Sept. 5, 2012 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Temporary City Council Chambers, City Hall
7:00 p.m.

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session Minutes for June 13, 2012.

II. Open Forum: 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. An individual may not exchange their time or yield to others.

III. Superintendent’s Report:

A. New Staff Orientation, Organizational Changes

B. Enrollment and Class Size Status

C. Fall Quincy School Community Business Partnership Activities

D. Quincy Public Schools Food Services Award

E. Summer Scene 2012

F. Maintenance: School Committee and Team Communication

G. Summer 2012 Technology Initiatives

H. Quincy High School Accreditation Report

IV. Old Business:

A. Central Middle School Project Update/Introduction of General Contractor HV Collins - Mrs. Mahoney

V. New Business:

A. District Improvement Plan 2012-2013 - Mrs. Roberts
Professional Development (Site-Based September 6)
Assessment Calendar

B. Special School Committee Meeting, September 24, 2012 - Vice-Chair Isola
Improvement Timeline

C. Appointment of School Nurse

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Policy Subcommittee: Mr. Bregoli to update on Community Service Pilot.

IX. Executive Session: Collective Bargaining, Grievances.

X. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Items

Budget & Finance

School Facilities & Security

  1. Sterling Building Plans Referred to Subcommittee by the School Building Task Force in 1998.

  2. Coddington Hall $1.5 million Appropriation Referred to Subcommittee at the May 18, 2011 School Committee Meeting. The City of Quincy has appropriated $1.5 million to refurbish Coddington Hall to serve as the Quincy Public Schools administrative offices. Wessling Architects has been chosen to complete the design phase of the project and construction cost estimating is underway as of February 2012.

  3. Houses on Saville Avenue Referred to Subcommittee at the May 18, 2011 School Committee Meeting. Currently home to the School Maintenance and Public Building departments, the School Committee and Superintendent see no future educational uses for these properties.

  4. Outside Lighting Audit Referred to Subcommittee at the February 8, 2012 School Committee Meeting. To address safety concerns, an audit was requested to look for lights that need repair or replacement and locations that would benefit from additional lighting.

  5. Coddington Hall Parking Lot Rental to Quincy College Referred to Subcommittee at the February 8, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Assess feasibility of managing the building parking lot as rental property during the renovation process.

  6. Acceptance of Provisions of Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 71, Section 37M Referred to Subcommittee at the March 21, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Discuss proposed consolidation of the School Maintenance Department budget with the City of Quincy Department of Public Works.

  7. Motion for the Public Buildings and Parks Departments to Attend School Committee Meetings Referred to Subcommittee at the June 13, 2013 School Committee Meeting. Mr. McCarthy proposed that representatives from both the Public Buildings and Parks Departments attend the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee meetings where the School Improvement Plans are presented and that each department appear before the School Committee bi-annually in the fall and spring to present on current projects and issues.

Health, Transportation & Safety

  1. School Meal Charges Referred to Subcommittee at the March 21, 2012 School Committee Meeting. New state and federal regulations require formalization of the school meal charges policy.

  2. School Wellness Policy Referred to Subcommittee at the March 21, 2012 School Committee Meeting. New state and federal guidelines will require revision of the existing Wellness Policy.

  3. Science Lab Safety: Referred from the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee at the April 2, 2012 meeting. High School Science labs have been reviewed and needed updates for compliance completed; Middle School Science labs still to be evaluated.

School Policy

  1. Graduation Requirements Referred to Subcommittee at the September 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting and discussed at the October 11, 2011 School Policy Subcommittee. The discussion centered around adding a fourth year of Math as a graduation requirement and all agreed to table the issue until more is known about the impact of the new Common Core Standards on the Massachusetts frameworks.

  2. New Educator Evaluations Referred at the September 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting and shared with the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee. Two meetings have already been held to begin exploring the requirements of the new regulations (9/21/11 Ad Hoc Subcommittee meeting and February 13, 2012 Teaching and Learning Subcommittee meeting) and further discussion will be held in Executive Session as it pertains to collective bargaining.

  3. High School Community Service Pilot Referred to Subcommittee at the December 14, 2011 School Committee Meeting. A resolution was introduced proposing a phased-in Community Service requirement and further discussion is needed to create a pilot program for both high schools.

  4. Conflict of Interest: Volunteering, Tutoring, Hiring Referred to Subcommittee at the January 11, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Review and discussion of existing policy requested.

  5. Adding CPR as a Graduation Requirement Referred to Subcommittee at the March 21, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Review and discussion of existing policy requested.

  6. Exempting Student Athletes from Physical Education Requirement Referred at the May 2, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Student athletes who compete in three seasons of athletics with parent permission and maintenance of academic eligibility, would not be required to take Physical Education classes. Review and discussion of existing policy requested.

