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December 1, 2020

george school

Brockton, Massachusetts
Regular School Committee Meeting
December 1, 2020
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The Regular Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this evening, at seven o'clock. These minutes contain a summary of the meeting and list items that were under discussion.

Mayor Sullivan called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair read the following information for the record.  

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic and State of Emergency, on March 12, 2020, Governor Baker issued an Executive Order Temporarily Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A sec. 20. Pursuant to the Order, public bodies are temporarily relieved from the Open Meeting Law’s requirement that meetings be held in public places, open and physically accessible to the public, so long as measures are taken to ensure public access to the bodies' deliberations "through adequate, alternative means."

This meeting will be held and will be accessible to the public via Brockton Community Access, Brockton Public Schools website, www.bpsma.org, YouTube and Comcast channel 12

The public can access this meeting via this link: www.youtube.TheBrocktonChannels

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call to establish a quorum.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes
Ms. Asack – yes
Ms. Mendes – yes
Mr. Minichiello – yes
Mr. Rodrigues – yes
Ms. Sullivan – yes
Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
Also Present:  Superintendent Michael P. Thomas, Executive Team Members, Kim Gibson, BEA President

Hearing of Visitors    None

    Mayor Sullivan recognized Vice-Chair Mr. D’Agostino.  

Mr. D’Agostino asked to take an item out of order, made a motion for item IV Report of Superintendent of Schools -A:  Dr. Richard Herman, FACEP Pandemic Consultant – COVID-19 Metrics update, seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote:
 
Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        
Ms. Asack – yes
Ms. Mendes – yes                    
Mr. Minichiello – yes                        
Mr. Rodrigues – yes
Ms. Sullivan – yes                    
Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
                        Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

Mayor Sullivan thanked Dr. Herman for attending the School Committee meeting this evening, he mentioned during the policy subcommittee meeting that was held earlier he gave the most recent data from the dashboard provided and turned the meeting over to Dr. Herman.

Dr. Herman thanked Mayor Sullivan and the School Committee members for inviting him to come back and give the update on the metrics for the City of Brockton and presented a power point.

COVID-19 Update:  City of Brockton

* Day 263
* Daily Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases in the United States Reported to CDC
* Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 Dashboard
* COVID – City of Brockton
* City of Brockton COVID-19 Daily Dashboard, Tuesday, December 1, 2020
* Population
* Hardest hit COVID Communities
* City of Brockton – COVID Deaths
* COVID Deaths by Age Group – City of Brockton
* Hospitalizations – City of Brockton (Includes Good Samaritan and Signature Healthcare)
* Brockton:  PCR Positive Test Rate
* Daily Case Count per 100,000 Population
* Per Cent Cases by Age Group – City of Brockton – All cases
* Per Cent Cases by Age Group – City of Brockton – November 2020
* COVID:  Brockton Kids (Through November 20, 2020)
* Monthly Number of Cases Ages 0-18
* Pediatric Cases by Week – Age 0-18
* PEDIATRIC (<18) Cases (Through November 30, 2020)
* Through Age 22 (Through November 30, 2020)
* COVID Cases by Age Group (Through November 30, 2020)
* Symptoms of COVID-19
* Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker
* Pfizer vaccine – Review on December 10th
* Moderna – Review on December 17th
* The recommendations, if approved by the director, will become official CDC guidance to the states.
* Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:  FDA Authorizes Monoclonal Antibodies for Treatment of COVID-19
* SARS-CoV-2 viral load and period of infectiousness
* Questions

Mayor Sullivan thanked Dr. Herman for his exceptional detail and deep dive on the metrics and data.

Questions/Answers
* With a large increase of testing being done will more test be available?
Mayor Sullivan responded the Stop the Spread campaign and testing is through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  At Massasoit the State is working with Fallon Ambulance to do the testing.  Mayor Sullivan held a zoom call with Mr. Bill Mitchell, Ms. Sarah Younes and the President Timothy J. Fallon of Fallon Ambulance, they are working to bring additional employees and changed the traffic flow location on Thatcher Street, the Neighborhood Health Center located at Brockton High is now moved to the Shaw’s Center, Dr. Maria Chelli, Chief Operating Officer and Ms. Sue Joss, Chief Executive Officer are working diligently to bring on additional staff.

