March 31, 2021 Joint Special Ed/Teaching Meeting


Quincy School Committee

Joint Special Education and Teaching & Learning Subcommittee

**This meeting is a Committee of the Whole**

Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Special Education Chair
Mr. Doug Gutro & Mrs. Emily Lebo, Subcommittee Members

Mrs. Emily Lebo, Teaching & Learning Chair
Mr. Paul Bregoli & Mr. Frank Santoro, Subcommittee Members

Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 5:45 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 live on QATV Channel 22 or at The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS website on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

  1. Girl Scout Silver Award Project: Student Voices in QPS - Mrs. Lebo
    Presented by: Elizabeth Brown, Lyna Dang, Devereaux Fuller, Zara Valencius

  2. Spotlight on Related Services: Ms. Graham, Ms. Leary
    Speech, Occupational & Physical Therapy, and Visual Impairment

  3. Internship in Education Initiative Ms. Roy, Mr. Segalla

  4. QPAC Update Ms. Beck


Quincy School Committee

Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting ~ March 31, 2021

A joint meeting of the Teaching & Learning and Special Educations Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 6:15 pm via Zoom. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley (Special Education Chair), Mrs. Emily Lebo (Teaching & Learning Chair), Mrs. Courtney Perdios, and Mr. Frank Santoro. Also attending were Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Sarah Anderson, Ms. Catherine Carey, Ms. Jessica Cooke, Ms. Donna Cunningham, Ms. Julie Graham, Ms. Jennifer Leary, Ms. Danielle Miller, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Kimberly Quinn, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Edward Smith, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; Quincy Parent Advisory to Special Education President Cassandra Beck; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Lebo opened the meeting by recognizing four Grade 9 students who are working on their Girl Scout Silver Award project: Elizabeth Brown, Lyna Dang, Devereaux Fuller, and Zara Valencius. The Girl Scouts presented the results of a middle school student survey on student engagement and student voices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The conclusion from the study was to recommend that schools and the School Committee seek further opportunity to involve student in the decision-making process. School Committee and Superintendent Mulvey thanked the students for their presentation.

The next item on the agenda was a presentation of Special Education Related Services (Speech & Language, Physical and Occupational Therapy), introduced by Special Education Director Julie Graham. In the last year, the providers adapted to provide virtual services to support student learning remotely and in school and their families. Special Education Team Administrator Jennifer Leary reviewed the use of technology to access classroom materials. Assessments have also been adapted to be administered remotely. Co-treatment sessions with multiple therapists has assisted with encouraging generalization and students are able to integrate skills from multiple disciplines into a single functional activity.

Mr. Bregoli asked about therapist caseloads, Ms. Graham said that through the support of the Mayor and School Committee, the Special Education department has been able to increase positions to service the increasing number of students needing these supports.

Mr. Santoro asked about positive developments from the adaptions required by COVID-19. Ms. Miller said that especially for physical therapy, the virtual sessions involved family members and this is something that will be important to carry forward.

Mrs. Hubley thanked the presenters and asked about students with hearing impairments, were there impacts from remote learning or mask wearing. Ms. Graham said that the use of technology has aided in improving students with hearing impairment’s ability to access curriculum. Through the Special Education department budget, addition FM systems and microphones have been purchased to assist in classrooms as needed.

Mrs. Perdios thanked the therapists for all of their efforts in adapting during the pandemic.

Mr. Gutro asked about the parents’ ability to adapt to the use of technology. Occupational Therapist Jessica Cook said that with the careful outreach by Quincy Public Schools staff, it was difficult at first, but parents realized it was worth the effort. Ms. Cooke said she is proud to be a Quincy Public Schools employee.

The next item on the agenda was the Internship in Education Initiative, presented by Executive Director Keith Segalla and Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy. Through $90,000 in grant funding from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, 36 high school seniors from both high schools were placed in paid internships at the elementary and middle schools. One of the goals of the initiative is to encourage consideration of careers in education. Students chose from internships as teacher assistants, student mentors, tutors, cafeteria and gymnasium monitors, and specialized opportunities such as assisting in the broadcasting studio at South~West Middle School. The students also completed employment applications with supporting tax documentation and learned about professional dress and conduct during the orientation session. Students also completed 5 hours of online professional development, a written assignment reflecting on their experience, and a thank you letter and survey at the conclusion of the program.

Mrs. Perdios thanked Mr. Segalla and Ms. Roy for their work in providing this opportunity for students. Mrs. Perdios asked how the school sites were chosen, Mr. Segalla said there was a student survey, many wanted to return to the schools they attended at younger students. Mrs. Perdios asked about transportation, most students drove themselves and others were transported in the CVTE vans.

Mrs. Lebo said the program is wonderful and agreed with Mr. Bregoli that this should be documented on the student transcripts.

Mr. Gutro asked for details about the grant, Mr. Segalla said this was special funding from the federal COVID-19 disbursement. The grant will be extended through the summer and hopefully for subsequent years.

Mrs. Hubley asked if there was any conflict with the staff unions and Mr. Segalla said the school staffs welcomed the assistance. Mrs. Hubley asked about CORI and fingerprinting, students over the age of 18 completed this while students under 18 are not required to do so.

The last item on the agenda was an update from Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education President Cassandra Beck. At recent meetings, the parents attending had presentations from Bay State Community Services on resources they provide and understanding individual education plans (IEPs). At upcoming meetings, there will be elections for the QPAC Executive Board and wrap up for the school year. Ms. Beck said that the staff, students, and families of Quincy Public Schools have learned so much and there were many positive gains in extending and maintaining connections between the school and home. Quincy Public Schools has done an amazing job and Ms. Beck is grateful to everyone involved.

Mrs. Perdios thanked Ms. Beck for her work in creating the understanding the IEP process meeting presentation, very valuable information for our families across the city navigating a complicated process.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.