3-10-2021 School Committee Meeting

3-10-2021 School Committee Meeting
Posted on 03/08/2021

AGENDA

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Wednesday, March 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, March 12, 2021.

I. Approval of Minutes: Meeting Minutes for February 10, 2021

II. Open ForumAn 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 by submitting a request to: QSCOpenForum@quincypublicschools.com.

III. Superintendent’s Report

A. Chairman’s Report    Mayor Thomas Koch

B. QPS Pooled Testing Initiative

C. QPS Enrollment Update

D. QPS Parent Involvement Update

  • One Book, One School events
  • STEM Exploration with JASON Learning Parent Academy, March 9
  • CVTE Pathways & Dual Enrollment Parent Academy, March 16

IV. Old Business:

 V. New Business:

  1. CVTE Student of the Year Finalists      Mr. Keith Segalla

     

  2. Grade 5 Students at Point Webster and South~West Middle Schools      Mrs. Lebo                             (For referral to EDI Subcommittee)

 VI.      Additional Business:   

VII.     Communications

  1. Upcoming School Committee Meetings:March 24, 2021; April 7, 2021; May 5, 2021 (Regular Meetings, 6:30 pm, Coddington Building)
  2. Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings:  TBD: Joint Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Facilities, Transportation & Security at 5:30 pm; March 31, 2021: Joint Special Educationand Teaching & Learning, 5:30 pm

VIII.    Reports of Subcommittees: 

  1. Athletics & Wellness: Mr. Gutro to report on the February 24, 2021 meeting.
  2. Teaching & Learning: Mrs. Lebo to report on the February 24, 2021 meeting.
  3. Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: Mr. Santoro to report on the March 3, 2021 meeting.

IX.       Executive Session:    None

X.        Adjournment:

Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – March 10, 2021

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Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, March 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, Mrs. Courtney Perdios, and Mr. Frank Santoro.

Also present were: Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Mr. Robert Burke, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Christine Ells, Mr. Charles Hannaford, Ms. Ligaya Hannaford, Ms. Rebecca McInnis, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Paul Tully, and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

School Committee observed a moment of silence for the men and women in the armed forces serving at home and overseas and for Mary Gallagher, a retired crossing guard with 30 years.

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Regular Meeting

 

Chairman Presiding

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting for February 10, 2021. Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Approval of Minutes

Four letters from Kindergarten parents who are seeking a return to full-day Kindergarten learning in person were read into the record. The letters were submitted by Colleen Clifford, Lisa Shaw, and Jess Callahan; Elizabeth Anderson; Jaclyn Bennet, Eunice Rush, Nicole O’Hare, Lena Espinal, Erinn Robinson; and Katy and Joe McDonough.

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Open Forum

Superintendent Mulvey recognized Mayor Koch for the Chairman’s Report. Mayor Koch thanked the Superintendent and all of the staff for their efforts. Quincy has been in the yellow for the last few weeks, thanks to Manet Health for their assistance in managing the vaccination distribution within the city. Mayor Koch met today with a group of metropolitan Boston area mayors, the Governor has released the preliminary budget information to the House of Representatives and the Senate. Mayor Koch also spoke with Representative Lynch today about the most recent stimulus package and how the city may benefit from funding to support the re-opening of school and stabilize the city budget.

Mr. Gutro asked about the open Health Commissioner position. Mayor Koch said two candidates were interviewed recently but ultimately declined the offer due to the complications of leaving their current positions during the pandemic. The search will continue.

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Superintendent Mulvey reviewed the Pooled Testing Initiative, 225 students and staff enrolled, 1 case last week. Students and staff in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8 will be eligible to join pools the week of March 22 with high school students to follow. Thanks to Health Service Coordinator Rita Bailey and Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins for getting the initiative launched. The staff from our partner Medex have been very helpful in the success of the program and the state has extended the funding through April 18.

Through the partnership with Manet Health, 200 Quincy Public Schools educators will be vaccinated on Thursday, March 11.

Mrs. Hubley asked which vaccine will be administered, Superintendent Mulvey said the Pfizer, which will require a second shot at a later date.

Mrs. Perdios asked about staggering the staff in case of side effects and the clinic is on Thursday for that reason.

Mrs. Lebo said that the state’s mass vaccination sites will have designated educator days.

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Superintendent Mulvey reviewed that current Quincy Public Schools enrollment is 9,683. The instructional model breakdown is 48.4% for hybrid/in-person and 51.6% remote.

Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins and Senior Curriculum Director Madeline Roy reviewed that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released new guidance on students returning to school, based on the Board of Education meeting on March 5, 2021. Ms. Perkins clarified that along with the dates requiring students return to full-time in-person learning, remote learning will remain an option for the remainder of the school year for families that choose this option. Within the guidance, school districts must allow remote students to begin attending school in person as long as students are within a three to six-foot distance.

