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May 18, 2021

george school

Brockton, Massachusetts
Regular School Committee Meeting
May 18, 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 7:08 p.m., took a roll call to establish a quorum followed by a salute to the flag.
 
Mayor Sullivan 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, Attorney Peter Mello

Mayor Sullivan asked for a moment of silence.  The Brockton Public Schools Community and families in the City of Brockton, within the last week, lost three children:  Rafael Andrade, grade 8 South Middle School, Tiago De Pina, grade 6 South Middle School, and Adam Gomes, grade 5 Arnone Elementary School.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and the community.  May they Rest in Peace.

Mayor Sullivan asked to take Agenda Item III – Hearing of Visitors out of order and asked for a motion. Mr. Minichiello motioned to take Hearing of Visitors out of order. Seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.

Hearing of Visitors    

Mr. Andy Robinson, former School Committee member from Ward 2, who now is our liaison with the Department of Public Health working with vaccine rollout.  
 
Mr. Robinson is working directly with municipalities to insure they are provided the resources needed to accommodate and address inequity issues they’re experiencing.  He is working in partnership with Mayor Sullivan and his office, the Board of Health, Dr. Mondesir and Dr. Herman to discuss who’s not getting vaccinated, who needs to, and how to make vaccines available to people.

Last week youths 12 to 15 were authorized for the Pfizer vaccine. This is an opportunity for middle schoolers, freshmen, and sophomores to get vaccinated.  Information will go out to students about middle school clinics that will take place next Monday and Tuesday May 24th and May 25th . We are providing, through the Department of Health, mobile vaccine units that will arrive at every school making vaccinations available to students, family members, staff and anyone else who chooses to do so.

The goal is to empower our students to be Ambassadors of Health in the community and to speak with their peers and family members of the importance of getting vaccinated.  
   
Question/Answer

Mr. Minichiello asked what makes Pfizer acceptable for the younger kids and if you have any data information?

Mr. Robinson said he was not sure why other companies haven’t pursued as aggressively or what clinical trials they might have in place or how long they might take. He would be able to get back to the School Committee with that information.

Mayor Sullivan mentioned we are ahead of the curve in the commonwealth by having a clinic Thursday and Friday, May 6th and May 7th at Brockton High School and thanked Dr. Murray, Principal.  A robocall went out today from Jess Silva-Hodges providing information regarding the vaccination clinics.

Mayor Sullivan 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 and /1071HD Version.

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

Mr. D’Agostino motioned to go into Executive Session.  Seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.
    
School Committee members entered Executive Session.

Mayor Sullivan called the School Committee meeting back into session and took a roll call vote to re-establish a quorum.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.
                                              
 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. D’Agostino asked to remove Item I, Approval of Sharon Rogan Lee Merit Scholarship.  Ms. Sullivan asked to remove Item H, Approval of The Minichiello Family Scholarship.

Mr. Sullivan moved the Superintendent’s recommendation to approve the remaining Consent Agenda

Items.  Seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

           A. Approval of Minutes:  May 4, 2021 Regular School Committee Meeting                                    
           B. Approval of Minutes:  May 4, 2021 Facilities Usage & Planning Subcommittee Meeting                      
           C. Approval of Minutes:  May 4, 2021 Bid Review Subcommittee Meeting        
           D. Approval of Minutes:  April 23, 2021 Special School Committee Meeting                         
           E. Approval of Minutes:  February 9, 2021 Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting
           F. Approval of School Closing Date for 2020-2021 School Year
           G. Approval of 2021-2022 School Committee Meeting Dates
           J. Acceptance of Notification: Personnel Actions:  Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements  

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote to approve the remaining Consent Agenda items.
    
The roll call vote passed unanimously.

Item H, Approval of The Minichiello Family Scholarship

Ms. Sullivan acknowledged the 5 scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each that will go towards students graduating from Brockton High School.  She listed the requirements and information for the scholarship.

Ms. Sullivan motioned to approve Item H.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.
    
The roll call vote passed unanimously.

Item I, Approval of Sharon Rogan Lee Merit Scholarship

Mr. D’Agostino acknowledged the scholarship, in the amount of $3,000, from the sister of late Principal Brian Rogan from the Kennedy Elementary School.  This is the second scholarship from the Rogan family since the unfortunate passing of  Mr. Rogan. Mr. D’Agostino expressed our gratitude to the Rogan family for their continuing support of the Brockton Public Schools and its students.  He listed the requirements and information for the scholarship.

