January 21, 2020

Brockton, Massachusetts

Regular Meeting

January 21, 2020

PDF VERSION

 

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:   Mr. D'Agostino, Vice-Chair; Ms. Asack, Ms. Mendes, Mr. Minichiello,

                                                      Mr. Rodrigues, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Thomas

                                       Absent:  Mayor Sullivan

                                       Also Present:  Executive Team Members

Mr. D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:13 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.  

Hearing of Visitors        None

Consent Agenda            Mr. D’Agostino explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members for any requests to remove items for further discussion.  Mr. Minichiello asked to remove Item B, Approval of Mayor Bill Carpenter Memorial Scholarship, and Item C, Approval of Francis A. Yafrate Memorial Scholarship, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.       Ms. Asack asked to remove Item E, Approval of BHS/DECA Overnight Conference in Boston, MA, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

Mr. Minichiello spoke about the Mayor Bill Carpenter Memorial Scholarship, thanking the Carpenter family for their generosity and keeping of his legacy.  Lifetime partner Ms. Julie Caldwell was present on behalf of the family.                              

Superintendent Thomas and School Committee Members expressed their gratitude for the scholarship and appreciated all that Mayor Bill Carpenter had done for the city of Brockton and advocate for the children in the Brockton Public School department.                                           

Mr. Minichiello moved to approve Item B, Approval of Mayor Bill Carpenter Memorial Scholarship, seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.

                                                         Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

Mr. Minichiello spoke about the Francis A. Yafrate Memorial Scholarship, thanking the Yafrate family for their generosity.  Mrs. MaryAlice Yafrate wife, son and grandchildren were present.  Mr. Yafrate was a 1958 Brockton High School graduate and football player, he attended Stonehill College, he was a Brockton High School math teacher for over 40 years and Athletic Manager for 30 years.

Superintendent Thomas and School Committee members expressed their gratitude for the scholarship and appreciation.

Mr. Minichiello moved to approve Item C, Approval of Francis A. Yafrate Memorial Scholarship, seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

                                                         Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

Ms. Asack spoke about the upcoming BHS/DECA competition in Boston on February 27th thru 29th, 2020, wishing our students success as they compete to qualify for the Nationals.    

Ms. Asack moved to approve Item E, Approval of BHS/DECA Overnight Conference in Boston, MA, seconded by Mr. Minichiello.          

                                                   Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

Mr. Minichiello moved the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the remaining Consent Agenda items, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

A.     Approval of January 7, 2020 Organizational School Committee Meeting Minutes

D.     Approval of Public Health Scholarship Fund

F.      Acceptance of Notification:  Personnel Appointments: Certified

G.     Acceptance of Notification:  Personnel Appointments:  Non-Certified

H.     Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Retirements, Resignations                                                       

                                                Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Communication             The Brockton School Committee voted to approve the request to use the following schools as polling places during the 2020 election cycle on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, September 1, 2020 and November 3, 2020.

                                      

                                       Kennedy Elementary                                                         Downey Elementary

                                       South Middle School                                                          Hancock Elementary

                                       Ashfield Elementary                                                          West Middle School

                                       Gilmore Elementary                                                          Davis Elementary

                                       East Middle School                                                            Brookfield Elementary

                                       North Middle School                                                         Raymond Elementary             

                                        

                                       As requested, all buildings will be opened by 6:00 a.m. and will remain open until

                                       8:30 p.m.

 

Superintendent's            Student Representative (Georgina Younes)

Report                            Student Georgina Younes gave a report on happenings at Brockton High School:

 

·         On Thursday, January 16th, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito visited Brockton High and spent time with students enrolled in the Healthcare Innovation Pathways program. She was able to tour the classrooms as well as speak with students.

·         Recently, many students competed in a schoolwide National History Day. This year's theme is breaking barriers in history. The Students who have placed will continue to compete in regional and statewide competitions.

·         Earlier today the top 50 students in the junior class had the opportunity to attend an informational meeting hosted by a Harvard student. Students gained insight into the college application process.

·         A reminder this Thursday January 23rd is a half day throughout the Brockton Public Schools.

·         This Friday, January 24th in the Brockton High school gymnasium the basketball court will be dedicated to Victor M. Ortiz who worked as a guidance counselor and basketball coach in the Brockton school system. The dedication ceremony will take place at 6:50 p.m. before the basketball game.

