Sept. 26, 2018 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 6:30 pm
Coddington Building, School Committee Room 

I. Approval of Minutes:

A. Regular Meeting Minutes for June 13, 2018
B. Organizational Meeting Minutes for September 10, 2018

II. 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.

III. Superintendent’s Report:

A. School Committee Organizational Meeting

B. Preliminary QPS Enrollment

C. Fall Open House Dates

D. New Professional Staff Orientation

E. City of Presidents 5K Run/Walk, Sunday, September 30

F. Quincy School~Community Partnership Events

G. Parent Academy Schedule

H. Summer Program Opportunities

I. ArtsFest, September 15-16

J. Superintendent’s Annual Plan

IV. Old Business:

A. Policy Book, Section 2 (Discussion) Mr. Bregoli

V. New Business:

A. New Middle School Construction Update - City Solicitor Timmins, Mr. Kerwin, Mr. Laroche

B. QPS Facilities Summer Projects Update - Commissioner Hines

C. 2018-2019 Initiative Updates - Superintendent’s Leadership Team

• Co-Teaching Model
• Health & Wellness
• Culturally Responsive Teaching
• Digital Literacy Support
• MCAS Reporting & Accountability Timeline

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

  1. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: September 26, 2018; October 10, 2018; and October 24, 2018 at the Coddington Building, 6:30 pm.

  2. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings: October 15, 2018 at the Coddington Building: Quarterly Budget & Finance, 6:00 pm; Facilities, Security & Transportation, 6:15 pm; Policy, 6:30 pm.

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees: None

IX. Executive Session: None  

X. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Athletics & Wellness

  1. Farm to School Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee Meeting. Monitoring the Implementation Grant rollout, a collaboration of QPS and the Planning Department.

  2. Before School Exercise Programs Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting. Monitoring the implementation of these programs across QPS.

  3. Substance Use Education & Prevention Referred at the September 6, 2017 Special School Committee Organizational Meeting. Monitoring of the system-wide initiatives for students and families and the collaboration with outside agencies.

  4. Wellness Programs Referred at the September 6, 2017 Special School Committee Organizational Meeting. Monitoring of the school-based and system-wide initiatives related to student and staff wellness.

  5. Evaluation of Coaches Referred at the September 6, 2017 Special School Committee Organizational Meeting. Requesting further discussion of process of formal review of coaches by the Athletic Directors.

  6. Bishop Field Update Referred at the May 2, 2018 School Committee meeting; request for information on planned upgrades.

Budget & Finance

Facilities, Security, and Transportation

  1. School Playgrounds Referred at the September 14, 2016 Special Meeting. Requesting an update from the Park Department on recent equipment and safety fiber upgrades and projects in planning.

  2. New Sterling Middle School project Referred at the September 14, 2016 Special Meeting. Schedule updates to be provided as the planning phase moves into construction.

  3. Water Testing Results & Repair Referred at the December 7, 2016 School Committee meeting to monitor the schedule for fixture repair or replacement.


  1. Graduation Requirements Referred to Subcommittee at the September 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting and discussed at the October 11, 2011 School Policy Subcommittee. The discussion centered around adding a fourth year of Math as a graduation requirement; the issue is tabled until more is known about the impact of the new Common Core Standards on the Massachusetts frameworks.

  2. Middle School Grading System Referred at the December 10, 2014 School Committee meeting for review and discussion.

  3. Voter Registration at the High Schools Referred at the September 16, 2015 School Committee meeting for discussion of implementation with the City Clerk’s Office.

  4. School Committee Policy Book Referred at the January 13, 2016 School Committee meeting for review and updating as needed.
    (a) Student Advisory Committee (Sections 1.2.3 & 10.7.2) referred at the October 25, 2017 School Committee Meeting.
    (b) Section 5 referred at the March 7, 2018 School Committee meeting

  5. QPS Employment Opportunities Referred at the May 18, 2016 School Committee meeting for further discussion on the advertising and hiring process for open positions.

