Oct. 11, 2011 Policy Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee Meeting
Tuesday, October 11 at 4:30 P.M.
Superintendent’s Conference Room, NAGE Building, 2nd Floor

  1. Call meeting to Order - Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Chair

  2. Safety and Security Program Improvement Plan - Mr. Michael Draicchio

  3. Athletic Program Improvement Plan - Mr. Jim Rendle

  4. Program Improvement Plan Budgets - Mr. Jim Mullaney

  5. High School Graduation/Community Service Requirements - Dr. DeCristofaro/High School Principals/Bragg

  6. Policy 2.5.8 School Committee-Staff Communications - Mrs. Barbara Isola

  7. Adjournment


School Policy Subcommittee Meeting

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A meeting of the School Policy Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm in the Superintendent’s Conference Room. Present were Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Mrs. Colleen Roberts, Mr. Mike Draicchio, Mrs. Jane Kisielius, Mr. Jim Rendle, Mr. Jim Mullaney, Mr. Earl Metzler, Mr. Frank Santoro, Mr. Rob Shaw, and Ms. Laura Owens, Acting Clerk.

The meeting was called to order at 4:35 pm by Mrs. Bragg.

After brief remarks by Dr. DeCristofaro, the Safety and Security Program Improvement Plan was presented by Mr. Mike Draicchio. Mr. Draicchio noted that Quincy Public Schools is a very safe school system; the Quincy Police Department is very involved and helpful, providing School Resource Officers, D.A.R.E. Officers, and crossing guards. The Security Round Table meets monthly and includes representatives from the Quincy Police Department, the Quincy Fire Department, the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office, the Norfolk County Sheriff, MBTA Police Department, Quincy Probation, Quincy District Court, the Department of Children and Families, and the Department of Youth Services. The meetings are well-attended with at least one representative from each agency present at the meeting.

Goals for 2011-12: The District has emergency procedures for the protection of staff and students in emergency situations. These procedures will be consistently reinforced during the 2011-2012 school year. (1) The Quincy Public Schools Safety and Security Round Table Team will produce an updated copy of our Emergency Procedures. This draft copy will be in the form of a “Flip Chart” and will be available for all Quincy Public Schools by September 2012. (2) Safety First, a Quincy Public Schools newsletter, will be published in the Fall, Winter and Spring of the 2011-2012 school year. (3) The Quincy Public Schools Safety and Security Roundtable Team will continue monthly meetings to discuss issues that may impact our students and staff. (4) Professional Development will be provided to security staff during each high school release day to enhance their knowledge and professionalism. The focus of the professional development will be report writing, emergency phone call protocols, and ID screening. (5) Increase security video surveillance by adding additional cameras to 5 middle/elementary schools during the 2011-2012 school year. (6) Emergency Safety Drills will be conducted at all Quincy Public Schools twice a year during the Fall of 2011 and the Spring of 2012.

There was follow-up discussion of the process for principals to address safety and security issues, how security staff is evaluated, and the monitoring of incident reports. A question was raised about the safety of Science lab equipment and how this is monitored, as well as whether the fire extinguishers and occupancy permits are up to date. After suggestions were made for adding the budget information and making next year’s goals SMART, Mrs. Dwyer moved the Safety and Security Program Improvement Plan for approval. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

The next item on the agenda was the Athletic Department Program Improvement Plan, presented by Mr. Jim Rendle and Ms. Jane Kisielius. The Quincy Public Schools Athletic department consists of 111 programs (25 middle school programs, 86 high school program); coaches work with 449 high school and 251 middle school athletes. The mission of the Athletics program is to provide learning experiences which contribute to physical, mental, social and emotional growth. Athletics fosters the development of positive self-esteem and a climate among coaches and team members where mutual respect is valued. The mission is backbone of the Athletic department; all coaches are guided by the values of the program.

Last year’s goals were met, with concussion training on new regulations completed for all coaches. The department also initiated the process of developing partnerships to support athletic programs, especially freshman sports. Many of this year’s goals are a continuation of last year’s goals: (1) Continue to work with coaches in order to monitor the School Committee Policy of “no tolerance” in regard to hazing, harassment and bullying to ensure compliance during the 2011-2012 school year. (2) Continue to work in collaboration with High School Deans to monitor students who may be at-risk or who have attendance/disciplinary issues during the 2011-2012 school year. (3) Continue to train and certify QPS coaches in CPR/AED use; training will be completed by March 2012. Currently 50% are certified and 30% eligible for recertification. (4) To increase the amount of athletic events that our student athletes will have the opportunity to participate in the 2011-2012 school year.

