Sept. 9, 2020 Special Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Special Organizational Meeting

School Committee Room, Coddington Building
Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 6:01 p.m.

Per Governor Baker’s order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law,G.L. c. 30A sec. 20, the public will not be allowed to physically access this SchoolCommittee meeting. Members of the Public can access the meeting audio live on QATV Channel 22 or at The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS website on Friday, September 11, 2020.

I. Appointment of School Committee Secretary - Vice Chair Andronico
Eligible for Vote

II. South Shore Educational Collaborative Representative - Superintendent Mulvey
Eligible for Vote

III. QPS Re-Opening Metrics & Timeline - Superintendent Mulvey
 Eligible for Vote

IV. School Committee Policy Revisions - Mr. Bregoli

A. Sections 1.3 Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Nondiscrimination; 1.3.1 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex; 1.3.2 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability (eligible for vote)

B. Section 10.2 Equal Educational Opportunities (Discussion)

V. School Committee Goals (Review and Revision) - Vice Chair Andronico

VI. Subcommittee Goals - Vice Chair Andronico

A. Review of Items in Subcommittee (Remove Completed)

B. Establishing Additional Subcommittee Items

VII. Executive Session: Contract Negotiations

VIII. Adjournment



Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – September 9, 2020

Special Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Special Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A special meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 6:05 p.m at the Coddington Building. Superintendent Kevin Mulvey called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Douglas Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Anthony Andronico, Vice Chair.

Also present were: Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Acting Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Health Department Commissioner Ruth Jones; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.


Appointment of School Committee Secretary

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to appoint Superintendent Kevin Mulvey as the School Committee Secretary for 2020-2021. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


Appointment of SSEC Board Representative

Mr. Gutro made a motion to appoint Superintendent Kevin Mulvey as the Quincy Public Schools Representative to the South Shore Educational Collaborative Board. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


QPS Re-Opening Metrics & Timeline

Mayor Koch said that Quincy is holding in the green under the Massachusetts Department of Public Health metrics, with an average of 1-3 new cases daily. The Quincy Recreation department had a very successful program over the summer with no cases among staff or participants. The Special Education Learning Center discussion in the City Council’s Finance Subcommittee was tabled last night, but the Mayor is anticipating a vote in two weeks; the project is just about ready to go out to bid. A five-year Capital Plan due to be updated and presented to City Council this fall.

Mr. Andronico opened the discussion about two points of information released to parents in the last week: the partnership with Quincy Afterschool Childcare and the use of the high school computer labs for remote learning pods.

Mr. Mulvey said that the families affected by the Transportation Policy change were notified between today and tomorrow, families were understanding of the circumstances and a few families requested assistance and we’ll work with these families to transport the students.

Mr. Mulvey reviewed the ongoing discussion with Quincy Afterschool Childcare (QCARE), STARS, and the South Shore YMCA to provide care during the school day to support educators, first responders, and potentially unsupervised remote learning students. At this time, approximately 160 students are tentatively enrolled in QCARE. In terms of costs, 25% of students are subsidized due to income level. Mr. Mulvey acknowledged that there was some mixed reaction within the community, due to cost and potential exposure. Mr. Mulvey said the idea for the high school computer “pods” were a response to the potential Chromebook shortage where there may be a three-week lag in delivery from the start of school. This will also address internet connectivity at homes. Mr. Mulvey said there was some negative feedback from school community members who are interested in all students having the opportunity to attend school in-person. There is not currently a high interest in this model, fewer than 20 students.

Mr. Mulvey said there are 1125 QPS Chromebooks in the process of being distributed, another 140 will be retrieved by Attendance officers this week. Grades 4-12 has just under 1000 requests, PK-3 has 840 requests. Mr. Mulvey is very concerned about the potential Chromebook shortage.

Mr. Santoro asked about the high school computer pods, would they continue when the high school is in-person. Mr. Mulvey said we are expecting Verizon hotspots and the mid-October chromebook delivery, so these would close to coincide with hybrid learning beginning.

Mrs. Lebo said there are unintended consequences for the decision, is there a way to cover the elementary school remote learning with Quincy Public Schools staff. School Committee was not aware of the QCARE or the technology pods being offered to the community, communication about these was not timely.

