Jan. 5, 2011 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
January 5, 2011

7:00 p.m. Point Webster Middle School

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session minutes for December 8, 2010.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Quincy Public Schools CVTE Admissions Policy Revision
B. Professional Teacher Status Reception
C. Boston University Pre-practicum Partnership

III. Open Forum: (7:15 p.m.) 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.

V. New Business:

A. Program Improvement Plan (Health Services):
B. Wellness – Quincy Public Schools Policy, Process and Practices
C. Common Core Curriculum Overview
D. Out of State/Country Travel:

  1. Bernazzani Elementary School to Canobie Lake Park (A)

  2. Atlantic Middle School to New York City (B)

  3. Point Webster Middle School to New York City ©

  4. Sterling Middle School to New York City (D)

  5. Quincy High School to Mt. Sunapee, NH (E)

  6. Quincy High School to London and Paris (F)

E. Gift: Donation of a Ford Explorer Sport Utility 4D to Career and Technical Education Automotive Technology Program by Mr. Scott Parrish. (G)
F. Draft School Calendar 2011-2012: (H)
G. Draft School Committee Calendar 2011-2012: (I)

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings:

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

X. Executive Session:

XI. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Date Referred Business Pending
Budget & Finance
Mahoney/Bragg/Lebo 10/7/2009 Half Time Teachers
  9/15/2010 Full Day Kindergarten
  9/15/2010 Opportunities & Challenges
  9/15/2010 Free & Reduced Lunch
  9/15/2010 Short & Long Term Goals
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
  3/3/2010, 9/29/2010 Coddington Hall
Health, Safety & Security    
McCarthy/Isola/Dwyer 3/17/2010 North Quincy Traffic Intersection
  3/26/2008 Increase School Breakfast Participation
School Policy    
Bragg/Isola/Dwyer 3/11/2009 MS Interim Letters
  12/16/2009 School Tardiness Policy
  9/15/2010 Attendance Tardy Policy with High School principals
  9/15/2010 CPR/ADE Training
  9/15/2010 Students Use of Electronics
  9/15/2010 Open Enrollment Policy
  10/2010 Harassment Policy
  11/17/2010 Jewish Holidays
  11/17/2010 Polling Places
  11/17/2010 Internet/Technology Policy re: Social Networks
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 -January 5, 2011
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Mtg.

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, Regular Mtg. January 5, 2011 in the Point Webster Middle School. Present were: Mr. Dave McCarthy, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mrs. Anne Mahoney and Mayor Thomas P. 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, Draicchio, Mulvey, Murphy and Keith Segalla; Ms. Roberts, Tenaglia, Todd, and Hughes. Ms. Allison Cox, QEA President and Tracey Christello, Citywide.

The Committee observed a moment of silence for the following members of the Quincy Public Schools family: Mr. George DiPaulo, the Gostanian family, the DeLorey family , the Oriola family, the Rougvie family, the Torraco family, the Rickson family and the Dwyer family. Mrs. Mahoney remembered her uncle, George DePaylo, as a quiet hero of World War 2, a dedicated family man and a faithful employee who worked for the Quincy Public Schools at Sterling Middle School for 60 years.

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Reg. Meeting Mins. Approved 12/8/2010

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for December 8, 2010. The ayes have it.

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Principal, James McGuire, welcomed the School Committee members to the Point Webster Middle School. He introduced the choir, under the direction of Amy Rogers, who sang the National Anthem and Cover the World with Love.

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Supts Report

The Superintendent thanked everyone who participated in the school holiday concerts. They were all a big success. Over 50 teachers will receive Professional Status at a reception tomorrow afternoon. Also, there are 36 pre-practicum teachers from Boston University working in the schools. He thanked Mrs. Roberts for organizing this project. Drug Awareness Week is January 4-7, 2011. There was a Citywide parent presentation last night. There will be student performances, presentations, students will create public service announcements, an Essay Contest for all grade 12 students and a presentation on Steroids for Athletes, a mandatory presentation for all high school winter athletes. Thanks to the Rotary Club and the Mayor’s Drug Task Force.

