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March 15, 2022

george school
March 15, 2022

                                       Brockton, Massachusetts   Regular School Committee Meeting                                                  March 15, 2022


                                       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, Mr. Sullivan


                                       Absent:  Ms. Sullivan


                                       Also Present:  Superintendent Thomas, Interim Deputy Superintendent Szachowicz,

                                                                         Executive Team Members.  


Mayor Sullivan, Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag.   


                                       Mayor Sullivan asked for a moment of silence for Mr. Albert G. “Al” Asiaf, a dedicated educator in the Brockton Public School system, the brother-in-law of Mr. Matt George, former Superintendent.  Mr. Asiaf was an unbelievable gentleman and did a tremendous amount of work at Brockton High and middle schools, and then worked at Massasoit Community College where he retired from.  Mayor Sullivan said, “Our thoughts and prayers go the Asiaf Family, may he rest in peace.”


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

Mr. Homer – Here

Ms. Ehlers – Here

Ms. Rivas Mendes – Here

Mr. Rodrigues – Here

Ms. Asack – Here

Mr. Sullivan - Here

Mayor Sullivan – Here

Ms. Sullivan – Absent



   Hearing of Visitors     There were no hearing of visitors.


    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 Mr. Homer.

Voted:  to approve the motion passed unanimously.


         Report                     Student Representative (Elen Arustamyan)

                                       Student Representative Elen Arustamyan gave a report on happenings at Brockton High


Ø  The boys 4x200 meter relay took 3rd place at New Balance Nationals in New York City on Friday, March 11, 2022. Congratulations to team members: Mamadu Tchamo, Anthony Canuto, Jamar Goss and Jason Wonodi.

Ø  Congratulations to The Jazz Band who competed in the METG Jazz Festival in Division One of the Southeast District and awarded a Gold Medal.  An invitation to

participate at the next level statewide competition will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2022.

Ø  Congratulations to the following musicians that were awarded individually the

Outstanding Musician’s award, Kyle Gildner, Maizel Samba, and Nilton Darosa.

Ø  This Friday, March 19, 2022 the Drama Club will compete in the METG Festival with their show “The Big 11”.

Ø  On Friday, March 4, 2022 was an open mic where current students and alumni show cased their talents and entertained all in the audiences.

Ø  A group of called, “The Senior Voices” are working on an event for the freshman and sophomores.  This group met with Superintendent Thomas and Principal Burns to finalize their plans that will take place in the Little Theatre.  This presentation will consist a total of 2 days.  All are working together to finalize the presentation and content, and hope to have before or after the April break.

Ø  The Boxer voice newspaper will be out tomorrow and in digital.

Ø  All are invited to see the work of the photography club.  There are many pictures of students and staff members.  They look professionally and cool and this helps to bring students together.

Ø  The Classical Model Language Honor Society members are working together to plan new activities and present their ideas at their meeting.

Ø  The Honor Society is scheduled to have their induction ceremony on, Monday,

May 23, 2022.

Ø  A new after school club was recently created - “The Lazzo Club” Latin America Student Organization.  The goals is to embrace the culture of the student body, have dance lessons and a food fair.

Ø  The Senior Executive Committee will meet this Thursday, March 17, 2022 to get an approval of their plans and events.

Ø  MCAS testing and IB exams are being held this week, and the students have worked hard and we know they’ll do a great job.



                                                Ms. Asack asked for the prom dates.

                                                Superintendent Thomas provided the following information:

·         Junior Prom is Friday, April 29, 2022 at Lantana, Randolph, MA.

·         Senior Prom is Thursday, May 26, 2022 at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

·         Tickets cost $35.00 each  

·         Yearbooks cost $35.00 each


                                       Presentation:  Dual Language Program (Ms. Sharon Wolder & Ms. Rachel Umbrianna)

                                       Superintendent Thomas invited Chief Officer of Student Support Services, Ms. Sharon Wolder

                                       and Ms. Rachel Umbrianna, Coordinator of Classical and Modern Languages Department Head

                                       6-12, to speak about the Dual Language Program at the George Elementary and Plouffe

                                       Academy and how they plan to implement it at North Middle School.


                                       Ms. Wolder mentioned tonight’s’ presentation will show the connection to our three focus areas

                                       and accelerated learning for students.  She then turned it over to Ms. Umbrianna.


                                       Ms. Umbrianna presented a power point giving an overview on the benefits of bilingualism. 

Ø  Bilingualism – Oral proficiency in two languages

Ø  Biliteracy – Reading & writing in two languages

Ø  Global Awareness – Raise global awareness, empathy, appreciation

Ø  Cognitive Gains – Increase in mental flexibility, student engagement, academic performance

Ø  Seal of Biliteracy – Being able to read, write, speak, and understand another language


Ø  New Changes and Future Plans

·         Promise College and Career Academy – American Sign Language fall 2022

·         Medical Interpretation and Translation Program – We are the only medical interpretation program in the country that has an internship component for high school where students are trained on site and receive a certification after they graduate the program. 

