4-28-2021 School Committee Meetings

4-28-2021 School Committee Meetings
Posted on 04/26/2021

Quincy School Committee

Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee

**This meeting is a Committee of the Whole**

Mr. Doug Gutro, Athletics & Wellness Chair

Ms. Kathryn Hubley & Mrs. Emily Lebo, Subcommittee Members

Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 5:30 pm

via Zoom

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 live on QATV Channel 22 or at www.qatv.org.  The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on the QPS SchoolTube website on Friday, April 30, 2021.


  1. Fall II 2021 Athletics Update           Mr. Mahoney, Mr. Niamkey



  2. Spring 2021 Athletics Overview

         Mr. Mahoney, Mr. Niamkey




Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A meeting of the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 5:30 pm via Zoom.  Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Courtney Perdios, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Doug Gutro, Subcommittee Chair.  Also attending were Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Julie Graham, Mr. Kevin Mahoney, Mr. Jean-Jacques Niamkey, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk. 

Quincy High School Athletic Director Kevin Mahoney recognized the following Winter Athletes who were named Patriot League All-stars: Kaan Yavuz and Mary Saccoach for Basketball; Cameron Quigley, Joseph Hennessy, and Maggie Lynch for Hockey.  North Quincy High School Athletic Director JJ Niamkey recognized Winter Athletes who were named Patriot League All-Starts: Agu Ugwu, Colm Geary, Daithi Quinn, Fallon Hobin, and Orlagh Gormley for Basketball; Asher Wines, Ben Wines, Michael Izzo, Orla O’Driscoll, and Maggie Dineen for Hockey.

Mr. Niamkey reviewed the Fall II 2020-2021 Athletics Season, thanked the coaches, students, and parents.  Students enjoyed the opportunity to get out on the field for sports delayed from previous seasons: Football, Cheerleading, and Indoor Track.  Mr. Mahoney agreed that the students were thrilled to be able to make up for their missed seasons.  The Indoor Track team competed outdoors, meets were virtual and times were submitted to the league.  The Boys and Girls Quincy-North Quincy teams placed first in the league championships.

Mr. Bregoli noted that NQHS student-athlete Keira Sleiman set a school record for the Broad Jump.

The next item on the agenda was an overview of Spring Athletics.  Mr. Mahoney and Mr. Niamkey said that this presentation is based on the guidance for Phase IV, Step 1 from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA).  The EEA defines sports as “lower risk” (sports or activities that can be done individually); “moderate risk” (sports or activities that involve intermittent close proximity); and “higher risk” (sports or activities with a requirement or substantial likelihood of routine or sustained proximity).  Spring sports will include Boys Volleyball, Girls Golf, Baseball, Softball, Tennis, Outdoor Track, Wrestling, Sailing, and Lacrosse.  The Spring season is scheduled to run from April 26 to June 15 and the MIAA will host tournaments through June 30.

All players, coaches, spectators, staff, and referees are required to wear face coverings.  Records must be kept of all individuals present at team activities and social distancing between players observed including on bench areas.  Locker room usage is limited to 50% capacity.  For spectators, 50% capacity is allowed as long as six feet of distance is maintained at all times.    

Sports-specific modifications were reviewed for Baseball and Softball (maximum 20 players dressed per game, distancing on the benches; limited number of participants involved in pre-game meeting or pitcher’s conference; no seeds, gum, or spitting); Tennis (assigned balls numbered by court; electronic lineup exchange; distancing for doubles and switching sides); Boys Volleyball (roster limited to 15 players; distancing observed on benches and warm-up area; teams remain on same side of court for whole match); Wrestling modifications will be finalized April 30 (practices are being conducted in pods of 10 or fewer students); Lacrosse (roster limits; revised game time format; limited equipment inspections); Outdoor Track & Field (virtual or dual meets permitted; running events may use all lanes; ensure social distancing for practice and team areas); Golf (staggered starts to support distancing; no score card exchange); and Sailing (one team on the dock at a time).

There are MIAA post-season tournaments planned for Spring sports, following the conclusion of the season.  The Patriot Cup will begin on June 1 and end on June 15. 

The Athletic Directors concluded their presentations by reviewing the preliminary teams planned for the Spring season, both schools will have Varsity and JV Baseball, Softball, and Girls Lacrosse and Varsity Boys & Girls Tennis.  Cooperative Varsity Teams include Boys & Girls Outdoor Track, Sailing, Wrestling, Girls Golf, and Boys Lacrosse.

