Oct. 7, 2015 Health/Safety Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee
Mr. Noel DiBona, Chair
Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 5:00 pm
Coddington Building

Program Improvement Plan Presentation Schedule:

  1. Food Services - Joanne Morrissey

  2. Transportation - Michael Draicchio

  3. Student Support Services - Maura Papile

  4. Health Services - Rita Bailey


Quincy School Committee
Health, Transportation & Safety Subcommittee Meeting
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A meeting of the Health, Transportation & Safety Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm at the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, and Mr. Noel DiBona, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Rita Bailey, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mr. Matthew Edgerly, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Mrs. Joanne Morrissey, Mrs. Maura Papile; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. DiBona called the meeting to order at 5:15 pm.

Director of Food Services Joanne Morrissey reflected on the Food Services Program 2014-2015 goals: all elementary schools are now operating the POS system, except for Snug Harbor since they are a Universal Breakfast and Lunch site. The POS system will be installed this year for accounting purposes. The second goal was to upgrade the food production line at North Quincy High School. Last spring, a compostable tray was introduced; the new tray has a better design and conducts heat more efficiently. The third goal is the ongoing collaboration with the Health and Wellness Advisory team; last year, a Wellness page was created on the QPS website.

In 2015-16, Food Services Program Improvement Plan goals are: (1) Implement the USDA Professional Standards for the School Nutrition Program employee requirements that take effect as of July 1, 2015 by planning, developing, and conducting training for all food service staff by June 30, 2016. (2) Collaborate with school principals and cafeteria managers to conduct performance evaluations of all Food Service Employee Association members by June 30, 2016. (3) As a member of the system-level Wellness Team, work with school-based Wellness teams to (a) expand awareness of the QPS Wellness Policy and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation guidelines for competitive foods in schools, (b) promote compliance with current policy, (c) provide resources and assistance to school Wellness teams to implement their goals throughout the school year at all levels.

Mrs. Morrissey noted that we will be hearing from the USDA about whether QPS is the recipient of the Farm to School grant in November. Ms. Owens said that QPS received a $10,000 Community Development Block Grant earlier in the week for school gardens.

Mrs. Morrissey said 3,300 students have already been directly certified or approved by the online verification system. The USDA is introducing a new program where schools with 60% are eligible for universal meals, we are not yet participating as our eligibility level is below 60%. DESE is looking at improving breakfast participation and is encouraging breakfast in the classroom. This would be easier to implement at schools that already have Universal Breakfast: Snug Harbor, Parker, and Lincoln Hancock.

Mr. Bregoli asked how many students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, currently 54% (about 5,000 students), but the certification process is ongoing. Families have 60 days from the start of school to submit paper or online applications. Mrs. Morrissey said that the projection is expected to be consistent with the current level.

Ms. Isola asked about food waste, but Mrs. Morrissey said that the cafeteria managers are reporting less of it. Ms. Isola asked about chocolate milk; Mrs. Morrissey said that fat free chocolate milk is approved for a la carte sales.

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

Director of Transportation Michael Draicchio presented the Transportation Program Improvement Plan, takes great pride in the organization of the department. Much of the summer is focused on developing the bus routes for general and special education students. 1,120 students are being transported as of today: 568 on big buses (Grades K-5 regular education students), 535 special education students within QPS and to outside placements; and 17 homeless.

Quincy Public Schools is very fortunate that the school resource officers are available to assist with traffic management, along with the 41 traffic supervisors who monitor students walking to school as well. The Transportation Department’s goals are ongoing and the department collaborates with Health Services, Special Education, and Student Support Services to orient and train drivers each fall. Bus driver-led professional development will take place on Tuesday afternoons. Bus inspections are completed for the state quarterly. Mr. Draicchio said that the safety of the bus yard has been improved, with the installation of new gates and frequent checks by the Quincy Police Department.

