Oct. 28, 2020 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 6:30 pm
Coddington Building

Per Governor Baker’s order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A sec. 20, the public will not be allowed to physically access this School Committee meeting. Members of the Public can access the meeting audio live on QATV Channel 22 or at www.qatv.org. The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS SchoolTube website on Friday, October 30, 2020.

I. Approval of Minutes:

A. Meeting Minutes for October 14, 2020
B. Executive Session Minutes for October 14, 2020

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.
Please submit statements for Open Forum to: [email protected].

III. Superintendent’s Report

A. Chairman’s Report - Mayor Thomas Koch
B. QPS COVID-19 Metrics (with Health Commissioner Ruth Jones)
C. QPS Building CO2 Measurements (with Mechanical Engineer David Scott) 
D. QPS Enrollment/Class Size
E. Chromebooks/Technology Update
F. John & Abigail Adams Scholarships
G. School Nutrition Update
H. Parent Academies Schedule (Setting Up the Home Environment for Remote Learning, October 27 & November 6; Making Sense of Math with Greg Tang, November 16)
I. SAT/ACT Administration
J. Robotics Update
K. Special Education Director

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. Spotlight on Remote Instruction - Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy
B. QPS Fall 2020 Re-Entry Survey - Superintendent Mulvey, Ms. Perkins
C. MASC Resolutions - Mrs. Hubley
D. Gift: Quincy Police Department Donation for the CARES Program

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: November 18, 2020 and December 9, 2020 (Regular Meetings, 6:30 pm, Coddington Building)
B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings: November 4, 2020:Teaching & Learning; November 18, 2020: Special Education, both at 5:30 pm at the Coddington Building.

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees: Budget & Finance Subcommittee, Mr. Andronico to report on the October 14, 2020 meeting.

IX. Executive Session: Contract Negotiations

X. Adjournment:


Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – October 28, 2020

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Special Meeting Vice-Chair Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 6:45 p.m at the Coddington Building. Superintendent Kevin Mulvey called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Anthony Andronico, Vice Chair.

Also present were: Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Allison Cox, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Mr. Keith Segalla; Health Commissioner Ruth Jones; Mechanical Engineer David Scott; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

There was a moment of silence for Nellie Dryer, longtime cafeteria manager for Merrymount Elementary School who passed away recently.


Approval of Minutes

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting Minutes for October 14, 2020. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the minutes of the Executive Session Minutes for October 14, 2020. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

Mr. Andronico read a letter from Quincy Education Association President Sean Greene urging continued collaboration with the Quincy Schools Committee and requesting an external audit for the Quincy Public Schools ventilation systems.


Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Mulvey opened his report by introducing Mayor Koch, who announced that Quincy has entered the red on the COVID-19 cases, just over 8 cases per 100,000 citizens. The average age of positive cases has shifted to a younger age group. There are tremendous impacts for economic and mental health within the community, substance abuse supports have been particularly hard hit. Mayor Koch recognized the Quincy Public Schools Leadership and Principals teams for the excellent communication with families and the Public Buildings department also working hard to support the schools. Mayor Koch said that it is important to understand all perspectives and that this has been a very difficult 8 months for all.

Superintendent Mulvey thanked Health Commissioner Ruth Jones for her support, she has participated in 12 parent and staff meetings to date when new cases are diagnosed connected to a school building. Commissioner Jones reviewed the data for the two weeks ending October 27, an average of 7.3 cases per 100,000. In the last two weeks, six Quincy Public Schools students tested positive, three remote and three hybrid or in-person. There is no evidence of in-school transmission.

Mr. Gutro asked about the city moving into the red based on the state’s numbers through today. Commissioner Jones said that this is consistent with the communities around us and some concentration in local businesses. In some cases, businesses have closed for two weeks because of the number of employees required to quarantine. There are multiple cases within the same households, some related to travel or family gatherings.

Mayor Koch said that in a recent conversation with the President of Beth Israel Deaconess Milton, there seems to be a discernible difference in severity of COVID-19 cases due to masks. Commissioner Jones agreed and said that wearing a mask consistently is the key to eradicating the virus.

Mr. Bregoli asked about staff members, Commissioner Jones said that the NQHS Freshman Football coach tested positive and 13 students are quarantined. Mr. Bregoli asked about the new guidelines that determine close contacts, Commissioner Jones confirmed that the 15 minutes is cumulative over a 24-hour period which will result in more people being asked to quarantine.

Commissioner Jones said that the city has done a great job to keep in the yellow as long as we have. The state is in a surge and we will likely be in the red for some time. People have gotten tired of following the restrictions, it has been many months. Commissioner Jones said the next few months will be challenging, until a vaccine is available, we have to stay the course with preventative measures.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the flu vaccination, Superintendent Mulvey said that Coordinator of Health Services Rita Bailey has arranged with Walgreens’ mobile vehicle to visit each Quincy Public Schools building and the Coddington Building for staff and students to receive the vaccination.

