May 13, 2019 Policy Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee

Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair
Mr. Anthony Andronico & Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Subcommittee Members

Monday, May 13, 2019, 6:15 pm
Coddington Building

  1. Review/Update of QPS Anti-Bullying Policy (Section 10.18) - Mr. Bregoli, Mr. Mulvey

  2. Review/Update of Grading Policy (Section 9.11) - Mr. Bregoli, Dr. DeCristofaro


Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee Meeting - May 13, 2019

A meeting of the Policy Subcommittee was held on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. James DeAmicis, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Dr. Beth Hallett, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

The first item on the agenda was the proposed update for Quincy School Committee Policy Section 10.18 QPS Anti-Bullying Policy, the recommendation is to adopt the language of M.G.L. 71, Section 37O as amended by Chapter 86 of the Acts of 2014, entitled “School Bullying Prohibited.” Ms. Papile noted that a Student Survey will be completed this spring and results shared with School Committee in Fall 2019.

Mrs. Lebo asked to consider creating a spreadsheet of deliverables associated with Policy. For example, the QPS Anti-Bullying Implementation Plan needs to be updated every two years and the survey needs to be completed every four years. Mrs. Lebo observed that there are many sections of the Policy Book that need to be updated.

Mr. Bregoli said that a few years ago, the Policy Subcommittee began a systematic review, but to date has only completed two sections.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that this a very time-consuming undertaking, School Committee would need to invest a lot of time in this as was previously done in 2005 and 2006.

Ms. Owens suggested that MASC might have a suggestion for software to make the Policy Book more accessible.

Mr. Andronico made a motion to move the proposed revision of School Committee Policy Book Section 10.18 QPS Anti-Bullying Policy to School Committee for discussion. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

This item will appear on the June 12 School Committee Agenda for discussion and is eligible for vote in September 2019.

The second item on the Agenda is a review/update of School Committee Policy 9.11 Grading Policy, which was proposed by Mr. Bregoli to replace the current letter middle school grading system to match the high school numeric system.

Ms. Perkins reviewed that at the elementary school level, new standards-based report cards were phased in over two school years. This is the 4th year for Grades 1-5 report cards and the 3rd year for Pre-Kindergarten progress reports and Kindergarten report cards. Kindergarten Performance Levels are Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Progressing, Not Meeting Expectations. For Grades 1-5 there is a 4-point scale for academic standards and 4, 3, 2, 1 scale for academic and Personal Growth is assessed using the Performance Levels above. Parents receive the report card prior to the parent conference and since the standards are much more explicit, this gives opportunity for targeted conversations about areas of specific need.

Mrs. Lebo asked if having the report cards ahead of time has impacted parent participation at conferences. Ms. Perkins said there is no reported decline in participation.

Mr. Gutro asked about DESE regulations or guidelines on grading, but there are none.

For middle schools, students are graded on the traditional scale of letter grades A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, and F for core curriculum classes. Students receive a progress report midway through each term and final term grades are converted from a numeric score. The standards in the curriculum frameworks are full year standards so term grades are expected to reflect progress towards attaining mastery of the standard by the end of the school year.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that the middle school principals feel that the letter grades are protective of students who may be struggling, these younger students may be crushed by an extremely low number. Dr. DeCristofaro said that the different grading systems reflect the needs of the student populations.

Mrs. Lebo agrees with Dr. DeCristofaro, who is especially concerned about Special Education students.

Mr. Andronico asked about the Grade 5 students at Point Webster and Sterling, Ms. Perkins confirmed that they receive the elementary report card and are on the elementary conference schedule.

Mr. Gutro asked whether we consistent with other districts. Mrs. Lebo said high schools are consistent as they have GPA reporting requirements set by the state.

Dr. DeCristofaro said there hasn’t been any discussion among parents that we are aware of in reference to the grading system.

Mrs. Lebo suggested that adding the numeric equivalents for the letter grades to the Policy Book might help parents.

Mr. Bregoli said that the Progress Reports are too vague. Ms. Roy said that some middle school teachers have requested updated comment options for these.

Mr. DeAmicis asked if there is a way to notify parents if a student is in danger of failing, perhaps Aspen can trigger an alert. Mr. Gutro agreed that having an alert system would be important.

Mrs. Hubley said this is especially important at middle school as this is the time where student communication may start to break down.

Mr. Andronico asked if teachers reach out to parents when a student is struggling. Dr. DeCristofaro said that Student Support/Guidance will also work with families, teachers call or email parents directly. Mr. Andronico would like to learn more about Progress Reports.

Mrs. Lebo would like to be able to explore Aspen Gradebook and discuss teacher usage of Aspen further. Mrs. Lebo requested the chart from Program of Studies that explains grades and point conversions for different course levels.

Mr. Bregoli would like to see some clarification in grading to ensure parallels across all schools, a high percentage of students are on the Honor Roll at some schools.

Mr. Andronico said that School Committee can decide what the standards are and would like to reward the hard work that meet the standards we’ve set.

Mr. Andronico made a motion to keep School Committee Policy 9.11 Grading Policy in Policy Subcommittee for further discussion. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the Policy Subcommittee at 8:00 pm. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.