SPC Meeting Minutes 5/18/2016

posted May 25, 2016, 3:30 AM by Andrea Blake

JQES – School Parent Council (SPC) Meeting Minutes

Wednesday | May 18, 2016 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.


Josiah Quincy Upper School (JQUS) Headmaster Richard Chang – Updates and Q&A

Guest speaker Headmaster Richard Chang (Quincy Upper School) introduced himself to the parents in attendance, and gave a brief description about the school and students.  JQUS is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, and is ranked among the top high schools in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report.  In this current class, valedictorian Johnny Fang will be attending Harvard University with a full scholarship, and salutatorian Emily Ta will be attending Boston College, with 90 percent of her tuition covered by financial aid.  

In addition, Headmaster Chang gave an update about the new building for the Upper School that will house grades 6-12 upon completion, and provided a timeline of the events to come:

·   The MA School Building Authority will formally vote to accept JQUS’ submission of the Preferred Schematic Report (location and scope of the project).  

·   In June 2016, there will be a community outreach process where the exact location of the new JQUS building will be disclosed.  

·   Summer and Fall of 2016 – The City of Boston will be conducting community presentations and meetings to inform the public of the plan, as well as to solicit feedback.  

·   Winter 2017 – The City and State will reach an agreement for the funding of the project.  The project is estimated to cost $100M, which is less expensive than the previous building proposal with the Boston Arts Academy.  The new school building will have: 60+ parking spaces underground; a full-sized basketball court/gymnasium, with seating for 1,000 people; a full auditorium and theater space with seating for 400 people; cafeteria and kitchen with seating for 200 people; culinary tech space with 6-8 cooking stations; fitness/weight room; locker rooms; larger classrooms; elevators; science labs; robotics facility; teacher planning space to facilitate collaborative planning; and a media and library space.  These new spaces will enable JQUS to meet the requirements of the IB program, in addition to addressing the various issues with the current school buildings (e.g., no elevator for students with disabilities, no gym for physical education, etc.).

·   Summer 2017 – Groundbreaking of the new school building

·   September 2019 – Opening of the new JQUS building, housing grades 6-12

Headmaster Chang explained that in order for JQES students to have priority for JQUS, it would be ideal for the elementary school to become an IB school as well.  Otherwise, JQUS would be open to all students in the City of Boston, and there would be no guaranteed seats for the JQES students.  This is an issue that the JQES School Site Council would need to discuss with all the stakeholders.  

June 16th (Thurs) JQES Spring Fling Planning

The school will be holding its annual “Spring Fling” event (exhibition of students’ art work and science projects, BBQ, face painting, arts & craft table, book fair, etc.) on Thursday, June 16th during the after school hours (5:30-7:30pm).  Volunteers are needed for all the different activities – greeting at the front desk, ticket distribution, face painting, grilling, among other tasks.  A volunteer sign-up sheet will be sent out soon, and we hope that parents will be able to help with this fun end-of-the-year event.  

June 20th (Mon) JQES 5th Grade Graduation Celebration Planning 

Historically, the JQES 4th grade parents have put together a small celebration (cookies, water, and two bundles of inflated balloons for the stage) for the 5th grade students at their graduation ceremony.  This year, the graduation will be held on Monday, June 20th.  JQES parent, Ruediger Volk (father of a 4th grader), has volunteered to lead this effort.  Any 4th grade parent who is able to assist with this event should contact Mr. Volk at: rvolk_2000@yahoo.com.  If there are any additional questions about this event, please contact JQES 5th grade teacher, Ms. Mimi Fong, at 617-635-8497.

Meet-up for new JQES Kindergarten Parents

Some of the parents in attendance proposed doing an informal meet up/playdate in early September (Saturday, 9/10 or 9/17) with the new kindergarten families, after they get their teacher assignments.  JQES parents Ann Sousa and Patrick/Bonnie Donahue volunteered to lead this effort.    

Other Topics / Announcements 

·   SPC Co-Chair David Benfield proposed that we form an ad hoc parent committee to further discuss and examine the International Baccalaureate (IB) idea for JQES.   

·   Build BPS Survey [ends May 30, 2016] – As part of the 10-year Master Planning process, Boston Public Schools is seeking input from parents, students, staff, and partners.  The purpose of the survey is to deepen their understanding of: 1) How you see school buildings and the programs offered within them; and 2) Your hopes and expectations for improved buildings and programs in the future.  Data collected through this survey, along with other community engagement tools, will complement ongoing analyses of school facilities and educational/learning programs.  Please take about 10-15 minutes to answer these questions to share your opinion about a particular school.  You can complete a separate survey for each school your student(s) attends or to which you are connected.  In addition to English, the survey is also available in other languages: http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/Page/5421

·   JQES Fall Feast: The tentative date is Thursday, September 22, 2016.  More details to come.  


Questions, comments, or suggested topics for upcoming Parent Council Meetings?  Please email us at:  josiahquincyparentcouncil@gmail.com


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