Jan. 14, 2015 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 7:00 pm
Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting Minutes for December 10, 2014.

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. Inspiring Quincy

B. Massachusetts Life Sciences Technology Grant

C. Governor Baker’s Inauguration

D. MSBA Project Update and SOI Process for 2015

E. Coaches Summit, January 22

F. Aspen Publication #14

G. Partnership Event: A Matter of the Heart

H. Student Council Leadership Summit, February 13

I. NQHS on High School Quiz Show

J. Community Service Update

K. Home-School Connections: Middle School Curriculum Newsletters

IV. Old Business:

A. 2015-2016 School Year Calendar (Review & Discussion)

B. 2015-2016 School Committee Calendar (Review & Discussion)

V. New Business:

A. Student Support/Substance Abuse Initiatives - Mrs. Papile

B. Gift: $2,500 from the Randy C. Wolfe Trust to benefit the Quincy Public Schools Music programs.

C. Out of State Travel: North Quincy High School AFJROTC to New York, New York and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 10-14, 2015.

D. Out of State Travel: North Quincy/Quincy High School HYPER Robotics Team to the FCR District Competition in Lewiston, Maine, March 12-15, 2015.

E. Overnight Travel: Central Middle School Grade 7 to Camp Wing, Duxbury, Massachusetts, June 9-12, 2015.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

  1. Upcoming School Committee Meetings:
    a. Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 7:00 pm, Coddington Building
    b. Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 7:00 pm, Coddington Building

  2. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (Coddington Building):
    a. Facilities & Security, NEW DATE TBD
    b. Special Education, Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 6:00 pm
    c. Quarterly Budget & Finance, Monday, January 26, 2015, 5:00 pm
    d. Teaching & Learning, Monday, January 26, 2015, 5:30 pm
    e. Health, Transportation, and Safety, Monday, February 9, 5:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees: Policy Subcommittee: Mr. Bregoli to report on the January 14, 2015 meeting.

IX. Executive Session:

X. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Budget & Finance
Hubley/Bregoli, DiBona, Isola, Koch, Mahoney, McCarthy

Facilities and Security

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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. Current construction plans were reviewed at the March 18, 2014 Subcommittee Meeting.

  4. North Quincy High School Campus Expansion/Teel Field Project Referred at the January 22, 2014 School Committee Meeting. A presentation on the proposed enhancements will be scheduled.  

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. Monitoring of supplies will be handled by School Safety Teams.

  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.

  4. Traffic Concerns at North Quincy High School Referred to Subcommittee at the March 5, 2014 School Committee Meeting. Concerns about East Squantum Street crosswalk/parking lot entrance.

  5. Solar Array Installation on School Roofs Referred from the Facilities & Security Subcommittee on September 10, 2014. Monitoring of the ongoing projects and the educational opportunities.

  6. Learn to Swim Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee Meeting. Monitoring the ongoing partnership between QPS and the South Shore YMCA.

  7. Farm to School Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee Meeting. Monitoring the Planning Grant rollout, a collaboration of QPS and the Planning Department.

  8. CPR Certification Referred from the Policy Subcommittee at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting. Grade 8 students will be certified through Health classes.

  9. Before School Exercise Programs Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting. Monitoring the implementation of these programs across QPS.

  10. Food Services Technology Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting. Exploring the options for further publicizing the advantages of these new systems.


  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. In the 2012-13 school year, Grades 10 and 11 completed requirement. In the 2013-14 school year, Grades 11 and 12 completed the requirement. In 2014-15, Grades 9-11 plus any seniors who did not complete their Grade 11 requirement will perform Community Service.

  4. 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.

  5. Residency Referred at the September 18, 2013 Special School Committee Meeting. Review of existing policy and expansion to include additional information on verification process.

  6. Review of High School Academic and Extracurricular Programs Referred at the November 13, 2013 School Committee Meeting. A comparison of the offerings at both schools to be analyzed to ensure equitable and parallel opportunities for all students at both facilities.      

