Sept. 9, 2009 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
September 9, 2009

 7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session Minutes for June 10, 2009.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. New Professional Staff Orientation

B. Department Head of English (NQHS) Appointment

C. Final Bain (Special Education) Update

D. Quincy Public Schools Budget Review

E. Opportunities and Challenges

F. Quincy School Business Partnership

G. Quincy High School Adams Hall Dedication, September 15

H. Assignment of Students to Schools (Open Enrollment)

I. Grade 5 Parent/Student Orientation

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. Summer to Fall Programs: A review by Ms. Erler

B. Quincy Public Schools Flu Immunization Plan: Ms. Tenaglia and Mrs. Kisielius to report.

C. Overnight Travel: North Quincy High School ROTC to Camp Edwards. See Attachment A.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings:

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

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
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
  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
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 - September 9, 2009
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 in the City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Ron Mariano, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mr. Nicholas Puleo and Mr.Dave McCarthy, Vice Chairman.

Vice Chairman Presiding

- - -

The Superintendent called the roll and Mrs. Bragg and Mayor Koch were absent. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk; Messrs. Mullaney, Murphy, O’Brien, Draicchio, Keith and Kevin Segalla, Ms. Roberts, Todd, Tenaglia, Hughes, and Dr. Sylvia Pattavina. Ms. Tracey Christello, Citywide and Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA. Quincy High Student Representative, Donna Niosi, was present.

- - -

Reg. Session. Min. Approved 6/10/2009

On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for June 10, 2009. The ayes have it. Mrs. Bragg arrives at 7:10 p.m.

- - -

Supts. Report

The Superintendent welcomed everyone back to school and thanked all staff that worked over the summer months to get the schools ready for the new school year. On September 2 and 3rd a New Staff Orientation was held for 33 new staff members. This event was chaired by Kevin Mulvey and assisted by Anne McCarthy.


The Superintendent announced the appointment of Michael L. Jorgenson as English Dept. Head at North Quincy High School.

Bain Report

The members received a copy of the Bain report. This program was requested by the School Committee to assist the school system in establishing a pilot program this year within our Language Developmental classes.

- - -

Opportunities & Challenges Ad Hoc Committee

The Superintendent met with Mayor Koch and Dave McCarthy to review the many challenges and opportunities facing the school system with regard to facilities, enrollment trends, assignment of students, and future plans. They reviewed a list of representatives for the Ad Hoc Committee.

Mr. McCarthy announced the proposed representatives. He said that there probably would be some additions and deletions. He will come back to the Committee at the next meeting to decide who the individuals will be. The Mayor, Superintendent, and he looked at and included every component in the school process. The Ad Hoc Committee will be looking into open enrollment. Mr. McCarthy asked the members to email him to discuss ideas.

Mr. Mariano requested that when selecting candidates, he hoped they gave preference to Quincy residents.

Mrs. Bragg said she would like to see less professional staff. She sees administrators as presenters. She thought six professional staff was a high number.

Mr. McCarthy is considering doing this in two phases. The QEA can come in and make comments. However, everything is still up in the air. He will call a meeting some time in early October to solidify an agenda. They also discussed having an outside facilitator to run the meeting organizationally. Mrs. Bragg was concerned with the cost of a facilitator. Mr. McCarthy will keep the Committee updated.

- - -

Open Enrollment @ NQHS

On April 17, the Superintendent spoke to the Committee about his concern with the increased enrollment at North Quincy High School. He placed a freeze on any open enrollment requests after that date. Although it appears that there is a slight enrollment increase in Quincy High and a decrease in North Quincy High, he believes strongly that sustaining this freeze on open enrollment at North is appropriate. He will keep the Committee abreast of enrollment shifts during the year. October 1 is the official enrollment date.

- - -

Partnership Initiatives

Keith Segalla gave an update on the Business Partnership activities. This program continues to grow and flourish. There are now 82 business partners that contribute to the schools. We welcomed back Stop & Shop who restored their commitment.

Students at Snug Harbor, Marshall, Lincoln Hancock, 5th graders at Point Webster, and Central Registration all received backpacks filled with supplies contributed by the partners. Over 1,525 students receive these back packs. Cradles to Crayons, Stonehill College, Harvard Pilgrim, Quincy Credit Union all contributed.

