June 18, 2008 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee June 18, 2008

City Council Chambers, City Hall
6:00 p.m. Executive Session
7:00 p.m. Regular Meeting

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular and Executive Session Meeting minutes for June 4, 2008.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

  1. Retiring Administrators

  2. Special Olympics

  3. Beantown Blitz (Robotics)

  4. QPS Golf Tournament

  5. All City Band

  6. Assistant Principals and Team Administrator

  7. TeLLS

  8. Summer Scene Information

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. Cunniff to report.

B. Update on the New Quincy High School: Mrs. Dwyer to report.

C. Update on Central:  

D. FY 09 Budget: Mr. Mulvey and Dr. DeCristofaro to report. 

E. Solar Challenge Presentation (Mass Energy): At the request of Mayor Koch

V. New Business

A. Goals Set – Goals Met: Leadership Team. See Attached Booklet

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings: - none

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. School Facilitates Management Subcommittee: Mrs. Dwyer to report.

B. Policy Subcommittee Meeting: Mrs. Bragg to report 

X. Executive Session: - Strategies with Respect to Litigation and Negotiations 

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
Mulvey/Bragg/Mahoney 4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/12/2008 Teacher Resources Libraries
  3/29/2008 Bus Rental Fees
  3/29/2008 Building Rental Fees
School Facilities Management    
Dwyer/Mahoney/Mulvey 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
  1/25/2006 Fire Extinguishers
  1/25/2006 Outdoor Lighting
  2/8/2006 Conservation
  4/9/2008 11.6 School Facility Policy
  4/9/2008 Track
Health, Safety & Security    
Puleo/Mahoney/McCarthy 10/18/2006 NQHS Traffic & Drop off
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
  5/21/2008 Lockdown Policy
School Policy    
Bragg/Dwyer/McCarthy 1/10/2001 Policy Manual
  10/18/2006 Sliding Scale for Student Fees
  5/2/2007 Bullying
  11/28/2007 Progress Reports
  2/6/2008 Voting Places
  3/12/2008 Movies in Schools
  3/12/2008 Teacher Evaluations
Special Education    
Mahoney/McCarthy/Mulvey 1/17/2007 Emergency Information Form
  1/17/2007 Substitute Teachers for SPED
  3/21/2007 Implementation of IEPs
Rules, Post Audit & Oversight    
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/17/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts - June 18, 2008
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Nick Puleo, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Dave McCarthy and Mayor Tom Koch, Chairman. ` This meeting began at 6:00 p.m.

Chairman Presiding

- - -

Executive Session

On a motion by Mr. Mulvey, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee voted to go into Executive Session at 6:04 p.m. for the purpose of Strategies with Respect to Litigation. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

Regular Meeting

The Committee returned to Open Session at 7:00 p.m. A moment of silence was observed for former Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Carmen Mariano’s father who recently passed away.

- - -

At 7:00 p.m. 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, Ms. Powell, Todd, Hughes, and Roberts. Ms. Tracey Christello represented Citywide, and Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA President, was present.

- - -

Reg.&Exec. Session Mins. Approved 6/4/2008

On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved the revised regular and executive session minutes for June 4, 2008. The ayes have it.

- - -

Staff Retirements

The Committee recognized principals, Laura Bogan, Don Houghton, Dr. Alan Osborne, and Personnel Director, Thomas Walsh. The four employees are retiring this year after many years of service to the Quincy Public Schools. The Committee also recognized Mr. Ken McPhee, Director of Security and Transportation, also retiring after many years of service.

Staff Appointment

The Superintendent announced that he has appointed Nicholas Ahearn as the Assistant Principal for Sterling Middle School.

- - -

Supts. Report

Special Olympics was held on June 9 and was a huge success. At least 150 students participated. The All City Elementary Band Concert was held and 50 plus students participated. The Robotics Team participated in the Bean Town Blitz at North Eastern. There were 39 teams that participated. Quincy was teamed up with Norwell and they took top honors. There were 32 Quincy students participating.

