Oct. 11, 2023 School Committee Meeting

Oct. 11, 2023 School Committee Meeting
Posted on 10/06/2023
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Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 6:30 pm
Coddington Building, School Committee Room

I. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting Minutes for September 27, 2023

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.
Interested parties may also submit written statements to: [email protected].

III. Superintendent’s Report

A. Chairman’s Report - Mayor Koch

B. October 1 Enrollment & Class Size Data

C. National Merit Commended Scholars

D. Upcoming QPS & City of Quincy Events

  • DeCristofaro Learning Center Dedication & Open House, October 22

  • MICCA, October 29

  • SEPAC Trunk or Treat Event, October 29

  • NQHS PAC Holiday Shopping Expo, November 11

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. Dr. Rick DeCristofaro Learning Center Update - Mr. Hines, Mr. Kerwin, Ms. Perkins, Superintendent Mulvey

B. QPS Spring 2023 MCAS & Accountability Data - Ms. Perkins, Mr. Marani, Ms. Quinn, Mr. Tierney, Ms. Vaughan

C. MASC Convention Resolutions (Vote at October 25 meeting) - Mrs. Hubley

D. Arbella Foundation Grant: $10,000 for Middle Schools (VOTE) - Superintendent Mulvey

E. Battelle Foundation Grant: $10,000 for Grade 5 Field Trips to Holly Hill Farms (VOTE) - Superintendent Mulvey

F. Quincy School~Community Partnership Donations Totalling $100,476.23 List of individual donors provided (VOTE) - Superintendent Mulvey

G. Overnight Travel/Out of State (VOTE) - Superintendent Mulvey
November 30-December 3, 2023: Quincy High School Gr. 10-12 to Yale Model Congress, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

H. Overnight Travel/In-State (VOTE) - Superintendent Mulvey
December 7-8, 2023: DECA High School Business Career Development Competition, Seacrest Hotel, Falmouth, Massachusetts

I. Transitioning to Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure - Mr. Gutro
for referral to Facilities, Transportation & Security Subcommittee

J. QPS Recycling Update (Current Status, Training & Metrics) - Mr. Gutro
for referral to Facilities, Transportation & Security Subcommittee

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: October 25, 2023; November 15, 2023; December 13, 2023 at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building.

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings: October 18, 2023 Quarterly Budget & Finance, 6:00 pm; Policy, 6:30 pm

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees: None

IX Executive Session: Contract Negotiations

X. Adjournment:




Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – October 11, 2023

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

Vice-Chair Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. in the School Committee Room at the Coddington Building. Superintendent Kevin Mulvey called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas P. Koch, School Committee Chair, and School Committee Members Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Tina Cahill, Mr. Douglas Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mr. Frank Santoro, Vice Chair.

Also present were: Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Kerri Connolly, Ms. Kim Connolly, Ms. Allison Cox, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Julie Graham, Ms. Jennifer Leary, Mr. Michael Marani, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Kimberly Quinn, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri, Mr. Christopher Tierney, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; NQHS Student Representative Amy Tan, QHS Student Representative Devereaux Fuller; Public Buildings Commissioner Paul Hines; PCA360 Project Director Tom Kerwin; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. Santoro asked for thoughts for the safety of Quincy Public Schools staff and families and people around the world who may be in dangerous conditions.

Superintendent Mulvey asked for a moment of silence in memory of Mrs. Mary Mulligan, mother of City Councillor and former School Committee member Anne Mahoney.

Ms. Owens 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.


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minute of the Regular Meeting for September 27, 2023. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

Several Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center parents and community members expressed concern about the plan to move Pre-Kindergarten students to the new DeCristofaro Learning Center building during the school year: Ms. Julie Treall, Mr. Minh Che, Ms. Courtney Perdios, Ms. Vanessa Scarnici. In addition, Ms. Owens read a letter from Ms. Christina Duncan.

Mr. William O’Neill complimented Quincy Public Schools, was previously a parent and is now a grandparent of students in the system.


Superintendent’s Report

Mayor Koch deferred the Chairman’s Report as there is a full agenda this evening.

Superintendent Mulvey reviewed the Quincy Public Schools October 1 Enrollment & Class Size Data that was shared with School Committee. Some highlights of the data include: total enrollment number is 9,930, an increase of 96 students from October 1, 2022. Since October 1, 21 students have completed registration and another 40 students have registrations pending, so QPS enrollment will likely reach 10,000 students later this school year. Superintendent Mulvey noted breakdown of new registrations and transferring students for the 2022-2023 school year to provide insight into the administrative workload related to the over 2,000 transactions into and out of the school system and thanked the clerical staff at all of the schools and the Central Registration office.

