Sept. 12, 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 12, 2018
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at the Coddington Building 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, Dr. John Franceschini, Dr. Beth Hallett, Mr. Paul Hines, Mr. Walter MacDonald, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, and City Solicitor James Timmins; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; and Citywide Parent Council Co-President Courtney Perdios.

There was a moment of silence for retired Quincy Public Schools employees Lorraine McQuinn (Food Services); Jack Harrington (Quincy High School Social Studies teacher and department chair, over 40 years); and Mary Catherine Iannoni (Central Middle School teacher and guidance counselor for 44 years).


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 6.13.2018

Mr. DeAmicis made a motion, seconded by Mr. Bregoli to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for June 13, 2018 as presented. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Special Organizational Meeting Minutes 9.10.2018

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to defer the review and approval of the minutes for the Special Organizational Meeting to the September 26, 2018 meeting. Mr. DeAmicis seconded the motion and 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.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report by welcoming everyone to the new school year. Recent Quincy Public Schools events include the New Professional Staff Orientation, 30 new staff members were welcomed by members of the Superintendent’s Leadership Team. Thanks to Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, the Human Resources staff, and Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox. In our Summer Scene programs, over 650 students participated in academic enrichment activities, credit recovery, and YouthWorks in partnership with the South Shore Workforce Development Board.

Recently retired Merrymount teacher Lori Hammerstrom was recognized with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching at a ceremony at the White House in late June. Squantum Assistant Principal and Grade 5 teacher Dr. Rachel Bloom was recognized at the Massachusetts State House as an Unsung Heroine by the Commission on the Status of Women.

Parent Academies for the 2018-2019 are planned for throughout the school year, and information was shared with School Committee along with Fall Back to School Open House dates. The City of Quincy Park and Recreation departments, in collaboration with the Quincy Arts Association, are hosting the annual ArtsFest on September 15-16. 283 QPS students will have entries. Mayor Koch’s City of Presidents 5K Road Race/Walk will be held on September 30, 2018 at 10:00 am from Adams Field.

In the last week, Quincy School~Community Partnership members sponsored backpack and school supply donations for our students at Clifford Marshall, Snug Harbor, Lincoln Hancock, Parker, and Montclair, over 3,000 students total.

At Monday’s Special Organizational Meeting, significant discussion on School Committee Policy Book Section 2 and collaborative discussion of the Subcommittee goals and action items for the 2018-2019 school year took place.

Preliminary Enrollment for the Quincy Public Schools shows a slight increase to 9,615, class sizes are all at and below School Committee guidelines. A full enrollment report will be presented at the October 10 meeting.

The Superintendent’s Annual Plan will be developed over the next few weeks in collaboration with Vice-Chair Lebo and shared at an upcoming meeting.


Old Business

Policy Section 2

At the September 10, 2018 Special Organizational Meeting, School Committee Policy Book Section 2 was reviewed and approved, so no further discussion is required at this time.


New Business

New Middle School Update

City Solicitor and Building Committee Chair James Timmins introduced the update on the new middle school project being built to replace the Sterling Middle School. At the Monday, September 10, 2018 Special Organizational Meeting, the school name of South~West Middle School was approved.

Project Manager Tom Kerwin and Brian Laroche updated on the progress of the new South~West Middle School, the exterior siding is being applied, windows are being installed, and wallboard and ceilings are in place in some rooms. The projected date for the staff and students moving is during the 2019 April vacation week.

Mr. Laroche shared photos of the construction progress and comparisons to the architectural renderings, noting that over 100 tradespeople are on-site each day. The project is on schedule, materials are ordered and staged for installation. Furniture, fixtures, and equipment orders have been finalized. Mr. Laroche reiterated the collaboration between the City of Quincy, Quincy Public Schools, Ai3 Architects, Bond Construction, and PCA 360 has been extraordinary.

Mrs. Lebo thanked Mr. Laroche, it is so exciting to see the progress of the building.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the demolition of the existing Sterling Middle School. Mr. Laroche said preparation work will be done from April-June 2019 and the demolition will take place as soon as school is over in June. The goal is to complete the landscaping of the Granite Street side of the school for the opening of school in September 2019.

