March 1, 2017 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee
Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 6:30 pm
Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes:

A. Regular Meeting Minutes for February 8, 2017

B. Executive Session for February 8, 2017

II. Open Forum: An opportunity for community input regarding the Quincy Public Schools. 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

III. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Inspire Quincy

B. School~Community Partnership:
* Student Council Leadership Summit, March 9
* Read Across America

C. Kindergarten Registration, March 7

D. Parent Academy: Learning to Read, March 9, 23; April 7

E. MIAA Winter Athletics Tournaments

F. BOKS Program ~ Spring 2017

G. Aspen 21

H. High School Course Selection Information Nights, March 13 & 14

I. Tribute to Bob McGillicuddy

J. Sterling Middle School Work Group Meeting

K. School Newsletters: Squantum Elementary School

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. Professional Development Plan Mid-Year Reflection - Ms. Hallett, Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy

B. Out of State Travel (One Day): March 25, 2017, Quincy High School History Bowl Team to ConVal High School, Peterborough, New Hampshire.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings (Coddington Building, 6:30 pm): March 15 and April 12, 2017

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (Coddington Building):
1. Teaching and Learning: March 6, 2017 at 5:00 pm
2. Special Education: March 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm
3. Budget & Finance: April 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees: None

IX. Executive Session: None  

X. Adjournment:

Subcommittees of the School Committee


Budget & Finance

Facilities & Security

  1. North Quincy High School Campus Expansion/Teel Field Project Referred at the January 22, 2014 School Committee Meeting.

  2. Faxon Field Equalization Pipe Referred at the October 14, 2015 School Committee meeting. Requesting information on the communications between the City of Quincy and Mass. DEP.

  3. School Playgrounds Referred at the September 14, 2016 Special Meeting. Requesting an update from the Park Department on recent equipment and safety fiber upgrades and projects in planning.

  4. New Sterling Middle School project Referred at the September 14, 2016 Special Meeting. Schedule updates to be provided as the planning phase moves into construction.  

  5. Water Testing Results & Repair Referred at the December 7, 2016 School Committee meeting to monitor the schedule for fixture repair or replacement.

Health, Transportation & Safety

  1. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Referred to Subcommittee at the September 24, 2012 Special School Committee Meeting. Student Support Services working with elementary and middle schools to continue the implementation of this initiative.

  2. Learn to Swim Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee Meeting. Monitoring the ongoing partnership between QPS and the South Shore YMCA.

  3. Farm to School Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee Meeting. Monitoring the Implementation Grant rollout, a collaboration of QPS and the Planning Department.

  4. Before School Exercise Programs Referred at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting. Monitoring the implementation of these programs across QPS.

  5. Peer Mentoring for Grade 9 Students Referred at the September 29, 2015 Special School Committee meeting. Monitoring the implementation of this program at both high schools.


  1. Graduation Requirements Referred to Subcommittee at the September 7, 2011 School Committee Meeting and discussed at the October 11, 2011 School Policy Subcommittee. The discussion centered around adding a fourth year of Math as a graduation requirement; the issue is tabled until more is known about the impact of the new Common Core Standards on the Massachusetts frameworks.

  2. Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities Referred at the June 13, 2012 School Committee Meeting. Review and discussion of amending the existing policy requested to explore the possibility of raising revenue by accepting advertising sponsorships.

  3. Review of High School Academic and Extracurricular Programs Referred at the November 13, 2013 School Committee Meeting. A comparison of the offerings at both schools to be analyzed to ensure equitable and parallel opportunities for all students at both facilities.

  4. Middle School Grading System Referred at the December 10, 2014 School Committee meeting for review and discussion.

  5. Voter Registration at the High Schools Referred at the September 16, 2015 School Committee meeting for discussion of implementation with the City Clerk’s Office.

  6. School Committee Policy Book Referred at the January 13, 2016 School Committee meeting for review and updating as needed.

