Jan. 27, 2021 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 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 www.qatv.org. The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS SchoolTube website on Friday, January 29, 2021.

I. Approval of Minutes: Meeting Minutes for January 13, 2021

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

C. QPS Enrollment & Learning Models Update

  • Hybrid Learning Expansion

  • High School Streaming

  • Updated Enrollment

D. Virtual Parent Academy: Family Math Night with Greg Tang, February 2

E. Parent Involvement Opportunities:

  • Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education, February 1

  • Citywide Parent Council Meeting, February 8

  • English Learner Parent Advisory Council Meeting, February 9

F. QPAC Virtual Gingerbread Craft Night, January 29

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. Spotlight On: QPS Principal Communication - Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy

B. Academic Programs Update - Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy, Ms. Papile

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: February 10, 2021; March 10 and 24, 2021 (Regular Meetings, 6:30 pm, Coddington Building)

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings: February 3, 2021: Policy at 5:30 pm; Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at 6:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees: None

IX. Executive Session: None

X. Adjournment:


Quincy, Massachusetts– January 27, 2021

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 6:30 p.m via Zoom. Superintendent Kevin Mulvey called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas P. Koch, School Committee Chair, 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. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

School Committee Member Paul Bregoli was absent.

School Committee observed a moment of silence in memory of the following former Quincy Public Schools employees who recently passed away: Gladys Barnes (retired secretary, 30 years); Cathy Cameron (retired secretary, 29 years), Michael Dwyer (husband of former School Committee member Elaine Dwyer), Dr. Jack Merrell (teacher and department chair, QHS, 32 years), and Kathy Mitchell (retired Director of Library Media Services, 35 years; President of Quincy Retired Teachers Association; building substitute teacher at Point Webster Middle School through January 21).


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting for January 13, 2021. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mr. Bregoli was absent.


Open Forum

Mr. Andronico read a letter from Ms. Jennifer Chen who urged in-person opportunities for the QPS Robotics team and Mr. James and Ms. Kristin Campbell who support a return to in-person learning for all Quincy Public Schools students.


Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Mulvey recognized Mayor Koch for the Chairman’s Report. Mayor Koch congratulated Vice Chair Andronico who has been appointed as the Ward 2 City Councillor as of January 28, 2021. The next step is for the City Council and School Committee to meet in a Joint Convention to appoint a new School Committee member to fill Mr. Andronico’s term. Mayor Koch will survey City Council and School Committee to schedule a date.

Mayor Koch said that Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Vaccine distribution will begin shortly with Step 1 being for residents over age 75, Step 2 being for residents over age 65 with two co-morbidities, and Step 3 which is essential workers, including all educational staff. Mayor Koch emphasized that vaccines will be distributed in the City as soon as they are available, in partnership with Manet Health. The 180 Old Colony Avenue building will be utilized and logistical planning is underway, more information to be shared with the public as soon as possible. Mayor Koch noted that the Health Commissioner position is open with Commissioner Jones’ recent retirement.

Mr. Gutro noted that now-retired Commissioner Ruth Jones was a consistent, reassuring presence at so many Quincy Public Schools and School Committee meetings. Mrs. Lebo asked about vaccine availability, Mayor Koch said that first responders have already been vaccinated but the major rollout is still to come, unfortunately not as quickly as people have hoped. Mayor Koch expects much progress in February on the vaccine deployment.


Superintendent Mulvey thanked Mr. Andronico for his service to Quincy Public Schools as a School Committee member for the last three years.

Superintendent Mulvey then reviewed the QPS COVID-19 statistics for the last two weeks (January 13-26), including 80 student cases (37 hybrid, 12 in-person and 31 remote) and 22 positive staff members. The two-week positivity rate is currently 6.55% and in the red and there was no in-school transmission. Superintendent Mulvey noted that the breakdown of positive cases by school has also been shared with School Committee.

Mr. Gutro asked about contact tracing, Superintendent Mulvey confirmed that the Commonwealth’s Community Tracing Collaborative is working with the City’s Health Department nurses and Quincy Public Schools nurses under the direction of Coordinator Rita Bailey to coordinate the reporting, contact tracing, and family support for positive cases.

Superintendent Mulvey and Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins introduced the initiative to return Grades 1-3 students to full in-person learning after February vacation. Under the proposal, all students in these grades currently participating in the hybrid model would now attend school 4.5 days per week, with the early release day on Wednesday. Students and staff will maintain 6-foot distancing; teachers will be assigned one cohort of students that will remain with them all week. In order to maintain the distancing requirement, this applies only to students currently in hybrid learning. The district will consider requests to switch to in-person learning from remote at the close of trimester 2 on March 19, 2021 and will allow changes if space permits at individual schools. There may be some change in teacher assignments for Virtual School students as teachers may swap assignments to meet staff remote accommodation needs.

