5-27-2020 Special School Committee Meeting Minutes

Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – May 27, 2020
Special Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Special Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A special meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held remotely on
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. Superintendent DeCristofaro called
the roll and present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli,
Mr. Douglas Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mr. Frank Santoro,
and Mr. Anthony Andronico, Vice Chair.

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens,
Clerk; Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Marisa Forrester, Mr.
James Mullaney, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy.


Chairman’s Update
In the interest of time, Mayor Koch deferred his update to the next meeting.


Approval of Minutes

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the minutes for the May 20, 2020 Special
School Committee Meeting and the May 19, 2020 Workshop.

On the motion, Mrs. Lebo asked for amendment to change the sentence at the
top of page 6 to indicate that she agrees with a less-specific job description.

Mr. Bregoli accepted the amendment, which was re-seconded by Mrs. Hubley
and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


Open Forum

Mr. Andronico noted that Open Forum participation is through the Quincy Public
Schools email [email protected].
As there were no letters submitted for Open Forum, School Committee moved on
to the next item on the agenda.


Remote Learning & Engagement Numbers Update

Superintendent DeCristofaro thanked Ms. Forrester, Ms. Papile, Ms. Perkins, Ms.
Roy, Mr. Segalla, and all the principals for their work in preparing this update on
Remote Learning & Engagement statistics through last Friday, May 22.

Mrs. Lebo said that this is an impressive documentation of the connections with
our students and would like to see more detail for middle and high school
students on how many of their teachers they are engaging with. Mrs. Lebo asked
if we are considering surveying students, parents, and staff on Remote Learning
and Engagement to surface issues that may inform the planning for the fall. Dr.
DeCristofaro agreed this is a good idea and that the Superintendent’s Leadership
Team can begin working on this.

Mr. Gutro is concerned about the students who are not participating at all. (0.9%)
Dr. DeCristofaro said these families need to be looked at into more detail to find
the root causes. Mr. Gutro asked about families not connecting with technology.
Ms. Forrester said some of the EL families are more comfortable with paper
packets, teachers are providing customized materials. Mr. Gutro asked if paper
packet usage declined as technology distribution continued. Ms. Forrester said
that the teacher connections with students is a factor in the slight decline in paper
packet. Mr. Gutro feels that this percentage of engagement reflects success for
Quincy Public Schools, it is not easy for parents to keep students engaged.

Mrs. Lebo said that for younger students, she has heard that parents feel more
comfortable with the paper packets.

Mr. Bregoli said that younger students have a shorter attention span and the
paper packets may be appropriate. Mr. Bregoli agreed with the survey and is
concerned of how to assess student progress and gaps in their learning.

Mr. Santoro would like to see the teachers involved in the survey.


Student Opportunity Act Update

Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey reminded School Committee that the
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released an advisory that
the deadline to file the Student Opportunity Act plan will be extended to June 19,
2020. This deadline still reflects the requirement of stakeholder feedback but the
commitment to fund the plans is not updated. All three areas of the Student
Opportunity Act achievement gap are addressed in the FY2021 Budget proposal:
Special Education, English Learners, and Low Income.

A presentation to a joint Citywide Parent Council and Quincy Parent Advisory
Council to Special Education will be held virtually next Tuesday, June 2 at 7:00
pm. Mr. Andronico thanked the Citywide Parent Council for hosting, the public
feedback on the plan is so important.

Mr. Gutro asked about outreach to the English Learner PAC, Mr. Mulvey said there
has been outreach to invite them to participate in the June 2 meeting.


QPS High School Graduations

Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed that DESE Commissioner Riley released guidelines for
High School graduations last Friday, May 22. The guidelines stipulate that
outdoor ceremonies may not be held before July 19 and there are specific
parameters to limit the number of guests and distancing for seating during the
event and in arriving and leaving. Gatherings would not be allowed beyond
family groups and platform guests will be limited as the ceremony should be as
brief as possible.

The Mayor’s Office is working with Commissioner of Natural Resources Dave
Murphy on a plan for the stadium. Dr. DeCristofaro said families would be limited
to two tickets and the Quincy High School graduation would be scheduled in two
parts due to the number of graduates.

Mayor Koch said Commissioner Murphy has drafted a plan that accommodates a
little over 500 guests in the Veterans Stadium stands, which would allow for
North Quincy High School with 280 students to have one ceremony. Quincy High
School has 380 graduates so would most likely be divided into two ceremonies.
Mayor Koch said the Principals and Superintendents can set dates in late July as
that is not likely to be changed further at a state level.


