October 6, 2020

Brockton, Massachusetts
Regular School Committee Meeting
October 6, 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:   Ms. Asack, Ms. Mendes, Mr. Minichiello, Mr. Rodrigues, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Thomas

Absent:  Mayor Sullivan, Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair

Also Present:  Executive Team Members, Kim Gibson BEA President

Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.

Superintendent Thomas asked for a moment of a silence for Brockton High school student who lost her life last week Breanna Christophe, our hearts and prayers go out to her family, friends and loved ones.

Hearing of Visitors    None
    
Consent Agenda    

Mr. Minichiello explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members if they would like to remove any items for further discussion.  Ms. Mendes asked to remove Item G, giving an overview report on the consent agenda item, Ms. Asack asked to remove Item F, giving an overview report on the consent agenda item.

Ms. Mendes moved the Superintendent’s recommendation to approve the remainder Consent Agenda items: A, B, C, D, E, H, I and J seconded by Ms. Asack.

                    Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous

A.     Approval of Minutes:  September 15, 2020 Regular School Committee Meeting
B.    Acceptance of September 15, 2020 Policy Subcommittee Minutes
C.     Acceptance of September 14, 2020 Community Schools Advisory Board Minutes
D.    Acceptance of September 21, 2020 Accounts Review Subcommittee Minutes
E.    Acceptance of September 22, 2020 Superintendent’s Contract Subcommittee Minutes
H.    Notification of Personnel Appointments:  Certified Personnel
I.    Notification of Personnel Appointments:  Non-Certified Personnel
J.    Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions:  Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements

Ms. Mendes gave an overview report on the consent agenda Item G, Approval of Minutes of the September 29, 2020 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee Meeting.  

1.    Introduction of Manuel & Aminah
2.    Establishing Goals / Timelines
3.    Other Business

Ms. Mendes motioned to approve Item G, Approval of Minutes of the September 29, 2020 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee Meeting, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

                        Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous

Ms. Mendes motioned to officially change the name of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee to; Diversity, Race, Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee, seconded by Ms. Asack.

                        Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous


Ms. Asack gave an overview report on the consent agenda Item F, Approval of Minutes of the September 22, 2020 Facilities Usage & Planning Subcommittee Meeting.

1.     Polling Location request
2.     Air Quality & Air Exchange reports
3.     Air Purifiers
4.     PPE
5.     Cleaning & Disinfect procedures
6.     Other Business

Ms. Asack motioned to approve Item F, Report of the September 22, 2020 Facilities Usage & Planning Subcommittee Meeting, seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

                    Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Thomas acknowledged our new director of the Adult Learning Center, Mostafa Mouhieeddine. Mostafa began his new role last week and has worked in the Brockton Public Schools for several years, Congratulations!!!
 
Recognitions

Superintendent Thomas acknowledged Mr. Mitch Hercule of Ruby Hercule Memorial Foundation and Herc42skills. (unable to attend) He donated 12 pairs of brand new Puma Basketball sneakers and two dozen Amazon Fire Tablets to students in need.  The students and their families were very grateful.

Superintendent Thomas introduced Ms. Nichole Gatling she donated 60 backpacks on behalf of the Teamsters local 653.  She delivered 20 to the Angelo School and 40 went to students in need.  The students and their families were very grateful.

Superintendent Thomas and School Committee members thanked both Mitch and Nichole for their support giving back to the community.

Certificates will be mailed to recipients.

Dr. Richard Herman, FACEP Pandemic Consultant – COVID-19 Metrics update

Superintendent Thomas welcomed back Dr. Herman, the pandemic consultant who works with the Mayor and the Board of Health for COVID-19 metrics and be able to give us an insight of what the city numbers will look like tomorrow.

Dr. Richard Herman thanked Superintendent Thomas and School Committee members for inviting him.  He acknowledged his health care workers in the city at Good Samaritan Medical Center, Brockton Hospital and Neighborhood Health Center as they are on the front line taking care of patients daily.

