May 1, 2017 Teaching/Learning Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching and Learning Subcommittee
Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair
Monday, May 1, 2017, 5:00 pm
Coddington Building 

  1. Music Curriculum Overview - Ms. Hallett

  2. Summer Programs for Students & Teachers - Ms. Anderson, Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy  

  3. Adjournment/Thank you!


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting
May 1, 2017

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Roberta DiTullio, Ms. Elizabeth Hallett, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Director of English Learners and Academic Programs Beth Hallett presented on General & Choral Music Program in the Quincy Public Schools. Research shows that music education provided to school-age children facilitates learning in all other subject areas and enhances skills in math and reading. At the elementary level, all students have music once per week for thirty minutes. Depending on space available at the elementary schools, music teachers may push into the classroom or pull out students into a designated space. Students are assessed on performance, effort, and understanding of musical concepts. Teachers use the same standards-based grading protocol as teachers in other areas. During Professional Development time this year, the team has begun developing a curriculum map for Kindergarten, hoping to finish over the summer and move onto Grade 1. Elementary teachers are using a common textbook First Steps in Music and have been sharing warmups and techniques. Sparking children’s interest from an early age is important and there are several new chorus initiatives this year: April vacation week elementary chorus camp for Grades 3-5 and All-City Chorus for Grade 5.

At the middle school level, students have one period of general or choral music per cycle. Each middle school has a dedicated music classroom with appropriate equipment, instruments, and materials. Students are assessed by E (Exemplary), S (Satisfactory), and U (Unsatisfactory), based on performance, effort, and understanding of musical concepts. Over the last two years, middle school chorus teachers have completed Curriculum Maps for General Music, Grades 6-8 and next year, will begin developing these for the Choral Curriculum. In middle school, choral classes will allow students who want to sing to focus on that, while other students continue with general music instruction. (Due to scheduling issues, Central did not have choral classes this year.)

At the high school level, Choir is offered at each school as a 5-credit elective. Students may receive an Honor or Advanced credit. In addition, there are options for students to give up a study to take band or choir in addition to two other electives. High school classes are held in designated music classrooms with appropriate equipment, instruments, and materials. Vocal instruction is in small groups and whole ensemble. Grading is based on performance, effort, understanding of musical concepts, and vocal ability.

Beginning last year, the All-City Chorus Festival brought together middle and high school students. High School teacher Mr. Timothy Carew is collaborating with middle school teachers on the development of the new middle school choral curriculum and drafting a High School Choral Curriculum map.

For Professional Development, since 2014-15, all Academic Program teachers (Art, Music, Health, Physical Education) meet as a system-wide team throughout the year. These meetings provide more chances for collaboration across the system and sharing of best practices around pedagogical skills and musical concepts. Next year, the goal is to incorporate Music Vertical Teams and create a middle school music catalogue.

Mrs. Hubley asked for clarification on the middle school choral vs. general music, asking if students may do some of each. Ms. Hallett said because of preparation for concerts, these are full-year courses.

Mrs. Lebo asked whether there will be elementary curriculum work this summer, it would be great to see this completed within the next school year. Mrs. Lebo said that the elementary school concerts demonstrate the evolution of concepts over the grade levels. Ms. Hallett agreed that with summer PD opportunities, this can be completed quickly.

Ms. Isola asked about the new high school classes; Music Appreciation and Fundamentals of Music are half-year electives, Music Theory will be added next year. Ms. Isola spoke of the Renaissance program held at North Quincy High School. Ms. Isola would like juniors and seniors to have the opportunity to immerse in the arts in a different way. Ms. Isola said maybe a smaller pilot group would be the way to rebuild the program interest.

Mrs. Lebo said the Renaissance program was rigorous, and there had been discussion of expansion to Quincy High School. Mrs. Lebo suggested that a range of elective options be offered as a first step to to rebuilding the program. Dr. DeCristofaro said we can look at other options for piloting this.

Ms. Isola recognized the Choral Music and Band Booster parent organizations for supporting these programs.

Director of Special Education Erin Perkins reviewed the student programs being offered this summer: The grant-funded Bridge to Reading program, 250 students from Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, Parker, Montclair and Wollaston. Special Education Language classes are integrated into this program as well. The Developmental Learning Center at Della Chiesa ECC for Pre-K through Grade 4 will serve up to 80 students and for Grades 5-age 22 at Quincy High School. The Summer Institute will be held at Central for students in K-8, two weeks of curriculum and extracurricular extension programs in the arts and STEM fields. Summer School and SAT Prep will be held at Quincy High School for over 200 students engaged in credit recovery and preparation for the fall. Snug Harbor Summer School will serve over 70 elementary students with academic enrichment programs. The Summer Boost for Math & ELA Program will be held at Central, 60 incoming Grades 7 and 8 students will be invited to attend. Dr. DeCristofaro noted that Transportation and Food Services are assisting with support for the summer programs.

Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy said that Professional Development opportunities will include elementary teachers working on ELA Curriculum mapping with Dr. Boyles; the Elementary Science work group will get underway for K-5 to align topics to new Science standards, curriculum maps, and formative assessments. The English Learner staff will offer WIDA course for teachers, create learning outcomes for students at a variety of fluency levels.

Middle School STEM professional development will focus on training for new equipment purchased through the Massachusetts Life Sciences grant. Each middle school will have a 3-D printer, a dedicated computer and software. New robotics kits have been purchased and development of integrated curriculum units. Voluntary summer training will be available for new Chromebooks and Surface tablets.

Middle School Curriculum Team Administrator Bridget Vaughan has organized professional development on executive function skills; training on using the new Collections textbooks and resources; and RTI training for middle school teachers, along with the development of individualized instruction. Coordinator of Literacy & Title I Roberta DiTullio will be working with Grades 1 & 2 on developing instructional practices, assessment analysis, and resources for Writers Workshops.

Mrs. Lebo asked to see a complete list of Professional Development opportunities when it is finalized.

Ms. Isola said we offer an amazing range of options for students and teachers.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:50 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.