  7. QPS Employment Opportunities Referred at the May 18, 2016 School Committee meeting for further discussion on the advertising and hiring process for open positions.  

  8. NQHS Mascot Referred at the November 9, 2016 School Committee meeting.

  9. 2017-2018 School Year Calendar Referred at the December 7, 2016 School Committee meeting for review and approval.

  10. 2017-2018 School Committee Meeting Calendar Referred at the December 7, 2016 School Committee meeting for review and approval.

Special Education

Rules, Post Audit & Oversight

Teaching and Learning

  1. Advanced Program Pathways Referred at the May 20, 2015 School Committee Meeting to review opportunities to challenge above-level students at all grades.

  2. Enrollment Data/Class Size: Referred at the October 14, 2015 School Committee meeting for further review and discussion.

  3. Superintendent Evaluation Referred at the September 7, 2016 School Committee meeting for preparation and procedure.

  4. MCAS 2.0 Referred at the November 9, 2016 School Committee meeting to review preparations for students for the newest version of the MCAS, particularly Grades 4 and 8 which will be testing online in Spring 2017.


Sterling Building Committee

Sterling/Point Webster Grade 5

Created at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting to review issues related to Grade 5 being located in middle school buildings.

School District Maps

Created at the September 10, 2014 Special School Committee meeting to review issues related to school district maps.


Quincy, Massachusetts – March 1, 2017
Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at the Coddington Building. The Superintendent called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Mr. Paul Bregoli, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Ms. Roberta DiTullio, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Beth Hallett, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Kimberly Quinn, Ms. Madeline Roy, Ms. Bridget Vaughn; and Citywide Parent Council Co-President Scott Alessandro.

Mr. DeAmicis was absent.


There was a moment of silence in memory of John Sweeney, custodian at North Quincy High School for seventeen years.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 2.8.2017

Ms. Isola made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hubley to approve the Regular Meeting minutes for February 8, 2017. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Executive Session Minutes Approved 2.8.2017

Ms. Isola made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hubley, to approve the Executive Session minutes for February 8, 2017. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

Mrs. Stacey Barker, representing the Quincy Choral Boosters, spoke about the group’s goal support choral program across the school system. After a few months of research and discussion with parents and students, is requesting consideration during budget season for K-12 sequential and standards-based music education, led by a citywide department chair.

Scott Alessandro spoke on behalf of the Citywide Parent Council and announced that on Monday, March 6 at Broad Meadows Middle School, Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile will present on how parents can help students manage stress.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report reviewing upcoming School~Community Partnership events, including Read Across America the week of February 27-March 3; the Student Council Leadership Summit March 9, and the Partnership Breakfast on March 31.

In the MIAA Winter Athletics Tournament, the Quincy/North Quincy Girls Hockey team qualified for the playoffs after a 10-7-3 season, but was eliminated in first round against Masconomet. Later tonight, the Quincy High School Boys Basketball team is hosting Brookline and the Quincy High School Boys Hockey team is playing Medway in Franklin.

Dr. DeCristofaro reminded School Committee that Kindergarten Registration will be held on Tuesday, March 7 at all elementary school locations.

A Tribute to Bob McGillicuddy was held on February 16 and the timing board in the pool area at the Lincoln Hancock Community School was dedicated in Bob’s memory, thanks to the student athletes and coaches for a special evening for the McGillicuddy family.

Dr. DeCristofaro noted that there will be an upcoming three-part Parent Academy event on March 9, 23, and April 7 on Learning to Read for Grades K-2 parents at Central Middle School. March 9 will focus on the developmental process of reading.

The Sterling Middle School Work Group met last Friday, continuing to plan for construction beginning in Summer 2017. Building rentals will conclude by April 2, some preliminary remediation work will begin during the April recess.

