Nov. 13, 2019 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 6:30 pm

Coddington Building

I. Approval of Minutes:

Regular Meeting Minutes for October 30, 2019

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.

III. Superintendent’s Report:

A. Inspire Quincy
B. Superintendent’s Annual Plan 2019-2020
C. Senior Prom Overnight Events Donation
D. DESE Commissioner Riley Visit to Central Middle School, November 14
E. Parent Academies: Digital Literacy: November 18
F. Fall Institute
G. QPS Website Update
H. Snow Shoveling Initiative
I. Quincy School~Community Partnership Event: ‘Tis the Season, December 4
J. New School Committee Member Orientation
K. QPS Robotics Event

IV. Old Business:

A. Update for School Committee Policy 10.8.5 Tobacco and Smoke Free Schools Policy (Vote) - Mr. Bregoli
B. School Year Calendar 2020-2021 (Vote) - Mr. Bregoli
C. MASC Conference Resolutions (Post-Conference Update) - Mrs. Hubley
D. Learning Center Building Acquisition (Vote) - Mayor Koch

V. New Business:

A. CVTE Program Improvement Plan - Mr. Keith Segalla
B. Literacy Program Improvement Plan - Ms. Vaughan
C. Establishing an Ad Hoc Committee to Develop Leadership Profile for Superintendent of Schools - Mrs. Lebo
D. School Committee Meeting Calendar 2020-2021 for referral to Policy Subcommittee - Mr. Bregoli
E. Resolution on High School Conferences - Mr. Gutro
Be it resolved that the School Committee requests an update on timing and frequency of parent conferences.
F. Resolution on Establishing Parent Advisory Committee - Mr. Andronico, Mr. Gutro, Mrs. Lebo
Be it resolved that the School Committee requests the Superintendent to establish a parent advisory group to provide input into the Learning Center program and building design.
G. Out of State Travel (Overnight): Central Middle School Grade 8 to Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania from June 2 to 4, 2020.

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: December 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm at the
Coddington Building. (Please note the location change.)
B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (at the Coddington Building):
Teaching & Learning: Tuesday, November 19; Wednesday, November 20;
Monday, November 25 all beginning at 6:00 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Facilities, Transportation & Security: Mr. DeAmicis to report on the October 23,
2019 meeting.
B. Teaching & Learning: Mrs. Lebo to report on the November 12, 2019 meeting.

IX. Executive Session:


X. Adjournment:


Quincy, Massachusetts – November 13, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

A regular meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at the Coddington Building at 6:30 p.m. Superintendent DeCristofaro called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. James DeAmicis, Mr. Douglas Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Ms. Marianne Collins, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Jesseca Flaherty, Ms. Marisa Forrester, Mr. John Green, Ms. Rebecca McInnis, Ms. Catherine McLaughlin, Ms. Courtney Mitchell, Mr. James Mullaney, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; Citywide Parent Council President Scott Alessandro; and Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education President Cassandra Beck.


There was a moment of silence for the men and women serving in the armed forces at home and overseas.

Mrs. Lebo read the following statement into the record: Pursuant to the Open Meeting Law, any person may make an audio or video recording of this public meeting or may transmit the meeting through any medium. Attendees are therefore advised that such recordings or transmissions are being made whether perceived or unperceived by those present and are deemed acknowledged and permissible.


Regular Meeting Minutes Approved 10.30.2019

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 30, 2019 Regular Meeting. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the. ayes have it.


Open Forum

As no one wished to speak at Open Forum, School Committee moved to the next item on the agenda.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. DeCristofaro opened the Superintendent’s Report by congratulating Mr. Bregoli and Mrs. Hubley on their re-election to School Committee. Mr. Frank Santoro was elected as well and Dr. DeCristofaro will contact him about scheduling a School Committee Orientation meeting.

A draft of the Superintendent’s Annual Plan for 2019-2020 was shared with School Committee. Mrs. Lebo noted that the Student Learning Goal will be focused around improving achievement for middle school Science on the MCAS Assessments. Under the Initiatives goal, there are a number of Initiatives added by members of School Committee through their goal setting.

Dr. DeCristofaro announced that Mayor Koch has donated $15,000.00 each to both the North Quincy High School Senior Stay Out and Quincy High School Senior Night Out events, the all night after-prom parties organized by parent volunteers each year.

Department of Elementary & Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley will be visiting Central Middle School on Thursday, November 14 to speak with staff and students.

Upcoming Quincy Public Schools events include the Digital Literacy Parent Academy on November 18; the Fall Institute which continues through this Saturday, November 16, with over 160 students participating at all elementary schools; the Grade 5 Science Showcases being held at each school in late November and early December; Tis the Season on Wednesday, December 4, sponsored by Mayor Koch and fifteen School Community Business Partners. On Thursday, December 5, the Girl Rising Summit will be held at the Tirrell Room with high school mentors working with 10 students from each middle school.

