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January 4, 2022

george school
January 4, 2022

                                       Brockton, Massachusetts          Organizational Meeting                                January 4, 2022


                                       The Organizational 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, Ms. Asack, 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 called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.  He explained that tonight's meeting would include the election of officers and other organizational school committee business as required.


Mayor Sullivan welcomed Ms. Ehlers and Mr. Homer, the newest elected school committee members. School Committee Chair Sullivan stated his mantra of “collaboration, collaboration, collaboration.


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


Ms. Asack – Here

Mrs. Ehlers – Here

Mr. Homer – Here

Ms. Rivas Mendes – Here

Mr. Rodrigues – Here 

Ms. Sullivan – Here

Mr. Sullivan – Here


Mayor Sullivan, Chair – Here


Hearing of Visitors       None


Election of                     Mayor Sullivan opened the floor for nominations for Secretary of the School Committee. 


Ms. Asack motioned to nominate Michael Thomas to serve as Secretary of the Brockton School Committee.  Mr. Sullivan seconded the motion.

Voted:  to adopt the recommendation, unanimously.


Election of 2022                                            Mayor Sullivan opened the floor for nominations for the Vice-Chair.


                                       Ms. Sullivan nominated Timothy Sullivan for the position of Vice-Chair.

                                       Mr. Rodrigues nominated Joyce Asack for the position of Vice-Chair.

                                       There being no further nominations, Mayor Sullivan closed the floor.

                                       Votes:  Mr. Sullivan as Vice-Chair for 2022, Received 2 of 8 possible votes.

                                                   Ms. Asack as Vice-Chair for 2022, Received 6 of 8 possible votes.


                                       Mayor Sullivan congratulated Ms. Asack on her election of position of Vice-Chair.        Ms. Asack thanked School Committee members for their support and pledged her support to the members and the students. 

     Mayor Sullivan requested a recess to allow visitors to gain building entrance and attend this meeting. 

Mayor Sullivan called the meeting back to order at 7:16 p.m.

Mayor Sullivan apologized to the assembled for the locked doors.  He asked that, if no one objects from the committee, before the conclusion of tonight’s meeting Hearing of Visitors be reopened to allow any visitor who wishes to speak be granted the opportunity.


Election of CSAB         The Bylaws of the Community School Advisory Board provide for the election of two (2)

SC Members            school committee members to serve on the board for a one-year term.


                                       Ms. Sullivan moved to recommend Mr. Homer and Mr. Rodrigues to serve on the Community School Advisory Board for a one-year term.  Ms. Asack seconded the motion.

Voted:  to adopt the recommendation, unanimously.


Approval of Rules        The Rules and Orders of the School Committee are subject to Annual Ratification.  


   orders of SC               Mr. Sullivan moved to approve the Rules and Orders for 2022 as presented.  

                                  Ms. Sullivan seconded the motion.


There was discussion on the motion.


Mr. Rodrigues was seeking clarification on the required number of committee members to serve on a Subcommittee.  After further discussion it was agreed to seek legal counsel from Attorney Mello for clarification and a written letter for all members and have it read at the next meeting.


Mr. Rodrigues motioned to postpone the Approval of Rules and Orders of the School Committee.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

Voted:  to postpone the approval, unanimously.


Appointment of            Mayor Sullivan asked the committee to postpone the Appointment of 2022 Subcommittees

         2022                      to the next scheduled school committee meeting.  He is requesting time to coordinate with Sub Committees   the newly elected Vice-Chair on assignments.



                                          Mr. Sullivan motioned to postpone the Appointment of 2022 Subcommittees. Seconded by Mr. Rodrigues.

Voted:  to postpone the recommendation, unanimously.


Consent Agenda            Mayor Sullivan explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda, read the items aloud and asked members for any requests to remove items for further discussion.  No items were removed for discussion.


                                          Mr. Sullivan made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimously.


Superintendent's          Superintendent Thomas gave an update to the committee regarding a Zoom call with

       Report                    Commissioner Riley from the Department of Education that took place Thursday, December 30, 2021.  Remote Learning is not being allowed for, snow days, COVID-19 surges, classrooms, or schools.  Our district, one of seven, has a DESE approved virtual school of 400 students.


                                       Superintendent Thomas reported that the district was given COVID Rapid Test Kits for staff and they were asked to test, optionally, before returning to school following the break.  We received 1,530 kits and distributed them on Saturday, January 1, 2022 at Brockton High School. Another 500 kits that were obtained and distributed on Monday, January 3, 2022 at Brockton High School.


                                       Superintendent Thomas discussed staffing upon the return of the holiday.  He met with Principal’s and Administration and decided to have a delay of school on Monday, January 3, 2022.  Due to the number of absentees, Brockton High School was closed Monday, January 3, 2022 with 70 staff absences and Tuesday, January 4, 2022 with 60 staff absences.  Superintendent Thomas commended BEA members for their support in covering classes for their absent colleagues upon the return from vacation.  Substitute pay has been temporarily increased from $95/day to $135/day to draw in additional support.


