April 7, 2010 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
April 7, 2010

7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session minutes for March 17, 2010.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Computer Survey Results

B. Foreign Language Poster/Essay Contest

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. Assistant Superintendent of Schools Job Description: This item was tabled at your last meeting.

V. New Business:

A. Quincy Public Schools Student Transitions:

B. School Choice: The Superintendent recommends that the Quincy School Committee withdraws from the obligation to enroll non-resident students in the Quincy Public Schools for the 2010-2011 academic year for the following reasons:

a. Continued projected enrollment conditions at the elementary and middle schools based on current and projected enrollments

b. Policy of the Quincy School Committee to adhere to class size guidelines.

C. Overnight Trip: Quincy High School students to Boston from April 8 – April 10, 2010. See Attachment A.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings:

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. Policy Subcommittee: Mrs. Bragg to report.

B. Budget Subcommittee: Mrs. Mahoney to report.

X. Executive Session:

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
Mahoney/Bragg/Lebo 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
  5/6/2009 Advanced Placement Policy 10.15.1
  10/7/2009 Half Time Teachers
School Facilities Management    
Dwyer/Lebo/McCarthy 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 Track
  10/7/2009 Garden @ Snug Harbor
  3/3/2010 Coddington Hall
Health, Safety & Security    
McCarthy/Isola/Dwyer 3/17/2010 North Quincy Traffic Intersection
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
School Policy    
Bragg/Isola/Dwyer 3/12/2008 Teacher Evaluations
  9/10/2008 Grade Configurations
  3/11/2009 MS Interim Letters
  3/11/2009 Naming of QPS schools/places/etc.
  12/16/2009 School Tardiness Policy
Special Education    
Lebo/McCarthy/Mahoney 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    
Isola/Mahoney/Bragg 10/29/2008 Faxon Field
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/17/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts - April 7, 2010
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee


A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 in the City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were: Mr. Dave McCarthy, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mayor Thomas P. Koch and Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Vice Chairman.

Vice 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. Mullaney, Draicchio, and Keith Segalla; Ms. Roberts, Tenaglia, Todd, and Hughes. Paul Phillips, QEA President; Ms. Tracey Christello, Citywide. Emily Hajjar, Student Representative.

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Reg.Mins Approved 3/17/2010

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for March 17, 2010. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

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Student Recognition

The Quincy High School and North Quincy High School Foreign Language Departments were present with their Essay Contest winning students. The winners read their essays to the Committee. They received a certificate of recognition from the Committee.

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Robotics Student Recognition

Mr. Ed Smith, Robotics Facilitator, gave an update on the very successful Robotics Program in the schools. This year, students will travel to Florida for their first competition and on May 22 they will compete at Northeastern University. Mayor Koch commended the Robotics students who went out into the Quincy neighborhoods and helped out those people whose homes were flooded.

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Computer Survey

At the Committee’s request, a survey was conducted on student computer availability. The survey concluded that this year, 86% of Quincy Public Schools students have a computer at home and 83% have internet access compared to 63% having a computer at home and 76% having internet access in 2001. In addition, students have access to technology at the library, homes of relatives and friends, school, and parent workplaces if they do not have computer/internet access at home.

Ms. Isola expressed her concern that while we have all these resources, 53% of our students at Clifford Marshall don’t have computers. This is something she thought the Committee should be aware of. We still have students who can’t avail themselves of computer use.

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RTTT to Budget Subcommittee

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Ms. Isola, the Committee put the RTTT into the Budget Subcommittee. The ayes have it. The Committee asked the Superintendent to outreach to Mr. Phillips.

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Open Forum

Mr. Bill Zamzow again spoke to the RTTT and the fact that the QEA refused to sign the MOU. Quincy has a second chance to reapply for RTTT. Given this opportunity, he hopes that Paul Phillips will schedule a fair and open session of RTTT funding, and the QEA will allow their members to cast a vote for or against pursuing RTTT funding.

Ms. Tracey Christello, on behalf of the North Quincy High PAC, thanked Mayor Koch for the Technology money for North Quincy High School as well as the safety and security initiatives that were put in.

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Bldgs. & Grounds Mr. Murphy Reports

The Maintenance Department has finished making the teacher’s lounge at North Quincy High into a new Science Technology room. This is a the first phase of a four-room transformation. The men are patching roofs after the rain storms, re-glazed window frames at Central, installed 100’ of new drain spouts at Snug Harbor. The plumbers have replaced steam valves at Montclair and Merrymount. They cleared a roof drain over the Art room at North Quincy High School. At Broad Meadows, they cleared the girls’ locker room drain. Painters have been painting classrooms at various schools that had been affected by the recent rains.