The Community Partnership and Quincy Foundation for Excellence in Education will award $20,000 in mini grant funds. All QPS professional staff have the opportunity to apply for these funds.

- - -

QHS Adams Hall Dedication

Quincy High School will be sponsoring a dedication of the large group in- struction area in the Math, Science, and Technology Academy to the Adams Family. The featured speaker will be Peter Boylston Adams. He will address a leadership group of students and their teachers on September 15 at 9:30 a.m. Coffee will be served at 9:00 a.m. in the President’s Café.

There was a successful Grade 5 orientation for students and parents at both Sterling and Point Webster Middle Schools.

Budget Overview

Jim Mullaney gave a synopsis of where we were and what we are looking at on the FY 2010 budget. He also reviewed the School Committee actions taken to fund restorations. The total Budget is $89,330,061. Mrs. Mahoney said she has received a lot of phone calls regarding the activity fees. She asked for clarification and an update on this. The Superintendent said he met with the high school principals twice over the last couple of weeks. They wanted to know what are the most popular clubs that students enroll in and they came up with the same groups. There are 16-20 clubs that are the most popular. These groups will be paid through the approximate $22,000. If there are teachers that want to begin a club, they would have to recruit. It would be pay–for- participation rather than a fee for everyone.

Mr. Mariano charged the Superintendent with making whatever changes he deems necessary to make this more appropriate and then the Committee will come back and take a vote. Mrs. Dwyer asked that he include where he is going to make up the difference.

Mrs. Mahoney asked that parents be informed of what clubs will and will not be there. Checks are due in by October 1st.

Mrs. Bragg asked for a list of the 16-20 clubs and those that have been around for three years.

Mr. McCarthy asked that the Superintendent clarify and come back to make sure our budget numbers are correct.

Mr. Puelo asked if the fee was for all students regardless of participation. If so, did they need to take a vote to suspend the collection of that fee and institute a “pay a fee only if you are participating.”

- - -

Open Forum

Ms. Lori Hagborg, Mr. David Francor, Ms. Christina Brown, Mr. Brian Joyce, Annette Donahue, and Raymond Acaoili all asked the Committee to rethink their decision and provide busing for the Bernazzani students. They stressed that safety was a big issue. They were concerned with the busy streets, homeless people who live in the woods, snow on the sidewalks in winter. They suggested going back to 3-tier schedule and perhaps using one bus. They want the Committee to relook at this because they feel it is not a safe situation for the students.

Ms. Carol Dumas, QPAC, thanked Ms. Todd and the SPED staff for all their support. They have a meeting scheduled for September 17, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Broad Meadows Middle School.

Tracey Christello thanked the School Department and School Committee for the wonderful education her daughter received in Quincy. Her daughter went off to college this year. She appreciated all that the School Committee and staff does and she knows that they work for the best interest of the students.

- - -

Bldgs.& Grounds

Mr. Kevin Murphy reported that over the summer, Maintenance moved students out from the Children’s Development Ctr. Carpenters, electricians and painters worked to convert open space at the Early Childhood Center into five classrooms. They moved Grade 5 materials, furniture and equipment from Lincoln Hancock to Sterling. A new access ramp was also built at Sterling.

Computer labs were constructed at Squantum, Montclair, Wollaston, Snug Harbor. Atherton Hough is next. There was an additional lab made at Broad Meadows.

Major repairs were made to the walkways at North Quincy and Snug Harbor. Automatic soap dispensers were installed at every school and all broken desk hinges, doors and locks have been repaired.

They installed shelving at Bernazzani, retiled a classroom at Parker and all broken windows reported have been repaired or replaced.

Exhaust fans were rebuilt at Atlantic and Broad Meadows. Computer closets in each school were upgraded. Electricians installed additional power and electrical outlets in each computer closet.

Graffiti was cleaned in all schools.

Mrs. Dwyer asked that at the next meeting that they discuss what’s left on the list of repairs requested in the School Improvement Plans.

Mr. Murphy will check into the light at Beechwood Knoll and change it to a standard light.

- - -

New QHS Building Committee Mrs. Dwyer Reports

Mrs. Dwyer reported that the Quincy High School Building Committee met twice over the summer months. We are still behind by 31 days. Gilbane is going to work 20 Saturdays to make up the time. They are trying to enclose the building before the winter. The biggest delay came from the 20” sewer main pipe on Woodward Ave that had to be moved. The pipe was too close to the building. It is now 15-20’ behind the school. The cost to move the pipe is $250,000 and $45,000 for engineering. This money comes out of our contingency account.

