Nov. 16, 2016 Teaching/Learning Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching and Learning Subcommittee
Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair
Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 4:45 pm
Coddington Building

Elementary School Improvement Plan Presentations

  • 4:45 pm Montclair - Principal Renee Malvesti

  • 5:00 pm Parker - Principal Maryanne Palmer

  • 5:15 pm Squantum - Principal Steve Sylvia

  • 5:30 pm Wollaston - Principal Jim Hennessy

  • 5:45 pm Atherton Hough - Principal Robin Moreira

  • 6:00 pm Merrymount - Principal Ann Pegg


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 4:45 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Elizabeth Hallett, Mr. James Hennessy, Mrs. Renee Malvesti, Mrs. Robin Moreira, Dr. Maryanne Palmer, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Ann Pegg, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Mr. John Rogan, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Steve Sylvia; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Principal Renee Malvesti presented the Montclair Elementary School Improvement Plan, noting that the school has a very strong community and tradition of parent involvement. Montclair is a Level 1 school for the third year in a row, cumulative PPI has increased 25 points over 5 years. Reflecting on last year’s goals, Grades 3 & 5 reached the ELA goal of increasing average percent correct by 1% with a solid student growth percentile. The Anchor Reading Standard showed areas of weakness, so this will be the focus for 2016-17. Montclair created K-2 and 3-5 vertical teams, and is implementing a consistent writing program and close reading. For Math, the 1% increase in Average Percent Correct goal was reached for Grade 3 and increasing student achievement was demonstrated with more students scoring in Proficient and Advanced. For this year, Guided Math is being implemented and teachers are using data to identify individual needs and meeting in vertical teams as well. Grade 5 Science is showing growth, 41 % of students scored in advanced or proficient. For familie engagement, Montclair staff are planning a STEM event. ELL students outscored the state by 8% to 23% on various strands, ELL teachers are part of vertical teams for both ELA and Mathematics.

The Wellness Goal was reached through a range of events and initiatives involving the whole school community. PBIS continues, creating Montclair pride and rewarding positive behaviors. For 2016- 2017, educator evaluation goals align with grade level goals, align with school-wide and district goals.

Montclair is an old building that sparkles and shines, Mrs. Malvesti is very proud of the school, its dedicated teachers and supportive parents. Mrs. Lebo asked about participation rate for activities; more students often want to participate than can be accommodated. Mrs. Lebo said the MCAS results are fantastic.

Ms. Isola asked about the bathroom in the nurse’s office, very concerning that there is not a functioning facility. Mrs. Malvesti and Dr. DeCristofaro explained that it needs to be gutted and new plumbing installed, Public Buildings is planning to address.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Montclair Elementary School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Maryanne Palmer presented the Parker Elementary School Improvement Plan, reviewed the school's demographics: of around 300 students total, 84% are High Needs, 53% are English Language Education students. Parker maintained Level 1 status this year as all subgroups met target to narrow achievement gap. Parker is a continuous learning community with collaborative teacher planning, analysis of data, common assessment, and analysis of student work, focused on increasing student success. Lessons are developed with an inclusive lens, allowing for individualizing and accommodations as necessary. Student success is accessed by standard.

For family engagement, Parker's staff work to overcome language barriers. 30 North Quincy High School students volunteer at Parker to assist with homework; school events enjoy high rates of attendance. Many former Parker students assist with events, even on a Friday night.

The Wellness Team plans ways to enhance the health and wellness of the students and staff. The school's new playground opened in September and the PBIS program is strongly implemented, provides a common language for staff. Parker recognized individual contributions and consistent performers.

Mrs. Lebo thanked Dr. Palmer, noting that Parker student growth is very impressive given the number of students coming from homes where English is not the first language.

Ms. Isola enjoys hearing about the continued collaboration with North Quincy High School students and how it has grown over the years.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Parker Elementary School Improvement Plan. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Lebo and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Steve Sylvia presented the Squantum Elementary School Improvement Plan, representing a vibrant community, with strong parent support. Squantum’s CPI in Mathematics is 86%, ELA is 88%, slightly lower than previous year. CPI for all students is past target, High Needs at 71, almost there. Student Growth was 58% for ELA and 51% for Mathematics. PBIS has made a difference in school culture, supported by school spirit and Terrific Kids. The outdoor classroom garden club provided learning in seeds to table. Students planted vegetables, families watered over the summer, students harvested, made pizza and pesto. Before and after school activities are numerous and well-attended.

In reflecting on last year’s goals, Squantum students demonstrated 5% improvement on Open Response ELA questions. For Mathematics, action steps were focused on Number Sense and Operations. Increases in performance on PARCC items were demonstrated. For the Wellness goal, this was more than exceeded.

For this year, Squantum's ELA goal will focus on the Reading Anchor Standard and Mathematics will focus on multi-step questions . MCAS 2.0 preparation is underway, Grade 4 is focused on preparing students for online Assessments. Squantum has a very strong PTO and an active social media presence. Mr. Sylvia is very proud of the school community and grateful to School Committee for supporting the MSBA Statement of Interest for a new building.

Mrs. Hubley said Mr. Sylvia should be proud of the wonderful environment and parent involvement. Events are very well-attended.