  7. Adopt a Project Referred at the May 2, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Maintenance department requested a review of the policy and process for project approval.

  8. Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities Referred at the June 13, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Review and discussion of amending the existing policy requested to explore the possibility of raising revenue by accepting advertising sponsorships.

Special Education

  1. Substitute Teachers for SPED Originally referred to Subcommittee at the January 17, 2007 School Committee Meeting. At the Special School Committee Meeting on January 28, 2012 and the Special Education Subcommittee meeting on February 1, 2012, it was agreed that some progress has been made in the way that substitute teachers are informed and educated about accommodations for special needs issues. A form has been developed for classroom teachers to share information and the goal for implementation is the 2012-2013 school year.

  2. Special Education Program Assessment Referred to Subcommittee at the January 28, 2012 Special School Committee Meeting. This will be an ongoing discussion of the curriculum initiatives for Special Education.

Rules, Post Audit & Oversight

Teaching and Learning 

New Educator Evaluations Referred at the September 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting and shared with the School Policy Subcommittee. Two meetings have already been held to begin exploring the requirements of the new regulations (9/21/11 Ad Hoc Subcommittee meeting and February 13, 2012 Teaching and Learning Subcommittee meeting) and further discussion will be held in Executive Session as it pertains to collective bargaining.

Ad Hoc Committees:

Channel 22

Created at the October 27, 2007 School Committee meeting to encourage the greater use of Channel 22 across Quincy Public Schools.

Central Building Committee


Quincy, Massachusetts - September 5, 2012
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mayor Thomas Koch, Mrs. 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 Mrs. Ann Starck, Mrs. Fran Reilly, and Ms. Barbara DeWolfe all employees of the Quincy Public Schools for many years and Lamar Thompson, a Quincy High School student who passed away over the summer.

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The Superintendent called the roll and all School Committee members were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Mr. Caruso, Mr. Cunniff, Mr. Draicchio, Mr. Edwards, Mrs. Fredrickson, Ms. Hallett, Mr. MacDonald, Mr. Mullaney, Mr. Mulvey, Mrs. Papile, Mrs. Roberts, Ms. Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, City Solicitor Timmins, Ms. Todd; Ms. Allison Cox, President, Quincy Education Association; and Mrs. Tracey Christello, Citywide Parents’ Council Representative.

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Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 6/13/2012

Mayor Koch made a motion, seconded by Mr. Bregoli, to approve the regular session minutes for June 13, 2012, as amended to add Ms. Gichuhi’s title “President, Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education” on page 1; on page 5, line 13, to add “Benefit” after “Community”; and on page 5, line 15, to add “grounds” after “school.” On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Open Forum

As no one wished to be heard in Open Forum, the Committee went on with the business at hand.

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Superintendent’s Report

The Superintendent opened his remarks welcoming the School Committee back from their summer recess and noted the staff who worked so hard preparing for, today’s opening of school, including the Custodial and Maintenance departments and the school administrative and professional staffs. He mentioned last year’s graduates, 80% of whom are attending 2- or 4-year colleges or universities, and how proud we are of their accomplishments. The Superintendent spoke of how the summer to fall transition can be difficult for students and families, who should reach out to their principals or any member of the Superintendent’s Leadership Team for assistance. He welcomed the class of 2025, the more than 700 Kindergarten students who will begin school on Monday, September 10.

Dr. DeCristofaro then spoke about the New Professional Staff Orientation that was held on August 29 and 30, and featured members of the Principal and Superintendent’s Leadership Teams presenting to the Quincy Public Schools’ 49 new teachers, guidance counselors, and specialists. The Teacher Mentoring Team will be assisting and supporting the new staff over the course of their first year. He discussed some of the Administrative changes that took place over the summer, introducing the two new Curriculum Coordinators, Ms. Madeline Roy (PreKindergarten through Grade 5 and Title I) and Beth Hallett (Grades 6 through 12 and English Language Learners). Ms. Hallett is taking on a new role, building on her experience at Quincy High School as an English Language Learners Teacher and later System-Wide Team Administrator for ELL. Ms. Roy is new to the Quincy Public Schools, but familiar with Quincy from her work with DSAC and has a great presence with teachers and administrators. Ms. Roy was began her career as a teacher, and has been a curriculum specialist and elementary principal; she has over 25 years of educational experience. Both Curriculum Coordinators will work closely with the Teaching and Learning and Policy Subcommittees. Other administrative changes include the appointment of Robin Moreira as the principal of the Atherton Hough Elementary School; Noreen O’Connell as the Quincy Teen Mothers Program Coordinator, and new Assistant Principals Deirdre Murphy at the Wollaston Elementary School, Heather Patch at the Clifford Marshall Elementary School, and Scott Perfetuo at the Parker Elementary School.

