Dec. 12, 2007 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
December 12, 2007

City Council Chambers, City Hall
7:00 p.m. Regular Meeting

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session minutes for November 28, 2007.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Site Assessment Days
B. Quincy Public Schools Vertical Teams
C. Winter Sports Schedule (2007-2008)
D. Winter Institute 2008

III. Open Forum: An opportunity for community input regarding the Quincy Public Schools. After giving his or her name and address, each speaker may make a presentation of no more than four minutes to the School Committee.

IV. Old Business

A. Update on building projects, renovations, and construction: Mr. Canavan to report.
B. Update on the New Quincy High School: Mr. Ryan to report.
C. Update on Central:
D. Superintendent’s Evaluation/Contract

V. New Business:

A. Sterling Middle School Auditorium Dedication:
B. Out-of-Country Travel: Sterling Middle School to Montreal, Canada. See Attachment .A.
C. Out-of-Country Travel: North Quincy High School to London and Paris. See Attachment B.
D. Recognition of Service, Mayor Phelan and Ms. Linda Stice:

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings: - none

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. Policy Subcommittee Meeting: Ms. Stice to report

X. Executive Session:

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
McCarthy/Stice/Mahoney 11/19/2003 Vending Machines in Schools
  1/7/2004 Marshall Remedial Action Plan
  5/27/2004 (Subcommittee) Transportation Fees
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
Building Needs    
Dwyer/McCarthy/Timmins Major Building Projects  
  3/4/98 QHS/Central/Sterling Building Plans
  10/20/2004 ADA Report
  9/7/2005 Alternative Plans for Central Middle School
  1/25/2006 Fire Extinguishers
  1/25/2006 Outdoor Lighting
  2/8/2006 Conservation
Health, Safety & Security    
Mahoney/Dwyer/Timmins 10/18/2006 NQHS Traffic & Drop off
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
School Policy    
Stice/Mahoney/Mulvey 1/10/2001 Policy Manual
  11/19/2003 Vending Machines in Schools
  10/18/2006 Sliding Scale for Student Fees
  3/21/2007 Student Records/Transfers, etc.
  5/2/2007 Bullying
  10/3/2007 Student Agenda Books
  11/28/2007 Progress Reports
Special Education    
Timmins/McCarthy/Mulvey 1/17/2007 Emergency Information Form
  1/17/2007 Substitute Teachers for SPED
  3/21/2007 Implementation of IEPs
Rules, Post Audit & Oversight    
Superintendent's Evaluation    
Dwyer/McCarthy 10/3/2007 Evaluation Format
Channel 22    
Timmins/Mahoney 10/17/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts - December 12, 2007
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, December 12, at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Linda Stice, Mr. Jim Timmins, Mr. Dave McCarthy, Mayor Phelan, and Ms. Elaine Dwyer, Vice Chairman.

Vice Chairman Presiding

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The Superintendent called the roll and all members were present. Also present were: Drs. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary, Mrs. Tefta Burrelli Clerk. Dr. Pattavina, Messrs. O’Brien, Walsh, McPhee, Canavan, Kevin and Keith Segalla, Ms. Powell, Hughes, and Roberts. Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg and Paul Phillips, QEA President, were present.

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Reg.Mins Approved 11/28/2007

On a motion by Ms. Stice, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for November 28, 2008. The ayes have it.

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Mr. DePaulo Recognized/ Sterling Auditorium named after Mr. DePaulo

At this time, Mrs. Mahoney introduced her uncle, Mr. George DePaulo, who recently retired from the Quincy Public Schools after working as a custodian for over 30 years at Sterling.  Mrs. Mahoney made a motion, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, to name the auditorium at the Reay E. Sterling Middle School the “George H. DePaulo Auditorium” after Mr. DePaulo. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0. Mr. DePaulo, his wife, children, grandchildren, relatives, and staff from Sterling were present.

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Supt’s. Report

After a brief recess, where everybody congratulated Mr. DePaulo and his family, the meeting went on with the business at hand. The Superintendent recognized former Superintendent Eugene W. Creedon who was present. He congratulated Mr. Jim Timmins who was named City Solicitor for Quincy. The Committee received the Winter Sports Schedule and the Winter Institute booklet.

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Open Forum

Ms. Linda Perry, President of QPAC, thanked Mayor Phelan, Linda Stice and Jim Timmins for listening to parents and wished them all the best.

Former School Committee Member, Christine Cedrone was present to thank Ms. Stice for all the work she has done on the School Committee and for helping Ms. Cedrone when she was on the Committee. She also thanked Mayor Phelan and Mr. Timmins.

Roseanne Russell, representing Citywide, thanked the three members for their years of service. They thanked Mr. Timmins for being an independent voice, the Mayor for his emphasis on literacy and Ms. Stice for her work on small class size.

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Bldg. Update

Mr. Joe Canavan reported that Maintenance installed cabinets, shelving, and painted at Coddington Hall. The Athletic and Food Services Departments were moved to Coddington Hall. Counters have been installed for a new computer lab in the Parker school. Projects have been lined up for vacation week.

