Dec. 9, 2020 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 6:30 pm
via Zoom

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 School Committee 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 SchoolTube website on Friday, December 11, 2020.

I. Approval of Minutes:

A. Meeting Minutes for November 18, 2020

B. Executive Session Minutes for November 18, 2020

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.

To participate in Open Forum, interested parties may submit written statements or may speak live at the meeting by submitting a request to: [email protected].

III. Superintendent’s Report

A. Chairman’s Report - Mayor Thomas Koch

B. QPS COVID-19 Metrics (with Health Commissioner Ruth Jones)

C. CO2 Testing Update (with Mechanical Engineer David Scott)

D. QPS Enrollment

E. Technology Update

F. QPS Holiday Meal Kits

G. Computer Science Education Week December 7-13

H. QPS Fall Re-Opening Student Survey

I. QHS Girls Volleyball Recognition

J. Virtual Parent Academies Update

K. Green Communities Grant for Point Webster Middle School

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. DeCristofaro Learning Center Design Presentation - Superintendent Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Perkins; Commissioner Hines; Mr. Mackey, Wessling Architects

B. Quincy School~Community Partnership Update - Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Janice Erler

C. Superintendent’s Contract - Mayor Koch

D. Special Education Director Appointment - Superintendent Mulvey

E. Gifts: Anonymous Donation of $5,000 for the School Nutrition Program

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: January 13 and 27, 2021 (Regular Meetings, 6:30 pm, Coddington Building)

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings: January 27, 2021:Budget & Finance, January at 5:30 pm; Teaching & Learning at 5:40 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Special Education Mrs. Hubley to report on the November 18, 2020 meeting.

B. Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee Mr. Andronico to report on the December 3, 2020 meeting.

IX. Executive Session: None

X. Adjournment:


Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – December 9, 2020

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m via Zoom. Superintendent Kevin Mulvey called the roll and present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Anthony Andronico, Vice Chair.

Also present were: Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Allison Cox, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Janice Erler, Ms. Julie Graham, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; Health Commissioner Ruth Jones; Commissioner Paul Hines; Mechanical Engineer David Scott; Mr. James Mackey, Wessling Architects; Quincy Education Association President Sean Greene; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mayor and School Committee Chair Thomas Koch was absent.

School Committee observed a moment of silence in memory of Mr. John (Butch) Mahoney, a retired Quincy Public Schools Social Health Coordinator for 27 years and James Lynch, Special Education for 26 years at Atlantic, Parker, North Quincy High School, and the QPS Evening School.


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting and Executive Session for November 18, 2020. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mayor Koch was absent.


Open Forum

Mr. Andronico read letters from Ms. Jennifer Chen and Mr. Scott Alessandro asking for more detailed demographic data for gender, race, ethnicity, and economic challenges be included in this year’s School Improvement Plans.


Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Mulvey introduced City of Quincy Health Commissioner Ruth Jones who reviewed the statistics for the last two weeks (November 25 through December 8), including 56 positive students (40 hybrid, 10 in-person and 6 remote) and 25 positive staff members. The two-week positivity rate is currently 3.75% and the state will update the rate on Thursday. Quincy is in the yellow status, but Commissioner Jones noted that could change on Thursday as well.

Commissioner Jones said there are two incidents of possible in-school transmission, one between a teacher and a student and another between a classroom teacher and paraprofessional. These cases are reflective of the transmission within the community, Quincy is in the middle of the post-Thanksgiving spike.

Mr. Gutro asked if these are the highest numbers that the City of Quincy has seen. Commissioner Jones said that in the spring, Quincy was averaging 30-40 cases per day. The City is currently averaging 50 or more cases per day.

Mr. Gutro asked about close contacts for positive cases, Commissioner Jones said it varies from two or three to whole classrooms for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten.

Mr. Gutro asked about staffing challenges relating to quarantine of close contacts. Superintendent Mulvey said that it is a challenge, Principals, Assistant Principals, and Coddington staff members have covered classes, staff have had their assignments shifted, and all are working collaboratively to ensure that classes are staffed appropriately. Superintendent Mulvey said there have been some parent requests to transfer to remote in response to cases.