Mayor Sullivan thanked Dr. Hernan for hosting 2 town hall questions & answers meeting with school employees, we will have another meeting after hours in the event if people may have missed the previous ones.

Mayor Sullivan invited Dr. Herman to return in two weeks at the next school committee meeting to give a COVID-19 update.


Consent Agenda    

Mayor Sullivan explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members if they would like to remove any items for further discussion.  Mr. D’Agostino asked to remove Item B, Acceptance of November 17, 2020 Curriculum Subcommittee Minutes, Item D, Acceptance of November 10, 2020 Curriculum Subcommittee Minutes, Item E, Acceptance of November 10, 2020 Policy Subcommittee Minutes giving an overview report on the consent agenda items.  
    
Mr. D’Agostino was asked to elaborate on the suspending of the attendance policy.  We are suspending the automatic failure policy that states you’ll fail due to a number of absences at Brockton High school, Middle school, Frederick Douglass Academy, Champion High and Edison Academy due to the pandemic and current circumstance we’re in.  Students will receive their grade earned and not lose the grade based solely on absences.        

Ms. Sullivan moved the Superintendent’s recommendation to approve the remainder Consent
Agenda items: A, C, F and G seconded by Ms. Asack.


A. Approval of Minutes:  November 17, 2020 Regular School Committee Meeting
C. Acceptance of November 10, 2020 Facilities Usage & Planning Subcommittee Minutes
F.    Notification of Personnel Appointments:  Non-Certified Personnel
G. Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions:  Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements
    
Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote to approve the remainder Consent Agenda items:
    
Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        
Ms. Asack – yes
Ms. Mendes – yes                    
Mr. Minichiello – yes                        
Mr. Rodrigues – yes
Ms. Sullivan – yes                    
Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
                Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

Item B, Acceptance of Minutes:  November 17, 2020 Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting discussing the agenda items:
1. Presentation of the School Based Strategic Improvement Plan
* Manthala George, Jr., School
* Plouffe Academy School

2. Other Business

Mr. D’Agostino moved to approve Item B, Acceptance of Minutes:  November 17, 2020 Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting; the motion was seconded by Ms. Asack & Ms. Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote to approve Item B, Acceptance of Minutes:  November 17, 2020 Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes                
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        
Ms. Asack – yes
Ms. Mendes – yes                    
Mr. Minichiello – yes                        
Mr. Rodrigues – yes
Ms. Sullivan – yes                    
Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
                        Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

    Item D, Acceptance of Minutes:  November 10, 2020 Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting discussing the agenda items:
1. Presentation of the School Based Strategic Improvement Plan
* Gilmore Elementary School

2. Other Business

Mr. D’Agostino moved to approve Item D, Acceptance of Minutes:  November 10, 2020 Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting; the motion was seconded by Ms. Asack & Ms. Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote to approve Item D, Acceptance of Minutes:  November 10, 2020 Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes                
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        
Ms. Asack – yes
Ms. Mendes – yes                    
Mr. Minichiello – yes                        
Mr. Rodrigues – yes
Ms. Sullivan – yes                    
Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
                        Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

    Item E:  Acceptance of November 10, 2020 Policy Subcommittee meeting discussing the agenda items:
1. Review of current COVID-19 metrics
2. Automatic Failure Policy
3. Re-visit Re-opening plan
4. Other Business
5. Executive Session
                                       
Mr. D’Agostino moved to approve Item E, Acceptance of November 10, 2020 Policy Subcommittee Meeting; the motion was seconded by Ms. Asack & Ms. Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote to approve Item E, Acceptance of November 10, 2020 Policy Subcommittee Meeting.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes                
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        
Ms. Asack – yes
Ms. Mendes – yes                    
Mr. Minichiello – yes                        
Mr. Rodrigues – yes
Ms. Sullivan – yes                    
Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
                        Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

