May 17, 2023 School Committee Meeting

May 17, 2023 School Committee Meeting
Posted on 05/15/2023
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Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 6:30 pm
Coddington Building, School Committee Room

I. Approval of Minutes:

A. Regular Meeting Minutes for May 3, 2023

B. Executive Session Minutes for May 3, 2023

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.
Interested parties may also submit written statements to: [email protected].

III. Superintendent’s Report

A. Student Recognitions: Class of 2023 Seal of Biliteracy

B. High School Graduations

C. QPS Summer Programs Update

D. Recent QPS Events

E. Upcoming QPS & City Events

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. FY2024 City of Quincy Budget Mayor - Thomas P. Koch

B. FY2024 Quincy Public Schools Budget - Superintendent Mulvey, Ms. Perkins, Mr. Mullaney

C. CVTE Program Update - Mr. Keith Segalla,  Ms. Collins, Ms. McInnis

D. Food Waste Diversion Pilot Program Update - Mr. Heaslip

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: June 14, 2023 at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building.

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (at the Coddington Building):

  • May 24, 2023 beginning at 6:00 pm: FY2024 Budget & Finance, followed by Facilities, Security & Transportation

  • May 31, 2023 beginning at 6:00 pm: FY2024 Budget Public Hearing, followed by Special Education and Teaching & Learning

VIII.  Reports of Subcommittees: None

IX. Executive Session: Contract Negotiations

X. Adjournment:




Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – May 17, 2023

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. in the School Committee Room at the Coddington Building. Superintendent Kevin Mulvey called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas P. Koch, School Committee Chair, and School Committee Members Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Tina Cahill, Mr. Douglas Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mr. Frank Santoro, Vice Chair.

Also present were: Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Marianne Collins, Ms. Kim Connolly, Ms. Allison Cox, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Sara Dufour, Mr. Dan Gilbert, Ms. Julie Graham, Mr. Finbar Heaslip, Ms. Stephanie Jones, Ms. Rebecca McInnis, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Alicia Ten-Pow Negeri, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

A moment of silence was observed for North Quincy High School Department Chair Rebecca Nutley, who passed away last week. A 24-year veteran of Quincy Public Schools, Mrs. Nutley was previously a guidance counselor at Point Webster Middle School and Quincy Evening High School.

Mr. Santoro read the following statement into the record: Pursuant to the Open Meeting Law, any person may make an audio or video recording of this public meeting or may transmit the meeting through any medium. Attendees are therefore advised that such recordings or transmissions are being made whether perceived or unperceived by those present and are deemed acknowledged and permissible.


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the minute of the Regular Meeting for May 3, 2023. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Ms. Cahill made a motion to approve the minutes of the Executive Session for May 3, 2023. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

Parent Jennifer Chen spoke in response to the School Committee deliberation of adding Lunar New Year to the school year calendar at the May 3, 2023 School Committee meeting.

Ms. Owens read a letter from student Maya Egan and parent Susan Chinsen in support of establishing Lunar New Year as a Quincy Public Schools holiday.


Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Mulvey recognized the 23 students from the Class of 2023 from North Quincy High School and Quincy High School who have met the criteria to receive the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy, the first Quincy Public Schools class to earn this honor. Students earned a high intermediate score of proficiency on a language assessment in addition to meeting expectations on the Grade 10 ELA MCAS. From Quincy High School: Sarah Alberione, Kayron Campos, Vanessa Chan, Nick Chen, Rebecca Da Silva, Saidy Guerro, Christiana Nguyen, Thuy Nguyen, Julia Rue, Vasiliana Sota, Jiaxin Zhu; from North Quincy High School: Candace Chan, Maya Egan, Nicholas Enbar-Salo, Yixiang Gao, Katie Jiang, Dayanie Mejia Cisneros, Sophie Nerine, Jinglin Tan, Sabrina Teng, Zeyi Xiao, Jacky Zhao.

