Feb. 10, 2016 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 7:00 pm
Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting Minutes for January 27, 2016

II. Open Forum: An opportunity for community input regarding the Quincy Public Schools. 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.

III. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Inspire Quincy

B. Student Recognitions: Boston Globe Silver Key Scholastic Art Award Winners

C. Sterling Middle School Community Meeting

D. High School Events

E. All-City Chorus

F. Kindergarten Registration, February 23

G. Pre-Kindergarten Screenings

H. Partnership Events: A Matter of the Heart and Student Leadership Summit

I. QPS Grant Booklet

J. Parent Academy

K. Home~School Connections: Atherton Hough Elementary School Newsletter

IV. Old Business:

A. School Committee Meeting Calendar 2016-2017 (Vote March 2)

B. Concussion Policy Update (Vote March 2)

V. New Business:

A. Initiative Update: Advanced Placement Pathways Ms. Roy, Mr. Shaw

B. Gift: $3,000 to the Quincy High School Science Department from the Rural Masonic Lodge of Quincy

C. Overnight Travel/In-State: Central Middle School Grade 7 to Camp Wing, Duxbury, Massachusetts, June 14-16, 2016.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: March 2 and March 16, 2016, both at 7:00 p.m.

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings:

  1. Health, Transportation, and Safety, Wednesday, February 24, 5:00 pm

  2. Teaching & Learning, Monday, February 29, 5:00 pm

  3. Facilities & Security, Wednesday, March 9, 5:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Budget & Finance: Mrs. Lebo to report on the February 1, 2016 meeting.

B. Policy: Mr. Bregoli to report on the February 1, 2016 meeting.

IX. Executive Session: None

X. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee

Budget & Finance

  1. Additional Funding Appropriation: Referred to Subcommittee at the September 30, 2015 School Committee meeting. With the reinstatement of the Full-Day Kindergarten Grant from DESE for Kindergarten Aides, there is an additional $250,000 available for one-time FY2016 expenses.

Facilities & Security

  1. President’s City Inn Referred to Subcommittee at the October 10, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Safety concerns have been expressed about this property that abuts the new Central Middle School. Current construction plans were reviewed at the March 18, 2014 Subcommittee Meeting and updates provided during the 2014-2015 school year.

  2. North Quincy High School Campus Expansion/Teele Field Project Referred at the January 22, 2014 School Committee Meeting. A presentation on the proposed enhancements will be scheduled.

  3. Faxon Field Equalization Pipe Referred at the October 14, 2015 School Committee meeting. Requesting information on the communications between the City of Quincy and Mass. DEP.

Health, Transportation & Safety

  1. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Referred to Subcommittee at the September 24, 2012 Special School Committee Meeting. Student Support Services working with elementary and middle schools to implement this initiative.

  2. Traffic Concerns at North Quincy High School Referred to Subcommittee at the March 5, 2014 School Committee Meeting. Concerns about East Squantum Street crosswalk/parking lot entrance.

  3. Solar Array Installation on School Roofs Referred from the Facilities & Security Subcommittee on September 10, 2014. Monitoring of the ongoing projects and the educational opportunities.

  4. Learn to Swim Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee Meeting. Monitoring the ongoing partnership between QPS and the South Shore YMCA.

  5. Farm to School Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee Meeting. Monitoring the Planning Grant rollout, a collaboration of QPS and the Planning Department.

  6. CPR Certification Referred from the Policy Subcommittee at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting.

  7. Before School Exercise Programs Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting. Monitoring the implementation of these programs across QPS.

  8. Peer Mentoring for Grade 9 Students Referred at the September 29, 2015 Special School Committee meeting. Monitoring the implementation of this program at both high schools.


  1. Graduation Requirements Referred to Subcommittee at the September 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting and discussed at the October 11, 2011 School Policy Subcommittee. The discussion centered around adding a fourth year of Math as a graduation requirement; the issue is tabled until more is known about the impact of the new Common Core Standards on the Massachusetts frameworks.

