Dec. 11, 2019 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 6:30 pm

Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes:

Regular Meeting Minutes for November 13, 2019

II. Open Forum:

An opportunity for community input regarding the Quincy Public Schools. Community in this context is defined as a resident of the City of Quincy, a parent of a student who attends the Quincy Public Schools, or an employee of the Quincy Public Schools. Non-community persons not permitted to speak at Open Forum may submit written statements to the School Committee. 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. New School Committee Member Orientation
C. 2019 Winter Concert Schedule
D. Computer Science Education Week, December 9-13
E. Quincy School~Community Partnership Event: ‘Tis the Season, Symphony & Song
F. QPS Website Update
G. Girl Rising Summit
H. Parent Academy/Stakeholder Engagement
I. High School Robotics Events
J. Fall Institute (Final Review)
K. Lions Club Speech Contest
L. Nobel Laureate Initiative
M. Clifford Marshall Elementary School ESEA Recognition

IV. Old Business:

A. Revised School Committee Policy 5.6 Food Service Management - Mr. Bregoli
(for discussion; eligible for Vote at January 8, 2020 Meeting) 

B. School Committee Meeting Calendar 2020-2021 - Mr. Bregoli
(for discussion; eligible for Vote at January 8, 2020 Meeting) 

V. New Business:

A. Park Department Update - Commissioner Murphy

B. Special Education Program Improvement Plan - Ms. Perkins

C. Superintendent’s Evaluation 2018-2019 - Mrs. Lebo

D. Composting Pilot Program/Collaboration with City of Quincy - Mrs. Lebo
for referral to Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee

E. Gift: $6,000.00 for the QPS Music Department from the Randy C. Wolfe Trust (Vote)

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: January 8 and 22, 2020; February 12, 2020
B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (at the Coddington Building):

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2020: Quarterly Budget & Finance at 6:00 pm; Special Education at 6:15 pm

  • Wednesday, January 29, 2020: Teaching & Learning at 6:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Teaching & Learning: Mrs. Lebo to report on the November 19, 2019; November 20, 2019; and November 25, 2019 meetings.
B. Policy: Mr. Bregoli to remove completed items from Policy Subcommittee.

IX. Executive Session:


X. Adjournment:


Quincy, Massachusetts –December 11, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at the Coddington Building at 6:30 p.m. Superintendent DeCristofaro called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. James DeAmicis, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Ms. Sarah Anderson, Ms. Catherine Carey, Ms. Donna Cunningham, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Julie Graham, Ms. Jennifer Leary, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner David Murphy, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Heather Patch, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; and Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education President Cassandra Beck.

School Committee Member Douglas Gutro was absent.


There was a moment of silence for Kathleen Fitzpatrick, retired Quincy Public Schools teacher for over 40 years at Snug Harbor, Massachusetts Fields, and Merrymount Elementary Schools.

Mrs. Lebo read the following statement into the record: Pursuant to the Open Meeting Law, any person may make an audio or video recording of this public meeting or may transmit the meeting through any medium. Attendees are therefore advised that such recordings or transmissions are being made whether perceived or unperceived by those present and are deemed acknowledged and permissible.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 11.13.2019

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 13, 2019 Regular Meeting. Mr. DeAmicis seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the. ayes have it.


Open Forum

Ms. Jennifer Chen spoke about recent vandalism at Beechwood Knoll Elementary School where a swastika was painted on the outside of the building.

Ms. Carol Dumas, former Quincy Public Schools parent, spoke about the Learning Center project, noting that the Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education is best positioned by legal status and experience to collaborate with the Quincy Public Schools on the program development.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report by introducing the Inspire Quincy video featuring the BOKS program, the Grade 5 Science Showcase, Fall Drama Showcases at both North Quincy and Quincy High Schools, the Girl Rising Summit, and QPAC Gingerbread Night.

Dr. DeCristofaro then introduced Clifford Marshall Elementary School Principal Nicholas Ahearn who announced that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the National ESEA are recognizing the Clifford Marshall Elementary School for performance and closing the achievement gap for subgroups for two years in a row. Clifford Marshall is one of two schools recognized statewide. Mr. Ahearn thanked the dedicated school staff and the engaged families who make up the school community, the recognition is a reflection of the goals of Mayor Koch, the Quincy School Committee, and Superintendent DeCristofaro.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that Clifford Marshall has a positive home-school connection, supports for social emotional development, and interventions for individualizing instruction. The school has a clear mission and values and Mr. Ahearn provides strong instructional leadership for the 550 students.

Mr. Bregoli congratulated Mr. Ahearn, Ms. Patch, and the hard-working staff who meet the students where they are on a daily basis and help them to move forward.

Mrs. Lebo said that the feeling inside the school is incredible, as are both the assessment and VOCAL data.

Dr. DeCristofaro had an Orientation meeting with School Committee Member-Elect Frank Santoro on Monday, December 9.