Mr. Jim Mullaney then presented the Athletic Department Budget, including information about revolving account for fees. The FY12 budget is $730,126 and we are anticipating revenue of $240,000 ($217,000 last year). The actual QPS expenditure is projected to be $490,126 (0.55% of total QPS budget). The subcommittee was very appreciative of the budget information.

Mr. Rendle then briefly reviewed the Athletic Handbook, which contains rules, communications, and expectations for students, parents, MIAA regulations, and policies, especially eligibility. The handbook is reviewed with coaches and athletes before each season, and is posted on the QPS website and presented at most booster clubs.

During the discussion that followed, it was suggested that School Committee Policy reference numbers be added throughout booklet where appropriate. There was discussion of the vacation policy and all agreed this is a communication issue between coaches and parents that should be explained at the beginning of the season. It was suggested that the language in the sample job posting be revised to include that CORI checks are mandatory and that CPR/ADE certification (and the maintenance of this) is preferred. Subcommittee members suggested that there be more celebration of the student-athletes at School Committee meetings and also suggested adding a professional athlete to the Athletic Advisory Team. Questions were raised about how the field help and gate admissions staff are hired and all agreed that this needs to be more publicized.

There was further discussion about the new concussion regulations and the state Department of Public Health’s requirement that all coaches and parents must be trained. QPS is distributing information and website links and will need to document the efforts made to inform students and parents. Mr. Rendle added that the online course about concussions is now part of the middle school Health curriculum.

Mrs. Bragg requested clarification of athletic business partnerships and whether we are adding sports that would require future funding. Mr. Rendle replied that we are not adding sports, but that business partners have allowed there to be more teams and more games, particularly at the Junior Varsity level. Partners help out with transportation costs, providing food for away games, and paying official’s fees.

Mrs. Bragg brought up Mr. McCarthy’s concern about the lack of trainers. Mr. Rendle explained that there is a contracted trainer, Precision Training, for all home football and lacrosse games and wrestling matches. Fallon Ambulance provides EMT support at every hockey game as part of their city contract. Soccer would be the next sport in terms of priority to have trainer support, and the other important issue is follow-up to injuries.

In terms of security concerns, Quincy Police Department details are present at the Thanksgiving Day football game and other games at Mr. Rendle’s discretion. The police details are used for most football games and certain hockey and basketball games, depending on the rivalry. The subcommittee also discussed portable AEDs for football practices and agreed that Mr. Rendle and Mrs. Kisielius should work together to create a funding proposal.

Mrs. Isola made a motion to accept the Athletics Department Program Improvement Plan. Ms. Isola seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

The next item on the agenda was the Program Improvement Plan budgets for programs previously presented. Mr. Jim Mullaney explained that he structured the sheets in the same way that QPS budget is structured, separating academic and non-academic expenses. At the subcommittee’s request, Mr. Mullaney will add grants and revolving account information and a summary of the total program costs (budget plus grants and revolving account information).

During the discussion, the subcommittee agreed that this information will help the School Committee understand department priorities and needs during the budgeting process. Mr. Mullaney reminded the subcommittee that during the budget process, assumptions are made about the levels of grant funding since their deadlines often do not coincide with budget finalization deadlines.

Quincy High School Principal Frank Santoro, North Quincy High School Principal Earl Metzler, and North Quincy High School Assistant Principal Rob Shaw joined the meeting to discuss the next agenda item, Graduation Requirements. Information on neighboring school district graduation requirements (Weymouth, Milton, Norwell, Plymouth, and Cohasset) was shared with the subcommittee. This included information on academic requirements, as well as community service. The discussion centered on adding a fourth year Math requirement and the pros and cons, including the impact on scheduling and staffing (more required classes would cause there to be less electives). Concerns were expressed about setting the bar too high and reducing the graduation rate, how ELL students would be impacted, and what could be waived. Mrs. Roberts spoke about the new Massachusetts Frameworks and the changes in Math requirements due to the Common Core Standards implementation. The subcommittee agreed that since state requirements are still being developed, it may be premature to make decisions about changing graduation requirements. In the meantime, community service expectations in other communities can be researched and then discussed at future meetings. Both high school principals liked the idea of adding community service as a requirement. Details on how this would work still need to be worked out. The high school principals will compile information about current community service completed at both high schools, and data on students working and/or having family responsibilities after school.

The Subcommittee agreed to move the last agenda item, School Committee-Staff Communications Policy 2.5.8 to another meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:40 pm.