The elementary class size average for Kindergarten through Grade 5 is very favorable at 19 students. For Grades 6-8 Core Curriculum classes, 83.1% of classes have 24 or fewer students, the low end of School Committee’s class size range. No class sections are above 27 students. For Grades 9-12 Core Curriculum classes, 84.4% of classes have 25 or fewer students (an increase of 3% over last year). Thanks to the additional positions added at North Quincy High School for this school year, there are 16 fewer sections with class sizes between 26 and 28 students than last year. Eleven sections are above 28 students, most are honors or advanced (this is also a reduction from last year). Detailed class size information at the school level will be shared during the School Improvement Plan presentations in.

Mrs. Lebo asked for detail on the 10 sections at Atlantic and 15 sections at Central with 26 students.

Mr. Gutro asked which schools are near or at capacity, Superintendent Mulvey said Atlantic, Central, Beechwood Knoll, Lincoln Hancock, and Montclair. Clifford Marshall’s enrollment has also rebounded closer to pre-COVID levels.

Superintendent Mulvey noted that Quincy Public Schools was recently notified that thirteen members of the Class of 2023 are Commended National Merit Scholars. These students are being invited to be recognized at the November 15 School Committee meeting.

Upcoming Quincy Public Schools and City of Quincy Events include the Dr. Richard DeCristofaro Learning Center Dedication on Sunday, October 22 at 1:00 pm, followed by an Open House and building tours at 2:00 pm. The Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductors Association is hosting the Statewide Marching Band Competition at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Sunday, October 29 at 11:00 am. Over twenty High School and Regional Marching bands are scheduled to perform, including the Quincy/North Quincy High School Marching Band & Colorguard. The Quincy Special Education Parent Advisory Council is hosting the 3rd Annual Trunk or Treat on Sunday, October 29 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the Wollaston School parking lot. The Holiday Shopping Expo, hosted by the North Quincy High School Parent Advisory Council, will be held on Saturday, November 11 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at North Quincy High School.


New Business

Dr. Rick DeCristofaro Learning Center Update

Public Buildings Commissioner Paul Hines reviewed that Wessling Architects was a partner in the unique design of the Dr. Rick DeCristofaro Learning Center building, using color and design to define the sections of the building, minimizing disruption by silencing building mechanicals, and installing sound panels in every classroom in deference to the students needs. With a full-service kitchen, there will be a dedicated staff and custom menus for student needs. Every classroom has restroom facilities, there are custom spaces for motor skills, life skills, a parent/community space, and multi-purpose rooms on each floor. Mr. Hines emphasized how special and unique this building is, including an accessible playground with equipment for a range of ages. Mr. Hines shared exterior and interior photos, including classrooms with maintenance-free flooring, the goal being to limit chemicals and associated odors. Commissioner Hines noted that the building had one elevator (which has been reconditioned) and two additional have been added (one is primarily to serve the Food Service area, the other is in the classroom area). In case of emergency, this would aid in swift evacuation.

Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins reviewed the educational program for the DeCristofaro Learning Center, noting that the school is organized in four learning neighborhoods: Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-8. Each neighborhood has dedicated spaces for Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapy; calming and sensory rooms. Shared spaces include the multi-purpose spaces, the life skills classroom, and the gymnasium and dining area. Developing independent life skills is a key goal for students in Grade 6-8 to be integrated members of the community. A team of educators worked with Special Education Coordinator Jennifer Leary and Director Julie Graham to select the adaptive furniture for the classrooms, including flexible seating.

Ms. Perkins said that there are two different programs in the building: Pre-Kindergarten and CARES for Grades K-8. For Pre-Kindergarten, there has been an initial site visit by the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education for the application to relocate the program. A virtual parent information session will be held on Monday, October 23 at 6:00 pm via Zoom.

For the CARES Kindergarten through Grade 8 program, students will be recommended by their Special Education team to attend the Learning Center and the opportunity will be discussed with the families before a final decision is made. Tours of the program will begin in November, there is an application process for DESE program approval and the detailed timeline shared with School Committee provides details of the steps of the Design team. The Pre-Kindergarten program start and end times will be the same as at Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center; for the K-8 CARES program, the hours will be 8:30 am to 2:45 pm. Partnerships for the new school include Quincy After School Childcare providing inclusive child care on site; collaboration with South Shore Autism on curriculum and professional development

Mr. Gutro asked how many current out of district students could be moved to the Learning Center, the estimate is 30 to 50. There are also 190 Pre-Kindergarten students, some current CARES students in QPS school-based programs, and we may eventually have permission from DESE to open up to other school districts.

