June 16, 2020

Brockton, Massachusetts
Regular School Committee Meeting
June 16, 2020
Live Stream

PDF VERSION

The Regular Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this evening, at six o'clock.  These minutes contain a summary of the meeting and list items that were under discussion.

Mayor Sullivan called the meeting to order at 6:06 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair read the following information for the record.  

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic and State of Emergency, on March 12, 2020, Governor Baker issued an Executive Order Temporarily Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A sec. 20. Pursuant to the Order, public bodies are temporarily relieved from the Open Meeting Law’s requirement that meetings be held in public places, open and physically accessible to the public, so long as measures are taken to ensure public access to the bodies' deliberations "through adequate, alternative means."

This meeting will be held and will be accessible to the public via Brockton Community Access, Brockton Public Schools website, www.bpsma.org, YouTube and Comcast channel 12

The public can access this meeting via this link: www.youtube.TheBrocktonChannels

    Mayor Sullivan, Chair took a roll call vote under the revised open meeting law.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            

Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        

Ms. Asack – absent

Ms. Mendes – yes                    

Mr. Minichiello – yes                        

Mr. Rodrigues – yes

Ms. Sullivan – yes                    

Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
Mayor Sullivan took a roll call to establish a quorum.

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            

Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        

Ms. Asack – absent

Ms. Mendes – yes                    

Mr. Minichiello – yes                        

Mr. Rodrigues – yes

Ms. Sullivan – yes                    

Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
Also Present:  Executive Team Members, Kim Gibson BEA President, Richard Bath
    
Consent Agenda    

Mayor Sullivan explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members if they would like to remove any items for further discussion.  Mr. D’Agostino asked to remove Item B, C and D giving an overview report on the following consent agenda items.  

    Mr. Sullivan moved the Superintendent’s recommendation to approve the remainder Consent Agenda items: A, E, F, and G seconded by Ms. Sullivan.

A.     Approval of June 2, 2020 Regular School Committee Meeting Minutes
E.   Authorization to Submit FY2021 Healthy Schools for Student Success Grant - $10,000
F.    Authorization to Submit FY20 U.S. DOJ Community Oriented Policing Services - $500,000
G.    Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements           

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote to approve the remainder Consent Agenda items:
    
    Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        Ms. Asack – absent
    Ms. Mendes – yes                    Mr. Minichiello – yes                        Mr. Rodrigues – yes
    Ms. Sullivan – yes                    Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    

                Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

Item B, Approval of Minutes:  June 2, 2020 Public Hearing School Budget 2021 Meeting discussing the agenda items:

1.    Call Meeting to Order
2.    Hearing of Visitors
3.    Discussion/Comments
4.    Adjournment

Ms. Sullivan moved to approve Item B, Approval of Minutes:  June 2, 2020 Public Hearing School Budget 2021 Meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote to approve Item B, Approval of Minutes:  June 2, 2020 Public Hearing School Budget 2021 Meeting.

    Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes                Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        Ms. Asack – absent
    Ms. Mendes – yes                    Mr. Minichiello – yes                        Mr. Rodrigues – yes
    Ms. Sullivan – yes                    Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
                        Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.


    Item C, Approval of Minutes:  June 2, 2020 Finance Subcommittee Meeting discussing the agenda items:

1.    FY2020 Budget
2.    FY2021 Budget
3.    New Business

Ms. Sullivan moved to approve Item C, Approval of Minutes:  June 2, 2020 Finance Subcommittee Meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote to approve Item C, Approval of Minutes:  June 2, 2020 Finance Subcommittee Meeting.

    Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes                Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        Ms. Asack – absent
    Ms. Mendes – yes                    Mr. Minichiello – yes                        Mr. Rodrigues – yes
    Ms. Sullivan – yes                    Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
                        Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.


    Item D, Approval of Minutes:  May 27, 2020 Finance Subcommittee Meeting discussing the agenda items:
    
1.    Early Retirement Incentive
2.    FY2020 Budget
3.    FY2021 Budget
4.    New Business

Ms. Sullivan moved to approve Item D, Approval of Minutes:  May 27, 2020 Finance Subcommittee Meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote to approve Item D, Approval of Minutes:  May 27, 2020 Finance Subcommittee Meeting.

    Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes                Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        Ms. Asack – absent
    Ms. Mendes – yes                    Mr. Minichiello – yes                        Mr. Rodrigues – yes
    Ms. Sullivan – yes                    Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
                    Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.
    

