Oct. 16, 2019 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 6:30 pm
South~West Middle School

I. Approval of Minutes:

Regular Meeting Minutes for September 25, 2019

II. Open Forum:

An opportunity for community input regarding the Quincy Public Schools. Community in this context is defined as a resident of the City of Quincy, a parent of a student who attends the Quincy Public Schools, or an employee of the Quincy Public Schools. Non-community persons not permitted to speak at Open Forum may submit written statements to the School Committee. After giving his or her name and address, each speaker may make a presentation of no more than four minutes to the School Committee. An individual may not exchange their time or yield to others.

III. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Inspire Quincy
B. October 1 Enrollment
C. Special Education Learning Center
D. Health & Wellness Symposium, October 10
E. High School Open House Events for Grade 8 Students & Families: October 15 (QHS) and October 22 (NQHS)
F. QPS Financial Aid Night: October 24
G. Fall Institute
H. Professional Educator Status Reception, October 23
I. South~West Opening Celebration, Sunday, October 27
J. School & Program Improvement Plan Schedule
K. Parent Academy:

○ Vaping Prevention & Interventions: October 22 at QHS
○ Dual Enrollment: October 23 at Quincy College

L. CTE Advisory Board Meetings: October 17 (NQHS) and October 24 (QHS)
School Committee Meeting Agenda -2- October 16, 2019

IV. Old Business: None

V. New Business:

A. Curriculum Goals - Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy
B. School Committee Goals - Mrs. Lebo
C. Facilities Considerations - Mrs. Lebo
D. Massachusetts Association of School Committees Conference Resolutions
(Introduction; Vote at October 30 Meeting) - Mrs. Hubley
E. Learning Center Program Development for referral to the Special Education Subcommittee- Mr. Andronico

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: October 30, 2019 and November 13, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building; December 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm at Central Middle School.
B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (at the Coddington Building): Wednesday, October 23: Quarterly Budget & Finance at 6:00 pm; Facilities & Security at 6:15 pm; Policy at 6:45 pm; Special Education at 7:15 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:


IX. Executive Session:


X. Adjournment:


Quincy, Massachusetts – October 16, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at the South~West Middle School at 6:30 p.m. Superintendent DeCristofaro called the roll and present were Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Ms. Sarah Anderson, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Susan Foley, Ms. Marisa Forrester, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Kimberly Quinn, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Edward Smith, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; Citywide Parent Council President Scott Alessandro; and Quincy High School Representatives Paige Maze.

Mayor Thomas Koch and School Committee Members Mr. James DeAmicis and Mr. Douglas Gutro were absent.


There was a moment of silence for the men and women serving in the armed forces at home and overseas.

Mrs. Lebo read the following statement into the record: Pursuant to the Open Meeting Law, any person may make an audio or video recording of this public meeting or may transmit the meeting through any medium. Attendees are therefore advised that such recordings or transmissions are being made whether perceived or unperceived by those present and are deemed acknowledged and permissible.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 9.25.2019

Mrs. Hubley made a motion, seconded by Mr. Andronico to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for September 25, 2019 as presented. On a voice vote, ayes the ayes have it.


Open Forum

As no one wished to speak at Open Forum, School Committee moved onto the next item on the agenda.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report by welcoming School Committee to the new South~West Middle School auditorium and introducing South~West Middle School Acting Principal Susan Foley. The Grand Opening and Dedication for South~West Middle School will be held on Sunday, October 27 at 2:00 pm and all are invited to attend.

Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed the October 1 QPS Enrollment, total enrollment of 9,825, an increase of 500 students over the last 10 years. All grade levels have over 700 students, new students in every grade level plus a Kindergarten class of 779 students. Elementary school class sizes are an average of 20 students per class, with 72% of students in classes with 20 or fewer students. At the middle school level, 86% of students are in class sizes of 24 or fewer students. At the high school level, 84% of core classes have 25 or fewer students. At both the middle and high school level, there may be shifts in the larger classes at the end of the first term in November.

