Sept. 30, 2020 EDI Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Subcommittee

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 audio live on QATV Channel 22 or at The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS website on Friday, October 2, 2020.

Mr. Anthony Andronico, Chair
Mr. Doug Gutro & Mrs. Emily Lebo, Subcommittee Members

Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 5:30 pm
Quincy High School Cafeteria

  1. EDI Professional Development - Ms. Maura Papile

  2. QPS Community Listening Sessions - Superintendent Mulvey, Ms. Maura Papile

  3. QPS Workforce Recruiting, Hiring, Retention - Superintendent Mulvey, Ms. Allison Cox


Quincy School Committee

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee Meeting ~ Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A meeting of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 5:30 pm at Quincy High School. Present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Anthony Andronico, Subcommittee Chair. Also present were Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Allison Cox, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Superintendent Mulvey introduced the presentation, reviewing the focus on the impact of COVID-19 on social-emotional health, support discussion about racial injustice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and creating a systemic approach for social-emotional check-ins with tiered interventions. Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile reviewed the nine hours of VISIONS training (15 volunteer educators, principals, assistant principals, Superintendent’s Leadership Team members, parent representatives, and School Committee). Competencies to be developed for staff and students include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

The District-Wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team created Professional Development resources for the opening of school. Educators have the framework for check-ins with students, online resources, guidelines and lessons for skills development. These can be customized to meet the needs of school communities.

Mrs. Lebo asked about Professional Development, there were site leaders (principals, assistant principal, student support, and a teacher) at the trainings. At the site, they will help implement with other staff members beginning with the opening meetings on September 8. Upcoming Principal professional development days will also be focused on it.

Mrs. Lebo asked how the competencies will be shared with the students, will there be curriculum for School Committee to review. Ms. Papile said that given the structure of the current instructional model, the classroom teachers would be working with students. Ms. Papile will share the Professional Development materials with School Committee.

Mr. Gutro asked about the District-Wide EDI team; Ms. Papile said this consists of a principal, assistant principal, two parents, student support staff, teachers and met four times through the summer. Ms. Papile said that the stress of both the COVID-19 and racism crises can’t be separated and the support will address both.

Mr. Gutro asked about student voices being part of the team, Ms. Papile said that will be part of the next agenda item.

Mr. Andronico asked about feedback from the VISIONS training from the participants, Ms. Papile said that feedback is positive and she can create a survey and share the responses. Ms. Papile said the Student Support staff have a long, positive relationship with VISIONS, the conversations can be uncomfortable. Mr. Andronico noted that additional training would need to be funded by School Committee; Superintendent Mulvey noted that there may also be grant opportunities.

Mr. Gutro asked about how participants were identified; Ms. Papile asked Principals to suggest staff that would be interested and these were volunteers during the summer. There was more interest than could be accommodated.

Mayor Koch said there is opportunity with the student leadership, such as student government and athletics. Mayor Koch also suggested engaging the faith community. Ms. Papile said the Roots and Wings program that was piloted at the high school is another opportunity to engage students.

Mrs. Hubley asked for an example of a check-in at different grade levels, is this a live interaction. Ms. Papile shared that this can take many forms, some are written (online) and others are face to face.

Mr. Bregoli is concerned about the added stress on the Superintendent’s Leadership Team, School Committee should be cognizant of that. Mr. Bregoli said that the submissions on the Instagram pages were anonymous, but wondered if any were investigated. Superintendent Mulvey said that some of the reported incidents were familiar and had been investigated in the past; other issues were unknown, but not able to be investigated; some issues were raised and investigated. Superintendent Mulvey urged students and parents with concerns to bring them to his attention.

Mr. Bregoli would like to know how deep these problems are in the community. Superintendent Mulvey said the next agenda item will review seeking out student perspectives and noted that these investigations are highly confidential and that the outcome will not be public.

Mr. Santoro said the implementation will be difficult at different levels; suggested that at the high school, the quarterly assemblies are organized by the Student Council and this could be an opportunity to address student concerns.

Mayor Koch said that the unique cultures of each of the schools will allow them to customize and implement this initiative. Mayor Koch said this is similar to the growing awareness of opioid addiction over the last twenty years, the community concerns about racism and being included show that there are always opportunities to do better.

Mrs. Lebo said that the student leaders could be encouraged to recruit other student participants.

Mr. Gutro asked for Superintendent Mulvey to review the Instagram posts and provide itemized list of actions and responses.

Superintendent Mulvey suggested that Community Listening opportunities be organized by VISIONS, including a culture and climate survey for all stakeholders; virtual focus groups and community listening sessions; and virtual student discussions. Superintendent Mulvey said that there would be additional costs associated with this proposal, VISIONS is working on creating a proposal and timeline.

Ms. Papile said the collection of information from staff, students, and families is important to expand areas to address.

Mrs. Lebo asked for VISIONS to provide information about next steps beyond the Community Listening.

Mr. Andronico asked if other opportunities will be explored utilizing other resources. Superintendent Mulvey said currently the plan is to stay with VISIONS so as not to confuse the efforts.

Director of Human Resources & Educator Development Allison Cox presented on the Quincy Public Schools commitment to ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity. Current statistics are 15% of paraprofessionals and 5% of professional educators identify as being people of color, an average of 7% across the district. Quincy Public Schools has expanded outreach including postings being shared through a wider network including SchoolSpring and MATSOL; working with local colleges and universities through pre-practicum programs; and developing leadership opportunities for all QPS employees. Quincy Public Schools has applied to join the Massachusetts Partnership for Diversity in Education; membership is capped, so currently on the waiting list. Quincy Public Schools Human Resources department will use the website and social media to affirm Quincy Public Schools as a welcoming district for BIPOC employees, including messaging in job postings.

Mr. Gutro asked about the ethnic and racial makeup of Quincy Public Schools students, 56% of students identify as other than white. Superintendent Mulvey clarified that many of the recruitment efforts have been in place for the last two to three years. Ms. Cox said the MPDE is looking at expanding membership, at this time job fairs are being held virtually. Ms. Cox said that other districts have programs to “grow your own” education candidates and internship opportunities, she will be looking at best practices outside of Quincy Public Schools.

Mr. Gutro asked about the professional development opportunities, Ms. Papile said program improvement goals will include cultural responsiveness and professional development programming will be provided and be mandatory.

Mayor Koch asked about the career conversations with the students, the guidance counselors could assist.

Mr. Santoro suggested a Future Educators club at each of the high schools.

Mrs. Hubley asked about data from other school districts, Ms. Cox said this is readily available on the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education website so she will compile the information. Ms. Cox said that this is an ongoing concern for many school districts.

Mrs. Lebo asked for employee data for other areas, including custodians, clerical, and food services.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the wording for the position descriptions, Ms. Cox said that there was a meeting with educator representatives from the BIPOC educators group and the language they shared was a good model to use moving forward.

Mrs. Lebo asked about contractual wording that precludes posting externally. Superintendent Mulvey said that the clerical contract has a provision that if six internal candidates apply the position will not be posted externally. Mrs. Lebo suggested that these postings be circulated more widely.

Mrs. Lebo asked for the student diversity population for other districts to be included with the staff data and asked for a new hire list to be shared with School Committee. Mrs. Lebo said that both high schools have Early Education & Childcare programs, those could be expanded to encourage students to become teachers.

Mr. Gutro asked that the data include gender.

Mr. Andronico thanked the Superintendent, Leadership Team, and School Committee for their focus on these issues.

Mr. Gutro made a motion to adjourn the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee meeting at 6:50 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.