June 4, 2008 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee June 4, 2008

City Council Chambers, City Hall
6:00 p.m. Public Hearing
7:00 p.m. Regular Meeting


II. Approval of Minutes: Regular and Executive Session Meeting minutes for May 21, 2008.

III. Superintendent’s Report:

  1. New Principal Appointments

  2. High School Department Chairs (Appointments)

  3. High School Seniors (Events)

  4. Assistant Principal Appointments

IV. 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.

V. Old Business

A. Update on building projects, renovations, and construction: Mr. Cunniff to report.

B. Update on the New Quincy High School: Mrs. Dwyer to report.

C. Update on Central: Building Committee Meeting Scheduled by Mr. Timmins for June 6, 2008.

D. FY O9 Budget: Mr. Mulvey and Dr. DeCristofaro to report.

VI. New Business

A. Reading First (Final Report): Ms. Hughes, Ms. Dufresne, and Ms. Wynne to report.

B. Solar Challenge Presentation (Mass Energy): At the request of Mayor Koch.

C. School Committee approval for the Town of Marshfield to be admitted to the South Shore Educational Collaborative: See Attachment A.

D. Gift: A gift of $1,000.00 from Ms. Carol McCarthy for the purchase of media center books in memory of her husband Walter, a former Atlantic Middle School teacher. See Attachment B.

E. Out of State Travel: Parker School to Canobie Lake: See Attachment C.

VII. Additional Business:

VIII. Communications:

IX. Hearings: - none

X. Reports of Special Committees:

A. Special Ed. Subcommittee: Mrs. Mahoney to report

B. Budget Subcommittee: Mr. Mulvey to report

C. School Facilitates Management Subcommittee Meeting Date: Mrs. Dwyer to report

XI. Executive Session: - Contract Negotiations

XII. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
Mulvey/Bragg/Mahoney 1/7/2004 Marshall Remedial Action Plan
  5/27/2004 (Subcommittee) Transportation Fees
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/12/2008 Teacher Resources Libraries
  4/9/2008 Dir. of Security & Transportation Job Description
  3/29/2008 Bus Rental Fees
  3/29/2008 Building Rental Fees
School Facilities Management    
Dwyer/Mahoney/Mulvey 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
  4/9/2008 11.6 School Facility Policy
  4/9/2008 Track
Health, Safety & Security    
Puleo/Mahoney/McCarthy 10/18/2006 NQHS Traffic & Drop off
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
School Policy    
Bragg/Dwyer/McCarthy 1/10/2001 Policy Manual
  10/18/2006 Sliding Scale for Student Fees
  5/2/2007 Bullying
  11/28/2007 Progress Reports
  2/6/2008 Voting Places
  3/12/2008 Movies in Schools
  3/12/2008 Teacher Evaluations
Special Education    
Mahoney/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    
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/17/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts - June 4, 2008
Public Hearing 6:00 p.m.
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee 7:00 p.m.

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Nick Puleo, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Dave McCarthy and Mayor Tom Koch, Chairman. `

Chairman Presiding

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Public Hearing

Consistent with the provisions of Chapter 71, section 38N of the General Laws, the Quincy School Committee will hold a public hearing on its FY09 proposed budget on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall. All interested persons were given an opportunity to be heard.

Mr. Haley speaks to proposed school budget

Mr. Bob Haley, 75 Elmwood Park, spoke against any proposed cuts in the FY09 school budget. He has reviewed the Mayor’s Budget. The proposed City Council cut was $3.5 million and now it is $1.5 million. Everyone involved seems to think that is reasonable. The School Committee should commit to credible answers before approving the School Committee budget. He urged the members to find out the answers as to why that school budget is being cut.

As no one else wished to be heard, the Public Hearing was closed at 6:15 p.m.

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Reg. Meeting

At 7:00 p.m. the Superintendent called the roll and all members were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary, Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk. Messrs. O’Brien, Mullaney, Ms. Powell, Todd, Hughes, and Roberts. Ms. Tracey Christello represented Citywide, and Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA President, was present.

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Reg.&Exec Session Mins. Approved 5/21/2008

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee approved the regular and executive session minutes for May 21, 2008. The ayes have it.