Mr. Bregoli suggested that Montclair’s enrollment is continuing to trend up and it might make sense to look at district boundaries with neighboring schools such as Wollaston. Mr. Bregoli noted that Atlantic has continued to grow, over 100 students in the last 10 years. Dr. DeCristofaro said that this can be discussed at an upcoming School Committee meeting, an analysis by street can be presented. Mr. Bregoli asked about Pre-Kindergarten at Point Webster, there are now four classrooms with Integrated Pre-Kindergarten and CARES classes.

Mrs. Lebo noted that there will be more detail about the Out of District students shared during the discussion of the Special Education Learning Center program at the new building on Old Colony Avenue.

Dr. DeCristofaro continued the Superintendent’s Report by sharing information about the Special Education Learning Center. The purchase of the building at 180 Old Colony Avenue will provide opportunities to bring Quincy Public Schools students back from outplacements, allow for re-organization of existing substantially separate programs, and perhaps provide opportunities for students from other districts to attend the programs here. Dr. DeCristofaro is looking forward to working with School Committee, the Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education, the Special Education Department, parents and other community members to develop the program for this new building.

The Health & Wellness Symposium was held on October 10, with principals, school nurses, Health and Physical Education educators, the Athletic Directors all participated in professional development and goal setting. Thanks to Health Services Coordinator Rita Bailey and Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile for coordinating this event.

Upcoming QPS events include a Parent Academy for Vaping Prevention & Interventions on October 22 at Quincy High School; the North Quincy High School Grade 8 Open House on October 22; Parent Academy for Dual Enrollment for high school students at Quincy College on October 23; and the QPS Financial Aid evening on October 24 at Quincy High School for parents of juniors and seniors from both high schools.

The Fall Institute for Elementary and Middle School students will be held on four Saturdays beginning October 26 and continuing into November. Thanks to funding from Mayor Koch, each school site will offer the program.

The Professional Teacher Status reception will be held on Wednesday, October 23 at 3:00 pm in the Bradford Library at Quincy High School.

School and Program Improvement Plans will begin to be shared with School Committee at a series of Teaching & Learning Subcommittees scheduled for November; the Technology & Training Program Improvement Plan will be presented at the Policy Subcommittee Meeting on October 23, 2019.

CVTE Advisory Board Meetings will be held at North Quincy High School on October 17 and Quincy High School on October 24.

At the 22nd Annual Quincy ArtsFest, Quincy Public Schools students were recognized for their artwork: Painting/Drawing Grades K-1: Fiona Callahan, Clifford Marshall (1st); Remi Houlihan, Lincoln Hancock (2nd); Manuel Jose, Atherton Hough (3rd); Bowin Dao, Lincoln Hancock and Melanie Cosentino, Parker (Honorable Mentions). Grades 2-3: Fiona Kelly, Merrymount (1st); Kelly Ann Cabral, Clifford Marshall (2nd); Nicholas Lamante, Wollaston (3rd); Braylin Layden, Squantum and Layla Egan, Beechwood Knoll (Honorable Mentions). Grades 4-5: Nicole Teng, Merrymount (1st); Tyler Sharkey, Lincoln Hancock (2nd); Emily Nguyen, Bernazzani (3rd); Isabella Leung, Lincoln Hancock and Nora Ganno, Squantum (Honorable Mention). Grades 6-8: Isabella Carinci, Point Webster (1st); Christine Lin, Atlantic (2nd); Ryan Setow, Central (3rd); Jillian O’Brien, Broad Meadows and Minsy Chan, South~West (Honorable Mentions). Grades 9-10: Isabella Nguyen, QHS (1st); Angela Jee, NQHS (2nd); Vivian Leung, QHS (3rd); Khailea Figuera, QHS (Honorable Mention). Grades 11-12: Lesley Chen, QHS (1st); John Shi, NQHS (2nd); Tiffany Chen, QHS (3rd); Taylor Burgess, QHS (Honorable Mention). Sculpture: Cayla Zapta, QHS (1st); Michelle Chen, QHS (2nd); Hannah Robinson, QHS and Emma Mickey, QHS (Honorable Mentions). Photography: Steven La, NQHS (1st); Christy Chen, NQHS (2nd), Carly Amendolare, NQHS (3rd); Jacob Ferullo, QHS and Sean Feeney, NQHS (Honorable Mentions).

