Oct. 15, 2014 Health/Safety Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee
Program Improvement Plan Presentations
Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 5:00 pm
Coddington Building

Presentation Schedule:

  1. Student Support Services - Maura Papile

  2. Health Services - Rita Bailey

  3. Food Services - Joanne Morrissey

  4. Transportation - Michael Draicchio


Quincy School Committee
Health, Transportation & Safety Subcommittee Meeting
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A meeting of the Health, Transportation & Safety Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 5:00 pm at the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mr. David McCarthy, and Mr. Noel DiBona, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Rita Bailey, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Mrs. Joanne Morrissey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Judy Todd; Ms. Debby Nabstedt and Ms. Jill Gichuhi, Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. DiBona called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm. Senior Director Maura Papile presented on the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan, noting that many of the goals are continuation goals and across grade-level teams, particularly for the Guidance staff. Mrs. Papile said the competent, caring Student Support staff are focused on supporting all students in the Quincy Public Schools and through analysis of multiple data sources, identifying students at risk. Educator Evaluation began for Student Support staff last year and they also worked on creating DistrictDetermined Measures for the social skills curricula. The Supervisors of Attendance were focused on positive reinforcement and tracking students through transitions (elementary to middle school and middle to high school). High-risk students are identified and family assistance summoned when needed, lots of intervention on social-emotional issues and getting high risk students into special programs when needed. High School Health Interventionists created a curriculum on substance abuse awareness for Grade 9 students and participated in Partnership for Success grant initiatives.

Mrs. Papile shared a clip of Lincoln Hancock’s Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports initiative (PBIS), now in its second year of piloting at Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, and Parker. All other QPS elementary schools and the middle schools will implement PBIS in the 2015-16 school year. Using the SWIS system, the guidance staff analyzes data and plans interventions, working with the entire school staff to reinforce the common mission.

Student Support goal for 2014-2015 is to analyze high risk data that identifies students at risk and provide guidance and support for the following initiatives: school-wide substance abuse interventions and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. In addition, the Elementary and Middle Guidance Teams will (1) participate in professional development that is focused on Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports. Cohort 1 will continue implementation by focusing on Tier 2 Interventions and Cohort 2 will complete coaches training and create implementation plans; (2) participate in professional development regarding the new counselor and school psychologist evaluation system and assist in developing the District-Determined Measures; and (3) meet to create measurements of student learning, analyze data, and make programming decisions based on results. The High School Guidance goals are to (1) participate in professional development regarding the Educator Evaluation system; (2) participate in professional development regarding substance abuse through the Caron Foundation; (3) work with all Grade 9 students to complete the career interest survey in Naviance by October 2014; and (4) continue to participate in Professional Development regarding the proposed MASS Core Career and College Readiness Standards and continue to evaluate and update the High School Counseling Curriculum.

The Supervisors of Attendance will assist sites in early interventions with students that are at risk of attendance issues; the interventions will be assessed with the collection of data regarding attendance rates. The Supervisors of Attendance will also assist sites in verifying residency.

The School Psychologists will participate in professional development that is focused on Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports. Cohort 1 will continue implementation by focusing on Tier 2 Interventions and Cohort 2 will complete coaches training and create implementation plans. The School Psychologists will create a team goal under the new Educator Evaluation system that will measure the impact of social skills curriculum in Pre-Kindergarten, Grade 2, and Grade 4.

The Homeless Liaison has a 213 student caseload, 64 elementary, 52 middle, 88 high school students. Mrs. Bridson works to assist students with enrollment, backpacks and supplies, free/reduced meal eligibility. Her goals for 2014-15 are to provide education and training for parents of homeless children regarding the rights of their children under the McKinney-Vento Act and provide parents with educational resources and other resources available to their children. The Homeless Liaison also will meet with community agencies and Student Support staff in order to collaborate regarding resources available to homeless students and their families.

The High School Health Interventionists will (1) provide freshman classes with substance abuse prevention curriculum (2) participate in the Partnership for Success Grant initiatives and the Mayor’s Drug Task Force to increase opportunities for students to participate in substance abuse awareness initiatives; and (3) participate in the Mentoring program through the Caron Foundation. The Middle School Health Educators will (1) participate in professional development that is focused on Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports. Cohort 1 will continue implementation by focusing on Tier 2 Interventions and Cohort 2 will complete coaches training and create implementation plans; (2) participate in professional development regarding the new counselor and school psychologist Educator Evaluation system and assist in developing District-Determined Measures for full implementation by October 2014; and (3) meet to create measurements of student learning, analyze data, and make programming decisions based on results.

