Nov. 7, 2007 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
November 7, 2007

Lincoln Hancock Community School
 7:00 p.m. Regular Meeting

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session minutes for October 17, 2007.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Community Service Learning Event
B. Assistant Superintendent Process
C. Quincy Educator, Volume 2
D. AYP/MCAS Presentation - November 28
E. American Education Week

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 the New Quincy High School: Mr. Ryan to report.
B. Update on Central and Sterling:  

V. New Business:

A. Quincy Public Schools Drug Prevention, Education, and Intervention: Ms. Powell to present. See Attachment.

B. Gift: A 1996 Ford Explorer from Laurie Parris to the Automotive Department at Quincy High School. See Attachment A.

C. Gift: Donation of World War II Books from Marie McCarthy in memory of her husband Frank, to Quincy High School Social Studies Department and the Quincy High School Media Center. See Attachment B.

D. Out of Country Travel: QHS Students to France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. See Attachment C. This item was tabled at your last meeting.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings: - none

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. Building Needs Subcommittee: Ms. Dwyer to report.
B. Ad Hoc Subcommittee (Supt’s. Evaluation): Ms. Dwyer to report.

X. Executive Session:

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
McCarthy/Stice/Mahoney 11/19/2003 Vending Machines in Schools
  1/7/2004 Marshall Remedial Action Plan
  5/27/2004 (Subcommittee) Transportation Fees
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
Building Needs    
Dwyer/McCarthy/Timmins 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
Health, Safety & Security    
Mahoney/Dwyer/Timmins 10/18/2006 NQHS Traffic & Drop off
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
School Policy    
Stice/Mahoney/Mulvey 1/10/2001 Policy Manual
  11/19/2003 Vending Machines in Schools
  10/18/2006 Sliding Scale for Student Fees
  3/21/2007 Student Records/Transfers, etc.
  5/2/2007 Bullying
  10/3/2007 Student Agenda Books
Special Education    
Timmins/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    
Superintendent's Evaluation    
Dwyer/McCarthy 10/3/2007 Evaluation Format
Channel 22    
Timmins/Mahoney 10/17/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts - November 7, 2007
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, November 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Lincoln-Hancock Community School. Present were Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Linda Stice, Mr. Jim Timmins, Mr. Dave McCarthy, Mayor Phelan and Ms. Elaine Dwyer, Vice Chairman. Vice Chairman Presiding

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The Superintendent called the roll and all members were present. Also present were: Drs. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary, and Pattavina. Messrs. O’Brien, Ryan, Walsh, McPhee, Canavan, Kevin and Keith Segalla, Ms. Powell, Hughes, and Roberts.

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A moment of silence was observed for Gerry Gowan, a former teacher and principal, and Madeline Nugent, Paraprofessional. Both passed away this week.

Reg.Mins. Approved 10/17/2007

On a motion by Mr. Timmins seconded by Mrs. Mahoney, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for October 17, 2007. The ayes have it.

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Welcome by Principal

Ms. Ruth Witmer and Assistant Principal, Dan Gilbert, welcomed the School Committee to the Lincoln Hancock Community School. Ms. Witmer spoke to the vocabulary and comprehension plan at the school. Around Halloween, the first graders dressed up as vocabulary words. Ms. Witmer had a slide show showing the students dressed in their costumes. Parents helped students construct a costume that became the definition of the word. They paraded around the school. This is one of the initiatives teachers did to help increase their vocabulary and comprehension in a unique way.

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Drug Presentation

Mrs. Powell introduced the Quincy Public Schools Drug presentation. The schools are concerned about the potential impact of tobacco, alcohol and drugs on students. Quincy supports healthy activities for young people and provides positive adult role models. Our schools provide drug abuse awareness, education, support, and referral. Quincy’s law enforcement and mental health agencies are involved. Quincy is a community that works together, collaborating and sharing resources to provide intervention.

Partners in this drug prevention effort include Quincy Police, MBTA Police, DA’s office, Bay State Community Services, So. Shore Mental Health Center, Impact Quincy, Quincy’s court, the Department of Youth Services, Department of Social Services and the YMCA. We are encouraged by the most recent MASS Risk Behavior Survey which indicates that less that 50% of students are currently using alcohol, 80% report not smoking, 74% are not using marijuana, and 92% have never tried drugs. These are statistically significant decreases over the past 10 years. We remain concerned about the abuse of prescription drugs that can lead to other serious drug use.

