Oct. 15, 2018 Policy Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee

Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair
Mr. Anthony Andronico & Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Subcommittee Members

Monday, October 15, 2018, 6:15 pm
Coddington Building

  1. Technology & Training Program Improvement Plan - Mr. Keith Segalla

  2. Resolution on Veterans Memorial Stadium and Associated Revision to Policy Book
    Section 11.6 Community Use of School Facilities - Mayor Koch

  3. Proposed Revisions to Policy Book
    Section 5.2.2 Emergency Procedures - Mr. Draicchio


Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee Meeting - Monday, October 15, 2018  

A meeting of the Policy Subcommittee was held on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 7:10 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. James DeAmicis, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Robert Cavallo, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; Citywide Parent Council Co-President Courtney Perdios, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Executive Director of Information Technology Keith Segalla and Data Systems Coordinator Bob Cavallo presented the Technology & Training Program Improvement Plan. Mr. Segalla presented the goals for 2018-2019: supporting the implementation of computer-based online assessments, providing a variety of technology training opportunities, and looking for increased funding opportunities for digital learning through grants and partnerships. Mr. Segalla and Mr. Cavallo reviewed the Technology expenditures for hardware and software (curriculum; assessment; student support, health, and library services). Granite Telecommunications donated two Chromebook carts and 60 Chromebooks to Snug Harbor. Through CTE grants, two new technology labs have been created at North Quincy High School. PTO support is also critical, funding provided for Chromebooks and interactive whiteboards.

The Middle & High School Digital Learning Team recently completed a staff survey about technology use and comfort levels. Slightly over 200 staff members responded and their responses will help develop plans for future training. Staff were also surveyed about the reliability of wireless availability and the School IT department is working with City IT on replacing wireless access points beginning with the high schools.

Mr. DeAmicis asked if a high school teacher has an issue with a device, is assistance readily available. Mr. Cavallo said that if a technician is not in the building, they can be dispatched or someone from Coddington will assist. Mr. Segalla said there are six IT technicians, two have one high school and one middle school each. The other four technicians oversee four buildings each.

Mr. Gutro asked if there was anything in the survey that was a surprise. Mr. Cavallo said the planned trainings planned matched up well with the survey results. Mr. Segalla said that 85 teachers participated in Technology training opportunities over the summer.

Mr. Gutro reiterated his opinion that Aspen Gradebook usage should be mandatory for all teachers, it is an exceptional tool for parents. Hopefully the availability of training will get more teachers into using the system.

Dr. DeCristofaro said the percentage is increasing each year, 80% of middle and high school teachers are currently using the Aspen Gradebook.

Mrs. Lebo suggested that this could be a conversation with the Quincy Education Association. Mrs. Lebo is also concerned that Google has features that are similar to Aspen and will teachers to begin to use those instead.

Mr. Andronico asked if the technology survey was done previously. The previous survey was done in 2016 and Aspen usage has definitely grown since then. Mr. Andronico said with such a high participation rate, the focus should definitely stay on Aspen.

Mr. Gutro asked about the difference between Google Classroom (interactive tool) and Aspen (information system, parents only view the information).

Mr. Segalla highlighted the Aspen Publications shared with staff, Follett recently published a case study about Quincy Public Schools implementation of Aspen.

For management, the PDQ Inventory System is used to monitor desktop computers used by teachers and students, in the classrooms and computer labs. The system tracks the age of the computers, about ⅓ are in the 1 to 3 years range, ⅓ are 4 to 8 years old, and ⅓ are over 8 years old. Over the last three years, 1,100 Chromebooks have been purchased.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the age of the computers at Quincy High School, which are approaching ten years old; three computer labs are being replaced this year. Mr. Cavallo said that when computers are over seven years old, they are targeted for RAM upgrades and other updates.

Mr. Bregoli asked about interactive whiteboards at North Quincy High School. Mr. Segalla said 100% of Academic Classrooms in the middle and high schools have interactive whiteboards or projectors. Academic Program classrooms are at about 80%, about 15 classrooms remaining at North Quincy High School. Mr. Bregoli asked about the wifi issues at the high schools, Quincy High School has been surveyed and work is in progress. North Quincy High School will be surveyed next and additional access points installed through City IT.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the broadband capability at schools, Mr. Cavallo said that the system was upgraded over this past summer.

Mr. Gutro thanked Mr. Segalla and Mr. Cavallo for the detailed information about technology equipment ages, having this information is helpful to inform budgeting. Would like to see similar information for the whiteboards and projectors.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Technology & Training Program Improvement Plan. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Bregoli requested to table the discussion of the resolution on Veterans Memorial Stadium and the associated changes to Policy Book Section 11.6 Community Use of School Facilities.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to table the discussion of the resolution on Veterans Memorial Stadium and the associated changes to Policy Book Section 11.6 Community Use of School Facilities. The motion was seconded by Mr. Andronico and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Draicchio reviewed the proposed changes to Section 5.2.2 Emergency Procedures, which provide procedures for Evacuation, Reverse Evacuation, Lockdown, and Shelter in Place. The revised wording is intended to address some of the concerns raised during last spring’s presentations with staff and parents and to make the responses for different situations more clear.

A point for School Committee consideration is inclusion of language that when a school is in lockdown, a fire alarm would not be reacted to. Fire alarms have been initiated in active shooter situations. Mrs. Lebo agreed that some language should be included to cover this provision.

Mr. DeAmicis asked what the definition of a safe area is, Mr. Draicchio said this is situational. Dr. DeCristofaro gave an example if an incident began when students are at lunch, students can leave the building rather than try to shelter in the building.

Mrs. Hubley asked about attendance: during a lockdown, teachers might have additional or missing students and they will be accounted for through reconciling the attendance lists.

Mr. DeAmicis asked about social media and whether teachers should instruct students not to use their phones. Mr. Draicchio said that this seems like a separate Policy and will research with the first responders team.

A short Policy meeting will be scheduled for November 6, revised language to be shared for Section 5.2.2 Emergency Procedures.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 pm. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.