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February 8, 2022

george school
February 8, 2022

                                       Brockton, Massachusetts   Regular School Committee Meeting                                                  February 8, 2022

                   Live Stream


                                       The Regular Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this evening in the George M. Romm Little Theatre at Brockton High School, at seven o'clock.  These minutes contain a summary of the meeting and list items that were under discussion.


                                       Present:  Mayor Sullivan, Chair, Ms. Asack, Vice-Chair, Ms. Ehlers, Mr. Homer,

                                                       Ms. Rivas Mendes, Mr. Rodrigues, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan


                                       Also Present:  Superintendent Thomas, Interim Deputy Superintendent Szachowicz,

                                                                         Executive Team Members, BEA President, Ms. Kim Gibson.  


Mayor Sullivan, Chair called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag.   


                                       Mayor Sullivan, Chair took a roll call to establish a quorum.

Ms. Sullivan – Here

Mr. Homer – Here

Ms. Ehlers – Here

Ms. Rivas Mendes – Here

Mr. Rodrigues – Here

Ms. Asack – Here

Mr. Sullivan – Here


Mayor Sullivan - Here


   Hearing of Visitors     1.  Union President for the Brockton Paraprofessional Association, Ms. Stacy MacDonald,

                                                  spoke to the committee regarding livable wages and the community allies.

                                        2.  Ms. Alice Stapleton spoke to the committee regarding the support of paraprofessionals.

                                        3.  President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, Ms. Merrie Najimy spoke to

                                                                  the committee regarding the support of paraprofessionals.


    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. Sullivan motioned to remove Items B, C and D, seconded by Mrs. Sullivan.

The motion passed.

Mrs. Sullivan moved the Superintendent’s recommendation to approve the remaining Consent Agenda, seconded by Mr. Homer.

The motion passed.

A.    Approval of January 18, 2022 School Committee Meeting Minutes

E.     Request for Authorization to Submit Proposals and Expenditure of Funds:

1.      The Allison Keller Education Technology Program Grant Award at the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism - $7,500

2.      The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Accelerat[ED] Early Pathway Grant - $175,000

3.      DESE Early College Full School Impact Planning Grant Fund Code 466 - $150,000

F.      Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Appointments:  Certified Personnel

G.    Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Appointments:  Non-Certified

H.    Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements


Mr. Sullivan acknowledged the scholarships that will go towards students graduating from Brockton High School.  He listed the requirements and information for the scholarships.

B.  Approval of the Jean Samson Memorial Scholarship

C.  Approval of the Mary and Nancy Costello Memorial Scholarship

D.  Approval of the Tony Sostre, Jr., Memorial Scholarship

Mr. Sullivan motioned to approve items B, C and D, seconded by Ms. Asack.

The motion passed unanimously.

   Unfinished Business   Mayor Sullivan asked to take Agenda Item V – Unfinished Business out of order and

                                         asked for a motion.

Mrs. Sullivan motioned to take Unfinished Business out of order. Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

The motion passed.


Presentation of the Site Development Plans for Brockton Neighborhood Health Center

Satellite Location

Brockton Neighborhood Health Center’s CFO, Ms. Sue Joss and Director of Facilities, Mr. Mike Jacques, presented a brief PowerPoint that included an overview of the plans for the proposed school-based Health Center located on the grounds of Brockton High School.  The Center would provide Primary Care, Urgent Care, and Behavioral Health Services to High School students who currently attend Brockton High School.  The modular construction and structure will come in four units that will be tied together and anchored to a precast pure foundation system. It is approximately three thousand square feet and contains three exam rooms, three counseling offices and support rooms for specimen collection processing, disposal, general operations and patient care. Staffing will consist of an Office Coordinator/Manager, Nurse Practitioner, Behavioral Health Clinician, Licensed Practical Nurse and Community Health Worker. The unit will also include a handicapped access ramp, an emergency exit and secondary entry/exit points.


                                         Mayor Sullivan thanked Sue Joss and Mike Jacques for their presentation.  He mentioned the

Neighborhood Health Center was the first to step up and help the City of Brockton during COVID providing testing services.  They have been great partners to work with, and he fully supports this site location.


·        Ms. Asack asked for clarification on the location and size of the satellite building.

The building’s new location is the opposite side of the original plans, it’s approximately

3,000 sq. ft. (64x48) a single level modular structure comprised of 4 trailers that will be joined together.