To Policy Subcommittee

Mrs. Bragg put into the Policy Subcommittee the CTE Admissions Policy

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Open Forum

As no one wished to be heard in Open Forum, the Committee went on with the business at hand.

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Bldg. Update Mr. Murphy reports

The Maintenance staff has been very busy. Mr. Murphy thanked the custodians and Larry Prendeville and the Parks Department for clearing out the snow. Electricians and automatic feedback on boilers at Central and Bernazzani, completed heating repairs at Beechwood Knoll and North Quincy, repaired and wired the security systems at Beechwood Knoll and Central. We are busy with painting jobs. They have removed $16,000 worth of hardware from the old high school.

Mr. McCarthy asked if there was any damage from flooding at Atlantic or Broad Meadows: Mr. Murphy said no monetary damage done. Also Mr. McCarthy asked if students can get into the old Quincy High School –is it closed off from the kids? Mr. Murphy said no one is in that school.

Mrs. Dwyer said that the area on Sea St. at the cemetery had not been plowed. She was concerned about the students getting to the high school. Mr. Murphy will talk to Mr. Prendeville to keep after that area.

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QHS Bldg. Committee Mrs. Dwyer reports

Mrs. Dwyer said that the lights need to be adjusted at Quincy High School.

The building is lit up very late at night. Mr. McCarthy asked who is responsible for replacing burnt out lights and the pole at the front entrance of Quincy High School? Mrs. Dwyer answered that Tishman has vacated the building they were in. Our custodians or Maintenance staff replaces burnt out lights

Walter Kincaide will give the committee an update on Friday at the Quincy High School Building Committee meeting. The Mayor added that the leak at Quincy High was a chemical in the pipe which is added so that pipes don’t freeze.

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Central Middle Mayor reports

Mayor Koch reported that he expects to have everything wrapped up by March with regard to the land for the new Central. At the first City Council meeting in February, the Mayor will bring in an appropriation for a bond authorization for acquisition costs and related demolition costs.

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Health Services (PIP) Mrs. Kisielius reports

Mrs. Jane Kisielius gave an update and overview of the health services through the Program Improvement Plan (PIP) so that the Committee will gain a greater understanding of the challenging world of school health and the important role the school nurses play.

Nurses communicate and collaborate with students, parents, and school staff and community health providers to coordinate and implement health services. Individualized health care plans are established for students with specific medical needs to provide the nursing care that they require throughout the school day with the least amount of interruption to learning.

BMI Screenings

As required by the Mass. Dept of Public Health, new regulations required that Body Mass Index (BMI) screenings are to be conducted for students in grades 1,4,7 and 10. Parents receive a written report of their child’s BMI status along with additional health information and available resources.


Also, this year in collaboration with the Dept. of Public Health’s Oral Health Unit, dental screenings and sealants have been offered to students in grades 2 and 6. MDPH SEAL is a free dental program that provides students with screenings, dental sealants, fluoride and dental referrals. The program is coordinated by the school nurse in each elementary and middle school. This program is free of charge.

We have 21 full time school nurses--a full time nurse at each elementary and middle school and two full time nurses at each high school. There is an additional part-time nurse at the Early Childhood Center serving students with multiple complex medical and educational needs. The Snug Harbor Community School Pre-school program is staffed with 1.6 nurses. We have two paraprofessionals working within the high school health offices.

The Health Services Team meets monthly and provides an opportunity for informational sharing and problem solving. Professional development sessions cover a variety of topics that are designed to keep nurses current in their practice.

BMI Screenings

Mrs. Lebo thought the BMI was somewhat controversial. Students might want to be too thin. Mrs. Kasielius explained that they tried to approach it gently. We received grant money. We formed a committee to create our own letter. We explained body mass index, a portion of the story, it is an indicator of possible future problems. It went fine. We entered the data and did a mail merge with our city IT Department. We were all prepared for parents calling, but for the most part we got parents who were really concerned.

Ms. Isola asked to see the letter that went out to parents on BMI. It is a measurement that can be misinterpreted. Can parents opt out from having their child’s BMI done? How is that communicated? Mrs. Kasielius said they did it by instant messaging. It might have been done through the schools newsletters. We did have parents opt out.