                                       Community Center

Superintendent Thomas reported that the idea of a Community Center came out of parent meetings that former Superintendent Smith had started and that he has continued. More parents have joined the group.  The Superintendent has also recruited visitors who have attended school committee meetings and have voiced their concerns that we should be doing more in the community to help our students and support our parents during after school hours. This prompted him to come up with the “Community Center” idea.  He chose North Middle School as the location because it is scheduled to close and would be vacant for at least a year and he didn’t want the building sitting vacant.  The current intervention program will operate during the day and the community center at night.  He invited Dr. James Cobbs, Executive Director of Operations who is supervising the program to speak.

 

Dr. Cobbs reported that this committee of parents and volunteers have been working for two months now every Thursday night to get this community center off the ground.  He introduced his Co-Chairs Ollie Spears and Nancy Centers, Secretary Cicily Shaw, Tony Donegan and Anita Leny Monteiro.  Tina Cardoso could not make the meeting.  The members have been working diligently to develop an application process, to vet the providers.  All volunteers are CORI cleared before coming aboard.  Currently there are 16 providers and all services are free.  Hours of operation will be Monday – Thursday 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  The center will be open to all community members.  There will be tutoring in math and English and other programs available.  Meals will be provided by Chartwells.  There will be two Brockton Public School teachers on each night with a school police officer stationed at the center also.  In the future we will also be working with the Brockton Police Department with their community policing grant to provide classes on bullying, opioid awareness, social media use, etc. A master calendar of events will be posted on the BPS website.  The grand opening of the Community Center is scheduled for January 30, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., with the program starting February 3, 2020.

 

School committee members thanked all the volunteers for donating their time for this wonderful opportunity for the community.

 

Mr. Sullivan motioned to accept the report of the Facilities Subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 for the Community Center opening at North Middle School, seconded by Mr. Minichiello.

 

                                                Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

 

                                       District Review

                                       Superintendent invited Executive Director of Assessment, Accountability, Technology

Dr. Ethan Cancell where he presented a power point on the District Review and outlined the following topics: 

·   Research on effective school and district leadership has highlighted the importance of:

1.      Concerted districtwide focus aligning all district systems in service of improving student performance and outcomes.

2.      Demonstrated by clear standards for performance and goals for improvement.

3.      Ongoing cyclical process for measuring progress.

 

·   District Review Designed to Identify:

1.      Systems, policies, and practices that drive the day-to-day work of the school district.

2.      Factors that may help or hinder staff performance and, ultimately, student performance and outcomes.

3.      Ways district works to improve and promote equity for all students.

 

·   6 Standards 21 Indicators:

1.      Leadership and Governance

2.      Curriculum and Instruction

3.      Assessment

4.      Human Resources and Professional Development

5.      Student Support

6.      Financial and Asset Management

 

·   Data Collection:

1.      Document Review

2.      Interviews & focus groups

3.      Observe classroom instruction

4.      Interview DESE Turnaround Partners

 

·   Schedule:

1.      January 31, 2020 Self-Assessment Due

2.      March 2nd thru 5th, 2020 Onsite Visit

3.      3-4 Months final report expected from DESE

 

                                       District Design Team

Superintendent invited the District Design Team members to give an update on the work they are doing.  The team is made up of 30 members including the Superintendent.  In attendance was: Dorine Pinkham, BEA Representative Kim Gibson, Dr. Ethan Cancell, Sharon Wolder, June Saba-Maguire, Darlene Campbell, Cynthia Burns, Michele Conners, Kellie Jones, Candice McGann.

 

Dorine discussed what the team is looking at as they analyze the 2013 District Review’s strengths, challenges and weakness that were identified and how it is looking right now and what we need to do to prepare for the upcoming review in March 2020.  The turnaround plans will be presented at a school committee meeting to give an overview of what the teams are working on in each of the schools.  As part of the Student Opportunity Act a 3-year plan will be developed with School Committee, District Design team, teachers and stakeholder’s.  The team will also help come up with a strategic plan (blueprint) and be able to improve and focus on our students academically and socially.

School Committee members thanked the team for their involvement and support.

