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November 15, 2022

george school
November 15, 2022

                                       Brockton, Massachusetts                             Regular School Committee Meeting                                                                November 15, 2022

Live Stream


                                                    The Regular Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this evening in the Dr. William H. Arnone Theater, 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, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan


                                                    Also Present:  Superintendent Thomas, Ms. Sharon Wolder, Deputy Superintendent of Teaching

   and Learning, Dr. Cobbs, Deputy Superintendent of Operations, Cabinet Members,

   Ms. Kim Gibson, BEA President.


                                                    Mayor Sullivan, Chair called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m., that was followed by a salute to the flag.

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


Ms. Sullivan – Here

Ms. Rivas-Mendes – Here

Mr. Homer – Here

Mr. Rodrigues – Here

Ms. Ehlers – Here

Ms. Asack, Vice-Chair – Here

Mr. Sullivan – Here


Mayor Sullivan – Here



                                                     Mayor Sullivan read the following information into the minutes.


                                                     In addition to attending, the public can view this meeting via television on Comcast channel 98 and

                                                     /1071HD Version, and online via this link:


   Hearing of Visitors             There were no hearing of visitors.


   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.


                                                     Ms. Sullivan asked to remove Item D and E, Approval of Memorial Scholarships.


Mr. Sullivan moved the Superintendent’s recommendation to approve the remainder Consent Agenda items:  A, B, C, F and G.  Seconded by Ms. Asack.

A.      Approval of Minutes:  November 1, 2022 Special School Committee Meeting

B.      Approval of Minutes:  November 1, 2022 Facilities Usage & Planning Subcommittee Meeting

C.          Approval of Minutes:  October 25, 2022 Regular School Committee Meeting

F.    Requests for Authorization to Submit Proposal and Expenditure of Funds:

·   FY2023 DESE Office for Food and Nutrition Program - $20,000

·   College Career and Technical Education Unit - $69,994

·   FY2023 Massachusetts Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program - $75,000

·   MassGRANT Program for funding for the Health Assisting Innovation Pathway - $125,000

G.  Acceptance of Human Resources Notifications

                                                                                                                                    Appointments:  Certified Personnel, Non-Certified, Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements

Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimously.

                                                     Item D,  Approval of The George J. Thomas, Sr., Memorial Scholarship discussing the agenda item:


                                                     Ms. Sullivan acknowledged the scholarship in the amount of $500 that will go towards a candidate graduating from Brockton High School.  She listed the requirements and information for the scholarship.


                                                     Item E, Approval of the Bernie Gilmetti Memorial Scholarship discussing the agenda item:


                                                     Ms. Sullivan acknowledged the scholarship in the amount of $1,000 that will go towards a candidate attending the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  She listed the requirements and information for the scholarship.


Ms. Sullivan moved to approve Items D and E, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimously.


   Superintendent’s                   Student Report (Abigail Bertocchi)

           Report                             Superintendent Thomas informed the committee that Abigail was unable to attend tonight’s meeting.


Introduction of Lt. Bryan Maker & New Brockton School Police Officers

Superintendent Thomas invited Sgt. Mike Livingston to introduce the New Brockton School Police Officers and mentioned Lt. Bryan Maker was unable to attend tonight’s meeting.


Sergeant Livingston thanked Mayor Sullivan, School Committee members and Superintendent Thomas for investing in our school police officers and introduced each officer.  Officer Adilson Mendes, Officer Abraham Nazario, Officer Marc Deveau and Officer David Wallant each thanked the committee for the opportunity for believing and investing in them, as it’s a true honor to give back to the community. (applause)      


A.L.I.C.E. Training – Drills & Lesson Plans (power point)

Sergeant Livingston spoke about the recent “Stay in Place”.  He explained the difference between a “Stay in Place”, it means it’s determined that there’s a potential hazard outside the schools, therefore facilities are secured and no one is allowed to come in or out.  A “Lockdown” means the security hazard is inside the building and you should secure in a safe place. 


Jess Silva-Hodges mentioned our schools have been asked to begin lockdown lesson plans prior to Thanksgiving.  Every family has been given sufficient notice that will give them the opportunity to address any concerns they may have with their child’s Principal.  She thanked the following for their continued support throughout the district in writing new lesson plans and provided revisions to ensure the lessons were age appropriate and consistently updated:  Officer Nancy Leedberg; BPD,  Dennis Geniuch; Director of Wellness K-12, Ms. Sharon Wolder; Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Michele Conners; Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, 6-12, Dr. Karen Spaulding, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, K-5.


In the power point presentation Jess Silva-Hodges discussed additional information that the district has in place when we focus on safety in our school district, listing a few examples that focus on prevention efforts:


·      Youth Mental Health First Aid training

·      Mentorship

·      Anonymous tips program on

·      Book – “I’m not scared I’m prepared”

·      Meaning of A.L.I.C.E. – Alert, Listen, Inform, Counter, Evacuate


                                                  Objective for Every Grade Level

·      Students will be able to explain the elements of the A.L.I.C.E. acronym

·      Students will identify “things to do” and how to respond in the unlikely event that a dangerous

      someone is on school grounds

·      Students will know their “rally point”. Rally points are not to be shared publicly. Reunification sites

      would be made public if ever needed.


Superintendent Thomas mentioned Dr. Cobbs has an emergency response team that is now set up.  They continuously check doors, windows and make sure buildings are secure and immediately address any/all updates that are needed. 



