April 8, 2015 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 7:00 pm
Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting Minutes for March 18, 2015.

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. Recognitions: Quincy Track Club: Slieman Family

C. Middle School Swimming Competition, Saturday, April 11

D. Partnership Events

E. Summer Reading Timeline

F. Title I Program

G. Parent Academies

H. Spring Concert Schedule

I. Massachusetts Music Educators 2015 All-State Chorus

J. Open Meeting Law Updates

K. Home-School Connections: Atherton Hough and Wollaston Elementary School Monthly Newsletters

IV. Old Business:  

V. New Business:

A. Beyond the Bell - Dr. DeCristofaro

B. Literacy Program Update - Mrs. Perkins

C. Physical Restraint Policy Review - Mr. Bregoli

D. Facilities Dedication: Atlantic Middle School Fields - Mr. Bregoli

E. 2016-2017 School Year Calendar - Mr. Bregoli

F. Weather Cancellation Schoolwork Mr. Bregoli

G. Gift: $10,000.00 to the School~Community Partnership and a Basketball Shot Training Machine Valued at $5,750.00 to Quincy High School from George G. Burke, Esquire.

H. Out of State Travel:

1. Atherton Hough Elementary School Grade 5 Students to Canobie Lake Park, Windham, New Hampshire on June 12, 2015.

2. Bernazzani Elementary School Grade 5 Students to Canobie Lake Park, Windham, New Hampshire on June 22, 2015.

I. Overnight Travel: Broad Meadows Middle School Grade 8 to Camp Wing, Duxbury, Massachusetts, June 3 through June 5, 2015.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings (7:00 pm):

1. May 6, 2015 (Coddington Building)

2. May 20, 2015 (Central Middle School)

3. June 10, 2015 (Coddington Building)

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (Coddington Building):

1. Quarterly Budget & Finance, Monday, April 13, 5:00 pm

2. Facilities & Security, Monday, April 13, 5:30 pm

3. Teaching & Learning, Monday, April 27, 5:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

  1. Special Education: Mrs. Mahoney to report on the March 25, 2015 meeting.

  2. Teaching & Learning: Ms. Isola to report on the March 30, 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.

  8. Middle School Grading System Referred at the December 10, 2014 School Committee meeting for review and discussion.

  9. Emergency Procedures Policy Referred at the December 10, 2014 School Committee meeting for review and updating of the existing policy to reflect current standard protocols.

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 2015.

  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 – April 8, 2015
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, April 8, 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

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The Superintendent called the roll and all were present. Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Mrs. Janet Baglione, Mrs. Elizabeth Bates, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Colleen Dufresne, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Ms. Beth Hallett, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mr. James Mullaney, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd; Ms. Allison Cox, President, Quincy Education Association; and Student Representative to School Committee Ms. Isabella Cobble (Quincy High School).

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There was a moment of silence for Peg O’Donnell, Richard Herbert, and Donna Sullivan.

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Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 3/18/15

Mr. McCarthy made a motion, seconded by Mr. Bregoli, to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for March 18, 2015. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Open Forum

Mr. Dennis Salfity expressed displeasure in the lack of information shared about the 2014-2015 calendar revision and the adjustment voted on at the March 18 meeting and hopes that this is a lesson learned about communication.

Mrs. Suzanne Fareri Early addressed her personal concern about the Special Education Department and transportation for out of district students.

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Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report by introducing the Inspire Quincy video, featuring the School-Community Partnership Breakfast recognition highlights, student athletes at the Boston Celtics, the Sterling Middle School STEM Fair, and Once Upon a Mattress at Quincy High School.

North Quincy/Quincy High School and Quincy Track Club Coach Geoff Hennessy introduced Montclair Keira and Kaylee Sleiman who competed in the Colgate Women’s Games in a national field of elementary students. 11,000 girls and women compete in a multi-day event; Keira finished sixth in the 55-Meter Hurdles and Kylee finished fourth in the High Jump.

