Nov. 12, 2019 Teaching/Learning Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee

**This meeting is a Committee of the Whole**
Mrs. Emily Lebo, Chair
Mr. Doug Gutro & Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Subcommittee Members
High School & Program Improvement Plan Presentations
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Coddington Building

Revised Presentation Schedule:

6:00 pm Lawrence Taglieri/Quincy
6:15 pm Rob Shaw/North Quincy
6:30 pm Julie Graham & Kerri Connolly/Early Childhood

Superintendent’s Evaluation Process - Mrs. Lebo


Quincy School Committee

Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting ~ November 12, 2019

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 6:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Kerri Connolly, Ms. Marisa Forrester, Ms. Julie Graham, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Robert Shaw, Mr. Edward Smith, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Principal Lawrence Taglieri presented the Quincy High School Improvement Plan, this year’s goals are organized by curriculum team in grade level groupings. Grades 9 and 10 will focus on MCAS readiness and achievement in the second year of computer-based testing. Grades 11 and 12 will focus on expanding Advanced course opportunities and dual enrollment. In the area of Student Support Services, Sexual Health and Vaping Awareness for Grade 10 will be emphasized. Communication with parents being key, Mr. Taglieri is looking forward to the launch of the new website this winter.

In reflecting on last year’s MCAS, Quincy High School students met targets or improved below target for all students, Lowest Performing, and High Needs for ELA and Mathematics. For Science, areas of intervention have been identified to raise the performance of all categories of students who did not meet the improvement targets. Growth was shown for all students, Lowest Performing, and High Needs students in ELA and Mathematics, but on the low end of the range. EL students met the targets for English Language proficiency.

Quincy High School’s graduation rate exceeded the state level and the dropout rate is below the state level. Quincy High Evening School and Acellus will provide opportunities to re-engage students who did not graduate in four years. Chronic Absenteeism rates dropped for All Students, Lowest Performing Students, and High Needs thanks to the interventions put into place through the Superintendent’s Leadership Team and the Quincy High School administrators. For the VOCAL survey, the results were largely positive and efforts will be focused on increasing the student voice at Quincy High School.

Mr. Taglieri shared the VOCAL survey data and is proud of the responses, there are a lot of positives that students feel safe and that teachers listen to them. Mrs. Lebo is concerned about the VOCAL student response about stress for high school students. Mr. Taglieri said that the Student Support Services team will be focused on anxiety in students.

Mrs. Lebo is concerned about Science performance, is the focus on the Genetics strand enough to raise achievement. Mr. Smith said that this was a demonstrated weakness over two years and cautioned that this year will be a new test, so results may not be comparable.

Mrs. Lebo asked about SAT Prep, classes are offered each quarter for ELA and Mathematics. Each year about 200 students take at least one prep class.

Mrs. Lebo asked if the same students do not pass all three MCAS tests, Mr. Taglieri said this is sometimes the case. Mrs. Lebo asked if the VOCAL survey can be administered on a different day, but it is scheduled by DESE at the end of the last day of MCAS testing.

Mrs. Hubley asked if the data provided is the order the questions are presented to students. Ms. Forrester clarified that the data is sorted by topic for presentation to School Committee.

Mr. Gutro asked about the VOCAL data, it was available as preliminary data in September, but the final data was not available until October 25.

Mrs. Hubley asked if there was any opportunity for student comment on the VOCAL survey, but there is not.

Mr. Gutro asked how principals can reflect and program for it given the release date of the data. Mr. Taglieri said that the information is integrated into programming as soon as it is available.

