Feb. 9, 2022 School Committee Meeting

Feb. 9, 2022 School Committee Meeting
Posted on 02/07/2022
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Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, February 9, 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, February 11, 2022.

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting and Executive Session Minutes for January 19, 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. FY2022 Grant Booklet

E. Student Recognition: Project 351 Grade 8 Ambassadors

F. QPS Family Engagement:

  • English Learner Parent Advisory Council Meeting, February 3

  • Parent Academy Events:

    • Addressing the Influences of Social Media & Bias, February 8

    • Early College High School, February 15

  • High School STEM Fairs, February 8 & 10

IV. Old Business:

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

V. New Business:

A. Curriculum Update: REACH Program - Ms. Vaughan, Ms. Ciardi, Ms. Cordero, Ms. Davis, Ms. Deaguero

B. Appointment of School Nurse (VOTE) - Superintendent Mulvey

C. Quincy School Committee Policy on Student Cell Phone Use - Mayor Koch
for referral to the Policy Subcommittee

D. Home COVID-19 Testing Progam Review -  Mrs. Cahill
for referral to the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee

E. Private School Application: Elements Academy - Superintendent Mulvey
Formerly Rising Tides Academy, requesting approval for expansion to middle & high school grades

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings (Coddington Building): Regular Meetings: March 9, 2022; March 23, 2022; April 13, 2022 at 6:30 pm

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (Coddington Building):

  • Teaching & Learning: March 30, 2022 at 6:00 pm

  • Quarterly Budget & Finance: February 16, 2022 at 6:00 pm

  • Policy, February 16, 2022 at 6:15 pm

  • Special Education: February 16, 2022 at 6:30 pm

  • Athletics & Wellness: March 2, 2022 at 6:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Teaching & Learning: Mrs. Lebo to report on the January 25 & 26 and February 7, 2022 meetings.

IX. Executive Session: Level 3 Grievance; Contract Negotiations

X. Adjournment:


Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – February 9, 2022

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, February 9, 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. Dawn Ciardi, Ms. Rebecca Cordero, Ms. Allison Cox, Ms. Holly Davis, Ms. Casey Deaguero, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Julie Graham, Mr. James Hennessy, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Bridget Vaughan, Ms. Heather Wojcik; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

School Committee observed a moment of silence Mr. Richard Tapper, Custodial and Maintenance Department staff member for 22 years.


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting for January 19, 2022. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Executive Session for January 19, 2022. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Agenda Out of Order

Move to Executive Session

Mayor Koch made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at 6:35 pm for the purpose of a Level 3 Grievance Hearing and Contract Negotiations. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.

School Committee will return to the Regular Meeting at the conclusion of Executive Session.


Open Forum

School Committee returned to the Regular Meeting at 7:30 pm.

There were four letters submitted for Open Forum in support of Mr. Paul Bregoli returning as Girls Varsity Basketball Coach at North Quincy High School. The letters were from Ted Stevenson, Nathan Knowles, Paul Doherty, and Katherine Schuerch Brooks.


Superintendent’s Report

Mayor Koch reviewed the recent cybersecurity issues with the City of Quincy servers, beginning on Thursday, February 3. The Information Technology staff had evidence of ransomware, so all of the City’s servers were shut down. The outside security coordinator’s emergency response team immediately began scanning the sixty servers and there is no evidence that privileged information was accessed or extracted. Critical systems for the police, fire, municipal finance, and school were all restored on Monday, February 7. The quick actions of the City’s IT department made this an inconvenience but not damaging to the operations of the city departments. Mayor Koch thanked Director Brian Glavin and the City and School IT staffs for their efforts in responding to this crisis.

Mr. Gutro asked if there was any information accessed on the school department side, Mayor Koch said there was no data accessed.

Mrs. Lebo is concerned with how the information was shared publicly, Mayor Koch said that until Monday, there was not definitive information to share.

Mayor Koch said that in light of Governor Baker’s announcement today that the state’s mask mandate for schools will expire on February 28, there will be a Special School Committee Meeting on February 16 at 6:00 pm to discuss the Quincy Public Schools mask policy, opening meetings to the public, and the ratification of the Quincy Education Association contracts.

