May 7, 2008 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee May 7, 2008

City Council Chambers
7:00 p.m.

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting minutes for April 9, 2008.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

  1. Partnership Events, POPS May 8

  2. Essential Health Grant

  3. Literature Contest

  4. Destinations

  5. Middle School Robotics

III. 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.

IV. Old Business

A. Update on building projects, renovations, and construction: Mr. Ryan to report.

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

C. Update on Central:

D. A final motion is need to approve those policies in Section 5 and all of Section 11 except for Section 11.6.

E. Anti Bullying Policy: Final Approval of the Bullying Policy.

V. New Business:

A. Middle School Grade Reporting Change: Mrs. Bragg to report.

B. Maintenance Consolidation: At the request of Mayor Koch. See Attachment A-1.

C. Track Proposal: At the request of Mayor Koch.

D. Out of Country Travel: North Quincy High School to Italy: See Attachment A.

E. Out of Country Travel: North Quincy High School to France. See Attachment B.

F. Out of State Travel: Broad Meadows to Canobie Lake. See Attachment C.

G. Out of State Travel: Point Webster to New York City. See Attachment D.

H. Central to Gettysburg, PA. See Attachment E.

I. Gift: Donated by Protestant Churches in North Quincy and Wollaston to benefit Project Access. First Church of Christ, Scientist to Project Access: Educational Services to Homeless Children. See Attachment F.

J. Gift: Donated by the Rural Masonic Lodge to be used for medical equipment for one of our students. See Attachment G.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings: - none

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. School Facilities Management Subcommittee: Mrs. Dwyer to report.

B. Policy Subcommittee: Mrs. Bragg to report

C. Budget Subcommittee: Mr. Mulvey to report

X. Executive Session:

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
Mulvey/Bragg/Mahoney 1/7/2004 Marshall Remedial Action Plan
  5/27/2004 (Subcommittee) Transportation Fees
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/12/2008 Teacher Resources Libraries
  4/9/2008 Dir. of Security & Transportation Job Description
School Facilities Management    
Dwyer/Mahoney/Mulvey Major Building Projects  
  3/4/98 QHS/Central/Sterling Building Plans
  10/20/2004 ADA Report
  9/7/2005 Alternative Plans for Central Middle School
  1/25/2006 Fire Extinguishers
  1/25/2006 Outdoor Lighting
  2/8/2006 Conservation
  4/9/2008 11.6 School Facility Policy
  4/9/2008 Track
Health, Safety & Security    
Puleo/Mahoney/McCarthy 10/18/2006 NQHS Traffic & Drop off
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
School Policy    
Bragg/Dwyer/McCarthy 1/10/2001 Policy Manual
  10/18/2006 Sliding Scale for Student Fees
  5/2/2007 Bullying
  11/28/2007 Progress Reports
  2/6/2008 Voting Places
  3/12/2008 Movies in Schools
  3/12/2008 Teacher Evaluations
Special Education    
Mahoney/McCarthy/Mulvey 1/17/2007 Emergency Information Form
  1/17/2007 Substitute Teachers for SPED
  3/21/2007 Implementation of IEPs
Rules, Post Audit & Oversight    
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/17/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts - May 7, 2008
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, Regular May 7, 2008 at City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were Mr. Kevin Meeting Mulvey, Mr. Nick Puleo, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mr. Dave McCarthy and Mayor Tom Koch, Chairman.

Chairman Presiding

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The Superintendent called the roll and Mrs. Mahoney was absent. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary, Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk. Messrs. O’Brien, Mullaney, McPhee, Dr. Pattavina, Ms. Powell, Todd, Hughes, and Roberts. Ms. Tracey Christello represented Citywide, and Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA President, was present.

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Reg.&Exec Session Mins. Approved 4/9/2008

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee approved the regular and executive session minutes for April 9, 2008 with a correction. On a roll call vote, the amended minutes were approved 6-0. Mrs. Mahoney was absent.

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Appointment Sterling Principal

The Superintendent announced that he has selected Ms. Christine Barrett as Principal of the Reay E. Sterling Middle School.

