School Committee Seeks Watertown Residents to Help Create Measures for District's Progress

Residents looking to serve on the Citizens Advisory Committee have until Friday to apply.

[NOTE: The due date for the application letters was corrected to be Dec. 7.]

The School Committee wants help from residents in coming up with ways to measure how well the Watertown Public Schools are meeting the district's goals. 

A Citizens Advisory Committee will be created to develop the performance measurements, said School Committee Vice Chairman John Portz. 

"The Citizens Advisory Committee will assist it in the development of performance measures and related information that can be used to periodically assess the school district's progress in meeting its goals," Portz said at Tuesday's School Committee meeting. 

In 2009, the district came up with three primary goals, Portz said, but has yet to figure out a way to measure how well the schools are meeting the goals. The goals are: 

  • Supporting high academic achievement
  • Fostering self-actualization
  • Promoting local and global citizenship 

The residents will be just a part of the committee, which will be made up of 10 to 12 members. Others members of the group will be school committee members, Town Councilors, teachers, school administrators and former students.

The advisory committee will likely meet three to five times over the next few months, and the meetings will be open to the public, Portz said. The committee will draft a report which will be presented to the School Committee in March. 

Those interested in participating on the advisory committee should send a letter to Superintendent Jean Fitzgerald by Friday, Dec. 7. Letters can be addressed to Superintendent of Schools, 30 Common St., Watertown, MA 02472.

The letter should include: 

  • Reasons for seeking membership on the advisory committee
  • Relationship to or involvement with the Watertown schools
  • Background and experience with developing performance measurements

For more information, contact John Portz at 617-924-1899 or j.portz@neu.edu.

Gary M December 05, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I can't believe the School Committee, in 2009, came up with a 'vision' for the district with no way to implement or measure. The stated purpose of the School Committee "establish goals, policies, and the budget for the Watertown Public Schools." Goal Setting 101 covers the fact that any goal set must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound.
Jon B December 07, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Evern worse... the goals have nothing to do with actual STUDENT acheivement... Rather they are written in terms of what the school, community, or board may do. "Supporting high academic achievement" does not set as a goal high acedemic acheivement... nor attempt to define such acheivement. "Fostering self-actualization" does not set as a goal self-actualization, or event give a hint to how self-actualization may manifest itself (or be defined). And... likewise, "Promoting local and global citizenship" does not set as a goal increasing "citizenship" (or define what it means). I for one would be not be proud of a school system that supports high academic achievement, but whose student perform poorly, that fosters self-actualization, but whose students don't realize their full potential, and that promotes citizenship, whose students don't feel (or act on in any positive way) any civic duty.


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