Feb. 12, 2020 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 6:30 pm

Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes:

A. Regular Meeting Minutes for January 22, 2020
B. Executive Session Minutes for January 22, 2020

II. Open Forum:

An opportunity for community input regarding the Quincy Public Schools.
Community in this context is defined as a resident of the City of Quincy, a parent of a student who attends the Quincy Public Schools, or an employee of the Quincy Public Schools. Non-community persons not permitted to speak at Open Forum may submit written statements to the School Committee. 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. Student Recognition: Lions Club Speech Contest Winner Abby Yanovich
C. New QPS Website
D. QPS System Professional Development
E. 2020-2021 Kindergarten Registration Update
F. Quincy School~Community Partnership Events

  • Grade 5 Student Leadership Summit

  • A Matter of Heart

  • Read Across America

  • Splash! Initiative

G. Digital Learning Week
H. Health & Wellness Symposium
I. LPS & Chronic Absenteeism Mini-Summit
J. Winter STEM Academy
K. High School STEM Fairs School Committee Meeting Agenda -2- February 12, 2020
L. DESE Audits: Special Education and Food Services
M. FY2020 Grant Booklet
N. Parent Academy Events:

  • Dual Enrollment, February 13

  • Charlie Appelstein, February 27

O. Program Newsletter: Extended Education

IV. Old Business:

Chapter 74 Regulation Changes Update - Mrs. Lebo

V. New Business:

A. Health Education Curriculum Update  - Ms. Papile
B. QPS 2019-20 Initiatives Update - Dr. DeCristofaro
C. Request of Whitman-Hanson Regional School District to Join the South Shore Educational Collaborative (Vote) -  Dr. DeCristofaro
D. MSBA Core Program Statement of Interest: Mayor Koch
Squantum Elementary School (Vote)
E. Correspondence from Students on Climate Change Mayor Koch

VI. Additional Business:

School Committee Meeting Agenda -3- February 12, 2020

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: March 4, 2020; March 18, 2020;
and April 8, 2020
B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (6:00 pm at the Coddington Building):

  • February 26, 2020: Joint Teaching & Learning and Policy and Facilities, Transportation & Security

  • March 11, 2020: Athletics & Wellness and Policy

  • March 25, 2020: Joint Special Education and Teaching & Learning

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

Joint Teaching & Learning and Policy Mrs. Lebo and Mr. Bregoli to report on the February 6, 2020 meeting.

IX. Executive Session:

Contract Negotiations

X. Adjournment:


Quincy, Massachusetts – February 12, 2020

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at the Coddington Building at 6:30 p.m. Superintendent DeCristofaro called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Douglas Gutro, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Anthony Andronico, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Ms. Rita Bailey, Mr. Kevin Bell, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Marissa Forrester, Mr. Ryan Herlihy, Mr. Terrell Johnson, Mr. Michael Lorenzano, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Caitlyn Plaskasovitis, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Edward Smith, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; and Citywide Parent Council Co-President Courtney Perdios.

School Committee Member Kathryn Hubley was absent.


There was a moment of silence in honor of those in service to the country at home and overseas .

Mr. Andronico read the following statement into the record: Pursuant to the Open Meeting Law, any person may make an audio or video recording of this public meeting or may transmit the meeting through any medium. Attendees are therefore advised that such recordings or transmissions are being made whether perceived or unperceived by those present and are deemed acknowledged and permissible.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 1.22.2020

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 22, 2020 Regular Meeting. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the. ayes have it.

Organizational Meeting Minutes Approved 1.22.2020

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 22, 2020 Executive Session. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

Ms. Courtney Perdios read a letter of her concerns about Grade 5 students at Point Webster and South~West Middle Schools. This letter was emailed to all School Committee members.


Superintendent's Report

Quincy High School Grade 11 student Abby Yanovitch was recognized for placing 1st at the local, Zone, and Regional Lions Club Youth Speech Contest. Ms. Yanovitch will be competing at the District competition on February 15.

