Oct. 28, 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 www.qatv.org. The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS website on Friday, October 30, 2020.

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 5:30 pm
Coddington Building, School Committee Room

  1. BIPOC Educators Group - Superintendent Mulvey, Mr. James Ikeda

  2. Student & Staff Data from Massachusetts Public School Districts - Ms. Allison Cox

  3. VISIONS, Inc. Professional Development Follow-Up - Superintendent Mulvey, Ms. Maura Papile

  4. QPS Bias Reporting Protocols - Superintendent Mulvey, Ms. Maura Papile


Quincy School Committee

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee Meeting ~ Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A meeting of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 5:30 pm at the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Anthony Andronico, Vice Chair and Subcommittee Chair. Also present were Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Allison Cox, Ms. Maura Papile; Quincy High School Social Studies Teacher Mr. James Ikeda, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Vice Chair Anthony Andronico called the meeting to order and reminded School Committee about applying the VISIONS professional development practices of actively listening to the information and experiences presented and thoughtfully framing questions and responses.

Superintendent Mulvey introduced Quincy High School Social Studies Teacher Mr. James Ikeda, representing a group of Quincy educators who met over the summer to develop recommendations for the Quincy Public Schools to increase Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, including joining the Massachusetts Partnership for Diversity in Education (MPDE), adopting inclusive language for job postings, modifying the interview process to include staff members of color, and other strategies for increasing staff diversity. Mr. Ikeda said that teachers from across the district began meeting in response to the high school Instagram account posts in June 2020, acknowledging the imbalance in the ratio of students of color to staff. One of the suggestions is establishing relationships with local colleges and universities so that educators of color are in Quincy as student teachers and interns and also creating a pathway for high school students interested in becoming teachers.

Mr. Andronico thanked Mr. Ikeda and all of the educators who worked on creating the recommendations. Mr. Ikeda said the opportunity to connect with colleagues across the district has been empowering, would like to see a staff member designated as an EDI coordinator in each building. These coordinators would be a person for students to reach out to and also the coordinators could meet regularly to share experiences and strategies. Democratizing the hiring process through expanding educator involvement is another suggestion.

Mr. Gutro thanked Mr. Ikeda for his leadership and constructive approach, innovative and interesting ideas. Mr. Ikeda said that it is not just about representation, there is a responsibility to be engaged in widening student experience and dealing with bias as it is presented in the classroom.

Mrs. Lebo said asked about the EDI representative for each building who received the VISIONS training, but noted that not every school has staff members of color. Mr. Ikeda said that may be unavoidable and being able to assist is the first priority. There will be some trial and error and it may change depending on the needs of the students. Mrs. Lebo said that the educators meeting as a district seems an important component of this. Mr. Ikeda said that including English Learner students is also something to focus on moving forward.

Mrs. Lebo asked if there would be costs associated with internships, Superintendent Mulvey said there is potentially scholarship options through the MPDE.

Mr. Santoro said that Quincy Asian Resources (QARI) has a student mentorship program for recently arrived students, Mr. Rocky Chan is the contact.

Director of Human Resources & Educator Development Allison Cox reviewed student and staff racial/ethnicity data for 2019-2020 compiled from the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education website. Gateway Cities, local cities and towns, and MPDE districts were included in the comparison. The state average is 11% for educators of color, Quincy Public Schools is 7%. Ms. Cox calculated the ratio of educators of color to students of color for selected cities and towns: Weymouth 78 to 1, Braintree 98 to 1, Quincy 67 to 1, Milton 25 to 1, Lowell 45 to 1, Taunton 78 to 1, Framingham 21 to 1. Ms. Cox also shared the race/ethnicity breakdown for non-educational staff members.

For the MPDE membership, Ms. Cox reported on a recent meeting where reports from districts included Wellesley Public Schools, annual EDI training and stipended EDI leaders in each building through grant funding. Revere Public Schools is training facilitators and establishing equity teams over the next six months. Randolph Public Schools reported that it has taken three to four years to make a difference in advancements. All of these districts have received significant DESE funding. Ms. Cox updated on the MPDE profile of Quincy Public Schools being created for their website; QPS also has access to the MPDE resume database. MPDE has tentative plans for a spring job fair, most likely virtual.

Ms. Cox shared a new form developed for Quincy Public Schools Human Resources department to self-report race/ethnicity for new hires. Ms. Cox also shared the statement of diversity, equity, and inclusion that is now being included on all SchoolSpring postings.

Mrs. Lebo asked if the comparison districts are part of MPDE and some are.

Mr. Gutro asked if MPDE has the means for sharing of best practices for recruitment, Ms. Cox said she learned a lot in the first meeting, these districts have been engaged in this for a few years and DESE has also shared recent guidance. Recruitment is one factor and retention is another important issue.

Mrs. Lebo asked if these grant opportunities were open to all districts or were targeted to specific communities. Ms. Cox said the last grant opportunities were three years ago but it is expected that DESE will have upcoming grant opportunities.

Mrs. Hubley asked if candidates of color who turn down employment are surveyed for the reasons, such as housing, commuting, or salary. Superintendent Mulvey and Ms. Cox agreed that this is an informal process, sometimes distance from Quincy or child care.

Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile shared feedback from the Quincy Public Schools staff on the VISIONS professional development completed over the summer and a proposal for VISIONS for further activities. Ms. Papile reviewed that harassment, sexual harassment, and bullying/cyberbullying are all covered by legal definitions, School Committee Policies, and implementation plans. There are defined processes for filing complaints, remedies, and development of safety plans. Ms. Papile looked at other cities and towns for examples of policies/processes around microagressions, bias incidents, and restorative justice and shared examples with School Committee.

Mr. Gutro asked about statistics for bullying and resolution, Ms. Papile will follow up with details.

Mrs. Lebo said that restorative justice requires training, the high school deans and middle school principals would be good candidates. Ms. Papile agreed and will look into more information about scheduling a professional development opportunity.

Mr. Gutro made a motion to adjourn the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee meeting at 6:30 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.