Mr. Bregoli asked if the EEA Guidelines might be adjusted following the information released by the Governor yesterday that amends mask wearing guidelines outdoors.  Superintendent Mulvey noted that the most recent EEA guidelines were released on April 16, and they may be further amended, but they must be followed until superseded.  Superintendent Mulvey noted that these are regulations that are enforceable with fines so it is not a local decision to override.  Mr. Bregoli is would like to see masks eliminated for outdoor sports.

Mrs. Perdios congratulated the Athletic Directors for their leadership in getting through the challenges of the Fall II season.  Mrs. Perdios asked for clarification about Tennis, the MIAA modification requires masks but the EEA guidelines say that they are not needed during singles matches where 14 feet of distance can be maintained.  Mr. Mahoney followed up on April 29 with clarification that the MIAA specifies masks should be worn for singles Tennis matches.

Mrs. Perdios asked about participation, Boys Tennis has shown a decline at both schools.   Mr. Niamkey and Mr. Mahoney said there is a slight decrease in participation overall, but there are ongoing efforts to recruit for players in sports with lower participation levels.  Other Patriot League Athletic Directors are reporting similar levels of participation.

Mr. Santoro asked about how the information is being distributed to families, Mr. Niamkey said the information is posted on the QPS website.  Mr. Santoro suggested that coaches review with students and share with parents as well.

Mr. Santoro asked about changes for Fall 2021.  Mr. Mahoney said for all sports, the MIAA tournament format is moving from regional sections to state-wide format based on enrollment.

Mr. Santoro asked if capacity limits will be increased for next year’s Athletics.  Mr. Niamkey said we are trending in the right direction, but it is too soon to know what the guidelines will be.

Superintendent Mulvey said that the DESE Commissioner’s Office has the goal of returning to normal for the next school year as long as COVID-19 cases continue to trend down.

Mrs. Hubley asked about mask-wearing accommodations for students, Superintendent Mulvey said students must have a documented medical exemption, same as from the beginning of the school year.

Mr. Bregoli asked about MaxPreps (statistics app) involvement in the tournament seeding.  Mr. Mahoney said that there was initial discussion about this, but the discussion seems to be shifting to an MIAA-calculated formula.

Mr. Gutro said that there is an inconsistency in the guidelines for in-person learning (3 to 6 feet) and outdoor athletics (6 feet or more).  Superintendent Mulvey said that the increased respiration and exhaling due to exertion seems to be the reasoning. 

Mr. Mahoney thanked Superintendent Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, and Health Services Coordinator Rita Bailey for their responsiveness for the COVID-19 issues.  Mr. Niamkey thanked Mayor Koch and his staff, the Parks Department, the Boston Cannons, and QATV for their support for the Fall II season.

Mr. Gutro thanked the students and parents for their cooperation and flexibility.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee meeting at 6:30 pm.  Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Quincy School Committee

Joint Special Education and Teaching & Learning Subcommittee

**This meeting is a Committee of the Whole**

Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Special Education Chair

Mr. Doug Gutro & Mrs. Emily Lebo, Subcommittee Members

Mrs. Emily Lebo, Teaching & Learning Chair

Mr. Paul Bregoli & Mr. Frank Santoro, Subcommittee Members


Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 5:45 pm

via Zoom

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 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, April 30, 2021.


  1. Spring 2021 MCAS Administration  Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy
  2. Advanced Program Update   Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy, Ms. Vaughan
  3. New Curriculum Materials for 2021    Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy
  4. DESE’s Dyslexia Guidance   Ms. Perkins, Ms. Graham
  5. QPAC Update                                            Ms. Beck



A joint meeting of the Teaching & Learning and Special Educations Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 6:30 pm via Zoom.  Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley (Special Education Chair), Mrs. Emily Lebo (Teaching & Learning Chair), Mrs. Courtney Perdios, , and Mr. Frank Santoro.  Also attending were Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Sarah Anderson, Ms. Catherine Carey, Ms. Donna Cunningham, Ms. Julie Graham, Ms. Jennifer Leary, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Kimberly Quinn, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Edward Smith, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; Quincy Parent Advisory to Special Education President Cassandra Beck; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Senior Director of Curriculum Madeline Roy reviewed the latest guidance from the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education for the Spring 2021 MCAS administration.  Remote MCAS administration will be allowed for students in Grades 3-8.  On April 29, the protocols for Remote MCAS administration will be shared in a DESE webinar.

