Oct. 19, 2011 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
October 19, 2011
Quincy High School
7:00 p.m.

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session Minutes for October 5, 2011.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. School Committee Clerk Appointment

B. Volleyball Fundraiser

C. Special Olympics

D. Visitors from Iceland

E. Fall Gathering

F. ‘Tis the Season…Symphony and Song (December 6th)

G. American Education Week (December 14th)

III. Open Forum: (7:15 p.m.) 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. Murphy to report.

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

C. Update on Central Middle School: Mrs. Bragg and Mrs. Mahoney to report.

V. New Business:

A. Program Improvement Plans Review Mrs. Bragg

B. Faxon Field Track Presentation Mayor Koch

C. Out of Country Travel: North Quincy High School to Italy (April 2012)

D. Out of State Travel: North Quincy High School to the University of New Hampshire (October 31, 2011)

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings:

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

X. Executive Session:

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
Mahoney/Bragg/Lebo 10/7/2009 Half Time Teachers
  9/15/2010 Opportunities & Challenges
  9/15/2010 Short & Long Term Goals
School Facilities Management    
Dwyer/Lebo/McCarthy Major Building Projects  
  3/4/98 Sterling Building Plans
  10/20/2004 ADA Report
  2/8/2006 Conservation
  4/9/2008 Track
  5/18/2011 $1.5 Appropriation
  5/18/2011 Future uses of houses on Saville Ave.
Health, Safety, Security & Transportation    
McCarthy/Isola/Dwyer 3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
  3/17/2010 North Quincy Traffic Intersection
School Policy    
Bragg/Isola/Dwyer 6/15/2011 Substitute teacher interviews & evaluations
  6/15/2011 School Committee-Staff Communications Policy 2.5.8
  9/7/11 PIP Review
  9/7/11 NCLB Federal Mandate
  9/7/11 Graduation Requirements
Special Education    
Lebo/McCarthy/Mahoney 1/17/2007 Substitute Teachers for SPED
  9/24/2008 INSPIRE Initiative
Rules, Post Audit & Oversight    
Isola/Mahoney/Bragg 10/27/2008 Faxon Field
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/27/2007 Encourage greater use of
New Educator Evaluation Regulations    
Isola/Lebo 9/7/2011 Begin investigating requirements



Quincy, Massachusetts - October 19, 2011
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee


A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at Quincy High School. Present were: Mayor Thomas Koch, Chairman, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mr. Dave McCarthy, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Vice Chair.

Chairman Presiding

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The Superintendent called the roll and all were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Acting Clerk; Messrs. Draicchio, Mullaney, Mulvey, Keith Segalla, Timmins; Mrs. Roberts, Erler, Fredrickson, Papile, Powers; Ms. Todd, and Ms. Allison Cox, President, QEA.

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There was a moment of silence for Robert DeCristofaro, who passed away recently. Mr. DeCristofaro was a Department of Public Works staff member for over 30 years.

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Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 10/5/2011

Mrs. Bragg made a motion to amend the minutes on page 4, third paragraph, first sentence to change “Health Services” to “Special Education.”

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for October 5, 2011 as amended. The ayes have it.

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School Committee Clerk appointment

Mayor Koch opened nominations for the vacant position of Clerk to the School Committee. Mrs. Dwyer nominated Laura Owens for the position and Mrs. Isola seconded the nomination.

Mrs. Bragg made a motion to close the nominations and Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0.

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Superintendent's Report

After a brief recess, the Superintendent opened his remarks by noting some recent and upcoming events, including the October 6th North Quincy High School vs. Quincy High School Volleyball game that raised $5,000 for Breast Cancer research and the October 18th Mini-Grant reception at North Quincy High School where 50 teachers received grants from School-Community Partners including Street Works, Boston University, and the David Ezickson family. Special Olympics are being held at the Squantum School on Friday, October 21 at 9:30 am, and in the coming weeks, Merrymount Elementary and Quincy High School will be hosting visiting teachers from Iceland on October 25th , the Fall Gathering is on November 17th at the Tirrell Room, and 'Tis the Season is on December 6th at Quincy High School.

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Open Forum

Twenty-seven citizens spoke at Open Forum, all about the subsequently presented plan for the track at Faxon Field. A range of people from students through senior citizens spoke and opinions were expressed both for and against the Faxon Field site.

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After a brief recess, the Mayor requested taking the next item out of order and moving to the presentation of the Faxon Field Track plan.

