Nov. 29, 2023 School Committee Meeting

Nov. 29, 2023 Subcommittee Meeting
Posted on 11/22/2023
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Quincy School Committee Joint Special Education and Teaching & Learning Subcommittees

Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Special Education Chair
Mr. Paul Bregoli & Mrs. Tina Cahill, Subcommittee Members

Mrs. Emily Lebo, Teaching & Learning Chair
Mrs. Tina Cahill & Mr. Frank Santoro, Subcommittee Members

Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at 6:00 pm
Coddington Building, School Committee Room

  1. Career Vocational Technical Education Program Improvement Plan - Mr. Segalla 

  2. Early Childhood Program Improvement Plan - Ms. Connolly, Ms. Leary

  3. Special Education Program Improvement Plan - Ms. Graham

  4. QPAC Update - Ms. McGill & Ms. Wood

Members of the public can access the meeting in person or live on QATV Channel 22 or at The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on Friday, December 1, 2023 on the QPS SchoolTube channel.




Quincy School Committee Joint Special Education and Teaching & Learning Subcommittees Meeting

A joint meeting of the Special Education and Teaching & Learning Subcommittees was held on November 29, 2023 at 6:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Subcommittee members Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Tina Cahill, Mr. Frank Santoro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Special Education Subcommittee Chair, and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Chair. Also present were School Committee Member Mr. Doug Gutro; Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Simone Buckley, Ms. Catherine Carey, Ms. Kerri Connolly, Ms. Kim Connolly, Ms. Donna Cunningham, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Julie Graham, Ms. Jill Kyranis, Ms. Jennifer Leary, Mr. Michael Marani, Ms. Rebecca McInnis, Ms. Maura Papile, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri; School Committee Member-Elect Mrs. Courtney Perdios; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Career Vocational Technical Education Executive Director Keith Segalla presented the CVTE Program Improvement Plan, accompanied by Quincy High School Department Chair Rebecca McInnis. Quincy Public Schools offers 19 Career Pathways: Automotive, Business, Carpentry, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Design & Visual Communications, Early Education & Care, Electrical, Engineering, Fashion, Film & Television Production, Health Care, Information Support & Networking Services, Metal Fabrication & Joining Technologies, and Plumbing Technology. Goals are continuation goals for three years, successfully implemented in 2022-2023 school year and new action steps and initiatives added for this school year, such as preparation for the NEASC visit at North Quincy High School next year, participating in collaboration with team members from other local CVTE schools during the recent Professional Day of learning. Information about certifications, program advisory teams, and Perkins Core Indicators were shared with School Committee in the PIP Appendix.

Mrs. Cahill asked about the certifications, students will earn these local, state, and federal certifications over their four years in the program.

Mrs. Cahill asked about the programs specific to Quincy High School, students must be enrolled at the school to be enrolled in the CVTE classes.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification on the Core Indicator data, the 2021-2022 data is the most recent available. DESE has not yet released the 2022-2023 data even though MCAS data is available to districts. Mr. Segalla said that there have been incremental improvements in the data for the years available, the data provides area of focus.

Mr. Bregoli would like to see additional programs at North Quincy High School, specifically Fashion and Criminal Justice. Mr. Segalla said this would be a budget issue for School Committee to address as additional staff would be needed. Mrs. Lebo clarified that if there is one more Chapter 74 program added at North Quincy High School, there will need to be an exploratory program implemented (Freshman Seminar) and the entire schedule for the school would have to move to an 8-period day.

Mr. Santoro said that space in the school building is also a factor, Chapter 74 certified programs require a certain amount of square footage.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the Early Education & Care program, are there management skills taught that would prepare students to run a childcare center. Mr. Segalla said there are management components in the program, students are licensed daycare and pre-Kindergarten providers when they complete the program. Mrs. Lebo said students would need additional coursework and licensure to get to the management level.

Mrs. Lebo asked about staffing, Mr. Segalla said there are no open CVTE positions.

Mrs. Lebo asked about co-ops, Ms. McInnis said that all programs have the option, we adjust student schedules to accommodate. Mrs. Lebo said the curriculum enhancements are wonderful and the post-secondary brochure is great too.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to approve the Career Vocational Technical Education Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Team Administrator Kerri Connolly and Coordinator of Special Education Jennifer Leary presented the Early Childhood Program Improvement Plan beginning with a reflection on last year’s goals to implement daily literacy activities and monthly character trait and character education. Pre-Kindergarten staff also implemented the Illustrative Mathematics program.

Looking ahead to this school year, the Pre-Kindergarten team goals are focused on explicit instruction of letter-sound relationships, training for the new statewide IEP form which will be implemented during the 2024-2025 school year, and training for the Pivotal Response Treatment, a naturalistic intervention model.

Mr. Santoro asked about the new Individual Education Plan (IEP), Ms. Leary said this is a very different form, student vision for themselves is a key component, and the layout is completely different. Mr. Santoro asked about the development process, Ms. Leary said several districts participated in the pilot process and the entire state will implement next year. This will require extensive training for the Quincy Public Schools staff.

Mr. Gutro asked about universal Pre-Kindergarten, Governor Healy has made this a priority. Superintendent Mulvey said this will come down to funding, either federal or state. Ms. Perkins said the model of public-private partnerships (similar to New York City) may be the starting point. Ms. Perkins said space and staffing will be a challenge, but it would be a wonderful opportunity for our youngest learners.