Superintendent Mulvey updated School Committee that Quincy Public Schools enrollment is 9,837 for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, an increase of 21 students since the January 19 School Committee Meeting. Kindergarten Registration is continuing with 300+ students are pre-registered.

For COVID-19 statistics, there were 129 student and 15 staff cases in the two weeks ending February 8, a significant decline from the previous two weeks. 2,554 staff and students are participating in pooled testing, 22.5% of the staff and students in the district. Current QPS school vaccination rates range from 25% to 64% at elementary schools, 32% to 58% at the middle schools, and 66% at Quincy High School. North Quincy High School has reached 84% student vaccination. QPS staff members have been surveyed on vaccine status, 500 affirmative responses to date. 1,800 staff and students are signed up to receive home testing kits.

Mrs. Hubley asked how additional families can sign up to receive the test kits, the links are posted on the QPS website and will be sent out with school and district newsletters.

Mr. Gutro asked if there are other COVID-19 still mandates in effect, Mr. Mulvey clarified that masks will need to be worn on school buses and for students or staff returning from isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test resilt. It is recommended that unvaccinated students and staff continue to wear masks. The MIAA has not released guidance yet but that is expected by the end of the week.

For the QPS Technology update, Superintendent Mulvey said that 85 additional Chromebook charging carts have been ordered for elementary schools and are due to arrive in early March.

Superintendent Mulvey noted that School Committee received a copy of the 2021-2022 Grant Booklet in their packets, this is a compilation of competitive and entitlement grants for the 2021-22 school year. Thanks to Jim Mullaney and Kathryn Clancy for working with SLT members on administering these grants. If School Committee members have any questions on the grants, please contact Jim Mullaney. The Grant Booklet can be discussed at an upcoming Budget & Finance Subcommittee meeting.

Project 351 is a statewide service organization that brings together 8th grade students from every city and town in Massachusetts. QPS has been a part of Project 351 since the beginning in 2011 and principals and teachers nominate an Ambassador for each of our five middle schools. In a typical year, students participate in a Day of Service project such as Project Bread or Cradles to Crayons. Due to the pandemic, Project 351 will hold a virtual launch on February 11 and hopefully schedule an in-person event later in the year. Congratulations to the Quincy Public Schools Project 351 Ambassadors for 2022: Broad Meadows: Austin McDonnell; South~West: Priya Patel; Central: Angelina Lin; Atlantic: Haaris Khan; Point Webster: Larissa DeFrietas.

Superintendent Mulvey concluded his report by updating on recent and upcoming QPS Family Engagement events: The ELPAC meeting was held on Thursday, February 3, about 20 parents participated, along with the ELPAC Board members, staff from QARI, and members of the SLT. Dr. Elizabeth Englander from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University was the featured presenter last night’s event focusing on Addressing the Influences of Social Media and Bias. About 40 parents attended the presentation, which was recorded and will be posted on the QPS website. The Early College High School Parent Academy Webinar for Grade 9 Parents/Students will be next Tuesday, February 15 at 6:00 pm.

The High School STEM Fairs are underway, with the project viewing events for students and families at North Quincy High School last night and at Quincy High School on Thursday night. The 240 STEM Fair project teams completed video presentations so that judging can be completed virtually. Thank you to the many volunteers who have signed up to be judges, including some School Committee members. We’ll recognize the top finishing students from both high schools at an upcoming School Committee meeting.

Mrs. Cahill suggested that the Social Media Bias presentation link be emailed out to families. Mr. Gutro suggested the presentation be shown to students as well.

Mr. Santoro thanked the High School Science department for their work in preparing the Science Fair projects, adapting the format so that as many people as possible can safely participate


Old Business

Policy 10.5.3 Revision VOTE

Mrs. Cahill made a motion to approve the updated School Committee Policy 10.5.3 Career Vocational Technical Education Admissions Policy, seconded by Mr. Gutro. On a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


New Business

Curriculum Update; REACH Program

Coordinator of ELA & Literacy Bridget Vaughan, accompanied by REACH program teachers Dawn Ciardi, Rebecca Cordero, Holly Davis, and Casey Deaguero presented on the rollout of the new REACH program this school year. The REACH program is an expansion of the long-standing QPS Advance Placement Center program which was for Grade 5 students most recently at Point Webster. With the expansion of the program, four staff members work with students in Grades 4 and 5 in their home school buildings.