On March 22, students in Grades 4-8 currently enrolled in hybrid learning will begin full-time in-person learning. Students will remain in the same classroom for the entire day, but curriculum-area teachers will change classrooms within the grade level. For Grade 11, hybrid students will return to full-day in-person learning on March 22, followed by Grades 9 and 10 on March 29. Wednesday will remain as the early release day for all levels on their early release schedule (weekly for elementary students, 2nd and 4th Wednesdays for middle school, and 2nd Wednesday for high schools).

Ms. Perkins said that there are challenges to bringing back Kindergarten students back to full-time in-person learning. In combining the morning and afternoon cohorts for both in-person and remote learning, the class sizes would potentially be higher than the School Committee class size guidelines and require teacher assignment changes. Kindergarten families will be surveyed on Friday about their preferred instructional model and this will assist in planning to accommodate the needs of all of the students.

Students in the remote learning model can request to return to full-time in-person learning by contacting their principal. Each principal is compiling a waiting list and we are developing a plan to move those students on or before April 5.

Social distancing will continue to occur within classrooms with the maximum distance possible, no more than six feet and no less than three feet.

Superintendent Mulvey said that the DESE guidance is that these changes do not require School Committee approval, this regulation change gives DESE Commissioner Riley authority to set the deadline of April 5. School districts may not deny a student admission to school based on a distance requirements of six feet.

Mr. Bregoli asked that since our dates are earlier than the state deadlines, would a vote be required. Superintendent Mulvey said no because all of the March 10, 2021 regulations.

Mr. Bregoli asked if April 5 is a deadline for families to request a learning model change. Superintendent Mulvey said that families can continue to request a change of learning model through the remainder of the school year and this will be accommodated within a month.

Mr. Bregoli asked about Academic Programs for Art, Music, and Physical Education. Ms. Perkins said that the middle and high schools won’t have any changes and the elementary schedules have been updated to accommodate the teacher preparation periods required by contract.

Mrs. Lebo asked about parents who might prefer to remain in the morning or afternoon Kindergarten model, Ms. Perkins said that it would be difficult to sustain both the half and full day models.

Mrs. Lebo asked for an update on the number of students at high school in person with remote teachers.

Mrs. Hubley said there is confusion about whether students in remote learning will receive credit for the school year. Ms. Perkins said this language was targeted at districts who are offering remote learning as their primary model, that will no longer count towards instructional time, districts must offer hybrid/in-person. Since we are offering in-person learning, students who stay in the remote model will also receive credit for time on learning.

Mrs. Hubley asked that the Kindergarten survey reflect that student’s teachers could change if the program moves to full day.

Mrs. Hubley asked about transportation, since the capacity restrictions have been lifted the current students on transportation can be accommodated.

Mrs. Perdios asked if families will be notified if distancing in their classrooms is less than six feet. Mr. Mulvey confirmed this and that mask breaks, snack, and lunch will be at six feet.

Mrs. Perdios asked about the use of lockers and desks, students have been taking their books to and from school on their hybrid days. Superintendent Mulvey said that principals will be working with teachers and students to allow for the use of lockers that prevents students congregating.

Mrs. Perdios asked for confirmation that the Grade 5 students at Point Webster and South~West will have an early release day every Wednesday. Ms. Perkins confirmed this.

Mrs. Perdios is concerned about the effect on students of a full-day remote Kindergarten program. The decision is a balance and changing teachers could be a huge issue at this time in the school year. Ms. Perkins confirmed that the current Kindergarten model meets the state’s requirement for time in school.

Mr. Santoro is concerned about middle school students’ ability to remain in the same classroom for the entire day. Mr. Santoro asked if students might be offered to change schools due to capacity issues, Ms. Perkins said that will not likely be necessary. We are anticipating that a sizeable percentage of remote learners will remain in that model for the remainder of the year.

Mr. Gutro for about waiting lists for students to change from remote learning to full-time in-person. Ms. Perkins said the elementary schools have an average of five students for all grades; most middle schools have 10 students, with one at 15.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification, Mayor Koch said that three to six feet has always been allowable. Under the recommendation from former Health Commissioner Jones, School Committee adopted six feet for the reopening of school in the fall. Mr. Gutro asked for families to be informed that the distancing may change to be below six feet. Ms. Perkins said that this information will be shared with QPS families.

Mr. Gutro is concerned about the possibility of students changing teachers in Kindergarten and Ms. Perkins said that families will be notified as they request a change in instructional models. At the high school level, students moving from remote to in-person may have some teacher changes as some sections are all remote.

Mr. Gutro asked about Grade 12, those students returned to full-time in-person learning on March 1.

Mrs. Lebo thanked everyone, this is an incredibly complex process to schedule these students.

Mayor Koch said that millions of dollars have been invested in upgrading the ventilation systems and that has been part of the safe operation of schools with no in school transmission.

Pre-Registration for 2021-2022 Kindergarten is underway, with just under 400 families already completing the pre-registration online form and appointments being scheduled at school sites and Central Registration.

