May 28, 2014 Budget Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Budget and Finance Subcommittee
Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair
2nd Floor Conference Room, NAGE Building
Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 5:00 p.m.

  1. Presentation of Requested Options - Mr. Mullaney

  2. Discussion and Prioritization of Options - Subcommittee Members

  3. Other Business/Adjournment


Quincy School Committee
Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A meeting of the Budget and Finance Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the 2 nd Floor Conference Room at the NAGE Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Noel DiBona, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. David McCarthy, and Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Beth Hallett, Mrs. Jane Kisielius, Mrs. Joanne Morrissey, Mr. James Mullaney, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd; Ms. Allison Cox, Quincy Education Association President; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Hubley called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm. Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed the Budget and Finance Subcommittee meetings held to date and the goal of today’s meeting being to end with a budget to be put forward for the June 4, 2014 Public Hearing. The City Council budget presentation is June 9 and the final vote will be taken at School Committee on June 11.

Budget priorities have been considered when allocating the funding for FY2015. Ms. Roy reviewed that the additional funding for Academic Classroom Teachers would be used for adding French instruction at Grade 8. Letters have been sent home with all Grade 7 students to gauge interest in the program and teacher schedules would be created based on those responses.

Mr. Keith Segalla then outlined the qualifications for the proposed Technology teachers for the middle school levels, including adherence to Science/Technology standards and collaboration with Science teachers. Ms. Roy said that 2001 Massachusetts Science frameworks will soon be replaced by 2013 Pre-K through 12 Next Generation Science Standards, currently in draft form before BESE review and vote in 2015. The Science frameworks include technology and engineering standards, especially at Grades 6-8. These additional staff members will allow students to be exposed to designing and building, the application of the standards and allow Science to focus on the conceptual content. Dr. DeCristofaro explained that the option of adding Spanish to Grade 7 at all middle schools would be a cost of $350,000 to $400,000. In addition, positions for ELA and Physics teachers are to address class size issues at the middle and high school levels.

Ms. Hallett spoke of the proposal to add stipends for K-8 Professional Development, 2.0 ELL teachers (additional time at Merrymount, Clifford Marshall, Point Webster, North Quincy High School, Bernazzani, making part time positions full time in several instances). Mrs. Perkins spoke about Literacy (Atherton Hough, Beechwood Knoll, Bernazzani; 1.5 positions which would give these three schools full time Literacy staff). Ms. Hallett said that the additional instrumental music teacher would allow for feeder school system where students could have the same teacher in elementary and middle schools.

Ms. Todd explained that additional Special Education teachers (Pre-K CARES and Middle School LDC) are needed to meet state guidelines on class size. Mrs. Papile said that most School Psychologists are assigned to 2-3 schools and as caseloads are continuing to rise, an additional 1.0 staff member will assist in caseload management. Mr. Keith Segalla spoke of adding 2.0 additional IT staff members to strengthen technology support for teachers and students.

Mrs. Perkins spoke of increasing the Kindergarten Aides to full-time in all non-Title I schools to assist Kindergarten teachers with the growing demands on their time, including the MKEA assessment. Ms. Todd said that 10 additional Special Education aides would address increased needs and transitioning populations between Substantially Separate classrooms and regular education classrooms. Mr. Mullaney explained the custodial request for additional staff for the Quincy High School/Coddington Hall campus.

For Food Services, there will need to be a vote on increasing lunch prices at the elementary and middle school levels to meet federal guidelines. No increases or decreases in fees are recommended for Athletics, Transportation, and Building Rentals. For Non-Academic Expenses, additional information was requested by Mrs. Mahoney for detail of expenditures over the last 10 years; in 8 out of 10 years, the appropriation was expended.

Mrs. Mahoney asked for clarification of where the two elementary positions were being eliminated and for detail of the comparisons of current class sizes to estimates for next fall. Mrs. Mahoney asked about the Instrumental music position being for elementary or middle school. Ms. Hallett said that the scheduling is yet to be determined. Mrs. Mahoney requested an update in the fall on the new schedule for instructional. Mrs. Mahoney asked about Special Education aides; Ms. Todd said that several students requiring one to one aides moved into the district this year and other students transitions from outside placements and were supported by aides.

