DECEMBER 4, 2018
The Regular Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this evening in the Theatre of 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; Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith, Student Rep. Jaila Smith
Absent: Mayor Carpenter, Ms. Asack, Ms. Plant
Also Present: Executive Director of Assessment & Accountability Dr. Ethan Cancell, BHS Principal Dr. Clifford Murray, Extended Day Coordinator Melissa Shepard
Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag.
Mr. Minichiello explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members for requests to remove items for further discussion, Ms. Sullivan requested Item D, the Plouffe School New York trip.
Mr. Gormley moved the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the following remaining Consent Agenda items, seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.
- Approval of November 20, 2018 Regular School Committee Meeting Minutes
- Acceptance of November 20, 2018 Superintendent’s Contract Subcommittee Meeting Report
- Acceptance of November 20, 2018, Facilities Usage and Planning Subcommittee Meeting Report
- Notification of Non-Certified Personnel Appointments
- Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Retirements Resignations
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
Ms. Sullivan asked Principal Nessralla if she would give more details on the request to take students to New York City. Ms. Nessralla, with Ms. Kelly Walsh and Ms. Alicia Darling, showed a short video of last year’s trip to Philadelphia before giving an overview of this year’s trip. School Committee members expressed their support of the trip; Mr. D’Agostino asked Principal Nessralla to let the chaperones know that school committee is appreciative of the time they sacrifice to chaperone the trip.
Ms. Sullivan moved to approve the trip; the motion was seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
The Superintendent asked for a moment of silence in honor of the passing of our 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush. She said this is a teachable moment and asked that our teachers and administrators bring this to light at the schools. School Committee members expressed their gratitude for his service to our country.
Appointment of Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
The Superintendent introduced Malinda Campbell, who will replace Wanda Alves upon her retirement. Malinda currently works in the main office at Brockton High School and brings many years of experience with her. School committee members welcomed Ms. Campbell.
Presentation of Albert N. Baroncelli Award
Superintendent Smith invited 2017-2018 Albert N. Baroncelli Award recipient Ms. Mellissa Murray to come forward to receive the award. Raymond School Principal Carol McGrath, who nominated Ms. Murray, accompanied her. The Superintendent talked about how important this award is and told Ms. Murray that she is in the company of many very special people. She shared the nomination letter in which Ms. McGrath said Mellissa gives selflessly of her time, she has served on the PTA for twelve years and she truly exemplifies an outstanding community member. Ms. Murray was presented with a certificate and a silver bowl in gratitude for her service. She thanked the school committee and said that Brockton Public Schools is home to her.
Student Representative Report (Jaila Smith)
Jaila reported that SAT exams were on Saturday, winter sports tryouts have concluded, on Monday new menu items were served for lunch, students are saying they are happy about the new choices and will have the opportunity to vote on items they want to keep or “lose”. Kudos to the drama production of What the Bellhop Saw, which finished up this weekend, the BHS holiday concert is scheduled for December 18 and 19 and the Honor Roll concert, for students who make the honor roll, will be held December 21st.
The Superintendent said the November 26th MCAS results presentation at a curriculum subcommittee meeting showed that the district has a lot of work ahead, she was not surprised by the results and pointed to the important impact inequitable funding has had with respect to larger class sizes, classroom instability due to layoffs every year, cuts to curriculum administrators and the inability to provide proper technology and other classroom supports, including updated, research-based curriculum.
She talked about steps the district is taking and wants to be sure this stays on the radar, this will be the first year grade 10 will take the new MCAS online, the focus will be on making sure that our teachers are preparing strong lessons and have everything they need to educate our students.
Dr. Murray was asked by Superintendent Smith to give an overview of Brockton High School. He prepared a power point presentation that included student learning initiatives with respect to the focus on student achievement, staff professional development, he talked about AP, IB and STEM programs and showed the wide variety of extracurricular offerings for students. Future plans are to update and contemporize the vocational/technical program, which includes expanding the nursing program, and adding biotechology and consumer science. Dr. Murray commended the staff at the high school who work very hard and invest in the students, he said their team approach is very successful.
Dr. Murray took questions and comments from school committee; Mr. Gormley inquired about the status of airing the “Why BHS?” video that was shown at the November 20th meeting; Dr. Murray said they working on adding some things and he hopes to have it ready before the holidays. Superintendent Smith said the presentation came across that the high school is a great place to be, students are very proud of where they come from.
Computer Virus Update
The Superintendent reported that the virus that has affected the district’s network was a very sophisticated virus and at this time we are facing some costs to protect against viruses such as this. We are fortunate that this did not impact our finance or student management systems, we are contracting with outside services and this will be a large, extraordinary expense this year.
December 18 School Committee Meeting
The Superintendent asked school committee if they would like to change the start time of the next school committee meeting on December 18, 2018 because it conflicts with the high school holiday concert.
Mr. D’Agostino moved to amend the time of the December 18, 2018 school committee meeting start time from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Mr. Sullivan seconded the motion.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
- Thank you to staff for supporting the Snowball Social, over 300 gifts and gift cards were donated that will be given out at the annual holiday party for needy families sponsored in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office.
- A successful Jingle Bell Run/Enterprise Helping Hands fundraiser was held for the first time at Brockton High; Mr. Gorman, who runs the event, was thrilled with the site. Mr. Minichiello thanked Chartwells for providing refreshments and thanked Brocktonians for always being generous.
- The high school drama play “What the Bellhop Saw” was a huge success, congratulations to the drama department and student participants.
Request for Extended Day Rate Increase
Ms. Melissa Shepard addressed the committee with respect to a letter she received from the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) advising her that a rate increase would be going into effect as of January 1, 2019. She presented school committee with the proposed increases to private pay families to comply with the EEC requirement that private pay families must pay the same rate that the state reimburses vouchers.
Mr. Minichiello clarified that we will lose vouchers if we do not comply, Ms. Shepard explained that those families would then need to find daycare. She said Brockton’s program tries to be very responsive to the community it serves--families are credited for school closings and vacations (the district does not take state reimbursement for those days), additional hours are provided at no charge on half-days, the program is very fair.
Mr. D’Agostino moved to adopt the EEC FY2019 rates as recommended, Mr. Gormley seconded the motion.
Voted: to adopt the recommended rate increases, unanimous.
Kathleen A. Smith, JD
BHS PowerPoint Presentation
MCAS Accountability Handout