Dec. 11, 2023 School Committee Meeting

Dec.11, 2023 Subcommittee Meeting
Posted on 12/07/2023
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Quincy School Committee Teaching & Learning Subcommittee

Mrs. Emily Lebo, Chair
Mrs. Tina Cahill & Mr. Frank Santoro, Subcommittee Members

School Improvement Plan Presentations
Monday, December 11, 2023 at 6:00 pm
Coddington Building, School Committee Room

Presentation Schedule:

6:00 pm Susan Shea Connor/ Merrymount Elementary School

6:15 pm Janet Loftus/Lincoln Hancock Community School

6:30 pm Steve Sylvia/Squantum Elementary School

6:45 pm Scott Perfetuo/Snug Harbor Community School

7:00 pm Marisa Rodriguez/Beechwood Knoll Elementary School

7:15 pm Margaret MacNeil/Parker Elementary School

Members of the public can access the meeting in person or live on QATV Channel 22 or at The meeting will also be recorded for rebroadcast and posted on Friday, December 15, 2023 on the QPS YouTube channel




Quincy School Committee Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on December 11, 2023 at 6:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Subcommittee members Mrs. Tina Cahill, Mr. Frank Santoro and Mrs. Emily Lebo, Subcommittee Chair. Also present were School Committee Members Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, and Mrs. Kathryn Hubley; Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Diane Babcock, Ms. Kim Connolly, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Kristin Dwyer, Ms. Julie Graham, Ms. Laura Latini, Ms. Janet Loftus, Ms. Margaret MacNeil, Mr. Michael Marani, Ms. Maura Papile, Mr. Scott Perfetuo, Ms. Kimberley Quinn, Ms. Marisa Rodriguez, Mr. John Rogan, Ms. Susan Shea Connor, Mr. Stephen Sylvia, Mr. Christopher Tierney, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri, Ms. Bridget Vaughan, Ms. Kathryn Welch; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Lebo noted that all School Improvement Facilities items are being moved to the Facilities Subcommittee for further discussion.

Principal Susan Shea Connor and Assistant Principal John Rogan presented the Merrymount Elementary School Improvement Plan, noting that assessment achievement was strong on both MCAS and MAP (above the national norms) and last year’s goals were met or exceeded. Looking ahead, the focus is on strengthening writing skills and specific domains for mathematics where gaps in prerequisite skills are evident. Science goals will integrate vocabulary and strengthening knowledge of science and engineering practices. VOCAL data showed many positive parts of the school’s climate and culture, and identified areas for growth. The SIP and action steps are the collaboration of the Merrymount staff, one of the school’s most important assets. The teams work together to plan family engagement activities and extended day activities, helping create a positive and collaborative school culture.

Mrs. Cahill asked about MAP data over the course of the school year, does it correlate with the MCAS scores at all? Mrs. Shea Connor said that MAP is a different type of assessment, it can be predictive of MCAS performance, but not always a match.

Mrs. Cahill asked about analysis of MCAS data by cohort, Mrs. Shea Connor said that schools do use the cohort data to look for trends in assessment performance.

Mr. Santoro asked for clarification on the MCAS data chart, the comparison of each grade are different cohorts of students

Mrs. Lebo asked for a district-level presentation on the cohort data and how MCAS differs from MAP data.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the facilities page, Mrs. Shea Connor said the request is to make a classroom within the media center for the Art teacher.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the former Art room located in the basement, it is now a Kindergarten classroom.

Mr. Bregoli asked about incident reports, Ms. Perkins said all incidents are documented, but not all meet the criteria for reporting to DESE. The statistics in the SIP are the ones that are reported to DESE in the SSDR report. Mr. Gutro asked for the SSDR categories to be outlined for School Committee.

Mr. Gutro noted that Merrymount’s Chronic Absenteeism dropped across the board. Mr. Gutro noted that the EL students had a decline in achievement for ACCESS testing, Ms. Shea Connor said there are action steps focused on addressing the areas where students will need additional support.