Ms. Isola asked if parents know the day their child was having the BMI measurement? Did they send in a letter? Was there a form with a tear off? Or did parents have to write their own letter?

Mrs. Kisielius said that parents had to communicate. They were informed by a letter that they could contact their school if they didn’t want to participate. It went out to all of the grades that were affected prior to doing the screening. There was 1-2% that didn’t want to participate.

Mrs. Isola asked if the dental sealing program was needs based and how did we communicate that?

Letters were sent home to 2 and 6th graders, on our website, channel 20, and a very comprehensive package. They provided all the materials. They provided translated copies of the materials. It is housed in each individual school. She will share that package with Ms. Isola.

Mrs. Isola asked what percentage of students took advantage? Mrs. Kasielius said we had a good response. At Atherton Hough, it was 100% return. She will do the number for Mrs. Isola. The program is still in progress. This program was funded through a grant.

Mrs. Isola ask if a nurse is out sick does she have a good pool of substitute nurses. Mrs. Kisielius said she is very lucky, we have a good pool.

Mrs. Isola said as a parent of a child who had type 1 Diabetes, the nurses at North Quincy High were invaluable for peace of mind and for education.

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Wellness Policy

Ms. Maura Tanaglia and her staff presented the school policy, process and practices of the Wellness Team. The Wellness Policy requires the establishment of a Wellness Team at each elementary, middle and high school and at the system level. The System Level Wellness Team oversees, coordinates and communicates with the school teams. The Committee received a guide developed by the Team for school communities to help explain the requirements of the policy and to offer suggestions to school teams to assist with policy implementation.

The Wellness support programs include support from Food Services, health services, physical education, counseling services, healthy school environment, school site health promotion for staff, family and community involvement, Health Education. A guide also included a listing of the schools, the wellness team leaders and its members. There are new Federal and State regulations that need to be reviewed by the teams.

Mrs. Lebo asked who from the community participates on the Wellness Team. Mrs. Tenaglia answered that a Social Health Team participates. Wellness stretches so far across all the different programs. There is a listing of all the community members. However, Mrs. Lebo said in our policy it says there are community reps, especially the food industry, but she didn’t see any on a list.

Mrs. Bragg asked about parents on the teams? Mrs. Tanaglia said that on the site teams a lot of the PTOs are involved with their school wellness teams. However, there is no outside representation on the system wide team.

Mrs. Lebo said that our policy states there is going to be community representtation on this team. Mrs. Tenaglia said we do have a social health team that Mrs. Kisielius and she are on and do have representatives from local health departments. The community representatives are on the site teams of the PTOs.

Mrs. Lebo inquired about the health educators. We lost the high school health educators. Do we still have one in every middle school? Mrs. Tenaglia said there are five health teachers at each middle school. At the high schools a lot of those programs – SADD, health intervention, high school people are involved. Guidance has dome some classrooms and organized programs with nurses, brought in speakers such as social health programs and Drug Awareness Week. The Superintendent added that the physical education staff is involved to a certain extent. They took more of it on. Their schedule allows them to be in the gym and then outside of the gym in the classroom area. At both high schools there is a bit of that--not what we had, but the phys ed teachers are picking up part of it.

Ms. Isola said she asked for an overview of the Wellness Policy as it relates across the Quincy Public Schools for a number of reasons. In our policy that was approved in 2006, #3 talks about a Wellness Team and a component of that Wellness Team parents aren’t included in that. Ms. Isola said we’re missing the boat in not having parents as a parental component as part of the Wellness Team because so many of the policies and interventions that happen affect their children, and she thinks parents should have input into that. Maybe it’s something the Committee would want to put into Policy to amend that and look at it and make a statement that we want parents at each of the sites to be involved. Atherton Hough has two of their members as parents. She would like to know. Also in looking at our Policy, #7 talks about all foods on campus will comply with USDA regulations prohibiting foods of “minimum nutritional value”--no candy gum or soda. She asked if there is a definition in the USDA that tells us what “minimum nutritional value” is.

