Nov. 18, 2020 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 6:30 pm
Coddington Building

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 SchoolTube website on Friday, November 20, 2020.

I. Approval of Minutes:

A. Meeting Minutes for October 28, 2020

B. Executive Session Minutes for October 28, 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.
Please submit statements for Open Forum to: [email protected].

III. Superintendent’s Report

A. Chairman’s Report - Mayor Thomas Koch

B. QPS COVID-19 Metrics (with Health Commissioner Ruth Jones)

C. Flu Vaccine Mandate

D. CO2 Testing Update

E. QPS Enrollment/Class Size

F. Chromebooks/Technology Update

G. QHS Culinary Program Community Meals

H. Dell Technologies/JASON STEM Grant

I. School Nutrition Update

J. National Merit Commended Scholars

K. Virtual Parent Academies Update

L. Special Education Director

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. Spotlight on Hybrid Learning - Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy

B. QPS Fall 2020 Re-Entry Survey - Superintendent Mulvey, Ms. Perkins

C. Update on MASC Resolutions - Mrs. Hubley

D. High School Community Service Graduation Requirement Waiver (VOTE) - Superintendent Mulvey

E. Gift: Knitted Hats, Scarfs, Gloves from the Seaside Stitchers - Mrs. Hubley

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: December 9, 2020 (Regular Meetings, 6:30 pm, Coddington Building)

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings: Athletics & Wellness, December 9, 2020 at 5:30 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee Mr. Andronico to report on the October 28, 2020 meeting.

B. Teaching & Learning Subcommittee, Mrs. Lebo to report on the November 4, 2020 meeting.

IX. Executive Session: Contract Negotiations

X. Adjournment:


Quincy, Massachusetts – November 18, 2020

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 6:45 p.m at the Coddington Building. Superintendent Kevin Mulvey called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Anthony Andronico, Vice Chair.

Also present were: Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Allison Cox, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Mr. Keith Segalla; Health Commissioner Ruth Jones; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

School Committee observed a moment of silence in memory of Ruth Mahoney, a retired Quincy Public Schools bus driver, dispatcher, and bus yard supervisor for twenty years.


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting and Executive Session for October 28, 2020. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

As there were no letters submitted for Open Forum, School Committee moved on to the next item on the agenda.


Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Mulvey opened his report with Mayor Koch presenting a Chairman’s report. Mayor Koch updated School Committee on fiscal planning underway for the FY2022 Budget year and the tax rate recommendations which City Council will vote on in December.

Superintendent Mulvey then introduced City of Quincy Health Commissioner Ruth Jones who reviewed the statistics for the last two weeks (November 4 through November 17), including 22 positive students (11 hybrid, 3 in-person and 8 remote) and 9 positive staff members. There is no evidence of in-school transmission at this time. The two-week positivity rate is 1.75% and Quincy is still in the green due to the change in metric calculations.

Mr. Gutro asked about the change in the state Department of Public Health metrics. Commissioner Jones said that the data is now updated on Thursday evening at the state level: for cities with over 50,000 residents, green is below 10 cases per day and a positivity rate below 4%; yellow is over 10 cases per day or a 4% positivity rate; red is both. Commissioner Jones is estimating Quincy’s two-week positivity rate at around 2% and the city will likely move into yellow status.

Mr. Gutro asked about sources of spread, Commissioner Jones said household contacts have been the major source in recent cases.

Mr. Gutro asked about consideration of returning Quincy Public Schools to full remote. Commissioner Jones said there is not evidence of in-school transmission, the vigilance of the nursing staff and school administrators has led to quick response and identification of close contacts to quarantine.

Mr. Gutro asked about the parties around Halloween that led to North Quincy High School being remote, Commissioner Jones said there were no cases traced back to those gatherings.

Mr. Gutro asked about Thanksgiving, Commissioner Jones said there is concern state-wide about families gathering for the holiday leading to more cases.

Mr. Bregoli asked about transmission between student and staff or hospitalizations for students and Commissioner Jones said there have been none.

Mrs. Lebo asked about testing statistics, over 10,000 residents have been tested in the last fourteen days. All results are sent to the Quincy Health Department, regardless of where the testing happens. Mrs. Lebo asked about remote students who participate in Athletics, contact tracing is the same as for hybrid or in-person students.

Mrs. Lebo asked about families choosing to congregate or travel for Thanksgiving, Commissioner Jones said that families can choose to be tested but should remain out of school until results are available. Commissioner Jones is hopeful that parents who want their students to remain in school will do the right thing and keep everyone safe.

Mrs. Lebo asked about if the city returns to red status affecting hybrid and in-person learning. Commissioner Jones said that cities/towns are in the red for three weeks are high risk communities and are subject to certain restrictions, but schools are a local decision. Superintendent Mulvey said at a recent meeting with DESE Commissioner Jeffery Riley, it was clear that the state’s priority is to continue the least-restrictive approach, closing a classroom or a school if there is evidence of in-school transmission, as opposed to the school system.

