June 10, 2020 Special Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Special Meeting

Coddington Building
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

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, June 12, 2020. 

I. Inspire Quincy - Mr. Andronico

II. Chairman’s Update -  Mayor Koch

III. Approval of Minutes: June 3, 2020 Special Meeting, Public Hearing, and Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meetings

IV. Open Forum -  Mr. Andronico

Open Forum items may be submitted to School Committee via email to:
[email protected]. Please include your full name and
mailing address as part of the email.

V. FY2021 Budget (VOTE) -  Deputy Superintendent Mulvey, Mr. Mullaney

VI. Student Opportunity Act (VOTE) - Deputy Superintendent Mulvey

VII. FY2020 Budget Transfers (VOTE) - Mr. Mullaney

VIII. Summer Programs Guidance Update - Deputy Superintendent Mulvey

IX. Remote Learning Survey - Deputy Superintendent Mulvey

X. Credit Recovery Eligibility - Deputy Superintendent Mulvey, Ms. Papile

XI. High School Graduations Update - Deputy Superintendent Mulvey

XII. Quincy Public Schools Superintendent - Mr. Andronico, Mr. Santoro

XIII. Adjournment


Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – June 10, 2020

Special Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Special Meeting

A special meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held remotely on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. Superintendent DeCristofaro called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Douglas Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Anthony Andronico, Vice Chair.

Vice-Chair Presiding

Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary; Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk; Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Ms. Marisa Forrester, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy.


Mr. Andronico called the meeting to order and introduced a special Inspire Quincy video in honor of Dr. DeCristofaro’s last School Committee meeting.


Chairman’s Update

Mayor Koch reviewed Dr. DeCristofaro’s Quincy Public Schools career, over 45 years as a Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Assistant Superintendent and as Superintendent for the last nineteen years.

Mayor Koch made a motion to suspend School Committee Policy and name the new Special Education Learning Center after Dr. Richard DeCristofaro. Mr. Andonico seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.

Mayor Koch presented Dr. DeCristofaro with a scaled replica of the John Adams statue on the Hancock Adams Common. On behalf of the School Committee, Principals, Leadership Team, and the Coddington Building Staff Mr. Andronico presented an etching of the Coddington Building and noted that the traditional Quincy Public Schools chair has been ordered and is on the way.

Mr. Santoro thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for supporting him as a principal, always there to support in times of crisis and during the design and construction of the new Quincy High School.

Mr. Gutro thanked Dr. DeCristofaro, an extraordinary ambassador for Quincy Public Schools and the City of Quincy, whose leadership has left a mark on generations of children.

Mrs. Lebo said Dr. DeCristofaro said the gift of making people feel heard and respected, even when they disagreed.

Mr. Mulvey said he first met Dr. DeCristofaro when he ran for School Committee fifteen years ago and his pride in the school system evident from the beginning. Mr. Mulvey thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for his support and mentorship.

Mr. Bregoli thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for always remembering his roots in Quincy, growing up here and being an educator for 45 years.

Mrs. Hubley thanked Dr. DeCristofaro as a parent and School Committee member.

Dr. DeCristofaro said this is overwhelming and thanked School Committee members for incredibly kind remarks, so difficult to leave the Leadership Team, the Principals, Ms. Owens, and all of the staff. In his time as Superintendent, he worked with three mayors: Mayor Sheets, who focused on the doing the groundwork to build the new schools; Mayor Phelan who prioritized free Full-Day Kindergarten for all students; and Mayor Koch, who has always made the schools and the school budget the priority. Dr. DeCristofaro noted that School Committee he has worked with 21 School Committee members at 341 School Committee meetings and over 300 Subcommittee members, and thanked them all for collaboration. Dr. DeCristofaro concluded by thanking his own parents, children, grandchildren, and wife and is looking forward to celebrating with everyone in the fall when possible.