Mr. Gutro asked about the use of technology, all classroom will have interactive whiteboards and there are 150 iPads for communications assistance and meeting individual student learning needs.

Mr. Gutro asked about addressing the Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center parent concerns about the transition. Mrs. Cahill said that parents can always reach out to School Committee members if they are unsure and suggested publicizing the meetings through sending flyer home in the backpack and/or a phone call.

Mrs. Hubley agreed that a direct message would be helpful to notify parents. Mrs. Hubley asked for and received confirmation that the building is fully air conditioned. Mrs. Hubley asked about shades, all windows have operable shades and classroom doors have shades as well.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the age range of students in the school. Ms. Perkins said that there are separate wings of the building and there are different start and end times and staggered lunch and recess. Mr. Hines said that each wing also has doors and any shared spaces are away from classroom areas. Mr. Hines said there is full perimeter coverage of cameras outside and inside the building, communication devices from each classroom to the office.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the staffing, the school will need a Principal, Guidance and Special Education staff. Ms. Perkins agreed, this will be a further discussion with School Committee about additional positions, including a dedicated Special Education Team Administrator and two BCBA positions.

Mr. Bregoli asked if there is a traffic impact from Campus Kinderhaus next door. Mr. Hines said that the staggered start time for this building takes their schedule into account as well. There is dedicated area for school bus vans to pull into out of the flow of traffic.

Mr. Bregoli asked about Nursing staff, Ms. Perkins said there will be two nurses.

Mr. Hines emphasized that the school has been outfitted with four times the access points and data capacity of current school buildings, all classrooms and common spaces have assisted listening devices. Mr. Hines noted that the substantial completion of the building should be done by October 22, but there will be punchlist items to be completed. The furniture has been procured, but has not yet been received or assembled.

Quincy High School Representative Devereaux Fuller asked how families will be communicated with about the IEP process during the transition. Ms. Perkins said that there are IEP team meetings for each student once per year, that is the opportunity for teachers and parents to discuss goals and individual concerns to be included in the new IEP. In addition, the application for program approval requires a detailed overview of the curriculum, assessments, and a communication plan.

Mr. Kerwin said that level of commitment to the development of the Learning Center building from the Mayor’s Office, Quincy Public Schools, and Public Buildings is commendable. The focus on the quality, the student and staff experience, and professionalism is unmatched. Commissioner Hines has been an active participant in the more than two years of weekly project meetings.

Mayor Koch thanked the presenters, there is a tremendous level of investment in this facility by the city, $35,000,000 from a variety of sources, including the City Council, the Norfolk County Commissioners who appropriated $8.7 million from ARPA funding, ESSER funding, and city funds. Mayor Koch agreed that this is an extraordinary team, especially the Special Education team led by Ms. Perkins.


New Business

QPS 2022-23 Data & 2023-24 District Goals

After a brief recess, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Curriculum Director Michael Marani, Date & Assessment Coordinator Christopher Tierney, Coordinator of ELA Bridget Vaughan, and Coordinator of Mathematics Kimberley Quinn presented a review of the 2023 Spring Data and 2023-2024 Curriculum Goals. The Department of Elementary & Secondary Education is back to full accountability, including measuring progress towards targets. Quincy Public Schools is considered as being in the recovery phase working back towards pre-COVID performance levels. Accountability Indicators are: Achievement in ELA, Mathematics, and Science; Student Growth in Mathematics and ELA; High School Completion (4-year graduation, extended engagement rate, annual dropout rate); English Language Proficiency; additional indicators include Chronic Absenteeism. Quincy Public Schools overall district classification is “not requiring assistance or intervention” due to the district making substantial progress towards targets.

The 4-Year Graduation rate of 93.6% exceeded the improvement target as did the growth for students with disabilities, Asian, and Hispanic/Latino students. The Annual Dropout Rate increased slightly to 1.2% and the High School Chronic Absenteeism rate dropped 4.7%, exceeding target. The High School Advanced Coursework Completion improved below target, but exceeded the target for students with disabilities, Black, and Hispanic/Latino students. There was a significant decline in high school students making progress toward attaining English Language Proficiency, which will be the focus of a district goal for 2023-2024. For Grades 1-8, the reduction in Chronic Absenteeism rate exceeded target. All grades showed typical growth for ELA and Mathematics MCAS performance and MCAS participation rates met or exceeded state averages for all grades and subject areas.

