NOVEMBER 7, 2018
The Regular Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this evening in the theater at the Dr. William H. Arnone School in Brockton, MA, 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; Deputy Superintendent Michael Thomas, BHS Student Representative Jaila Smith
Absent: Mayor Carpenter, Ms. Asack, Ms. Plant, Superintendent Smith
Also Present: Executive Team Members; Director of Bilingual Education Kellie Jones; Dr. David Almeida, Professor of Special Education Bridgewater State University;
Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag. Mr. Thomas asked those present to remain standing for a moment of silence in remembrance of Armond Colombo, a lifelong Brocktonian, former BHS football coach and a true friend of the schools who was a big part of the reason that Brockton is the City of Champions.
Mr. Minichiello invited committee members to say a few words. Mr. Gormley spoke about the impact Mr. Colombo had on him as a student at the high school and up through his time on the school committee, he said he always treated everyone equally and was always encouraging. Mr. Minichiello talked about Mr. Colombo’s love for his family and how he made all students feel as though they were family. Mr. Thomas said there will be a presentation at the November 20th meeting when members of the family will be here.
Mr. Minichiello explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members for any requests to remove items for further discussion, there were none.
Mr. Sullivan moved to accept the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the Consent Agenda in its entirety, the motion was seconded by Ms. Sullivan.
- Approval of October 16, 2018 Regular School Committee Meeting
- Acceptance of October 16, 2018 Security, Safety Transportation Meeting
- Acceptance of October 24, 2018 Bid Review Subcommittee Meeting Report
- Acceptance of October 24, 2018 Finance Subcommittee Meeting Report
- Acceptance of Joanne Joseph Memorial Scholarship
- Authorization to Submit: Fy19 PCHP Expansion Grant - $24,440
- Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Appointments: Non-Certified
- Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Resignations and Retirements
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
Mr. Thomas announced that the Superintendent is attending a conference for superintendents and school committees. He began by welcoming Jaila Smith, this year’s student representative from the high school.
Jaila introduced herself as a senior, a member of the Senior Executive Council, National Honor Society and a student athlete, she is planning to follow a path of study to become a podiatrist. She reported that the year is going very well and students seem to be happy.
Dr. Murray said that Jaila has a very busy schedule with her studies, sports, and spends a lot of time volunteering in different organizations; he said this is typical of Brockton High students.
Update on Cape Verdean Teacher Exchange Program
Ms. Kellie Jones reminded the committee that a few years back they had approved Brockton’s participation, with Bridgewater State University (BSU), in a teacher exchange program, but due to logistical issues the program did not launch. She said she is hopeful to make it happen this school year and was here to answer any questions they might have.
Mr. Minichiello asked what area these teachers would come from; Ms. Jones responded that the criteria right now elementary teachers from schools that are working with BSU—Gilmore, East Middle, Raymond and Davis. Dr. Almeida added that the exchange would take place during the April vacation week, our week is not the same as the week in Cape Verde, therefore no substitute will be required and seeing that each teacher will be hosted by the other exchange teacher for the week, the only cost would be airfare.
Mr. Thomas said Brockton Public Schools greatly appreciates its partnership with BSU, which has afforded our students and staff many great opportunities; Dr. Almeida said that the partnership also benefits BSU students who come to work with our schools.
Brockton High School Update
Mr. Thomas invited Dr. Murray to introduce a video about Brockton High School titled “Why BHS?”
Dr. Murray thanked Mr. Halko, his students and Ms. Richards for creating the video, which highlights the vast array of programs and opportunities at Brockton High School, he will use the video at eighth grade orientation and display it on the televisions around the school, and plans to send it to the middle schools. Mr. Gormley said he would like to see the video played on television, he has seen other schools advertise, it is getting competitive and our students are sought after by some schools. Dr. Murray agreed. Mr. D’Agostino said the video was well done, there has been a lot of talk about marketing what the school has to offer, he was pleased that the video is online which is more attractive to a lot of people. There was a short discussion about expanding the video and including more of the curriculum and programs offered at the high school.
Dr. Murray announced the following upcoming events: National Honor Society Induction Ceremony on Nov. 14th, the Abigail Adams Scholarship awards on Nov. 20th, and the Veteran’s Ceremony tomorrow at 9:30 in the auditorium, he invited all veterans to attend.
Chief Budget Officer Aldo Petronio reported that we continue to meet with state delegates and push for acceptance of the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC) report to get appropriate funding for Brockton schools, to this point there has been very little movement. With respect to the equity in education, a coalition is coming together with M.A.S.S., legal firms, a consultant and other cities and towns are asking to get involved. Next steps are to meet with southeastern Massachusetts districts and then the North Shore districts. He reminded everyone that the budget process for the state begins at the end of January. Several members commented on the state’s budget surplus while they continue to underfund districts like Brockton.
Safety and Security Update
Mr. Thomas reported the following:
- New security entrances at West and Kennedy will be fully installed by the Christmas break
- The Goddard School is being used by first responders--fire, ambulance and police--for active shooter trainings, he said we are fortunate that we have been able to maintain the building so they can conduct these kind of drills.
- Schools continue to conduct shelter-in-place and lockdown drills; bus evacuation drills were held in October and will start up again in April. Mr. Sullivan asked for an update on crosswalk painting; Mr. Thomas said that we have been approved to help paint the crosswalks on the main streets in front of some of our schools to help move the project along, they will try to paint through the fall and then pick it up again in the spring.
With respect to the Superintendent’s evaluation, Mr. Minichiello said he would like to schedule another meeting on Tuesday, November 13, at 6 p.m.; this would give the committee an opportunity to talk about the questions and ratings together and perhaps prepare a joint response for the evaluation report.
Items to Refer to Subcommittee
Mr. Minichiello asked school committee members their availability on November 26 for a Curriculum meeting to review MCAS results, and a Facilities meeting to discuss rentals on Tuesday, November 20th, at 6:30 p.m. There were no objections.
Mr. Gormley announced that the Class of 1998 Reunion will be at Barretts Ale House on Saturday, November 24th. He also read a statement he prepared that is part of a formal complaint he will be sending to the MIAA addressing the recruiting of student athletes by private schools.
Mr. Sullivan commented that he felt the school committee should support Mr. Gormley in this effort.
Mr. Thomas thanked the high school clubs and organizations that put together the very successful Halloween Hallways event, over 600 elementary students attended. He also brought up what he called “very disturbing incidents” where in one week, five young children were hit and killed while waiting for their school bus, he said drivers are ignoring the stop arms and lights on buses; he reminded the public to stop when bus lights or are on or stop arms are out.
Mr. Minichiello said he received a call from Dr. Appling who asked him to be sure to thank trick-or-treaters for being polite and well behaved, as well as for having creative costumes.
Seeing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Michael P. Thomas
Deputy Superintendent/ Secretary