May 4, 2016 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 7:00 pm
Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting Minutes for April 13, 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 (Digital Learning Week)

B. Cleaner Greener, Saturday, May 7

C. JRDF Walk, Saturday, May 14

D. NQHS & QHS Chorus Concerts at Thomas Crane Public Library

E. Gateway Cities Grant Award

F. Retired Teachers Scholarship Event, Tuesday, May 10

G. Kindergarten Parent Academy, June 2

H. NQHS – US News & World Report Silver Medal

I. Summer Reading Program

J. QHS/MWRA Video Contest

K. Quincy School~Community Partnership Events

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. FY2017 City of Quincy Budget Overview - Mayor Koch

B. High Needs Team - Mrs. Perkins, Ms. Hallett

C. School Choice Superintendent recommends that the Quincy School Committee withdraws from the obligation to enroll non-resident students in the Quincy Public Schools for the 2016-2017 academic year for the following reasons:
* Continued projected enrollment conditions at the elementary, middle, and high schools based on current and projected enrollments.
* Policy of the Quincy School Committee to adhere to class size guidelines.

D. Out of State Travel (One Day):
1. Atherton Hough Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire on June 17, 2016.
2. Montclair Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire on June 15, 2016.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: May 18, 2016 at Central Middle School and June 15, 2016 at the Coddington Building, both at 7:00 p.m.

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings:
1. Budget & Finance, Wednesday, May 11, 5:00 pm
2. Budget & Finance, Tuesday, May 17, 5:00 pm
3. Budget & Finance, Wednesday, May 25, 5:00 pm
4. Special Education, Wednesday, May 25, 6:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Special Education: Mrs. Mahoney to report on the March 23, 2016 and April 6, 2016 meetings.

B. Teaching & Learning: Ms. Isola to report on the May 2, 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 – May 4, 2016
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at the Coddington Building. 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


The Superintendent called the roll and all were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Mrs. Janet Baglione, Mrs. Elizabeth Bates, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Joanne Fox, Ms. Beth Hallett, Ms. Jessica King, Ms. Annie McDonald, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Dr. Maryanne Palmer, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; North Quincy High School Student Representative Luke Molloy; and Mr. Scott Alessandro, Citywide Parent Council Co-President.


There was a moment of silence for members of the armed services serving at home and abroad.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 4.13.16

Mrs. Hubley made a motion, seconded by Ms. Isola, to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for April 13, 2016. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

Mrs. Susan Rheault read a letter on behalf of Atherton Hough, Grade 3 parents. Enrollment has dropped to 26 students and there is concern there will be one classroom for Grade 4. Mrs. Kathleen Tracey finished reading the letter as Mrs. Rheault exceeded the four-minute limit. Mr. Dave Mullen, Mr. John Froehlich, and Mrs. Theresa DiBona also spoke in support of retaining smaller class size for Grade 4 next year.

Mrs. Joanne Petrongolo, Mrs. Dana Calabro, Mr. Frank Calabro, Mr. Jim Jaehnig, and Mrs. Sara Regan Levine spoke of concerns about the North Quincy High School Basketball Coach interview and hiring process.


Superintendent's Report

After a brief recess, Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report with Inspire Quincy featuring highlights of Digital Learning Week events in the Quincy Public Schools.

Dr. DeCristofaro noted that the week of May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week and May 6 is Nurses’ Appreciation Day. Both the Quincy High School and North Quincy High School choruses will be performing at the Thomas Crane Public Library this week on May 3 and 5. Upcoming events include Cleaner Greener on Saturday, May 7 at 9:00 am; the Quincy Retired Teachers Association Scholarship Ceremony on Tuesday, May 10 at 7:00 pm at Central Middle School; the Quincy High School Fashion Show on Thursday, May 12 at 7:00 pm; North Quincy High School Career Day on Friday, May 13; the Walk for Juvenile Diabetes at Beechwood Knoll on Saturday, May 14 at 9:30 am; and the Citywide Art Show on Saturday, May 14 at noon at the Art Spot.

North Quincy High School received a Silver Medal designation from US News and World Report for being in the top 20% of high schools in Massachusetts,.

Quincy High School students LaQueen Arias, Jhonata Sousa, and Keren Garcia were awarded first place in the MWRA Video Contest.

Dr. DeCristofaro announced that the Quincy Public Schools has once again been awarded a Gateway Cities Grant for $164,328.00 for Summer Enrichment for English Language Learners. The SWELL Academy will be held at Point Webster Middle School during the month of July.

Upcoming Quincy School~Community Partnership Events include the Elementary/Middle School Robotics on Saturday, May 21 at 10:00 am at Quincy High School; the Community Service Learning Breakfast on May 24 at 9:00 am at the Tirrell Room; the Student Athlete Summit on June 3 at Granite Links; and the QPS Retirement Luncheon on June 7 at 11:30 am at the President’s Cafe.