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Superintendent DeCristofaro announced the following appointments:

Maureen MacNeil, Principal to Atlantic Middle School
Stephen Sylvia, Principal for Squantum Elementary School
Daniel Gilbert, Principal to Snug Harbor
James Hennessey, Assistant Principal to Snug Harbor

Aliza Schneller, Foreign Language Chair @ North Quincy High
Michael Connor, Social Studies Chair @ North Quincy High

Those appointees that were present along with family and coworkers were recognized.

After a brief recess the Committee went on with the business at hand.

Mayor Koch recognized the Boy Scout Troup 42 that were present. They are working on their Citizens Badges.

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Open Forum

At the Open Forum, Mr. Bob Haley addressed the Committee and spoke to the FY09 Budget. He told the members that the numbers in the Mayor’s budget do not add up and it was time that the Mayor defend personally his budget instead of using his spokesmen to offer up explanations.

Mayor Bill Phelan also spoke to the FY09 Budget. He told the members that people are hurting. They can’t afford the high oil, gas, and food prices. With the surplus and the rainy day fund that was left from his administration the last thing that should be contemplated is raising taxes. He told Mayor Koch that he presented an unbalanced budget, and what he is proposing is the highest tax increase in the City’s history. In his last year, Mayor Phelan we raised $149 million in taxes. Mayor Koch is proposing to raise $172 million in taxes.

Mrs. Bragg raised a point of order stating that she was hearing City issues, not school issues.

Mayor Phelan stated that the City’s budget directly impacts the schools. Over 70% in educational pay is going to fire fighters for education, not the schools. As a parent he believes that the strength of the City lies in the strength of its school System. The Quincy Public School budget is increasing far less then every single department in the City.

Mr. Puleo noted the four minutes was up. Mr. James Phelan conceded his four minutes to Mayor Bill Phelan.

As a former member of the School Committee, and in his opinion, Mayor Phelan said the way the Mayor and the City Council has treated the School Committee is nothing short of disrespectful. He asked Mayor Koch to look at other places to cut.

Mr. Jim Timmins, City Solicitor, addressed the Committee to state that the display tonight is inappropriate. Mayor Phelan should have picked up the phone called Mayor Koch and come over to chat about the numbers.

Mr. McCarthy called a point of order. This Committee wants to talk about the Quincy Public Schools. The Mayor let Mr. Timmins continue.

Mr. Timmins continued. If there are concerns, they should have been brought forward not in a political manner but in a manner that is substantive and helpful. Mayor Koch level funded the school budget. The issue before them is the money presented. This should be about school matters only.

Mr. Bob Evans, 38 Thornton St., commended Mayor Phelan on the quality of education he provided. He warned that if taxes are raised, it is going to be harmful to taxpayers and children as well.

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Bldg. & Grounds/New QHS

Mr. Gary Cunninff reported that the new Quincy High School is progressing and is close to being on schedule. The Project Team is very confident on that the target date to have the school move in is the Monday following February school vacation 2009. Wheatstone is demobilizing, they have finished most of their remediation, capping off wells, marking 15 wells that will remain as permanent areas to be monitored over the next year. They will be capped and flush to the floor. There were some added costs for insurance.

There is still a small amount of underground utility work for Huntley and Coddington. All the major trades are on site. In July we will do a test pile for the C&B wings. It will be along Coddington St. Before that, they will send out notification to neighbors, YMCA, and the Professional Building on Coddington St. Pile driving causes vibrations. The contractor will enter people’s homes to document the conditions to protect the City. They expect some protests by the unions after school is out. Gilbane has a program documented and a chain of commend ready for that.

Superintendent said he is working with Mrs. Dwyer to see where we go next year as far as some of the projects we have in mind. Mr. Ryan will be leaving in July. That position needs to be posted.

Mrs. Bragg asked for an update on the track – borings? Mayor Koch said it would be Gale Associates whom they have engaged.

Mr. Mulvey asked about the Wheatstone oil contamination process and if all the oil spread has been identified. Mr. Cunniff answered that they determined the extent. The can’t get permission from the owner of the parking garage property to test there. Mr. Cunniff added that as of right now they are well within the budget for clean up.