·         Students were hired by Ms. Sylvia Marks, Head of Interpreting at the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center in the past five to six years to work as interpreters.

·         Expansion of the program is now offered at the Huntington and FDA and plans to expand to the Edison Academy this fall.

·         Legal Interpretation course and internship

·         Continued partnership/ new plans with Bridgewater State University and Umass Dartmouth

·         New, proficiency-based curricula in all languages 2021-2022

Ø  Dual Language Expansion – beginning September 2022

·         Incoming 6th graders in the Junto Spanish and Unitos Portuguese will begin their study at the dual language academy at North Middle school this fall.

·         The current 6th and 7th grade students at Plouffe Academy will finish their two-way studies there.

·         Incoming 6th grades in the Amitie French dual language program will join the Dual Language Academy at North Middle School.

Ø  Focus Areas

1.      Effective Instruction

2.      Active Reading and Writing

3.      Positive Relationships


                                             Ms. Umbrianna invited current and former two-way students to the podium to explain to

                                             the committee in English and Spanish about their experiences in the program and the                                                                   positive relationships that they have developed through the years of being in this program.



·   Ms. Rivas-Mendes asked will students become included with other peers not included in

   this dual language program?

Ms. Umbrianna replied, yes, the expansion program to North will include students that are not enrolled in the program.

·   Ms. Rivas-Mendes asked, if Spanish was the main language?

       Ms. Umbrianna mentioned we’ve had the Spanish Dual language program for over 18

       years, the Portuguese students will enter grade 6 in the fall and the French program  

       will begin in 2024.

·   Ms. Ehlers asked, what does Juntos mean?

Ms. Umbrianna replied, it means together, Unidos means united, Amitie means friendship.

·   Ms. Ehlers asked, if your interested in this program what would you need to get into it?

Ms. Umbrianna mentioned Spanish one is a two-way program that is 50% heritage Spanish speakers and 50% non-native speakers.  If  a student transfers in that speaks another language an assessment is done to see where their language level is and determine if they’ll be successful in the program.



·   Ms. Asack thanked Ms. Umbrianna for the presentation and supports the program, she

   believes having a second language provides more opportunities.

·   Mr. Sullivan also thanked Ms. Umbrianna for the presentation and said, “it’s the best

   presentation” he is happy to see the move of this program at North Middle School.

·   Mr. Rodrigues thanked Ms. Umbrianna for the presentation and asked is there a waiting

   list to enter the two-way program?

Ms. Umbrianna mentioned, yes, there is a wait list for the two-way program and hopes to expand it sooner in other languages.

·   Mayor Sullivan thanked Ms. Umbrianna and the students for attending this meeting. 

   He stated, “ As Mayor, he is going to support and expand the program; this is a great

   example of what our Brockton students do every single day.”

·   Superintendent Thomas thanked Ms. Umbrianna, Bilingual Department, Mrs. Kellie

   Jones, Director of Bilingual and her team, Principal Natalie Pohl, George School, and her

   team, Ms. Michelle Nessralla, Principal Plouffe Academy and her team, and now North

   Middle School, Principal Diane Lynch.  He also thanked the School Committee for

   always supporting the Dual Language Program even during budget cuts.


Presentation:  PROMISE High School – College & Career Academy Update

(Ms. Sharon Wolder & Dr. Kelly Silva)

Superintendent Thomas invited Ms. Wolder to introduce Dr. Kelly Silva, Principal and

Dr. Michael Robinson, Instructional Resource Specialist/Instructional Design Lead  at the PROMISE College & Career Academy to give an update.


Ms. Wolder discussed  the opportunity Brockton had in applying for a grant, to develop a new high school that would give opportunities where students could thrive in a smaller setting and not choosing to leave our community to go and attend charter or vocational schools.  The BARR Foundation offered an opportunity for schools in Massachusetts to take advantage of this grant to do high school differently.  The grant was very competitive, we went through the process and multiple interviews and was able to receive the grant.  Dr. Silva has worked with the BARR Foundation and Spring Point the past three years as the lead designed person and will be the Principal of the school.    


Dr. Silva presented a power point giving an overview about the PROMISE College and Career Academy, (PCAA) is a choice high school in Brockton designed for students and families who are seeking a more personalized learning experience.


Ø  PCAA Learning Model

·            College & Career Planning

·            Financial Literacy

·            Rigorous, Relevant  Engaging Learning Experiences

·            Competency-based assessment

·            Advisory

Ø  Student Enrollment SY 22-23

                                                    Based on the guidance from BARR there is going to be a progressive student

                                                    enrollment.  The program will begin with 50 students and add 50 each year to reach

                                                    the maximum of 200 students.  Marketing this information to students should begin

                                                    soon and collection of applications as soon as April of this year.



·         Ms. Ehlers asked, what would the maximum student per advisor should be?

        Dr. Silva recommends 10 students per advisor.

·   Ms. Ehlers commented, she loves the concept of CBA but has some concerns that they’re

   going to be ready for an academic college career  by 12th grade by the way students are

   being assessed.

