Welcome to the May 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 the FY2019 School Budget, discuss updates to our school curriculum, highlight some community events, and much more. Remember to sign-up for the newsletter by clicking here to get this 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!
Civics Education To Be Expanded
Recently, the Massachusetts Legislature passed legislation that places a larger emphasis on civics education. The legislation, which would first apply to the graduating class of 2022, would ensure that public schools teach students about the roles of citizens in a democracy, the electoral process, and media literacy.
It also requires students to take part in two civics-led projects, one of which would be a high school graduation requirement. These projects would be made available through the Civics Project Trust Fund, which would be funded through the state budget. From my perspective, this is a welcome change to state requirements that will allow the next generation to become more involved and engaged in government than previous generations.
Participating in Cleaner Greener
People all across Quincy participated in Cleaner Greener earlier this month to brighten up our community. I had the pleasure of joining my fellow Ward 1 neighbors down on Merrymount Beach, removing larger rocks and debris that washed up on the mainland during the storms. Thanks to all of the volunteers that participated and special thanks to the City of Quincy for hosting everyone at Pageant Field for a celebratory community cookout!
New DARE Officer Appointed
Officer Mellanie Reeves will join Officer Don Sautter to complete the city’s DARE Team. Reeves is a lifelong Quincy resident and served with the Marines for seven years. She has been serving as a patrol officer for last 15 years. The DARE Program involves police officers visiting schools to teach students about the dangers of using drugs and alcohol. I'm confident in Officer Reeves' abilities to carry out this role - she has the charisma, training, and understanding of Quincy necessary to excel.
Honoring The 2018 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year
Although I was not fortunate enough to have had Ms. Pekarcik when I was a student at North Quincy, my friends that had that privilege raved about her. She connected with them and worked to create a learning environment that encouraged maximum effort. I'm ecstatic that all these years later she is being recognized for her efforts. Congratulations to the 2018 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, Ms. Pekarcik!
Quincy High School Names Kevin Carey Head Football Coach
Kevin Carey has been named head coach of the Quincy High School varsity football team. Kevin has been employed by Quincy Public Schools for 18 years, and has served as a Dean for the past 8 years.
Kevin is the current defensive coordinator, played high school football at Quincy High, and was inducted into the Quincy-North Quincy Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
I'm glad the Quincy High School program is getting a head coach that understands the challenges of our student-athletes. I know he will do a great job with the program. Congratulations Kevin!
Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week
In May, we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week all across the city. The week is about taking a moment to appreciate those who have dedicated their lives to educating the masses. In Quincy, we have some amazing and inspiring people who see talent and skills in every student. I feel very lucky to have attended Quincy Public Schools for my education. Thank you again, to all the teachers out there, especially those from the Quincy Education Association, Inc..
FY2019 School Budget Notes
This month the School Committee reviewed the FY2019 Budget, totaling $110.1M. This represents an increase of 4.2M over last year, $2.2M of which is due to contractual pay increases. The remaining increase in funding was used to ensure we meet our own guidelines for small class sizes and providing adequate academic support. The budget is being funded with $104.8M from the city ($3.2M more than last year) and $5.25M in projected state circuit breaker funding for Special Education.
We added a total of 8.9 (combination of full and part-time) support educators for a total of $458K. This total includes:
- 2 ELL teachers (1 full-time @ Lincoln Hancock and 1 part-time @ QHS)
- 2 part-time occupational education teachers (1 @ QHS Carpentry Program and 1 @ NQHS Broadcast program)
- 5 Special Education Teachers to address state requirements (2 full-time for CARES Program; 1 full-time and 1 part-time for the language development class)
- 3 full-time digital support teachers. The digital literacy teachers will co-teach with the classroom teachers and provide instruction and digital literacy skills for the classroom teacher to then incorporate into assignments.
Other Budget Notes
- No additional academic classroom teachers were needed to meet our teacher to student ratio guidelines – classes that didn’t meet our guidelines were instead addressed by reshuffling teacher school assignments to the areas in need.
- Since 2009, Special Education Tuition costs have risen from $9.5M to $15M. This year we had a $1M deficit in this line-item due to unforeseen circumstances. For FY19 we’ve added $2.5M to this line-item to ensure we are not in a deficit at the end of the year. Tuition, in this instance, is paid to out-of-district schools that are able to provide the services that some of our Special Education Students need that QPS is currently unable to provide.
- QPS is saving $1M due to teacher retirements.
- We allocated an additional $150K for short-term sub pay to increase from $75 to $85 per day ensure that our short-term subs are the best in the region. Recently, we have struggled to get qualified subs and this pay increase will allow Quincy to be more competitive with surrounding towns.
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. Check out the just released list of bands playing!
North Quincy High School Names Ryan Craig Head Football Coach
Ryan Craig, a Quincy-North Quincy Football Hall of Famer and 1989 graduate of North Quincy High School, has been named the head football coach for the Red Raiders. Ryan was a standout for the Red Raiders gridiron teams as an all-scholastic running back and linebacker.
He has served as the head varsity football coach for the North Quincy Apaches from 2014 to the present and led the team to the Quincy Youth Football League championship last November. Craig served as the North Quincy High School football defensive coordinator from 2000 to 2001 and an assistant coach from 1997 to 2000. From August 1995 to November 1997 he was the head coach for the North Quincy freshman football team.
I know that Coach Craig will do a fantastic job with the program - his strong connections with the North Quincy community, school, and students will allow him to build the program the right way.
Remembering and Honoring Our Veterans
I was proud to participate in Quincy's Memorial Day Parade this year to remember and honor our veterans. "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them." — John F. Kennedy
Q Pride Inaugural Parade June 3rd
The inaugural Quincy Pride Parade is set to take place at Pageant Field on June 3rd with food, music, information tables, and fun activities for families. Here is a full schedule of events for the day. Q Pride is an all-volunteer, grassroots committee that celebrates diversity in our community. Quincy is a historical city with a bright future because of organizations like this. 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.