March 15, 2020
The Special Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this afternoon in Council Chambers 2nd floor at City Hall, at three o'clock. These minutes contain a summary of the meeting and list items that were under discussion.
Present: Mayor Sullivan, Ms. Asack, Mr. D'Agostino, Vice-Chair; Ms. Mendes,
Mr. Minichiello, Mr. Rodrigues, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Thomas
Also Present: Executive Team Members
Mayor Sullivan called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.
Mayor Sullivan thanked Superintendent Thomas, City Council President Shirley Asack and City Clerk Anthony Zeoli for allowing us to use the Council Chambers for this Special School Committee Meeting that is lived streamed via YouTube. He also thanked Dr. Cobbs, Aldo Petronio, June Saba-Maguire for attending.
Mayor Sullivan introduced the Interim Acting Executive Director Health Officer for the City of Brockton John McGarry. John is a former City Ward Council, former Councilor-At-Large, former Department Head, headed the elections office at city hall and a registered nurse. Mayor Sullivan publicly thanked him for stepping up during this health crisis.
The agenda item for this meeting is: COVID-19 Prevention Efforts and Strategic Planning.
*Mayor Sullivan read the following statement: Out of respect for public health and in response to the Governor’s declared state of emergency, this meeting will be closed to the public and interested parties can instead access the deliberations via a livestream featured prominently on the Brockton Public Schools website, bpsma.org. This meeting is being held in accordance with Governor Charlie Baker's signed open meeting law order dated March 12, 2020 which relieves a public body from the requirement of section 20 of chapter 30A that it conduct its meetings in a public place that is open and physically accessible to the public, provided that the public body makes provision to ensure public access to the deliberations of the public body for interested members of the public through adequate, alternative means.
Mayor Sullivan turned the meeting over to Superintendent Thomas.
Superintendent Thomas thanked Mayor Sullivan and Executive Team members for their support during the past few weeks. The safety and well-being of our students, staff and community remain our top priority. All schools will be closed as of Monday, March 16, 2020 and anticipate opening on, Monday, March 30, 2020. As the Mayor and Superintendent receive updates from the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, they will keep all informed.
Chief Financial Officer Aldo Petronio, Executive Director Dr. Cobbs and Chartwell’s Resident District Manager Tom Burke have coordinated 4 satellite locations: Brockton High School, North Middle School, East Middle School and South Middle School to provide a grab-and-go breakfast or lunch for students beginning tomorrow, Monday, March 16, 2020 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Chartwell’s is preparing an estimated 4,000 breakfast and 4,000 lunches and will adjust if more is needed. Tom Burke has filed the proper paperwork with the Board of Health. We will follow federal guidelines, adults are not able to participate, and clickers will be used to keep track on distribution. An officer will be stationed at each site. All food preparation is done at Brockton High School. Volunteers are asked to wait at this time. Only authorized personnel are allowed in the building. School police will monitor schools, custodians have cleaned all building, and no one can enter. First Student General Manager Gracious Royster has offered transportation at no charge for parents and students to the satellite beginning Tuesday.
Superintendent Thomas mentioned a plan is being developed by the Head of Nurses Linda Cahill and Chief Academic of Support Services Sharon Wolder for parents to pick up their child’s medication at their school with the school nurse.
· Can students walk to the satellite location without a parent and receive a lunch?
Yes, students can.
· We are asking to get the word out for parents to sign up for text messages. The information is: Text Yes to 67587 to receive information from the school department.
· Why no inner city grab and go locations? Traffic was an issue, however if we need to add another location we can.
· Distribution of breakfast and lunches will begin tomorrow Monday, March 16, 2020
· Transportation is scheduled to begin Tuesday, March 17, 2020
· For clarification students taking the bus must be accompanied by an adult.
· How long we will provide food services? While school is not in session we will continue to provide.
· Will April vacation be canceled? No, it was built in the school calendar.
· Will the Senior and Junior prom be canceled? As of this time there are no plans to cancel and time will be given for students to purchase their tickets.
· When does MCAS begin? After the April vacation pending if the state decides to reschedule.