In reflecting on the 2022-2023 goals for Mathematics MCAS, students in Grades 4, 6, and 8 in Spring 2023 saw an increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations versus the same cohort in their previous grade in Spring 2022. The district goal of increasing the RIT points by various amounts depending on the grade level was met. Additional analysis of data by question types and standards will inform instruction and areas of focus for this school year.

For Science, MCAS results exceeded the state average and Grades 5 and 10 saw improvement over the previous year. Grade 8 Science remains an area of concern. For MAP, Grades 4, 5, and 8 met the growth targets of the goal. Looking forward, Constructed Response questions will be an area of focus.

Mayor Koch left the meeting at 8:30 pm.

For English Language Arts, the cohorts of students in Grades 7 and 8 in Spring 2023 showed an increase in meeting/exceeding expectations. For the MAP goal, Grades 2, 3, 4, and 5 met or exceeded the goal for increase in RIT points. Similar to Mathematics and Science, an analysis of question types and standards will provide areas of focus including Writing across the grade levels.

Goals and action steps for 2023-2024 were shared for English Learners, Mathematics, Science, and English Language Arts. Next steps for data analysis at the school level include Assessment Day meetings, vertical and grade-level team meetings, integrated learning team meetings, in order to create goals and action steps for the School and Program Improvement Plans.

Mrs. Lebo said the new goals are ambitious, appreciates the emphasis on the MAP data and the shift in reviewing MCAS data in a cohort model.

North Quincy High School Representative Amy Tan asked about the MAP data, a drop from the end of the school year to the next fall. Ms. Perkins said that it is typical that there is a slight drop over the summer. Summer enrichment programs are helpful for students but do not solve all the issues. Ms. Tan asked about teachers being focused on preparing for the test, Ms. Perkins said that teaching should be focused on the standards.


New Business

MASC Resolutions (Introduction)

Mrs. Hubley reviewed that at the Massachusetts Association of School Committee Conference on November 8-11, there will be a General Meeting, with a number of resolutions being reviewed. The resolutions were shared with School Committee in preparation of voting on a position for each at the October 25 meeting.


New Business

Grant from Arbella Foundation (VOTE)

Superintendent Mulvey shared that for the 2023-2024 school year, $10,000.00 in funding has been granted by the Arbella Foundation, $2,000 to each middle school to support extended day activities.

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to accept the Grant of $10,000.00 for the Arbella Foundation for the benefit of middle school extended day activities. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gutro and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0.


New Business

Grant from Battelle Foundation (VOTE)

Superintendent Mulvey shared that the Battelle Foundation is funding field trips to Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset for all Grade 5 students to learn about local ecosystems, valued at $10,000.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to accept the Grant of $10,000.00 for field trips to Holly Hill Farm from the Battelle Foundation. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0.


New Business

Quincy School~ Community Partnership Donations (VOTE)

For the 2023-2024 school year, the Quincy School~Community Partners have donated $100,476.23 as detailed in the list provided to School Committee. These donations fund a number of initiatives, including Educator Mini-Grants, the Mentor program, the Student Leadership Summits, and the Robotics programs.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to accept the Quincy School~Community Partnership donations totalling $100,476. The motion was seconded by Mr Gutro and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


New Business

Overnight/Out of State Travel (VOTE)

Mr. Gutro made a motion to approve the Overnight Travel/Out of State of Quincy High School Grades 10-12 students to the Yale Model Congress at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut from November 30 to December 3, 2023. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Cahill and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Overnight/In State Travel (VOTE)

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the Overnight Travel/In State of North Quincy High School Grades 10-12 students to the DECA High School Business Career Development Competition at the Seacrest Hotel in Falmout, Massachusetts from December 7 to December 8, 2023. The motion was seconded by Mrs, Cahill and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


New Business

Referrals to Facilities, Transportation & Security Subcommittee

Mr. Gutro made a motion to refer Transitioning to Electronic Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure to the Facilities, Transportation & Security Subcommittee. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Cahill and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mr. Gutro made a motion to refer QPS Recycling Update (Current Status, Training & Metrics) to the Facilities, Transportation & Security Subcommittee. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Additional Business

There was no Additional Business.



Mr. Santoro noted upcoming School Committee Meetings on October 25, 2023; November 15, 2023; December 13, 2023, all at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building.


Reports of Subcommittees

There were no Reports of Subcommittees.



Mr. Bregoli made a motion to move to adjourn at 8:55 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.