Dec. 16, 2009 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
December 16, 2009

7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session Minutes for November 18, 2009.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Quincy School-Community Partnership (Recognition and Events)

B. Winter Concerts

C. H1N1 School Process

D. Middle School Robotics

E. Lion’s Club Speech Contest

F. Opportunities and Challenges (Postponement)

G. Quincy High School Girls’ Volleyball Team

H. Grant Awards

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.  

V. New Business:

A. District Improvement Plan (2009-2010) Overview

B. The Growth Model, an MCAS Assessment Process:

VI. Additional Business:

A. School Committee Member Recognition: Mr. Mariano and Mr. Puleo

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings:

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. School Facilities Mgt. Subcommittee: Mrs. Dwyer 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
  5/6/2009 Advanced Placement Policy 10.15.1
  10/7/2009 Half Time Teachers
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 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.
  6/10/2009 Classroom Observations
  10/7/2009 Food Services Policy 5.6.1
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 - December 16, 2009
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 in the Clifford Marshall Elementary School. Present were Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mr. Nicholas Puleo, and Mr. Dave McCarthy, Vice Chairman.

Vice Chairman Presiding

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The Superintendent called the roll and Mr. Ron Mariano and Mayor Koch were absent. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk; Messrs. Mullaney, Murphy, O’Brien, Draicchio, Keith Segalla, Ms. Roberts, Tenaglia, Todd, and Hughes. Ms. Tracey Christello, Citywide and Paul Phillips, QEA. Donna Niosi and Lawrence Liuzzo, high school Student Representatives.

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Reg. Session. Min. Approved 11/18/2009

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for November 18, 2009. The ayes have it.

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Student Recognition QHS Girls’ Volleyball

The Quincy High School Girls’ Volleyball Team was present to receive recognition from the Committee. They had an extraordinary season. There was a lot of adversity – no home court, bused every day and lack of height. They played all their games away and were undefeated. Their coach, Jackie Niosi, was voted South Sectional and Boston Globe State Coach of the Year. The ladies received a Certificate of Achievement from the School Committee. Thanks also went to their parents who give so much support to the students.

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Supts. Report

Mr. Keith Segalla reported that Tis the Season.... was a huge success. Proceeds, $10,000, will go to the Music Department. On March 26, at the Marriot, the Partnership will feature “Elvis.”

School Business Partnership Stop & Shop

Mr. Segalla introduced Andrea Astrachan of Stop and Shop who highlighted the programs they use to enhance and educate. Stop and Shop is a Platinum supporter. They contribute to students with site support and career connections, teacher mini grants. Elementary students come into the stores and learn how to make healthful decisions when they shop. Each teacher receives a teacher’s guide, classroom poster, activity book for each child. They send guest lecturers to Quincy High School. All stores give gift cards, career connection, have mock interviews, job shadowing, and have regular employment for students. They provide a summer internship program. Quincy High School participate in the four-year program where students learn “corporate culture.”

The Committee thanked Ms. Astrachan and Stop & Shop for being a great partner to the Quincy Public Schools.

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Open Forum

At the Open Forum, Daruis Varmahmoodi, asked that the Policy Subcommittee look at the tardy policy. Although he had a doctor’s note, he was still marked “tardy.” He asked the Committee to take it up.

Mr. Paul Phillips thanked everyone for attended the hearing for the Hanlin Charter School. The problem, he said, is this charter school wants to remove Asians and put them in a separate place. They will be segregated which is not a good thing.

The Superintendent thanked the school staff, Senator Morrissey, City Councilors, and School Committee staff who took time to appear at the hearing for the charter school. It was a great opportunity to share everything Quincy does. The staff was phenomenal.

Mrs. Bragg reiterated all the programs Quincy has for Asian students which the Hanlin Charter School did not list. Mr. Puelo thought the Superintendent’s staff that came to testify was impressive. The Superintendent and staff showed a great level of class and professionalism. The Hanlin Charter School is offering a segregated environment. They are targeting a very specific population.