The Little Mermaid is being produced by Broad Meadows Middle School on May 4 and 5 at 7:00 pm and also by Atlantic Middle School on May 5 and 6 at 7:00 pm and May 7 at 2:00 pm.

At the next School Committee meeting, graduating National Honor Society will be recognized. The meeting will be at Central Middle School at 7:00 pm.


New Business FY2017 Budget Overview Mayor Koch presented an overview of the FY2017 City of Quincy Budget, which was also presented to City Council on May 2. City Council may make line item cuts to any department with the exception of Quincy Public Schools. City Council approves the bottom line funding for Quincy Public Schools. The education budget will be presented to City Council on May 25.

The Quincy Public Schools appropriation from the City is just under $99 million, scaled to meet contractual needs for step and level raises and provide level services for all Quincy Public Schools students. Salary breakage from retirees will be retained by Quincy Public Schools and the School Committee works together to prioritize allocation of available funding. Additional funding is provided by grants and other items in the city budget for Police, Public Buildings/Maintenance, Department of Public Works, Debt Service, Parks, and employee benefits are directed to Quincy Public Schools.

In addition, Mayor Koch presented a 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan to City Council. Many of these capital investments are earmarked directly for Quincy Public Schools, including technology, facilities upgrades, new buildings, and transportation. For all facilities projects, Quincy works closely with the Massachusetts School Building Authority and their grant programs. The capital plan will next go into the City Council Finance Subcommittee for discussion.


New Business

High Needs Team

Director of English Language Learners Beth Hallett, Director of Elementary Curriculum & Programs Erin Perkins, and Director of Special Education Judith Todd formed the High Needs ELL team in 2014-2015 to serve the needs of High Needs students in the Quincy Public Schools. High Needs students are those who are at risk of educational failure or otherwise in need of special assistance or support, due to factors such as low income, literacy below grade level, learning or social and emotional disabilities, or being English Language Learners.

Mrs. Joanne Fox spoke about ELL students and their challenge of acquiring a new language while learning new content. While it usually takes two years for students to acquire social language fluency, it may take 5-7 years for academic language acquisition. Many ELL students come from rural areas, with little or no exposure to formal education. Other ELLs are born in the United States, but have another home language and/or families with low literacy levels. Some ELLs may have experienced trauma or have learning disabilities.

Ms. Todd said that the team incorporates the six principles of Special Education law and the guidelines of appropriate evaluation when reviewing high needs students for further interventions. Mrs. Perkins reviewed that the High Needs team is an opportunity for teachers from different areas to come together to articulate the goals for early intervention and identification, assessment, and implementation of multiple services for children in this special population.

ELL, Special Education, Student Support, Literacy, Title I staff members make up the team and in the first year, goals were created around sharing information, processes, evaluation tools, and protocols. The final goal was to create a draft document for information collection and identification of ELLs needing SPED services in Grades K-5.

Key questions include (1) How does QPS identify learning disabilities in ELL students? (2) How does Literacy Support integrate with Special Education and ELL? (3) How can Title I services support ELL and Special Education? (4) What is the progress monitoring process for all students, including High Needs ELL? (5) How can Response to Intervention be incorporated as a model for intervention with High Needs ELL students?

ELL teachers shared information about the WIDA English Language Proficiency Levels: (1) Entering; (2) Emerging; (3) Developing; (4) Expanding; (5) Bridging; and (6) Reaching. All ELL students take the ACCESS test in January to determine levels and results are shared with parents. Literacy specialists shared the DIBELS and DRA trends for ELL students and how to coordinate that information from ACCESS assessments. Discussion focused on how to support students who were not progressing. Special Education teachers and school psychologists use Educational Assessments such as CTOPP, GORT-4, Woodcock Johnson III and psychological assessments such as UNIT and WISC, but it is difficult to accurately assess ELL students because of language barriers.

In the 2015-2016 school year, the team piloted the new QPS ELL Student Information Forms at the five represented elementary schools with assessment, reflection, and possible roll-out to all elementary schools in 2016-2017. The team also provided a joint Professional Development workshop for system-wide ELL, Literacy, and Special Education teachers at the elementary level. The team is also investigating Response to Interventions that are most suitable to implement with struggling English Language Learners.

The ELL Student Information Forms were collaboratively developed and Form 1 is administered during the intake process for all new ELLs at Central Registration. Form 2 is used to collect information for review at ILT meetings.

The result of this team is stronger collaboration between ELL, Special Education, Literacy, Guidance, and regular education, ensuring participation in ILT meetings, team meetings, data analysis, classroom observations to share best practices, uniform procedures, and language. Development of IEP goals and benchmarks is supported by the collaborative data gathered by the cross-functional ILTs.