Mr. Minichiello motioned to approve Item I.  Seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.
 
Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Thomas recognized Ms. Doreen Allen Kellum and Ms. Colleen El Chami, nurses at the Downey Elementary School.  On April 9, 2021, a student at the school experienced a prolonged seizure becoming unresponsive and lifeless. Ms. Kellum used the AED and administered CPR until first responders arrived.  
    
Thanks to our highly skilled nurses Ms. Kellum and Ms. El Chami, the student has recovered and returned to school.  The Brockton Public Schools is very fortunate to have such highly skilled medical professionals in our buildings to keep our students safe every day.  Our gratitude and many thanks go out to them.

Ms. Kellum and Ms. El Chami were thankful for the recognition and were grateful for the outcome of the student.  Principal Proudler mentioned she is grateful that the student was okay and super lucky to work with such amazing professionals.  Mayor Sullivan called both nurses that day and said, “they’re heroes.  They saved the life as they are trained, as all our skilled professionals are, but on that day they were called to action and they served and saved a life.”

Learning and Teaching

Ms. Lori Likis – Planning for Success Creating the New Strategic Plan (PowerPoint)

Superintendent Thomas welcomed Ms. Likis from Planning for Success.  Ms. Likis will lead us through our new strategic plan as we move through next fall and into the winter.  She will work with staff, school committee members, community partners, parents, and students.

Ms. Likis presented a PowerPoint on The Brockton District Planning Process.

The Brockton District Planning Process (PowerPoint)
* Planning for Success (PfS) it’s an inclusive community-based process and hands-on process
* Builds District and school capacity and coherence
* Fosters community understanding and support
* Designed to meet the legislative requirements of School Districts in Massachusetts
* Creates a multi-year academic improvement plan
o A 3-year District Plan with an action plan every year for the initiatives implemented in that year
o The multi-year plan includes the district vision, mission, core values
* The model chosen is creating a District Leadership Team and a Community Planning Team
* Timeline – analyze the current context, launch planning teams, set outcome measures and targets,
present the plan to the School Committee and create action plan for SY21-22 initiative implementation

Question/Answer

Mr. D’Agostino asked when the root cause analysis is completed will there be a presentation?
Ms. Likis spoke of the root cause work, that will go to the various teams to use as data when developing the plan.
Superintendent Thomas will give updates and highlights of the SWOT analysis and the work being done and feedback and examples.

Superintendent Thomas thanked Ms. Likis for her presentation and stated how much we appreciate her partnership and work with the Brockton Public Schools.
    
Ms. Susan Berglund & Ms. Laura Richane (DESE) – MOU Update (PowerPoint)

Superintendent Thomas welcomed, Ms. Susan Berglund and Ms. Laura Richane from the Department of Education, both are appointed liaisons for the district that will work with the Superintendent and the Executive Team.  Superintendent Thomas also named Mr. Chris Mayer and Mr. Matt King, both from the New Superintendent Induction program, who also work with us, keeping everyone on the same page.

Ms. Berglund and her team have worked in Brockton supporting our schools that have sustainability plans and the Office of Teaching and Learning.  As a result of our District Review, we have a Memorandum of Understanding agreement between Superintendent Thomas and Commissioner Riley.  Ms. Berglund and

Ms. Richane will give an update on our work and the MOU agreement we have with the Department of Education.

 Brockton Public Schools DESE Partnership (PowerPoint)
* Challenges and Areas for Growth
* Established partnership between DESE and BPS to improve outcomes for all students
* Achieve improved outcomes by looking at the organizational structure of the district
* Develop and implement a coherent and ambitious districtwide improvement strategy

* Provide coaching, support, resources, and monitoring to drive the work forward
* The full support and focus of the School Committee
* Mission – Fostering exceptional learning opportunities is the priority
* Strive to ensure an equitable, inclusive, accessible education for all
* Vision – Every child, Every community, Every opportunity to realize student greatness

The team members that have worked side-by-side with Brockton School and District leaders for three years introduced themselves:  Casel Walker, Jen Glickman, and Maryanne Palmer.
    
The role in the Brockton Destiny partnership is to focus on student outcomes and district systems.  This work is driven by the mission and the vision.  The team will continue this collaboration with Brockton throughout the strategic planning process to align all of the initiatives to our mission and vision while supporting the district to use data to inform decision making and they are committee to this partnership and the work started together.

