Sept. 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
September 7, 2011
Quincy High School
7:00 p.m.

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Session Minutes for June 15, 2011.

II. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Quincy Community Business Partnerships (2011-12)

B. Backpack Initiatives (2011-12)

C. Professional Staff Orientation

D. Preliminary Class Size/Enrollment

E. Summer Professional Development

F. District Improvement Planning

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.

D. Fiscal Year 2011: Adjusting Entries/Transfer of Funds

V. New Business:

A. Summer Program Review Ms. Erler and Mr. Smith

B. Education Evaluation Regulations Mr. Mulvey

C. New Web Page Overview Mr. Segalla

D. Appointment of School Nurse

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Hearings: - none

IX. Reports of Special Committees:

A. School Facilities Subcommittee: Mrs. Dwyer to report

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 Opportunities & Challenges
  9/15/2010 Short & Long Term Goals
School Facilities Management    
Dwyer/Lebo/McCarthy Major Building Projects  
  3/4/98 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
  5/18/2011 $1.5 Appropriation
  5/18/2011 Future uses of houses on Saville Ave.
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 9/15/2010 CPR/ADE Training
  11/17/2010 Polling Places
  6/15/2011 Substitute teacher interviews & evaluations
  6/15/2011 School Committee-Staff Communications Policy 2.5.8
Special Education    
Lebo/McCarthy/Mahoney 1/17/2007 Substitute Teachers for SPED
  9/24/2008 INSPIRE Initiative
Rules, Post Audit & Oversight    
Isola/Mahoney/Bragg 10/27/2008 Faxon Field
Channel 22    
Mahoney/McCarthy 10/27/2007 Encourage greater use of



Quincy, Massachusetts - September 7, 2011
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee


A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, Regular September 7, 2011 at Quincy High School. Present were: Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mr. Dave McCarthy, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Emily Lebo, 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; Ms. Laura Owens, Acting Clerk; Messrs. Draicchio, Mullaney, Mulvey, Murphy, Santoro, Timmins, and Keith Segalla; Ms. Roberts, Papile, Erler, Fredrickson, and Todd; Ms. Allison Cox, President, QEA.

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Reg.Mins Approved 6/15/2011

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Ms. Isola, the Committee approved the regular session minutes for June 15, 2011. On a roll call vote, the motion passed 7-0.

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Superintendent’s Report

The Superintendent recognized Mrs. Tefta Burrelli for her over twenty-five years years of service to Quincy Public Schools and the Quincy School Committee. Mrs. Burrelli worked for five superintendents, five mayors and countless School Committee members. He also mentioned the retirement of Mrs. Joanne McMillen, another twenty-five year veteran of the Quincy Public Schools who worked as his secretary and also for Mrs. Maura Papile, Director of Student Support Services.

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Quincy Community Business Partnerships

The Superintendent recognized the calendar of events coordinated by Keith Segalla in conjunction with the Quincy Community Business Partnerships. The goal is to have our business partners sponsor specific events in an effort to secure year-to-year continuity.

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There are multiple opportunities this fall for classroom teachers to secure mini-grants through the generous sponsorship of the David Ezickson Excellence in Education grants, the Quincy School-Community Partnership Grants, Boston University Grants, and Street-Works Development Grants. The Superintendent recognized Keith Segalla and Colleen Roberts for their work in securing this grant funding for the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Those receiving grants will be invited to a formal ceremony/reception on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm at North Quincy High School.

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Backpack Initiatives

Through the generosity of our business partners, over 2,700 backpacks were filled with school supplies and donated to each of the elementary and middle schools. At Clifford Marshall, Lincoln Hancock, and Snug Harbor all students received these backpacks; assemblies were scheduled for Thursday, September 8 and the business partners are invited to participate.

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Preliminary Enrollment

The Superintendent presented a preliminary Quincy Public Schools enrollment figure of 9,440 students, an increase of 136 students from last year. He noted that these are early figures and will be reviewed in advance of the state’s October 1 deadline for submitting enrollment figures.

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Summer Professional Development

Over 200 teachers, principals, and assistant principals took part in Professional Development opportunities over the summer. Mrs. Roberts, Hughes, and Hallett were recognized for their work in coordinating these opportunities and the report presented also highlights the funding source for each Professional Development course.

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Professional Staff Orientation

New Professional Staff Orientation was held on Wednesday, August 31 and Thursday, September 1. Around twenty-five new staff members heard presentations from members of the Superintendent’s Leadership Team. Mr. Mulvey, Mrs. McCarthy, Mr. Keith Segalla, and Mrs. Roberts were recognized for their efforts in organizing these two informative days.