Looking forward to 2016-2017, the High Needs ELL team will research Interventions appropriate for ELLs and continue developing a protocol outlining the RTI process for ELLs. The Team Organization will expand to include general education teacher representatives and add representatives from the other six elementary schools. Eventually, the initiative will expand to middle and high school.

Mrs. Lebo asked about translations for the Special Education assessments. Ms. Todd said the publishers don’t provide translated editions. Mrs. Lebo asked which schools are involved, the four Title I schools (Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, Parker, and Snug Harbor), plus Wollaston.

Ms. Isola thanked the presenters, noting that it is once again great to see the collaboration. Ms. Isola asked about the vertical issues. Most participants are K-5 educators, hoping to extend to middle and high school.

Mrs. Mahoney asked about communication with ELL parents about Special Education issues, this is a population typically not focused on advocation. Ms. Hallett said that the collaboration begins with Central Registration, the ELLSIF1 form has been very valuable tool, allows parents to open up and for registrars to present the importance of connection to school. Through our partnership with QARI, QPS presents parenting workshops for families of ELL students with guest speakers and pyschologists in a small group workshop format. Parents have the opportunity to discuss the challenges of raising children in a foreign culture.

Mr. Bregoli said this is a great starting point for assisting families. He asked about South Cove, they are our partners for Vietnamese language speakers. Mr. Bregoli asked if academic language acquisition takes 5-7 years, how do the staff know if a Grade 2 or 3 student needs Special Education interventions. Ms. Todd said each student is discussed at ILTs, failure to make incremental progress often an indicator of other interventions being needed.

Dr. DeCristofaro recognized the teamwork and collaboration presented here tonight, creating a culture of research-based discussion, sharing with colleagues. Very proud of the outstanding, caring professional staff. Thanks to this team for blending these sometimes very different worlds.


New Business

School Choice (Vote)

Mayor Koch made a motion for Quincy Public Schools to withdraw from the obligation to enroll non-resident students in the Quincy Public Schools for the 2016-2017 academic year. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0.


New Business

Out of State Travel

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel of Atherton Hough Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire on June 17, 2016. Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel of Montclair Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire on June 15, 2016. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Additional Business

Mrs. Mahoney asked for Hiring Procedures to be placed on a future agenda.

Mrs. Mahoney asked for additional information on the Atherton Hough class size issue.

Mrs. Mahoney asked for the amended Opportunities & Challenges presentation.

Dr. DeCristofaro said Additional Business is for emergency items.

As a point of information, Mayor Koch said that School Committee members may call Dr. DeCristofaro to request agenda items. Bringing up items under Additional Business is putting School Committee at risk of violation Open Meeting law.

Mrs. Mahoney said this is a request for information, not an attempt to discuss, so not jeopardy of Open Meeting law.

Mayor Koch said it is clear than none of these items are Additional Business, these can be agenda items on subsequent agendas or subcommittee meetings.



Upcoming meetings were announced: Regular Meetings on May 18, 2016 at Central Middle School and June 15, 2016 at the Coddington Building, both at 7:00 pm; Subcommittee Meetings for Budget & Finance Subcommittee on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 and Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 5:00 pm; Special Education on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm.


Reports of Subcommittees

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

Special Education Subcommittee

Mrs. Mahoney reviewed the Special Education Subcommittee meetings of March 23, 2016 and April 6, 2016. Both meetings focused on the dyslexia legislation currently in committee in the Massachusetts House and Senate. Ms. Todd and Mrs. Perkins reviewed assessments and interventions. Parents shared information of their involvement with the legislative process and will work with the Superintendent and Leadership Team to develop parent education opportunities.

Ms. Isola reviewed the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee meeting, where reflections on two initiatives were shared: the Elementary School Report Card for Grades 1-5 and the Advanced Placement Pathways for Grades 6-12.

Subcommittee Meeting Minutes Approved

The minutes of the March 23, 2016 and April 6, 2016 Special Education Subcommittee Meeting minutes were accepted as amended. As there were no corrections to the meeting minutes for the May 2, 2016 Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting, the minutes were approved as presented.


Executive Session

Mayor Koch made a motion for School Committee to go to Executive Session for the purpose of contract negotiations at 9:00 p.m. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0. Mr. Bregoli noted that School Committee would be reconvening after Executive Session.


School Committee returned to regular session at 9:15 pm.

MOA with QPS Paraprofessional Unit

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Memorandum of Agreement between the Quincy School Committee and the Quincy Public Schools Paraprofessional Unit SEIU Local 888. Mrs. Lebo 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 9:20 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mr. DeAmicis and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.