Feb. 8, 2012 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
February 8, 2012
Quincy High School
7:00 p.m.

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session Minutes for January 25, 2012.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Kindergarten Registration: Tuesday, March 6

B. North Quincy High School Science Fair: Saturday, March 3

C. Quincy High School NEASC Visit: Sunday, March 4

D. Winter School/Winter Institute Information

E. Student Recognition:

South Shore Regional Science Fair

Middle School Volleyball Tournament

All-State Music Participants

Junior Heroes: March 3, 2012

National History Bowl

F. Student Support Services and Special Education Newsletters

G. School Committee Meeting Locations

H. Grade 8 Course Selections and Parent Evenings .

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 Central Middle School: Mrs. Mahoney to report.

C. Special School Committee Meeting: Ms. Isola to report.

D. Head Injury/Concussion Policy Vote

E. School Calendar 2012-2013 Vote

V. New Business:

A. Harvard Program for International Education - Ms. Lundquist, Ms. McMillen

B. Assessments: DIBELS Next - Mrs. Roberts, Mrs. Hughes

C. Grant Booklet - Mr. Mullaney

D. Out of State Travel: Snug Harbor Community School to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, NH, June 6, 2012

E. Out of State Travel: Quincy High School History Bowl Team to National Championships in Washington, D.C., April 27-29, 2012

F. Out of State Travel: Point Webster Middle School to New York City, NY June 8, 2012

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings:

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. Special Education Subcommittee Meeting: Mrs. Mahoney to report.

B. School Facilities and Security Subcommittee Meeting: Mr. McCarthy to report.

X. Executive Session:

XI. Adjournment:  

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance Isola/Lebo/Mahoney

10/7/2009 Half-Time Teachers
  9/15/2010 Opportunities & Challenges
  9/15/2010 Short & Long Term Goals
School Facilities   McCarthy/Bregoli/Hubley
  3/4/1998 Sterling Building Plans
  10/20/2004 ADA Report
  5/18/2011 Coddington Hall $1.5 Appropriation
  5/18/2011 Future uses of houses on Saville Ave.
Health, Safety & Security   Hubley/Lebo/McCarthy
  3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
  3/17/2010 North Quincy Traffic Intersection
School Policy   Bregoli/Isola/Mahoney
  6/15/2011 Substitute teacher interviews & evaluations
  9/7/2011 NCLB Federal Mandate
  9/7/2011 Graduation Requirements
  12/14/11 High School Community Service Pilot
  1/11/12 2012-2013 School Year Calendar
  1/11/12 School Committee Meetings 2012-2013
  1/11/12 Conflict of Interest: Volunteering, Tutoring, Hiring
Special Education   Mahoney/Bregoli/McCarthy
  1/17/2007 Substitute Teachers for SPED
  9/24/2008 INSPIRE Initiative
Rules, Post Audit & Oversight   Lebo/Bregoli/Hubley
Teaching and Learning   Lebo/Hubley/Isola
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/27/2007 Encourage greater use of
New Educator Evaluation Regulations    
Isola/Lebo 9/7/2011 Begin investigating requirements



Quincy, Massachusetts - February 8, 2012
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at Quincy High School. Present were: Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mayor Thomas Koch, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Dave McCarthy, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

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There was a moment of silence in memory of Mr. Frank Caparelli. Mr. Caparelli was employed by the Quincy Public Schools for over 20 years as a custodian.

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The Superintendent called the roll and all were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Messrs. Draicchio, Mullaney, Mulvey, Murphy, Keith Segalla; Mrs. Fredrickson, Hughes, McMillen, Papile, Roberts, Witmer; Ms. Dufresne, Lundquist, O’Keeffe, Subatis, Todd; Ms. Allison Cox, President, QEA, Mrs. Tracey Christello, Citywide Parents’ Council Representative, and Ms. Jill Gichuhi, President, Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education.

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Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 1/25/2012

Mayor Koch made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, to approve the regular session minutes for January 25, 2012. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Special Meeting Minutes Approved

1/28/12 Mayor Koch made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hubley, to approve the special meeting minutes for January 28, 2012. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Superintendent’s Report

The Superintendent opened his remarks by reminding the School Committee of some upcoming events including the Special Olympics on Friday, February 10 at the Squantum School and the Junior Hero recognition breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis on Saturday, March 3. Kindergarten Registration will be held at all elementary schools on Tuesday, March 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pre-Kindergarten Screenings will be held on Tuesday, March 20 and Tuesday, April 3. Information about both the Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten programs can be found on the Quincy Public Schools website and Channel 22. Information is now also available about Winter School, a 10-week program for high school students providing students the opportunity to make up courses required for graduation, and the Winter Institute, a Saturday morning academic enrichment program for Kindergarten through Grade 5.