Students in the class of 2021 who did not previous pass MCAS have had the requirement waived and the class of 2022 (current Grade 11) will not take the MCAS at all.  (These students did not take MCAS in Grade 10 in Spring 2020 as schools were closed due to COVID-19.)  Current Grades 11 and 12 students may take MCAS this spring to qualify for the John & Abigail Adams Scholarship or the Koplik Certificate of Mastery.  Grade 10 students are scheduled for online MCAS administration for ELA and Mathematics between May 3 and June 11.  Students currently enrolled in Biology (Grades 9 or 10) will take the paper-based MCAS between June 1 and 11.  Remote MCAS is not available for high school students. 

At the elementary and middle school levels, students in Grades 3-8 will take one of two computer-based MCAS sections for both ELA and Mathematics between May 10 and June 11.  Principals will be meeting on Friday to plan and coordinate with the IT department.  MCAS Alternate Assessment portfolios are due to be submitted to DESE on May 20.

Mrs. Perdios asked if the elementary and middle schools have enough Chromebooks to accommodate test administration.  Ms. Perkins said that the Chromebook carts have been restocked. 

Mrs. Perdios asked about remote high school students missing class time to come to school for testing.  Ms. Roy said school day schedules will be adjusted to accommodate the MCAS assessment.

Mrs. Perdios asked if there was any possibility that MCAS would be cancelled altogether.  Ms. Perkins said this seems unlikely.

Mr. Bregoli asked about expectations for MCAS results, based on the disrupted learning time over the last two school years.  Ms. Perkins said that DESE has said the MCAS scores will not be used for accountability, the data will be used for diagnostic purposes.  Ms. Roy said that this will be another piece of data, along with the MAP scores.  Mr. Bregoli is concerned about the cumulative effect on more loss of time on learning.

Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification, Massachusetts chose not to request an exemption for the federal testing requirement.  Mrs. Lebo asked about the Fall 2021 testing window, Ms. Roy said it was previously in November. 

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification about the value of Grade 11 students taking MCAS.  Ms. Roy said Grade 11 students who are interested in qualifying for the Adams Scholarship for a tuition waiver for the Massachusetts colleges and universities are encouraged to take MCAS.  Mr. Gutro complimented the administration of the in-school SATs yesterday.

Mrs. Hubley asked about families opting-out from MCAS administration.  Ms. Perkins said there is no formal process to do this with DESE.

The next item on the agenda was an Advanced Program Update, Ms. Perkins reviewed the work of the planning team, including a suggested new program name:  Reach.  Ms. Perkins reviewed the current model for a regular school year where the top 20% of Grade 4 students district-wide based on combined Grade 3 MCAS scores for ELA and Mathematics are then administered a Reasoning screening.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, current Grade 5 students were not screened in Spring 2020, so the whole pool of 140 qualified students are participating in this year’s virtual APP program.  The process of screening these students is underway and the highest performing students will be invited to attend the Advanced Placement Center at Central Middle School for Grades 6-8.

Moving forward, the focus is on providing equitable access to advanced curriculum across the district for identified Grades 4 and 5 (and possibly Grade 3) students.  In addition, there will be collaboration with Kindergarten through Grade 2 teachers for working with advanced students.  A new mission statement was developed and the new Reach model has three teachers split across the eleven elementary schools plus Grade 5 students at South~West and Point Webster.  The benefits of the proposed model will increase the number of students exposed to advanced curriculum at earlier grade levels and address underrepresented schools.  A virtual information session will be shared with families on May 18 at 6:30 pm.  Eligible families will also be notified in June and rosters finalized for Fall 2021 implementation.

Mr. Bregoli asked for clarification on the criteria, Ms. Perkins said this will be students demonstrating advanced abilities in several curriculum areas.  Ms. Vaughan said the goal is also to better identify students with potential for advanced performance.  Ms. Perkins said there are students at the underrepresented schools who are capable but choosing not to attend the pull-out program at Point Webster.  Keeping the program at their home schools may encourage a higher level of participation.

Mr. Bregoli asked about teacher recommendations, this was eliminated as a criteria for admission into the Grade 5 program years ago.  Ms. Perkins said that the Waltham Public Schools program is being looked at as a possible model, they utilize an attributes checklist that teachers use as a screening tool to identify students.