Interviews will be held for two elementary principals, one middle school principal and two department heads for the high school. There are many concerts and graduations ongoing in the schools. The School Committee has been invited to these events.

Health Services

This is National School Nurses’ Day. Quincy has 25 nurses in the schools under the leadership of Jane Kisieluis. Quincy has again received the Continued Health Services Grant for $158,000. This grant will end in June 2013. It will support additional nurses, health supplies, health aides, services to non public schools, and computerized health records.

We have acquired some of the software for Riverdeep and Destinations. It is available to some of our schools. It is aligned with out text curriculum and Mass Curriculum.

Middle School Presidents Cup robotics competitions were held in the Quincy High School area. Over 100 students participated in this event. There are five levels of awards. They compete against each middle school. Central was the overall winner. This program is funded through the 21st Century Grant.

The Principals’ Induction Ceremony was held on April 30. The new Principals were recognized and this year the Superintendent invited retired principals. There are pictures on the Quincy Web page.

The Committee received the Arts Brochure. It lists all events being held for the rest of the school year. Special events for Physical Ed will be held all this week. Students’ art work will be in the Crane Library. Everyone was invited to attend.

The Teacher/Mentors held a celebration to thank the new staff and their mentors for their support. This has been a big success for our new teachers.

Quincy Symphony Evening at the Pops will be held tomorrow night at the Quincy Marriott. The Middle School Jazz Band will perform.

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Open Forum/Track @ Faxon

Mr. Chris Chapman, Ms. Cathy Bowes, Joe LaRaia, Joe Renzi, Patrick Joyce who all live in the area of Faxon Field all spoke to the proposed track at Faxon Field. They were not in favor of putting the track there. They were mostly concerned with flooding in the area. There is stagnant water. There are many houses in the area that already get water in their cellars. They feel that putting the track in that spot would only make it worse. They are in favor of putting the track at Pageant Field. Mr. Gerry Fiori said he was in support of the track at Faxon Field.

Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA President, said the members were all in favor of the proposed three-term marking period for the middle schools. They would like to revisit this next year and see how it is working out.

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Bldg. Update

Maintenance staff are closing down the heating systems for the season and the air conditioning will be activated. The handicap ramp at Wollaston has been replaced with a concrete ramp. The library at Quincy High School has been moved to the second floor of the main building. The second floor ceiling and walls at Atherton Hough were repainted this week. Sections of Snug Harbor walls have been repointed.

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Mrs. Dwyer reported that the Quincy High School Building Committee met on Friday, April 25. The high school continues on budget. They are two weeks behind schedule due to negotiations with two unions. There is a contingency plan for the picketing that will take place at the high school. The members received a new monthly calendar showing progress of the new school. With regard to the issue of Faxon Field, members of SSMA did initial investigating of the track. Mrs. Dwyer asked Ed Frenette to provide the School Committee with some basic information on the track at Faxon Field--nothing beyond gathering information he already had. They did approve the guaranteed maximum price that Gilbane gave for the final project for the high school. They voted unanimously in favor of that. This will guarantee that the project will come in at the prices quoted unless changes are made. They discussed furniture, fixtures, and equipment. This could affect the cost of the high school. They will meet again within the next week or so.

Mr. Puleo asked for a number of documents mentioned in the minutes -- the guaranteed maximum price documents, a copy of the masonry decision, the responsible employee ordinance spread sheets, and the HVAC system control system letter by Mayor Koch and the points of clarification on the savings from phase 4, the buffer zone that was reduced from $1.4 to $997,000. This was due to the cost of masonry outside in the court yard. He asked why that wasn’t caught in initial the savings.

Mrs. Dwyer will get those reports for everyone. There is some contingency money built in reserved for any possibility of change orders. If it is not used it will not be billed to the City.

There are some remediation costs to the existing high school. Work needs to be done to the portion of the building that was not demolished.

Mr. Puleo asked for missing minutes that he didn’t receive.

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Central Bldg. Committee

Mayor Koch said he will be scheduling a Central Building Committee meeting and waiting for Mrs. Mahoney’s return. The Committee is fully filled and Mr. Timmins is chair.

