Jan. 19, 2011 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
January 19, 2011

7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session minutes for January 5, 2011.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Transportation Staff Recognition
B. Curriculum Newsletters

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. Special Education Program Improvement Plan (2010-2011): Ms. Todd and Special Education Team Administrators to report.

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 & Transportation    
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
  1/5/2011 CTE Admissions Policy
  1/5/2011 School Calendar
  1/5/2011 SC Calendar
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 19, 2011
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Mtg.

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 in the City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were: Mr. Dave McCarthy, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, and Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Vice Chairman.

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The Superintendent called the roll and Mayor Koch was absent. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk; Messrs. Mullaney, Draicchio, Mulvey, and Keith Segalla; Ms. Roberts, Tenaglia, and Todd. Ms. Allison Cox, QEA President, and Donna Niosi (QHS) Student Representative.

The Committee observed a moment of silence for Mrs. Betty Swanton, Ms. Joan McAloon, and Brendon Yang.

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Reg. Meeting Mins. Approved 1/5/2011

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for January 5, 2011. The ayes have it.

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Student Death

Brendon Yang was a student at the Snug Harbor Community School. He passed away last week unexpectedly. The Superintendent thanked Mr. Gilbert, Citywide, Ms. Tenaglia, parents and teachers for being so caring and compassionate. This was a very sad incident.

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Supts. Report

Mr. Draicchio thanked the School Committee for recognizing the Transportation Department. Those bus drivers that have worked here for 20 years or more and the bus mechanic received a Certificate of Recognition from the Committee. They do their job faithfully every day. Quincy has an extraordinary staff.

The members received Curriculum Newsletters from Broad Meadows, Montclair, Central Middle School, Reay E. Sterling, Snug Harbor Community, and a newsletter from Quincy High School Principal, Frank Santoro.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will meet with principal Christine Barrett on January 26 regarding the STEM Grant Sterling received last year.

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Open Enrollment

The Superintendent referred to a memo he sent the Committee regarding High School Open Enrollment 2011-2012.

The last two years he has modified the School Committee’s Assignment of Students to Schools policy. First limiting and then eventually closing open enrollment requests to North Quincy High School due to: over enrollment at North and an under enrollment situation at Quincy High School, as well as the completion of the final phases of constructing the new Quincy High School.

Additionally, these shifts in enrollment at the high school level presented organizational issues such as: class size, assignment of professional staff, scheduling students, limited opportunities, and the maximum use of educational space and facilities.

The actions taken in this regard, have balanced the enrollment at both high schools. Quincy High School, built for 1,500 students, currently engages 1,429 following previous years of 1,204 and 1,316. North Quincy High School, in the previous two school years engaged 1,553 and 1,483 students are currently at 1,342 students. Both high schools have city wide programs (Quincy-ELL) (North Quincy-Special Education) that are included in their enrollment totals.

Considering the current enrollment status of North and Quincy, accompanied by a focus or maximizing educational space and facilities, another modification in the policy is needed for the next school year.

It is the Superintendent’s belief that there should be limited open enrollment for the incoming Grade 9 classes (including siblings) for both high schools. Based upon that assumption, there would be a maximum enrollment at Quincy High School of 1,500 and a maximum at North of 1,300 students. Quincy High School will be limited to 370 students in a class and North Quincy a limit of 325. The process for requesting open enrollment to either school would remain the same. The notification of acceptance would be delayed, while a baseline enroll- ment at each high school is established.

The school system will communicate this change through Middle and High School Principal-Parent information sharing, Channel 22 and the Website.

Open Enrollment to Subcommittee

Mrs. Bragg considered this a policy change and moved this into the Policy Subcommittee. The Superintendent asked that this be discussed quickly.

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Mrs. Lebo announced that on February 2 at 1:00 p.m., the Vocational Technical Education Advisory Council to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will be meeting at Quincy High School.

