Sept. 19, 2012 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Quincy High School
7:00 p.m.

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session Minutes for September 5, 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. Special Recognition: Nellie Dryer

B. Montclair 100th Anniversary, October 20

C. Adams Historic Site Event, September 21

D. Professional Teacher Status Reception, September 27

E. Quincy School Committee Special Meeting, September 24

F. New Quincy School-Community Business Partners

G. Professional Development Day, September 6

H. Home-School Connections: Atherton Hough Elementary School Newsletter

I. After-School Music Programs

IV. Old Business:

A. Park Department Update - Mrs. Powers
Montclair Playground
Track Project Status
School Grounds

B. Public Buildings - Mr. Murphy/Mr. Cunniff
Summer and Fall School Projects
Former Quincy High School Building Abatement

C. Capital Improvement Plan - Mr. Cunniff/Mr. MacDonald
Update of School Projects
Montclair Windows

D. Coddington Building Update - Mr. Cala, Wessling Associates

V. New Business:

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

IX. Executive Session:

  • Collective Bargaining

  • Grievance(s)

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 19, 2012
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at Quincy High School. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mayor Thomas Koch, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. David McCarthy, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

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There was a moment of silence in honor of our troops serving at home and abroad.

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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. Cunniff, Mr. Draicchio, Mr. Franz, Mr. MacDonald, Mrs. Morrissey, Mr. Mullaney, Mr. Mulvey, Mr. Murphy, Mrs. Papile, Mrs. Pegg, Mrs. Powers, Mrs. Roberts, Mr. Keith Segalla, City Solicitor Timmins, Ms. Todd; Ms. Allison Cox, President, Quincy Education Association; Ms. Jill Gichuhi, President of the Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education and Mrs. Tracey Christello, Citywide Parents’ Council Representative.

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Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 9/5/12

Mayor Koch made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hubley, to approve the regular session minutes for September 5, 2012. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Executive Session Minutes Approved 9/5/12

Mrs. Lebo made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Mahoney, to approve the executive session minutes for September 5, 2012. 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

Vice-Chair Isola introduced Mayor Koch who recognized Mrs. Nellie Dryer, who recently retired from her position as the cafeteria manager at the Merrymount School after thirty-four years as an Quincy Public Schools employee. Mrs. Pegg noted that Mrs. Dryer was a student in the very first class at the Merrymount School, was later a parent there, and then lunch matron and cafeteria manager. Mayor Koch presented Mrs. Dryer with a certificate of recognition, Mr. Bregoli spoke of his years as her colleage at Merrymount, and Ms. Isola thanked her for her dedication. The Superintendent concluded by thanking Mrs. Dryer for the culture she created at the Merrymount School and the indelible mark she left on the community.

After a brief recess, Mayor Koch moved to take the agenda out of order and move to Item IV, Old Business. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice, vote, the ayes have it.

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Old Business

Park Department Update

Ms. Isola introduced Mrs. Kristin Powers, Director of Parks, who spoke about the new Montclair Elementary School playground which was a joint venture between Montclair School Centennial Committee and the Parks Department. Installation was completed on the first day of school and further enhancements are planned including tree planting, benches, and planters, as well as further opportunities to collaborate with school. Mr. Paul Franz, Park Department Project Manager, spoke about the progress on the track project: the asphalt installation is completed, the infield grass is germinating, the fence around the perimeter is installed, and the contractor is finishing up the field event locations. The eurothane rubber surface and striping are still to be completed, along with interior fencing that separates viewers from competitors. There are five weeks left on construction schedule; weather permitting, the completion date is projected for October 19. Mayor Koch thanked Mr. Franz for his project management and Gale Associates for keeping on schedule. Mayor Koch inquired about signage warning about rules of usage on the track once it is open. Mr. Franz replied that Gale Associates has provided reference materials from the recently completed Weymouth track project so that similar signage can be developed for the track. Mr. Bregoli asked about whether this will be a locked facility and Mr. Franz clarified that the facility will be open and that there will be lighting for nighttime safety. Mr. Bregoli also asked about whether the interior field could be used for soccer and Mr. Franz said that the area is not wide enough. Mr. Bregoli inquired about the track surface warranty and Mr. Franz confirmed it is seven years; the surface is an upgrade from what was originally specified for the project due to a decrease in materials costs.

Mrs. Powers then reviewed the progress made over the summer to address school landscaping and school playgrounds, including replenishing playground safety fiber at the elementary school playgrounds across the city to be ADA compliant. In addition, the playing fields have been relined for fall sports. The FY2013 budget allows for two positions to be dedicated to the school grounds maintenance, an increase from previous years. Mrs. Mahoney complimented the addition of the wood chips at the playground, noting that it is a widely discussed issue; she then inquired about the schedule for maintaining the school grounds and requested that the schedule be shared with the School Committee. Ms. Isola complimented the Parks Department work at all of the schools.

