May 12, 2010 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
May 12, 2010

7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session minutes for May 12, 2010.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Assistant Superintendent Appointment

B. Race to the Top Initiative (Phase 2)

C. Stadium use for High School Graduations (QHS June 7) (NQHS June8)

D. Event Highlights:

  • President’s Cup 21st Century Lego Robotics Tournament

  • Quincy School Community Partnership

  • Evening at the Pops

  • Community Service Learning

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.

D. Policy Change: Mrs. Bragg made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Isola, that the Committee approved holding the Open Forum at 7:15 p.m. The ayes have it. The Committee needs to take a final vote on this change.

V. New Business:

A. Budget Presentation FY2011: Superintendent DeCristofaro to report.

B. Out of State Travel:

  1. Broad Meadows to Camp Wing—June 9 to June 11, 2010. See Attachment A.

  2. Central Middle School to New York – June 10 to June 11, 2010. See Attachment B.

C. School Committee Calendar: For approval. See Attachment C

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings:

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. Special Education Subcommittee: Mrs. Lebo to report.

B. Budget Subcommittee: Mrs. Mahoney to report

X. Executive Session:

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
Mahoney/Bragg/Lebo 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
  10/7/2009 Half Time Teachers
  4/7/2010 RTTT
  4/7/2010 Curriculum Director
School Facilities Management    
Dwyer/Lebo/McCarthy 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 Track
  10/7/2009 Garden @ Snug Harbor
  3/3/2010 Coddington Hall
Health, Safety & Security    
McCarthy/Isola/Dwyer 3/17/2010 North Quincy Traffic Intersection
  4/11/2007 HS Health Curriculum
  3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
School Policy    
Bragg/Isola/Dwyer 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.
  12/16/2009 School Tardiness Policy
Special Education    
Lebo/McCarthy/Mahoney 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    
Isola/Mahoney/Bragg 10/29/2008 Faxon Field
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/17/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts - May 12, 2010
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee


A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 in the City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were: Mr. Dave McCarthy, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mayor Thomas P. Koch and Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Vice Chairman.

Vice Chairman Presiding

- - -

The Superintendent called the roll and all members were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk; Messrs. Mullaney, Draicchio, and Keith Segalla; Ms. Roberts, Tenaglia, Todd, and Hughes. Paul Phillips, QEA President; Ms. Tracey Christello, Citywide, Lawrence Liuzzo, and Darius Varmahmoodi High School Student Representatives.

- - -

Reg.Mins Approved 4/7/2010

On a motion by Mayor Koch, seconded by Ms. Isola, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for April 7, 2010. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

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The high school graduations will be held on June 7 (QHS) and June 8 (NQHS) at Veterans Memorial Stadium. With regard to the Race To The Top (RTTT) Initiative, the Superintendent will again contact Paul Phillips, QEA President.

Mrs. Roberts appointed Asst. Supt. of Schools

Interviews were held this morning for the Assistant Superintendent’s position. The Superintendent is recommended Ms. Colleen Roberts, a woman who excels in leadership, has tremendous work ethic, a former teacher, assistant principal and principal, and Assistant Superintendent of Schools. On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee appointed Ms. Colleen Roberts Assistant Superintendent of the Quincy Public Schools. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

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Open Forum

Ms. Emily Hajjar, Quincy High School Senior Class President, asked that the graduation exercises be held at the Adams Field. The students believe that Adams field is a better location. The field makes the graduation more personal. The students would like the Committee to take this into consideration.

Mr. Bill Zamzow again asked the QEA to vote in favor of the RTTT. The key issue for the rejection was standardized testing. They failed to offer compelling reasons to refuse the RTTT funding. Mr. Zamzow asked the QEA to take a deferment to save the schools. The current disaster is not the School Committees, he said, but Mayor Koch’s for not raising the taxes. (Laura Kelley gave up her four minutes) Mr. Zamzow went on to offer several suggestions to raise the funds needed.

North Quincy students Ryan DeAngelo, Tim Marks, Robert Hudson, Sydney Huynh, Sean Feeney and Bob Harding asked the Committee to keep Mr. Burke’s carpentry class at North Quincy and not eliminate it.

Students Zach Dwyer, Josh Kaplan, Casey Smith, Yassar Mahmoud, Maureen Mullally, Emma Smith, Daniel Paschall, Jeremy Mele, Cynthia Nelson, Ryan Pound, Kayla Pendleton, Noelle Gobbi, Ciana Bonfiglioli, Mark Rogers Abigail Egan, Danielle Woods, Jeremy Mele, Dan Hennessey, Evan Detwiler, Edward Harris asked the Committee not to cut the Renaissance Program or the Drama Club. Theatre, photography, journalism, drama, and the arts, keep those students that do not participate in sports involved in after school activities. They were very passionate about keeping all the theatre programs.