The City of Presidents 5K Road Race/Walk was a very successful event held on Sunday, September 29. Over 600 students, staff, and community members participated, raising $30,000 for Health & Wellness initiatives.

The SADD Summit was held today, expanded to include Grade 8 students from each middle school along with students from both high schools.

Mr. Bregoli said that the Special Education Learning Center is an exciting initiative, asked for clarification on whether students from other districts will pay tuition. Dr. DeCristofaro said that an application is being prepared to file with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the Learning Center to be designated as this type of school.

Mrs. Lebo said that the establishment of this Special Education Learning Center is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking ideas for Quincy Public Schools in her tenure on School Committee.

Dr. DeCristofaro concluded the Superintendent’s Report by sharing the Inspire Quincy video, including highlights from the City of Presidents 5K Road Race/Walk, ArtsFest student entries, NQHS & QHS Girls Volleyball, the Parent Academy on Vaping Prevention & Interventions, and NQHS & QHS Boys Golf.


New Business

Curriculum Goals

Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy introduced the Curriculum Team presentation of 2019 MCAS, MAP, and Accountability Data. In this evening’s presentation, the team will cover the District Improvement Plan, District Data, District Goals, and Curriculum Initiatives. The District Improvement Plan is based on the six-standards of the Framework: Leadership & Governance, Curriculum & Instruction, Assessment & Program Evaluation, Professional Development, Academic Support, and Financial & Asset Management. Aligned Goals and Action Steps begin with the Quincy School Committee and Superintendent and flow through the Curriculum & Assessment Management Team to School & Program Improvement Plans, Grade Level, Vertical, and Departmental Teams, and individual Educators.

Coordinator of Data & Assessment Marisa Forrester presented a review of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) data from 2018-2019. MAP is administered three times per school year, fall, winter, and spring to students in Grades 2-7 for Reading and Mathematics and Grades 4-7 for Science. The MAP is a nationally-normed assessment and growth decreases over time as students move from grade to grade. For Reading and Mathematics, all grades exceeded the national norms. For Science, 2018-2019 was the pilot year for Science administration and the fall benchmark was administered later in the fall. The growth is below the national norm for all grades, but the national norm is based on 36 weeks of instruction, which the scores do not reflect.

For the MCAS administration, all tests have moved to the Next Generation MCAS and are administered online with the exception of the high school Biology, which is transitioning in 2020. For Grades 5 and 8 Science and Grade 10 ELA and Mathematics, this is the first year of the Next Generation MCAS, so comparative data not available. Next Generation reporting categories are Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations, and Not Meeting Expectations. Scaled scores from 440 to 560 are also provided for each student and an average composite scaled score assigned to each achievement category.

For ELA Exceeding or Meeting Expectations, 63% of Grade 3, 60% of Grade 4, 63% of Grade 5, 57% of Grade 6, 63% of Grade 7, 56% of Grade 8, and 62% of Grade 10 achieved these categories. For Mathematics Exceeding or Meeting Expectations, 53% of Grade 3, 52% of Grade 4, 56% of Grade 5, 55% of Grade 6, 54% of Grade 7, 50% of Grade 8, and 59% of Grade 10 achieved these categories. For Science Exceeding or Meeting Expectations, 54% of Grade 5 and 47% of Grade 8 achieved these categories. In Grade 10 Biology, 74% of students scored Advanced or Proficient.