After a brief recess, Superintendent Mulvey noted that preparations are underway to recognize the accomplishments of the Class of 2023 on Monday, June 5 (Quincy High School) and Tuesday, June 6 (North Quincy High School), both at 6:00 pm at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Thanks to the Department of Natural Resources, the Quincy Police Department, and the Public Buildings Department for their collaboration on these events. We are looking forward to celebrating with the graduates, their families, and the high school staff and administrators.

Registration is now open for the QPS Summer Programs and we’ve had a good response for both the invitation and open enrollment programs. Information was emailed directly to Quincy Public Schools parents and guardians via Aspen and the information is displayed prominently on the Quincy Public Schools website and social media. In addition, the Quincy Police Department is offering a free Youth Police Academy for 50 students entering Grade 8 the week of July 24-28.

Recent Quincy Public Schools events included the Quincy Multicultural Festival, a collaboration of Quincy Public Schools and the Citywide Parent Council EDI Subcommittee was held this past Saturday, May 13 at the Fore River Field. The event was attended by hundreds of QPS students and families, who enjoyed the music and dance performances, games and activities, and food that provided connections from cultures all over the world. Special thanks to the parent organizers, Erin Perkins, Maura Papile, Keith Segalla, Kevin Segalla, the Family Liaisons, and the many volunteers who were part of the planning of the event along with the support of the Department of Natural Resources.

Many of our graduating seniors from both high schools are the beneficiaries of generous scholarships, thanks to the support of our local community members. On May 9, the Quincy Retired Teachers Association presented 40 scholarships and yesterday, the Quincy Rotary Club presented 30 scholarships. Each high school will also host Scholarship events later in May and the dates of those events will be shared with School Committee.

Upcoming Quincy Public Schools and City of Quincy Events include: the QPS Robotics Challenge for Grades 5-8, Saturday, May 20 at Quincy High School beginning at 10:00 am; Montclair Elementary School May Festival, Saturday, May 20, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; QPS Community Fitness Night for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5, Tuesday, May 23 at 6:00 pm at Veterans Memorial Stadium; the Quincy ArtsFest is being held from May 13 to June 11 at the QArts Gallery in Quincy Center. The ArtsFest will feature 170 pieces of artwork and photography from Quincy Art Association members, local artists, and Quincy Public Schools students. There will be a Welcome to Kindergarten parent event on May 26 at Central Middle School and on Saturday, June 3 at 9:00 am, Point Webster and Clifford Marshall PTOs will host a Family Fun Run & Wellness Expo.


New Business

City of Quincy FY2024 Budget Overview

Mayor Koch presented the FY2024 City of Quincy budget to City Council on Monday, May 15 and again tonight at School Committee, reviewing the priorities and challenges, this budget reflects the values of the Quincy community. Quincy Public Schools makes up the largest portion of the city budget, from the direct allocation of $127.5 million and portions of the allocations within Public Buildings, the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Works, and the Quincy Police and Fire Departments. In addition, all employee benefit costs are carried on the city side of the budget.

75% of the city’s revenue comes from property taxes; other revenues are from state aid and local receipts (fees, excise taxes). Mayor Koch thanked the local delegation for their support of the city through the state budget and Congressman Lynch for the federal dollars that have supported the city throughout the pandemic and the post-pandemic.

The Mayor reminded School Committee that they will meet in Subcommittee on Monday, May 22 to discuss the specifics of the draft FY2024 Quincy Public Schools budget.


New Business

Draft QPS FY2024 Budget

Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, and Director of Business James Mullaney presented the draft FY2024 Quincy Public Schools budget. The proposed budget for FY2024 is $134,639,644, an increase of $8,200,000 over the FY2023 budget. The Mayor’s appropriation is $127,539,644, which includes an increase of $6.7 million (5.4%). Projected Circuit Breaker funding is $7,100,000 (an increase of $1.5 million). After reconciling contractual staff and level raises, retirements, and higher costs to provide level services, there is $2,479,985 available for program expansion.