The high school Science Fairs will be held on Thursday, February 16 at Quincy High School and Saturday, March 3 at North Quincy High School. The South Shore Regional Science Fair awarded two Quincy High School students, Peter Giunta and Eion Moriarty first place for their project on probiotics.

North Quincy High School students George Bill, Nicholas Burt, and Samantha Tan were recognized as All-State Musicians. At the 5th Annual Young Men’s Choral Festival, eight North Quincy High School students appeared under the direction of Tim Carew and student director Will Lunny. At the recent state History Bowl, North Quincy High School teams placed first in all categories and will be competing at the National History Bowl in Washington, D.C. in April, along with teams from Quincy High School who also qualified at the state tournament. The middle school Volleyball championships were held on Saturday, January 28 and over one hundred students participated in the event.

Other upcoming events include Quincy High School’s NEASC accreditation visit is from March 4 through March 7, 2012. The Superintendent noted that he and Assistant Superintendent Colleen Roberts will be appearing at the Citywide Parents’ Council meeting at 7:00 pm at Broad Meadows to speak about Massachusetts’ transition to the Common Core State Standards. Informational meetings for Grade 8 students and their families about the transition process from middle to high school will be held at both high schools: North Quincy High School on Monday, March 5 and Quincy High School on Tuesday, March 6.

The School Committee also received information about location changes for upcoming School Committee meetings; most of the remaining meetings will be held in the Temporary City Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall. Information has been posted for the public on the website and Channel 22. Newsletters for the Special Education and Student Support Services departments were also shared with the School Committee

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Open Forum

Lori Hagborg spoke about the new Central Middle School project and concerns about the amount of space available for the band and music programs.

Daniel Long spoke of his concerns about removing the Winfield Elm tree in preparation for the construction of the new Central Middle School. He urged the Mayor and School Committee to consider retaining the tree.

Ed Grogan proposed adding to the Quincy School Committee’s Policy that school mascots and logos should not traffic in racial stereotypes.

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Ms. Isola made a motion to take the agenda out of order and take up New Business items A and B. Mayor Koch seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

New Business

Harvard Program for International Education

The Superintendent introduced North Quincy High School Social Studies teacher Meg McMillen, who spoke about the Harvard Program for International Education. Mrs. McMillen and Quincy High School Social Studies teachers Jane Lundquist and Molly Good host the Harvard undergraduates who volunteer their time to this service organization in six of their freshman and sophomore classes. The purpose of the course is to expose students to contemporary and historical global issues and prepare them to think critically about modern-day politics. Pairs of tutors spend one class per week for seven weeks teaching a curriculum that they designed; the Fall 2011 program was called Negotiation and Diplomacy. As a part of that, the tutors taught each class basic debating skills using relevant topics. The culmination of the course was a one-day visit to Harvard for a tour, lunch, and a presentation by a guest speaker. Three students were awarded prizes for their work during this course and were recognized by Mayor Koch, the School Committee, and the Superintendent for their achievements: North Quincy High School freshman Dana Grasselli, Quincy High School freshman Suhail Purkar, and Quincy High School sophomore Lindsay Schrier.

Integrated Learning Teams Presentation

The Superintendent then introduced Mrs. Edith Hughes, Coordinator of Early Childhood Education and Mrs. Ruth Witmer, Principal of the Lincoln-Hancock Elementary School. Mrs. Witmer opened the presentation by explaining the purpose of the school-based Integrated Learning Teams and introducing the members of her staff present: Ms. Colleen Dufresne, Literacy Teacher; Ms. Lina Subatis, Special Education Teacher, and Ms. Deanna O’Keeffe, Grade 1 Teacher. These Integrated Learning Teams (ILTs) are a critical part of every elementary school in the Quincy Public Schools and consist of the Principal, classroom teachers, Literacy teachers, Special Education teachers, English Language Learners teachers, and Guidance Counselors. Every student in a school is reviewed three times a year (September, January, and May) with the goal of improving student achievement across the board. At the ILT meeting, goals are set for each child and parents informed when interventions are recommended. The Integrated Learning Teams are a collaborative process and use data to drive instruction, including DIBELs Next (at all grade levels), GRADE (2-3), DRA (K-1) testing that establish benchmarks three times a year. DIBELS scores reflect the Tier 1, 2, or 3/Core, Strategic, Intensive instruction levels that is the heart of the Literacy plan. In the past, the discrepancy between cognitive ability and performance drove evaluation and intervention. Currently, QPS uses the Response to Intervention (RTI) model to create educational plans. Sample pathway for intervention are presented; expectations for all learners are the same, and the means of achieving that are many and varied.

