Dear Watertown Public Schools Faculty and Families,
I hope you all are having a wonderful Tuesday. I am pleased to share two follow ups:
A. The WPS Board of Education unanimously approved the FY23 Superintendent's Proposed Budget at last night's regularly scheduled BOE meeting. I would like to thank the entire administrative team, Faculty/Staff, and the Board of Education for a continued dedication to the students and families of Watertown. Below, you will find 'Fast Facts' about this year's proposed budget. Any and all materials related to budget can be found here. In addition, if you are interested in learning more about the budget, a series of budget presentations will be made at the following events. Here's the schedule:
- March 1, 7 PM - Judson & Polk Schools PTO Meeting Location: Judson Library or virtually at: meet.google.com/yqn-qojz-cgv
- March 2, 7PM - John Trumbull Primary School PTO Meeting Location: JTPS Gym or virtually at meet.google.com/tkh-iykx-efk
- March 8, 7PM - Swift Middle & WHS PTO Meeting Location: Swift MS Library or virtually at: meet.google.com/djx-fmwt-nej
- March 13, 12PM - BOE Members at Gayle's Farm Shoppe
- March 19, 10AM - BOE Members at Gayle's Farm Shoppe
B. The Strategic Planning 2026 Committee, consisting of: returning members, WPS faculty and administrators, PTO representatives and BOE members, met on Thursday, February 24 at Swift Middle School to engage in one of several opportunities to discuss the selection process of WPS Core Values and District Priorities through two group activities.
The agenda and presentation from the meeting can be found by clicking the following links: Presentation Deck | Agenda Feb. 24 | Core Values Activity | Sub-Committee Activity | Harvard Business Review Article. A big thank you to Ms. Nicole Cote, WHS Assistant Principal and Ms. Lisa Fekete, Director of Operations and Curriculum for being thought partners and leaders during this continued process.
The next Strategic Planning 2026 opportunity will be a set of focus groups for multiple stakeholder groups that will take place on March 28. Time TBD. In addition, a survey around the same timeframe will be sent out to all WPS faculty and community members to elicit feedback from anyone who would like to contribute via survey. Both the focus groups and survey will be collaboratively facilitated by WPS and CABE. Official invitations with links will be sent out in the coming weeks.
Lastly, it has been a smooth and uneventful day today as we fully transitioned to optional masking. Thank you to all of our WPS faculty and families for making today's adjustment seamless for everyone.
FY 23 Budget Facts
For All Budget Related Materials Click Here
A WPS educational experience challenges and supports our students to:
- achieve academic excellence
- grow socially and emotionally
- cultivate mental wellbeing and physical awareness
- and build the knowledge, characteristics, and skills outlined in our vision of a graduate
- The FY 2022-2023 Superintendent’s Proposed Budget is $50,549,438. This is an increase of 5.11% ($2,459,576) over the current FY22 budget of $48,089,862.
THIS YEAR’S INVESTMENTS
- Expansion of Special Education Programming: A second Life Skills classroom will be added to Watertown High School to appropriately program for the additional students who will join the high school next year. As all of our students move from PreK-Transition 22 years, we continue to be committed to keeping our students in district with the programs we currently offer or have the opportunity to build. The expansion of this program offsets outplacement costs.
- Expansion of Special Education Programming: A new sensory room will also be added to Watertown High School to provide the sensory services required and needed by our students with special education needs. The sensory room is a required and necessary space that provides sensory input for students with specialized needs.
- Student and Faculty Instructional Supplies and Resources: Last year’s drastic reductions of building-based budgets impacted all five of our school buildings. The FY 23 budget maintains individual building budget lines to the same modest levels of the FY 22 fiscal year.
- Security Cameras at Polk and JTPS: In partnership with the 2021 Connecticut School Security Competitive Grant Program (R5 SSGP) the FY 23 budget will pay the local share for the installation of: security cameras at two schools.
- Summer Enrichment and Summer Scholarship Opportunities for students this summer!