The REACH program is project-based, cross-curricular, and focused on real-world connections. English Language Arts skills and strands include research and informational writing and speaking and listening. For Mathematics, concepts include ratios, scale, proportion; area and perimeter; measurement and data; and logic and reasoning problem solving. For Science and Social Studies, projects integrate the ELA and Mathematics skills with the Grade 5 curriculum standards. Students have the opportunity to use technology in their projects, for modeling, coding, writing and illustrating, digital portfolios, and presentations. Students will be working on their Passion Projects (through research, learning, and design): the steps are (identifying their) Passion, Plan, Pitch (finalize topic), Project (research, appropriate use of sources), Product (books, video, photo diary), and Presentation.

For Grade 4 REACH students, they began meeting in January and will meet once per month through June. Topics will include Who Was Shakespeare? (ELA), Exploring Algebra (Mathematics), Forensic Science (Science), Philosophy (Social Studies), and Fibonacci Art (STEAM).

Mr. Gutro thanked the presenters and asked about eligibility for the program, Ms. Vaughan said that the students were identified through analysis of MAP data, the students scoring in the top 20% at each school were invited to participate. Mr. Gutro said this is an innovative program, fosters independent thinking.

Mrs. Cahill said it is evident that the teachers love what they are doing. Mrs. Cahill noted that there is additional opportunity for advanced classes at the middle and high school level, so even if students are not part of the elementary program, there is opportunity in later grades.

Mrs. Lebo asked about class sizes, the range is from 9 to 21 students. Mrs. Lebo asked for the racial/ethnic diversity of the students in the program compared to the student demographics of their schools.

Mrs. Lebo asked how the REACH program is coordinating with the classroom teachers so that students are not missing core content on the day they are involved in the REACH program. Ms. Ciardi said schools are doing project-based learning for all Grade 5 students during this time rather than introducing new content.

Mr. Santoro asked about scheduling for the program, Ms. Ciardi said students have lunch and specialists on the regular school schedule. Mr. Santoro asked if there are opportunities to meet or collaborate with grade-level teachers. There is no common planning time, but there are shared enrichment resources through Google Classroom for both Grade 4 and 5. Looking forward to see increased enrollment in high school Advanced Placement classes in the years to come.


New Business

Appointment of School Nurse

Superintendent Mulvey introduced the resume of School Nurse candidate Ms. Betsy Crowley, appropriately licensed and certified for the position.

Mayor Koch made a motion to appoint Ms. Betsy Crowley as School Nurse, seconded by Mr. Gutro.

On the motion, Mrs. Lebo asked where Ms. Crowley will be assigned, she is the Resource Nurse so rotates to different schools as needed.

On a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


New Business

Referral to Policy Subcommittee

Mayor Koch made a motion to refer creating a School Committee Policy on Student Cell Phone Use to the Policy Subcommittee.

On the motion, Mayor Koch said that there is not a consistent policy, would like to have something in place to support our teachers and administrators.

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


New Business

Referral to Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee

Mrs. Cahill made a motion to refer the Home COVID-19 Testing Program to the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee for monitoring. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Private School Application

Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that Ms. Heather DiNino who was approved to operate the Rising Tides Academy for Grades PK through 4 in August 2020. Ms. DiNino is requesting to expand the school under the new name Elements Academy and include middle and high school grades. Superintendent Mulvey and the Curriculum Team will review the application and make a recommendation to School Committee, so this item will remain on the agenda.


Additional Business

Mr. Santoro noted that as Mayor Koch announced during the Superintendent’s Report, there will be a Special School Committee Meeting on February 16, 2022 at 6:00 pm.



Mr. Santoro noted that School Committee Regular Meetings will be held on March 9 and 23, 2022, and April 13, 2022, all at 6:30 pm in the Coddington Building. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings include Quarterly Budget & Finance and Policy on February 16, 2022. Special Education and Athletics & Wellness will be rescheduled in March, Ms. Owens will follow up with School Committee members.


Reports of Subcommittees

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

Mrs. Lebo requested to defer the review of the January 25 and 26, 2022 and February 7, 2022 Teaching & Learning Subcommittee meetings to the March 9, 2022 agenda.



Mayor Koch made motion to adjourn at 8:55 pm, seconded by Mrs. Hubley. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.