Feb. 10, 2021 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 6:30 pm
Coddington Building

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, February 12, 2021.

I. Approval of Minutes: Meeting Minutes for January 27, 2021

II. Open Forum: An opportunity for community input regarding the Quincy Public Schools. Community in this context is defined as a resident of the City of Quincy, a parent of a student who attends the Quincy Public Schools, or an employee of the Quincy Public Schools. Non-community persons not permitted to speak at Open Forum may submit written statements to the School Committee. After giving his or her name and address, each speaker may make a presentation of no more than four minutes to the School Committee. An individual may not exchange their time or yield to others.

To participate in Open Forum, interested parties may submit written statements or may speak live at the meeting by submitting a request to: [email protected].

III. Superintendent’s Report

A. Chairman’s Report - Mayor Thomas Koch

B. QPS Pooled Testing Initiative

C. QPS Enrollment Update

  • Transition to In-Person Learning, Grades 1-3

  • QPS COVID-19 Metrics

D. QPS Parent Involvement Update

E. Early College Initiative with Quincy College

F. FY2021 Grant Booklet

G. NQHS on WGBH’s High School Quiz Show

H. Museum of Science Grant

IV. Old Business:

V. New Business:

A. Advanced Program Review - Ms. Perkins, Ms. Roy

B. Student Support Program Update - Ms. Papile

C. Resolution Encouraging Governor Baker to Prioritize COVID Vaccinations for Class of 2021 Students (Discussion/Vote) - Mrs. Hubley, Mrs. Lebo

VI. Additional Business:

VII. Communications:

A. Upcoming School Committee Meetings: March 10 and 24, 2021 (Regular Meetings, 6:30 pm, Coddington Building)

B. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings: February 24, 2021: Athletics & Wellness at 5:30 pm; Teaching & Learning at 6:00 pm; March 3, 2020: Policy at 5:30 pm; Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at 6:00 pm.

VIII. Reports of Subcommittees:

A. Quarterly Budget & Finance: Mrs. Hubley to report on the January 27, 2021 meeting.

B. Teaching & Learning: Mrs. Lebo to report on the January 27, 2021 meeting.

IX. Executive Session: None

X. Adjournment:


Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – February 10, 2021

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Regular Meeting

Chairman Presiding

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 6:30 p.m at the Coddington Building. Superintendent Kevin Mulvey called the roll and present were Mayor Thomas P. Koch, School Committee Chair, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mr. Frank Santoro.

Also present were: Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Rita Bailey, Ms. Allison Cox, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

School Committee observed a moment of silence in memory of the following former Quincy Public Schools employee who recently passed away: Charlotte Echelle, Special Education Transportation monitor for 23 years. In addition, School Committee observed a moment of silence for Public Buildings Maintenance Department plumber James Hines and Marie McCarthy, mother of City Councillor and former School Committee member David McCarthy and the men and women serving our country at home and overseas.


Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting for January 27, 2021. Mr. Gutro seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.


Open Forum

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


Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Mulvey recognized Mayor Koch for the Chairman’s Report. Mayor Koch updated that the 180 Old Colony building is being used for Manet’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution (Mondays and Wednesdays, by appointment) and COVID-19 testing (Tuesday afternoons). Community partners are assisting with vaccinating senior citizens in local buildings, both private and Quincy Housing Authority. Local businesses are planning to host vaccination clinics for staff when the appropriate phases open. Supply is driving the pace of vaccinations in the city and statewide.

Mayor Koch thanked Superintendent Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Perkins, the Superintendent’s Leadership and Principal teams, the teachers and all of the Quincy Public Schools staff have all been working so hard for the last year.

Mr. Gutro asked Mayor Koch for an update on the City of Quincy Health Commissioner, interviews are underway and hopefully an announcement will be forthcoming shortly.

Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification, educators are eligible for the vaccine in Step 3 of Phase 2.


Superintendent Mulvey said that Pooled Testing Initiative will begin on Monday, February 22 and continue for a 6-week pilot funded by the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. Online enrollment forms have been shared for students (180 students have signed up to date out of a total pool of 1150 students) and for staff (the form was opened this afternoon). Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins reviewed the pooled testing model for Grades 1-3 students who will be attending school full time after the February break and staff who will be working with those students. Pooled testing will be completed weekly and results will be available within 24 hours and an individual rapid antigen test will be administered to staff and students in a pool with a positive result. Participation in pooled testing is encouraged but not required to attend school in person.

