March 2, 2016 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 7:00 pm
Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting Minutes for February 10, 2016.

II. 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. An individual may not exchange their time or yield to others.

III. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Inspire Quincy

B. Staff Recognitions: Paraprofessionals

C. New Technology Installations & Training

D. BOKS Program Implementation

E. High School Course Selection Information Nights

F. QPS All-City Chorus Festival

G. MIAA Tournaments

H. Kindergarten Registration

I. Partnership Events: Read Across America and Credit for Life Fair

J. Robotics Team

K. Home~School Connections:

IV. Old Business:

A. School Committee Meeting Calendar 2016-2017 (Vote)

B. Concussion Policy Update (Vote)

V. New Business:

A. Enrollment & Districts Overview - Dr. DeCristofaro

B. Update on Dyslexia Research Legislation - Mrs. Lebo

C. Out of the Country Travel: Quincy High School to Florence and Rome, Italy, April 14 through 21, 2016.

D. Out of State Travel: Bernazzani Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park, Windham, New Hampshire on June 15, 2016.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: March 16, 2016 and April 13, 2016, both at 7:00 p.m.

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings:

1. Facilities & Security, Wednesday, March 9, 5:00 pm

2. Special Education, Wednesday, March 23, 6:00 pm

3. Teaching & Learning, Monday, March 28, 5:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Health, Transportation & Safety: Mr. DeAmicis to report on the February 24, 2016 meeting.

B. Teaching & Learning: Ms. Isola to report on the February 29, 2016 meeting.

IX. Executive Session: Contract Negotiations

X. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Budget & Finance

  1. Additional Funding Appropriation: Referred to Subcommittee at the September 30, 2015 School Committee meeting. With the reinstatement of the Full-Day Kindergarten Grant from DESE for Kindergarten Aides, there is an additional $250,000 available for one-time FY2016 expenses.

Facilities & Security

  1. President’s City Inn Referred to Subcommittee at the October 10, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Safety concerns have been expressed about this property that abuts the new Central Middle School. Current construction plans were reviewed at the March 18, 2014 Subcommittee Meeting and updates provided during the 2014-2015 school year.

  2. North Quincy High School Campus Expansion/Teele Field Project Referred at the January 22, 2014 School Committee Meeting. A presentation on the proposed enhancements will be scheduled.

  3. Faxon Field Equalization Pipe Referred at the October 14, 2015 School Committee meeting. Requesting information on the communications between the City of Quincy and Mass. DEP.

Health, Transportation & Safety

  1. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Referred to Subcommittee at the September 24, 2012 Special School Committee Meeting. Student Support Services working with elementary and middle schools to implement this initiative.

  2. Traffic Concerns at North Quincy High School Referred to Subcommittee at the March 5, 2014 School Committee Meeting. Concerns about East Squantum Street crosswalk/parking lot entrance.

  3. Solar Array Installation on School Roofs Referred from the Facilities & Security Subcommittee on September 10, 2014. Monitoring of the ongoing projects and the educational opportunities.

  4. Learn to Swim Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee Meeting. Monitoring the ongoing partnership between QPS and the South Shore YMCA.

  5. Farm to School Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee Meeting. Monitoring the Planning Grant rollout, a collaboration of QPS and the Planning Department.

  6. CPR Certification Referred from the Policy Subcommittee at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting.

  7. Before School Exercise Programs Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting. Monitoring the implementation of these programs across QPS.

  8. Peer Mentoring for Grade 9 Students Referred at the September 29, 2015 Special School Committee meeting. Monitoring the implementation of this program at both high schools.


  1. Graduation Requirements Referred to Subcommittee at the September 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting and discussed at the October 11, 2011 School Policy Subcommittee. The discussion centered around adding a fourth year of Math as a graduation requirement; the issue is tabled until more is known about the impact of the new Common Core Standards on the Massachusetts frameworks.

  2. Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities Referred at the June 13, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Review and discussion of amending the existing policy requested to explore the possibility of raising revenue by accepting advertising sponsorships.

