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May 9, 2023 - Special School Committee Meeting

george school
May 9, 2023 - Special School Committee Meeting

          Brockton, Massachusetts        Special School Committee Meeting            May 9, 2023



                             The Special School Committee Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this evening,

                             at seven-thirty.


                             These minutes contain a summary of the meeting and list items that were under discussion.


                             Mayor Sullivan, Chair called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.


Present:   Chair, Robert F. Sullivan, Mayor, Ms. Asack, Ms. Ehlers, Chair, Ms. Rivas Mendes, Mr. Homer,

                  Mr. Rodrigues, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan


                         Also Present:  Superintendent Thomas, Cabinet Members, Ms. Kim Gibson, BEA President


Mayor Sullivan addressed the “Hearing of Visitors” during Special School Committee meetings.  The Rules

and Regulations during a Special School Committee meeting does  not have hearing of visitors, however, many

are in attendance to speak.  As chair, Mayor Sullivan will make a determination and allow hearing of visitors,

following the same rules in a Regular School Committee to take place.  Attorney Peter Mello was able to confirm

this information.


Mayor Sullivan took a three-minute recess to allow hearing of visitors to sign in at 7:42 p.m.

Mayor Sullivan re-entered at 7:44 p.m.


Mayor Sullivan mentioned the hearing of visitors are limited to speak for three minutes and reiterated, there is

no specific requirement to a hearing of visitors as there is in a regular school committee meeting and allowing

this will not create any type of precedent condition for any future special school committee meetings.


Hearing of Visitors

Ms. Kelly Camara, spoke to the committee regarding the keeping of Brockton Virtual Learning Academy.

Ms. Lisa Bond, spoke to the committee regarding the keeping of Brockton Virtual Learning Academy.

Ms. Tasha Figueroa, spoke to the committee regarding the keeping of Brockton Virtual Learning Academy.

Ms. Miranda Bradsher, spoke to the committee regarding the keeping of Brockton Virtual Learning Academy.


Mayor Sullivan thanked the hearing of visitors and appreciated their time and words.


                             Agenda #2 – Discussion and Potential Vote(s): “In Force 911” Real Time Threat Alert and Notification


                                           Brandon Flanagan, President & Chief Executive Officer of In Force Technology joined the meeting via zoom and

presented a brief overview of the application as presented during the April 4, 2023, Security, Safety,

Transportation Subcommittee Meeting.


·       In Force 911 is a real-time threat alert and notification system

·       Essentially is a mobile panic button

·       Communicates to law enforcement from individuals under duress

·       Staff members under duress may initiate an internal only notification with an alert forwarding capability to notify law enforcement

·       Reduces police response time

·       Aims to bridge the communication gap

·       Can be used with any device-laptops, computers, desktops, tablets, and smartphones

·       Can work off hardwired, Wi-Fi, cell service

·       Location specific data



Ms. Asack asked if he covered the internal messaging during his presentation.

Mr. Flanagan mentioned he briefly discussed the internal messaging and confirmed there is internal



Mr. Sullivan asked how secure is the app?

Mr. Flanagan replied the application requires dual authentication in order to have access to it, a registered user

with an approved device.


Mr. Homer asked how long is training and testing take for staff to use the software?

Mr. Flanagan replied it takes 60 to 90 minutes that is required for training, the session is also recorded along with

supplemental documentation training materials.


Mr. Homer asked can the system support constant barrage of messaging from up to 200 different people who are

trying to connect to a limited number of law enforcement?

Mr. Flanagan replied yes.


Mayor Sullivan thanked Mr. Flanagan for his detailed presentation.


Ms. Asack asked if we have an updated contract?

Mr. Petronio, Chief Financial Officer replied yes, the contract was updated to three-years, at the end of the term

we can negotiate a new one.  It was explained the contract is currently in the budget for July 1st the FY24 budget,

upon approval in that budget we will sign a contract that will begin on July 1st for the coming school year.


Agenda #3 – Executive Session

                             Mayor Sullivan read the following statement for the record.


The School Committee will go into Executive Session: Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, § 21(a)(2) To conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with nonunion personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with nonunion personnel; and M.G.L. c. 30A, § 21(a)(3) To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares – Brockton Education Association (BEA).  The committee will return from Executive Session.


                  Mayor Sullivan asked for a motion to go into Executive Session.


                      Ms. Asack motioned to enter Executive Session.  Seconded by Mr. Rodrigues.


                             Mayor Sullivan, Chair, took a roll call.


Ms. Sullivan – Yes

Mr. Homer – Yes  

Ms. Ehlers, Vice-Chair – Yes

Ms. Rivas Mendes – Yes

Mr. Rodrigues – Yes

Ms. Asack – Yes

Mr. Sullivan – Yes


Mayor Sullivan, Chair – Yes


School Committee Members went into Executive Session at 8:31 p.m.

School Committee Members returned from Executive Session at 10:22 p.m.


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


Ms. Sullivan – Here

Mr. Homer – Here

Ms. Ehlers, Vice-Chair – Here

Ms. Rivas Mendes – Here

Mr. Rodrigues – Here

Ms. Asack – Here

Mr. Sullivan – Here


Mayor Sullivan, Chair – Here


    Agenda #4 – FY2024 Budget Update

    Mr. Petronio gave a brief update on the FY2024 budget book as of May 9th.  He mentioned the book is marked

    “work in progress”, as changes will be made that includes all cuts, then a final vote will be taken approving the

    FY2024 budget book.


    Mr. Petronio mentioned not much has been done to the Non-Net portion of the budget and will save the

    transportation busing for the next meeting.


Superintendent discussed the BEA RIF notifications due by May 15th, that would consist of 200 but would be 130, the reason for more pink slips is to allow the bumping factor, people returning from medical leaves and other alternative career leaves coming back that would bump less senior people. 

Superintendent Thomas expressed this is not a good day for us as we don’t want to let anyone go, we’ve added 383 positions over the past four years, unfortunately our enrollment has declined approximately 1,350 we anticipate the enrollment to increase to stabilize the district.


Ms. Ehlers motioned to allow the Superintendent to do the redesign and be able to process the 200 pink  slips for a final of 130 BEA members that would have to be riffed.  Seconded by Ms. Sullivan.


The motion passed unanimously.


    Mayor Sullivan acknowledged BEA President, Ms. Kim Gibson in attendance at tonight’s meeting and mentioned

we are lucky to have her.  Mayor Sullivan mentioned one loss of jobs is too many it impacts people’s livelihoods and family life and we understand and take this extremely serious, and we need to figure how to get the enrollment back.


    Agenda #5 – Other Business

Ms. Asack inquired about the deadline to appoint the building committee for the MSBA project.

Mayor Sullivan clarified he was asked to give an initial list, the list consisted of two elected officials at this time with the understanding to the state that others would be added.  Any member interested and wishes to participate feel free to reach out to him directly.


Superintendent Thomas reminded all this coming weekend is the Spring Musical here at BHS/Auditorium

titled, ”Mama Mia”.


Mr. Homer mentioned Community Schools are advertising Summer Programs and Summer Camps.


Mayor Sullivan mentioned summer youth employment, information can be found on the City of Brockton’s website.


Agenda #6 – Adjournment

                             Mayor Sullivan asked for a motion to adjourn the Special School Committee Meeting.


                                  A motion was made by Ms. Sullivan.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.


Voted: to approve the motion, unanimously.


The meeting adjourned at 10:35 p.m.


                        Respectfully submitted,            

                          Michael P. Thomas





                             Handout:  FY2024 Budget   

                             Powerpoint:  “In Force 911”