Jan. 19, 2022 School Committee Meeting

Jan. 19, 2022 School Committee Meeting
Posted on 01/14/2022
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Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 6:30 pm
Coddington Building, School Committee Room

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 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, January 21, 2022.

I. Approval of Minutes:

A. Regular Meeting and Executive Session Minutes for December 8, 2021

B. Special Organizational Meeting Minutes for January 5, 2022

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. To participate in Open Forum, interested parties may submit written statements to: [email protected].

III. Superintendent’s Report

A. Chairman’s Report - Mayor Koch

B. QPS Enrollment & COVID-19 Metrics (Cases, Testing, Vaccine Rates)

C. QPS Technology Update

D. DESE Social-Emotional Learning Grant Award

E. Kindergarten Registration for 2022-2023 School Year

F. Early College High School Symposium, February 10

G. QPS Family Engagement:

  • REACH Parent Showcase, January 19

  • ELPAC Meeting, January 31

  • Parent Academy: MARC, February 1

IV. Old Business:

A. School Committee Policy 10.5.3 CVTE Admissions Policy (VOTE) - Mr. Bregoli

B. Re-Opening School Committee Meetings to the Public - Superintendent Mulvey

V. New Business:

A. QPS Partnership with Quincy Asian Resources - Mr. Rockey Chan, Ms. Angela Chen

B. English Learner Program Improvement Plan - Ms. Heather Wojcik

C. Subcommittee Assignments (VOTE) - Mr. Santoro

D. Quincy School Committee Policy Section 1.8 Harrassment & 1.8.1 Sexual Harrassment - Mr. Bregoli
for referral to the Policy Subcommittee

E. High School Grading Review & Analysis - Mr. Gutro
for referral to the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee

F. Principal Salary Survey - Mr. Gutro
for referral to the Budget & Finance Subcommittee

G. Election Day School Building Impacts (Invite City Clerk to Discuss) - Mr. Gutro
for referral to the Policy Subcommittee

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings (Coddington Building): Regular Meetings: February 9, 2022; March 9, 2022; March 23, 2022 at 6:30 pm

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (Coddington Building):

  • Teaching & Learning: January 25 (High School & Elementary SIPs); January 26, 2022 (Elementary SIPs); February 7, 2022 (Elementary SIPs), all at 6:00 pm.

  • Quarterly Budget & Finance: February 2, 2022 at 6:00 pm

  • Policy, February 2, 2022 at 6:15 pm

  • Special Education: February 2, 2022 at 6:30 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Policy Subcommittee: Mr. Bregoli to report on the December 6, 2021 meeting.

B. Athletics & Wellness: Mr. Gutro to report on the December 6, 2021 meeting.

C. Special Education: Mrs. Hubley to report on the December 6, 2021 meeting.

D. Teaching & Learning: Mrs. Lebo to report on the January 11, 2022 meeting.

IX. Executive Session: Contract Negotiations

X. Adjournment:


Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – January 19, 2022

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at the Coddington Building. Superintendent Kevin Mulvey called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas P. Koch, School Committee Chair, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Tina Cahill, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mr. Frank Santoro, Vice Chair.

Also present were: Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Allison Cox, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Julie Graham, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Heather Wojcik; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

School Committee observed a moment of silence for our families and the men and women protecting us at home and serving in the armed services overseas and at home.


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting and Executive Session for December 8, 2021. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Special Organizational Meeting minutes for January 5, 2022. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

There was one letter submitted for Open Forum: Maryellen & George Lopez wrote to express support about establishing a Health Screenings Policy specifically to address student privacy and the supervision of student nurses.


Superintendent’s Report

Mayor Koch reviewed that the last week have seen a decrease in cases, with a daily average of 150 new cases per day. The Quincy Health Department distributed 18,900 home tests in December. Mayor Koch thanked Manet Community Health for their partnership in administering vaccines and testing to the community. The site at Old Colony Avenue will be closing at the end of January as the construction will begin on the DeCristofaro Learning Center in February.

The Quincy Public Schools enrollment is 9,816 for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, an increase of 49 students since the December 8 School Committee Meeting.

For COVID-19 statistics, there were 697 student and 129 staff cases in the two weeks ending January 18. Just under 2,400 staff and students are participating in pooled testing. Current QPS school vaccination rates range from 22% to 69% at elementary schools, 38% to 58% at the middle schools, and 66% at Quincy High School. North Quincy High School has reached 80% student vaccination, staff members have not yet been surveyed for their vaccination rate.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the new student registrations, Ms. Owens said these are spread out over all of our schools, many are recent arrivals in the United States and others have moved to Quincy from other cities and towns in Massachusetts.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DES) has extended the mask requirement through February 28 and the information was shared with School Committee.