The 2019 Winter Concert schedule was shared with School Committee, concerts scheduled at each elementary, middle, and high school. ‘Tis the Season, Symphony and Song was held last Wednesday, December 4 with over 800 attending. The Quincy Symphony Orchestra were accompanied by the students in the John & Abigail Adams Orchestra, the QPS music teachers, and the combined High School Chorus.

Computer Education Week is being observed December 9-13, with all schools participating in Hour of Code. The Digital Literacy teachers at the elementary schools, Technology Engineering at the middle schools, and high school Engineering classes are working on introducing students to coding in various ways.

At last night’s Workshop on the new Quincy Public Schools website, IT Coordinator Robert Cavallo presented the timeline for the website training and scheduled mid-February launch.

Recent Quincy Public Schools events included the Girl Rising Summit held on Thursday, December 5 with students from the middle and high school collaborating; the Grades 5-8 Digital Literacy Parent Academy on November 18; the Fall Institute which ended on November 16, with students participating at all elementary schools. A Winter Institute for elementary school students will begin on February 29.

Mrs. Lebo noted that during the School Committee Goal-Setting workshop, increasing stakeholder engagement with parents is one of the goals. Moving forward, the Parent Academy events will be posted as School Committee Workshops so that parents can interact with School Committee under the provisions of the Open Meeting law. Upcoming Parent Academy events include Screenagers, the Next Chapter on January 23; Be Well with Charlie Appelstein on February 27; Mathematics with Greg Tang on March 30; and Welcome to Kindergarten on June 2

Middle School Robotics teams competed last Saturday, December 7 at Revere High School, the first of several opportunities this winter. Grades 11-12 HYPER Robotics visited with Gillette and their first competition is in March. On December 15, there will be a scrimmage for the Grades 9-10 FRC team, followed by competitions in January in February. Strong alumni support have provided grant funding for the Robotics programs.

The Lions Club Speech Contest will be held on Thursday, December 12 with three Grade 11 and 12 students from each high school competing. The Nobel Laureates program continues with the recent visit from Dr. Richard Roberts and additional visits planned for the winter and spring.

Plumbing Technology grant was recently received for $135,000 which will provide up to date equipment and technology for training students in the program. Mr. Segalla recently submitted a grant proposal to expand the Financial Literacy program.

Dr. DeCristofaro addressed the recent vandalism at Beechwood Knoll where a swastika was painted on the outside of the school building. Principal Janet Loftus met with the Grade 5 students to discuss the incident and with any other students who wished to address the issue. Dr. DeCristofaro noted that at the elementary schools, the social emotional curriculum is focused on building empathy and culture of inclusiveness. Dr. DeCristofaro cited examples of curriculum lessons, literature and resources for teachers and students at middle and high school. Dr. DeCristofaro spoke recently with a representative from the Anti-Defamation League of Massachusetts about resources they can provide.

Dr. DeCristofaro noted that the 2019-2020 School Year Calendar has been updated to reflect the December 3, 2019 snow day. The updated calendar has been posted on the QPS website


Old Business

School Committee Policy 5.6 Food Service Management (Discussion)

Mr. Bregoli reviewed that the revised School Committee Policy 5.6 Food Services Management was discussed and approved at the Policy Subcommittee meeting on December 10, 2019. As there was no further discussion, Mr. Bregoli noted that the revised Policy will be on the January 22, 2020 School Committee agenda for a vote.


Old Business

2020-2021 School Committee Meeting Calendar (Discussion)

Mr. Bregoli reviewed that the School Committee Meeting Calendar for 2020-20201 was discussed and approved at the Policy Subcommittee meeting on December 10, 2019. As there was no further discussion, Mr. Bregoli noted that the Calendar will be on the January 22, 2020 School Committee agenda for a vote.


New Business

Department of Natural Resources Update

Commissioner of Natural Resources David Murphy presented an update on the accomplishments of the department during 2019. In addition to many capital improvements, Mr. Murphy has focused on developing relationships with school Principals, the Athletic Directors, coaches, and marching band directors. In Spring 2019, the department collaborated with schools on scheduling maintenance around the MCAS assessment schedule.

In partnership with the Boston Cannons, renovations for the Veterans Memorial Stadium included new locker rooms and seating and a video screen. Mr. Murphy thanked the Mayor for the support of the Parks Department, the facilities for Varsity student athletes have been upgraded throughout the city.

The playground replacement project is completed with Parker and Snug Harbor most recently finished, along with additional equipment for Montclair. Thirty playgrounds throughout the city were completely, twelve on elementary school sites. Bishop Fields tennis and basketball courts have been completely redone and work is underway at Broad Meadows (basketball and pickleball courts) and Kincaide Field (complete refurbishment). At Faxon Field, a Track Fieldhouse is under construction and should be completed within a month.