Mrs. Mahoney was pleased to see the additional IT staff in the budget and suggested that this is a good opportunity to point out to DESE that these positions are in response to additional requirements including unfunded mandates, including curriculum costs related to Common Core implementation and technology costs for field testing PARCC.

For the Custodial staff, Mrs. Mahoney asked for clarification that would the one custodian be enough for Coddington Hall or is the city going to provide additional support for the building this size. Dr. DeCristofaro said that Mr. Kevin Segalla is looking at how this will work, but it may be different staff members in the morning and evening from Quincy High School opening and closing Coddington Hall. The City will be covering the utility costs for the building that houses both city and school department employees. Mrs. Mahoney asked for information on energy costs for each school building; Mr. Mullaney can provide this information in terms of electricity and natural gas.

Mr. Bregoli asked where the ELL positions will be allocated and Ms. Hallett said they are spread out over the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Mr. Bregoli asked how many ELL teachers have been added in the last five years. Ms. Hallett said there have been 1-2 hired per year, but there have been retirements as well. Mr. Bregoli asked about Special Education students coming back from outside placements, Ms. Todd said typically 3-4 students per year. Ms. Todd said 146 students are currently in outside placements. Mr. Bregoli asked about increases for PT, OT, Speech & Language. Ms. Todd said that additional support in these areas is covered through outside contracts. Mr. Bregoli asked about the furniture appropriations; a Merrymount parent asked about PTO support for new furniture, but Mr. Mullaney will work with principals to assist with assessment. Mrs. Mahoney asked to know which schools received last year’s funding; purchases were made for elementary and middle schools.

Mr. Bregoli asked about CPR and training health educators to become certified instructors. Dr. DeCristofaro said this will be a pilot program with Grade 8 students in the upcoming school year. Mr. Bregoli also inquired about creating a middle school theater arts/drama program, there is a teacher interested in seeing a position created that would allow one day per week at each middle school. The cost for the program would be a teacher salary and Dr. DeCristofaro suggested that pursuing grant funding would be the best option.

Ms. Isola asked about the funding required to purchase textbooks for the new French and technology classes at the middle school level. Ms. Roy said that in addition to the second year payment for Journeys, purchasing consumables for elementary mathematics and reading, middle school ELA, Science, and ELL needs, we should be able to make some shifts and deferrals to accommodate these costs. Mrs. Mahoney asked what the cost would be for French materials; Ms. Roy estimated $3,000 per classroom (25 textbooks at $60 per). For technology/engineering, there would be investment needed in kits or software and manipulatives. Mrs. Mahoney requested an update on the expenditures in the fall. Mr. Mullaney said that each school has a budget textbook purchases and that funding can be reserved to cover either or both of these programs. Dr. DeCristofaro suggested a Teaching and Learning Subcommittee meeting in the fall focus on updating the School Committee on these new programs.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the class size issue that Bernazzani Grade 3 parents raised at the May 7 School Committee meeting. Dr. DeCristofaro said that a number of options have been discussed to support that grade level through Literacy, ELL, and Special Education staffing. There is no additional position for Grade 4 planned at this time.

Mrs. Hubley asked for an update on her request to review transportation costs for field trips; she would like to see a cap for school costs. Mr. Mullaney will follow up via email.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to increase the lunch price at the elementary school level to $2.25 and at the middle school level to $2.50, an increase of $0.05 for each. On the motion, Ms. Isola asked to note that the price increases are mandated by federal law. Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it 6-0. Mayor Koch was absent.

Ms. Isola made a motion to forward the draft FY2015 Budget for Public Hearing. Mr. DiBona seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mayor Koch was absent.

Ms. Isola made a motion to adjourn the Budget and Finance Subcommittee Meeting at 5:48 pm. Mr. DiBona seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.