  3. Review of High School Academic and Extracurricular Programs Referred at the November 13, 2013 School Committee Meeting. A comparison of the offerings at both schools to be analyzed to ensure equitable and parallel opportunities for all students at both facilities.

  4. Open Enrollment Referred at the October 8, 2014 School Committee meeting for review and discussion to focus on the timeline for placement decisions and communication to parents.

  5. Middle School Grading System Referred at the December 10, 2014 School Committee meeting for review and discussion.

  6. 2016-2017 School Year Calendar Referred at the April 8, 2015 School Committee meeting.

  7. Weather Cancellation Schoolwork Referred at the April 8, 2015 School Committee meeting and shared with the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee. Exploring options for creating Policy for schoolwork during extended periods of weather-related school cancellations.

  8. Concussion Policy Referred at the May 6, 2015 School Committee meeting; as required by law, the policy must be reviewed and amended or reaffirmed every two years.

  9. Voter Registration at the High Schools Referred at the September 16, 2015 School Committee meeting for discussion of implementation with the City Clerk’s Office.

  10. 2016-2017 School Committee Meeting Calendar Referred at the January 13, 2016 School Committee meeting.

  11. School Committee Policy Book Referred at the January 13, 2016 School Committee meeting for review and updating as needed.

Special Education

  1. Student Information for Substitute Teachers Originally referred at the January 17, 2007 School Committee Meeting. Aspen Student Information System Special Education module reports will be utilized to share information with substitute teachers beginning in 2015-2016 school year.

Rules, Post Audit & Oversight

Teaching and Learning

  1. Advanced Program Pathways Referred at the May 20, 2015 School Committee Meeting to review opportunities to challenge above-level students at all grades.

  2. Enrollment Data/Class Size: Referred at the October 14, 2015 School Committee meeting for further review and discussion.

  3. Resolution on Student Assessment: Referred at the October 28, 2015 School Committee meeting for review and discussion.


Sterling Building Committee

Sterling/Point Webster Grade 5

Created at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting to review issues related to Grade 5 being located in middle school buildings.

School District Maps

Created at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting to review issues related to school district maps.


Quincy, Massachusetts – March 2, 2016
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at the Coddington Building. The Superintendent called the roll and the School Committee members present were Mr. James DeAmicis, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mayor Thomas Koch, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mr. Paul Bregoli, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Mrs. Christine Barrett, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mr. John Fagerlund, Dr. John Franceschini, Mr. Daniel Gilbert, Mr. James Hennessy, Ms. Margaret MacNeil, Ms. Courtney Mitchell, Mrs. Robin Moreira, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Ellen Murray, Ms. Noreen O’Connell, Dr. Maryanne Palmer, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Stephen Sylvia, Ms. Judy Todd, Mrs. Ruth Witmer; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; and Citywide Co-President Scott Alessandro.


There was a moment of silence for all service members serving at home or overseas.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 2/10/16

Mayor Koch made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hubley, to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for February 10, 2016. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

Mr. Scott Alessandro, Citywide Co-President, expressed concerns about MCAS being used as a measure of success and improvement district-wide. He would like to see an expansion of opportunities for student and parent participation in defining measures of student success and urged parents to contact Citywide Parent Council to participate in the discussion.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro then introduced the members of the Paraprofessional staff with twenty or more years of service in Quincy Public Schools for recognition by School Committee. Administrative Paraprofessional Staff: Marguerite Califano, QHS Health Office; Jeanne McQuinn, Point Webster Main Office; Paula Nicholson, NQHS Health Office; Gayle Patten, QHS Attendance; Deborah Purdy, Atlantic Main Office; Elaine Sullivan, QHS Attendance; Frances Ward, NQHS Attendance. Kindergarten Paraprofessional Staff: Caroline Choueiri, Merrymount; Ines Lee, Parker; Lan Fong (Lana) Liu, Wollaston; Catherine MacDonald, Atherton Hough (45 years); Mildred Savage, Lincoln Hancock; Maisy Tong, Montclair; Carol Wong, Squantum. Special Education Paraprofessional Staff: Kowshilla (Carla) Jaggernath, Snug Harbor; Sharon Jarvie, Snug Harbor; Catherine McSweeney, Atherton Hough; Mary Ann Morgan, Sterling; Jane Pettinelli, Squantum; Marybeth Phillips, Snug Harbor; Kathleen Powers, Squantum; Rosanne Ready, Broad Meadows; Po Chu Sham, Snug Harbor. Academic Program Paraprofessional Staff: Carol Calvert, QHS ELL; Margery Lyons, QTMP.