At North Quincy High School, there have been a number of administrative changes, including Department Heads: Katie Carey for Special Education; Danielle Fernandez, (Acting) for Social Studies; Kenneth Panaro (Acting) for Science. Principal Metzler resigned last week to take a position as Superintendent in the Timberlaine Hampstead Regional School District in New Hampshire. Dr. Metzler was part of the Quincy Public Schools for over 25 years as a teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal at Sterling Middle School, and finally as Principal of North Quincy High School for the last five years. Rob Shaw, the former Assistant Principal of North Quincy High School will be returning to assume the role of Acting Principal on September 19, 2012. In the interim, two Acting Assistant Principals have been appointed, Mike Connor (Social Studies Department Head) and Helena Skinner (Guidance Department Head). Mr. Shaw is a North Quincy High School alum, and was a teacher and Department Head at the school before becoming Assistant Principal. He will appear at an upcoming School Committee meeting to present his vision for North Quincy High School. Dr. DeCristofaro noted that North Quincy High School has a resilient culture and climate and the talented staff will carry on with the business of education.

Preliminary enrollment numbers show the Quincy Public Schools population about one hundred students above last year’s October 1 total; class sizes are being reviewed to ensure compliance with the School Committee Guidelines. Upcoming events include distribution of backpacks at the Lincoln Hancock Community School, the Clifford Marshall Elementary School, and the Snug Harbor Community School. Our business partners, have provided backpacks and donations of school supplies for all of our elementary schools. Thanks were extended to Bluefin Robotics who is once again sponsoring High School and Middle School Robotics Teams. Dr. DeCristofaro noted an upcoming event on September 21, when the National Parks Service Adams Historical Site will host a premiere for their new film Enduring Legacy at Quincy High School. Invitations will be mailed to all School Committee members and many members of the Quincy Public Schools staff.

Other items in the Superintendent’s report included that Quincy Public Schools Food Services and all five Middle Schools were recently recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture for their Healthier US School Challenge. Dr. DeCristofaro extended congratulations to Mrs. Morrissey and the Middle School principals and staffs for their bronze award for creating healthier school environments. Also, over 800 students participated in Quincy Public Schools’ Summer programs: Summer Scene, Summer Success, English Language Learners, Creek to Harbor, High School Summer School, Special Education, and the STEM program at the Sterling Middle School.

Dr. DeCristofaro then reviewed the transition of the Maintenance Department t to Public Buildings and that Walter MacDonald will be joining the regular Plant Maintenance Team meetings as needed. For the next School Committee Meeting, Public Buildings will present a review of completed summer projects and ongoing projects. Mayor Koch suggested inviting Kristin Powers for a similar Parks Department presentation as well.

Dr. DeCristofaro also mentioned this summer’s Technology Initiatives funded through Comcast and E-rate funds which led to new computers, software, classroom technology, email upgrades, and infrastructure improvements at many schools, particularly the middle schools and North Quincy High School. He also noted that each School Committee member received a copy of the Quincy High School Accreditation Report, which reflects the hard work and dedication of Principal Frank Santoro, Assistant Principal Ellen Murray, the Department Heads, and the school’s entire staff. He expressed his pride in all of the great things going on at Quincy High School.

Dr. DeCristofaro concluded by thanking the School Committee for their work on creating the FY2013 budget, with its emphasis on Academic Classroom Teachers, additional staff for multiple programs, office aides, athletic trainers, classroom aides, and attendance officers. The benefits of these additional positions were reflected in a great opening day of school.

Mr. Bregoli asked for clarification on where the enrollment has risen; Dr. DeCristofaro said the preliminary numbers are higher for elementary and high school. Mayor Koch thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for his leadership and today’s smooth opening of school.

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Old Business

The next item on the agenda was a Central Middle School Project Update. Mrs. Mahoney introduced City Solicitor Timmins who spoke briefly about the current status of the project and introduced the Owner’s Project Manager from Tishman Construction, Eugene Caruso and Jay Edwards from HV Collins, the General Contractor. Mr. Edwards is the Project Manager for HV Collins, a third generation contractor specializing in public schools. The Central Middle School site is divided into three buildings: for building A, the foundation is complete; for building B, foundation is almost complete; for building C, preparation for foundation is complete. In the next couple of weeks, structural steel will begin to be erected. Solicitor Timmins noted that HV Collins is working on the master project schedule; a complete presentation in conjunction with the Public Buildings department will be on the agenda for a School Committee meeting in October.

Mr. McCarthy asked for some clarification on the construction meeting notes that were shared with the School Committee, asking for definitions on terms such as LEED and specifics of the retaining walls (there will be a screened barrier fence along the property perimeter between the hotel and the school property). Mr. McCarthy inquired about the ash material mentioned in the notes. Mr. Caruso clarified it was tested and safely removed from the site.