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Open House Dates

Assessment Calendars for the school year and Fall Open House schedules were distributed in School Committee member’s packets. All are invited to attend the Open Houses as their schedules allow.

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District Improvement Planning

Development of the District Improvement Plan is underway. This is a three-stage process of Planning, Implementing, and Assessing; we are currently in the Planning stage and working on the component plans: School Improvement Plans, Team Alignment and Goals, Technology and Professional Development Plans, Annual Statistics, and new to be approved by the School Committee this year, Program Improvement Plans. These will be shared with the School Committee in upcoming Policy Subcommittee Meetings. All the components work towards the goal of incremental improvements in our school system.

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Open Forum

Ms. Jill Gichuhi, President of the Quincy Parent Advistory Council to Special Education, spoke about the group’s upcoming meetings, presentations, and other special events, all of which are open to the public. Maureen Lynch, Vice President of QPAC, followed and spoke of the Resource Center at Quincy High School, which will open September 13. QPAC also hosts a monthly support group and the members of the board are looking forward to working with Ms. Todd and her staff in the Special Education department.

Mr. John Segale, parent of a Lincoln-Hancock student and President of the LincolnHancock Parent-Teacher Council expressed disappointment in the fact that the roof repairs had not been completed in the classroom wing of the school over the summer months and questioned why the pool and gym wing had been completed first.

Ms. Linda Perry urged members of the School Committee to avail themselves of the knowledge and experience of Mrs. Bragg and Mrs. Dwyer and to learn all they can from them before they leave the School Committee at the end of December.

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Mr. Santoro

Mr. Santoro addressed the School Committee, welcoming them to Quincy High School and noting all of the activities that took place at the school over the summer. Quincy High School has become a community school: Central Registration moved into the building, ELL Category training and New Staff Orientation were both held here, along with Summer Scene classes including Raise the Curtain. In addition, the custodial and maintenance staff worked hard to clean and prepare the building for the opening of school and delivered a great opening day for the freshman class.

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Bldg. Update Mr. Murphy reports

The maintenance staff had a very busy summer, completing almost every item from last year’s School Improvement Plans, including new rugs, tile installations, refinishing of gym floors, and multiple painting projects. In addition, there were over 60 moves completed as well as daily work slips. Roofing projects at sixteen schools have been completed, are underway, or are out for bid. All but two will be completed this fall; the other two are metal roofs on Bernazzani and the Early Childhood Center

Mrs. Bragg added two minor issues at Lincoln-Hancock the the maintenance list that she was made aware of by parents and thanked Mr. Murphy for the department’s efforts. Mr. McCarthy also complimented Mr. Murphy’s team for their work and inquired about the installation of the donated tot lot at Snug Harbor and whether the site preparation work has been completed by the Parks Department. Mr. Murphy replied that this project is not yet completed, they do not have the schematics for assembly and have safety concerns. Mr. McCarthy yielded to Mrs. Mahoney who inquired about why it has taken over two years to find out this information.

Mr. McCarthy asked about the Lincoln-Hancock roofing issues raised during Open Forum. Mrs. Dwyer requested addressing the topic during the School Facilities report later on the agenda.

Mr. McCarthy inquired about the leaks at the Sterling Middle School and Mr. Murphy replied that the repairs have been completed, along with the water-damaged areas from previous leaks.

Mrs. Dwyer thanked Mr. Murphy for the Maintenance Department efforts, especially the contruction at Lincoln-Hancock to build classroom walls and cited the amount of work completed within the budget constraints.

Mayor Koch also thanked Mr. Kevin Segalla and the Custodial Staff for their efforts over the summer.

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School Facilities Subcommittee
Mrs. Dwyer reports

Mrs. Dwyer took out of order the School Facilities Subcommittee report. She noted the same concern that had been raised at Open Forum about the order of roof repairs at Lincoln-Hancock at the September 1 subcommittee meeting. Mr. Cunniff (not present) had presented a spreadsheet of the roofing projects in order or priority. Mayor Koch spoke to the complexity of the projects, time spent on researching appropriate materials, and the goal of completing these projects before the onset of winter. Mrs. Dwyer reminded the School Committee that no roofs are being completely replaced and that Mr. Cunniff has been asked to add more information to his chart detailing exactly which sections are being replaced and the warranty information.

