Sept. 10, 2008 School Committee Meeting


Quincy, Massachusetts - September 10, 2008
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were Mr. Ron Mariano, 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

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Executive Session

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee voted to go into Executive Session at 6:10 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 the mothers of Janice Erler and Susan Troy who recently passed away.

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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, Draicchio, Keith and Kevin Segella, Dr. Pattavina, Ms. Powell, Todd, Hughes, and Roberts. Ms. Tracey Christello represented Citywide, and Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA President, was present.

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Reg.&Exec. Session Mins. Approved 6/18/2008 Approved 7/14/08

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mrs. Mahoney, the Committee approved the revised regular and executive session minutes for June 18, 2008 and the Special and amended Executive Sessions minutes for July 14, 2008. The ayes have it.

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The Superintendent welcomed Ron Mariano back to the School Committee. Mr. Mariano was appointed by the City Council and School Committee to replace Mr. Kevin Mulvey.

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Community Garden @ Snug Harbor

Ms. Caitlin Herilhy, Community Gardening Club, presented a plan to develop a community garden on the Snug Harbor Community School property on the right side near the church. Ms. Herlihy spoke to the benefits of community gardening and how the garden would be managed. Dr. Allan Osborne, former principal, recommended this endeavor. Ms. Herlihy said that the people who garden will maintain the garden. They would put in their budget a water line, and that they will hire a garden coordinator. This will be an all volunteer project. Mrs. Mahoney suggested a water basin.

To Subcommittee

On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee asked that the City Solicitor’s office to come up with a written agreement covering the school system for liability. Contingent upon an agreement with the City Solicitor they put this into the Policy Subcommittee. The ayes have it. This needs to be completed by September 30. The members also want it fenced in.

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The Superintendent introduced newly appointed staff -- Ms. Barbara Fenby, Assistant Principal at Central Middle School; Mr. Phil Diana, Assistant Principal for Lincoln Hancock Community School; Ms. Ellen Murray, Assistant Principal for Quincy High School; Mr. Kevin Murphy, Coordinator of Maintenance; Mr. Michael Draicchio, Coordinator of Safety and Security; and Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Director of Human Resources. Quincy has hired 26 new administrators, seven new principals, and department heads.

Interviewing Procedures

The Superintendent went over the procedure used to appoint staff. The interviewing and screening committee was developed by the School Committee. With this procedure, parents, Citywide, QEA all have input. Since Ed Reform, the School Committee has less of a roll in appointing staff and the Superintendent had much more of a role. If any one has a question on a candidate, they could always make an appointment with the Superintendent.

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Team Booklet

The Committee received a copy of the 2008-2009 Team Booklet.

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Supts. Report/Transportation

The Superintendent reported that there have been some issues with student transportation and SPED. We will continue to work with our Transportation office, outside vendors, and parents in order to improve our transpiration services, especially with regard to our special education children. He urged parents to be patient. The purchase of mini buses or vans, which the Committee prioritized in our budget, will assist.

Staff Recognition

School nurses Nancy Tierney, Kathleen Sorensen, Kristin Houlihan and Jane Kisieluis have received national certification.

A teacher orientation was held on August 27 and 28 for our new teachers. This was a huge success with our newly hired teachers.

A new model of health education/intervention at both high schools was described by Mrs. Powell. The model consists of a full time position one period a day at each high school. This is not traditional health education as we know it. It will cover substance abuse, building relationships, building partnerships with students, collaboration with health educators, school nurses, and counselors, individual intervention, education classes in small groups, educational opportunities for both schools. .

Thanks went to Keith Segalla for putting together Cradles to Crayons. Harvard Health, the Quincy Credit Union and Stonehill College Alumni Association handed out over 1,600 backpacks to students at several of our schools and 90 backpacks at Central Registration.

The new Commissioner of Education, Mitchell Chester, will be visiting Quincy on October 24. He will be here for a session on the Trauma Sensitive Schools Initiative. The Superintendent will keep the members updated.

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Open Session

At Open Session, Ms. Maureen Heely said that this was the third year without an Athletic Trainer. Veterans Stadium has been complete for two years. The light has been replaced under the stadium. She heard that the rest of the lights are not going to be completed because of lack of funds. North Quincy High has become very crowded as students are transferring there from Quincy High School because of construction. She asked that the Committee get portable classrooms. Guidance Councilors there have 300 students each. She asked that the numbers be looked at both schools and perhaps hire another dean.

