Feb. 13, 2012 Teaching/Learning Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching and Learning Subcommittee
Ms. Emily Lebo, Chairman
February 13, 2012 - 4:30 P.M.
2 nd Floor Conference Room, NAGE Building

  1. Welcome and Introductions - Mrs. Lebo

  2. Team Purpose and Goals - Mrs. Lebo, Mrs. Roberts
    Planning and Implementation
    Action Steps/Proposed Timelines

  3. MA Frameworks Curriculum (CCSS) Updates - Mrs. Roberts
    Roll Out: Educator Training: “Unwrapping the Standards”
    PARCC Assessments
    Handout of PPT: City-wide Parents Information

  4. New Educator Evaluation - Mr. Mulvey
    Overview (Binder)
    Considerations for Planning
    Next Steps

  5. Adjourn – Thank you! - Mrs. Lebo


Teaching and Learning Subcommittee Meeting

Monday, February 13, 2012

A meeting of the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee was held on Monday, February 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm in the 2 nd Floor Conference Room at the NAGE Building. Present were Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mr. David McCarthy, and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Assistant Superintendent Colleen Roberts, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Keith Segalla; Mrs. Kathy Bowes, President, Citywide Parents’ Council; Ms. Jill Gichuhi, President, Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

The meeting was called to order at 4:30 pm by Mrs. Lebo. Mrs. Lebo welcomed all to the meeting and reviewed the Subcommittee purpose and goals established at the Special School Committee Meeting on January 28, 2012. An agenda item for a later meeting will be to develop a timeline for School Improvement Plan and Program Improvement Plan review.

Mrs. Roberts then spoke about how the Quincy Public Schools is helping teachers “unwrap” the new standards. The new Massachusetts Frameworks with integrated Common Core Standards include Massachusetts-specific standards (2.7% for English Language Arts and 4% for Math). The PreKindergarten standards are all Massachusetts-specific; Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are for grades K-12.

Last year was about setting the stage for the transition; this school year is partial implementation. The Pre-K team meets 4-6 times per year and they will be reviewing and discussing and working on how to relate the new standards to their instructional plans. Crosswalks documents were posted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE); by grade level, teachers can see the difference between existing Massachusetts Frameworks and new Common Core State Standards. However, it isn’t as simple as what’s different in a given grade level, the new standards are much more focused. A standard that is considered the same may need to be instructed and assessed in a different way. These standards are more focused on mastery (depth of knowledge) than a breadth of knowledge. Mrs. Roberts reiterated how overwhelming this transition is. For Grades K-5, where there is not a lot of professional development time, substitute time has been appropriated so that grade level teams can meet 2-4 times this year to allow the staff to have collegial and professional in-depth analysis of the new standards. Elementary school principals attended a Principal’s Academy for both Math and English Language Arts (ELA) to learn about the standards so they could then go back to their schools and relate them to the current curriculum. At the same time, Mrs. Roberts is looking at supplemental curriculum. At Grades 6-8, there is more professional development time, and again, multiple opportunities to analyze and discuss the standards. Curriculum area teachers are involved in the discussions and analysis as well. At the high school levels, contractual time allows for teacher teams to meet and discuss the standards. Both high schools are also working on NEASC guides simultaneously, but all lesson plans must be Common Core compliant.

For this school year, none of the new standards are being tested. Next year, some of the new content standards will get tested. The changes in the ELA frameworks for reading and writing emphasize informational text over literature, especially at the middle and high school levels to reflect the goal of students being college- and career-ready. Another goal is the teaching of writing across the curriculum areas; there are specific standards for Social Studies, Science, and Technology embedded in the ELA frameworks. It is anticipated that the Science CCSS standards may be ready as soon as late 2012. Vertical teams are focused on the transition between elementary and middle school and middle school to high school.

Next-Generation Assessment (NGA) will change the face of assessment in schools. There are two testing consortiums: PARCC and Smarter Balance. Massachusetts is a leader in PARCC; DESE Chairman Mitchell chairs this board. Each state will be allowed to use whatever assessment tool they wish. NGAs will be given each year for Grades 3 through 11, as opposed to MCAS, which is now given in Grade 3-8 and Grade 11.