In reviewing the Scaled Score data, for Grades 3-8 ELA, increases are evident for all grades in the three years of data for 2017, 2018, and 2019. For Mathematics, the middle school grades demonstrated growth but the elementary grades do not. In analyzing the scaled score data, additional supports will be provided for digital technology tools for Mathematics. The Massachusetts state average for scaled scores is below 500, and QPS has consistently been above 500, a measure of high achievement.

Mr. Andronico suggested this Mathematics scaled score issue is an area for additional discussion.

Mrs. Lebo said that for Grade 8 Science, 53% of students are Partially Meeting Expectations or Not Meeting Expectations and this continues to be an area of concern.

Mrs. Lebo asked about MCAS scores and testing for the Grade 5 Advanced Placement Program. Ms. Perkins said that the top 20% of students are tested in Grade 4, based on Grade 3 MCAS scores for ELA and Mathematics.

Ms. Forrester then presented the 2019 Accountability Data; points are awarded for meeting DESE-established targets: Exceeding Target (4 points), Met Target (3 points), Improved Below Target (2 points), No Change (1 point), and Declined (0 points). For Grades 3-8 Achievement, Lowest Performing and High Needs students Met or Exceeded Target for ELA & Mathematics; Growth is Typical/High for All Students, Lowest Performing, and High Needs. For Grade 10, All Students Exceeded Target or had No Change for ELA, Mathematics, and Science; Growth was Typical; EL Improved Below Target; Chronic Absenteeism, All Students and and Lowest Performing Students Exceeded Target. The Four-Year Graduation Rate had No Change; the Extended Engagement Rate Met Target; and the Annual Dropout Rate Declined.

Director of Special Education Erin Perkins presented the District Goals for 2019-2020: (1) ELA MCAS: During the 2019-2020 school year, students in Grades 3-8 will show evidence of achievement in English Language Arts as measured by an increase of 1.2 scaled score points in the All Students Average Composite Scaled Score according to the English Language Arts achievement data in the 2020 DESE Accountability Report. (2) MAP Reading: During the 2019-2020 school year, students in Grades 2-7 will show evidence of growth in Reading as measured by an increase of 15 RIT points above the fall average for Grade 2, an increase of 10 RIT points above the fall average for Grades 3-4, and an increase of 5 RIT points for Grades 5-7 as indicated by the Spring 2020 MAP District Student Growth Summary Report. (3) Mathematics MCAS: During the 2019-2020 school year, students in Grades 3-8 will show evidence of achievement in Mathematics as measured by an increase of 1.3 scaled score points in the All Students Average Composite Scaled Score according to the Mathematics achievement data in the 2020 DESE Accountability Report. (4) MAP Mathematics: During the 2019-2020 school year, students in Grades 2-7 will show evidence of growth in Mathematics as measured by an increase of 16 RIT points above the fall average for Grade 2, an increase of 12 RIT points above the fall average for Grades 3-4, and an increase of 7 RIT points for Grades 5-7 as indicated by the Spring 2020 MAP District Student Growth Summary Report. (5) Science MCAS: During the 2019-2020 school year, students in Grades 5 & 8 will show evidence of achievement in Science and Technology/Engineering as measured by an increase All Students Average Composite Scaled Score from a baseline of 502.0 for Grade 5 and 499.5 for Grade 8 according to the District Achievement Distribution by Year Science and Technology/Engineering Report (PE305) in Edwin Analytics. (6) MAP STE: During the 2019-2020 school year, students in Grades 4-7 will show evidence of growth in the MAP Science as measured by an increase of 7 RIT points above the fall average for Grades 4-5 and an increase of 5 RIT points for Grades 6-7 as indicated by the Spring 2020 MAP District Student Growth Summary Report. (7) ELA MCAS: During the 2019-2020 school year, students in Grade 10 will show evidence of achievement in English Language Arts as measured by an increase in the All Students Average Composite Scaled Score from a baseline of 507.8 according to the District Achievement Distribution by Year English Language Arts Report (PE305) by Edwin Analytics. (8) Mathematics MCAS: During the 2019-2020 school year, students in Grade 10 will show evidence of achievement in Mathematics as measured by an increase in the All Students Average Composite Scaled Score from a baseline of 507.8 according to the District Achievement Distribution by Year Mathematics Report (PE305) by Edwin Analytics. (9) Science MCAS: The district will show evidence of improvement by a 2% increase of students earning Proficient and Advanced (from a base of 74%) on the Grade 10 STE MCAS, as evidenced by the Spring 2020 Biology MCAS Results Report (PE303).