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Sections 5 & 11

Mrs. Bragg made a motion to approve section 5 and all of section 11 except for 11.6, seconded by Mr. McCarthy. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 6-0. Mrs., Mahoney was absent.

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Bullying Policy

Mrs. Bragg asked Mrs. Powell to assist in presenting some of the Bullying Policy. Ms. Stice’s research was incorporated into this. She thanked Ms. Stice. Everyone worked on the draft – school attorneys reviewed the policy. This policy sends a clear message to all that Quincy will respond to any allegation of bullying. On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee approved the Anti Bullying Policy. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 6-0. Mrs. Mahoney was absent.

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MS Marking System

Mrs. Bragg reported that the Middle School Grading Change was proposed by the Middle School Principals. Due to MCAS testing there isn’t much teaching time. Mrs. Bogan reported that they are asking to go to a trimester system. This also gives continuity from grade 5 to 6. This will give a longer marking period term one.

Progress Reports

Mrs. Bragg said progress reports were discussed. They all felt that teachers and parents need to communicate with each other. More teacher education and adding a check off box to the form would help. The members asked for two comments by the teacher. Mrs. Bogan will incorporate this into the POS book. In September the principals will train all teachers. On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy the Committee moved approval of going from a four to three terms at the middle school leavel. This item will remain on the table until the next meeting.

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Track @ Faxon Field

Mr. Timmins, Mrs. Powers, and Mr. Franz all spoke to the proposed track at Faxon Field. Mr. Timmins addressed the jurisdictional issues. He has met with Gale Associates. Gale has constructed a number of tracks in the area. A special act was granted to the City to use Faxon Field for school purposes. As far as the track on Faxon, the School Committee would have jurisdiction over it. All phases of this track would come before the Committee.

The Mayor has said he doesn’t want the track at Pageant and will not fund it. The Park Dept. has rescinded its vote for it there. As far as going to Faxon, SMMA did only test borings at the site in a limited area. Mr. Timmins showed where the boring are. They believe that more boring work has to be done. Gale associates will do all the work for $67,000 plus $10,000 to do subsurface work. There is $120,000 unused for the track.

Mr. Timmins spoke with Rachel Freed of the DEP. If they were to do anything that would interfere, they would have to do wetland replication. The City agreed to treat the wetlands on the site at the highest level of scrutiny. The City will entertain an amendment to the permit but until they see it, they don’t know what they’re going to say about it. They feel by moving the track from the Russell Park side to the Coddington side they will be able to work on the track facility impacting the wetlands a little less.

Mr. Timmins explained the proposed track – the oval, the shoot, the straight away. They do have to go back to the City Council on the financing as it is coming out of the bond. They are asking the School Committee for authority to use this site.

As far as the jurisdiction goes, Mrs. Dwyer asked if it was not Faxon Field, would the School Committee have jurisdiction on another site. Mr. Timmins said yes, but only the Mayor has the authority to fund.

Mrs. Dwyer asked Mr. Timmins to find out if they can amend the permit. Would that open any doors for any appeals? She would like a legal opinion. She didn’t want to open that door again.

Mrs. Dwyer expressed concern that the field would not be available until the summer of 2011. That area is to be used for staging. Mr. Timmins said they would look at alternatives for staging needs and get the field sooner rather than later.

Mr. Timmins spoke about pitching the track inward, the rainfall would be collected into a drainage system and carried out. This won’t eliminate neighborhood issues, but it should help.

Mr. McCarthy asked why SMMA is being relieved of the track process. Mr. Timmins said they have spoken about Faxon Field. He didn’t think they could credibly go in another direction.

Mr. Timmins said the track at Faxon would cost around $1 million. Gale can’t be definitive about borings. Gale outlined four options. Jim Timmins handed out a chronology of the track.

Mr. Franz said they need to find out more information on site conditions, and environmental permit conditions so they can make financial judgments based on all the different options. They need to spend money to do that. It will cost in the vicinity of $20,000 to $25,000 for Gale to decide.

The track will be 5’ off the side walk and 16’ off the street. Fixing the parking lot is not part of the track project.

The committee asked about bleachers. Also the discus and javelin will have to go off site.