Mr. Bregoli asked whether the Omicron variant is responsible for the majority of the cases and Superintendent Mulvey said that is not data that we have but the Quincy Health Department may be able to share that information. Mr. Bregoli is frustrated with the continued requirement for students to wear masks.

Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that DESE is recommending that school districts discontinue Test & Stay and contact tracing and implement the distribution of home test kits to staff and students. This could begin as early as next week, depending on the delivery of the test kits. This shift away from Test & Stay and contact tracing will alleviate the administrative stress on the school nurses. In addition, this would give more freedom to families and staff to participate in testing in a way convenient for them. Families and staff are asked to report positive test results to their school nurse. There will be a separate process to opt into the home testing program and information will be shared with families in an upcoming newsletter.

Mrs. Cahill asked if home test results have to be verified. Superintendent Mulvey said that it is an honor system, members of the community have been self-reporting since home tests became widely available in November.

Mr. Gutro asked if Quincy Public Schools has responded to DESE and whether a vote is required. Superintendent Mulvey said that a vote is not required and he is recommending that QPS move into this testing option. For all of the administrative work being done daily by nurses, 98% of the Test & Stay cases are negative. The hope is that additional families and staff members will participate in the home testing to raise the participation rate above the current 21% of the total staff and student population. The tests for staff will arrive the week of January 24 and the tests for students will arrive the week of January 31.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the pooled testing, Superintendent Mulvey confirmed that follow up testing for positive pools will continue. Mrs. Lebo noted that the school nurses can use their professional discretion to contact trace where they think there may be evidence of a cluster.

For the QPS Technology update, Superintendent Mulvey said that all 4,000 Chromebooks have been received and that Grade 5 Chromebooks have been distributed to students. Grades 3 and 4 Chromebooks are being distributed to schools and will remain in the classroom for use by the students. These students will not be asked to bring the Chromebooks back and forth to school unless needed for a specific project or to access remote learning in case of COVID-19 quarantine or positive case isolation.

Mr. Gutro asked about Chromebooks for Grade 2. Superintendent Mulvey said the school-based Chromebook carts are available at all schools for students in Grades K-2. Superintendent Mulvey will verify that there are Chromebooks for all Grade 2 students at each school.

Superintendent Mulvey announced that Quincy Public Schools has been awarded $150,000 in grant funding from DESE for Social-Emotional Learning, Behavioral & Mental Health, and Wellness through Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. The funding will be used for a restorative practices coordinator to be shared between Quincy High School and North Quincy High School. Additionally, remaining funds will be used to provide professional development to support restorative practices and tiered interventions. Thanks to Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile for securing this grant funding.

Kindergarten Registration for the 2022-2023 school year is underway, just under 200 families have already submitted the pre-registration forms. The elementary schools and Central Registration will begin calling families for registration appointments the week of February 14.

Superintendent Mulvey concluded his report by reviewing recent and upcoming Quincy Public Schools Family Engagement events: the REACH Grade 5 Virtual Showcase for parents and guardians held earlier today, the English Learner Parent Advisory Council meeting on February 3 and the Parent Academy on Social Media & Bias on February 8.


Old Business

Policy 10.5.3 Revision VOTE

The revised CVTE Admissions Policy was tabled until the February 8 meeting as further changes to the language needed.


Old Business

Re-Opening School Committee Meetings to the Public

Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that he discussed with Health Commissioner Marli Casli who agreed that due to the Omnicrom variant, opening meetings to the public would not be advisable at this time. Superintendent Mulvey suggested re-opening meetings to the public at the March 9 School Committee meeting.

Mr. Gutro feels the delay is at odds with how the rest of the public operates, there should be a reasonable accommodation for the public to attend the meetings.

Mr. Bregoli agrees with Mr. Gutro.

Mrs. Lebo would like to defer to the opinion of the Health Commissioner, the timing of the School Committee meetings having only one meeting in February unfortunately dictates the length of the delay. Mrs. Lebo said that School Committee should wear masks when meetings are open to the public.

Mayor Koch said not all boards and commissions are meeting in person yet, most are being cautious during the winter months and City Council is still meeting on Zoom.


New Business

QPS Partnership With QARI

Mr. Rockey Chan and Ms. Angela Chen from Quincy Asian Resources (QARI) presented on their partnership with Quincy Public Schools. QARI has been serving the Quincy community over 20 years ago, beginning as a largely volunteer run organization to assist immigrant families in becoming active and fully participating community members. QARI is organized in three sections: Family & Community Services, Adult Education, and Youth Development. The Family & Community Services assists families with navigating the Quincy Public Schools registration process, provides translation for IEP meetings and parent-teacher conferences, and assists with health issues such as the state’s vaccine appointment process. The Youth Development department works with the next generation to provide opportunities to serve the community, build self-agency and voice, and develop confidence and skills. Many students continue to assist with the QARI youth programs as mentors after completing the program themselves. For Adult Education programs, QARI provides English as a Second or Foreign Language focused on specific workforce categories such as health care or hospitality. Other programs include Learning about the School System, Citizenship preparation, and Family Literacy. Moving forward, QARI is looking forward to continuing to support Quincy Public Schools families and administrators.

