Jan. 7, 2009 School Committee Meeting


Quincy, Massachusetts - January 7, 2009
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 in the Broad Meadows Middle School. Present were Mr. Ron Mariano, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mr. Nicholas Puleo, Mr. Dave McCarthy, and Mayor Tom Koch, Chairman.

Chairman Presiding

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The Superintendent called the roll and all members were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary, Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk. Messrs. O’Brien, Mullaney, Mulvey, Draicchio, Keith Segalla, Ms. Roberts and Ms. Powell, and Dr. Sylvia Pattavina. Ms. Tracey Christello, Citywide, and Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA. The Committee observed a moment of silence for Robert Lainge, a retired North Quincy High School teacher who passed away.

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Reg. Mins.Approved 12/10/2008

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for December 10, 2008. The ayes have it.

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Welcome by Principal Principal, Larry Taglieri, welcomed everyone to Broad Meadows. He complimented his staff who all work together for the benefit of the students. Author and Pulitzer Prize winner, Michael Winerip, was speaking at the school tomorrow. The eighth grade chorus, under the direction of Susan Doran and Paul Haight on piano, performed for the members.

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Athletic Program

Mr. Jim Rendle gave an update on the Athletic program. The high schools have joined a new league -- the Patriot League. Doing this has saved time in school and travel. Students now get home at a reasonable hour. The league, however, is extremely competitive. The wrestling program is doing very well. Both high school coaches work together. He thanked the Transportation Department for doing a tremendous job getting students to and from games. Mrs. Bragg asked that the North Quincy High School Girls Volley ball team come before the committee.

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Quincy Ed. Fund

The Quincy Education Fund Committee met and approved dispersing $13,112.14 They went directly to the principals to ask what they needed. They divided the money by enrollment. To date, over $31,000 has come to the schools. They are working with the Mayor’s office and Chuck Phelan to add a new design on the property tax bills and expand it to the excise tax bills.

QHS Late Start

The Committee received a copy of a letter from Principal Frank Santoro to the Superintendent requesting to end school for students at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, February 13 and a delayed start of one hour for students (8:45 a.m.) on Monday, February 23. This will allow staff members to conduct tasks that are necessary for them to move into new locations. Those staff members who are not relocating will be partnered up to assist those who are. Students will also need additional time to get acquainted with their new classroom sites. This is still in draft form and the Superintendent will get back to the Committee. Parents will be notified.

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Open Forum

Mr. Karl Roos expressed his concern with the additional budget cuts half way through the year. He would like to see the committee work with the City Council about the cuts. He has looked at the City Budget and was concerned with an unclassified amount of $125,000. Zero amount has been spent to date in that line. He suggested cutting that and returning the money to the school budget and perhaps share with the Police and Fire Departments. He passed out copies of the page in question.

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Bldg. Update

Kevin Murphy reported that the sink at North Quincy has been installed in the photo lab. It was a much bigger job than anticipated. Electricians have repaired the security system at Point Webster. The new walk in freezer has been installed. They are still working with Honeywell and making great progress.

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QHS Bldg. Committee Report by Mrs. Dwyer

The Quincy High School Building Committee met on December 19th. Mrs. Dwyer is waiting for minutes from the November 19 meeting. The Committee will receive a letter from Wheatstone stated that two wells are still producing a small amount of oil. These wells will be drained once a week after school hours. The caps will be removed and drained overnight. They will be recapped in the morning. Equipment, furniture, etc. are being delivered. An expediter is needed--someone who will open up boxes, sign off on it. We are hiring someone from Gilbane. This is a huge task that will go on for six weeks. The money will come out of our contingency money. The cost for the expediter is $30,000 for eight weeks. We are changing the parking on Russell Park from Woodward Ave. to Southern Artery and on Coddington Street on the high school side. On February 23 the old CTE will be abated. Gilbane will need the staff parking area. Signs will be posted on Russell Park. The only parking Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. will be for QPS staff. There will be a public announcement. It will take effect on February 23. Staff will have a sticker for their car. There will be no parking for students.

Mrs. Bragg asked that someone notify the YMCA that this is coming and why it’s coming.

