Sept. 24, 2008 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
September 24, 2008

7:00 p.m.

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular and Executive Session Minutes for September 10, 2008.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Celebrations (2008-2009)

B. Preliminary Class Size/Enrollment Information

C. Foreign Language Exchange Program

III. Open Forum: An opportunity for community input regarding the Quincy Public Schools. After giving his or her name and address, each speaker may make a presentation of no more than four minutes to the School Committee.

IV. Old Business

A. Update on building projects, renovations, and construction: Mr. Murphy to report.

B. Update on the New Quincy High School: Mrs. Dwyer to report.

C. Update on Central: Mrs. Bragg and Mrs. Mahoney to report.

V.  New Business:

A. Technology Plan 2008-2009: Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Chuck Phelan to report.

B. Out of State Travel: Quincy High School to New York City. See Attachment A.

C. Gifts: Donation of an Apple Computer – iMAC from Creative Packaging Plus to the Career and Technical Education Graphic Design and Visual Communications Program valued at $1,200. See Attachment B.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings: none

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. Policy Subcommittee: Mrs. Bragg to report.

B. School Facilities Subcommittee: Mrs. Dwyer to report.

C. Budget Subcommittee: Mr. Mariano to report.

X Executive Session

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
Mariano/Bragg/McCarthy 4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/29/2008 Bus Rental Fees
  3/29/2008 Building Rental Fees
  9/10/2008 Revolving Funds 5-yrs. History
School Facilities Management    
Dwyer/Mahoney/Mariano Major Building Projects  
  3/4/98 QHS/Central/Sterling Building Plans
  10/20/2004 ADA Report
  9/7/2005 Alternative Plans for Central Middle School
  2/8/2006 Conservation
  4/9/2008 11.6 School Facility Policy
  4/9/2008 Track
  9/10/2008 NQHS gym floor named
Health, Safety & Security    
Puleo/Mahoney/McCarthy 10/18/2006 NQHS Traffic & Drop off
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
  5/21/2008 Lockdown Policy
School Policy    
Bragg/Dwyer/McCarthy 1/10/2001 Policy Manual
  2/6/2008 Voting Places
  3/12/2008 Teacher Evaluations
  6/18/2008 Homeless Policy
  9/10/2008 Grade Configurations
Special Education    
Mahoney/McCarthy/Mariano 1/17/2007 Emergency Information Form
  1/17/2007 Substitute Teachers for SPED
  3/21/2007 Implementation of IEPs
Rules, Post Audit & Oversight    
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/17/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts -September 24, 2008
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were Mr. Ron Mariano, Mr. Nick Puleo, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Dave McCarthy and Mayor Tom Koch, Chairman. `

Chairman Presiding

- - -

The Superintendent called the roll and all members were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary, Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk. Messrs. O’Brien, Mullaney, Draicchio, Keith Segalla, Dr. Pattavina, Ms. Powell, and Roberts. Ms. Tracey Christello represented Citywide.

- - -

Reg.&Exec. Approved 9/10/08

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved the amended regular and executive session minutes for September 10, 2008. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously.

- - -

Supts. Report Student Exchange Program

Ms. Sabrina Berent, Italian teacher at North Quincy High School, spoke to the Exchange Program. Last October Quincy hosted 11 Italian students. They attended classes, went to sports events, met faculty members, attended an Ice Cream social. Their most memorable event was a meeting with Mayor Koch. In turn, eight Quincy students traveled at the end of June to Tuscany, Italy. The Committee saw photos of the different activities the Quincy students enjoyed while in Italy. Student, Jessica Kitner, shared with the Committee her experiences when she participated in the exchange to Italy. The group looks forward to continuing this program.

Mr. Keith Segalla updated the Committee on the new events planned for this school year -- Tis the Season…Symphony & Song, Stayin’ Alive/ABBAmania, Evening at the Pops, Golf Tournament and the Historical Walk for Education. Also, the After School String Instrument Program and the After School Instrumental Program will begin in October.

The Superintendent will present the official enrollment and class size at the next meeting. The enrollment appears to be up 180 students. Mrs. Bragg inquired about enrollment at North Quincy High School. At the next meeting, the Superintendent will highlight where there are increases.

Quincy is doing much better on the AYP and has been mentioned in the Globe and Ledger as having improvement status to no status. MCAS scores will go out to the schools next week. Our scores indicate we are making progress. However, we have a lot of work to do at every site.

- - -

Open Forum

At the Open Forum, Ms Tracey Christello, Citywide, asked when the work will be finished at the North Quincy High School gym. Parents are concerned with the timeframe. She also asked that desk hinges be replaced at elementary schools, especially Beechwood. Bus times are getting better, but buses are still late. She asked that the Committee keep the ADA Report in Subcommittee and chip away at all of our schools and make changes.

