Feb. 4, 2013 Health/Safety Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee
Policy Subcommittee
Monday, February 4, 2013, 5:00 pm
2nd Floor Conference Room, NAGE Building

  1. Welcome - Mrs. Kathy Hubley

  2. Health, Nutrition, and Wellness Team Update - Mrs. Jane Kisielius, Mrs. Joanne Morrissey

  3. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports - Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Judy Todd

  4. Adjournment


Health, Transportation and Safety Subcommittee Meeting

Monday, February 4, 2013

A meeting of the Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee was held on Monday, February 4 at 5:00 pm in the 2nd floor Conference Room of the NAGE Building. Present were Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. David McCarthy, and Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair. Also present were Assistant Superintendent Colleen Roberts, Mrs. Jane Kisielius, Mrs. Joanne Morrissey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Judy Todd, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Hubley called the meeting to order at 5:10 pm. The first item on the agenda was an update of the Health, Nutrition, and Wellness Team by Mrs. Kisielius and Mrs. Morrissey. The Team met recently and discussed a number of topics, including the completed revision of the Wellness Policy. All agreed that more education about the new nutritional regulations is needed for schools, PTOs, and the Booster Clubs. Mrs. Kisielius reviewed the BOKS program now being piloted at the Squantum School; this very popular program has over 60 students participating before school twice a week. Flu clinics have been conducted at the middle and high schools; student attendance is consistent with averages from other years. BMI screenings have been conducted for Grades 1, 4, 7, and 10. Data is consistent with the state’s averages; letters will be sent home to parents and guardians. Also at the Health, Nutrition, and Wellness Team Meeting, Mr. Paul McAndrew presented on the status of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation partnership, including the Aggregate School Inventory Results and the Aggregate Action Plan Summary. All of the schools in QPS completed the Inventory; most of the individual school action plans are focused on reviving or revitalizing their staff Wellness Team.

Mrs. Morrissey reviewed that the USDA is allowing more flexibility with grain and protein servings by eliminating the maximums allowed. A recent review of menus required by the USDA showed that QPS is close to the calorie limit with the meal patterns already established. The USDA also released their guidelines for competitive foods; they mirror the state’s guidelines but are focused on foods sold, not given to students as part of classroom or school events. The USDA guidelines are in the comment phase and will not be finalized for another year. Mrs. Morrissey reminded the Subcommittee that there are still conflicts between the federal and state guidelines. For example, low-fat chocolate milk can be served with meals sold or provided per the federal regulations but cannot be sold a-la-carte per the state regulations.

Ms. Isola suggested that the School Committee send a letter to the state delegation alerting them the issues with the conflicts between the state and federal regulations. Mrs. Morrissey will draft a letter about the issue that School Committee can review. Ms. Isola said this might be a way to publicize the issue so that parents are aware of it. Mr. McCarthy asked about sales data and whether the portion sizes affected food purchases; Mrs. Morrissey said we are consistent with last year’s sales. Mrs. Hubley whether all parents receive notification of the BMI screening. Mrs. Kisielius said the letter is hand-delivered to elementary school parents at the March report card conferences. For middle and high school students, the letters are mailed to parents and guardians.

There is an outstanding item in the Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee about formalizing the QPS meal charges policy. Mrs. Morrissey will send a draft so the Subcommittee can review and discuss before referring it to the Policy Subcommittee for finalization.

The next item on the agenda was a report on the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) pilot currently underway at the Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, and Parker Elementary Schools. QPS received a Massachusetts Tiered System of Support grant of $10,000 and assistance from the May Institute in piloting this program.

PBIS involves all students, reaching them in a tiered system of support. PBIS supports social and emotional competencies, which has long been a focus in QPS, but this program has a data collection piece that will help tailor the school’s responses. The School Wide Information System (SWIS) is used to collect data to help the staff see where intervention is needed. There are three tiers of Intervention: Primary Prevention, such as recognizing positive character traits (Terrific Kids, Rachel’s Challenge) will reach 80% of students. Secondary Prevention: is focused on reaching students who may have 3-5 office referrals per year through consistency and changing class culture. The Tertiary Prevention focuses on specialized systems for students with high-risk behaviors.

For implementing the data collection piece, SWIS is being piloted at the 3 pilot elementary schools and all five middle schools. School teams (principals, assistant principals, secretaries, school counselors) have undergone training and common Office Referral forms were generated. Guidance counselors, school psychologists, and assistant principals will be designated as coaches and will receive additional training in the coming weeks. Ms. Todd presented a sample report generated from the SWIS system; the information can be sorted by different variables to assist schools in assessing problem areas. Elementary pilot schools will generate goals for their School Improvement Plans for next year based on PBIS data. Ms. Todd also shared information in upcoming changes in the School Discipline/Dropout Reform Law that will take effect on July 1, 2014.

Mr. McCarthy asked for a hypothetical situation; Mrs. Papile presented an example that the data might show that there are a number of referrals from the cafeteria. Schools can work on how positive interventions might change the lunchroom experience for the majority of students.

Mrs. Mahoney complimented the program and the safeguards it provides for students by allowing staff to see patterns in the data that might not have been otherwise obvious.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:05 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.