Superintendent’s Report
    
Re-visit Re-opening plan

Superintendent Thomas gave an update on the Re-visit Re-opening plan.  We will continue to have our teams such as Ms. June Saba-Maguire, District Design Team, Dr. Cancell looking at testing, Superintendent Thomas and Dr. Murray will continue to work with Kim Gibson and the BEA, our Attorneys for bargaining, Dr. Cobbs looking at transportation, Ms. Sharon Wolder looking into the area of adjustment counselor, guidance and social emotional support for our students.

Teams will continue to look at hybrid models across the state to see what’s working best and not working well, we are looking at best practices across the state and talking to the Department of Education regarding practices that have gone well.  We would start a phase in approach with high-need students and look at smaller cohorts for PreK-2 as we know it’s not an easy model and we want to develop a practical and beneficial model for our students and staff.
       
MCAS & Access testing

Superintendent Thomas invited Dr. Ethan Cancell, Executive Director, Assessment, Accountability, Technology & Student Data Research to give an update on the MCAS & Access testing.

The state has informed us the Access testing (WIDA) of approximately 1,000 students and several hundred students for the MCAS retest and possible the science exam would need to be taken between January and March 11, 2021.  For the remainder of the district it would be approximately 4,000 students K-8 that would need to take the Access (WIDA) testing.  

The district is obligated to have these tests and are looking into the possibility to push the window out further.  We will continue to work with the Department of Education, Urban Superintendents. Superintendent Thomas held a zoom meeting today with Mayor Sullivan, Dr. Herman, Kim Gibson to ask for advice on this testing and bringing students into the building just to test as some testing is one-on-one.

Dr. Cancell mentioned we have three major tests coming up, MCAS make-up, this test that begins January 14, 2021 through February 5, 2021, for students in high school to earn their competency determination that gives them a full high school diploma, WIDA testing for English learners that begins January 7, 2021 through March 11, 2021, it is a computer-based test with approximately 4,000 students across the district and the High School Biology testing that begins February 8, 2021 through February 26, 2021 for students in the 9th graders, this is the major science is one of the required mcas component for graduation and biology is the most popular one by far and is a paper test.  

We are full remote; the state and contractors don’t allow testing to be done in that manner for security.  We’ve put together teams to work on and it’s a real challenge.  Dr. Cancell thanked Ms. Kellie Jones, Director of Bilingual Education and Ms. Lisa Mosley of the Bilingual department in helping to spearhead the way to access testing along with a great team of principal’s, teacher’s, transportation and technology taking on this task.  We will wait to see what the state is willing to do as far as flexibility, they have pushed the access testing and extended the window from January to March.

We will keep the committee posted as guidance comes out from the Department of Education.  

Student Engagement

Superintendent Thomas mentioned to the committee, an updated report on student engagement will be given next week during the Policy Subcommittee meeting, where will discuss student attendance, term 1 grades and failure rates.  This will allow us to review and see how many students may have struggled.  


Superintendent Thomas spoke about the difference between attendance and engagement.  You can see 93-95 attendance meeting, students are logging in, but it doesn’t mean that they’re engaged the entire school Day, it’s hard to measure but we are working with our Principals and Teachers who are working with our students to keep them engaged, we’ll try to measure this information and give an update as we know we have some students show up for class and disappear (ghosting).  It is important that we continue to monitor and do our best, we know teachers are working hard with the support staff at schools to keep our students engaged.    

Equity & Diversity Update

Superintendent Thomas introduced Ms. Sharon Wolder, Chief Officer of Student Support Services to give an update on Equity & Diversity and looking forward to next week’s Diversity, Race, Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee meeting to talk about the Nellie Mae grant and place a job ad for an Executive Director of
Equity and Diversity.

