November 15, 2006 School Committee Minutes


Quincy, Massachusetts - November 15, 2006
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Present were Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Dave McCarthy, Ms. Linda Stice, and Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Vice Chairman.

Vice Chairman Presiding

The Superintendent called the roll and Mayor Phelan and Mr. Timmins were absent. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary, and Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk; Drs. Mariano and Pattavina. Messrs. O’Brien, Ryan, Canavan, Walsh, McPhee, Keith and Kevin Segalla, and Mr. Mullaney; Ms. Todd, Lebo, and Hughes. Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA President, Mr. Henry Brawley represented Citywide, Associate Members.Tara McFarland, NQHS, and Paige Neumann, QHS.

Mr. Timmins arrived at 7:07 p.m.

Mayor Phelan arrived at 7:15 p.m.

Reg. Mins. Approved

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Ms. Stice, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for November 1, 2006. The ayes 11/1/06 have it.

Student Recognition Am. Contest Winners

Ms. Edie Hughes introduced the first place winners of the American Education Week Essay Contest. High School: BaoTran Trannguyen, NQHS; Middle: Michaela Walker, Central; Grades 3-5: Aaron Clancy, Merrymount Gr. 5; Grades K-2: Jessica Su. Snug Harbor Gr. 1

All the first place winners read their winning essays, and all of the winners received a gift and a certificate from the Committee.

Supts’ Report

Members received a listing of school holiday concerts. Tis the Season…. Symphony and Song featuring the choirs of North Quincy and Quincy High Schools will be held on December 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the Quincy Marriott. Funds raised from this event will go to assist the QPS music program.

There will be a Community Service Learning Celebration tomorrow. This is the tenth year of focusing on service to the community with students and teacher representatives from every building.

Mrs. Emily Lebo invited the members to the Lego Robotics Tournament at North Quincy on December 9. There are 45 teams registered.

Open Forum

Ms. Gupta, 1205 Hancock Street, said she recently applied to be on the Board of Governors at Quincy College. She submitted an essay content to Microsoft and Samsung for $2 million for software for Quincy High School. It did not win. However, in working with Quincy High School and Quincy College she found that there is a love of knowledge, and should she be appointed to the Board of Governors for Quincy College, she will work towards fostering a relationship between the two institutions.

Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA President, reported that today is the 76 day the teachers do not have a contract.

Bldg. Update

Mr. Joe Canavan reported that Maintenance is in the planning stages of making some improvements to the pool’s mechanical room. This will include changing the corroding drain pipes and hangers. They are replacing worn out carpet at the Snug Harbor Community School with new floor tiles. The City’s DPW crews installed concrete ramps to all first floor classrooms at the Marshall School. Maintenance continues to do work orders on a daily basis and perform preventative maintenance for the upcoming winter months. A survey of all the schools’ intercom systems was conducted. Two elementary and one high school need work. Mr. Canavan is getting cost estimate and will work on these systems.


 Mr. Ryan reported that we received final certificate from MEPA. A consultation meeting with Mass Historic was held. A request has been submitted to the Inspector General’s office. The Building Committee attended “Build Boston” conference and took a seminar on the CM at Risk procedures. A trip is planned to view the Bridgewater-Raynham high school. Meetings have been scheduled with Quincy High School Department Heads and the architects. The Building Committee is involved in schematic designs. They are making progress on the exterior of the building. This information should be presented to the School Committee at their December 13 meeting. SMMA, security consultants and Mr. McPhee met to discuss security issues. Mr. Ryan recommended a Building Subcommittee meeting for December.


Mrs. Mahoney attended the MASC/MASS meeting as the voting representa- tive for the Quincy School Committee. The voting went as follows:

#1 Support

Resolution #1: Including Transitory Student Enrollment in the Calculation of Aid under Chapter 70. Quincy voted to Support this resolution as did the MASC members.

#2 Support

Resolution #2: Protection of Individual Committee Member Performance Evaluation Comments: Quincy voted not to support this resolution but the MASC members voted to support it.

#3 Tabled

Resolution #3: Adequate Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 Public Education Funding: Quincy voted against this, but it was tabled by the MASC.

#4 Support

Resolution #4: Reinstatement of the Legislature’s Funding Local School Transportation Costs at 100%. Quincy and the MASC voted to support this resolution.

#5 Support

Resolution #5: Funding for Unbudgeted Transportation, Fuel, and Electrical Costs. Quincy voted against this resolution and the MASC voted to support this resolution.

MCAS Report

Mary Fredrickson, Judy Todd and Edie Hughes gave an overview of the MCAS aggregate scores. An area of concern were the scores for eighth grade math. Of special concern were the SPED students that scored below average. Eighty-two percent of SPED eighth grade students failed the math section of the MCAS. Students did catch up in Grade 10. Administration is trying to determine why this is happening. In order to improve scores, the SPED teachers took the Professional Development class with the math teachers. In addition, they looked at individual patterns to find out where students were having the most difficulty which is in geometry and measurement. They will follow the same group of students. They are changing our materials in grades 6 and 8. They are looking at the way we bring assessment information to teachers.