QPS Superintendent

Mayor Koch announced the Superintendent Search Committee: Frank Santoro,
Chair; Paul Bregoli and Emily Lebo from School Committee; Principal Larry
Taglieri; Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile; teachers
Michael Ellis, Peg McDonough, and Nicole Prevost; Philip Chong from QARI;
student Jaden Hallisey; parents Scott Alessandro (Citywide), Cassandra Beck
(QPAC), and an English learner parent to be confirmed. Ms. Owens will work with
Mr. Santoro to coordinate and schedule meetings.

Mr. Andronico reviewed that the Leadership Profile Survey is being created
online and should be ready to be posted on Thursday, May 28. Ms. Owens will
share the survey with parents, staff, and students via email, website, and social
media and with the press. Mr. Andronico has also had preliminary discussions
with MASC about focus groups between June 8 and June 19 for different types of
staff, students, parents, and community members. MASC will run the focus
groups and report these and the survey results to the Search Committee and
School Committee.

Mr. Santoro asked if the Search Committee should be meeting prior to the Focus
Groups and survey results and Mr. Andronico agreed. Mr. Santoro said that an
introductory email will go out this week and an orientation meeting scheduled as
soon as possible.

Mr. Gutro asked how the focus groups will be publicized. Mr. Andronico said
these will be sent out to parents, teachers, students, administrators via email and
the participants will registered themselves.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the focus groups, these will be public meetings.

Mr. Andronico moved onto the draft brochure he created advertising the Quincy
Public Schools Superintendent position, sharing an overview of the school district
and a timeline for hiring the new Superintendent. Mr. Koocher provided feedback
that the hiring date could be negotiable, depending on the candidate hired and
that site visits would be pending public health guidelines. Mr. Koocher also
suggested adding information that the Special Education Learning Center building
is pending and several criteria around commitment to the position.

Mrs. Lebo thanked Mr. Andronico for his work on the brochure, thanked everyone
for the changes suggested.

Mr. Gutro agreed that Mr. Andronico has worked closely with Mr. Koocher,
designed a useful and quality brochure in addition to all the other pieces.

Mr. Santoro said that if additional selection criteria are needed, some of the
design elements could be made smaller.

Mr. Andronico said if School Committee approves the brochure, MASC is ready to
post it as early as tomorrow. Mr. Andronico reviewed brochures from other cities
and towns to develop the criteria, which can be amended as the survey and focus
group information becomes available.

Mr. Gutro asked if the brochure should reflect the city’s additional investment in
the school system. Mr. Andronico said that figure represents the budget that the
Superintendent has direct control over.

Mrs. Lebo agreed with Mr. Gutro, it could give the impression that our per pupil
cost is low if candidates assume that certain costs that the city carries are in the
Quincy Public Schools budget. Mrs. Lebo suggests that the per-pupil expenditure
for Quincy Public Schools students be added below the total budget.

Mr. Bregoli asked for clarification, Mr. Andronico said that the criteria on the
brochure is not meant to be the complete list and is subject to change based on
the leadership profile survey and focus groups.

Mrs. Lebo said that Mr. Bregoli was wondering how the candidates would know
about the additional criteria that School Committee will add after the survey and
focus groups.

Mr. Andronico suggested that could be added to the timeline, when the focus
groups and surveys are completed on June 25, the information can be
communicated to applicants.

Mr. Santoro suggested developing a rubric for the Search Committee to use in
evaluating applications. Mr. Andronico said MASC will assist with creating a
rubric to be used during this process.

Mrs. Lebo emphasized that the information about additional city funding should
be added to the brochure.

Mr. Santoro also clarified that the budget figure is FY2020 and feels that the per
student cost is a good figure to share.

Mayor Koch suggested that a well-qualified candidate will do their homework and
research the budget details.

Mr. Gutro suggested using the term “net school spending” that includes the
school-related costs covered by the city.

Mr. Andronico agreed with using this figure. With that update, Mr. Andronico
asked if School Committee feels comfortable with finalizing and posting the

Mr. Gutro moved to approve the brochure as amended. Mrs. Lebo seconded the
motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.



Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the Special School Committee meeting at
8:45 pm. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a roll call vote, the
ayes have it, 7-0.