April 3, 2013 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
City Council Chambers
7:00 p.m.

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting and Executive Session Minutes for March 20, 2013.

II. 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. An individual may not exchange their time or yield to others.

III. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Quincy Public Schools HYPER Robotics

B. Credit for Life Fair

C. Quincy School~Community Partnership Breakfast, April 12

D. MSBA Statements of Interest

E. New Central Middle School Update

F. Quincy High School Artistry Month

G. Drama Productions: Quincy High School and North Quincy High School

H. Home-School Connections: Squantum Elementary School Monthly Newsletter; Lincoln-Hancock Elementary and Snug Harbor Community School Curriculum Newsletters

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. Extended Day Programs

  • Title I After School and Summer Programs - Ms. Madeline Roy
  • Extended Day and Summer Offerings - Mr. Michael Marani
  • Financial Literacy Grant - Mr. Keith Segalla

B. High School Peer Leaders - Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Kristin Houlihan, Ms. Laura Marstjepovic

C. Gift: Alliance for Respiratory Care, Medical Supplies/Equipment for Students with Asthma, $1,072.41 value

D. Out of State and Overnight Travel

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

  1. Athletics Rules Subcommittee: Mr. McCarthy to report on the March 25, 2013 meeting.

  2. Special Education Subcommittee: Mrs. Mahoney to report on the March 27, 2013 meeting.

  3. Teaching and Learning Subcommittee: Mrs. Lebo to report on the April 2, 2013 meeting.

IX. Executive Session: None

X. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Subcommittee Items

Budget & Finance

School Facilities & Security

  1. Sterling Building Plans Referred to Subcommittee by the School Building Task Force in 1998.

  2. Coddington Hall Referred to Subcommittee at the May 18, 2011 School Committee Meeting. The City of Quincy has appropriated funds to refurbish Coddington Hall to serve as the Quincy Public Schools administrative offices. Wessling Architects has completed the design phase of the project and construction bids are scheduled to go out in early October. All bids being in order, construction should begin in January 2013.

  3. Houses on Saville Avenue Referred to Subcommittee at the May 18, 2011 School Committee Meeting. Currently home to the City’s Public Building department, the School Committee and Superintendent see no future educational uses for these properties.

  4. Outside Lighting Audit Referred to Subcommittee at the February 8, 2012 School Committee Meeting. To address safety concerns, an audit was requested to look for lights that need repair or replacement and locations that would benefit from additional lighting.

  5. President’s City Inn Referred to Subcommittee at the October 10, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Safety concerns have been expressed about this property that abuts the new Central Middle School. 

  6. Classroom Door Locks Referred to Subcommittee at the January 23, 2013 School Committee Meeting. Review of current status by school underway as well as cost estimates for upgrading all schools to meet recommended standards.

  7. School Lobby Security Controls Referred to Subcommittee at the January 23, 2013 School Committee Meeting. Review of existing visitor protocols, with special consideration of current high school policies and discussion of enhancements moving forward for all schools.

Health, Transportation & Safety

  1. School Meal Charges Referred to Subcommittee at the March 21, 2012 School Committee Meeting. New state and federal regulations require formalization of the school meal charges policy.

  2. Science Lab Safety: Referred from the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee at the April 2, 2012 meeting. High School and High School Science labs have been reviewed and needed updates for compliance completed as of September 24, 2012 Special School Committee Meeting. Monitoring of supplies will be handled by High School Safety Team; need similar plan for Middle Schools.

  3. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Referred to Subcommittee at the September 24, 2012 Special School Committee Meeting. Student Support Services working with Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, and Parker Elementary Schools on piloting this initiative.

School Policy

  1. Graduation Requirements Referred to Subcommittee at the September 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting and discussed at the October 11, 2011 School Policy Subcommittee. The discussion centered around adding a fourth year of Math as a graduation requirement; the issue is tabled until more is known about the impact of the new Common Core Standards on the Massachusetts frameworks.

  2. New Educator Evaluations Referred at the September 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting and shared with the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee. Further discussion will be held in joint Subcommittee Meetings and Executive Session as it pertains to collective bargaining.

  3. High School Community Service Referred to Subcommittee at the December 14, 2011 School Committee Meeting. A resolution was introduced proposing a Community Service requirement; pilot program for Grades 10 and 11 is underway for 2012-2013 school year.

  4. Conflict of Interest: Volunteering, Tutoring, Hiring Referred to Subcommittee at the January 11, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Review and discussion of existing policy requested.

  5. Adding CPR as a Graduation Requirement Referred to Subcommittee at the March 21, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Review and discussion of existing policy requested.

