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June 22, 2021

george school

Brockton, Massachusetts
Regular School Committee Meeting
June 22, 2021
Live Stream

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, Chair called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.
                                         
Present:      Mayor Sullivan. Chair; Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair; Superintendent Thomas, Mr. Minichiello,
   Mr. Rodrigues, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan

Absent:      Ms. Asack, Ms. Mendes

Also Present:  Executive Team members, Mr. Kevin DaPonte, Director of Instructional Technology,
      Ms. Kristina Gallant, Instructional Technology Specialist 9-12  

Mayor Sullivan thanked BCA for always assisting us relative to School Committee meetings.
    
    Hearing of Visitors    None    

    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.  There being none,

    Mr. D’Agostino moved the Superintendent’s recommendation to approve the Consent Agenda in its entirety. Seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

A. Approval of Minutes:  June 8, 2021 Regular School Committee Meeting Minutes                      
B. Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Appointments, Non-Certified Personnel
C. Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions:  Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements  

                    The motion passed unanimously.

    Superintendent’s Report

Recognitions

Superintendent Thomas acknowledged Dr. Linda Cahill, Nursing Supervisor, Brockton Public Schools, for her assistance in in helping the city and school system navigate its way through the pandemic.  When asked by Mayor Sullivan in May 2020, she served as the Acting Director of the Board of Health and continued throughout the summer months, upon returning to the school side she continued to help with the Board of Health and Brockton Neighborhood Health Center.  Superintendent Thomas recognized Dr. Cahill and all her School Nurses for the contact tracing as we returned to school, ensuring the safety of all.  She continued to work with the Board of Health and Brockton Neighborhood Health Center with the vaccine clinics at Brockton High School, Middle Schools and Keith Center.  Dr. Cahill’s work was amazing.

Mayor Sullivan echoed Superintendent Thomas and applauds Dr. Cahill and just an “Awesome Professional”, she and her team of nurses on the school side save lives. She was asked to assist, and she did it without hesitation, that’s what it means to be a dedicated professional, and thanked her as a city and a community.

Dr. Cahill thanked everyone for acknowledging her.  She thanked the school nurses and mentioned she couldn’t have done it without them, they are wonderful and jumped in and helped with the contact tracing and assisted at the clinics.  She is appreciative of the Board of Health, Dr. Eno Mondesir, Dr. Richard Herman, and nurses, it’s been a community effort in getting our numbers down and getting our citizens vaccinated.  (applause)    
     
Superintendent Thomas introduced Mr. John McDonald, Guidance Counselor at the Plouffe Academy and acknowledged Principal Michelle Nessralla.  He turned it over to  Mr. McDonald to present and recognize “The Galactic Girls” in their accomplishment and recent article in the newspaper.

Mr. McDonald mentioned the American Student Assistance Solve Together is a national competition designed to encourage career exploration and skill building for middle school students through project-based learning and teamwork.

“The Galactic Girls” from Brockton’s Plouffe Academy, comprised of Elliana Cabellon, Genessis Ponce, Abigail Manzueta, Isabella Renaud and Gabriella Rodriguez, won first place for their creativity in developing comprehensive blueprints and models for hydroponic farms to sustain a colony on Mars on May 11, 2021.

The team began doing research on how they would create a livable colony on Mars.  On February 28, 2021 they were able to visit Boston’s Museum of Science to see the Destination Mars exhibit to do more background research on Mars to help them create their blueprints for the hydroponic farm they would create on the planet.

Together, the team created a cardboard model of the hydroponic farm, which they included in their presentation.  Furthering their research, the girls were able to speak with Todd May, the former director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, about their research on March 4 and were able to get firsthand information to help with the building of their blueprints.

Mr. McDonald introduced “The Galactic Girls”, Isabelle Renaud, Genesis Ponce, Abigail Manzueta, Elliana Cabellon and fifth member Gabrielle Rodriguez. (unable to attend)  (applause)

Captain’s Elliana and Isabella thanked the School Committee for inviting them to attend tonight’s meeting.  They thanked their teachers that inspired them to work as hard as they did.

The school was awarded $10,000 and the team of students won $1,500 - $300 per student.  The school is working with the Galactic Girls to figure out the best way to utilize the money.  The girls haven’t decided what they want but would like for the school to provide something that gives students job experience in different STEM-related fields.

Mayor Sullivan and Superintendent Thomas presented certificates to Elliana Cabellon, Genessis Ponce, Abigail Manzueta and Isabella Renaud on behalf of the School Committee.

        Approval of Brockton Public Schools (BPS) Single District Virtual School

Superintendent Thomas introduced Dr. Ethan Cancell, Executive Director of Assessment, Accountability, Technology & Student Date Research, Mr. Kevin DaPonte, Director of Instructional Technology and Ms. Kristina Gallant, Instructional Technology Specialist 9-12.  They are working on the development of our Single District Virtual School submitted to the Department of Education and working on feedback received.  This will allow us to make adjustments and ask the committee for a vote to submit the application back to the Department of Education.   

    Dr. Cancell, Mr. Daponte and Ms. Gallant presented a PowerPoint the committee giving an update on the BPS Single District Virtual School.
        
    Brockton District Virtual School (PowerPoint)

    Superintendents Vision

    Provide a fully remote option to access Brockton’s full complement of educational services and
    opportunities for all Brockton students & families K-12.
        
