March 18, 2009 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
March 18, 2009

7:00 p.m.
Atlantic Middle School

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session Minutes for March 11, 2009.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Jazz Band Students

B. Art Student Recognition

C. Atlantic Student Writers

D. School Security Practices

E. Quincy School Community partnership Activities

F. Science Fairs and Mathematics Evening

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.

  • Building Committee Meeting March 27 at 9:00 a.m.

C. Update on Central: Mrs. Bragg and Mrs. Mahoney to report.

D. 2009-2010 School Calendar (Draft #2)

V.  New Business:

A. Quincy Public Schools Transitions: Mrs. Powell and Mrs. Roberts to report.

B. Honeywell Presentation: Mr. Cunniff and Mr. Timmins to report.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings: - none

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

X Executive Session: Negotiations

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
  1/21/2009 GIC
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
  2/6/2008 Voting Places
  3/12/2008 Teacher Evaluations
  9/10/2008 Grade Configurations
  1/21/2009 Recess
  3/11/2009 MS Interim Letters
  3/11/2009 Naming of QPS schools/places/etc.
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 - March 18, 2009
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 in the Atlantic Middle School. Present were Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mr. Nicholas Puleo, Mr. Ron Mariano, Mr. Dave McCarthy, and Mayor Tom Koch, Chairman.

Chairman Presiding

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The Superintendent called the roll and all members were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk; Messrs. Mullaney, Mulvey, Murphy, Draicchio, Keith Segalla, Ms. Roberts, Powell, Hughes, and Dr. Sylvia Pattavina. Ms. Tracey Christello, Citywide and Mr. Paul Phillips, QEA.

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Reg. Mins.Approved 3/18/2009

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for March 11, 2009. The ayes have it.

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Atlantic Middle School Student Recognition

Principal Maureen McNeil welcomed everyone to Atlantic Middle School. The first hour of this meeting was devoted to student recognition. The Atlantic School Choir sang the National Anthem and the Alphabet Song. Ms. Pat Dunne introduced the Young Writers editors. The All City Jazz Band, under the direction of Mr. David Carroll, played several selections. Students who participated and placed in the All State Musical Competition were recognized. Art work from both high schools is on display at the Crane Public Library. The Arts Festival at the Crane Public Library is scheduled to begin on May 4. Winners of the Boston Globe Scholastic were recognized and received Certificates of Recognition from the School Committee.

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Open Forum

Ms. Pam Bonfiglioli, Ms. Margo Nelsamo, Mr. John Bonfiglioli, Ms. Nancy Davis, Mr. Jim McCarthy, Ms. Lynn Bailey and Tracey Christello asked that the Committee revisit the school calendar which they approved last week. This calendar had school beginning before Labor Day. Parents said they have paid and made reservations for that week and do not want to lose their money. They didn’t see any benefit beginning the school year before Labor Day.

Mr. Karl Roos spoke to the GIC plan and asked that the Mayor consider the savings he will realize by people freezing their raises.

Ms. Suzanne Early spoke about her two children, a third and fifth grader, who are dyslexic. Her third grader has improved but her fifth grader still cannot read. Her daughter, she said, is not being serviced. She has spoken with school officials and she feels nothing is being done. She wants help for her daughter.

Ms. Debbie Napstedt spoke to the Progress Reports for the high school. She claims they just say “passing” and this could mean a 65 or a 100. She couldn’t tell which. She would like more definition.

School Cal. 2009-2010 Reconsidered

At this time, Mrs. Dwyer made a motion, seconded by Mr. Mariano, to reconsider the approval of next year’s school calendar which would begin before Labor Day. The ayes have it.

New Calendar approved Begins after Labor Day

After some discussion, Mrs. Dwyer made another motion, seconded by Mr. Mariano, to go back to the original calendar. This calendar will have school begin on September 8, 2009, after Labor Day. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

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Honeywell Update By Messrs. Timmins & Mr. Cunniff

City Solicitor Jim Timmins did a power point presentation showing what Honeywell was supposed to do in each building and what they did do. Every year, the City has to come up with $3 million. This is a self-funded program which will impact the budget and the school budget. He gave an example of the Wollaston Library. A permit was pulled for a roof for $45,000. Honeywell charged the City $242,000. The City has concerns about the costs that were assessed to the City.

He gave other examples -- North Quincy, a water heater which was installed near a water main gauge. Four new heaters that were hooked up to two old boilers. By the time the water goes from the new boilers through the old boilers, the water gets cold. There is no master engineering plan. At Broad Meadows, the salt marsh return pipes are rusting. The lights installed are not all the same model. At Beechwood Knoll, there are frozen univents, an engineering failure. They were installed on the northeast side. The flaps open and cold air comes in. Honeywell is supposed to monitor these. Mr. Timmins said that a lot of work has been poorly done. At Squantum, univents were replaced and a poor job was done. Mr. Timmins showed steam pipes that were filled with concrete and then capped.

Gary Cunniff meets every week with Honeywell. He stated that Honeywell keeps carrying things forward. There are communication issues and questions of confidence. In 2008 the City paid $1.4 million. All payments are in excess of $1 million

Mr. Timmins said he has contacted the Inspector General. They are reviewing the Energy Savings contract. They will come out and provide help to Quincy. He is going to try and negotiate some issues. There has been productive results on some problems. Honeywell says that they did value billing--over a certain point you are going to realize savings.