Mrs. Bragg made a motion to take the agenda item out of order, seconded by Mr. McCarthy. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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New Business

Faxon Field Track Site

City Solicitor Mr. Timmins opened the presentation on the proposed Faxon Field Track site by giving an overview of what would be presented to the School Committee. Parks Department Director Kristen Powers presented first on the history of the gift of the parcel of land from the Faxon family to the City of Quincy in 1919. She also spoke of the 2005 Track Site Recommendation Committee that cited Faxon Field as the top choice, with reservations related to the construction of Quincy High School (which was not yet begun at that time). Mrs. Powers discussed the 2009 bidding process for the track's design and construction. Mr. Paul Frantz, Parks Department Project Manager, summarized the work done to date for site preparation, including stripping and stockpiling topsoil, installing structural fill for pavement base, installing temporary retaining walls to hold surcharge fill (4 feet of common dirt). This surcharge fill layer is compressing the peat layer to remove water to make a firm surface for track pavement; all work being monitored by an outside geotechnical firm, McArdle Gannon.

Joseph Shea, Senior Vice President of Woodard & Curran, presented on the City's Capital Improvement Plan on flooding mitigation in the 128-acre drainage system that flows to the Broad Street tide gate. Mr. McCarthy raised a point of information that Mr. Joseph Shea is the son of City Clerk Mr. Joseph Shea and whether there was any conflict of interest. Mr. Timmins said that in his opinion, there is no conflict, and suggested that Mr. Shea proceed with his presentation.

The Citywide Infrastructure Capital Improvement plan includes twelve storm water projects, including the Russell Park area and the Broad Street tide gate. Woodward & Curran are looking at many issues of drainage in Quincy, including hydrology and hydraulics, proposing rehabilitation and change, with an end goal of permitting and constructing these changes. For the Russell Park neighborhood, they reviewed drainage reports and the existing hydrology study, are inspecting (via video camera) and cleaning the drainage system, and recommending modifications. All Faxon Field track site drainage will be directed away from the Russell Park neighborhood towards the Southern Artery/Coddington Street drainage lines. Items to be completed under the capital improvement plan include replacing the Broad Street tide gates, spot repairs of physical deficiencies, replacement of approximately 2,000 feet of drain pipe, addressing the 24-inch pipe that runs across the wetland to Coddington Street, installation of an equalization pipe in Russell Park neighborhood with flow control device, and installing additional catch basins in the neighborhood. Construction is projected to begin in July 2012 and be completed in December 2012; estimated costs are $1.240 million. In addition, two hydrological models were developed: pre- and post-development. The post-development drainage plan for the track calls for water to be released at a lower rate and volume than the site currently releases water into the city's drainage system.

Bill Seymour, Director of Civil Engineering for Gale Associates, presented next. Mr. Seymour has designed more than sixty tracks for public and private schools in the region. He assured the Committee that there is no premium for costs associated with building at the Faxon Field site; the project has been successfully bid against the budget, peer-reviewed, and fully vetted through the state's Department of Environmental Protection. The track design is fully certifiable through the MIAA and meets ADA requirements (handicap-accessible parking on site). The Faxon Field site is long and narrow, but not unusually so. The track has a 100-foot radius; standard radius for MIAA tracks range from 90 feet to 135 feet. Multiple venues for field activity allow events to be held concurrently, including multi-approach high-jump area. There is a 300-person grandstand at the common finish line.

The final presentation of the evening was by Mr. Geoff Hennessy, coach of the Quincy Track Club and middle school track program. He addressed the School Committee in support of the proposed Faxon Field site and detailed research done previously on other sites around the city as part of the 2005 Track Site Recommendation Committee.

In the ensuing question and answer time that followed, Mr. Shea and Mayor Koch reiterated that the Capital Improvement plan is separate from the Track issue and that these improvements will be completed in the time frame outlined in Mr. Shea‟s presentation. The plan for drainage at the Faxon Field track site will account for the water at that site. Mr. Seymour clarified that the track surfacing comes with a 10- year warranty, that there is sufficient space for field events (regulation-size football field within track oval), the design specifications include two fencing systems, one with gates around perimeter and one within to keep spectators apart from competitors.

At 10:58 pm, Mrs. Bragg made a motion to continue the School Committee meeting which had now exceeded the time limit. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Hennessy confirmed that most children at the Quincy Track Club are accompanied by their parents and that there are anywhere from 17 to 25 volunteers on a given night supervising the track and field activities. Mr. Timmins provided information about costs to date: $95,000 has been paid to Gale Associates for the track design work and $90,000 has been spent on Faxon Field site preparation; the latter was funded through a credit from Gilbane for the Quincy High School project plan that called for Faxon Field to be restored as baseball fields.

At the conclusion of the discussion, Mrs. Bragg made a motion to table all of the remaining agenda items with the exception of New Business, Items V. C., Out of the Country Travel and V. D., Out of State Travel. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Bragg then made a motion to approve the Out of Country Travel of North Quincy High School to Italy in April 2012 and Out of State travel of North Quincy High School to the University of New Hampshire on October 31, 2011. Mrs. Mahoney seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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The School Committee noted the following Civil Service resignation:

Junior Clerk & Typist Michelle Greeley


The School Committee noted the following Civil Service retirement:

Utility Food Worker Frances DiSalvio

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On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee adjourned at 11:35 p.m. for the evening. There was no executive session. The ayes have it.