The new Quincy Public Schools Website development is continuing and on schedule for a January 2020 launch. Mr. Andronico announced that the new website will be shared with School Committee and the public at an upcoming meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 10 at 6:30 pm.

Ward 2 City Councillor Brad Croall and Mr. Andronico have been collaborating on a “Senior to Senior” Pilot Initiative where students from Quincy High School will assist senior citizens in the Quincy Point neighborhood with snow shoveling on no school days. Mrs. Lebo cautioned that there are safety concerns involved with this idea and requested to be updated on this initiative as the winter progresses.

The Robotics team has received a grant from Colonial Systems and Office Partners in memory of Luc Theberge to create First Tech Challenge teams at NQHS and QHS for Grades 9 and 10 students to participate in Robotics at an entry level. Thirty QHS and NQHS students will be visiting Gillette in Boston to learn about career paths. The middle school Robotics challenge will be Saturday, December 6.

The Homework Initiative will meet again this Friday, November 15 at 11:30 am to continue working on the revision of the Homework Guide and suggestions for revision to the School Committee Homework Policy.

On Tuesday, November 12, over 200 elementary school teachers participated in citywide Professional Development on a variety of topics organized by the Principals and Superintendent’s Leadership Team members.


New Business (Agenda Out of Order)

CVTE Program Improvement Plan

Mrs. Lebo moved to take the agenda out of order and moved to New Business, Item A.

Executive Director of Career Vocational Technical Education Keith Segalla, QHS CVTE Department Chair Rebecca McInnis, and NQHS CVTE Department Chair Marianne Collins presented the Career Vocational & Technical Education Program Improvement Plan. Due in part to the growth in CVTE program opportunities at North Quincy High School, the enrollment in CVTE programs continues to rise. Graduating students receive a Certificate of Proficiency and many earn professional certificates specific to their fields of study. Job shadowing, internships, and paid positions are also important components of the CVTE program. QATV staff members Jonathan Caliri and Mark Crosby updated on the student internships available to QHS students. QHS student Salwa Shuman spoke on her experience interning at QATV. NQHS student Samaya Jabbar spoke about her experiences with Project Lead the Way Engineering & Technology.

Goals for 2019-2020 include continued focus on Financial Literacy Skills with the expansion of the Credit for Life Fair and integration of mathematics wherever possible into the CVTE curriculum. A new goal for 2019-2020 is preparing for the DESE Coordinated Program Review which will take place in April 2021. The CVTE Advisory Teams will continue to provide relevant lessons and in-person opportunities for students to participate in work experiences, in addition to reviewing curriculum and materials and providing guidance to the CVTE staff.

Mayor Koch arrived at 7:15 pm.

Mr. Bregoli complimented the student presentations and requested the expansion of the internship opportunities to NQHS students. Mr. Segalla said planning is underway with QATV to do this.

Mr. Andronico requested clarification on the Culture/Diversity benchmark in the 2018-2019 goal and this was completed.

Mrs. Lebo complimented Mr. Segalla and the student presenters, noting that the CVTE program will be well prepared for the Coordinated Program review.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Career Vocational Technical Education Program Improvement Plan. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Literacy Program Improvement Plan

Coordinator of English Language Arts programs Bridget Vaughan and Literacy Teacher Catherine McLaughlin presented the Literacy Program Improvement Plan. The Literacy program was developed to identify and support students who struggle to acquire foundational literacy skills. Students are identified by the Integrated Learning Teams at their schools based on assessment results and overall reading performance. Literacy teachers provide intervention, utilizing scientifically-based, researched and reviewed interventions for struggling readers in Kindergarten through Grade 3. Literacy operates on a three-tier model, with Tier 1 students receiving instruction at grade level in the general education classroom setting; Tier 2 students receiving some supplemental instruction in the general education classroom setting; and Tier 3 student presenting at risk for low reading achievement and requiring intensive instruction in reading interventions designed to accelerate student growth. Literacy Interventions are in the areas of Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension, with a number of different curriculum supports for each area.

In reflecting on 2018-2019 goals, the goal of reducing the number of students requiring Tier 3 interventions was exceeded; the goal to increase the RIT scores was exceeded; and the goal of supporting effective use of the MAP reports was accomplished through creating a MAP Resources Tool Kit for each school.

