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September 2, 2021

george school
September 2, 2021

Brockton, Massachusetts
Regular School Committee Meeting
September 2, 2021
Live Stream

The Regular Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this evening in the George M. Romm Little Theatre at Brockton High School, at seven o'clock.  These minutes contain a summary of the meeting and list items that were under discussion.

Present:      Mayor Sullivan, Chair; Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair; Ms. Asack, Ms. Mendes, Mr. Minichiello, Mr. Rodrigues, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan.
Also Present:  Superintendent Thomas, Interim Deputy Superintendent Szachowicz, Executive Team Members, Kim Gibson, BEA President

Mayor Sullivan called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag.  

Mayor Sullivan acknowledged students and staff for the opening of schools today.  He recognized Dr. Susan Szachowicz, Interim Deputy Superintendent and Dr. Cliff Murray, Principal of Brockton High School.

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call to establish a quorum.

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

Hearing of Visitors    

Mr. John Williams, Program Director of Champion City Mentoring Program spoke to the School Committee about his program and what it has to offer students in the district.

Consent Agenda    

Mayor Sullivan explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members for any requests to remove items for further discussion.    

Mr. D’Agostino moved to accept the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the following Consent Agenda items, the motion was seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

                        A.  Authorization to Submit Proposals to DESE for FY2022 Federal Entitlement Grants               
                        B.  Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Appointments: Certified Personnel    
                        C.  Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Appointments: Non-certified Personnel    
                        D.  Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements

                                         The motion passed unanimously.

Superintendent’s Report

Opening of Schools Report  
     First Day Snapshot:(power point)

* We welcomed back all students 1-12, with the exception of BVLA students who begin
September 13.
* Several hundred students returned to the classroom for the first time in 18 months.
* We focused on reacclimating students to the classroom.
* Masks are required per DESE.
* We notified families of our new testing options in a welcome letter that was sent home today.
* School Police and BPD provided support at high-traffic areas near our school buildings:  
This will continue for the month of September.
* Food Services served 4,945 breakfasts and 6,875 lunches today.
* Elementary 6,828
* Middle 1,175
* High School 3,935
* Pathways 353
* Virtual Academy 405
Grand total is 15,198* (*An additional 740 are being processed)

 Transportation Update

* We experienced major delays today due to:
* Flooded roadways
* Road construction
* Staffing challenges
Transportation Solutions
* We will launch a Call Center staffed by 9 staff members Tuesday.
* The Call Center will operate from 7-10 a.m. and 2:15-4:30 p.m. for as long as needed.
* Separate call-in line for principals and assistant principals.
* We are requesting an additional 10 minibuses from First Student per our contract with them.

Superintendent Thomas thanked School Committee members for their support in the district hiring 160 new Teachers, it is great to have them with us and welcome them to the Brockton Public Schools family.

* Ms. Mendes asked what was the percentage among the 160 new teachers hired and what support will be provided to them.
Dr. Kathleen Moran, Executive Director of Human Resources will gather the information and provide it to the School Committee Members in their Friday packet.  Ms. Renee Heywood, Executive Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion discussed trainings and activities that will occur throughout the district and she will share the mission, vision, and goals of her department in the coming weeks.   
Superintendent Thomas acknowledged the districts 4 Inspired Fellows:  Ms. Yvette Joyce, Mr. Carlito Weaver, Dr. Michael Robinson and Dr. Soraya Presume.  They work with our Human Resources Department and the Department of Education, to work with our Para’s and MTA’s to become certified teachers.         

* Mr. Minichiello asked Ms. Heywood what has been the reception in terms of staff and students since her hire?
Ms. Heywood mentioned the reception has been welcoming along with positive comments.
* Mr. Minichiello asked Ms. Heywood if she’s reviewed the statistics/progress of the Brockton Public Schools with hiring employees of a diverse background?
Ms. Heywood mentioned she doesn’t have the statistics/progress information at this moment but mentioned visually you can see a major shift in hiring candidates of color and believes everyone understands the importance of diversifying our staff.  

Virtual School Update    

Superintendent Thomas invited Dr. Ethan Cancell, Executive Director of Assessment, Accountability, Technology & Student Data Research to give an update on the Virtual School.

Dr. Cancell mentioned the following, we are in the process of hiring staff, 400 students have enrolled.  
Superintendent Thomas thanked Dr. Cancell, Principal Cynthia Burns, Ms. Kristina Gallant and School Committee members for the great work and efforts in creating this Virtual School.


* Mr. Sullivan asked Dr. Cancell is there a location for the Virtual School?
Dr. Cancell mentioned yes, the location is at North Middle School.

Dr. Cancell thanked everyone for their support including Ms. Kristina Gallant, Principal Cynthia Burns, Steering Committee members, Departments, Superintendent Thomas, Dr. Szachowicz, Ms. Sharon Wolder, Dr. Kathy Moran, Ms. Kellie Jones, Ms. Laurie Mason, Ms. Andrade-Serpa to make it happen.  

Items to Refer to Subcommittee

Mr. D’Agostino requested a Finance Subcommittee meeting.  All members agreed to meet on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 6:00 pm.

Unfinished Business    None

New Business    

Discussion and Potential vote for the New Virtual School Start Date

Superintendent Thomas discussed the Brockton Virtual Learning Academy start date to begin on Monday, September 13, 2021 we will adjust the calendar to 180 school days to remain in compliance with the Department of Education.   

Mr. Sullivan motioned that the Brockton Virtual Learning Academy start date is Monday, September 13, 2021.  Seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. D’Agostino discussed the changing of the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. to Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 7:00 p.m., due to the Preliminary Elections for the City of Brockton.
Mr. D’Agostino motioned to the School Committee meeting date change to Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 7:00 p.m., seconded by Ms. Asack.

                    The motion passed unanimously.

Superintendent Thomas mentioned, Open House will be in person, information is available on the website.

Mayor Sullivan thanked Dr. Szachowicz for the awesome picture shown during the convocation of our Superintendent Thomas.

Superintendent Thomas thanked Mayor Sullivan, Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Sullivan, Ms. Asack and everyone who attended the convocation, the message was clear about our 3 Focus Areas.  

Our Focus Areas are:  
1. Effective Instruction
2. Active Reading/Writing
3. Positive Relationships

He also thanked Ms. Jess Silva-Hodges, Chief Public Relations Officer, and the Tech Department for their support in coordinating the convocation.

Mayor Sullivan thanked Dr. Cobbs for his efforts in the Transportation Department as the point person.

Mr. Minichiello reported that he did visit the Hancock Elementary and West Middle School today. Teachers were happy to be back, and the students were super excited.  He also complimented the custodial staff at both schools as they were immaculate.

Mr. Minichiello asked what is the policy for the PTA/PAC meetings?

Superintendent Thomas mentioned the PTA/PAC meetings are allowed; mask guidelines must be followed.
Mayor Sullivan thanked Lt. Vadaro, School Police and Chief Manuel Gomes met last week to assist for the month of September with traffic flow and buses and safety which is paramount for the everyone.

Ms. Asack motioned to adjourn.  Seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

The motion passed unanimously.

Seeing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:58 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,          
    Michael P. Thomas