 

Approval to file a Statement of Interest (SOI) for Brockton High School with Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA)

Superintendent Thomas reported that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has opened the window for filing 2020 Statement of Interests for their accelerated repair and CORE renovation programs and that we are seeking permission from the School Committee to file an application with the MSBA CORE program for Brockton High School.  School Committee must approve this application then it will go to City Council.  This is the first step in a long process.  The cost could be approximately 300 million.  Financing options were discussed, there would be a 78.7% reimbursement from the state and the city CFO is working on numbers now.  The MSBA does very a complex feasible study, which results in a 1-2-year planning process.  A STEM building was discussed as was building new vs. renovation. The Superintendent said the MSBA will decide what is feasible. 

                                        Motion #1                                        

Mr. Sullivan authorized the Superintendent to submit to the Massachusetts School Building                                          Authority the Statement of Interest Form dated April 8, 2020, for Brockton High School 470 Forest 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: Brockton High School – full renovation;  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. Minichiello.   

 

                                                Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

 

                                       Online Learning Location

Superintendent Thomas has been investigating the possibility of a virtual online school for our home teaching students.  These are students excluded from school for felony charges, long-term suspensions, and medical reasons.  We also have home schooling students that parents choose to teach at home. We have students who have elected to use the Greenfield Virtual Academy.  We do not receive any Chapter 70 money for these students who choose outside online schooling.  Superintendent Thomas and Chief Financial Officer Aldo Petronio have been looking for locations for the district to open an online school that will expand the districts wrap around services and recoup some of the money it is spending educating students elsewhere. They have found a former old bank located at 836 No. Main Street.  The rent would be $916.67 per month, about a third of the going rental rates.  It is about 1500 sq. feet and could service between 15-20 students, with 3 sessions, morning, afternoon and late afternoon at 3 hours per day.  Some students in the current programs only receive 3 hours of education per week, this school would provide them with 3 hours per day making it more educationally sound.  We would provide 1 teacher and 1 MTA and provide bilingual and special education services if needed.  The building would need a little remodeling, some paint and carpet.  Mr. Petronio provided a financial analysis of this project. It is attached to this report. We are seeking approval from the school committee to sign a 3-year lease.  Superintendent would like to get this project started by April 1, 2020.

                                      

                                       Mr. Minichiello moved to approve the Brockton Public School Department to sign a

                                       3-year lease located at 836 North Main Street, Brockton, MA to open an Online Learning

                                       School, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.   

 

                                                Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

 

Items to Refer                None

To Subcommittee          

 

Unfinished Business      Recognition of outgoing Vice-Chair of the School Committee

                                       Superintendent Thomas and School Committee members presented Mr. Thomas Minichiello

                                       with a plaque of service as, Vice-Chair for 2019.  Mr. Minichiello has served for 10

                                       consecutive years.

 

                                       Superintendent Thomas and School Committee members acknowledged the dedication and

                                       hard work Mr. Minichiello has put in the past ten years, serving with dignity and respect.  

 

                                       Mr. Minichiello appreciated and thanked everyone for having the opportunity to serve as Vice-

                                       Chair of the School Committee the past ten years and working together.

 

                                         Superintendent Thomas mentioned the Governor’s budget that is scheduled to come out on tomorrow, when we receive the report from the Department of Education we will forward the information to the school committee members. 

 

New Business                   2020 Subcommittee Assignments

                                         Mr. D’Agostino discussed the 2020 Subcommittee assignments that were approved at the Organizational meeting on January 7, 2020.  Several changes were made, and he presented a revised 2020 Subcommittee assignments and requested a motion to accept.

                                        

                                         Ms. Asack moved to accept notification for the revised 2020 Subcommittee Assignments as stated in the written document, the motion was seconded by Mr. Minichiello.

 

                                                       Voted:  to accept notification, unanimous.                        

 

                                          Acknowledgements/Announcements

·   Mr. Minichiello acknowledged the NAACP’s Martin Luther King, Jr.’s breakfast held

   on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Lombardo’s.  He noted this event was well-planned by 

   Phyllis Ellis.

 

·   Ms. Asack mentioned this Friday, January 24, 2020 at 6:50 p.m. is the basketball court

   dedication ceremony for Victor Ortiz.

 

                                          Seeing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:16 p.m.

                                         

                                       Respectfully submitted,

 

                                       Mayor Robert F. Sullivan, Chair                                                        Michael P. Thomas

                                       Brockton School Committee                                                             Superintendent/Secretary  

 

                                       mdc

 

                                       Handout:

                                       Virtual School Financial Report

                                       Revised 2020 Subcommittee Assignments

                                      

                                       Power Point:

                                       District Review