  2. Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities Referred at the June 13, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Review and discussion of amending the existing policy requested to explore the possibility of raising revenue by accepting advertising sponsorships.

  3. Review of High School Academic and Extracurricular Programs Referred at the November 13, 2013 School Committee Meeting. A comparison of the offerings at both schools to be analyzed to ensure equitable and parallel opportunities for all students at both facilities.

  4. Open Enrollment Referred at the October 8, 2014 School Committee meeting for review and discussion to focus on the timeline for placement decisions and communication to parents.

  5. Middle School Grading System Referred at the December 10, 2014 School Committee meeting for review and discussion.

  6. 2016-2017 School Year Calendar Referred at the April 8, 2015 School Committee meeting.

  7. Weather Cancellation Schoolwork Referred at the April 8, 2015 School Committee meeting and shared with the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee. Exploring options for creating Policy for schoolwork during extended periods of weather-related school cancellations.

  8. Concussion Policy Referred at the May 6, 2015 School Committee meeting; as required by law, the policy must be reviewed and amended or reaffirmed every two years.

  9. Voter Registration at the High Schools Referred at the September 16, 2015 School Committee meeting for discussion of implementation with the City Clerk’s Office.

  10. 2016-2017 School Committee Meeting Calendar Referred at the January 13, 2016 School Committee meeting.

  11. School Committee Policy Book Referred at the January 13, 2016 School Committee meeting for review and updating as needed.

Special Education

  1. Student Information for Substitute Teachers Originally referred at the January 17, 2007 School Committee Meeting. Aspen Student Information System Special Education module reports will be utilized to share information with substitute teachers beginning in 2015-2016 school year.

Rules, Post Audit & Oversight

Teaching and Learning

  1. Advanced Program Pathways Referred at the May 20, 2015 School Committee Meeting to review opportunities to challenge above-level students at all grades.

  2. Enrollment Data/Class Size: Referred at the October 14, 2015 School Committee meeting for further review and discussion.

  3. Resolution on Student Assessment: Referred at the October 28, 2015 School Committee meeting for review and discussion.


Sterling Building Committee

Sterling/Point Webster Grade 5

Created at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting to review issues related to Grade 5 being located in middle school buildings.

School District Maps

Created at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting to review issues related to school district maps.


Quincy, Massachusetts – February 10, 2016
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at the Coddington Building. The Superintendent called the roll and the School Committee members present were Mr. James DeAmicis, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mayor Thomas Koch, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mr. Paul Bregoli, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mr. Daniel Gilbert, Ms. Maureen MacNeil, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Robert Shaw, Mr. Laurence Taglieri, Ms. Judy Todd; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox.


There was a moment of silence for all service members serving at home or overseas.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 1/27/16

Mayor Koch made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hubley, to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for January 27, 2016. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

As no one wished to speak at Open Forum, School Committee moved on to the next item on the agenda.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report with Inspire Quincy, featuring Middle School Technology Engineering, Point Webster Students of the Month, Middle School Wrestling Program, Parent Academy on the Redesigned SAT, and CPR Training for Grade 8.

Dr. DeCristofaro then introduced the students who received the Scholastic Art Award Regional Key Winners from North Quincy and Quincy High Schools. Anna Laugelle (Gold Key for Digital Art), Quynh Vu (Gold Key and Honorable Mention for Photography), Lily Chapman (Gold Key for Photography), and Austin Kimmel (Silver Key, Drawing & Illustration).

Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile reviewed the Parent Academy event on the redesigned SAT that was recently held in collaboration with the College Board Testing Service. Over 80 parents attended the event and the presentation will be posted on the Quincy Public Schools website www.quincypublicschools.com.

The Quincy School~Community Partnership Student Leadership event for Grade 5 students will be held on Thursday, February 11. 70 Student Council members from all eleven elementary schools have been invited. High School Senior Class officers from and South Shore YMCA will guide students in leadership activities.

A Matter of the Heart was held on Saturday, February 6 and over 80 Grade 8 students and parents were trained and received full CPR certification by Brewster Ambulance. All Grade 8 students at our five middle schools had an introductory CPR class during the week of February 1 also taught by Brewster Ambulance staff.