Mr. Gutro agreed that he thought QCARE was for teachers only and asked about QCARE capacity. Mr. Mulvey said that QCARE is subject to EEC guidelines about space and by using the gymnasiums, this would allow for appropriate spacing. Mr. Gutro said parents have reasonable questions about this option and , asked for clarification on Transportation notification and retained bus routes. Mr. Mulvey said that phone calls were made to individual families. Mr. Gutro asked about K-5, when Grades 4-5 come back, is there room on the buses.

Mr. Gutro asked when students in Grades 4-12 will choose their instructional plan, Ms. Perkins said that a commitment survey will go to families next week.

Mr. Gutro asked about other resources that could be deployed if the October Chromebook delivery did not happen. Mr. Mulvey said there are options for middle school and elementary school computer labs to be utilized.

Mr. Mulvey said that we initially ordered 7000 in May, these have been delayed and even the governor’s procurement was delayed until the end of September.

Mr. Mulvey said that QPS staff members will monitor the computer labs, there will be IT support and the plan was reviewed and approved by Ruth Jones.

Mrs. Lebo asked who will supervise the computer labs, Mr. Mulvey said there could be paraprofessionals or school staff using their duty times.

Quincy After School Child Care Director Sarah Morrison joined the meeting.

Mrs. Lebo asked about offering program to teachers outside the city, Ms. Morrison said the program was offered to QPS staff members who live in Quincy and other towns. Ms. Morrison said the students from outside of Quincy would be located in the same building as their parent. For middle school or high school teachers, they would be sited at the closest location. Not all locations have enough interest, so the program may not run in all buildings. Ms. Morrison said parents sign a contract for three-week notice, she is holding space for Grades 4-5 students currently remote who will hopefully re-enter school in three weeks. Ms. Morrison said the summer program at South~West was successful, 70 students per week for 8 weeks with no issues. Ms. Morrison said that there is a requirement for a re-opening plan for each of the nine school sites, already licensed by the EEC. Using the gymnasium spaces only will provide separation, dedicated restrooms.

Mr. Andronico asked about total capacity, Ms. Morrison said the gymnasiums can hold up to 40 students, but the highest enrollment is 19. Ms. Morrison said most likely there will be seven locations, Montclair and Parker do not have enough interest.

Mr. Gutro said QCARE has an extraordinary history in the city, asked about age of students. Ms. Morrison said that licensure is for Kindergarten through age, students are grouped according to age range and appropriate; the majority are QPS residents and QPS students. Mr. Gutro asked about the structure of the day, Ms. Morrison said students will bring devices if they are able and QCARE can also provide devices. QCARE will supervise remote learning for Grades 1-5, Kindergarten extension will provide curriculum based programming and physical education.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the Squantum Elementary School, is the gym sufficient to run the program. Ms. Morrison said 16 students are currently enrolled. Mrs. Lebo said that the gymnasiums are not available to students, Mr. Mulvey said that physical education will be held outside whenever possible and Ms. Morrison agreed that this will be the case.

Mrs. Lebo asked about maintaining cohorts, Ms. Morrison said this may not be possible and noted that students will be enrolled in other types of programs.

Mr. Santoro asked if QCARE could not use QPS buildings, would they be able to operate. Ms. Morrison stated no, she has been searching for external space unsuccessfully. Mr. Santoro thanked Mr. Mulvey and Ms. Morrison for their thoughtfulness and thinking outside the box to provide the necessary service for Quincy families.

Ms. Morrison is appreciative of the partnership with Quincy Public Schools, Superintendent Mulvey and Commissioner Jones.

Mrs. Hubley asked if any locations are over 25 students but none are. Mrs. Hubley asked about distancing, Ms. Morrison said 42 sq feet per child is required by EEC regulations, students will eat outside as much as possible. Students and staff will always be masked.

Mr. Bregoli asked if this was voted on at an earlier meeting, Mr. Mulvey said that it has been reviewed at previous meetings, but was not subject to a vote. Mr. Bregoli asked if there were any alternatives considered, Mr. Mulvey said that there were none beyond teachers bringing their students to school with them.

Mrs. Lebo pointed out that there is a very low proportion of teachers are availing themselves of the opportunity.