Mrs. Lebo noted that there are long-term effects of COVID-19 that are unpredictable, effects are evident months later. Commissioner Jones agreed, noted that there are cases that are considered recovered from the virus but have serious after-effects. This is a much more serious virus than influenza due to this potential.

Mr. Mulvey asked Commissioner Jones to review the testing protocol, PCR tests, not antigen tests, are the most reliable, antigen tests are giving false results.

Mrs. Hubley asked how the public knows what type of test the are getting, Commissioner Jones said most rapid tests are antigen tests. Rapid PCR tests are now becoming more widely available although many colleges and universities are using the antigen testing due to results being quickly available.

Public Buildings Mechanical Engineer David Scott updated School Committee that the initial assessment and repairs/replacements were completed before school re-opening on September 16. Subsequent to this, CO2 sampling was completed in multiple rooms at all school sites, 280 occupied rooms surveyed over a two-week period. There were fewer than 20 rooms in the 700-800 ppm range, which will be addressed individually (closed dampers, ventilation unit turned off, and new ventilation unit failure). Ventilation rates are determined by the space type/use, age of the facility (above and below five years), and the occupancy level of the space. Upgrades for exhaust fans and other ventilation system issues are being completed at GOALS, Wollaston, and Squantum.

Mr. Bregoli asked if there are CO2 measurement would cause concern, Mr. Scott said anything beyond the ASHRAE ventilation requirements. Mr. Scott said that the sampling was performed on any room occupied by two or more people in every school building.

Mrs. Lebo noted that the results for middle and high schools don’t reflect the current population now that hybrid is underway at the middle and high school levels. Mr. Scott said that at the elementary levels, there were a large percentage of the population present. Every building has samples of a typical room and full occupancy. Mrs. Lebo asked about South~West’s readings. Mr. Scott said the building has CO2 sensors, during the sampling process, certain small rooms do not have the sensors. On subsequent sampling, those rooms will be manually checked. Mrs. Lebo asked if custodians can check the exhaust fan performance, Mr. Scott said the custodians do identify loss of airflow and submit a work order. Mr. Scott said that the plan is to begin the evaluation and sampling process over again.

Mr. Gutro asked if this report is something the Quincy Education Association requested, Mr. Scott said this was the final stage of the assessment and repair process, to check the efficacy. Mr. Gutro asked if the QEA has received a copy of the report; Mr. Greene received with School Committee packet earlier this week.

Superintendent Mulvey shared the current Quincy Public Schools enrollment information, 9, 670 students split 50-50 between Remote and Hybrid learning models. Ms. Owens asked to defer the information on class sizes to the next meeting as the data is still evolving.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the time to change between learning models, Superintendent Mulvey said the principals are accommodating requests as soon as possible. It is a challenge to staff appropriately with the shifting requests and keep distancing requirements. There are also challenges around substitute teachers, expected to increase as the fall progresses. Mr. Bregoli said he assumes the schedule challenges are higher at middle and high school levels, Superintendent Mulvey agreed but spacing and staffing is especially a challenge for elementary school.

Mr. Santoro asked if Quincy Public Schools should set a date to ask families to commit to for a longer period.

Mrs. Lebo said that students who need to quarantine need to shift to remote learning so Quincy Public Schools will need to remain flexible.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the percentage of teachers who have remote accommodations. Superintendent Mulvey will follow up with information.

For the Chromebooks/Technology update, 3,650 Chromebooks have been distributed to date. Superintendent Mulvey urged parents to contact their principals or the IT staff if they do not have an appropriate device. Chromebook carts at schools have been restocked and hot spots are available for families, 40 have been distributed to date. North Quincy High School access point upgrades has been completed, Quincy High School is underway and will be followed by the remaining middle and elementary schools.

Superintendent Mulvey announced that 188 Quincy and North Quincy High School students received John & Abigail Adams Scholarships. The scholarships cover tuition (but not fees) for state colleges and universities.

Mr. Bregoli asked how many students actually use the scholarships, Superintendent Mulvey will follow up.

Thanks to School Nutrition Director Sara Dufour and Assistant Director Jane Minton, two meals programs are running concurrently, one for in-person and one for remote learning. The US Department of Agriculture recently announced that no-charge meal distribution will continue through June 30. 90,000 grab and go meals have been distributed since September 9.

A Virtual Parent Academy was held on Monday, October 26 for enhancing the remote learning environment for students, about 25 parents attended. Mrs. Hubley asked for a breakdown of participants school levels. This parent academy will be repeated on Friday, November 6 at 8:00 am. On Monday, November 16, there will be a Virtual Parent Academy on Mathematics featuring Greg Tang.

Superintendent Mulvey announced that two HYPER Robotics alums have secured grants for the Robotics program: thanks to Lockheed Martin and QHS alum Elio Daci, $2,250 in grants and NQHS alum Zach Egan and Proctor & Gamble/Gillette $10,000 grant to support the programs.

Superintendent Mulvey concluded his report by noting that the Special Education Director Posting closed on Friday, October 23. There were eleven applicants (8 licensed and 3 non-licensed) and interviews will be scheduled. The interview committee will include a School Committee member, parent(s), teacher(s), administrator(s), and a principal.