Sterling Middle School Community Meeting was held on Thursday, February 4, hosted by City Councilors Brad Croall and Brian Palmucci. Community members and parents saw schematic designs from Ai3 and an overview of the construction process from Joslin-Lesser Associates.

City Council unanimously supported filing Statements of Interest for Accelerated Repair Program projects for new boilers at Atherton Hough, Beechwood Knoll, Merrymount, and Wollaston at the February 1 meeting.

Kindergarten Registration will be held on February 23 at all elementary school locations. Pre-Kindergarten screenings will be held at Snug Harbor and the Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center on February 23 and March 15.

QHS hosted the Regional Academic Decathalon competition featuring over 25 teams on Saturday, February 6. Both high schools were represented and the Quincy High School team, coached by teacher Jane Lundquist, placed 4th overall. Both high school Science fairs have been held and winners will be recognized at a School Committee meeting this spring.

High School Debate Team competitions are underway with North Quincy High School traveling to Washington, D.C. February 26-28 and Quincy High School competing in Shrewsbury February 27. MIAA Winter Athletics tournaments will begin in late February and the following teams have qualified: Q/NQ Girls Hockey, QHS Boys and Girls Basketball, and individual swimmers, track & field, and wrestlers have qualified for state finals. Both high school Boys Hockey teams are 3 points away from qualifying.

The high school course selection process will begin in mid-March. Information for parents and students will be shared at the High School Course Selection Information Nights on Monday, March 14 at North Quincy High School and Tuesday, March 15 at Quincy High School.

Upcoming Events include Special Olympics on Friday, February 12 at Squantum Elementary School at 9:30 am and Literacy Night at Lincoln Hancock, Thursday, February 11 at 5:30 pm.

Dr. DeCristofaro noted that the FY2016 Grant Booklet has been shared with School Committee members and that they can contact Director of Business James Mullaney for additional information on grants.


Old Business

2016-2017 School Committee Calendar

Revised Concussion Policy

Both the School Committee Meeting Calendar for 2016-2017 and the revised Concussion Policy are sitting on the table for this meeting. Both will be voted on at the March 2, 2016 School Committee Meeting.


New Business

QPS 2015-2016 Initiatives Update: Advanced Placement Pathways

Senior Director of Curriculum Madeline Roy and North Quincy High School Principal introduced the Advanced Placement Pathways for Grades 6 through 12. For the 2015-2016 Advanced courses in English and Mathematics are being offered to students in Grades 6 through 8 at all five middle schools. Both these classes, and the APC courses at Central Middle School will provide a pathway to the Advanced classes offered at both high schools.

The organizing principles of Advanced Courses are a differentiation of the standards, the depth and complexity that require higher order knowledge and skills. Pacing accelerates based on the learning style and needs of the students. 778 middle school students are currently taking Advanced classes with slightly more students in Math than English Language Arts. Criteria included MCAS Assessment scores, grades, consistent success on classroom assessments, demonstrated high level of reasoning ability, the ability to work successfully independently or in small groups.

Principal Maureen MacNeil said that these classes recognize the abilities of students; teachers and guidance staff know student strengths and work habits, open communication and collaboration with students and families, provide support and celebrate successes. Beginning last spring, teachers and guidance worked together to assess data to make recommendations for advanced course placement, opportunity for students to take one or both Advanced courses. Student placements are revisited as needed, some students have moved in and others have moved out based on Term 1 performance. Only a few changes have happened to date, which speaks to the work put into the recommendations.

Principal Dan Gilbert said that Mary Fredrickson played a very important role in assisting with data. Mr. Gilbert said discussions centered around students’ grasp of foundational skills, students should be challenged in a way that encourages growth. Fluidity is important, students grow and change over the course of the summer, additional students were moved into Advanced classes in September. The collaboration between the teachers and families is key to the appropriate placement. The six largest class sizes at Broad Meadows are these Advanced sections and this is a very successful beginning, opportunities for refining the evaluation process.