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Public Buildings Update

Mr. Kevin Murphy then presented on the projects completed by the Maintenance Department over the summer. The talented staff from all building trades completed many projects, including priority projects at Lincoln-Hancock, where classroom walls were completed to create 12 classrooms and a computer lab on the second floor. In the Lincoln-Hancock pool area, the floors in both the mens’ and women’s locker rooms have been painted, and upgrades completed to the men’s shower area. At the Squantum Elementary School, five classrooms have new tile floors, including three with new subfloors. At the Parker School, the wall in front of the school from Billings Road to Faxon Road is being re-mortared. At North Quincy High School, the brick walkway in the front of the school has been replaced and two computer labs (art and CAD/drafting) constructed. A fence was installed at the bus yard; seven school parking lots were restriped in conjunction with the Department of Public Works. Gym floors were sanded, relined, and polyeurothaned at 5 schools, including Atherton Hough, Bernazzanni, Point Webster, Wollaston, and Snug Harbor. Projects were completed at all schools, with over 500 work orders closed out between June 1 and the opening of school. Security issues are being collaborated on with Mr. Draicchio; ongoing communication between Public Buildings and the schools are being maintained with biweekly meetings.

Mr. McCarthy complimented the range of projects completed and asked about Lincoln-Hancock pool heater issue. Mr. Murphy said that the rooftop heating unit is still an issue, now under Mr. MacDonald’s supervision. Mr. McCarthy asked about Mr. Draicchio’s lighting audit and prioritization of the work requested as it relates to safety issues. Mr. Murphy agreed to keep Mr. McCarthy apprised of progress. Dr. DrCristofaro noted mentioned Mr. Murphy’s ongoing involvement with the School Improvement Plan presentations and the subsequent prioritization and development of a maintenance plan. He thanked Mr. Murphy for all the work completed over the summer.

Mr. Gary Cunniff, Director of Public Buildings then spoke of additional work completed over the summer by the Public Buildings department. At the old Quincy High School building, removal of hazardous materials is underway. Work began in mid-summer, including removing flooring, wallboard, and insulation that contained asbestos. Cabinets, lab fixtures, partitions were also removed. The project is being completed at night, 3:30 pm to 3:30 am, not during school hours. There is an outside consultant monitoring worker and public safety and monitoring air quality on a daily basis. The project is about 75% completed, with several weeks to go. Mr. McCarthy asked about street lights on property. Mr. Cunniff noted that at this time, the fixtures will remain in place. The fencing will be removed after the abatement is completed. Mr. McCarthy asked about whether the building will be fenced in while the final disposition of the building is being negotiated. Mr. Cunniff said it is not a specific requirement, but steps must be taken to secure the building; he also clarified that during the summer, there were two shifts working in the building, day and night.

Mrs. Mahoney asked for an update on the status of the negotiations about the removal of the building. City Solicitor Timmins said that when the city received the permit to build the new Quincy High School, there were constraints imposed in the memorandum of understanding through the local historic commission, the state historic commission, and the Army Corps of Engineers about demolishing the existing building. Negotiations are underway at a local level and with the Army Corps of Engineers, and are now moving onto the state level with a goal of demolishing the building next summer. Mr. Cunniff noted that the abatement had to be done no matter what the outcome of the negotiations. Mrs. Mahoney asked about the cost for abatement; it is $1.2 million and carried as part of the Capital Improvement Plan.

Mr. McCarthy requested a meeting with Mr. Cunniff and Mr. Santoro to address any outstanding issues at new Quincy High School relating to warranteed items.

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Capital Improvement Plan

Mr. Cunniff then reviewed the Capital Improvement Plan, under which the 20 million cubic feet of school buildings, and its protection from elements, the roofs and walls are being addressed. Over the past fifteen months, fifteen of the twenty school buildings have had some improvements to their roofs and masonry. The project is substantially completed, with some punchlist items to be completed in the next couple of weeks. At Atherton Hough, steel lintels were replaced and brickwork repointed. Atlantic and Parker had masonry repairs. Bernazzani and the ECC had metal roofs that required a seal coating. The Broad Meadows gym roof was repaired and sealed. The GOALS building was completely re-roofed, as was LincolnHancock. Merrymount had extensive brickwork and mortar replacement; two sections of Montclair’s roof were replaced. The original section of North Quincy High School was re-roofed. Point Webster had repairs to the parapet; Sterling, Squantum, and Wollaston all had sections of roofing replaced and Wollaston had masonry repairs as well.

Mr. McCarthy complimented the list of completed projects, major construction that the School Department could not find the money for over the years. Mr. Cunniff thanked Wessling Architects for their support in getting the projects bid out and monitoring progress and contractor performance. Mrs. Mahoney requested that the building maps be updated to indicate completed in 2012 and to add dates for the sections not completed in this project so the ages of the roofs can be tracked. Mrs. Mahoney asked if the approximate costs for each roof could be added to the chart as well.

