4.13.2022 School Committee Meeting

4.13.2022 School Committee Meeting
Posted on 04/11/2022

AGENDA

Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

WednesdayApril 13, 2022, 6:30 pm

Coddington Building, School Committee Room

 

   I.                 Approval of Minutes:  Regular Meeting Minutes for March 23, 2022.

  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.  

 

Interested parties may also submit written statements to: QSCOpenForum@quincypublicschools.com.

   III.            Superintendent’s Report

A.   QPS Enrollment & COVID-19 Metrics

B.     Student Recognitions:  High School Science Fair Winners

C.    QPS Mentoring Program/NAGE Support

D.   QPS Family Engagement:

·       English Learner Parent Advisory Council (ELPAC), April 26

·       Multicultural Festival, May 5

·       Parent Academy: Welcome to Kindergarten, May 26

   IV.            Old Business:  

 

A.   Approval of Superintendent’s 2022-2023 Goals (VOTE)                         Mrs. Lebo

B.     2022-2023 QPS School Year Calendar (Discussion)                                      Mr. Bregoli

This item is eligible for vote at the May 4, 2022 meeting.

V.         New Business:

A.   School Nutrition Department Update                                       Ms. Dufour, Ms. Minton

B.     Approval Out of State Travel (One Day) (VOTE):            Superintendent Mulvey

·       Broad Meadows Middle School Grade 8 to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire on June 15, 2022.

·       Point Webster Middle School Grade 8 to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire on June 17, 2022

                                                             

 VI.      Additional Business:   

VII.           VII.  Communications: 

A.   Upcoming School Committee Meetings (Coddington Building, 6:30 pm):

Regular Meetings: May 4 (City Council Chambers) & May 18, 2022; June 15, 2022

B.     Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings (Coddington Building, 6:00 pm): 

·       Quarterly Budget & Finance, May 11, 2022

·       Teaching & Learning, May 11 & June 1, 2022

·       FY2022 Budget Meetings, May 25 & June 1, 2022

VIII.    Reports of Subcommittees: 

A.   Athletics & Wellness:  Mrs. Cahill to report on the March 29, 2022 meeting.

B.     Special Education: Mrs. Hubley to report on the March 31, 2022 meeting.

C.    Policy: Mr. Bregoli to report on the March 31, 2022 meeting.

IX.       Executive Session:    None

X.        Adjournment:

Quincy, MASSACHUSETTS – April 13, 2022

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Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

A meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 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, Vice Chair.

Also present were:  Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Assistant Superintendent Erin Perkins, Ms. Allison Cox, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Ms. Julie Graham, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; Quincy Education Association President Ms. Gayle Carvalho; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

School Committee Member Mrs. Tina Cahill was absent.

School Committee observed a moment of silence for the people of the Ukraine and the men and women of our armed forces at home and overseas.

Mr. Santoro read the following statement into the record:  Pursuant to the Open Meeting Law, any person may make an audio or video recording of this public meeting or may transmit the meeting through any medium.  Attendees are therefore advised that such recordings or transmissions are being made whether perceived or unperceived by those present and are deemed acknowledged and permissible.

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Regular Meeting

 

Vice-Chair Presiding

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting for March 23, 2022.  Mrs. Lebo seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

  §

Approval of Minutes

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

      §

Open Forum

The Quincy Public Schools enrollment is 9,909 for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, an increase of 29 students since the March 23 School Committee Meeting.  For the next school year, registration is open for all grades. Kindergarten Registration, 470+ students are pre-registered and 60 students for Grades 1-12.

Mr. Gutro asked when the last time Quincy Public Schools enrollment was over 10,000 students.  Mayor Koch said enrollment peaked around 1970, when there were 20,000 students.  By the early 1980s, elementary schools were being closed due to declining enrollments, so that is likely the last time the school district enrolled over 10,000 stidents.

Mayor Koch asked about the rate of registration, Ms. Owens said the pace of registration is higher than in previous years, especially during the 2020-2021 school year when families emigrating from outside the United States was very limited.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the population as compared to the beginning of the school year.  Ms. Owens said there has been an increase of 300 students, 100 were at Pre-Kindergarten as the three year old students were not registered prior to the October 1 data submission.

For COVID-19 statistics, there were 64 student and 19 staff cases in the two weeks ending April 12, an increase from the previous two weeks.  2,530 staff and students are participating in pooled testing, 22.2% of the staff and students in the district with a 0.20% positivity rate. Just under 2,200 staff and students are signed up to receive home testing kits.   Vaccine rates for students are slightly higher than when last reported in March:  elementary schools range from 33 to 70%; middle schools from 42 to 59%; NQHS is at 86%; and QHS is at 66%.

