October 2, 2018
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. Minichiello, Vice-Chair; Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Ms. Sullivan
Absent: Mayor Carpenter, Ms. Asack, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith
Also Present: Members of the Executive Team; Mr. Matt Dwyer from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mr. John Walls, Pro Service Specialist for Lowes Home Improvement Store of Brockton
Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag.
Mr. Minichiello explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members for any requests to remove items for further discussion, Mr. D’Agostino removed Item B, a donation to the Raymond School from Dr. Wuotila of backpacks and school supplies.
Mr. D’Agostino moved to accept the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the remaining items from the Consent Agenda as listed below, the motion was seconded by Ms. Plant.
- Approval of September 25, 2018 Regular School Committee Meeting Minutes
- Acceptance of Notification of Non-Certified Personnel Appointments
- Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Retirements Resignations
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
With respect to Item B, a donation to the Raymond School, Mr. D’Agostino said School Committee always wants to acknowledge the generosity of donors. He thanked Dr. Wuotila and noted that her business is not in Brockton nor does she live here, she simply wanted to help out.
Recognition of Lowes Home Improvement Store of Brockton
Mr. John Walls, from Lowes of Brockton, was invited to receive a certificate of appreciation for Lowes’ donation of buckets for every classroom in the district, around 800, and for their assistance with procuring items to go in the “lockdown” buckets. Deputy Superintendent Thomas thanked Lowes for its great partnership with the schools, he said Lowes has chosen a project every summer to repair or enhance one or more of our schools, this year the project was the lockdown buckets.
Mr. Minichiello also thanked Lowes on behalf of the entire School Committee for the support and ongoing partnership.
Greening the Gateway Cities/Department of Conservation and Recreation Initiative
Mr. Matt Dwyer, Community and Urban Forester with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, gave a presentation about the Department’s tree planting initiative. Greening the Gateway Cities is an energy efficiency program designed to create a tree canopy in urban cities that will help to cool homes and buildings in the summer, and allow the sun in during the winter. The goal is to plant 2,400 trees in in Brockton, the 1,000th tree in Brockton will be planted at South Middle School in the near future. Mr. Dwyer said 100 trees will be planted between the Arnone, Huntington and South schools in the next two weeks, he has also spoken with the principals about incorporating trees into the curriculum. He announced that homeowners who live in a designated area of the city qualify to receive free trees for their property, including the planting labor. He invited the public to contact him for more information.
Responding to questions from School Committee, Mr. Dwyer explained that there are 40 different trees available; he said when dates are determined planting trees at schools, he will contact the school in advance in order to have as much student involvement as possible.
October 1 Enrollment Update
Deputy Superintendent Thomas gave the following enrollment update:
- The October 1 total enrollment figure for grades pre-k to 12 is 16,579, 470 lower than last year. Mr. Thomas stated that this downward trend, stabilizing our enrollment, was predicted.
- Figures, by level, compared to October 1, 2017:
- Preschool is up 42
- K-5 elementary is down 401
- Middle school (grades 6 – 8) is up 170
- High school (all programs) - down 281 students, however, enrollment at Brockton High increased by 52.
- Middle school figures (partly due to closing of grade 6 at North and reassignment of those students): Ashfield +69, East +118, Plouffe +43, South +150 and West +54.
- Once the report from the state is received at the end of the month, we will have a better idea of where students went and we will get that information to school committee members.
Requests and questions from school committee members:
- Mr. Gormley asked whether this is the figure that the state will base funding on; Mr. Petronio responded that the governor’s budget takes other student counts, such as school choice and charters, into consideration, it will not be this figure exactly.
- Ms. Plant asked whether we anticipated an enrollment increase at the middle school level, Mr. Thomas said that he did not, he is aware that some charter school students have returned to the district and he will provide that information to school committee.
- Mr. Minichiello said he would like to invite parents who brought their children back from charter schools to Brockton Public Schools, to attend a curriculum meeting and share what Brockton offers that brought them back.
Items to Refer to Subcommittee
Mr. Minichiello said he would like to schedule a curriculum subcommittee meeting when the Superintendent returns.
Ms. Sullivan said that she has been contacted by Dianne Daley from the South Shore Kennel club, who is also the sister of former school committee person Jim Daley. She wants to donate a book to every elementary school, titled “If I Ran the Dog Show”, from The Cat in the Hat Learning Library. Ms. Daley expressed her desire to Ms. Sullivan to give the donation at a school committee meeting.
Mr. Minichiello announced that several members from the school department and school committee will attend an Equity in Education Community Forum in Holyoke on October 9th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Holyoke High Dean Campus Cafeteria, he extended the invitation to members of the community if they are interested. He said members of the coalition communities are working hand in hand interviewing law firms to represent the lawsuit, Mayor Carpenter and City Solicitor Phil Nessralla have been involved in this work as well. There are some law firms that have offered services pro bono. Mr. Minichiello said we will continue to pursue this on behalf of our students and our community.
Mr. Thomas announced that on September 20th, Burlington Stores surprised teachers at a faculty meeting at the Raymond School with a $10,000 donation for their classrooms. The new store opened at Westgate Mall on Friday, September 28th and is a welcome addition to the area. Mr. Minichiello asked the community to remember to support businesses that partner with the schools.
Seeing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
Michael P. Thomas
Deputy Superintendent/ Secretary