Mr. Santoro thanked the presenters and asked that the family notification stresses the importance of monitoring student health and keeping students home when they feel unwell.

Mrs. Lebo praised the plan and the importance of consistency for the students. This is the first step on what will be ultimately successful return to in-person learning for all grades.

Mrs. Hubley asked if there is an option for families who do not want to have students attend school five days per week, Ms. Perkins said those families can contact their principals about transferring into the Virtual School.

Mr. Gutro asked if teachers would only teach to the students in front of them. Ms. Perkins said students who are in quarantine would be able to stream the live instruction during the time they are home.

Mr. Andronico thanked the team for all of their work in preparing for this next step in the Quincy Public Schools re-entry plan and maintaining the health guidelines and thoughtfully planning this transition.


Superintendent Mulvey announced that high school teachers will be livestreaming instruction to hybrid students on their remote learning days beginning with the 3rd term on February 1. Educators are being supported through professional development and on-site mentorship between colleagues and from the IT team. Thanks to Mayor Koch and the CARES Act funding that allowed for the installation of additional access points to support livestreaming.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification, Superintendent Mulvey confirmed that hybrid students will no longer have two asynchronous days. Mr. Gutro asked how many students will be impacted, Superintendent Mulvey will follow up with that data.

Mrs. Lebo thanked the team and hopes that this will inspire some students to move from fully remote to hybrid learning. Mrs. Lebo asked how many teachers will be ready to implement this immediately. Ms. Roy said that most teachers are ready to begin the transition with the support of the department chairs. Mrs. Lebo thanked all of the educators for their efforts.

Mr. Gutro asked if any students would be required to change teachers due to this livestreaming. Superintendent Mulvey said this implementation would not affect schedules unless students were in half-year courses that would change for 3rd quarter which begins February 1.


Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that current enrollment is 9,693, a slight increase over the last two weeks, with about 20 registrations pending. The instructional model breakdown is 48% for hybrid/in-person and 52% remote. Pre-Registration for 2021-2022 Kindergarten is underway, with over 200 families already completing the online form.


Superintendent Mulvey reviewed the high school extracurricular activities available in person and remotely to support student social emotional learning, including Robotics, which is meeting virtually through student choice.


Superintendent Mulvey reviewed recent Virtual Parent Academies held on January 19 (Grades K-2) and January 26 (Grades 3-5) highlighting Picture Books for Tough Times with Dr. Nancy Boyles and the upcoming event on February 2 for Grades 3-4, Family Math Night with Greg Tang. Additional opportunities for parent involvement in early February include: Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education meeting on February 1 at 7:00 pm; Citywide Parent Council meeting on February 8 at 7:00 pm; and the English Learner Parent Advisory Council meeting on February 9 at 6:00 pm. QPAC is also hosting a Virtual Gingerbread Craft event on Friday, January 29 at 6:00 pm.


New Business

Spotlight on QPS Principal Communications

Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins and Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy presented on the Principals’ Strategies for Keeping Students, Families, and Staff Connected. Highlights included Quincy High School’s video announcements and Think, Work, Share Newsletter, North Quincy High School’s Google Homeroom, In-Person Homework Club, and Raider Roundup Newsletter. Both high schools also use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. At the middle school level, school newsletters, virtual community meetings, the One Book, One School initiative, morning announcements, Peer Mentoring, and parent newsletters were shared. At the elementary school level, principals are hosting daily virtual announcements, sharing resources, hosting virtual family events and read alouds.

Mr. Andronico thanked the presenters, the principals and staff have done a fantastic job to adapting their communications to the challenges of this school year. Mr. Gutro and Mr. Santoro agreed.


New Business

Academic Programs Update

Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy, and Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile presented highlights of the Academic Programs, including Art, Music, Instrumental, and Physical Education. These programs have adapted to incorporate safety guidelines and to engage and educate both remote and in-person students.

Mrs. Lebo thanked the presenters and requested a similar presentation for Student Support Services.


Additional Business

Mrs. Lebo thanked Mr. Andronico for his thoughtful approach to being on School Committee, appreciated his insight into the State House.

Mr. Gutro thanked Mr. Andronico for his leadership, he became Vice Chair just before the pandemic began and faced many challenges.

Mr. Andronico thanked everyone, he is excited to join the City Council but sad to leave the School Committee and the QPS team.



Mr. Andronico noted that the next Regular School Committee meetings are scheduled for February 10, 2021; March 10 and 24, 2021 at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building.


Reports of Subcommittees

There were no reports of Subcommittees.


Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.



Mr. Andronico made a motion to adjourn the Regular School Committee meeting at 8:35 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mr. Bregoli was absent.