Dec. 4, 2023 School Committee Meeting

Dec. 4, 2023 School Committee Meeting
Posted on 12/01/2023
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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 4, 2023 at 6:00 pm
Coddington Building, School Committee Room

Presentation Schedule:

6:00 pm Dan Gilbert/North Quincy High School

6:15 pm Aliza Schneller/Atlantic Middle School

6:30 pm Christine Barrett/Point Webster Middle School

6:45 pm Rick DeCristofaro/Central Middle School

7:00 pm Courtney Mitchell/South~West Middle School

7:15 pm Nick Ahearn/Broad Meadows Middle 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 8, 2023 on the QPS YouTube channel




Quincy School Committee Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on December 4, 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 Mayor Thomas P. Koch, School Committee Chair; School Committee Members Mr. Paul Bregoli (arrived at 7:00 pm), Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley; Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Mr. Nicholas Ahearn, Ms. Christine Barrett, Ms. Kim Connolly, Mr. Richard DeCristofaro, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Susan Foley, Mr. Daniel Gilbert, Ms. Julie Graham, Ms. Noreen Holland, Ms. Kathleen Mahoney, Mr. Michael Marani, Ms. Courtney Mitchell, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Kimberley Quinn, Ms. Elizabeth Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Aliza Schneller, Mr. Lawrence Taglieri, Christopher Tierney, Ms. Bridget Vaughan; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to move the School Improvement Plan Facilities Needs to the Facilities, Security & Transportation Subcommittee. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

North Quincy High School Principal Daniel Gilbert and Assistant Principal Noreen Holland presented the NQHS School Improvement Plan, highlighting the inclusion community at the school and sustained academic achievement. North Quincy had very good MCAS results, 91% of high need students were above state level of achievement, and all academic goals last year were met. The VOCAL data speaks highly of the school culture and climate and the school has expanded extended day offerings to meet student interests and engage families. Mr. Gilbert said the proudest day of the year was graduation, handing out the diplomas and knowing all the stories and how much effort it took for some to get there.

Mrs. Cahill thanked Mr. Gilbert, good leadership and peer mentoring are critical to students feeling connected. Thanks to Mrs. Lebo for introducing the food waste diversion pilot, enjoyed visiting the schools to see the lunchtime culture.

Mr. Gutro thanked the North Quincy faculty, very strong culture of success and well-thought out goals.

Mrs. Lebo thanked Mr. Gilbert for his leadership and praised the SMART goal with focus on addressing chronic absenteeism.

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

Atlantic Middle Principal Aliza Schneller and Assistant Principal Elizabeth Roy presented the School Improvement Plan, MCAS and MAP data is very positive with most goals from last year being met and achievement data at or above the state levels. There are specific areas of focus for improvement this year, introducing more project-based and hands-on learning, targeting interventions for students’ individual needs, including social-emotional learning through Open Parachute. Partnership with the Boston Celtics All-Star Initiative for school attendance, supported by Arbella Foundation. Community circles are continuing during the Student Support Block, additional field trips are planned for this school year for student personal growth. DEI activities are held monthly, activities and art projects connected to literature and academics; students find success when there is a strong connection between the home and school. Students are enthusiastic participants in a wide array of extracurricular activities, including the upcoming drama production and athletics. VOCAL data was very positive, proud of the Atlantic staff for supporting the welcoming culture.

Mr. Santoro said the Atlantic Science Fair was fantastic, the students were eager to share their projects and enthusiastic about complex topics.

Mrs. Cahill asked if there is enough social-emotional focus and support for individual student needs. Ms. Schneller said that Walker Therapeutics is a wonderful partner and support those who need one on one counseling, we are able identify students and assist them with getting the support they need.

Mrs. Lebo asked about Civics, Ms. Schneller said preparing for the pilot MCAS will give information for areas of focus next year.

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

Point Webster Middle School Principal Christine Barrett presented the School Improvement Plan, the effort of the entire staff. Point Webster has Pre-K and Grades 5-8 students, goals are focused on responding to the data and provide students with the strategies they need to be successful. The School Improvement Plan is a living document, at Assessment Team meetings, the action steps are evaluated and evolve as needed. Goals from 2022-2023 were met for some grade levels, while others showed progress. Goals for this school year are based on the progress of previous years, identified areas of focus for cohorts and individual students are supported through action steps. Students interests are supported and community connections are built through an extensive array of extended day activities, family communication has been enhanced by the SMORE platform which provides translation, and community activities such as the annual Fun Run are

Mrs. Cahill asked about the VOCAL data, especially students feeling reflected in reading materials. Ms. Barrett said the staff is working with the librarian to expand offerings.

Mr. Gutro said the VOCAL data is very good, Ms. Barrett is exceptional at family engagement, communication is accessible, and afterschool activities are impressive.

Mrs. Hubley asked about the Geography Bee, Ms. Barrett said that is one of the annual traditions and still to be scheduled for this year.

