Kaplan, the 120 teachers, instructional assistants, guidance counselors, nurses, therapists, and other staff that completed our Teacher Survey. We would like to thank members of the School Committee including Eileen Hsu-Balzer, Guido Guidotti, John Portz, Mike Shepard, and Elizabeth Yusem, as well as Town Councilors, in particular Aaron Dushku, Susan Falkoff, Cecilia Leng, Mark Sideris, Tony Palomba, Vincent Piccirrili, and Ken Woodland. We owe a special thank you to Tom Tracey, the Town Auditor and Deborah King, Watertown Education Association President.

Our core group has contributed countless hours in this effort. Now, we are asking for your help.

1.       A sincere thank you to everyone who has participated in the Take Action Campaign to "Tell the Town Manager and the Town Council that you support additional funding for the Watertown Public Schools." We have 255 letters so far. Still, we need your help to get the word out.  We know that some Town Councilors will only pay attention to letters from their district, so please get the word out to your friends and neighbors http://www.watertownstrongschools.com/take-action/. You can download and print the letter to give to neighbors.

2.       Please help us get our signs out! Visit your neighbors and businesses and ask them to put up a sign. If you do 2 or 3 signs each, we are all set. We ask for a $5 contribution per sign to cover the costs of the sign. Contact us at this WatertownStrongSchools@gmail.com to arrange sign pick up.

3.       Come to the Public Library on Sunday at 3 pm and we’ll help you understand anything in this document that you have questions about. There is no question we won’t work hard to answer.

4.       Stay connected and help get your friends, neighbors, other teachers connected:

a.       Email: WatertownStrongSchools@gmail.com

b.      Website: WatertownStrongSchools.com

c.       FB at https://www.facebook.com/watertownstrongschools

5.       We are still waiting for the full 2015 budget to be posted. The conversation that we want to have is:

a.       "Where will we find the money that WPS needs to educate our children?"

b.      "What do we need to do?"

c.       "Who do we need to work with?"

d.      "Where is the money for 2015?"

e.      "How do we ensure that we have the resources needed for 2016 and beyond?"

All the best, Candace and our Core WSS members