Comment

Mr. Minichiello and Mr. D’Agostino thanked everyone for their partnership and look forward to working together with the same goal of improving the achievement for our students.
 
Superintendent’s Presentation and Adoption of Goals 2021-2022 (PowerPoint)
Superintendent Thomas presented an overview of his goals, previously presented during the Superintendent’s Contract Subcommittee Meeting on May 11, 2021.  

Goals Proposed to School Committee
* Professional practices and student learning goals
* District Improvement goals
* Key actions, timelines, and benchmarks proposed for the evaluation process
* Adoption of Goals by the School Committee
* Student Learning goal
* Professional Practice goal
* District Goals

Mr. D’Agostino motioned to accept the Superintendent’s Goals 2021-2022 as presented.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.

Creation of a Virtual School Option

Superintendent Thomas invited Dr. Ethan Cancell, Executive Director, Assessment, Accountability, Technology & Student Data Research, to give an update on the Creation of a Virtual School Option.  Mr. D’Agostino received the confirmation email of the submission from the Department of Education. Dr. Cancell discussed the process of submitting an application of interest that includes a narrative to the DOE, who will then give us feedback and suggestions to revise and resubmit and, upon approval, begin in September. This will give us an opportunity to provide more families with more choices in Brockton.  

Mr. D’Agostino and Mr. Minichiello both agreed, this is a great time to move forward and gives us options for our students and our community.

    No vote is needed at this time.

    Question/Answer
    Mr. Sullivan asked what grades would this be available to?
    Dr. Cancell replied grades K-12.

    Dr. Cancell mentioned a survey was done and approximately 400 parents indicated they’re interest in a virtual school, grades ranged throughout.

Report of Full Return for BHS – Dr. Murray, Principal

Superintendent Thomas invited Dr. Murray to give a report on Brockton High School’s return to full in-person learning.  He thanked his team and staff for the work done in preparation of students returning.

Dr. Murray gave an update to the Committee.  He mentioned teachers prepared and welcomed approximately 1,900 students back in-person learning on Monday and Tuesday, May 17th and May 18th .  The custodians assisted in reorganizing classrooms and creating three classrooms out in the big tent for overflow. Students seemed excited to be back in school, very enthusiastic. Dr. Murray believes the staff is enjoying the energy that comes with having students back in the building.
    
Superintendent Thomas gave an update on new mask guidelines from the Department of Education for the remainder of this school year.  While inside school buildings masks are required by students and staff, when outside masks will not have to be worn including sports, recess, or other activities.  If adults can socially distance outside, they can take their masks off. If they are unable to, then they are required to wear a mask while on school grounds.

Mayor Sullivan confirmed with Superintendent Thomas that the City of Brockton is back in Yellow Status 2 weeks in a row, and that Dr. Rick Herman believes it’s going to be consistent.

Vote on Public Hearing School Choice 2021-2022

Mr. D’Agostino gave a report on the Public Hearing School Choice 2021-2022 meeting that was held earlier this evening, May 18 at 6:45 pm. This Public Meeting is an opportunity for interested parties to make comment on Brockton Public Schools’ policy on School Choice. There were comments and discussion by members, however, no one from the public came forward to speak.

Mr. Minichiello motioned to approve the report of the Vice-Chair with respect to School Choice 2021-2022.   Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.

Mr. Minichiello motioned to continue with the School Choice Resolution Act in Brockton Public Schools 2021-2022 school program.   Seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.
    
Vote on Public Hearing School Budget 2021-2022

Mr. D’Agostino gave a report on the Public Hearing School Budget 2021-2022 held earlier this evening, May 18 at 6:15 pm.  This Public Meeting is an opportunity for interested parties to make comment on the Proposed School Budget.  There were comments and discussion by members, however, no one from the public came forward to speak.

Ms. Mendes motioned to approve the report regarding the Public Hearing on School Budget 2021-2022. Seconded by Mr. Minichiello.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.

Ms. Mendes motioned to approve the Fiscal Year 2022 Net School Spending budget request of $198,627,523 as proposed by the Finance Committee of the School Committee and recommended that the Mayor consider this funding request in his preparation of the City of Brockton’s Fiscal Year 2022 Mayor’s Recommended City Budget and further, motion to approve the Fiscal Year 2022 Non-net School Spending budget request of $10,000,000 as proposed by the Finance Committee of the School Committee and recommended that the Mayor consider this funding request in his preparation of the City of Brockton’s Fiscal Year 2022 Mayor’s Recommended City Budget.  Seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.