Congratulations to the Curriculum Management Team for last week’s Elementary Report Card Parent Academy, many teachers volunteered to present. An additional Parent Academy on this topic will be held on May 18.

Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed the Partnership Recognition Breakfast, 50 partners attended, high school students sang and spoke and made us proud. The Elementary Student Council Leadership Summit for Grade 5 students from all schools is April 16. The Grades 5-8 Robotics Competition for the Adams Cup will be held on May 16 and the Community Service Learning Breakfast will be May 26. On June 6, there will be a revival of the Historic Walk, part of Beyond the Bell, touring sites around the center of downtown Quincy.

The HYPER Robotics team was 21st out of 40 at the recent regional competition at Northeastern University. The team received an award for Engineering and Mr. Gendron was recognized for mentoring.

The Summer Reading Timeline is underway in the Curriculum department, partnering with the Thomas Crane Library to develop innovative programming.

Updates on the Open Meeting Law and the Spring Concert schedule were shared with School Committee. Dr. DeCristofaro congratulated Quincy High School students Erin McMillen and Marcus Johnson, part of the 2015 All-State Chorus sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Associations.

Updating on the ongoing MSBA projects, the Accelerated Repair Program window and door replacements at North Quincy, Wollaston, Merrymount, Lincoln Hancock, and Parker are all to be completed in the summer of 2015; potential projects at Beechwood Knoll (windows, doors, and roof) and Merrymount (roof) will be visited by the MSBA on Tuesday, April 14. For Sterling Middle School, the RFS for Design firms surfaced over thirty interested companies; proposals are due on Friday, April 10. The Statement of Interest for Squantum will be submitted on Friday, April 10 to the MSBA. In addition, HVAC projects will be completed at Bernazzani and North Quincy High School this summer, along with roof work at Broad Meadows and Squantum.

Home-School Connections for the Atherton Hough and Wollaston Elementary Schools; and North Quincy High School were shared with the School Committee.

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New Business

Literacy Program Presentation

Ms. Madeline Roy introduced three Literacy teachers for a program update, veterans Janet Baglione (Wollaston), Liz Bates (Parker), and Colleen Dufresne (Lincoln Hancock). The Literacy Team consists of 22 Literacy Interventionists, full time staff at every elementary building for Grades K-3 students, currently over 500 students. Goals for this school year include decreasing the number of Tier 3 students by 5% and to increase the use of technology during Literacy Intervention.

Literacy Interventionists are using Lexia, a web-based phonics program for individual instruction. They are also integrating apps on iPads; some are multisensory, all offer opportunities for individualizing student experience. Ms. Dufresne introduced Orton Gillingham, direct, explicit teaching for the skills where the student needs the assistance. One of the most important benefits is that it is a very intensive exploration on how to teach reading, identifying challenges and deficits and prescribing what students need best.

Literacy Interventionist use an array of options, curriculum and multi-sensory experiences. Strong connection between Literacy and Special Education staff allows to best meet the needs of students. Ultimately, the overall goal is to reduce the number of referrals for Special Education.

Mrs. Bates reviewed the Integrated Learning Team process, Elementary students are assessed using a variety of measures and student data is used to make instructional decisions. Every student is reviewed for the need for Literacy Supports in the classroom or Literacy Intervention. Integrated Learning Teams meetings are held three times per year, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the year. Student progress is monitored and adjustments made to groupings or programs. The Integrated Learning Team consists of grade-level teachers, literacy, special education, English Language Learners, principal, assistant principal, and student support staff. Student concerns are reviewed between ILT meetings at collaborative meetings; Student Support team meetings are utilized as well.

Mr. Bregoli asked about Commonwealth Learning; this is a training facility for online and in person Professional Development. Mr. Bregoli asked about meeting with parents about Literacy services; Interventionists meet with parents at scheduled parent teacher conferences twice a year and otherwise as requested or needed.