Mrs. Lebo said the class sizes are amazing, the Math Interventionist position was an important addition. Mrs. Lebo asked about the VOCAL data, concerned about the perception of younger students being picked on. Ms. Barrett said the Grades 5-6 and 7-8 students are now lining up outside in separate areas.

Mrs. Lebo said that Chronic Absenteeism improved, but declined for subgroups. Ms. Barrett said the All-Star program is helpful with incentivizing student attendance. There are also monthly attendance meetings with families who may need support in understanding the importance of regular school attendance.

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

Central Middle School Principal Rick DeCristofaro and Assistant Principal Kathy Mahoney presented the School Improvement Plan. In addition to academic success, the staff are focused on the whole student and student interests. Best practices are shared among teachers, students at all levels are challenged so that achievement is demonstrated by meeting or exceeding state performance levels for all grades and subject areas. For this school year, areas of focus have been identified with specific domains for math and science.

A new goal this year focuses on Social Studies and the Civics MCAS pilot, and another is focused on DEI. Working collaboration with Citywide EDI group, along with continuing Social-Emotional goals. VOCAL data was very strong, a reflection of the strong school culture and the Central Middle School staff.

Mr. Santoro thanked Mr. DeCristofaro for continuing the great traditions and establishing many new ones at Central Middle School.

Mrs. Cahill asked about the VOCAL data consistency, Mr. DeCristofaro said the questions come from the state, so they may not be exactly the same from year to year.

Mr. Gutro thanked Mr. DeCristofaro for leadership, noted that there is a large list of facilities issues, many dating from the opening of the building.

Mrs. Lebo was happy to see the Civics goals, concerned about the Facilities list especially the black substance on the building exterior.

Mrs. Lebo noted that Chronic Absenteeism did not improve, but the school’s Assessment data is impressive.

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

South~West Middle School Principal Courtney Mitchell and Assistant Principal Susan Foley presented the School Improvement Plan, proud to represent the staff, students, and families of South~West and present a student-centered plan that reflects the data analysis and best practices that inform the action steps, a true team effort. 2022-2023 brought much to celebrate with academic, athletic, and artistic achievements; students explored their interests and built community through the expanded extended day offerings. Positive impacts on student behavior included a focus on keeping students in class and addressing issues as they arise, community circles and Open Parachute builds community and respect among students.

For MAP and MCAS testing achievement, students showed progress and typical growth but were below targets. Analysis of data has provided areas of focus for Tier 1 instruction and Tier 2 and 3 Interventions, especially in the area of writing. ELA and Math coaching is assisting teachers, co-planning on instruction and data, common planning time for vertical and grade-level teams. New this year are goals related to ACCESS proficiency for English Learners.

Mrs. Cahill said hearing about the collaboration between classroom and academic support staff is important. Mrs. Cahill asked what kind of results is the staff seeing in terms of incidents and attendance, Ms. Mitchell said monthly meetings analyze running data reports and help demonstrate the improvement in discipline referrals schoolwide. The check in-check out system has been greatly expanded this year, data is trending in a positive direction.

Mrs. Cahill asked about One Book, One School, Ms. Mitchell said it will be in the spring.

Mr. Santoro thanked Ms. Mitchell said the extended day activities are impressive, opportunities for students to establish relationships with staff

Mrs. Hubley admires the Financial Literacy after school option. Mrs. Hubley asked about the request for EL staff, the school currently has 3.0 positions, a fourth position would be give the school one for each grade, that would allow for greater flexibility for push-in services.

Mr. Bregoli said that there is a great feeling about the school in the community under Ms. Mitchell and Ms. Foley’s leadership.

Mr. Gutro said that a new building is great, but the strong leadership is more important. Very thoughtful SMART goals and action steps and impressive extended day.

Mrs. Lebo likes the Chronic Absenteeism goal and action steps, questioned why the Accountability Data flagged the school as requiring assistance or intervention. Ms. Perkins said this is due to the achievement level of one student.

Mr. Santoro made a motion to approve the South~West Middle School Improvement Plan. Mrs. Cahill seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Broad Meadows Middle School Principal Nick Ahearn noted that his focus for the start of the school year in his new position has been on building relationships with staff, students, and families as this is his first year as principal at the middle school level. In reviewing the 2022-2023 goals, there were indications of growth but targets were not consistently met. The ELA focus will be on reading and analyzing informational texts for both MCAS and MAP. Improving overall social-emotional health is also a focus of the goal, incorporating information from the VOCAL survey particularly about student voice. The All-Star program incentivizes regular attendance, the drama club is working on the spring production in the newly renovated auditorium.

Mr. Santoro complimented Mr. Ahearn on his smooth transition, Mrs. Cahill agreed.

Mrs. Cahill said the class sizes are amazing across the board.

Mrs. Cahill said that the back parking lot is very dark, needs additional lighting (among other improvements).

Mr. Gutro said that Mr. Ahearn left a legacy at Clifford Marshall, a lot of public support for him as principal.

Mrs. Lebo said the expanded extended day is great, SMART goals around absenteeism and school culture are good to see.

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

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