Mr. McCarthy thanked the team for their presentation; asked for clarification about how the Literacy program has evolved and expanded. Mrs. Hughes said that before RTI model, many students would not have the interventions they do today. In the past, it was sometimes second or third grade before problems surfaced. Special Education placements were made where curriculum misalignment was really the issue, so interventions in regular education are tried first.

Mrs. Lebo queried about whether there is something similar in place for Math. Mrs. Hughes said that Lincoln Hancock the new DIBELS data system handles Math data. Through the ARRA program, there are Math Interventionists (in Title I schools) and there is demonstrable progress. Additional funding would be needed for positions at other schools as well. Mr. Bregoli asked about the timing of interventions and it was explained they usually begin in October after first DIBELs and ILT meetings. At the start of the school year, Literacy teachers are working with the students identified in the Spring ILTs.

Mrs. Mahoney spoke about ILTs and the benefit of being able to use data to articulate to parents about the interventions necessary and the value of progress monitoring. Mrs. Witmer reiterated that parents should feel free to contact school principals for any concerns or further information. Ms. Isola asked for clarification about whether parents receive information even if there is no intervention needed. Mrs. Witmer feels that parents are well-informed and aware of the DIBELS and other testing.

Mr. Bregoli asked about progress monitoring and Mrs. Hughes explained that through the Literacy program, children are progress-monitored every two weeks through administration of DIBELS probes. Teachers are constantly checking in with children receiving services or those on watch lists; the progress monitoring improves teaching. It is a paradigm shift for teachers to realize that assessment is part and parcel of instruction, not just the conclusion, but really the beginning.

Dr. DeCristofaro concluded by thanking everyone for their work and the presentation and citing Mrs. Witmer for keeping up with the 480 students at Lincoln Hancock; the Lincoln Hancock staff is an example of collaboration and dedication and caring for each and every child.

Mayor Koch motioned to return to the order of the agenda. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Old Business

Building Projects Update

The next item on the agenda was the update on building projects, renovations, and construction from Mr. Murphy. The heat issues at North Quincy High School have been remedied in the gym and the two classroom floors above it. The sidewalk issue has been temporarily fixed by the Department of Public Works, with a permanent fix to come in the spring. In addition, the Maintenance department has been working on the requests pertaining to the School Improvement Plans in all trades and completing daily work orders.

Mr. McCarthy inquired about the safe operation of the front doors at North Quincy High School. He also requested an audit of the lighting outside school buildings; this item will be referred to the School Facilities Subcommittee for discussion.

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New Central Middle School Project

Mrs. Mahoney reported that there was a Central Building Committee meeting held on Monday, February 6th at 4:30 pm. The value engineering process is completed, as is demolition, site grading, and contractor pre-qualification. Concerns have been expressed that the entire school building will not be air-conditioned. There was also discussion about the elm tree and a third arborist opinion will be solicited about the viability of the tree. Mayor Koch confirmed City Solicitor Timmins’ statement that the Cental Middle School building site is under the city’s jurisdiction. He also reminded the School Committee that the project has a $50 million budget and that scope adjustments and value engineering are part of this process for a project this size.

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Special School Committee Meeting January 28, 2012

Ms. Isola then reviewed the Special School Committee meeting that was held on Saturday, January 28, thanking the members of the School Committee and the Superintendent’s Leadership Team for attending. The changes to the regular Agenda will be implemented for the March 7, 2012 School Committee meeting, including moving Open Forum to be the second item on the agenda. Individuals will still be allowed to speak for four minutes, but they will not be allowed to yield or exchange time. Under Old Business, the Building Projects report will be moved to the School Facilities Subcommittee and reported under Reports of Subcommittees as needed. The Central Building Committee project updates will also be reported under Reports of Subcommittees as needed. The School Committee Subcommittees have been reorganized and several names have changed. Program Improvement Plans will be reviewed in the Subcommittee that covers that program area. Additional information will be added to the Subcommittee page of the agenda including details from when the item gets referred to Subcommittee and timelines for resolution of items.