  7. Open Enrollment Referred at the October 8, 2014 School Committee meeting for review and discussion to focus on the timeline for placement decisions and communication to parents.

Special Education

  1. Student Information for Substitute Teachers Originally referred to Subcommittee at the January 17, 2007 School Committee Meeting. Aspen Student Information System Special Education module reports will be utilized to share information with substitute teachers beginning in September 2014.

  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. The 2013-2014 school year is the first year of the new Educator Evaluation process and a collaboration will continue between the School Committee, Superintendent’s Leadership Team, and the Quincy Education Association around issues related to the implementation.

Ad Hoc Committees: Channel 22

Sterling Building Committee

Sterling/Point Webster Grade 5

Created at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting to review issues related to Grade 5 being located in middle school buildings.

School District Maps

Created at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting to review issues related to school district maps.


Quincy, Massachusetts – January 14, 2015 
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Noel DiBona, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mayor Thomas Koch, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. David McCarthy, and Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

- - -

The Superintendent called the roll and all were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Mrs. Rita Bailey, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Mrs. Kristen Houlihan, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd; Ms. Allison Cox, President, Quincy Education Association, and Quincy High School Representative to the School Committee Isabella Cobble.

- - -

There was a moment of silence for Tomi Cheung, a student at Atlantic Middle School who passed away last week.

- - -

Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 12/10/14

Ms. Isola made a motion, seconded by Mr. McCarthy, to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for December 10, 2014. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

- - -

Open Forum

Ms. Danielle Neal asked for clarification on whether the new elementary report card grading rubric will be used for Grade 5 students at Point Webster and Sterling when it is implemented next fall. She asked if there was a date scheduled for another Grade 5 Ad Hoc Subcommittee meeting and whether the Sterling Grade 5 scheduling pilot would be extended to Point Webster.

Ms. Alexis Veith requested that the Grade 5 schedule pilot underway at Sterling be extended to Grade 5 students at Point Webster and also requested that the Grade 5 Ad Hoc Subcommittee reconvene.

Ms. Courtney Perdios also requested information about additional meeting dates for the Grade 5 Ad Hoc Subcommittee.

- - -

Superintendent’s Report

Dr. DeCristofaro began the Superintendent’s Report by introducing the Inspire Quincy video, featuring system-wide Professional Development for elementary and middle school teachers, the High Needs ELL/Special Education team, Aspen training for Special Education Resource Room teachers, CPR training for Physical Education staff, PBIS training for elementary & middle school staff; Quincy/North Quincy High School Combined Band at the Christmas Parade; the Learn to Swim program at the South Shore YMCA; Quincy/North Quincy High School Swimming & Diving Meet (2nd annual); and a Lincoln Hancock Literacy Night preview.

Dr. DeCristofaro reported that both North Quincy High School and Quincy High School have an 80% completion to date for this year’s Community Service requirement for graduating seniors. A comprehensive update will be provided by the high school Principals and Community Service Coordinators at an upcoming Policy Subcommittee meeting.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Technology grant is soon to be awarded and details will be shared as soon as they are available.

A Varsity High School Coaches Summit will be held on Thursday, January 22. All varsity coaches have been invited to discuss student participation, scheduling, league issues, and other issues related to athletics.

The Title I program review was completed by DESE and we received a very complimentary email about the program. DESE is requesting to use QPS documentation as exemplars for other school systems.

Aspen Publication #14 was shared; voluntary training continues and the scheduling process will begin in the next couple of weeks with refresher training for key middle and high school staff.

The Sterling Middle School project is continuing to progress with Request for Services for the Owner’s Project Manager being advertised beginning on December 31, 2014. Candidates attended an informational meeting on January 7 and responses were due to the Purchasing Department on January 14, 2015. The Building Committee will begin the review process on January 21 and meet on January 28 and 29 to select finalists to interview on February 4. The recommendation is due to the MSBA on February 9 in preparation for the March 2 OPM Selection meeting at the MSBA.