MCAS Achievement Reports were mailed to parents last week and MAP reports will be shared during upcoming elementary and middle school parent conferences.

Coordinator of English Language Arts Bridget Vaughan presented on Initiatives and Professional Development for 2019-2020. The primary grades are working on Close Reading, expanding on the Journeys program with paired texts and online supports. In Grades 3-5, Professional Development is focused on text-based writing groups, Close Reading Peer Coaching, and Observation Study Groups. For Grades 6-8, Pacing Guides and Curriculum units have been developed to complement the Collections textbooks and a video tutorial for teachers was shared. The Girl Rising initiative is being expanded into the elementary and high school levels.

Science Team Administrator Edward Smith presented on Initiatives and Professional Development, sharing district-level Action Steps for Grades 3-12 Science and Technology/Engineering: (1) Teachers will collaborate within school and district STE teams to identify high need areas and develop lessons and assessments targeting student understanding; (2) Teachers will prepare students for the 2020 Science MCAs with a specific focus on Next Generation selected- and constructed-response question types; (3) Teachers will design learning experiences with phenomena, an observable event that can be investigated and explained by students, as a scientist or engineer would, using evidence from STE knowledge and skills. For Grades 3-5, the implementation of the Elevate Science program will continue and the Grade 5 Science Showcase initiative will continue with events planned to follow the first and second semester. For Grades 6-8, teachers are working on refining formative and summative assessments. Science teachers at Grades 6-12 will provide opportunities for students to demonstrate science and engineering practices by designing and conducting investigations, creating or using scientific models, and making decisions on how to analyze data.

Next week is Massachusetts STEM week; through Project Lead the Way there will be STEM-week challenge materials provided for Grades 3-5 Science classrooms.

Mathematics Team Administrator Kimberly Quinn is working with primary grade teachers on specific school needs and focusing on Daily Math Thinking Routines. There will be a voluntary Professional Development afternoon with Greg Tang and a book study planned for the Math Interventionists with Mathematizing Your School. The Grades 3-5 Mathematics Focus Teachers will be collaborating with the Digital Literacy Teachers to bridge the gap between paper/pencil assessments and the MCAS online exam. Professional Development will include a day with Greg Tang, focus on Daily Math Thinking Routines, and Build-It Centers. For Grades 6-8, the Coaching and Co-Teaching Initiative will continue and system-wide Professional Development will focus on Access and Equity in the Math Classroom and updated Big Ideas digital platform training.

Ms. Roy concluded the presentation by reminding School Committee that the School Committee and Teaching & Learning Subcommittee meetings for the fall will include Program and School Improvement Plans.

Mrs. Lebo said the presentation was impressive, what is expected of teachers is amazing and Mrs. Lebo is proud of the work of the Curriculum & Assessment Team, teaching is such a different profession.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that the collaborative nature of the work that the CAMT does is so significant. Thanks to the School Committee for supporting the expansion of the Curriculum & Assessment Team.

Mrs. Hubley reminded School Committee that the Parent Academy featuring Greg Tang Mathematics will be held on March 30, 2020.


New Business

School Committee Goals Draft

Mrs. Lebo reviewed that the draft School Committee Goals were developed at the Workshop held on Saturday, September 28.

  1. Update the Quincy Public Schools Website for an improved user experience for students, parents, teachers, staff, and the community by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Establish and promote (or update) policies and practices for safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology. Mr. Andronico noted that this initiative is underway with a target launch of January 2020.

