April 2, 2014 Facilities Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
School Facilities and Security Subcommittee
Mr. David McCarthy, Chairperson
NAGE Building, 2nd Floor Conference Room
Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 5:00 p.m.

  1. Quincy Public Schools Enrollment Projections/ - Dr. DeCristofaro
    Facility Space Considerations

  2. Squantum Elementary School Statement of Interest - Dr. DeCristofaro

  3. Adjournment/Thank You!


Quincy School Committee
Facilities & Security Subcommittee Meeting
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A meeting of the Facilities and Security Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the 2 nd floor Conference Room of the NAGE Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Noel DiBona, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mr. David McCarthy, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed the system enrollment history from 2006 (the first year of Full-Day Kindergarten) through 2013, an increase of 500 students. For 2013-2014, the Kindergarten class is the largest in Quincy Public Schools history with over 800 students. At both Clifford Marshall and Lincoln Hancock, there are six classes at each grade K through 2 with over 100 students per grade per school. Of consideration is the size of these classes as they progress through the grades. Different issues affect space at certain buildings, in addition to academic classroom teachers, there are academic programs and academic support space demands. All elementary school classrooms are within School Committee guidelines, with the majority at or below the median of the range. On Open Enrollment trends, Mrs. Mahoney asked if there is data about which schools the students moved from. Of note is the number of students moving from Lincoln Hancock to Bernazzani at the Kindergarten level.

For middle school enrollment history, there has been a slight increase over the past seven years. Open Enrollment trends lean to Central Middle School, with just a handful of requests for other schools. High school enrollment trends have moved 100+ students to Quincy High School from North Quincy High School with Open Enrollment requests for Quincy High School (including Chapter 74 program requests) currently at 47 and 22 for North Quincy High School.

Dr. DeCristofaro identified several neighborhoods for consideration as candidates for redistricting. For example, certain streets from Merrymount could go to Atherton Hough; for Clifford Marshall, Grade 4 could move to Point Webster; for Montclair, the former Gridley Bryant School district could shift to Lincoln Hancock/Sterling; for Wollaston, the neighborhood beyond Newport Avenue could shift to Parker. A design-built Sterling Middle School with a Grade 4-8 configuration could assist in alleviating Lincoln Hancock’s future space considerations. Dr. DeCristofaro visited a Grades 4-8 Intermediate school in Clinton, Massachusetts, design built in the 1970s for these grades. Grade-level wings are color-coded; teachers at the school were very enthusiastic about the model, noting that a K-3 school can be focused on early childhood education. Dr. DeCristofaro emphasized that these are explorations right now, no decisions necessary for September 2014.

Dr. DeCristofaro then reviewed the history of Amelio Della Chiesa, originally built for PreKindergarten, Kindergarten, and Grade 1. Lincoln-Hancock housed grades 2-5 and Sterling was Grade 6-8. Grade 1 moved to Lincoln Hancock in 2007 to accommodate a Pre-Kindergarten Special Education program moved from a leased building. In 2009, Kindergarten moved to Lincoln Hancock and Grade 5 moved to Sterling. For Clifford Marshall and Point Webster, the new Marshall opened in 1999 as a K-5 school, but by 2001, the decision was made to move Grade 5 to Point Webster. In all cases, there was discussion at Subcommittee and full School Committee meetings, along with parent meetings. The School Committee then voted to support the Superintendent's recommendation.

Dr. DeCristofaro explained that for the May 5 Massachusetts School Building Authority filing, we will share the idea of a Grades 4-8 school as one of the options for the Sterling Middle School Feasibility study, along with maintaining the Grades 5-8 configuration. A Grades 4-8 Sterling Middle School would have a projected enrollment of 550 to 600 students. Transportation would not be affected, offered through Grade 5. With Grades 4-5 in a separately planned age-appropriate wing, students would have the opportunity to be exposed to the extracurricular programs of middle school. A fiveyear span with these students offers unprecedented opportunity to align elementary and middle school curriculum vertically. The design of the building will allow for both separation and access to shared resources. Additional time on learning could potentially be provided through following the Middle School Early Release schedule.