Mr. Gutro said that he experienced QARI’s cultural competency training for the City Council and city departments. Mr. Gutro asked about the mentoring program, it has grown from a pilot at Atlantic to be at Central as well. Pre-pandemic, there were 60 mentor-mentee pairs at the two middle schools. Participation is currently lower, QARI is hoping that this will rebound as the pandemic recedes. Mr. Gutro asked about the partnership with Walker Therapeutic. Mr. Chan said in collaboration with Ms. Papile and the Student Support and Psychologists, the program assists with students transitioning back to school from the pandemic.

Mrs. Lebo asked about QARI’s expansion to serve other immigrant communities. Mr. Chan said there is a diversity in the participation in the ESOL program, new staff members speak Portuguese and Spanish. Mrs. Lebo complimented the workforce focus of the ESOL program.

Mr. Santoro noted that he is on the QARI board and reiterated that the resources are free for all immigrants. Behind the scenes, Mr. Chan and Ms. Chen are seeking to secure donations and grants to keep the innovative programming available.

Superintendent Mulvey thanked Mr. Chan for participating in the QPS Re-Opening Task Force, the establishment of the English Learner Parent Advisory Council, and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.

Mr. Chan thanked School Committee for inviting them to present at School Committee said QARI is always looking for opportunities to partner with local businesses and agencies, all to the benefit of the immigrant families of Quincy.


New Business

English Learner Program Improvement Plan

Coordinator of English Learning Heather Wojcik presented the English Learner Program Improvement Plan, accompanied by Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins and Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy. Through the support of School Committee, services for families have been expanded through the Family Liaison positions and increased translation funding in the Quincy Public Schools budget, including an on-demand interpretation service. During the 2020-2021 school, DESE’s Coordination Program Review was successfully completed. DESE invited Quincy Public Schools to present on our implementation of the Student Success Plans to districts across the state. Programming has increased with the introduction of summer classes for high school students beginning in 2020 and low proficiency elementary school students in 2021. A new professional development partnership with Quincy College led to free classes for QPS teachers in summer 2021. The English Learner Parent Advisory Council was successfully launched, with a dedicated parent board.

The Quincy Public Schools English Learners program currently serves 1,573 students, 16% of the district enrollment. The majority of the students are in grades K-5, 1,064 total. High incidence EL schools are Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, Montclair, and Parker. Mid-level incidence EL schools are Wollaston, Quincy High School, and North Quincy High School. The remainder of the schools are considered low incidence for English Learner education, 69 or fewer students.

Ms. Roy shared MCAS data for EL and FEL students, participation rates were excellent, above the state level at all grades. Performance data reflects the pandemic and the effects on learning and skills gaps. For Access testing, participation and progress rates were excellent for elementary schools and dropped off in middle and high school. English Learner students not meeting English proficiency benchmarks are assisted through the development of a Student Success Plan for each student to meet the identified target and receive the necessary support to make progress.

Ms. Perkins reviewed that the new Family Liaisons are bilingual in Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Portuguese. The Family Liaisons will be providing support to families to navigate the school system, understand the grading system and progress reports, participate in family and community events. Community partners include QARI, the Thomas Crane Public Library, and Quincy College.

Goals for 2021-2022 include: (1) The percentage of English Learners in Grades 1-12 who make progress towards their proficiency targets will increase by 10% as measured by the 2022 ACCESS EL327 Edwin Report. (2) An ELPAC Board will be fully operational by December 2021 with completed by-laws, meeting schedules, and board duties as evidenced by documents uploaded into a shared Google Drive for the Board and the ELE Coordinator. (3) Family Liaisons will serve as the bridge between families, schools, and the community with translated documents, translated resources, the Family Resource Guide, interpretation, phone calls, and family outreach, as evidenced by documentation uploaded into a shared Google Drive for the Family Liaisons and ELE Coordinator. (4) Quincy Public Schools will celebrate the academic achievement of bilingual graduating students with the awarding of the State Seal of Biliteracy as measured by state-approved World Language Assessments prior to the graduation date.

Ms. Wojcik concluded her presentation by thanking Mayor Koch and School Committee, Superintendent Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Perkins, Ms. Roy, Ms. Owens, and all of the Principals. The English Learner Education team are amazing ambassadors for our students and families, adapting instruction for the over 90% of EL students who remained remote for the 2020-2021 school year.

Mrs. Cahill said that the presentation makes her feel proud of Quincy Public Schools, this report will amplify the important work being done.