Principal Shaw said that additional opportunities for students as they move from Grade 8 to 9, the transition will be managed for students in Advanced classes and students who have demonstrated the ability to work at the faster pace and move into Advanced classes in high school.

Ms. Kim DeLisle, from Point Webster; Mr. Ron Adams from Broad Meadows; Ms. Patricia Dunne and Ms. Mary Ellen Phillips from Atlantic; and Mrs. Jennifer Shaw from North Quincy High School shared their ELA Advanced course differentiation.

Ms. DeLisle said that she is using the same lessons, but faster pacing and differentiated expectations for work. Has created three new units, including one on the themes in Dr. Seuss. Students are enjoying the classes and the opportunities for independent and group learning.

Mr. Ron Adams shared snapshots of the differentiation. The Advanced classes give students an opportunity to deepen understanding through discovery and discussion of contrasting and/or parallel current events. For writing, Advanced students may incorporate related research and participate in two essay contests. In the research project cycle, developing primary sources through email contact is one example of differentiation.

Mrs. Phillips echoed the great experience of planning and implementing the Advanced ELA classes. In Bloom’s Taxonomy Knowledge, Comprehension, and Application are the basis and Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation are higher order. Most Advanced students are accomplished at the lower order thinking skills, allowing them to transition to the more complex material.

Ms. Dunne reviewed her lesson plans for Reading and Writing. In preparing students for Grade 9 Advanced ELA classes, we are ensuring that students are strong readers and writers with the ability to evaluate and synthesize. Students are able to think critically and creatively, and curiosity is encouraged.

Mrs. Shaw teaches both Honors and Advanced English Grade 9 at North Quincy High School. Both courses use the same core text, and the Advanced classes add contrasting short stories and literary criticism. Writing assignments are different and require different levels of guidance. Mrs. Shaw really enjoys the collaboration with the middle school staff.

Mathematics teachers Mr. Daley, Mr. Santoro, and Mrs. Tomasini presented next and all share the enthusiasm for the establishment of the Advanced classes at all middle schools.

Mr. Daley said this differentiation assists all learners; for advanced learners, teachers are encourages to utilize materials, activities, and assessments that require higher order thinking, engage students in more abstract applications, make connections to other disciplines, move students towards independence, allow for creativity in problem-solving. Mr. Daley complimented the Grade 5 teachers in their recommendations of identifying students.

Mr. Santoro said that Advanced Math students in Grade 8 must take the MCAS test, be prepared for Algebra 1 (Honors or Advanced) or for some, prepare for Geomentry in Grade 9. The accelerated pace of Advanced classes means covering a new topic per class session, exposing students to both Grade 8 and Grade 9 curriculums. Assessments are constructed with both MCAS and PARCC elements and require mathematical reasoning and attention to precision. In terms of accountability, students are expected to be self-learners. Students need the skills of being about to show their work and explain their work. Big Ideas Math has multiple online resources for teachers and students. Mr. Santoro said that during the Vertical Team meetings, the high school teachers emphasized the skills of preparation and organization and these are focuses for this year.

Mrs. Tomasini said that the interrelated texbooks are integral, all have the same author (Larsen) for the standard, advanced, and APC classes. There are Level A & B questions in both the standard and advanced textbooks and the APC textbook has three levels, plus challenge practice. Mrs. Tomasini said that as these Advanced classes move into the 2nd year, next year’s Grade 8 students will be even more prepared for the challenges.

Mr. Shaw presented on High School Geometry and shared a typical problem on ratios of triangles. Typical learners would be provided with the ratios and complete practice problems before exploring the concepts underlying the ratios. Advanced learners would not be given the ratios, but would complete problems that lead them to identify the ratios and discover the underlying concept.

Ms. Roy reviewed the next steps for this pilot Advanced program for middle school: student progress updates and report cards are reviewed by staff and parents and placement adjustments made as needed. At the beginning of each trimester, teachers review and revise expectations with students. Mr. Shaw reviewed that additional Vertical Team meetings are planned for the spring and a reflection of the initiative progress. Placement discussions for 2016-2017 and sharing of student work for middle school students will take place between April and June. Revision of the Pacing Guide and Differentiated Lessons will continue and a final Assessment of the initiative in June.