Mrs. Bragg asked that this be moved to the School Facilities Subcommittee. And, she felt that the proposal is too close to the street to put students on.

Mr. Puleo was concerned that our students have gone a number of years without a track. If the School Committee doesn’t accept this proposal, the community would be faced with a number of years without a site.

The Mayor said there aren’t a lot of options. It won’t fit at Sterling and it won’t fit at Kincade. He added that Pageant is a beautiful passive site. Mr. Peter Adams said that the family would not approve of putting a track at Pageant Field. It is not a personal thing, but the track will not be built at Pageant Field.

Track to Subcommittee

This item was moved to the School Facilities Management subcommittee.

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Maintenance to City

Mayor Koch is asking the School Committee to vote to adopt the provisions of Chapter 71 section 37 m. Their vote would be to consolidate the control of Maintenance and turn it over to the City.

Mr. Timmins stated that each building in the City is doing its own ordering. The Honeywell project is a current cost that has to be paid. The first year is $3.3 million dollars. That payment is covering all school buildings, however the City is making that payment. One of the issues coming up is even though 70% of the benefit was conferred upon the schools, 100% is coming from the City side. That bodes towards consolidation of maintenance. The school side had a history of issues with capital maintenance. The School Committee’s focus should be on school issues.

Mr. Timmins added that Mr. Cunniff is doing too much. He needs administrative help. He needs people to work under him. The goal here is to have management of buildings all brought under one umbrella so he can share that. There are a lot of demands held by Mr. Cunninff previously held by Mr. Ryan and the City is not able to handle.

Mr. Timmins added it could impact down the road financially if we don’t consolidate. Administratively there is a problem with the way things are handled.

The members feel that the Maintenance employees should be at the table. They asked Mr. Timmins why would they want to change the present arrangement. They feel that the plan they have now is the best for the school system.

To Subcommittee

Mr. Mulvey moved this into the subcommittee. He asked for a list of all the buildings in the City including school buildings that the consolidated Maintenance Dept. would take care of. He also asked for a written proposal.

Mr. McCarthy said he has a problem giving away the control from the Superintendent and the School Committee. They can’t guarantee the safety of the kids. Also, he didn’t hear Mr. Ryan’s name mentioned. If there is a problem at the city side and a problem on the school side, who goes first? Most of Mr. Cunniff’s time has been dedicated to the high school.

Mr. McCarthy asked if Mr. Ryan was in the new structure. Mr. Timmins answered that his position stays, but he is not in that new structure. The proposed structure has Mr. Cunniff as the Director.

Mrs. Dwyer has called a Subcommittee meeting for May 13 at 4:00 p.m. to discuss this. She asked for the number of employees the City side has. How will they fund the new positions under the new structure. She took exception to his opening remarks that the school side has experienced 70% of the Honeywell expenses but the City side is paying all of that. The School Committee does not own the buildings. Any benefit on the school side is a benefit to the city side. She didn’t see a difference and we are all on the same side. She thought it an unfair statement and closed it by saying they should all work together.

Mtg. stopped @ 3 hrs. Vote to continue

As the meeting had gone on beyond three hours, Mrs. Bragg made a motion seconded by Mr. Puleo, to continue this meeting. The ayes have it.

Mrs. Dwyer said she saw no savings to the City side to move salaries there and the schools would lose authority of its buildings.

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NQ to Italy

On a motion by Mr. Mulvey, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee approved a trip for North Quincy Foreign Language students to go to Italy from June 27 to July 14, 2008. The ayes have it.

NQ to France

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee approved a trip for North Quincy Foreign Language students to go to France from April 13, to April 25, 2008. The ayes have it.

BM to Canobie Lake

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee approved a trip for Broad Meadows students to go to Canobie Lake Park on June 16, 2008. The ayes have it.

PW to NY City

On a motion by Mr. Puleo, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee approved a trip for Point Webster students to go to New York City from June 4 to June 6, 2008. The ayes have it.

Central to PA

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee approved a trip for Central students to go to Gettysburg, PA from June 9 to June 11, 2008. The ayes have it.