Mrs. Bragg said she knows that a lot of work was done at the schools. She also knows they were there trying to fix problems. The Committee would like to be kept in the loop.

Mr. McCarthy said the Committee’s request was a listing of what was completed and what wasn’t and what to do about it. He thought Mr. Timmins was going to bring a punch list.

Mr. Cunniff said that 99% of the equipment has been installed but that he cannot sign off on a future savings, as it might not occur. His focus is that everything listed is installed in the buildings.

Mr. Puleo expressed concern for students who might get burned from the steam pipes with the cement caps. Mr. Cunniff said this only happened in one school.

Mr. Cunniff said given some time he could get a listing. Physically, they are there but there are problems with the functions.

Mr. Kevin Murphy added that there are ten buildings completed. A lot of the building are fine. He will do an assessment of custodial and maintenance.

Mrs. Mahoney thought that it was irresponsible that the Committee did not receive the information they requested. Mr. Timmins added that Mr. Cunniff is extraordinarily busy – working on the new high school, Central Middle School, and city buildings. This type of report is very complex. All of the information is being shared weekly with the people in the school department who do the work. The information is there. As far as getting these reports it is going to take some time.

Mrs. Dwyer said she would like to find out what Honeywell paid the contractors. She has been asking for a report since last September. She would like information school by school on what was done and what we’re still doing.

Mayor Koch added that he thought this was an outrageous contract and goes against everything we do in public bidding. The City took a bad rap. He will continue to fight this issue for the taxpayers and to get the buildings right.

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Bldgs. & Grounds

Mr. Kevin Murphy reported that the auditorium at Sterling will be ready for the MCAS. He had a quick tour on Friday with the Superintendent. They installed a new batting cage at Lincoln Hancock. The security systems at Wollaston and Montclair are working fine. They are still working on the Squantum lab.

Mr. McCarthy asked if he could install the glass backboards over the summer at Point Webster.

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QHS Bldg. Committee

There was no new action by the Quincy High School Building Committee to report.

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Central Bldg. Committee

Mrs. Bragg reported that they submitted the name of the Owners Project Manager to the SBA. They are still awaiting a reply.

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Transitions Tabled

The Quincy Public Schools Transitions presentation was tabled until the April 1 meeting.

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Additional Business

Mrs. Bragg has called a Policy Subcommittee meeting for Wednesday, March 25 in the Superintendent’s Conference Room at 30 p.m. to discuss recess and the Policy Manual.

Mrs. Mahoney called a Special Education Subcommittee meeting for Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m. at Broad Meadows.

Superintendent DeCristofaro commended staff on the Coordinated Program Review. Many areas are examined by the Department of Education. The Special Education Department did very well. He commended the Director of Special Education, the teaching staff, and Dr. Pattavina. Quincy does a tremendous job in Special Education. The process is very difficult and families need to know we are here for them.

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GIC Proposal Passes

Mr. Mariano made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, to take the GIC issue out of the Finance Committee and dispose of it. The ayes have it. Mr. Mariano said it’s been around for many meetings and everyone expressed their concerns. They know for sure where the City is going to be with regards to health insurance. This will free up $4 million for both the City and the Schools.

Mr. Mariano made a motion, seconded by Mr. Puleo to accept the GIC Proposal.

Mrs. Dwyer asked if there was a change as to who was going to get the $300. Mayor Koch answered that anyone who is insurance eligible will receive it. The Mayor, his City Department Heads, and the staff in the Mayor’s office will not get it including the receptionist and the secretary. Clerical that are non civil service and personnel in the law office will receive it. All department heads will not, his staff in the mayor’s office will not, other clerical non union and non civil service will get it. It is built in there for non- union people in the city side.

Mrs. Dwyer said she didn’t understand how the Committee could vote on it tonight. Mrs. Dwyer continued her questions. The memo of agreement that the Mayor wanted them to sign are not supposed to have anything to do with joining the GIC. Now, it’s being called the GIC agreements.

At this time, Mrs. Bragg moved the question, seconded by Mr. Mariano. On a roll call vote to move the question, the motion passed 4-3. MRS. DWYER, MR. MARIANO and MR. MCCARTHY VOTED NO.

GIC Agreements Passed

On the original motion to accept the GIC side agreements and sign them, the motion passed 5-2. MRS. DWYER and MR. MCCARTHY voted NO.

Mrs. Dwyer made a motion, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, that the equivalent of the $300 for the Quincy school employees be submitted in our budget on the line that says “reserve for negotiations.” Mr. Puleo made a point of order that the school budget can’t be earmarked. $300 equivalent on school budget

Mrs. Dwyer changed her motion to put on the school budget line “reserved for negotiations” the equivalent of the $300 for the 1,562 school employees. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

$300 toward textbooks

Mr. Puleo announced he would be waiving his $300 increase and asked Mr. Mariano to earmark it for school textbooks. Mrs. Bragg, Mr. Mariano and Mrs. Mahoney joined Mr. Puleo.

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On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mr. Puleo, the Committee voted to go into Executive Session at 10:14 p.m. for the purpose of negotiations. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0. The Committee did not return to Open Session.