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Quincy High School

Mrs. Dwyer spoke to the new Quincy High School punchlist and reviewed that almost all items have been completed, with just a few items remaining to be resolved. The warranty period for most items is now up, so items that need replacing have been requested. A review of the landscaping was completed and several trees and shrubs and some grass will be replaced under the warranty.

Mrs. Bragg was concerned that some of the technology items on the punchlist were warranty issues. Mr. Santoro clarified that it was more that issues surfaced once the products were in use in the classrooms. Mrs. Dwyer noted that these issues have all been satisfactorily resolved.

Mr. McCarthy asked about the kitchen floor and whether it would be refinished and what was the priority vs. the auto shop floor. Dr. DeCristofaro said that both floors were on the priority list; the issue with the kitchen floor is that it must be cleaned every day and in a different way than originally thought.


old Quincy High School

Mrs. Dwyer reviewed the discussion from the School Facilities Subcommittee meeting in reference to the old Quincy High School building. At that meeting, Gary Cunniff reported that the planning for the demolition of the building was proceeding. Due to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the City, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Massachusetts State Historic Preservation Office that was executed in 2006 when the City was contemplating reuse of the building, there will need to be further negotiation with the other two parties. Mr. Timmins was asked to come forward to speak to the issue and he clarified that the City has not yet petitioned either party about the building’s demolition; the City is considering hiring Epsilon as a consultant to help with the negotiation, based on this being the only financially feasible approach for the City. The MOA was part of the alternatives analysis completed by the Public Building Department in 2010 which surfaced the $40 million cost for full renovation, $30 million for partial renovation, and $7 million cost for demolition. Mrs. Dwyer asked for clarification that the MOA specifically prohibits demolition and Mr. Timmins responded that since it specifically refers to mothballing the building, it does preclude demolition according to officials at both agencies. After inquiries from Mrs. Bragg and Mrs. Lebo, Mr. Timmins and Mayor Koch clarified that the building is eligible for historic designation due to proximity to a historic district, its architectural features, and its unique manifestation of design style. However, this designation cannot be imposed without the City’s consent, it would have to be agreed to.

Mrs. Dwyer inquired about timeline and Mr. Timmins responded that given the two agencies involved, it could take some time. Mrs. Dwyer and Mrs. Mahoney expressed frustration that the City did not have this issue resolved before the School Committee voted to turn the building over to the City. Mr. Timmins responded that the MOA was signed under very different economic and political circumstances, in the interim, the School Building Administration also rejected the site’s use for the Central Middle School project. The change of circumstances needs to be negotiated with both agencies and we have complied with many parts of the MOA in terms of documentation and salvaging of bricks. Epsilon should be able to provide a projected timeline for this negotiation.

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Coddington Hall

Mrs. Dwyer reported on the status of the Coddington Hall project. The Request for Qualification (RFQ) process for the design phase is complete; after a review of the eleven proposals, Wessling Architects was submitted. Initial meetings have been held and negotiations for the fee agreement are underway. The Coddington Building renovation project consists of over 20,000 square feet on two floors. The projection is that the design phase of the project will take between 12 and 16 weeks. A total project timeline is needed.

At the conclusion of her report, Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mrs. Dwyer for her leadership of the School Facilities Subcommittee and Quincy High School Building Committee. The safety, climate, and culture of the schools is so important during these construction and renovation projects and she has been especially responsive to concerns.

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Mrs. Isola made a motion to take the next item out of order. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion. The ayes have it.

Summer Programs

Mrs. Erler presented an overview of the recently completed summer programs. One thousand students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 participated in academic and enrichment programs at multiple sites across the city, some tuitionbased, and others grant-funded. These courses were taught by Quincy Public Schools teachers and supported by nurses, secretaries, paraprofessionals, custodial staff, food service workers, and bus drivers. Mrs. Erler introduced Allison MillerGowan, Courtney Mitchell, and Julie Krieger, program facilitators, who each gave an overview of their respective programs, followed by a slide show.

Mrs. Erler concluded by highlighting the upcoming Fall Scene program: Saturday morning Fall Institute, the DESE-funded STEM programs at Sterling and Atherton Hough, and extended-day learning through the 21st Century Grants program and multiple school sites.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mrs. Erler and all the facilitators for their work. Mrs. Lebo also thanked everyone and asked for clarification of students who paid tuition vs. grant-funded. Mrs. Erler said that approximately 20% of the students paid tuition, with the balance of the students being in grant-funded programs. Mrs. Isola inquired about whether there are scholarships for the tuition-based programs and there are not. She also asked if there is any follow-up with the Summer Success students to compare them to peers who have not taken advantage of program in the next school year; there is not at this time. Mrs. Dwyer thanked all of the facilitators and teachers for their efforts year after year. Mr. McCarthy reiterated thanks to all who work on the program; these programs are invaluable for getting students involved with school activities and making friendships in a different context.