Aspen 22 was shared with School Committee, along with the Annual System Profile. Dr. DeCristofaro announced that this component will be rolled into the Student Support Services Program Improvement Plan beginning in the fall. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recognized Quincy Public Schools for the second year in a row for having a graduation rate above state level and dropout rate below state level. Quincy Public Schools is continuing to work towards improving the graduation rate; because of School Committee’s support through the budget process, alternative paths to graduation are available. Favorable class sizes put the school system in position to deliver personalized instruction, academic classroom and program teachers are supported by deans, security, guidance, providing a strong structure. Shared vision with students and families of a future in higher education, the world of work, and service to our country is the foundation of this success.

Middle school and high school scheduling is underway for 2017-2018. High School Course Selection information nights for Grade 8 students and families will be held on March 13 at North Quincy High School and March 14 at Quincy High School.

The spring session of BOKS will begin March 13. Well over 1500 students have participated in the last two years, thanks to the Reebok Corporation for their generous donation in memory of Emily Zarnoch. We are continuing to work with the Zarnoch family, a memorial bench is planned for the Central campus.


Old Business

There was no Old Business on the agenda.


New Business

Curriculum Director Beth Hallett, Special Education Director Erin Perkins, and Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy presented the Professional Development Plan mid-year reflection. Throughout the Quincy Public Schools, site-based and program teams met in early February to carefully re-examine goals and action steps, review student data, reflect on professional development completed, review and adjust action steps and timelines as needed along with realigning professional development for the remainder of the school year.

Ms. Roy reviewed the District Improvement Plan Curriculum goals for ELA and Mathematics, all of which have the underlying emphasis on increasing the achievement of High Needs students. For ELA, all grades are focusing on vocabulary acquisition and usage; craft and structure; integration of knowledge & ideas. All levels are working on writing in response to reading, depth of knowledge questions, and analyzing and synthesizing multiple texts. For Mathematics, all grades are focused on problem-solving, persistence/ perseverance, formulating and constructing arguments; and the use of precise and accurate math language.

Literacy Coordinator Roberta DiTullio and Elementary Curriculum Team Administrator Kimberly Quinn reviewed that at the elementary level, professional development has been focused on implementation of close reading for ELA and guided Math for both regular and special education students. Literacy is continued to strengthen Orton-Gillingham technique and Lively Letters. All teams are preparing students for Next Generation Assessments and computer-based testing for Grade 4 students. For the remainder of the school year, student writing will be an area of concentration for ELA, Literacy, Special Education, and English Learners. Math will move into problem-solving with an emphasis on comprehension. All curriculum areas will implement differentiated instruction

At the middle school level, Middle School Curriculum Team Administrator Bridget Vaughn reviewed that ELA instruction is utilizing complex texts and text pairings and working on adapting to new test items. In Mathematics, differentiated instruction is being emphasized, promoting student participation, and understanding through number talks. Ms. Perkins stressed the alignment between Special Education and general education, common topics and professional development. Tools provided will become habits of the mind. Going forward, strategies for rigorous problem solving, writing about multiple texts from different genres for both general and special education students. For special education, executive function strategies and study skills. EL students will work on strengthening comprehension and oral language and academic vocabulary for lower fluency English Learners.

For high school students, in Mathematics, students are developing skills in problem-solving through open-response questions; Special Education is focused on transition planning; EL is working with SLIFE students, and strengthening comprehension. ELA has subject-area focus on analyzing the structure of primary sources; analyzing and decoding visual and graphic information. Upcoming professional development will focus on integrated focus on writing, continuing progress on writing constructive arguments, and preparation of all students for the MCAS administration in March and May; traditional MCAS for these students and next year’s Grade 10.

Mrs. Perkins concluded with preparation for MCAS 2.0 at the school site level, PTO meeting presentations and special information meetings for parents at the elementary and middle school levels. Ms. Roy reviewed recent MCAS 2.0 preparations, participating in DESE informational conference calls, scheduling for computer-based testing, installation of new equipment and TestNav software. All schools are offering academic support and MCAS prep sessions.

