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November 20, 2018

george school
November 20, 2018

NOVEMBER 20, 2018

PDF Version of Minutes

The Regular Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this evening in the Theatre at the Dr. William H. Arnone School, at seven o'clock. These minutes contain a summary of the meeting and list items that were under discussion.

Present: Mr. Minichiello, Vice-Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith

Absent: Mayor Carpenter

Also Present: Deputy Superintendent Michael Thomas, Chief Academic Officer June Saba-Maguire, Coordinator of Math & Science preK – 5 Heather Ronan, Grants Director Karen Watkin-Watts, Brookfield Principal Marguerite Masson

Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag.

Consent Agenda

Mr. Minichiello explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members if there were any requests to remove items for further discussion, there were none.

Mr. Gormley moved the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the Consent Agenda in its entirety, listed below, the motion was seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

  • Approval of November 7, 2018 Regular School Committee Meeting Minutes
  • Acceptance of October 29, 2018 Superintendent’s Contract Subcommittee Meeting Report
  • Acceptance of Notification of Non-Certified Personnel Appointments
  • Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Retirements Resignations

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.


Superintendent Smith shared a letter she received from the Plouffe girls’ soccer team, thanking the school department and school committee for bringing back middle school sports.

Superintendent's Report

Tribute to Armond Colombo

The family of Armond Colombo was invited to attend tonight’s meeting where school committee paid tribute to Coach Colombo’s contributions to Brockton Public Schools. Superintendent Smith, Mr. Minichiello and Deputy Superintendent Thomas each spoke about Armond Colombo’s positive influence in their lives and in the lives of students and coworkers. Mr. Peter Colombo spoke on behalf of his family and said that the outpouring of support has been a great comfort to his family, five generations of students and colleagues have shared these same sentiments with him. He said the school department is family to them and commented that every member of his family graduated from Brockton High School. The Enterprise video tribute to Armond Colombo was shown and a plaque was presented to Peter, who accepted on behalf of his entire family.

Kelsie Drown, Boston College Students for Education Reform

Boston College student Kelsie Drown was invited by the Superintendent to attend tonight’s meeting. Kelsie an education major at Boston College and the discussion leader of the Boston College Students for Education Reform group; she is also a graduate of Brockton schools.

Kelsie said that as an education student at Boston College and a member of the Students for Education Reform group, she has had the opportunity to see what many other districts have compared to Brockton. She was pleased when Superintendent Smith accepted her invitation to speak to the group about equity in education. Kelsie spends a lot of time at the Brookfield School volunteering and working and presented Principal Masson with several gifts for the school from the student group. Principal Masson said Kelsie is a dedicated volunteer who gives as much time as she can to the school.

Grants Update

The Superintendent invited Karen Watkins-Watts to give an update on the grants department. Ms. Watkins-Watts prepared a power point presentation that highlighted ongoing and new initiatives and collaborations across the district, including the following:

  • A virtual grants office on the BPS website provides access to available grants to educators district-wide
  • A new and improved BPS grants database is also available on the website
  • Resource Development (grant writing) teams have been launched at several schools
  • Eight Americorp VISTA grant-funded staff are working in the Angelo, Arnone, Baker, Brookfield and George schools for one year, delivering leveled literacy intervention to students K - 3
  • The first College Application Boot Camp was held this summer at Brockton High School
  • We are in the process of applying for the Innovation Pathway Designation from the state to launch a Health Careers pathway; we have been awarded a planning grant and are working to complete final designation as an innovation pathway for 2019-2020 school year. The State recently announced they hope to give per-pupil funding for cohort individuals.
  • We are pursuing a new, competitive school nursing model program that would employ a Nursing Case Manager to work with students who have chronic health issues
  • We have launched a new bridge program to help transition students from hospital or home teaching back to school
  • Working with the U.S. Tennis Association in several areas: facility assistance program which will help to improve BHS tennis courts; to grow participation with our varsity tennis program and our Brockton After Dark tennis programming, and a diversity grant to help bring in students to reflect our wide diversity.

Ms. Watkins-Watts answered questions from school committee members with respect to the availability of grants. With respect to technology grants, she explained that grants in the private sector are growing, technology grants are more often available through partnerships and philanthropy, there are more employers in the STEM field who are reaching out to schools. Mr. D’Agostino said he is grateful for the amount of competitive grant funds the department is able to bring in.

