May 16, 2018 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 6:30 pm 
Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting Minutes for May 2, 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. Staff Recognition: Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Cara Pekarcik

B. Student Recognitions: National Honor Society Seniors from NQHS & QHS

C. Principal Hiring Process

D. Review of Recent QPS Events

E. Upcoming School~Community Partnership Events

  • CVTE Advisory Board General Meetings, May 17 & 24

  • Elementary & Middle School Robotics Challenge, May 19 (Attachment)

  • Community Service Learning Breakfast, May 30

  • Student Athlete Summit, June 1

  • Grade 5 Student Leadership, June 4

  • QPS Retirement Luncheon, June 7

F. Upcoming QPS Events

  • May Parent Academies (May 15, May 22, May 30) (Attachment)

  • Spring Concert Schedule (Attachment)

  • Spring Festivals: Montclair, May 19 and Bernazzani, June 2 (Attachment)

  • ELC Celebration, May 24 (Attachment)

  • Special Education Track & Field Event, May 25 (Attachment)

  • NQHS National Honor Society Induction, June 7

  • Graduations: QHS, June 11; NQHS, June 12

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. Park Department Update - Mr. Martin

B. City of Quincy FY2019 Budget Overview - Mayor Koch

C. Quincy Public Schools FY2019 Draft Budget Presentation - Dr. DeCristofaro, Mr. Mullaney, Mr. Mulvey

D. New Middle School Name for referral to the Policy Subcommittee - Mr. Bregoli

E. Potential Athletic League Change for NQHS for referral to the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee - Mrs. Lebo

F. Out of State Travel (One Day):

  1. June 15, 2018: Sterling Middle School Grade 6 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem,
    New Hampshire.

  2. June 20, 2018: Montclair Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park,
    Salem, New Hampshire.

  3. June 22, 2018: Atherton Hough Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake
    Park, Salem, New Hampshire

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meeting: June 13, 2018 (Coddington Building, 6:30 pm)

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (Coddington Building):

  1. FY2019 Budget: May 21, 2018 at 6:00 pm

  2. Special Education: May 21, 2018 at 6:30 pm

  3. FY2019 Budget Public Hearing: May 30, 2018 at 6:00 pm

  4. Policy: May 30, 2018 at 6:15 pm

  5. Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee: May 30, 2018 at 6:30 pm

  6. Facilities & Security Subcommittee: May 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm

  7. City Council Budget Hearing: to be scheduled

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 – May 16, 2018
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at Central Middle School at 6:30 p.m. Superintendent DeCristofaro called the roll and present were School Committee Chair Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. James DeAmicis, 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. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Mollie Goode, Dr. Beth Hallett, Mr. Don Martin, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Cara Pekarcik, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Robert Shaw, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; Citywide Parent Council Co-President Scott Alessandro; and Quincy High School Student Representative Timothy Nguyen.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 5,2.2018

Mr. DeAmicis made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hubley to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for May 2, 2018 as presented. On a voice vote, the have it.


Open Forum

Mr. Mark Jaehnig spoke of concerns about large-diamond baseball fields in Quincy, specifically the number of fields available and proposed upgrades of Bishop Field, including a perimeter fence and restroom facilities.

Mr. Scott Alessandro, Citywide Parent Council Co-President, requested that School Committee fund an administrative position for data reporting and analysis, essential questions can be answered through data.

Ms. Mary Grace Montalto spoke in support of making upgrades to Bishop Field.

Mr. Gutro submitted an email from Mr. Jon Green in support of Bishop Field upgrades.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report by introducing 2018 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Cara Pekarcik, Biology teacher at North Quincy High School. Ms. Pekarcik thanked Mayor Koch, Dr. DeCristofaro, and the School Committee for all their support, Mr. Shaw for nominating her, the staff at North Quincy High School and her students.

Mrs. Lebo thanked Ms. Pekarcik for her representation of Quincy Public Schools and thanked the Superintendent and the Leadership Team for the increased emphasis on Professional Development and developing teacher leaders over the last few years.

