May 6, 2013 Policy Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, May 6, 2013 at 5:00 P.M.
2nd Floor Conference Room,
NAGE Building
Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair

  1. High School Extracurricular Activity Eligibility - Mr. Frank Santoro, Mr. Robert Shaw

  2. High School Grading - Ms. Paula McGeady, Ms. Helena Skinner

  3. Revised Acceptable Use Policy - Mr. Keith Segalla

  4. Adjournment


Policy Subcommittee Meeting

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Policy Subcommittee meeting was held on Monday, May 6 at 5:00 pm in the 2nd Floor Conference Room of the NAGE Building. Present were Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, Assistant Superintendent Colleen Roberts, Mrs. Jennifer Fay-Beers, Mr. Robert Cavallo, Ms. Beth Hallett, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Ellen Murray, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Frank Santoro, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Robert Shaw; Ms. Allison Cox, President of the Quincy Education Association, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. Bregoli called the meeting to order at 5:10 pm and reviewed that the first item on the agenda, Extracurricular Eligibility, was referred from the Athletic Rules Subcommittee. Mr. Bregoli is concerned that under the current School Committee policy (which mirrors the MIAA policy), a student could theoretically have four D’s and fail two subjects and still play sports. Mr. Santoro is concerned about additional monitoring that might be required under an expanded policy. Mr. Shaw agreed with Mr. Santoro and noted that other school systems have fewer requirements; some of our students take six courses. Ms. Isola asked if the coaches are responsible for checking eligibility; Mr. Santoro said that since coaches are not always teachers, the schools monitor athletic eligibility. Ms. Isola suggested that the students could be responsible; they would submit a copy of their report card to their coach. Dr. DeCristofaro pointed out that given the number of teams and levels, having Athletic Directors at each high school could make a difference in monitoring.

Mr. Bregoli said that coaches sometimes check progress reports to be aware of students who might be in danger of failing. He sees coaching as an extension of the classroom; it is part of a coach’s responsibility to be sure that players are successful academically. Mr. Bregoli noted that in college, student athletes are must maintain a 2.0 GPA; he suggested changing our policy so that a student may fail only one major class. Coaches could put students on probation after seeing a problematic progress report; it would be incumbent on the student to generate evidence of improvement for coach to reinstate athletic privileges.

Dr. DeCristofaro asked how the monitoring process currently works. Mr. Santoro said that the Deans work with coaches to keep them apprised of students in danger of failing; the process is much the same at North Quincy High School. Mrs. Mahoney asked if the new Aspen X2 technology would be helpful in keeping coaches aware of issues; student eligibility could be cross-referenced with rosters and reports generated for coaches. Ms. Isola requested a policy revision be drafted for review. The revised policy should be clear and define expectations. It should raise the bar for all students and give them assistance in keeping up standards. Dr. DeCristofaro said that he will work with Mr. Bregoli on creating a revised policy; this revised policy should be supportive rather than punitive.

The next item on the agenda was a review of the high school minimum grading requirement, referred from the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee. The proposal is to adjust the current mimimum passing grade of 63 to 60 to be on the same level as surrounding school districts. The concern is that our students are at a disadvantage with students who are receiving course credit for grades of 60-62. Ms. Isola does not agree with lowering the threshold; Mrs. Hubley agrees and would rather move to 65 than 60. Mr. Santoro and Mr. Shaw both noted that it is a matter of changing expectations in the classroom, not lowering standards. Mrs. Mahoney asked for documentation about the issue in terms of causing problems for college admissions. Ms. Isola said that based on the discussion at the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee meeting this affects a small number of students. Ms. Isola proposed that the Policy Subcommittee take no action on this item and the members of the Subcommittee agreed.

The last item on the agenda was a presentation of the proposed revised Acceptable Use Policy. Mr. Keith Segalla introduced the members of the Education Technology team present at the meeting; the revision of the policy is one of the goals for the team this year. The revised Acceptable Use policy is for staff, students, and guests and includes a new section for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). A glossary of terms used was added; user responsibilities are clearly defined and prohibited actions outlined. With the changing technology available to staff, including the Guest Networks which will be installed in all Quincy Public Schools buildings by September, the BYOD policy will allow staff and students to utilize a wide range of technology options.

Mr. Segalla explained that the draft policy was reviewed by the Principal’s Team, the Superintendent’s Leadership Team, including Kevin Mulvey, and Allison Cox on behalf of the QEA prior to the presentation to the Policy Subcommittee. Mrs. Hubley made a suggested clarification to the definition of images in the Cyber Bullying section.

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the revised Acceptable Use Policy and Ms. Isola seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Ms. Isola made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:00 pm. Mrs. Mahoney seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.