Nov. 6, 2012 Health/Safety Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee
Program Improvement Plan Presentations
Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 5:00 pm
2nd Floor Conference Room, NAGE Building

Presentation Schedule:

  1. Student Support Services - Maura Papile

  2. Health Services - Jane Kisielius

  3. Transportation - Michael Draicchio

  4. Food Services - Joanne Morrissey


Health, Transportation and Safety Subcommittee Meeting

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A meeting of the Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm in the 2nd Floor Conference Room of the NAGE Building. Present were Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Mrs. Jane Kisielius, Mrs. Joanne Morrissey, Mrs. Maura Papile, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Hubley called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm.

Mrs. Maura Papile presented the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan by reflecting on last year’s goals. The Student Support Team continued to monitor the school system’s high-risk population and focused on providing professional development on barriers to learning. In addition, all levels of guidance staff participated in updated 504 plan training, including permission forms and ways to assess students remaining on these plans, more closely aligning the process with the Special Education Department’s IEP process. At the middle school guidance level, each school focused on substance abuse education programs. The high school guidance team focused on NAVIANCE implementation. The School Psychologists participated in all professional development with the guidance staff. The Supervisors of Attendance maintained the residency hotline and worked with school sites on attendance issues; they also hosted professional development with school sites on intervening with residency and attendance issues. The Homeless Liaison worked on educating staff at school sites about issues related to homelessness and kept updated on outside resources to assist students and families.

For this year, there are many new initiatives for the Student Support Services team supported through professional development. At three elementary pilot schools (Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, and Parker), there is a focus on the Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) implementation. This is a three to five year process, with multiple levels of support, including access to the SWIS database which tracks time away from learning for students at risk at these elementary and all middle schools. Assistant principals and office aides in the pilot schools have been trained to use the database. The other elementary schools’ guidance and psychologists are implementing the Superflex program for students with social skills deficits. This is an important focus, given the Common Core Standards focus on collaboration, which not all students are comfortable with or capable of. On the September 6 system-wide professional development day, training on Brain Development was provided for all guidance and psychology staff that focused on nutrition, substance abuse awareness, and wellness. For the upcoming professional staff evaluation, the DESE rubrics will be utilized as a practice exercise with staff creating goals and evaluating their own progress.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the homelessness statistics; Mrs. Papile will have updated figures later in the week. Mrs. Lebo asked about the new organization for the Supervisors of Attendance. Mrs. Papile described that the new organization and the qualifications of the staff are allowing for a different level of intervention. Mrs. Mahoney asked about the SWIS software and could it be systemwide implementation. Mrs. Papile said that updates will be shared on the pilot’s progress later in the year. Mrs. Mahoney agreed that the data gathered will be invaluable. Mrs. Papile reiterated that clear communication with all stakeholders including administrators, staff, students, and families about behavior expectations is essential to the program’s success.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to accept the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Kisielius presented the Health Services Program Improvement Plan. Last year’s goals of revising the medication self-administration policy was completed in collaboration with the School Committee; the school nurses provided outreach and training for parents and staff on concussion awareness, in addition to the development of the Concussion Policy again in collaboration with the School Committee. For this year, the nursing staff is continuing to work with high school and middle school staffs to monitor concussion diagnosis and treatment, including academic accommodations and medical follow-up. The main initiative for Health Services is to spearhead the development of school site Wellness Teams and coordinate with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. At the September 6 professional development day, the School Nurses and Health and Physical Education teachers attended a presentation by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. School inventories have been completed within each school team to identify goals and action steps for implementation.

Health Services’ second goal focuses on the Essential School Health grant and the project to create a district portfolio related to the scope of requirements for the grant. This is a group project where nurses will compile evidence to support requirements for completion in April. The portfolio will be presented at a Best Practices Meeting held by the Department of Public Health. Mrs. Lebo noted that there was evidence of the new awareness about wellness in all of the School Improvement Plans.

Mrs. Kisielius gave a statistical overview of Health Services: in 2011-12, the school nurses logged 90,082 student encounters. The return to class rate is 90% in Quincy Public Schools; this is a statistic that must be reported to DESE and is part of the DART report. There were 34 head injuries during school hours and 68 during extra-curricular activities. School nurses give medication (standing orders, plus prescriptions); conduct annual hearing, vision, posture, and BMI screenings; work with the Department of Public Health for dental screenings for close to 1,000 students. CPR training was given to 80+ high school students and 200 staff members. Mrs. Kisielius also noted that work is being done to begin to look at the new evaluation rubrics for nurses.

For the Health, Nutrition, and Wellness Team, the goal is to revise the QPS Wellness policy. A draft will be reviewed at a joint Policy and Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee meeting on December 3. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation will be making site visits in the next couple of months. Mrs. Mahoney asked about IMPACT testing; Mrs. Kisielius confirmed that it is required as part of the QPS Concussion policy, but there was not universal compliance for this fall season.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to accept the Health Services Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Draicchio presented the Transportation Program Improvement Plan by giving a brief overview of the program. The Transportation department is staffed by professional drivers and monitors who work hard every day to safely transport students to and from school and extracurricular events. Mr. Draicchio thanked the School Committee for recent budget funding which has allowed for the purchase of new buses and vans. Most of the Transportation department’s goals are ongoing, including professional development for all staff before the school year begins that reinforces best practices. Operational effectiveness is a focus of the department, route planning for regular and special education, and constant communication and resolution of issues. In addition, the collaborative working relationship with the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the preventative maintenance program ensure the safety of the QPS vehicles on the road. Safety of pickup and dropoff areas for students and coordination with school traffic supervisors is paramount. For this year, there will be an increased focus on the security of the bus yard. A new fence was installed and security cameras and DVR recorders will be installed as well. All drivers have been instructed on lockup procedures so that the bus yard is secured daily.

Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification about the bus tags provided to Special Education students and privacy issues. Mrs. Lebo asked about the possible new site for the bus yard and noted that Marshall and Squantum raised issues about traffic flow during their School Improvement Plan presentations; Mr. Draicchio is continuing to monitor these. Mrs. Lebo asked about the Transportation user fee. Mr. Draicchio said that the total fees are around the same as last year: 500+ students are transported, approximately 170 pay transportation fees.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Transportation Department Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Morrissey presented the Food Services Program Improvement Plan by noting that some goals are ongoing from last year. The implementation of the point of sale system was completed at North Quincy and the middle schools, and will be rolled into the elementary schools beginning with Wollaston next month. Once the implementation is complete at all schools, parents will be able to go online and put money on student accounts.

Last year, QPS was a pilot district for direct certification for those students receiving transitional assistance from the state (close to 1,800 students); also implemented a direct verification process for a sample review of eligibility. An ongoing goal is the development of performance evaluation procedures that will need to be implemented for food services workers. The final goal is to work with the Health, Wellness, and Nutrition team on the revision of the QPS Wellness Policy. Mrs. Morrissey and Mrs. Kisielius have collaborated on a draft revision for presentation at a joint Policy and Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee meeting on December 3.

Mrs. Morrissey also spoke about the nutritional guidelines implemented this past September and the feedback received from the USDA about relaxing some standards, including possibly increasing portion sizes and protein levels at the high school level. Mrs. Morrissey noted that the federal standards for a la carte foods have still not been released and feels that manufacturers will respond with new food items once these are available after the first of the year. Mrs. Lebo asked about whether the federal standards or the state standards will take precedence in case of conflicting regulations; Mrs. Morrissey said that traditionally, the federal standards have.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Food Services Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:15 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.