Superintendent Thomas reported Commissioner Riley from the Department of Education is not delaying the MCAS testing. DESE is contacting our State Legislation to confirm whether there is a delay for submitting the Student Opportunity Act plans that is due April 1, 2020.
Superintendent Thomas discussed make-up days for students. Each year 185 days are built in the calendar, of that students must attend 180 days. The last day of school for this year is June 24, 2020.
Chief Academic Officer June Saba-Maguire discussed the Curriculum Teams District wide approach to support Teaching and Learning. Resources will be available online tomorrow; ELA, Math, Social Studies, Science and additional online resources. June thanked Office of Teaching and Learning members, Curriculum Team members for stepping in and offering their support. Thank you also to; Jess Hodges, Heather Ronan, Kevin Daponte and Marybeth O’Brien in support of their technology expertise. Printed resources will be available at all satellite locations on Thursday of this week. The resources are not a substitute to what happens in the classroom however it is aligned with students work they are familiar with.
Questions and Comments
· School Committee members thanked Food Service, Transportation partners and all who
worked on Curriculum for their support.
· Thank you, School Committee members, for their support and availability.
· Thank you to the Curriculum team gathering work for our students and to everyone that contributed.
· With respect to teachers with older students that use online for assignments that are directly emailed will that continue? The directive by the Superintendent is we are taking a district wide approach that speaks to the idea of equity and having access to resources at any given time that is the reason for taking this K-12 approach. This is an opportunity for the district to advocate for our students to have a one-to-one device.
· Superintendent Thomas mentioned Commissioner Riley’s response during a conference call with several districts that it was inequitable to count online work as make up days. Many gateway cities are not set up for this method of online teaching. We will need to look into this with the new funding. These are learning activities for parents to work with their children at home and things to do to keep them busy, this work will not be collected or held against any student. Upon returning to school teachers resume their lessons.
· Directions from the state with school closings was not consistent across the district. We will always do what is right for our city and safety for our students. Together city and school side will always do what is right for the Brockton children.
· The State will make decisions regarding MCAS testing, ELA for high school seniors is currently scheduled for March 24, 2020.
· Superintendent Thomas thanked Dr. Cobbs, Ken Thompson, Jamie Dimestico and facilities department for their amazing work they have done disinfecting and cleaning our schools for the past two weeks. Thank you to the entire facilities staff in helping our mayor city-wide. Thank you to our custodians, outside grounds crew, travelers and craftsman. We will have a plan upon opening of schools to have the buildings cleaned and disinfected.
· Mayor Sullivan also thanked Superintendent Thomas, Dr. Cobbs, Ken Thompson and Jamie Dimestico for their support. He also thanked Building Commissioner Jim Plouffe, HR Director Sandra Wright, HR Director Dr. Kathleen Moran and 1162- Union Presidents for their collaborative approach.
· The Main Library and Council on Aging will remain closed until further notice.
· Mayor Sullivan reached out to Senator Markey and Congressman Lynch’s office looking for more gloves, masks, and disinfect solutions for the City of Brockton’s schools. Emergency Management Director Steven Hooke has placed a request with MEMA.
· Mayor Sullivan thanked Superintendent Thomas and everyone during this global event. Brockton was ahead of this in an abundance of caution.
· Superintendent Thomas mentioned every Brockton Public School employee (regular) will be paid for the next two weeks. An email was sent on behalf of Superintendent Thomas informing all seven unions and non-union employees.
· A friendly reminder to sign up for text messages: Text- Yes to 67587.
· Superintendent Thomas thanked Jess Hodges for a tremendous job in keeping the districts webpage updated daily with information.
· Later a Policy Subcommittee meeting will be held to discuss having a protocol, where we can review what worked and what didn’t work and develop an actual procedure and protocol.
· The Commissioner of Education has not come up with a procedure if there is an extension of school closings.
· As of now cleaning of hard surfaces have taken place in all schools. We have not been advised to change filters in the ventilation system as they are changed often, however we will change them with the help of public property before schools reopen and clean all hard surfaces.
· An email will be sent out tomorrow with the location of the Finance Subcommittee meeting.
Seeing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:03 p.m.
Michael P. Thomas
Food Service Emergency Plan
Grab-N-Go Lunch Traffic Pattern