NQ to NE Institute of Technology

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee approved a trip for North Quincy High students to go to N.E. Institute of Technology, Rhode Island on May 9, 2008. The ayes have it.

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Gift to Project Access

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee accepted a gift of $170.00 donated by the Protestant churches in North Quincy and Wollaston to Project Access. The ayes have it.

Gift to student for Medical Equipment

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee accepted a gift of $1,001.13 donated by the Rural Masonic Lodge to be used for medical equipment for one of our students. The ayes have it.

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DA’s office

Mr. Mulvey reported that District Attorney William Keating’s office has mailed out 680 CDs (In One Split Second) to all eighth graders. He thanked the DA’s office. They also paid for the postage.

Mayor Koch thanked Cleaner Greener Day, National Honor society and the Literature contest he attended.

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Honeywell Discussion

Mrs. Dwyer reported that a School Facilities Mgt. Subcommittee was held to discuss the Honeywell Project. Mr. Fatseas passed out information showing what has been completed to date and what is left to do. He also gave an inventory of every piece of equipment that went into the schools. There will be a central server. The boiler work controls are not in place as yet. That is the last piece of the job. When installed, Honeywell will train all custodians. If there are any problem, Honeywell has a 24 hr. service. The Committee would like the Maintenance personnel to be trained on the controls also.

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Policy Subcommittee

A Policy Subcommittee was held whereby the Middle School Principals presented a change from four times a year grading system to a three times a year. It has been presented to their staff, PTOs, and School Councils, and all are in agreement. This new policy is agreeable to all the middle school principals. The subcommittee also discussed Progress Reports. The Subcommittee approved the Anti Bullying Policy.

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Budget Subcommittee Safety & Transportation Job Descriptions

The Budget subcommittee met to discuss separating the Director of Security and Transportation into two positions. The Superintendent passed out copies of job descriptions for a Coordinator of Security and a Coordinator of Transportation. Another meeting will be held on May 13 for further discussion. Mr. McCarthy and Mrs. Bragg are working on the job descriptions for both of these positions. Whether or not this should be two positions will come to the full committee for a vote. On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy the Committee approved the minutes of the Policy Subcommittee. The ayes have it.

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FY09 Budget to CC

Mr. Mulvey said he notified by email all the members that the School Committee will present its budget to the City Council on June 5 at 6:45 p.m.

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Health & Safety Sub./Free Breakfasts

Mr. Puleo reported that the Health and Safety Subcommittee met on April 15 to discuss the school breakfast program. Representatives from Project Bread were present. Quincy has two elementary schools, Parker and Snug Harbor, where all students are able to access a free breakfast every day. The costs for the meals are paid for by the federal government. Project Bread has been working closely with Mrs. Morrissey for the past number of years. Project Bread would like to increase the number of meals provided to students.

The Superintendent wants the Wellness Teams included in any decisions related to changes in the breakfast program. Mr. Puleo agreed and noted that each school should pick the method that best fits its unique character.

The next phase would be to work with the Wellness Teams at Parker and Snug Harbor to see which plans would work at each school. Mrs. Morrissey will continue to work with Project Bread and the teams on implementation.

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The Committee noted the following retirements:

Teacher: Angela Check


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teacher: Ryan Durst

Computer Tech: Edward Beach

Programmer: Scott Coleman

Café Helper: Cheryl Morano


The Committee noted the following appointments:

Café Helper: Mary Lou Curran

Lunch Attendant: Cheryl Fellows

Food Worker: Diane Pineau

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Executive Session

Mr. McCarthy made a motion, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, to go into Executive Session at 10:49 p.m. for the purpose of negotiations. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 6-0. Mrs. Mahoney was absent.

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Return to Open Session/Maintenance Contract. Ratified

The Committee returned to Open Session at 11:02 p.m. On a motion by Mr. Mulvey, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee ratified the contract between the Maintenance union and the School Committee April 10, 2008. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 6-0. Mrs. Mahoney was absent.

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On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee adjourned for the evening at 11:03 p.m. On a roll call vote, the motion to adjourned passed 6-0. Mrs. Mahoney was absent.