  6. Exempting Student Athletes from Physical Education Requirement Referred at the May 2, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Student athletes who compete in three seasons of athletics with parent permission and maintenance of academic eligibility, would not be required to take Physical Education classes. Review and discussion of existing policy requested.

  7. Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities Referred at the June 13, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Review and discussion of amending the existing policy requested to explore the possibility of raising revenue by accepting advertising sponsorships.

  8. Extracurricular Eligibility Referred at the March 25, 2013 Ad Hoc Athletics Rules Subcommittee. Review and discussion of the existing policy and consideration of increasing the requirements.

Special Education

  1. Substitute Teachers for SPED Originally referred to Subcommittee at the January 17, 2007 School Committee Meeting. At the Special School Committee Meeting on January 28, 2012 and the Special Education Subcommittee meeting on February 1, 2012, it was agreed that some progress has been made in the way that substitute teachers are informed and educated about accommodations for special needs issues. A form has been developed for classroom teachers to share information and the goal for implementation is the 2012-2013 school year.

  2. Special Education Program Assessment Referred to Subcommittee at the January 28, 2012 Special School Committee Meeting. This will be an ongoing discussion of the curriculum initiatives for Special Education.

Rules, Post Audit & Oversight

Teaching and Learning 

  1. New Educator Evaluations Referred at the September 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting and shared with the School Policy Subcommittee. Two meetings have already been held to begin exploring the requirements of the new regulations (9/21/11 Ad Hoc Subcommittee meeting and February 13, 2012 Teaching and Learning Subcommittee meeting) and further discussion will be held in joint Subcommittee meetings and Executive Session as it pertains to collective bargaining.

  2. Media Specialists in Elementary and Middle Schools Referred at the January 23, 2012 School Committee Meeting. The Citywide Parents’ Council presented a signed petition representing the request to restore these positions in the FY2014 budget and seek additional funding to address the positions for the remainder of the
    2012-2013 school year.

Ad Hoc Committees:

Channel 22

Created at the October 27, 2007 School Committee meeting to encourage the greater use of Channel 22 across Quincy Public Schools.

Central Building Committee

Athletic Rules

Created at the October 24, 2012 School Committee meeting to continue discussion on Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules.


Quincy, Massachusetts - April 3, 2013
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at the City Council Chambers at City Hall. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mayor Thomas Koch, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. David McCarthy, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

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The Superintendent called the roll and Mr. Bregoli was absent. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Mrs. Kristin Houlihan, Mr. Michael Marani, Mrs. Laura Marstjepovic, Mr. James Mullaney, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Assistant Superintendent Colleen Roberts, Mr. Frank Santoro, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd; Ms. Allison Cox, President, Quincy Education Association, and Ms. Jill Gichuhi, President, Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education.

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Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 3/20/2013

Mrs. Hubley made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for March 20, 2013. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Executive Session Minutes Approved 3/20/2013

Mr. McCarthy made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hubley, to approve the Executive Session minutes for March 20, 2013. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Open Forum

As no one wished to be heard at Open Forum, the School Committee moved to the the next item on the agenda.

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Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent DeCristofaro opened his report by introducing a video of highlights from North Quincy High School’s recent show All Shook Up! and Quincy High School’s upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz. He also reminded the School Committee about Quincy High School’s upcoming Artistry Month events, including an Art Show, Student Film Festival, Poetry Reading, and Fashion Show.

Mr. Keith Segalla spoke of the upcoming HYPER Robotics event and the team’s supporting partners, including Bluefin Technologies, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the HYPER Alumni Association. At a recent regional event, the team ranked fifth out of thirty five teams. Mr. Segalla expressed thanks to Eddie Smith for his coaching and mentoring,

The Credit for Life Fair was held on March 28 at the Tirrell Room. This one-day seminar for 200 seniors from both high schools had students role-play the life of an independent adult to illustrate the importance of financial literacy. Students were given a salary and worked to create a budget for necessities, expenses, and savings. Many School-Community Partners supported this event, including local banks and businesses.

Dr. DeCristofaro noted that the Statements of Interest for the Sterling Middle School project and window replacement projects for North Quincy High School, Wollaston and Merrymount Elementary Schools have been submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority. An update on the Central Middle School project was shared with the School Committee featuring photos of the building’s exterior and interior.

