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March 2, 2021

george school

Brockton, Massachusetts
Organizational Meeting
March 2, 2021
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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, Chair called the meeting to order at 7:00 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 98

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

Mayor Sullivan welcomed everyone back to the Little Theatre at Brockton High School.  We’re doing a hybrid approach and our visitors via zoom.  Mayor Sullivan thanked the following, Mike Simmons and his team from Brockton Community Access, Malinda Campbell, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and the Informational Technology Center team that has been working diligently.   

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

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

Mayor Sullivan recognized the dedication of our boys and girls, the students here in Brockton Public Schools, the staff, and teachers.  Last Tuesday we opened hybrid for our special need students, it was successful, and the facilities were unbelievable, and a job well done.  This morning He, the Superintendent and Vice-Chair, Mr. D’Agostino went to visit the Keith Center it was wonderful.

Mayor Sullivan opened to the Superintendent for comments followed by the Vice-Chair and then go to the hearing of visitors.

Superintendent Thomas mentioned Ms. Asack was unable to join us tonight due to a death in the family, our condolences on her loss.

Superintendent Thomas thanked Mayor Sullivan and Vice-Chair D’Agostino for meeting him at the Keith Center this morning, visiting schools in the district, as today was the first day for PreK, 6 and 9, and to see the great job teachers and support staff are doing.  He echoed what Mayor Sullivan said the buildings look great, you could see that the custodians have spent a lot of time, and what the staff, administrators, support staff and teachers did to welcome students back in person by decorating with balloons, streamers and singing.

Superintendent Thomas thanked the School Committee because this was the way to return to in-person learning.  He commended the Administrators, Executive Team, Schools, Teachers, Support Staff, and everyone that works in the buildings for doing a great job.

Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair echoed the Mayor and Superintendent.  He thanked Principal Cynthia Burns, staff, teachers, and students, they had a chance to speak with teachers and students and all were excited to be back.  After the Keith Center he went to South Middle School and Principal Jose Duarte took him around the school stopping into classrooms and the students were thrilled to be back.  After South Middle School he headed to the Kennedy Elementary School and Principal Joanne Camillo and  Assistant Principal Gary Lumnah took him around the school and stopped into classrooms and be able to visit the kindergartners.  He finished up at the Hancock Elementary School and Principal Stephen Shaw and spoke with teachers and students.  It was a great morning and appreciates the staff, teachers, parents, and students.


Hearing of Visitors    

Ms. Terry McIntosh addressed the Mayor, School Committee members and Superintendent as a parent of two children in the special education program.  Ms. McIntosh and her family expressed their thanks for the communication on every level, support staff and welcoming upon returning in person.  Ms. McIntosh thanked every single staff member of the Brockton Public Schools and School Committee members.    

Consent Agenda    

Mayor Sullivan, Chair explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members if they would like to remove any items for further discussion.  Mr. Sullivan asked to remove Item A and Mr. D’Agostino asked to remove Items D and E, giving an overview report on the consent agenda items.  

Item A, Approval of Bid Review Subcommittee Meeting Report on February 24, 2021, discussing the agenda item.  A motion was made by Ms. Sullivan, seconded by Mr. Sullivan, and voted unanimous to send the matter (agenda Item #1) favorable to the Finance Subcommittee for further consideration.

1. Lease of General Warehouse Space
2. Other Business

Mr. D’Agostino mentioned the Finance Subcommittee has been booked for next Tuesday evening and that will be one of the items on the agenda for further discussion.

Mr. Sullivan motioned to approve as written, seconded by Mr. Minichiello.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair took a roll call vote.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes       
Ms. Asack – absent
Ms. Mendes – yes                
Mr. Minichiello – yes                   
Mr. Rodrigues – yes  
Ms. Sullivan – yes                
Mr. Sullivan – yes            

                    Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.
    