Approval of School Committee Summer Meeting Dates
Superintendent Thomas discussed the proposed School Committee Summer Meeting Dates:
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 and Tuesday, August 17, 2021 both meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Ms. Sullivan motioned to accept the Summer Meeting schedule (Summer School Committee Meeting Dates:  July 20th & August 17th at 6 p.m.   Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.

 Items to Refer to Subcommittee            None

 Unfinished Business               

Discussion and Potential Vote Under G.L. c. 40, § 15A with Respect to Keith Field Property
Mayor Sullivan stated for the record, school legal counsel Attorney Peter Mello is here.

Attorney Mello commended Mayor Sullivan, Superintendent Thomas, Vice-Chair D’Agostino, Ms. Asack, Chair of the Facility Subcommittee, City Solicitor, and Attorney Megan Bridges for an their extraordinary diligent and exceedingly professional efforts throughout this process.

As the Committee is aware, you as a Committee control a number of different properties in the city including the parcel on which the Keith Field is located.  A few months back, in December, the City Council voted to declare the property surplus for purposes of setting the stage for a portion of it to be conveyed into the School Committee’s discretion, and clarified that, by no means mandated, the conveyance or the relinquishment of the property that is fully within the purview of the School Committee.

During the Facility Subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, the assembled discussed this proposal and the subcommittee voted to recommend that this committee take a vote under G.L.c. 40, § 15A to carve out/declare no longer needed for the School Committee’s purposes a portion of this property.

Superintendent Thomas coordinated with the design firm of Beals & Thomas to render a survey or plan (shared screen) that precisely delineated the measurement of the area that the Facility Subcommittee had segregated or identified as the piece of property that could be carved out from the portion that would be retained by the School Committee of approximately 47,000 square feet as defined in the plan shown on the screen.  A preliminary review looks to be in proper legal form and appears that it would suffice for purposes of precisely defining the area that would be segregated and appropriately be the subject of a School Committee vote.

Comment

Mr. D’Agostino mentioned that the community at large, both school programs and adult leagues in the city, will get a lot of usage under this parcel plan.

Questions/Answers

* Mr. Sullivan asked is there room for grandstands.
Superintendent Thomas replied yes, based upon the map shown.
* Mr. Sullivan asked about the brick pillars and keeping that same entrance.
Superintendent Thomas told Mr. Laponte, the landscape architect, to carve out the entrance with the columns, eagles and circle of pavers and would be retained by the city.  The entrance would not be touched to preserve the eagles that were donated by the Keith Family.
* Ms. Sullivan asked Superintendent Thomas if the memorial tablet would be retained.
Superintendent Thomas replied yes, that would be retained and kept by the city.
* Ms. Sullivan asked, “Would schools be able to use the field?”
Superintendent Thomas replied yes, and thinks it would be important in the motion that if the School Committee approves then the School Department would retain full control over this field.
* Mr. Rodrigues asked about the time frame for developing this field.
Mayor Sullivan mentioned the Request for Proposal would have to be generated and, if it passes favorable tonight, it would go to Michael Morris, City Procurement Officer, for processing.

Mr. D’Agostino motioned that the School Committee vote, pursuant to G.L. c. 40, § 15a, to determine to be, no longer needed for its purpose, that portion of the Keith Field property comprising of 47,170 square feet as depicted, measured, and identified as area of potential excess land in the conceptual soccer field layout plan prepared by Beals and Thomas, Inc., and presented to the School Committee for tonight’s meeting and further, that notice of this determination be given to the City Council. The School Committee will maintain control of the remaining land.   Seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.

Mr. D’Agostino was asked on behalf of School Committee member Ms. Joyce Asack, who was unable to join us tonight, to let it be known that she was in full support of the motion on this item.

Bid Review Subcommittee Meeting

Mr. Sullivan gave a verbal report of the Bid Review Subcommittee meeting held on May 13, 2021 regarding classroom space.  

Mr. Sullivan motioned to approve the verbal report of the May 13, 2021 Bid Review Subcommittee Meeting (Zoom) with regard to reviewing the only bidder’s Lease of Classroom Space submitted by Massasoit Greyhound Association, Incorporated with terms of; Year 1, $144,978, Year 2, $149,358,
Year 3, $153,826. Seconded by Mr. Rodrigues.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.

