Oct. 23, 2019 Policy Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Policy Subcommittee

**This meeting is a Committee of the Whole**
Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair
Mr. Anthony Andronico & Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Subcommittee Members
Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 6:15 pm
Coddington Building 

  1. Technology & Training -  Mr. Keith Segalla

    • Program Improvement Plan

  2. Proposed Revisions to Policy Book - Mr. Bregoli

    • Section 10.8.5 Smoking by Students

  3. 2020-2021 School Year Calendar - Mr. Bregoli


Quincy School Committee

Policy Subcommittee Meeting ~ Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A meeting of the Policy Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 7:15 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. James DeAmicis, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mr. Paul Bregoli, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Robert Cavallo, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Executive Director of Information Technology Keith Segalla and Data Systems Coordinator Bob Cavallo presented the Technology & Training Program Improvement Plan. Mr. Segalla presented the goals for 2019-2020: (1) To improve home-to-school communications by researching, redesigning, and implementing a new Quincy Public Schools website by February 2020; (2) To continue to design, develop, and implement Quincy Public Schools Technology & Training Improvement Plan by June 2020; (3) To continue to support the implementation of computer-based online assessments by June 2020; (4) To continue to provide and support a variety of technology planning and training opportunities for QPS staff, students, and parents by June 2020; (5) To continue to identify and increase funding opportunities (grants and partnerships) for digital learning initiatives by June 2020.

Mr. Segalla and Mr. Cavallo reviewed the Technology expenditures for hardware and software (curriculum; assessment; student support, health, and library services). Replacement computer labs were installed at Wollaston and Clifford Marshall, replacement short-throw projectors for Merrymount, Atlantic, QHS, and NQHS; replacement staff computers in 52 classrooms and Widows 10 license upgrades. Updated ratios of students to computers were shared, showing 1:1 ratio at all schools except certain grades at Atlantic and Quincy High School. 833 desktops and laptops are 1-3 years old; 1611 are 4-7 years old; and 1074 are 8 or more years old.

Mrs. Lebo asked about Curriculum Maps; Mr. Segalla said that high school Curriculum Maps are available in Aspen. Mrs. Lebo asked for a demonstration of these at an upcoming Teaching & Learning meeting and asked for the Technology budget detail to be presented to School Committee.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the Acceptable Use Policy. Mr. Segalla said it has not been updated since 2013, so the Superintendent’s Leadership Team and Principals will be collaborating with the Technology & Training Team to create a suggested revision to share with School Committee.

Mr. Gutro thanked Mr. Andronico for his leadership in advocating for the new Quincy Public Schools website. Mr. Gutro requested that School Committee see a presentation on the preliminary architecture of the website and a pre-launch presentation. Mr. Andronico said that many Massachusetts school districts are working with School Messenger and their active support is a very attractive feature.

Mr. Gutro asked about the intersection of the Technology & Training Team and the Digital Literacy Teams. Ms. Roy said that Mr. Segalla is also a member of the Elementary and Middle/High School Digital Literacy teams, so is part of the discussions about training needs and new applications to explore/acquire.

Mr. Gutro asked about a Technology wish list, would like to see items that would be outside the Budget that might be part of a subsequent Capital Improvement Plan.

Mrs. Lebo asked for the Goal 5B to amended to include Budget presentation to School Committee.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Technology & Training Program Improvement Plan as amended. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Bregoli introduced the proposed revision to School Committee Policy Section 10.8.5 Smoking By Students. As requested by the Committee, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey drafted a revision to the Policy to reflect the most current law that was enacted in 2018 and the guidelines provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Mr. Mulvey asked School Committee to consider especially the section on discipline which is very specific or to use the current language. Both students and adults (staff and visitors) are covered under the new Policy; the Student Handbook was already updated district-wide to reflect vaping as a tobacco product.

Mrs. Hubley asked if the language needs to be more inclusive of JUULs, pods, etc. Mr. Mulvey said that the language of the law is broad enough to cover all the different kinds of products currently available. Future developments in this product technology may require a subsequent Policy amendment.

Mr. Gutro asked about the discipline recommendation, Mr. Mulvey said the proposed language matches DESE recommendations. Mr. Gutro asked about verbal vs. written warning, Mr. Mulvey said warnings would be in writing.

Mr. Bregoli is comfortable with the proposed language, students need to know that this is something that the school system takes seriously.

Mr. Gutro noted that the Policy is for both students and adults, but there are no defined consequences for anyone beyond students. Mr. Mulvey said that a specific staff discipline policy in regards to this could require impact bargaining with each staff union. All staff members are subject to the progressive discipline policy specified in their contract.

Mrs. Lebo asked Ms. Papile about student interventions, these are prescribed for each offense.

Mr. Andronico made a motion to move updated School Committee Policy 10.8.5 to School Committee for discussion. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion.

On the motion, Mr. Bregoli asked if a verbal warning is enough for a first offense. Mr. Andronico said that offering the counseling services is an important component and is comfortable with this approach.

On a voice vote, the ayes have it. This item will appear for discussion on October 30, 2019 School Committee Meeting Agenda and be eligible for vote at the November 13, 2019 School Committee Meeting.

The last item on the agenda is the 2020-2021 School Year Calendar. Labor Day is September 7, 2020 and Mr. Bregoli suggested beginning school prior to Labor Day in case of a winter with a lot of snow day cancellations. Ms. Cox and Mr. Mulvey were both asked for input, there could be an impact that would need to be bargained for the Quincy Education Associates and the other nine school-based unions.

Mrs. Hubley asked parents their opinion informally via social media, the majority of parents prefer to begin school after Labor Day. Several parents pointed out that high school Athletics begin the week prior to the start of school, cutting further into family vacations.

Mr. Gutro asked about how this item was referred to Policy Subcommittee if it is not something most members agree with. Mr. Bregoli referred at the Organizational Meeting in September 2018 as a limited change to address the late Labor Day which occurs every five years.

Mrs. Lebo is not in support of the change.

Mr. Gutro asked about surveying parents, this was done in 2015 and 58% of parents preferred to keep the traditional start date after Labor Day.

Dr. DeCristofaro said with all due respect to Mr. Bregoli and his concerns, he would like to continue with the traditional start for school being the Wednesday after Labor Day.

Mrs. Lebo asked to consider changing the early release days from Tuesday to Friday. Mrs. Hubley said she has also heard this from parents. Dr. DeCristofaro and Ms. Cox said that would have to be bargained as the QEA contract specifies Tuesdays.

Mr. Bregoli said there was also previous discussion about having one vacation week in March and eliminating February and April vacations.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to move the Draft 2020-2021 School Year Calendar with the traditional start after Labor Day to School Committee. The motion was seconded by Mr. Andronico and on a voice vote, the ayes have it. This item will appear for discussion on October 30, 2019 School Committee Meeting Agenda and be eligible for vote at the November 13, 2019 School Committee Meeting.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the Policy Subcommittee meeting at 8:15 pm. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.