March 29, 2021 Joint EDI/Facilities Meeting


Quincy School Committee

Joint Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Facilities, Security & Transportation Subcommittees

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 live on QATV Channel 22 or at The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS website on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Mr. Frank Santoro, Chair (both Subcommittees)
Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Ms. Courtney Perdios, Subcommittee Members

This meeting is a Subcommittee of the Whole.

Monday, March 29, 2021, 5:30 pm
School Committee Room, Coddington Building

  1. Grade 5 at Point Webster and South~West Middle Schools - Superintendent Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Perkins


Quincy School Committee

Joint Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Facilities, Security & Tranportation Subcommittees Meeting ~ Monday, March 29, 2021

A joint meeting of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Facilities, Security & Transportation Subcommittees was held on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 5:30 pm in the School Committee Room of the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Courtney Perdios, and Mr. Frank Santoro, Subcommittees Chair (both). Also present were Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Subcommittees Chair Frank Santoro introduced the topic on the agenda, Grade 5 students at Point Webster and South~West Middle Schools. Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that the topic was introduced by Mrs. Lebo as an equity issue and a number of questions were submitted for research. Assistant Superintendent Perkins reviewed that the original decision to move from the junior high school to the middle school model was made in 1982 in response to Proposition 2 ½ and the reorganization around elementary school closures. At that time, Grade 9 moved to the high schools and Grade 6 moved to middle schools throughout Quincy.

Another question was around Title I funding, which for the four elementary schools (Lincoln Hancock, Clifford Marshall, Parker, Snug Harbor) is directed to Grades 1-3. In addition, there is funding for after-school programming and this is shared with Point Webster and South~West for Grade 5 students.

Another question was around Walk to Read and Walk to Math, this is unique to Lincoln Hancock who currently utilizes this instructional model through Grade 2.

For the cost of meals, there is a difference between elementary and middle school meal costs (middle school is $0.50 higher). For this school year, meals are free for all of our students in all buildings. For the last few years, Clifford Marshall and Lincoln Hancock were designated as CEP schools, so meals are free for all students. Point Webster and South~West will also have CEP status beginning in September 2021. All Grade 5 students have a snack time including at Point Webster and South~West. Mrs. Lebo clarified that the question was about the type of snacks students have access to in the cafeteria, these are different in the middle school cafeterias. These are separate items for purchase, Mrs. Lebo has heard from several parents concerned about this.

For early release days, the Grade 5 students at Point Webster and South~West in previous years observed the middle school calendar of two early release days per month. For this school year and moving forward, the Grade 5 students are following the elementary early release schedule.

In terms of scheduling, the Grade 5 students at Point Webster and South~West have two or three teachers for their core curriculum classes (ELA, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies) and this is the same for Grade 5 students located at elementary schools. Specialists may push into classrooms

In terms of interaction with older students, students at South~West have their own entrance, bathrooms, and lunch/recess period. Grade 5 students are the oldest students on the school bus as QPS does not transport students in grades 6 and above. At Point Webster, Grades 5 and 6 enter through the same door, but lunch and recess are separate. Grade 5 students can participate in after school programs that are multi-grade.

In terms of outside space, South~West has access to Kincaide Field and a fenced in turf field on the school grounds. Point Webster has no play area currently. With Mayor Koch’s support, Superintendent Mulvey met with Public Buildings Commissioner Paul Hines on beginning the process of improvements to the Point Webster grounds, including creating play areas and revamping the parking lot.

Mrs. Lebo asked about Community Preservation Funding, there is a preliminary grant of $20,000 for planning and design.

Ms. Perkins reviewed social-emotional issues, vaping is not typically an issue for this grade. The biggest issue relates to appropriate use of social media. The Grade 5 students at Point Webster and South~West are part of the school community, participate in spirit week.

Mrs. Perdios said that these areas of the city are affected disproportionately economically, more difficult to quantify. Her long-term goal is for all Grade 5 students to be in an elementary school environment. Mrs. Perdios is concerned about exposure to more mature issues, such as recent edible marijuana incident. Students interact outside of the school and in terms of the outside facilities, neither school has play structures available for the Grade 5 students. The transition to middle school being a year earlier causes anxiety for students and families. Students in the APC program have an additional transition, one for Grade 5 and another for Grade 6 at Central.

Mrs. Lebo said that there have been some gains towards making the situation more equitable, but there are larger facilities issues that need Mayor Koch to address. Mrs. Lebo asked if phone usage and social media issues are a problem at the elementary school Grade 5. Ms. Perkins will follow up.

Mr. Gutro agreed with Mrs. Lebo that this is an inequity, asked for clarification that the move was space-driven. Ms. Perkins confirmed that in 2000, the decision to move Grade 5 from Clifford Marshall to Point Webster was due to space considerations. The decision to move Grade 5 students from Lincoln Hancock to Sterling in 2009 was due to the need to move Special Education students from the CDC building to the Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center. Lincoln Hancock’s Kindergarten students were housed at Della Chiesa and moved to Lincoln Hancock so the Grade 5 students moved to Sterling.

Mrs. Perdios made a motion to request a feasibility study of options to move Grade 5 back to Lincoln Hancock and Clifford Marshall. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion.

On the motion, Mr. Gutro suggested a menu of options and the costs and implications related to each.

Mrs. Lebo said that there may not be a solution, but it is important that School Committee look at the options.

Mr. Santoro asked how many students at the Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center would be moving to the DeCristofaro Learning Center when it is completed in two years. Ms. Perkins said all of the students would be moving. Ms. Owens said there are currently 225 students enrolled at Della Chiesa but they do not all attend school full time. Ms. Perkins said that there are typically around 100 Grade 5 students each at Point Webster and South~West.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification that this request is for a feasibility study to be completed before the end of the school year.

On a vote of the Facilities, Security & Transportation and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee members, the ayes have it, 5-0. (Mrs. Hubley is not a member of either Subcommittee.)

Mrs. Hubley asked for clarification on the Title I funding being used for after school programming. Ms. Perkins confirmed that the funding is also allocated to South~West and Point Webster Grade 5 students.

Mrs. Perdios thanked Point Webster Principal Christine Barrett and South~West Principal John Franceschini for all of their efforts on behalf of their Grade 5 students.

Mr. Santoro asked for clarification, Superintendent Mulvey suggested that the report be presented to the Joint Subcommittees at a future meeting before being moved to the full School Committee

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the Joint Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Facilities, Security & Transportation Subcommittee meeting at 6:10 pm. Mrs. Perdios seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.