JANUARY 15, 2019
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 Carpenter, Chair; Mr. Minichiello, Vice-Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. D'Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith
Absent: Student Rep. Jaila Smith
Also Present: Executive Team Members
Mayor Carpenter called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.
Mayor Carpenter explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members for any requests to remove items for further discussion; Mr. Minichiello removed Items B and C.
Item A - Approval of Minutes of January 2, 2019 Organizational School Committee Meeting
Item D - Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Appointments: Certified and Non-Certified
Item E - Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements
Mr. Sullivan motioned the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the remaining Consent Agenda items, Mr. D’Agostino seconded the motion.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
On behalf of the school committee, Mr. Minichiello thanked the following people for their donations to our students in the Brockton Public School Department:
Item B - Richard Bonanno who donated a large assortment of gently used toys and bicycles.
Item C - Dr. Andrea Wuotila who donated a large assortment of new and gently used coats for students and adults both made to the Raymond school.
Mr. Minichiello moved to accept the donations, seconded by Ms. Plant.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
Presentation by Chartwells
Superintendent Smith invited Director Tom Burke of Chartwells to give a special announcement. Each year Chartwells has a program to nominate a staff member for its Be A Star award, for an employee that goes above and beyond their job. One hundred and twenty schools in the Northeast region participate: Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and part of New York. Mr. Burke was pleased to announce that the 2018 Northeast region associate of the year is from Brockton, Linda Machnig. Linda has worked for approximately 28 years in food service, manages a staff of 60, prepares 1800 breakfast daily, 3000 lunches, satellite, dinner for the afterschool program and is always available to help in any way.
Linda was presented with a glass plaque from Director Tom Burke and District Manager for Chartwells Erin Long. Mayor Carpenter and Superintendent Smith congratulated Linda and thanked her for her service.
Superintendent Smith asked Director Tom Burke to answer questions that School Committee members had about “Blessings in a Back Pack”. Mr. Burke responded that Megean Schoenberg started Blessings in a Back Pack in Brockton several years ago for children that were living in shelters and hotels who were not always getting the proper nutrition on the weekend. It does not operate in every school in Brockton, however, if a school is interested it is available. Superintendent Smith said she will pass this information along next week at the principal’s meeting.
School Committee member Ms. Asack said that approximately every six weeks volunteers get together to fill the backpacks and mentioned a packing event this Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 9:30 a.m., at Brockton High School - Yellow cafeteria.
Superintendent Smith spoke about the upcoming retirement of the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Wanda Alves, and referred to her as a “Public Servant Extraordinaire”. Wanda has worked for the Brockton Public Schools for 34 years. The School Committee presented a dozen red roses and a cake. School Committee members thanked Wanda for her years of service and wished her well in retirement. School committee members and family members joined in for pictures with Wanda and a great celebration.
2018-2019 Enrollment Presentation
Dr. Soraya deBarros annual enrollment update for school committee included a power point presentation with enrollment data, demographics and statistics. She said the Parent Information Center is a family service center where, in addition to registering children, staff are now able to identify and guide families toward resources that can help with needs they may have, provide school supplies, backpacks, and even clothing and food items to families with needs. She has hosted visitors from several districts who are interested in the Brockton model.
The total enrollment to date is 16,510, down from 16,920 last year.
Superintendent Smith reported that she met with the Administrative team at North Middle School to answer questions about the transitioning of the school down to one grade next year and the shared responsibilities of current principal Alison Ramsay. On Monday, January 14, 2019 Principal Ramsay was introduced to parents and staff at the Brookfield School, where she was well received. Principal Ramsay’s start date will be February 1, 2019. Current Brookfield Principal Marguerite Masson will move on as Director of Community Schools.
Superintendent Smith spoke about the turnaround work and would like to keep that a focus at every School Committee meeting as we work with our partners from Department of Elementary Secondary Education. The plan will focus on:
- Leadership and shared responsibilities, professional collaboration.
- Intentional practices for improving instruction.
- Student specific supports, depending on what every student needs in each of the classroom.
- Looking at school culture and climate, making sure our students believe this by putting in effort, so they are able to achieve to proficiency.
- Teach our students how to exert effective effort.
- Make sure our children are known and valued.
Superintendent Smith invited Mr. Petronio, Chief Financial Officer to speak about the Project Equity forum held last Tuesday in Malden, MA. Mr. Petronio reported that he, along with Worcester Chief Financial Officer Brian Allen, worked on a 50-page PowerPoint where districts can add their data for funding. There were approximately 350 in attendance, the main concerns were asking the state to fix the formula and fund it, meaning certain costs are not properly determined by the states’ formula.
Superintendent Smith would like to host a forum in Brockton around March of 2019.