Ms. Roy thanked the teachers who were featured in the video clips as part of tonight’s presentations: Natalie Coady (Library/Media), Chris McBride (Physical Education), Peggy McDonough (Art), Eileen Wilson (Music), and Hallie Yohe (Technology/Engineering) .

Mrs. Lebo asked about Orton-Gillingham for regular education teachers. Mrs. Perkins said as it is a small-group intervention, Literacy, Special Education, and English Learner Education teachers have been trained. Mrs. Lebo asked about Dr. Boyles and ELE teachers, Ms. Hallett said at the middle school level, teachers have had an introduction. Close reading doesn’t have pre-teaching of vocabulary, so is less useful for low fluency students.

Mrs. Lebo said the collaboration between general and special education teachers is phenomenal. Mrs. Lebo asked how students needing extra support for mathematics are identified at the high school level. Ms. Roy said through DDMs and formative assessments. Mathematics strategies classes are available for reinforcing skills and concepts; MCAS prep is also available.

Mrs. Lebo was complimentary about the transition planning for high school students. Mrs. Lebo asked about the MCAS 2.0 preparation classes and how are students identified, were all students needing support being services. Ms. Roy will follow up with more information on this.

Mrs. Mahoney asked about Orton-Gillingham certification, all Special Education and majority of Literacy teachers are certified, and about 20 ELE teachers are certified. Mrs. Perkins said this is an intensive, seven-days training program and this is a small group program for no more than two students, not realistic for classroom teachers. Mrs. Perkins said she is looking at adapting the instruction for a summer program focused on the foundations of teaching reading.

Mrs. Mahoney enjoyed the videos, showed the range of professional development and how the academic programs integrate with the classroom curriculum. Thanks so much for this very detailed presentation. Mrs. Mahoney asked about whether there are areas that should be addressed through the budget process, particular needs at the school level or expanded professional development. Mrs. Perkins said that the site-based professional development has been very well received and teachers would like the opportunity for more of this.

Ms. Isola said the strengths of the school system are evident through the presentation. Ms. Isola asked about the teacher evaluations of professional development and the information learned from them. Ms. Roy said teachers are encouraged to comment on the evaluation forms they complete at each professional development session. Ms. Roy said the vertical team meetings are also a place where discussions about professional development take place, help to refine how time is used, establish the balance between more time with presenters or more time to practice learned strategies.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that teachers consistently ask for more time for professional development, we are using the maximum amount available under the contract. The evaluations are so important, allow us to adjust the focus and address their defined areas of need.

Mrs. Lebo asked about an update on Reset & Collaborative Connections. At Monday’s Teaching & Learning, elementary principals will present their mid-year review. At a later meeting, the middle school principals will present. Mrs. Lebo asked for this to be presented at a regular School Committee meeting.

Mrs. Mahoney asked if the Reset/Connection presentation can align to Professional Development, showing the solutions to the issues surfaced during School Improvement Plan presentations.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked the presenters for their work, their presence in the classrooms ensures the curriculum-centered focus for our students. With 875 teachers, multiple content areas, this is a tremendous job coordinating professional development, the model has really evolved in the last few years. Teachers want to work with each other, respect the professional support provided through the collaborative model.


New Business
Overnight Travel (One Day)

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel of Quincy High School History Bowl to Convall High School in Peterborough, New Hampshire on March 25, 2017. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Additional Business

Ms. Isola requested that Music Curriculum appear on an upcoming agenda for referral to Teaching & Learning.



Upcoming meetings were announced: School Committee on March 15 and April 12, 2017 at the Coddington Building at 6:30 pm.

Upcoming Subcommittee meetings were announced: Teaching & Learning will meet on March 6, 2017 at 5:00 pm. Special Education will meet on March 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm. Budget & Finance will meet on April 10, 2017.


Reports of Subcommittees

There were no Subcommittee meetings on the agenda for reporting.


Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.



Mayor Koch made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 8:05 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.