March 21, 2022 Subcommittee Meeting

March 21, 2022 Subcommittee Meeting
Posted on 03/17/2022
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Quincy School Committee Teaching & Learning Subcommittee

**This meeting is a Committee of the Whole**

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

Monday, March 21, 2022 at 6:00 pm
Coddington Building, School Committee Room

  1. Culturally Responsive Teaching Overview - Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy

  2. Superintendent’s Goals for 2021-2022 - Superintendent Mulvey

  3. Review of Superintendent Evaluation Process/Timeline for Fall 2022 - Mrs. Lebo  

  4. Review/Prioritize Items in Teaching & Learning Subcommittee - Mrs. Lebo

Members of the public can access the meeting in person, live on QATV Channel 22, or at The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS website on Friday, March 25, 2022.


Quincy School Committee Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting ~ March 21, 2022

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on Monday, March 21, 2022 at 6:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mayor Thomas P. Koch, Mrs. Tina Cahill, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

The first item on the agenda was an update on Culturally Responsive Teaching, presented by Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins and Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy. Culturally responsive teaching is an approach to viewing students’ culture and identity as assets and creating learning experiences and environments that value and empower them. Educators provide ways to meaningfully integrate culturally responsive instruction, using student cultures and learning modalities to select and apply strategies and resources that ensure high-quality teaching and learning experiences for all students, but especially students with varying backgrounds of knowledge, readiness, language, interest, and learning styles.

Appropriate deployment of culturally responsive teaching methods foster social-emotional connections to create a safe space for learning. Culturally responsive teachers help students build their brain power and get ready for rigorous learning. Culture is the way every brain makes sense of the world. Educator evaluation supports this concept, student-centered pedagogy and effective communication with families are standards.

Professional Development through AdaptiveX is a three-year cycle, the first year is self- and school- reflection and becoming acclimated to the practices. Department chairs, Assistant Principals, Principals, Directors, Coordinators, and Team Administrators are the cohort involved in this training currently. In year 2, implementation of utilizing the practices in the classrooms and in Year 3, the focus shifts to district and site-based sustainability. The intent is to integrate the practices into existing curriculum lessons and units. Peer collaboration is encouraged between grade levels, curriculum areas, and schools and ultimately, a district library of lesson resources will be available.

Mrs. Cahill asked how many staff members and classrooms are participating. Ms. Perkins said we are starting with administrators and department chairs so they are able to oversee the ongoing work as this rolls out to staff members. The high school department chairs each teach three classes so they are beginning to integrate these practices. Ms. Perkins said there is not an expectation that teachers become experts in the many cultures represented in Quincy Public Schools. Ms. Roy said teachers are already differentiating instruction based on students’ academic abilities, this is a different level of differentiation.

Mrs. Lebo said this is a helpful explanation, teachers can provide opportunities for students to share where it fits. Mrs. Lebo asked about how the reflection will be structured. Ms. Perkins said the coaching sessions are an opportunity for staff to provide feedback. Ms. Roy said the assistant principals will be completing their third module in the coming weeks, will meet with them about their thoughts. Ms. Roy said this is a combination of new learning and emphasizing existing practices.

Mrs. Lebo said that schools have to define the culture and norms for their operation. Ms. Roy agreed, this is not a means of deconstructing anything in place. Ms. Perkins said that being culturally responsive is partly educating students about expected behaviors and norms. Teachers should take the time to ensure that all students have the same set of expectations, there is some integration of this with the community circles.

Mr. Gutro asked how we measure if this culturally responsive teaching has made an impact and what the outcomes are. Ms. Perkins said through teacher performance on educator evaluation, this is embedded in two of the standards.

Mayor Koch agreed that the schools and the community have cultures, how can this directly impact student performance. Ms. Roy agreed that this is a means of connecting students to the community. For the example, you can build student interest through in mathematics by introducing mathematicians from different cultures. Ms. Perkins said this is connected to John Dewey and Experiential Learning, not replacing any content but engaging students. Mayor Koch said that developing love of learning is important, will it be reflected in MCAS or other assessments. Ms. Perkins said assessments are one measure, but also re-engaging students who may be disconnected due to the isolation of the pandemic. Ms. Roy said that ultimately, increased student engagement translates to performance.

Mayor Koch said that not every student fits into proficiency on the standardized tests. Ms. Roy said that an inspired connection with a teacher has the potential to open a student to an interest or career or community effort.

Mrs. Cahill asked what led to the decision to implement this, are there metrics from other school districts or demonstrated need. Ms. Perkins said both during the community events this past fall and the VISIONS survey, students shared that they didn’t feel represented in the curriculum. Prior to the pandemic, there was the VOCAL survey and work had begun on selecting new literature as a response. Ms. Perkins said this is based on neuroscience, there is evidence to support making cultural connections as an important factor in developing synapses.

Mr. Santoro said that teachers always look for a way to connect to the real world, incorporating the references that are meaningful to the specific students shouldn’t be that complicated.

Mrs. Lebo reviewed that the QPS Superintendent’s Goals were initially presented at the October 13, 2021 School Committee and referred to Subcommittee for approval. Once approved here, they will go back to the full School Committee for approval. Superintendent Mulvey can do a formative review of progress towards goals at an upcoming meeting.

Mr. Santoro and Mrs. Cahill agreed, will move to full School Committee.

Traditionally, the Superintendent’s Evaluation cycle works with MCAS cycle and data from the spring administration is available in the fall. The Superintendent will present a Summative review of his goals and then each School Committee member will complete an individual evaluation. The individual evaluations are compiled into a composite evaluation document that is shared with the public.

Mayor Koch asked if Superintendent’s Evaluation is completed by the full School Committee rather than the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee and Mrs. Lebo confirmed. The discussion today was to review the process for all members, some were not members when the last evaluation cycle was completed.

The last item on the agenda was a review of the items in Teaching & Learning Subcommittee. Mrs. Lebo removed items #7 (Teen Dating Violence); #1 (High School Mid-Term Examinations; #3 (Chronic Absenteeism). Mr. Santoro suggested removed #6 (Expanding Virtual Learning Opportunities) and #14 (Superintendent’s Goals for 2021-2022).

Mrs. Lebo asked for research to be shared on #9 (Chinese Language Immersion Program), an update on #11 (Early College High School) and #4 (Advanced Program for Elementary Students) by the end of the school year. Mr. Gutro requested a presentation on #15 (High School Grading) by the end of the school year.

Ms. Owens will research #12 (Before School Childcare).

Mrs. Cahill asked about #2 (Graduation Follow-Up Survey), Mrs. Lebo would like to retain this item.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:00 pm. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.