May 13, 2020 Special Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Special Meeting

Via Remote Technology
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

Per Governor Baker’s order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law,
G.L. c. 30A sec. 20, the public will not be allowed to physically access this School
Committee meeting. Members of the Public can access the meeting audio live on
QATV Channel 22 or at The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast
and posted on the QPS website on Friday, May 15, 2020. 

I. Chairman’s Update - Mayor Koch

II. Approval of Minutes: May 6 Special Meeting and Executive Session

III. Open Forum - Mr. Andronico

Open Forum items may be submitted to School Committee via email to:
[email protected]. Please include your full name and
mailing address as part of the email.

IV. COVID-19 Writing Contest - Superintendent DeCristofaro

V. Student Opportunity Act Update - Deputy Superintendent Mulvey

VI. School Composting Initiative - Mrs. Lebo

VII. Updated QPS 2019-2020 School Year Calendar (VOTE) -  Mr. Bregoli

VIII. Quincy Public Schools Superintendent - Mayor Koch

  • Search Process

  • Leadership Profile Development

IX. High School Graduations - Superintendent DeCristofaro

X. Executive Session: Contract Negotiations

XI. Adjournment


Quincy, Massachusetts – May 13, 2020

Special Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Special Meeting

A special meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held remotely on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. Superintendent DeCristofaro called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Douglas Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, 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; Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey and Mr. James Mullaney.


Mr. Bregoli remembered retired Quincy Public Schools educator Mary Pratt, who passed away last week at the age of 101. A women’s athletics pioneer, Ms. Pratt played in the American All-Girls Baseball League from 1942-1947 and was a physical education teacher and coach in Quincy for 46 years.


Chairman’s Update

Mayor Koch said that the COVID-19 crisis is continuing to impact families across the city, will be presenting the FY2021 budget to the City Council on Monday, May 18 and present a State of the City address on Tuesday, May 19. The federal stimulus funding is still pending, and Mayor Koch is expecting to fund the purchase of Chromebooks for Grades 5-12 students and laptops for all teachers with appropriate software. This investment is an important step in being prepared for what the fall may bring. Mayor Koch is working with Deputy Superintendent and members of the Leadership Team to plan and fund summer programming.Mayor Koch is not anticipating any layoffs for FY2021, but there are many moving parts to the future projections. Mayor Koch is planning for level service delivery for all city departments, including Quincy Public Schools.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification, Mayor Koch said he is not anticipating layoffs for either FY2020 and FY2021.

Mr. Andronico asked whether the $2,200,000 million expenditure is for Chromebooks for students or this includes the laptops for teachers. Mayor Koch said the laptops will be an additional cost and will be looking for additional training to support staff as well. Mr. Andronico asked whether the total cost for technology will come from the CARES funding and Mayor Koch confirmed.


Approval of Minutes

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the minutes for the May 6, 2020 School Committee Meeting and the May 6, 2020 Executive Session. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


Open Forum

Mr. Andronico noted that Open Forum participation is through the Quincy Public Schools email [email protected].

Mr. Andronico read a letter from Quincy parent Katy Tracey who wrote to encourage School Committee to plan an in-person graduation and prom for the Class of 2020 in the summer, if possible.


COVID-19 Writing Contest

Superintendent DeCristofaro announced that Ward 3 City Councillor Ian Cain has organized a writing contest to document the historic nature of the COVID-19 crisis. With support from the local community, prizes are being offered for three students at each of the elementary, middle, and high school levels.


Student Opportunity Act Update

Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey updated that both the state Department of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education have indicated that an extension on the May 15, 2020 deadline to file the Student Opportunity Act plans will be forthcoming, but no additional information has been received to date.

Mrs. Lebo asked if there is any information about the amount of funding being adjusted. Mr. Mulvey said there is a possibility that the allocation will change due to the COVID-19 crisis, and we are hoping the new deadline communication will also have information about the allocation.

Mr. Andronico asked for and received confirmation that the deadline extension is for all cities and towns in Massachusetts who have not yet submitted their Student Opportunity Act plans.


School Composting Initiative

Mrs. Lebo is working with the Mayor’s Task Force on Recycling and Composting and there has been some discussion of applying for a grant for $35,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency that would fund a pilot composting program for an elementary school beginning in January 2021. Mrs. Lebo asked if the City has a grant application in process for the same funding.

Mayor Koch said he is not aware of any other application for this grant funding opportunity.

Mrs. Lebo said there is an in-kind match required, it could be through a Quincy Public Schools Nutrition Department intern. Mrs. Lebo asked if there are city employees who are experienced with federal grant writing who can assist. Mayor Koch said there are staff in the Planning & Community Development Department who can assist.


Revised QPS School Year 2019-20 Calendar (Vote)

Mr. Bregoli presented the revised Quincy Public Schools 2019-2020 School Year calendar, reflecting that remote learning will continue through the last day of school on June 17.

Mrs. Hubley requested removing the high school graduation dates since those are no longer accurate.

Mr. Gutro suggested postponing the vote until after the discussion about High School graduations, so the calendar can reflect the new dates. Mr. Gutro mentioned that parents have requested that seniors be released from school prior to May 29, 2020 since seniors participated in remote learning during the four days that were previously scheduled as April vacation.

Mr. Andronico said that the DESE guidance clarifies that the last day of school for seniors can be no earlier than 12 days before the original last day of school (June 16).

Mr. Bregoli asked if we will be setting a date for a summer graduation tonight.

Mayor Koch said we will not have a date tonight for a summer graduation.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to remove the June 8 and June 9 Graduation dates from the calendar. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bregoli.