The new Quincy Public Schools website launched on January 31, 2020. Feedback from the community is generally positive, with some suggestions for refinement and ease of locating information. Training for staff is ongoing through the month of February.

Dr. DeCristofaro announced that QPS System Professional Development was held for 850 teachers at all levels on Tuesday, February 11. For 2020-21 Kindergarten Registration, 340 families have Pre-Registered online, an estimated 70% of the incoming Kindergarten class including the students already in QPS Pre-Kindergarten programs.

Upcoming Quincy School~Community Partnership Events include the 5th Grade Student Council Leadership Summit on February 13 and Read Across America, the weeks of February 24-28 and March 2-6. A Matter of Heart introductory CPR/AED course was held at every middle school the week of February 3-7. On Saturday, February 8, 80 students and 20 parents received AED/CPR Certification, thanks to Brewster Ambulance. The new session of the Splash Program is underway with 36 Grade 3 students having swimming lessons at the South Shore YMCA.

Upcoming Quincy Public Schools events include Digital Learning Week, March 2-6; the Health & Wellness Symposium, March 5; the Winter STEM Academy, a Saturday program beginning February 29; the Motor Skills Special Education event at QHS on Friday, February 14; the BOKS Spring session begins March 9; the next Nobel Laureate visit on March 9 with Economist Dr. Peter Diamond; and the QPS Robotics Open House on March 12 at the Bethany Church.

At the recent High School STEM Fairs, Quincy High School featured 120 projects, 85 judges; North Quincy High School featured 138 projects, 54 judges. First, second, and third place Science Fair winners will be recognized at March 4 School Committee Meeting.

The Department of Secondary and Elementary Education requires periodic audits of school system departments: Special Education was successfully completed in January and Food Services was successfully completed last week. Thanks to Mr. Mulvey, Ms. Perkins, Ms. Polin, and Ms. Dufour for their preparations for these audits.

Superintendent DeCristofaro announced that the FY2020 Grant Booklet was provided in the School Committee packet and suggested adding to the Budget & Finance Subcommittee for discussion.

Upcoming Parent Academy Events are Dual Enrollment on February 13 at Quincy College and Charlie Appelstein on February 27 (posting as School Committee Workshop).

The Program Newsletter from Extended Education was shared with School Committee.


New Business

MSBA Core Program SOI: Squantum Elementary School (Vote)

Mr. Andronico moved to take the Agenda out of order to New Business, Item D.

Mayor Koch reviewed that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is currently accepting Statements of Interest for capital building projects and the City’s plan is to refile the Statement of Interest for the Squantum Elementary School with the hope that this project will move into the acceptance phase this year.

Mr. Andronico noted that an additional $150 million is being added to the FY2021 MSBA budget under the Student Opportunity Act.

Mayor Koch made a motion to support the submission of an MSBA Core Program Statement of Interest for the Squantum Elementary School:

Be It Resolved:

Having convened in an open meeting on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, prior to the closing date, the Quincy School Committee, in accordance with its charter, by-laws, and ordinances, has voted to authorize the Superintendent of Schools to submit to the Massachusetts School Building Authority the Statement of Interest Form dated April 8, 2020 for the Squantum Elementary School located at 50 Huckins Avenue, Quincy, Massachusetts which describes and explains the following deficiencies and the priority category(s) for which an application may be submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority in the future:

Priority 7: Replacement of or addition to obsolete buildings in order to provide for a full range of programs consistent with the state and approved local requirements.

Description of Deficiencies for Priority 7: The Squantum Elementary School was built in 1919 and an addition constructed in 1971. In forty-nine years, it has not received any substantial upgrades or improvements to the infrastructure or to the interior/exterior structures. Although the custodial and maintenance staffs are attentive to this building’s operational needs, a large portion of Squantum’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were installed during the original construction of the facility. Aside from the improvements needed to the physical plant, educational components crucial for 21st century elementary schools are lacking, specifically classrooms equipped for the integration of educational technology and STEM concepts integral for standards-based instruction for regular education, Special Education, and English Language Learner students. Squantum’s nurse’s office, student support staff offices, cafeteria/ gymnasium, and media center are all undersized and under-equipped by modern educational standards.

and hereby further specifically acknowledges that by submitting this Statement of Interest Form, the Massachusetts School Building Authority in no way guarantees the acceptance or the approval of an application, the awarding of a grant or any other funding commitment from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, or commits the City of Quincy to filing an application for funding with the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mrs. Hubley was absent


Old Business

Chapter 74 Regulation Changes Update

Mr. Andronico moved back to the regular order of the Agenda.

