December 13, 2006 School Committee Minutes


Quincy, Massachusetts - December 13, 2006
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Present were Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Dave McCarthy, Ms. Linda Stice, Mr. Jim Timmins, Mayor Phelan and Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Vice Chairman.

Vice Chairman Presiding

The Superintendent called the roll and all members were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary, and Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk; Drs. Mariano and Pattavina. Messrs. O’Brien, Ryan, Canavan, Walsh, McPhee, Keith and Kevin Segalla, and Mr. Mullaney; Ms. Powell, Todd, Lebo, and Hughes. Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA President, Mr. Henry Brawley represented Citywide, Associate Member Paige Neumann, QHS, was present.

Staff Recognition

The Committee observed a moment of silence for Mr. Sean Barry, former School Committee man, and Mr. Ron Martin, former Quincy High School teacher. Both passed away recently.

Reg. Mins. Approved 11/15/06

On a motion by Ms. Stice, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for November 15, 2006. The ayes have it.

Supts. Report

Superintendent thanked the members for all the time they spend working in subcommittees. The tenth Community Service Learning event was a success. Over 100 students and staff gathered to celebrate all of the great service projects our schools perform in the community. On December 5 the Quincy School Partnership sponsored Tis the Season….Symphony. Well over 400 people attended this event. The Superintendent thanked Tim Carew and Stephanie Scanlon for their choral leadership.

Mr. Kevin Meskell, Quincy Mutual Fire Association, one of our most committed business partner and Board of Directors, was present to receive the Committee’s Appreciation Award. Among other services, Quincy Mutual Fire Association donates $5,000 annually, is paired with the Marshall School, and donated furniture and computers for our students.

The Fall institute came to an exciting close on Saturday. The Institute spanned five weeks meeting on Saturday mornings. Over 80 students participated in eight programs -- Cheerleading, Dance Like the Stars, Amazing Art.

The Winter Institute dates are from January 6 to February 3 and information will be sent out to parents early next week. Mrs. Lebo shared details about the Lego Robotics event held this past Saturday. Over 45 teams participated, and it was a huge success.

Social Health

Dr. John Franceschini, Social Health Team Chair, has facilitated the work of Peer Leaders. The Peer leaders and our staff work meaningfully at all levels. The leaders speak to middle school students about the dangers of alcohol, drugs, smoking and peer pressure. They also give presentations to fourth graders. Peer leaders were present at the meeting to explain their program to the members.

QHS Artistry Program

Mr. Santoro shared a presentation with the Committee of the Quincy High School Artistry Program -- Music, Fashion, Art, Theatre. They are interdisciplinary artistry programs. He presented a short film on the many offerings at Quincy High School. The new high school will be extended to include graphic arts and broadcasting. Quincy High students presented a short scene from “Up the Down Staircase.”

MSBA Present

The Mayor recognized Catherine Craven and Scott Campbell who were present. Quincy will be receiving $15 million in low interest loans and $72 million for the new high school. This loan will save Quincy $9 million of tax payers’ money. Not all school districts received this. Quincy was awarded the highest amount over any other district. Ms. Craven and Mr. Campbell brought greetings from Treasurer Cahill. They said they are looking forward to working with Quincy.

Open Forum

At the Open Forum, Mr. Brawley, Citywide, spoke to the traffic/drop off at North Quincy High. Citywide want Police presence there. They feel nothing has been done to date.

Paul Phillips, QEA President, reported that today is the 104 day without a contract for the teachers. They are thrilled to see the presentation of the new high school. Very thankful for the dictionaries donated to the third graders. They are concerned with the change of cut off score from 220 to 240 for MCAS.

Bldg. & Grounds

Mr. Joe Canavan gave a brief update on maintenance issues. Maintenance is changing the pipes in the Lincoln Hancock mechanical room. Painting is ongoing at Broad Meadows, Atlantic, Point Webster, Central and Sterling. A new intercom system at Squantum School. At Christmas recess they will make repairs to the heating systems. The intercom system at Snug Harbor is being repaired.

