March 16, 2016 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 7:00 pm
Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting Minutes for March 2, 2016; Executive Session Minutes for March 2, 2016.

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. Inspire Quincy

B. Student Recognitions: CVTE Student of the Year and Skills USA

C. High School Drama
* QHS Presents Guys & Dolls, March 18-20
* NQHS Presents Godspell, April 1-3

D. Picnic in the Park, April 30 (Adams National Historic Site/Farm to School)

E. Middle School Swimming Championship, April 2

F. Aspen #18

G. Partnership Events:
* Credit for Life Fair, March 24
* Partnership Recognition Breakfast, April 6

H. Graduation Date Reminder:
* Quincy High School, June 13
* North Quincy High School, June 14

I. Principal Academy

J. Parent Academies:
* March 24 Healthy Choices Family Night
* April 4 Brain Booster

K. Home~School Connections: Atherton Hough and Squantum Elementary School Monthly Newsletters

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. Digital Learning Teams - Ms. Roy, Mrs. Perkins

B. Out of State Travel: North Quincy/Quincy High School HYPER Robotics Team to FIRST Robotics District Championship in Hartford, Connecticut, April 13-16, 2016.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: April 13, 2016; May 4, 2016; May 18, 2016, all at 7:00 p.m.

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings:
1. Special Education, Wednesday, March 23, 6:00 pm
2. Teaching & Learning, Monday, March 28, 5:00 pm
3. Budget & Finance, Monday, April 11, 5:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees: Facilities & Security: Mrs. Hubley to report on the March 9, 2016 meeting.

IX. Executive Session:

X. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Budget & Finance

  1. Additional Funding Appropriation: Referred to Subcommittee at the September 30, 2015 School Committee meeting. With the reinstatement of the Full-Day Kindergarten Grant from DESE for Kindergarten Aides, there is an additional $250,000 available for one-time FY2016 expenses.

Facilities & Security

  1. 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 and updates provided during the 2014-2015 school year.

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

  3. Faxon Field Equalization Pipe Referred at the October 14, 2015 School Committee meeting. Requesting information on the communications between the City of Quincy and Mass. DEP.

Health, Transportation & Safety

  1. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Referred to Subcommittee at the September 24, 2012 Special School Committee Meeting. Student Support Services working with elementary and middle schools to implement this initiative.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. CPR Certification Referred from the Policy Subcommittee at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting.

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

  8. Peer Mentoring for Grade 9 Students Referred at the September 29, 2015 Special School Committee meeting. Monitoring the implementation of this program at both high schools.


  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.  

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

  6. 2016-2017 School Year Calendar Referred at the April 8, 2015 School Committee meeting.

  7. Weather Cancellation Schoolwork Referred at the April 8, 2015 School Committee meeting and shared with the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee. Exploring options for creating Policy for schoolwork during extended periods of weather-related school cancellations.

  8. Concussion Policy Referred at the May 6, 2015 School Committee meeting; as required by law, the policy must be reviewed and amended or reaffirmed every two years.

  9. Voter Registration at the High Schools Referred at the September 16, 2015 School Committee meeting for discussion of implementation with the City Clerk’s Office.

  10. 2016-2017 School Committee Meeting Calendar Referred at the January 13, 2016 School Committee meeting.

  11. School Committee Policy Book Referred at the January 13, 2016 School Committee meeting for review and updating as needed.

Special Education

  1. Student Information for Substitute Teachers Originally referred 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 2015-2016 school year.

Rules, Post Audit & Oversight

Teaching and Learning

  1. Advanced Program Pathways Referred at the May 20, 2015 School Committee Meeting to review opportunities to challenge above-level students at all grades.

  2. Enrollment Data/Class Size: Referred at the October 14, 2015 School Committee meeting for further review and discussion.

  3. Resolution on Student Assessment: Referred at the October 28, 2015 School Committee meeting for review and discussion.


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 – March 16, 2016
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at the Coddington Building. The Superintendent called the roll and the School Committee members present were Mr. James DeAmicis, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mayor Thomas Koch, Chair.

