Dear Parents and Guardians of Quincy Public Schools Students:
It is an honor to welcome back our students and their families for the start of another school year. As September approaches, the administrators and staff of the Quincy Public Schools are busy with preparations. At each of our schools, the Principals and their office staffs will be ready to assist your families with registration, transfers, and any other concerns when the school offices reopen on Monday, August 25. In our ninth year of offering Full-Day Kindergarten, we are pleased to welcome over 700 new students and their families to the Quincy Public Schools.
The dedicated professional staff of the Quincy Public Schools is looking forward to a year filled with a variety of learning experiences and accomplishments for your students. Over the summer, elementary, middle, and high school teachers availed themselves of Professional Development opportunities to learn about new instructional strategies, classroom technology, and curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Almost 900 students from all grade levels participated in Summer Extended Educational programs, encompassing academic and enrichment opportunities and employment through the Summer YouthWorks Program.
Last spring, Mayor Koch and the School Committee collaborated with the Superintendent’s Leadership and Principal Teams to fund additional academic classroom and academic program teacher positions to maintain average class sizes well below the School Committee guidelines. Full-time Kindergarten aides have been restored at all eleven elementary schools. New academic classroom and program teachers, academic support staff, and non-academic support staff have been hired across the school system to replace retired staff. In addition, professional positions were added at the middle school level to restore French language and technology instruction. New professional staff members will participate in a two-day orientation on August 27 and 28, meeting with members of the Superintendent’s Leadership and Principal Teams to learn about their professional responsibilities, the Quincy Public Schools many programs and services, and the mentoring program for new staff.
Quincy Public Schools is pleased to be welcoming several new administrators this fall, including Health Services Coordinator Rita Bailey; Principal Rick DeCristofaro and Assistant Principal Susan Shea Connor at Central Middle School; Assistant Principal Aliza Schneller at Point Webster Middle School; and Rebecca McInnis, the new Department Chair of Career & Technical Education at Quincy High School. We look forward to the new ideas and perspectives that these talented educators will bring to their schools and the school system.
This year, Quincy Public Schools will continue to implement the Massachusetts Frameworks for Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. In Spring 2015, Quincy Public Schools students will complete MCAS testing for English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science, completing items designed to assess mastery of the Common Core State Standards. To assist with growing needs for educational technology, many upgrades have been completed this summer, including new labs at the Atherton Hough, Beechwood Knoll, and Wollaston Elementary Schools. In addition, purchases of laptops, document cameras, projectors, educational software, operating system upgrades, and technology professional development are ongoing throughout the school system.
Along with staffing, curriculum, and technology enhancements, we are working on many initiatives across the school system. At North Quincy and Quincy High Schools, students in Grades 9-11 will make a difference in their schools and communities through volunteering in the third year of School Committee’s Community Service initiative. Extended day opportunities will be available for students at all levels and include chorus, orchestra, theater, Robotics, and middle school athletics. Our partners in the Quincy School~Community Partnership continue to enhance our students’ educational opportunities through providing backpacks and school supplies for a number of elementary school students, real-work experiences to high school Career and Technical Education students, and funding the Mentoring program for new professional educators.
Our school buildings will be ready for the new school year, with improvements such as newly retiled floors and new carpeting, repainted classrooms, and repairs to building mechanicals including addressing electrical, plumbing, and heating issues. Custodians across the school system have worked diligently all summer to prepare classrooms and offices for the new school year. We are also grateful for the support of the Park Department in maintaining and improving the landscaping at our school buildings. We are continuing to work with the Massachusetts School Building Authority and the Public Buildings department on the new Sterling Middle School project and window and door replacement projects for the Lincoln Hancock, Merrymount, Parker, and Wollaston Elementary Schools and North Quincy High Schools with anticipated completion in Summer 2015.
Through the City of Quincy’s partnership with SolarCity, installations of solar arrays are underway at five school buildings, with the Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center, Wollaston and Clifford Marshall Elementary Schools scheduled to be online by September 1. Throughout the fall, fifteen additional school and city buildings will begin the solar array installation process with all buildings scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
This summer also saw the move of the Quincy Public Schools administrative offices to our new home at 34 Coddington Street. Under the direction of Public Buildings, the former Coddington School was restored and converted to office space for Quincy Public Schools and the City of Quincy’s Information Technology and Planning Departments. In addition to state-of-the-art office space, Coddington Hall contains a School Committee room and conference room to host school system and public meetings. The first School Committee meeting of the year will be held on September 3 and broadcast live on Channel 22 at 7:00 pm.
As the new school year begins, please remember that the most meaningful factor in assisting students to have a successful school experience is the concern, participation, and involvement of their parents. In order to help your children attain their goals, we need your involvement, whether it be through attending parent-teacher conferences, volunteering in your child’s school, and most importantly, reinforcing the importance of on-time school attendance, appropriate behavior and class participation, and completion of schoolwork. You can also stay informed about your child’s school and all of Quincy Public Schools through our website www.quincypublicschools.com or by following us on Facebook or Twitter (@QuincyPS).
While you enjoy the last few days of summer vacation, please note the calendar for the opening days of school below. Your principal will be happy to answer any questions you might have related to the opening of school or feel free to contact my office at 617-984-8701.
- The first day of school for Grades 1-9 is Wednesday, September 3.
- Grades 10-12 will begin school on Thursday, September 4.
- Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students will attend an Orientation at their individual schools on Friday, September 5; each family will receive a postcard with information on this event.
- The first day of school for Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten is Monday, September 8.
On behalf of all of the staff at the Quincy Public Schools, best wishes for a successful school year to you and your family.
Richard DeCristofaro, Ed.D., Superintendent