Graduation Proclamation

NQHS & QHS Class of 2020

Dr. DeCristofaro read the Graduation Proclamation for the Class of 2020:

Mayor Koch, Vice Chair Andronico, and members of the Quincy School Committee: I am pleased and honored, as Superintendent of Schools in this great City, to inform you that the graduates have fulfilled all requirements of the Quincy School Committee. Therefore, at this time, I recommend to you that they be graduated from the Quincy Public Schools.


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the minutes for the June 3, 2020 Budget Public Hearing, Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting, and Special School Committee Meeting. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

Mr. Andronico noted that Open Forum participation is through the Quincy Public Schools email [email protected].

As there were no letters submitted for Open Forum, School Committee moved on to the next item on the agenda.


FY2021 QPS Budget (Vote)

Mr. Mulvey said that there are no further updates on the FY2021 Budget, which is eligible for vote at this meeting.

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the FY2021 Quincy Public Schools Budget. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion.

On the motion, Mrs. Lebo thanked Mayor Koch and City Council, she is thankful that the budget shelters Quincy Public Schools from layoffs.

On a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


Mr. Mulvey reviewed that there are no further updates to the Student Opportunity Act plan, an affirmative vote tonight will allow for submittal before the June 19, 2020 submission deadline, which may still be extended by the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE).

Mr. Andronico thanked Mr. Mulvey and the Leadership Team for their work in developing the plan and integrating parent and community input.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Quincy Public Schools Student Opportunity Act Plan for submission to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


Resolution on COVID-19 State Funding

Mr. Andronico reviewed that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released preliminary guidelines for the re-opening of schools. The requirements for cleaning, personal protective equipment, and potential additional space and staffing based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates could cost the average school district $1.8 million. Mr. Andronico and Mrs. Hubley presented a resolution:

Whereas, if schools are to re-open this fall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the responsibility of each school district to do so safely and responsibly; and

Whereas, it is the responsibility of the state that each school district is able to pay for the enormous additional staffing, transportation, and material expenses required to do this; and

Whereas, the state cannot expect mandatory COVID-19 safety guidelines to be followed without also ensuring that each school district has the funds required to implement these guidelines; therefore, let it be

Resolved: that the state must guarantee every school district full reimbursement for whatever COVID-19 expenses are required to follow state mandates.

We must ensure a statewide school re-opening that is safe, responsible and equitable.

There can be no unfunded mandates for COVID-19.

Mrs. Hubley said according to the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC), approximately twenty school districts are working on similar resolutions.

Mayor Koch said that some of the guidance is impossible for school districts to manage, very important to get students back into school in as normal circumstances as possible. Losing another semester or school year would be difficult for students to recover from academically.

Mrs. Lebo supports the resolution and emphasized that the social-emotional damage to students from school closure is profound.

Mr. Bregoli is also supporting the resolution and would like to work towards re-opening school, the preliminary requirements could lead to a lost school year for students. Mr. Bregoli is looking for a risk assessment to put staff and parents at ease.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification that the resolution is to request that the state fund the requirements for re-opening the schools. Mr. Andronico said that at a time when cities and towns are struggling and looking at layoffs, the expectation that additional costs can be absorbed isn’t realistic.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion that School Committee approve the resolution and its submission to Massachusetts Governor Baker and state and legislative leaders as presented. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


FY2020 Budget Transfers

Mr. Mullaney said that as there are no budget lines in deficit for FY2020, there are no transfers requested at this time. All surpluses are being returned to the city in support of building up the free cash reserves to potentially offset

Mr. Gutro asked for the total funds being returned to the city; Mr. Mullaney said approximately $1.8 million.

Mrs. Lebo asked about Capital Plan improvements, Mayor Koch said we can ask Mr. Hines to report at an upcoming meeting, many projects are underway across the city.


