Nov. 2, 2016 Teaching/Learning Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching and Learning Subcommittee
Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair
Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 5:00 pm
Coddington Building

Middle School Improvement Plan Presentations:

  • 5:00 pm Broad Meadows - Principal Dan Gilbert

  • 5:15 pm Point Webster - Principal Christine Barrett

  • 5:30 pm Central - Principal Rick DeCristofaro

  • 5:45 pm Sterling - Principal John Franceschini

  • 6:00 pm Atlantic - Principal Maureen MacNeil


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting
Wednesday, November 2, 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, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Christine Barrett, Ms. Stacy Bucci, Mrs. Susan Shea Connor, Mr. Richard DeCristofaro, Ms. Roberta DiTullio, Dr. John Franceschini, Mr. Daniel Gilbert, Ms. Elizabeth Hallett, Ms. Maureen MacNeil, Ms. Courtney Mitchell, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Ms. Aliza Schneller, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Bridget Vaughn, Dr. Adam Wolf; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Principal Daniel Gilbert and Assistant Principal Stacy Bucci presented the Broad Meadows Middle School Improvement Plan, this school year, they welcomed 135 new Grade 6 students and their families, a very well-attended Open House in September, standing room only, teachers were thrilled to share their course syllabi. Extended Day opportunities at the middle school include Tennis, CrossCountry, ODW, homework center before and after school, and Student Council.

New this year, Integrated Learning Team meetings will begin in January and team members will review the progress of all students. The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessments have been purchased for Grades 6-8, to assist in addressing concerns about Mathematics for regular education students. Broad Meadows is home to five substantially separate classes, teachers work in vertical teams to establish consistent expectations across classroom curriculum.

In reviewing last year’s goals, the ELA goal was met and Mathematics was not met for all grade levels, but CPI showed growth for targeted subgroups. Action steps are focused on moving every student forward. Modified Common Core student data was disaggregated from non-modified Common Core students. In Grade 7, Language Development student growth percentile is 61% for ELA; two LDC students scored Proficient and another dozen were close to the Proficient level.

Mrs. Hubley requested that the Areas of Need for all Middle School Improvement Plans be compiled for the Facilities & Security Subcommittee.

Ms. Isola thanked Mr. Gilbert for the SIP format and analysis of the two populations and enjoyed hearing about all of the facets of the school.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Broad Meadows Middle School Improvement Plan. Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Christine Barrett and Assistant Principal Aliza Schneller presented the Point Webster Middle School Improvement Plan. Ms. Barrett is proud that Point Webster is a Level 1 school for the 2nd year in a row. In reviewing last year’s goals for ELA, there was improvement in Grades 6 and 7, no change for Grade 5. Although Grade 8 scores decreased, no students scored in the Warning category. Student Growth is very positive for both Math and ELA. Proficient or Advanced for ELA reached 75%, an increase of 2%. Ultimately, that is the goal, to increase students scoring in the Proficient or Above level. Point Webster’s student growth trends are on or above target for many subgroups. The Health & Wellness and PBIS goals have been very successful and positive for the school culture and climate. Although office referrals did not decrease overall, the data collected has informed some changes in disciplinary process.

In looking ahead, this year’s goals will mirror the Curriculum & Assessment Team goals, looking to see an increase in Average Percent Correct by 1%. In anticipating the MCAS 2.0 and realizing that students are struggling with the PARCC-like items, the goal focus was realistic. For the PBIS goal, in an effort to maximize overall instruction time for students, the goal is to decrease office referrals by 5%. New this year is a Student Assist Center for identified students in Grade 5 and also Level 1 English Learners, eight-week interventions for ELA and Mathematics.

Mrs. Hubley praised the Health & Wellness Action steps, Ms. Schneller said students and staff very enthusiastic about this goal and the activities.

Ms. Isola asked about the Advanced ELA & Mathematics classes. Ms. Barrett said these tend to be the larger classes of 22 or more in each grade. Ms. Isola praised the way the data was disaggregated.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the Point Webster Middle School Improvement Plan. Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Lebo arrived at 5:30 pm.

