Nov. 14, 2017 Teaching/Learning Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee
Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair
Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 5:00 pm
Coddington Building

Middle School Improvement Plan Presentations:

  • 5:00 pm Atlantic - Principal Maureen MacNeil

  • 5:15 pm Central - Principal Rick DeCristofaro

  • 5:30 pm Sterling - Principal John Franceschini

  • 5:45 pm Point Webster - Principal Christine Barrett

  • 6:00 pm Broad Meadows - Principal Dan Gilbert


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting  

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 5:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Sarah Anderson, Ms. Christine Barrett, Mrs. Susan Shea Connor, Mr. Richard DeCristofaro, Dr. John Franceschini, Mr. Daniel Gilbert, Dr. Elizabeth Hallett, Ms. Maureen MacNeil, Ms. Courtney Mitchell, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Kimberly Quinn, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Edward Smith, Ms. Bridget Vaughn, Dr. Adam Wolf; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Principal Maureen MacNeil and Assistant Principal Adam Wolf presented the Atlantic Middle School Improvement Plan. Ms. MacNeil said the strengths of the school include the diverse population, safe, secure and positive learning environment. Ms. MacNeil thanked School Committee for the budget support that provided for so many curriculum and technology upgrades this year. Professional Development opportunities allow for staff collaboration and developing advanced curriculum skills. Atlantic offers an extensive array of extended day programs, Young Writers Literary Magazine, targeted academic interventions, theater opportunities. SIP Goals are a team effort, develop formative assessments and target instruction based on individual needs.

In reviewing last year’s goals, Student Growth was above average for all grades and curriculum areas. In analyzing the data, results were very positive overall. APC was higher than the state for Grades 6 and 7, all curriculum areas and subgroups for ELL, Special Education, and High Needs. Grade 8 was very close for Special Education and ELL scores, and scores were higher than district and state averages for Science & Technology.

Looking ahead to 2017-18, the goals are focused on strengthening student achievement, through gains on the MCAS 2.0 and the MAP assessment. The addition of the MAP assessment gives teachers real-time data and allows them to adjust instruction to meet students’ needs. Action steps include instructional strategies supported through professional development, deepening of conceptual understanding and developing the ability to analyze. The school’s wellness goal is focused on healthy living as the basis for being successful learners.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the Activity Block, once per week on Friday afternoon to allow for Band, Chorus practice; other activities include Literary Magazine, additional PE, Robotics; the time allows students to explore new areas of interest.

Ms. Isola noted that all Facilities Areas of Need will be referred to the Facilities & Security Subcommittee.

Mrs. Lebo noted that none of the Middle School Wellness goals reflect the healthy relationship and Substance Use & Prevention Education initiatives that come through Student Support Services. Mrs. Lebo said we are doing these, need to document at a school level to show reinforcement.

Mrs. Lebo asked about Library/Media, all middle schools have full time librarians.

Mrs. Hubley motion to approve the Atlantic Middle School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Rick DeCristofaro and Assistant Principal Susan Shea Connor presented the Central Middle School Improvement Plan, noting that academic life is connected to the community at Central Middle School, over 400 students involved in before and after school activities. The success of the PBIS program has allowed for the culture at Central to thrive, students are invested in the school community. PBIS & Wellness teams are integrated and planned the upcoming Healthy Choices day. All APC teachers now teach a Neighborhood class, schoolwide focus on teaching/reaching all learners. Through Principal’s Path, vertical team collaboration was redefined. The MAP Assessment is a key component for flexible grouping for Math and Reading classes.

Mrs. Lebo said that the Grade 6 Math growth was just below average, is looking for the Math action steps improve the growth. Grade 8 Science results were 39% Proficient or Above, but the new vertical team structure should assist with Science results in the future.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Central Middle School Improvement Plan, seconded by Mrs. Lebo. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal John Franceschini and Assistant Principal Courtney Mitchell presented the Sterling Middle School Improvement Plan. The Sterling Middle School staff was committed to the Reset Initiative and took advantage of the professional development opportunities and vertical teams to analyze their practices collaboratively. In this school year, the Principal’s Path will focus on adding in opportunities for family and community engagement.

Student growth for all students and high needs was above average and ELA results were right around the state average. Science results were on par with the state results. Next Generation Assessments for 2017 are considered a baseline and the expectation is that more students will achieve Meeting or Exceeding Expectations. Professional development opportunities for staff will lead to innovative and customized instructional pathways for all students.

Mrs. Lebo congratulated Dr. Franceschini and Ms. Mitchell for the student growth, impressive results.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to accept the Sterling Middle School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Christine Barrett presented the Point Webster Middle School Improvement Plan, noting the school’s 100th anniversary this year. This being a baseline year for data, the goal is to remain as a Level 1 school in future years. Very pleased with the progress made in the ELA area, work to be done in the area of Mathematics. Science scores reflect the challenge of the MCAS and the shift to new Science standards.

Looking ahead to 2017-2018, goals reflect the integration of the MAP assessments and reflected growth in improved MCAS performance. As with other middle schools, the Professional Development opportunities provided by the Principal’s Path initiative will be reflected in enhanced Family & Community Engagement activities. Faculty Forum and vertical team meetings allow for collaboration across curriculum areas and grades. Differentiated math instruction, focus on transition for Grade 5 students, extended day programs will provide opportunities for academic interventions. Enrollment is continuing to grow at Point Webster, with 30 more students than last year, class sizes continue to be favorable.

Mrs. Hubley asked if the Geography Bee will be held in the spring, this is one of her favorite events.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Point Webster Middle School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Daniel Gilbert presented the Broad Meadows Middle School Improvement Plan, the collaboration of the Broad Meadows staff and thanked the Curriculum Team for all their support through Collaborative Connections. The amount of time spent on caring for the students beyond academics cannot be accurately reflected in the School Improvement Plan. Principal’s Path has allowed for focused Professional Development, the creation of the Design team was key to the innovations that led to the successes of this year. The implementation of Integrated Learning Teams along with the MAP Assessment means that Tier 3 interventions are available for a larger group of students. 35% of Broad Meadows students are on IEPs and yet the growth exceeded the state level for all Grades ELA and Grades 7 and 8 Mathematics. The percentage of students in the Not Meeting Expectations category is lower than in previous years Warning.

Mr. Gilbert said that there is a great deal of support needed to assist teachers with this continued shift to individual instruction. Engagement with the community continues to grow, parents and guardians feel the comfort level of the students, regardless of their learning profile. He is very proud of the accomplishments and the great students at Broad Meadows Middle School.

Mrs. Lebo asked how many students take the Alternative MCAS. All Special Needs Learning Center students take this and it is automatically scored as Not Meeting Expectations. Last year was 10 students. Mrs. Lebo suggested that Alternative Assessment data be separated out in future analysis.

Mrs. Lebo said that Grade 8 Science across the district scores are low, but particularly concerned that Broad Meadows has not had any Advanced students in the last two years. Mr. Gilbert said this is a concern at the school and some action steps will address this, including shifting the focus of the STEM fair to include review of Grade 6 and 7 skills, along with focused SSB review time for Science.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Broad Meadows Middle School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Madeline Roy and the Curriculum Team members for their support of all of the middle schools.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:20 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.