Nov. 9, 2015 Teaching/Learning Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching and Learning Subcommittee
Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair
Monday, November 9, 2015, 5:00 pm
Coddington Building

Elementary School Improvement Plan Presentations

  • Atherton Hough Principal - Robin Moreira

  • Lincoln Hancock Principal - Ruth Witmer

  • Clifford Marshall Principal - Nick Ahearn

  • Montclair Principal - Renee Malvesti

  • Squantum Principal - Steve Sylvia


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, November 9, 2015

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on Monday, November 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Bregoli, Mr. DiBona, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Anne Maoney, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Mr. Nicholas Ahearn, Ms. Beth Hallett, Mrs. Renee Malvesti, Mrs. Robin Moreira, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Steve Sylvia, Ms. Judy Todd, Mrs. Ruth Witmer; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Ms. Isola called the meeting to order, asking each Elementary Principal to present short summaries of their School Improvement Plans. Ms. Isola also noted that the Facility Needs will be referred to the Facilities & Security Subcommittee.

Principal Robin Moreira highlighted the Atherton Hough Elementary School Improvement Plan, reflecting on last year’s goals. DSAC funding allowed for data team meetings and the school staff followed a suggested protocol to review student work and developed action steps to support student improvement. Teams included teachers in Substantially Separate Special Education classrooms, gave all teachers a sense of what students are able to do and strive for. This year, Atherton Hough organized teacher schedules to allow for collaboration and interventions and supports for each tier of Literacy. For 2014-2015, the ELA goal of 2% was met for Grade 4, while school-wide saw a 1% decrease. In Mathematics, the focus was fact fluency and precision to drive improvement in all strands and the school showed an increase of 3% schoolwide, with gains at all tested grades. The school culture goal was to enhance communication between home and school; weekly communication from teachers received great feedback from families, including a better understanding of standards-based instruction.

Principal Nick Ahearn presented the Clifford Marshall Elementary School Improvement Plan, reflecting on 2014-2015 goals. Clifford Marshall saw a slight increase in ELA and Mathematics, 0,5% in average percent correct. There was a school-wide 3% increase in prompt-based writing, which was a significant focus of Professional Development. Moving forward, teachers are focusing on the craft of writing, knowing that better writers are often better readers. Increases for subgroup CPIs and Student Growth Percentile are positive takeaways from last year. Clifford Marshall is a large school, with favorable class sizes and a 66% high needs population. This year, Clifford Marshall is working with QARI on focusing on parenting and cultural education. The Marshall Masters afterschool program has 200 students enrolled. In the third year of PBIS, Clifford Marshall has implemented the Tier 2 model for emotional support, nine students receive daily check-ins.

Mr. Bregoli asked about how many students in Grade 4 have been at Marshall since Kindergarten. Mr. Ahearn said there is a core of 75 students; there are 28 general education classrooms and 2 special education classrooms. Mrs. Mahoney asked about building capacity, noting there are 578 students.

Principal Steve Sylvia presented the Squantum Elementary School Improvement Plan noting that in addition to the average percent correct, the school staff’s Educator Evaluation goals and action steps were focused on narrowing the proficiency gap. Squantum’s CPI for ELA moved to 90.9, moved High Needs up by 8 points. In Math, Squantum’s aggregate CPI moved to 83, and the high needs subgroup moved to 81, up 14 points. For the Wellness goal, the BOKS program continued with 60 to 75 students in fall session. The outdoor classroom was used to highlight nutrition and healthy eating, families adopted the garden and watered it all summer; this fall, students harvested, cooked, and shared recipes.

This year’s Professional Development is focused on the new elementary report card and digital literacy. Initiatives for student council and community service are underway, along with the after school program. Mr. Sylvia also thanked School Committee for their support for the Squantum Statement of Interest submission last spring.

Principal Renee Malvesti presented the Montclair Elementary School Improvement Plan. Montclair met the overall Mathematics and ELA SIP goals, showing gains in Grades 4-5, but not in Grade 3. Grade 3 students made progress on other assessments over the course of the year. The Wellness goal was met through school-wide field days, the BOKS program, and other initiatives of the Health & Wellness team.

Montclair has strong grade level team models, each grade identifies the needs of the individual students, create individual and team goals, and action steps. Educator Evaluation goals are basis for School Improvement Plan.

Montclair staff are enthusiastic about the 2 nd year of PBIS implementation, first awards assembly of the year held recently. Tier 2 interventions are making a difference with students. Montclair is a 100 year old building that sparkles, new windows and refinished floors. Montclair has an active student council, with many Community Service initiatives, supported by teachers and parents.

Principal Ruth Witmer presented the Lincoln Hancock Community School Improvement Plan. The children are fabulous and the school staff enjoys ever-increasing parent support. DSAC and Title I funding support a multitude of initiatives, including professional development time for grade level teams. Small groups review student work formally and informally and enjoy common lesson planning time.

In reflecting on last year’s goals, for ELA, Grade 4 met the goal, with a 3% increase; Grade 3 stayed level. The Mathematics goal was not met; Grade 3 showed increase, but Grade 4 decreased. Lincoln Hancock staff are working with DSAC and consultants on the consistent decline between Grade 3 and Grade 4. Lincoln Hancock and Clifford Marshall do not have Grade 5 test scores to balance out the Grade 4 decline seen at all elementary schools. Lincoln Hancock staff are currently working on item analysis and implementing a Guided Math model. Lincoln Hancock is in the 2 nd year of implementing the Lucy Caulkins writing model, impressive results even for the youngest students.

Technology integration ongoing, with Mimio Teach and short throw projectors in use in many classrooms, thanks to the support of the Parent-Teacher Council. Lincoln Hancock’s student council collected candy bars for Children’s Hospital families and are engaged in other Community Service opportunities.

Mrs. Witmer said the school is in fantastic shape thanks to the new windows and doors, repainted gym and refinished gym floors. Going forward, it would be helpful to have the blacktop refurbished in the playground area and new game outlines painted.

Looking forward to this year, Lincoln Hancock’s Wellness goal is again focused on PBIS, which has changed the culture at Lincoln Hancock. Guidance staff teaches lessons on behavioral expectations, the Lincoln Hancock PRIDE. Tier 2 is limited to 2 students and new this year, students are working on self-assessments and goal setting, first in a general way and then more specific to student’s academics.

Mrs. Witmer said that as Principal of Lincoln Hancock, she feels very supported by the Superintendent, Leadership Team, and School Committee.

For 2015-2016, all elementary schools have similar goals for Mathematics and ELA, to increase performance by 1% over the average percent correct level achieved on the 2015 MCAS Assessments.

Ms. Isola asked about the intercom at Atherton Hough, there have been ongoing issues with static and quality.

Mrs. Hubley motioned to approve the Atherton Hough, Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, Montclair, and Squantum Elementary School Improvement Plans. Mrs. Mahoney seconded the motion, and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:35 pm. Mrs. Mahoney seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.