Mr. McCarthy asked for clarification about whether the members of the Superintendent’s Leadership Team would still be present at School Committee Meetings and Dr. DeCristofaro confirmed that they would be. Ms. Isola and Mayor Koch both cited the Open Meeting law and the need to keep the discussion to items on the agenda. New items that might be agenda items in the future can be introduced under Additional Business, but only to refer them to a Subcommittee for further discussion.

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Head Injury/Concussion Policy Approved

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Head Injury/Concussion Policy. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bregoli and, on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.

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2012-2013 School Year Calendar Approved

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the School Year 2012-2013 Calendar. The motion was seconded by Mayor Koch and, on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.

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2011-2012 Grant Booklet

Dr. DeCristofaro then introduced Mr. James Mullaney, Director of Business Affairs, who presented the 2011-2012 Grant Booklet. The booklet details the twenty-three grants currently received by the Quincy Public Schools totaling $7.8 million. The Grant Booklet is organized in three sections for Entitlements (grants based on formulas set forth by laws or regulations), Continuation (grants that are multi-year), and Competitive (grants awarded year to year). The grants represent eight percent of the Quincy Public Schools’ budget and fund one hundred positions, teacher stipends, and professional development. Mrs. Lebo asked for information about grants that may have dwindling funding and Mr. Mullaney mentioned the 21st Century and Educational Job grants. He stated that we are hopeful that additional Chapter 70 money may be forthcoming, but any of the grants are subject to change at any time.

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Out of State Travel

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State travel of Snug Harbor Community School to Canobie Lake Park, Windham, NH on June 6, 2012. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State travel of Quincy High School History Bowl Team to Washington, D.C. April 27 through April 29, 2012. Mrs. Lrbo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State travel of Point Webster Middle School to New York City, NY on June 8, 2012. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Additional Business

Mrs. Mahoney requested the coordination of the installation of new security cameras with the exterior lighting audit added to the School Facilities Subcommittee earlier in the meeting. Mrs. Mahoney also requested adding the status of the Coddington Hall renovations to the School Facilities Subcommittee.

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Reports of Special Committees

Mrs. Mahoney reported on the Special Education Subcommittee meeting, which was held on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. At the meeting, the group discussed the Special Education Disability Guide that Quincy High School developed as one of their TEAMS projects; it will be shared with QPAC membership for their feedback. The QPAC Collaborative Goals were then reviewed, along with next steps for the development of the Parent Guide, Parent Brochure for Initial Evaluation, and the Transition Guide. The next Subcommittee meeting is Wednesday, March 28 and progress towards each of these collaborative goals will be discussed at that meeting.

The Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education also asked the School Committee for recognition on par with the Quincy Educator’s Association and the Citywide Parents’ Council; this has been granted. Beginning with the February 8, 2012 School Committee Meeting, the QPAC representative will be noted in the School Committee Meeting minutes, receive a copy of the School Committee Meeting agenda and accompanying materials, plus be notified via email of all Subcommittee meetings.

Mrs. Mahoney made a motion to approve the Special Education Subcommittee Meeting minutes from the February 1, 2012 meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. McCarthy and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0.

Mr. McCarthy reported that the School Facilities Subcommittee meeting originally scheduled for February 7, 2012 had to be rescheduled due to the fact that there was not a quorum of Subcommittee members present. The new meeting date is Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm in the 2nd floor conference room of the NAGE Building. In addition to the exterior lighting audit and update on the renovation plans for Coddington Hall, Mr. McCarthy moved the idea of renting the Coddington Hall parking lot to Quincy College into the School Facilities Subcommittee.

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Leave of Absence

The School Committee noted the following teacher leave of absence:

Teacher Paige VanGombos


The School Committee noted the following teacher appointments:

Teachers Michelle McMahon, Gregory Stringer


On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney, seconded by Mrs. Hubley, the School Committee adjourned at 9:45 p.m. for the evening. There was no executive session. The ayes have it.