Mrs. Hubley asked about additional staffing, Merrymount and Squantum each have one teacher. Ms. Perkins said that these are areas for consideration for future budgets, in previous year staff have been shifted to accommodate increases in English learner populations.

Mrs. Lebo complimented Ms. Wojcik for the successful CPR completion. Mrs. Lebo noted that 90% of the EL students being remote was a challenge. Mrs. Lebo asked about EL levels as a factor in staffing, Ms. Perkins said that Levels 3 and 4 students require less instructional time.

Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification, new students do not have to be assessed if they are transferring from a US-based school, are Former English Learners, or have been previously evaluated through ACCESS.

Mr. Santoro said that communication is key to assisting parents, the Family Liaisons are an important addition to QPS staff. Mr. Santoro thanked Ms. Wojcik for her dedication and the ELPAC board for their efforts.

Mayor Koch made a motion to accept the English Learner Program Improvement Plan, seconded by Mrs. Hubley. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

School Committee Subcommittee Assignments

Mr. Santoro noted that Mrs. Cahill will now be the Chair of Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee, Mr. Gutro will remain as a member.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the School Committee Subcommittee assignments for 2022-2023 as amended. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


New Business

School Committee Policy 1.8 & 1.8.1 to Subcommittee

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to refer School Committee Policy Sections 1.8 Harrassment and 1.8.1 Sexual Harrassment to Policy Subcommittee for review.

On the motion, Superintendent Mulvey said there are changes to the language in the Federal Title IX regulations that need to be reflected in an update of these policies.

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


New Business

High School Grading Referral to Teaching & Learning Subcommittee

Mr. Gutro made a motion to refer a review and analysis of High School Grading to the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Principal Salary Survey Referral to Budget & Finance Subcommittee

Mr. Gutro made a motion to request that a survey of Principal Salaries be conducted prior to discussion for the FY2023 Budget and referred this to the Budget & Finance Subcommittee.

On the motion, Mr. Bregoli requested that the salary for Ms. Owens’ position also be included in the survey.

Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Election Day/School Building Impacts Referral to Policy Subcommittee

Mr. Gutro made a motion to refer the impact of holding school on Election Day to the Policy Subcommittee, including inviting the City Clerk to attend the meeting.

Mrs. Lebo would like to invite principals of schools impacted as well.

Mayor Koch noted that he thought School Committee had already decided that this would be a no school day.

Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Additional Business

Mr. Bregoli requested that the School Committee member name be included with the item referral to Subcommittee.



Mr. Santoro noted that School Committee Regular Meetings will be held on February 9, 2022, March 9, 2022, and March 23, 2022, all at 6:30 pm in the Coddington Building. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings include Teaching & Learning on January 25 & 26, 2022 and February 7, 2022, all at 6:00 pm (School Improvement Plans); Quarterly Budget & Finance, Policy, and Special Education on February 2, 2022 beginning at 6:00 pm.

Mr. Bregoli asked for the February 2 meetings to be rescheduled as he will not be available.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mr. Santoro noted that Subcommittee minutes are published on the School Committee page of the Quincy Public Schools website (quincypublicschools.com)

Mr. Bregoli reported on the December 6, 2021 Policy Subcommittee meeting where the revision to School Committee Policy 10.5.3 Career Vocational & Technical Education Admissions that was discussed earlier this evening was first reviewed.

Mr. Gutro reported on the December 6, 2021 Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee meeting where Athletic Directors Jean-Jacques Niamkey and Kevin Mahoney reviewed Fall 2021 Athletics and previewed Winter 2022 Athletics. Health Services Coordinator Rita Bailey also presented the Health Services Program Improvement Plan.

Mrs. Hubley reported on the December 6, 2021 Special Education Subcommittee meeting where Special Education Director Julie Graham, Special Education Coordinator Sarah Anderson, and Team Administrators Simone Buckley, Katie Carey, Donna Cunningham, and Jennifer Leary presented the Special Education Program Improvement Plan. QPAC Board members Ginger McGill and Sarah Wood also reviewed their goals for 2022.

Mrs. Lebo reported on the January 11, 2022 Teaching & Learning Subcommittee where Middle School Principals Aliza Schneller, Richard DeCristofaro, Jr., Derek Lakey, Daniel Gilbert, and Christine Barrett presented their School Improvement Plans.

As there were no corrections, the minutes of the December 6, 2021 Policy, Athletics & Wellness, and Special Education and January 11, 2022 Teaching & Learning Subcommittees meetings were approved.


Executive Session

Mayor Koch made a motion to enter into Executive Session at 8:40 pm for the purpose of Contract Negotiations. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bregoli and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0. School Committee will not return to Regular Session.



As School Committee did not return from Executive Session, the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 pm.