Summer Programs

Ms. Janice Erler, spoke to the summer programs for this year. Mary Ann Palmer highlighted offerings at the elementary level; Nick Ahern, middle school enrichment and remedial programs at Sterling; Amy Lichfield, Serve and Learn Quincy at Coddington Hall; and Jeff Britch highlighted Summer School for grades 6-12 at North Quincy High School. They are ready, set and on target for June 30. Ms. Erler invited the Committee to drop in any time.

- - -

Open Forum

Mr. Paul Kennedy, President of P. J. Kennedy and Sons, spoke to the June 4th meeting whereby P.J. Kennedy was mentioned. He told the members about the work they did at the Marshall School. Mr. Kennedy said his company has a stellar record. He asked them to refrain from destruction of his reputation. He was ready to answer any questions with regard to Marshall and the new Quincy High School.

Mr. Chris Chelton spoke to the proposed track. It has been four years since Quincy has had a track. He asked that the State make the City rescind the vote taken not to build the track on Pageant Field. It was his feeling that the City cannot rescind a vote because of the $106,000 the City has already spent with SMMA.

Ms. Tracey Christello, Citywide, thanked the School Committee, Dr. DeCristofaro, and Mayor Koch for listening to Citywide parents’ concerns this year. The parents at North appreciate the help with the traffic situation.

- - -

Bldg. Update

Mr. Cunniff reported that the North Quincy High School PA System is scheduled for replacement on June 19 and should be completed by July 3. Atlantic and Board Meadows will have roof replacements. The money will come from the bond money. A bid package will go out the middle of July and work should be completed by September. At Broad Meadows, Honeywell has begun work on abatement issues. There will be one administrator and one custodian in the elementary and middle schools trained on the Honeywell controls. There will be one administrator and two custodians trained at the high schools. Honeywell will do all the training. The DPW equipment was used to take off the graffiti at the Marshall School. There is an extensive list of graffiti. Mr. Cunniff is ordering replacement parts for the power washer at Maintenance. The fire alarm system at Beechwood Knoll has a problem. The Maintenance Department has had 1,100 work orders for the 2008 school year. A majority for school issues. Eighty-eight percent of them have been completed.

Mrs. Bragg and Mr. Mulvey asked that every maintenance staff and custodian be trained by Honeywell.

CORI Checks

There was discussion with the CORI checks done on out-of-state workers at the new Quincy High School site. Mr. Cunniff said that Gilbane and the City Solicitor are working on this. However, there is some resistance on the part of Gilbane and sub contractors. Mr. Mulvey made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, that Gilbane be ordered to do a greater degree of due diligence and check with out-of-state contractors and present a letter to the Committee assuring that this greater due diligence will be done on their part in order to protect the students who will be attending Quincy High School.

Mrs. Dwyer said she supported the motion, however, she thought Gilbane was reluctant because of the cost. This cost wasn’t built into the high school budget. Mr. Cunniff added that CORI checks can’t be done on people who live out of state. Mr. Mulvey added that they can check up on references to see make sure they’re coming from the state they say they are coming from. Any conviction of a sexual nature on individuals coming from out of state should be preclude them from working on the site.

Mr. Cunniff added that Gilbane does randomly take the name of every worker that goes through the gates. Only workers going into the old Quincy High School have a CORI check, not everyone.

Mr. McCarthy would like CORI checks placed into Subcommittee.

Mrs. Bragg moved the motion. On a roll call vote, the motion to move the motion passed unanimously 7-0. On the main motion, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

New PA System @ NQ

The PA system at North Quincy High has 130 new call stations, a new base in the office, four phones, and every classroom will have a call switch.

Mrs. Mahoney inquired about the fire alarms at Beechwood Knoll and Central. Mr. Cunniff said the Fire Alarm Department needs to check it out. He will contact them. It is up to the principals to let Mr. Cunniff know if there is something wrong with their alarms.