Mrs. Lebo complimented Superintendent DeCristofaro, the Curriculum & Assessment Management Team, and all the staff involved. The enthusiasm of the teachers is wonderful to see, and especially glad to see how the differentiation provides opportunities for students in all classes. Mrs. Lebo would like to see Science Advanced classes next.

Mrs. Mahoney said this is a unique opportunity to utilize MCAS to help our students, flipping the MCAS and its importance to benefit students. Agreed with Mrs. Lebo, would like to be a student in these teachers’ classes. With the support of the Superintendent and Leadership Team, these teachers are delivering education to our students in a way they have never had before. Mrs. Mahoney said that providing the Advanced pathway at all middle schools is a tremendous opportunity to showcase all of our middle schools.

Ms. Isola said the teachers’ enthusiasm is phenomenal and confirms the terrific teachers we have. The team approach of collaborating with colleagues and parents is important and the concept of fluidity of placement is also critical.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the APC vs. Advanced. All five middle schools have Advanced ELA and Mathematics; the APC program at Central provides opportunities in all subject areas. Mr. Bregoli asked about differentiation of instruction and placement for high school students. Mr. Shaw said the input of Grade 8 students is critical, but there is the same fluidity opportunities in the high school for students to move between CCP, Honors, and Advanced level courses.

Dr. DeCristofaro said the presentation made us all incredibly proud, these teachers are great learners and leaders who took an idea and made sure that this would be successful for our students. He is tremendously impressed by all of the presenters and their commitment, out very best decisions come from those closest to the students and families.


New Business

Gift: Rural Lodge of Masons to Quincy High School Science Department

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to accept the gift of $3,000.00 to the Quincy High School Science Department from the Rural Lodge of Masons. Mr. DeAmicis seconded the motion, and on a voice vote, the ayes have it 7-0.


New Business

Overnight Travel

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Overnight travel of Central Middle School Grade 7 to Camp Wing, Duxbury, Massachusetts, June 14-16, 2016. Mr. DeAmicis seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Out of State Travel

Mr. DeAmicis made a motion to approve the Out of State travel of Quincy High School History Bowl Team to Washington DC, April 21-24, 2016. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.



Upcoming meetings were announced: Regular Meetings on March 2 and March 16, 2016 both at 7:00 pm at the Coddington Building; Subcommittee Meetings for Health, Transportation & Safety on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm, Teaching & Learning on Monday, February 29, 2016 at 5:00 pm; and Facilities & Security on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm.

Mrs. Lebo requested a meeting with Superintendent DeCristofaro to review the Grant Booklet.

Dr. DeCristofaro recognized Marjorie Smollett O’Leary, Quincy High School Class of 1934, who is celebrated her 100th birthday this week. Dr. DeCristofaro will be attending her birthday party to present a certificate of recognition.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mr. Bregoli noted that all Subcommittee meeting minutes are posted online at www.quincypublicschools.com.

Budget & Finance

Mrs. Lebo reviewed the Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting held on February 1, 2016. This Quarterly Budget Review was for the six months ending December 31, 2015. At this time, all budget lines for salaries and expenses are within expected expenditure and all step and level increases are accounted for in the appropriation.


Mr. Bregoli reviewed the Policy Subcommittee Meeting held on February 1, 2016. The School Committee Meeting Calendar for 2016-2017 was reviewed and School Committee voted to move the School Committee meeting start time to 6:30 pm. A revision to the Concussion Policy was presented to clarify the process of a student’s return to play with appropriate monitoring for the return of symptoms.

Subcommittee Meeting Minutes Approved

As there were no corrections to the meeting minutes the February 1, 2016 Budget & Finance Subcommittee and February 1, 2016 Policy Subcommittee Meeting minutes, the minutes were approved as presented.



Mayor Koch made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 8:50 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Mahoney and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.