Ms. Isola said the garden looks fantastic; Mr. Sylvia said Holly Hill Farm staff visited to assist with preparing the garden for winter and to plant garlic which will overwinter to grow in the spring.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Squantum Elementary School Improvement Plan. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Lebo and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Wollaston Elementary School Principal Jim Hennessy presented the Wollaston Elementary School Improvement Plan, proud to be principal of a school where parents are happy to send their students and staff are glad to work there. Student demographics for Wollaston, 340 students : 57% low income, 35% in ELE program, 65% are classified as High Needs. In reflecting on last year's goals, 71% were proficient or higher on ELA, 72% in Mathematics, outstanding growth in both ELA and Math. In PARCC items, students exceeded the state levels on all but one standard. Wollaston has a vibrant PTO that provides $28,000 in support annually.

Moving forward, the School Improvement Plan is a model of how to continue growth. Wollaston is on the right track, system-wide professional development will support the use of Edwin Analytics for data analysis and MAP implementation for Grade 2. Emphasis this year will be on special education and regular education classroom teacher collaboration, elements of reading vocabulary, and using extended day opportunities to target academic needs. For Mathematics, guided Math and Digiblocks, place value manipulatives, model curriculum units, graphic organizers, and emphasis on mathematics fact fluency are all action steps.

Mrs. Lebo said Wollaston's data indicates that this should have been designated a Level 1 school, complimented the school culture.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Wollaston Elementary School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Robin Moreira presented the Atherton Hough Elementary School Improvement Plan, hopes the plan demonstrates the commitment and collaboration of the school’s staff working together with each other and families to provide students exactly what they need academically and emotionally. Five substantially separate special education classes at Atherton Hough bring so much to the school, special education staff works closely with the regular education staff. Substantially separate classroom students are mainstreamed at every opportunity; Grades 2, 3, 4, and 5 are co-teaching Science and Social Studies.

Mrs. Moreira shared the Assessment folders prepared for each grade level, reviewing Literacy supports in data meetings which take place twice a week in grade level teams or vertical teams. This collective approach to move students towards proficiency and maintain proficiency as well.

Great gains have been made in ELA, Average Percent Correct showed growth for Grades 3 and 5 and maintained for Grade 4. Students in the modified Common Core showed growth in all tested grades. Another highlight is the median student growth percentile, Grade 4 was 71% and Grade 5 was 78%. In all grades, the level of students reaching proficient or advanced increased at all grade levels. Action steps have been analyzed and some will be retained, others refined, and close reading implemented.

For Mathematics, gains were seen for Grades 3 and 4, but a decrease in Grade 5. Students in the modified Common Core program showed growth in Grades 4 and 5. Student Growth percentile decreased slightly, 52% for Grade 4, 54% for Grade 5. Math Vertical Teams and Assessment Team will work on flexible grouping, additional support for Grades 3-5 Mathematics by a classroom teacher.

School culture goal has been supported by PBIS, “Ready to Learn,” being respectful and safe, in all areas of the school, classroom, corridor, and cafeteria. Wellness goal is supported through BOKS, community service opportunities, Try an New Food day, and staff fitness opportunities. School nurse is collaborating on health education topics for each grade level.

Mrs. Lebo said the data trends are fabulous, especially for high needs students, inclusion practices are a key to this. Mrs. Moreira noted that Atherton Hough moved to Level 2 based on 2016 MCAS results.

Mr. Bregoli asked about Grade 4, is there a concentration of High Needs students. Mrs. Moreira said traditionally this is a difficult testing level, but there have also been some class shifts and new strategies to address this.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Atherton Hough Elementary School Improvment Plan. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Ann Pegg and Assistant Principal John Rogan presented the Merrymount Elementary School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Pegg noted that Merrymount's recognition as a Blue Ribbon School, nationally and by School Committee, has had a big effect on the staff.

Merrymount's demographic highlights: 41% of students are First Language Not English, 49% of students are High Needs. Staff works tirelessly to create initiatives to narrow the proficiency gaps, teachers collaborating, volunteer study groups targeting areas of need. Staff-led change acknowledging the cumulative effect of student learning at all grades. Teachers share their own knowledge to other staff members, system-wide Professional Development. Action steps include Writing Across the Curriculum, Close Reading, Math Open Response; collaboration on instructional practices relative to Guided Math is a new group for this year. Instructional rounds are peer observations of teaching lessons, this is new this year.

For students with disabilities, individualized instruction is integrated through inclusion where the Resource Room teacher will co-teach. Other students need a wrap-around approach with pull out support; small group and individual instruction as needed. In Grade 5, 14 students are on IEPs, full inclusion for ELA, for Mathematics, wraparound approach plus individual support. Approach is flexible, changing as needed.

Merrymount’s community-building event, International Night, will be held on Thursday, 22 countries are being highlighted by Merrymount families.

Mrs. Lebo said the Student Growth percentile is very high; performance on Science is notable, high level of Proficient or Advanced. Enjoyed visiting the classrooms during last year’s visit from the Commissioner. Teachers requesting Instructional Rounds shows a level of trust, not always the norm in schools.

Mrs. Hubley has enjoyed the International Night, parents really embrace the event, last year a new family was a prominent part. Mrs. Hubley asked about the electrical needs, Mrs. Pegg said there are electrical upgrades needed.

Mr. Bregoli complimented Merrymount’s team approach, results are due to the staff culture. Mr. Bregolii said through the Parks board, there will be some upgrades

Ms. Isola complimented the plan and the flexible approach, taking a risk and refining the approach if it does not work out.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Merrymount Elementary School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:00 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.