Mrs. Lebo asked about student schedule changes based on quarantining, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins said that schools are working with families to provide remote access during quarantine.

Mr. Bregoli asked about false positive diagnoses, Commissioner Jones said that the rapid antigen tests have been unreliable and so we continue to recommend that staff and families seek PCR testing, which is the most reliable. The most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) allow for antigen tests to shorten quarantine, but turnaround times for tests are lagging. Commissioner Jones said the new quarantine guidance is a confusing array of options.

Mr. Bregoli asked for clarification on the in-school transmission. A positive staff member caused a classroom quarantine, and one student with no other source of transmission was also diagnosed as positive. In the other situation, two staff members in the same classroom are positive.

Mr. Bregoli asked about variables in testing, Commissioner Jones agreed that a reputable source is important as it can be disruptive to quarantine based on a false positive result or a false negative continuing to interact and possibly infect other people.

Mr. Bregoli noted that Dr. Fauci has recently advised that students be in schools and is looking to Governor Baker to make a determination that three-foot distancing will be acceptable and school districts can return to in-person learning. Mr. Bregoli continues to be concerned about students’ well-being and wants the public to know that this isn’t the Mayor, School Committee, or Superintendent’s decision at this point but the state guidance.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the possibility of livestream hybrid instruction for high school students, Superintendent Mulvey said he will update later in the Superintendent’s Report.

Commissioner Jones agreed that it is best for students to be in school and there are no easy answers, we are constantly looking at the numbers and the guidance and trying to make the best decision to keep everyone safe.

Mrs. Lebo asked whether there was a breakdown in protocol that led to in-school transmission. Commissioner Jones said the nature of these classrooms leads to the possibility, staff are working closely and even with masks on, exposure is possible. Commissioner Jones said with three-foot distancing, it is more likely that classrooms will have to be closed when there is a positive case.

Mr. Bregoli asked about hospitalizations and deaths. Commissioner Jones said there are rarely students hospitalized and the death rate has been very low in the last few months. Commissioner Jones that nursing home cases are starting to rise again and that is of concern and entire household being positive, some are multi-generational.

Mrs. Hubley asked about difficulty in scheduling testing as there is a high demand currently. Ms. Bailey said that the school nurses advise staff members and families on 10-12 test locations, the list is updated regularly and families are advised to contact their pediatricians as well.

Mrs. Lebo agreed that families consulting their pediatrician first is the best route to secure a testing appointment.

Mr. Andronico thanked Commissioner Jones for her help throughout the pandemic.

Superintendent Mulvey introduced City of Quincy Mechanical Engineer David Scott, he and his team have recently completed the second round of CO2 testing in Quincy Public Schools buildings and the report was shared with School Committee. Mr. Scott said that all schools were re-tested now that the hybrid option available at all grade levels, 351 rooms were sampled. One room was above 1100 ppm, 8 rooms were between 800 and 1100 ppm, and 18 rooms were between 700 and 800 ppm. The levels of CO2 are affected by the number of people within a space breathing/exhaling, so the ventilation rate must be adjusted accordingly. All rooms above 800 ppm were specifically addressed and will be monitored and the rooms between 700 and 800 will also be monitored to insure optimal ventilation.

The exhaust system has been upgraded at the Wollaston Elementary School, windows installed in the basement level at Atherton Hough and Montclair Elementary School, and the air handlers upgraded at Lincoln Hancock Community School, specifically to address rooms without windows.

Mrs. Hubley asked for clarification on the window installation, these are the total number of basement level windows in these two schools. Commissioner Hines said that at Montclair, a stationary window unit is on order to be replaced.

Mrs. Lebo is grateful that Quincy Public Schools has this level of expertise to draw on within the City.

Superintendent Mulvey updated that Quincy Public Schools enrollment is 9,707 in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, with 52% of students learning remotely and 48% of students learning in person or under the hybrid model. Approximately 15 registrations are in process at Central Registration. Mrs. Lebo requested data on in-person learners accessing classrooms remotely or taking courses fully online through Acellus and Superintendent Mulvey said this analysis is underway.