Core content areas of Reading, Language Arts, Science, Mathematics, and Social Studies would be enhanced by access to specialists for Library and Health; consistent chorus and instrumental music instruction. Other possibilities include magnet programs for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics). Dr. DeCristofaro noted that the proximity to Kincaide Park and the Djerf Community Pool will provide for special programming (swim team, outdoor physical education). Dr. DeCristofaro has been in discussion with South Shore YMCA with them providing an onsite aquatics director in exchange for their use of the pool.

In working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority, there is a May 5 deadline for Enrollment On-Line Projections and Educational program documentation. The next item is the Enrollment Certification meeting, execution, followed by a Local Vote Authorization for the Feasability Study. The Squantum Elementary School Statement of Interest will be filed for the 2015 call for submissions in January or February of next year.

Mr. Bregoli thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for the informative presentation and asked for a projection for opening Sterling Middle School. Dr. DeCristofaro said the 2017-18 school year. Mr. Bregoli asked if there were short-term solutions for Montclair and Marshall. Dr. DeCristofaro said there are citywide Special Education programs at Marshall that could be moved to free up classroom space. At Montclair, Kindergarten enrollment is lower than last year, so they may not need four classrooms.

Mr. DiBona thanked Dr. DeCristofaro and noted that in this week's Boston Globe, school construction projects in other South Shore towns showed shared concerns about growing population and different grade level configurations being considered. He attended the Grades K-8 Daniel Webster School and the building had different entrances for Grades K-5 and 6-8. Mr. DiBona said a new building with different entrances and maybe staggered arrival and dismissal times would be helpful.

Mrs. Mahoney asked about the leased site where the Pre-Kindergarten program had been housed, it was converted to offices after we moved the program out in 2009. Mrs. Mahoney asked about what would be the cost to rent other space for the Pre-Kindergarten students at the ECC and utilizing ECC for Kindergarten and Grade 1 again. Mrs. Mahoney asked about whether there were other models in Massachusetts for Grades 4-8 and where the trends were for K-8 schools, would like to hear some of the negatives along with the positives. Mrs. Mahoney said we need to balance educational progress with budget and population driven decisions. Going back to Mr. Bregoli's question, will these building needs grow over the three years. Dr. DeCristofaro said that the MSBA will provide the pros and cons for each configuration option through the Feasibility Study and the information will be discussed.

Ms. Isola said that a lot of information was presented here and that time is needed to assess the options and costs. This is a lot to absorb and think about; we may need to look at redistricting, any discussion about allocation of students needs to include to this. Mrs. Hubley agrees with Ms. Isola about looking at redistricting. Mrs. Hubley asked how many students are in the Citywide Special Education program at Clifford Marshall; approximately 20 students in two classrooms.

Mrs. Mahoney said that while the new school is theoretically transformative, there is no data to back this up. All options should be on the table for review. Ms. Isola said we all want to go through the process of exploring the options; if we go forward and start looking at district lines and maps, we will have a lot of engaged parents.

Mr. Bregoli noted that the St. Joseph's School building was already acquired by QCAP, and asked if there are any other buildings that are vacant. St. Mary's School is empty. Mr. Bregoli asked for detail about neighborhood movement (real estate transactions); Ms. Isola asked for clarification on the proportion of multiple unit dwellings. Mrs. Mahoney asked about collaboration with NESDEC, a feebased educational consulting service; the MSBA uses the same parameters in their enrollment projections. Mrs. Mahoney asked about the population shifts within the school year and October 1 and February 1 data will be compared.

Mrs. Hubley asked about a predicted opening date for a new Squantum Elementary School. One possible scenario would be approval by the MSBA in 2015 and a Fall 2018 school opening.

Mrs. Mahoney asked how the 550-600 student estimate for Sterling was generated and Dr. DeCristofaro said 110-120 students per grade for five grades, based on the current Kindergarten through Grade 2 population at Lincoln Hancock.

Mr. DiBona made a motion to adjourn the Facilities and Security Subcommittee meeting at 6:15 pm. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.