- - -

New QHS Report by Mrs. Dwyer

Mrs. Dwyer reported that a Quincy High School Building meeting is scheduled for Friday. There was a meeting on June 6 and only she and SMMA showed up. They rescheduled it to June 12. Decisions need to be made about the back side of the old high school. She can’t make those decisions herself. They asked SMMA and Tishman to come up with a basic clean up – take old pipes off, fix some broken windows, etc. The Committee needs to begin talking about what they’re going to do with the old building. The Mayor said to button it up, seal it up, and decide later.

Mr. Cunniff added that they discussed a number of options with the façade and the court yard. They have a proposal from the architect to look at a variety of options. This part is not covered in their contract. Work needs to be done to address the court yard area. There are some old openings in the walls that were temporarily sealed. We have a long list of issues and SMMA has given us a fee proposal. We have to define what we want to see.

Mr. Puleo inquired about Quincy High Building Committee minutes for December 2007, January/February 2008 and March 2008. Mr. Cunniff will forward them to the Committee.

- - -

Report by Mrs. Bragg Central Middle School

The Central Building Committee met on June 6. Jim Timmins is the Chair He gave an update on the plans. They received a handout on the new SBA rules. Jim Timmins will be responsible for the minutes. The next meeting is July 15 at 4:30 p.m. They gave the Mayor permission to begin discussion with the property owners in the area being considered. On the board are Anne Mahoney, Jo-Ann Bragg, Gary Cunniff, Rick DeCristofaro, Jennifer Fay-Beers, Chris Walker, Theresa Scuzzarella, Jack Nigro and Mayor Koch.

- - -


Mr. Mulvey reviewed again the list of cuts made to meet the $1.5 million dollar reduction in the FY09 Budget. They have been able to identify $170,000 of outside sources including grants and will be apply it toward the gap with regard to the four custodians. They cut natural gas, electricity, the gasoline line, which will cover the secretarial cuts. There will be no cuts in staff. A number of retirements helped in this line. The So Shore Mental Health line will be restored. With this additional revenue fund, the Teacher Resource Library will be funded.

FY09 Budget Approved

Mr. Mulvey made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, that the FY 09 budget be passed with the changes as stated tonight. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 5-2. Mrs. Mahoney and Mr. McCarthy voted NO.

- - -

Mass Energy

Mrs. Maura Chretian gave a presentation on the Solar Challenge (Mass Energy) which asks Quincy residents to sign up for the New England Wind Fun. Quincy Public Schools can win a 2-kilowatt solar panel. The cost is $5 per month. A one time donation of $100 or more also qualifies Quincy for the solar plant. She asked everyone to help support this program to get these panels. She encouraged the Committee to become involved.

- - -

Goals Set Goals Met

Mr. O’Brien, Mrs. Powell, Mrs. Roberts, Ms. Todd, Mr. Keith Segella, and Mrs. Hughes spoke to Goals Set and Goals Met for the 2007-2008 school years. There are over 80 teams established. Standards and benchmarks have been created so that each team can set goals for improvements. Teams establish agendas, as well as record and distribute meeting notes for communication and accountability. The teams reflected on their accomplishments and goals for this year and have begun to set and submit their goals for next year. Mrs. Bragg asked about The Print Production Team’s goal was to produce a print cost list for principals. Mr. O’Brien said that the Print Shop does a great job on brochures, but that comes at a cost. He wanted to give people a heads up that in order to buy the stock of paper outside money is needed. The Print Shop has produced the list for principals. Outside agencies around the City have contacted him. Some print requests are exceeding the capacity of our budget. Mrs. Bragg asked Mr. O’Brien to get back to the Committee on the price list. Mrs. Mahoney asked that the schools get the price list this year so that they won’t be surprised. Mr. Puleo thanked the Superintendent and his team. He was happy to see the music program improvement plan.

