Sept. 29, 2011 Policy Sub Meeting


Policy Subcommittee
4:15 P.M.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Superintendent’s Conference Room, NAGE Building, 3rd Floor
Program Improvement Plans

  1. Call to Order - Chairwoman Jo-Ann M. Bragg

  2. Opening Remarks - Superintendent Dr. Rick DeCristofaro

  3. Literacy Program Improvement Plan (PIP) - Edith Hughes

  4. ELL Program Improvement Plan (PIP) - Beth Hallett

  5. Student Support Services PIP - Maura Papile

  6. Career and Technical Education PIP - Keith Segalla

  7. Next Meeting Date
    A. Safety & Security PIP
    B. Other agenda items


School Policy Subcommittee Meeting

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A meeting of the School Policy Subcommittee was held on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 4:15 pm in the Superintendent’s Conference Room. Present were Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Mrs. Colleen Roberts, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mrs. Edie Hughes, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Mary Frederickson, Ms. Beth Hallett, Ms. Gina Scanlan, and Ms. Laura Owens, Acting Clerk.

The meeting was called to order at 4:18 pm by Mrs. Bragg.

After brief opening remarks by Dr. DeCristofaro, the sixth agenda item Career and Technical Education Program Improvement Plan was taken out of order and presented by Mr. Segalla and Ms. Scanlan. He gave an overview of the current enrollment at Quincy High School, all programs are full, with the more popular concentrations having multiple sections. Goals for 2010-2011 were met, including increasing use of technology in classrooms, especially the InterWrite Boards. Also completed were the updated curriculum guide and syllabi; both are finished and ready to put on website. The design and development of integrated lessons, completed for NEASC teams. The Advisory Board’s goal was to have an advisory board member present to a class; 14 of 15 majors accomplished this.

2011-12 Goals:

  1. Advanced training on Inter-write boards for all teachers, utilizing MOBIs and clickers

  2. Preparing unit plans for one class (syllabus, curriculum guide, lesson plan, assessments) for the week of NEASC visit in March.

  3. Advisory Board goal: To enlist one Advisory Board member to host a visit at their site for seniors in the Career and Technology Education Major. (discussing at Oct. 20 meeting)

The Safety Team’s goals are to promote safety in classroom and to update safety plan, MDS sheets for each shop. 2011-12 Perkins Requests total $122,000; fund should be able to take care of half of requests. Prioritized by safety, curriculum, equipment; other expenses are also paid from this fund, including a .5 salary. Quincy Public Schools has made good progress towards meeting the CVTE Core Indicators, although this year’s goals include some improvement needed for subgroups. After some discussion, suggestions were made to break down information about certifications completed to share and also about working towards integrating North Quincy High School programs.

Mr. Lebo made a motion to approve the Career and Technical Education Program Improvement Plan. Ms. Isola seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

The subcommittee resumed the agenda order with the fourth item, the English Language Learners Program Improvement Plan. Ms. Hallett gave an overview of the accomplishments from last year: piloting an ELL Reading program (Cornerstones, which is being implemented this school year in all elementary schools); creating a streamlined procedure for effective data collection for all documents; and creating technology-infused lessons for ELL content . An ARRA grant provided substantial professional development; 45 hours for high school teachers, technology coaches in classroom.

In terms of Assessment data, Math Gr. 10 MCAS: 99% of ELL students passed on first try; ELA Gr. 10 MCAS: 91% of ELL students passed on first try; and Gr 10 Writing made huge jump from previous years. Annual Measureable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) 2010 data (2011 available in December): Progress/Reached target; Attainment/Reached target; and AYP/Did not reach target, only one year waiver before students must take test and achieve proficiency.

The ELL organization consists of 30 ELL teachers (up from 28): 1 new elementary, 1 new middle school teacher. The average class size is around 20 students, with 1,100 students serviced as of the end of the 2010-11 school year. This school year began with 1,350 students receiving services.

In terms of the middle and high school programs, there are ELA Vertical Teams for Grades 5/6 and 8/9. Effective data collection is an issue at these grades and the goal is to create system-wide ELL Folders. In the middle schools and North Quincy High School, ELL students will be piloting taking the MEPA test online. Sterling was pilot school last year, and depending on available technology and the size of the student population, rollout could occur at all middle schools.

ELL Team Goals 2011-12: To fully implement the Cornerstone series, a core reading/literacy program. Update process for evaluating former ELL students to be sure exiting was appropriate. ELA and Math teachers do a once-per-year evaluation in ILT meetings and online in Starbase for High School. Continue to offer academic and community support for families; Parker, Wollaston and Montclair participated in Active parenting course; all will be involved this year, plus Snug Harbor.