Ms. Sullivan mentioned she was pleased to hear that students will know what A.L.I.C.E. means and information that parents can read aloud with their child.  She also thanked our new officers and Jess in presenting this important information.


Ms. Asack asked about texting 9-1-1 on a cell phone how does it work?  She also thanked Sgt. Livingston and Jess Silva-Hodges for the presentation.

     Mayor Sullivan mentioned that we will speak with Chief Perez and Sgt. will look into it and report back.


Mr. Rodrigues thanked Sgt. Livingston and new officers for coming and introducing themselves to the committee and believes we have to make as much investment as we can and give them the proper tools to make sure that the students in the city are safe.






Change to Student Discipline Law MGL c. 71 § 37H ¾ (b), Starting November 8, 2022 (power point)

Superintendent Thomas invited Dr. James LaBillois; Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services to discuss the recent change to Student Discipline Law from the state.  Dr. James LaBillois presented a power

point giving a brief overview of the changes that have been made to the Massachusetts discipline regulations.


There are three major Mass general laws that govern student discipline in public schools.

1.       MGL c. 71, § 37H – The focus is on the possession of drugs, weapons and assault on staff (no changes)

2.       MGL c. 71, § 37H1/2 – Permits discipline based on felony charges that have a substantial detrimental effect on the school community (no changes)

3.       MGL c. 71 § 37H ¾ - Address all other forms of discipline (yes to changes)


* MGL c. 71 § 84 provides that conduct subject to discipline must be school related.


Samples of Legislative History

·      2022 AN ACT addressing barriers to care for mental health

·      Keep students in school

·      Signed by the Governor on August 10, 2022

·      Became law on November 8, 2022


                                                  There is substantive changes to the MGL 37H ¾ from old language to new language where documentation

                                                  must be provided.  The law does allow a student to be suspended if they are unsafe to the school community

                                                  but must be documented and justified to the family.


                                                  DESE Guidance is Forthcoming

1.       How many different methods required before suspension?

2.       How many offenses before suspension?

3.       What level of documentation is required?

4.       What is the definition of “Counterproductive” or “Unsuitable”?


We are waiting for regulatory guidance from DESE on how to implement the law in schools that took effect on November 8, 2022.  Relative to implementation Brockton Public Schools was able to pull resources by having our attorney’s join our administrative team walk our principals, associate principals, assistant principals and central office leadership through these changes.



Ms. Ehlers asked are there any alternative remedies?

     Dr. LaBillois mentioned there are no alternative remedies at the moment.


Ms. Rivas Mendes asked what was training like for the administration on November 2nd due to short notice from the state?

     Dr. LaBillois mentioned the training consisted of our school Attorney Paige Tobin presenting an overview and allowing a back and forth of questions and answers.


Mr. Rodrigues asked is there an automatic suspension or mediation?

    Dr. LaBillois mentioned it would depend on past behavior, and every attempt will be given to resolve.


Mr. Sullivan asked is this law just for Brockton only?

     Dr. LaBillois mentioned this law is for the entire Commonwealth in Massachusetts.


Items to Refer to                  •            Ms. Asack reminded Subcommittee Chairpersons to schedule any/all meetings that are needed

  Subcommittee                                                                   by the end of this year as members may serve of different subcommittees next year.

•          Ms. Rivas Mendes requested an Organizational Meeting prior to the January Organizational School Committee meeting.


   Unfinished Business           None


   New Business                     Ms. Asack mentioned Cradles to Crayons have increased their coat donations from 500 to 1,500 this year. 

                                Please feel free to reach out directly via email to: thank you to Cradles to Crayons for supporting our students in Brockton it’s truly appreciated.


                                                                                                          Ms. Renée Heywood, Assistant Superintendent of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion gave a brief report from the

District Professional Development held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.  Ms. Heywood mentioned feedback

given was positive, she was impressed with the energy and comments of how great the workshops were.  She

thanked Dr. Soraya Presume and Ms. Lisa Cunningham in collaborating the various pop-up restaurants and

great sponsors. (applause)


Mayor Sullivan thanked Mr. Richardson’s government history class at Brockton High School inviting him to speak with students and asked questions.


Mayor Sullivan thanked Principal Cynthia Burns, BHS Staff, JROTC, Superintendent Thomas, and his team for an outstanding Veterans’ Day Assembly on Thursday, November 10, 2022. (applause)


Mayor Sullivan mentioned the Annual Parade held on Friday, November 11, 2022 was successful and thanked Dr. Cobbs, Deputy Superintendent of Operations in coordinating transportation for students at Brockton High School that participated in this event.


Mayor Sullivan mentioned he and Superintendent Thomas were invited to a sixth-grade class at the Plouffe Academy for their Thanksgiving feast.


Mayor Sullivan mentioned Saturday, November 19, 2022 a final visit will take place at the original Arnone School located on 175 Warren Avenue from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Mr. Rodrigues mentioned the BHS Football team will play their final game Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at Fenway Park, tickets are available online for purchase.



Seeing no further business Ms. Sullivan motioned to adjourn.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

                                                                                                The motion passed unanimously.


                                      The meeting adjourned at 8:18 p.m.



                                                  Respectfully submitted,



             Michael P. Thomas



     PowerPoints:  ALICE Training Update For Brockton School Committee, Overview of Updated Massachusetts

                              Discipline Law

     Handout:        Changes to 37 § 37H ¾ Law