Mr. Gutro asked about parent concerns, Ms. Perkins said parents are concerned about the test being invasive or upsetting to students. Pools would be kept small to limit the potential number of students and staff required to quarantine in case of a positive pool. Ms. Perkins said that other districts experience has been that families who are initially reluctant are encouraged to join when the data shows the benefits. Mr. Gutro asked about the follow up testing, Ms. Perkins said because the initial test is a PCR test, the antigen is a follow up. Once the positive case is identified, contact tracing will be done to verify any potential exposure to the positive case. Superintendent Mulvey said that the recent antigen tests are considered more reliable and Mrs. Lebo said her understanding is that if there is enough of a viral load to trigger a positive PCR test, it will also be a positive antigen test.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the cost of pool testing, $5 per test and the follow up testing is free.


Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that current Quincy Public Schools enrollment is 9,684, with about 15 registrations pending. The instructional model breakdown is 47.4% for hybrid/in-person and 52.6% remote. Pre-Registration for 2021-2022 Kindergarten is underway, with just under 300 families already completing the online form and appointments being scheduled at school sites and Central Registration.

Superintendent Mulvey reviewed the process that the Quincy Public Schools administrators and Task Force have followed in developing, adapting, and implementing learning models during this school year. Grades 1-3 Hybrid students will return to full time in-person learning on Monday, February 22; at this time, only five families have requested to switch to full remote. Grade 12 students currently in hybrid or in-person will be eligible to return to school in-person on March 1

Mrs. Lebo thanked Superintendent Mulvey and asked about students who are in school but accessing remote classes. Superintendent Mulvey said we are continuing to address these issues and livestreaming is underway at both high schools so that hybrid students have access to live instruction full time. Ms. Owens clarified that many World Language classes are taught by teachers remotely due to space considerations in the high schools. Any student enrolled in a World Languages class would potentially have one remote class even on their hybrid days.

Mr. Gutro suggested that remote students might be interested in moving to in-person and hopes there will be an opportunity at the end of the 3rd term to accommodate those students.

Superintendent Mulvey said the 6-foot distancing requirement is the key factor, once the students return to in-person, principals can assess additional spaces that are available. Also, DESE is requiring the remote school to be provided for families through the end of the school year, so there are staffing challenges.

Mrs. Lebo said the unique schedules of high school students make this very challenging.

Superintendent Mulvey said that planning is underway for Grades 4-5 to return on March 22.

Mr. Bregoli asked what would need to change to bring all students back full time at all grade levels. Superintendent Mulvey said a change to the distance requirements and ending the requirement for providing remote schooling. Superintendent Mulvey said that DESE allows for students and staff to be between 3-6 feet apart.

Mr. Santoro asked for clarification on the distancing issue. Mayor Koch said the School Committee can decide on the distance between students and staff but that staffing the remote school will still be a challenge.

Mrs. Lebo asked about livestreaming being the remote school. Superintendent Mulvey said this has been implemented at the high school level across the board and at the middle and elementary school when needed for students in quarantine.

Mayor Koch requested that Superintendent Mulvey present options to School Committee for how to safely return all of the grades to in-person learning.

Mr. Gutro asked if we know why families choose remote learning, Ms. Perkins said most choose due to health safety concerns.

Mrs. Lebo noted that that students are not necessarily distancing outside of schools.


Superintendent Mulvey reviewed the COVID-19 metrics for the two weeks January 27-February 9. There were 40 student cases: 23 hybrid, 6 in-person, 11 remote and 8 staff cases. There was no evidence of in-school transmission during these two weeks.


Superintendent Mulvey reviewed recent Virtual Parent events including Family Math Night with Greg Tang on February 2, with 90 families participating. The Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education meeting on February 1 and Gingerbread Craft event; Citywide Parent Council meeting on February 8; and the English Learner Parent Advisory Council meeting on February 9 with 70 families participating.


Superintendent Mulvey gave an overview of the proposed Early College Initiative with Quincy College. Thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts Department of High Education, up to 190 students will have the opportunity to earn Dual Enrollment credits for selected courses.

Mayor Koch thanked Quincy College President DeCristofaro for his leadership in pursuing this opportunity for Quincy Public Schools students.


Superintendent Mulvey noted that the FY2021 Grant Booklet was shared with School Committee. The Grant Booklet can be reviewed at an upcoming Budget & Finance Subcommittee meeting.