- - -

Budget Transfers Approved

On a motion by Mr. Mulvey, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee approved the following transfers:

Natural Gas 70,000

Electricity 160,000

Fuel Oil 10,000

Repairs (various accounts) 6,000

Staff Development (various accounts) 10,000

Screening & Medical 26,000

Testing 6,000

Course Approval 5,000

Rentals 5,000

Transportation – Rentals/SPED 120,000

Professional Rehab Services 10,000

Gasoline 32,000

Total 230,000 230,000


Transfers to Address SPED Tuitions and Technology Purchases (Circuit Breaker)

SPED/Acq. of Instructional Equip-CB

Instructional Equip CB 85,200

Gasoline 28,000 

Travel 6,000

Dues 5,000

Travel 5,000

Ins. 30,000

Various Expenses 11.200

Total 85,200 85,200

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

- - -

Gift Medical Equip.

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee approved the gift of $49,991.42 donated by the Masons Rural Lodge A.F.&A.N. for the purchase of a new wheelchair equipped school bus. The ayes have it.

- - -

Gift Reading Text

On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee accepted a gift of over $100,000 worth of Trophies Reading text and learning materials from Houghton Harcourt Educational Publishers. The ayes have it.

- - -

Gift Homeless

On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee accepted a gift of $1,000 from the Beechwood Knoll School’s “Read-A- Thon” to be used for homeless students in Quincy. The ayes have it.

- - -

Homeless Policy to Subcommittee

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee put into the Policy Subcommittee a need for a Homeless Policy. The ayes have it.

- - -

Quincy Ed. Fund

Mrs. Bragg announced that there is $12,305 in the Quincy Education Fund. She is calling a meeting in the summer and hopes to use some of this money to fill gaps in the school budget.

- - -

Faxon Field

At this time, Mr. McCarthy said that he was asked by the Park and Recreation Department what the status was on the vote to put the track on Faxon Field. Mr. McCarthy made a motion to move that out of the subcommittee for discussion. He asked to hear the Committee’s thoughts and any information on the work.

The Mayor said that Gale has been engaged and there have been two meetings. They are doing their due diligence and will report in late August as to the feasibility. The Mayor asked that the Committee wait until the September meeting to vote.

Mrs. Bragg said she was opened to Faxon Field, but would wait for a report on the borings. Mrs. Dwyer agreed. Her concern is that it could open up the appeal process and jeopardize the high school project. The Mayor said that Gale’s report will include all the permitting issues. A full presentation will be made.

Mr. Puleo would like more information. His concern is it has been too long since the City has had a track. If the Committee says no to Faxon Field, it would lengthen the time for a track.

Mr. Mulvey said there are flooding issues, safety issues, the appeals issue and the actual location. He doesn’t believe in putting the track in an inferior location.

Mrs. Mahoney inquired about the legality. Money was spent on Pageant Field and we can’t get it back. Is it legal to rescind a vote when money has been spent on Pageant Field. We should be looking at a legality issue. She has a concern with flooding in that area.

The Mayor said he has engaged a company that has made many tracks. Not a stitch of work was done in Pageant Field, only planning and design. There was money in that line, and he took the money for Faxon Field. He asked the members to hold their opinions until Gale makes a presentation.

Faxon Field Vote Tabled

Mr. McCarthy made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer to vote on the Faxon Field. Mrs. Bragg tabled the motion.

- - -

Mrs. Mahoney explained why she voted “no” on the budget. While she is happy with the additional money for custodians and the secretarial positions, she has a problem funding the line for South Shore Mental Health and the Teacher Resource Library line as these two line items do not assist all our students. We are losing money for technology and curriculum books. Next year, the Committee was told not to be surprised at how much money it would receive. She could not support those two lines.

Mr. Puleo answered that Quincy has a long standing contract with the South Shore Mental Health which serves 27 students this year. Having this affordable and accessible for our students is critical.