For next year, we need to make a determination about what “near-full implementation” means. 2014- 2015 is the goal for full implementation; DESE is working on providing resources. PARCC items will be pilot tested on the MCAS in 2012-2013. In 2013-2014, some school districts will be using the new PARCC test; for 2014-2015, everyone will be tested using the new standards. DESE will be providing information on what will be tested this year. Mrs. Roberts provided copies of the Massachusetts Frameworks for Math and ELA to the School Committee members present at the meeting.

Mrs. Lebo mentioned the overlap between timeline for implementing the CCSS and new assessments and educator evaluations . Evaluation regulations call for 2 years of results; will they begin collecting data with the 2013-2014 year? Mr. Mulvey felt that the data from last years of MCAS will have to be used as well. Mrs. Lebo inquired about purchasing new curriculum; Mrs. Roberts said that DESE is telling people to wait. Publishers will need to catch up with the new materials; for example, Middle School math series will have supplemental materials for next school year (McDougal Littell). Go Math! was purchased for K-2, probably will be purchased for Grades 3 next.

Mrs. Roberts also will be presenting to the Citywide Parents’ Council this evening on the transition to CCSS. Mrs. Lebo asked about next year’s Professional Development; discussed when and where to do the Professional Development plan review; decision was made to move this item from the Budget and Finance Subcommittee to Teaching and Learning. Mrs. Lebo was complementary of all the work that has been done to date. Mrs. Roberts said that the staff recognizes the importance of this work.

Mr. Mulvey then talked about the new Educator Evaluations; he presented a new outline for part V and a new index. Part V is a model system that has to be developed. Part IV is about Collective Bargaining and he recommends that most discussion of this section should be in Executive Session, including an analysis of Collective Bargaining vs. Impact Bargaining.

All levels of staff will be evaluated by the same standards; see section II. Mrs. Lebo asked about if there could be a disconnect between a staff member and supervisor; reconciling self-evaluation with classroom observations and student performance will be complicated. Mr. Mulvey answered that the development plan for that teacher needs to reflect the difference between the two; the plan is developed and implemented cooperatively. There are three possible plans, one is focused on improvement. There are also different means of assessment for Professional and non-Professional Teacher Status (PTS). Currently, teachers achieve PTS in their fourth year of teaching; new regulations require them to be proficient or above in all four standards before being awarded this status. Feedback is 360ᵒ – teachers will be subject to student evaluation; administrators will be rated by teachers. There is a very short time for corrective action plans for teachers who have Needs Improvement ratings; a year for non-PTS status. Additional Educator Ratings will be generated for Impact on Student Learning.

For further discussion in Executive Session: Mr. Mulvey recommends operating under an Memorandum of Agreement with the Quincy Educator’s Association for Professional Status Teachers to use the new evaluation tool for 2012-2013 school year. He would recommend continuing to evaluate nonProfessional Status Teachers under old tools. Mrs. Lebo pointed out that currently 50% of teachers are up for renewal every other year. Other school systems are beginning to evaluate administrators this year using new tool. Mrs. Lebo inquired about forms for evaluation and funds for professional development from DESE on this evaluation and observation. Mrs. Lebo suggested developing a model walkthrough and accompanying forms. Mr. Mulvey reiterated that all licensed individuals will need to be evaluated. Mrs. Lebo feels that what is underlying this is an enormous amount of uncompensated time to learn, develop, and implement.

DESE is giving school districts the option to adopt, adapt, or revise the model system they are creating. Mr. Mulvey is suggesting QPS consider adopting the model and then adapt it as needed. Reporting requirements will be confidential, with the exception of the Superintendent’s evaluation. Mrs. Lebo suggested that we should utilize whatever resources we can from the early-adopting districts -- turnaround schools and Level 4 schools are implementing this year.

Next steps include going into Executive Session at the next School Committee Meeting on March 7, 2012. Mrs. Roberts will look into what other professional development opportunities DESE and DSAC will provide and what the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association is doing to educate teachers on these upcoming changes.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:50 pm with thanks to Mr. Mulvey and Mrs. Roberts for all their work.