  6. NQHS Mascot Referred at the November 9, 2016 School Committee meeting.

  7. Extended School Day/Recess Scheduling Referred at the December 6, 2017 School Committee Meeting.

Rules, Post Audit & Oversight

Special Education

Teaching and Learning

  1. Advanced Program Pathways Referred at the May 20, 2015 School Committee Meeting to review opportunities to challenge above-level students at all grades.

  2. Enrollment Data/Class Size: Referred at the October 14, 2015 School Committee meeting for further review and discussion.

  3. Superintendent Evaluation Referred at the September 7, 2016 School Committee meeting for preparation and procedure review.

  4. Choral Music Program Review Referred at the March 15, 2017 School Committee meeting for further review and discussion of K-12 sequential/standards-based program.

  5. High School Mid-Term Examinations Referred at the June 14, 2017 School Committee meeting for further review and discussion.

  6. NQHS Mascot Referred at the May 2, 2018 School Committee meeting for review and discussion.


Sterling Building Committee

School District Maps

Created at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting to review issues related to school district maps.


Quincy, Massachusetts – September 26, 2018
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at the Coddington Building at 6:30 p.m. Superintendent DeCristofaro called the roll and present were Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Douglas Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Vice Chair.

Vice Chair Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Mr. Shane Abboud, Ms. Rita Bailey, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Dr. Beth Hallett, Ms. Kristin Houlihan, Ms. Jill Kyranis, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; and Citywide Parent Council Co-President Scott Alessandro.

Mayor Thomas Koch and Mr. James DeAmicis were absent. Ms. Owens arrived at 7:30 pm.

There was a moment of silence for retired Quincy Public Schools employees Howard Mason, Special Education teacher for 34 years; Bob Shaheen, Custodian for 22 years; Pat Sharkey, Elementary Special Education teacher for 27 years; and Arthur Morrison, Plumbing Technology teacher for over 25 years.


Special Organizational Meeting Minutes 9.10.2018

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Organizational Meeting for September 10, 2018 meeting as corrected. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 9.12.2018

Mrs. Hubley made a motion, seconded by Mr. Andronico to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for September 12, 2018 as presented. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

As no one wished to speak at Open Forum, School Committee moved on to the next item on the agenda.

Mrs. Lebo requested that written communication received by all members be appended to the School Committee minutes. The recent letter from Sherrie Noble will be reproduced at the end of these minutes.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report by introducing the Inspire Quincy video, featuring backpack and school supply distribution by the School~ Community Partners; musical instrument demonstration events for Grade 4 students; Quincy Public Schools entries at ArtsFest; the North Quincy and Quincy High School Boys golf teams; Granite Telecommunications and the Boston Celtics Snug Harbor Gymnasium refurbishment.

Upcoming Quincy School~Community Partnership events include the Welcome Back Reception at Common Market on September 27 and the Teacher Mini-Grant Ceremony on November 1 at the Neighborhood Club. A new partnership with Granite Telecommunications and the Boston Celtics will provide a wide range of new physical education equipment, plus flat screens, a Chromebook cart, and other items to the Snug Harbor Community School.

Quincy High School recently hosted ten exchange students from San Lorenzo, a small city outside Florence, Italy for eight days, thanks to Ms. Amira for organizing the exchange. Quincy High School students will travel to Italy in April 2019.

The Quincy Public Schools College Fair will be held on October 11 at Quincy High School, with over 100 colleges and universities attending. Thanks to the Guidance staff at both high schools for organizing this annual event.

A SADD Summit will be held on October 18, 2018 at the Tirrell Room. Thanks to a donation from the Thompson Family, students from North Quincy, Quincy, and Braintree High Schools will collaborate on substance abuse prevention initiatives and peer mentoring.

Assessment Day 1 was held at all elementary, middle, and high schools on Tuesday, September 25, the first step in creating school and teacher goals for the 2018-2019 school year.

The first Mentor Team meeting was September 19, 2018 and focused on supporting the new teachers use of Aspen. 48 new professional staff members are being mentored by 48 Quincy Public Schools veteran staff members.