The graduating senior members of the National Honor Society were recognized by School Committee. From Quincy High School: Stephen Andrews, River Barrett, Alexandra Case, Ziuling Cheung He, Dashiell Chin, Liana Cunningham, Terry Deng, Paul Donahue, Ava Falco, Shannon Foley, Endi Gjeli, Christina Haley, Klei Hamzallari, Brandon Ho, Julie Hong, Reagan Hutchens, John Kelly, Smriti Kumar, Catlinh Le, Izadora Lenna, Ami Lesha, Justin Li, Kevin Lin, Michelle Lo, Brian Mahabir, Julia Mayo, Carly McMorrow, Kevin Mortimer, Ashley Murphy, Celia Murphy, Emily Nguyen, Emma Nguyen, Jamie Nguyen, Timothy Nguyen, Brielle O’’Malley, Danielle Pacione, Benjamin Parrish, Michaela Pettinelli, Norapat Rerngkastkig, James Robinson, Lauren Saccoach, Erika Sato, Rachel Shen, Victoria Shen, Whitney Tang, Amy Trillcott, Chi Jung Tsao, Catheleen Veiga, Tina Vo, Chan Juan Weng, Yasmina Zaharian-Touirto, Anthony Zero, Zhen Hao Zheng. From North Quincy High School: Isabel Altaf, Nicholas Andrade, Jennifer Butka, Jessica Caldwell, Steven Chen, Wilson Chen, Brendan Chow, Cora Cluett, Elizabeth Dimattio, Christopher Donaghey, Connor Donaghey, Ina Hoti, Ali Hussein, Cynthia Lau, Nina Lin, Jonathan Liang, Tamara Liang, Eric Mei, Joanna Rafti, Aymen Sadaka, Genevieve Santilli, Jessica Tai, Kristen Thornton, Allison Wong, Gigi Wong, Angela Wu, Fiona Xu, Brian Zou, Jame Zou

Mrs. Lebo said that this is an incredibly impressive group of students and we are looking forward to see you go out into the world and make us proud.

Superintendent DeCristofaro noted that 62% of the National Honor Society seniors have been Quincy Public Schools student since Kindergarten and 88% have been Quincy Public Schools students since elementary school. These students represent the pillars of the National Honor Society, thanked the students for their hard work and their parents for supporting them.

After a brief recess, the Superintendent resumed his report by noting that Beechwood Knoll Elementary School Principal Diane O’Keeffe will be retiring at the end of this school year. Mrs. O’Keeffe will be recognized at the June 13 School Committee meeting and her retirement party will be from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on June 13 prior to the meeting.

Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey reviewed the process for hiring a new principal: after the position description has been posted internally and on Schoolspring for 30 days, 30-minute panel interviews will be scheduled with candidates. Each interview will consist of an opening statement, questions from the panel, and an opportunity for a closing statement. The panel will consist of Deputy Superintendent Mulvey, Special Education Director Erin Perkins, Senior Director of Student Support Maura Papile, one or more Beechwood Knoll staff members, a representative from the Quincy Education Association and one or more parent representatives. After all candidates are interviewed, the panel will deliberate and recommend one or more candidates for the Superintendent’s consideration.

Mr. Gutro asked if all candidates are given the same questions. Mr. Mulvey said that the questions are developed prior to the interviews and each panel member asks a question based on their area of expertise. All candidates are asked the same questions.

Dr. DeCristofaro continued his report by announcing a Massachusetts Capital Skills Grant of $132,000 for technology to support Project Lead the Way at Quincy High School.

The final Mentor Team meeting of the year was held on Tuesday, May 15, thanks to Principal Jim Hennessy and Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy for leading the team. Thanks also to the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) for their multi-year support of the Mentoring program.

The Parker 100th Anniversary was held on Saturday, May 12 and was very well attended. Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mayor Koch and School Committee members who were able to be there. Thanks also to Commissioner of Public Buildings Paul Hines and Park Department Executive Director Don Martin for all the work done to the prior to the event to make the school shine. Thanks to Principal Margaret MacNeil, Assistant Principal Scott Perfetuo, and Secretary Tracy Pickering for the planning and organizing.

The Quincy Retired Teachers Association Scholarship event was held on May 15, over 30 scholarships were given to graduating seniors.

Upcoming events include the Middle School Robotics Challenge on May 19; Welcome to Kindergarten Parent Academy on May 22; the Quincy Public Schools Health Symposium on May 23; ELC Celebration of Excellence on May 24; All-City Choral Festival on May 24; Girl Rising Celebration on May 30. The Montclair May Festival is May 19 and the Bernazzani Spring Fair is June 2.

Upcoming Quincy School~Community Partnership events include the Community Service Learning Breakfast on May 30, the Student Athlete Summit on June 1, the Grade 5 Student Leadership event on June 4, and the QPS Retirement Luncheon on June 7.