Mrs. Dwyer asked Mr. Murphy to get a price for re-pointing at Merrymount, Atherton Hough and Montclair. At Merrymount School, one of the restrooms on the Perkins Field side had to be closed off because the plaster on the ceiling had fallen in. The bathroom is still out of use. She asked Mr. Murphy to put together a listing of some major jobs that need to be done to school buildings and for capital improvement money.

Mayor will get list to SC

Mayor Koch said he has already asked Gary Cunniff and Helen Murphy to get these items together so he can go to the City Council for some capital monies. This list will include those priorities. They are looking at five schools with major roof problems. When he has that information, he will share it with the Committee.

Mrs. Bragg inquired about the pot holes at Squantum and Snug Harbor drive ways. Mr. Murphy has notified the DPW Commissioner with a list of schools. Mr. Murphy will check with the DPW Commissioner.

Due to the rain storms, Atlantic Middle School (water in their boiler room) Bernazzani (road flooded, making travel impossible) Quincy may receive some assistance monies from FEMA

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New QHS Mrs. Dwyer reports

The new Quincy High School is ahead of schedule. The auditorium will be open the first day of school in September. The gymnasium will be ready a few weeks sooner than anticipated. Boxes have arrived for teachers to pack for their move over the summer.

Starting April school vacation, there will be no parking from the old high school heading down toward Southern Artery on both sides of the street—the Y side and the high school side. All new curbing and new traffic lights will be installed. Only one lane of traffic will be open on each side. Mrs. Dwyer has asked Gary Cunniff to make sure that Councilors Gutro and Laforest are aware. Also, the public needs to be notified, the Y needs to be notified, and the professional building across from the old Quincy High School needs to be notified. This work will continue for one month.

Mrs. Dwyer has asked for a full report on our contingency money--what our balance was when we started, all the expenses we had, and what’s left for a balance. Mrs. Dwyer will share that with the Committee when she gets it. The building committee now meets two times a month--on the second and last week of the month.

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Central Bldg. Comm. Mrs. Mahoney reports

The Designer Selection Team working with Tishman, looked at various schools, unique designs, community use, constricted sites, traffic and play space. The three top designer choices are Ai3, Kaestle Boos, and CGKV. On May 4 they will interview these three and select a designer. This meeting is open to the public.

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Asst. Supt. Position New Job Description Off table

On a motion by Mrs. Lebo, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee took the Assistant Superintendent’s job description off the table. The ayes have it.

Curr. Director position to Budget Subcommittee

On a motion by Mrs. Lebo, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, they moved into the Budget Subcommittee discussion for a position of Curriculum Director. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 6-1. Mrs. Dwyer voted NO.

On a motion by Mrs. Lebo, seconded by Mrs. Dywer, the Committee moved approval of the position of the Assistant Superintendent as it stands.

The Superintendent said in his reorganization, he is eliminating the position of Curriculum Director. Mrs. Lebo said she does not want to see these two positions rolled into one. She would like to see two separate positions— Curriculum Director and Assistant Superintendent.

Asst. Supt. position Approved

The title approved this evening is Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Instruction and Student Achievement.

On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

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Transitions Presentation

Ms. Colleen Roberts and Ms. Maura Tanaglia gave an extensive overview on the transition activities our staff carry out to assist students from Pre K to Kindergarten, from Kindergarten to first grade, from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school. These are major events in a student’s life.

The Committee would like to see more emphasis put on the Chapter 74 programs when students are in middle school. Mr. McCarthy was concerned that people think the trade school is gone. He would like them to come up with a way to bring the Chapter 74 programs to the middle schools. Mrs. Bragg agreed that the CTE programs are great programs and should be highlighted and stressed. Eighth grade students need to see the programs otherwise they won’t know if they are interested in it or not. The Pathway Brochure doesn’t mentions technical programs. This should be changed.

All freshmen in the Quincy High School take a survey what they think they want to do from ninth grade on to college. The Committee asked that this be done at North Quincy High School also. Mr. Segalla said they can do that.

The Committee asked about the graduate follow-up report. This has not been done since 2007 as there is a cost. An exit report is done. It contains what is reported to the DESE and it is very similar.