North Quincy High School, Wollaston, and Merrymount windows and doors will be ordered in the next couple of weeks and are expected to deliver on schedule to install over the summer. Information on schedule will be shared with staff, parents, and neighbors as soon as it is finalized. Lincoln Hancock and Parker had contractor walkthroughs today and bids are due by the end of January.

An MSBA Statement of Interest for Squantum Elementary School will be submitted on or before the April 10, 2015 deadline. Proposed projects for the Accelerated Repair Program have a February 13, 2015 submission date to the MSBA.

The North Quincy High School Quiz Show team is getting ready for the first round of taping on Saturday, January 24, looking to repeat their success from two years ago. The team members are Zach Erickson, Sam Grossfeld, Gary Hu, Joe Nelson, and Olivia McEvoy, coached by Social Studies Department Chair Danielle Fernandez and Social Studies teacher Mira Kriz.

Nicole Jorgensen (Quincy High School junior) and Remy Aucoin (North Quincy High School sophomore) were both named Boston Globe Girls Basketball Players of the Week for the first week of January, two of nine students selected statewide.

Both high schools sent teams to the regional History Bowl and qualified for National Championship competition in Washington, D.C. in April

Several Quincy High School seniors recently took part in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Eastern District Concert: Lydia Culp, Erin McMillen, Jenny Thi, and Marcus Johnson. High School Band Director Rich Kenneally and High School Chorus Director Tim Carew represented Quincy on the Music Educators panel.

Quincy High School senior Valerie Lioudinouskov won the regional Lions Youth Speech Contest and will travel to District competition next.

Governor Baker’s Inauguration was held on January 8, 2015 and fifty Grade 7 students representing Quincy’s five middle school attended along with staff members, thanks to State Representative Mariano and Mayor Koch.

Upcoming School~Community Partnership events include the middle school Wellness initiative on heart health and CPR in partnership with Fallon Ambulance Service and our Health teachers and School nurses. All Grade 8 students will receive a hands-on lesson during the first week of February. On Saturday, February 7, a free full CPR certification class is being offered to Grade 8 students and parents at Central Middle School.

The Elementary Student Council Leadership Summit will be at the Tirrell Room on Thursday, February 12. High school class officers will assist with the South Shore YMCA staff on this new event to which over fifty Grade 5 peer leaders from all elementary and middle schools will be invited.

On May 16, the Presidents Cup Robotics championship will be expanded to include Grade 5 students at all elementary schools. A pilot afterschool program will be offered in beginning in February and staff facilitators are being recruited at each building.

Professional Development on Tuesday, January 13 involved 850 academic teachers, program teachers, and support staff in over 100 workshops all over the city. Principals and Leadership Team members served as facilitators, emphasizing the connection and relevancy between professional development and classroom practice. In addition, these events provide the opportunity to build leadership skills among the teachers. Evaluations were incredibly impressive and reflected the thought that went into the planning by the Professional Development team.

With the very cold weather last week, thanks to the collaborative work of Transportation staff and mechanics, students arrived to school safely. Heating issues were handled by th Maintenance Department swiftly, and the Custodial staff stayed late and arrived early to ensure that school buildings were warm for staff and students.

Curriculum Newsletters for the Broad Meadows, Central, Point Webster, and Sterling Middle Schools were shared with the School Committee, along with the Winter Safety Newsletter from the Transportation & Security Department.

- - -

Old Business

2015-2016 School Year Calendar

2015-2016 School Committee Calendar

Mr. Bregoli reviewed that at the Policy Subcommittee meeting that was held just prior to this School Committee meeting, the draft School Committee Meeting calendar and draft 2015-2016 School Year calendar were reviewed and approved out of Subcommittee. Both calendar drafts will be posted on the Quincy Public Schools website and shared with Quincy Public Schools staff for review and comment prior to being voted on at the January 28, 2015 meeting.