Mr. Santoro asked about a hybrid student who has to quarantine, Superintendent Mulvey said that the student would switch to remote and their schedule would be affected. A staff member who has to quarantine would switch to remote teaching and be assisted by a substitute teacher in the classroom monitoring the students. Superintendent Mulvey said the staff have been very flexible, there are constant schedule and assignment changes.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification, Superintendent Mulvey said that there are self-contained Special Education programs, such as the NQHS Learning Center or PASS program that have multiple classrooms. Several positive cases might cause the program to be quarantine. Commissioner Jones said that in those programs, the specialists who push into the classrooms are also affected by quarantine.

Superintendent Mulvey thanked Commissioner Jones, working with Quincy Public Schools staff members seven days a week. Her reassuring presence on so many staff meetings has been important in managing the pandemic.

Superintendent Mulvey introduced the next item in his report, the Flu Vaccine mandate from the Department of Public Health that all students should be immunized by December 31, 2020. Local school districts have flexibility on implementation so School Committee should consider the consequences for students who do not receive the vaccine. The QPS Fall 2020 Re-Entry Task Force disagreed with excluding remote students who do not receive the vaccine.

Commissioner Jones said that remote students who participate in athletics or extracurricular activities should be vaccinated, along with students who attend school in person.

Mrs. Lebo thought the directive from the state didn’t give an option to make a distinction between in person or remote students. Superintendent Mulvey said in the meeting with DESE Commissioner Riley, it was stated that this was a local decision. Mrs. Lebo said that she would feel more comfortable with the Department of Public Health making a clarification, students who are not vaccinated should be moved to remote learning.

Mr. Santoro noted that the Rockland Public Schools are facing legal action from a family and asked if the staff are required to be immunized. Commissioner Jones said that vaccines cannot be mandated for adults.

Mrs. Lebo said that vaccines are already mandated unless there are medical or religious exemptions, this is just another vaccine.

Mr. Gutro asked how the proof of vaccine is provided to school. Superintendent Mulvey said that the nurses track the vaccines in the SNAP program, pediatricians transmit a form when they have administered the vaccine. Mr. Gutro encourages everyone to get the flu vaccine but struggles with the idea of remote students who do not participate in extracurriculars being excluded from Quincy Public Schools.

Mayor Koch agrees with Mr. Gutro, asked Commissioner Jones about the flu transmission being lessened by mask wearing. Commissioner Jones agreed and noted that the efficacy of the flu vaccine varies between 20% and 65%. Mayor Koch said that Quincy Public Schools has put in so much effort to keep students engaged and on track to graduate, would not want to see students excluded over this issue. Commissioner Jones agreed but the state regulations do not allow us to pick and choose, does not know that DESE has the authority to tell districts they can make local decisions.

Mrs. Hubley asked if this is a permanent change to the list of mandated vaccines, Commissioner Jones said that it is definitely required for this year but it is not clear about subsequent years. Commissioner Jones said this could depend on the progression of COVID-19.

Mr. Andronico asked about the potential repercussions from the state for not implementing the mandate. Superintendent Mulvey said that he can research with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification, the deadline is December 31, 2020. If School Committee doesn’t meet until December 9, that would not give families much time to comply with the deadline before school closes for the winter break on December 18. Ms. Owens will follow up with the percentage of students have already received the vaccine.

Superintendent Mulvey continued with the CO2 testing update, City of Quincy Mechanical Engineer David Scott and his team have begun the next round of CO2 testing in Quincy Public Schools buildings. Superintendent Mulvey is expecting to share the information with School Committee at the December 9, 2020 School Committee meeting.

Ms. Owens shared updated Quincy Public Schools enrollment statistics (50% hybrid or in-person and 50% remote) and remote class sizes for elementary, middle, and high school students. 89% of Kindergarten through Grade 5 remote students are in classes of 23 or fewer; 64% of Grades 6-8 remote students are in classes of 24 or fewer; and 63% of Grades 9-12 remote students are in classes of 25 or fewer.

Mrs. Lebo asked for information about students who are in-person and accessing classes remotely.

Mr. Gutro asked about teaching remote and in-person at the same time, some teachers are doing this successfully. Superintendent Mulvey said the increase in Internet access points at schools will make this more feasible, the Quincy High School Special Education department has been doing this successfully.

Superintendent Mulvey updated on technology issues: over 3900 Chromebooks have been distributed, along with 76 Internet Hotspots. Quincy Public Schools have requested 625 additional hotspots from a DESE program. 425 of 500 Internet Wireless Access Points have been installed to date. The student email addresses should be launched the first week of December, the server has been installed.

The Quincy High School Culinary Arts program received a $10,000 grant from Stop & Shop for products to support the Grab & Go Lunch Initiative, students will create meals to share with Quincy’s first responders.

Quincy Public Schools is the beneficiary of a recent grant that will provide over $36,000 worth of digital STEM resources and teacher professional development thanks to Dell Technologies in partnership with K-12 STEM non-profit JASON Learning. Special thanks to NQHS alum Patrick Shea, Executive Vice President at JASON Learning for his efforts on bringing the JASON program to Massachusetts.