A big problem now is cars coming down Saville. Drivers are not taking the sharp right onto Faxon Ave, but are coming into our parking lot and cutting through. The Building Committee is very concerned. Mr. Cunniff will speak to the Traffic Engineer and come up with a proposal.

Mrs. Bragg asked if the school will be ready by September 2010. Mrs. Dwyer answered that the gym and auditorium won’t be ready. The gym was originally scheduled to be finished last. This will be all inside work. Quincy High can still use the old auditorium if needed.

With regard to the two contingency funds – one is for the owner and then Gilbane has one. We have $2.7 million left.

Mr. Puleo asked if we could recoup the costs for moving the pipe because the pipe was not marked correctly in the plans. However, Mrs. Dwyer said it was the City of Quincy’s plans. They were 10 years old and they were off by 4’.

Mayor arrives at 8:32 p.m.

Mr. McCarthy said he would like the Building Committee to talk to Gilbane about their lock-up policy at the site. He has personally locked the site up. He found five gates open. Also, the back gate on Russell Park by the tennis course needs to be lowered. There is a lot of graffiti on the inside.

Mrs. Dwyer said they have Mr. McCarthy on the security camera and Gilbane has instituted a procedure. There is now a board in the office and you can see who is responsible to lock the gates.

- - -

Central Bldg. Committee Mrs. Mahoney Reports

Mrs. Mahoney reported that negotiations are under way for the project manager. A meeting has been scheduled for this Monday with the MSBA to discuss the enrollment for the new school..

- - -

Summer School

Janice Erler reported on the Summer School programs. Over 1,000 students participated in Summer Scene and 175 QPS staff members participated. Nine school buildings were opened during the summer. Facilitators, Allison Miller reported on the Pre K -5, Amy Litchfield reported on the middle school programs (Serve and Learn), and Jeff Bretch reported on the high school programs. Quincy has received the 20th Century grant fund for after school at $672,000.

- - -


Maura Tenaglia and Jane Kisielius reported on the anticipated H1N1 Flu and the proposal for flu prevention and control. On Tuesday afternoons school nurses, nurses from the public health department will assist in the immunization of school aged children. Quincy will offer both the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 flu shots to middle and high school students as well as staff.

They will establish school based flu clinics, dates and times. School nurses will reinforce preventative measures within the schools through ongoing education, active surveillance by school nurses, and dismissal of symptomatic students and staff. Mrs. Kisieluis recognized Joanne Morrissey, Food Services Director, and Kevin Segalla, Custodial Director. The schools will be kept clean and hand sanitizers available in all school cafeterias.

The Department of Public Health will supply the vaccine for the regular flu and we would have to supply the syringes, etc. For the H1N1, the Federal Government will supply everything.

Students under nine would require two seasonal flu shots if they haven't had a flu shot before. The School Department will not inoculate elementary students. They would have to go to their own pediatrician. We will vaccinate staff as well.

Mrs. Bragg inquired about the cafeterias. Mrs. Morrissey answered that it will be standard operational procedures in the cafeterias.

Mr. Drew Scheele, Public Health Director, said that the CDC is now recommend- ed we encourage people to be vaccinated. They want cities and towns to get involved. However, the shots are not mandatory.

Mr. Puleo inquired about the liability. Mr. Scheele answered that that was not a problem. The nurses are covered under MGL.

Mrs. Mahoney asked that a notice and the letter be posted on the website.

- - -

NQHS ROTC to Camp Edwards

On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mayor Koch, the Committee approved a trip for the North Quincy Jr. ROTC to travel to Camp Edwards, Mass Military Reservation, Bourne, MA on September 23 to September 27, 2009 with the stipulation that the names of students going on the trip be reviewed by the school nurse. The ayes have it.

- - -

Charter Schools

Under Additional Business, Mr. Puleo spoke to the article in the Quincy Sun regarding a proposal for a Charter School. The Quincy Public Schools received the information after the documents were put into the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. He explained how charter schools work. This is a group of private individuals opening the school. There is no oversight of the school or how they receive their money. They charge Quincy Public Schools tuition for each of their students. The school operates on city dollars without city oversight. The school will be open in 2010 for 88 students. The estimate would be $9,000 per student. A total of $792,000 would be charged to Quincy Public Schools. It would necessitate laying off 60 additional teachers in Quincy.