- - -

New Business

Student Support/ Substance Abuse Awareness Initiatives

Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile introduced North Quincy High School Nurse Kristin Houlihan and extended her thanks to the many partners who made Substance Abuse Awareness Week possible. For the last five years, there has been collaboration with the Mayor’s Office and many members of the Quincy community that have made this a successful endeavor, starting with the collaboration with the high school principals, who have welcomed these programs into the schools. Several new members of the collaboration were involved in this year’s programming, including Peter and Heather Thompson (in memory of their son), who both extended their thanks to the Mayor and School Committee for accepting the gift and making such significant programming decisions. Baystate Community Services, the Caron Foundation (training and referrals), Nancy Holler (in memory of her son Brendan) presented on her experiences; Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) students at both high schools for their creativity in making PSAs and presentations; Sheriff Bellotti (sponsored Travis Roy at North Quincy High School); and School Resource Officer Gregg Hartnett.

This year, the programming was expanded to the middle school level. Kristin Houlihan found a grant with the Khan Foundation and secured the financing to bring a theatrical troup, The Improbable Players, to perform for all middle school students. After the performance, school Guidance Counselors worked with students to process the information. Students’ responses encouraged continuing an open and honest dialogue and recommended this type of relatable and engaging presentations, rather than lectures.

Mrs. Houlihan reviewed that the SADD student assisted with the preparations for Substance Abuse Awareness Week. Students created PSAs and before the holiday break, visited classrooms to promote healthy decision-making. SADD promotes peer to peer relationships, so students introduced the presenters, including Kathy Meyers-Sullivan, Chris Sullivan, and Travis Roy. The message and the meaning of these events will be carried forward throughout the rest of the school year.

Mrs. Papile then shared a video of highlightes from last week’s presentations.

Upcoming events include Chris Herren on February 11 (Quincy High School) and February 25 (North Quincy High School); Michael Patrick McDonald, author of All Souls, will be speaking at both high schools on March 12; Pay It Forward, a mentoring program that will train high school students to present to middle school students and then mentor incoming freshmen next school year. Hidden in Plain Sight, an interactive presentation for parents, will be held on March 10 at Central Middle School. The presentation is intended to raise awareness and provide starting points for difficult conversations.

Copies of Open Your Eyes, a parental resource guide developed by the high school nursing and health interventionists was shared. Mrs. Papile also shared the Substance Abuse Awareness timeline, showing the full extent of planning and events for this school year. Mrs. Papile extended her thanks to Mike Lorenzano, Mary Lee, Kathy Torracco, and Kristin Houlihan for making this such a successful and consistent message for all students.

Mrs. Hubley thanked the presenters and opened the floor up for comments. Mr. DiBona said that he would like to see this addressed more frequently at School Committee, the epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse is evident throughout the community. Our students are at a susceptible age, the availability of prescription pain medications is troubling; the message from all the speakers very timely. Senator Keenan is working on legislation to limit pain medication prescriptions and for state funding for parent-student education aimed at high school students. Education is the key and finding the funding source.

Mrs. Hubley complimented the Open Your Eyes booklet and noted that it highlights the prescription drop-off at the Quincy Police station.

Mr. Bregoli complimented the presentation and that our curriculum really addresses the issues and should pay dividends with our students. The praise should go to the staff on the front lines, the students, the teachers, nurses, guidance counselors, and deans. It is a credit to Mrs. Papile and her staff. Mr. Bregoli was proud to see his soccer players featured in the SADD video from North Quincy High School.

Mr. Bregoli asked if we have any education programs focusing on dating and relationship violence, especially given the event in the national news this fall. Mrs. Papile said that both high schools do address this issue through the health interventionists, DOVE has a presence in the schools, but it is not on the same scale as the substance abuse awareness. Mr. Bregoli would like to see expansion of the awareness and outside programming.