Recommendations include an expansion of four academic classroom teachers at North Quincy High School (ELA, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies) to address class sizes due to higher enrollment. For Academic Programs, an additional 10.5 positions: 1.0 elementary ELL teacher; 2.0 Math Interventionists for Point Webster and South~West Middle Schools; 1.0 elementary Music teacher; 1.0 Physical Education teacher for Quincy High School; 3.5 Special Education Teachers (elementary CARES; NQHS Learning Center; Atlantic Middle School, 0.5 at Central Middle School); 2.0 Speech & Language Teachers to address caseloads. For Academic Programs, 10 positions: 3.0 elementary Guidance (Snug Harbor, Squantum, Atherton Hough); 1.0 elementary Occupational Therapy to address caseloads; 5.0 Special Education paraprofessionals for CARES classrooms. For Non-Academic Support, the request is to increase the 0.5 Human Resources position to full-time.

For the revolving accounts, there are no recommendations to increase fees. For Food Services, all meals continue to be offered at no cost with state subsidy. School building rentals are continuing to recover from the pandemic. For Transportation, all students are being transported without charge. Athletics fees are climbing back towards pre-pandemic levels. For Academic expenses, requesting increases in the supply line (increased cost of paper), professional discretionary funds (to reflect contractual rate), musical instruments and supplies. For non-Academic expenses, increases in natural gas and electricity costs to reflect current rates.

Mr. Bregoli asked about Title 1 funding, Mr. Mullaney said there are 22 positions from Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, Parker, and Snug Harbor funded through the Title I grant. Mr. Bregoli asked about the new CARES classroom, Ms. Perkins said this will be for Pre-Kindergarten and will be located at either Point Webster or the Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the completion of the DeCristofaro Learning Center. Mayor Koch said that the construction is well underway and should be completed in Winter 2024. The building will be available for summer programs in 2024.

Mrs. Lebo asked about replacement of Chromebooks, Mr. Mullaney said many are still under warranty and there is available ESSER funding to order replacements. Superintendent Mulvey said in-house technician Irvin Matos is refurbishing and repairing Chromebooks to make the most of what we have available.

Mrs. Lebo asked to review the ESSER funding and what positions will need to be absorbed in the Quincy Public Schools budget in FY2025 and beyond.

Mr. Gutro asked about space within North Quincy High School to add the four teachers. Superintendent Mulvey said Commissioner Hines will be collaborating with Principal Gilbert on reconfiguring existing spaces. Mr. Gutro asked for a review of building space concerns.

Mr. Gutro asked about rentals of school building, Mr. Mullaney said there are fewer rentals. It is self-supporting but not generating excess revenues as it did in the past.

Mr. Santoro asked for clarification about the per-pupil expenditures, Mr. Mullaney said that certain expenses for physical plant are not included by DESE in the calculation.


New Business

CVTE Program Update

Career Vocational and Technical Education Executive Director Keith Segalla, accompanied by Department Chairs Marianne Collins and Rebecca McInnis presented the end of year update for the CVTE program. The 19 CVTE programs each have a Program Advisory Team with 143 members from organized labor, business and industry, post-secondary institutions, parents, students, and community members. The Program Advisory Teams collaborate with instructors on program direction; safety; curriculum and standards; articulation agreements; program improvements; budget recommendations; and share industry trends and technologies.

The Perkins Grant allocation for 2022-2023 was $160,443 and was allocated for safety certifications and credentials (just under 400 vouchers for courses); curriculum and educational software; professional development/training; and an extensive list of specialized equipment (car lift for Automotive; plasma cutter for Metal Fabrication; a mini-van for CVTE student transportation at NQHS; new iMacs for Visual Design/Communications). For the Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant, Healthcare Technology received $238,000 and Electrical Technology received $167,400 for this past school year.

The Career Centers at North Quincy High School and Quincy High School have expanded with the additional positions for Connecting Activities Liaisons, CVTE Support Liaisons, and the ECHS Transition Coaches. The Career Center staff also coordinate with vocational trade opportunities, the armed forces, non-traditional pathways. The liaisons are expanding relationships with local unions, coordinating work-based learning initiatives (internships, coops, and employment), and providing opportunities for non-traditional career pathways.