Seventeen student athletes received Winter Sports All-Scholastic recognition from the Boston Globe. Basketball: Caitlin Bulger, Dan Gould, Pat Gould, Marquis McClendon, Jane Minton, Maya Umoren from North Quincy High School and Tino Goncalves, Jaquan Harris, Nicole Jorgenson, Kayla McArdle from Quincy High School; Hockey: Nolan Greene, Rudy Tryon from North Quincy High School and Pat Freeman, Jake Hallisey, and Erin McGinnis from Quincy High School; Wrestling: Kevin Pappadopolous from North Quincy High School and Matt Roach from Quincy High School.

The Middle School Swimming Championships will be held on Saturday, April 6 at the Lincoln Hancock pool with over 150 students from all five middle schools competing in a range of events. A Middle School Competitive Swimming and Diving program will be held during the April Vacation week, coached by Bob McGillicuddy and supported by members of the Quincy and North Quincy High School Swim Team.

The City Council met on Monday, April 1 to discuss the Mayor’s proposed appropriation for school security upgrades. The appropriation passed unanimously. Dr. DeCristofaro is looking forward to working with the Public Buildings Department and the Facilities and Security Subcommittee on setting priorities for moving forward to implement these projects.

Dr. DeCristofaro spoke of the ongoing partnership between the Quincy Public Schools and the Quincy Police Department, He thanked Quincy Police Chief Keenan and Mayor Koch and announced that a new School Resource Officer will be added to work with the Elementary and Middle Schools. In addition to the two School Resource Officers already in place, the DARE Officers, and over 40 traffic supervisors, Quincy Public Schools benefits from tremendous support from the Quincy Police Department.

Dr. DeCristofaro completed his report by noting the examples of Home School Connections shared with the School Committee: Curriculum Newsletters from Lincoln Hancock and Snug Harbor Community Schools and the monthly newsletter from the Squantum Elementary School. Mrs. Lebo complimented Lincoln Hancock for their inclusion of the Guidance Curriculum model information in their newsletter and the information about the Snug Harbor Preschool program.

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New Business

High School Peer Leaders

Ms. Isola requested the School Committee’s permission to take the agenda out of order to recognize the High School Peer Leaders next. Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile, along with North Quincy High School Nurse Kristin Houlihan and Quincy High School Teacher Laura Marstjepovic presented on the students’ positive impact on school culture. Mrs. Papile thanked the Mayor’s Drug Task Force, the Masons, and the Rotary for their support of these many initiatives. Students from Quincy High School reviewed explained the creation of the Friends of Rachel chapter following the Rachel’s Challenge presentation last year. They signed the pledge to accept Rachel’s Challenge and created a paper chain of kindness which extended to 171 feet. The group then established a goal of raising student consciousness through selling bracelets with the message “I will not be labeled as average.”

The North Quincy High School students presented about Students Against Destructive Decisions; their group holds many events to support students in making positive decisions and understanding the impact of destructive decisions. Their focus is on constructive decisions, including fundraising through the Photo Show and creating public service announcements about bullying, drug abuse, and drunk driving.

Mrs. Mahoney complimented both high schools on the many wonderful programs offered, including drama, sports, and peer leadership opportunities. Mr. McCarthy thanked both groups of students for sharing their impressive work as peer leaders, and thanked their parents for their influence. Ms. Isola spoke of the impact of the Rachel’s Challenge and the SADD program and noted that through her position as Assistant District Attorney she often sees young people who do not think through the consequences of their actions. Dr. DeCristofaro thanked both advisors for their dedication and passion and expressed appreciation for all the wonderful things that happen every day at both high schools. He also thanked Mrs. Papile for her leadership and initiative.

Mr. Bregoli arrived at 7:45 pm.

Extended Day and Summer Programs

After a brief recess, Assistant Superintendent Colleen Roberts introduced an overview of Extended Day Programs. Curriculum Coordinator Madeline Roy presented on Title I grant-funded programs, including after-school programs Reach Out and Read and Make Math the Story. Grant funding allowed for the purchase of Common Core- Aligned materials; almost 400 students were provided with supplemental instruction in Reading and Math at Snug Harbor, Lincoln-Hancock, Parker, Clifford Marshall, Montclair, and Grade 5 students at Point Webster and Sterling. Ms. Roy thanked the thirty teachers at these seven schools who took on the challenge of learning new materials and implementing them.

Mr. Michael Marani, Coordinator of Extended Day Programs spoke about the After School Music Programs (string and instrumental) and the many offerings at the individual elementary schools funded through the Activity Stipend Fund. Extracurricular offerings at the Middle School include Flag Football, Quiz Bowl, Cross-Country, Volleyball, Early Bird Basketball, and Spring Track. At the two high schools, Winter School is offered for credit recovery and standardized test prep. Saturday programs for elementary students include Innovative Engineers and Robotics; an Open House will be held on Saturday, April 6 at Beechwood Knoll.