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H1N1 Flu Clinic

Approximately 1,000 doses of seasonal flu vaccine were administered to both students and staff. Our school nurses conducted the clinics. The remaining seasonal flu clinics will take place at North Quincy High School tomorrow morning. The first H11N1 flu clinic will take place tomorrow afternoon at Sterling. Broad Meadows will be on Monday, December 21. The remaining H1N1 middle and high school clinics will follow after Christmas. Parents are being notified of dates through the Instant Alert Messaging System. He thanked Jane Kisieluis and our school nurses for their hard work. All flu clinics will be completed by mid-January.

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Student Recognition Lions Club Speech Competition

Christine Logan Cedrone and the Lions Club held a Speech Competition entitled “America, Land of the Free." The final speeches were presented in the Church of the Presidents for six Quincy and North Quincy students. The winner was Meghan Peterson, grade 11, Quincy High School.

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Opportunities & Challenges Placed on hold.

The Opportunities and Challenges Team will be on hold until three issues and appropriate groups have time to discuss and make appropriate decisions for our City and school system. This Team’s work will be placed on hold until these issues have been fully discussed.

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Grants Received

Congratulations went to Sterling Middle School, Christine Barrett and Janice Erler, for writing and receiving a Science and Technology Grant “Green in the Middle” for $25,000. This money is for ecological and environmental initiatives at Sterling.

Edie Hughes has authored and been granted two awards – the first for $15,000 for Professional Development inclusion services to Special Education children Pre K-3. Also, Ms. Hughes and her Literacy Team received a grant award for $50,000 to support professional development for critical issues in literacy from Kindergarten to 12.

Mary Fredrickson and Rich O’Brien received a competitive ARRA Technology Grant in the amount of $159,480 awarded over two years for implementation in on-line assessment in the areas of ELA, Math & Science for our ELL high school students.

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Robotics Team Keith Segalla Reports

On Saturday, December 5, Quincy Public Schools Team HYPER hosted a middle school LEGO competition which was held at North Quincy High School. There were 47 middle schools teams (6 from Quincy) competing. The event drew more than 800 people from all over the state. There were 97 volunteers and over 25 alumni of the high school robotics team. Mark Griffen flew in from California to help out with the event. Mark graduated from our robotics program in 2002 and is now a test engineer at Bio-Rad Laboratories. Thanks went to Ed Smith for facilitating the Robotics program.

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Bldg. & Grounds Kevin Murphy Reports

Maintenance has been busy with several moves this month and many holiday concerts at various locations. They’re working on heating issues at Coddington Hall, repairing valves and controls. Plumbers drained and winterized the boiler room at the Stadium. They’re rebuilding a boiler feed pump to the boiler at Central Middle School, repairing or replacing many fixtures and some toilets at North Quincy High School. Carpets, ceiling tiles are being replaced and the soundboard at the North Quincy gymnasium. Maintenance will begin construction of a new computer lab at Atherton Hough. Painters have completed the gym and the Hunt St. lobby at North Quincy High. They’ll be painting the cafeteria and first floor corridors during school vacation week. Squantum will be getting a new tiled floor around the perimeter of their library and removing the carpeting from room 9 and tiling that room. Electricians will be supplying a new electrical panel to Sterling Middle School’s cafeteria during vacation week.

Mrs. Mahoney asked about a light in the back of North Quincy High at the entrance into the gym where the parking lot is. Mr. Murphy will check it out.

Mrs. Dwyer asked Mr. Murphy if he wanted the School Committee to contact Honeywell about school issues. Mr. Murphy said he would be happy to share the installations of various schools and will show the Committee what the deficiencies are. Mrs. Dwyer suggested calling another facilities meeting to go through the list and see what our problems due to installation and perhaps form a letter on just those issues.

The Committee has been waiting a long time to get some Honeywell information from the City. Mr. Murphy said he would be happy to work with anybody, but it is in Mr. Cunniff and Mr. Timmins’ hands. However, he can peck away at the deficiencies. He will comprise a list of 10-15 deficiencies items per school. Mrs. Dywer asked Mr. Murphy to provide a copy to the School Committee. They will meet after the holiday and make a decision what the Committee wants to do about Honeywell.

Regarding North Quincy, Mrs. Dwyer said she read in the newspaper that he did some repair to the roof – put a whole new roof on two sections. They referred to money coming from 2007 capital improvement plan.