Dr. DeCristofaro asked when the building will be completely enclosed. Mr. Laroche said that is scheduled to be completed in mid-November.

Mr. Gutro asked how the building would be protected in case of a hurricane. Mr. Laroche said that drywall and ceilings have been installed only in areas where the windows are installed. Mr. Kerwin said any pending extreme weather event would be addressed by a team so preparations would be made to protect the project.

Mr. Gutro asked about the site location being lower than the present building. Mr. Kerwin said there is site drainage to accommodate the placement.

Mrs. Hubley said it is impressive to see how the actual building matches the renderings that have been presented the last few years.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mayor Koch, Mr. Timmins, Mr. Capaldo from Bond, Mr. Dunlap from Ai3 and Mr. Kerwin and Mr. Laroche. Quincy Public Schools is fortunate to have the collaborative team, their thoughtfulness about the complexity of the site and making important accommodations for students and staff throughout the project. Principal Franceschini and Assistant Principal Mitchell have successfully managed the demands. Dr. DeCristofaro is looking forward to developing the transition schedule that is best for students and staff, keeping parents involved, and sharing this with School Committee.


New Business

Public Buildings Update

Commissioner of Public Buildings Paul Hines presented on the project completed in the Quincy Public Schools over the summer of 2018. In addition to the major projects below, routine maintenance, work orders, and building moves were completed.

Atherton Hough: 2nd floor girls bathroom plumbing replaced, began the refurbishment of the former dental clinic space for school use.

Beechwood Knoll: New paving and curbs for school entrance and parking lot in order to enhance safety.

Bernazzani: All sidewalks and parking areas were repaved and new curbs set, improving safety and adding ADA compliant ramps to the property. The Parks Department has redone the basketball court and is preparing for the new playground installation. The Department of Public Works collaborated with the Department of Conservation & Recreation to add materials and re-seed the shoulder of Furnace Brook Parkway as a short-term safety improvement.

Clifford Marshall: Retro-commissioning of the HVAC system is underway

Parker: Removal of the corridor floor tiles and subfloors on the first and second floors was completed and new hardwood floors were installed and finished. This included asbestos abatement as needed. Additional plumbing was completed to install ADA-compliant water bubblers.

Lincoln Hancock: Retro-commissioning of the HVAC system is to be scheduled later in this school year. The planned swimming pool locker room refurbishing will go out to bid later this fall.

Merrymount: Construction was completed in the media center to create a new instructional area. Two exterior staircases were completely replaced, including new handrails. The three granite staircases were re-pointed and the spot pointing was performed on the front side of the building. New curbs and paving was completed on the park side of the building and fencing will be installed shortly.

Snug Harbor: New curbing and pavement were installed in the back of the building, additional paving to be done at a future date. The brick retaining wall was rebuilt and the 1st floor restrooms were completely refurbished and made ADA compliant.

Squantum: Instructional accommodations were completed in three classrooms to accommodate a student’s health needs.

Wollaston: Same floor project as Parker, except that lockers were removed, walls repaired and repainted and lockers re-installed. The fire alarm panel was also upgraded.

Atlantic: Painting on the 2nd floor, stairways and handrails throughout the school, repairs to ceiling tiles

Broad Meadows: Replaced the main corridor tiles, painted the gymnasium, refinished and relined the basketball court, outside lighting upgraded and the canopy painted. Stage curtains for the auditorium have been ordered. All bubblers will be replaced, rough plumbing work was completed. All sidewalks and paving were redone with new curbs. Regrading was done to address future flooding and divert water from the building.

Point Webster: Retro-commissioning of the HVAC system began. In additional, classrooms were constructed in the basement level, all new ceilings, floors, walls, added a new entrance to the building. The band room was also moved.

Quincy High School: Retro-commissioning of the HVAC system was completed.