    Why Create a Virtual School Option in Brockton?
1. Options & Interest – Remote schooling works well for some students
o April 9th -  3,962 Students choose to remain Fully Remote
o April 30th - An Interest Survey was taken:  367 families responded “Yes”
o An additional survey was taken in June to see if the number of households are still interested in
September, and a good response of families are interested including students being homeschooled
2. Capitalize on hard won expertise
        Use skills & knowledge gained during the pandemic to meet the needs & choices of our families
3. Lost Revenue
        In 2021, 45 Brockton residents attend a fully remote school outside of Brockton
        
    Steering Committee
    The committee is made up of 15 Stakeholders with broad expertise and put together to make sure this
    school is ready to open and run succesfully in September.  The stakeholders represents the following:
* K-12
* Teachers
* Administrators:  Director of Special Educaton, Ms. Laurie Mason, Director of Bilingual Education,
    Ms. Kellie Jones, Chief Officer of Student Support Services, Ms. Sharon Wolder
* BEA President, Kim Gibson
* Instructional Technology Team Members

    Focus areas
* Mission and Educational Program
* Access and Equity
* School Culture and Family Engagement
* District Capacity and Planning for Success
* Acountability and Compliance

    Next Steps
* Schedule (developing)
* Policies and Procedures
* Enrollment>Staffing
* A Virtual Information Session for families is scheduled on Monday, June 28, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.

    Application Process    
* The application was submitted to DESE on May 6, 2021
* On June 4, 2021    DESE provided feedback to us
* The Steering Committee is working on the feedback
* A vote is needed by the School Committee - BPS Single District Virtual School on June 22, 2021
* The Final application & evidence of the School Committee aproval is due to DESE by July 6, 2021

    Virtual Information Session
    A session is scheduled on Monday, June 28, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. @ bpsma.org for parents and families that
    may have additional questions.

    Questions/Answers
* Mr. Minichiello asked how this program would fit an incoming 9th grade student?
    This program is open to all Brockton residents, K-12 staffing will be based on enrollment.  Year
    one a fully synchronous model is set to but the goal is to work towards a more flexible option for
    asynchronous work built into that schedule to allow more flexibility for students who have jobs or
    participate in various activities .  
    
* Mr. Sullivan asked if this K-12 program is Chapter 70 funded?
            Yes, this program is Chapter 70 funded.

* Ms. Sullivan asked how do 45 students go virtual on other school districts?
    There are two commonwealth virtual schools, Greenfield and TECCA (statewide virtual schools)
    anyone can sign up for them.

    Comments
    School Committee members thanked the team for their presentation and believes this is a great option for
    families and students in Brockton.  

    Dr. Cancell mentioned we have an onsite location for the virtual school, 846 N. Main Street, Brockton, MA this location is a physical space for teachers, tech support, oversight and supervision.

    Mr. Minichiello motioned to approve the Brockton Public Schools (BPS) Single District Virtual School.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

                    The motion passed unanimously.

    Approval of Brockton Public Schools (BPS) Supplemental (In-service) Calendar 2021-2022
    Superintendent Thomas discussed the Supplemental (In-service) Calendar 2021-2022.  They are recommended in-service days (half days), family school conferences (all levels) for the fall and spring, graduation ceremony. (The final calendar will include graduation information on: Keith, Huntington and Edison Academy)
    Question/Answer
    Ms. Sullivan asked for clarification on release time in-service, is professional development days?
    Superintendent Thomas confirmend that is correct.

    Mr. D’Agostino motioned to approve the Brockton Public Schools (BPS) 2021-2022 Supplemental Calendar draft as presented subject to the following changes:  add graduations for the Keith Center, Huntington and Edison Academy.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

                    The motion passed unanimously.

    Approval of Brockton Public Schools (BPS) District Academic Calendar 2021-2022
    Superintendent Thomas discussed the Brockton Public Schools (BPS) District Academic Calendar 2021-2022.  A motion was made earlier this evening during the Policy Subcommittee meeting.  Mr. D’Agostino, Chair gave an overview report of the meeting, after discussion a motion was made by Mayor Sullivan, seconded by Mr. Sullivan and the motion passed unanimously with the following changes:  to incorporate legal holiday’s recognized by the federal government, Thanksgiving, keep November Recess; December 25th recognized as Christmas Day, change Winter Recess to “Holiday Recess” for the term of the 23rd of December through the 31st and to add any/all federal recognized holidays to be stated on the calendar.  This motion was favorably recommendation from the Policy Subcommittee meeting.  

    Mr. D’Agostino motioned to approve the recommendation of the Policy Subcommittee meeting as presented.  Seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

                    The motion passed unanimously.
            Items to Refer to Subcommittee

         None           

      Unfinished Business

Mr. D’Agostino reminded all committee members to complete their Superintendent’s Evaluation as soon as possible.

Mr. Sullivan asked if the Diversity training will be rescheduled?  Mr. D’Agostino mentioned we don’t have a date yet but will be rescheduled.
                
 New Business    

Ms. Sullivan gave a report from the Policy Manual Subcommittee Meeting held earlier this evening. Ms. Alyssa Haggerty, Special Project Leader presented Policies C&D discussing the changes and recommendations made by MASC and our Attorney.  Due to time constraint the committee was unable to discuss section L and will schedule a follow-up meeting.  The committee approved to accept the changes.

        Ms. Sullivan motioned to accept Section C & D of the School Committee Policy Manual.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.
                      The motion passed unanimously.
        
Executive Session        

Mayor Sullivan, informed School Committee members that it was confirmed with Superintendent Thomas and legal counsel that Executive Session was not needed this evening.    

        Seeing no further business Mr. Sullivan motioned to adjourn.  Seconded by Mr. Rodrigues.
   
   The motion passed unanimously.
                           
                         The meeting adjourned at 8:57 p.m.
                          
                                        Respectfully submitted,
                                             Michael P. Thomas
                                           Superintendent/Secretary   
 
     mdc
                                             
         PowerPoint:  Brockton District Virtual School (BDVS)