April 1, 2009 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
April 1, 2009

7:00 p.m.

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular and Executive Session Minutes for March 18, 2009.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Presentation for Parents on Bullying and Cyber Bullying – April 14

B. Foreign Language Students and Staff

C. Environmental Eagles; Sterling Middle School Students

D. Underage Drinking May 4 Parent Presentation

E. Behavioral Task Team (Statewide Presentation)

F. Robotics Competition

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. Murphy to report.

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

C. Update on Central: Mrs. Bragg and Mrs. Mahoney to report.

D. Quincy Public Schools Transitions – Mrs. Powell and Mrs. Roberts to report.

V.  New Business:

A. North Quincy ROTC to New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania: See Attachment A.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings: - none

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. Special Education Subcommittee: Mrs. Mahoney to report

B. Policy Subcommittee: Mrs. Bragg to report.

X Executive Session:

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
Mariano/Bragg/McCarthy 4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/29/2008 Bus Rental Fees
  3/29/2008 Building Rental Fees
  9/10/2008 Revolving Funds 5-yrs. History
School Facilities Management    
Dwyer/Mahoney/Mariano 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
  2/8/2006 Conservation
  4/9/2008 11.6 School Facility Policy
  4/9/2008 Track
  9/10/2008 NQHS gym floor named
Health, Safety & Security    
Puleo/Mahoney/McCarthy 10/18/2006 School Zone, Traffic Safety Concerns
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
School Policy    
Bragg/Dwyer/McCarthy 1/10/2001 Policy Manual
  2/6/2008 Voting Places
  3/12/2008 Teacher Evaluations
  9/10/2008 Grade Configurations
  1/21/2009 Recess
  3/11/2009 MS Interim Letters
  3/11/2009 Naming of QPS schools/places/etc.
Special Education    
Mahoney/McCarthy/Mariano 1/17/2007 Emergency Information Form
  1/17/2007 Substitute Teachers for SPED
  3/21/2007 Implementation of IEPs
  9/24/2008 INSPIRE Initiative
Rules, Post Audit & Oversight    
Dwyer/Puleo/Bragg 10/29/2008 Faxon Field
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/17/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts - April 1, 2009
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 in the City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Nicholas Puleo, Mr. Ron Mariano, Mayor Tom Koch, and Mr. Dave McCarthy, Vice Chairman.

Vice Chairman Presiding

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The Superintendent called the roll and Mrs. Dwyer was absent. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk; Messrs. Mullaney, Murphy, Draicchio, Keith Segalla, Ms. Roberts, Powell, Hughes, and Dr. Sylvia Pattavina. Ms. Tracey Christello, Citywide and Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA. Ms. Emily Hajjar, Quincy High School Student Rep. The Committee observed a moment of silence for Anthoney Wilkerson, a QHS student who was killed last week in a car accident, and Janice Erler’s son, Shawn, who passed away last week.

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Reg. Mins.Approved 3/18/2009

On a motion by Mr. Puleo, seconded by Mayor Koch, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for March 18, 2009. The ayes have it.

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Supts. Report

The Superintendent thanked Committee members, Mayor Koch, and administrators for consistently exemplifying the “surround care” philosophy of the school system – whether it is a funeral, the caring for a family member after a fire, principals, teachers, and other staff are all there to help and assist in making families know we care beyond the classrooms and into the community.

The MCAS testing schedule has begun and will continue through April, May, and June.

Business Partnership Event

We will recognize our volunteer partners tomorrow morning at the Tirrell Room. Principals, students, teachers, School Committee, and Mayor Koch, will take this opportunity to recognize the many accomplishments of our partners. The Board of Directors will also be present. The breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m.

Student/Staff Recognition

Congratulations went to the Drama Program at Quincy High School for the an outstanding play Oliver. The show played for two weekends and was a tremendous success.

As well, congratulations went to the QPAC for the Special Education Resource Fair they held this weekend at North Quincy. It was very well planned and well attended.

The members received “Come Celebrate the Arts” notices containing significant activities offered by the Physical Education/Art/Music, Media staff and students.

Mr. Paul Mauriello, the facilitator of the Robotics program, and his students shared some details of this year’s program. It consisted of 40 students, 9 staff members, 9 volunteers, parents and alumni. The team was very successful. They have a close partnership with Gillette, outstanding support from the school department and an outstanding group of students.