For technology issues, over 4,000 Chromebooks have been distributed, along with 100 Internet Hotspots. Quincy Public Schools is expecting delivery of 625 additional hotspots from DESE by the end of December. All 500 Internet Wireless Access Points have been installed to date. The student email addresses will be launched December 14 for Grades 3-12, communication is going out to parents tomorrow and will improve communication between teachers, students, and parents. Email usage will be limited to within the district to ensure student security.

Mr. Gutro asked about the issue with communication with certain email domains, Superintendent Mulvey said that the Mayor’s Office has been assisting on determining a permanent solution for the repeated blocking of Quincy Public Schools emails. Mr. Gutro asked for information on the number of undeliverable emails through the Quincy Public Schools server, Superintendent Mulvey will follow up on this issue.

Mr. Scott rejoined the meeting to make a clarification about opening windows to increase ventilation. During the winter months, opening windows at either end of the classroom slightly is sufficient to assist air circulation. All Quincy Public Schools buildings are mechanically ventilated and opening the windows slightly helps with keeping the school buildings comfortable.

Superintendent Mulvey thanked Mr. Scott, he had previously shared this information with principals. Superintendent Mulvey said a recent DESE webinar provided the same information for school districts statewide.

The School Nutrition department, under the direction of Sara Dufour and Jane Minton, will be distributing holiday meal kits to families on Monday, December 21. Families can call the School Nutrition department before December 11 to reserve a meal for their families.

Computer Science Week is December 7-11 and will be observed with special activities at all grade levels, including the Hour of Code at The QPS Fall 2020 Re-Opening Student Survey is active through December 18 for students in Grades 5-8. Recent Virtual Parent Academies included The Importance of Picture Books on November 30; NWEA MAP Growth on December 1; and the QPS Fall 2020 Re-Entry Parent Survey data presentation on December 2. Members of the Superintendents Leadership Team also presented the survey data to the Citywide Parent Council.

Thanks to Public Buildings Commissioner Paul Hines and Director of Energy & Sustainability Shelly Dein, the Point Webster Middle School is the recipient of a $200,000 grant to upgrade all lighting fixtures and controls in the school building. The work will be completed in December and January outside of school hours.

Superintendent Mulvey concluded his report by recognizing the undefeated Quincy High School Girls Volleyball team, winners of the Patriot Cup. Congratulations to Coach Jacqui Niosi, the entire team, and coaching staff on a great season.


New Business

DeCristofaro Learning Center Design Presentation

Superintendent Mulvey and Assistant Superintendent Perkins reviewed the collaboration between Mr. James Mackey from Wessling Associates, Public Buildings Commissioner Paul Hines, and Quincy Public Schools staff to realize the design for this unique learning center for our autistic spectrum students and their families.

Commissioner Hines reviewed that Mayor Koch and the Quincy City Council supported this project through two appropriations for a total of $22.5 million to acquire the property, design and construct this new facility in a thoughtful manner that will serve the community for many years. The design for the school includes a specially-designed accessible playground. The timeline is for bid packages to be available the first week of February, bidding and contractor selection to take eight weeks. Being mindful of the effect of COVID-19 on the availability of materials, the construction is expected to take 22-24 months and is expected to be completed in late Spring 2023. This would allow for the facility to potentially be utilized for summer programming and student orientation prior to the opening of the 2023-24 school year.

Mr. James Mackey from Wessling Architects presented the floor plans for classrooms, life skills training space, therapy rooms, conference area, the cafeteria (with dedicated delivery access), administrative areas (principal, guidance, and school nurse), the multi-purpose and gymnasium. Color and patterns are used throughout the building to provide a welcoming environment that is conducive to learning and to indicate academic neighborhood location and pathways. Since this is an existing building, external changes are minimal but there will be designs incorporated into the finish continuing the color and graphic schemes of the interior. Mr. Mackey also reviewed the traffic flow for parent and school bus pickup and dropoff. The Learning Center will have a custom-designed fully-accessible playground.

