April 5, 2018 Policy Sub Meeting

Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee
Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair

Thursday, April 5, 2018, 6:00 pm
Coddington Building


  1. Policy Book Section 2

    • Section 2.4.11 Public Participation at School Committee Meetings (also Section 2.4.5 Agenda Format)

    • Section 2.3.2 School Committee-Superintendent Relationship

    • Other Section 2 Updates

  2. Policy Book Section 5

    • Section 5.2 Safety Program

    • Other Section 5 Updates


Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee Meeting

A meeting of the Policy Subcommittee was held on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; Ms. Allison Cox, Quincy Education Association President; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. Bregoli opened the meeting with a discussion of Section 2, which was previously reviewed, but referred back to Policy Subcommittee for further considerations.

For Section 2.3.2 School Committee~Superintendent Relationship, Mrs. Lebo asked about being more specific about when communication is needed in a more timely way. Mrs. Lebo said many current School Committee Policies suggest communication “if appropriate” so some definition is needed, while at the same time acknowledging that anything related to safety and security must be addressed before notification of School Committee.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that social media has changed how information is shared, this informal communication means that School Committee sometimes hears about something before the Superintendent or Leadership Team members. At other times, investigations are in process and rumors/misinformation are spreading before the facts are known. Dr. DeCristofaro said that there are always areas for improvement and communication is a 2-way street, he is always available for questions or discussions should School Committee have concerns.

Mrs. Lebo agreed that this is difficult to control, parents sometimes contact School Committee members with incorrect information. School Committee’s ethics preclude sharing confidential information but they need to know enough information to answer questions. Mrs. Lebo would like to define when notifications should happen, for example, when the police are involved.

Mr. Bregoli said School Committee sometimes doesn’t know what is going on. Maybe the Vice Chair could be the point person and be responsible for communicating to the rest of the School Committee.

Mrs. Hubley said that may be a violation of the Open Meeting Law and Mr. Andronico agreed, saying adding the Vice Chair is an unnecessary layer, communication should be direct from School Committee.

Mayor Koch said that School Committee should not be disseminating information on social media, it is not School Committee’s role to speak on behalf of the school system.

Mrs. Lebo said School Committee can answer questions, and would like to work with Mr. Mulvey to create language for the School Committee Policy book that defines roles and expectations.

For Section 2.4.11 Public Participation at School Committee Meetings, Mr. Bregoli revisited the language for Open Forum and the definition of “community.” (The definition is also in Section 2.4.5 Agenda Format.) Mr. Bregoli would like to limit this to residents of Quincy and worked with Deputy Superintendent Mulvey on proposed new language limiting who can speak at Open Forum:

Open Forum: An opportunity for community input regarding the Quincy Public Schools. Community in this context is defined as a resident of the City of Quincy, a parent of a student who attends the Quincy Public Schools, or an employee of the Quincy Public Schools. Non-community persons not permitted to speak at Open Forum may submit written statements to the School Committee. 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.

Mrs. Hubley is in favor of the revised Open Forum definition as it aligns with the School Committee Operational Goals in section 2.1.

Mayor Koch said that School Committee is elected by City of Quincy residents, and is comfortable with the new language proposed since it covers non-custodial parents and employees who reside outside of Quincy.

Mrs. Lebo reminded School Committee that it is very rare that a non-resident appears to speak at Open Forum and is concerned about limiting the opportunity for new ideas to come to School Committee’s attention.

Mr. Andronico asked if non-Quincy residents can present at School Committee, and they can if they are on the agenda.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to accept the revised Open Forum definition for School Committee Policy Book Sections 2.4.5. and 2.4.11. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

For additional changes for Section 2, Mrs. Lebo asked for a further review of Section 2.2.1 School Committee Powers and Duties, specifically the second paragraph which refers to School Committee appointment of Program Advisory Committees for Chapter 74 programs to ensure compliance with the statute.

Through Mr. Bregoli, Mr. Gutro requested that Sections 2.2.1 School Committee Powers and Duties, 2.2.2 School Committee Member Authority, 2.4.3 School Committee Meeting Procedures, 2.4.4 Notification of School Committee Meetings, 2.4.5 Agenda Format, and 2.4.6 Agenda Preparation be held for further discussion.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to hold Sections 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.4.3, 2.4.4, 2.4.5, and 2.4.6 for further discussion. The motion was seconded by Mr. Andronico and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Section 2.4.11, containing the revised Open Forum language will move from Policy Subcommittee to full School Committee. Section 2.4.11 will appear on the April 11, 2018 School Committee meeting agenda for discussion and the May 2, 2018 School Committee meeting agenda as eligible for voting.

For Section 5, there is outdated and redundant language that needs to be updated throughout. School Committee members can review and send changes to Ms. Owens for compilation.

Mrs. Lebo asked if there are Student Rights & Responsibilities and Athletics Handbook policies that are not referenced in the School Committee Policy Book.

Mr. Bregoli said that the Athletic Handbook signoff online is not effective, would like parents to receive a printed copy and sign that they have reviewed.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the seasonal Athletics parent meetings, these are supposed to be mandatory. Mr. Bregoli said that parents don’t always attend those meetings.

Mr. Andronico said that parents may sign a paper without reading as well, so there is no guarantee

Mayor Koch asked if there is a code of conduct for coaches that is reviewed and signed, Dr. DeCristofaro will follow up.

Mayor Koch left the meeting at 6:30 pm.

Mrs. Lebo asked if Student Handbook contents should be incorporated into the Policy Book. Mr. Mulvey said that historically, School Committee has adopted applicable Massachusetts statutes as Policy. The Superintendent, Leadership Team, and Principals set guidelines based on the statutes.

Mrs. Lebo asked how often the statutes are reviewed, Mr. Mulvey said that as we become aware of updated or new statutes, these are brought to Policy Subcommittee. Mr. Mulvey cited the AntiBullying, Sexual Harassment, Service Animals as Policies that have recently been added in the last few years.

Mrs. Lebo asked if there are other policies that are not covered by statutes. Mr. Mulvey said there are hundreds of policies and all would need to be reviewed against current statutes.

Mrs. Lebo asked if everything in the Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook is in the Policy Book and Mr. Mulvey confirmed that there are school-based policies that are not School Committee Policies.

Mr. Bregoli suggested that the School Resource Officer role be defined and noted that the School Committee Policy Book was last comprehensively revised in 2004.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that in the past, School Committee members reviewed the sections and send comments to the Clerk (formerly Ms. Barelli) to compile for further discussion.

Mrs. Hubley asked if the Quincy Police Department School Resource Officer job description can be shared for reference when reviewing section 5.

Mr. Bregoli would like to update the crisis response section to include active shooter situations. Mr. Mulvey asked whether this would be a Policy about communication because the response specifics would not be public information.

Mrs. Lebo said in Section 5.5.5 Bus Driver Examination and Training, she would like to add reference to checking driving records on an ongoing basis. Mrs. Lebo asked about school bus drivers who develop medical conditions after being hired. Mr. Mulvey said federal regulation of CDL licenses require regular (annual) medical checkups and up to date certifications be submitted to Human Resources.

Mr. Bregoli asked about adding specifics about required certifications and grounds for termination. Some of this may be in Section 7 Personnel or Section 8 Negotiations, so crossreferences should be reviewed and added where needed.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:45 pm. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.