Communication    None

Superintendent’s Report        

Recognitions

Brockton Area NAACP & Brockton Public Library Foundation donations
Superintendent Thomas thanked the Brockton Area Branch NAACP and welcomed Ms. Leona Martin, Education Chair of the Brockton Area NAACP and her Education Committee for their partnership with the Brockton Public Schools.  Ms. Martin and the NAACP Education Committee worked with the Brockton Public Library Foundation and Mr. Paul Engle, Director of the Brockton Public Library System in awarding a $10,000 grant to obtain 1,500 children’s books for the children of Brockton.  Volunteers from both organizations along with several Brockton Public Schools staff members:  Kerima Lewis, Mary Waldron, Joshua Epps, Janet Trask, Steve Thomasy (unable to attend), Jesse Jeune (unable to attend), Janice Johnson-Plumer, Miles Jackson, Ossie Jordan, Malice Veiga, Linda Ross, Tobias Cowans, Principal Jose Duarte, Principal Marybeth O’Brien, Principal Brian Rogan, Principal Carol McGrath and Principal Steven Shaw for their participation in distributing 1,500 books to Brockton children at the Brockton Public Schools 10 grab-and-go food locations on Thursday, June 4, 2020.  In addition, he thanked Mary Waldron in donating 20 books to the William H. Arnone School.  Superintendent Thomas thanked President Phyllis Ellis of the Brockton Area Branch NAACP and the organizations assistance in helping with distribution of laptops, reaching out to families that were hard to reach and support them becoming engaged, and supporting the Brockton Public Schools during this most difficult time always being about the children.     

Mr. Paul Engle shared link information on the go-fund page created by the Brockton Public Library Foundation to raise money to continue purchasing books for children.  Ms. Mary Waldron shared link information on “Just Checking In Fund” in memory of her late husband John Waldron that also donates to various organizations and scholarships in the Brockton area.  

Mayor Sullivan thanked Ms. Leona Martin, the Brockton Area NAACP, Mary Waldron – Just Checking In Foundation and Mr. Paul Engle this is what Brockton is about, coming together and making a difference helping the lives of young children in our community.
 
American Student Assistance (ASA) Grant donations
Superintendent Thomas introduced Karen Watkins-Watt, Grant Director to acknowledge American Student Assistance as an integral, long-standing partnership with the Brockton Public Schools.  They have offices onsite at Brockton High School, they support our students and work with them on educational and career endeavors.  They provide career exploration and coaching, apprenticeships, essential soft-skills training, assistance with college admissions, scholarship and financial aid applications.  ASA has awarded us their Emergency Meals grant in the amount of $10,000 to address food insecurity during this unprecedented time and awarded us their COVID-19 Student Support Gant in the amount of $12,000 to enable the district to purchase 30 laptop computers for Brockton High School students to enable them to access vital remote learning opportunities.

Ms. Karen Watkins-Watt recognized Rose Arthur for directing us to these grant opportunities as one of the partners that ASA has across the United States.  They were able to help us fund 35 laptops and purchase Microsoft Office software in the amount of $3,000 in addition to the $12,000 grant.  Thank you, ASA we are humbled and grateful for your continued support and partnership:  Rose Arthur, Lecia Sligh, Lily Ornelas, Alisa Wilke and Jean Eddy (unable to attend).

Ms. Alisa Wilke thanked the School Committee for inviting ASA on the call and mentioned responsibilities that she has with the innovation and grant making and outcome measurements that are done at ASA and Lily Ornelas is part of her team.  They enjoy giving back to the community and are proud of the work Rose Arthur and Lecia Sligh do at Brockton High School for the students.  

Karen Watkins-Watt acknowledged Tom Burke Food Service Director for Chartwell’s working together in writing a grant application to purchase emergency shelf stable meals for Chartwell’s staff who may test positive for COVID-19 and need to close for a few days to do a deep cleaning, this would allow meal distribution to continue.

Karen Watkins-Watt acknowledged Dan Vigeant IT Director and his team for their assistance in the distribution of laptops to students at Brockton High School.

Mayor Sullivan, Mr. D’Agostino and Mr. Sullivan all thanked ASA for their support in coming together as partners and shared vision to our students in the Brockton Public Schools.

Brockton Public Schools Retirees 2020


Superintendent Thomas mentioned this past Thursday, June 11, 2020 was our scheduled annual celebration of retirees Brockton Public Retirees 2020 in all the positions we have.  We have 56 retirees this year, unfortunately, we were not able to have this in person and hopefully we can do something in the fall.  We
thank them for their dedication to the children of the Brockton Public Schools, the work they have done for their students and colleagues. We look forward to a celebration when we can do so. We wish all 2020 retirees a happy, healthy and long retirement.   