Stephen Markarian, a former Quincy student is now a music/theatre major at Boston Conservatory of Music, spoke and asked the Committee not to cut the arts. Wendy Arsenault asked the Committee to keep the Renaissance Program, and recognize the children. Jonathan Mendez, who owns a store on 188 Sea St. was an art/drama student in Quincy. He asked the Committee not to cut the arts.

Students Brittany Meehan and Donna Roche asked the Committee to keep the Cheerleading club. Cheerleading is a big part of the school. These students pay for their own bus and their parents drive them to games.

Robin Gardiner suggested finding a less expensive ways to cut the grass and keep woodworking and the Renaissance Program instead.

Pamela Bonfiglioli ,Victoria Samsel challenged the Committee to think from the ground up. All programs matter to students. Reconsider cutting any programs.

Laurel Blanchard, a Quincy Public School bus driver for five years, suggested charging a fee for busing. She warned that students will hang out after school and get in trouble if the Committee cuts sports, drama, etc. They need to rethink their cuts. .

Kyle Waldron and Alicia Amato asked the Committee not to cut the deans.

Brianne Phelan, Quincy High, told the Committee not to allow the Mayor to make these cuts. This will be wiping out students’ dreams.

Amanda Burke, Beechwood Knoll School, told the Committee that they would be cutting their future if they make all these cuts.

Kathleen Tracey, Chris Chetwyn, Debbie Cerdone asked the Committee to reconsider cutting full-day Kindergarten. This program creates proficient readers by the third grade. Charging a fee would create an inequity for those who can’t pay. Losing full-day Kindergarten is a disservice to Quincy.

Cindy Conley, Gina Christo, Victoria Wallace, Laurel Dane, Theresa Riordon, Christine Hyslip (Lacrosse) said that sports and extra curriculum keep students off the streets. They are deeply disturbed by cutting freshman and Jr. Varsity sports.

Mr. Carl Gus Soden, a Quincy realtor, told the Committee that they would be cutting their nose to spite their face. This would ruin the City by cutting all these school programs. Instead, he suggested doing some tax levy. .

Michael Wolles said that education should be the last thing cut. Laura Keeley said not to blame the School Committee, but to blame City Hall. Michelle Williams a 2007 graduate from Quincy High said that the after school programs are very important. Reconstructing Southern Artery is not. Kids are more important. Kids need the money. Everything else can just wait!

Larry Chretien said he would support a property tax increase. He would pay fees. The Committee needs to do work with the Mayor and the QEA. Sue Hersey, a third grade teacher, asked them to think outside the box. She agreed with Mr. Chretien. She would be willing to up her taxes.

Jack Kozlowski suggested cutting the Parks Department and put some money into the drug unit.

Tracey Christello asked the members to look at the whole child and not lose what we have worked so hard to accomplish.

Paul Phillips, QEA President, stressed again, that the QEA voted that he be not sign an additional grant of the RTTT. At the MTA annual meeting in regard to the RTTT they voted to: one, continue to talk to the DESES on the issues and, two, that the MTA will support the Massachusetts RTTT application only if the following criteria are met, One, results of standardized tests will not be a mandatory measure of teacher performance, Two, punitive measures including mass firings and school closure plans are removed from the proposal, and three, control over any resulting funds that come to local districts will be subject to bargaining between the local of the MTA and the local school committee, and D, Each local of the MTA will retain the immediate and permanent right to withdraw from RTTT at any time. If they don’t meet that, they will not be signing it as a state. The MTA will withdraw as the AFT Massachusetts has already done.

The QEA understands by letter today from the Mayor that their offer was rejected. At a general membership meeting on the 26th, the members by vote directed offering a wage deferral that was more than any other union in this City. They also offered a secondary deferral next year and in return for that they asked for some considerations in the future. The School Committee has refused that. .

The general membership has submitted to him a petition of 50 signatures, asking for another general membership meeting. He will schedule that on May 24. The annual meeting will be on May 26.