Mr. Bregoli asked how many total families are homeless and Mrs. Papile will follow up with that information. Ms. Isola asked about parent outreach as it relates to the freshmen substance abuse interventions and what options are there for other grades. Mrs. Papile said that there will be presentations tailored to the different development levels of high school students this year.

Mr. McCarthy asked about residency issues and the Attendance Officers looking into students living outside of Quincy. Mrs. Papile said that the nighttime home visits have increased dramatically. Last year, 17 high school students, 7 middle school students, and 6 elementary school students were discharged for residence issues through nighttime residency checks. Attendance officer referrals are being documented, so that repeat visits are done as required. The three officers are aligned along feeder schools, so they develop and maintain family relationships.

Ms. Isola asked if there are any calls on the Residency Hotline, but there are none. Mr. Bregoli asked if there are exceptions for students who are seniors; Mrs. Papile said a senior in good standing will be allowed to stay if they have moved to another town. Students in other grades are asked to register in their new district. Mr. Bregoli asked about the idea of checking the MBTA stations and Mrs. Papile said this would be looked into.

Mr. DiBona asked about whether the number discharged was higher last year and Mrs. Papile said that we are intervening earlier, before students register and begin attending school. Mr. Bregoli asked about making the penalty language more prominent on the form and translating it and Mr. Mulvey confirmed that it is under development. Mr. Bregoli asked that the Attendance Officers attend an upcoming Policy Subcommittee.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to approve the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Health Services Coordinator Rita Bailey presented the Health Services Program Improvement Plan and began with a reflection on last year's goals. Two workshops were offered by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for nursing staff, health and physical education teachers, and food service staff. Health Services staff have implemented many initiatives at the school level, including opportunities for physical activity before, during, and after the school day.

The Health Services goals for 2014-2015 are continuation goals: (1) Identify and implement in collaboration with individual school wellness teams, new wellness initiatives based on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Health Schools Program framework and school inventory. Each school will once again include a Wellness goal in their School Improvement Plan. (2) Continue with the Educator Evaluation process; in the 2nd year, seven nurses completed last year and will begin the first year of their two-year cycle, 15 more will begin this year. (3) In collaboration with the Student Support team, participate in professional development that is focused on the PBIS initiative.

Mrs. Bailey shared that in the 2013-14 school year, QPS nurses documented 86,117 student encounters; worked regularly with 3,500 students with special health care needs; and returned 90% of students return to class following their encounter. Nurses work with students with concussions, and are involved in medical management of ongoing related health issues. There were a total of 80 head injuries reported: 42 in school-related activities; 38 outside of school. The concussion policy was reviewed this past summer with the Athletic Directors as required by law and no changes are recommended at this time. Health Services also provide vision, hearing, BMI, and postural screenings, administered 10,748 doses of medication; and had 16,000 documented communications to parents about health issues. In collaboration with the Department of Public Health, QPS is part of the oral health initiative. Nurses offer CPR & AED classes, certifying 178 staff members last year. Every school nurse is a member of the emergency response team members and many nurses completed disaster-preparedness training over the summer. This year, two new nurses joined the QPS staff and the Health paraprofessionals are a valuable support in several schools

Mr. McCarthy thanked Mrs. Bailey and asked about the enterovirus; QPS have no confirmed cases to date. Mr. Bregoli asked about Impact testing, asking if the frequency of testing has been increased to every two years, rather than once per high school career. Mrs. Bailey will follow up with information on this issue. Mr. Bregoli said that a student physical is good for 13 months, but students are required to submit a form for each sports season. Mrs. Bailey will look into if there is a way to streamline the process. Mr. Bregoli asked about CPR training for Grade 8 students; several School-Community partners are working to plan training in February in conjunction with Heart Month.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the Anti-Bullying Interventions detailed in the statistics; these are presentations and trainings to staff and students. Mr. McCarthy asked about staffing and whether Lincoln Hancock needs additional support. Right now, the paraprofessional assists at Lincoln Hancock with screenings. Ms. Isola asked if we are mandated to compute BMI. Mrs. Bailey said we are required to calculate it, but not required to report it to families. Mr. DiBona asked for a breakdown of concussions by sport and also asked for more information on the substance abuse awareness programs; Mrs. Bailey will share the schedule and description of the programs when they are available. Mr. McCarthy noted that Mr. Peter Thompson is donating a substantial amount of money to support substance abuse interventions beginning in Grade 8.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to approve the Health Services Program Improvement Plan. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Food Services Director Joanne Morrissey presented the Food Services Program Improvement Plan, noting that this is Year 4 of the Federal Healthy Kids Act. This year at breakfast, students are required to select a fruit or vegetable; all grain must be whole-grain rich. The industry has responded to the food service needs with new products. The Federal government has issued smart snack regulations with some differences from state competitive food guidelines, so there will be some adjustments at the state level.