Mr. Sullivan moved the Superintendent’s recommendation to approve the remainder Consent Agenda items: B, C, F, G, and H seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

B. Authorization to Submit Application for Gateway City Grants for High Quality, Intensive English Language Learning Programs – All Levels
C. Authorization to Submit Application for Grants for High Quality, Intensive English Language Learning Programs – All Levels
F.    Notification of Personnel Appointments:  Certified
G.   Notification of Personnel Appointments:  Non-Certified     
H.   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 – absent
Ms. Mendes – yes                
Mr. Minichiello – yes                   
Mr. Rodrigues – yes  
Ms. Sullivan – yes                
Mr. Sullivan – yes        
                  

 Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

Item D, Approval of The Annette M. Roy Memorial Scholarship.

Mr. D’Agostino acknowledged the scholarship in the amount of $10,000 ($2500 per year for four years with student keeping a 2.7 GPA or higher)  

Item E, Approval of The Carl L. Springhetti Memorial Scholarship.

Mr. D’Agostino acknowledged the scholarship in the amount of Two annual scholarships of $1,000 each with a $20,000 initial endowment.

Mr. D’Agostino moved to approve Items D and E:  D:  Approval of The Annette M. Roy Memorial Scholarship, E:  Approval of The Carl L. Springhetti Memorial Scholarship, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair took a roll call vote.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes       
Ms. Asack – absent
Ms. Mendes – yes                
Mr. Minichiello – yes                   
Mr. Rodrigues – yes  
Ms. Sullivan – yes                
Mr. Sullivan – yes        

                    Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

Superintendent’s Report

Report of Hybrid Opening Return Update (additional items)

Superintendent Thomas thanked the Parent Information Center and Peggy Killea, Transportation Supervisor for the job well done with First Student, buses and vans were ready.

Superintendent Thomas mentioned going into classrooms seeing teachers with students in front of them and others on zoom or teams and how they were teaching both, it was amazing.

Superintendent Thomas thanked the School Committee members for their support and the job done over the last year, supporting and making sure that schools were ready to open the past and coming weeks, the support put into him and the Executive Team and all the staff in the Brockton Public Schools has been amazing.  As Ms. McIntosh said it’s evident of the hard work that everyone has done together.  The relationships we have with our unions, to be able to get through difficult decisions but you’ve done a great job as it’s always been in the best interest of the safety and health of the students, families, and our staff.
    
Director of Special Education – Students with Disabilities Return Update

Superintendent Thomas invited the Director of Special Education, Ms. Laurie Mason to give an update on the return of our students with disabilities.

Ms. Mason spoke about the visits to schools and the classrooms.  It’s great to see the students and staff and everyone’s doing a great job and believes the right decision in the transition back with our students with disabilities in a hybrid model.  It’s a nice transition the classrooms were small, the teachers and staff are getting to know the students in person, and they are learning how to keep a mask on and social distancing.

Ms. Mason shared a story about the Superintendent and herself.  As they visited East Middle School today and visiting a classroom the students were interested in and asked who he was.  Ms. Mason told the students it was Mr. Thomas their Superintendent and they immediately went to him asking to take his picture and talked about that all day long and they couldn’t wait to go home and tell their parents about the Superintendent taking time out of his day to visit with them.     Ms. Mason believes the right decision was made with the hybrid model.

Question/Answer  

Mr. Sullivan asked Ms. Mason how many parents are choosing to keep their child remote?
Ms. Mason said it’s fluctuating; classes have approximately 8-12 students, and more than half are attending school.

Director of School Registration, K Registration Information and Online Registration System

Superintendent Thomas invited the Director of School Registration, Ms. Márcia Andrade Serpa to give an update on K Registration Information and Online Registration System.

Ms. Andrade Serpa presented a power point presentation and discussed the Kindergarten Registration. Beginning March 16, 2021, the Parent Registration Information will use a brand-new Online Registration System, it’s part of our Infinite Campus online portal.  Registration will begin for Kindergartners on March 16, 2021.

Kindergarten Registration (PowerPoint)

Infinite Campus Online Registration
   
   Registration
* How do I submit documents for registration?
* Kindergarten Registration – click here
* Registration & Student Assignment
* Dual Language Programs
* Important Dates
* Kindergarten Showcase
* Questions

Ms. Andrade Serpa thanked Peggy Killea for her hard work through transportation and has done a phenomenal job getting our vans ready for our children and our buses.