Mrs. Lebo thanked her colleagues for their support in signing the letter sent to the Board of Elementary & Secondary Education regarding the proposed regulation changes that would affect the Quincy Public Schools Career Vocational & Technical programs. In her testimony before the Board, Mrs. Lebo contrasted the differences in scope of Technical Skills and Knowledge strands for Automotive Technology and Painting & Design Technology as evidence against the imposition of the standard number of hours requirement across the board. Mrs. Lebo will update School Committee of further developments on this issue.


Mr. Gutro left the meeting at 7:15 pm.


New Business

Health Curriculum Update

Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile, Middle School Health Educators Michael Lorenzano and Caitlyn Plaskasovitis and High School Health Interventionists Ryan Herlihy and Terrell Johnson presented an update on the Health Education Curriculum. At the middle school level, students learn the tools to make healthy decisions about substance use prevention (alcohol, marijuana, vaping); healthy relationships; identity, labels, and stereotypes; sexual health education; and social media.

At the high school level, focus and support continues for healthy decision making, substance use prevention (perception, myths, peer pressure and other influences), healthy relationships, pro-social skills, sexual health education (gender identity and stereotypes, prevention, making healthy decisions), inclusive community, and peer to peer education and community building. A new initiative is the Roots & Wings program, to improve climate and culture through positivity.

School~Community Partner support and professional development is provided at the middle and high school levels from Rebecca Fiddler, the Caron Foundation, DOVE, the Thompson Family, and Mayor’s Office. Ms. Papile also shared a curriculum map to show the intersection between the middle and high school curriculum and the Massachusetts Frameworks.

Mrs. Lebo thanked Ms. Papile and the team, very comprehensive curriculum map, and good to hear about the FLASH curriculum. Mrs. Lebo asked about time with the students at the high school level. Mr. Herlihy said that at NQHS, there is a rotation with the Physical Education classes so he will see all the Grade 9 and 10 students split into the school year quarters, six hours each. Mr. Johnson said there is a similar intersection with Physical Education classes, during the double block, so three hours each. Mrs. Lebo would like to see more opportunity for scheduled time with students. Mr. Herlihy said there are many daily check-ins with students in addition to the scheduled classes. Ms. Papile said that the Health Interventionists have individual caseloads for students referred by Guidance and are working with small groups. Mrs. Lebo requested the curriculum map reflect which staff is covering the different parts of the curriculum.

Mr. Santoro asked about DOVE’s “The Yellow Dress” program, Ms. Papile said that this was last run a few years ago but can look into offering it again. Mr. Santoro asked if parents are able to opt out of certain topics for their students and Ms. Papile confirmed as this is School Committee Policy. Mr. Lorenzano said that students are always offered the opportunity to opt out of a discussion that might be difficult with them. Ms. Plaskasovitis said that parents are often very happy to have these discussions happen at school and opting out is rare.

Mr. Andonico noted that Mr. Gutro left the meeting as his son is competing at the Regional Track & Field meet.

Mr. Andronico noted that for social media, there is constant need to adapt and change as new platforms become popular, such as TikTok.

Mr. Bregoli was impressed to see the progression of the curriculum through middle and high school.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that our Health Educators and Interventionists are so important as leaders and trusted adults for our students. Dr. DeCristofaro thanked School Committee for their support of the Health educators and Health Interventionists staffing and programming.