Introduction of New School Police Supervisor

Superintendent Smith announced that Lt. Donald Mills will be leaving the school department to return to the city police department, she invited Deputy Superintendent Thomas and Lt. Mills to introduce his replacement, Lt. Frank Vardaro. Mr. Thomas said Lt. Vardaro is a Brockton High graduate who comes highly recommended, he thanked Lt. Mills for staying on to train the new supervisor. Both the Superintendent and Mr. Thomas thanked Lt. Mills for doing a wonderful job in the district, ensuring that our schools are well trained in safety and security.

STEM Week Presentation

Ms. Saba-Maguire reported that Governor Baker declared a statewide STEM (Science/Technology/ Engineering/Math) Week from October 22– 26, 2018, asking schools to highlight STEM curriculum during the week. Dr. Ronan said when she was asked to put together a district-wide event, she presented a challenge to schools to prepare math and science lessons, events and activities using apples, and that it would be a competitive event. Schools were very creative and winning schools were treated to an Apple Crisp social courtesy of our Chartwells staff. Dr. Ronan gave a slide show of the week of “Applepalooza”.

The Superintendent finished her report with the following announcements:

  • The BHS National Honor Society inducted 63 students
  • John and Abigail Adams Scholarships were awarded to 281 students
  • The Jingle Bells Run will be hosted for the first time this year at Brockton High School; Mr. Gorman is always looking for participants and volunteers
  • The school department will hold its first Staff Snowball Social, admission will be one unwrapped gift for a child that will go toward the annual Christmas party for needy families
  • At the recent joint MASC/MASS Conference, Brockton was featured in two presentations: a team from Brockton presented about our work in the area of trauma sensitive schools; and a presentation titled “A Tale of Two Sisters” compared the teaching experiences of two sisters who grew up in Brockton, one now teaches in Brockton and the other in Burlington. The presentation was about the disparity between the two districts, mainly due to funding
  • Kudos to BHS Golf Team Captain Nathan El Chami, who has been nominated for The First Tee Mass Golf Volunteer of the Year
  • On Saturday, Director of Music Vinny Macrina will be the Grand Marshall of this year’s Holiday Parade
  • Once again, Brockton High School Harmonics gave a stellar showing at the 34th annual Baystate Show Choir festival

Unfinished Business

Earlier this evening a Superintendent’s Contract subcommittee was held, present were Ms. Asack, Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Mr. Minichiello, Ms. Plant, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan and Superintendent Smith. Mr. Minichiello gave the following report:

At 6:00 p.m. the Superintendent’s Contract Subcommittee met to evaluate the Superintendent. The Superintendent received an excellent evaluation and, in terms of numbers, she received her highest evaluation with an overall rating of 3.4%. Mr. Minichiello said comments are a part of the evaluation process and shared excerpts from the evaluation feedback; a running theme throughout the evaluation spoke to Superintendent Smith “doing more with less” and being creative in order to provide the level of support necessary for the schools, leading by example, putting in long hours and demonstrating that “all kids count”. Mr. Minichiello concluded his report, no discussion followed.

Mr. Sullivan moved to accept the report as given by Mr. Minichiello, the motion was seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.

Voted: to approve the report, unanimous.

Mr. Sullivan moved to implement the 3.4% scoring as her overall performance rating; seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

New Business

Educator for a Day

Ms. Sullivan said she was invited to be an “Educator for a Day” at Brockton High School; she spoke to a math class and will go back after the holidays to talk to that class again. She said it was a very positive experience, she was also a floor teacher and said it was very interesting. Mr. Minichiello also accepted an invitation and went to BHS to a freshman biotechnology class where he was asked to teach a lesson.

Ms. Asack announced that she picked up 500 coats, hats, and gloves from Cradles to Crayons and has already begun distributing them to the schools. She thanked the Facilities department for helping her with collection and distribution.

Executive Session

Mr. Minichiello announced that school committee had personnel matters to deal with and would go into Executive Session accordance with MGL Chapter 30A, Section 21, and that the regular meeting would not reconvene. He asked for a motion.

Mr. Sullivan moved to go into Executive Session; seconded by Ms. Asack. A Roll Call Vote was taken:

  • Mr. Minichiello – yes
  • Mr. Gormley – yes
  • Mr. Sullivan – yes
  • Ms. Asack – yes
  • Ms. Plant – yes
  • Mr. D'Agostino – yes
  • Ms. Sullivan – yes

School Committee went into Executive Session at 8:36 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen A. Smith, JD

Superintendent/ Secretary