Mrs. Mahoney suggested tracking our students post high school via email, create a data base so we can keep in contact them. This is cost efficient. We should find a way to direct parents to our webpage.

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School Choice

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, the Committee approved the Superintendent’s recommendation that the Quincy School Committee withdraws from the obligation to enroll non-resident students in the Quincy Public Schools for the 2010-2011 academic year for the following reasons:

a. Continued projected enrollment conditions at the elementary and middle schools based on current and projected enrollments

b. Policy of the Quincy School Committee to adhere to class size guidelines.

On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

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 QHS to Govt. Conference in Boston 4/8-4/10/2010

On a motion by Mayor Koch, seconded by Ms. Isola, the Committee approved the Quincy High School students to the YMCA Youth and Governmental Conference in Boston from April 8 – April 10, 2010. The ayes have it.

QHS to Marlboro 4/19-5/1/2010

On a motion by Mayor Koch, seconded by Ms. Isola, the Committee approved the Quincy High School trip to Skills USA Mass. State Leadership Conference in Marlboro from April 29 to May 1, 2010. The ayes have it.

QHS to NY 4/16/2010

On a motion by Mayor Koch, seconded by Ms. Isola, the Committee approved the trip to New York City for Quincy High School Students on April 16, 2010. The ayes have it.

Mrs. Dwyer asked that the name of the school appear on the front page of the Trip Request packet.

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School Facilities Subcommittee Community Garden

Mrs. Dwyer brought up the Snug Harbor Community Garden. She checked with members tonight and they have decided that Snug Harbor Community School may not be the best place for a community garden. They asked the Superintendent to draft a letter and notify Mr. Perdios.

Community Garden @ SH rejected

Mrs. Dwyer made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Lebo to reject the garden for the Snug Harbor Community School and not go ahead with the community garden as proposed by the Quincy Community Garden Club.

Mrs. Isola stressed that it was never approved by the School Committee. She was opposed to it and still is for safety reasons, esthetics, and its size. Mayor Koch also stated he thought it would be problematic.

On a roll call vote, the motion to reject the Community Garden at the Snug Harbor Community School passed unanimously 7-0.

Mrs. Dwyer asked that a letter of commendation be sent to the bus driver and the coach on board who got the students off the bus safely after a fire broke out.

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Policy Subcommittee Mrs. Bragg Reports

The Policy Subcommittee met on March 23. They have set up a hot line for people to report students they think do not live in Quincy but are attending Quincy schools. They also discussed the Attendance Tardy Policy and decided they need clarification on what is happening from the high school principals. The Superintendent and the high school principals will review this policy and get back to the Subcommittee. This item will remain in the Policy Subcommittee.

The Open Forum on the Agenda was discussed. Ms. Isola wants Open Forum to be first on the Agenda. Mrs. Dwyer asked what would happen if the meeting was in the middle of a presentation. Mrs. Isola was sure they would use their common sense and not stop and tell students to sit down.

The Open Forum on our Agenda will be at 7:15 p.m. The Superintendent’s report will be before that and at 7:15 p.m. they will recess to the Open Forum.

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mrs. Isola, the Committee approved holding the Open Forum at 7:15 p.m. The ayes have it. This will remain on the agenda for a final vote.

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee moved approved of the Policy Subcommittee minutes. Those who were in attendance, voted yes.

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Budget Subcommittee Mrs. Mahoney reports Transfers Approved

The Budget Subcommittee was held at 6:30 p.m. this evening to review the Quarterly Budget. There are some issues within our line items. In order to correct this, Mrs. Bragg, made a motion, seconded by Ms. Isola, to transfer $250,000 to the Regular Transportation line to come from:

Transportation and Rental Vehicles $119,410.89

Gasoline $120,589.11

Natural Gas $ 10,000.00

On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

Mrs. Bragg made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, to transfer $360,085.00 to the Special Education Tuition line to come from:

Longevity – Academic Classroom Teacher $107,978

Longevity – Academic Programs $134,512

Longevity – Academic Support $ 75,400

Longevity-Non-Academic Support $ 42,195

On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved the Quarterly Budget. The ayes have it.

Mrs. Mahoney said the school system has been very resourceful in its budget. She thanked the Superintendent for being so attentive. The Circuit Breaker money has changed. She warned that there are difficult times ahead.

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On a motion by Ms. Isola, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee voted to adjourn for the evening at 9:55 p.m. On a roll call vote, the motion to adjourn passed unanimously 7-0. There was no executive session.