In reflecting on last year’s goals, Mrs. Morrissey noted that most Food Services goals are continuation goals. Online meal payment system has been implemented very successfully, speeding up the lines in the cafeteria. Pre-payment can still be done by check. Direct certification with the Department of Transitional Assistance continues with 3,300 students eligible. Slightly over 50% of students in QPS are eligible for free and reduced price meals. Applications can now be completed online. Performance evaluations were completed as part of the Food Services Coordinated Program Review, which was successfully completed. The Food Services team collaborated with the Health Services team to create a Wellness page with resources on the Quincy Public Schools website. Food Services updated their website to include nutritional and allergy information for parent access.

For this year, the Food Services goals are to (1) complete the implementation of computerized point of sale system (Nutrikids) by installing hardware and software at the final four elementary schools by November 2014; (2) evaluate, purchase, install, and implement usage of new equipment for the packaging of Elementary school satellite meals at the production facility at North Quincy High School; (3) collaborate with school principals and cafeteria managers to conduct performance evaluations of all Food Service Employee Association members; and (4) as a member of the system-level Wellness Team, to work with school-based Wellness Teams to expand awareness of the QPS Wellness Policy and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation guidelines for competitive foods in schools, to promote compliance with current policy, and provide resources and assistance to school Wellness teams to implement school wellness team goals throughout the school year at all levels.

Mrs. Morrissey mentioned the Farm to School Grant initiative underway with the Planning & Community Development department. We will learn in November if we have been awarded the planning grant which will benefit Lincoln Hancock, Sterling, and Quincy High Schools.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the summer lunch program; Mrs. Morrissey said 1,000 meals a day were served to students under age 18 at five sites and the YMCA. Mr. DiBona asked if breakfast was served at all school locations and it is. Lincoln Hancock, Parker, and Snug Harbor are universal breakfast sites, so all students are able to eat breakfast there at no charge. Ms. Isola asked if we have any statistics on child obesity since the nutritional requirements have changed. Mrs. Morrissey said there has not been any formal study that she has seen. Ms. Isola said that the New York Times had an article on the political history of the federal legislation which was very interesting. Ms. Isola asked that lunch attendants be reminded that meals and snacks brought from home are not subject to the same nutritional guidelines as the food served by QPS.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to approve the Food Services Program Improvement Plan. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Transportation Director Michael Draicchio presented the Transportation Program Improvement Plan. As of today, 1,082 students are transported, although the number fluctuates during the year. Regular education, in-district and out of district Special Education, and homeless students are all transported daily. In addition, students are transported for athletics, field trips, and rentals. Along with the Transportation department staff, Mr. Draicchio develops all bus routes, collaborates with Special Education department and outside transportation vendors. QPS has three School Resource officers, 41 traffic supervisors, and two DARE officers courtesy of the Quincy Police Department who assist daily with ensuring students travel to and from school safely. Safety drills and bus evacuations are conducted at all schools twice per year.

The Transportation Goals for 2014-2015 are a continuation of last year, including (1) professional development sessions will be planned and implemented, including first aid, strategies for Special Education student transportation, and communicating with school nurses and teaching staff; (2) maintaining operational effectiveness by frequent monitoring of all areas of student transportation pertaining to contractual and operational responsibilities; (3) through regularly scheduled successful Registry of Motor Vehicle and State Inspections, the Quincy Public Schools will provide safe bus/van transportation; (4) safely service and maintain all Quincy Public Schools vehicles on a monthly basis; (5) collaborate with the Quincy Police Department on safety issues around transportation; and (6) increase security measures at the bus yard, including additional cameras and a new fence.

Mr. Draicchio thanked School Committee for additional funding in this year’s budget for buses; three new minibuses and one big bus will be purchased this year. Mr. Bregoli asked about the bus that was in an accident earlier this year; it is being repaired. Mr. Bregoli asked about having cameras on school buses. Ms. Isola suggested this could be a possible grant opportunity. Mr. Draicchio will research what neighboring cities and towns currently have.

Mr. McCarthy asked about the training of new drivers; several candidates are ready to be trained and/or certified through the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Mr. McCarthy asked if the number of traffic supervisors has changed over time and Mr. Draicchio will look into that. Mr. McCarthy asked if we are successful in collecting Transportation fees; Mr. Draicchio said that we are consistent in collecting fees from those who are required to pay. Some students are eligible for free transportation based on the distance they live from school or income.

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the Transportation Program Improvement Plan. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to adjourn the Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee meeting at 6:30 pm. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.