Feb. 6, 2017 Health/Safety Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Health, Transportation, and Safety Subcommittee
Mr. James DeAmicis, Chair
Monday, February 6, 2017, 6:00 pm
Coddington Building

  1. Welcome - Mr. DeAmicis

  2. Food Services Program Update - Ms. Dufour

  3. Farm to School Update - Ms. Owens, Ms. Manning

  4. Program Overview: Calm Classroom - Ms. Papile

  5. Adjournment/Thank You!


Quincy School Committee
Health, Transportation & Safety Subcommittee Meeting
February 6, 2017

A meeting of the Health, Transportation & Safety Subcommittee was held on Monday, February 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mr. James DeAmicis, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Rita Bailey, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Sara Dufour, Mrs. Elizabeth Manning, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. DeAmicis called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm and Dr. DeCristofaro introduced new Food Services Director Sara Dufour a registered dietician who previously worked with the Newton Public Schools. Building on the many relationships maintained by retired Director Joanne Morrissey, Ms. Dufour is networking through the Massachusetts Association of Food Services Directors, participating in the purchasing collaborative and the Commodities Task Force team works with USDA to improve food quality, streamlining purchasing and implementation. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is also a resource for professional staff development, provide training to ensure all Food Services staff complete the required hours annually.

Ms. Dufour gave an overview of Direct Certification, the process by which students whose families receive other types of transitional assistance are automatically provided with meals. This increased efficiency means less paperwork and direct access to students in need. Three college interns have been part of the Food Services team over the course of this school year through Simmons; these students work alongside staff to learn the Food Services program from the ground up. Curbing food waste and food tasting programs are initiatives the interns are working on.

New equipment has been funded through a DESE grant and includes salad bar for North Quincy High School, a refrigerator for Parker, and an oven for Atlantic. Food Services has a new social media presence, is increasing options at the elementary level, and has a new Food Services monthly newsletter. Working with the Special Education department, students from the North Quincy High School Learning Center have joined the Food Services staff at three schools.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that in her first six months with Quincy Public Schools, Ms. Dufour has worked hard to establish relationships with principals and school-based food services staff.

Principal Planner Liz Manning and School Committee Clerk/Assistant to the Superintendent Laura Owens presented an update on the Farm to School grant. In December 2016, Quincy Public Schools and the City of Quincy’s Deparment of Planning & Community Development received the grant from the United States Department of Agriculture for just under $72,000. With planned matching of salaries and other expenses, the total grant value is $100,000. Under the grant, raised garden beds have been installed at the Lincoln Hancock Community School and the Clifford Marshall Elementary School, supported by volunteers from Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Consultation services have been provided by Holly Hill Farms in Cohasset and they have made visits to three elementary and two middle schools to assist with garden installation, planting, and preparing gardens for winter. Teachers from three elementary schools have attended full-day professional development at Holly Hill and last spring, all 700 second grade students in Quincy Public Schools went on a field trip to Holly Hill Farm.

Through a collaboration with the National Park Service Adams Historical Site a Picnic in the Park event was held last April. Over 500 parents and children attended the event, toured the farm through a scavenger hunt, sampled locally produced foods. Community outreach continued at the August Moon event last summer. At Clifford Marshall Elementary School, the Bridge to Reading summer program featured a Farm to School component where each class worked in the school garden once a week throughout July. At Lincoln Hancock, the Quincy After School Childcare summer program tended the gardens all summer.

Throughout Fall 2016, the Farm to School Planning Team has continued to meet and plan for upcoming garden installations at Point Webster Middle School, completed a budget revision and grant extension through 2017, is planning for another Picnic in the Park event on April 30, and expanding food tasting efforts through Food Services interns. Food diversion at the high school level is another event still to be planned.

Mrs. Mahoney left the meeting at 6:30 pm.

Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile presented on the Calm Classroom. Based on concept of mindfulness, the program helps students and teachers develop self-awareness, mental focus, and inner calm. The program provides students and staff with the tools to more effectively manage stress, regulate their emotions, and in turn, lead more productive, well-balanced lives.

The Calm Classroom program is composed of breathing, stretching, relaxation, and focusing techniques. Each scripted technique takes three minutes to implement. Pre-Kindergarten team at Snug Harbor are implementing as a group. Elementary schools are implementing grade wide and moving to a full school wide implementation. Middle schools have implemented as part of specialized programs, part of PBIS

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:45 pm. Mr. DeAmicis seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.