April 13, 2016 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 7:00 pm
Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting Minutes for March 16, 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/Beyond the Bell Opportunities

B. Student Recognitions: High School Science Fairs

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

D. MMEA All-State Music Festival

E. Digital Learning Week

F. Academic Decathalon (QHS & NQHS)

G. Partnership Calendar of Events

H. Parent Academies

I. Home~School Connections: Atherton Hough Monthly Newsletter; Broad Meadows and Point Webster Curriculum Newsletters

J. Program Newsletter: Safety & Security

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. Food Services Team Update - Mrs. Morrissey

B. Health Services Team Update - Mrs. Bailey

C. Out of State Travel (One Day):

1. Wollaston Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire on June 15, 2016.

2. Sterling Middle School School Grade 6 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire on June 15, 2016

D. Out of State Travel (Overnight Trip): North Quincy High School AFJROTC to the Highland Center, Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, June 27-30, 2016

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: May 4, 2016; May 18, 2016; and June 15, 2016 all at 7:00 p.m. The May 18 meeting will be held at Central Middle School.

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings:
1. Teaching & Learning, Monday, May 2, 5:00 pm
2. Special Education, Wednesday, May 25, 6:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Special Education: Mrs. Mahoney to report on the March 23, 2016 and April 6, 2016 meetings.

B. Teaching & Learning: Ms. Isola to report on the March 28, 2016 meeting.

C. Budget & Finance: Mrs. Lebo to report on the April 11, 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 – April 13, 2016
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at the Coddington Building. The Superintendent called the roll and the School Committee members present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Chair Mr. James DeAmicis, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mr. Paul Bregoli, Vice-Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Mrs. Rita Bailey, Mrs. Barbara Campbell, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mr. John Fagerlund, Ms. Danielle Fernandez, Mr. Ryan Herlihy, Ms. Kristin Houlihan, Mrs. Joanne Morrissey, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Kenneth Panaro, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Robert Shaw, Mr. Edward Smith, Ms. Georgianna Sullivan, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri, Ms. Judy Todd; and Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; and North Quincy High School Student Representative Steven Condon.

Mrs. Mahoney was absent.


There was a moment of silence for Mrs. Lydia Taglieri, mother of Quincy High School principal Lawrence Taglieri.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 3/16/16

Mrs. Lebo made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hubley, to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for March 16, 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 Science Department Chairs Edward Smith from Quincy High School and Kenneth Panaro from North Quincy High School. At the schools’ recent Science Fairs, over 300 projects total were submitted in the areas Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, Physics, and Engineering; representatives from each school had projects at the Regional Science Fair and seven will compete in the upcoming state Science Fair at MIT. The top three projects from each school were recognized:

  • North Quincy High School: Nassim Touil (1st place); Zhou Lun Guan (2nd place); Aymen Sadaka (3rd place)

  • Quincy High School: Rachel Shen (1st place); Joseph Amendolare (2nd place); Yvonne To (3rd place)

After a short recess, Dr. DeCristofaro introduced Inspire Quincy featuring Beyond the Bell activities, including the STEM Academy, Passport Club, Running Club, Drama Club at Lincoln Hancock; Middle School Robotics, Drama Club, and Brainiacs MCAS Prep at Point Webster; High School POC Student Union and SAT Preparation at Quincy High School; and the Brain Boosters for Breaks Parent Academy at Clifford Marshall.

Sixty School~Community Business Partners attended the annual Partnership Breakfast where new partners DST Systems, South Shore Bank, and Brewster Ambulance Service were recognized along with established partners the Quincy Lions Club, the Peter Thompson Family, and Quincy Access Television. The 8th Annual Credit for Life Fair was held March 24th for seniors from both high schools supported by local business partners volunteering time to orient students to the basics of credit and personal finance.

Upcoming Partnership Events in May include the Elementary & Middle School Robotics Challenge on May 21 and the Community Service Learning Celebration on May 24. Dr. DeCristofaro announced that Coordinator of School~Community Partnerships John Fagerlund will be leaving Quincy Public Schools at the end of May to move to a new position with the Quincy Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. DeCristofaro announced that the Picnic in the Park will be held on Saturday, April 30 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Adams National Historical Park at 181 Adams Street. A collaboration of the National Park Service, the city’s Planning & Community Development Department, and the Quincy Public Schools, the event is also funded under the USDA Farm to School grant.

Congratulations to Emily Crosta, Leanne Gough, and Marcus Johnston who were selected to perform at the All-State Music Festival on March 12. Elementary and Middle School Art staff were recognized by the Massachusetts Creative Coalition at a reception at the State House on April 13. May 14 will be the 2nd Annual Art Show at the Art Spot.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Edward Smith for organizing the high school HYPER Robotics team. At their most recent event on April 2-3 at Boston University, the team was recognized for Sportsmanship. Quincy High School teacher Donald Long was recognized for 21 years as a Robotics mentor.

The Citywide STEM Academy was held on Saturdays in March and April at Bernazzani, over 100 students participated. The Middle School Swimming Championship was held on Saturday, April 2 with teams from all five middle schools competing.