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A motion was made to return to the regular order of business by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Bragg. The ayes have it.

Central Middle School
Mrs. Bragg reports

Mrs. Bragg reported that certification was received from the state certifying the 80% reimbursement rate. Central Building Committee met on September 6, 2011. Key items that happened recently: budget was approved by City Council in June; 50% construction documents were sent to School Building Authority; 100% contract documents are due to SBA within 60 days. Demolition bids received August 11; demolition contract will be awarded September 9, 2011.

Mrs. Bragg noted that the demolition will be from the inside of the building out. QPS Maintenance and Principals were allowed to retrieve items from within the buildings; the heating oil was transferred to Bernazzani. Neighborhood meetings will be held and letters mailed to the neighborhood in advance of the start of demolition. Information will also be posted on the website. The project is 100% on track for completion for a September 2013 school opening.

RFQs for subcontractors are being reviewed; contractor RFQs are due September 15, 2011. Mrs. Mahoney qualified a point that neither bids for contractors or subcontractors have gone out yet; the current process is a request for qualifications.

The project is 100% on track for completion for a September, 2013 school opening. The next meeting will be on Monday, October 17 at 4:15 pm in the 2nd Floor Conference Room in the NAGE Building.

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Mr. Mullaney presented FY2011 year-end transfers of account for items totaling $270,000. Mrs. Dwyer expressed concern that FY2012 budget will not reflect these account totals accurately. Mr. Mullaney said FY2012 budget does reflect these changes for all line items.

FY2011 Transfers of Accounts Approved

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, the Committee approved the Transfers of Accounts as recommended. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

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New Educator Evaluator Regulations

Mr. Mulvey presented on the new regulations for educator evaluations, which were approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on June 28, 2011 and will need to be in place by the Fall of 2013. Mr. Mulvey developed an outline to summarize the purpose and key elements of the new regulations. A Quincy Public Schools-specific policy will have to be developed and negotiated with the Quincy Educators’ Association and approved by the School Committee. Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mr. Mulvey for his work on this and all of the other work he does as Executive Director of Human Resources and Business. This will be a large task to develop this new policy and suggested an Ad Hoc Subcommittee that will meet to begin the process of gathering information on QPS’s current evaluation process and exploring the new regulations. Ms. Isola and Mrs. Lebo both expressed an interest in serving on the Ad Hoc Subcommittee.

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New QPS Website

Mr. Keith Segalla presented on the new Quincy Public Schools website that launched in August. Mr. Segalla reviewed the goals of the website redesign: new content and improved functionality for students, staff, and parents. He thanked the website redesign committee, comprised of IT staff, Principals, and School Committee members for all of their work. He then highlighted some of the new features, including the Google Calendar of events, translation features, social media feeds, the virtual backpack, and a redesigned and enhanced Staff Academy site for QPS staff.

Mrs. Isola complimented the Google Calendar feature and inquired about whether schools would still be giving out paper notices, which they will. Mrs. Dwyer also complimented the calendar feature and the translation feature, as did Mrs. Lebo. Mrs. Lebo expressed concern about the social media features, but Mr. Segalla explained that those are one-way feeds with no opportunities for comment. Mrs. Bragg also inquired about users adding comments in response to posts and blogs and that feature is not enabled.

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Appointment of School Nurse

On a motion by Mrs. Lebo, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee approved the appointment of Georgina Sullivan, R.N. as School Nurse at the Clifford Marshall Elementary School. On a roll call vote,_the motion passed 7-0.

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Additional Business

The chair recognized Mrs. Bragg, who reviewed some items from the Policy Subcommittee. On the CPR/ADE Training issue, 67 students at North Quincy High School have been trained, the Health Care Students at both high schools are trained, as are the students in Early Education and Protective Services. Every school has certified staff members; additional opportunities will be coming up for training where recertification is needed. Mrs. Bragg requested to have this item removed from the Policy Subcommittee.