North Quincy: Construction of new Athletics and Food Services offices; replacement of cafeteria, Hunt Street lobby, and media center ceiling tiles. New carpet is being installed in media center. New sound systems were ordered for the cafeteria and gymnasium. New bleachers will be installed beginning on November 13. New rooftop heating unit is installed for the woodshop and four underground oil tanks were removed from the property. The auditorium refurbishment is in the planning stages, with funds from the Capital Improvement Plan and a donation from a NQHS alum.

Mr. MacDonald then reported on the MSBA projects completed in summer 2018. At Beechwood Knoll, windows were installed throughout the building, including the gymnasium. HVAC systems have been cleaned, repaired/replaced and reinstalled. The project is substantially completed and any punchlist items will be completed after school hours or on weekends as needed. At North Quincy High School, 10 sections of the roof were replaced, plus roof drains, exhaust fans, and hatches. In addition, the Hunt Street lobby restrooms were upgraded to become ADA compliant, with new fixtures, flooring, and lighting. The last segment of the project will be completed by mid-September.

Preventative maintenance was performed on emergency generators in August, ensuring preparation for the winter storm season. All fire extinguishers were checked and recharged as needed. Steam boiler inspections were completed at all buildings.

Mr. Gutro asked how many schools have air conditioning: Beechwood Knoll, Clifford Marshall, Point Webster, North Quincy High School, portions of Parker, Central, and Quincy High School. The new South~West Middle School will have partial air conditioning. At Clifford Marshall, the air conditioning system works, but the controls are an issue and the retro-commissioning will address this.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that in the new building projects, administrative areas and auditorium, plus technology are the priority for air conditioning.

Mr. Gutro asked about the issues at Bernazzani along Furnace Brook Parkway. Mayor Koch said there are conversations with the Department of Conservation & Recreation about the long-term solution. In the interim, new loam and seed and gravel supports are being installed.

Mr. Gutro asked whether the work at Broad Meadows was related to last winter’s flooding. Mr. Hines said that the paving was in poor condition and was exacerbated by the flooding. Additional gravel and fill have been installed to prevent water from running under the building. Raising the elevation of the land in the front of the building will help keep the water away from the building.

Mr. Gutro asked about projects not yet completed. Mr. Hines said that there is still Capital Improvement Plan funding, the compressed schedule of the summer did not allow for completion of the ambitious priority list.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the NQHS rest rooms, Mr. MacDonald said those rooms are completed as of this past Monday. Mrs. Hubley asked about the timeline for installation of replacement water bubblers. Mr. Hines said alternate water sources are provided in all schools where installed bubblers are offline. Mrs. Hubley asked about sinks at Atherton Hough, Mr. Hines said all are operational. Mrs. Hubley asked about the curtains at Broad Meadows, Mr. Hines said those will arrive this fall.

Mr. Bregoli reminded School Committee that the Mayor’s Capital Improvement Plan funded by City Council is the source of funding for many of these projects. Mr. Hines and Mr. MacDonald have been very responsive and take pride in these projects. Mr. Bregoli is impressed by the amount of work completed in the 75 days of summer vacation.

Mr. Hines said the Public Buildings team is fantastic, the quality of the work by the in-house craftspeople is amazing.

Mayor Koch said that both Broad Meadows and Atlantic Middle Schools are built on piles and the maintenance is constant to address the land settling. In the long term, the Broad Meadows area needs a number of issues addressed.

Mrs. Lebo said that the School Department-based Maintenance department caused School Committee to make difficult decisions between repairs and refurbishments and curriculum needs. Quincy is unique in separating these improvements from the school budget.

Dr. DeCristofaro reiterated thanks to Mr. Hines and Mr. MacDonald, Quincy Public Schools takes care of its staff and students through these building projects. These projects reflect the aesthetics of the original buildings and provide a vision for our school facilities.

Mayor Koch left the meeting at 8:00 pm.


New Business

QPS 2018-2019 Initiatives Updates

Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy introduced updates on Curriculum & Instruction, Student Support, and Special Education initiatives.