In preparing for spring sports, work has been done at Coletta Field, Bishop Field, Mitchell McCoy, and Adams Field. The Park Department is serving as the general contractor to create the outdoor classroom at Clifford Marshall and is assisting with the bidding process for the Merrymount outdoor classroom. With the new staff in place in the Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Scientist and Tree Warden, Mr. Murphy looking forward to collaborating with Superintendent to provide educational support.

Mr. Bregoli noted that as a member of the Park & Recreation Board, Mr. Murphy has been very collaborative and responsive.

Mayor Koch thanked Mr. Murphy for assuming the role of Department of Natural Resources, the consolidation of five departments: Park, Forestry, Cemetery, Recreation & Conservation. In addition to the Capital projects, the day to day maintenance is so critical and Mr. Murphy’s leadership has benefitted all of our schools.

Mrs. Lebo noted that the Faxon Field is also a great facility for our students and the new playgrounds make a difference in our communities. Mrs. Lebo asked about Point Webster as the next area of need. Mr. Murphy said this will be a collaboration with Public Buildings and Superintendent DeCristofaro, Principal Christine Barrett, and parent groups. There are short-term gains that can be made while planning for larger improvements.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mr. Murphy, the playground improvements have had an impact, especially the inclusive playground at Dunn Field.

Mr. Murphy thanked the Mayor and School Committee, he is proud to represent the vision of Mayor Koch and the talents of the department staff members.


Director of Special Education Erin Perkins presented the Special Education Program Improvement Plan, introducing the administrative team and reviewing the program mission. In reflecting on last year’s data, the MAP data showed growth in ELA and Mathematics with all grades except 5 and 6 Mathematics above the national norms. The middle school Mathematics goal of increasing RIT scores by 8 points was not met. The Vertical 6-12 Team created observation tools for administrators and facilitated Professional Development to support the implementation. The Elementary Special Education team collaborated with the Literacy and English Learner teams to refine the process and protocol for identifying and certifying students for Special Education services using the Response to Intervention method. The Special Education Team worked to increase IEP services and timeline compliance as well as state reporting accuracy. The Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education collaborated to increase parent engagement through Parent Academy events and the social events. The CARES and Learning Center Teams worked collaboratively to create an inclusion transition process protocol. The Language Development team used the Landmark Writing method as the foundation for their instruction in all curriculum areas. The Occupational Therapy Team collaborated with the Speech and Language Team and classroom teacher to develop common accommodations that are available in all settings. The Speech and Language staff collected data on student outcomes to compare push-in versus pull out therapies.

In analyzing MCAS data, there are many positive results to share. For ELA Average scaled scores, there has been growth of 3.1 points over three years well above the state’s increase of 1.1 points. For Grades 3, 6, 7, and 8 ELA, increase in Meeting or Exceeding Expectations as compared to previous year. Grade 10 ELA was below the state level for Meeting or Exceeding Expectations, areas of growth are being analyzed. For Mathematics Average Scales Scores, QPS saw a decline of 1.0 points. For Grades 3, 4, 5, and 7 there were slight declines in the percentage meeting or exceeding expectations, at or below state levels. For Grades 6 and 8, there was an increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations and Grade 10 was below the state level by 8%. The Median Student Growth Percentile for ELA and Mathematics remains within the average growth range in all grades.

Looking forward to 2019-2020 goals, many are continuation from 2018-2019 with the goal of improving programs and protocols and preparing for the Coordinated Program Review. With the goal of increasing family engagement and enrichment for out of district placements, extended day programming will be created in collaboration with QPAC. The first program is called Drums Alive, a 6-week program for up to 50 students from Abilities Rec. Other ideas are field trips to the movies, art or other creative classes. Parents will have the opportunity to socialize in a coffee hour format with QPAC providing support. Instructional goals will continue to be focused on Mathematics achievement for elementary and middle school students, with specific targets for increasing RIT scores and average scaled scores for each grade level. Each program also has specific goals for program enhancement and increasing student achievement. The High School Special Education team are working on redesigning the Learning Strategies course.

Beyond the Bell, the LEAP students organized themselves to attend the ‘Tis the Season Concert, including traveling to and from Quincy High School and going to dinner before the concert. Thanks also to Mayor Koch for providing the van to transport the students to their job training.

This year, the Special Education Department has created a new team for BCBA to provide additional social and emotional supports and individualized behavior plans for students in the least restrictive environment. Through the implementation of the ACE software, student progress can be monitored. The Speech & Language Team has completed the Level 1 Complete Picture Exchange System and communication boards have been created and will be installed in Pre-Kindergarten playgrounds, cafeterias, arrival/dismissal areas, and each classroom. All of the Special Education goals are supported through extensive Professional Development activities for teachers and Paraprofessional training.