Ms. Andrade Serpa mentioned this year the Brockton Public Library partnered to provide a book to our incoming kindergartners.  The book is by a local author Peter Reynolds with an inspiring message and his illustrations are diverse and inclusive and certainly represent our beautiful students in Brockton.

Question/Answer

Mr. D’Agostino asked on the languages shown on Infinite Campus is it possible to have Haitian or Cape Verdean Creole being that both are largely spoken languages in the city.

Ms. Andrade Serpa replied the entire system was translated  into Portuguese, Spanish, French and English by our staff.  Families that speak Cape Verdean Creole would use the Portuguese written language; the Haitian Creole would use the French.
 
Mayor Sullivan and Superintendent Thomas thanked Ms. Andrade Serpa and the team for all the hard work done.

PROMISE High School Presentation (PowerPoint)

Superintendent Thomas invited Dr. Kelly Silva, Dr. Michael Robinson, and Ms. Sharon Wolder to present the PROMISE High School development.

Dr. Silva thanked everyone for having them at the School Committee meeting to present the PROMISE College and Career Academy.  Dr. Silva and Dr. Robinson presented a power point.

PROMISE College & Career Academy (PCCA) (PowerPoint)
* What students want and need?
* Pillars for Success
* Primary Person Advisory Model
* Financial Literacy
* Post-Secondary Planning
* Rigorous, Relevant & engaging Learning Experiences
* Mastery based Learning
* Questions

Mayor Sullivan and Superintendent Thomas thanked both Dr. Silva and Dr. Robinson for the detailed information and hard work.

Presentation of Fine Arts Programs

Superintendent Thomas invited Ms. Sarah Richards, Director of Arts K-12, Mr. Michael Smith, District Director of Music, Mr. Matthew Cunningham, Choral Director, Mr. Robert Hogan, Drama Director and Mr. Kevin Kardel, Band Director to discuss the activities they’ve done since we’ve closed last March 12, 2020 and what’s been done so far.  Superintendent Thomas announced that today the Department of Education updated the guidelines for singing inside and the same for instruments, we can sing and play instruments inside if students wear masks and are 10ft. apart.   

Superintendent Thomas welcomed Mr. Michael Smith our New District Director of Music following our legend Mr. Vinnie Macrina, we appreciate your hard work getting use to the new job but also working closely with Mr. Macrina and the staff members.  Mr. Smith thanked everyone and appreciates every opportunity to work with this group of fine people.

Ms. Richards shared what’s been happening in the Art Department and proud of our teachers and students as they’ve created meaningful work during this remote period and has been a challenge to teach visual art and theater and our teachers have risen to that occasion.

BPS Art Department 2021 (PowerPoint)
* Everyday Superhero Portraits
* Kindness Posters
* Elementary Color Wheels
* Fuller Craft Museum – Third and fifth grade virtual tours “From Where I Sit”
* Middle School
* High School Self Portraits

Upcoming events:
* Spring Virtual Art Shows
Grades K-8 and 9-11
 
* Senior Art Show
Fuller Craft Museum

Follow the K-12 Art Department on Facebook @ BPS Art Department

Mr. Hogan shared information of happenings in the theater program.  He thanked the School Committee for having them present this evening.  They are passionate about their own disciplines within the arts programs and excited to share what has taken place and plans in the upcoming spring with the students.

BHS Drama (PowerPoint)
                 * METG Scholarship Program/Winners
                 * Auditions
                 * Holiday Performance Video
                 * Help Desk, Virtual Show
                 * 10 Ways to Quarantine, Virtual Show
                 * DEI Presentation, METG
                 * 10 Minute Play Festival, METG
                 * Musical Presentation, May 2021
                 * Drama Awards

Superintendent Thomas mentioned we will have an in-person Spring Musical and look at options for the location.