William Keating, DA

District Attorney, William Keating, spoke to the long time coalition between his office and the Quincy Public Schools. He gave a capsule- look of some of the work they do. Some of the programs that come out of the DA’s office are the Saturday Detention Program at Quincy High School, the After Prom parties, and a website for parents. If people have questions, they can check the website Alcohol is the predominant issue. The play, Consent, is very popular with the young people. He gave the members a DVD that is used in the schools --In One Split Second. The DA’s philosophy is early intervention and collaboration.

The Safety & Security round table meetings are very effective. The various organizations sit together and talk about what has happened from month to month. This gives everyone a chance to get together and intervene. The Justice Dept. has recommended this model.

Jim Quigley, DA’s office

Jim Quigley, DA’s office, spoke to other programs -- the Boys Mentoring Program at Broad Meadows, the Quincy High Mediation Training Program, Open gym at Quincy High School with the Community Police. This gets students to come to the gym and play basketball with police officers. This is a very successful program. There is an Early Bird Basketball Program at Snug Harbor, Quincy Summer Time Basketball Camp in collaboration with the Quincy YMCA. Programs on the horizon are--Choose to Refuse-a heroin and Oxy Contin program, Youth Town Hall meeting for high schools at Curry College and Impact Quincy for substance abuse.

Mr. Mulvey thought the play “Consent” was a fantastic idea. It deals with two major problems--drugs and alcohol. He would like to see that play at our two high schools and then have legal representatives there to explain to students the consequences.

McCarthy asked the DA’s office to sit down with the School Committee to talk about the best suggestions for use at the high school level to increase awareness in our programs and to make sure we do things effectively.

The District Attorney said they are seeing more assault and batteries involving young females.

Mr. Timmins was very pleased with the presentation and for the public to see how they try to intervene. He would like to see them at meetings more often so parents can see how they can take steps to help their children stay out of trouble.

Mrs. Mahoney also thinks it’s important that parents know what’s out there and how to communicate between the schools and the DA’s office. Often times, they don’t know where to turn to.

Mr. Keating said that the schools are an active partner but they can’t cure all social ills. When something’s not going right at home, that affects learning too. The appropriate way is through the schools, and Quincy does that very well.

Mrs. Mahoney asked if families did want to come forward, how do they do that. Jim Quigley answered that with all programs they send a letter of indication to every school. The schools get back to them whether they have the time to take students away from their classrooms. If a family has questions; the website is a link with answers.

DARE Program Officer Don Sautter

Officer Don Sautter, DARE Program, described aspects that are unique to Quincy and shared some thoughts as to its impact. This program began in Quincy in l989. He teaches in the elementary schools at the fifth grade level. Officer Grazioso teaches in the 7th. grade. They teach 1,700 students per year. The basic topic is to help students recognize and resist the subtle pressures that influence them to get involved and experiment with gateway drugs-- tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs. The main topics in these lessons talk about decision making, steps to walk them through to help kids slow down, and think through things before they make decisions. They focus on the harmful effects of drugs and teach kids there’s no reason to get involved in the first place.

Ken McPhee

Ken McPhee shared school based and community efforts to intervene where drug use could be a potential problem. He discussed his round table meetings. The DA’s office, both police departments, school resource officers, DSS, DYS, some security staff, deans, principals participate. They brainstorm to come up with more effective ways to service kids that are in need. This is done on a monthly basis.

John Francechini, Director of Health and Physical Education, spoke to the drug education programs in grades 5-9. It provides the foundation of concepts and skills for lifelong fitness. The focus is to educate students in their physical, educational, and mental health environmental. The vision is for young students to grow into competent adults.

Jane Kisieluis

Jane Kisieluis spoke to the many initiatives of the school nurses. Although nurses are not involved in daily instruction, school nurses provide health education in a variety of ways. Nurses get to know students and track health visits, repeated health incidents at each high school, offer tobacco sussion program. Project Connect is implemented by a counselor over an eight-week period in both high schools. The school nurses put out a quarterly news letter. They hold health fairs at both high schools. This is only a sample of programs done by the school nurse.

Mr. Mulvey asked regarding substance abuse at home, upon information from the student, what protocols are there for us to intervene. Mrs. Powell said that information is shared with the guidance department. They would assess what we should do. Very often a child may be called in to offer support.

Mrs. Mahoney thanked everyone for the great presentation. She told parents that if they recognize something going on, there are avenues to help. We need to reinforce information to parents.

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SC Recognition

The School Committee recognized Ms. Jo-Ann Bragg in the audience. Superintendent DeCristofaro congratulated Ms. Bragg, Mrs. Dwyer and Mr. McCarthy. He also thanked Mayor Phelan for all his work for the students of Quincy.

Supts. Report

Eleventh Annual Community Service Learning on November 15. The Quincy Educator was distributed last week. The Educational Leadership Team meeting was held and information will be forthcoming. That was very beneficial for 70 administrators. At least 40 of those administrators are brand new.