Mr. McCarthy asked for clarification in Read Naturally between the cold read and the hot read. The cold read is the first time they read through (after hearing the story) and the hot read is after practicing and when the student feels comfortable. Mr. McCarthy noted that Orton Gillingham has been successfully implemented for several years and praised the collaboration between Literacy and Special Education.

Ms. Isola thanked the presenters and agreed with Mr. McCarthy that Literacy is a program School Committee has on their radar; early intervention is so important. Ms. Isola asked about at-home usage on Lexia. This is a new tool for Literacy, but some students utilized it during the snow day cancellations. Ms. Isola noted that the newer interventions seem more individualized, is this assisting in moving students out of the need for support. Mrs. Baglione said that it is early, but Read Naturally seems to assist with a number of students. Ms. Isola asked about time spent in Literacy; most schools have 30 to 45 minutes per day. Some schools have Intervention blocks during Reading instruction; students are not pulled out during Math or whole group Reading.

Mrs. Mahoney spoke of the growth of the Literacy program in her time on School Committee, praised the teacher enthusiasm. The Integrated Learning Teams assist parents in showing incremental progress. Requested to know how many teachers are trained in Orton Gillingham per school and noted that classroom teacher use Orton Gillingham interventions. Mrs. Mahoney asked about surveying on student access to online tools at home, some apps are free and others are low cost. How can we share this information with parents, benefit families in the long run.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked the presenters, expressed his appreciation of their work and the complexity of scheduling these interventions with students. The Integrated Learning Teams are tremendous resource and the Literacy staff are integral to student success.

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Beyond the Bell Presentation

Dr. DeCristofaro presented on the Beyond the Bell initiative, reviewing the toll of the unprecedented snowfall and eleven days of school cancellation. While there were decisions that will not be repeated, there was a lack of information that made the process frustrating. Dr. DeCristofaro appreciates the confidence that School Committee had to approve Beyond the Bell as an idea, without much detail and in hindsight, use of the term “project-based” had unfortunate repercussions. The intent of the program is to offer choices and options that fit our families’ schedules and not to overburden students or parents with extra assignments of projects.

Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed the development timeline which began in earnest after the March 18 School Committee meeting, including preliminary discussions with Principals and Superintendent’s Leadership Team members and a meeting with the Quincy Education Association building representatives. A common message was shared with all professional staff in voluntary meetings; meetings were held with Community partners to brainstorm ideas.

All Quincy Public Schools professional staff, led by the Principal and Superintendent’s Leadership Team will plan, facilitate, lead, and participate in activities, coordinate the work of Academic Classroom, Program, and Support Staff, and integrate community partner opportunities. Beyond the Bell is comprised of multiple options, including Extended Educational Programs, Classroom & Community Connections, and Online Educational Resources. Extended Educational Programs may be full year or seasonal, some are already underway. For classroom connections, teachers are working in teams or individually to offer experiential learning. Some of the programming is connected to Quincy’s history and culture; local natural resources; and others are for at-home connections on topics of interest.

Activities are scheduled to be before or after school, in the early evening, or on Saturday to allow for families to choose the best options for their schedules. A sample calendar for Montclair Elementary was shared; each school will develop their own version. Communication and publicity will be shared through our local newspapers and cable access television studio; the QPS website, social media, school newsletters, Instant Alert, Aspen. Hundreds of teachers are participating, hundreds of hours of programming will be offered. There will be minimal costs associated with transportation revolving account and possibly Food Services.

Mr. McCarthy thanked Dr. DeCristofaro, no apologies needed, the combination of the snow and DESE made for a stressful winter. With this range of options, students and families will benefit much more than two days in late June. Kudos to the administration, QEA, and community partners, everyone stepped up.