Mrs. Fredrickson said she is seeing that a higher percentage of students that pass, have been with us for four years.

The Mayor asked about the full inclusion model at Sterling. He asked if that has been successful? Have those students been tracked as compared to the resource room model. Ms. Todd answered that they did look at the models in each of our middle schools. Every middle school is doing inclusion at some grade level. They will get back to the Committee on that.

Ms. Stice said a factor could be the change that has happened in Quincy-- the transient nature of the population. Those students generally do far worse than students who have been in the Quincy Public School and represent a significant number of those special ed students needing help in math.

The Mayor suggested placement testing for new students. The Mayor also suggested inclusion classes. SPED teachers are certified in Special Ed. not necessarily in specific subjects i.e. math, English, science.

Mr. Timmins asked if the low score could be due to accommodation and if they have looked at that. Ms. Todd said they will look at how outside placement students are being tested. Without a signed IEP, they revert back to the last IEP. If a principal feels that a student needs certain accommodations, they will call Ms. Todd. That’s not an issue. The Committee suggested looking at SPED accommodations outside. They should look at students placed outside as compared to the SPED students inside.

Mr. Mulvey asked what changes occurred. Ms. Todd said we now have new math textbooks. The former textbooks that were being used were very unfriendly to students with disabilities. With regard to textbooks, the Mayor said one of his concerns was whether we are teaching what’s on the MCAS test.

The Superintendent wants to explore what we are doing in the tenth grade and bring it down to the middle school level. The inclusion model with the re-teaching component may be something we have to look at every middle school.

Edie Hughes shared the strategies we are using to help students.

Mrs. Mahoney asked what is being done for those families that have the students who are pulling down our aggregate scores. She suggested a parent-teacher bridge in order to communicate and tell parents what they can do and what is available. She asked the Superintendent for a presentation.

Mr. McCarthy asked for a report in bullet form showing the method and approaches of how we’re going to tackle this problem, especially in math. He asked that the Superintendent put together a package of what he thinks the approaches and method and strategies for SPED elementary, middle and high school students will be.

The Mayor suggested that at the middle schools one of the strategies for improvement would be an inclusion and a repeat system. The other area that has been identified is move-ins. Those students need to be identified by dong an assessment in math and English Language Arts to find out right away where they stand so that way we can address their needs right away.

06/07 SIP Approved

The Policy Subcommittee met with all 18 schools to review their School Improvement Plans. On a motion by Ms. Stice, seconded by Mr. Timmins, the Committee approved all the School Improvement Plans as submitted by the 18 schools for the 2006-07 school year. The ayes have it.

Gift-Accepted QHS

On a motion by Ms. Stice, seconded by Mr. Timmins, the Committee accepted the gift of plumbing code books from the National Fire Protection Association to Quincy High School. The code books are valued at $100 each. The ayes have it.

“My Space” to Policy Subcommittee

Under Additional Business, Ms. Stice brought up the issue of teachers posting in “My Space.” She made a motion, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, to put this into the Policy Subcommittee. Mr. Phillips should attend. The ayes have it.

Traffic Study @ NQHS

Mrs. Mahoney would like to set up a subcommittee meeting on the traffic study for North Quincy High School. The Mayor stated that he knew that a Traffic Engineer had gone down to observe. However, he didn’t know the results yet. An analysis is being done and he will inform the members when he has the results.


Mrs. Mahoney asked Dr. DeCristofaro to take this study we did tonight and go further for that group of students that are the parent teacher bridge and individual student success plans that we could develop for the students that need to be helped with regards to closing that gap. She asked for a presentation on how we are going to help parents and students close the gap.

Fall Sports

Mr. Timmins commended student athletes and coaches across the board. In particular, both high schools’ girls’ volley ball teams did very well in the state tournament. The NQHS Soccer teams were in the tournament again. North Quincy boys cross country finished 21 in the Eastern Mass League.

Mrs. Dwyer announced that she has asked the Superintendent to go through all the items in the subcommittees that have been there a while--what the project was and the status.


The Committee noted the following retirements:

Teacher: Paul McShane

SPED Administrator: Margaret Murphy


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Lunch Attendants: Maureen Amato, Doris Currie

Custodian: John Bogacz


The Committee noted the following appointments:

Lunch Attendant: Faithann Bennett


On a motion by Mr. Timmins, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee voted to adjourn for the evening at 9:23 p.m. There was no executive session. On a roll call vote, the motion to adjourn passed unanimously 7-0.