Mr. Mulvey expressed concern with Gilbane’s CORI check procedures for out-of-state employees. A worker could be from some other state and have a record. He wants Gilbane to do greater due diligence to make sure they don’t use anyone with criminal records. People can say they’re from a state where they don’t have a record. Mr. Cunniff said that the City Solicitor is working closing with Gilbane. Mr. McCarthy formally requested that Gilbane come back with another letter that talks about those people that come from another state.

Mr. Puelo inquired about the intercom system at North Quincy High School and if the process is underway. Mr. Cunniff said Signet has begun work. The Superintendent will check if they’ve started the work. At the present time, staff communicates with their own cell phones.

Mrs. Mahoney asked when they anticipate being off of Faxon Field? Mr. Cunniff stated that some of that material will be removed shortly. A lot of it will remain until the summer of 2010. Part of Gilbane’s contract is to restore that field and reset the baseball diamonds.

Mrs. Mahoney asked if we are going forward with the borings for the track. The Mayor said he has engaged Gale Engineering and they have begun the process of getting more information. When asked where the money was coming from, Mayor Koch said he is using money that was already in place. There is SMMA money left in that contract. Mrs. Mahoney asked if they have access to the boring reports and Mayor Koch said he believed they have those. The lead persons for the track are Jim Conso, Christa Powers and Jim Timmins.

Mr. McCarthy asked Mr. Cunniff about the graffiti at the Marshall school. The North Quincy gym floor needs to be replaced. He asked if there is any money to fix the floor. Mr. Cunniff said he was not aware of the whole history but he will look into it.

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QHS Bldg. Committee Report

Mrs. Dwyer reported that the Quincy High School Building Committee met on May 30 to check over the 20’x40’ space behind Quincy High School and decide what should be done with it. There is another Quincy High School Building Committee meeting on June 20 at 9:00 a.m. Regarding Wheatstone, after they finish their project there is a warranty period and an insurance policy that covers Quincy from any future soil problems in that area. It has to be determined how many years we want the policy for. The problem is the premium is $11,000 per year. She is looking at a five year policy. She is concerned where the $55,000 is coming from. This could affect the bottom line of the project.

The Committee is still working on the FF&E budget. There will be another meeting in the summer.

The CTE has to be vacated before February vacation of next year. Mr. Santoro is concerned that the teachers will be gone in two weeks. Since Mr. Cunniff said he has too much on his plate, we need a project director to oversee the move to empty the CTE. We need answers as to who is going to fill this position, how is going to be paid, where the money is coming from. We don’t think it should come out of the high school project.

Honeywell will be responsible for all public buildings in the City with the exception of the high school and the Mayor has awarded that to PJ Kennedy.

Mr. Timmins said since that meeting on Friday, they were informed that Gilbane is going with Honeywell. Honeywell said it that would file a bid protest and then there would be a delay. While there would be considerable savings, it wasn’t worth it. It will be Honeywell as far as the material going into the building. The entire City will be on one monitoring system because it will be all Honeywell

Mrs. Bragg suggested doing the move in-house. However, the Superintendent said there is a lot of large equipment and machines that need to be moved. Experienced movers are needed. The Mayor thought where it was a school issue, it should be the School Maintenance Department. The Superintendent said that this is more involved than an elementary school.

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Reading First Grant Update

Ms. Edie Hughes and Ms. Colleen Dufresne reported on the success of the Reading First Grant. which is up this year. This is a federally funded grant. Lincoln Hancock received a grant award in 2003/2004. This grant was continued to this year. This grant enables us to increase reading outcomes for our students. A state funded extension of the Reading First Grant, Bay State/John Silbert Early Reading Initiative, was awarded in 2005 for the Snug Harbor School. The grant is continued based on compliance until 2008. Due to the success at Lincoln Hancock, the School Committee approved implementation of a Read First Roll Out Plan. This plan included a three tier Model, Trophies Materials, Interventions, and Assessments for district wide use. Three schools were added in 2005. The remaining six schools were added in 2006. The Three Tier Model is used district-wide to identify and appropriately place students into instructional levels (tiers) identify struggling readers and provide intervention before they fail. This has become a standard practice. The School Committee thought this it a tremendous literary program and shows the importance of this program. These are the programs that elevate our students. Quincy received $750,000 over five years. They will do their best to maintain the program. The Superintendent added that the leadership is key. They make sure everyone is involved.

