Watertown Middle School’s eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C., will likely go ahead, whether or not the teachers go along as chaperones, said WMS Principal Kimo Carter.
The annual trip has been threatened because teachers, who usually serve as chaperones, will not go if the teachers’ contract is not settled by the time the trip occurs in June. Carter said he was able to find enough people outside of the union to come along on the trip.
“We have enough people to push forward so parents can pay deposits,” Carter said. “I think it will end up working out OK even if teachers can’t go.”
Carter estimates he will need 16 to 18 chaperones – one for every 10 students – and he could get them by finding principals, administrators and central office workers. If more chaperones are needed he said some parents could fill those spots.
Superintendent Jean Fitzgerald said she wants to see the trip move forward.
“It is such a tradition in Watertown,” Fitzgerald said.
Carter sent letters home to parents, and will have a meeting on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the WMS auditorium to get feedback from parents.
Before the trip can go ahead, the School Committee must receive approval from the School Committee. Approval of the D.C. trip will be on the agenda for the School Committee’s meeting on Monday, April 2.
“It will be a key meeting,” Carter said. “We have to make sure it’s safe.”
Carter said he will be one of the chaperones for the trip. Most years he goes for half the trip, but he plans to go for the whole thing this time.