On the issue of polling places, both Mrs. Bragg and Dr. DeCristofaro have spoken with the City Clerk about moving polling places. There will be no changes for this fall’s elections; the Bernazzani polling place may be moved downtown next year. Mrs. Bragg would also like to remove.

Mrs. Bragg added the following items to the Policy Subcommittee: Program Improvement Plan reviews will be September 26 and September 29, 2011 in the Superintendent’s Conference Room, NAGE Building. Also, NCLB Federal Mandates are affecting School Committee policies and discussion is needed to amend policy. The final item is Graduation Requirements.

Mayor Koch respectfully noted that these items should be under Reports of Special Committees rather than Additional Business.

Mrs. Mahoney asked Mr. Mullaney to come up and present items related to a revised proposal for replacing vehicles and repairs and maintenance needed for the LincolnHancock pool. The Mayor noted that the $57,500 for the Lincoln-Hancock pool will come from an account that was created and is to be funded by a portion of Recreation Department and School Facilities rentals. These funding obligations haven’t been kept up in recent years and there will be a meeting scheduled to discuss it. Mrs. Dwyer suggested raising the fees for pool rental as part of this review of the fund. Mrs. Dwyer also inquired about the vehicle replacement spreadsheet details, because the $90,000 line item cut in the budget has had the net effect of reducing the lease proposal by two large buses, 1 mini-bus, and 1 van.

Mr. McCarthy inquired as to why these items are Additional Business, rather than being Agenda items. Mayor Koch agreed with Mr. McCarthy that given the changes in the Open Meeting law, the Committee needs to be careful about items being on the Agenda and not brought up under Additional Business.

Mrs. Bragg noted that future School Committees could add additional vehicles into future budgets. Mrs. Lebo noted that we have obligations to the next two year’s budget related to this proposal.

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Mrs. Lebo asked about access to the Massachusetts Association of School Committees website. Information was sent to all School Committee members earlier in the day with their logon and password information.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the Professional Development plan and specifically about the Curriculum Alignment work that took place over the summer. Mrs. Roberts spoke to the work that was done and the forty-five teachers that participated and will continue to do so through 4 or 5 days of additional work over the course of this school year. New curriculum framework books were distributed to all staff for the beginning of the school year and the new Go Math! series has been purchased for Grades Kindergarten, 1 and 2.

Mrs. Dwyer reiterated the School Committee’s appreciation for the business partners for providing 2,700 backpacks and named partners Cradles to Crayons, Quincy Credit Union, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, South Coastal Bank, W.B. Mason.

Mr. McCarthy revisited the roof issue at Lincoln-Hancock and asked the Superintendent to stay focused on the roof repairs and completion dates. He also inquired about the Quincy Fire Department golf tournament for freshmen sports at the two high schools.

Mrs. Mahoney asked about the additional information that the Public Building department will provide about the roofs and which sections will be replaced and also confirming the timelines.

In closing, Mayor Koch reminded everyone about the Open Meeting law and being careful about adding items to the agenda rather than raising them under additional business.

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The Committee noted the following retirements:

Confidential Secretary Superintendent/School Committee Tefta Burrelli; Paraprofessional Bridget Cloonan; Confidential Secretary Student Support Services Joanne McMillen; School Nurse Doreen Schonbach; Dispatcher/Driver Maryellen Steen


The Committee noted the following appointments:

Teachers: Rebecca Baharian, Kevin Barrett, Louise Becam, Meghan Carthas, Christine Chang, Gregory Conklin, Christina Conley, Molly Considine, Amber Dame, Deborah Durkin-Finn, Teuta Hajrizaj-Beqaj, Elise Higgins-Steele, Kendell Ingram, Michael Joyce, Cheryl Kelly, Sarah Kerns, Jessica Lee, Allison Levin, Natalie Marcinkowski, Stacey Maydak, Colleen Meskell, Tiffany Murphy, Meghann Murray, Evan Pepe, Patrick Sanchez, Kristen Smeriglio, Amy Walls

Speech Language Pathologists: Susan Carrillo, Erin Rinella, Erin Turbacuski

Special Educational Paraprofessional Anna Eltoury

School Psychologist Kristine Ferreira


The Committee noted the following resignations:

Teachers: Matthew Cotter, Stacey Shanahan, Debra Zawacki

Guidance Counselor Heather Holet

Junior Clerk and Typist Maureen Pitts

Speech/Language Pathologist Tracy Razzano

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On a motion by Mrs. Lebo, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, the Committee adjourned at 10:10 p.m. for the evening. There was no executive session. The ayes have it.