Mr. McCarthy asked that as we take down the old CTE building, we keep an eye out for oil contamination around the automotive bays.

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Central Bldg. Committee Report

There is no new information on Central Middle School.

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Professional Development Update

Ms. Colleen Roberts shared highlights of Quincy’s Professional Development plan. The goal, directed by the Department of Education, supports the imple- mentation of student based frameworks. Highly qualified professional develop- ment is essential to student learning. These activities are planned to encourage teams of teachers to work together. There are outside facilitators who come to the school to speak with teachers. Also, Quincy staff members facilitate. Classes are held on Tuesday afternoon. The staff needs 150 PDPs. They have five years to acquire the PDPs. They can get all of them free of charge through the school system. Teachers can get three credits.

Mrs. Bragg applauded QPAC for adding $458 of SPED materials to the teacher resource libraries for our schools.

Paul Phillips thanked Mrs. Roberts. The QEA has been involved from the beginning. The system provides professional development that is very good. The state requires for content and pedagogy. Their problem is content. The ELL training is very good. They are very happy with it.

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Gifts: Bus to QHS

On a motion by Mr. Mariano, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee accepted the donation of a 2004 Ford Econoline E350 Super Duty Extended 15-Passanger Bus with an estimated value of $11,125 from Daniel Quirk. The ayes have it.

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Boots to Students

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee accepted a gift of 18 pairs of boots valued at $720 from Mary Gustafson. The ayes have it.

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$10,000 to QHS

On a motion by Mr. Mariano, seconded by Mrs. McCarthy, the Committee accepted a gift of $10,000 towards the George G. Burke Fitness Center at Quincy High School. The ayes have it. Mr. Mariano recognized Mr. Burke for his dedication to our students.

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QEA Offer to Subcommittee

On a motion by Mr. Mariano, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee moved the Settlement Order from the Court to the Budget Subcommittee. The ayes have it.

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Homework Policy

Mrs. Mahoney asked the Superintendent to touch upon the Homework Policy. She has received inquires from parents regarding homework over vacation week. She wanted to make sure that staff knows what the policy is.

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Request for Legal Opinion from MASC

Mrs. Dwyer made a motion, seconded by Mr. McCarthy to draft a letter to for a legal opinion from the MASC on the issues of:

  1. Reopening of the potential change to the school staff contracts without the Committee’s knowledge, and

  2. The legality of that change which gave each employee $300 increase to their salary base which it appears to be compensation for joining the GIC, and

  3. Jurisdiction of the Faxon Field for the purposes of a track.

This is a free service to school committees.

Mr. Mariano asked to see the scope of the questions before sending the letter. Mrs. Dwyer will send drafts to everyone. Mr. Mariano was not comfortable voting for the letter without seeing it first.

On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0 to have Mrs. Dwyer draft a letter for discussion and a vote at the next meeting.

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GIC on next agenda

Mayor Koch made a formal request of the School Committee on the GIC on the next agenda. This will just be a formal presentation.

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Budget Subcommittee Mr. Mariano reports

Mr. Mariano requested that the Budget Subcommittee continue the recess on the next School Committee meeting January 21 at 6:00 p.m. We will deal with the letter we have in front of us about settlement of the teachers strike, preliminary proposals that were discussed at the prior Subcommittee meeting. Mr. Mariano asked that the Budget Subcommittee meet before every School Committee meeting at 6:00 p.m. to allow more public participation to watch and listen to our deliberations. They will approve minutes at next meting.

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Mrs. Bragg announced a Policy Subcommittee tomorrow starting at 12:30 p.m. for School Improvement Plans.

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Warrant Policy Approved File: 4.11.1

Mrs. Bragg made a motion, seconded by Mr. Mariano to move approval of the Superintendent’s recommendation of the signal warrant system. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0. As is School Committee policy, this motion will remain on the table until a final vote at the next meeting. This will streamline the warrant process.

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The Committee noted the following resignation:

Teacher: Laura Flood

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On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr., Mariano, the Committee adjourned for the evening at 8:41 p.m. There was no executive session. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.