Mr. Gutro asked about the range of literature for students to see themselves, Ms. Shea Connor said there are many resources with the new CKLA program.

Mr. Gutro asked about the request for an additional security camera, Ms. Shea Connor said this is for the outdoor classroom area which is a draw after hours.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to approve the Merrymount Elementary School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Janet Loftus and Assistant Principal Kristin Dwyer presented the Lincoln Hancock Community School Improvement Plan, highlighting the tremendous growth on assessments for students in the past school year. The school exceeded target growth, reduced Chronic Absenteeism, met or exceeded last year School Improvement Plan goals.

VOCAL survey data was strong, students feel cared for and supported, and there is a positive school culture. The SMORE platform for newsletters provides translation to families, all students are recognized by their teachers three times during the school year with notes sent home to families, new students are welcomed to Lincoln Hancock by the Peer Leaders. The PRIDE program and PBIS has been revamped to support the social-emotional learning of students and the goal focuses on documenting and reducing office referrals for discipline.

In analyzing the DIBELS data, the earliest learners are below the district level at the start of the school year. The assessment team is taking a deep dive into the data and creating extended day academic enrichment to catch up students in the spring before the school year ends and developing strategies to avoid summer slide.

Thanks to the Public Buildings and Maintenance department for creating two new classrooms over the summer, the IT staff for getting the classrooms up and running.

Mr. Santoro thanked both Ms. Loftus and Ms. Dwyer for their efforts for the Lincoln Hancock community,

Mrs. Cahill said she enjoyed her visit to Lincoln Hancock, the backpack distribution day was a wonderful event. Mrs. Cahill loves the student acknowledgements throughout the school year, students feel like they belong and will do better in school.

Mrs. Lebo said the MAP growth is phenomenal, looking at the 2-year cohort MCAS data important, VOCAL data is very good. Mrs. Lebo asked about Chronic Absenteeism, Ms. Loftus said there were monthly interventions this year from the start of the school year, helping to remove the barriers for regular school attendance.

Mrs. Hubley asked if attendance on early release days continues to be an issue, Ms. Loftus confirmed.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the need to add a 6th Grade 4 classroom for next year, Ms. Loftus said the Art room could become a classroom and the Art teacher travel from room to room.

Mr. Gutro complimented the data and the goals for this year.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to approve the Lincoln Hancock Elementary School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Steve Sylvia presented the Squantum Elementary School Improvement Plan, thanked all for the support of the entire community. The new Squantum school planning process with the MSBA is well underway, with an educational plan created from the visioning workshops with the school staff.

Squantum Elementary School staff are dedicated to the student and analyzing and refining their professional practices, and providing safe, engaging school programming. Goals from 2022-2023 were all met or partially met, including an increase in achievement for EL students on the ACCESS assessment. Building on strong achievement for writing domains on MCAS, the goals for this school year are supported by new, revised, and continued action steps. Full implementation of the CKLA and Illustrative Mathematics curricula are underway, staff are participating on district-level teams. VOCAL data reflects the strong and positive school climate, families are engaged through consistent communication, strong PTO involvement.

Mrs. Cahill thanked Mr. Sylvia, great achievement and engagement at the Squantum Elementary School.

Mr. Gutro asked about Chronic Absenteeism, Mr. Sylvia said that the 2nd Guidance Counselor added to the staff will assist with interventions

Mrs. Lebo said the student and family engagement is incredible.

Mrs. Cahill made a motion to approve the Squantum Elementary School Improvement Plan. Mr. Santoro seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Scott Perfetuo and Assistant Principal Diane Babcock presented the Snug Harbor Community School Improvement Plan. The dedicated staff are focused on providing the best possible educational experience for students. MCAS achievement data analysis provided targeted areas for improvement in the current school year. In MAP testing, high growth and close to the national norms for all grades and curriculum areas. CARES students showed an increase of achievement on MCAS, with 74% in the Progressing category, well above the state average. Social-emotional learning will be enhanced by the new Guidance Counselor added to the Snug Harbor staff this year. VOCAL data shows that students feel safe and supported at school, and areas for growth were identified, particularly with students developing higher-level interpersonal skills.