Mr. Phillips also expressed concern that the QEA was given only 10 days to read the original round of the RTTT which was a 180 page document. They were not given a chance to have a general membership meeting and discuss this with the QEA members. They said no because their members didn’t know what’s in it. When the next round comes, supposedly this week, and if they have to vote on it by May 24, less than 10 days to approve the application which will be larger than the previous 180 pages, they will not sign it. The members have been very clear. Also, Senator Harkins has filed a bill in the Federal Government. to have an additional ARRA funding. People can go on line and support that.

Finally, as a citizen, Mr. Phillips asked the Mayor to please raise his property taxes.

Samantha Akoury, Paul Smith, and Tim McAloon all asked the Committee to try and compromise. Everybody should work in partnership. Everybody give a little bit.

Members Answer the public

The members said they were all moved by the speakers. They haven’t cut anything yet to meet the bottom line given by the Mayor. Many programs are on the chopping block. They have a number they have to work with. They are not trying to pit one program against the other. Core courses need to be in place. Students need to pass MCAS. .

The Committee thought going back to the City Council and see if there is any way they can get the $9 million decreased. The QEA asked Mr. Phillips to go back at a meeting and lobby his people for a deferment which means a .0%. Mr. McCarthy asked the QEA members to vote and to do the right thing, not the political thing.

The Mayor said he was very proud of the students but this is the most difficult year he has had to date. We are in very difficult times. All of our unions have taken a wage deferment. We can’t continue to sustain our growth.

Mrs. Mahoney thanked everyone for coming out. They understand times would not be easy. She was so proud of all our students. Leadership is needed on all sides. The Quincy Public Schools needs to work with the QEA and the City. She would welcome taxes and fees if it would offset these cuts. Deferrals only solve problems short term. We need to find a way to solve our situation.

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Budget Presentation FY2011

After a brief recess, the Committee we on with the budget presentation for FY11. 

Requested Budget for FY2011 $89,330,061
Negotiated Increases 5,083,448
SPED Tuitions 475,000
SPED Transportation 200,000
TOTAL NEEDED $94,140,839
Less Circuit Breaker 1,500,000
IDEA Funding Available 671,157
Increased User Fees 387,000
Appropriation Needed from City $91,582,682

This leaves the school system with a shortfall of $9,169,525.


The Superintendent and his team reviewed the options and prioritized possible areas of reduction. After suggestions from the members, they will rework the options and come back at the next meeting with the Committee’s suggestions. The Superintendent is recommending the following Budget adjustments to address the shortfall:

Academic Classrooms Teachers 89.5
Academic Programs 35.6
Academic Support 35.8
Non-Academic Support 40.5
Total Budget Adjustments are staff reduction 201.4

Non Academic Expenses:  
Reduction in repairs $51,000
Reduction in ice rentals 8,050
Reduction in Legal Services 11,250
Reduction in Professional Services 18,000
Reduction in Officials Fees 23,100
Reduction in Gasoline 101,008
Reduction in health Supplies 2,250
Reduction in Athletic supplies 14,350
Reduction in DP Supplies 1,400
Reduction in Dues 8,750
Reduction in Insurance 26,625
Reduction in Acquisition of Furniture 1,500
(Furniture from the old QHS will be used)
Total $193,033
Academic Expenses:    
Reduction in repairs   $6,135
Reduction in Staff Development   11,073
Reduction in Medical Screening
Elimination of Substitute Calling   15,000
   (Principal and Asst. Principals will do)    
Reduction in Testing   6,000
Reduction in Library Books (50% cut)
Reduction in Supplies   3,232
Reduction Textbooks and Learning materials   99,524
   (23% cut)    
Reduction in Educational Software   9,000
Reduction in Instructional Technology   7,500
Total   $314,285
Non Academic Support:    
Reduction in clerical positions 7.5 $270,000
Reduction of custodians 5.0 175,000
Reduction of maintenance 2.0 80,000
Reduction of security positions 1.00 40,000
Elimination of office aides    
  Elementary & Middle 17.0 255,000
Reduction of office aides high school 3.0 45,000
Reduction of Bus Drivers - 2 mil 5.0 185,000
Reduction of bus drivers - Athletics   29,000
Reduction of Athletic Field Help   9,450
Reduction of Athletic Coaches   99,181
Reduction of Overtime - 25% cut   69,125
  (Custodians, security, maintenance & Trans.)    
Total   $1,257,429
Academic Support:    
Reduce Guidance 5.0 $265,000
Reduce Nurses 1.0 53,000
Reduce IT Tech Positions 1.0 30,000
Eliminate Curriculum Director 0.6 75,147
Reduction in District Wide Dept. 3.2 269,600
  Chairs (go back to teaching full time)    
Eliminate high school deans 8.0 692,000
Add 4 Asst Principals @ High Schools    
Reduction of Middle School Asst. Princ. 1.0 92,000
Eliminate Asst. Principals Elementary
Eliminate Extra Curr - Middle School   52,250
Eliminate Extra Curr - High School   42,900
Eliminate full day Kindergarten aides 20.0 300,000
Total 35.8 $1,407,897
Academic Programs:    
Eliminate Academic Talent program (ELC) 1.0 $53,000
Reduce Music Teachers 4.5 238,500
Reduce Art Teachers 1.7 90,100
Reduce Career and Tech Teachers 3.6 190,800
  (Reclassify MS Health Teacher in Phys Ed Line)    
Reduce/reclassify phs ed teachers 5.8 307,400
Eliminate high school health 2.0 106,000
Eliminate Literacy Program 11.5 609,500
Eliminate Elem. & MS Media 7.8 413,400
Reduce SPED Teachers 6.0 313,152
Total 35.6 $1,881,952
Academic Classroom Teachers:    
Reduction in staff - Elementary 16.0 848,000
Elimination of Full Day Kindergarten 16.5 874,500
Reduction of MS staff 4.0 212,000
Elimination of MS Reading Teachers 12.5 662,500
Eliminate MS Foreign Language 5.5 291,500
Elimination of MS Technology 5.0 265,000
Reduction in high school staff 30.0 1,590,000
Total 89.5 4,743,500