The Superintendent concluded her report by announcing the School Committee retreat will be held Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at West Middle School, 271 West Street, Brockton, MA in the Professional Development room.
Approval to file Statements of Interest with Massachusetts School Building Authority
Deputy Superintendent Thomas, presented two proposals, one is the Accelerated Program for the Huntington School roof and the other is for a complete renovation of North Middle School through the CORE program. Pending School Committee approval, the applications will go to the City Council for approval. Mayor Carpenter reminded committee members this funding, if approved, is from the city side and not from the school budget.
Mr. D’Agostino, authorized the Superintendent to submit to the Massachusetts School Building Authority the Statement of Interest Form dated February 14, 2019, for the Huntington Therapeutic Day School located at 1121 Warren Avenue, Brockton, MA, which describes and explains the following deficiencies and the priority category(s) for which an application may be submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority in the future: Huntington School – roof; and hereby further specifically acknowledges that by submitting this Statement of Interest Form, the Massachusetts School Building Authority in no way guarantees the acceptance or the approval of an application, the awarding of a grant or any other funding commitment from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, or commits the City/Town/Regional School District to filing an application for funding with the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
Motion was seconded by Mr. Sullivan.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
Mr. Sullivan authorized the Superintendent to submit to the Massachusetts School Building Authority the Statement of Interest Form dated April 11, 2019, for the North Middle School 108 Oak Street, Brockton, MA, which describes and explains the following deficiencies and the priority category(s) for which an application may be submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority in the future: North Middle School – full renovation; and hereby further specifically acknowledges that bysubmitting this Statement of Interest Form, the Massachusetts School Building Authority in no way guarantees the acceptance or the approval of an application, the awarding of a grant or any other funding commitment from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, or commits the City/Town/Regional School District to filing an application for funding with the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
Motion was seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
- Congratulations to Coach Robert Boen. Coach Boen has been selected to receive the 2017-18 Northeast Coach of the Year award for Boys Basketball.
- Congratulations to Brockton High students who participated in the National History Day; winners will continue in the South Shore regional competition in March.
- Congratulations to the boys’ track team who qualified in the New Balance National Championship Division 1 relay.
Items to Refer to Subcommittee
Mayor Carpenter requested to schedule a Facilities Usage & Planning Subcommittee and a Superintendent’s Contract Subcommittee meeting. The mayor would like to update the committee members on the Shaws Center. The mayor suggested February 5, 2019 as a meeting date.
Recognition of outgoing Vice-Chair of the School Committee
Mayor Carpenter and Superintendent Smith presented Mr. Thomas Minichiello a plaque of service as Vice-Chair for 2018. Mr. Minichiello has served for 9 consecutive years.
Election of Vice-Chair
Mr. D’Agostino nominated Mr. Minichiello as Vice-Chair; Mr. Sullivan seconded.
Resolution (Brett Gormley)
Mr. Gormley read the following Resolution in Support of Full Funding for Our Public Schools.
WHEREAS, free public schools available to all students without exception are foundational to our democracy and are required by the state constitution; and
WHEREAS, all of our students, no matter where they live, deserve high-quality public schools that teach the whole child and provide them with a rich school experience that addresses their academic, social and emotional needs;
WHEREAS, the state's foundation budget formula, which determines state aid to each district, has been woefully out of date for years, thereby underfunding our districts by more than $1 billion a year for essential educational services; and
WHEREAS, an updated foundation budget formula would bring the Brockton Public School Department up to $48.8 million for additional state aid your district would receive each year under a new formula in additional state aid each year, allowing this district to move closer to providing all students with the education to which they are entitled as residents of the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the Legislature failed to pass any foundation budget legislation in the last session, leaving districts, educators and students without the funds necessary to support the schools our students deserve in every district in the state;
THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Brockton School Committee urges the Legislature to approve and fully fund a new foundation budget formula by May 1, 2019.
Ms. Plant motioned to adopt this resolution, seconded by Ms. Asack.
Vote: unanimous, Mayor Carpenter also voted in favor.
Safety and Security Transportation Subcommittee
Mayor Carpenter explained that the Emergency Automatic Gunshot Lockdown (EAGL) System, which is a fully automated active shooter response system designed to protect the public from random shooting incidents and provide law enforcement with critical threat assessments prior to responding to an active shooter circumstance has been offered at no cost to Brockton Public School. This will be used as a demo system at Brockton High School.
Mr. Sullivan motioned to approve the installation of the (EAGL) system, seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.
Seeing no further business, Mr. Gormley moved to adjourn; the meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.
Mayor Bill Carpenter, Chair Brockton School Committee
Kathleen A. Smith, JD Superintendent/Secretary