Mr. Minichiello thanked Ms. Richards and Mr. Hogan for the information provided and as a school committee in general as a body we all support the activities that are available for our students and know how important the sports activities have been and we certainly all share the same feeling that our students in the arts, music and drama deserve the same opportunities and appreciate what you’ve done and we’re looking forward to moving on safely as quickly.

Mr. Smith thanked Mr. Minichiello and mentioned this year has posed many challenges not only for our students but for our amazing staff as each and everyone stepped up and kept all the students engaged in a different environment this year.

Music Department

Mr. Cunningham thanked the School Committee for having them present this evening and appreciate the support this year, it really means a lot.

Vocal Music (PowerPoint)

* Choral Happenings 2020-2021
* Past Happenings
* Upcoming
* Harmonics
* Chamber Singers
* Senior Districts
* All State
* Junior Districts

Mr. Kardel mentioned this is his 24th year teaching in Brockton in the Instrumental Music program and his first year where he has taken up at the high school for Mr. Macrina and the Advanced Concert Band and would be remiss if he didn’t thank him for 24 years of mentoring and preparing him for that position.

Instrumental Music (PowerPoint)

* Current Band Status
* Afterschool BHS Ensembles
* Transition to 25% Hybrid
* Transition to 50% Hybrid
* Upcoming Concerts
   
Mr. Smith mentioned specific PPE for the instruments and tents to continue practice outside.  Mr. Smith thanked the School Committee, Superintendent Thomas, and Principal’s for their support.

Question/Answer

* Ms. Sullivan mentioned she received some concerns that some of the middle school students in band and chorus were not getting the same instruction as other middle schools, how that has worked into the schedule.

Mr. Smith mentioned the department was faced with staffing concerns at the start of the school year due to Mr. Macrina retiring and several teacher’s reduction in force, we did have a few vacancies throughout the district and teachers shifting schedules to cover those vacancies.  The good news to report, we’ve interviewed a teacher that will go the middle school at East pending all paperwork is cleared by the end of next week and two candidates so that every music position is filled.

Comment

Mr. D’Agostino thanked everyone from the Fine Arts Program for the opportunity to see how students who are involved in the arts and managing to be able to participate and how impressive it is that we go into this virtual setting and everybody made the shift within the state guidance that was offered how do we make this work.  It speaks to the level of talent we have from our students but also the ability of the district and the teachers and students figure out how to make this work.

    Mayor Sullivan and Superintendent Thomas thanked all for the presentation.

Approval of the New Brockton Public Schools Logo

Superintendent Thomas discussed the redesigned logo and thanked Jess Hodges, Chief Public Relations Officer for redesigning our logo to bring us back to our district colors, red and black and incorporate our pledge of Diversity, Equity, Unity and of course the City of Champions and when the Brockton Public Schools was established.

Comments

* Mayor Sullivan mentioned the new logo looks great.
* Mr. D’Agostino loves the new logo and values that the Brockton Public Schools stands for and instills in our students, and of course we are the City of Champions.

Mr. D’Agostino motioned to approve the New Brockton Public Schools Logo, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair took a roll call vote.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes       
Ms. Asack – absent
Ms. Mendes – yes                
Mr. Minichiello – yes                   
Mr. Rodrigues – yes  
Ms. Sullivan – yes                
Mr. Sullivan – yes            

                    Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous

Mayor Sullivan asked Superintendent Thomas to please give our sincere thanks to Jess Hodges.

Discussion of the Eldon B. Keith Memorial Field

Superintendent Thomas turned this item to Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair.

Mr. D’Agostino mentioned this item is currently being vetted by the Facilities Usage & Planning Subcommittee consisting of himself, Ms. Asack, Chair, Mr. Sullivan.

Mr. D’Agostino made a recommendation to table this item until the subcommittee completes it’s work and submits a report to the recommendation to the full committee, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.
    