Looking forward to this year, Math Interventionists are supporting students through pushing into classes and working with students who need additional support, the implementation of the new curricula will continue, and initiatives will focus on reducing Chronic Absenteeism. Extended education programs will have academic supports for high risk students and social-emotional supports for at risk.

Mrs. Cahill and Mr. Gutro noted some concerning physical plant issues, will follow up in Facilities Subcommittee.

Mrs. Lebo said that the CARES data is impressive and the action steps for substantially separate classes is important, but the Chronic Absenteeism is concerning. Mrs. Lebo asked if early release days are an issue for some families, Mr. Perfetuo confirmed.

Mr. Santoro asked if there are additional ways for the district to support the school, PTO resources are much smaller than other schools.

Mrs. Hubley said the parent engagement and VOCAL data is wonderful, especially how the students feel cared for by their teachers.

Mr. Bregoli said that the work of Mr. Perfetuo and Ms. Babcock is impressive,

Mr. Gutro suggested that Chronic Absenteeism be reviewed at the district level.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to approve the Snug Harbor Elementary School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Beechwood Knoll Principal Marisa Rodriguez and Assistant Principal Laura Latini presented the School Improvement Plan, a reflection of the work of the entire school community. An extensive review of the achievement data was highlighted by the excellent Science achievement in the 92nd percentile; all grades and curriculum area were above state level and the school has been designated as making substantial progress towards targets. The English Learners have continued to grow, supported by an additional staff member for this school year. High needs students now make up 60% of the school population, yet high achievement is still seen in all areas.

Mrs. Cahill asked about Free & Reduced Meal data, the data is generated by School Nutrition department.

Mrs. Lebo said very impressive gains in achievement, the VOCAL data is very good, Chronic Absenteeism is good.

Mr. Gutro said the parent engagement is great at Beechwood Knoll and he appreciates the analysis of the school’s changing demographics and responses.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to approve the Beechwood Knoll Elementary School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Principal Margaret MacNeil and Assistant Principal Kathryn Welch presented the Parker Elementary School Improvement Plan, reflecting on the positive VOCAL data and the culture of kindness at the school. Extended day activities support student interests and investment in school community. Parker has small class sizes, and Literacy, Math Interventionists, English Learner, and Special Education Resource Room staff to provide identified interventions for students surfaced through the ILT meetings. Assessment results are a snapshot of student achievement, but most grades and curriculum areas, achievement is at or above the state level. The percentage of students in Grade 5 meeting or exceeding expectations improved by 11% from Spring 2022 to 2023. Goals and action steps are focused on differentiating instruction and providing individualized interventions so that each student achieves

Mrs. Cahill asked about cohort data, Ms. MacNeil said that traditionally Grade 3 has strong scores and the MCAS assessments are more challenging for the upper grade. In implementing the new curriculum last year, it seems clear that the pacing needs to be adjusted for Mathematics.

Mrs. Cahill asked about the School Council, Ms. MacNeil said they are an advisory committee, review the SIP, working on EDI issues, and active PTO members.

Mr. Bregoli said the Parker community is lucky to have Ms. MacNeil as principal.

Mr. Gutro enjoyed his visit to Parker for backpack distribution and noted the VOCAL data is remarkable.

Mrs. Lebo liked the SEL goal, agreed that the VOCAL data is impressive, and that there is a great team at the school.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to approve the Parker Elementary School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Lebo asked if PTO funds need to be accepted by School Committee, Superintendent Mulvey will research

Mrs. Cahill made a motion to adjourn at 7:45 pm, seconded by Mr. Santoro. On a voice vote, the ayes have it.