Feb. 27, 2019 Teaching/Learning Sub. Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee

Mrs. Emily Lebo, Chair
Mr. Doug Gutro & Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Subcommittee Members

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Coddington Building

  • STEM Updates - Ms. Roy, Mr. Smith, Mr. Segalla

    • Project Lead the Way Curriculum Unit: Design and Modeling

    • Project Lead the Way Introduction to Engineering Design Course

    • New: Science NWEA MAP Testing

  • Grade 5 Elementary Advanced Program Update - Ms. Perkins, Ms. Deaguero


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting -February 27, 2019

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 6:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Sarah Anderson, Ms. Casey Deaguero, Dr. Elizabeth Hallett, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Edward Smith, and Ms. Allison Cox, President of the Quincy Education Association.

Mrs. Lebo called the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting to order at 6:00 pm.

Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy, Executive Director Keith Segalla, and Curriculum Team Administrator Edward Smith presented a series of STEM updates. Ms. Roy reviewed the use of the NWEA MAP benchmark testing to assess growth in Science in Grades 4, 5, 6, and 7. The assessment covers the domains of life sciences, earth and space sciences, and physical sciences. Using this real-time data will allow teachers to inform and adjust classroom instruction and individualize instruction as needed using site-based in-class and beyond the bell interventions. As for English Language Arts and Mathematics, the Science MAP is administered three times over the course of the school year to each student. Professional development will be provided to staff for understanding data reports and content-area specifics indicated through the data at a district level.

Mrs. Lebo asked whether Grades 4 and 5 have Science focus teachers and Ms. Perkins said all elementary schools have Science focus teachers and some may also teach Math or Social Studies as well. Ms. Perkins said some of the teachers are already familiar with MAP data reports from teaching in other curriculum areas. Mrs. Lebo asked about after school activities, as all students may not be able participate. Ms. Roy said that curriculum areas of need will be addressed on during the school day.

The Project Lead the Way grant funding has provided opportunities for increasing student access to technology, teacher training, and building a foundation for students in middle school. $150,000 was received for to fund all five middle schools transition into PLTW courses for Grades 6-8: Grade 6/Design and Modeling; Grade 7: Computer Science for Innovators and Makers; Grade 8: Science of Technology. The funds were used to purchase engineering-quality laptops, access to online curriculum, materials and storage, engineering notebooks, and teacher training. The Grade 6 course was launched in Fall 2018 and students will roll up to Grades 7 and 8 courses over the next two school years.

Mrs. Lebo said this is an amazing program and can’t wait to see the results of this for the students.

Mrs. Hubley asked for and received confirmation that this was rolled out simultaneously at all middle schools this year.

Through the Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant Funds, both North Quincy and Quincy High School have received funding for Engineering Technology programs. Each school received over $130,000 to upgrade technology, printers, interactive whiteboards, workbenches, robotics materials, and purchase PLTW course materials for NQHS. At both high schools, there is now a Project Lead the Way career path with Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and Engineering Design & Development. Additional electives are available for Biotechnical Engineering, Civil Engineering & Architecture, and Digital Electronics. PLTW instructors attend training and have the opportunity to collaborate and network with teachers from across the state.

Upcoming STEM activities include the Grade 5 Science Showcases in early March and again in June; Elementary & Middle School STEM Saturday programs in March; Digital Learning Week March 11-15, the Middle & High School STEM Fairs continuing through March, the Grades 5-8 Robotics Challenge and high school Engineering Technology final presentations in May.

Mr. Gutro asked about the Triumph whiteboards, these are 75” touchscreen high-definition display boards.

Mrs. Lebo said that at a recent QCAN meeting, three QPS students presented on a recycling related project, very impressive.

Dr. DeCristofaro introduced Ms. Casey Deaguero, the new teacher for the Grade 5 Advanced Placement Program (APP), formerly known as the Elementary Laboratory Center (ELC) program. Ms. Perkins shared the new program description, noting that the program is for students who demonstrate higher than expected academic talent and cognitive reasoning. The APP is designed to help students develop productive, complex, abstract, and higher-level thinking skills by offering rigorous academic tasks. Ms. Deaguero reviewed that the APP curriculum is an extension of the Grade 5 curriculum, offering more depth and rigor within the standards and benchmarks. Over the course of the school year, students will create, write, illustrate, and publish a book; create a 3-D model of a tiny house, including a cost analysis and materials specification; and several STEM projects including an Eco-Friendly Building Materials Research Project. Parent communication is through trimester newsletters, the SeeSaw app (to share photos and videos), the mid-year Project showcases, Progress Report conferences, and end of year Invention Convention.

Ms. Perkins concluded by noting that at the end of the school year, Ms. Deaguero will meet with the Grades 5/6 Vertical teams to check the course alignment with the middle school advanced English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science classes and the Advanced Placement Program.

Mr. Bregoli complimented the program, asked for a review of the selection criteria. Ms. Perkins said Grade 4 students with the top 20% of combined ELA and Mathematics Grade 3 scores are invited to take the quantitative and reasoning assessment on an early release Tuesday in April. Students who score over 80% on both assessments are invited to attend the program. These students are then invited to continue into the Advanced Placement Center program at Central for Grades 6-8 or they may opt to remain at their neighborhood middle schools and take the advanced courses there. There are currently 62 students in the program.

Ms. Perkins also noted that in the spring of Grade 5, there is a re-evaluation process for students who did not qualify for testing for the Grade 5 program to enter the APC program at Central. This re-evaluation is based on their Grade 4 ELA and Mathematics MCAS scores.

Mrs. Hubley asked if there is a cap on the number of students each year and there is not.

Mr. Gutro asked how many years the program has existed, well over fifty years. The students are scheduled for the same day each week and are bused to and from their home schools.

Mrs. Lebo asked if Ms. Deaguero uses Aspen, she does for administrative purposes but not for grading. Mrs. Lebo noted that in general, there is parent communication on multiple platforms, looking for consistency. Ms. Deaguero noted that Google Classroom is primarily for students, primary communication with parents would be through email or a phone call.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:30 pm.