Chairman Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Mr. Nicholas Ahearn, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mr. John Fagerlund, Mr. John Green, Mr. Edward Holmes, Ms. Rebecca McInnis, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Edward Smith, Mr. Stephen Sylvia, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri, Ms. Judy Todd; and Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox.

Mr. Bregoli was absent.


There was a moment of silence for Steven Sullivan, security officer at North Quincy High School who passed away today. Also Peter Boyle Adams, a descendent of two presidents and a friend to the City of Quincy.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 3/2/16

Ms. Isola made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hubley, to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for March 2, 2016. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Executive Session Minutes Approved 3/2/16

Ms. Isola made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Mahoney, to approve the Executive Session minutes for March 2, 2016. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

As no one wished to speak at Open Forum, School Committee went on to the next item on the agenda.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro introduced Executive Director of Career & Technical Education Keith Segalla and the Career & Technical Education Student of the Year, LaQueen Arias, a Quincy High School Senior and member of the National Honor Society and Math, Science, and Foreign Language Honor Societies. Ms. Arias is a Broadcasting major, captain of the cross-country and track teams, and a state qualifier for javelin. Ms. Arias thanked her teachers, especially Mr. Green; the Broadcasting program enhanced interpersonal skills along with technical knowledge.

Quincy High School Career & Technical Education Department Chair Rebecca McInnis introduced the Skills USA District Medalists for 2016. Quincy High School Skills USA students competed in fourteen areas at this year’s district event and silver and gold medalists will go on to the state competition. District Medalists: 3- D Visualization & Animation: Bernardo Teixeira ~ Silver, Chris Lopez ~ Silver, Ben Parrish ~ Gold, Norapat Rerngkasetkig ~ Gold; Advertising Design: Jessie Zhu ~ Silver, Joyce Zhang ~ Bronze; Information Technology Service: Vincent Tran ~ Gold, Dash Chin ~ Silver; Computer Programming: Brian Rooney ~ Bronze; Internetworking: Ryan Dang ~ Silver; Robotics and Automation: Aniruddha Doke ~ Bronze, Ryan Foy ~ Bronze; Technical Computer Applications: Devin Chan ~ Gold, Andrew Szeto ~ Silver; Telecommunications Cabling: Michael Fernald ~ Silver.

After a brief recess, Dr. DeCristofaro continued the Superintendent’s Report with Inspire Quincy, featuring the Special Education Motor Skills event at Squantum Elementary School, Kindergarten Parent and Child Days at Wollaston, Merrymount, and Lincoln Hancock; Atlantic Middle School Science and Geography Fair; HYPER Robotics; NQHS Drama presents Godspell; and QHS Drama presents Guys & Dolls.

Dr. DeCristofaro reminded School Committee that Quincy High School’s graduation will be Monday, June 13 and North Quincy High School’s graduation will be Tuesday, June 14. In case of rain, the graduations will be held in the school gymnasium on the scheduled date.

Upcoming Parent Academies will be Healthy Choices Family Night on March 24 at Central Middle School at 6:30 pm. On April 4, Brain Boosters for Breaks will be held at the Clifford Marshall Elementary School, focused on resources and tools for parents to use with students over school and summer breaks. This is a drop-in event from 6:00 to 7:30 pm for parents of students in Grades 1 through 5. In mid to late May, there will be a Welcome to Kindergarten Parent Academy, date and location to be announced.

Upcoming Partnership Events include the Credit for Life Fair on March 24 and the Partnership Recognition Breakfast, April 6.

Quincy Public Schools students and their families are invited to the Picnic in the Park at the Adams Historic Site on Saturday, April 30 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. This community event is a collaboration of the National Park Service, Planning & Community Development, and Quincy Public Schools. Building on the success of last year’s Farm to School Expo, this event will feature local food and family activities in the beautiful setting of the historic site.

The Middle School Swimming Championship will be held on Saturday, April 2 at 9:00 am at the Lincoln Hancock pool

Principal Academies for elementary and middle school principals have included a two-part Professional Learning Workshop on Instructional Focus on Mathematics for effective teacher feedback to enhance student learningtegies. On June 2, the final Principal Academy of the school year will have an ELA focus on Close Reading.