Summer Program Update

Mr. Mulvey reviewed that an update on the guidelines recently released by DESE that suggested summer programming for the students most vulnerable for regression be delivered in person. The Special Education CARES and Learning Center programs for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 will be held at North Quincy High School and Clifford Marshall Elementary School beginning June 26 and continuing through the month of July. Outreach is underway to parents and staff about the programs being in person. Classrooms are limited to 12 people total including teachers and aides. Mr. Mulvey said parents have the option to transport students themselves or utilize Quincy Public Schools transportation.

Mr. Gutro requested that the Summer School presentation be reviewed in full.

Mr. Andronico said this was a deliberate decision, there has been feedback from School Committee about the length of presentations. The guidance was issued by DESE last week, School Committee should be up to date on the guidance that is issued almost daily.

Mr. Mulvey said the guidance issued on June 7, 2020 suggests that summer programming for Special Education students should be in person. On June 5, 2020 DESE released guidance on PPE which need to be implemented for the in-person summer programming. The majority of Quincy Public Schools students will participate in summer programming remotely, in line with the original guidance.

Mr. Gutro asked what the process is for communicating this to families and staff. Ms. Perkins said that the first step was to determine the students who receive multiple services and are most at risk for regression under the remote learning model. The CARES and Learning Center programs were identified as the priority for in-person programming and the professional staff have all been contacted and paraprofessional staff are being recruited. Ms. Perkins said that in a normal year, these students have a robust in-person summer program so there is no budget impact. Families have been contacted and those who are not comfortable with sending the students into the school buildings will receive their services remotely.

Over 60 K-12 students have already accepted to attend the program and 30 students for Pre-Kindergarten. The Special Education team has been amazing, changing course in three days.

Mr. Mulvey said that the response to the Summer Program has been much higher than expected, but thanks to Mayor Koch’s funding through the CARES Act, the costs will be covered without impact on the budget.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the student ratio for transportation. Mr. Mulvey is in discussion with the Teamsters transportation bargaining units. A large school bus which normally holds 40 students may have 11 passengers. A mini-bus may only have four students. Mr. Mulvey said that the goal is to have as many drivers as possible available for summer transportation and also use outside resources who normally provide transportation for out-of-district students.

Mrs. Hubley asked if a monitor is required, will this count towards the total passengers and Ms. Perkins confirmed it will.

Mrs. Lebo asked how many students were invited to the Special Education summer program. Ms. Perkins said 150 total, including the Language Development classes, which will remain remote for the summer

Mr. Bregoli asked if a parent transporting their own student is reimbursed and Ms. Perkins confirmed. Many Pre-Kindergarten parents are willing to transport but the higher grade parents are looking for transportation.

Mr. Bregoli asked about compensatory services, Ms. Perkins said there haven’t been any requests to date but there may be requests going forward. Special Education services were started almost immediately after schools closed on March 16, Quincy Public Schools began IEP meetings earlier than mandated. Ms. Perkins said there is Orton Gillingham tutoring, speech, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy available virtually through the summer.

Mr. Bregoli asked about paraprofessionals being trained for personal care issues or restraints. Ms. Perkins said the veteran paraprofessionals are being hired wherever possible and they will be trained on adhering to the newest standards. Ms. Perkins said restraints are very rare and training will be updated as well.

Mrs. Lebo said that Special Education parents have been very pleased with the service delivery. Mrs. Lebo said that this information was released very recently, a lot has been accomplished in three days.


Remote Learning Survey

Mr. Mulvey reviewed that the Remote Learning Parent Survey will be shared with parents on Thursday, June 11. A draft was shared with School Committee and with Citywide and QPAC and edits incorporated into final survey. The survey link will be sent out to families on Thursday, June 11 and should be filled out for each child in a family.


High School Credit Recovery Eligibilty

Mr. Mulvey reviewed that all high school seniors met their graduation requirements so credit recovery will not be needed; students in Grades 9-11 are finishing their term this week and grades will be posted on June 19.