- - -

Technology Plan

At this time, Mr. Richard O’Brien spoke to the Technology Plan which expires in 2008. Quincy has to submit a new three year plan to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

He gave an overview of what to expect in the next three years. There are major concerns with our technology equipment--our email is outdated, firewalls are outdated. Every October we need to give an updated inventory for the Department of Education. They require a 5-1 student to computer ratio. We now have one technician assigned in each high school. There are a lot of applications that continue to grow and put a strain on our network. We have a working relationship with our hardware provider. We conducted a survey with staff and asked if we had money, what would you ask for. The money from the circuit breaker will go a long way.

Update by Mr. Phelan

Mr. Chuck Phelan, Director of ITTS, explained his plan to update the system. Some of the schools were wired in 1996 and 1998. The City needs a close working relationship with the school department. We’re spending a lot of money on things that are 10 and 11 years old. He is looking at three areas -- a new internet pipe which should be in by October 1, (10 megs). It will be fiber based. Closets go back to 1995. Central and Sterling’s go back to 1996 The new Quincy High School is in good shape and has a new phone system. He deleted 150 phone lines that weren’t being used. We need to restructure our phone system. We are going to go for a new email server. If we make these changes, there will be a dramatic improvement.

Mr. Phelan showed on an overhead slide how the emails go from the school side to a collecting place where they are distributed. However, too many emails go in at the same time into the hubs and the system can’t handle it. These emails stay there for a day or so in a holding pattern and then are distributed. We are gong to separate the schools and the City.

Mrs. Mahoney asked Mr. O’Brien if he had heard of NComputing. It allows you to use one computer as a server, that one computer can be utilized by seven students. Maybe we can look into having this piloted. The cost is between $70 or $149 which can serve up to 30 students. It can stream video, support most programs. Mrs. Mahoney will share that information with Mr. O’Brien.

- - -

Bldg. Update

Mr. Kevin Murphy told the members that the North Quincy High gym floor should be ready in two to three weeks. Lines will be painted next week. The Maintenance men have been involved in moves.

- - -

QHS Bldg. Committee

The Quincy High School Building Committee will meet next Friday.

- - -

Central Bldg. Committee

Mrs. Bragg reported that requests for a Project Manager for Central Middle School has gone to the State. We should hear back in November 28.

- - -

Out of State Travel QHS to NY

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee approved a request by Quincy High School to go to New York City on October 25. The ayes have it.

- - -

Gift-CTE Graphic Design

On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mr. Mariano, the Committee accepted a give of an Apple Computer-iMAC valued at $1,200.00 from Creative Packaging Plus, Inc. to the Career and Technical Education Graphic Design and Visual Communications Program. The ayes have it.

- - -

Additional Business

Under Additional Business, Mr. Puleo stated his disappointment in the Patriot Ledger for dropping the sponsorship of the Spelling Bee. He hoped another sponsor would pick it up.

Mrs. Bragg put the Quill Program into the Policy Subcommittee.

Mrs. Bragg inquire about the listing that Mr. Puleo asked be attached on the agendas listing items that were asked for by the Committee. The Superintendent asked for more specificity. Requests is one thing, a report is another thing. Mr. Puleo answered the intent was that when a member makes a motion for a report, it should appear on the list.

Mrs. Bragg made a motion, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, that the Superintendent and the Mayor make sure the retirement plans meet the new IRS regulations 457B and 403B and that we’re in compliance by January 2009 and report back to the Committee. The ayes have it.

Mr. Mullaney said he has been working with the Treasurer on this issue. We will be in full compliance by the end of the week.

Mr. Puleo made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, that the Superintendent work with the school principals and PTOs to identify school vicinity traffic needs or traffic concerns and report back to the Committee and forward it to Mr. Gillan. Mr. Puleo added he was looking for areas where moderate maintenance outside the schools or if an issue comes up. He is hoping this report is done quarterly or annually. The ayes have it.

On Thursday, October 2, there is a PTO meeting to discuss traffic issues at the North Quincy and the Montclair area too.

Mayor Koch thanked the people in the City Purchasing Department for all their hard work. They have been very busy with a lot of paper work.

Mrs. Bragg noted that Ruth Mahoney is retiring from the Transportation Department after many years.