Mr. Santoro said this is long overdue solution and creates a more equitable opportunity for our students.  Mr. Santoro thanked Mrs. Perdios for her leadership in this area.Mrs. Perdios said this is a great first step towards addressing the needs of elementary advanced learners.

Mrs. Lebo is concerned about English Learner students having difficulty demonstrating advanced abilities due to their fluency level.  Ms. Perkins said that the Waltham Public Schools coordinator talked about this issue and for students with Special Education issues.  Having a school-based program and using the attributes checklist makes it more likely to identify these students. 

Mrs. Hubley asked for more information about how this would work, would like to see a sample day’s schedule.  Ms. Perkins said that there are mock schedules and these can be shared. 

Mrs. Lebo asked about the new positions, Superintendent Mulvey said these would be built into the budget request to be discussed in May.

The Curriculum Team Administrators Kimberly Quinn and Ed Smith and ELA Coordinator Bridget Vaughan reviewed new curriculum initiatives for the 2021-2022 school year for elementary, middle, and high school Reading, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.  There are plans to pilot new Mathematics curriculum for Grades K-2, High School Chemistry, ELA/Reading core curriculum for Grades K-5 under the GLEAM grant, and Grade 8 Civics.  The costs associated with these will be reflected in the draft budget that will be submitted to School Committee in May.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the GLEAM grant.  Ms. Vaughan said this is federal funding administered by DESE, a team of approximately 20 teachers are working under the initial planning grant recently received to apply for the full grant funding.  Eight Quincy Public Schools elementary schools are eligible to receive the grant which would fund the purchase of a new core Reading program and a Literacy consultant.  Ms. Vaughan said that schools with a certain level of high needs populations qualify:  economically disadvantaged, English Learners, and Special Education.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the new curriculum being culturally responsive.  Ms. Vaughan said under the GLEAM grant, this is a top priority.  The DEI initiative components are being highlighted in the grant application.

Mr. Santoro said that the new curriculum materials will meet the current Frameworks and asked about pacing guides to ensure equitable access to the same materials across the district.  Ms. Roy said the high school department chairs and the elementary and middle school curriculum teams collaborate to ensure this.

Mrs. Perdios asked about the process that drives the decision to pursue new curriculum materials.  Ms. Quinn said in the case of elementary Mathematics, the method of teaching has evolved to be more manipulatives and center-based than the current core program supports. 

Mrs. Perdios said that the elementary Science curriculum provides for differentiated learning, but the core materials have difficult vocabulary.  Mr. Smith said that the teachers are collaborating on the use of the program’s resources to support all learners, sharing best practices.

Special Education Director Julie Graham shared the Massachusetts Dyslexia Guidelines, which have been pending with DESE since January 2019 when the new law on identifying students was enacted.  The guidelines cover screening, a framework of interventions for students at risk, and provide comprehensive resources for support and intervention.  Dyslexia is neurobiological in origin and is characterized by difficulties with word recognition, spelling, and decoding and secondary consequences for reading comprehension and retention.  There are three subtypes of dyslexia typically seen in students:  phonological processing (phonemic awareness; decoding, sight word, and passage accuracy), naming speed (decoding and sight word efficiency; passage fluency; rapid automatized naming and letter naming), or double deficit (both subtypes).  Federal and state guidance now recommend the use of the term dyslexia during evaluation, eligibility determinations, and IEP documents. 

Screening for dyslexia should answer three questions:  (1) who is at risk; (2) how significant is the risk; and (3) which skill areas need support.  Risk factors for dyslexia can be detected prior to formal reading instruction and screening for risk is critical for efficient intervention but is not an eligibility determination.  The recommended screening is fall and spring of Kindergarten; fall, winter, and spring for Grades 1-2.  This fits into the existing elementary school model of assessments, integrated team meetings, progress monitoring for students in the three-tiered model.  There is also specific guidance for assessing English Learner students potentially at risk.

Next steps include creating a literacy leadership team, evaluating existing curricula and interventions, research/select a universal screener, develop a strategic plan for three to five years of improvement work, and develop/provide professional development for all teachers.

Mrs. Lebo said that the Special Education community has been waiting a long time for this guidance, a great presentation.

Ms. Beck suggested that there are outside resources at diagnostic centers who can provide support in selecting a screening tool.

Ms. Beck updated that the next QPAC meeting is May 11 at 6:00 and will feature Board elections and the second part of the presentation on understanding IEPs.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 pm.  Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.