·        Ms. Asack asked if a minor is seeking medical attention without their parent’s consent how is that dealt with?

Massachusetts has strict treatments of minor regulations and BNHC will follow them just as they are followed at their main site.  Most services that are offered will require parental consent.

·        Ms. Ehlers asked will the BNHC be available for middle school students?

That decision would come from the committee but are able to see students up to the age of 21.

·        Ms. Ehlers asked is there an eta on the modulars?

It is anticipated to open June/July.

·        Mr. Sullivan asked what is the cost to the Brockton Public Schools for this project?

There is no cost to the BPS, all costs are covered by BNHC.

·        Mr. Rodrigues asked how diverse is the staff?

Staff hired will come from all cultures reflected in Brockton and speak the languages.

·        Ms. Rivas Mendes asked based on the square footage proposed, with the number of referrals would they propose for additional space if the demand increases?

The space provided doesn’t appear that it would be needed, however sees the potential to increase the hours perhaps offering evenings and weekends.

·        Mr. Homer asked what are the hours, and would it service students during the summer?

Yes, it would service students during the year.


Superintendent Thomas mentioned having this on site is beneficial and would provide support when a student is in crisis.


Ms. Ehlers mentioned Brockton High School is a small college, and colleges have health centers, this is by far overdue for what we’ve needed for a long time and be able to respond to a student in need quickly is going to make a huge difference.


Mayor Sullivan asked Mike Jacques to give an update regarding the progress in terms of this project. 

Mr. Jacques mentioned they are scheduled on the tech board’s agenda on Tuesday, February 28th with a favorable outcome from tech review and moving forward to the planning board in April.  Information was submitted to the conservation commission regarding the brook, and don’t expect any problems as this is formalities.  Once all is approved, they should be able to break ground on site and proceed with the build of the unit.


                                       Mayor Sullivan read the following into the record.

Article V – Unfinished Business:  Discussion and Potential Vote Regarding the Site Development Plans for Brockton Neighborhood Health Center Satellite Location.


Mayor Sullivan also noted that any agreement between the BNHC and the City must be written and signed by him, as the Mayor and Chair of the School Committee, and Superintendent Thomas would sign in his role as the Superintendent of Schools.


Ms. Sullivan motioned to approve the site development plan for the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center satellite location and the services rendered as stated tonight, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

Voted to approve the motion with a 6-2 margin.


    Superintendent’s         Mayor Sullivan acknowledged those present: Mr. D’Agostino, City Council, Interim Deputy

         Report                     Superintendent, Dr. Szachowicz and Principal of Brockton High School, Ms. Cynthia Burns.

                                       Student Representative Report

                                       Mayor Sullivan introduced the Brockton High Student Representative Ms. Elen Arustamyan.


Elen expressed the impression that, despite being out of school for the past year and a half and having a challenging start to in-person schooling, progress is being made daily.  Some of the positive things noticed are; students are aware of and following rules, wearing of the id’s, bathrooms are less crowded, students being where they’re supposed to be, activities created for students such as the senior basketball game, performances during lunch in the cafeterias and many other opportunities that students can become involved in.


Elen spoke about students she is familiar with having academic success as a direct result of participation is school activities and athletics.  She is looking forward to an initiative she is working on with Superintendent Thomas and Principal Burns that will assist freshmen and sophomores that may turn into a club opportunity with workshops on mental health, college applications, etc.


Elen thanked Teachers, Students, Staff and Coaches at Brockton High School, School Committee that are doing their best to see positive changes at Brockton High School.


Mayor Sullivan welcomed Elen and mentioned the committee is honored in her joining the school committee, bringing passion and views that occur daily at Brockton High School.  This is helpful to the committee and looks forward to working with her.





                                       BPS District Calendar 2022-2023 (First Reading)

Superintendent Thomas discussed the BPS District Calendar 2022-2023 First Read.  This calendar shows the start date of the starting date of school, the ending date of school, the legal holidays recognized and school vacations.  


                                       Update on District-Wide In-Service on Active Reading and Writing

Interim Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Susan Szachowicz presented a brief PowerPoint that included and overview from the January 20, 2022 District-Wide In-Service which focused on Active Reading/Writing.