The high school graduations will be held on Monday, June 11 for Quincy High School and Tuesday, June 12 for North Quincy High School. Both ceremonies are at Veterans Stadium (weather permitting) at 6:00 pm and in case of inclement weather, will be held indoors at the respective high school gymnasiums.


Old Business

There was no Old Business on the meeting agenda.


New Business

Parks Department Update

Executive Director of the Park & Cemetery Department Don Martin presented an overview of recent events including Cleaner Greener on May 5 and the presentation of the plans for the Kincaide Park redesign. The goal is for the Kincaide Park project is to be out for bid in August or September 2018.

The Parks & Playground Improvement Plan will begin Phase 1 construction after school closes at the end of June. The Wollaston Elementary School playground design is complete and contractors are in place for a summer 2018 installation. The Beechwood Knoll Elementary School playground design will be presented to the community at the PTO’s Friday, May 18 fundraiser and along with a new basketball court, will be installed in Summer 2018. Lincoln Hancock Community School’s playground design was approved this week and installation will begin in July 2018. The Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center playground design is with the school and community for review with installation planned for this summer. The Clifford Marshall playground and outdoor classroom will also be installed in Summer 2018. At Broad Meadows, two new basketball and tennis courts and new fencing will be installed in Fall 2018.

Phase 2 of the Parks & Playground Improvement Plan will include Atherton Hough, Snug Harbor, and Parker for fall and winter 2018 planning, summer 2019 installation.

Mr. Gutro congratulated Mr. Martin on his appointment as Parks Department Executive Director and requested a copy of his presentation. Mr. Gutro requested that the baseball field at Kincaide be weeded for the summer season. Mr. Gutro asked about Pond Street and cited a specific email, which he will re-forward to Mr. Martin. Mr. Gutro asked about safety issues at Bishop Field, specifically the lack of fencing and the condition of the field. Mr. Martin said there are only a few secured baseball fields and while it is desirable, it will be a matter of funding.

Mr. Gutro made a motion to look at Bishop Field for upgrades in light of the diminishing availability of baseball fields.

On the motion, Mayor Koch noted that Bishop Field has both a baseball and softball field and the center portion is sometimes used for soccer. Mayor Koch does not necessarily agree that all of the baseball fields should be secured as it is an issue of public access. Mayor Koch does not believe that this are matters of School Committee jurisdiction. There is a Park & Recreation Board and Mr. Bregoli is the School Committee representative to that board, so these concerns can be referred to him for exploration.

Mayor Koch thanked Mr. Martin, Mr. Doherty, and Mr. Franz for all of their work with the school administrators, parents, and community members and the City Council for funding these playground improvements. In the future, consideration will be made for expansion of baseball and softball fields at Faxon Park.

Mr. Bregoli agreed that these are items for discussion at the Park & Recreation Board.

In light of the discussion, Mr. Gutro amended his motion to request Mr. Bregoli share the petition with the Park & Recreation Board on behalf of the School Committee and to update the School Committee on the discussion. Everyone is appreciative of the continued investment in parks and Mr. Gutro is looking for an idea of what can be done and timeline for completion.

The amended motion is a dual referral to the Park & Recreation Board and the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee for continued updates.

Mrs. Lebo made a friendly amendment, feels that this is a matter between City Council and Park & Recreation Board.

Dr. DeCristofaro noted that Bishop Field is in the Athletics Subcommittee and with the Mayor’s permission, we can request updates.

Mrs. Lebo clarified that the motion is for Mr. Bregoli to take the petition to the Park & Recreation Board.

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

Mrs. Lebo asked Mr. Martin what are the conditions under which Adams Field, the Stadium, and Creedon Field may be used. Mr. Martin said that weather and field conditions sometimes affect usage of the fields. Mayor Koch said that the Park & Recreation Board has the mandate of school sports as the first priority, followed by Quincy youth sports, and then outside groups.

Mr. Martin said he takes the safety of our students and the field conditions very seriously and has personally inspected each site.


New Business

City of Quincy FY2019 Budget

Mayor Koch presented an overview of the City of Quincy FY2019 Budget, which includes an increase of $3.2 million for Quincy Public Schools and allows Quincy Public Schools to retain any potential difference in salaries from retirements vs. new hires.

Mayor Koch reminded School Committee that there are many City resources dedicated to the Quincy Public Schools outside the direct appropriation, including the Parks, Public Buildings, Public Works departments’ support of Quincy Public Schools, Police Department School Resource and DARE officers, plus crossing guards.