Commissioner Ruth Jones entered the meeting at 7:25 pm and shared the detailed tracking sheet the Health Department will use to analyze data by # of active cases (active and presumed positive), # of confirmed cases, # of confirmed cases age 18 and under, # of confirmed cases in QPS by school, by student, and by staff. Currently, Quincy is averaging three cases per day. There have been four cases under age 18, three who are school-age students.

Mr. Bregoli asked about active cases, Commissioner Jones said that as part of case investigation, the Quincy Health Department is assessing close contacts, advising all about quarantining and testing, per the Massachusetts DPH protocols. Commissioner Jones said that Quincy has done well in the last month, moved from yellow to green, dependent on residents following the guidelines. Mr. Bregoli said that most cases seem to recover without complications. Commissioner Jones said that those over 65 and residents of any age with health complications are more at risk.

Mr. Bregoli asked if the numbers remain steady, could the timeline be amended, moving quickly into hybrid and even full in-person. Commissioner Jones said this is data-driven, but noted the numbers go either way, could be amended to go into full remote.

Mr. Gutro asked when the impacts from Labor Day would be evident, Commissioner Jones said closer to the end of the two-week incubation period, around September 21. Mr. Gutro asked about the opportunity to see the chart populated, how will decisions be made about moving forward or pausing. Commissioner Jones said moving into yellow would be a reason to pause, especially looking at school level data. Evidence of community transmission an important factor, this data can be reviewed at subsequent School Committee meetings.

Mr. Gutro asked about 50-60% of families choosing remote learning. Commissioner Jones said people are nervous and want to see how the first weeks of hybrid go. Mr. Gutro asked that the COVID-19 data be shared with families.

Mrs. Lebo agreed that some of the factors hold more weight, could there be an update every week. Commissioner Jones said the state is reporting every two weeks, would like to coordinate with that. Mrs. Lebo worried that two weeks is too long in case there is something to be addressed in the short term.

Mayor Koch asked to play devil’s advocate that students should be in school, the experience of European countries is that students do not get sick. Mayor Koch is very concerned about the long-term impact on mental health, our professional staff assist families in crisis. Mayor Koch asked about the possibility of bringing high school in at the same time as elementary and middle school. Mr. Mulvey said that these phasing recommendations were leaving enough time between groups to ensure there wasn’t a case impact.

Commissioner Jones said that the metrics will allow for planning to ensure that students can come back safely. Commissioner Jones said that students may be asymptomatic and may live in multi-generational households. Mayor Koch said that families who are concerned can choose to keep their students fully remote.

Mr. Andronico said that phased-in approach is deemed the best plan to ensure that there isn’t a spike in cases. Each of the different level of schools have a larger interaction with high school students being more complex. Feels that sticking with the current plan will ensure that students will be in school successfully for longer.

Mrs. Hubley would like to move Grade 4 to Phase 1 and Grades 9-10 to Phase 2.

Mrs. Lebo said that QPS can control the cohorts by phasing in the younger grades to start. It will be very difficult at the high school level to cohort students, would like to get the first phase underway before re-evaluating.

Mr. Bregoli thanked everyone for their work preparing the schools for the safe return to schools. Concerns about remote learning puts pressure on families especially those who are not tech savvy and students sitting in front of computers six hours a day, mental health, eye strain. At the very least, would like to add Grades 6 and 9 into Phase 1. Local private schools are opening full time in-person.

Mr. Gutro agreed that getting high school students back to school is an important factor, but would like to see two weeks of data before making further changes to the later phases of the timeline. If data is promising, then School Committee could discuss the transition for high school students at an earlier day.

Mr. Andronico asked about how long it would take the high schools to adjust to implementing the hybrid model. Mr. Mulvey said that it would be a two-week timeline to modify the schedule.

Mr. Santoro suggested the phased-in schedule be more aggressive and then could be amended to move slower. That way the principals are prepared with the alternative schedules.

Mr. Gutro said that moving the date back now and then not being able to implement it will have a negative impact.

Mr. Bregoli asked that the principals prepare a plan in case the data is favorable and the high schools could begin in person early.

Mrs. Lebo said that the high school principals have already planned how the hybrid model would work, they shared detailed information at a previous meeting.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the COVID-19 Metrics as presented. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve an amended timeline combining Phase 2 and 3, with Grades 4-12 students entering Hybrid Learning on October 12. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bregoli.