Mrs. Mahoney appreciates the effort put into this; noted that this is a lot of information to digest and how will parents process all this. Dr. DeCristofaro said that parents will look at the information only for their schools and the array of options will be presented. Mrs. Mahoney asked about online resources, how will that be part of this effort. Dr. DeCristofaro said that teachers may choose to use the flipped classroom model or a student can follow their own interests through online exploration.

Mrs. Mahoney asked for clarification, this seems like overcompensation for the two days of school not scheduled. Dr. DeCristofaro said this is not focused on making up a certain number of hours and time, it is presenting an opportunity for students and families to experience the best that Quincy Public Schools has to offer. There are refinements still to come and all efforts will be made to present the information as clearly as possible. Mrs. Mahoney suggested less detail would have been helpful, first opportunity to review the issue. Dr. DeCristofaro said that principal newsletters, calendars, and parent meetings will make things clear.

Ms. Isola said this a phenomenal opportunity for students and parents; thanked the teachers and administrators who volunteered their time. We are giving so many opportunities; would love to see this be a pilot for an annual event with something similar for future years. Ms. Isola said these are opportunities and no one is required to do more than they can manage.

Mr. DiBona said that School Committee and the Superintendent were suffering from a lack of information from DESE and responses to our requests; information was shared with parents as soon as it was available. Maybe there are options that will be tried out that can be incorporated for next year so we can have a plan in case of a similar winter. As we go through the spring, we’ll learn how the QPS families respond to the opportunities; nice opportunity for younger students to become involved in the concept of community awareness and service. School Committee must accommodate everyone and not all will be pleased.

Mr. Bregoli said this is a great compilation of opportunities that aren’t possible during the season of high-stakes testing. Mr. Bregoli praised the teachers for volunteering their time and talents. Mr. Bregoli asked if a student from one school would be able to attend an event at another school; Dr. DeCristofaro said every effort would be made to accommodate that.

Mayor Koch thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for the teachers and administrators who consistently give to students and families beyond the bell. Grateful for the efforts and encouraged families to participate as much as possible.

Mrs. Hubley thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for the range of options; the flexible scheduling will make this easier for families.

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Physical Restraint Policy Review

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to review the Physical Restraint Policy in Policy Subcommittee. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Facilities Dedication

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to add Facilities Dedication of the Atlantic Middle School Fields to the Policy Subcommittee. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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2016-2017 School Year Calendar

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to add the 2016-2017 School Year Calendar to the Policy Subcommittee. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Weather Cancellation Schoolwork

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to add Weather Cancellation Schoolwork to the Policy and Teaching & Learning Subcommittees. Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Gift: $10,000 and Basketball Shot Training Machine

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to accept the gift of $10,000 to the Quincy School~Community Partnership and a Basketball Shot Training Machine valued at $5,750.00 to Quincy High School from Mr. George G. Burke, Esquire. Ms. Isola 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 Broad Meadows Middle School to Camp Wing, Duxbury, Massachusetts from June 3 to June 5, 2015. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Out of State Travel

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the out of state travel of Atherton Hough Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire on June 12, 2015. Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to approve the out of state travel of Bernazzani Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire on June 22, 2015. Mayor Koch seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Upcoming meetings were announced: School Committee on May 6, 2015; May 20, 2015; and June 10, 2015 and Subcommittee Meetings: Facilities & Security and Quarterly Budget & Finance on Monday, April 13, 2015; and Teaching & Learning on Monday, April 27, 2015.

Mr. Bregoli scheduled a Policy Subcommittee meeting for Wednesday, April 15 at 5:30 pm.

Mayor Koch announced that Granite Communications will be donating $10,000 to the Quincy School~Community Partnership for Health and Wellness programs, specifically for substance abuse awareness.

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Reports of Subcommittees

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

As there were no corrections, the minutes to the March 25, 2015 Special Education and March 30, 2015 Teaching & Learning Subcommittee meetings were approved.

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Mayor Koch made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 9:15 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mr. McCarthy and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.