The Transportation goals for 2015-2016 are: (1) Professional development sessions will be planned and implemented during the school year. The value and success of each session will be determined by an evaluation process. (2) The operational effectiveness of the Transportation Department will be determined by frequent monitoring of all areas of student transportation pertaining to contractual and operational responsibilities. (3) Through regularly scheduled successful Registry of Motor Vehicles and State Inspections, the Quincy Public Schools will provide safe bus/van transportation during the school year. (4) In the best interests of students and drivers of the Quincy Public Schools, the transportation department will safely service and maintain the transportation fleet on a monthly basis. (5) In partnership with the Quincy Police Department, the Transportation Department will be assisted to help provide safe bus/van transportation during the school year. (6) The Transportation Department, in partnership with the Safety & Security Department, will increase security measures at the bus yard during the school year. (7) The Transportation Department, in partnership with the Human Resources Department and the school bus driver and monitor unions, will work to increase the capacity of part-time drivers and monitors during the school year.

Mr. Draicchio thanked School Committee for the ongoing investment in the vehicles, reinforcing safety as a top consideration. Mr. Bregoli thanked Mr. Draicchio for securing buses with the undercarriage storage, very helpful for athletics transportation. Mr. Bregoli asked about AEDs, but those are not currently carried on the buses. Mr. Bregoli asked if bus drivers are trained in CPR. Mr. Draicchio said that will be offered this year, along with First Aid.

Mr. DiBona asked for an assessment of the bus fleet. Mr. Draicchio said the vans and buses are in good shape, our mechanics work very hard to keep all vehicles on the road. Ms. Isola asked about seat belts on school buses. Mr. Draicchio said while there has been discussion about it, there is no mandate currently. Some of our newer mini-buses have integrated seating with belts, but none of the big buses have seat belts.

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

Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile presented on the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan, noting that many of the goals are continuation goals and across gradelevel 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. The Student Support Services Team drives professional development for the entire department, while the goals remain similar from year to year, the action steps are updated each year. (See Program Improvement Plan for Student Support, Elementary, Middle, High School Guidance; School Psychologist; Health Educators; Health Interventionist; Homeless Liaison; Supervisors of Attendance; and Physical Education team goals.)

In reflecting on last year’s goals, the Elementary and Middle School Guidance Counselors and Psychologists were focused on the PBIS program implementation, two different cohorts: the three pilot schools and the rest of the district. The May Institute provided training for the coaches from Student Support Services. At last week’s School Committee meeting, principals presented on the implementation of PBIS across the elementary and middle schools. Principal support was integral to the successful implementation. Different sites will need different levels of the support, so consulting hours are built into the implementation plans.

The High School Guidance Staff did a lot of professional development around substance abuse prevention and response, High School Deans also part of this effort, and Health Interventionists. High School Guidance also worked on preparing students for Career Readiness, through Naviance assessments, counseling, and workshops. For 2015-2016, the High School Guidance team will be involved with the implementation of the New SAT, creating supports. Professional development will focus on online learning/credit recovery, engaging at-risk students to prevent dropouts, and providing alternative pathways to graduation.

Homeless Liaison Coordinator Leslie Bridson does a phenomenal job, coordinating transportation, mini-grant for supplies for unaccompanied youth, and assists with college transition. Father Bill’s Place has developed an adolescent protocol as a result of Leslie’s work. New Health Interventionists for this year are Kerriann Hart and Ryan Herlihy. The Interventionists were integral to working with the Mayor’s Drug Task Force. Last Sunday, each brought 10 students to a Peer Leadership conference planned by the Norfolk County DA’s Office.

Middle School Health Educators focused on PBIS last year, will be implanting a new Life Skills curriculum, share best practices, and focus on Wellness initiatives with the Physical Education teachers. Physical Education teachers are now part of Student Support Services, will be part of the Wellness Symposium on October 19. Physical Education teachers are implementing the Spark curriculum at the elementary levels and circuit training at the middle school level.

Mrs. Hubley asked for the breakdown of homeless students by elementary, middle, and high school levels. Mrs. Hubley asked if teachers are aware that students are homeless; Mrs. Papile said the principals are very sensitive to the issues. Mrs. Bridson is very resourceful at getting students and families what they need.

Mrs. Papile said the Supervisors of Attendance focus on residency checks, including evening and early morning in the first part of the year, over 300 visits completed to date. Over the summer, mailings were sent to middle and high school families and students were discharged prior to the start of school this year. In the later months, residency checks will continue, but attendance issues will come to the forefront.