Ms. Wolder followed up on the Nellie Mae grant which we are excited about.  Dr. Moran, Executive Director of Human Resources are meeting this week as they’ve done research on different districts and organizations that have equity officers and get a sense of what the expectations are and develop things we know the office will need and gather information from school committee members and executive team members too.    
   
Ms. Wolder also reported that Manuel Fernandez and Dr. Aminah Pilgrim presented to the entire district on November 16, 2020 giving an overview of the equity and diversity workshops.  They have started the courses/ workshops this evening, the first cohort has 46 members (teachers) that are participating.  We have three cohorts that will go for eight weeks and meet once a week for 2 hours, cohort 1 began this evening, cohort 2 begins tomorrow and cohort begins Thursday we’re happy to say it’s begun and people are engaged in the work.  
   
Superintendent Thomas provided the eCornell course for the entire districts administration and educators who wanted to participate during the summer, we’re happy to say he is able to add that opportunities for equity, diversity and inclusion work in the district.  The diversity education steering committee consists of 25 members that are interested and invested in the work wanting to learn and wanting opportunities to grow and develop professionally and feel more confident in meeting the needs of students and be able to connect with students and families.  The diversity education steering committee continues to work on that as well as work with the office of teaching and learning on social justice curriculum.  Time was added this year into the elementary schedule for social and emotional and social justice time, we have a team of people working to develop resources and lessons that are useful.                 
   
The Diversity, Race, Equity and Inclusion subcommittee didn’t have a chance to meet Principal Burns, Dr. Cobbs and Dr. Murray have provided names of high school students to be a part of the committee the diversity education steering committee and the diversity, race, equity and inclusion subcommittee to get student perspectives in the work that we’re doing.

Memorandum of Understanding – Brockton Public Schools & Department of Education and Secondary Education

Superintendent Thomas mentioned the MOU draft between the Department of Education and the Brockton Public Schools, would be signed by myself and Commissioner Riley.  Once the MOU is signed our team of two liaisons from the Department of Education will join us at the December 15, 2020 school committee meeting to highlight the MOU and the work they’ll be doing with the Executive Team, District Design Team and the partnership that they’ll have, and the services provided and a few things they’ll pay for.   

June Saba-Maguire and a team have worked on professional development activities that will be done across the district. Superintendent Thomas asked Ms. Maguire to name all who worked on this. Ms. Maguire named the following people:  Dr. Heather Ronan, Dr. Julie Andrade, Dr. Michele Conners, Ms. Kellie Jones, Principal Carol McGrath and myself.  We have another group of people in the district that will lead smaller group discussions we will acknowledged all when we present an overview to the school committee.  

Superintendent Thomas mentioned it is important for everyone in the district to know what’s in the district review, what was said and then the direction moving forward so we’re all on the same page.


Items to Refer to Subcommittee         None

    
Unfinished Business   None
    
New Business              

Superintendent Thomas acknowledged Coach Bowen, 23 years as the JV coach and 13 years as the Head Coach. Superintendent Thomas mentioned some of his best years was the four years playing at Brockton High School and two playing directly for Coach Bowen and will always call him Mr. Bowen.

Mr. Bowen is one of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet, not one person will say a bad word about him, he’s one of those guys that everybody loved and respected.  He was a great role model and somebody you could talk to.  

Mr. Bowen is also an elementary school teacher for over 40 years and he’s been an amazing inspiration to kids and they often go back to visit him.  Mr. Bowen will continue to be a teacher but will retire from being the basketball coach.  Thank you, Mr. Bowen!!!                                       
    
Seeing no further business, Mr. D’Agostino made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Ms. Sullivan.
           
           Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote:
   
Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes                
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        
Ms. Asack – yes
Ms. Mendes – yes                    
Mr. Minichiello – yes                        
Mr. Rodrigues – yes
Ms. Sullivan – yes                    
Mr. Sullivan – yes    

       The meeting adjourned at 8:22 p.m.
                          
                                    Respectfully submitted,
                                       Michael P. Thomas
                                       Superintendent/Secretary   
 
    mdc
                                            
    Power point:  COVID-19:  City of Brockton