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Superintendent Mulvey reviewed the COVID-19 metrics for the two weeks February 24-March 9. There were 32 student cases: 9 hybrid, 12 in-person, 11 remote and 9 staff cases. No evidence of in-school transmission during these two weeks.

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Superintendent Mulvey reviewed recent and upcoming QPS Parent/Student Involvement opportunities: the One Book, One School Webinar events with New Kid author Jerry Craft were well attended, with 500 students and staff total for Central, Atlantic, and South~West. Point Webster and Broad Meadows will have their events on March 18. On March 9, there was a STEM Explorations with Jason Learning Virtual Parent Academy for Grades 3-8 and on March 16, there will be a Virtual Parent Academy for CVTE Pathways & Dual Enrollment.

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Superintendent Mulvey shared that Mr. Gutro had requested information from the QPS Fall Re-Entry Survey for Parents about the reasons families chose remote learning. A summary of this information was shared with School Committee.

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Superintendent Mulvey concluded his report by noting that the High School Robotics program has transitioned to meeting both in person (for the students who feel comfortable doing so) and remotely. The team will be working together to program their robot to compete in a Skills Challenge in April.

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Superintendent’s

Report

 

Executive Director Keith Segalla and Quincy High School Career Vocational Technology Education Department Chair Rebecca McInnis reviewed the process of selecting the recipient of the CVTE Student of the Year. Eight highly qualified students were interviewed by a panel of Quincy School~Community Partnership members. The five finalists, along with their teachers, presented to School Committee: Benjamin Chin, Plumbing Technology, Quincy High School; Matthew Kelly, Carpentry Technology, Quincy High School; Mikayla Kennedy, Health Care Technology, North Quincy High School; Stephanya Mendes, Early Education and Care, Quincy High School; and Quincy's2021 Outstanding Vocational Technical Student-of-the-Year Supriti Karki, Engineering Technology, Quincy High School.

Mayor Koch, the School Committee members, and Superintendent Mulvey recognized each student for their leadership, accomplishments, and goals.

Mrs. Lebo noted that the Quincy Public Schools is the model for CVTE programs in the state.

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New Business

 

CVTE Student of the

Year Finalists

 

 

Mrs. Lebo referred the Grade 5 students located at the Point Webster and South~West Middle Schools to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee.

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New Business

 

Grade 5 Students at

PWMS & SWMS

Referred to EDI

Subcommittee

 

Mr. Bregoli thanked all who expressed their support before and after his recent surgery, many cards and messages received.

Mr. Santoro attended the JASON Learning Parent Academy event and was impressed by how much that can be accomplished through Virtual Learning. Mr. Santoro said that parents have expressed interest in continuing virtual learning opportunities. Mr. Santoro asked to refer to Teaching & Learning and Mayor Koch said the item should be placed on the next agenda for referral.

Mr. Gutro asked about electing a Vice Chair for School Committee. Mayor Koch said that he is willing to serve as Chair for meetings for the remainder of the term. Mr. Santoro said in his previous experience on School Committee, Mayors were the chair for all School Committee meetings. Mayor Koch suggested that discussing the Vice Chair position should appear on the next agenda for and Mrs. Lebo agreed.

Mrs. Perdios noted that the Policy Book personal pronouns need to be updated to replace “he” with “he/she” and “his” with “his/her”, especially in Section 2. This can be reviewed at the next Policy Subcommittee meeting as the Policy Book is already in Subcommittee. Ms. Owens has completed a preliminary review and this may only affect Section 2 issue, other sections were previously updated.

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Additional Business

Mayor Koch noted that the next Regular School Committee meetings are scheduled for March 24, 2021; April 7, 2021; and May 5, 2021 at 6:30 pm at the Coddington Building. Subcommittee meetings will be held on March 31, 2021 (Joint Special Education and Teaching & Learning) and on a date to be determined (Joint Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Facilities, Transportation & Security).

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Communications

Mayor Koch noted that Subcommittee meeting minutes are posted on the School Committee page of the Quincy Public Schools website.

Mr. Gutro reviewed the Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee on February 24, 2021. The high school Athletics Directors presented a review of the Winter 2020-21 season and a preview of the Fall II season just underway.

Mrs. Lebo reviewed the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee meeting on February 24, 2021, where presentations focused on the One Book, One School middle school initiative and an update on the Grade 5 Advanced Program screening.

Mr. Santoro reviewed the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee meeting on March 3, 2021. Senior Director of Student Support Maura Papile and representatives from elementary, middle, and high levels presented on DEI initiatives.

As there were no corrections, the minutes of the February 24, 2021 Athletics & Wellness and Teaching & Learning and March 3, 2021 Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittees were approved as presented.

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Reports of

Subcommittees

There was no Executive Session.

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Executive Session

 

 

Mr. Gutro made a motion to adjourn the Regular School Committee meeting at 9:00 pm. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

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Adjournment