Mrs. Lebo noted that employee health care costs are in the City budget, which is a benefit to Quincy Public Schools. Many other school systems carry these costs in their budget.


New Business

Draft FY2019 Quincy Public Schools Budget Presentation

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mayor Koch for the level-services plus funding which is the basis of next year’s Quincy Public Schools budget. In the last month, Dr. DeCristofaro has met with each principal, the members of the Superintendent’s Leadership Team, and the members of the School Committee to discuss staffing, class size, and priorities for program expansion.

Director of Business James Mullaney reviewed the Quincy Public Schools budget of $110,106,951, which is based on the Mayor’s appropriation of $104,856,951 plus projected Circuit Breaker funding of $5,250,000 as partial reimbursement for Special Education tuitions. Mr. Mullaney noted that the Quincy Public Schools share of City services over and above the direct appropriation is $41,021,887.00 and that Quincy Public Schools net spending is well above the foundational requirement for educational spending. The budgets over the last 8 years have provided for steady incremental growth in the Quincy Public Schools.

Mr. Mullaney reviewed that in the FY2019 Budget, there are contractual obligations for percentage raises and step and level increases and increased need for Special Education tuition funding. The next bottom line is $475,701 for budget building. For Academic Classroom Teachers, positions will be shifted between school sites with no overall increase in the number of positions for elementary, middle, and high school. Since FY2014, the Academic Classroom Teaching staff has grown by 17.5 positions. For Academic Programs, a total of 8.9 positions would be added: 1.7 for English Learner Education, 0.7 Career & Technical Education, 3.5 Special Education, and 3.0 to create Digital Support Teachers for a new Digital Literacy program at the elementary school level. Since FY2014, the Academic Program staff has grown by 41.6 positions as there were program rebuilding efforts for media, literacy, and expansion for Special Education, English Language Learners, Health Interventionists, Music, and Art. For Academic Support Programs, there is additional funding to increase the daily rate for substitute teachers to $85/day, which would be more competitive to surrounding cities and towns. Academic Support has also been an area of growth since FY2014, with 69.9 positions added. For Non-Academic Support, the proposal is to move $100,000 for Custodial Services to be charged to the Food Services Revolving Account. This is the cost for custodial services associated with meal service.

Mr. Mullaney reviewed the Subsidized Services (Revolving Accounts). No changes are recommended for fees associated with Food Services, Building Rentals, Transportation, or Athletics for FY2019.

For Academic Expenses, an additional $2,504,401 will be allocated to Special Education tuitions. For Non-Academic Expenses, anticipated savings in natural gas costs will offset increased costs for acquisition of new vehicles. Additional funding from Mayor Koch over the last four years has included Safety & Security upgrades ($500,000), technology funding of $1,200,000 plus fiber optic connections at $178,177, new telephone system for 16 buildings $354,610 and $500,000 for new buses.

Next steps in the FY2019 Budget process include discussion of line items at the May 21 Budget & Finance Subcommittee meeting, the Public Hearing on May 30, and the City Council presentation still to be scheduled. School Committee will vote on the FY2019 Quincy Public Schools Budget at the June 13, 2018 meeting.


New Business

New Middle School Name (Referral)

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to refer New Middle School Name to the Policy Subcommittee. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Potential Athletic League Change for NQHS (Referral)

Mayor Koch made a motion to refer Potential Athletic League Change for North Quincy High School to the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Out of State Travel (One Day)

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel (One-Day) of Sterling Middle School Grade 6 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire on June 15, 2018. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel (One-Day) of Montclair Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire on June 20, 2018. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel (One-Day) of Atherton Hough Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire on June 22, 2018. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Additional Business

Mr. Gutro asked for an update on Quincy College whenever appropriate.



Upcoming meetings were announced: Regular Meetings on May 16, 2018 at Central Middle School and June 13, 2018 at the Coddington Building, both at 6:30 pm.

Subcommittee Meetings: On May 21, 2018, the FY2019 Budget meeting is scheduled for 6:00 pm, followed by the Special Education Subcommittee at 6:30 pm. On May 30, 2018, the FY2019 Budget Public Hearing is scheduled for 6:00 pm, followed by the Policy Subcommittee at 6:16 pm, the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee at 6:30 pm and Facilities, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee at 7:00 pm.


Reports of Subcommittees

There were no Reports of Subcommittees on the meeting agenda.


Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.



Mayor Koch made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 8:30 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mr. Andronico and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.