Welcome to the April 2018 edition of the Andronico Announcements! I hope you've enjoyed the past month and are looking forward to what the next 30 days have in store. In this month's edition I highlight some outstanding work from our Career & Technical Education programs, provide an update on the new Sterling Middle School construction, take a look back at some community events I've attended, and much more. Sign-up by clicking here to get this update delivered directly to your inbox on the last day of every month. As always, if you have a comment, question, or concern about our school system please reach out!
Outstanding Technical and Vocational Student of the Year
Victoria Shen was recognized as this years Outstanding Technical and Vocational Student of the Year and was chosen from a field of eight students that were nominated by teachers. The award recognizes the student whose scholastic and technical achievements have significantly contributed to our school system. Victoria is a member of the National Honors Society (NHS), Business NHS, and Science NHS; additionally she ranks 6th in her class with a 4.62 GPA, and is a Student Council member. She plans to pursue a degree in accounting at Babson College in the fall on a full scholarship. She said the Career & Technical Education program has helped her develop software skills that she uses in other classes and that completing business research papers has significantly added to her scholastic development. Congratulations again to Victoria!
Quincy High Students Compete at Skills USA Competition
Business technology students participated in a SkillsUSA district competition; SkillsUSA is a national career and technical organization where students compete at the district, state, and national level. Quincy High School (QHS) students competed in eight areas at the district level, including 3-D visualization and animation, computer programming, customer service, first aid and CPR, internetworking, nursing assistant, IT service, and technical computer applications. QHS won the gold medal for the 3rd year in a row for 3-D visualization, and also won the silver medal for IT service, the silver medal for computer programming, and the silver medal for internetworking. QHS also won a clean sweep for technical computer applications taking home the Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
Supporters of School Music Program Honored
The School Committee recently honored the Quincy Band Boosters (QBB) and K&C Music of Norwood for supporting the district's instrumental music program. Over the past 10 years K&C has provided band students at all levels with thousands of instruments with cases through purchases, rentals, or scholarships. This year alone they've donated over $50,000 worth of instruments. The QBB has been an important community partner since its inception in 2013 and has been a phenomenal fundraiser and advocate for our music programs. They've outfitted every Middle School percussion section with instruments since 2015. They also provide scholarships for students to attend summer music camps. We sincerely appreciate all they have done to help raise awareness for these great programs!
Sterling Junior School Building Committee Presents Construction Update
The Junior Sterling School Building Committee presented in front of the School Committee to provide us with a construction update. We were able to watch a video that students made detailing what the building would look like upon its completion in the fall of 2019. Currently, construction crews are building the roof and constructing the exterior skin of the building. In February, work begun on the interior, including the heating and ventilation system. Concrete floors were poured and the lower level floors were completed in March. We are currently right on schedule. The new middle school will be 91,155 square feet and accommodate up to 430 students in grades five through eight and will qualify as a "green" school due to its environmentally friendly design. The Massachusetts School Building Authority is reimbursing the city more than 73% ($39M) of the total $59M cost. Students on this committee are getting a phenomenal opportunity to learn about the building process and the trades; they've done a fantastic job keeping us updated.
Supporting Boy Scout Troop 6 at Adult Pinewood Derby
I had a blast at the Adult Pinewood Derby for a night of racing, food, drink, and fun! Troop 6 was kind enough to host adults and allowed us to race our own Pinewood Derby Cars. We had a good turnout for a great cause and I'm looking forward to participating again next year.
Longtime DARE Officer, John Grazioso, Retires
John Grazioso retired from the Quincy Police and the DARE program after a 32-year career, 22 of which were as a DARE officer. Students and teachers trusted and respected Officer Grazioso; he'd offer many students guidance, and give teachers advice on issues with families. The kind words others have expressed about John have only made me admire his lifetime of work even more. Thank you Officer Grazioso for everything you've done for our community.
Cleaner, Greener Quincy Next Saturday
For over 28 years, schools, companies, community organizations, and residents have come together to clean our great city. After another New England winter, the city is ready to host this event again! This year, Cleaner Greener will take place on Saturday, May 5th from 9am-12pm across the city. Residents and businesses can sign up to spruce up any part of the city ─ those interested should reach out to Paul Doherty, program manager in the city’s park’s department, at 617-376-1251. All tools (rakes, shovels, plastic bags, etc.) can be picked up at the Park Department prior to the day of the event or on the day of. Cleaner, Greener t-shirts will not be available until the morning of the event. After the event, the City invites you to Pageant Field to enjoy a free cookout. I'm looking forward to seeing you there!