Superintendent Mulvey recognized the students who finished in the top three position from each school out of a total of 237 projects that were submitted to the combined Quincy/North Quincy 2022 STEM Fair.  1st place :  Jessica Berberi (NQHS, Grade 10) - What aquatic environment can accomplish the most bioremediation of heavy metal pollution using the microorganisms algae and yeast?; Miradulaa Suginathan Yamin (QHS, Grade 9) - Automated Blood Glucose Level Simulator  2nd place:  Jamie Zheng (NQHS, Grade 10) - Potassium Effects on Aquatic Plants; Stanley Tran (QHS, Grade 10) - Turning Everyday Noises From Boston Into Electrical Energy  3rd place:  Victoria Berry (NQHS, Grade 10) -The Best Materials for Prosthetic Legs Based on Durability, Weight, Speed, Balance, and Comfort; Isabelle Hogan (QHS, Grade 10) - Which Preservation Method Best Prevents Oxidation?  These students, plus nine Honorable Mention projects competed in the Regional Science Fair and seven projects are advancing to the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair in May.

Quincy Public Schools has long had a robust Mentor Program to help new teachers improve practice, learn professional responsibilities, and ultimately, positively affect student learning.  The Mentoring Program allows veteran teachers to reflect and improve upon their practice, while coaching a new staff member.  The positive result of this program is a high rate of staff retention, as new educators find themselves in an environment that cultivates continual growth and success.  The process begins with the QPS New Professional Staff Orientation in August before the start of the school year and continues through the five meetings held during the school year.  Mentor meetings feature whole-group informational presentations, mentor-protégé support and collaboration; small group discussions; and opportunities to connect with job-alike colleagues.  This year, 65 proteges, our new professional staff, are being mentored by 60 veteran professional staff members.  We would like to thank the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) for their continued generous support of the QPS Mentoring program, we recently received their annual $10,000 donation.

Mrs. Lebo asked about educator retention, there is currently one staff member pursuing an alternative career, several leave of absence requests, most due to maternity, and a number of transfer requests.  Superintendent Mulvey will follow up with additional data.

Superintendent Mulvey concluded his report by reviewing upcoming QPS Family Engagement events: the English Learner Parent Advisory Council (ELPAC) meeting on April 26, 2022 at 6:00 pm on Zoom; the Quincy Multicultural Festival on May 5, 2022 at 6:00 pm at Pageant Field; and the Welcome to Kindergarten Parent Academy on May 26 at 6:00 pm at Central Middle School.

§

Superintendent’s

Report

 

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to approve the Superintendent’s 2021-2022 Goals as presented, seconded by Mr. Gutro. 

On the motion, Mr. Gutro asked about the timeline for the 2022-2023 school year goals.  Mrs. Lebo said since the goals incorporate MCAS data, typically the goals are reviewed in the fall.

On a roll call vote, the ayes have it, 6-0.  Mrs. Cahill was absent.

§

Old Business

 

Superintendent’s

2021-2022 Goals VOTE

 

 

Mr. Bregoli reviewed the four options for the 2022-2023 Quincy Public Schools School Year Calendar:  the current calendar format with and without observation of the Lunar New Year and a new calendar format with and without observation of the Lunar New Year.

Mrs. Lebo asked for the financial ramifications of adding a new holiday, Superintendent Mulvey said that 52 week employees would have as a paid holiday, the bargaining units would each have to be negotiated with.  Mr. Mullaney said that there is roughly $100,000 cost for an additional paid holiday.  The holiday could also be unpaid.

The 2022-2023 Quincy Public Schools School Year Calendar will be eligible for vote at the May 4, 2022 School Committee meeting.

§

Old Business

 

2022-2023 QPS

School Year Calendar

 

Director Sara Dufour and Assistant Director Jane Minton presented an update on the Quincy Public Schools School Nutrition program, reviewing the website and social media for menus and meal information.  Additional features are available for parents and students to interact about allergy restrictions and nutritional content.  Food samples were shared with School Committee, highlighting the creativity of the staff in providing nutritious and delicious meals, including vegan options, more fresh fruits and vegetables, and homemade meal selections such as hummus. 

This school year has been a challenge with supply chain issues, including a long-time local produce supplier closing and staffing issues for drivers and warehouse staff at the wholesale vendors.  In previous years, menus were published monthly, but during the uncertainty of the fall, menus were published weekly.  Staffing for lunch attendants has been an ongoing challenge. 

The Federal waiver providing meals at no cost for all students expires on June 30, 2022 and will not be renewed.  There is a bill in the state legislature to continue to provide meals at no cost to school children, but until that is confirmed, the School Nutrition department is assuming that in Fall 2022, Quincy Public Schools will resume certifying students for free and reduced meal price eligibility and charging for meal service.  Six schools are currently certified to serve meals at no cost to all students:  Lincoln Hancock, Snug Harbor, Parker, South~West, Clifford Marshall, and Point Webster.  An application is pending for Broad Meadows to be added to this designation.