CVTE Program Initiatives include Certified Nursing Assistant Pinning Ceremony, Engineering Senior Capstone Project Presentations, the recent Fashion Show, the Tiny House Project, National Business Honor Society (largest chapter in North America).

Mrs. Cahill said that this a great array of options for students, the leadership and excitement for the work they do is evident.

Mr. Bregoli asked if the new North Quincy High School van will allow for the Broadcasting students to participate in internships at QATV and Mr. Segalla confirmed.

Mr. Bregoli asked how many ROTC students enter the military. Superintendent Mulvey will follow up.

Mrs. Lebo thanked the Advisory Committee members, this is a big voluntary time commitment. The Career Centers and Liaisons are making a difference for our students. Mrs. Lebo noted that the new CVTE frameworks are going to require OSHA certification for all CVTE programs.

Mayor Koch said that it is so important to support the interests of all the students, entering college directly after high school is not the path for all students and the Career Liaisons are assisting students in many ways.


New Business

Food Waste Diversion Pilot Program Update

School Nutrition Director Sara Dufour and Food Waste Diversion Manager Finbar Heaslip gave an overview of the pilot program launched at Quincy High School in February. Two waste separation stations are staffed by volunteers aided by signage encouraging students to recycle, discard food waste, place unwanted food on the share table, and then put anything remaining in the trash. To date, almost 6,000 pounds of food waste have been diverted along with 4.25 tons of recycling.

Impediments to full participation include the multiple locations for students to eat, including outdoors; multiple exits from the cafeteria; and the limited number of students who eat cafeteria lunch. The Department of Public Works has collaborated to re-introduce recycling pickup at the school and will provide a recycling dumpster. Educational initiatives include meeting with the Green Team, participating in the Multi-Cultural Fair, presenting to the Science National Honor Society, and visiting Grade 9 Science classrooms.

The Food Waste Diversion program has been supported by volunteers from the Wollaston Garden Club, the community, and will expand to include members of the Quincy Council on Aging who wish to participate through the Senior Worker Abatement Program (SWAP). The monitoring will need to continue and expand in order to ensure the success of the program. The program will expand to North Quincy High School in the fall, the goal is to eventually be in all Quincy Public Schools buildings.

Mr. Gutro asked where the food waste goes. The Black Earth Company picks up on Thursday and the material is transported to western Massachusetts and processed for compost. Mr. Gutro asked if there is integration with the Science curriculum, that process is beginning.

Mayor Koch thanked Mrs. Lebo for her leadership and Ms. Dufour for her initiative in replacing the Styrofoam trays. Mayor Koch pointed out that this pilot is also good for the taxpayers of Quincy, reducing waste collection fees.

Mrs. Cahill said that the students seem in tune with the environmental concerns about sustainability, thinks that elementary students will rapidly adapt to this way of managing their lunch waste.

Mrs. Lebo said there are 17 volunteers and they are impressed with the students, there is a positive atmosphere, welcoming to the volunteers.


Additional Business

There was no Additional Business.



Mr. Santoro noted that the last Regular School Committee meeting of the school year is scheduled for June 14, 2023 at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building. Upcoming Subcommittee meetings include the FY2024 Budget & Finance Subcommittee on Monday, May 22, 2023 at 6:00 pm, followed by Facilities, Security & Transportation. On May 31, 2023 there will be a hearing for the FY2024 Quincy Public Schools Budget, followed by Special Education and Teaching & Learning Subcommittees.

Mrs. Lebo asked about scheduling the MASC Workshop to set goals.


Reports of Subcommittees

There were no Reports of Subcommittees.


Executive Session

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to move to Executive Session for the Purpose of Contract Negotiations at 8:35 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0. School Committee will not return to Regular Session.



Since School Committee did not return from Executive Session, the Regular Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.


Open Forum Letter 5/17/2023

Good evening,

My name is Maya Egan. I am a senior at North Quincy High School and secretary of the student council. Last night I had the pleasure of shaking all of your hands as I was recognised for being a senior member in our chapter of the National Honors Society. 