Ms. Roy then introduced the Title I summer programs, including Bridge to Reading for 240 identified students entering Grades 2, 3, and 4 with enrichment in speaking, listening, and writing to strengthen connections to the Common Core in small group settings. Mr. Marani outlined the Summer Scene offerings, including the All-City Honor Band, Summer Institute (Orientation to Kindergarten, Crafty Kids, Innovative Engineers and Robotics, Windows Wizards, Newspaper) The Summer Scene Brochure will be published the second week of May.

Mr. Keith Segalla announced that Quincy Public Schools is the recipient of a Financial Literacy Pilot Program Grant, an initiative to support high schools in the development of personal finance knowledge and skills for college and career readiness. This is a three-year grant worth $50,000, with $20,000 being the initial award to plan the program and develop curriculum. There will be teacher-led project based lessons and activities, stressing the importance of financial literacy and introducing students to careers in the field. The program will align to the National Standards for Financial Literacy. The targeted population will be the students at GOALs, Teen Mothers, PASS, Quincy Evening High School, and ELL students.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the Winter Scene and whether all middle schools have the 21st Century Grant. Mr. Marani said that the schools that do not have the grant have programs that are tuition-based. Dr. DeCristofaro said there are some activities that have nominal fees, but the Activity Stipend Account has been utilized wherever possible. Dr. DeCristofaro suggested that this was an area for discussion during the budget process. Mrs. Lebo congratulated the staff for writing the Financial Literacy Grant, but is concerned about the target population rather than this being offered to all students. She asked if these courses will count as mathematics for Evening School Students. Mr. Segalla said that those discussions are underway, but not finalized. Mrs. Lebo asked that the School Committee be kept apprised of the program as it is developed.

Mrs. Mahoney reiterated that giving all students access to these programs would be desirable. She inquired whether the Summer Institute tuitions would be increasing. Mr. Marani said it is possible, some programs will run for more weeks than in previous years. Mrs. Mahoney asked whether parents had been surveyed to ask about their preferences for hours and length of courses. Mrs. Roberts said that the program administrators collected information about preferences and that was factored in to this year’s planning. The grant-based programs often have time length requirements; summer school also requires a certain number of hours to receive credit. Mrs. Mahoney also asked for clarification of payment options; tuition-based programs must be paid by credit card or bank check. Mrs. Mahoney asked about adding the option to make payments online; it is important to make the signup process as easy as possible for parents.

Mayor Koch thanked all of the presenters and noted that State Treasurer Grossman has been supportive of many high school programs, the Financial Literacy Pilot Program being one example. Dr. DeCristofaro suggested that the Financial Literacy Pilot would be a topic for follow up at a Teaching and Learning Subcommittee.

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Gift: Medical Supplies

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the gift of medical supplies and equipment for students with asthma from the Alliance for Respiratory Care, valued at $1,072.41. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Overnight Travel

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the overnight travel of Quincy High School SkillsUSA members to the SkillsUSA Massachusetts Conference in Marlborough, MA from April 25 to April 27, 2013. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Additional Business

Mr. McCarthy thanked the Mayor for the additional School Resource Officer, working with the current School Resource Officers, the Community Police Officers, the crossing guards, and the continuing support of the Police Chief.

Mr. McCarthy announced that he would like to have a Facilities and Security Subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, April 9 and will be inviting Parks Director Chris Cassani to attend the meeting to discuss fields and school grounds.

Mr. McCarthy would also like to have a Facilities and Security Subcommittee meeting on April 30 on the topic of Quincy High School.

Mrs. Lebo asked that an update on the Maintenance Department transition to the Public Buildings side be added to an upcoming agenda.

Mrs. Mahoney asked about the quarterly updates for the Maintenance Department. She mentioned that she had heard of an issue with leaking roof at the Squantum Elementary School on the cafeteria end and asked for an update at next week’s Subcommittee meeting.

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Reports of Subcommittees

Athletics Rules Subcommittee

Mr. McCarthy reported on the March 25, 2013 Athletics Rules Subcommittee meeting. There were three items on the meeting agenda: the proposal to create two part-time Athletic Directors, one for each high school; Athletic Eligibility; and issues for MIAA clarification.

After discussion, the Subcommittee, with the support of the two high school principals agreed to go forward with posting the two part-time Athletic Director positions. All agreed it would be beneficial for the two schools, but that administrative support will be critical the success of the position. Mrs. Lebo asked that the Subcommittee be kept updated as the responses to the job postings are received. Ms. Isola requested that budget numbers be shared as they are available.

