June 10, 2014 Policy Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee Meeting
Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 5:00 P.M.
2nd Floor Conference Room, NAGE Building

  1. Welcome - Mr. Bregoli

  2. Community Service - Mr. Shaw, Mr. Taglieri, Ms. Ginty, Mrs. McMillen

  3. Revised Student Discipline Regulations(603 CMR 53.0) - Deputy Superintendent Mulvey

  4. Adjournment


Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee Meeting
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A meeting of the Policy Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the 2nd Floor Conference Room at the NAGE Building. Present were Mr. Noel DiBona, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Ms. Kerry Ginty, Ms. Beth Hallett, Mrs. Meg McMillen, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Robert Shaw, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri, Ms. Judy Todd; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. Bregoli called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm and opened the meeting by thanking Mrs. McMillen and Ms. Ginty for their efforts in the last two years and getting all of this year’s seniors to the completion status for Community Service. Dr. DeCristofaro said that the Coordinators will share their thoughts on how things went this year and some ideas for moving forward. Ms. Ginty said they were pleased with the 100% completion rate and that all seniors were able to participate in graduation. The QPS website and Community Service database were great resources for students and parents, along with communication through Naviance, Channel 22, Instant Alert, flyers, social media, and internal television channels. Mrs. McMillen said that recent projects included a Wollaston Beach project, Blue Hills cleanup, and the Bernazzani Spring Fair.

Going forward, the Community Service Coordinators and high school Principals would like to suggest that the requirement be moved back from senior year. They are suggesting that students begin in Grade 9 and complete 30 hours total over Grades 9-11. April 1 of Grade 11 would be the deadline to have a minimum of 20 hours completed; access to school events such as the Prom would be the incentive. The final deadline would be September 1 of Grade 12. Ms. McMillen suggested that there is no limit to when the hours would be completed, students would not be required to do 10 hours per year. Mrs. Mahoney can see both sides of the issue, students sometimes have changing circumstances and can't do 10 in one year. On the other hand, some students might procrastinate and leave the 30 hours to the end. Ms. Isola agreed with Mrs. Mahoney, but would like to see a benchmark for each year. Mrs. Mahoney suggested a minimum of 5 hours per year and asked for guidance from the coordinators about what would be an acceptable minimum. Ms. Isola would like to craft the policy in a way that allows for the Community Service Coordinators and Principals to have the discretion to execute the Policy in the way they see fit. Dr. DeCristofaro said that several School Committee members have talked about ways to recognize students for their efforts beyond the minimum requirement.

Ms. Ginty suggested that setting up a different system for the Aspen gradebook will make things easier for the Coordinators; an annual total and cumulative total would be generated for every interim report and report card. Mr. Bregoli asked how Community Service was noted on the student transcripts; currently it is either I for Incomplete or C for Complete. Mr. Bregoli asked the Principals for their impressions. Mr. Shaw said it was much as predicted, there was a first wave of students who completed their requirement without being reminded and a small percentage who completed theirs in the middle of the year, but a huge push was needed in the end. Mr. Taglieri agreed with the September 1 completion date, Seniors have so much to complete during the year.

Mr. Bregoli asked if the Community Service Coordinators could become .5 teaching positions, along the same lines as the Athletic Directors. He asked the Coordinators to comment on their workloads, and both agreed that as structured, the Community Service Coordinator positions took a lot of effort beyond school hours. Accessibility to students during the school day is difficult to manage. Some students need one-on-one attention and they are not coming after school. Getting to the end of the year, many teachers and administrators assisted in getting the seniors to the completion stage.

Mr. DiBona suggested that the requirement could be done in two years instead of three. Students can always do more hours, but that would be the minimum requirement and gives them flexibility. Ms. Isola said that one of the values of the requirement is for students to learn how to balance competing demands. The principals and coordinators would have the discretion to make waivers. She is not in favor of two years, but wants there to be a minimum requirement for each of three years. Mr. Bregoli agrees with Ms. Isola and likes the initial 10 hours per year idea with the checkpoints in place. Ms. McMillen said parents accepted the Community Service requirement, but 20% of students did nothing until the last minute. Ms. Isola reiterated that some of this is about procedure rather than policy.

Mrs. Hubley said that parents liked the 10 hours per year, it opened students to the idea of Community Service and got them involved in places they wouldn't normally be exposed to. Ms. McMillen said many students will do Community Service without consideration for credit. Mrs. Hubley said the volunteers at the Bernazzani Spring Fair were wonderful.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the incoming senior class. Mrs. McMillen said 60% have completed their 20 hours. Those students will have until September 1 to complete their 20 hours or they won't be able to go to Homecoming. Grade 10 and 11 will begin the year with the requirement to do 20 hours. Grade 9 begins the 30 hour requirement. The Grade 11 students are in a unique situation since they haven't done any hours to date. Ms. Isola and Mrs. Mahoney agreed that the Community Service Coordinators know the students the best and that School Committee doesn't need to micromanage the details. Mr. DiBona asked what happens to students who get to the end of Grade 3 Policy Subcommittee Meeting 6-10-14 10 and haven't done anything. Ms. Ginty said that there will always be students who have to be chased.

Mr. Bregoli said that the demands of the job went far beyond the Coordinators’ compensation and wants to be sure this is addressed going forward. Mr. Bregoli said that we can work on revising the Policy in the fall.

Ms. Isola made a motion to continue the current Community Service Pilot for the Class of 2015 and 2016; they will need 20 hours of Community Service in order to walk at graduation. The Class of 2017 will need to complete 30 hours of Community Service, beginning as Grade 9 students. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Mulvey then reviewed the changes in disciplinary regulations under the new law 37H¾, and suggested that School Committee adopt the regulations in their entirety.

There are two laws currently on the books, 37H (possession of drugs, a weapon, and causing seriously bodily injury) and 37H½ (felony offense in or outside of school that would impact school environment) and now there is 37H¾. Mrs. Mahoney asked for clarification; felony charges must be filed and a judgment made whether there is an impact on the school environment. Mr. Bregoli asked if MIAA regulations prevent a student with a felony charge from competing athletically. Mr. DiBona asked if the day or time affects the determination, but impact on the school environment is the determining factor.

The new law requires that school systems provide educational opportunities (alternate environment or home services) for anyone suspended under 37H, 37H½, and 37H¾. 37H¾ covers all other suspendable offenses; students may not be excluded for more than 90 days; students and parents must be notified in writing of the charges and invited to participate in a meeting. Long-term suspensions are those that exceed 10 days or more. Non-consecutive smaller suspensions can add up to this provision and appeal to the Superintendent reached earlier.

New reporting requirements began in 2013-14 school year and are logged into the Student Information System. Violence, drugs, and criminal acts must be reported whether there are suspensions or not. Exclusion is defined as a school day suspension, not athletic or extracurricular events. Students suspended for Grades K-3 must be approved by the Superintendent.

Ms. Isola made a motion to move the adoption of Massachusetts General Law 603 CMR 53 into the Student Discipline Policy out of Policy Subcommittee for consideration by School Committee. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

This item will sit on the table for the September 3, 2014 meeting and be voted on at the September 17, 2014 School Committee meeting.

Ms. Isola made a motion to adjourn the Policy Subcommittee Meeting at 6:10 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.