On my way into City Hall last night, I noticed a group of people holding signs outside of the building with slogans such as "Representation in Quincy" and "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion". I realized that my NHS recognition coincided with the committee's vote on whether or not to add a day off to the school calendar in recognition of Lunar New Year. I became immensely excited that this issue was being brought to the committee and that we had an opportunity to increase the visibility and recognition of an integral part of our Quincy culture. 

This afternoon, curious about the result, I discovered that the Lunar New year day off was rejected, 6 to 1. I am deeply disturbed and saddened by this decision. 

I understand that the school committee's decision was based mainly on the idea that recognizing Lunar New Year as a school holiday would be disregarding other cultural holidays and therefore "unequal". I would remind the committee that by simply existing in the United States of America today, we are living in a systemically unequal society. Our country, including Quincy, is biased towards historically white religions, holidays, and traditions. I would reply to Mr. Gutro's statement that we do not currently have any religious/ethnic school holidays by pointing out our day off for Good Friday. Although less than half of the student population is Catholic, this religious holiday is a day off for all. Despite the supposed separation of church and state, the Christian religion is integrated into many aspects of our school system: From our repetition of "under God'' in the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, to our curriculum based around white history and literature, to the songs praising God sung in the school choirs (of which I am a part). I understand that this is an issue beyond any one person or committee, but it cannot accurately be stated that the QPS system is completely equal towards all cultures and religions. 

This is why last night's vote was so important to so many people. A day off for Lunar New year would not simply be a change in the school schedule, it would be a recognition of Quincy's rich Asian culture and an act of solidarity with and respect for those who celebrate culturally diverse holidays in this city. This amendment would say "We see you, we value you, and we are willing to prove it". 

I know the idea of opening up school holidays to include more than those of the white mainstream may seem like opening up the floodgates to all of the ethnic holidays the world has to offer. Mr. Gustro, the idea of a "trigger" is indeed a question that needs to be addressed. Perhaps the mark can be set at 30% of the population. Asian Americans currently make up approximately 40% of the Quincy population. While this is less than half, that is still about 40,500 people who you all are elected to represent. The specific details going forward of how school holidays will be decided can certainly be further discussed and quantitatively decided. What people need right now is to see that their governing body recognizes them and is willing to listen to what they have to say. I can almost guarantee that people of other cultural traditions will not be angry that Quincy is beginning to be more inclusive toward a wider variety of people. Even if their holiday is not granted time off, simply living in a city that is welcoming towards more cultures is going to make people feel like they are welcome to be themselves. 

Another argument brought up by Ms. Cahill was that, due to all of the time lost during quarantine, we should not take our students out of school any more than we already are. A few months ago when the 2023 Lunar New Year was celebrated, about half of the students at NQHS were not in school the day after the holiday (it fell on a Sunday this year). Being caucasian myself, I did not celebrate and was in school. So, I was able to experience the great absence of students in school that day. With some of my classes being nearly empty, the majority of my teachers simply gave us a day off, putting on a movie or allowing us to do homework. With so many students already missing, it would have been unproductive to continue with the curriculum. So, simply giving the day off for all students would not make much of a difference from the current situation. I would suggest that if the one extra day off is too great of a sacrifice, or if an extra day at the end of the year is unwanted, the committee may swap the Good Friday day off for Lunar New Year. I feel that this would be an affirmative action for all of those who have been historically oppressed in the United States for their culture and religion. 

On July 8th, 2020, the Quincy school committee reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the inclusion of DEI initiatives throughout the school system. I would challenge the committee to live up to this assertion, not only with statements, but with concrete actions. I understand that much has already been done, but in a time when millions of people are being persecuted for their race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation, now is no time to back down. Quincy should not wait for other districts to take the first step. Quincy is a city where leaders of the revolution were born and has served as the foreground for the development of our beautiful nation. Let us live up to our reputation, be bold, and take the lead in fulfilling our country's promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people. 

Thank you for your time and I await your response. 

Maya Egan