March 9, 2022 School Committee Meeting

March 9, 2022 School Committee Meeting
Posted on 03/07/2022
QPS logo


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, March 9, 2022, 6:30 pm
City Council Chambers, Historic City Hall

I. Approval of Minutes:

A. Regular Meeting and Executive Session Minutes for February 9, 2022

B. Special Meeting Minutes for February 16, 2022

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. To participate in Open Forum, interested parties may submit written statements to: [email protected].

III. Superintendent’s Report

A. QPS Enrollment & COVID-19 Metrics

B. Quincy College Scholarships for Grade 12 Early College students

C. High School Robotics Update D. QPS Family Engagement:

  • Middle School STEM Fairs

  • High School Course Selection Nights, March 14 & 16

  • Quincy High School Drama Production

IV. Old Business:

A. Private School Application: Elements Academy (VOTE) - Superintendent Mulvey
Formerly Rising Tides Academy, requesting approval for expansion to middle & high school grades

B. School Committee Meeting Calendar for 2022-2023 - Mr. Bregoli
For discussion; eligible for vote on March 23, 2022

V. New Business:

A. Curriculum Update: Illustrative Math - Ms. Quinn

B. Bernazzani Elementary School Traffic Management - Mr. Santoro
for referral to the Facilities, Transportation & Security Subcommittee

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings (Coddington Building): Regular Meetings: March 23, 2022; April 13, 2022 at 6:30 pm

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (Coddington Building):

  • Joint Athletics & Wellness and Policy: March 14, 2022 at 6:00 pm

  • Teaching & Learning: March 21, 2022 at 6:00 pm

  • Special Education: March 30, 2022

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Teaching & Learning: Mrs. Lebo to report on the January 25 & 26 and February 7, 2022 meetings.

B. Quarterly Budget & Finance: Mayor Koch to report on the February 16, 2022 meeting.

C. Policy: Mr. Bregoli to report on the February 16, 2022 meeting.

IX. Executive Session: Contract Negotiations and Personnel Discussion

X. Adjournment:


Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – March 9, 2022

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at Historic City Hall. Superintendent Kevin Mulvey called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas P. Koch, School Committee Chair, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Tina Cahill, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mr. Frank Santoro, Vice Chair.

Also present were: Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Allison Cox, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Rebecca Foley, Ms. Julie Graham, Ms. Maura Healy, Ms. Christina McNeil, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Kimberly Quinn, Ms. Madeline Roy, and Mr. Keith Segalla.

School Committee Clerk Laura Owens was absent.

School Committee observed a moment of silence for armed services members at home and overseas.


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting and Executive Session for February 9, 2022. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Meeting for February 16, 2022. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

Community member Ms. Kathy Hogan spoke to School Committee about her proposal that the Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center be repurposed as a physics-based school when the Pre-Kindergarten students move to the new DeCristofaro Learning Center in a few years.


Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Mulvey updated School Committee that Quincy Public Schools enrollment is 9,852 for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, an increase of 15 students since the February 9 School Committee Meeting. Kindergarten Registration is continuing with 400+ students are pre-registered.

For COVID-19 statistics, there were 29 student and 8 staff cases in the two weeks ending March 8, a slight increase over the two weeks prior to February vacation. 2,520 staff and students are participating in pooled testing, 22% of the staff and students in the district and a 0.25% positivity rate. Current QPS vaccination rates range from 29% to 68% at elementary schools, 40% to 58% at the middle schools, and 67% at Quincy High School. North Quincy High School has reached 85% student vaccination. 2,146 staff and students are signed up to receive home testing kits every other week.

At the February 10, 2022 Early College High School Pathway Symposium, President DeCristofaro announced that Quincy College will offer current Grade 12 ECHS Pathway students (approximately 41) with a full tuition scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year at Quincy College. This scholarship will cover tuition, fees, and textbooks (up to 24 credits maximum). ECHS Pathway College Transition Coaches and Quincy College Team are currently assisting interested seniors through the application/registration process. We appreciate our partnership with Quincy College and thank them for their generosity and support.

Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification asked about credits if the students attend Quincy College for the first year and transfer elsewhere to complete their post-secondary education. Mr. Segalla confirmed that the credits would be transferrable to other institutions.

On Saturday, February 19th, the Quincy Public Schools FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team “fulLTilt” competed in its first in-person Robotics competition in over two years. The team won two of their five robot matches with the goal of moving different shaped objects onto self-balancing platforms. Congratulations to the dedicated and enthusiastic group of students: Fionn Gorham, Ruari Gorham, Emily Leong, Chrissy Nguyen, Dante Nguyen, Viet Phan, and Alp Yokus, Facilitator Mike Gendron, Coaches Don Long, Matt Brightman and Nathan Kwang. Many of these students are also on FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) Team HYPER with scheduled competitions in March and April. Both teams then host the QPS Robotics Challenge for elementary and middle school students at QHS on May 21 at Quincy High School.

For QPS Family Engagement, STEM Fairs will be held March 10 (Central, Point Webster & South~West); March 24 (Broad Meadows), and March 31 (Atlantic). High School Course Selection Nights are scheduled for March 14 (QHS) and March 15 (NQHS) at 6:30 pm. All Grade 8 students and families are invited to attend to learn more about the online course selection process underway for Fall 2022. Quincy High School Drama Presents: Return to the Forbidden Planet: A Science Fiction Musical Mash Up of Shakespeare's The Tempest with 1950s and 60s Rock & Roll!!! on March 11, 12, 18 & 19 at 7:30 pm in the Quincy High School Auditorium.

Superintendent Mulvey concluded his report by congratulating North Quincy High School student-athlete Orlagh Gormley for leading the Girls Basketball team to victory on Saturday night, scoring a city record 56 points in the win over Masconomet Regional High School. The team also won their game tonight, extending their undefeated season to 24 wins, and will advance to the next round of the MIAA tournament. It has been wonderful to see our students have the opportunity to compete with high schools from different parts of the state. A full update on the winter tournament action will be shared at the next Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee meeting.


Old Business

Private School Application (VOTE)

Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that the Rising Tides Academy was approved for Grades Pre-K through 4 in August 2020. Currently the school enrolls 25 students (9 from Quincy, 16 from other towns). An application to expand the school to include Grades 5-12 and operate under the name Elements Academy was submitted to School Committee in January.

Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that section of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 76, Section 1 defines School Committee responsibility for approval of the establishment of a private school. the criteria reviewed, and the recommendation to approve the expansion of the school without endorsement of the school program.

Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification the School Committee will have no further review of the school’s program and requested that the language of the motion reflect the approval is based on the data received prior to this meeting.

Mrs. Cahill asked for clarification, School Committee has no further oversight of the school beyond the approval. Superintendent Mulvey said only a substantial change of program would require further approval of School Committee. Superintendent Mulvey noted that there is a form to be submitted to the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education to document that the approval was received.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 private school Elements Academy based on the data received on March 9, 2022. The motion to approve the Elements Academy as a Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 private school operating in the City of Quincy is pursuant to the provisions of MGL Chapter 76, Section 1. Such approval is neither an evaluation of quality nor an endorsement of any particular school. The decision to enroll a student in or withdraw a student from a particular private school is one that parents or guardians must make. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


Old Business

2022-2023 School Committee Meeting Calendar

Mr. Bregoli reviewed that the 2022-2023 School Committee Meeting calendar is eligible for discussion after being reviewed in the Policy Subcommittee. This calendar will be eligible for vote at the March 23, 2022 School Committee meeting.


New Business

Curriculum Update: Illustrative Mathematics

Superintendent Mulvey introduced Mathematics Curriculum Team Administrator Kimberly Quinn and elementary school teachers Christina McNeil, Meghan Healy, and Rebecca Foley who presented on the implementation of the Illustrative Math program for Kindergarten through Grade 2. The program was selected after a period of piloting lessons from three different programs, a team of educators participated in the evaluation of the feedback from the pilot lessons. The Illustrative Math program was unanimously selected as it matches the district’s vision for Mathematics instruction, including centers, manipulatives, low floor/high ceiling activities, and synthesis (student-led discussion and strategies/solutions). The educators feel strongly positive about the developmental appropriateness and student engagement, but note the program is different from a traditional math program in that there are not workbook or homework pages. The program rollout is supported by training and peer to peer support among teachers. In the summer, there will be additional professional development opportunities and Grades 3-5 educators will begin the process of evaluating new Mathematics programs.