                                       Dr. Szachowicz presented the following:

Ø The Structure of the Day

Introduction – Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent

Learning the Activity – Grade Level Leaders – K-5, 6-8, 9-12

Grade/Dept. Implementation Meetings

Ø Objectives:  Teacher will:

1.      Understand the what we will be doing, why we will be doing this, how it will be implemented, and what the follow up will be.

2.      Experience the Active Reading and Writing Using Multiple Selections activity at grade level.

3.      Discuss with colleagues how this will be implemented effectively.

We will be teaching everyone (K-12 grade level appropriate) a strategy directly supporting our Focus Area#2:  Active Reading/Writing

Ø Every Wednesday in class this activity will be implemented and monitored.

Ø The ability to compare student work at grade level appropriate readings are being picked.

Ø A consistent writing format is being provided, and students will do their writing into their laptops. 

Long Term Gains: They are rigorous, grade level appropriate skills that will help our students be successful in all classes.  By providing them with repeated practice over time, these will become thinking routines for them.

Snapshot of each grade level (The same skills are being presented at all levels.)

Ø Brockton High School and Pathways received a presentation on Active Reading/Writing Using Multiple Selections presented by Maria Lefort.  Followed by meetings in depts facilitated by dept heads about implementation.

Ø Middle School faculty received a presentation of Active Reading/Writing Strategies presented by Michele Conners, Candice McGann, Jodie Nelson.  Followed by meetings in depts facilitated by dept heads about implementation.

Ø Elementary School faculty received a presentation of Active Reading/Writing Strategies presented by Michele Morrissey-Smith.  Followed by meetings in school-based grade levels to discuss implementation.

                                             Plans for the follow up implementation

Ø Every Wednesday, beginning Feb. 2, teachers will implement this Active Reading/Writing activity and a math strategy.

Ø Student work will be collected, reviewed, and discussed in PLCs and Dept meetings using out BPS protocol.

Ø The key point is this:  Giving our students Repeated Deliberate Practice on these important skills.

Ø   Student outcomes must be our focus.  It is our Collective Responsibility.

Ø   What WE do matters…A LOT!!!

                                       Mayor Sullivan and Superintendent Thomas both thanked Dr. Szachowicz for her presentation.


                                       Recognition of 2020-2021 Outgoing Vice-Chair of the School Committee

Superintendent Thomas presented plaques to Mr. D’Agostino, in recognition of his years of service as the 2020-2021 Vice-Chair of the School Committee and Ward 3 School Committee Member for 6 years.  He thanked him for his dedication to the city and the schools. 


Mayor Sullivan and School Committee members also echoed the sentiments of Superintendent Thomas and thanked Mr. D’Agostino for his professionalism and dedication always putting our students first.


Mr. D’Agostino thanked all the members of the committee and expressed their dedication and teamwork, always putting our students first. 


Update on District-Wide Black History Month Celebrations

Superintendent Thomas invited Executive Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Ms. Renée Heywood, to the podium to introduce the Brockton High School Social Science Department Head, Mrs. Stephanie Landerholm, to present a brief PowerPoint that included an overview of programs that were part of Black History Month and Celebrations that will take place.


Ms. Landerholm presented examples of how the Social Science Department shared how they integrated Black History throughout their various courses and curriculum and to demonstrate to our students that Black History is indeed American History.


                                       Guiding Principle 2

An effective history and social science education will incorporate diverse perspectives and acknowledge that perception of events are affected by race, ethnicity, culture, religion, education, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and personal experience.


Examples shown:

Ø  Grade 9 – American Revolution, Western Expansion, Slavery, Reform Movements

Ø  Grade 10 – Tulsa Race Riots, 1920’s Traditionalism and Modernity, World War II

Ø  Grade 11 – Reconstruction, 1920’s Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Movement,

                   South Africa Case Study

Ø  Grade 12 – Socio-cultural, “Black Joy and Creativity”

Ø  Grade 9-12 – Ancient Art


Ms. Landerholm thanked Instructional Resource Specialist, Ms. Stacy Medina, and the entire team of Social Science Teachers at Brockton High School for working towards this goal of an all-inclusive curriculum.


Mayor Sullivan, Superintendent Thomas and Ms. Heywood thanked Ms. Landerholm for her presentation and teachers for all their work it is much appreciated.