Mayor Koch echoed the Superintendent’s introduction about the paraprofessionals and thanked them for all they do in support of our students. Mrs. Lebo said the Kindergarten teachers are very appreciative of the full-time Kindergarten aides, students are benefitting from these focused and caring adults who work with them full time. Ms. Isola said that as a parent, many of those staff members recognized tonight made a difference in her own children’s lives, can’t express how much you mean to us. Mrs. Mahoney thanked the paraprofessionals, provide so many necessary services for students for making learning fun and providing support when needed.

Mr. Bregoli said the school secretaries and office paraprofessionals are often the first school staff that students and families meet. Paraprofessionals are critical to the development of children and the way our schools run. We have much gratitude for their service to Quincy Public Schools and the City of Quincy.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked the paraprofessionals and their families for coming to this evening’s meeting. Beyond the job description, our paraprofessionals have a love, passion, and nurturing for the students. Some days may be a challenge, but they all take the opportunity to make a difference. Thanked all the principals, and staff who came tonight to be part of the recognitions.

After a brief recess, Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report with Inspire Quincy, featuring the Student Leadership Summit for Grade 5 students; Lincoln Hancock Literacy Night; Emily Z’s BOKS program at Central Middle and Atherton Hough Elementary Schools; Quincy~North Quincy Girls Hockey (tournament qualifiers for the first time in the program’s history); and the All-City Chorus Festival (middle and high school students .

The high school course selection process will begin on March 14. Parents and students are invited to attend the High School Course Selection Information Nights on Monday, March 14 at North Quincy High School and Tuesday, March 15 at Quincy High School.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that the BOKS program began this week at all elementary and middle schools, over 600 students and 35 trainers. Quincy Public Schools is grateful to the Zarnoch family and Reebok International for the grant funding the program and thanked Mrs. Papile and the principals for the organization to launch the program.

Ms. Hallett reviewed the All-City Chorus Festival, featuring 300 students from all five middle schools and both high schools. The two-day festival included a workshop and rehearsal, and a performance of each school chorus and a group performance with all students. Thanks to Choral Directors Timothy Carew, Louise Becam, Amanda Buschema, Christopher Boel, Daniel Caruso, and Amy Rogers.

The first round of MIAA Tournament games are underway: Quincy High School Boys Basketball, North Quincy High School Boys Hockey, and Quincy/North Quincy Girls Hockey all have games scheduled for this evening. Quincy High School Boys Hockey was eliminated in their first game; Quincy High School Girls Basketball won their first game and play again on Thursday.

Thanks to the Technology & Training Team, School and City IT Departments, and Maintenance, the additional technology purchases funded through the special budget appropriation have been installed. Training is underway and the ENO boards and shorthrow projectors are being utilized in classrooms across the city.

The HYPER Robotics team is in its 21st season with seventy students from both high schools participating. The district competition will be held on March 18-20 at UMass Dartmouth; thanks to Team Facilitator Ed Smith and Team Mentors Damian Arrondo, Lynne Byron, Michael Gendron, Donald Long, and Kim Pierce.

Read Across America is taking place at all elementary school sites this week, with guest readers from the Quincy Retired Teachers Association and other Quincy School~Community Partnership members. The 8th annual Credit for Life Fair will be held on March 24 at the Tirrell Room for seniors from both high schools.

Kindergarten registration began on February 23 and is ongoing throughout the rest of the school year. Dr. DeCristofaro thanked the elementary school secretaries, student support staff, school nurses, and principals for managing the registration process.

