Choosing a Kindergarten in Watertown

We’ve put off for another year the decision about whether to send our daughter to the Hosmer Elementary School or move or try to find a private school we can afford. We were dissuaded by so many people from petitioning to get her into kindergarten (she missed the age cutoff by a couple months) so that left the Hosmer Pre-K as the option for public school. Instead she will will attend the Bowen Cooperative in Newton in a class with other kids who just miss the cutoff. She’ll have three teachers for 14 kids in a brand new facility and the cost is less than what the Watertown Public Schools charge for Pre-K.

But next year we’ll have to decide whether the Hosmer Elementary School is too big. Its size was the primary reason that Steve Griffin, the Hosmer principal I was so impressed with, gave as his reason for leaving this year to go to Newton. The national average for elementary school size is 441. But Watertown only has about 2,500 kids in school. Do we really need a school with close to 500 students?

From the WPS Site

Cunniff Elementary School serves 276 children in grades K – 5…. It includes 14% students whose first
language is not English; 16% students from families with low incomes and 20% students with special needs.

The Hosmer Elementary School is a large school in a sprawling physical plant. The school serves approximately 460
students….36% of Hosmer's students
come from families where English is not spoken or spoken as a second language. 22% come from families with low incomes and
28% are students served by special education.

The Lowell Elementary School serves 395 students. The student population includes
20% students whose first language is not English; 18% students from families with low incomes; and approximately 22% students
with special needs.

Watertown Middle School serves 670 students in grades 6 – 8. 25% of the student population comes from homes where
English is not spoken or spoken as a second language; 11 % are students from families with low incomes; and 24% receive
special education services.

Watertown High School offers a comprehensive program of courses for 735 students in grades 9 – 12. The student body
reflects the community's diversity 28% of the high school's students come from homes where English is not spoken or spoken
as a second language; 12% are from families with low incomes; and 22% are students with special needs.

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