Mayor Phelan requested that the red rug at North Quincy High School be replaced with tiles in the near future. Mr. Canavan said he will do what he can.

Mr. McCarthy asked Mr. Canavan to check out the North Quincy High School gym floor. He had heard there was bubbling on the floor.

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There was nothing to report on the New Quincy High School.

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Central Middle School

The Committee received a letter from the MSBA on Central. A meeting with the MSBA will be scheduled in the next few weeks to discuss the feasibility study. The Mayor asked Mr. Timmins if the Central Middle School group had met as a group. Mr. Timmins answered that it was quasi-formed. There are some interested parents, but no meetings. Mrs. Dwyer asked that between now and January 7 we form a new Central building committee. However, Mrs. Mahoney said the Statement of Interest and knowing that the rules weren’t labeled as far as what the SBA wants us to do. She contacted the SBA and we have to meet with the SBA. They will reach out to the Superintendent. They have rules who should be on that committee. They are not ironed out yet --community, School Committee, City Council. Mr. Timmins said so far he has Mrs. Mahoney the Central principal and himself on the committee.

The Superintendent spoke with MSBA. We should get a call within two weeks relative to a meeting in Boston. They will tell us who should be at that meeting. Mrs. Mahoney will being charge of that committee.

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Supts. Evaluation

Mr. Timmins said the Superintendent’s evaluation was completed for the past year. They have developed a format and a process to move forward. For the past academic year the Superintendent met or exceeded the expectations of the Committee in all categories. There are some system-wide issues that followed from the EQA report and our own observations that need some work. They congratulated the Superintendent for a great job.

Evaluation Approved

Mr. Timmins made a motion, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, that the evaluation that they have tendered for the past academic year (2006-2007) be approved. The ayes have it.

Supt’s Contract Approved

Mr. McCarthy made a motion, seconded by Mr. Timmins, to approve the Superintendent’s contract from November 1, 2007 to October 31, 2010. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

Mr. Timmins explained the different criteria that the Superintendent was evaluated on. The EQA report helped them identify system-wide areas and it identified five major categories that they focused on. They came up with a format for the evaluation. The categories are: – communications with the School Committee, professional leadership, management of personnel, communication and public relations, and fiscal planning and management. We came up with ideas on how to link these categories with the District Improvement Plan and other School Committee goals. We closed the book on last year, but the book is open on this year.

The Mayor said the Superintendent has communicated well with the School Committee, in dealing with parents, and his dealings with the mayor were always very responsive. He said the Committee and students are fortunate to have him as the Superintendent.

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Sterling to Montreal

On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee approved the trip for Sterling Middle School to go to Montréal on from May 30 to June 1, 2008. The ayes have it.

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NQ to London/Paris

On a motion by Mr. Mulvey, seconded by Ms. Stice, the Committee approved the trip for North Quincy students to go to London and Paris from April 18 to April 27, 2008. The ayes have it.

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Under additional business, Mr. Mulvey thanked Mr. Keith Segalla for a very successful Lego Robotics competition of which Mr. Mulvey was a judge on the academic portion of the competition. There were 42 teams. He thanked Gillette, the staff, and security who donated their time.

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Budget Transfer

Mr. McCarthy made a motion, seconded by Mayor Phelan, to transfer $2,425,097 from the Tuition line with $492,988 going to the line reserved for negotiated increases - the 1% retroactive pay for the teachers. The remaining $l,932,209 to be transferred into the Acquisition of Instructional Equipment, technology (from the closets out to the desk tops).

The Mayor explained that the Department of Education allows cities and town to run a deficit without affecting the free cash. This gives us an opportunity now to have a one time infusion for technology needs in the school department. On the City side, the Mayor intends to increase that amount of money with revenue that will be utilized to enhance the Comcast grant that the City receives. The Mayor asked, however, that along with the needs of technology, that we allocate some portion of that revenue towards increasing the number of books in all 11 media centers. Mr. Timmins said they discussed this in subcommittee but his concern is that he wants to make sure if we spend the money that the Circuit Breaker money does come in.

The Mayor answered this is money already pledged and allocated by the state to be paid on certain dates. This money has already been appropriated.

Mr. Mullaney said that we submitted what we paid in FY07 to the Department of Education. They are reimbursing at a 72% rate with a 3% hold back that will be paid after auditors finish up. The total amount we have been assured is $2,425,097. We have received our first quarterly payment and will receive three more. That is the way the law is written. Mr. Mullaney had copies of the law.

Mr. McCarthy restated his motion to take $2,425,097 from the tuition line and transfer $492,988 to reserved negotiation for increases line for the 1% and $1,198,109 go to the line of acquisitions of instructional equipment with a caveat that it is for technology and that we look at the elementary libraries to make sure that we take care of their needs. Also, the Superintendent and his team put together a complete technology plan in the first quarter of 2008. We will take a look at the outline and make sure the money stays there and doesn’t go anywhere until we approve the technology plan from the closet out, not in the closet, in the first quarter 2008. The ayes have it.