The Committee received a copy of the Nurse’s Newsletter, a letter sent home to parents with a medical alert, a security checklist from Mr. McPhee, the names of the Quincy High School students auditioning for the Eastern District Music Festival, and 21st Century activities for before and after school. Thirty-five staff members, elementary principals, assistant principals and Quincy High administrators have received training sessions. A notification sheet and instruction sheet on updating their information was sent to parents. The first real Instant Alert message by elementary principals was made announcing report card interviews.

The framework for choosing the Assistant Superintendent was developed and is in the Policy Manual. Mr. Walsh has the candidates’ names for the members.

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Open Forum

At the Open Forum, Mr. Bill Zamzow, QPAC addressed the Committee. He thanked them for the newly painted handicap spot. QPAC is working with the School Committee to assist in the hiring of Special Ed staff at all levels, with the Policy Subcommittee on the DIP. QPAC is taking the supportive assessment developing in special ed programs. The upcoming MDOE program quality assurance review, the many ongoing challenges in transportation, budgeting, and providing emergency information on Special Education. The QPAC meetings are open for the public, parents, interested parties. Information is published in the Quincy Sun and Ledger and posted in both Quincy website under Parents Special Ed Information link as well as QPAC’s new website. Any and all inquires should be address to [email protected]. The next meeting is on Tuesday November 27.

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There was no update on the new Quincy High School.

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Central & Sterling

There was no update on Central and Sterling.

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Gift - Auto Dept.

On a motion by Mr. Mulvey, seconded by Ms. Stice, the Committee approved a gift of a 1996 Ford Explorer from Laurie Harris to the Automotive Department at Quincy High School. The ayes have it.

Gift - QHS Social Studies

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mr. Timmins, the Committee approved a gift of World War 2 books from Marie McCarthy, in memory of her husband, Frank, to the Quincy High School Social Studies Department. The ayes have it.

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QHS to France, Germany, Austria & Switzerland

On a motion by Ms. Stice, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee approved a trip for Quincy High School students to go to France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The ayes have it. This request was tabled from the last meeting awaiting a copy of letter to parents. The letter came after it was requested by the Committee. Ms. Stice sent out a friendly reminder that School Committee policy is that parents be told when part of the fees they are paying goes to cover the cost of chaperones.

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Atlantic to NYC

On a motion by Mr. Mulvey, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved a trip for Atlantic Middle School to go to New York City. The ayes have it.

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Mr. McCarthy said his father would have been pleased that the World War II books ended up at Quincy High School. He was part of that generation. The 65 books are very detailed and intriguing. The family is very pleased that they ended up at Quincy High School.

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Bldg. Subcommittee

The Building Needs Subcommittee met earlier this evening to discuss Fire Safety that was brought up at their last meeting and in the media. Mr. Canavan reported that all fire extinguishers have been inspected and certified. Emergency lights have all been repaired or replaced. All interior glass has been replaced. All exit doors are in working order. The two electrical hazards have been repaired. All signage requests have been met. The gas meter at North Quincy High School has been relocated, all housekeeping matters are being addressed by Kevin Segella. The emergency generator at Broad Meadows is in working order. The paint in the Central stairwell was been tested and does not contain any lead. Mr. Canavan meets periodically with Bill Griffin from the Fire Alarm division to review the status of smoke detectors. All areas where there was a faulty detector, there is a working detector. All the quarterly reports done by the fire department will be copied to the Superintendent and all members of the School Committee.

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Supts. Evaluation

An ad hoc subcommittee met to discuss the format of the Superintendent’s evaluation. They received two drafts that the members will take back and go over the elements in the Superintendent’s report. It’s quite lengthy, so they want to it down to a reasonable amount of items. They will meet again in about a week and come to the table with final comments.

Mr. Timmins announced that the Special Ed Subcommittee will meet on Tuesday, November 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Early Childhood Center.

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 The Committee noted the following retirements:

Dept. Chair: Gerald Finch

Teachers: Ralph Koelsch, Douglas McFarlane, Sara Shapiro


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teachers: Sara Cady, Judi Flaherty, Caroline Hughes

Occ. Therapist: Keri Johnson

Lunch Attendant: Vasiliqi Daci

Paraprofessional: Carly Sell


The Committee noted the following appointments:

Teacher: Stephanie Enzmann

Lunch Attendants: Pamela Jones, Thanh Lluong, Dolly Martinez

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On a motion by Ms. Stice, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee adjourned for the evening at 9:00 p.m. The ayes have it. There was no executive session. These minutes were transcribed from a disk by Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk, who could not attend the meeting.