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Bldgs. Update Supt. reports

Maintenance has been busy with disconnecting all valuable kitchen equipment in the old Quincy High School – stoves, food warmers, dishwashers, etc. Many boxes of ceiling tiles have been stored to be used in other schools. Some of these tiles were used in the boys and girls locker room at North Quincy. Carpenters are building frames for the tile mosaics at Atherton Hough’s Centennial Celebration. Electricians have repaired heating units at Lincoln Hancock--one at the Day Care and one at the boys’ locker room. Painters have painted two damaged ceilings at Parker Elementary School, as well as the trim in both stairwells. Thanks went to the custodial staff for all their efforts removing snow.

Mrs. Bragg brought up the issue of pot holes in the rear of the Squantum Elementary School and the request for repaving. These are good size holes and she considers this to be a safety concern.

At Squantum School, there is something wrong with the door bell and the extreme heat and cold in that building. Mrs. Bragg asked Mr. Murphy to look into that.

Mayor Koch is working with Mr. Cunniff and Mr. Murphy to include the schools in the city-wide bond, specifically for the roofs and pointing. The Mayor will be talking to members, particularly Mrs. Dwyer, on what will be done and the timeline. Mrs. Mahoney asked for a listing of those schools.

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QHS Bldg. Committee Mrs. Dwyer reports

The Quincy High Building Committee met on January 7, 2011. They are working on the punch list. Security cameras are still on order. The City uses Northeast Security to maintain the cameras. They get the call and then it is directed to the proper person. All Quincy Public School alarms are pro- grammed this way. We should cross out the financial obligations to MSBA in February. The Faxon Field track project ended up with its own permit. The lighting at Quincy High School is on timers. Frank Santoro is looking into the night time situation. We received $147,000 from National Grid. On February 11 there will be a presentation from Wheatson. They will cap those old wells and file a report with the DEP. There are some major leaks at the new high school.

Gilbane reports on QHS leaks

Mr. Mike O’Brien and Jim Driscoll from Gilbane were present to explain what is happening with the leaks at Quincy High School. These leaks are due to the heating system. There were nine leaks to date from the copper piping expanding and contracting. The contractor, PJ Kennedy, comes in and fixes them and cleans up. It has not interfered with any school activities. Over February vacation, they will run the heating system through some tests. Gilbane is sure that this will rectify the problem. They will fix any ceiling tiles, rugs, etc. at no cost to the City.

Mr. McCarthy asked for the plan of action in February. He asked if they do a pressure test in A Building. He also inquired about the glycerin leaks in rooms 317, 418 and 421 and if that does anything to the walls. Mr. Driscoll said that are 40,000 to 50,000 fittings in the building, it is workmanship not a material problem. All the fittings were pressure tested when they was installed. Mr. Driscoll added that for the next heating season, Gilbane will come back to check on the heating system. Gilbane will be here two years from now. Ms. Isola was concerned about mold setting in two years down the road. Mr. Michael O’Brien, Gilbane, guaranteed if there were any issues from this time over the next couple of years, Gilbane would come in and help with problems if we had any more reoccurrences at the new high school. The gym floor will be sanded and repainted over the summer. All the equipment is new. They are still waiting for some parts – weight bar, lights, cameras. Mrs. Lebo asked to see a punch list after February vacation.

Mrs. Dwyer added that there are 40 items left on the punch list.

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Central Bldg. Committee

The Superintendent reported that Mayor Koch brought a request to authorize a bond for $9 million to the City Council, for site acquisition for the new Central, beginning with the demolition to clear that site. That would meet the MSBA timeline. The Building Committee will be meeting on Friday.

There will be a City Council Subcommittee meeting on Monday, February 7 in the City Council Chambers. The Superintendent will answer questions regarding enrollment.