  2. Expand the current Pre-Kindergarten program available to all students to improve readiness of all students for Kindergarten. Mrs. Lebo noted that this is a longer-term goal, to be worked on over several years.

  3. The School Committee, in collaboration with the Superintendent, will engage stakeholder groups in discussion and search of feedback to make informed decisions in support of the District Improvement Plan of the Quincy Public Schools by: (a) Symposiums hosted by the School Community of different stakeholder groups; (b) coffee discussions; and (c) surveys seeking feedback. Mrs. Lebo noted that this would include meeting regularly with the High School Student Advisory Council.

  4. Identify and evaluate potential barriers to post-secondary success by (a) using survey to evaluate student success rate; (b) use Clearinghouse data to identify potential barriers; (c) survey graduates; (d) survey parents; (e) percentage of students who enter higher education, the work force, or the military

  5. Receive a presentation by the Administration on updates to the syllabus/curriculum of the Financial Literacy Course (by January 2020).

  6. Have the Administration present to the School Committee where in the curriculum cultural relevance for students is considered and how curriculum materials align vertically, with coherent student learning progressions (by March 2020).

  7. Begin to develop a K-12 Curriculum Map, aligned vertically around social-emotional learning, health, and physical education across all curricula and departments.

  8. Prior to submission of capital requests, the School Committee will review the requests with the Commissioner of Public Buildings to review and prioritize requests.

  9. To increase the diversity of Quincy Public Schools staff, the District will support means of expanding methods of recruiting beyibd traditional methods (SchoolSpring). Mrs. Lebo suggested referring this to Mr. Mulvey.

  10. Develop a Leadership profile for the position of Superintendent of Schools by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Mrs. Lebo suggested creating an Ad Hoc Subcommittee.

Mrs. Lebo suggested meeting again on the goals in January after the new School Committee member(s) are on board.

Mr. Andronico said that meeting was the most productive meeting in his experience as School Committee member, very proud of the goals. Thanks to Vice Chair Lebo for the initiative in bringing in the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

Mrs. Hubley agreed that this meeting was very beneficial and allowed for open conversation with colleagues.

Mrs. Lebo said this meeting should happen several times a year going forward.


New Business

Facilities Considerations

Mrs. Lebo said she requested Facilities Considerations as item on the agenda, is seeking an update on Safety & Security issues. Mrs. Lebo requested a report on door alarms and security concerns plus building needs.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to move this item to Facilities, Security & Transportation Subcommittee for further discussion.


New Business

MASC Resolutions

Mrs. Hubley said that the Massachusetts Association of School Committee Conference will be held November 6-9, 2019. Mrs. Hubley will once again represent the Quincy School Committee as a Delegate and shared the Resolutions with School Committee for their consideration. At the October 30, 2019 meeting, School Committee will vote to appoint Mrs. Hubley as Delegate for the Assembly and will also vote on School Committee’s positions on the Resolutions.


New Business

Special Education Learning Center

Mr. Andronico referred the Special Education Learning Center program development to the Special Education Subcommittee.


Additional Business

Mr. Bregoli requested the Commissioner of Natural Resources David Murphy be invited to present on Park Department projects with impacts on Quincy Public Schools or students at an upcoming School Committee or Subcommittee meeting.



Upcoming School Committee meetings will be held on October 30, 2019 and November 13, 2019 (Coddington Building) at 6:30 pm. On December 11, 2019, School Committee will meet at Central Middle School at 6:00 pm.

Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings will be held on October 23, 2019: Quarterly Budget & Finance (6:00 pm); Facilities, Transportation & Security (6:15 pm); and Policy (6:45 pm).


Reports of Subcommittees

All School Committee and Subcommittee meeting minutes are posted online at www.quincypublicschools.com/schoolcomm/2019-2020.

There were no Subcommittee Meeting Reports on the Agenda.


Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.



Mr. Bregoli made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 8:40 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.