Oct. 24, 2016 Teaching/Learning Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching and Learning Subcommittee
Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair
School/Program Improvement Plan Presentations
Monday, October 24, 2016, 5:00 pm
Coddington Building

Presentation Schedule:

  1. Quincy High School - Principal Larry Taglieri
    North Quincy High School - Principal Robert Shaw

  2. Career & Technical Education - Executive Director Keith Segalla

  3. English Language Learners Program - Director Beth Hallett


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, October 24, 2016

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on Monday, October 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mayor Thomas Koch, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Ms. Roberta DiTullio, Ms. Elizabeth Hallett, Ms. Rebecca McInnis, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Robert Shaw, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

North Quincy High School Principal Robert Shaw and Quincy High School Principal presented the two High School Improvement Plans, noting that both schools share the common goal of graduating students with strong skills in reading, writing, and problem solving. School-wide goals are emphasized across departments, all subject areas are part of growth in reading and writing. As with previous years, additional goals are focused on positive school culture and student wellness. New this year is the focus on diversity, recognizing and celebrating the multicultural representation at each school.

In reflecting on last year’s goals, Quincy High School has remained at Level 2, while North Quincy High School moved up to Level 1. Quincy High School did not meet targets to close achievement gaps for subgroups, while North Quincy High School did. Mr.Taglieri said that departmental goals are contributory to the school-wide goals and there is targeted professional development for each department.

Mrs. Lebo is concerned about Quincy High School’s Mathematics goal; a 1% increase in Average Percent Correct is not going to address the areas of concern where there were significant differences between the state performance and the school performance. Ms. Isola said that the interrelated work of the departments is good to see continued and would like to see more emphasis on speaking/oral presentation. As we go forward, would like to see a focus on this for middle and high school, teaching students to communicate effectively.

Mrs. Hubley requested that the areas of need be compiled for both schools and addressed at an upcoming Facilities & Security Subcommittee meeting for both high schools. Mrs. Hubley asked about the wireless network issues. Mr. Taglieri explained that the bandwidth issue is under review by City & School IT.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve both the North Quincy and Quincy High School Improvement Plans. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Dr. DeCristofaro suggested that the Quincy High School Mathematics goals issue be discussed at an upcoming Teaching & Learning Subcommittee meeting.

Executive Director of Career & Technical Education Mr. Keith Segalla presented the Career & Technical Education Program Improvement Plan and thanked School Committee for budget increases for materials and supplies for Technology, Construction, and Broadcasting and Visual Communication program expansion at North Quincy High School. In 2017-2018, Mr. Segalla hopes for further expansion to these programs and additional Engineering courses at North Quincy High School.

The Perkins Grant of $126,000 for equipment, curriculum materials, and professional development was awarded through DESE. Upcoming grant opportunities include the Massachusetts Skills for $68,000 for North Quincy High School in December. The Massachusetts Life Sciences grant is completed, $200,000 for additional middle school laptop carts was requested.

Mr. Segalla shared analysis of the Core Indicators; we have made gains over for students with disabilities, but still have gaps for non-traditional populations, as do CTE schools statewide. Mrs. Lebo emphasized that these are accountability points for CTE and would like to see these be part of PIP. For Competency Attainment, statistics were shared, along with opportunities that are available to earn extra credentials and certifications. Mrs. Lebo suggested PremierPro is one to look into for additional certification.

Mr. Segalla reviewed progress against last year’s goals: the first goal of demonstrated Speaking & Listening proficiency was reached; the second goal of coordinating on Mathematics goal was not reached and will be continued this year. The CTE Advisory Team goals are continuation goals and were reached for last year.

For 2016-2017, all Career & Technical Education goals are integrated with the High School SIP goals again. Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Career & Technical Education Department Chair Rebecca McInnis for her leadership at Quincy High School.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Career & Technical Education Program Improvement Plans. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Director of English Learner Education Programs Beth Hallett presented the English Learner Education Program Improvement Plan. Thanks to the School Committee Budget for FY2017, a new 0.5 position was added at Quincy High School, which is showing much growth in ELE. The EL program across Quincy Public Schools is continuing to grow, was up 100 students from the 2014-15 school year for 2015-2016. For this school year, new guidelines were released about EL Program instruction time, and new scheduling guidelines for the six levels of EL status.

In reflecting on last year’s goals, 77% of the 824 students tested under ACCESS for ELLs increased their individual Reading scores, 7% higher than goal level of 70%. Ms. Hallett noted that with the new online test format, higher scores across the state were seen. Online ACCESS implementation was very successful, all schools tested at least one grade online within the test window. There was a very strong collaboration between IT and Principals to make this a successful initiative. Last year, EL Administrators were planning and implementing DESE’s latest programmatic changes. The Central Registration team implemented Aspen pre-registration process in collaboration with the school secretaries and also piloted the ELL Student Information Collection tool designed by the High Needs ELL Team. Feedback will be integrated and the implementation will be ongoing this year.

In reviewing MCAS data, there is a mix of growth and decreases across the grade levels for ELA and Mathematics. For Science, ELL students showed growth in all tested grades. For Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs), for the first time ever, QPS has attained positive status on all three categories.

For 2016-2017, the EL Elementary/Middle and Middle/High School vertical teams will focus on Writing, looking for 70% of all ELs increasing their individual Writing scores on the 2017 ACCESS for ELLs assessment by 0.5. For Online ACCESS testing, the goal is to expand to all grade levels at all schools. Some schools will continue with written tests for the younger grades. The EL Administrative team will focus on planning and implementing the most recent guidelines related to monitoring FLE students.

The EL High Needs Team is split into two cohorts: (1) Lincoln Hancock, Parker, Wollaston, Marshall, Montclair and (2) Atherton Hough, Beechwood Knoll, Bernazzani, Lincoln Hancock, Merrymount, Snug Harbor, and Squantum. Cohort 1 will be researching RTI practices for ELs and reviewing QPS’s RTI process with regard to high needs EL students and how to provide appropriate assessment and intervention. Cohort 2 will pilot the ELL Student Information Forms and begin process of assessing students through ILTs.

Mrs. Lebo appreciates the specificity of the teams goals. Mrs. Lebo asked how many students opt out of EL support. Ms. Hallett said less than 10 students, this is not common. EL teacher, principal, guidance meet with parents to evaluate the evidence of students ability and fully inform families. Students are still required to take ACCESS and the request must be renewed annually. Monitored students are assessed three times per year and parents informed of any concerns.

Mr. Bregoli asked about high school students who come in as Level 1 fluency and academically present in a lower grade, but are older. Ms. Hallett said that EL classes are mixed, students can be in any high school grade. Oftentimes, older students choose to enroll in adult education. We have very good retention rates, low dropout rates for this population. Ms. Hallett said these are small classes, and we haven’t had issues related to the age range in classes.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve both the English Language Education Program Improvement Plans. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:00 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.