Mayor Sullivan, Chair took a roll call vote.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes       
Ms. Asack – absent
Ms. Mendes – yes                
Mr. Minichiello – yes                   
Mr. Rodrigues – yes  
Ms. Sullivan – yes                
Mr. Sullivan – yes            

                    Voted:  to approve the recommendation, unanimous

Items to Refer to Subcommittee    

Superintendent Thomas mentioned we are in budget season now that we’ve opened schools, we will need to schedule Finance Subcommittee meetings from now until we send the budget to the City Council.  Meetings before a scheduled School Committee meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. and non-School Committee meeting at 6:00 p.m.           

Unfinished Business

Mr. D’Agostino discussed the Special School Committee Meeting held on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Agenda #3 – Discussion and vote regarding: (a) the purchase of school buses; and (b) the School Finance Subcommittee’s review of such potential purchase (s).  Mr. Petronio BPS/CFO presented a power point on the BPS/School Bus Procurement Proposal to discuss the costs and benefit of having such.
 
Mr. Sullivan moved to motion to amend the 2021 non-net school spending budget to allocate a total of $5,483,564.00 from the ordinary maintenance regular education transportation and special education transportation items collectively to school department capital for the purpose of the acquisition of school buses and to authorize the purchase of such buses, accordingly, seconded by Ms. Mendes. Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair took a roll call vote, and the vote was unanimous.

Mr. D’Agostino motioned to accept the report of the Special School Committee meeting, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

 Mayor Sullivan, Chair took a roll call vote.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes       
Ms. Asack – absent
Ms. Mendes – yes                
Mr. Minichiello – yes                   
Mr. Rodrigues – yes  
Ms. Sullivan – yes                
Mr. Sullivan – yes        

            Voted:  to approve the recommendation, unanimous

Superintendent Thomas thanked Brewster Ambulance that is working closely with us through the Department of Education and our partnership with the City as they have worked setting up the schedule with Dr. Cobbs and Dr. Linda Cahill  Testing is being offered in our schools for all staff members, and if a staff member tests positive it comes back in 15 minutes and get a PCR test and would be required to quarantine.

Mayor Sullivan echoed the sentiments as well and thanked Dr. Linda Cahill and all the school nurses as they’ve been unbelievable partners with the City Board of Health with the three nurses on the city side and Dr. Mondesir assisting for almost a year now on contract tracing.  Also, Brockton High School – Red cafeteria, he thanked Principal Dr. Murray, Superintendent Thomas, Ken Thompson, Mr. Jamie Dimestico, Dr. Cobbs and Dean of the Red Building Ms. Carrie Copp and everybody involved for allowing to use the Red cafeteria and Red IRC relative to vaccine rollout.  Due to being back hybrid we’ve left Brockton High School and moved to the Shaw’s Center.  We will continue to work diligently we’ll get our allotment on the City side and the Neighborhood Health Center will get their Federal and State allotment.

Mr. Sullivan asked Mayor Sullivan for a COVID-19 update.  As of today, there is a total of 403 loss of life, our first loss of life was last March 29, 2020, total cases in Brockton 11,959 and current positive cases of COVID-19 is 2,523 residents.  We must continue to be diligent and vigilant with the masks.  

Mr. Sullivan asked if we are still in the Red?

Mayor Sullivan answered yes, we are still in the Red and we have five in the ICU at both Good Samaritan and Brockton Hospital.
                                         
   New Business            

Mr. D’Agostino asked School Committee members if they were available Saturday, March 27, 2021 from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to have their retreat, and if a member needed to zoom in if needed.  All agreed.

Executive Session

Mayor Sullivan informed School Committee members it was confirmed with Superintendent Thomas and legal counsel Executive session was not needed this evening.    
    
         Mr. Sullivan motioned 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 – absent
Ms. Mendes – yes                
Mr. Minichiello – yes                   
Mr. Rodrigues – yes  
Ms. Sullivan – yes                
Mr. Sullivan – yes        
                            
Seeing no further business, the School Committee meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
                          
                                 Respectfully submitted,
                                      Michael P. Thomas
                                      Superintendent/Secretary   
 
    mdc
                                            
    Power point:  K Registration Information and Online Registration System, PROMISE High School Presentation,
    Presentation of Fine Arts Programs