Dr. DeCristofaro noted Home-School Connections were shared with School Committee from Atherton Hough and Squantum Elementary School.

Dr. DeCristofaro announced the Point Webster Middle School Great Race 5K Run/Walk will be held on Saturday, April 30 at 9:00 am.


New Business

Digital Learning Teams

Dr. DeCristofaro introduced the Elementary & Middle/High School Digital Learning Team chairs, Senior Director of Curriculum & Programs Madeline Roy, Quincy High School Science Department Chair Edward Smith; Director of Elementary Curriculum & Programs Erin Perkins; and Principals Nicholas Ahearn and Stephen Sylvia. These Digital Learning Teams support the development and expansion of digital learning and literacy to reach all students in all content areas throughout the district. The elementary team goals are to work with teachers and principals to (1) maximize their use of Aspen as a communication and collaboration tool with parents, teachers, and students regarding grading and curriculum and (2) increase the use of digital learning tools within the classroom. The team will do this by assessing the use of tools already in place and recommending professional development to support the increased use of digital learning tools to enhance the curriculum. Towards the accomplishment of the goals, all staff have been trained in Aspen fundamentals and grade posting. Voluntary training has been offered for the Aspen Gradebook. Further trainings will be offered on the use of Aspen Pages and sharing Curriculum maps through Aspen. For Goal 2, a survey was developed, administered, and the data analyzed to create recommendations for Professional Development. The Digital Learning Team will collaborate with the Technology Planning & Training Team in developing this Professional Development plan.

Mr. Sylvia said that the collaboration of staff around the city is amazing to be a part of. Of the 255 respondents, 95% said they had at least a basic knowledge and 54 offered to assist with planning and providing professional development. 65% of respondents use technology in their classrooms at least 50% of the time.

Mr. Sylvia thanked Mayor Koch and the School Committee for the additional technology appropriation that brought even more resources to the classrooms this school year.

Mr. Ahearn reviewed the new Draft Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards from DESE for Kindergarten through Grade 12. The strands are: Computing and Society; Digital Tools and Collaboration; Computing Systems; and Computational Thinking. These standards emphasize a focused and coherent progression of knowledge and skills. Mr. Ahearn shared an example of the progression of a standard through the grade levels.

Ms. Roy shared the Middle/High School Digital Learning Team goals: (1) to identify and support educators currently using digital learning lessons and educational technology across the curriculum to strengthen the learning experience for all students in the district; and (2) to provide support to teachers and administrators and assist with the design and implementation of digital learning lessons and activities using existing educational technology. In terms of progress towards goals, an online survey was developed and administered; survey data was analyzed to identify strengths and needs for digital learning practices. The Middle/High School Digital Learning Team is also working in collaboration with the Technology Planning & Training Team to provide training and professional development and supporting teachers and administrators in their efforts to share, promote, and demonstrate various digital learning lessons at Math & Literacy Nights and PTO/PTC/PAC efforts.

Mr. Edward Smith shared the results of the Middle/High School staff and administrator survey. Respondents were from all curriculum and academic programs and academic support programs, 189 total responses. 80% of respondents rated themselves as intermediate or above in terms of educational technology skills. Respondents identified areas for further training and professional development. Again, many educators offered to lead training for their colleagues.

The team collaboration resulted in the creation of a Digital Learning Library, where resources are compiled on the Quincy Public Schools website, over 100 resources which are searchable by grade level, content area, technology, and other key words. Thanks to Michael Santoro, Michael Gendron, and Paul Griffith for the work in organizing the resources in the searchable format.

Ms. Roy said the team members have consistently advocated for the needs of their colleagues and their buildings. From the survey, needs for teacher training was prioritized for Aspen Fundamentals and Gradebook and ENO Boards. Voluntary trainings range from integration of iPad tablets and Apps, Learning and Teaching Coding; Intermediate Aspen Gradebook and Teacher Pages; MimioTeach Notebook; ENO Board Technology training, and eInstruction Big Ideas Learning. Coming later this spring will be training on Google docs, Flipped classrooms, and Blended learning.