Mrs. Dwyer asked if the money came from the 2007 Capital Improvement Bond and if there is any money left in that. If so, there are a couple of things on our list that are pretty important. At the meeting in January, they will discuss whether or not we could get an appropriation from that bond to fix some of those immediate problems. Mr. Murphy said that he had to repair the two roofs at North Quincy High School before he could repaint the auditorium and the atrium. Restrooms there cost $63,000 and $88,000 to replace the glass in the Atrium. Mr. Murphy said he didn’t know where that money came from. Mrs. Dwyer asked him to find out all that information for the January meeting.

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QHS Bldg. Committee Mrs. Dwyer reports

The Quincy High School Building Committee did a presentation for the City Council. The new school is on target to open next summer. We have used $5 million of our contingency fund and we have $3 million left.

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Central Bldg. Comm.

Mrs. Bragg reports On Thursday, December 10, 2009 the Central Middle School Building Committee and the Owner’s Project Manager’s team from Tishman Construction, met with representatives of the SBA to discuss the next steps necessary to build a new 600 pupil Central Middle School. Real Estate appraisals on the properties should happen sometime after the first of the year. They confirmed the SBA voted for a new Central so a feasibility study is not needed. The project has moved into the Preferred Schematic Category. The City of Quincy and Tishman Construction will spend the next two weeks putting together the Request for Services (RFS) to hire a designer/architect. Once the RFS and advertisements are completed they are submitted to the SBA for approval. The city is aiming for that approval to come the beginning of January 2010. Once approved, the advertisements will be placed in the Central Register and newspapers for two to three weeks. The designer/architect proposals will be received back in early February. The owner’s project manager reviews the proposals, check references and qualifications before submitting them to the state’s Designer Selection Panel who will narrow the field to the top three proposals then submit their top ranked firm to the Central Middle School Building Committee where a contract will be created between the firm and the city. This should be completed in April.

The SBA will be more involved than they were on the Quincy High School Project. The SBA must approve the project, scope, and budget. The Central Building Committee will begin meeting more regularly if all goes well and working on the spacing needs, design criteria, layout of the new school and schematic design by the end of April.

It will take a little over a year to complete the design and get all the necessary approvals and about a year and half for construction. It is possible a new Central Middle School will be ready for students by the end of 2012. Presently, the City is looking at about a 68% reimbursement rate from the state on a $35 to $45 million project. There are incentives and opportunities offered by the state to increase the reimbursement rate which will be pursued as much as possible.

Next meetings are January 14 and February 11 @ 9:30 a.m.

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DIP Overview 2009-2010 Mr. O’Brien reports

The District Improvement Plan shows how the school system operates. Mr. O’Brien created an overview showing the management of all of the areas. Over the last few years, they have come up with a system and started out by grouping all of these things into 6 major categories – leadership communication, assessment, curriculum, human resources, student access and support and the financial management. Things are put into teams and become much more manageable. This is the way the school system is structured. Different people are assigned job and they are responsible for performing their job. Tonight they will discuss and examine a program, evaluate the program as a whole, identify any weaknesses, look at the quality of the teachers in the various programs, checking the achievement of the students, what types of professional development may be needed, and curriculum instruction that needs to be brought into the system.

Ms. Judy Todd and Donna Cunningham explained how they put their program together. The directors and coordinators were given the task program improve- ment plan. Its purpose was to look at each of our department and determine the current levels of performance and identify areas for improvement.

They listed the number of students by school and by disability group and have completed a PIP for a second year in the row. They looked at student achievement, what progress are our students making. They used MCAS data, district-wide as well as by school. They identified specific skill weaknesses. From this review they identified specific areas that need to be addressed. The team developed three smart goals. They created a timeline and the key people responsible to execute these smart goals.

This year still on the development plan is an effort with Kevin Murphy and Kevin Segalla. They are working on a preventative maintenance plan identifying responsibilities for the custodial and a maintenance staff.

Mrs. Bragg asked that this item be kept on the agenda for the next week. She wanted more time to review this report. This will remain on the agenda.

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MCAS Growth Model

Mrs. Mary Fredrickson presented the new Growth Model, an MCAS progress assessment. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Measuring Growth in student performance on MCAS.