- - -

Policy Subcommittee Rpt. by Mrs. Bragg

Mrs. Bragg reported that the Policy Subcommittee met on September 19, and reviewed Section 10. The Career & Technical Education Admissions Policy was revised. They took out all procedures and will move that information to the student handbook. They also reviewed Student Conduct on School Buses. The Subcommittee approved the Snug Harbor Garden Project and the Mayor will act as signatory. The Committee added “if they leave, they have to return the property the way they found it” and “there is no expectation for funds or city employees to work in the garden.” The City Solicitor will draft an agreement. The Committee completed Section 12. They changed Policy 12.2.1 to read that “instructions in elementary and middle must be 900 hrs. and instruction for the high schools must be 990 hrs.” They deleted all of Policy 12.4 Student Teaching and Internships and inserted that “the QPS schools recognize student teaching and internships. There are procedures relating to this in the Superintendent’s office.”

Another Policy Subcommittee meeting is scheduled for October 8 at 4:00 p.m. to review the tabled Section 10 policies. On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Mariano, the Committee approved the Policy Subcommittee minutes. The ayes have it.

- - -

School Facilities Subcommittee Rpt. by Mrs. Dwyer

The School Facilities Subcommittee met to review the ongoing list of school projects. Mr. Mullaney has ordered some desks and chairs for Lincoln Hancock and Bernazzani. Old desks/chairs from Quincy High will be transferred to North Quincy High School. Mr. Mullaney has an order in for furniture to keep on hand for use as needed. Maintenance is doing an inventory of desks that need hinges and some spares. Our vehicle won’t pass inspection this year. Mr. Murphy will check with Quirk Auto about a new vehicle. The print shop is moving to Point Webster on October 28. The Lincoln Hancock Pool funds procedures for funds has been straightened out. There is still a balance of $72,000 left. Honeywell training has been set up. There are eight training sessions. All custodial and maintenance personnel will be trained on computers. Each school will get their own training manual. Honeywell will provide two laptops--one for the City and one for the school system. We reviewed all the open POs. We are looking for a new HVAC contractor. Redman is fixing the elevator at Merrymount School and the atrium at Sterling. The Superintendent spoke with Mr. Segalla about the flags. Mrs. Dwyer spoke to the ADA Survey that was done in October 2004 detailing what ADA modifications need to be done. She will set up a meeting to go through the report. Our buildings are old and some of those schools are not ADA compatible. Some repairs are major costs and maybe doing a Capital Improvement plan. Mike Draicchio is checking on cross walks with Mr. Gillan and all the lighting around the buildings is adequate. Mr. Metzler has asked for lights at North Quincy. Perhaps we may be able to use some of the old lights at the CTE.

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee approved the School Facilities Subcommittee meeting minutes. The ayes have it.

The Superintendent explained the process used to secure funds from the Lincoln Hancock Pool Fund. The funds come from the Recreational Department renting the pool. The money goes to the Auditor and stays in an account. If we need money to repair the pool we need to go to the City Council for approval. The money then goes to Kevin Murphy for maintenance of the pool and Kevin Segalla for pool lockers, etc. There was approximately $150,000 and $80,000 on the repairs. Mr. Mullaney gave Mrs. Bragg the figures.

- - -

Budget Subcommittee Rpt. by Mr. Mariano

The Budget Subcommittee met at 6:00 p.m. this evening. They discussed the dispersal of the Circuit Breaker money. $500,000 will go to technology and teacher retro. Mr. Mullaney is taking care of the hinges for desks. The weekly warrants proposal was moved to the full committee. The subcommittee explored the benefits of having only one signature.

Warrants to Policy Subcommittee

On a motion by Mr. Mariano, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the weekly warrants went into the Policy Subcommittee. The ayes have it.

The Subcommittee discussed the Inspire Initiative. The Quincy Public Schools is outsourcing a significant portion of its special education needs to third party providers. This group would like to evaluate the current strategy in light of its alternatives -- i.e. should special education services be outsourced, could these services be provided more effectively in-house. The cost of this program would be $100 per month, not to exceed $1,200.

To SPED Subcommittee

Mr. Mariano made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, to fund this to a maximum of $1,200 from the Alternative Education funds. The ayes have it. Mr. Mariano made another motion seconded by Mr. McCarthy, to move the whole issue to the SPED Sub committee. The ayes have it.

- - -

Mr. Puleo reminded everyone that if Question 1 passes, we would lose all those funds we receive now.

- - -


The Committee noted the following retirements:

Supervisor of Bus Depot: Ruth Mahoney

Custodian: Richard Sugrue


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teachers: Katherine Goldfarb, Courtney Judge, Beth Shepardson

Occup. Therapist: Maureen Butler

Speech Lang/Pathologist: Melissa Hartofelis

Leaves of Absence

The Committee noted the following leave of absence:

Teacher: Maria Weber


The Committee noted the following appointments: Lunch Attendant Alicia Bouchard

- - -


On a motion by Mr. Mariano, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee voted to adjourn for the evening at 9:40 p.m. There was no executive session. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.