The next item on the agenda was Academic Eligibility. By School Committee policy, student athletes must have passing grades in all core academic subjects. After discussion, since this question affects all extracurricular activity, a motion was made to move the item to the Policy Subcommittee. On the motion, Mrs. Lebo asked for data from neighboring cities and towns on their requirements for extracurricular eligibility.

The last item on the agenda was Issues for MIAA Clarification. Mr. McCarthy reviewed the issues that were discussed at the October 24, 2013 School Committee about offseason contact, recruitment, and the “50% rule.” After thorough discussion, it was agreed that the earlier questions have been answered by Mr. Rendle. Mr. McCarthy will follow up with the questions to be sent to the MIAA to be on the record and confirming Athletic Director Rendle’s interpretation of the MIAA rules. Mrs. Mahoney asked for an opinion on an issue raised by a parent and Mr. Mulvey will pursue this with outside legal counsel. Mrs. Mahoney also asked for specific information about salaries and stipends and projections into future years.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to approve the March 25, 2013 Athletics Rules Subcommittee Meeting minutes. Mrs. Lebo requested that the notes be amended to include that the Athletic Director position is still subject to discussion pending the outcome of the posting process and seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Special Education Subcommittee

Mrs. Mahoney reviewed the Special Education Subcommittee meeting which was held on March 27, 2013. Dr. Christopher Denning from the University of Massachusetts/Boston presented on the Young Athletes (YA) Initiative being piloted at the Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center (ECC). The program uses games and motor play activities to support gross motor skill and social skill development. The curriculum is evolving and Dr. Denning is working with the ECC to determine what additional support is needed (for example, more illustrations or ways to adapt activities). Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Adaptive Physical Education are all involved in implementing this program. The parents present were very enthusiastic about the program and the potential for enhancing social skills. Ms. Gichuhi asked about a connection with the BOKS program at Squantum and suggested that parent orientation include children for lesson modeling.

Ms. Todd gave an update on the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports initiative. Defined behavioral expectations will be taught and monitored; instruction is targeted for tiers of behavior. Mrs. Perkins presented an overview of Professional Development for Mathematics and Language Arts. Other types of professional development offered focused on Study Skills/Executive Functioning, Social Skills, and Formative Assessment.

Ms. Gichuhi reviewed that QPAC Goals for 2012-2013 are moving towards completion; the new website has been launched, a needs assessment is underway, including a parent survey. Information from the survey will be used for goal development for 2013-2014.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to approve the March 27, 2013 Special Education Subcommittee Meeting minutes. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Teaching and Learning Subcommittee

Mrs. Lebo reviewed the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee meeting which was held on April 2, 2013. The first item on the agenda was a discussion of the passing grade level at both high schools. Currently, 63 is the final grade that must be earned at the end of the course in order to earn credit for the course. Mrs. Skinner presented a proposal to change the minimum passing grade and update the weighted GPA scale. Of thirteen local communities and private schools, ten use 60 as the minimum passing grade and three use 65. Mrs. Skinner and Mrs. McGeady noted that they see transferring student transcripts from all over the country with 60 as a minimum passing grade. A motion was made and approved to move the item to the full School Committee for further discussion.

The next item on the agenda was a discussion of the new Elementary Support Teachers. In response to a request for information from the School Committee, Ms. Owens shared research on Elementary School libraries in surrounding communities, in the Gateway Cities, for the cities and towns that DESE considers comparable to Quincy, and MSBA model school communities. There are a variety of options being employed at elementary schools, ranging from the traditional librarian at each building to library teachers or other staff shared between buildings or paraprofessional support. He outlined the initiative and the goals developed with a group of the elementary principals: increasing the use of libraries, creating opportunities for extended day library hours, supporting summer reading/open library opportunities, providing preparatory time for elementary staff, and increased technology support. The elementary principals present spoke of the increased technology support, additional curriculum connections, collaborative time for teaching staff, utilization of parent volunteers, and additional professional support.

Mrs. Lebo noted that this solution is not creating a media program equivalent to what existed previously but does address equity of access for all elementary students. Ms. Isola said she sees this as a rebuilding step, part of the recovery from the budget cuts imposed several years ago.

Mrs. Lebo amended the motion contained within the notes to move the grading issue out of the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee to the Policy Subcommittee. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the April 2, 2013 Teaching and Learning Subcommittee Meeting minutes. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Mr. McCarthy made a motion to adjourn at 8:45 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Lebo and on a voice vote, the ayes have it. There was no Executive Session.