North Quincy High School has qualified for this season of WGBH’s High School Quiz Show, along with 17 other local schools. NQHS students Dominique Dang, John Thomas Malvesti, Kaitlyn Vu, and Jenny Yang are coached by NQHS educators Danielle Fernandez, Peg Farren, and Mira Kriz.

Two North Quincy High School Basketball Players were recently named Patriot League Players of the Week, Orlagh Gormley and Fallon Hobin.


New Business

Grades 5-12 Advanced Program Review

Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins; Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy; and Coordintor of English Language Arts Bridget Vaughan presented on the Advanced Placement Programs for Grade 5 and Grades 6-8. The Grade 5 APP program is designed to help students develop productive, complex, abstract, and higher level thinking skills by offering rigorous academic tasks. The current criteria for admission is to screen the top 20% Grade 3 MCAS scores district-wide using the Comprehensive Testing Program which is a Reasoning (Cognitive Ability) test. Since Quincy Public Schools were closed last spring and summer, students were not screened, so 140 students representing the top 20% of Grade 3 MCAS scores were invited to participate. 123 accepted the invitation and the program is held virtually, so students can participate whether in the hybrid, remote, or in-person instructional models. Students are working on year-long project with peer interaction at each stage.

For the Grades 6-8 Advanced Placement Program at Central Middle School, students from all five middle schools are instructed at an accelerated pace with more rigor and complexity, including concepts and standards from higher grade levels being introduced. The students in the program attended the Grade 5 APP program or were screened during the spring and summer of Grade 5 based on performance on preliminary Grade 5 MCAS scores or private school assessments. All five middle schools offer Advanced English, Mathematics, and Science courses and qualifying students may take one, two, or three of these courses.

At the high school level, Grades 9 and 10 students have opportunities to take advanced courses in ELA, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and World Languages. Grades 11 and 12 Advanced Placement courses are college-level and offerings include . Students may take Advanced or Advanced Placement classes at the high school level based on pre-requisites, regardless of their middle school pathway.

A planning team of principals, teachers, parents, and Superintendent’s Leadership team will work together to develop a plan for assessing the current Grade 4 students for admission into the 2021-2022 Grade 5 program (no Grade 3 MCAS) and screening the current Grade 5 APP students for admission into the Grades 6-8 program. An update on this meeting will be presented

Mr. Santoro is interested in thoroughly reviewing the Advanced Programs for elementary and middle schools and looking at gifted students versus high achievers. Mr. Santoro suggested that at the high school level, pre-requisties

Mrs. Lebo thanked the presenters and asked for additional data for the number of students in each demographic to be included. Mrs. Lebo asked about Grade 8 students in Mathematics. Ms. Roy said that Advanced Placement Program students are taking Algebra 1 and Advanced Mathematics courses cover an introduction to Algebra and potentially enough

Mr. Gutro referred the item to the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee and the item was previously referred.


New Business

Student Support Services

Senior Director of Student Support Services Maura Papile and Department Chairs Paula McGeady (QHS) and Rebecca Nutley (NQHS) shared a review of the high school focus on social-emotional wellness. Recent training for staff focused on supporting student re-entry into school, diversity training (including VISIONS), and the district-wide initiative requiring a daily interaction to support social emotional health in the classroom. Classroom teachers share concerns with student support staff who provide family outreach and supports such as technology and connecting to counseling resources. Students accessing Google classroom view a Student Support page along with their curriculum area resources. Check-ins are interactive and help student support staff understand what students need for support.

Post-graduate planning is taking place virtually in addition to in-person, Google Classroom is also utilized for this. College and universities are offering virtual tours and virtual College Fairs are offered. On the spot admissions are being done virtually with several local colleges, including Quincy College, Bridgewater State University, and Nichols College. Individualized Financial Aid support is provided to families through partnerships with Quincy College and volunteers. Quincy community partners will continue to offer scholarship support to graduating seniors and the application process is underway.

PSAT administration was done at the high schools on January 27, over 500 students at both sites. Most colleges and universities did not require SATs or ACTs for this year’s seniors and may waive them for the Class of 2022 as well. The SAT has eliminated the optional essay and the subject tests. NQHS and QHS are offering in-school SAT administration on April 27; registration will be at the schools and this will be for Quincy Public Schools students only.

The QHS Health Interventionists Dan Mongo and Terrell Johnson created a virtual after-school Healthy Cooking Club. Students received Stop & Shop gift cards to purchase the ingredients for the simple, healthy recipes.