Upcoming community events include the Atherton Hough Elementary School Touch-a-Truck event on September 29; the Quincy High School Hockey Team Classic Car Show on September 29; the Wollaston Elementary School Harvest Festival on October 6; the Snug Harbor Community School Harvest Festival on October 20, and the Beechwood Knoll Elementary School Fall Festival on October 27. The City of Presidents 5K Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, September 30 at 10:00 am with proceeds to benefit the Quincy Public Schools Health & Wellness Programs.

Newsletters from Food Services and YouthWorks program were shared with School Committee.


Old Business

There was no Old Business on the agenda.


New Business

Health Services Program Improvement Plan

Coordinator Rita Bailey presented the Health Services Program Improvement Plan, reflecting on the accomplishments for 2017-2018 as school nurses created Health Services pages on their school’s Aspen platform to improve communication between the home and school. In collaboration with new Quincy School~ Community Partnership member South Shore Hospital, several schools hosted Family Nutrition events and participated in the Pre-School Parent Academy event.

For 2018-2019, the Health Services Team will continue to implement the Alliance for a Healthier Generation frameworks and will once again host the Health & Wellness Symposium for all school Wellness teams. Professional development opportunities for nurses will focus on developing a QPS Nursing Guidelines, Protocols, and Procedures manual. Other opportunities will enhance nursing skills, awareness of social-emotional wellness, assessments, and build general knowledge. The Health, Nutrition, and Wellness Advisory Council will continue to support the school-based Wellness teams and review and suggest revisions to QPS Wellness and Concussion Policies.

The Health Services Team provides direct care to the students to provide a safe and supportive environment and remove health and wellness-related barriers to learning. School nurses documented over 83,000 student encounters and monitored 2,500 students will regular healthcare needs. Students returned to class 93% of the time following an interaction with their school nurse. School nurses administered over 15,000 doses of medication and documented over 11,000 communications with parents. School nurses also train staff in CPR & AED usage and oversee the Matter of Heart CPR & AED training initiative for Grade 8 students. Dental health is supported through partnership with the Department of Public Health Oral Health unit for dental screenings, cleanings, and sealants. In addition, a new partnership with the Big Smiles Dental program, on site dentist visits, including x-rays, fillings, or extractions as needed. 516 students were seen at eight elementary schools and the program will be continued in 2018-19.


New Business

Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan

Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile presented the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan. Ms. Papile reviewed the Positive Behaviors Interventions & Supports (PBIS) initiative, a proactive school-wide approach to reduce challenging student behavior and build positive school cultures. 85% of students respond to Tier 1 positive reinforcements and interventions. Tier 2 students may be struggling and need a bit more positive support and Tier 3 students require intensive interventions. For this school year, professional development will be site-based support for individualized interventions. Sterling Middle School Guidance Counselors Shane Abboud and Jill Kyranis presented on the specifics of the PBIS Framework at Sterling: Respectful, Responsible, and Ready. With assistance from Visions, Inc., students have collaborated on guidelines for communication, perception, mobilizing peer prevention, and character development.

In addition to PBIS, Guidance Counselors, School Psychologists, and Health Educators across Quincy Public Schools are focused on Substance Use Education and Prevention Interventions. Consultant Rebecca Fidler participated in small group interventions with high school students and in larger group presentations at the elementary and middle schools. All five middle schools now have SADD chapters, student leaders demonstrate role modeling for self-advocacy. The Middle School Health Education curriculum is focused on the adolescent brain and the impact of substance use and healthy decision-making. At the high school level, the SADD chapters have peer mentoring opportunities and pair freshmen students with an upper class student in individual and group opportunities.

The Physical Education staff who will be developing individual Physical Education plans; high school Guidance Counselors will focus on College & Career Readiness, addressing barriers to success, connecting students to future plans and preventing drop-outs. Ms. Papile reminded School Committee that Quincy Public Schools was recognized by the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education for the 2nd year in a row for our high graduation rate and low drop-out rate.

Ms. Papile concluded the presentation by reviewing the generous support of the Rural Masonic Lodge ($10,000), the Thompson Family ($38,000), and the Mayor’s Wellness Fun ($10,000) that provides for the professional development, consultants, and incentives to support the initiatives.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the feedback from The Big Smiles program, Mrs. Bailey said the nurses and administrators have heard positive feedback from the students, families, and school staff.

