Feb. 26, 2014 Health/Safety Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee
Noel DiBona, Chair
Wednesday, February 26, 5:00 pm
2nd Floor Conference Room, NAGE Building

  1. Alliance for a Healthier Generation Update - Mrs. Kisielius

  2. Food Services Healthy Initiatives - Mrs. Morrissey

  3. School Improvement Plan Wellness Goal Reflection - Mrs. Kisielius
    * Pre-Kindergarten/Elementary Schools
    * Middle Schools
    * High Schools

  4. Adjournment/Thank You!


Quincy School Committee
Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee Meeting
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A meeting of the Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the 2 nd floor Conference Room of the NAGE Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mr. Dave McCarthy, and Mr. Noel DiBona, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Loren Catrambone, Ms. Donna Deane, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Mrs. Jane Kisielius, Mrs. Joanne Morrissey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Kathleen Torraco; Ms. Allison Cox, President of the Quincy Education Association; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. DiBona called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm and Mrs. Papile introduced the Health and Wellness Team, Health Services Coordinator Jane Kisielius and Food Services Director Joanne Morrissey, who are at the forefront of all initiatives. Mrs. Kisielius provided an overview of the partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, now in its second year. The Healthy Schools Program is focused on healthy eating and increasing activity; 14,000 schools participate nationwide. All Quincy Public Schools have individual wellness teams who develop goals, action steps, and an implementation plan; assistance and professional development is provided by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

At the elementary and middle school levels, Wellness initiatives are focused on increasing staff, family, and community involvement; increasing physical activity; and increasing nutritional education. Action steps include Jam'n Minutes, BOKS program (before-school fitness), walk to school initiatives, health and wellness newsletters, and communicating through PTOs. Staff initiatives include yoga classes, walks and hikes, student-staff game challenges, and recipe swaps. At the middle and high school levels, there are athletics opportunities from intramural and club teams to junior varsity and varsity.

At the high school level, there are several unique initiatives. At Quincy High School, there has been an effort to ensure that students are eating breakfast; both high schools have information for parents and students on healthier eating and food choices. School stores have revamped selections towards healthier options; both high schools will be having health fairs.

Mrs. Kisielius concluded by reiterating the importance of the Quincy Public Schools partnership with the Alliance for the Healthier Generation. All of our schools participated, developed healthy initiatives, and/or altered a policy. Going forward, a goal is to utilize more of the technical assistance provided by the Alliance.

Mrs. Morrissey began with a reflection on the Food Services Program Improvement Plan Goals: Point of Sale system implementation is continuing at elementary schools; an online payment system was implemented in December; and staff performance evaluations will be completed in the spring. Other initiatives include a Department of Education grant for Atlantic and Point Webster to promote breakfast participation. This is the second year of the new meal patterns, whole grain restrictions were implemented for breakfast this year. For snacks, all must be "smart snacks," keeping sugar and calories low. Manufacturers are responding to national standards and producing items to meet standard portion sizes. Preparation for the Summer Food Service Program is underway; Wollaston will possibly be added to the program this year. (Montclair, Germantown, Quincy Point, Parker, Lincoln Hancock are already sites.)

The new Wellness page includes information about the Advisory Council, District Wellness Team, and School Wellness Teams, plus Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Wellness Resource links are also shared, as well as the School Committee Policy. Future plans include posting School Tube videos of activities and sharing success stories from different school sites.

Mr. McCarthy complimented the presenters on the tremendous job at the school and the district level in implementing the new regulations and being ahead of the curve. Ms. Isola asked for an update on the conflict between state and federal standards (for example, chocolate milk); the state has a moratorium on implementing anything that conflicts with federal standards. Ms. Isola asked about balancing lunch and recess; Mrs. Kisielius said some schools are switching so that recess is first, finding students are more focused on eating. Ms. Isola asked for clarification about fruit/vegetable selection; students are required to choose one at lunch and next year, they will be required to take one at breakfast. Ms. Isola asked if schools are taking advantage of the allowed exemptions and they are. Mrs. Hubley asked if there was a way students could donate unwanted whole fruit rather than throwing away. Mrs. Hubley asked for an update on the high schools, where booster clubs have traditionally sold pizza and baked goods. At North Quincy High School, these have been eliminated; Quincy High School still has some instances, outreach to booster club parents will be a next step.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked all the presenters, noting the importance of the many initiatives managed by these staff. Our school nurses have been a major force in managing a smooth transition and encouraging growth.

Mr. DiBona said another meeting for the Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee would be scheduled with Transportation issues as the focus.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to adjourn the Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee meeting at 6:00 pm. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.