Update on Brockton High School Safety and Security

Superintendent Thomas invited Principal of Brockton High School, Ms. Cynthia Burns, to give an update on Brockton High School. Principal Burns presented a brief PowerPoint titled Mid-Year Update at Brockton High School with a theme Moving Forward!

Ø  Our goal: We are an Academic Institution

Ø  Further development of a new Math and Science Curriculum

Ø  Purchase of Diverse ELA novels and text

Ø  Planned curriculum purchase for Bilingual Department

Ø  Omicron (trending downward) is impacting attendance of staff and students

Ø  Safety and Security/Peace Advocates/School Police

Ø  Behavioral Data: Trending downward/Mostly Cutting Class/Wandering

Ø  Behavior Supports and Referrals:  Data Driven Interventions, Tier II Behavior Interventionists, Mentors, Support Counselors

Ø  Climate and Culture: Focus on the Positive:  Positive Engagement with School (Holiday Celebrations, Daily shout outs, new clubs and engagement opportunities.

o Learning about the Importance of Celebrating Black History (Feb. 1-4)

o Honoring Black Culture Leaders and Trailblazers (Feb. 7-11)

o Be Inspired by Real Heroes among our Community (Feb. 14-18)

o Honor Roll Assembly (Feb. 7)


Superintendent Thomas thanked Principal Burns for the update of Brockton High School.  He also thanked the staff and teachers, as they have continued to persevere and improve the cultural of the school.


  Items to Refer to       Superintendent Thomas requested scheduling Tuesday evening Finance Subcommittee meetings

    Subcommittee         in March 2022 to begin building the budget for the 2023 school year.

    Ms. Asack requested a Building Naming Subcommittee meeting.


     New Business             Discussion and Potential Vote Regarding a Half Day for Middle School Family-School Conferences on March 24, 2022.

                                         Superintendent Thomas is requesting a Half Day for Middle Schools on Thursday, March 24, 2022 for Family-School Conferences.  This will allow an extra afternoon session for parents and evening session.

Ms. Ehlers motioned to approve Thursday, March 24, 2022 a Half Day for Middle School Family-School Conferences, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

The motion passed unanimously.

                                         Discussion and Potential Vote from the Bid Review Subcommittee – January 31, 2022

                                         Mr. Sullivan gave a verbal report of the Bid Review Subcommittee meeting held on Monday, January 31, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.

Mr. Sullivan motioned to accept the verbal report of the Bid Review Subcommittee as presented, seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

The motion passed.

Mr. Sullivan motioned to move this item favorably to the full School Committee for its consideration, seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

The motion passed unanimously.

   Executive Session         Mayor Sullivan read the following into the record.

“The Committee will enter executive session pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) for the purpose of conducting strategy with respect to collective bargaining, as conducting this deliberation in an open session would have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the Committee. The Committee will return to open session following the executive session.”  


                                       Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote to enter Executive Session.

Ms. Sullivan – Yes

Mr. Homer – Yes

Ms. Ehlers – Yes

Ms. Rivas Mendes – Yes

Mr. Rodrigues – Yes

Ms. Asack – Yes

Mr. Sullivan – Yes


Mayor Sullivan - Yes

                                       School Committee entered Executive Session.


                                       Mayor Sullivan called the School Committee meeting back into session.

Ms. Rivas Mendes motioned to approve the merger of the MTAs & Paraprofessional Bargaining Subcommittees, seconded by Mr. Homer. (Rodrigues, Chair/Homer/Rivas Mendes)

The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Sullivan motioned to approve the change of the Transportation/Teamsters Bargaining Subcommittee, seconded by Mr. Sullivan. (J. Sullivan, Chair/Ehlers/T. Sullivan)

The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Asack motioned the change of the Facilities Subcommittee Chairperson from Mr. Tony Rodrigues to Mr. Tim Sullivan, seconded by Ms. Rivas Mendes. (T. Sullivan, Chair/Asack/Rodrigues/ J. Sullivan)

The motion passed unanimously.


Seeing no further business,

Ms. Rivas Mendes motioned to adjourn, seconded by many members simultaneously.

The motion passed unanimously.

                                       The meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.


          Respectfully submitted,




          Michael P. Thomas




PowerPoint(s):  BNHC School-based Health Center, Brockton High

                                  Superintendent’s Focus: January 20th District Wide In-service

                                  Brockton High School Mid-Year Update

                                  Celebrating Black History Throughout our Curriculum