April 3, 2019 Professional Dev. Workshop

Quincy School Committee Workshop for Professional Development

Wednesday, April 3, 6:30 pm

Coddington Building, Room 121


Participate in a Professional Development Workshop conducted by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC)


Quincy School Committee
Professional Development - April 3, 2019

A Professional Development meeting was held on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 6:30 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. James DeAmicis, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mayor Koch, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey; Citywide Parent Council Co-President Courtney Perdios, Massachusetts Association of School Committees Field Service Director James Hardy, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Lebo called the Professional Development meeting to order at 6:30 pm and turned the meeting over to Mr. Hardy for his presentation.

Mr. Hardy reviewed that the most important responsibility of School Committee is student achievement, which School Committee must define what that standard means. It could be graduation, which demonstrates proficiency in the locally-defined standards. School Committee practices are related to student achievement and the School Committee and Superintendent are a governance team in this mission. Effective leadership to support student achievement requires a good working relationship – a model for all others in the school system. School Committee practices impact student achievement; positive attributes include shared vision of high expectation; fostering strong relationships; focus on accountability; using data to monitor progress (and identify what you want to be measured); lead as a united team; collaboration builds trust and trust builds respect.

Strong School Committee and Superintendent collaboration is important, differences can be presented in a respectful manner. Effective School Committee~Superintendent Teams understand and respect for different, yet complimentary roles; agree on how to operate and communicate; focus on policy, district goals; willingness to devote time needed to do the job well; efficient, business-like meetings; frequent informal conversations (i.e., workshops); presence of trust and mutual respect. School Committee is governance and Superintendent is management. School Committee is mission & vision, goals, policy, budget, authorize, and monitor. (What, Why, How Much) Superintendent is strategies, action plans, regulations, and procedures. (How, Who, When, Where)

Operating Protocols are a set of ground rules created, maintained, and periodically revised by School Committee members and the Superintendent. They are a set of common preconditions that enable groups of people to work together civilly and productively. The protocols can be used for School Committee self-evaluation. All members have to buy in for these to work and they will have to be revisited when there is an election and new members or an administrative change. Protocols are voluntary, but can be formalized as a Policy, which makes it harder to update. Operating protocols are not meant to stifle dissent or control information. Protocols can articulate and preserve what is going well and identify what needs improvement. They can increase the efficiency of committee meetings and allow the Committee to focus its energy and effort and work as a team. Protocols typically cover who the School Committee represents, how it will do business, how it will communicate, how it will improve, what are the limits of power, and what happens when things go wrong. Effective protocols are publicly posted and announce that the School Committee is seeking to be more effective and raise student achievement.

Mayor Koch left the meeting at 7:30 pm.

Mr. Hardy said it will take several meetings to develop these protocols, brainstorm, draft, revise, edit, and adopt.

Mrs. Lebo said the goal of protocols would be to help clearly define what School Committee is asking for from the Superintendent.

Mr. Hardy suggested that School Committees approach a topic from the areas they can impact: is more funding needed to address or make something more effective. There should be one mission for the district, school and program missions are derivative from this.

Mrs. Lebo said that there is a very strategic process with the District Improvement Plan, the School Committee needs to feel more ownership of the process.

Mr. Hardy suggested that prior to the next meeting, School Committee look at the sample protocols presented and review the Policy and see if what is in there is formal enough. Start thinking about meetings and how they would like to see them structured. There are no sacred cows, everything is up for discussion. Ultimately, School Committee may decide to retain a lot of what they have.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the Professional Development at 8:00 pm.