Mr. Bregoli said that during the last school year, over 50 students were discharged as non-residents, so that is a substantial savings to Quincy taxpayers.

Mr. Bregoli asked how students are identified as being at risk for substance abuse. Mrs. Papile said through self-reporting, disciplinary issues, or concerns expressed by other students or staff about changes in behavior. Mrs. Papile said attempts will be made to engage students before they make unsafe choices, focus on supporting students and parents in engaging in conversations. It is very rare that students are grappling with full-blown addiction issues.

Mr. Bregoli complimented the Grade 9 mentoring initiative being implemented this year.

Mr. Bregoli asked about online learning and whether this is a virtual school. Mrs. Papile said we offer limited courses as an opportunity for credit recovery, students are still enrolled in QPS. More often, these are seniors who are slightly behind on getting points to graduate on time.

Mr. Bregoli mentioned implementing a dating violence education program, there is a grant opportunity for high schools through the Attorney General’s office. Mrs. Papile is meeting with the Health Interventionists about applying for the grant, which will fund curriculum and instruction. We have some presentations through DOVE and this would allow us to make this a more universal approach to this issue. Mrs. Hubley asked when DOVE presents, is it for specific grade levels. Mrs. Papile said that certain classes were involved in this last year. There are also after school programs, but that was voluntary. The Yellow Dress is a grade-level presentation, but this is hard to follow up on a large-scale.

Ms. Isola asked about PBIS data and whether we can see data on the decrease in office referrals at the pilot schools. Mrs. Papile will follow up with this information.

Ms. Isola asked for data about new SAT and whether we can track students changing to ACT. Mrs. Papile said many students are taking both. Mrs. Papile said not only are many more colleges accepting the ACT, there are financial benefits for students since a good score can result in college credit. Mrs. Papile said Quincy is now an ACT testing site, making is easier for our students to access these exams.

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

Health Services Coordinator Rita Bailey presented the Health Services Program Improvement Plan, noting that Quincy Public Schools has completed the third year of implementation of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and collaborated on professional development and creating a Wellness vision. Professional development was focused on PBIS, nurses were also integral to implementation, increased academic progress, and decreased behavioral issues. High school nurses collaborated on the high school Substance Abuse awareness, healthy choices, PSA contest and the Pay It Forward peer leader program.

Goals for 2015-2016 are continuation from last year with new action steps: (1) To identify and implement in collaboration with individual school Wellness teams, new Wellness initiatives based on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program framework and school inventory for the 2015-2016 school year. (2) The nurses, in collaboration with the QPS IT department, will participate in a professional development program that is concentrated on increasing computer skills and knowledge in Aspen. Training will focus on design and development of a QPS Health Services Team page, as well as individual sites for each school.

The Health, Nutrition, and Wellness Advisory Council will (1) Review and update QPS Wellness Policy and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools program to promote school wellness and (2) provide guidance and support to individual school wellness teams in the 2015-2016 school year.

Mrs. Bailey then presented data for Health Services for the 2014-2015 school year:

  • 86,039 student encounters, 90th percentile return to classroom

  • Collaborate for families on concussion medical management, adjustment of academic schedules as needed. 91 total concussions reported: 50 diagnosed school or athletics based, 41 outside school

  • Screenings for height, weight, vision, and hearing are performed at selected grades

  • 4 health paras assist in screening process, data entry

  • 16,500 documented communications with parents/guardians

  • Dental screenings/sealants offered to students at selected grades in partnership with Department of Public Health.

  • Nurses offer CPR/AED training, 147 staff certified last year

Mr. Bregoli asked about the CPR training, 120 Grade 8 students were fully certified in the course offered last year. This will continue for Grade 8 students this year, in partnership with Brewster Ambulance Service.

Mr. Bregoli asked if vision screenings include focus, Mrs. Bailey said muscle balance is tested for Grades K-3, near and far vision for Grades K-5, 7, and 9. Mrs. Bailey said that elementary students are currently being screened for vision, hearing, height/weight at a rate of 200 students per day. Nursing students from several local schools are also assisting with this process, allowing for more efficient and timely screenings.

Ms. Isola thanked Mrs. Bailey, the activity report supports the impact of the Health Services staff in the Quincy Public Schools.

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

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