Ms. Papile reviewed that students in Grades 9-11 in need of credit recovery for this year or a previous year will be eligible for virtual Summer School at no cost. Ms. Papile said there will be a social-emotional component to Summer School, including wellness, anti-bias, and racism. Last year, 51 students participated in summer school and we are anticipating around the same level of participation for this year. Final numbers will be provided once grades are available next week. After the second term, students at risk of failing receive a letter notifying them. In February and March, there were in-person interventions and during the weeks of school closure, the tracking tool assisted in surfacing issues related to food insecurity, illness, and economic crises as impediments to participating in remote learning. Ms. Papile emphasized that the free Summer School program will be important in getting these students back on track

Mr. Gutro asked for this information because of his concerns about teacher use of Aspen, especially during the pandemic; he is concerned that parents are not aware that their student may not get credit for the third term and perhaps credit for the whole year course. Mr. Gutro asked if students who have not been actively participating in remote learning will not get credit.

Dr. DeCristofaro said that there was not any interim communication with parents about not receiving credit during the term. Dr. DeCristofaro said that non-participating and non-credit students will be subject to further analysis to determine underlying needs, but students will be held harmless if they were passing the course after the first two semesters.

Mrs. Lebo said there have been three different directives from the state; her understanding is that GPAs are frozen after second term. Students who were in jeopardy of failing for the year after the first two terms have the potential to improve their grades by participating in remote learning. Students cannot fail for the year based on third term performance.

Mr. Bregoli asked for clarification on the numeric grade that will be recorded in the student transcript. Ms. Papile said that the progress towards graduation is determined by points received for completing the course.

Mr. Bregoli asked if a student could be required to do credit recovery for all of their core courses. Ms. Papile said it is possible, but unlikely.

Mrs. Lebo reminded School Committee that students were aware that they were held harmless after the second term.


QPS High School Graduations Update

Mr. Mulvey reviewed the schedule for graduation ceremonies: North Quincy High School Graduation is scheduled for Friday, July 24 at 6:00 pm. Quincy High School will be split into two groups, 10:00 am (last names A-K) and 4:00 pm on Saturday, July 25 (last names L-Z). The Boston Cannons are providing professional ticketing for the events and volunteers to assist with the events. Quincy Public Schools staff are also volunteering for these events. The graduation registration process is underway online as of Monday, June 8. Thanks to Commissioner Dave Murphy, Kevin Segalla, and Keith Segalla for their work in planning the graduations.

Mr. Bregoli asked if School Committee is invited to the graduations. Mr. Mulvey said that initial plans are for the platform guests to be limited to the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Principal, Mayor, School Committee Vice-Chair, and City Council President, but that other elected officials can be seated elsewhere in the stadium.


QPS Superintendent

Mr. Andronico reviewed that Quincy Superintendent Leadership Profile Focus Groups began this past Monday, six have been completed to date with principals, administrators, teachers, parents, and staff. Additional focus groups will be scheduled for next week. The survey has over 850 responses currently, a very robust response. MASC will provide updated survey results and preliminary focus group information on Friday, June 12.

Mr. Santoro updated that the Orientation Meeting for the Superintendent Search Committee was held on Thursday, June 4. The Search Committee received a packet of materials and the timeline and process were reviewed. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 11.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to allow the Search Committee to interview internal candidates as semi-finalists and include the evaluation in the scoring matrix to be included in the recommendation for finalists to be interviewed by the Quincy School Committee. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion.

On the motion, Mrs. Hubley asked if the previous motion approved at the last meeting needs to be removed. Mr. Andronico said the new motion essentially overwrites that motion.

On a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.

Mr. Gutro asked if the focus group size was limited. Mr. Andronico said that the size was not limited and noted that this is the first time any community in Massachusetts has conducted these entirely online.

Mr. Andronico noted that a Superintendent Search page has been created on the Quincy Public Schools website.

Mrs. Lebo asked if a button can be added to the website so the page is more prominent.



Mayor Koch made a motion to adjourn the Special School Committee meeting at 8:00 pm. The motion was seconded by Mr. Santoro and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.