Ms. Perkins said that the team is always striving to innovate and do things better, thanks to the support of School Committee and Superintendent.

Mr. Bregoli asked if DESE requires all substantially separate students participate in MCAS. Ms. Perkins said that there is a flow chart to determine which students qualify for the alternate MCAS portfolio assessment. This data is reported separately. Mr. Bregoli asked about diagnostic tools, there are an array of options, the decision on which to use is based on the concerns expressed by parents and/or teachers. Ms. Perkins said it is also about finding the balance of how to determine student needs without over testing. Mr. Bregoli said the Special Education program is phenomenal.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the elementary team goal and how the new legislation on dyslexia will impact. Ms. Perkins said there is no guidance on this issue yet, but it is planned for the next DESE regional meeting. In the meantime, we are continuing to look at new resources for diagnosing dyslexia.

Mrs. Lebo asked about high school students who are not meeting expectations for MCAS, how are they being supported so they can be successful in a retest opportunity. Ms. Perkins said the EPP option is still in place for students to complete coursework that satisfies the requirement, plus there is tutoring provided by the Special Education department.

Mrs. Lebo asked for information about a health impairment, Ms. Perkins said this can be a medical condition but more frequently ADD or ADHD. This will be explored at the January 15 Subcommittee meeting. Mrs. Lebo complimented the after school programming and the goal to update the Learning Strategies coursework.

Mrs. Lebo asked about students with 504 plans, these are also overseen by Ms. Perkins as part of Special Education.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Ms. Perkins and the whole team, constantly changing and adapting to meet the unique needs of our students. Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Ms. Beck for her leadership, bringing families together.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to accept the Special Education Program Improvement Plan. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Superintendent’s Evaluation 2018-19

Mrs. Lebo reviewed that Superintendent DeCristofaro’s Evaluation for 2018-2019 has been shared with School Committee and posted on the Quincy Public Schools website. Mrs. Lebo noted that Proficient is considered a high bar and Dr. DeCristofaro was rated Exemplary overall. Mrs. Lebo shared selected comments, complimentary of development of professional staff and leadership team, high level of commitment.

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve Superintendent DeCristofaro’s Evaluation for 2018-2019. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mr. Gutro was absent.


New Business

Composting Pilot Program

Mrs. Lebo reviewed that she was appointed by the Mayor to be part of the City of Quincy Composting Task Force. Will be working with School Nutrition Director Sara Dufour and will provide updates as new information becomes available.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to refer the Composting Pilot Program to the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee. Mr. DeAmicis seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Gift from the Randy C. Wolfe Music Trust

Mayor Koch made a motion to accept the Gift of $6,000.00 from the Randy C. Wolfe Music Trust to benefit the QPS Music Department. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Additional Business

Mrs. Lebo noted that this is Mr. DeAmicis’s last meeting of his term, thanked him for bringing the important student perspective to School Committee as he began his term as shortly after graduating from Quincy High School.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mr. DeAmicis for his advocacy for students and parents, member of Budget & Finance and Special Education, and chair for Facilities, Transportation, and Security Subcommittee. Mr. DeAmicis leaves behind a legacy of Technology and Security concerns, unique as having run for office at such a young age.

Mayor Koch thanked Mr. DeAmicis for his historic public service, most likely the youngest member of School Committee ever and wished him well in all future endeavors.

Mr. DeAmicis said it has been an honor and privilege to serve with School Committee, including previous members who served during his first two years.

Mr. DeAmicis will miss working with colleagues, Superintendent, Principals, and Leadership Team.



Mayor Koch announced that on January 8, 2020 at 6:30 pm, the Organizational Meeting to swear in the re-elected and new members of the School Committee will be held here at the Coddington Building.

Mayor Koch and the City Council will be sworn in on Monday, January 6 at 10:00 am in the City Council Chambers.

Upcoming School Committee meetings will be held on January 22, 2020 and February 12, 2020 at the Coddington Building at 6:30 pm.

Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings will be held on January 15, 2020 (Quarterly Budget & Finance and Special Education) and January 29, 2020 (Teaching & Learning). All Subcommittee meetings will begin at 6:00 pm.


Reports of Subcommittees

All School Committee and Subcommittee meeting minutes are posted online at

Teaching & Learning

Mrs. Lebo reviewed the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meetings held on November 20, 2019; November 21, 2019; and November 25, 2019 where the Elementary and Middle School Improvement Plans were presented and approved.

As there were no corrections, the minutes of the November 20, 2019; November 21, 2019; and November 25, 2019 Teaching & Learning Subcommittees were accepted as presented.


Mr. Bregoli removed items #4 School Year Calendar 2020-2021, #8 School Committee Policy 10.18 QPS Anti-Bullying Policy, #11 School Committee Policy 10.8.5 Smoking from Policy Subcommittee as these items are completed.


Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.



Mayor Koch made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 9:15 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.