Nov. 9, 2015 Budget Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Budget and Finance Subcommittee
Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair
Coddington Building
Monday, November 9, 2015
5:30 p.m.

  1. Quarterly Budget Status Report - Mr. Mullaney

  2. Additional FY2016 Appropriation - Dr. DeCristofaro

  3. Adjournment – Thank You!


Quincy School Committee
Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, November 9, 2015

A meeting of the Budget & Finance Subcommittee was held on Monday, November 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Bregoli, Mr. DiBona, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mayor Thomas Koch, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. David McCarthy, and Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Ms. Beth Hallett, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd; Citywide Parent Council Co-President Paula Reynolds; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Hubley called the Budget & Finance Subcommittee meeting to order at 5:45 pm. Director of Business James Mullaney presented the Quarterly Budget Review for the first quarter of FY2016. This year’s budget appropriation covers all contractual obligations and allows for upcoming step and level raises. The FY2016 has 43 new positions, increases in classroom and program teachers, and aides for Special Education and Kindergarten.

As of September 30, salary expenditures for Academic Classrooms, Academic Programs, and Academic Support are all on target. Academic expense expenditures are at the usual levels, most textbook and supply expenditures take place over the summer in anticipation of the new school year. Funding for Special Education tuition has additional funding due to a $170,000 increase in Circuit Breaker funding from the state, which will cover anticipated additional tuitions as the school year progresses.

Non-Academic expense expenditures reflect encumbering of funds for utilities. Repairs for buses take place in summer. With the installation of the new heating system, Bernazzani was converted to natural gas, so a transfer of funds from the heating oil to the natural gas budget line will be needed later in the year.

In September, we learned that the Full-Day Kindergarten grant was partly restored at $250,000. Since the Mayor’s original budget appropriation funded the Kindergarten aide salaries, there is additional funding available for one-time investment in technology purchases.

Mr. Mullaney also shared a staffing reconciliation: there is an additional ELA teacher at Central, 0.5 Technology positions at each of Central and Atlantic, a Science position at Quincy High School was increased by 0.5, along with an increased 0.5 each for Art and Music. There was a reduction in ROTC staff at NQHS due to retirement. Mrs. Hubley asked about filling the ROTC position; the Air Force must supply someone to replace the retired instructor.

Mr. McCarthy made a motion to approve the Quarterly Budget Review as presented. Mr. DiBona seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

The next item on the agenda relates to the additional funding available as a result of the partiallyrestored Full-Day Kindergarten grant. Following the Mayor’s suggestion to focus on one-time investment in Technology, Mr. Segalla, Ms. Roy, and Mrs. Perkins have been working with Principals and Digital Learning Teams on assessing where schools are in terms of technology and areas of potential growth.

Interactive whiteboards, short throw projectors, and mobile laptop carts seem to be the three areas of impact that will assist the most students. Teachers can access online resources attached to purchased curriculum, along with many other online resources; create and administer assessments, and share sites that can be used at home. Technology also is increasing student collaboration and creativity. This investment will help us go further to engage students and teachers.

Mrs. Perkins reviewed some of the technology currently in use. In many classrooms, a tabletop projector is paired with a laptop to access online resources, but there are cords and other physical limitations. Short throw projectors are installed on the wall above the whiteboard and hard wired, so there are no cables. The teacher’s laptop or computer can be anywhere in the room.

Interactive whiteboards are a tool for classrooms to allow students to interact with their learning, increase engagement through tactile learning. Mrs. Perkins shared a short video of Kindergarten Mathematics instruction at Clifford Marshall. Several companies have come in to present product options to members of the Curriculum & Assessment, Digital Learning, and Principal teams. Team developed a common question matrix for each vendor.

A proposal to equip 80 classrooms at the elementary (55), middle school (15), and high school level (10 for NQHS) was shared with School Committee. Cost proposals will be submitted from all vendors including equipment and installation. Ms. Roy said potential impact is for 4,200 students in these 80 classrooms. Partnership between schools and PTOs has been instrumental in building the current classroom technology, along with the QPS budget, the School Community Partnership, and Comcast funding and grant opportunities.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the needs assessment process. Ms. Roy said the Digital Learning Team and Technology Planning & Training Team, Principal Teams surveyed schools. All elementary school equipment has been thoroughly documented at the classroom level. Needs vary by school, PTOs have been very supportive. Ms. Roy said the level of data will allow us to easily plan for future needs.

Mr. Bregoli asked about North Quincy High School, Mr. Segalla said 45 classrooms are not equipped with whiteboards and short throws. This funding will allow for 10 classrooms to be upgraded. In contrast, all classrooms at Quincy High School have interactive whiteboards and short throw projectors

Mrs. Mahoney asked if the middle school allocation is for Atlantic, Broad Meadows, and Point Webster. Ms. Roy said Central is fully outfitted with interactive whiteboards and short throw projectors and the expectation is that the new Sterling Middle School will also receive new technology. In the short term, Sterling Middle School teachers have whiteboards and tabletop projectors.

Mrs. Mahoney asked about the time frame for implementation. Mr. Segalla said that January is the target. Mrs. Mahoney asked about the breakdown of the equipment distribution at the elementary level. Mrs. Perkins said the goal is to outfit an average of five classrooms per school. There will be a balance, schools that already have equipment may get less.

Mrs. Perkins said that one possibility is to ensure that all Grade 4-5 classrooms have parallel equipment. Mrs. Mahoney said that this technology integration should be carefully planned, would like a follow up on the final plan. Mrs. Mahoney said this is very exciting opportunity. Mrs. Perkins said the principals are thrilled with the potential, teachers are using this technology.

Ms. Isola asked about the equipment and how long will it be state of the art. Mr. Segalla said 6-8 years. Mrs. Perkins said that especially the ultra short throws, this technology is expected to remain relevant for some time.

Ms. Isola thanked the Mayor Koch for the appropriation.

The technology appropriation will appear on the School Committee Agenda for final consideration and funding transfer.

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:15 pm. Mrs. Mahoney seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.