Ms. Tenaglia said there are new state regulations. We’ll have to look at our policy some way down the road. We’re waiting for those regulations. Joanne Morrissey has taken a leadership role in this. She’s been giving us information about what she expects is coming out. Not all is out yet. Once those come out we will have to take a look at the policy.

Ms. Isola said that it’s not up to someone’s decision as to what is “minimum nutritional value.” It goes on to say, the individual Wellness Team may set strict nutritional guidelines for their respective schools. This is one of her concerns. We have all the schools with their individual teams and it can vary greatly from BERN to BK to LH. She didn’t know if it does, but it can. Her question is, are the individual guidelines for each of the schools written down anywhere?

Ms. Tenaglia said that is what the system team is for. They are supposed to provide guidance for the sites. There is some autonomy. There is some freedom on the activities that they implement. When you want to restrict something you need to run it by the system level team. That is the safety net there so we don’t have those huge disparities throughout the system.

Ms. Isola said that because childhood obesity is rampant, we want our children to be healthy and have the best nutrition opportunities in education that we can provide. However, she thinks that sometimes that the pendulum has swung a little bit the other way. She has heard from parents, particularly at the elementary level that there’s not the opportunity for a classroom teacher to have a Valentine’s Day party and provide the children with cookies or goodies of any kind. We’re losing an opportunity to provide students with a fun opportunity. It gives us an opportunity to teach moderation with foods that might have less nutritional value that we can show children within a balanced diet, we can still indulge in a responsible way in these treats. She is concerned that we are just totally restricted. She asked how many schools restrict those treats at the elementary school level and if so, what kind of parental input was given to those policies.

Ms. Tanaglia said this is tricky territory. We have so many children with life threatening allergies. When people bring in foods from home, that’s always an issue too. There needs to be some kind of balance. The team needs to look at that and provide some guidance.

Ms. Isola said she is talking about the situation where we determine that today we’re having a treat and everybody’s excited about it.

She sited page 14, paragraph 1, that said “no building policy can violate the constitutional rights of choice to students and staff members” e.g. an example: you can’t prevent a student from bringing in soda in their lunch bag. Having said that she spoke to a call she received whereby a mom made a decision after Halloween to include a snack size Kit Kat in her child’s lunch bag. The child was sitting at the lunch table and that was removed from the child and taken away and given back to bring home. She didn’t know if that’s a matter of education and just to let people know that what people put in their children’s lunch bag is between the parents and the child.

Ms. Tenaglia said that is something they can discuss in the system wide team.

Ms. Isola thought that it is important as the child went home and was devastated. She thought she did something wrong. It said on page 14, paragraph 2 that if a school wants to restrict totally that would have to go through the system?

Ms. Tenaglia doesn’t think that is clear to any of the teams. They will be looking at the new legislations. We need to make sure we’re on the same page. We want some consistency and some autonomy. That’s a conflicting message for people. We want to provide guidance and use reason.

Ms. Isola that that is the bottom line, we need to be reasonable. We need to look at nutrition and health. We need to look at the big picture, those restrictions is not necessarily the way to go.

Mrs. Bragg said she hadn’t seen this policy in a while and it needs to be rewritten. She is open to revamping this policy and making it more workable. She would like to see parents participate more. We will wait for the new regs to come out and convene with Joanne Morrissey and figure out what we need to put it in.

Mrs. Mahoney also thought it was important that the parents are involved. One school to another is completely different and it can be hard on the parents. At one school they are allowed to have cupcakes and at another school you are not. When a decision is made at the individual sites, there is not real communication to the parents. This should be put on the individual websites.

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Common Core Standards Mrs. Roberts reports

Mrs. Colleen Roberts gave an overview of the new Common Core State Standards. In Spring 2009, the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers proposed development of a common core of K-12 state standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. In July 2010, Common Core state Standards adopted in Massachusetts to replace the current Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in ELA and Math contingent upon augmenting and customizing the common core. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted these standards.

In December 21, 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted additional standards to the Common Core State Standards. An additional 10 standards for K-8 and 9 standards for high school additions. For ELA, DESE recommended 27 addition standards including Pre-K standards.