New Business

QPS 2019-20 Initiatives Update

Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Senior Director of Curriculum Madeline Roy, Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile, Executive Director Keith Segalla, Special Education Director Erin Perkins, Team Administrator Edward Smith, and Coordinator of Data & Analysis Marisa Forrester presented an update on the 2019-2020 Quincy Public Schools Initiatives. Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed the essential elements of successful teams and initiatives: distributive and relational leadership; participatory and contributory decision-making; research-based; building capacity; and learners, leaders, facilitators, and team members. The District improvement Plan provides system connections for interrelated planning, common goals and shared responsibility, and the Principal’s Path.

For Standard 1/Leadership, Governance, and Communication, budget development and monitoring is with students as the central priority, thanks to School Committee and the connections to the District Improvement Plan. Standard 1 Initiatives include the Quincy School~Community Partnership with 87 community partners and the Special Education Learning Center.

Standard 2/Curriculum and Instruction has many initiatives, some of which have been ongoing for several years, including standards mapping and curriculum integration; advanced programs, pathways, and data; Nobel Laureates; digital learning and digital literacy; Girl Rising; Elementary Keyboarding and Coding. High School Interdisciplinary collaboration between ELA and Social Studies has resulted in creating new courses and the revised Homework Guidelines are ready for School Committee review.

Standard 3/Assessment and Program Evaluation features initiatives including the QPS Assessment program: Next-Generation MCAS, ACCESS, and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP); the Special Education Pathways; New Opportunities for English Learners (LOOK Act); Principals Path and associated elements (Design Team, Grade-Level and Vertical teams; Beyond the Bell activities and family engagement); Grade 5 and Middle School Science; and Parent Academies.

Standard 4/Human Resource Management and Professional Development consists of ongoing initiatives: Educator Evaluation, Mentoring Program, and Professional Development. These initiatives are collaborative, define the high expectations, and provide support for employee retention, growth, and opportunities for advancement. ELA teams are developing common writing assessments for Grades 3-8, Math teams are strengthening instructional practices in the math classroom, and Ms. Forrester is providing data coaching to site-based and grade level teams at school sites to build capacity for data-driven decisions.

Standard 5/Access, Participation, and Student Support initiatives include the ongoing Positive Behaviors and Intervention Strategies (PBIS), social-emotional wellness (personal goal setting, peer-to-peer education, online safety, and healthy decision-making); Dual Enrollment; Health & Wellness and Inclusion activities. Data-focused initiatives are the QPS Graduate Follow-Up, LPS & Chronic Absenteeism, the revamped Annual System Profile, and the VOCAL Survey analysis and opportunities for growth.

Standard 6/Financial Asset Management, Effectiveness, Efficiency initiatives include the ongoing Technology Planning & Training team’s work on equitable distribution of instructional technology and training opportunities for staff, Aspen implementation of the Parent Portal, and the new QPS website. The Food Services department has eliminated Styrofoam products in cafeterias throughout the school system, is developing a composting pilot program for NQHS, and continuing efforts to increase scratch cooking.

Mr. Mulvey concluded the presentation by thanking the Superintendent’s Leadership Team for their work in managing these initiatives and also School Committee for their support. Dr. DeCristofaro suggested referring the Initiatives to Teaching & Learning Subcommittee for further exploration.

Mr. Andronico thanked the team for the incredible presentation.

Mrs. Lebo thanked the team for the comprehensive look at the students in the community and Mrs. Lebo thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for his leadership. Mrs. Lebo requested an update on English Learner PAC and the efforts to increase diversity in the hiring process. Mr. Mulvey said that Quincy Public Schools is using the online SchoolSpring program and through local colleges and universities recruiting student teachers. Mrs. Lebo noted that this can apply to non-instructional positions as well. Mr. Mulvey said there are permanent postings on SchoolSpring for non-professional staff and there has been a good response.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the definition of chronic absenteeism. Ms. Papile said more than 10% of the school year, so 18 days for a full school year. Mr. Bregoli asked about the grade levels monitored, Ms. Papile said we work with families from grades 1-12. Dr. DeCristofaro said that schools are looking at absenteeism levels at each grade on a weekly basis and sharing information with staff to identify students in need of interventions.

Mr. Bregoli said that he has heard from staff that they are enthusiastic about the data provided by the MAP assessments.

