Oct. 14, 2020 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, October 14, 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 www.qatv.org. The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS SchoolTube website on Friday, October 16, 2020.

I. Approval of Minutes:

A. Special Meeting Minutes for September 16, 2020; September 23, 2020; September 30, 2020
B. Executive Session Minutes for September 16, 2020; September 23, 2020; September 30, 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. QPS COVID-19 Metrics & Contact Tracing Protocols (with Health Commissioner Ruth Jones & Health Services Coordinator Rita Bailey)

B. QPS October 1 Enrollment

C. Chromebooks/Technology Update

D. MSBA Update

E. QPS Educator Mini-Grants

IV. Old Business:

A. Chairman’s Report - Mayor Koch

IV. New Business:

A. QPS Assessment Plan Update - Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy, Ms. Vaughan

B. QPS Extended Day Programs Update - Ms. Papile, Mr. Smith

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: October 28, 2020; November 18, 2020; and December 9, 2020 (Regular Meetings, 6:30 pm)

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meeting:October 28, 2020: Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee, 5:30 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Facilities, Security & Transportation: Mr. Santoro to report on the September 23, 2020 meeting.

B. Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee: Mr. Andronico to report on the September 30, 2020 meeting.

IX. Executive Session: Contract Negotiations

X. Adjournment:


Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – October 14, 2020

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Special Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 6:30 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, Mr. Edward Smith, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; Health Commissioner Ruth Jones; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting Minutes for September 30, 2020. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Executive Session Minutes for September 30, 2020. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

Mr. Andronico read letters from Ms. Allison Rosenthal who urged a return to full-time in-person learning; and Ms. Maggie McKee and Mr. Scott Alessandro, who requested School Committee address inequities within the Quincy Public Schools.


Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Mulvey opened his report by introducing City of Quincy Health Commissioner Ruth Jones who reviewed the statistics for the last two weeks (September 30 through October 13), including eleven positive students (half hybrid/in-person and half remote). There is no evidence of in-school transmission at this time.

Mr. Bregoli asked about recent cases and trends. Commissioner Jones said there are various ages represented, several were family household clusters.

Mr. Gutro asked about the upward trend, Commissioner Jones said this reflects the uptick across the state. Mr. Gutro asked about additional cases emerging from contact tracing efforts, Commissioner Jones said that there is no particular geographical area within the city represented more than others.

Health Coordinator Rita Bailey presented on QPS COVID-19 Tracking & Contact Tracing. The Quincy Public Schools nurses are coordinating with the Quincy Health Department on advising families about symptoms, testing, quarantine/ isolation, and following up about safe re-entry to school. Families and staff have been guided on self-screening protocols and mitigation strategies, such as masks and hand hygiene. Ms. Bailey reviewed the protocols for staff or students exhibiting symptoms at school, the decision-making tree, and the tracking spreadsheet used at all schools.

Mr. Bregoli asked about close contact time being cumulative, Commissioner Jones said there is not a definitive answer for this from the Centers for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Currently, the guidance is not based on cumulative exposure. Mr. Bregoli asked about benchmarks for return to in-person learning and Commissioner Jones said that these have not yet been defined.

Mr. Santoro asked about current testing protocols. Commissioner Jones said that Quincy is requiring a PCR test for employees and students, as this is the most reliable.

Mr. Santoro asked about the flu shot requirement. Ms. Bailey said this is a state mandated vaccine, similar to other vaccines. School nurses are working on educating families that all students are required to receive this vaccine by December 31, 2020.

Mr. Bregoli asked about exemptions for wearing masks, specifically for athletics. Commissioner Jones said reasonable accommodations must be offered. Ms. Bailey said she would review the MIAA requirements.

Superintendent Mulvey said that we have been advised by Manet Health Director Dr. Shiner that a student needing an exemption from wearing a mask should not be attending school in person.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the dismissal procedure for a student who has symptoms in school. Ms. Bailey said that there is a medical waiting room for the student and families have been asked to identify four contacts who would be able to respond and pick up a symptomatic student within 30 minutes.

Mrs. Lebo asked about families without cars and Ms. Bailey said the Transportation department has assisted when this has been an issue.

Mrs. Lebo asked about remote learners participating in extracurricular activities, especially athletics. Superintendent Mulvey will follow up with this information.

Mr. Andronico reiterated that the in-person model would require a 3-foot distancing which was not recommended by Health Commissioner Ruth Jones and the QPS Fall 2020 Re-Opening Task Force. Commissioner Jones said three feet of distance will expand the amount of people in a classroom that would be required to quarantine if there is a positive case.

Mrs. Lebo asked about CDC guidance for distance, Commissioner Jones said that their guidance has evolved, at one point there was a 10-foot distancing recommendation.

Superintendent Mulvey shared the Quincy Public Schools October 1 Enrollment data, 9,680 students are enrolled in the Quincy Public Schools. Class size information will be shared at the October 28 School Committee meeting. The instructional model breakdown for hybrid and in-person was shared by school and grade level.

Mr. Gutro asked about Kindergarten enrollment, significantly lower than in previous years. Ms. Owens said some families have opted to remain in accredited Kindergarten programs at pre-schools or enroll in private schools and others have opted to defer Kindergarten enrollment.

Superintendent Mulvey announced that over 3,500 Chromebooks have been distributed to date, the next shipment of 1,400 will arrive on Thursday, October 15. Internet hotspots have just arrived and will be distributed to 100 families needing Internet access.

There was a conference call with the Massachusetts School Building Authority on Tuesday, October 13 with Mayor Koch and Superintendent Mulvey about the potential new school building project for Squantum. The MSBA questions were focused on the fiscal health of the city and the re-entry implementation plan. There were 70 core program projects Statements of Interest submitted to the MSBA and no decisions have been made to date. The MSBA is having these meetings with each city and town that submitted a Core Program SOI.