Power point

•    Cases & Deaths among Healthcare Personnel
•    CDC / Updated:  Oct. 6, 2020
•    COVID Data Tracker
•    Average Daily Incidence Rate per 100,000 over the last two weeks (9/13/20-9/26/20)
•    Total Cases – City of Brockton (October 6, 2020)
•    City of Brockton – COVID Deaths
•    COVID Cases – City of Brockton (September 20th – October 3rd)
•    Cases and Case Rate by Age Group for Last Two Weeks
•    City pf Brockton COVID-19 Daily Dashboard – Tuesday, October 6, 2020
•    New Cases per Day – Past 4 Weeks
•    What comes next….
•    And next week?.....
•    Daily Case Count per 100,000 Population (Each bar represents the average of prior 14 Days)
•    Cases per 10,000 people
•    Various towns cases reported
•    Daily Cases per 100,000 Population
•    SARS-CoV-2 viral load and period of infectiousness
    Questions/Answers
•    As COVID-19 cases begin to increase do we have information on the age bracket?
Currently the age pattern is 20-30 years old.
•    Have testing numbers gone up?
  Numbers have gone up since early summer when we imitated stop the spread campaign.
•    Have you seen any new strains that we’re not familiar with?
  They don’t test for strains, it would be an extensive test.  Not everyone will have symptoms.
•    In the age bracket 20-65 how many are hospitalized and what are their symptoms?
There are 13 people currently hospitalized, specifically we don’t know their symptoms but it’s a level of illness that’s more severe and possibly underlining health issues.
•    When was the last death in Brockton?
The last death was 2 on September 30, 2020.
•    Do we know the age bracket?
The age bracket was 80’s and 50’s.
•    Is the Board of Health identifying areas affected more than others?
The first power point graph shows every COVID case by address that shows a general area.
•    Do you feel that it is an important aspect for the Board of Health to share information with the school department?
Globally it is important, and sure there are restrictions on the kind of information the Board of Health can share publicly and with the School Department.
 
Mr. Minichiello thanked Dr. Herman for his power point presentation giving an updated report on the COVID-19 metrics.

Family Support / Help Desk / Super Users update

Superintendent Thomas discussed Family Support, the Help Desk and Super Users which is a group of parents that run trainings to help assist other parents and will continue to do so with the help of community agencies such as the NAACP Education Committee, Sabura the Haitian Community Center and the Cape Verdean Association training on the learning management system to navigate the use of laptops.  

Jess Hodges, Chief Public Relations Officer has spent time with the Super Users getting them up to date with trainings and they will continue to support our families, administrators and our teachers supporting their students, families and support from the Help Desk.

Superintendent Thomas invited Dr. Ethan Cancell, Executive Director Assessment, Accountability, Technology & Student Data Research to give an update.  There is a dedicated help desk for instructional technology if you’re having problems with schoology, zoom, or logging into cleaver please call (508) 580-7277 or email instructionaltechnologysupport@bpsma.org.

Comment

Mr. Minichiello acknowledged there are many parents who are stepping up and are knowledgeable about computers and are willing to share information to parents needing assistance.  Please feel free to reach out to your child’s principal if you are tech savvy and don’t mind offering your assistance and time to volunteer it will be greatly appreciated.   

Attendance Engagement update

Superintendent Thomas asked Dr. Ethan Cancell to give an update on attendance engagement.  

Dr. Cancell gave an update on the attendance engagement and pointed out the numbers are not the firmest.  The numbers appear to be very high and discussed engagement through log on to cleaver that is our single sign-on in terms of attendance, 94.1 % of students were in attendance since the start of school until yesterday.  In terms of engagement it was slightly lower compared to a regular school year, the numbers also included Pre-K and Kindergarten and those two numbers a quite low due to remote learning.  In terms of students on Monday 16.7% students did not log into cleaver which means 83% did log into cleaver.  Thank you to Chief Academic Officer June Saba-Maguire was able to get a contract with Zoom for the district.

Question/Answer

•    What is the family support number/helpdesk?
508-468-0973
PreK & Kindergarten remote schedule
Superintendent Thomas discussed PreK & Kindergarten those hours we can be flexible with they don’t fall under the time and learning.  We have heard concerns from parents of time spent on the computer for PreK & Kindergarten.  We will have Jess Hodges send out a survey PreK & Kindergarten parents and PreK-12 to get feedback on how things are going.  We will take a look at the remote Kindergarten and PreK full day schedule and scale it back.

FY21 Budget update & Plymouth County Cares Act update

Superintendent Thomas gave an update on the FY21 budget and Plymouth County Cares Act.  

The FY21 budget is still waiting for the legislature to approve a chapter 70 figure beyond the one twelfth budget that has been approved for the first 3 months so far. Discussions at the State house are that this should hopefully happen by the end of November. Keep in mind that the school department has been operating on a level services budget since August when the Governor, Senate President and Speaker of the House made a commitment to fund Chapter 70 at the amount level to FY20. We anticipate that this commitment will be kept. This along with the various grants, ESSER, CARES and some others should carry us through the remainder of this year.

