Oct. 13, 2010 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
October 13, 2010

7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session minutes for September 29, 2010.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. American Education Week
B. Career and Technology Education General Advisory Board Meeting
C. NQHS French Exchange Program

III. Open Forum: (7:15 p.m.) An opportunity for community input regarding the Quincy Public Schools. After giving his or her name and address, each speaker may make a presentation of no more than four minutes to the School Committee.

IV. Old Business

A. Update on building projects, renovations, and construction: Mr. Murphy to report.

B. Update on the New Quincy High School: Mrs. Dwyer to report.
C. Update on Central: Mrs. Bragg and Mrs. Mahoney to report.
D. New Central Middle School Site Selection Vote:
E. Former Quincy High School:

V. New Business:

A. 2010-2011 Quincy Public Schools Student Enrollment and Class Size
B. MCAS and Accountability Presentation

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings:

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

  1. Health, Safety, Security & Transportation Subcommittee: Mr. McCarthy to report.

  2.  School Facilities Management Subcommittee: Mrs. Dwyer to report.

  3. Special Education Subcommittee: Mrs. Lebo to report.

  4. Policy Subcommittee Meeting: Mrs. Bragg to report.

X. Executive Session:

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
Mahoney/Bragg/Lebo 10/7/2009 Half Time Teachers
  9/15/2010 Full Day Kindergarten
  9/15/2010 Opportunities & Challenges
  9/15/2010 Free & Reduced Lunch
  9/15/2010 Short & Long Term Goals
School Facilities Management    
Dwyer/Lebo/McCarthy Major Building Projects  
  3/4/98 QHS/Central/Sterling Building Plans
  10/20/2004 ADA Report
  9/7/2005 Alternative Plans for Central Middle School
  2/8/2006 Conservation
  4/9/2008 Track
  3/3/2010 Coddington Hall
  9/29/2010 Old QHS Disposition
Health, Safety & Security    
McCarthy/Isola/Dwyer 3/17/2010 North Quincy Traffic Intersection
  3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
School Policy    
Bragg/Isola/Dwyer 3/11/2009 MS Interim Letters
  3/11/2009 Naming of QPS schools/places/etc.
  12/16/2009 School Tardiness Policy
  6/10/2010 Waivers
  9/15/2010 Attendance Tardy Policy with High School principals
  9/15/2010 CPR/ADE Training
  9/15/2010 Students Use of Electronics
  9/15/2010 Open Enrollment Policy
  9/15/2010 Anti-Bullying Policy
Special Education    
Lebo/McCarthy/Mahoney 1/17/2007 Emergency Information Form
  1/17/2007 Substitute Teachers for SPED
  3/21/2007 Implementation of IEPs
  9/24/2008 INSPIRE Initiative
Rules, Post Audit & Oversight    
Isola/Mahoney/Bragg 10/29/2008 Faxon Field
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/17/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts - October 13, 2010
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee


A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 in the City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were: Mr. Dave McCarthy, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mrs. Anne Mahoney and Mayor Thomas P. Koch, Vice Chairman.

Chairman Presiding

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The Superintendent called the roll and all members were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk; Messrs. Mullaney, Draicchio, Mulvey, Murphy and Keith Segalla; Ms. Roberts, Tenaglia, Todd, and Hughes. Ms. Allison Cox, QEA President and Ms. Tracey Christello, Citywide.

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The Committee observed a moment of silence for Ms. Dorothy Foye who worked as a Cafeteria Helper at Quincy High School for over 37 years. She was loved by the staff and students.

Supts. Report

The Committee received a flyer from Mrs. Janice Erler announcing Fall Institute which will begin in early November.

We will be celebrating American Education Week at our November 17 School Committee meeting. Mrs. Roberts is working with principals and teachers to coordinate this celebration

Mr. Keith Segalla reported that the General Advisory Board Committee meeting will be held on Thursday evening, October 21 at the Quincy High School Presidents Café.

CTE Programs approved Approved by DESE

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Career/ Vocational Technical Education unit has approved three new secondary-level programs for Quincy Public Schools Career & Technical Education program. They are: Early Education and Care at North Quincy high School, Office Technology at Quincy High School and Criminal Justice-Legal and Protective Services at Quincy High School. Mrs. Lebo said she was very pleased with this and thanked Mr. Segalla.

The Superintendent will be working with Mrs. Bragg on a timeline for School Committee review of the School Improvement Plans.

The members received information on the North Quincy French Exchange Program and their calendar of special events. Thanks go to North Quincy High French teachers, our sponsor families, Aliza Schneller, Foreign Language Department Head, and Principal Metzler for their support.