Mr. Bregoli asked if there has been an increase in outside counseling referrals this year. Ms. Papile said that families are struggling with food insecurity and unemployment. The pandemic has been hard on a lot of families and there have been a lot of different needs. Ms. Papile said that since so many people are impacted, discussion about depression and anxiety is widespread.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the waiver of SATs impacting scholarship awards, Ms. Papile will follow up.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the graduate follow up for the class of 2020, there has been a huge impact on students entering or continuing in higher education. Mrs. Lebo is anticipating additional funding for skills and social emotional supports for high school students.

Mr. Gutro said that in his experience, Guidance was very helpful with the college application process. Mr. Gutro asked about the social media interactions and measuring engagement. Ms. Papile said it is more about information sharing than back and forth engagement. Ms. Papile said attendance and academic progress are assessed in student support meetings, student support and deans are doing home visits, it is a struggle because students are not as accessible. High school students are joining the after school programs for the added socialization. Student re-engagement is the focus, working on one student at a time.

Mayor Koch asked for clarification, Ms. Papile said the referrals are different than in previous years, not strictly social-emotional but a broader range of concerns due to families being in economic crisis. Mayor Koch noted that the city has allocated additional funds to support the food pantries.

Mr. Santoro asked about supports for Career Vocational Technical Education, Ms. Papile said all the same supports are in place. There will be future presentations on Elementary, Middle, and CVTE student supports.

Mayor Koch and Mr. Bregoli both noted that not all students are ready to go to college immediately after high school and may choose to enter the military, join a union, or enter into other full-time employment. Mr. Bregoli said that the resumption of Athletics has been important to students’ mental health.

Mrs. Lebo noted that DESE holds schools accountable for the number of students who take AP classes and attend college. Mrs. Lebo is concerned about students who don’t have CVTE training and a pathway to employment.


New Business

Resolution on Vaccinating Class of 2021

Mrs. Hubley shared a resolution from the Framingham School Committee that requests the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prioritize vaccinating students in the Class of 2021 in order for them to return to school in-person. The Framingham School Committee invited other city and town School Committees to join in signing the resolution and the Massachusetts Association of School Committees shared throughout the state.

Mrs. Lebo said that tonight’s discussion about bringing the Class of 2021 back to school later in March makes this less of an issue.

Mr. Gutro asked if this resolution makes the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, but it is optional.

Mr. Bregoli said that the focus on vaccine priorities has been for the most vulnerable and with the current limited supply, this is impractical while senior citizens are still waiting.

Mayor Koch said there are definite concerns about supply and also the recommendation for younger members of the community is evolving.

As there was no motion to approve, the resolution remains on the table.


Additional Business

There was no additional business.



Mayor Koch noted that the next Regular School Committee meetings are scheduled for March 10 and 24, 2021 at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building. Subcommittee meetings will be held on February 24 (Athletics & Wellness at 5:30 pm; Teaching & Learning at 6:00 pm) and March 3, 2021 (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at 6:00 pm).

Mayor Koch noted that the Joint Convention of the City Council and School Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 16 at 6:30 pm in the Quincy High School cafeteria. The Joint Convention is to appoint a School Committee member to fill the remaining term for Mr. Andronico who has been appointed to the Ward 2 City Councillor position.

Mrs. Lebo reviewed the City Council Resolution introduced by Ward 3 Councillor Ian Cain, concerned that it was premature given tonight’s discussion and not well-informed about the requirements.

Mayor Koch said the resolution passed 5-4 after a robust discussion, several former School Committee members on City Council. Mayor Koch said it reflects the confusion of the general public about the requirements.

Mr. Bregoli said the City Council Resolution was not fair to the hard work of the Superintendent, Leadership Team, Principals and Quincy Public Schools staff.


Reports of Subcommittees

Mrs. Hubley noted that all Subcommittee minutes are posted on the Quincy Public Schools website (quincypublicschools.com) for review.

Mrs. Hubley reviewed the FY2021 2nd Quarter Budget & Finance Subcommittee meeting on January 27, 2021. All salary and expense accounts are at appropriate levels for this time of year.

Mrs. Lebo reviewed the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee meeting on January 27, 2021, where presentations focused on the GLEAM grant, the Assessment calendar, the MAP Assessment, and ACCESS testing.

As there were no corrections, the minutes of the January 27, 2021 Budget & Finance and Teaching & Learning Subcommittees were accepted as presented.


Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.



Mr. Bregoli made a motion to adjourn the Regular School Committee meeting at 8:55 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.