        Mr. Sullivan motioned to award the bid as presented in the verbal report.  Seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

The roll call vote passed unanimously.

New Business                  

Ratification of MOA:  Brockton School Committee & BEPA
Mr. D’Agostino discussed the ratification of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Brockton School Committee and the Brockton Education Paraprofessional Association agreement from September 1, 2021 through August 31, 2022.

Mr. D’Agostino motioned to ratify the Memorandum of Agreement between the Brockton School Committee and the Brockton Education Paraprofessionals Association for a successor bargaining agreement for the period of September 1, 2021 through August 31, 2022.   Seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

  The roll call vote passed unanimously.

* Ms. Mendes read a letter from Superintendent Thomas announcing the appointment of Ms. Renee Heywood as the Executive Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the Brockton Public Schools.  Ms. Heywood is currently serving as the Director of Educational Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Youth Services.  She earned her Master of Education degree from Bridgewater State University and is currently a Doctoral student and Graduate School of Education Fellow at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.  Her research has focused on issues of racial trauma in education, decolonizing the colonized educational system within the system of juvenile justice, and performance arts as a language of resistance and resilience. In addition, Ms. Heywood, in her current role, organized a conference entitled, “Addressing Racial Trauma: Interrupting Racism/Teaching Resilience” with over 350 attendees. Further, as the Director of Multicultural Services in 2007, she created educational affinity groups in Lexington, which brought students of color together weekly as well as provided individual mentoring.

Ms. Heywood brings to Brockton 18 years of educational experience. Throughout her experiences, whether she was in the classroom or in an administrative role, she demonstrated her commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.  Furthermore, Ms. Heywood is a long-standing Brockton resident who understands the unique needs of our community.
    
So, we welcome Ms. Heywood to this position and know that she will demonstrate excellence through her dedication and commitment as the Executive Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the Brockton Public Schools. [applause]
            
Superintendent Thomas mentioned Ms. Heywood begins on June 1, 2021 and we will have her at our School Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 to introduce herself, talk about her goals and how she’s going to build that office.
    
* Mr. D’Agostino acknowledged a young man, Valdo Centeio, as a hero.  He attempted to save the young boys from D.W. Fields park and made a comment during the vigil that he didn’t feel like a hero.  However, he is absolutely a hero, a role model to other youth in this city and to adults.  He saw two kids in trouble and distress, and dropped everything and acted immediately. That is absolutely the definition of a hero and role model.
    
* Mayor Sullivan congratulated the boys and girls that participated in the outdoor musical event and said it was fantastic.  He thanked all the students, actors, musicians, set designers and congratulate and thanked Bob Hogan, Matthew Cunningham, Michael Smith, Sarah Richards, Carol Thomas, Elaine Kelly, Vinnie Macrina and Jessica Smith.

Upcoming events:

* Mayor Sullivan reminded everyone that this Saturday; May 22, 2021 is Keep Brockton Beautiful day.  This will begin and finish at Brockton High School.  If you are interested, sign ups begin at 8:00 a.m., kickoffs at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

* Mayor Sullivan reminded everyone that Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito have declared Sunday, May 23, 2021 as “Marvelous Marvin Hagler” day in the Commonwealth.  This would have been the champs 67th birthday.  We will be having, in conjunction with the family at Marciano Stadium and thanks to the Brockton Public Schools and the City of Brockton, Mr. Todd Copeland from Copeland Toyota, along with other celebrities.  The gates open at 1:00 p.m. and the event begins at 2:00 p.m.   

* Ms. Sullivan reminded everyone that on tomorrow night, Wednesday, May 19, 2021 outside the Brockton High School’s Fine Arts Building, the POP’s concert will take place. The show begins at 6:30 p.m. and there is no cost for tickets.


Seeing no further business Ms. Sullivan motioned to adjourn.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.
    
  The roll call vote passed unanimously.
                            
                          The meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
                          
                                         Respectfully submitted,
                                             Michael P. Thomas
                                             Superintendent/Secretary   
 
     mdc
                                             
         PowerPoints:  Brockton Public Schools – DESE Partnership, The Brockton District Planning Process,
                    Goal Proposal to School Committee
         Handouts:  Outline Map of Eldon Keith Field, POP’s Concert Flyer