Student attendance in the district on Monday, January 3, 2022 was at an average of 43% not in school.  January 4 attendance was 15% not present in schools.  The norm is between 2/4%.  All canceled school days must be made up in June unless it is changed by the Department of Education and Secondary Education.



·         Ms. Sullivan asked for clarification on substitute pay of $135.00 per day. 

The$135/day is the rate for any substitute covering a certified teachers’ class.  The sub would require a minimum of 2 years in college.

·         Ms. Ehlers asked is there a cap on the number days allowed to substitute when covering for a certified teacher?

Superintendent Thomas mentioned there is a cap on the number days allowed when covering for a certified teacher, however, in the event a certified teacher is out for an extended time, every effort is made to have a certified staff member cover during the time needed.

·         Ms. Rivas Mendes expressed her concerns regarding the current COVID crisis and acknowledges it’s not just a Brockton issue.  How can the committee support and advocate at the State level?

-          Superintendent Thomas mentioned we can reach out to MASC (letter template), speak with Senator Michael Brady, State Representatives Michelle DuBois and Gerard Cassidy at the state level for support and agrees with writing a letter supporting a plan upon returning after the holidays.

-          Ms. Asack echoed Ms. Rivas Mendes thoughts and supports the committee working together and submitting petitions and reaching out to our State Senators. She also commented on the schools using Schoology to get work to students out with COVID.



·         Ms. Ehlers thanked Superintendent Thomas and his team for keeping the committee members updated these past weeks due to COVID throughout the district.

·         Mayor Sullivan explained Massasoit Community College has never been a City run site, it is run by BPH, Fallon Ambulance and Formative Health Care and agrees the time to test is unacceptable.  He will ask Dr. Herman to attend the next meeting with a COVID update.

·         Superintendent Thomas mentioned we have test/stay and pool testing at our schools for students and have recently hired Brewster Ambulance testing for staff at schools one day each week.  Also, Rapid Tests are being ordered from the Mayor’s office and School Department.

·         It is incumbent on the district to report to the DESE weekly the positive COVID case numbers of students and staff.  If a classroom has more than 30% infected, the DESE COVID Support Rep would work with the local BOH to shut down a classroom but not to send it to remote.

·         Mayor Sullivan will confer with counsel regarding communication with the DESE regarding Remote Learning, COVID related absences, etc.



Items to Refer                None

to Subcommittee




Unfinished Business      Mr. Rodrigues proposed a Sub-Committee on Athletics, Arts, Music and Extra-Curricular Activities.  The purpose of this Committee is to ensure school sports, Arts and Extra-Curricular activities are educational and contribute to the overall education of all students. The Committee will be committed to advancing Brockton Public Schools mission of equity excellence through Athletics, Arts, Music and Extra-Curricular activities. Programs promoting cultural diversity and community engagement. The Committee will see that all levels of school grade children are afforded the opportunity to have Athletics, Arts, Music and Extra-Curricular Activities available year-round and see where we can grow in areas through-out the school district. The Committee will also work and engage with the Athletic Director 9-12, Director of Art K-12, Director of Music K-12, Physical Education K-12 and Middle School Sports, Director of the Community Schools and After School Programs and Coordinator of Recreation Programs Community Schools to support and get updates on all programs. 


Mr. Rodrigues motioned to approve the proposed Sub-Committee on Athletics, Arts, Music and Extra-Curricular Activities.  Seconded by Ms. Asack.

Voted: to adopt the recommendation, unanimously.


New Business                  None


Hearing of Visitors        Mayor Sullivan asked the Committee to allow hearing of visitors at this time


                                         Ms. Mary LaCivita spoke to the Committee regarding concerns at Brockton High School particularly in the cafeteria, where students are being kept for extended periods of time due to teacher absences.


Additional Comments

·         Ms. Asack also acknowledged Ms. Lisa Plant in attendance (former school committee member).

·         Mayor Sullivan acknowledged BEA President, Ms. Kim Gibson, Interim Deputy Superintendent Dr. Szachowicz, City Council Ms. Shirley Asack and Superintendent Thomas.

·         Ms. Sullivan thanked Mayor Sullivan for all his hard work he’s doing in the City of Brockton.


                                          Seeing no further business, Mr. Sullivan motioned to adjourn.  Seconded by Ms. Rivas Mendes.


                                          The meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m.


                                            Respectfully submitted,



                                            Michael P. Thomas




                                       Handout:  BPS Student Absences/January 3, 2022,

                                                        COVID-19 BPS Faculty Update/January 4, 2022