The Superintendent will present an overview of the 2010-2011 school year to the Citywide Parents on Monday, October 18.

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Bldg. Update

Mr. Kevin Murphy reported that Maintenance continues doing work orders. The carpenters have installed new cabinets at Wollaston, a new roof to the shed at Central, new window balances at Central, several new white boards at various schools, a boiler at Sterling, circulating pump at Marshall, electro fitting boilers as they work with State Chemical. Electricians repaired the intercom at Merrymount and installed two new vents at the Community Gardens at Snug Harbor. They are in the final phase of installing the computer labs at North Quincy High School.

Ms. Isola asked if they had done any painting in bathrooms in the various schools. This summer, she had asked that they go through them systematically and have them painted. Mr. Murphy reported that his funds have been frozen. He’s done three schools so far. This summer they had many projects going on when the students were out of the buildings. As soon as he can do more bathroom painting, he will and give them an update.

Mrs. Mahoney asked about the lights in the back of Lincoln Hancock Community School. There are no lights in the back parking area, just in the pool area. Mr. Murphy will send an electrician to check on that.

The Superintendent asked the members to consider having Mr. Murphy report every other meeting.

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School Facilities Subcommittee Mrs. Dwyer reports

Mrs. Dwyer reported that the School Facilities Subcommittee met and got a report from Mr. Cunniff regarding the old Quincy High School. To renovate the building would cost $53 million, a partial renovation would cost $36 million, and to tear down the building would cost $7 million. It was the consensus at the meeting that the building could be mothballed. If they came to a decision sooner than later, the mothballing would be eliminated to some degree. Security will check on the building. Mr. Cunniff expressed concern with the roof. They asked the Superintendent about the space. The Superintendent answered that right now, the current school system would not be needing that building for school purposes. Enrollment is stable. According to the School Building Authority, other high school programs cannot be used in that building.

Mrs. Bragg said if the School Committee can’t renovate it she will support demolishing it. However, she is looking for assurance that the building is going to be torn down. She would like to see a plan for green space or athletic fields.

Mayor Koch said the School Committee would not be educating in that building and the City has no intention of renovating it. The Mayor has said the City doesn’t have that kind of money.

Mrs. Lebo asked who the land belong to.

Land to go back to campus of QHS

The Mayor said he can assure the Committee that the City will turn the land back to the school department. If he takes the building down, a plan will be put in place immediately. Once it comes down, it goes back to the campus of the new high school. Mrs. Mahoney said she wanted to make sure. She would like more time.

Mr. McCarthy had asked if Mr. Timmins is sure we can’t be forced to keep the building with regard to the Historic Commission. Mayor Koch answered that they have no alternative but to support the demolition.

Mr. McCarthy would like to talk to Mr. Cunniff before making his decision on October 27.

Mrs. Mahoney asked the Mayor if he had any intentions of putting condos there. The Mayor said no, the land will revert back to the Quincy High School campus.

Vote @ next Meeting

Mrs. Dwyer said they will wait to vote until the October 27 School Committee meeting to find out about the land and to insure that the land stays with the school system.

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QHS Roof Leaks

Mr. McCarthy inquired about the Quincy High School gym roof leaks. The Superintendent will ask Gilbane and find out how and why it happened.

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Official Enrollment

Mrs. Colleen Roberts reported on the October 1, 2010 official enrollment. There are 9,304 students in the Quincy Public Schools as of October 1, 2010

Mrs. Bragg inquired about the larger number of ninth grade students at Quincy High School than at North. The Superintendent said the reason is because they closed off open enrollment.

There are concerns with some 3rd grade classes at Montclair, Snug Harbor, and Squantum. There is a .5 Skills support teacher for reading and math in each of those classes.

There are concerns at grades 6-8 three social studies, two Spanish, one science at Atlantic and one Social Studies at Central. Principals are working to adjust the figures.

At North Quincy High there are 12 classes above 30 and at Quincy High there are 12 classes above 30.

Ms. Isola inquired about middle school honors classes. She asked how those honors opportunities are publicized in each of the schools? Mrs. Roberts answered that this information is brought up at open houses, teachers speak to students about opportunities, contract are drawn up. She recommends that people speak to the principals. There is an opportunity in all of our middle schools. Ms. Isola thought there should be a more formalized mailing so those students could avail themselves of higher opportunities. Mrs. Roberts will ask the principals to put something on their website.

Mrs. Mahoney suggested using the stimulus money in the area of science for a short term fix to ease some of these higher student classes.