        Dr. Silva mentions they are working on an alignment, as it may be confusing for

        students, however, it’s more informative and helps the student know they’re not

        failing. This information will be helpful to the teacher to better target certain    

        competencies that students will need support in.

·   Ms. Asack asked, how long is the grant for?

     Dr. Silva mentioned the grant is for 3 years, it’s a  planning grant and if they approve 

     our model, another grant will be written to get support for our next year that will

     help with the implementation and fine tune the design.


·   Ms. Rivas-Mendes asked, how does the application process look like?

     Dr. Silva mentions there will be both an application and interview.

·   Ms. Rivas-Mendes asked, if the first 50 cohort students are 9th graders or mixed?

     Dr. Silva mentions it will consist of 9th graders because we lose alto of 8th graders.

·   Mr. Rodrigues asked if the bilingual population and special education students included

   in this model?

     Dr. Silva replied, yes, this model does include both bilingual and special education


·   Mr. Homer asked is there an example of a PROMISE Program that is already functioning

   in another school to get feedback about what’s working?

     Dr. Silva mentioned she doesn’t believe there is another program, as part of the

     design through the grant they were able to visit schools and took ideas that was

     working from different models.


                                       Mayor Sullivan and School Committee members thanked Dr. Silva and Dr. Robinson for their



FY23 Budget Update

Superintendent Thomas gave an overview from the Finance Subcommittee meeting held earlier this evening.  Interim CFO, Mr. Chris Correia shared information from the governor’s budget discussing last year’s FY22 Chapter 70 funding and this year’s FY23 proposed budget showing increases and loses. 


Superintendent Thomas mentioned weekly meetings will begin with the Mayor, City CFO, Mr. Troy Clarkson, BPS Interim CFO, Mr. Chris Correia and he to go over the non-net budget and net school spending budget.       


Mayor Sullivan mentioned Aldo Petronio, BPS CFO is at home recovering and he’s been able to participate, and Chris has been awesome.  Mayor Sullivan said, “the synergy between the city and school is real and it’s great.”


Items to Refer to          Mr. Rodrigues requested an Athletics, Arts, Music, Extra-Curricular Activities Subcommittee

   Subcommittee            meeting in April.


     Unfinished                 Discussion and Potential Vote from the Bid Review Subcommittee Meeting–

       Business                   March 7, 2022

                                         Mr. Sullivan gave a verbal report of the Bid Review Subcommittee held on Monday, March 7, 2022 and adjourned at 2:20 p.m.


                                         Mr. Sullivan motioned to accept the verbal report as presented for the current Keith Center.  Seconded by Ms. Asack. 

        The motion passed unanimously.

                                           Mr. Sullivan motioned to move this favorably to the Full School Committee.                   

                                        Seconded by Ms. Asack.

        The motion passed unanimously.

                                         Discussion and Potential Vote from the Finance Subcommittee Meeting – March 8, 2022

                                         Ms. Asack gave a verbal report of the Finance Subcommittee held on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.


                                         Ms. Asack  motioned to accept the verbal report as presented.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.                                                                                          The motion passed unanimously.



                                         Discussion and Potential Vote from the Finance Subcommittee Meeting – March 15, 2022

                                         Ms. Asack gave a verbal report of the Finance Subcommittee held on this evening, March 15, 2022.


                                       Ms. Asack motioned to accept the verbal report as presented.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

The motion passed unanimously.

    New Business              Mayor Sullivan and Ms. Asack thanked all who attended the School Committee Retreat this past Saturday, March 12, 2022.


Mayor Sullivan announced tomorrow, Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 11:00 a.m., a flag raising

ceremony will take place at City Hall as Brockton Stands with Ukraine.  Information is being

posted on social media and accepting donations in the office to send to Ukraine, we are reaching

out all hospitals including the Neighborhood Health Center for medical supplies.


Mayor Sullivan announced Thursday, March 17, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. the Irish flag raising

ceremony will take place at City Hall on St. Patrick’s Day.


Mayor Sullivan thanked Mr. Jeff Weiner, CEO of Santander Bank (BHS Graduate class of 88)

his team and Ms. Burns, Principal of Brockton High School in formalizing an official program

with Santander and BPS specifically Brockton High. 


Superintendent Thomas recognized the boys 4x200 meter relay took third place last weekend

at the New Balance Nationals in New York City.  We will have Coach Fidalgo and team

members come before us to receive certificates at the next school committee meeting.


Superintendent Thomas mentioned Graduation will resume back to normal.  Brockton High

 School will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.  He asked the committee that this

request be granted.


Ms. Rivas-Mendes motioned to change the time for the Brockton High graduation from

2:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 4, 2022.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

The motion passed unanimously.

Seeing no further business,

Ms. Rivas-Mendes and Mr. Rodrigues both motioned to adjourn. 

Seconded by Mr. Homer.

                                                                                         The motion carried.

                                       The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.


          Respectfully submitted,




          Michael P. Thomas





PowerPoint(s):  Dual Language Academy at North Middle School,

                                    PROMISE College & Career Academy