She thanked the School Committee for turning down Faxon Field for the new track. She described what happens at a track meet. This involves hundreds of kids that are there for the whole day. There is not enough room at Faxon Field.

Mr. Paul Phillips, welcomed everyone back. He congratulated his colleagues and the 60 or more new teachers hired. He welcomed Ron Mariano back to the Committee. The QEA gave out $17,000 in scholarships for graduates at both high schools. The QEA is working to defeat Question 1. He spoke to the Mayor’s charity golf tournament. He said that while the charity is very worthy – heating assistance for people who are most distressed, in the past, that money has come to literacy for our students. That is not there any more. That was important to our teachers. He is hoping there won’t be any negative effect on our students.

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School Lunches

Mrs. Joanne Morrissey was present to review the proposed increase in school lunches. This was discussed in a prior Budget Subcommittee. Food Services needs a new refrigerator, five schools need new lunch tables, computers are needed in the elementary schools. The recommendation is to increase the lunches by 25¢. It was never brought to full committee.

Mr. Puleo was not in favor of the increase. He thought this would put an unfair burden on parents. He wants to make sure school lunches remain affordable. Mr. Puleo asked that the Committee delay the increase and be more creative. Mr. Puleo said $48,500 of the Food Services Line goes to repairs and $50,000 to the custodial costs. He hopes to work with the Mayor on the repairs costs to remove that repair line and the custodial line.

Mrs. Morrissey said the price increase would not impact students who are on free and reduced lunches. The cost of breakfast is not increasing. Milk is staying the same. Quincy has the lowest meal prices on the South Shore. She thought 25¢ is a modest increase and by law, we need to set our prices to cover the cost of the meal.

Lunches Raised 25¢ Approved by SC

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mr. Mariano, the Committee approved raising the school lunch prices accordingly by 25¢ throughout. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 5-2. MR. PULEO AND MAYOR KOCH VOTED NO.

Staff Recognition

Mrs. Morrissey was recognized for receiving the School Nutrition Association’s President’s Gold Award of Excellent.

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Custodial Summer Update

Mr. Kevin Segella updated the Committee on the work that was done by the custodians over the summer months. Twenty-two school buildings were dusted, washed from top to bottom. Custodians received and will wear shirts with a QPS logo on it. Also, they will be CPR and AE trained.

Maint. Summer Update

Mr. Kevin Murphy recognized his team of maintenance men. He has visited all principals and buildings and assessed the major and minor issues. He is in the process of reviewing work orders. They will address the major issues first and then minor issues. The Committee saw slides of the new computer labs and maintenance projects done over the summer.

Staff Recognition

Mr. Dennis McGillvray was recognized for his role in a leadership position.

Summer School Update

Ms. Janice Erler reported on the success of the Summer Scene 2008. Over 1,400 students participated in summer programs. She highlighted the programs offered. Mr. Keith Segella reported on Youth Works. Fifty-five students participated, 26 from Quincy Public Schools. Students were placed in a business – Quirk, YMC, Crane Library, QPS Custodial Department to gain job experience. Fifteen students from the high schools participated in Biz Camp. Students earned a stipend for their participation. Over 152 students have participated in Quincy High Night School. Of that, 55 have earned their high school diploma. Ms. Amy Litchfield spoke to “Serve and Learn.” for eighth graders. This is an integrated instructional program with community service.

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School Facilities Mgt. Subcommittee Mtg. Report by Mrs. Dwyer

At this time, Mrs. Dwyer recognized Dennis McGillvray and the Maintenance workers who are unsung heroes. A School Facilities Subcommittee meeting was held on August 28. Mrs. Dwyer reviewed the list of work done by the Maintenance Dept. and the work that is ongoing.

Mrs. Mahoney inquired if the work has begun on the North Quincy High School gym floor. Mr. Murphy will get back to her. The Lincoln Hancock intercom in rooms 303 and 308 for incoming service. Mr. Murphy will check on that. The Superintendent said that the parts have been ordered and will be in shortly. Our electricians will able to get those rooms ready. Those rooms are open rooms. The PO is completed. Mrs. Mahoney asked the Superintendent to get clarification. The parents at the Lincoln Hancock were told it would be done over the summer.