Mr. Santoro noted that he attended the Chronic Absenteeism summit and was very impressed by the principals’ ideas and initiatives. From experience, he knows that the biggest challenge is for high school students to understand that absenteeism can have an impact on their grades.

Mr. Andronico asked about the increase in Mentoring participants, Ms. Roy said the increase is based on hiring, so the higher number reflects School Committee support for expansion positions in addition to filling open positions from retirements or resignations.

Mr. Andronico asked about Dual Enrollment, now being offered to Grade 10 students for the first time this year.

Mr. Andronico asked about the Student Opportunity Act template; DESE released the template last week, yet expects the final product by April 1. Dr. DeCristofaro said that he called the Commissioner’s Office last week and asked about extension; this is a federal deadline so the state may not have any leeway.

Mr. Andonico asked about a Food Services presentation, it is scheduled for the March 4 School Committee meeting.

Mayor Koch said that Dr. DeCristofaro is a great leader and has assembled a great team that benefits everyone in Quincy Public Schools.


New Business

Request of Whitman- Hanson Regional School District to Join SSEC (Vote)

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District’s request to join the South Shore Educational Collaborative. The motion was seconded by Mr. Santoro and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 5-0. Mr. Gutro and Mrs. Hubley were absent.


New Business

Correspondence from Students on Climate Change

Mayor Koch noted that several Atlantic Middle School students working on a Civics project wrote with their concerns about climate change. Mayor Koch noted that many of the items are underway including solar panels on City buildings and banning plastic bags which takes effect on March 1. One student suggested eliminate single-use plastic through using a different type of utensils in school cafeterias. Mayor Koch asked if the Food Services team could look into pricing and feasibility.

Mr. Bregoli noted that it would be helpful for the recycling bins to be more clearly marked to differentiate from trash barrels, especially in the gyms.

Mr. Andronico commended the students for taking the time to write and share their ideas with Mayor Koch.


Additional Business

Mr. Bregoli recognized Molly Powers from Beechwood Knoll who won the state-level Elks Free-Throw contest and will be completing in the New England regional contest.

Mr. Santoro requested that Mrs. Perdios’s letter about Grade 5 students at South~West and Point Webster Middle Schools be moved into the Facilities, Transportation, and Security. The motion was seconded by Mayor Koch. On the motion, Mrs. Lebo requested this also be jointly moved into the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee.



Upcoming School Committee meetings will be held on March 4, 2020; March 18, 2020; and April 8, 2020, all at the Coddington Building at 6:30 pm.

Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings will be held on February 26, 2020 (Joint Teaching & Learning and Policy and Facilities, Transportation & Security) and March 25, 2020 (Joint Teaching & Learning and Special Education, followed by Athletics & Wellness). All Subcommittee meetings will begin at 6:00 pm.


Reports of Subcommittees

All School Committee and Subcommittee meeting minutes are posted online at www.quincypublicschools.com/schoolcomm/2019-2020.

Joint Teaching & Learning and Policy

Mrs. Lebo and Mr. Bregoli reported on the Joint Teaching & Learning and Policy Subcommittees meeting held on February 6, 2020. Presentations were made on the high school Financial Literacy curriculum, the new Quincy Public Schools Website and there were discussions on proposed revisions to School Committee Policies 9.11.1 Homework (and the associated Homework Guide) and 11.12.1 and 12.2 Relations with Other Schools and School Districts. The Policy discussions will be continued at the next Joint Teaching & Learning and Policy Subcommittees meeting on February 26, 2020.

As there were no corrections, the minutes of the February 6, 2020 Joint Teaching & Learning and Policy Subcommittees were accepted as presented.


Executive Session

Mayor Koch made a motion for School Committee to move to Executive Session for the purpose of Contract Negotiations at 9:10 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 5-0. Mr. Gutro and Mrs. Hubley were absent.

School Committee will not return to public session at the conclusion of Executive Session.



School Committee was adjourned at 9:10 pm upon acceptance of the motion to move to Executive Session.