We expect new Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks to be released this Spring 2011. MCAS for 2012 will be based on the standards in common between the current and new frameworks. Some tests items will be based on the new frameworks but will not be included in scoring. Science will remain the same.

By 2012-2013 the state expects a complete transition to the new Massachusetts Frameworks based on the Common Core. In school year 2014-2015 the national tests will be given. The test may be give at three points during the year with a final summative assessment. Tests may be given online. Mrs. Roberts listed the improvements for ELA, mathematics, and professional development for teachers. Mrs. Roberts will forward any updated information to the Committee as she receives it.

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Out of Country/State BERN to Canobie Lake

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Mahoney, the Committee approved the trip to Canobie Lake Park for Bernazzani on June 15, 2011. The ayes have it.

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Mahoney to, the Committee approved a trip to New York City for Atlantic Middle School on June 9 to June 10, 2011. The ayes have it.

On a motion by Ms. Isola, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, the Committee approved a trip to New York City for Point Webster Middle School on June 10, 2011. The ayes have it.

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Ms. Isola, the Committee approved a trip to New York City for Sterling Middle School on June 1-June 2, 2011. The ayes have it.

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee approved a trip for QHS to Mount Sunapee, NH on March 11, 2011. The ayes have it. (Inclement weather date: 3/18/2011).

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QHS to London & Paris

On a motion by Ms. Isola, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, the Committee approved a trip for QHS to London and Paris on April 15, 2011 to April 22, 2011 pending a resolution of the Superintendent’s investigation.

Ms. Isola is seeking clarification on the policy regarding trips to foreign countries and the expectations of students and parents with regard to the following of local laws and customs. She wants students and parents to be made aware of what the Quincy Public Schools policy is on this so that there is no misunderstanding. The ayes have it.

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QEA Deferment Approved by SC

On a motion by Mrs. Mahoney, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee voted to approve what was discussed in Executive Session with regard to the teachers’ deferment. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 5-0. MRS. BRAGG AND MRS. DWYER ABSTAINED.

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Gift to CTE Auto Dept.

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee accepted the 2000 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Sport Utility 4D to be approximately $3,400 from Mr. Scott Parrish, to the CTE Automotive Technology Program. The ayes have it.

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Calendars to Policy Subcommittee

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee moved into Policy Subcommittee the School Calendar for 2011-2012 and the School Committee Calendar for 2011-2012. The ayes have it.

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Mr. McCarthy asked if the Signet Alarm issue at Quincy High School has been rectified. Mrs. Dwyer said that as far as she knew, it had.

The Policy Subcommittee scheduled for January 26, 2011 will be on the following issues:

  1.  CPR/ADE and first aid training. Mrs. Kisielius will update the committee on what is being done.
  2. The two high school principals will discuss the attendance and tardy policy.
  3. Student use of electronics
  4. Jewish holidays in conjunction with the calendars.

In February, we will discuss the Middle school interim letters. The Policy Subcommittee asked for a presentation on the Easy Pro Grade

In March, the Superintendent will report back after working with the City Clerk and Police Department on polling places.

In April, we will discuss the Harassment Policy which needs to be revamped by April by Ms. Tenaglia.

Mrs. Lebo reported that the Special Education Subcommittee Meeting will be on January 12 at 7:00 p.m.

Mrs. Dwyer took off the School Facilities Subcommittee the disposition of the old Quincy High School Building.

Anne Mahoney make a request to the Mayor regards to having access to the PUD with regard to Lowes and BJs because there is some identified in both of those projects for schools. I would like to share that with the school committee. The Mayor will get a copy of the permit that would reference any mention to any school funding.

Mrs. Mahoney congratulated Atlantic Middle School student, Amy Teeney, who will be a participant in this weekend’s project 351, a part of the Governors initiative for a day of service. There are 351 communities coordinating with 8th grade students for civic minded and organizational skills. Amy and Mrs. Mahoney will be participating at the Greater Boston Food Bank.

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On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the meeting adjourned for the evening at 10:01 p.m. There was no executive session. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.