Mrs. Mahoney noted that while major progress has been made on the new Central Middle School, we are still in the early stages of the project. At the last Central Building Committee meeting, Mrs. Mahoney requested that contractor and subcontractor information be shared with the full School Committee as well.

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New Business

Mrs. Roberts began the her presentation on the District Improvement Plan by reviewing the purpose of the Professional Development plan for the Quincy Public Schools. School Improvement Plans and Program Improvement Plans are currently being drafted with goals and action steps. Within the next few weeks, the Professional Development plan will be created. Thursday, September 6 will be a day of system-wide Professional Development; over 800 staff members will take part in one of the Professional Development opportunities, ranging from training staff on the new Journeys Reading and Go Math! programs at the elementary levels, curriculum mapping for common core at the middle and high school levels, health and wellness workshops for the nursing, health, and physical education staff. All of these activities will be followed up through the year. Mrs. Roberts also reviewed the Assessment Calendar which covers the entire school year.

Vice-Chair Isola then spoke about the Special School Committee Meeting that will be held on September 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm in the Gillooly Room on the first floor of the NAGE Building. The goal of the meeting is to develop Subcommittee goals and action steps. Dr. DeCristofaro noted that the Special School Committee Meeting held last January helped each Subcommittee chair focus on their shortterm goals. He briefly reviewed the Improvement Timeline and how the School Committee will now be in the same pattern as Academic and Academic Support programs in beginning to Plan in September. At that meeting, the calendar for review of School Improvement Plans and Academic Program Improvement Plans in the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee and Academic Support Program Improvement Plans in the Policy and Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittees will be discussed as well.

Appointment of School Nurse

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mr. Bregoli, the Committee approved the appointment of Loren Catrambone, R.N. as School Nurse at the Central Middle School. On a roll call vote,_the motion passed 7-0.

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Additional Business

Mr. McCarthy asked whether there were any items in the Quincy High School NEASC report that would need to be discussed in the Policy Subcommittee and Dr. DeCristofaro clarified that the recommendations are items that Quincy High School will work on implementing. Mr. McCarthy also requested information on the upcoming North Quincy High School NEASC process and Dr. DeCristofaro will follow up with information.

Mr. McCarthy complimented the landscaping work done at Quincy High School and inquired about whether there were any parking issues given the construction at the YMCA. Dr. DeCristofaro will follow up with Principal Santoro. Mr. McCarthy also noted that the new window installation at the Montclair Elementary School is underway and the windows look beautiful. The contractor will be working after school hours to complete the project before the school’s 100th anniversary celebration in October. The playground installation at Montclair is almost complete as well. Mr. McCarthy complimented the work the Maintenance department did to build classroom walls in the Grade 2 section of Lincoln Hancock over the summer.

Mr. McCarthy concluded by noting that he had made a motion at the June 13, 2012 School Committee Meeting to include the Parks Department and Public Buildings in the School Improvement and Program Improvement Plan reviews. Since the motion was tabled at that meeting, he would like to discuss it at a future School Committee meeting or in a Subcommittee meeting, whichever is appropriate. Mr. Bregoli mentioned that at the North Quincy High School vs. Quincy High School boys’ soccer game on Thursday, September 6, the Quincy High School team will be honoring Lamar Thompson by wearing green in his memory.

Mayor Koch suggested bringing Park Department in for a complete update at the September 19 School Committee meeting; it will give them an opportunity to review the work completed over the summer. He also noted that the Montclair window project will be the prototype for window replacement and should state funding become available, windows will be replaced in as many as ten to twelve school buildings over the next couple of years.

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Reports of Subcommittees

Policy Subcommittee

Mr. Bregoli updated the School Committee on the Community Service pilot for Grades 10 and 11 students at both high schools. Over the summer, the two Community Service Coordinators were selected: teachers Meg McMillen from Quincy High School and Kerry Ginty from North Quincy High School and they began to work together to gather information on Community Service opportunities. The Community Service Coordinators will be working closely with the class advisors, homeroom teachers, guidance staff, and Assistant Principals at each high school. On Tuesday, the two Community Service Coordinators met with Superintendent DeCristofaro, Quincy High School Principal Frank Santoro, and North Quincy High School Acting Assistant Principal Mike Connor to review the work done to date to launch the Community Service pilot and to plan their next steps. The Community Service Coordinators will be speaking at the Grade 10 and 11 student assemblies on Friday. They will also begin the process of communicating with parents about the Community Service pilot and continue the sharing of Community Service opportunities with students; these will encompass both in and out of school opportunities. The Coordinators will be creating a survey in order to measure student interest in continuing clubs and activities that were offered last year and asking their colleagues for new ideas for clubs and activities to be offered within the school. The Community Service Coordinators plan to update the progress of the Community Service pilot to the School Committee in late fall.

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On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, the School Committee went into Executive Session at 8:00 p.m. for Collective Bargaining. On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0. The School Committee did not return to Open Session.