Mrs. Cahill agreed that universal Pre-Kindergarten would be a great opportunity, noting if there are 35 Kindergarten teachers and 35 paraprofessionals, we would need at least that for Pre-Kindergarten for 4-year olds. Ms. Perkins said that Pre-Kindergarten classes are capped at 15 students, so more staffing needed than Kindergarten.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the Pivotal Response Treatment program, Ms. Leary said this is way of incorporating ABA techniques into the classroom. Mrs. Lebo asked to see a video or learn more about the program.

Mrs. Lebo asked about drop-in services, this is families who partake in therapy services but not the classroom piece of Pre-Kindergarten. Articulation groups are for students with speech and language issues only.

Mrs. Hubley asked whether there was feedback from parents on the Illustrative Mathematics program, Ms. Perkins said about 50 parents came to the Parent Academy event last night and the feedback was very positive. Parents worked in small groups and were guided by the IM consultant on working on actual problems.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the Physical Therapists, there are a total of 3 plus 2 Physical Therapy Assistants.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to approve the Early Childhood Education Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Special Education Director Julie Graham, Coordinator Jennifer Leary, and Team Administrators Simone Buckley, Katie Carey, Donna Cunningham, and Jill Kyranis presented the Special Education Program Improvement Plan. The team serves 1800 Special Education students district-wide for Pre-Kindergarten through post-graduate programs. Ms. Graham reflected on progress towards achieving the 2022-2023 goals, including increasing achievement on MCAS, developing a comprehensive Transition Planning Form to be included in the IEP going forward, expanding the LEAP program at Quincy College, collaborating with Landmark Outreach, implemented the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia, increased the usage of progress reports for students with IEPs, and collaborated with the Quincy Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

For the 2023-2024, the goal for all levels is to be trained and ready to implement the new Individual Educational Plan form in September 2024. The Post-Secondary team will continue to expand opportunities for students at Quincy College, including developing a mentor program. Each of the academic program and academic support teams has a curriculum and/or student support goal specific to the needs of the student populations in their classes. Professional development is planned to support the implementation of these goals. New for this school year, the Dr. Rick DeCristofaro Learning Center Team is meeting regularly to complete the initial application for the DESE Massachusetts Public Day School designation.

Mrs. Cahill complimented the hard work of the team, asked for clarification on the progress reports being distributed through Aspen. Ms. Graham said that in collaboration with IT, the Special Education team is following the same calendar as general education teachers and the progress reports are available to families online along with report cards.

Mrs. Cahill asked for clarification, the PVT program training and implementation are simultaneous, teachers will use techniques as they learn them and have a chance to reflect on the efficacy. Ms. Graham said that during the observation process, teachers will demonstrate their use of these techniques and receive feedback.

Mrs. Cahill about the categories of disabilities, Ms. Graham said a social-emotional disability may be anxiety or depression and is different from a cognitive disability. Both can affect a student’s ability to access curriculum and instruction.

Mr. Bregoli asked about supports for high school students with emotional issues, Ms. Graham said the citywide PASS program is at North Quincy High School.

Mr. Santoro asked about the 21 students who entered GOALS last school year, Ms. Cunningham said three students were move-ins with IEPs, the other students came from a Quincy Public Schools middle or high school.

Mrs. Lebo asked for information on the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia, Ms. Graham will follow up.

Mrs. Lebo asked for a breakdown of Out of District students by school, Ms. Owens will follow up.

Mrs. Lebo asked about students attending Landmark. Ms. Graham said due to the collaboration between our staff and Landmark, we have been able to retain more students in Quincy Public Schools, only 3 are currently outplaced for dyslexia.

Mrs. Hubley asked if there is a new teacher of the deaf, Ms. Graham said the number of students do not require a full-time teacher and we are utilizing outside resources for the services.

Mrs. Hubley asked for a breakout of students with vision and hearing (currently in one category).

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the Special Education Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Ms. Graham recognized Ms. Cunningham, retiring in December after 34 years with Quincy Public Schools.

Darlene Wilson, Ginger McGill, Sarah Wood from SEPAC provided an update, note the name change (Special Education Parent Advisory Council), new logo, rebranding with new website and brochure, increasing outreach efforts with families.

Goals for this school year are collaborating on the opening of the Learning Center, the transition for students and families; collaborating on the development of a communication template for CARES program staff to families; collaborating on identifying transportation issues for out of district students (survey completed, but very low response rate 24 out of 160+ families); collaborating with QPS to provide trainings to staff; and continuing community engagement.

In terms of transportation issues, Ms. Wood suggested that the out of district parents do not know to call the Transportation department when a van/bus is late or doesn’t arrive. Most parents communicate directly with the vendor and QPS may not be aware of the continuing issues.

Family outreach included a popsicle playdate event for Pre-Kindergarten families prior to the start of the school year, the Trunk or Treat was planned but unfortunately cancelled due to weather, and the upcoming Gingerbread House decorating events on December 8 and 9.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the out of district students being able to get involved in their home schools. Ms. Woods said that there are no extracurricular opportunities particularly for older students, partly due to the schedule. Contact cards are being sent out to out of district families to be sure that email contact information is updated. SEPAC has collaborated with Quincy Public Schools on programming for vacation weeks and weekends, but has not been successful in collaborating consistently with the Recreation Department.

Mrs. Lebo suggested that School Committee members can assist with the communication with the Recreation Department, Mr. Bregoli is the School Committee representative on the Park & Recreation Board.

Mrs. Cahill made a motion to adjourn at 7:30 pm, seconded by Mr. Bregoli. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.