Mr. Murphy is checking on alarm issues and the clocks.

Mrs. Bragg made a motion, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, that the Superintendent come back at the next meeting with a training schedule so that each and every custodian and maintenance worker will be trained. The ayes have it.

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Subcommittee Items

The Committee took off the Policy Subcommittee Teacher Resource Libraries. The Committee took off Outdoor Lighting from the School Facilities Mgt. Subcommittee. The Superintendent will check into some of the older items and report back.

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QHS Bldg. Comm. Report by Mrs. Dwyer

Mrs. Dwyer reported that the Quincy High School Building Committee met. They are still on budget, and only three days behind. The Science, math, and tech wings will open the first day after February vacation 2009. The brick has started going up and is almost complete. Windows are being installed. In early October the stairwells will be in and everybody can have a tour. We hired Lou Ioanilli to coordinate the move. This is a huge undertaking. The move will go on in February. The Center for Technical Education building will come down the last week in February. We should be ready to open in Fall 2010. Mayor Koch said Mr. Cunniff will come and report to the School Committee, but not on a regular basis.

Mrs. Bragg inquired about air conditioning. Only the science and computer labs, auditorium, offices will be air conditioned. Duct work is there in case we want to add. Mrs. Bragg would liked to have more air conditioning in the new high school.


The committee would like more cameras. They are hoping at the end of the project that some money might free up to purchase more cameras. Mr. McCarthy thought two cameras inside is inadequate. He suggested using some cameras from Coddington Hall. Wireless cameras can be tied in with the Police Department. Mr. McCarthy will work on this as it falls into his field of work.

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Central Bldg. Comm. Rpt. by Mrs. Bragg

Mrs. Bragg reported that the Central Building Committee met. Catherine Craven came and walked them through the new process for the SBA. A draft has been completed by Mr. Timmins. The state is convinced that Quincy needs a new Central. The committee has to discuss what, where, and the size. Parents expressed concern about moving the APC Program and redistricting.

Mrs. Mahoney inquired about the Refreshed Statement of Interest for Sterling. The Superintendent has spoken with Richard Gill, SBA, and has set up a security portal in order to take a look at the Sterling SOI already submitted. There may be other elements that need to be filled out. He will look to see if we have to refresh or not. The date has been extended to November 15.

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Budget Update

Mr. Mullaney reported on the budget. We have increased the number of teachers. We reduced the number of substitute teachers, clerical, and paraprofessionals. Principals and Department Heads need to prioritize. Speed Tuition and Transportation are in good shape. However a few outside placements could have an impact. The price for fuel and utilities came in higher. He is working with the Mayor’s Office on the circuit breaker fund.

LH Pool

Mrs. Bragg made a motion, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, that the Superintendent check into what the process is to access Fund 4505 Lincoln Pool Reserve and report back to the Committee at the next meeting.

Mayor Koch said there is an account set up. The membership fees from recreation go into that account. Somebody from the school department issues a request to the Mayor’s Office and through the City Council. This year, Mr. Welch had to have some work done right away. The Superintendent will talk with the Mayor and create something.

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Revolving Funds

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee moved the 5 year history Revolving Funds into the Budget Subcommittee for analysis. The ayes have it.

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On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee accepted three checks for $331.13 each from Boston Financial to the school libraries of Marshall, Central, and Parker Schools. The ayes have it.

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Trip Approved QHS to NH

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee approved a trip Southern New Hampshire University for the Future Chefs class on September 23, 2008. The ayes have it.

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Additional Business

Mr. Puleo made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, that on future agendas a list of reports members requested be listed, including title or subject, member’s name. The ayes have it.

Carpentry Tools

Mr. McCarthy spoke to the carpentry equipment stored at the stadium. He wants someone to look at that area to make sure it’s dry.

Flags @ Schools

He also spoke to the issue of flags at the schools. He wants to be sure that the flags come down at night, unless lit, and brought inside in inclement weather.

Transportation Issues

Mrs. Mahoney brought up transportation issues. Buses are over crowded as additional routes were added. One bus was one hour late. There are a lot of internal issues. A lot of construction going on in Quincy.