The total RIFs are 201 staff members. The FTE may go beyond that because there are people on grants. There may be an additional 30-40 positions cut.

Subsidized Services: Listed were two options to raise the cost of meals. However, there has been a significant decrease in the amount of lunches being purchased since the price was raised last year. The money would be the same because lunches purchased are less. This is not a suggestion.

Mr. Mullaney presented an increase (3 more options) in school rentals. The cost of the custodian overtime is anywhere from $33-$42 and a security guard would be around $40-$50. The main cost the Quincy Public Schools would incur is the overhead – utility fees, etc. As we increase the fees, we lose usage.

Athletics: The Superintendent is recommending $199,904 in cuts in Athletics.

Eliminate Freshman Sports $40,243
Eliminate Jr. Varsity 4,541
Reduce Varsity Non-League Games 30,000
Reduce Varsity Coaching Staff 25,120
Total $199,904

Unless additional revenue are found, Freshman sports, Jr. Varsity, and non league Varsity games will be cut.

Transportation: The Superintendent is recommending the 2 mile limit. We would have 60 students and require 2 buses. If there was space available we could pick up more students.

Full Day Kindergarten would be eliminated. We are looking at a half day and enrichment programs. We are also looking at a fee. Those people on free and reduced lunches would not have to pay. You would need to raise the fees for the others to subsidized it.

Mrs. Bragg expressed concern with what would happen to PTOs if we cancel rentals. The Superintendent said they would have to meet at a school when there is a custodian on duty. Parent councils provide additional revenue in the fund raising that help our kids. I want us to be sensitive to their needs.

Mr. McCarthy asked for a list of proposed changes. He would like to see one Lacrosse team-citywide. He will sit down with Kevin Segalla and firm up some thoughts.

Mrs. Isola asked before there was full day Kindergarten, how many parents kept their children at extended day care schools and paid for it? Do we have a figure when it comes to rentals as to what the profit after school caretakers make using school facilities? Look into the 3-tier start up for transportation. What is the cost of maintaining the Renaissance Program.

Mrs. Bragg asked Mr. Mullaney to compute what the breakeven point is for each sport.

- - -

Mrs. Bragg made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, due to the hour, to table everything on the agenda until next meeting. The ayes have it.

Mrs. Isola asked our City Council and state representatives to urge the Governor to relook at the foundational budget.

To answer the request by Emily Hajjar, Mayor Koch said that the graduations were held at Adams Park because the Veterans Stadium was under construction. Now that the Stadium is completed, graduations can be held there. Adams Field takes more man hours to set up and get ready for the ceremonies.

- - -

BM to Camp Wing Approved

On a motion by Mayor Koch, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee approved the trip for Broad Meadows to Camp Wing, in Duxbury from June 9 – June 11, 2010. The ayes have it.

CMS to NY City Approved

On a motion by Mayor Koch, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee approved the trip for Central Middle School to New York City from June 10 – June 11, 2010. The ayes have it.

- - -


The Committee noted the following retirements:

Teacher: Lynn Rowe

- - -


On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, the Committee adjourned for the evening at 11:20 p.m. There was no Executive Session.