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MCAS Supts. Remarks

The Quincy Public School District Improvement Plan and its organizational elements significantly focus on student achievement in our school system. Of our six foundational standards, three focus primarily on student achievement. Leadership, Governance, and Communications. Curriculum Instruction and assessment and assessment and program evaluations. These three standards offer our most intensive system site work on student achievement. Work accomplished by using the standards and appropriate indicators – benchmarks and defining sources of evidence or work productions all planned, implemented and assessed by establishing goals, action steps, and monitoring criteria within the umbrella of these standards. There are over 30 system and site professional staff teams whose goals are directly related to the MCAS and other student achievement and assessment measures. These teams, along with school improvement planning and program improvement planning initiatives are organizationally accomplished through wide spectrum of QPS academic classroom teachers, academic programs student support services, extended day programs. Of course valued principals, system curriculum and program leaders play an integral role in our DIP organization.

Mrs. Roberts and Mrs. Fredrickson gave a presentation on the MCAS report which is sent to parents. This is a new report and is more comprehensive than before. This report is also done in nine different languages and English.

It is realized that we have some schools that are in AYP status categories of improvement, corrective action, restructuring and some schools that are in better AYP position with no status. However, it is imperative that we all understand that this school system is working harder, working smarter and we are all dedicated to the successful achievement of every one of our students. The No Child Left Behind law requires school districts to document student progress towards proficiency by 2014. Proficiency is determined by students achieving a minimum ELA and Math MCAS score of 240. In addition, high school students need to achieve a minimum score of 220 on the Science/Technology Test. The Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is a designation given to the school district and individual schools summarizing student test participation, performance and/or improvement on the MCAS test and school wide attendance or high school graduation rate.

Mrs. Fredrickson reviewed the Parent/Guardian Report which parents receive for their child. Growth is distinct from achievement. Each student is compared only to their statewide academic peers, not to all students statewide. She reviewed Quincy’s 2010 MCAS results, the median student growth percentiles.

Mrs. Dwyer asked if there was any effect is on Quincy students that started Kindergarten at a younger age than the rest of the state with MCAS. Is there a difference for those who only had half-day Kindergarten. Are our lower grades doing better. Mrs. Dwyer is concerned with some schools having different math techniques. She felt we should be looking at this more universally. She’d like to see if these “extras” are working in Quincy.

Mrs. Mahoney asked if Mr. Segalla could do a survey and get information from students that have graduated. sending out an email survey. She suggested sending an opt out email asking those student where they went after graduating, if they went to college and if they dropped out.

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Central Middle School

Mayor Koch thanked the Committee for attending the meeting with Katherine Craven for the new Central. She told them that the site is not reimbursable. Some demolition is reimbursable.


At this time, Mrs. Bragg made the following three motions, seconded by Mr. McCarthy,

Motion to take Winfield House & surrounding businesses Rescinded

  1. Whereas a vote was taken and approved on October 7, 2009 of which I was the maker of the motion seconded by Mr. McCarthy “To accept the Winfield House and surrounding businesses as a site for the Central Middle School.” I respectfully rescind that vote. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

Both Ms. Isola and the Mayor checked to see if there were any incidents that occurred over the past 12 years with the motel next to St. Ann’s school. They were told that there have been no incidents. The new building will be positioned so that the gym side would face the motel. The Mayor said it is the intention of the owner to associate with another chain. Mrs. Dwyer said she felt they made a mistake when renovating North Quincy High School by not taking the land by D’Angelos. She asked the Mayor to take the motel on the property.

Mrs. Mahoney shared concerns in regard to written communications about reports that are requested.

New Site Approved for new Central Middle School

  1. To approve new construction for a 620 pupil Central Middle School as approved by the Massachusetts School Building Authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 34 of the municipal charter of the City of Quincy, the School Committee hereby approves the acquisition of the following parcels by the City, for purposes of the site and construction of a new Central Middle School:

    Parcel No. 5082-28-2A (known as the ENC property)
    Parcel No. 5082-14-1 (known as 869 Hancock St residential house)
    Parcel No. 5082-13-2 (known as 873 Hancock St Rigby Chiropractor)
    Parcel No. 5082-17-1 (known as 882 Hancock St (St. Ann’s rectory)
    Parcel No. 5082-18-2 (known as 15 Saint Anns Road St. Ann’s School)
    Parcel No. 5082-7-53 (known on Saint Anns Road Parish Center)
    All as depicted on the plan presented to the committee at its September 29, 2010 meeting, captioned “City of Quincy Parcel Map” a copy which shall be attached to the record of this vote.