On the motion, Mr. Gutro asked how graduation will be referred to on the calendar. Mr. Andronico suggested that a note can be added to the calendar that new graduation dates are to be announced.

Mr. Gutro asked if students are graduated from high school without physically receiving their diplomas.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that seniors will sign out on May 28 and May 29 at both high schools; they have completed all the requirements and are essentially graduated although they will not receive their diplomas at that time.

Mr. Santoro said diplomas have a date so June 8 (Quincy High School) and June 9 (North Quincy High School) will be their official date of graduation.

Mrs. Lebo said that the Superintendent DeCristofaro usually makes a statement during the graduation ceremony to confer the status of graduates on students and this will need to happen another way during this school year. Students will be entering the military and going to work and will need to be confirmed as high school graduates.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that the Principals can present a list of students meeting the requirements for graduation and the statement awarding their diploma can be read at a School Committee meeting.

Mr. Andronico asked for clarification between official graduation and the celebration.

Mr. Bregoli asked if students entering the military are required to be high school graduates. Mrs. Lebo confirmed that this is a requirement.

Mrs. Lebo suggested that official graduation date be listed as Wednesday, June 3 and a note that graduation ceremonies are to be determined.

Mr. Gutro agreed with Mrs. Lebo, suggested listing an official graduation date and the note that ceremonies are to be scheduled.

Mr. Andronico suggested June 10 as the official graduation date as this coincides with the dates the videos will be available.

Mr. Andronico asked for the motion to be withdrawn or amended.

Mrs. Hubley requested a friendly amendment to her original motion.

Mr. Gutro proposed a friendly amendment to strike the graduation dates and replace with NQHS and QHS graduation ceremonies TBD. Mrs. Lebo affirmed her second of the amended motion. On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion that the official graduation date for all students be listed on the calendar as June 10, 2020. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


QPS Superintendent Search

Mayor Koch reviewed that last week there was discussion on the development of a Quincy Public Schools Superintendent Leadership Profile. Mayor Koch suggested that School Committee collect their thoughts in writing and send to School Committee Clerk Laura Owens to collect and share with all the members of School Committee.

Mr. Andronico reached out to the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) and spoke with Executive Director Glenn Koocher about the services they offer in terms of developing a leadership profile and timeline. Mr. Andronico agreed with Mayor Koch’s idea about School Committee members sharing their thoughts. Mr. Koocher is available for a Workshop meeting next Tuesday, May 19 with School Committee.

Mrs. Lebo agrees with Mayor Koch and would like School Committee members to share their thoughts. If guidelines allow, is interested in having focus groups versus a survey.

Mr. Gutro agrees with meeting next Tuesday, May 19 and would like to have materials or an outline to prepare in advance.

Mr. Andronico said that he asked Mr. Koocher to prepare an outline and will speak with him again on Thursday to get this developed.

Mr. Bregoli asked how the stakeholders are going to be involved in this process, will this begin on Tuesday or follow at a later date. Mr. Andronico said School Committee will first develop the leadership profile survey to be shared with stakeholders for feedback.

Mr. Santoro suggested that the stakeholders be contacted directly (bargaining units, parent-teacher organizations, etc.) for their input on the characteristics of the Superintendent. This might be an easier process.

Mrs. Lebo said that providing the agreed-upon range of responses will tighten up the process, leaving this open for comments will require the School Committee to review and categorize the data.

Mayor Koch asked if there is a motion on the floor to set up the meeting for Tuesday, May 19. Mayor Koch agrees with Mrs. Lebo that developing the survey is the way to involve the stakeholders.

Mr. Gutro made a motion for School Committee to meet on Tuesday, May 20, 2020 to create a Superintendent Leadership Profile. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0.


QPS High School Graduations

Superintendent DeCristofaro thanked School Committee for the June 10 conferring of diplomas idea. Both high school principals have met with their student government leaders for their input; work is continuing on the tribute video thanks to Mark Carey. It is clear from parents and students that they are looking for an in-person celebration at a later date.

Mayor Koch reiterated that if at all possible, he would like to have a limited attendance in-person ceremony with assigned seating throughout Veterans Stadium to provide for social distancing. This idea needs more articulation and planning, will involve Commissioner of Natural Resources Dave Murphy as well. Mayor Koch feels it is too early to set a date, guidelines will have to be firm on what limited attendance will entail. Mayor Koch requested to continue to carry the item on the agenda and within the next couple of meetings, hopefully will be able to share a plan for review.

Mr. Andronico said that on Monday, May 18, Governor Baker will be outlining the first phase of the Massachusetts re-opening plan, pending public health data.

Mr. Bregoli thanked Mayor Koch for moving forward on planning for an in-person graduation ceremony; this will be optional for students and families to participate as they feel comfortable.

Mr. Gutro thanked Mayor Koch for working on coming up with a safe way to celebrate the seniors. Mr. Gutro asked if at the June 10 meeting, the Class of 2020 videos for each high school can also be shared with the School Committee. Dr. DeCristofaro will verify with Mark Carey. Mr. Gutro asked about the program booklet, diplomas, and yearbook; how will those be given to students. Dr. DeCristofaro said these details of senior activities can be shared with School Committee. Mr. Gutro requested that the class presidents from each high school speak to School Committee on this unique year and suggested that notable alumni from each high school be included in the videos.

Mr. Andonico asked about banners recognizing high school students being displayed in the city. Mayor Koch said that individualized banners aren’t feasible given the number of students and the number of light poles. Mr. Andronico suggested more generic Class of 2020 banners would be appropriate recognition. Mayor Koch agreed.



Mr. Bregoli made a motion to adjourn the meeting to Executive Session at 7:00 pm. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0. School Committee did not return to Regular Session.