Mrs. Mahoney said she was talking about the equitable distribution of money. We are talking about 27 students compared to 9,000 students. While she is not suggesting that this was an easy decision, she feels the Committee needs to be careful about the way it spends money.

Mrs. Bragg said she has spent many hours trying to find more money. The money for the Teacher Resource Library will provide the 300 new teachers with material to bring into the classroom. She felt this was beneficial to every school.

- - -

Maintenance Dept. School Facilities Subcommittee

Mrs. Dwyer made a motion, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, that the Maintenance workers remain in the school budget and continue to report to the Superintendent or his designee.

Mr. Puleo would like to see more cooperation on both sides. It is the School Committee’s understanding that the work order system is not being utilized. Mrs. Bragg agreed with Mr. Puleo. The Maintenance Department was not being called to work after 4:00 p.m.

Maintenance Dept to remain in school dept

On a roll call vote, the motion passed 6-1. Mayor . Koch voted NO.

School Facilities Mgt. Report by Mrs. Dwyer

A Subcommittee meeting was held on June 12 whereby they heard an update from Mr. Cunniff. They discussed main items --the PA system at North, the roofs for Atlantic and Broad Meadows. The concern is that they get done before September. They discussed vehicles. The City will repair our trucks and the City side will pick up two snow plowing jobs --Coddington Hall and the back side of Quincy High School, an update on the emergency generator over hall -- the security systems, a list of phone lines going off on the alarm panels. Maintenance will check out the alarm panels this summer. Site work at the underground tank at Coddington is tabled. They discussed graffiti, computer labs repairs at Atlantic and Sterling. Someone will be hired to coordinate the entire Quincy High move. The Superintendent has come with a job description and has somebody in mind. We need to come up with a figure to pay that person. Food Services is going to Broad Meadows.

The Maintenance Dept. needs a location quickly. They need 12,000 ft. Mr. Fatseas will work on space and prices within the City. We need new radios. We asked the Mayor for money to help with small items to get done this summer. Mrs. Mahoney inquired about the lighting—where it is working, -- this is an ongoing problem.

The Mayor told the Committee that the City received a bill from SMMA for $49,000 for interest in 2005-2007 because the City didn’t pay in a timely fashion. When the Mayor finds the solution he will let them know.

- - -

Policy Subcommittee Report by Mrs. Bragg

Mrs. Bragg reported that the Policy Subcommittee met and Mr. Walsh gave an overview of the entire evaluation process including State regulation 603 CMR-35. The Superintendent will meet with Paul Phillips on this issue. The Committee discussed movies in school. Mrs. Roberts has come up with a form for principals and will get back to the Committee this fall with an update. The Committee began Section 10 of the Policy Manual. Another meeting is scheduled for July 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Superintendent’s Conference Room.

Mr. McCarthy commended Bob Burke who was featured in the Patriot Ledger on how he has worked and turned the carpentry shop around at North Quincy High School. Mrs. Dwyer took off the School Facility Management Subcommittee Fire Extinguishers and Building Plan for Quincy High School.

- - -


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teachers: David Buckley,  Kevin Doherty, Stephanie Fortuna,  Christine Kane, Robert LaRaia, Dr. Marina Rozenberg

Leaves of Absence

The Committee noted the following leave of absence.

Speech Pathologist: Emily Gude

- - -

Executive Session

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee voted to go back into Executive Session at 10:40 p.m. for the purpose of negotiations. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

Return to Open Session

The Committee returned to Open Session at 11:06 p.m.

Security Guards Contract Approved

On a motion by Mr. Puleo, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee approved the contract with the Security Guards. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

- - -

Bus Drivers Contract Approved

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee approved the contract with the Bus Drivers. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

- - -

Bus Monitors Contract Approved

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee approved the contract with the Bus Monitors. The ayes have it. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

- - -


On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Mulvey, the Committee adjourned for the evening at 11:09 p.m. The ayes have it.