Dec. 2, 2013 Teaching/Learning Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching and Learning Subcommittee
Program Improvement Plan Presentations
Monday, December 2, 2013, 5:00 pm
NAGE Building, 2nd Floor Conference Room

Presentation Schedule:
  1. Title I Program Improvement Plan - Mrs. Erin Perkins

  2. Pre-Kindergarten Program Improvement Plan - Mrs. Erin Perkins

  3. Curriculum Plan Update - Ms. Madeline Roy, Ms. Beth Hallett, Mrs. Erin Perkins


Quincy School Committee
Teaching and Learning Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, December 2, 2013

A meeting of the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee was held on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm in the 2 nd floor Conference Room of the NAGE Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Ms. Beth Hallett, Mr. James Mullaney, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Lebo called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm.

Curriculum Coordinator Erin Perkins presented the Title I Program Improvement Plan, noting that the mission is to provide improved educational opportunities and enhanced supplementary services to all students attending schools with a high rate of poverty. In presenting measures of student achievement, Mrs. Perkins shared information on achievement levels as compared to district and state averages.

Reflecting on last year's goals, Clifford Marshall and Snug Harbor designed a benchmark writing rubric for consistent use which has been shared with all elementary schools. The team also worked on preparing for the Coordinated Program Review, which was delayed by a year, so this goal will continue. Lincoln Hancock staff worked closely with the Hill for Literacy on using data to drive instruction and implementing the Journeys program. The Parker School staff created model curriculum units in conjunction with a Literacy specialist from DSAC. Ms. Isola asked for clarification on the continued consultant relationship with the Hill for Literacy; under the current grant, their work will continue through this school year. Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification on the different approaches schools have taken and was assured that the Curriculum Office will work to make sure these items are shared across all schools.

Mrs. Perkins reviewed the 2013-2014 Goals: (1) During the 2013-2014 school year, the Title I team will oversee the implementation of initiatives created and developed to promote the district-wide goal of increasing the average percent correct by 2% in both ELA and Math. (2) During its 2013-2014 meetings, the Title I team will continue identifying and organizing documents required, creating a documents binder for the 2014-2015 Coordinated Program Review. Mrs. Lebo suggested that the action steps for Goal 1 related to Summer School program belongs under a separate goal as it will not increase spring 2014 results.

Ms. Isola made a motion to approve the Title I Program Improvement Plan, with the requested revision to Goal 1 incorporated. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Perkins then presented the Pre-Kindergarten Program Improvement Plan by reviewing the program mission and program design, measures of student achievement. Curriculum and pacing guides ensure compliance with the Common Core State Standards. Reflecting on last year's goals, the analysis and alignment of the Common Core standards was completed. The study group on family engagement collaborated with Head Start and community-based programs to analyze strategies to increase involvement; a family survey was completed and continued work on this goal will carry into the 2013-2014 school year. Mrs. Lebo asked about the NAEYC accreditation process; the portfolio submission is completed and the schools are waiting for the site visits.

Goals for 2013-2014: (1) During the 2013-2014 school year, the Pre-Kindergarten Team will analyze and assess their use of whole group and small group instruction and their use of data to target and inform instruction, creating a benchmark assessment to monitor, support, and develop foundational skills. (2) The Pre-Kindergarten Team will continue to work together to increase and sustain family engagement by increasing opportunities for parents to participate in activities within the PreKindergarten program. The team will work together to align their approach to parent information distribution and activities to be consistent across the district.

Mrs. Lebo asked whether parent engagement is an issue at this grade level. Mrs. Perkins said there is a difference in engagement between the two sites and partly due to a lack of casual interaction with teachers due to the numbers of students transported.

Ms. Isola made a motion to approve the Pre-Kindergarten Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Senior Curriculum Coordinator Madeline Roy presented updates for the Quincy Public Schools Curriculum Plan. Last year, a three-year plan for 2012-2015 was created under direction of Colleen Roberts. This year is focused on implementation: the Curriculum and Assessment Teams were merged to reflect the overlap of issues and concerns and a subgroup of SLT focused on curriculum issues was established. The team spent the first part of the summer creating definitions for ELA and Math proficiency by grade levels, which was shared with the School Committee. Vertical Teams and DDM Team meetings are underway; sample materials will be presented at an upcoming Teaching and Learning Subcommittee Meeting.