Mrs. Lebo suggested reviewing the data at the state level to see how the Quincy Public Schools results compared. Dr. DeCristofaro suggested further discussion at a Teaching & Learning Subcommittee. Mr. Gutro requested a mid-year review of the topic, the impact of the information on school plans. Mrs. Lebo agreed and would like to see an update in January or February.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Quincy High School Improvement Plan. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to refer all School Improvement Plan Facilities Areas of Need to the Facilities, Transportation & Security Subcommittee. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Shaw presented the North Quincy High School Improvement Plan, a collaboration of the grade level group and curriculum teams, with attention to achievement and opportunities for growth. Professional staff share best practices, analyzing data, and continuing education and opportunities for professional growth. Parent outreach includes collaboration with the Parent Advisory Council and Senior Stay Out, communication through Aspen and informational events, looking forward to the new website launch. In reviewing MCAS data which is higher than the state levels for ELA, Mathematics, and Science for All Students, Lowest Performing, and High Needs. English Language Learners continue to outpace the state levels by large margins. The North Quincy High School graduation rate is above the state level and the dropout rate is below the state level. Chronic absenteeism showed improvement above the previous level and advanced coursework levels increased for both All Students and High Needs. From the VOCAL survey, areas of growth to address include curriculum relevance and student anxiety. The goals for 2019-2020 showcase the opportunities for interdepartmental collaboration.

Mr. Gutro asked about the positive trends in Chronic Absenteeism and Advanced Coursework. Mr. Shaw said that addressing the underlying reasons for student absences on an individual level has shown progress. The current senior class is the first to have had access to advanced curriculum in the middle school and there is an impact on high school enrollment, along with dual enrollment opportunities.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the 31 classes that range from 28 to 30 students. These are spread across all curriculum areas. Mr. Shaw said that enrollment is up close to 100 students over the last two years and there are certain languages that are more popular at this time. Mrs. Hubley requested a list of the larger classes with 28-30 students.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the North Quincy High School Auditorium renovation timeline. Mrs. Lebo said that this will be part of the prioritization of Facilities needs in the Facilities Subcommittee.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the new administrative structure, with three deans. Mr. Shaw said that these are assigned to Grades 10, 11, and 12. Ms. Skinner is the Grade 9 dean in addition to her Assistant Principal responsibilities. The Grade 12 dean will rotate to Grade 10 for 2020-21 school year.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the Sexual Health curriculum, Mr. Shaw said that the curriculum rollout plan is in development. Mrs. Lebo was pleased to see the cross-curricular team working on Quincy Local History and Culture and the Professional Development on culturally responsive teaching. Mrs. Lebo complimented the NQHS MCAS achievement.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the North Quincy High School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Team Administrators Kerri Connolly and Julie Graham presented the Early Childhood Program Improvement Plan. There are currently Pre-Kindergarten classes at Snug Harbor (4 Integrated), Point Webster (3 Integrated and 1 CARES), and Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center (9 CARES and 5 Integrated). Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Curriculum and Instruction supports emerging Literacy, Mathematics, Science, and Social Emotional Learning.

In reflecting on last year’s goals, the Pre-Kindergarten teams successfully created and implemented thematic play units; developed and implemented Close Reading lessons; and collaborated with the English Learner Education staff to implement the LOOK Act through administering the PreLas to determine fluency level and support language instruction.

For 2019-2020, (1) the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten teams will align their current curriculum scope and sequence with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for History and Social Science; (2) the Pre-Kindergarten team will participate in ongoing Professional Development in the utilization of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) or PECS like protocols within their language-based classrooms; and (3) the Pre-Kindergarten team will write a minimum of 5 Performance Indicators utilizing WIDA’s Early English Language Development Standards to implement the LOOK Act with fidelity as reflected in weekly lesson plans.

Mrs. Lebo asked about EL students for the Pre-Kindergarten classes. Ms. Owens will update the data chart to include the new information.

Mrs. Lebo noted that researching Universal Pre-Kindergarten is a long-term goal of the School Committee. Mrs. Lebo is looking for information on Kindergarten readiness for students who did not attend Quincy Public Schools Pre-Kindergarten. Ms. Graham said that the spring screening can provide this information. There is a range of outside Pre-Kindergarten experiences, including Head Start, private preschools, or no preschool experience at all.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Early Childhood Program Improvement Plan. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

The final item on the agenda was the Superintendent’s Evaluation process. The Summative evaluation form and supporting documentation were distributed to School Committee. (The evaluation form will also be emailed to School Committee.) Completed evaluations are due to Ms. Owens on Wednesday, December 4 and a composite evaluation will be shared with School Committee in the December 11 School Committee packet and be on the agenda for that meeting.

Mrs. Lebo said that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is moving to change the Superintendent Evaluation process so that experienced Superintendents are evaluated every two years.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:30 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.