Mayor Sullivan echoed his sentiments and wished all a happy retirement and professional endeavors and a job well done.

Learning and Teaching
        
        Student Report

Student Representative Georgiana Younes was unable to attend tonight’s meeting.

Remote learning update


Superintendent Thomas discussed the remote learning update that is given every week.  We are coming close to the end of the school year the last day of school is Wednesday, June 24th. Teachers are working with students to wrap up and complete their work to get their credit and grades finalized.  Next week teachers are scheduling fun virtual learning activities with the students for the last three days.  

Superintendent Thomas thanked teachers for all the work and how quickly they managed to switch over to remote learning platform that we were not set up for.  Thank you to our Principals, Associate Principals, Content Leads, Coaches, Department Heads and Coordinators for everyone working together as a team.  We understand that some students were not engaged, somewhat engaged and some that were totally engaged.  Students that were not engaged are the ones we will work with this summer and in the fall catching students up to make sure we can support them any way that we can.  Principals will reach out to families to offer the summer programs and discuss other options and concerns they have about their child(ren) moving to the next grade.  Thank you, School Committee members, Executive Team members and Kim Gibson BEA Representative for your support and effort for every student in the Brockton Public Schools.     

Summer Food Program


Superintendent Thomas discussed the Summer Food Program, we were approved to continue at the 10 grab-and-go location that will continue throughout the entire summer.  We will serve breakfast and lunch earlier in the day.  Information will be provided by the end of the week.  Aldo Petronio CFO mentioned the School Department is closed on Friday, July 3, 2020 due to the July 4th weekend, Chartwell’s will prepare breakfasts and lunches on Thursday, July 2, 2020 for families to have for the long weekend.       

Summer School Programs


        Superintendent Thomas introduced Dr. Soraya deBarros Director of Community Schools to discuss the call with the YMCA regarding summer programs.  Ms. Sharon Wolder Chief Officer of Student Support Services and Ms. June Saba-Maguire Chief Academic Officer are working with a team to talk about summer programs and what they will look like, most of them will be virtual and some will be in-person around social and emotional support.  Superintendent Thomas thanked the YMCA for their support and the summer school team for working together to make sure we have a solid summer program in place for our students and get the support that they need.

        Dr. deBarros mentioned letters were sent to all the summer staff letting them know that we would not be running 13 of our summer programs and that has had a huge impact on our families, students and staff.  This was no easy decision to make and it was based on the guidelines that we received from the state, however we have six programs that will run in partnership with the YMCA.  
•    Power Scholars 2 models – elementary and middle school model.  The curriculum that will be used is BELL (Building Educational Leaders for Life)
•    Leaders program – the program is designed for students entering the high school who are at risk to make sure they learn lessons how to be good leaders in our world, making a positive transition toward high school and promote academic achievement and develop their leadership capacity.
•    Academic program – middle school, to provide students the opportunity to earn credit for courses they did not pass during the school year.
•    Academic program – high school, to provide students the opportunity to earn credit for courses they did not pass during the school year.
•    The second partnership is with SABURA (Student Ambassadors Bonded Under Recreation and Achievement) with Dr. Aminah Pilgrim and Lenny Monteiro their focus in on social and emotional part of the student, academics and social and emotional aspect.

The power scholars and other programs will receive weekly snack boxes for our students as they work remotely and are able to take a break when needed.  Student’s will take a pre and post-test to show their growth during this time, and for those who take the pre-test will get a gift and those who take the post-test will get a gift in the mail because we must show the growth data.  The Bilingual advocates and facilitators will make phone calls to parents, text messages, emails and links will be provided for parents to apply online and register their child.       

Dr. deBarros is working with Dr. Cobbs Executive Director of Operations and Tobias Cowans Safety and Emergency Management Coordinator regarding computers and should a student need one.  Principals are asked to provide a list of students they recommend working with during the summer and will reach out to students they have worked with in the past thru summer scholars.  We will continue to work in partnership and do our due diligence that we provide the best programs to our students.  Not having 13 programs this summer will have a huge effect and affect many of our families and staff.  We are grateful for the opportunity to do the summer programs remotely and Dr. deBarros looks forward to coming back showing how well it worked out.

Superintendent Thomas mentioned that Sharon Wolder, mentors, adjustment counselors and himself are working on small in person programs to run at the lunch locations following the guidelines of 10 students or less with one/two staff members.  We will ask principal’s and adjustment counselors to provide a list of students that need the extra support during the summer.  The program is set to begin early July thru August.  Chief Financial Officer Aldo Petronio will charge all costs back to the county and ask to pick up the expenses for this summer as this is related to COVID-19 and the closing of schools and students needing extra support.