Mr. Santoro is concerned about conference room space for all of the IEP meetings that will be needed. Ms. Perkins, Mr. Hines, and Mr. Mackey said there are other flexible spaces that can be used for meetings in addition to the dedicated conference space.

Mrs. Hubley asked for clarification on the number of wheelchair accessible elevators. Mr. Hines said there are two dedicated passenger elevators and in an emergency, the freight elevator could also be utilized.

Mrs. Hubley complimented the playground design and asked about the surface, Mr. Mackey confirmed it will be similar to the surface installed at Faxon Park.

Mrs. Lebo thanked the presenters, very exciting to see the building getting closer to reality.

Superintendent Mulvey thanked Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education Cassandra Beck and the QPAC Board for their collaboration on creating these building plans.


New Business

Quincy School~ Community Partnership Update

Executive Director Keith Segalla and Coordinator Janice Erler presented an update on the Quincy School~Community Partnership. Twelve local businesses have contributed at the $10,000 or above level; six at the $5,000 level; and five at the $1,000 or $3,000 level. The complications of COVID-19 have put many of the annual events temporarily on hold, but our partners have continued to support the staff, students, and families of the Quincy Public Schools. Foxrock Properties donated PPE and supplies (masks, paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes) for schools and Cradles to Crayons provided winter coats for students. $2500 Innovation Learning Grants were distributed recently to fourteen teams of educators who created multi-segment remote learning units. QSCP members are supporting staff and students virtually, including Financial Literacy from the Bank of Canton; entrepreneurship through Jersey Mikes; Baystate Financial will provide support for college applications; ABCD Foster Grandparents will record read alouds for elementary students; and Boston Scientific will provide career pathway information. Thanks to the support of Stop & Shop, Quincy High School Culinary Arts students will prepare “Grab & Go” lunches for Quincy’s first responders on Friday, December 18. Callahan Construction has long supported CVTE students in multiple ways and is sponsoring the “Trades Beyond the Bell” afterschool program which will provide additional shop hours for students after regular school hours.

Mr. Santoro thanked Mr. Segalla and Ms. Erler for their efforts, the Partnership has come a long way in the last 20+ years.

Mr. Gutro echoed Mr. Santoro’s remarks and Mr. Andronico thanked all of the partners for providing so many opportunities for our staff and students.


New Business

Superintendent’s Contract

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the three-year contract between the Quincy School Committee and Quincy Public Schools Superintendent of Schools Kevin Mulvey. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mayor Koch was absent.


New Business

Appointment of QPS Special Education Director

Superintendent Mulvey presented Ms. Julie Graham as the candidate to be the next Quincy Public Schools Special Education Director. Ms. Graham an 18-year classroom veteran of the Snug Harbor Community School and the last four years at the Coddington Building as a Special Education Team Administrator and Coordinator.

Mr. Gutro made a motion to appoint Ms. Julie Graham as Quincy Public Schools Special Education Director. The motion was seconded by Mr. Santoro and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mayor Koch was absent.


New Business


Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that a Quincy family donated $5,000 to the School Nutrition program to assist families in need with school meal costs.

Mr. Gutro made a motion to accept the Gift of $5,000 for the School Nutrition Department. Mr. Santoro seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mayor Koch was absent.



Mr. Andronico noted that the next Regular School Committee meetings are scheduled for January 13 and 27, 2021 at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building. On January 27, 2021 the Budget & Finance Subcommittee meeting will be held at 5:30 pm at the Coddington Building, followed by Teaching & Learning Subcommittee.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mrs. Hubley reported on the November 18, 2020 Special Education Subcommittee where the Special Education Rights & Responsibilities and Special Education Pathways presentations were shared, along with an update from the Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education.

Mr. Andronico reported on the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee meeting held on December 3, 2020. City Councillors Nina Liang and Brian Palmucci reviewed their proposal to create a City Director-level position to develop policy for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (which would be advisory to the Quincy Public Schools). Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile reviewed the VISIONS proposal for additional collaboration, including staff, parent, and student focus groups.

As there were no further changes requested, the minutes of the November 18, 2020 Special Education and December 3, 2020 Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittees were accepted as amended.


Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.



Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the Regular School Committee meeting 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.