WATERTOWN — The Board of Education, meeting Monday, February 8, voted to approve a newly revised Program of Studies for Watertown High School and the district’s Capital Improvement Plan for the coming school year. The board also voted for and welcomed a new board member, Karen Hosking, to fill the term held by Diane Bristol, who resigned recently.

Some of the new courses proposed for next school year are Math For The Trades, Typography I and Typography II, and AP Research, a follow-up to AP Seminar, which was one of nine new courses offered this current school year.

Included in the proposed 2021-2022 budget is a position for an additional technology education teacher. Watertown High School Principal Janet Parlato said there are a number of courses that could be offered if the position is added, such as Manufacturing Technology, Coding, and Computer Assisted Design and Drafting. Ms. Parlato said the course catalog is a “showcase of what a comprehensive high school can be.”

Dr. Villanueva presented the district’s Capital Improvement Plan, which consists of several items totaling $11,241,372.10. One of the largest items and the highest priority is a roof replacement project at Watertown High School, budgeted at $4,531,500, including contingency. Other priorities include the replacement of artificial turf and replacement of the track at Watertown High School, replacement of artificial turf at Swift Middle School, repair/replacement of HVAC units at John Trumbull Elementary School, replacement of flooring at John Trumbull Elementary School, slope shingle replacement at Trumbull, and roof maintenance/inspection of the roof at Swift. The board voted to move the plan forward to Town Council for funding consideration.

A special meeting was scheduled for the following evening, February 9, to review the 2021-2022 budget.

In naming Ms. Hosking as a new board member, chairman Leslie Crotty said she brings to the board both a parent and staff perspective. Ms. Hosking has three children who have attended Watertown schools and retired in June 2019 from the district.

The board presented Ms. Parlato with a plaque in appreciation for the work she did since December, not only serving as interim superintendent, but doing so while still remaining the principal at Watertown High School.

The board concluded its meeting with an executive session for “Discussion concerning an attorney client communication regarding the Board’s legal authority to replace the school district’s mascot.” The board came out of Executive Session at around 9:40 p.m. to vote on a motion to waive executive privilege associated with that communication, but did not provide additional details, adjourning less than two minutes after returning.

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