Health Services

At this time, Ms. Jane Kisielius, gave a presentation on the Health Services Department. Their goals for this year are to publish a seasonal health newsletter, develop a Wellness Team, and Identify Specific Health Education Topics. This team reports to the Student Support Services. There are 22 full time nurses, one in every school and two in the high schools. There are two part time nurses and four paraprofessionals. School nursing is a specialized practice of professional nursing that advances the well being, academic success, and life long achievements of students. Their goals are to provide a safe and healthful school environment, deliver health services to students and staff, and to implement health education through literature, activities, and classroom presentations. The nurses now have a computerized recording keeping using SNAP. The big issue now is to work on planning for the pandemic flu.

Mr. Mulvey inquired as to who has access to the computers and the students’ records. Only the nurses have access to student health records.

The Mayor made a suggestion that there be some connection between Student Support Services and the Food Services Department. He asked that they make sure that snacks are nutritious. The Quincy High School Association member thanked the nurses for what they do.


At this time, Mr. Alex Pitkin, SMMA, gave a presentation of the schematic design of the new Quincy High School. He updated the progress on the new Quincy High School. All meetings with high school staff has concluded. The staff was extremely enthusiastic. Some students also came forward. They will get back to teachers with their space and they will sign off.

He showed the exterior of building and pointed out the science, technical, math wing, courtyard, library media and culinary arts and “The Commons.” Staff parking is in the rear. There are 100 parking spaces on Coddington for students. There is an ample amount of windows. He reviewed each floor. All programs are in the building. They have met with Quincy Historical and Mass Historical Commission. Mr. Pitkin also explained the CHPS program.

Mr. McCarthy asked if there is an access way for the neighbors to go from the back of the building to the front? Mr. Pitkin said there is a path all along the parameter of the building. There is no cut-through the building. They have submitted the plans to a traffic consultant. There will be a drop off zone on Coddington, the main entrance to the building. All students will enter through the front door.

There are 300 open spaces in the back parking lot staff parking in the rear. All parking will be open spaces, nothing underground. Mr. McCarthy inquired about the parking lot on the neighborhood side and that there should be space to allow a school bus coming down Woodward to take a left and go into the parking lot. Mr. Pitkin answered that a traffic engineer will study the access/exits and the individual drop off zones. The architects are recommending an access off Russell Park. They are waiting for the traffic engineers report. The architects have met with the Fire Marshall/Dept.

Mrs. Dwyer said there will be a public meeting in the early spring and neighbors and public will be invited to view the plans for the new Quincy High School.

Gift - QHS

On a motion by Mr. Timmins, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved a gift of $2,000 in memory of Billy Marston, Timmy Tobin, Matt Tobin and Rick Miller from the Miller Family and Golf Committee Members for the Quincy High School athletic department program. The ayes have it.

Gift - Dictionaries

On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee accepted the gift of 630 dictionaries from the Quincy Lodge of Elks. The ayes have it.

Student & Financial Rpt. Health Costs

At this time, under Additional Business, Mr. Jim Mullaney spoke to the Student and Financial Report. This is an annual pupil and financial report which will go into the Department of Education. He reported on the additional spending for the school department employees by the City. At this time Mayor Phelan spoke to the health expenses for school employees and retired employees. Quincy is receiving less Chapter 70 money. There is a crisis in municipal budgets. In 2002 the health cost was $18 million, in 07 the cost for just the School Department and retires is $16 million. The entire city is $40 million. The health benefits and retirements benefits are projected to increase. Something has to give. The Mayor is suggesting that employees go into the health plan run by the state. This plan was approved by the MTA. He asked that everyone be open and realistic to the fact that this is a crisis. Mr. Timmins asked for a written copy of Mr. Mullaney’s report.

Additional Business

The EQA report was accepted by the Department of Ed. and they have modified it. The School Department received word that it was accepted and it was posted on the web site with modifications.

Mrs. Mahoney asked the Superintendent to look into an invitation she received to send two students to meet and have a conversation with the Governor-elect on January 4.

Items taken off Subcommittee

The Committee removed from the Building Subcommittee Use of Central Middle School 10/4/200 and Notice of Intent 5/3/2006. From the Health, Safety, and Security Subcommittee meeting they removed “Heelys” 10/19/2005 and Health Curriculum 1/11/2006, from the Policy Subcommittee the Veterans Memorial Stadium 6/21/2006.