Sterling Middle School students were present to share their prize winning video, filmed by Brian Smith, “Environmental Eagles.” Foreign Language staff and students were present to share their successes.

Parent Forums

Quincy will host a presentation for parents on bullying and cyber bullying at Central Middle School on April 14. The presentation will focus on common causes of bullying and tips for parents on how to partner with school effectively, and on Monday, May 4, there will be a parent information night on Making A Difference on Underage Drinking at North Quincy High School. Quincy was asked by the Mass Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to host a Task Force on Behavioral Health and the Public Schools as they had heard that Quincy had some of these linkages in place. All of the many initiatives have been embraced and supported by Quincy Public Schools over the years. Quincy will be recognized at the state house tomorrow as a drama sensitive school.

All the students present this evening received an “Outstanding Student Award” Certificates from the Committee. After a short recess, the Committee went on with the business at hand.

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 Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA President, announced that the QEA had a meeting today to vote on accepting a wage freeze for one year. Eighty-seven per cent voted “no” and thirteen percent voted “yes.” The motion failed. A subsequent motion passed that the team should remain in place in case the City wants to talk further. The QEA feels that the City is asking more of the teachers than the other unions. There is plenty of ARRA money promised. The amounts are not fixed. Title I is not nailed down and Chapter 70 funds are subject to legislative approval. The amounts will be significant, and the money is specifically aimed at layoff reductions. The City is unwilling to budget without all the facts and the QEA is unwilling to take a wage freeze without all the facts. Right now among the teachers it is “no.” They voted for the GIC and the state is already raising the co pay. The QEA feels that the City is doing quite well. The QEA wants the public to know that they are willing to listen and talk, but right now they are saying “no, not now.”

Mrs. Susan Early spoke about her daughter, who she feels is at risk. She said she hasn’t felt any support for her from the school department. Today she said she spent $1,000 going to a meeting to talk about a $3,000 evaluation for her daughter for reading. Her daughter is severely dyslexic. She wants help for her daughter.

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Bldg. & Grounds

Mr. Kevin Murphy reported that the four corner light poles have been installed at the Stadium. The electrical work is done at Broad Meadows. The new computer room at Squantum is finished. Tables will be there on Friday. Maintenance will now start exterior work on the buildings. Mayor Koch said the Stadium job was done in-house, and if it had gone outside, it would have cost the City a lot more than $100,000.

With regard to graffiti, the custodians call in on Monday mornings with any complaints. If it’s vulgarity, Maintenance will take it off right away, but they can’t use the sand blaster in the cold weather.

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There was no update to report on Central Middle School.

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Student Transitioning

Ms. Janet Powell, Student Support Services, and Ms. Colleen Roberts, Curriculum, gave a comprehensive report on students transitioning from home to school and from level to level. These are major events in the lives of students and parents. They explained how the schools assist students in the transition from Pre-K-to K, elementary to middle school and from middle to high school. They gave an overview of the student support activities, academic support and parent communication. As of today, 315 new students have enrolled.

Quincy got in touch with 669 students in the 2007 graduating class. Out of the 669 students, 82% of pursued higher education, 58% entered 4 yr. colleges, 21% entered 2 year colleges, 2% entered other education, 16% went right to work, 2% into the military and 1% were unemployed. The Student Support Department did this survey every year, however they have decided to do it every other year. They found that the personalized information doesn’t change that much every year.

Mrs. Bragg asked for a comparison of Graduate Follow-ups for the last five years.

Mayor Koch inquired what is done about students who go to school in Quincy but don’t live here. Mrs. Powell answered that there are two Supervisors of Attendance who check on anyone who is questionable. Anonymous phone calls are followed up.

Mr. Mariano inquired about the 30% of Quincy’s students whose language is not English. He asked if there was any recognition by the state of the increased cost that comes with this. Mrs. Roberts answered that there is a Title 3 grant. It is difficult for our ELL students who are here only one year and have to pass the same test as native Americans. We are training our teachers to work with ELL students, but the State doesn’t provide the money for it. It is a testament to the teachers in our system. Mrs. Dwyer arrives at 9:00 p.m.