Special Education Coordinator Sarah Anderson reviewed Co-Teaching & Inclusion initiative. Co-Teaching pairs from each middle and high school met to develop a Professional Development course over the 2017-2018 school year and was offered to all middle and high school staff in July.

Special Education Director Erin Perkins reviewed the Digital Literacy Teachers and their work to incorporate the Digital Literacy Standards into the curriculum. Grades 3, 4, and 5 teachers have completed a survey to assist in determining comfort level with technology and online tools. This is a co-teaching model and will cycle through the curriculum areas, in addition to supporting students in learning the tools.

Mr. Gutro is enthusiastic about this initiative and looks forward to hearing the feedback from the students and staff.

Mrs. Lebo said it is impressive to see how much has been accomplished over the summer to launch this initiative.

Dr. Beth Hallett presented on the Culturally Responsive Teaching Professional Development for English Learner educators, Academic Program Teachers, Nurses, and Student Support staff members. This is a workshop model, research-based, involving shared reading, videos, and discussion. This reflective workshop is facilitated as an active learning experience rather than a presentation. Participants reflect on their own cultural experiences and how those influence their interactions with students and families with an aim of expanding consciousness of other cultures and beliefs. A similar workshop for Principals and Administrators is in development.

Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile reviewed Health & Wellness initiatives. An upcoming collaboration between the Quincy Public Schools & Braintree Public Schools will be the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Summit on October 18, 2018. Students from both North Quincy and Quincy High Schools will meet with Braintree High School students to collaborate on projects. Thanks to the support of The Thompson Family, who are encouraging this peer-to-peer collaboration.

The Quincy Police Department DARE Officers will be working with the new DARE curriculum and Quincy Public Schools is looking at how to incorporate the officers into the school culture through PBIS and building upon the relationships with students through the acknowledgment of positive leadership in the schools.

Ms. Papile announced that the Reebok Foundation is renewing the grant to Quincy Public Schools, $50,000 in funding that will cover the Spring and Fall 2019 BOKS programs.

Mr. Gutro said that he is interested in Substance Abuse Prevention & Awareness and as vaping is being recognized as an epidemic nationally, looking forward to learning more about prevention about this issue.

Ms. Roy then updated on the DESE schedule for Data Reports & Accountability and how the new system works. In mid-August, preliminary MCAS data was made available to principals and administrators. Principals have time to review and report discrepancies in participation, recorded mode of testing, non-standard accommodation codes, and other data points. In most cases, there are no reportable discrepancies and even if a report is filed, there is no guarantee that it will be resolved in our favor. The next step is the release of data into Edwin Analytics, where data reports can be generated for analysis at the student, grade, school, and district level. This data is embargoed but can be used for internal planning and instructional purposes. Results will be official in late September, including accountability levels. There are new terms/labels, there are no longer numbers assigned. Printed MCAS results will be sent to districts in late September and mailed out to parents by early October.

Mr. Gutro asked when the results will be shared with School Committee, at the October 24 meeting. Mr. Gutro asked about discrepancy reports, Ms. Roy said that we filed a few and those that could impact the ratings.

Mrs. Lebo said that it will be important to understand the shifts as School Committee reviews the Program and School Improvement Plans. Mrs. Lebo said this will be new for all School Committee members, but as DESE has pre-determined percentages for each category, it is important to remember that these are not reflective of all the wonderful things that go on in the schools.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked the presenters, the SLT members work directly with teachers, distributive leadership opportunities and collaboration to give all educators the opportunity to provide the classroom perspective and direction for where to go. Incredible teachers and support staff make a difference to our students, our graduation rate and how our students are prepared for higher education and the world of work.


Additional Business

There was no Additional Business.



Upcoming meetings at the Coddington Building include School Committee Meetings on September 26, 2018; October 10, 2018; and October 24, 2018. Subcommittee Meetings for Budget & Finance (6:00 pm), Facilities, Transportation, and Security (6:15 pm), and Policy (6:30 pm) will be held on October 15, 2018.


Reports of Subcommittees

There were no Reports of Subcommittees.

Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.



Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 8:50 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mr. Andronico and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.