Other Key initiatives for the Curriculum & Assessment Team include full implementation of Core Curriculum Frameworks; the team attended the recent DESE Curriculum Summit. Model units are now available from DESE and include consideration of CEPA (curriculum-embedded performance assessments). Vertical Teams are continuing to build and revise pacing and alignment guides and are reviewing DESE model units as potential cross-curricular units. The Career & Technical Education program staff is transitioning to their new standards. DDM Teams are exploring the assessment options connected with new Reading and Math programs across all grade levels. ELA and Literacy at middle school will need additional materials; Common Core Coach is being used now at Grades 6-8; recommendations will be needed for materials to pilot next year.

Related professional development includes: relevant and content-specific professional development, digital tools for new curricula; Understanding Fractions, Foundations of Mathematics (98% of Pre-K through 2 teachers have completed); and Math workshops for middle school mathematics regular and special education teachers on special topics.

For MCAS and PARCC Assessments, MCAS 2014 will be based totally on CCSS. The PARCC developer is continuing to release sample test items and guidelines; QPS us working with DESE on state-wide field test for Grades 3-10. Grade-level and vertical teams are continuing to review and discuss PARCC-like assessment items; teachers are incorporating similar tasks in class lessons and incorporating performance tasks into Curriculum & Pacing Guides. In collaboration with Information Technology, readiness preparation is underway; next series of reports due 12/3.

For District-Determined Measures, many webinars have been attended and there is much information to synthesize on exemplar DDMs. QPS is piloting 5 DDMs and monitoring this pilot through team meetings; the Curriculum and Assessment Team is also researching software to collect and analyze DDM pilot data. Mrs. Lebo asked whether a manual for system-wide DDM implementation will be created. Ms. Hallett said that every educator has to have two identified DDMs for each curriculum area. DDMs are specific for grade level, content, and course. At the district level, a district plan for identifying DDMs or creating them is in development. QPS has the organizational vision in place for DDM implementation at a district level and shared with principals/instructional leadership and ultimately every teacher. The DESE timeline says that every educator should have these DDMs in place by 2014-15 school year.

In addition, guidelines for scoring these Assessments plus the storing of the data are other tasks to be completed this year. The process of developing DDMs forces teachers and principals to define what proficient means for a certain grade. Ms. Isola asked if other factors such as mobility rate, poverty, and other high needs subgroup factors will be taken into account. Ms. Roy said the goal is to show growth no matter what the starting point. DIBELS is a good example of a tool that can be used as a DDM. Ms. Isola asked if the state intends to provide additional supports based on the outcome of these DDMs. Ms. Hallett said that this year's pilot DDMs have been learning experience for teachers and administrators. Ms. Isola complimented the level and opportunity for teacher involvement. Ms. Roy said the teacher involvement adds to the logistics and planning process but will be worth the extra time and effort. Mr. Bregoli asked about the effect on reporting information to parents; Ms. Roy said that a new elementary school report card is needed and the middle and high school will be evaluated as well. Ms. Isola brought up the issue of the correlation between grades and test scores; these DDMs will be an opportunity to explore these issues. Mrs. Lebo asked whether the Advanced Placement test will be a DDM for AP courses. Ms. Isola asked if AP course students were still required to take the AP exam; additional information will be provided.

For the RETELL Initiative, this is Cohort Year 2 with QPS running nine courses this year. Over 200 teachers and administrators will be eligible for SEI endorsement once these courses are completed. WIDA Training will continue this year, along with collaboration with DSAC ELL liaison for advanced WIDA Curriculum development; continuing ELL curriculum mapping; introduce WIDA standards and language features into all curriculum maps;

In conclusion, Ms. Roy said the initiatives are ever-evolving and growing. The Curriculum and Assessment Team appreciates the School Committee’s commitment to these issues. Mrs. Lebo suggested that more on these topics should be presented at full School Committee meetings and Mr. Bregoli and Ms. Isola agreed. Mrs. Lebo restated her opinion that the Central Office is understaffed. Ms. Isola said the work behind the implementation of these initiatives should be stressed and suggested a presentation that is more parent-friendly for an upcoming meeting. “What does Common Core and the new PARCC assessments mean for your student.”

Mrs. Perkins reminded the School Committee about the upcoming Parent Academy evenings: Grades K-2 presentation on December 3 and Grades 3-5 on January 7. These evenings will feature a curriculum presentation, plus Technology breakout sessions for Think Central and Reading Eggs. Parent feedback about additional topics for upcoming presentations will be solicited. An email address was created for parents to contact the Curriculum Office directly: [email protected].

Ms. Isola made a motion to adjourn the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee meeting at 6:15 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.