Mayor Koch said that other communities may not have the financial capacity that Quincy does to take on building projects without facing a Proposition 2 ½ override.

Ms. Owens noted the South~West Middle School will receive an additional $800,000 reimbursement due to the LEED Silver Certification awarded recently.

Superintendent Mulvey concluded his report by noting that there will be $35,000 in Innovation Learning Mini-Grants available for educators to create grant proposals for new programs and initiatives. The grant funding is provided by the School Community~Business partners.


Old Business

Chairman’s Report

Mayor Koch deferred his Chairman’s Report.


New Business

QPS Assessment Plan 2020-2021

Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins and English Language Arts Coordinator Bridget Vaughan presented on the Assessments that will be administered to Quincy Public Schools elementary and middle school students in the next few weeks: Acadience Reading (formerly called DIBELS), the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress, and the Kindergarten Screening for English Learners with the WIDA Remote Screener. These assessments will be administered remotely and in-person, depending on the learning model selected by the student’s families. The data will inform the Integrated Learning Team review of individual student progress.

Ms. Perkins said that there will be an MCAS testing opportunity in January for students in the classes of 2021 and 2022 who have not yet passed MCAS. At this time, the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education is planning on MCAS being administered in the Spring of 2021.

Mrs. Lebo asked if students will be able to take the MCAS test remotely in 2021. Ms. Perkins said that guidelines have not yet been released, the test is online but has previously been only administered in schools.

Mr. Gutro asked about preparation for MCAS, is this different for hybrid and remote students. Ms. Perkins said that instructional pacing is based on the Massachusetts Frameworks and consistent for both hybrid and remote learners.

Mr. Santoro asked about Special Education testing for remote students. Ms. Perkins said the DIBELS and MAP testing are initial assessments to identify students who may be in need of support. Special Education testing has been scheduled in person whenever possible, but if parents are uncomfortable, there are assessments that can be done remotely.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the classroom observation as a component to student evaluation, Ms. Perkins said the remote teachers are identifying students in need of supports. All students in need of assistance are being offered supports, testing will not hold up the process.

Mrs. Lebo said the MAP data will be interesting to see student performance compared to last winter.

Mayor Koch left the meeting at 8:00 pm.


New Business

Extended Day Programs

Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile and Science Curriculum Team Administrator Edward Smith presented on the Extended Day programming, planning is underway to meet the key priorities for Community Building, Health & Wellness, and Social-Emotional support. Programs will be district and site-based to continue to support student connections to the school day and Quincy community. Elementary and middle schools will offer Student Council meetings (remotely), physical activities such as walking, yoga, and BOKS (in-person and remote). Project Adventure is an activity-based program for social-emotional learning, self-care, sharing, problem-solving, and building emotional resilience and leadership.

At the high school level, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion groups are being established will provide opportunities for student voices using the frameworks from Teaching Tolerance. Staff will be utilizing their VISIONS training in facilitating these groups. In addition, high school programs such as the Robotics Team and the Combined High School Band have made adjustments for current conditions. Approximately 50 students are members of three Robotics Teams, holding weekly remote team meetings and CAD and online tools. Hopefully, there will be opportunities for hands-on building later in the school year. For the Combined High School Band and Color Guard, 130 students have been practicing twice a week. The band now has a drum line, wind line, front ensemble, and color guard and have been working on two programs to be recorded and shared.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the Student Support involvement in the Extended Day programming. Ms. Papile said there is a mix of staff, Guidance, Teachers, Health Interventionists, Deans, and Nurses at all levels.

Mrs. Lebo asked if there are concerns about students who do not appear on camera during classes. Ms. Papile, said that there are multiple reasons why students are not comfortable having their camera on, there are a number of factors including answering questions and participating in assignments that can be used to determine engagement.

Mr. Gutro asked if all schools are required to provide Extended Day programming and Ms. Papile confirmed. Mr. Gutro asked how involvement is measured. Mr. Smith said that this is in the planning stages, principals ask staff members to propose programs which are reviewed by the level coordinators (Ms. Loftus, Ms. Mitchell, Mr. Smith). There is Google sheet to track attendance and participation.

Mrs. Hubley was glad to hear that last year’s robot is being re-purposed for this year’s activities.

Mr. Andronico thanked the presenters, these extended day programs are so meaningful for the social-emotional well-being of the students.



Mr. Andronico noted that Regular School Committee meetings are scheduled for October 28, 2020; November 18, 2020; and December 9, 2020, all at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building. The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee will meet on October 28, 2020 at 5:30 pm at the Coddington Building.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mr. Santoro reviewed the Facilities, Security & Transportation Subcommittee meeting that was held on September 23, 2020. Public Buildings Commissioner Paul Hines updated School Committee on facilities projects completed in Quincy Public Schools buildings since schools closed in March and provided a status of the DeCristofaro Learning Center project. In addition, School Committee reviewed the locations within North Quincy High School where the Yakoo image will need to be removed and associated costs.

Mr. Andronico reviewed the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee meeting that was held on September 30, 2020. Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile reviewed the Professional Development provided by VISIONS, Inc and at school sites and the next steps for Community Listening Sessions. Director of Human Resources & Educator Development Allison Cox reviewed Quincy Public Schools staff statistics on hiring, retention and shared information on recruiting.

As there were no changes requested, the minutes of the September 23, 2020 Facilities, Security & Transportation and September 30, 2020 Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittees were approved as presented.


Executive Session

Mrs. Lebo made a motion for School Committee to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of contract negotiations at 8:40 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0. Mayor Koch was absent.



As School Committee will not return to the Regular Meeting from Executive Session, the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 pm.