Health, Safety, and Security Subcommittee

Mrs. Mahoney reported that the Health, Safety, and Security Subcommittee met to discuss “heelys”. Through the Superintendent they asked the principals their opinion. The response back, after reviewing all the information, is a new policy will not be needed. She referenced 10.8.1 policy on student dress. Guidelines are found to be sufficient. The Committee removed “Heelys” from the Subcommittee. A new Health curriculum as presented by Janet Powell and Colleen Roberts was approved by the subcommittee. The Committee removed the Health Curriculum from the Subcommittee.

NQHS Traffic

The traffic/drop off at North Quincy High was studied by GTI. Steve O’Donnell briefed the subcommittee. Parking areas in front of the building say “For staff only” but people drop off there anyways. Hancock Street is very dangerous. Signage and striping an 8’ wide drop off area on East Squantum Street was suggested along with pedestal signs. The subcommittee decided to go forward with these recommendations. However, the North Quincy drop off/traffic issue still needs further study, and this item will remain in subcommittee. The Mayor added that there is no simple solution to this area. There is a full tine Police officer between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. assigned to North Quincy. The officer should be able to assist the people to pick up and drop off in the area. The only way it will be safe is parent cooperation. The best method is to have blinking yellow lights. New signs will be put up to show the drop off area. The School Committee should request a crossing guard on Hancock St. and the Resource Officer in the morning will keep cars moving.

Mr. McCarthy suggested looking at revamping the back and opening the back doors. Mr. Timmins suggested getting more people together with school personnel. Citywide would like a crossing guard and suggested the Resource officer should be outside.

The Superintendent is working with Ken McPhee and the Police Department. He promises due diligence also educating parents. They will work with everyone.

Bldg. Nds. Subcommittee

The Building Needs Subcommittee met on December 12. Everything shown tonight was what was presented at that meeting.

Policy Subcommittee/Veterans Stadium/My

Ms. Stice said the Policy Subcommittee met on December 4. With regard to the bricks for Veterans Memorial Stadium and the arch, Tom Koch agreed that the authority/decision lies with the School Committee. Mr. Koch will appear before the Committee when it’s time for the monument to be built.

Staff posting on “My Space” - The Superintendent will take appropriate measures to see that staff members are .reminded of School Committee policy regarding staff conduct.

Supts. Evaluation

Superintendent’s Evaluation - Ms. Stice made a motion, seconded by Mr. Timmins, that the Superintendent be evaluated annually between March and June and that the evaluation consist of a review of the development and implementation of the District Improvement Plan as well as other factors suggested by the MASC. The Vice Chairman will appoint an ad-hoc committee to evaluate the Superintendent annually. Since this is a policy change, this will remain on the table for a vote at the next meeting.


On a motion by Ms. Stice, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the subcommittee will hold a meeting on the District Improvement Plan only. The ayes have it. This was put into the Policy Subcommittee.

NQHS Traffic/Drop Off

Mrs. Mahoney made a motion, seconded by Mr. Timmins, that the Department of Public Works go ahead with the following recommendations at North Quincy High School area.

  1. Signage
  2. Drop Off on East Squantum St. (Signs to say “Exit vehicle on sidewalk side” and pedestal signs)
  3. Thermo pane crossing walks.
  4. No left turn on Hodges Ave.
  5. Move the yellow line over
  6. Hold further subcommittee meetings

The ayes have it.

The Committee suggested using the Messenger Service to inform parents about the revised traffic/drop off, staying in touch with Citywide parents, informing City Councillors, and posting this information on the Quincy Public Schools website. Also a press release in the newspaper.

Staff Recognition

Kevin Mulvey informed the Committee that former teacher, Carol Martin, passed away. She taught in Quincy for 12 years and was a resident of Wollaston Manor. The Committee sends condolences to her family.


The Committee noted the following retirements:

Teachers: Stephen Cantelli, Susan Haberstroh


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teachers: Caroline Geuss, Kristen Struzik, Carolyn Timmons, Zuhong Zheng


The Committee noted the following appointments:

Paraprofessional: Carol Dennis

Lunch Attendant: Valerie Riley


On a motion by Ms. Stice, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee voted to adjourn for the evening at 10:20 p.m. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0. There was no executive session.