Quincy Public Schools will celebrate Digital Learning Week April 11-15, spotlighting digital learning champion educators across the district. Voluntary professional development activities, such as a Digital Learning Academy for elementary teachers which will feature Skype and Think Central. The Digital Learning Resource library will also go live during this week.

Mr. DeAmicis thanked all of the presenters, such an extensive report. Technology is continuing to evolve, changing every day, great to see that teachers are engaged in this. For Aspen, are we making efforts to ensure that more teachers will be trained in the Gradebook feature.

Dr. DeCristofaro said a new initiative called “Gradebook 100” will focus on working with Middle School teachers with a goal of 100% usage for assignments and sharing information with parents. The initiative would then move on to the high school teachers. Mr. DeAmicis asked about the 21st Century Technology classes. Mr. Segalla said approximately 50 students per term at each school are taking this class.

Mrs. Mahoney said that the access to technology has continued to grow through her years on the School Committee and she is glad to hear about the Aspen Gradebook initiative. Mrs. Mahoney mentioned the Hour of Code initiative, would like to see this exposure to computer science integrated into instruction. Mrs. Mahoney asked to see classroom teachers sharing digital learning at a future School Committee meeting. Ms. Roy said that the middle schools librarians participated in the 30 Hands training program over the summer and have implemented coding as part of media curriculum. Some elementary schools have implemented coding, as well as the high school Business classes.

Mrs. Mahoney asked for clarification on the Digital Library, the lessons will be on the Staff Academy section of the Quincy Public Schools website. The site utilized the Google search engine to filter based on search criteria. These are in-house resources, but future exploration could include sharing outside links. Mr. Smith said that there is a submission form for teachers to share additional resources with the Digital Learning team for inclusion in the library.

Mrs. Lebo thanked all for the presentation and Mayor Koch for the technology appropriation, the usage is impressive and the level of training is great to see. The wrap-around model of Professional Development is the best way of staying on top of this changing technology.

Mayor Koch thanked the presenters. Dr. DeCristofaro said the number of teachers willing to share their knowledge with their co-workers was very impressive.


New Business

Overnight Travel

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Overnight travel of the North Quincy/Quincy High School HYPER Robotics Team to the FIRST Robotics District Championship in Hartford, Connecticut April 13-16, 2016. Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.



Upcoming meetings were announced: Regular Meetings on April 13, 2016 and May 4, 2016 both at 7:00 pm at the Coddington Building; and May 18, 2016 at Central Middle School; Subcommittee Meetings for Special Education on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm; Teaching & Learning on Monday, March 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm; and Budget & Finance Quarterly Review on Monday, April 11 at 5:00 pm.

Mrs. Mahoney noted that Dyslexia legislation will be on the Special Education Subcommittee meeting agenda and requested an update on the Special Education pathways at both high schools.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mrs. Hubley noted that all Subcommittee meeting minutes are posted online at

Facilities & Security

Mrs. Hubley reviewed the Facilities & Security Subcommittee Meeting held on March 9, 2016. Mr. Walter MacDonald and representatives from the OPM and architect presented on the upcoming Accelerated Repair Program projects at Merrymount Elementary School (roof) and Beechwood Knoll Elementary School (windows, doors, roof). City Solicitor James Timmins and Mr. Tom Kerwin from OPM Joslin Lesser presented an update on the Sterling Middle School project.

Subcommittee Meeting Minutes Approved

As there were no corrections to the meeting minutes the March 9, 2016 Facilities & Security Subcommittee Meeting minutes, the minutes were approved as presented.

Mrs. Mahoney asked about a quarterly update for any facilities issues, was concerned about a water fountain at Quincy High School. Mrs. Mahoney suggested adding this to the next Facilities Subcommittee meeting.

Mr. DeAmicis noted that the Green Team at Quincy High School has been working on fundraising to purchase a more efficient water fountain for the last few years.



Ms. Isola made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 8:30 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.