There will be changes to the nutritional requirements in the 2022-2023 school year and are intended to give schools a clear path forward in transitioning from the current pandemic operations towards more nutritious meals.  During this school year, additional cafeteria tables have been procured for North Quincy High School, Quincy High School, and Parker and a new serving line installed at Broad Meadows.  All schools have salad bars except Atlantic Middle School, which should be installed in Fall 2022.  A new refrigerated Food Services truck is on order and due to arrive in Fall 2022.  Elementary schools will begin serving lunch on early release Wednesdays beginning in September 2022.  Lunch will be offered to students in the classroom during snack time so will not detract from time on learning.

Ms. Dufour noted that outreach will be needed to parents and students about meal charges if the state legislature does not fund meal service at no cost for all students.  Any delinquent meal payments will need to be absorbed by the school district at the end of each fiscal year.

Mrs. Lebo asked how parents add money to the student account, it is through MySchool Bucks, there is a link on the website.  Mrs. Lebo asked about increased staffing costs due to elementary meal service being added on Wednesdays.  This would be additional hours for approximately 23 staff members.

Mr. Gutro complimented the enhanced features on the website for nutritional and allergy information.  Mr. Gutro asked about increasing costs for food and supplies, Ms. Dufour said there is a higher reimbursement rate and high participation rate that has allowed us to absorb the costs.

Mr. Gutro asked about the salad bars, these are scheduled intermittently at the elementary school level to keep the novelty factor high.  Salad bars are available daily at the high schools and most of the middle schools. 

Mrs. Hubley asked about how the Wednesday elementary lunch will work in the way that protects student privacy.  Ms. Dufour said that all students can opt to take the meal and students will be charged as appropriate for their status.

Mrs. Lebo asked if there is a significant increase in participation since meals are at no cost.  Ms. Dufour said that there has been significant growth, especially for breakfast at the elementary school level.

Mr. Bregoli asked about recycling plastic containers, Ms. Dufour said that schools encourage recycling, but a lot gets thrown away.

Mrs. Lebo noted that the Mayor’s Composting Team has resumed meeting and will be looking to begin a pilot composting program with an elementary school.

Mr. Santoro asked about the cost of the certification process and the time processing students through the checkout line vs the cost of providing the meals free.  Mr. Santoro thanked Ms. Dufour and Ms. Minton for all their efforts.

Superintendent Mulvey said that the work Ms. Dufour and Ms. Minton have done over the last two years has been incredible.  In March 2020, the School Nutrition department response was immediate to begin feeding families on a Grab and Go basis and continuing through the summer.  In 2020-2021, the department ran two parallel programs, serving meals in school for in-person learners and Grab and Go for remote learners.  In 2021-2022, with the resumption of serving all meals in school, the department has grappled with supply chain issues.  Their efforts and those of their staff have supported many students and families in critical ways.

§

 

New Business

 

School Nutrition

Department Update

 

 

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel of Broad Meadows Middle School Grade 8 to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire on June 15, 2022.  Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mayor Koch made a motion to approve the Out of State Travel of Point Webster Middle School Grade 6 to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire on June 17, 2022.  Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Lebo asked about the per-student cost discrepancy between the two schools, possibly due to transportation costs and/or PTO support.

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New Business

 

Overnight Travel

Mr. Santoro noted that School Committee Regular Meetings will be held on May 4, 2022 at 6:30 pm in the City Council Chambers at Historic City Hall; and May 18 and June 15, 2022 at 6:30 pm in the Coddington Building.  Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings include Quarterly Budget & Finance and Teaching & Learning on May 11, 2022; FY2022 Budget on May 25, 2022; and FY2022 Budget and Teaching & Learning on June 1, 2022, all beginning at 6:00 pm.

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Communications

Mr. Santoro noted that Subcommittee minutes are published on the School Committee page of the Quincy Public Schools website (quincypublicschools.com)

The review of the March 28, 2022 Athletics & Wellness Subcommittee meeting was deferred to the May 4, 2022 School Committee Meeting.

Mrs. Hubley reviewed the March 30, 2022 Special Education Subcommittee where the annual Rights & Responsibilities review was presented along with an update from the QPAC Board.

Mr. Bregoli reviewed the March 30, 2022 Policy Subcommittee where the QPS 2022-2023 School Year calendar was discussed.

Mr. Bregoli removed completed items from the Policy Subcommittee:  #5 Transportation Management (School Committee reinstated school bus service for elementary students living 1.5 to 2 miles from school in Fall 2021);  #9 CVTE Admissions Policy Update (School Committee approved revised Policy in February); 

#10 School Committee Meeting Calendar  (School Committee approved 2022-2023 Meeting Calendar at March 23 meeting); #15 Election Day Impacts on Schools  (Election Day will be no school day beginning with 2022-2023 calendar)

§

Reports of

Subcommittees

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

§

 

Adjournment