The School Nutrition department, under the direction of Sara Dufour will be distributing Thanksgiving meal kits to 400 families on Wednesday, November 25.

Superintendent Mulvey recognized this year’s National Merit Commended Scholars: Charles Codner (QHS), Joseph Dinh (QHS), Thomas Li (NQHS), Kelly Ma (NQHS), Hannah Murphy (QHS), Jack Nelson (QHS), Quangvinh Tran (NQHS), Alvis Zou (QHS). Of the 1.5 million students who took the PSAT in October 2019, these students are among the top 50,000 nationwide of high school seniors.

The Virtual Parent Academy featuring Greg Tang had 75 participants. Upcoming Virtual Parent Academies include The Importance of Picture Books on November 30; NWEA MAP Growth on December 1; and the QPS Fall 2020 Re-Entry Parent Survey data presentation on December 2.


New Business

Focus on Hybrid Learning

Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins and Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy presented an overview of the Quincy Public Schools Hybrid Instructional Model and shared videos of Quincy High School Automotive and Culinary programs, the Quincy High School Science Department, South~West Middle School, and Lincoln Hancock Elementary School.

Mrs. Lebo asked about remote students and the CVTE program, Mr. Segalla said that the teachers are being creative and streaming while also teaching in person. Students are not able to go out for internships or clinical placements at this time.


New Business

QPS Fall 2020 Re-Entry Survey Data

Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins and Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy presented the data from the recent Fall 2020 Re-Entry Parent Survey, 3,160 parents responded, 1,578 elementary, 698 middle school, and 884 high school. Of the survey respondents, 58% are hybrid or in-person and 42% fully remote. Just under 50% have borrowed a Quincy Public Schools Chromebook. The majority of parents agreed that safety protocols of mask wearing and social distancing are being observed. 81% agree that the amount of live instruction with a teacher is appropriate for their students and 66% agreed with the amount of homework assigned. 61% of hybrid parents and 47% of remote parents were concerned about Social-Emotional student well-being. 66% of parents feel that the level of communication from teachers is appropriate; 87% feel that the level of communication from the school is appropriate; and 80% feel that the level of communication from the district is appropriate.

Ms. Perkins and Ms. Roy thanked Data & Assessment Coordinator Christopher Tierney for his work putting together the analysis and graphics. Next steps include hosting a Parent Forum on Wednesday, December 2; presenting at the Citywide Parent Council meeting on December 7; and disaggregating all of the comments to share with stakeholders.

Mr. Andronico thanked the presenters, many areas to be proud of and some areas for consideration for improvement.

Mr. Gutro said the positive data was good to see, but is disappointed in the response rate.


New Business

MASC Resolutions Update

Mrs. Hubley attended the virtual Massachusetts Association of School Committees General Session on November 7, 2020. There were ten resolutions to be voted on and a written summary was shared of the results. Resolutions 1-9 were voted YES and Resolution 10 was tabled.


New Business

High School Community Service Requirement Waiver

Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that due to COVID-19 pandemic and health and safety restrictions, high schools students are not able to perform the required hours of Community Service during the 2020-2021 school year.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to waive the High School Community Service Graduation Requirement for the Class of 2021. Mayor Koch seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


New Business


Mrs. Hubley shared that the knitted hats, mittens, and scarves that the Seaside Knitters at the Kennedy Center donated, 180 items. The items are distributed to students in need by the school nurses.



Mr. Andronico noted that the next Regular School Committee meetings is scheduled for December 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building. The Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee will meet on December 9, 2020 at 5:30 pm at the Coddington Building.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mr. Andronico reported on the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee meeting held on October 28, 2020. Quincy High School Social Studies Teacher James Ikeda represented a group of educators from across Quincy Public Schools; Director of Human Resources & Educator Development updated on racial/ethnic staff and student data of districts in Eastern Massachusetts; and Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile shared feedback from staff on the summer VISIONS training.

Mrs. Lebo asked for the VISIONS proposal be posted on the Quincy Public Schools website and that this will be on the next EDI meeting agenda.

Mrs. Lebo reported on the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee meeting held on November 2, 2020. Coordinator of English Learners Heather Wojcik updated on the English Learner Coordinated Program Review, the ACCESS data, and the initial English Learner Parent Advisory Council meeting. Superintendent Mulvey, Ms. Perkins, and Ms. Roy presented a proposal for School and Program Improvement Plans for 2020-2021. Mrs. Lebo mentioned that Mr. Santoro suggested in the future, principals have more independence about their School Improvement Plans rather than being required to use a template.

As there were no further changes requested, the minutes of the October 28, 2020 Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and November 2, 2020 Teaching & Learning Subcommittees were accepted as amended.


Executive Session

Mayor Koch made a motion for School Committee to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of contract negotiations at 9:15 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.



As School Committee will not return to the Regular Meeting from Executive Session, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.