There are a number of flaws in the proposal. It is a Mandarin-speaking Chinese school. Looking at statistics, the biggest pupils of ELL in the City are Cantonese. They would not be serviced in this school. The second is Vietnamese. There are 2,644 students for whom English is not their primary language. We have heard from a past principal. The best place for these students is to be in an integrated school. We need to integrate students for the best service. He asked that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education be contacted to let them know our position.

Mrs. Bragg will be calling a Policy Subcommittee meeting to discuss the Sped Observation Policy and the Physical Restraint Policy. She also removed the Policy Manual from the Subcommittee.

Mrs. Bragg asked for clarification on the pay schedule being altered--how that decision was made and why it was made. Mr. Mullaney answered that teachers get paid the second Friday after they come back to school which in this case is September 18th. We don’t prepay salaries.

Mrs. Bragg said she didn’t think that was fair. She asked that the Superintendent start to look at the start of school year for the next year and come back with a proposal and recommendation.

The Superintendent said they met with Paul Phillips and Ron Suga and they were aware of the options. He never got a call from the QEA.

Mrs. Dwyer stated that they had tried to change the calendar and parents came in droves to say they didn’t want to start before Labor Day.

School Calendar to Policy Subcommittee

Mrs. Bragg didn’t agree and moved the School Calendar into the Policy Subcommittee.

- - -


Mrs. Mahoney said she had received calls about the phones at Central not working. She asked the Superintendent to check into that.

With regard to Open Forum, Mrs. Dwyer said it was unfortunate the schools had to take an $8 million cut. We received Federal money to help offset that. We tried to keep our class size at a reasonable number. We went back and forth on the transportation/buses. She was concerned with students walking from Whitwell to Bernazanni as those side walks are never plowed. She asked the Superintendent to take one more look at that.

Mrs. Bragg said there are some sections in the City with too many busy streets to cross. She would also like to take another look at Bernazzani.

The Mayor reminded the public that we are in a difficult economy. Tough decisions have to be made. He is open to look at the busing, but we may be facing additional cuts from the state.

- - -

Mr. McCarthy recognized QPAC for putting the whole organization back on track.

Mr. McCarthy recognized Tom Natola and John Campbell for building the Viewing Classroom at Beechwood Knoll over the summer.

Furnace Brook Golf Course

The Committee asked the Superintendent to check with Mr. Timmins on a request for a beverage cart at the Furnace Book Golf Course at the sixth hole. Liquor cannot be served within 500’ of a school.

- - -


The Committee noted the following retirements:

Teachers: Anne McDonough, Judith O’Farrell, Psychologist, Margot Schmid

Paraprofessional: Christine Christopher, Janet Deorie

Café Manager: Eleanor Summering


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teachers: David Carroll, Ellizabeth DeSorgher, Alison LaBarge, Eric Skidmore, Douglas Wolfe

Paraprofessionals: Deborah Durkin Finn, Nancy Lesslie, Marisa Ngo, Claire Poles, Shannon Thompson

Leaves of Absence

The Committee noted the following leaves of absence

Teachers: Mark Connerty, Holly Davis, Nancy Duffy, Maria Weber'


The Committee noted the following appointments:

Teachers: Margarita Barry, Louise Becam, Mary Bloomer, Kristina Coull, Kristen Dwyer,   Jennifer Eddy, Amanda Errichiello, Luis Escobar, Jessica Falbo, Emily Foley, Suzanne Hajjar,  Sheila Jafarzadeh, Lawrence Eric Johnson, Nicole Keiley, Jessica Lee, Rebecca Leuchte, Gracia Lukito, John Maattala, Rachel Matzdorff, James Miller, Alison Moreau, Anne North, Claire Poles, Mark Poli, Nicole Sykes

Literacy Specialist: Lynn Sullivan

Coordinator: Linda Stice

- - -


On a motion by Mr. Puleo, seconded by Mrs. McCarthy, the Committee adjourned for the evening at 10:21 p.m. There was no executive session. The ayes have it.