At the March 16 School Committee meeting, the Elementary and Middle/High School Digital Learning Teams will present.

Dr. DeCristofaro noted that ELL Newsletter and QHS Think/Work/Share monthly newsletters were included in the School Committee packet.


Old Business

2016-2017 School Committee Meeting Calendar (Vote)

Mrs. Lebo made a motion, seconded by Mr. DeAmicis, to approve the 2016-2017 School Committee Meeting Calendar. On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0.


Revised Concussion Policy (Vote)

Mrs. Hubley made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, to approve the Revised Concussion Policy. On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0.


New Business

Enrollment & Districts Overview

Dr. DeCristofaro presented an overview of Quincy Public Schools enrollment and districts. Student enrollment and space analysis guides many system components, such as budget, class size, staffing, programs, student support, technology, transportation, and curriculum materials. In reviewing system enrollment between 2006 and 2015, Quincy Public School has shown growth of 370 students, with the highest level of enrollment in 2013. Over the ten years of full-day Kindergarten, enrollment for that grade has ranged from a low of 630 students in 2007 to a high of 808 students in 2013. In looking at transitions, between Kindergarten and Grade 1, most years there is a slight increase between these grades. For the Grades 5-6 transition, six of ten years showed an increase during these transitions. Dr. DeCristofaro shared information of current enrollment for general and special education, a breakdown of out of district special education student placements, and information on Quincy school-age students attending private or other public schools (1,100 students).

For elementary schools, Dr. DeCristofaro shared enrollment history from 2006 to 2015. Over ten years, there is a cumulative increase of just under 500 students. For each elementary school, class size detail was shared for each grade. Average class sizes remain between 19 and 20 students for all elementary grades. Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed enrollment trends at each elementary school, each school is classified as red, yellow, or green in terms of building capacity, both for academic classrooms and academic programs. Atherton Hough, Parker, and Snug Harbor are yellow and Beechwood Knoll, Bernazzani, Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, Merrymount, Montclair, Squantum, and Wollaston are all red.

For the middle school level, there is a cumulative increase of 139 students over ten years. For Sterling and Central, increases in neighborhood enrollment were seen in 2015. For core academic class sizes, 94% of students are enrolled in classes with 24 or fewer students. Atlantic and Central are classified as red, Broad Meadows is yellow, and Point Webster and Sterling are green.

For the two high schools, there is a decline of 220 students over the ten years of 2006 to 2015. For core academic programs, 89% of class sizes are at 25 students or below. Both high schools are classified as green, with capacity for additional open enrollment. For the last several years, Open Enrollment has been granted for all applicants between the two schools.

In conclusion, Dr. DeCristofaro presented the information as an overview of the last ten years since the inception of Full-Day Kindergarten. At this time, Dr. DeCristofaro is not recommending any changes to school district boundaries. We have looked at birth projections from the MSBA and the city census, but the annual Kindergarten enrollment is not reflective of these projections. Families move in and out of the city before children reach the age to begin school. If the need to adjust district boundaries arises, the last slide has suggestions of future considerations.

Mrs. Lebo thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for the presentation and noted that square footage data is missing for Central and Quincy High School. She also requested data on Substantially Separate classrooms at the high school level. Mrs. Lebo asked about home schooled students, there are 17 (missing from the chart).

Mrs. Mahoney asked that the year that Grade 5 transitioned from Lincoln Hancock to Sterling be noted on the slides and also the APC students at Central. Mrs. Mahoney asked about the ELC students, were they part of the Central population in any years but they were not. She suggested this classroom should be added as a special program to the Point Webster Middle School information. Mrs. Mahoney requested a breakdown of Open Enrollment requests by home school.

Ms. Isola thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for the depth of the presentation and said that even though there is an Ad Hoc Subcommittee on District Maps, she and Dr. DeCristofaro felt that given the volume of the data, this was best shared at a full School Committee meeting.