Two Parent Academies were held in the last few weeks: Healthy Choices on March 24, thanks to the Student Support, Health and Physical Education, and Health Services staffs. Brain Boosters for Breaks was held on April 5, over 400 parents and students attended at Clifford Marshall, thanks to Erin Perkins, Madeline Roy, Principals Nick Ahearn and Ruth Witmer. In addition, may individual schools have had evening events, featuring Science & Math curriculum, Drama, Chorus, Multicultural, Literacy, and Movie Nights, all great neighborhood school events.

The substance abuse education program “No First Time” was presented for all Grade 8 students. All of these activities are coordinated by Student Support and Health Services staff in partnership with the Mayor’s Drug Task Force.

Ms. Roy reviewed the activities for Digital Learning Week (April 11-15), a collaboration of the Elementary and Middle/High School Digital Learning and the Technology & Training Teams. On the Quincy Public Schools School Tube channel – six new teacher and student videos highlighting digital learning in middle and high school classrooms have been posted. The Digital Learning Library has been launched on the QPS Staff Academy website, over 100 lessons and learning links. Elementary lessons will follow with the goal of being available for Fall 2016. The Technology & Training team offering a series of voluntary workshops after school hours on Think Central, teleconferencing, Google for educators, flipping classrooms. 86 staff members attended sessions given by 17 peer presenters.

At the May 2 Teaching & Learning, Leadership Team members will offer reflections on initiatives: Elementary Report Card and Advanced Placement Pathways. At the May 4 School Committee meeting, Mayor Koch will present on FY2017 Budget and the High Needs ELL Team will present.

Dr. DeCristofaro noted Home-School Connections were shared with School Committee from Atherton Hough Elementary School; Broad Meadows and Point Webster Middle School; and Quincy High School. The Safety & Security Department Newsletter was also shared.


New Business

Food Services Team Update

Food Services Director Joanne Morrissey gave an update on the Food Services Team. The USDA is in the process of working on the re-authorization of the Healthy-Hunger Free Kids Act and some of the updates include strengthening Professional Standards according to the minimum hiring standards and training requirements released in July 2015. Regular staff training requirements will be on a sliding scale based on the number of hours worked. Training may come from a variety of sources, including state and federal and the key areas are Nutrition, Operations, Administration, Communication & Marketing. Local districts are required to maintain records and will be audited.

All schools now have the online Point of Sale system which allows parents to pay online mySchoolBucks.com. Free & reduced lunch information is centralized through the online application and direct certification processes.

School cafeteria managers are members of the school-based Wellness teams. Professional development included the Wellness Symposium and monthly meetings for managers, webinars from the School Nutrition Association, ServSafe procedures. PDP credits are offered through the School Nutrition Association. John Stocker Institute at Framingham State University also provides professional development – workshops on allergy awareness (certification must be renewed every two years) and food prep for fresh fruits and vegetables (part of Farm to School grant).

The Summer Food Service program is served July 5-August 19, anyone age 19 or younger at five open sites in partnership with Recreation Department. Funding is provided by the federal government. Lincoln Hancock, Parker, Montclair, Ward 2 Community Center, and Snug Harbor Community School.

Mr. DeAmicis thanked Mrs. Morrissey for her presentation and asked about composting opportunities. Mrs. Morrissey said the Department of Public Works is exploring options; NQHS is the food production site for all elementary schools so this would be the target for a pilot program. Through the Farm to School grant, we will be studying food diversion for composting. Mr. DeAmicis asked about compostable utensils and Mrs. Morrissey said we are using compostable trays currently.

Mr. Bregoli asked about staffing, there is a manager at each middle and high school; each high school has ten staff members and middle schools have four to six staff members. Mr. Bregoli asked about the guidelines for free and reduced lunch. Mrs. Morrissey said 3,800 students are directly certified because of participation in certain state or federal programs.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mrs. Morrissey for her presentation, noting that she will be retiring at the end of June. Mrs. Morrissey has demonstrated thoughtful and creative management, especially for the summer lunch program and her extraordinary leadership will be missed.


New Business

Health Services Team Update

Health Services Coordinator Rita Bailey introduced the collaboration that school nurses facilitate between families and educators in order to ensure success for all students. School nurses provide individual and group education, screenings for vision, hearing, scoliosis; management of students with chronic illnesses; and address and intervene to support the social emotional well-being of all students.

Clifford Marshall School Nurse Georgianna Sullivan presented on two initiatives: Mass Screenings, a stress-free screening environment, where a team of health services staff screen a whole school over several days. Information is immediately entered into the SNAP system and referrals for follow up initiated. Supported by the Quincy Lions Club, families who are unable to purchase corrective eyeglasses for students are financially assisted. The Lions Club has also purchased two Plus Optics screening machines that are portable and can be shared by all schools. The New England Eye On-Sight Mobile Clinic provides optometric follow up and glasses for students to keep at school.

