May 27, 2020 Special Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Special Meeting

Via Remote Technology
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 6:15 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 The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS website on Friday, May 29, 2020.


I. Chairman’s Update Mayor Koch

II. Approval of Minutes: May 20, 2020 Special Meeting and Executive Session

III. 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.

IV. Remote Learning & Engagement Numbers Update - Superintendent DeCristofaro

V. Student Opportunity Act Update - Deputy Superintendent Mulvey

VI. High School Graduations Update Superintendent DeCristofaro

VII. Quincy Public Schools Superintendent - Mayor Koch

  • Search Process

  • Leadership Profile Development Survey & Focus Groups

  • Search Committee

  • Job Description

VIII. Adjournment


Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – May 27, 2020

Special Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Special Meeting

A special meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held remotely on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 7:30 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. Erin Perkins, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy.


Chairman’s Update

In the interest of time, Mayor Koch deferred his update to the next meeting.


Approval of Minutes

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to approve the minutes for the May 20, 2020 Special School Committee Meeting and the May 19, 2020 Workshop.

On the motion, Mrs. Lebo asked for amendment to change the sentence at the top of page 6 to indicate that she agrees with a less-specific job description.

Mr. Bregoli accepted the amendment, which was re-seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.


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.


Remote Learning & Engagement Numbers Update

Superintendent DeCristofaro thanked Ms. Forrester, Ms. Papile, Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy, Mr. Segalla, and all the principals for their work in preparing this update on Remote Learning & Engagement statistics through last Friday, May 22.

Mrs. Lebo said that this is an impressive documentation of the connections with our students and would like to see more detail for middle and high school students on how many of their teachers they are engaging with. Mrs. Lebo asked if we are considering surveying students, parents, and staff on Remote Learning and Engagement to surface issues that may inform the planning for the fall. Dr. DeCristofaro agreed this is a good idea and that the Superintendent’s Leadership Team can begin working on this.

Mr. Gutro is concerned about the students who are not participating at all. (0.9%) Dr. DeCristofaro said these families need to be looked at into more detail to find the root causes. Mr. Gutro asked about families not connecting with technology. Ms. Forrester said some of the EL families are more comfortable with paper packets, teachers are providing customized materials. Mr. Gutro asked if paper packet usage declined as technology distribution continued. Ms. Forrester said that the teacher connections with students is a factor in the slight decline in paper packet. Mr. Gutro feels that this percentage of engagement reflects success for Quincy Public Schools, it is not easy for parents to keep students engaged.

Mrs. Lebo said that for younger students, she has heard that parents feel more comfortable with the paper packets.

Mr. Bregoli said that younger students have a shorter attention span and the paper packets may be appropriate. Mr. Bregoli agreed with the survey and is concerned of how to assess student progress and gaps in their learning. 

Mr. Santoro would like to see the teachers involved in the survey.


Student Opportunity Act Update

Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey reminded School Committee that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released an advisory that the deadline to file the Student Opportunity Act plan will be extended to June 19, 2020. This deadline still reflects the requirement of stakeholder feedback but the commitment to fund the plans is not updated. All three areas of the Student Opportunity Act achievement gap are addressed in the FY2021 Budget proposal: Special Education, English Learners, and Low Income.

A presentation to a joint Citywide Parent Council and Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education will be held virtually next Tuesday, June 2 at 7:00 pm. Mr. Andronico thanked the Citywide Parent Council for hosting, the public feedback on the plan is so important.

Mr. Gutro asked about outreach to the English Learner PAC, Mr. Mulvey said there has been outreach to invite them to participate in the June 2 meeting.


QPS High School Graduations

Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed that DESE Commissioner Riley released guidelines for High School graduations last Friday, May 22. The guidelines stipulate that outdoor ceremonies may not be held before July 19 and there are specific parameters to limit the number of guests and distancing for seating during the event and in arriving and leaving. Gatherings would not be allowed beyond family groups and platform guests will be limited as the ceremony should be as brief as possible.

The Mayor’s Office is working with Commissioner of Natural Resources Dave Murphy on a plan for the stadium. Dr. DeCristofaro said families would be limited to two tickets and the Quincy High School graduation would be scheduled in two parts due to the number of graduates.