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Special Education Program (PIP)

Ms. Judith Todd and her Special Education Team Administrators were present to review The Special Education Program Improvement Plan (PIP). The Special Education Department currently services over 1500 students within the Integrated Pre-Kindergarten classes, resource rooms, substantially separate classrooms, inclusion settings, alternative programs and in out of district placements. The Special Education Department is supported by two team administrators, a senior coordinator of out of district placements and an out of district team administrator. Special Education staffing consists of 101.1 teachers, 13 Speech Pathologists, 6 Occupational Therapists, 1 Physical Therapist, 1 Adaptive Physical Ed Teacher, 3 Counselors, 1 Vision Specialists, .5 Teacher of the Deaf. We have 1,471 students on IEPs, and 133 students are outside placements. This is the second year in the Inspire Pilot Initiative. Inspire is a product of the Bain Corporation who helped do a financial analysis of developing our own “Landmark Quincy program.” With the use of the American Discovery and Reinvestment Act funds, we have been able to hire a dedicated Orton-Gillingham instructor for each elementary school with Language Development Classes, purchase new core reading programs, math interventions, new specially designed instruction such as Visualizing and Verbalizing and offer certification in Orton Gillingham for all elementary Resource Room, Language class and Behavior program teachers across the city. All of our elementary resources teachers will be certified Orton Gillingham. In addition, Middle School Language classes have a highly motivational ELA program in place: READ 180. The ARRA funds have allowed us to purchase technology, software, assistive technology and new ELA and Math texts for all middle school Resource Room students.

This year the focus will be on the continued success of the Language classes as we analyze pre and post test data. As a second goal, we will provide professional development for our teachers in the use of the new middle school textbooks as well as the new assessments. The third goal will be to provide professional development for the implications on the new bullying regulation for students in special education.

The Parent Advisory Council is very active. Members meet quarterly with the Special Education Subcommittee of the School Committee as well as monthly support and informational workshops. They have an outstanding website which can be accessed through a link on the Quincy Public Schools Special Education website.

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Additional Business

Mrs. Bragg expressed her sympathy on the death of Betty Swanton who was a Quincy parent/foster mother of many children that attended the Quincy Public Schools. She was very active in the schools and touched many lives.

Mr. McCarthy asked Mrs. Dwyer what the dollar amount is that we will get back for Faxon Field.

Mr. McCarthy asked if Northeast could tie into the Quincy High alarm system and go directly to the Quincy Police and cut out the cost. Mrs. Dwyer said she asked about the third party security system. The answer was that not all the alarms are criminal. They could be other kinds of alarms and this way it could just be a quick fix over the phone as opposed to every call going to the Police station and an officer having to come out to the school.

Mr. McCarthy reported that the Park and Recreation Board met and will prep the land at Snug Harbor so that the tot lot equipment can be installed.

Mrs. Lebo and Mrs. Mahoney attended the Martin Luther King Breakfast. There was entertainment from North Quincy High and the Snug Harbor 1,2,4 and 5 graders. There were also a number of Quincy students in the audience. It was a pleasure to be there.

Anne Mahoney inquired about closing out of the Quincy High School project and the back fill. There is still a big pile of dirt there. Mrs. Dwyer said that the dirt has to be analyzed before it can be moved. It is contaminated. It was dug from the original site. They have to complete a report and determine how it is going to be disposed of. That is still pending. It is under the permit of the track. It is not part of the high school project anymore. We are waiting for Gilbane to sign off on their credit for not refurbishing the ball fields.

Mrs. Dwyer will check to see who is testing the dirt.

Ms. Isola thanked Mrs. Mahoney for the email regarding attending PTO meetings to discuss budget. It will be helpful to hear first hand what parents have to say.

Mrs. Bragg has called a Policy Subcommittee meeting for January 26, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

Mrs. Mahoney has called a Budget Subcommittee at 6:00 p.m. on February 9, 2011 to review the Quarterly Budget Report.

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On a motion by Ms. Isola, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, the Committee adjourned for the evening at 9:30 p.m. There was no executive Session. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 6-0. Mayor Koch was absent.