On the motion, Mrs. Lebo is concerned about going against the recommendations of the Task Force and the Commissioner.

Mayor Koch appreciates the recommendations, but School Committee is the body that makes the decision. No matter when we decide to go back, metrics can change.

Mr. Bregoli stipulated that all families will have the option to select remote learning.

Mr. Andronico suggested changing the wording to be “no earlier than” before October 13.

Mr. Gutro asked about the calendar, would the hybrid model work out between Cohort A and Cohort B with a start date of October 13.

Mrs. Lebo supports the revised phasing plan, she believes that the school system will be going out again to full remote, so it is important for students to meet the teachers.

On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0.


School Committee Policy Revisions

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adopt the revised School Committee Policy Sections 1.3 Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity/Nondiscrimination; Section 1.3.1 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex; Section 1.3.2 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap as presented. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it,7-0.

School Committee Policy Section 10.2 Equal Educational Opportunities was opened for discussion; it is eligible for vote at the September 16, 2020 School Committee Meeting.

Mayor Koch left the meeting at 8:30 pm


School Committee Goals for 2019-2020 (Review)

Mr. Andronico reviewed the School Committee Goals for 2019-2020, a mix of short and long-term goals. (1) New Quincy Public Schools Website/Completed; (2) Universal Pre-Kindergarten (long-term goal); (3) Increased Community Involvement (underway prior to COVID-19); (4) Barriers to Post-Secondary Success (long-term goal); (5) Financial Literacy/Completed; (6) Cultural Relevance (initial work presented to School Committee); (7) K-12 Curriculum Map for Social-Emotional Learning (initial work presented to School Committee); (8) Capital Requests (deferred by COVID-19, will resume in Fall 2020); (9) Increase Staff Diversity (long-term goal); (10) Leadership Profile/Completed

Mr. Gutro asked if there will be a formal process for goal development for 2020-21, Mr. Andronico agreed that this can be discussion over the next few months.


Review of Items in Subcommittee

Mr. Gutro reviewed the items in the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee and removed Evaluation of Coaches, Share Tables, and the Composting Pilot Program. Mr. Gutro added MIAA & League updates related to COVID 19 pandemic and Social-Emotional Health & COVID-19/Remote Learning (Staff and Students)

Mr. Andronico reviewed the items in Budget & Finance and removed Chapter 70 Funding and the FY2020 Grant Booklet. Mr. Andronico added COVID-19 impacts to the Budget & Finance Subcommittee.

For Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Mr. Andronico added Cultural Relevance in the Curriculum.

For Facilities, Security & Transportation, Mr. Santoro removed Solar Panels on School Buildings and the Expansion of the Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center. Mr. Santoro added the DeCristofaro Special Education Center (cross-referred with Special Education Subcommittee), Bus Driver Recruitment, and Indoor Air Quality/HVAC, Ventilation, Filtration.

Mr. Bregoli removed several Policy items: NQHS Mascot; Section 1.7 Wellness; 9.11.1 Homework; 11.8 Public Solicitations in Schools; 9.9.3 Acceptable Use Policy; 11.12.1 Relations with Other Schools & School Districts; 1.3, 1.3.1, 1.3.2, Nondiscrimination; 5.5.1 through 5.5.6 Transportation Services Management; 10.11.3 Communicable Diseases.

Mrs. Hubley asked to retain all of the items in the Special Education Subcommittee.

For Teaching & Learning, Mrs. Lebo removed Advanced Program Pathways; Superintendent Evaluation; the NQHS Mascot; Foreign Language Program; VOCAL Survey Results; and QPS Initiatives 2019-2020. Mrs. Lebo added the Grade 5 Advanced Program and Progress Assessments, capturing data about academic loss at all grade levels.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to extend the Special Meeting beyond the three-hour time limit. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gutro and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mayor Koch was absent.

Mr. Andronico removed both the Ad Hoc Committees for School District Maps and the Superintendent Position Description.


Executive Session

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at 9:15 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mayor Koch was absent. School Committee will not return to the Special Meeting.



The Special School Committee meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm as School Committee will not return from Executive Session.