Mrs. Mahoney brought up the crosswalks that are worn out at Wollaston, Montclair, and North Quincy. There is a policeman temporarily permanent at North Quincy High. The Mayor said he would see how resources go. Mr. Draicchio will check with Jack Gillan and get a list.

Desk Hinges

Mrs. Mahoney brought up the issue of desks with hinge issues. The Superintendent can take care of that.

Resource Books

Mrs. Roberts reported that the library books are in for the teacher resource rooms. The principals have come in and picked them up. The principals will choose a location. They’re leaning toward the teachers’ rooms. Agenda books are in also.

Mrs. Bragg added that the SPED Pac has been raising funds to add books at the Crane Library and to the teacher resource libraries.

Quill Program

Mrs. Bragg made a motion, seconded by Mr. Mariano, that the Superintendent check into the feasibility of putting the QUILL Program under the umbrella of the Quincy Public Schools. The ayes have it.

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Mrs. Bragg wanted an assessment of where we were on all our buildings on ADA. The Superintendent will check. Mr. McCarthy added we were going to look every year to help a school with their handicap accessibility.

The Superintendent said one of his goals is to look at different grade configurations as that may relate to our school system. His team has met with individual members to discuss these opportunities. He would like to have the matter placed in the Policy Subcommittee.

Name Basketball Court

Mayor Koch has received a request that the Hall of Fame Committee would like to name the main basketball court within the Walter “Cap” Bryan Gymnasium after Robert “Knobby” Nolan.

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Policy Subcommittee Report by Mrs. Bragg

Mrs. Bragg reported that the Policy Subcommittee is working on Section 10. Several sections were tabled at the last meeting. She is in the process of scheduling a meeting. We will also discuss Section 12. On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Policy Subcommittee minutes for July 23, 2008 containing the changes to Section 10, were approved. The ayes have it.

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Litigation Package Approved

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee approved the litigation package discussed in Executive Session. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

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The Committee noted the following retirements:

Principal Clerk: Elizabeth Gearin

Chief Master Electrician: Nicholas Marsney


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teachers: Joanna Chen, Eric Clark, Heather Ewing,  Katherine Rosato

Café Helpers: Valarie Campbell,  Joyce Coppola

Paraprofessionals: Melissa Blackburn,  Melissa DeGraan, Susan Maloney,  Judith Schow, Nikoleta Shala

Sr. Clerk: Marilyn Lumaghini

Leaves of Absence

The Committee noted the following leave of absence:

Teacher: Sarah Norwood


The Committee noted the following appointments:

Teachers: Stephanie Acheson, Maggie Anderson, Wendy Barry, Steven Bernardo, Victoria Canwell, David Carroll, Gayle Carvaho, Nancy Ceriani, Michael Ciarletta, Dennis Coppola, Erin Croke, Michelle Cunniff, Leonard D’Alotto, Mary Ellen DiPietro, Heather Duffy, Patricia Fatseas, Suzanna Friel, Kathryn Gamache, Jillian Geden, Matthew Gibbons, Holly Golden, Emily Hinnendael, Kimberly Hogan, Joseph Hughes, Stephanie Hunt, Michael Joyce, Anna Koelpin, Julie Ann Krieger, Gretchen Lane, Danille LaRose, Michael Lorenzano, Lori Lucas, Lisa Luke, Michael Maguire, Scott Markarian, Megan McCauley, Stacey McGuire, Meghan McLean, Janice Monaco-Hoyt, Jennifer Murphy, Brett Nichols, Christopher Nickelson, Michael Notorangelo, Mark Nutley, Meredith Pelcak, Mark Rosenthal, Janelle Schwanke, Sara Shikowitz, Timothy Smith, Ann Soler, Emily Sullivan, Susan Thoren, Kathleen Walpole,  Lorraine Walsh, Erica Wheeler, Katherine Whitt, Andrea Wilson

Guidance: Catherine Aho, Brian Sasso

Speech/Language: Lisa Bellask, Emily Sullivan

Occ. Therapist: Jennifer Chipman

Media Specialist: Ellen Coghlan

School Psychologist: Molley Palmer

Paraprofessionals: Christine Batson, Soo Kum Cheung, Laura Delaney, Aileen Dewey, Amanda Harris, Julie Roach

Comp. Technician: Scott Kolczewski

Security: Scott Miller

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On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee adjourned for the evening at 9:55 p.m. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.