The County has been approving many reimbursement requests. To date they have allotted the City of Brockton more than $16 million dollars to submit expenses against. The Brockton Public Schools has already spent over $13 million dollars in our efforts to meet the needs of the system that the Coronavirus has created. Keep in mind, the City has their own expenses and needs. We meet regularly with the Mayor and Troy Clarkson concerning the overall needs of the entire City. This past Friday, a list of current and potential expenses has been created and at the request of the County, has been forwarded to them. We are requesting at least another $4 million. Currently, these funds can only be used for expenses directly related to Covid but there is hope that if the federal government were to allocate more funds, that they would be allowed to replace lost revenue.

There will be a lot of activity in the next few months, as FY20 goes into a hard close by the end of October, we hope to finalize the FY21 budget and go before the City Council to request the remainder of the chapter 70 funds that we have been promised, we begin to create the FY22 budget in December and patiently wait for the Governors announcement of his statewide FY22 budget and hopefully the re-start of the Student Opportunity Act funding.

District Review update

Superintendent Thomas discussed the District Review that took place on March 3rd,4th,5th and 6th, 2020 by the Department of Education where a complete district review is performed every six years.  The results came in and we had to check it for factual information then it was sent back to the Department of Education.  An Associate Director from the Department of Education will present to the School Committee on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 the district review and release it on the same day.  We will come up with a plan to rectify what is in the district review.  Information cannot be released yet, only to members of the Executive Team just to look it over for accuracy.  

Items to Refer to Subcommittee

Mr. Minichiello requested a Curriculum Subcommittee meeting.
Date:  Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

Mr. Minichiello requested a Policy Subcommittee meeting.
Date:  Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

Mr. Minichiello requested a Superintendent’s Subcommittee meeting.
Date:  Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Minichiello mentioned Superintendent Thomas is requesting a time change of the October 20, 2020 Regular School Committee start time change from 7:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to accommodate DESE’s attendance to present and release the district review.

Ms. Sullivan motioned to change the time of the October 20, 2020 Regular School Committee meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

                                             Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous


Unfinished Business    None

New Business

Superintendent Thomas thanked the Food service department and encourage families to go and get the grab-n-go meals at 17 locations now from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., if you are unable to leave your home and neighbor or family member can pick up the meals.

Superintendent Thomas remined everyone to complete the 2020 Census that is important for funding federal for the city of Brockton, our goal is to have 100% participation.
        
Ms. Asack mentioned Cradle to Crayons donated approximately 2,000 backpacks for students and this Friday they will be distributed to students at the Brookfield School and will continue to distribute to the elementary schools.

Ms. Asack mentioned Cradle to Crayons will donate approximately 500 winter jackets to our school aged students, we appreciate them for thinking of our students in Brockton Public Schools.

Ms. Asack mentioned she would like to invite Cradle to Crayons to a school committee meeting and do something with the mayor’s office.

Mr. Minichiello reminder everyone to be vigilant in wearing masks as it will have an impact on our students and with sports.
    
    Ms. Sullivan asked everyone to be vigilant driving in the city, although school is not in session for
    Brockton, there are other schools that are open and buses picking up children in the city.
    Mr. Minichiello mentioned a letter received from MASC requesting the school committee members
    appoint a delegate at their annual business meeting, Mr. D’Agostino requested to attend, this year’s event
    will be held via zoom.

    Mr. Minichiello nominated Mr. D’ Agostino as the official voting delegate and Mr. Sullivan as the
    alternate voting delegate, seconded by Ms. Asack.   
    
    Voted:  to approve the motion, unanimous

Executive Session

Mr. Minichiello announced “The Committee will enter executive session pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) for conducting strategy with respect to collective bargaining, as conducting this deliberation in an open session would have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the Committee. The Committee will not return to open session following the Executive Session.”  

Mr. Minichiello took a roll call vote:

Mayor Sullivan, Chair – absent       
Mr. D’Agostino, Vice-Chair – absent      
Ms. Asack – yes
Ms. Mendes – yes                            
Mr. Minichiello – yes                  
Mr. Rodrigues – yes
Ms. Sullivan – yes                           
Mr. Sullivan – yes

School Committee Members went into Executive Session at 8:52 p.m.
                                  
Respectfully submitted,
Michael P. Thomas
Superintendent/Secretary   
 

                                        Attachment:  
    Power point:  COVID-19:  City of Brockton

     mdc