Marijuana Ordinances & Quincy Schools
A few parents and community members have reached out about what Quincy is doing to ensure that recreational marijuana doesn't become more prevalent in our school system. This month, the City Council held a public hearing on an ordinance that would limit where recreational marijuana establishments can be located and how they operate. Under the ordinance, recreational pot shops wouldn’t be allowed within 1,500 feet of areas of the city zoned as residential, or within 500 feet of schools, public transit stations, public beaches, public parks and public libraries. In effect, that makes much of the city off-limits to recreational pot shops, except for the Ricciuti Drive area in West Quincy, the former shipyards in Quincy Point, and the Crown Colony office park in South Quincy. This ordinance would allow Quincy to keep recreational pot shops as far away from our schools as possible.
Quincy Public Schools Textile Competition
Now through June 1, bring in your textiles from spring cleaning and make a bundle of extra cash for your Parent Teacher Organization. Textile collection bins are available 24/7 in every public school yard in Quincy. Three $1,000 grand prizes go to the winner in each of the elementary, middle, and high school divisions. Cash prizes are also awarded to the 2nd and 3rd place winners in each division. Eligible items include: under garments, shoes and socks, hats and gloves, draperies, bedding, and stuffed toys. Textiles must be in clean condition ─ not ripped, holey, torn, wrinkled, missing buttons, belt loops, etc. Stains are acceptable, except for hazardous waste stains such as motor oil etc.
10th Annual Credit for Life Fair
The 10th annual Credit for Life Fair was held in April. Seniors enrolled in business classes at our High Schools had the opportunity to participate; also in attendance, were community business partners, and volunteers. The goal of the fair was for students to better understand the impact of spending decisions, the importance of credit, budgeting and money management, and the benefits of financially prudent decisions. Special thanks to our Quincy Public Schools staff for putting this event together. For more information on this fantastic event click here.
Fresh Green Wandering Machine
Quincy Public Schools now has a pilot program funded by USDA Food & Nutrition Service/Farm To School which provides a traveling salad bar to our schools. This is designed to increase the fresh fruit and vegetable lunch options for our students in elementary school. The salad bar will rotate to different elementary schools and be set up in the cafeteria during lunch. For more information about the Fresh Green Wandering Machine and to see the calendar click here.
PorchFest Quincy 2018
PorchFest is coming back to Quincy in 2018! PorchFest is a free annual music event that brings local musicians and neighborhoods together to celebrate and create a sense of community. Last year the festival had 110 bands at 70 porch locations. The same team is excited to bring PorchFest Quincy back again on Saturday, June 23rd from 3PM - 9PM in the Wollaston Hill, Squantum, and Merrymount neighborhoods. From now until May 31st you can register to volunteer your porch and/or your band. Just click here to register.
School Security & Safety Presentations
I was happy to attend the School Security and Safety presentation this month hosted by Quincy Citywide Parents' Council. About 80 parents and members of our community joined to listen to Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, Police Chief Keenan, Head of Security Michael Draicchio, and Director of Support Services Maura Papile deliver the presentation. The presentation was first given to the School Committee at the March 7th meeting. We asked over an hours’ worth of questions ranging from police training, social media monitoring policies, and enforcement of our policies. However, parents and teachers have better insight into how our policies are actually being enforced and provide a differing perspective than the School Committee. During the meeting questions from parents ranged from Election Day policies, potentially implementing ALICE Training protocols, and standard locked door policies. If you were unable to attend and have a question, comment, or concern about our School Security Policies and Protocols please do reach out and I will do my best to answer your question as effectively as possible. For the full slideshow presentation click here.
2018 Green Difference Awards presented by Project Green Schools
I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Green Difference Awards presented by Project Green Schools at the State House. This organization is focused on developing the next generation of environmental leaders through education, project-based learning, and community service. Some of our students from Quincy High School participated in the event with their very own Eco Fashion Show. Students in Ms. Kaplan’s Fashion Technology class were tasked with designing Eco Friendly outfits for their fellow students to model. Outfits included dresses made entirely from fabric scraps of other projects, skirts using old CDs and Movie’s, and even an innovative plastic water bottle vest. I ran into Keith Segalla, Executive Director of Career & Technical Education for Quincy Public Schools, and we had the chance to talk about how proud we are of our students. Looking forward to having our students participate again next year!
Supporting Q Pride
I had a great time supporting Q Pride at their fundraiser! Q Pride is an all-volunteer, grassroots committee that celebrates diversity in our community. Funds from the event are going towards the inaugural Quincy Pride Parade set to take place at Pageant Field on June 3rd with food, music, information tables, and fun activities for families. Quincy is a historical city with a bright future because of organizations like this. Thank you to all of the committee members that worked so hard to make this event happen. Q Pride is looking for current High School students to volunteer at the parade and is working with Quincy Public Schools to ensure that volunteering at the event will result in contributing to the volunteering requirement for graduation. For more information about the organization and the event, you can visit qprideday.com.