Principal Rick DeCristofaro and Assistant Principal Susan Shea Connor presented the Central Middle School Improvement Plan, noting that this was a particularly complicated year with several occurrences of serious illness and death for students, parents, and former students. Staff members worked with students to process these events, students came together to support the students and families. Central pride was evident through the many community events, including the end of the year field day. Before and after school activities are strongly attended: 100 students in chorus and 60 students in band, many students in both and coming to school early two or three days per week.

In reflecting on last year’s goals, PBIS was a positive to reinforce good life skills and behaviors. Central did not meet last year’s goals for MCAS scores, but in last two years have reorganized staff so that APC and neighborhood classes are collaborative horizontally and vertically. Specific action steps are focused on mastering skills and strategies, including close reading. For Mathematics, specific focus is on open response questions and performance-based tasks. Progress monitoring will allow for creating groups for tiered instruction. Many amazing things happening at Central on a daily basis.

Mrs. Lebo said that Central is a happy place, hears many positive comments from neighbors and staff. Mrs. Lebo said Central should be a Level 1 school, can’t figure out from all of the data why it hasn’t happened. Mr. DeCristofaro said that is difficult to say there is one thing that the school needs, but feels confident that areas of focus have been identified and the supports are in place to become a model instructional building.

Ms. Isola said that she really appreciates the support the school extended to the students, impacted by all of the events; Central is a Level 1 school to her.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Central Middle School Improvement Plan, seconded by Mrs. Hubley. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Primcipal John Franceschini and Assistant Principal Courtney Mitchell presented the Sterling Middle School Improvement Plan. Dr. Franceschini said that the school’s successes are due to the hard work of the staff, many hours spent on the Rapid Reset Initiative. Students worked diligently and accepted the different approaches to instruction and critical thinking. In collaboration with Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy and Lincoln Hancock Principal Ruth Witmer, Sterling implemented Integrated Learning Teams and created formative assessments for ELA and Mathematics to be given three times per years. This allows for alignment of students in three tiers for interventions.

In reflecting on last year’s goals, for ELA, the goal was exceeded, with a 3% increase in average percent correct for Open Response by 3%. Grades 5 and 8 had decreases, which were offset by increases for Grades 6 and 7. For Mathematics, the increase in average percent correct was 3%, exceeding the goal. Grades 5, 6, and 8 had increases, while Grade 7 had a decrease. For both ELA and Mathematics, the number of students scoring Proficient or Above increased for Grades 6, 7, and 8, but decreased in Grade 5. In subgroups, improvement is consistently below target.

Scheduling of block time for ELA and Mathematics (110 minutes each) will be crucial to increasing proficiency levels and student growth. Ms. Mitchell said that the staff are embracing the professional development opportunities, quality teacher practices are the path to student success.

Mrs. Lebo said that the work to re-align goals clearly paid off, signs of growth across many categories, moving in the right direction. Dr. Franceschini shared documentation of the Rapid Reset work done in the spring. Ms. Isola asked if the Reset is ongoing, Ms. Mitchell said it has been integrated into daily practices, ILT meetings will continue and data analysis as well.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to accept the Sterling Middle School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Maureen MacNeil and Assistant Principal Adam Wolf presented the Atlantic Middle School Improvement Plan. Ms. MacNeil said the strengths of the school include the diverse population, safe, secure and positive learning environment.

In reflecting on last year’s goals, the overall ELA goal was met, with increases in Grades 6 and 7, but a decrease in average percent correct for Grade 8. For Mathematics, there was an overall decrease, which was consistent across Grades 6, 7, and 8. Dr. Wolf said for cohort data, looking at students who were consistently at Atlantic for all three grades: ELA students who scored Proficient or Advanced were 90%, Warning scores were 1%, down from 6% in Grade 6. In Mathematics, cohort Grade 8 students Proficient or Advanced were at 78% and 5% were in warning, a decrease of 2%. Cohort data really demonstrates staff’s ability to successfully bring students through the middle school years. Similar trends for Special Education and English Learner populations, for the most part.

Mrs. Lebo said that Atlantic’s student growth percentile is incredible, especially for the English Learner and Special Education populations. Ms. Isola enjoyed hearing the cohort data.

Mrs. Hubley motion to approve the Atlantic Middle School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Madeline Roy for her support of all of the middle schools, welcomed Curriculum Team Administrator Bridget Vaughn to the team.

Mrs. Lebo complimented the middle school after school activities, phenomenal opportunities across the city.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:15 pm. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.