Mrs. Hubley asked if there are resources that can be shared with parents. Ms. Quinn said that there are online resources available and she’ll work with elementary principals to share this information.

Mr. Gutro said the program looks very engaging and asked how advanced students can be challenged in this program. Ms. McNeil said that students will all work on the same problems, but how they go about solving the problem will reflect the level of challenge and individual student needs can be addressed.

Mr. Gutro asked about data for improving student outcomes, Ms. Quinn said that there will be multiple measures including observations of student engagement and teacher surveys and ultimately on the MAP scores. Mr. Gutro asked if other local districts are using this program. Ms. Quinn said that she reached out to several other school districts, the program is fairly new, this is the first full school year available so no one has a full year of data available.

Mrs. Lebo complimented that the new program does not have worksheets or homework, supports less homework for the earlier grades. Mrs. Lebo asked that the data for this year’s MAP scores to be evaluated to ensure that there is no decline.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the role of the Math Interventionists (Title I schools only). Ms. Foley said that the math assessments are shared with the interventionists so data can be analyzed for student cohort and interventions planned where needed.

Mrs. Cahill asked how teachers explain the program concept to parents. Ms. Healy said that it is a hands-on program based on modeling with manipulatives, the students develop understanding of the concepts in enjoyable ways that build higher-order thinking skills.

Mrs. Cahill asked about assessments, each lesson and chapter has an assessment. Ms. Quinn reiterated that the assessments are short and developmentally appropriate.

Mrs. Hubley asked if there has been any pushback from families who would expect more traditional paper and pencil instruction for Mathematics. Ms. Quinn said that parents seem pleased with the student’s accomplishment, especially in terms of abstract thinking.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the style of instruction translating to the MAP assessment. Ms. MacNeil said this program is better suited because it gives students multiple strategies to approach an unfamiliar problem.


New Business

Referral to Policy Subcommittee

Mrs. Hubley made a friendly amendment that the motion to refer Bernazzani Elementary School Traffic Management to Traffic Management at all schools. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Additional Business

There was no Additional Business.



Mr. Santoro noted that School Committee Regular Meetings will be held on March 23, 2022 and April 13, 2022, all at 6:30 pm in the Coddington Building. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings include Teaching & Learning on March 21, 2022 and Special Education on March 30, 2022.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mr. Santoro noted that Subcommittee minutes are published on the School Committee page of the Quincy Public Schools website (

Mrs. Lebo reviewed the Teaching & Learning Subcommittees held on January 25, 2022; January 26, 2022; and February 7, 2022. Elementary and high school principals presented their School Improvement Plans. Mrs. Lebo noted that both high school principals were asked to work with their Student Government on designating high school representatives to School Committee.

Mayor Koch reviewed the Quarterly Budget & Finance Subcommittee meeting held on February 16, 2022. Director of Business James Mullaney presented a review of 2nd Quarter salaries and expenses, all lines have sufficient funding to meet the obligations for the fiscal year.

Mr. Bregoli reviewed the Policy Subcommittee meeting held on February 16, 2022. The 2022-2023 School Committee Meeting Calendar draft was approved as presented and moved to the full School Committee for consideration. The 2022-2023 School Year Calendar was reviewed and remains on the table for further consideration of adding Lunar New Year as a holiday.

As there were no changes requested, the minutes of the January 25, 2022; January 26, 2022; and February 7, 2022 Teaching & Learning Subcommittees; the February 16, 2022 Quarterly Budget & Finance Subcommittee; and the February 16, 2022 Policy Subcommittee were accepted as presented.


Executive Session

Mayor Koch made motion to go to Executive Session for the purpose of Contract Negotiations and Personnel Discussion at 8:00 pm, seconded by Mrs. Hubley. On a voice vote, the ayes have it. School Committee did not return to the Regular Meeting.



Since School Committee will not return from Executive Session, the Regular Meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.