After a discussion about the high school ELL program moving Quincy High School’s 9th grade program to North Quincy and adding budget information, Ms. Isola made a motion to accept the English Language Learners Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Dwyer seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the motion is approved.

The fifth item on the agenda was the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan. A revised plan was sent out to committee members. Mrs. Papile gave an overview of all of the parts of Student Support Services (SSS): Nurses, Psychologists, Attendance Officers, Guidance Counselors, Central Registration, Homeless Coordinator, Unaccompanied Youth Coordinator, and Quincy Teen Mothers. Last year, the SSS staff played a leadership role in the anti-bullying initiatives; those same goals roll forward into this year. The protocols developed helped everyone learn to deal with issues sensitively; ongoing professional development is planned with Dr. Englander.

Other items monitored by SSS staff include information summarized in the District Improvement Plan Annual Statistics: Guidance and Psychology staff collection of data annually. Early intervention for attendance issues at the elementary and middle school levels will be a focus of professional development for this year, as well as a database of students removed from the rolls for residency issues and raising awareness around new issues like unaccompanied teens and their needs. A recent SSS survey surfaced a need for 504 training on updated guidelines; elementary and middle school training underway. Another concern was social-emotional barriers to learning; two staff members are providing professional development over the course of the school year to Guidance, Psychology, and Nurses; first session was very positive, impact of stress and trauma on kids. Middle schools are working on substance-abuse awareness, more student-led.

2011/2012 Goals: The Student Support Services Team will analyze high risk data that identifies students at risk system-wide, students where there is a safety concern. All levels the Guidance Team will review changes in 504 procedures and implement new guidelines offered through professional development in coordination with the Special Education Team Administrators, all levels implement an array or strategies to address the social/emotional barriers to learning by March 2012, each high school will continue the implementation of the Naviance Program, and the Supervisors of Attendance will assist sites in verifying residency.

Following discussion about adding information about the Massachusetts Guidance Model and the proactive time Guidance Counselors spend in the classroom and cuts in the Homeless liaison staff budget, Mrs. Lebo made a motion to accept the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan. Ms. Isola seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Again taking the agenda items out of order, Mrs. Hughes presented the Literacy Program Improvement Plan. New staffing for 2011-12 added two teachers so that each building has Literacy staffing (full-time person in almost every building).

Mrs. Hughes reviewed the measure of student success for each school, all showing good progress throughout the year. Increase in Tier 1 (no risk) and decrease in Tiers 2 (some form of supplemental work needed) and 3 (need intensive support) are goals. District analysis shows significant improvement. Tier 3 students are often seen by SPED and ELL as well. Tier 1 went from 64% to 70%; Tier 2 went from 16% to 15%; Tier 3 is down 5%. These measurements are based on DIBELS. Looking at GRADE scores, Grade 2, 75% read at or above grade level. Grade 3 was 71%; the goal is 80%.

All children are assessed for Literacy issues; as soon as a child enters a school, they are given a benchmark DIBELS test by the classroom teachers. Children in Tiers 2 and 3 are progress-monitored twice a year.

Goals for 2011-2012: Concentrating on student outcomes for Tier 3 students: goal is to lower percentage to 10%; purchase DIBELS data system; expand professional development, implementing the Walk to Read, a response to intervention model, small group instruction plus intensive Tier 3 skills support. The key to comprehension is in the Vocabulary/Oral Language skills. The Literacy Team will design a comprehensive vocabulary curriculum combining elements of Isabel Beck’s robust, explicit instruction along with word knowledge strategies which is the concept based on a model that synthesizes a number of options (using HILL consultant).

Mrs. Dwyer made a motion to approve the Literacy Program Improvement Plan. Mrs. Isola seconded the motion. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Next meeting will be October 12th at 4:30 pm. The subcommittee will review the Safety and Security PIP, Athletics PIP; Policy 2.5.8: School Committee-Staff Communication, and Graduation Requirements. The subcommittee will hold off on Substitute Teacher Interview policy discussion at this time.

School Improvement plans due Thursday, October 20th and will be distributed Friday, October 21st . The first SIP review meeting will be Tuesday, October 25th at 4:30 pm and five elementary schools will be presented.

All agenda items having been discussed, the meeting was adjourned at 6:30 pm.

P.S. The next meeting date was changed to October 11.