For 2019-2020, the goals are (1) early literacy students will improve their phonemic awareness and phonics skills as evidenced by an overall decrease in the number of tier 3 students. This will be measured by a decrease of 5% for Kindergarten students in Letter Naming Fluency, 10% for Grade 1 students in Nonsense Word-Correct Letter Sounds and 5% for Grade 2 students in Oral Reading Fluency-Words Correct as indicated by the DIBELS Next measures; (2) the Literacy Team will support the district goal in the area of reading comprehension through the implementation of guided reading and small group close reading strategies, as evidenced by an increase of 15 points on the RIT scale for Grade 2 and 10 RIT points for Grade 3 as indicated by the district student growth summary results on the MAP Growth Reading assessments; and (3) to support the needs of the most concerning students, the Literacy Team will increase Lexia Core 5 usage by providing support, communication, and monitoring of usage.

Professional Development for Literacy staff will include continued Orton Gillingham training, Close Reading and Writing, NWEA MAP Updates and MAP Fluency Pilot.

Mr. Andronico asked for clarification on the Kindergarten data from 2018-2019, Ms. McLaughlin said that the Core Subtests for DIBELS Next Assessments for Kindergarten are different skills for Fall (Letter Recognition) and Winter (Nonsense Word Fluency) so this is a typical decline in scores between Fall and Winter at this grade level.

Mr. Gutro said the results were impressive for Tier 3 students and asked for clarification in the increase in Tier 1 and 2. Ms. McLaughlin explained that Tier 3 students move into Tier 1 and 2 so the increases are indicative of a decrease in Tier 3.

Mrs. Lebo agreed that the results are impressive and that increased Literacy skills will assist with achievement goals for these students in later years.

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

Dr. DeCristofaro said the Literacy Team is very dedicated and highly participatory, these are ambitious goals.


Old Business

School Committee Policy 10.8.5 Tobacco and Smoke Free Schools (Vote)

Mrs. Lebo moved to return to the original order of the Agenda.

Mr. Bregoli reminded School Committee that the revised Policy reflects the most recent law and reviewed the definition of the tobacco products.

Mr. Gutro thanked Mr. Mulvey for his work in developing the revised Policy, reflecting the current concerns around these newer technologies.

Mr. Gutro made a motion to adopt the proposed revision to School Committee Policy 10.8.5 Tobacco and Smoke Free Schools Policy as presented. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.

Mrs. Lebo thanked Mr. Mulvey and our local legislators for their leadership in creating the revised state law.


Old Business

2020-2021 School Year Calendar (Vote)

Mr. Bregoli reviewed that this calendar reflects the traditional start of the school year after Labor Day.

Mr. DeAmicis made a motion to adopt the 2020-2021 School Year Calendar as presented. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.

On the motion, Ms. Owens noted that several comments from parents were received via email and were shared with School Committee. Mrs. Hubley noted that she had requested information on Good Friday observation, Ms. Owens found that local towns such as Milton, Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham are still observing this day. The Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) Clerks email group was split between towns observing Good Friday and those who no longer observe religious holidays.

Mr. Andronico noted that the last time parents were surveyed about the School Year Calendar was 2015 and made a motion survey parents on this topic in January 2020. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


Old Business

MASC Conference Resolutions

Mrs. Hubley reviewed the Resolutions voted on at the Massachusetts Association of School Committees General Meeting on November 8, 2019. All of the resolutions were approved and most were passed with no discussion, with the exception of Resolution 2 Pertaining to Educator Diversity and Professional Licensure.

Keynote Speaker Dr. Derek Gay spoke on diversity and inclusion and Mrs. Hubley recommended his TED Talks.


Old Business

Proposed Special Education Learning Center Building (Vote)

Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed that the November 6 Parent Forum was very well attended, with over 80 parents and staff members present. In collaborating with Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Special Education Director Erin Perkins, Wessling Architects, and the Public Buildings Commissioner Paul Hines over the program planning, building design, and construction, a revised timeline is projecting a January 2021 completion for the Learning Center. Dr. DeCristofaro noted that the completed building will allow for a gradual transition for students and parent involvement and one idea would allow for Summer 2021 programming and students to transition into the new school year.

Mayor Koch said the timetable for the building purchase will not change. City Council will review the purchase in Finance Subcommittee on Monday, November 18.

Mayor Koch made a motion to support the acquisition of two parcels of land commonly known as 178 Old Colony Avenue (1.86 Acres more or less) and 179 Old Colony Avenue (0.52 Acres more or less) in accordance with the provisions of Section 34 of the Municipal Charter of the city of Quincy, for purposes of the future development of a center for special education learning; the parcels being known more particularly as: 178 Old Colony PARCEL NOS 5082-15-B; 5082-8-B; 5082-9-C1 and 179 Old Colony PARCEL NOS 5082-16-D1; 5082-10-D1. All as depicted on the Plan dated October 30, 2019 attached hereto.

Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion

On the motion, Mr. Gutro asked for clarification that this vote is requested to support the bond and Mayor Koch confirmed this.