She slowed slides that were provided by DESE. We now have a model from DESES that quantifies that growth for us-- what is growth, how do we measure it in groups, what they have learned so far and what information is available. We are used to seeing MCAS results that are about achievement measured in an individual student’s improve over time. This new model is unique in that a student can achieve at a low level but still improve.

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Mrs. Bragg noted the retirement of Maureen McKenna. Ms. McKenna, a teacher at Broad Meadows, who began working in Quincy in 1970 and is now retiring.

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Gifts to QHS

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mrs. Mahoney, the Committee moved approval of a gift of $10,000 for the students of Quincy High School from Mr. George Burke. Mr. Burke has over the years given over $100,000 in scholarship money to the Quincy High students and $40,000 in gifts. The ayes have it.

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School Facilities Mgt. Subcommittee Mrs. Dwyer reports

The School Facilities Management Team met on Monday, December 7, 2009. They took all the needs from previous School Improvement Plans and ongoing issues, added in the new School Improvement Plans the principals brought. We have knocked off a lot of issues over the last years. Thanks went to Kevin Murphy and his staff at Maintenance. Ninety percent was taken care of with Honeywell. Our next move, after the holiday, is to assess cost figures to the remaining projects and gives that to the Mayor so he can figure out how much we need. Mrs. Dwyer asked Mr. Murphy and Mr. McGillvray to assess and give them a priority list. We will take off all the projects that we get done over the holiday breaks. We will have a cost assessment and then we can work on a priority assessment of all issues.

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Committee Recognition

Although Mayor Koch was not present, he sent a few words to be read by the Superintendent. Mayor Koch said there can be no question that the work Mr. Mariano and Mr. Puleo did will have a lasting effect on Quincy Public Schools and out City’s future. He thanked both of them for their service and outstanding dedication to Quincy’s school system. Nick Puleo joined in 2008 on the vote of a joint convention after finishing as the runner up in the 2007 election. His immediate and clear grasp of the unprecedented financial challenges facing our schools again, and his ideas on how to confront those challenges proved invaluable as they worked together to protect education amid this historic economic crisis.

At the Mayor’s request, Mr. Mariano filled the vacancy on the School Committee. This in itself is a testament to the commitment Ron Mariano has shown to the Quincy Public Schools for more than two decades. After serving on this Committee for 16 years, when asked to serve, he immediately stepped forward because Ron cares deeply about this school system and this City.

As chairman of the budget subcommittee he led us through one of the most difficult years in recent memory. Because of his leadership, this Committee remained unified despite the tough choices it had to make. We will miss his counsel as we fact another difficult year.

Superintendent DeCristofaro echoed the Mayor’s comments. Mr. Puelo served on the Health and Safety subcommittee, reviewed district wide polices, worked on student crossing plan at North Quincy High School. He has done an extra- ordinary job opposing the charter school application in Quincy. Best wishes in graduate school.

We will miss Ron’s budget strength and leadership in the last year’s budget. A focused, no nonsense gentleman who is always direct in his messages speaking loudly for children, teachers and families. Quincy’s gratitude and best to him and his wife.

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SC Orientation

School Committee Orientation Session 1was held today for Ms. Isola and tomorrow for Ms. Lebo. We will plan Session 2 for the second week in January.

Lastly, the Superintendent thanked the Director of Human Resources, Kevin Mulvey, and Ann McCarthy for planning an excellent Professional Status Reception for our teachers.

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High School Tardy Policy to Subcommittee

Under Additional Business, Mrs. Bragg took off two of her requests from the School Committee Request List. Also, Mrs. Bragg put into the Policy Sub- committee High School Tardy Policy and two Food Services Policies. They will be discussed in January.

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The Committee noted the following appointments:

Teachers: Tanya Norris, Susan Ramponi, Florence Whelan

Guidance: Mary Lee


The Committee noted the following retirement:

Teacher: Maureen McKenna


The Committee noted the following resignation:

Teacher: Mary Kurtilla

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On a motion made by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee voted to adjourn the meeting at 9:33 p.m. for the evening. There was no Executive Session. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 6-0. Mayor Koch and Mr. Mariano were absent.