Mrs. Hubley asked Ms. Papile to provide a breakdown of homeless students by elementary, middle, and high school.

Mr. Gutro thanked the presenters, the student mentor program is important to assist in the transition to high school. Mr. Gutro said that he has been impressed with the SADD program at the middle school level, looking forward to the SADD Summit. Mr. Gutro made a motion to move the Health Services & Student Support Services Program Improvement Plans into Subcommittee for subsequent discussion. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Bregoli said that Quincy Public Schools provides a holistic approach to educating students, the focus on the students’ social-emotional growth is critical.

Mrs. Lebo asked if the Big Smiles program is free for students. Mrs. Bailey said it is covered by a student’s dental insurance and if they don’t have insurance, the costs are covered by the program.

Mrs. Lebo asked about Professional Development, which was not noted on the meeting chart in the Program Improvement Plans. The Aspen Team Meeting workflow format is being adjusted so the topics can be included, updated pages will be provided to School Committee.

Mrs. Lebo asked what percentage of freshmen participate in the mentoring program. Ms. Houlihan said about 10% of students currently participate in the mentor program; there are small and large group opportunities and the program is continuing to evolve.

Mrs. Lebo is impressed by the high school graduation rate, reiterated her interest in graduate follow up similar to what is done for Career & Technical Education students. Mrs. Lebo asked about Visions Inc., would like to have a presentation at School Committee and/or attend a school-site presentation.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked the presenters for the very comprehensive look at our programs.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to add discussion of a graduate follow-up process to the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gutro and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Gutro made a motion to approve as amended the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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


New Business

Out of State Travel (One Day)

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel (One Day) of North Quincy & Quincy High School Robotics to the FRC Robotics Competition at Manchester High School in Manchester, New Hampshire on October 27, 2018.

On the motion, Mrs. Lebo requested clarification on the mode of transportation and Quincy Public Schools buses will be used.

Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Lebo apologized for taking the agenda out of order and moved to New Business item C.


New Business

Superintendent’s Annual Plan Goals

Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed that he has submitted his draft Superintendent’s Annual Plan for review. The Plan consists of five goals, two are Superintendent goals and three are joint Superintendent and School Committee goals. School Committee will review the goals and can vote on approving them at the October 10 meeting.

Mrs. Lebo noted that she met with the Superintendent on the development of these goals, reminded School Committee that the School Improvement Plans are derivative of the Superintendent’s Goal #2. It was difficult to develop this goal, there are new performance standards and the accountability data is embargoed.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification on the process, School Committee members will review and approve the goals and these become the basis of the Superintendent’s Evaluation.

Ms. Owens will forward the DESE Superintendent’s Evaluation Process overview and links to the Superintenent’s prior evaluation to all School Committee members.


New Business

School Nurse Appointments (Vote)

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the appointment of Jenna Bradley Arakelian as a school nurse. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 5-0. Mr. DeAmicis and Mayor Koch were absent.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the appointment of Vanessa Brown as a school nurse. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 5-0. Mr. DeAmicis and Mayor Koch were absent.

The appointment of the third nurse on the agenda was deferred to a future agenda.


Additional Business

There was no Additional Business.



Upcoming meetings at the Coddington Building include School Committee Meetings on October 10, 2018; October 24, 2018; and November 14, 2018. Subcommittee Meetings will be held on October 15, 2018: Quarterly Budget & Finance (6:00 pm), Facilities, Transportation, and Security (6:15 pm), and Policy (6:30 pm) and October 29, 2018: Athletics & Wellness (6:00 pm) and Teaching & Learning (6:30 pm).

Mrs. Hubley announced that the Citywide Parent Council will host Screenagers on October 17 at 6:30 pm at Central Middle School.


Reports of Subcommittees

There were no Reports of Subcommittees.

Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.



Mr. Bregoli made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 8:15 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Appendix: Letter from Sherrie Noble (PDF)