Mayor Koch said Commissioner Murphy has drafted a plan that accommodates a little over 500 guests in the Veterans Stadium stands, which would allow for North Quincy High School with 280 students to have one ceremony. Quincy High School has 380 graduates so would most likely be divided into two ceremonies. Mayor Koch said the Principals and Superintendents can set dates in late July as that is not likely to be changed further at a state level.


QPS Superintendent

Mayor Koch announced the Superintendent Search Committee: Frank Santoro, Chair; Paul Bregoli and Emily Lebo from School Committee; Principal Larry Taglieri; Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile; teachers Michael Ellis, Peg McDonough, and Nicole Prevost; Philip Chong from QARI; student Jaden Hallisey; parents Scott Alessandro (Citywide), Cassandra Beck (QPAC), and an English learner parent to be confirmed. Ms. Owens will work with Mr. Santoro to coordinate and schedule meetings.

Mr. Andronico reviewed that the Leadership Profile Survey is being created online and should be ready to be posted on Thursday, May 28. Ms. Owens will share the survey with parents, staff, and students via email, website, and social media and with the press. Mr. Andronico has also had preliminary discussions with MASC about focus groups between June 8 and June 19 for different types of staff, students, parents, and community members. MASC will run the focus groups and report these and the survey results to the Search Committee and School Committee.

Mr. Santoro asked if the Search Committee should be meeting prior to the Focus Groups and survey results and Mr. Andronico agreed. Mr. Santoro said that an introductory email will go out this week and an orientation meeting scheduled as soon as possible.

Mr. Gutro asked how the focus groups will be publicized. Mr. Andronico said these will be sent out to parents, teachers, students, administrators via email and the participants will registered themselves.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the focus groups, these will be public meetings.

Mr. Andronico moved onto the draft brochure he created advertising the Quincy Public Schools Superintendent position, sharing an overview of the school district and a timeline for hiring the new Superintendent. Mr. Koocher provided feedback that the hiring date could be negotiable, depending on the candidate hired and that site visits would be pending public health guidelines. Mr. Koocher also suggested adding information that the Special Education Learning Center building is pending and several criteria around commitment to the position.

Mrs. Lebo thanked Mr. Andronico for his work on the brochure, thanked everyone for the changes suggested.

Mr. Gutro agreed that Mr. Andronico has worked closely with Mr. Koocher, designed a useful and quality brochure in addition to all the other pieces.

Mr. Santoro said that if additional selection criteria are needed, some of the design elements could be made smaller.

Mr. Andronico said if School Committee approves the brochure, MASC is ready to post it as early as tomorrow. Mr. Andronico reviewed brochures from other cities and towns to develop the criteria, which can be amended as the survey and focus group information becomes available.

Mr. Gutro asked if the brochure should reflect the city’s additional investment in the school system. Mr. Andronico said that figure represents the budget that the Superintendent has direct control over. 

Mrs. Lebo agreed with Mr. Gutro, it could give the impression that our per pupil cost is low if candidates assume that certain costs that the city carries are in the Quincy Public Schools budget. Mrs. Lebo suggests that the per-pupil expenditure for Quincy Public Schools students be added below the total budget.

Mr. Bregoli asked for clarification, Mr. Andronico said that the criteria on the brochure is not meant to be the complete list and is subject to change based on the leadership profile survey and focus groups.

Mrs. Lebo said that Mr. Bregoli was wondering how the candidates would know about the additional criteria that School Committee will add after the survey and focus groups.

Mr. Andronico suggested that could be added to the timeline, when the focus groups and surveys are completed on June 25, the information can be communicated to applicants.

Mr. Santoro suggested developing a rubric for the Search Committee to use in evaluating applications. Mr. Andronico said MASC will assist with creating a rubric to be used during this process.

Mrs. Lebo emphasized that the information about additional city funding should be added to the brochure.

Mr. Santoro also clarified that the budget figure is FY2020 and feels that the per student cost is a good figure to share.

Mayor Koch suggested that a well-qualified candidate will do their homework and research the budget details.

Mr. Gutro suggested using the term “net school spending” that includes the school-related costs covered by the city.

Mr. Andronico agreed with using this figure. With that update, Mr. Andronico  asked if School Committee feels comfortable with finalizing and posting the brochure.

Mr. Gutro moved to approve the brochure as amended. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.



Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the Special School Committee meeting at 8:45 pm. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley and on a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 7-0.