Mr. Gutro thanked Dr. DeCristofaro, Quincy Parent Advisory Council for Special Education President Cassandra Beck, and Citywide Parent Council President Scott Alessandro for organizing the Parent Forum. Mr. Gutro has generated a number of questions to be answered as the project develops but noted that the analysis is incomplete and noted that the request is to support the building acquisition without the program definition.

On a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


New Business

Establishing an Ad Hoc Committee to Develop Superintendent Position Description

Mrs. Lebo reviewed that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has developed a new rubric for Superintendent Evaluation released in July 2019. The current Quincy Public Schools Superintendent position description is nineteen years old and is not reflective of Dr. DeCristofaro’s expertise nor the School Committee’s expectations. An Ad Hoc Committee to develop an updated position description will be chaired by Mr. Andronico and the members are Mrs. Lebo and Mr. Bregoli.


New Business

School Committee Meeting Calendar for 2020-2021

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to move the 2020-2021 School Committee Calendar to the Policy Subcommittee. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Parent Conferences

Mr. Gutro made a motion be it resolved that School Committee requests an update on the timing and frequency of parent conferences.

Mrs. Lebo suggested this item move to Teaching & Learning Subcommittee.

Mr. Bregoli asked if this is about all school levels, Mr. Gutro confirmed.

Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Parent Advisory Committee

Mr. Gutro presented a motion to request the Superintendent to establish a parent advisory group to provide input into the Learning Center program and building design.

On the motion, Mrs. Lebo said that by statute, there is already a Parent Advisory Council to Special Education, this would be an item for that group to take on with the Superintendent and for School Committee to support.

Mr. Andronico seconded the motion.

Mayor Koch said this would happen anyway based on the way the Superintendent and the Leadership Team collaborate with parents on many issues.

On the motion, Mrs. Hubley would like to make a friendly amendment that the parent advisory group consist of Special Education parents and educators.

Mrs. Lebo said that the law is explicit about who should participate in the Parent Advisory Council to Special Education, so the amendment isn’t needed.

Mr. Andronico said the intent of the motion is to formalize the process, not to exclude anyone’s participation or to imply that the Superintendent or Special Education team wasn’t planning to do this anyway. The motion supports the parent involvement and expanded effort that will be needed for this project.

Mrs. Lebo suggested a friendly amendment to fully support the Parent Advisory Council to Special Education in expanding their work on the Old Colony Avenue project initiative.

Mr. Gutro will defer to Mrs. Lebo on the best wording of this to express School Committee’s support for parent involvement in the project development.

Mrs. Hubley feels strongly that these are Special Education parents and educators directly impacted by the programming. Mrs. Lebo said that is required by the law.

Mr. DeAmicis seconded the amendment. On a roll call vote for the amended motion, the ayes have it 7-0.

Mrs. Lebo presented the reworded motion that The Quincy School Committee will fully support the Quincy Parent Advisory Committee to Special Education as they plan and evaluate for the program at 180 Old Colony Avenue. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it 7-0.


New Business

Out of State Travel (Overnight)

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel of Central Middle School Grade 8 to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from June 2 to 4, 2020. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Additional Business

There were no other items for Additional Business



Upcoming School Committee meetings will be held on December 11, 2019 at the Coddington Building at 6:30 pm.

Upcoming Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meetings for School Improvement Plan presentations will be held on November 19 and 20, 2019 (Elementary SIPs) and November 25, 2019 (Middle School SIPs). All Subcommittee meetings will begin at 6:00 pm.


Reports of Subcommittees

All School Committee and Subcommittee meeting minutes are posted online at

Facilities, Transportation & Security

Mr. DeAmicis reviewed the Facilities, Transportation & Security Subcommittee Meeting from October 23, 2019. Public Buildings Commissioner Paul Hines gave an overview of projects included in the recently approved Capital Improvement Plan.

Teaching & Learning

Mrs. Lebo reviewed the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting held on November 12, 2019, where the Quincy High School and North Quincy High School and Early Childhood Program Improvement Plans was presented. There was also a discussion about the Superintendent’s Evaluation process, School Committee members will complete their evaluations by Wednesday, December 4.

Mrs. Hubley noted that she had requested additional information about NQHS classes with 28-30 students, this was missing from the meeting minutes.

The minutes of the October 23, 2019 Facilities, Transportation & Security were accepted as presented and the minutes of the November 12, 2019 Teaching & Learning Subcommittees were accepted as amended.


Mayor Koch said the Combined High School Marching Band was the highlight of the Veterans Day parade this past Monday. Mrs. Lebo agreed, noting that the Select High School Choir’s performance at the South~West Middle School dedication was also impressive.


Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.



Mayor Koch made a motion to adjourn for the evening at 8:45 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.