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Central Bldg. Committee

The Central Building Committee will meet on Friday, June 6 at 8:30 a.m.

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Budget Subcommittee Report

Mr. Mulvey reported that the Budget Subcommittee met on May 29 to review the FY09 budget cuts. They discussed subsidized services. In Food Services, there is a concern with the lunch tables at five schools. The tables are over 35 years old and in dire need of replacement. There is a need to put a computerized sales system in the elementary schools. The cost is around $100,000. The committee looked at increasing the cost of school lunches. The Custodial and Transportation will stay in Subcommittee.

The Committee then reviewed the FY09 preliminary Budget Report. Under Academic Classrooms, there will be an increase of 7 positions to address class size. An increase of 1 ELL teacher, .7 Art Teacher, 1 High School Health Teacher, .5 Elementary Technology Teacher, and 1 Intensive SPED teacher. A reduction of: a shift of .5 media position to .5 guidance position. 1 Occupational Education Teacher (due to attrition)

The Committee choose those areas where they could cut the $1.5 million: They increased: 1 Database Technician position, .5 Coordinator of Student Support Services, .6 Coordinator of Health Services, 1 Coordinator of Safety and Security, 1 Coordinator of Transportation and a shift of .5 guidance position from .5 media position. They decreased the Director of Information Technology, 1 Director of Security/Transportation, and 1 IT clerical staff.

They decreased: 1 Transportation Clerical Position, 1 Driver/Dispatcher, and $10,000 for additional funds for Part-time Dispatcher Hourly Pay, 4 custodial positions to be determined by Kevin Segalla and 4 secretarial and clerical positions -- one from the Assistant Superintendent’s office, one from the Business office, one from the Print Shop, .5 from the Curriculum office and .5 from the Special Ed office

The Subcommittee decreased SPED Tuitions by $350,000, System textbook line cut by 50%, and each school’s textbook allotment was cut by 25%. The computer equipment line was cut by $147,882.

There was an increase of $150,000 to the Transportation line for a proposed purchase of seven buses. A decrease in the Utilities line of $110,000, $18,000 in the South Shore Mental Health line.

Dir. of Safety & Security Position Separated

At this time, Mr. Mulvey made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, to separate the Director of Security and Transportation position into two separate positions – a Coordinator of Safety and Security and a Coordinator of Transportation. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 6-1. Mayor Koch voted NO.

On a motion by Mr. Mulvey, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved the Budget Subcommittee minutes for May 29, 2008. The ayes have it.

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Marshfield approved for So.Sh.Collaborative

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee approved a request by the Town of Marshfield to become a member of the South Shore Collaborative. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

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Gift to Atlantic Middle

On a motion by Mr. Puleo, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee accepted a gift of $1,000 for the purchase of media center books for Atlantic Middle School from Mrs. Carol McCarthy in memory of her husband Walter McCarthy. The ayes have it.

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Parker School Trip to Canobie Lake

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee approved a trip for Parker School students to go to Canobie Lake on June 11, 2008. The ayes have it.

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Additional Business

Mrs. Mahoney asked Mr. Puleo if the barrels had been put up at North Quincy High School and the status on the Traffic Engineer. Mr. Puleo said he spoke to the Traffic Engineer two weeks ago, but he had not seen any barrels there. The Mayor will follow up with Mr. Gillan. A thank you went to Mr. Bennett, a North Quincy parent, for getting the fence taken care of at the MBTA.

Mr. McPhee reported that the school department was notified after the fact about the situation at Atherton Hough. The Police were in the throes of apprehending the perpetrators. There were in Milton when the school was let out. It was a safe situation and we were notified. The school did a “lock in”. The students were never in danger.

The Superintendent thanked all of the staff for making both the high school graduations a success. A total of 681 students were graduated. He thanked everyone for help with proms, security staff, senior night out, and the parents who take responsibility to help kids. The Superintendent thanked District Attorney Keating’s office. They support Quincy students every year.