Mr. Bregoli asked about Merrymount’s enrollment, Open Enrollment has declined since NCLB was overturned. Mr. Bregoli asked about the Grade 8-9 student transition; this is more difficult to track since some Grade 9 students are retained for a second year rather than moving to Grade 10 due to a lack of points. Mr. Bregoli requested to see maps of the district border neighborhoods.

Mayor Koch said that many of our schools are at capacity, but not uncomfortably so. He suggested that School Committee be cautious about reviewing maps, but would like to keep monitoring the enrollment and building capacity.

Mayor Koch made a motion to place the Enrollment & District Overview Report on file.

On the motion, Mr. Bregoli said that it would be responsible to consider a phasedin plan for redistricting if this is a long-term objective. Dr. DeCristofaro suggested that there is not a timeline attached to the idea of redistricting, as it is difficult to project future enrollments, especially at the elementary levels.

On the motion, Mrs. Lebo said that some of the schools that are closest to capacity have special programs and these can always be moved. For example, the new Advanced class options at the middle school level may cause some students to choose to stay at their home middle school.

Ms. Isola seconded the motion .

Mrs. Lebo made a friendly amendment that the report be filed once the additional requested data is added. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Update on Dyslexia Legislation

Mrs. Lebo updated on two items of legislation before the Massachusetts House and Senate on creating a legal definition for dyslexia (rather than the umbrella term it has become) and suggesting early screening in public school districts. The Quincy Public Schools Literacy program surfaces students for evaluation, as they do not respond to standard interventions aimed at increasing literacy and comprehension. Mrs. Lebo urged her colleagues and parents to write to their legislators to support this pending legislation.

Mr. Bregoli asked Ms. Todd how dyslexia is diagnosed in the Quincy Public Schools. Ms. Todd said this is done through independent evaluations, since the defined categories under state Special Education law do not include dyslexia as a category. Mrs. Lebo said DIBELS Next prescreens students.

Mrs. Mahoney requested that this be a topic on the Special Education Subcommittee agenda, this is an opportunity for the Quincy Public Schools to provide support for these students and families. We have the opportunity to assess the services we can provide in house vs. outplacement and get our students the help they need.


New Business

Out of the Country Travel

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Out of the Country Travel of Quincy High School to Florence and Rome, Italy, April 14-21, 2016. Mayor Koch seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Out of State Travel

Ms. Isola made a motion to approve the Out of State travel of Bernazzani Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park, Windham, New Hampshire, June 15, 2016. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.



Upcoming meetings were announced: Regular Meetings on March 16 and April 13, 2016, both at 7:00 pm at the Coddington Building; Subcommittee Meetings for Facilities & Security on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm; Special Education on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm, and Teaching & Learning on Monday, March 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm.

Mrs. Lebo noted that the Special Education parent links are inactive on the Quincy Public Schools website.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mr. Bregoli noted that all Subcommittee meeting minutes are posted online at

Health, Transportation, & Safety

Mr. DeAmicis reviewed the Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee Meeting held on February 24, 2016. Mrs. Papile and Mrs. Plaskosovitas presented on the new Life Skills curriculum being implemented at all middle schools. Mrs. Papile also updated on the Quincy Public Schools partnership with DOVE.

Teaching & Learning

Ms. Isola reviewed the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting held on February 29, 2016. Ms. Roy, Mrs. Perkins, and Mrs. Witmer presented on the Rapid Reset initiative underway at Snug Harbor, Bernazzani, and Sterling.

Subcommittee Meeting Minutes Approved

As there were no corrections to the meeting minutes the February 24, 2016 Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee and February 29, 2016 Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting minutes, the minutes were approved as presented.


Executive Session

Mayor Koch made a motion to go to Executive Session for the purpose of Contract Negotiations at 9:15 p.m. The motion was seconded by Ms. Isola and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0. Mayor Koch noted that School Committee would be returning to regular session at the conclusion of Executive Session.

School Committee returned to regular session at 10:00 pm.

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Memorandum of Agreement between the Quincy School Committee and the Quincy Education Association, Unit A. Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0.



Mayor Koch made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 10:05 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Mahoney and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.