The Aspen Health Services page is an initiative that will be school-specific and accessible through the Aspen Student Portal. Forms will be available here, as well as updates and information on screenings and prevention.

Point Webster Middle School Nurse Barbara Campbell spoke about the importance of good attendance in developing fundamental skills. Chronically absent students are classified as those missing more than 18 school days per year, Students were closely tracked for 30 days, and for those missing more than two school days in that time period, interventions were made for assisting in managing chronic illness as well as referrals for mental health. School nurses worked with the Attendance Officers, Principals, Assistant Principals, and Student Support staff.

In preparing for Safety & Medical Emergencies, school nurses are an integral part of training on Epi pens, CPR, AED, choking, and other emergency responses. The Health Services team is creating a quick reference flip chart on evacuation, lockdown, CPR, and AED steps and responses to seizures, allergic reactions. This visual tool will assist responders an emergency situations and will be placed strategically in each school.

North Quincy High School School Nurse Kristin Houlihan reviewed the high school Mentoring program. In collaboration with the SADD program, both high schools planned this to ease the transition for students entering Grade 9. Juniors and seniors are selected by guidance counselors to work with students in their homerooms and some meet individually. Grade 8 students are surveyed on flyup day to help match them with mentors; incoming freshmen set goals at the initial meeting. Mentor Mondays are time for mentors and freshmen class members to check in, get questions answered, introduce the school calendar of events, and review Community Service opportunities.

Individual students are matched with mentors with similar interests as needed. At the end of the year, the mentor program will be reviewed and Grade 9 students will have the opportunity to suggest changes and celebrate the successes.

Mayor Koch mentioned the Smart911 service offered by Brewster Ambulance, would like to see this information shared with all Quincy Public Schools families.

Ms. Isola said that the presentation highlighted the importance of the school nurses, looking at the whole student, the social emotional components that impact student learning. Creative solutions to engaging parents, fabulous to see how the professional staff collaborate at every level. Very lucky to have school nurses at every school, not true in every school district.

Mr. Bregoli thanked the staff, holistic approach to students in QPS, monitoring growth and development. Mr. Bregoli asked about vaccinations and whether we have issues with new families lacking these. Mrs. Bailey said that in partnership with Manet Community Health, we are assisting families in finding medical care, receiving immunizations, and obtaining health insurance.

Mr. Bregoli asked if the new screening tools measure other things, such as binocularity. Mrs. Bailey said it will and we will be primarily screening PreKindergarten through Grade 1 students.

Mr. Bregoli asked about whether there is a state law on absences. Mrs. Papile said there is a mandate that allows no more than four unexcused absences per term. Doctors’ notes, college visits, and a family death are the only excused absences. Mrs. Papile said the Attendance Officers know the families and work with those who exhibit continued issues.

Ms. Isola asked about BMI screenings, Mrs. Bailey said these are mandated at Grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Mrs. Lebo thanked the presenters, the collaboration with outside resources to get so much support for the students is great to see, not easy to manage.

Dr. DeCristofaro said students face so many transitions during their education careers. Quincy Public Schools loves and cares for all students, the Health Services staff makes sure that students know there are adults who are looking out for them, well beyond their job descriptions and he is very proud of the whole Student Support Services team.

Mrs. Hubley asked about eyeglasses for school. At Clifford Marshall, there were 42 students referred for follow up. 20 students had parent follow up with a private optician. The other 22 students were assisted by the mobile van and received a free pair of glasses for school


New Business

Out of State Travel

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State travel of Wollaston Elementary School Grade 5 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire, June 15, 2016. Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State travel of Sterling Middle School Grade 6 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire, June 15, 2016. Mr. DeAmicis seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Overnight Travel

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Overnight travel of the North Quincy High School AFJROTC to the Highland Center, Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, June 27-30, 2016. Mayor Koch seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.



Upcoming meetings were announced: Regular Meetings on May 4, 2016 and June 15, 2016 both at 7:00 pm at the Coddington Building; and May 18, 2016 at Central Middle School at 7:00 pm; Subcommittee Meetings for Teaching & Learning on May 2, 2016 and Special Education on May 25, 2016.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mr. Bregoli noted that all Subcommittee meeting minutes are posted online at www.quincypublicschools.com.

Teaching & Learning

Mrs. Hubley reviewed the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting held on March 28, 2016. Pre-Kindergarten Instructional Models and the new PreKindergarten Progress Report and Kindergarten Report Card were reviewed.

Budget & Finance

Mrs. Lebo reviewed the Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting held on April 11, 2016. The Budget Development Process for FY2017 was reviewed, along with the Quarterly Report for FY2016 period ending March 31, 2016.

Special Education

As Mrs. Mahoney was absent, the Special Education Subcommittee Meetings review was deferred to the May 4, 2016.

Subcommittee Meeting Minutes Approved

As there were no corrections to the meeting minutes the March 28, 2016 Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting minutes, the minutes were approved as presented. The April 11, 2016 Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting minutes were approved as amended.



Mayor Koch made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 8:50 p.m. The motion was seconded by Ms. Isola and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.