Superintendent Thomas thanked Sharon Wolder, Soraya deBarros and the summer school team who has worked quickly, effectively to have summer programs ready for students.   
    
Re-opening Planning Presentation


        Superintendent Thomas shared his PowerPoint presentation - Blueprint for Reopening Schools put together by the District Design Team that consists of 30 members of the school district:  teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, adjustment counselors, Kim Gibson BEA President, Executive Team members and recently added all principal’s and several other members to work and turned the district design team into the re-opening committee.  As we focus on the re-opening of schools we have not received guidelines from the department of education, we hope to receive information in the coming weeks to help with the work we need to do.
 
•    Agile Planning Approach – Logical, Consistent & Equitable
•    Five Action Areas – Working Groups
•    Instructional Core
•    Social and Emotional Supports
•    Operations
•    Resources
•    Communication & Stakeholders
•    Timeline

Questions/Answers


None


Items to Refer to Subcommittee


Superintendent Thomas asked that he work with Vice-Chair Mr. D’Agostino on the 2020-2021 BPS Student Handbooks and mentioned we need not take a vote tonight and recommends a policy subcommittee meeting to finalize any/all changes that will need to happen.
           
Unfinished Business   

Student Opportunity Act (SOA) 3-year District Plan    


Superintendent Thomas received an email regarding the 3-year district plan that was due on June 19, 2020.  We were not going to submit that plan as we have not received the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) money.  Commissioner Riley mentioned the dates were soft dates and has been flexible about this and now the plan is not due until August 14, 2020.  

Superintendent Thomas discussed the graduation dates and thanked Jess Hodges, Principal’s, Deans and BCA for their efforts in putting this virtual graduation together.  

Virtual Graduation (BCA)


Superintendent Thomas shared the virtual and in-person graduation dates for the class of 2020.

Saturday, June 27, 2020 beginning at 4:00 p.m.
Huntington School – 4:00 p.m.
Champion High School & Frederick Douglass Academy – 5:00 p.m.
Brockton High School – 6:00 p.m.

Physical Graduation (Marciano Stadium)

Friday, July 24, 2020 beginning at 5:00 p.m.
Huntington, Champion High School & Frederick Douglass Academy – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 25, 2020 beginning at 10:00 a.m.
BHS – Yellow building – 10:00 a.m.
BHS – Green building – 1:00 p.m.
Edison Academy – 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 26, 2020 beginning at 10:00 a.m.
BHS – Red building – 10:00 a.m.
BHS – Azure building – 1:00 p.m.
Edison Academy – 3:00 p.m. (if needed)

Dr. Murray Principal of BHS, Principal Burns, Dr. Cobbs, Principal Lanner will make calls to the parents to provide information regarding the graduation plans.

Dr. Rick Herman (pandemic expert) approved BPS having a physical graduation at Marciano Stadium allowing 2-tickets per family as part of the stipulation to approve the in-person graduation.  

Superintendent Thomas thanked Mayor Sullivan, Dr. Herman, Board of Health and School Committee members for their support.  
      
New Business    

Renewal of Chartwell’s Food Service Contract Extension (action requested)
    

Mr. D’Agostino motioned to approve the Renewal of Chartwell’s Food Service Contract Extension as presented to the Finance Subcommittee, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote:

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        Ms. Asack – absent
Ms. Mendes – yes                    Mr. Minichiello – yes                        Mr. Rodrigues – yes
Ms. Sullivan – yes                    Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
                    Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.

 

Approval of BPS Parent/Student Handbooks 2020-2021 (action requested)


Mr. Sullivan motioned to refer the Approval of BPS Parent/Student Handbooks 2020-2021 to the Policy Subcommittee, seconded by Ms. Sullivan.    

    Mayor Sullivan took a roll call vote:

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – yes            Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – yes        Ms. Asack – absent
Ms. Mendes – yes                    Mr. Minichiello – yes                        Mr. Rodrigues – yes
Ms. Sullivan – yes                    Mr. Sullivan – yes                                    
    
                    Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous.
    
Executive Session     

Mayor Sullivan announced School Committee members have personnel matters to deal with and would go into Executive Session Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, § 21, to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with nonunion personnel (Superintendent of Schools), and that the regular meeting would not reconvene.

School Committee Members went into Executive Session at 7:17 p.m.
                                
Respectfully submitted,
Michael P. Thomas
Superintendent/Secretary   
 
                                    mdc