Mr. Walter MacDonald then presented on the Montclair Elementary School window replacement project. In the late 1970s or early 1980s, the school’s original windows were replaced with windows containing a metal insert in the top sash. The new windows have divided lights in the same style as the original building windows. Basement windows will be a laminated safety glass with a heavy duty screen for added security and hades will be purchased for all rooms. The new windows have a 10-year warranty, reduce sound transmission and energy loss, and have a film to screen sunlight. Heat within the rooms will be reflected back, reduced ultraviolet light. Substantial energy savings are anticipated for this building between the new windows and the roofing upgrades. At this time, 125 windows have been installed and 15 are in progress, with 75 left to complete. The project will be substantially completed by October 6. Mr. MacDonald thanked Dr. DeCristofaro and Principal Malvesti and Montclair School staff.

Mayor Koch expressed gratitude for Mr. Cunniff, Mr. MacDonald, and Mr. Murphy for their collaboration across departments. The tremendous progress over the summer is an indicator of the success of the reorganization; the primary focus is still on the schools along with the other city buildings.

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Coddington Hall Update

Ms. Isola then introduced Mr. Robert Cala and Mr. Steve Wessling from Wessling Architects; Mr. Cala shared a brief update on the status of the Coddington Hall renovation project. Wessling Architects spent the summer working on the building’s design and cited the cooperation of all the groups involved, specifically the Superintendent’s Office, School IT, City IT, the Printing department and Planning Department. At the same time, they were meeting with the Quincy Historic Commission and the Building Department about ADA compliance. Wessling Architects is currently creating the construction documents for the bid process and are excited about the final design plan. The building exterior will be restored based on original drawings from the original architect. The slate roof will be restored, along with exterior masonry. New exterior lighting and landscaping will be completed. For the interior, there will be brand new mechanical, electrical, and fire safety systems. There will be new lighting and wall colors, but the interior corridors and wainscoting will be retained. Interior office spaces will be modern and convenient. Wessling Architects are working with the Purchasing department and hoping to receive bids back by mid-November; this is a six-week bid process, so bids will be sent out in early October. Mr. Wessling reiterated that the level of cooperation has succeeded in moving the project along at a swift pace. Each department has responded to requests for information in a timely manner and everything is coming together smoothly.

Mr. McCarthy inquired about the timeline for beginning construction. Mr. Wessling replied that if the bids are in order, bid review and approval would take two to four weeks, with construction to begin in early January. The current estimate is twelve to fifteen months for construction, so Summer 2014 for occupancy.

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Superintendent’s Report (resumed)

Dr. DeCristofaro resumed his report by introducing Assistant Superintendent Roberts, who spoke about the Professional Day that was held on September 6. Over 800 teachers and professional staff were engaged system-wide in topics, including the new Common Core State Standards, publisher inservices for new programs in Math and Reading, and training on the new wellness standards. The day was very well received and evaluations were very enthusiastic. Mrs. Roberts noted that the staff felt that having the collaboration time at the beginning of the year was definitely a positive.

Upcoming events include the Adams Historic Site movie premiere event at Quincy High School on Friday, September 21 at 6:30 pm; the Professional Teacher Status Reception for 47 staff members will be held on Thursday, September 27; and Open Houses will be held at all of the schools over the course of the next few weeks. Dates and times have been posted on the Quincy Public Schools website, along with information about the extended day Music and Band programs being offered. Dr. DeCristofaro noted that two Career and Technical Education programs recently received approval from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Fashion Technology and Criminal Justice. Several new business partners are working with the Quincy Public Schools, including the Alliance for a Healthier Generation working with the school sitebased and system-wide Wellness Teams, Baystate Textiles continuing their partnerships with the school’s Parent-Teacher Organizations, and the Norfolk County Reading Tutoring Program pilot just underway. Under the management by Steward Healthcare, Quincy Medical Center is expanding their level of partnership and will be invited to a School Committee meeting in October to be recognized. Dr. DeCristofaro noted that the Centennial Celebration for the Montclair Elementary School will be held on Saturday, October 20 and the program will include a musical performance by the Grade 5 students and memorabilia across the years of the school’s history. He reminded the School Committee that there will be a Special School Committee meeting on Monday, September 24 at 5:00 pm in the Gillooly Room of the NAGE Building.

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New Business

Mrs. Lebo requested that Athletic Director Rendle be invited to an upcoming School Committee meeting to present on MIAA regulations.

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Overnight Travel

Mrs. Mahoney made a motion to approve the overnight travel of North Quincy High School AFJROTC to Camp Edwards, Bourne, Massachusetts for September 27-30, 2012. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Mrs. Mahoney requested adding the high school sports schedules to the website and requested an update on the request for assistance in securing the relocation of a bus stop along Sea Street that was addressed to the School Committee.

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On a motion by Mrs. Lebo, seconded by Mrs. Hubley, the School Committee went into Executive Session at 8:55 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.