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Track Letter

Mrs. Dwyer received a letter from Mr. Christopher J. Meyers who asked that it be read into the record:

Dear School Committee Chairperson Dwyer:

I would like to request that you introduce the following letter into the record of the Quincy school Committee:

I am contacting you to request your assistance with regards to the construction of the approved track facility at Pageant Field. As you know, this approved track facility has received all required approvals from both the Park and Recreation Board and the City Council. The City has been without a regulation track for too long!

The has had the following impact to the track programs:

  1. The combined Quincy/North Quincy High School Track Teams must hold all meets away this season. The increased fuel costs for transportation needs to be considered at this time of record fuel prices.

  2. The middle school track program has been relocated to Cavanaugh Field which lacks sufficient parking, bleachers, and space for this program.

  3. The Quincy Track Club must utilize Cavanaugh Field which lacks sufficient parking, bleachers, and space for this program.

Please urge the Mayor’s Office and/or the Mayor-Elect to take all necessary steps required to begin construction of the approved track facility at Pageant Field as soon as possible.

Your support will allow the track athletes in the City to have the same type of new sports facilities as other sports already have.


Christopher J. Meyers.

Mayor Phelan said it was his belief that the track should go on Pageant Field. It is designed and ready to go, however, it would be irresponsible to move forward. Mr. Timmins said it is his understanding that the Mayor-elect will be looking at the track. He commended Mayor Phelan for putting the breaks on.

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Policy Subcommittee/Agenda Books

Ms. Stice reported that the Policy Subcommittee met on December 5. They discussed agenda books. After considerable discussion, Mrs. Mahoney moved that the cost of agenda books for grades 4-8 be offered as part of the text and learning line for each school beginning in the 08-09 school year; that no school will have their text and learning line reduced because of this addition and that the grades in which agenda books shall be used is a decision for each elementary school principal to make for his or her school. Mr. Mulvey seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. It was noted that this does not required principals who do not use agenda books at the fourth grade level to do so. Agenda books will continue to be used as principals see fit with PTOs funding the books for grades younger than fourth grade, should they wish to do so.

Student Fees

The members discussed fees charged at the elementary and middle schools and the concern that some children are unable to participate in activities due to an inability to pay. The Superintendent will address this issue with the principals of the middle school. His goal is to plan trips that will allow 100% participation for those children who wish to go. Ms. Stice made a motion, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, that at the elementary level, a statement noting that “parents should contact their principal if they have difficulty paying a fee” will appear on every notice sent to parents that involves a fee of any kind; and that such a statement should be created by the elementary school principals.

Ms. Stice noted that there are four other issues on the Policy Subcommittee agenda:

  1. Policy Manual - Ms. Stice noted that she has kept all of the notes from meetings regarding the policy manual and will keep them in case they may be of use to future members of the committee.

  2. Vending machines in schools: as explained in the minutes of the October 17, 2007 subcommittee meeting, the contract that Brockton has with Coca-Cola is in Mr. Mullaney’s hands for review.

  3. Safe Schools policy (i.e. “bullying” policy) the initial draft is being reviewed by principals and will be brought back to the subcommittee with their input.

  4. Student records/transfers: Mrs. Powell is prepared to make a report to the Policy Subcommittee to answer questions.

Mr. Mulvey wanted elementary principals to be explicit with their statement regarding fees. He asked that they tie the assistance into the free and reduced lunches. Mayor Phelan agreed and also the Quincy Partnership could be approached for some sort of fund for purposes of funding those students.

The Committee asked that the Superintendent look into that (tying it into the free and reduced lunches). The motion remains on the table.

On a motion by Ms. Stice, seconded by Mayor Phelan, the Committee approved the December 5, 2007 minutes of the Policy Subcommittee. The ayes have it.

Ms. Stice reminded the members that there are three items they wished the Superintendent to address:

  1. Status of gifted and talented

  2. A way to look at in-house programs for SPED program that go outside.

  3. Grade configuration.

Ms. Dwyer suggested an ad hoc subcommittee to talk about and come up with a collaborative effort to look at these three issues.

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SC Recognition

At this time, the Superintendent, thanked Ms. Stice and Mayor Phelan for all their work on the committee. Mrs. Dwyer, Mr. Mulvey, Mrs. Mahoney Mr. McCarthy thanked them for all their work on the Committee.

Mrs. Bragg and former Superintendent, Mr. Eugene Creedon, thanked them. Mr. Timmins thanked them for the great service to the City and the Mayor for his funding.

Mayor Phelan and Ms. Stice thanked everyone for their kind words.

The members received gifts from the Superintendent and his team.

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The Committee noted the following retirements:

Dept. Chair-Science: Mary Young


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teacher: Rena Tobias

Lunch Attendants: Loredana Flynn, Maureen Ford, Mary Joyce, Jean Keough


The Committee noted the following appointments:

Teachers: Shawn Flaherty, Lauren Pritchard, Casey Tate

Lunch Attendants: Andersone Jeumain, Maureen Meade, Pannuan Satasook,  Kathleen Will

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On a motion duly made and seconded, the meeting adjourned for the evening at 9:58 p.m. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0. There was no executive session.