Motion passes

On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

Mrs. Bragg also thought it would be a better school site if the City took the President’s City Inn. The Mayor said he would take this in the spirit it was made. He is aware of the North Quincy renovation. However, this is a financial situation and the City does have other priorities.

Motion to take President’s City Inn

  1. Request the Honorable Thomas P. Koch to consider adding Parcel No. 5082-27-1A, known as the President’s City Inn, to the acquisition of land for the construction of a new Central Middle School.

    On a roll call vote the motion passed 6-0. MAYOR KOCH ABSTAINED.

Mrs. Dwyer asked that we keep track of the progress of the motel and that it changes. Mrs. Mahoney asked the Mayor to take into consideration the safety issues of the site on two busy streets. The comments to date are we will have two front entrances.

Mrs. Dwyer asked the Superintendent to meet with the Police Chief about skateboarding at Quincy High School. She also asked the Mayor to give the Committee a copy of the Honeywell report if there is any information that pertains to schools, preferably before they review the School Improvement Plans. She had heard there are 13 violations. She asked for that before the next School Committee Meeting. The Mayor answered that they went to arbitration on the punch list. Honeywell has many other issues. It is in the Attorney General’s office now.

Mrs. Bragg moved into the Policy Subcommittee the City Councils request for notification of lockdowns regarding preschool programs and early childhood programs. The Mayor will have the City Clerk’s office forward a copy of the request.

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Supts. Evaluation Mayor Koch reports

Mayor Koch gave the members an evaluation form for the Superintendent. The Superintendent’s contract is coming up for renewal. He asked them to review the form and have it in his office by October 22 marked “CONFIDENTIAL.’ On October 27, we will go into Executive Session to go over the Superintendent’s contract. Mr. McCarthy, Ms. Isola will meet with the Mayor to go over the forms.

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Health,Safety, Security & Transp. Subcommittee

The Health, Safety, Security and Transportation Subcommittee met on Monday, October 4, to get an overview of our Transportation Department to see if we have any issues in all aspects. Mike Draicchio and Sue Gropp put together a folder of information for the members. Mr. Draicchio gave an overview of how the Transportation office was running. He commended Mike and Sue on the packet which contained 100% of what we need. Mr. Dracchio will get a breakdown of what transportation fee money we thought we were going to get and what we did get.

Quincy Public Schools is transporting 1,023 students. We have 33 routes, 6 regular and 27 Special Education. We have 42 vehicles. Our vendors transport 155 students and we bus 387 students. There are 542 homeless/Special Ed. students and 481 regular students for a total of 1,023.

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Mahoney, the Committee approved the minutes. The ayes have it.

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Special Ed. Subcommittee Mrs. Mahoney reports

The Special Education Subcommittee met on October 5 in Quincy High School.

This is a new location and the members would like to meet there permanently. Mr. McCarthy provided an update on the Transportation Department that seems to be working very well. They reviewed the surveys that were completed by parents and their recommendations. They discussed the Anti-Bullying Policy reported by Ms. Todd. It was a very productive meeting. On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, the Committee approved the minutes. The ayes have it.

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Policy Subcommittee Mrs. Bragg reports

The Policy Subcommittee met on October 7 in the Superintendent’s Conference Room. The first order of business was Waivers and Verification of Income. Mrs. Morrissey went over the process. Mr. Rendell said they do the same for Athletics if somebody wants to get a waiver. Forms are passed on to Mrs. Morrissey to see if the student qualifies for free and reduced. The Transportation office uses Mrs. Morrissey to verify students who don’t pay for transportation. Mrs. Morrissey will do a flow chart and give copies of regulations on the 3% verification to the members.

The members reviewed a Draft Anti Bullying policy form. The members discussed making it mandatory that principals fill out the form. The Committee decided to have Mr. Mulvey rework the policy. He will also check on the internet policy and the harassment policy. After much discussion, the members decided to copy the law but have different procedures. They will adopt Mass General Laws as policy and put requirements in the procedures.

The next order of business was naming of Quincy Public Schools and places. Mrs. Bragg is looking for a more formal process. This should include naming of rooms within the school building.

There is a policy (File 6.4) and it states “The School Committee will be responsible for naming all school buildings.” Mrs. Bragg said she wanted to expand the policy and add:

“and all property under the jurisdiction of the School Committee including but not limited to rooms within school buildings.”

The members decided to consider this but left this issue in subcommittee.

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved the Policy Subcommittee minutes. The ayes have it.

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On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney, seconded Mr. McCarthy, the Committee voted to adjourn for the evening at 10:20 p.m. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.