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Mayor Koch speaks to the FY09 Budget

As a personal privilege, Mayor Koch reviewed open forum statements. When he took office, his staff found a debt service of $1.7 million by the previous administration under funded, $1.2 million to Honeywell payments due, $1.7 negotiated raises not funded, $2.0 million taken out of stabilization to offset the tax rate last year. We needed that because of the spike we are going to see to pay for the previous school renovations/new schools. Under the previous Mayor’s leadership, Quincy didn’t get the 90%. The Mayor said he needs $425,000 to have the streets paved which were done last year. The state notified the City auditor we had a problem with the numbers. He made a maintenance budget, and the City Council voted to cut $5 million. We came up with a compromise of $1.5 million. We eliminated a number of positions on the City side. Times are not good right now. The state keeps telling us not to look for any increased for next year. He invited the former Mayor to sit down with him and move forward.

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SPED Subcommittee Report

Mrs. Mahoney reported that the SPED subcommittee met on May 28. They went over quite a few items. The Apple conference was very successful –How to Develop a Rapport Between the Sped Parents and Teachers of the Quincy Public Schools. In the Fall we will have a presentation. A Parents Right Training will be held on June 10. There were questions about the Instant Alert. They agreed on meeting dates for next year: 10/22/08, 1/28/09, and 3/25/09 and 5/13/09. There was an update from Carol Dumas on the Drug Task Force. There were many questions from parents. On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved the May 28, 2008 Special Ed Subcommittee minutes.

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Mr. Mulvey reported that the Budget Subcommittee will continue to work on the FY09 Budget.


Mr. McCarthy said that as a School Committee member and a parent, he is questioning if there is or is not a surplus. He is still concerned about the $1.5 million in cuts. He asked where is the $400,000 Comcast money and why it’s not in this budget. He asked the Mayor to look at that number. Before cutting these positions, he has to know if that money comes in to make sure that money comes to the schools and is not being held back from us for not agreeing with some initiative the Mayor has. Mr. McCarthy asked why they haven’t heard from the President of the QEA during all this.

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Facilities Mgt. Subcommittee Report

Mrs. Dwyer reported that the School Facilities Management Subcommittee met on May 13. They addressed the Mayor’s proposal to merge the 19 maintenance workers to the City side including their salary expense and reporting authority. The Maintenance workers were present and are not in favor of this move.

In 2004 the School Committee did meet and agreed to move all Maintenance expense except for salaries to the City side. The Maintenance workers would continue to report to the Superintendent and after 4:00 p.m., schools would remain their priority however; they would be paid overtime for City work.

The work order tracking system is in place, however, the workers are not given much work. The structure is in place, the problem is on the City side. The school side is working and the School Committee does not want to relinquish our ability to control the state of our buildings. The members found no cost savings to move one budget line to another.

Motion to keep Maintenance Tabled

Mrs. Dwyer made a motion, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, that the School Maintenance workers remain in the school budget and continue to report to the Superintendent or his designee.

Mr. Puleo tabled the motion until the resolution of the FY09 budget.

Mrs. Dwyer announced a School Facilities Management Subcommittee meeting for June 12 at 4:30 p.m. The school system has been working to compile a list of school projects they believe have not been addressed over the last five months.

Mrs. Bragg has called a Policy Subcommittee meeting for June 17 to discuss teacher evaluations, movies in the schools and begin section 10 of the Policy Manual.

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The Committee noted the following retirements:

Special Ed Team Administrator: Len Currerie

Teacher: Sara DiZinno

Dir. of Security & Dir. of Security & Transportation: Kenneth McPhee

Dir. of Human Resources: Thomas Walsh


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teachers: Noel Hess, Matthew Marani, Karen Yannacio

Leaves of Absence

The Committee noted the following leaves of absence:

Teachers: Patricia Hannon, Laura Hardee, Lisa Howie, Karen Kelliher, Daniel Reynolds


The Committee noted the following appointments:

Elena Boyd-O’Brien

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Exec. Session

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee voted to go into Executive Session at 9:30 p.m. for the purpose of negotiations. They will return to open session. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

Return to Open Session

The Committee returned to Open Session at 9:45 p.m. On a motion by Mr. Puleo, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee approved the contract for the Paraprofessionals. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.


On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee voted to adjourn for the evening at 9:46 p.m. The ayes have it.