Mrs. Mahoney thanked the presenters and the hard work that goes into the classroom. Drug and alcohol abuse touches everyone’s lives, the most important thing that we can do is talk about the problems. Mrs. Mahoney agreed that social-emotional problems including relationship problems contribute to drug and alcohol abuse. Mrs. Mahoney said the parent presentation on March 10 is very important and praised the growing honest conversation at schools and School Committee about these issues. Mrs. Mahoney encouraged Mayor Koch to talk about Thursday’s community event, an open forum about Substance Abuse in the Community.

Mr. McCarthy thanked the presenters and spoke of his relationship with Peter and Heather Thompson. Peter Thompson is a childhood friend of Mr. McCarthy’s and he is determined to make a difference in this epidemic. Mr. McCarthy said in the last couple of weeks, he has gone to funerals for two men under the age of 25 who were athletes and students. It takes a lot of courage for families to publicize what has happened in their families. Mr. Thompson is very pleased with the speed in which the planning and execution of these events have happened. Quincy Public Schools is being proactive along with the City of Quincy and he is appreciative. Mr. Thompson plans to continue to fund and expand these programs going forward.

Ms. Isola asked how many students participate in SADD, about 100 students at each high school. Ms. Isola said that there is no typical profile of a substance abuser, everyone knows someone who has been or will be impacted by this.

Mayor Koch thanked Mrs. Papile and Mrs. Houlihan for this presentation, especially Mrs. Papile for her responsiveness and efforts. While the issue has to be individually acknowledged, we as a community have worked hard to acknowledge the depth of the problem. Many of our innovative programs are being implemented elsewhere. The Mayor has been to too many wakes and funerals, comforting parents and family members about lives lost to this epidemic. At the state level and the new governor’s office, the issue is at the forefront. Mayor Koch is proud of the community’s response.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked the staff for their passion and focus, above and beyond their regular jobs. This is a comprehensive program, no way to measure how many lives have been saved. Parents and students are appreciative.

- - -

Gift: $3,000 from the Randy C. Wolfe Trust

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Gift of $3,000 from the Randy C. Wolfe Trust to benefit the Quincy Public Schools music programs. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

- - -

Out of State Travel

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel of North Quincy High School AFJROTC to New York, New York and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from April 10 to April 14, 2015. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

- - -

Out of State Travel

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel of North/Quincy High School HYPER Robotics to Lewiston, Maine from March 12 to March 15, 2015. Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

- - -

Overnight Travel

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Overnight Travel of Central Middle School Grade 7 to Camp Wing, Duxbury, Massachusetts from June 9 through June 12, 2015. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

- - -

Additional Business

Mr. McCarthy asked for a review of the Grade 5 issues to be on the next agenda or the one following.

Mr. McCarthy thanked Kevin Segalla and the Custodial staff for handling the extremely cold weather last week, along with the Maintenance staff. There were no major issues, thanks to planning ahead.

- - -


Upcoming meetings were announced: School Committee on January 28, 2015; and February 11, 2015 and Subcommittee Meetings (Quarterly Budget & Finance on Monday, January 26, 2015; Facilities & Security TBD; Special Education on Wednesday, January 21, 2015; Teaching & Learning on January 26, 2015; and Health, Transportation, and Safety on February 9, 2015.

Mr. McCarthy announced the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast will be held at the Germantown Neighborhood Center on Monday, January 19 at 9:00 am.

Mrs. Mahoney asked for an update on the Quincy High School leak that happened over the holiday break as an item for the next Facilities & Security Subcommittee meeting.

- - -

Reports of Subcommittees

Mrs. Hubley noted that full Subcommittee meeting minutes are posted online on the School Committee page at www.quincypublicschools.com.

Policy Subcommittee

Mr. Bregoli’s review of the Policy Subcommittee meeting minutes was deferred to the January 28, 2015 School Committee meeting.

- - -


Mr. Bregoli made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 8:25 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mr. McCarthy and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.