New Business

QPS Remote Instruction

Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins and Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy presented an update on the Quincy Public Schools Remote Instruction program. In preparation for the return to school this fall, professional development opportunities to strengthen technical skills and engagement strategies were offered to staff. Centralized online platforms were utilized to share well-designed online lessons across grade levels and schools, pacing and alignment guides were updated for remote and hybrid learning, and there were opportunities for collaboration on rethinking assessments. Videos of teachers working with their online classrooms from Pre-Kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school levels were shared.

Mr. Bregoli asked for a breakdown of teachers who are remotely teaching at school versus teaching at home. Ms. Perkins will follow up with this information.

Mr. Gutro thanked the presenters, it is very helpful to see inside the classroom in this way. Mr. Gutro asked about how many of the programs/platforms that the teachers are using are new, Ms. Perkins said most are new this year and there are constantly new options being added and shared among teachers. Ms. Roy said some are applications that teachers were using in their classrooms, but they are being more fully deployed. Quincy Public Schools staff are generously sharing their knowledge and training other teachers. Mr. Gutro asked about student attendance and engagement, would like to have information provided about the percentage of students have not engaged.

Mr. Santoro said that if there is one positive outcome, our teachers have opened up new resources and tools that can only benefit our students.

Mrs. Lebo agreed with Mr. Santoro, is happy to see the shared curriculum drives.


New Business


Superintendent Mulvey thanked the QPS Fall 2020 Re-Entry Task Force and School Committee for their work on developing the Educator and Parent Re-Entry Surveys. Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins reviewed that the surveys will assist with assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the current instructional models (Hybrid and Remote). This baseline data will be compared with later surveys as a measure of progress as we move through the school year. The surveys will be open October 30 through November 13 and shared via the QPS website, social media, and the QPS Newsletter email.

Ms. Roy reviewed the Educator Survey which consists of 34 questions in the categories: Demographics, Safety, Teaching Experience, Educator Well-Being, Schedule, Technology, and Digital Learning. Ms. Perkins reviewed the Parent/Guardian Survey that consists of 37 questions in the categories: Demographics, Safety, Teaching and Learning, Homework, Social Emotional Learning/Student Well-Being, Schedule, Technology and Digital Learning Systems, and Communication.

Mr. Gutro asked about a student survey, Ms. Perkins said that we are planning to create a student survey, it will be shared for review with both the School Committee and the Task Force before going out to students.


New Business

MASC Resolutions

Mr. Bregoli left the meeting temporarily, so did not vote on any of the resolutions.

Mrs. Hubley waived the reading of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees resolutions, which will be voted on at the November 7, 2020 MASC General Meeting. Mrs. Hubley will be representing the Quincy School Committee so School Committee voted on the position that Mrs. Hubley will take as their representative.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion for the Quincy School Committee to support Resolution 1, a moratorium on MCAS and high stakes testing. Mr. Santoro seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mayor Koch made a motion for the Quincy School Committee to support Resolution 2, full reimbursement for COVID-19 related expenses. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Gutro made a motion for the Quincy School Committee to support Resolution 3, which calls for diversity, inclusion and equality to be practiced in school districts. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mayor Koch made a motion for the Quincy School Committee to not support Resolution 4, lowering the voting age for municipal elections. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion for the Quincy School Committee to not support Resolution 5, expanding educational funding through progressive tax legislation. Mayor Koch seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Gutro made a motion for the Quincy School Committee to abstain from Resolution 6, retention of Medicaid revenue. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion for the Quincy School Committee to support Resolution 7, to reject the redirection of federal funding to private schools. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mayor Koch made a motion for the Quincy School Committee to support Resolution 8, to add a School Committee representative to the Board of Elementary & Secondary Education. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion for the Quincy School Committee to support Resolution 9, expanding protected classes to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Gutro made a motion for the Quincy School Committee to abstain from Resolution 10, monitoring the attendance of students during the pandemic. Mayor Koch seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Gift: QPD Donation for CARES Program

Mr. Bregoli returned to the meeting.

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the gift of $3288.00 from the Quincy Police Department for the Quincy Public Schools Special Education CARES program.

On the motion, Superintendent Mulvey thanked Chief Keenan and his staff for their continued generosity.

Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.



Mr. Andronico noted that Regular School Committee meetings are scheduled for November 18, 2020 and December 9, 2020, both at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building. The Teaching & Learning Subcommittee will meet on November 2, 2020 at 5:30 pm at the Coddington Building.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mr. Andronico reported on the October 14, 2020 Quarterly Budget & Finance meeting where Director of Business James Mullaney presented a reconciliation of staffing against the FY2021 Quincy Public Schools Budget and also a Quarterly report of all budget accounts.

As there were no changes submitted, the minutes of the October 14, 2020 Quarterly Budger & Finance Subcommittee were accepted as presented.


Executive Session

Mayor Koch made a motion for School Committee to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of contract negotiations at 9:20 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.



As School Committee will not return to the Regular Meeting from Executive Session, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 pm.