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New QHS Update by Mrs. Dwyer

Mrs. Dwyer reported that Gilbane has come in to demolish the old Center for Technical Education building. However, the glue around the bricks has asbestos in it. It is on every wall, every floor. Bricks have to be taken down individually. It will add another week or so. This is another unforeseen cost as it is a time consuming project. Wheatstone will remove the leaky oil tanks. Some of the underground tanks have leaked oil around the area. This will add a $20,000 additional cost. The high school is delayed about one week. She is still waiting for the minutes from their January and February meetings.

Mrs. Dwyer attended a Conservation Commission meeting. A corroded pipe on Coddington Street, across from the YMCA had broken. The DPW replaced the pipe. They were trying to file it under the high school DEP permit and Mrs. Dwyer was nervous that would open up the permit for appeal. They did take the DEP number off the project. It is not part of the high school project. The pipe was replaced. It had deteriorated over the years.

Due to the 2008 change in the square footage between the old high school and the new high school, the building committee voted to spend some money to cosmetically restore the exterior of the old high school –about $50,000. Currently, the total cost savings to the project because of the footage change is at $505,000.

Motion to use only Energy Star Equip.

Mrs. Dwyer made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, that the Quincy School Committee agrees and commits that they will only purchase Energy Star equipment and appliances in the construction in the new Quincy High School and prohibit the purchase of low efficiency products, including halogen torchieries and portable electrical resistance heaters. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

Mrs. Puleo commented that a number of people are concerned with the cost of the high school. Mrs. Dwyer responded that the Building Committee is constantly following a budget. There are two contingency funds—owners and the contractor’s contingency funds. Money has been set aside for problems. Most of ours was $1,965,709 spent on leaky oil tanks, $477,614 construction issues and $222,776 miscellaneous. We still have $5,465,095 in our contingency fund. The process at the old CTE will be costly. This is a labor intensive process.

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NQ ROTC to NJ,NY & Penn.

On a motion by Mayor Koch, seconded by Nick Puleo, the Committee approved a trip from the North Quincy ROTC students to go to New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania on April 3-7, 2009. The ayes have it.

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On a motion by Mayor Koch, seconded by Nick Puleo, the Committee approved a request for Quincy High ROTC students to go to Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire on April 9, 2009. The ayes have it.

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Mrs. Bragg asked for a presentation on Special Education Budget and Opportunities and Title I.

Mr. McCarthy commended Mr. Santoro and Peggy Spencer for the production over the weekend. “Oliver” was presented four times.

Mrs. Mahoney recognized Tim Bell, a Central Middle School Student, who won the South Shore Spelling Bee. He will get an all expense trip to the Capitol Spelling Bee contest.

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SPED Subcommittee Mrs. Mahoney Reports

Mrs. Mahoney reported that the Special Education Subcommittee met on March 25, 2009. There was a transportation update from Nick Puleo and an update on stimulus funding from Ms. Todd. QPAC announced their upcoming events. Parents requested that other members of the School Committee attend their meetings. On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee accepted the minutes. The ayes have it.

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Policy Subcommittee Mrs. Bragg Reports

Mrs. Dwyer reported that the Policy Subcommittee met on March 25, 2009. A “draft” School Recess Policy/Guidelines was presented. Mrs. Bragg will ask Citywide to review the policy, and Mrs. Roberts will give it to the principals and School Committee members. The Subcommittee also reviewed policies 10.8.10 – 10.17. The policies that deal with health issues were tabled until Mrs. Kisieluis can review them. On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee accepted the minutes. The ayes have it.

Mrs. Puelo asked that the guide by the Department of Children and Families regarding 51 A explaining when it’s appropriate to report abuses and neglect be made available to the schools. Mrs. Powell said the counselors have the guide on a disk. Each year there is training for all in-coming teachers. She will look into having it distributed to all of the staff.

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The Committee noted the following retirements:

Teachers: Paul Haight,  Barbara Hanrahan, Donna Miller


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teacher: Daniel Reynolds

Transportation Monitor: Mary Gibson

Paraprofessional: Maryanne McLellan

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On a motion by Mayor Koch, seconded by Mr. Mariano, the Committee voted to adjourn for the evening at 9:21 p.m. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0. The ayes have it.