SEPTEMBER 4, 2019
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: Mayor Rodrigues, Chair; Mr. Minichiello, Vice-Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. Bath, Mr. D'Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Mr. Sullivan, Interim Superintendent Thomas
Absent: Ms. Sullivan
Also Present: Executive Team Members
Mayor Rodrigues called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag.
Mayor Rodrigues explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members for any requests to remove items for further discussion; Mr. D’Agostino requested Item C, Approval of Out-of-State Trip: Champion High School “Me to We’ Leadership Program to “Me to We” Conference – Brooklyn, New York.
Mr. Sullivan moved to accept the Interim Superintendent's recommendation to approve the following Consent Agenda items, the motion was seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.
- Approval of August 20, 2019 Regular School Committee Meeting Minutes
- Acceptance of August 20, 2019 Policy Subcommittee Report
- Authorization to Submit Application to U.S. Department of Education Grant
- Authorization to Submit Proposals to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education Grants
- Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Appointments: Certified and Non-certified
- Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
Mr. D’Agostino requested information about the “Me to We” conference, Item C in Friday’s packet.
Mr. D’Agostino moved to approve Item C from the Consent Agenda, the motion was seconded by Mr. Sullivan.
- Item C, Approval of Out-of-State Trip: Champion High School “Me to We” Leadership Program to “Me to We” Conference – Brooklyn, New York.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
Opening of Schools
Interim Superintendent reported the following:
- The convocation was well attended; as teachers reported back to work. Thank you to school committee member Mr. Minichiello, Vice-Chair, for speaking at the convocation to the teachers and setting the tone, along with support from Mr. Richard Bath and Ms. Kim Gibson, BEA Representative.
- Thank you to the Mayor, City Council, School Committee members and our former Superintendent Kathy Smith, JD for the previous work that allowed this school year to open with no layoffs.
- Thank you to our State Legislators Claire Cronin, Michelle DuBois, Mike Brady, Gerry Cassidy for their hard work.
- Thank you to all the teachers for their hard work prior to the opening of school, getting classrooms set up and prepared.
- Thank you to Steve Fortes for providing music during the convocation, Michele Bolton and Kevin Daponte for preparing the powerpoint.
- School opened today for students in grades 1 through 12.
- Kindergarten will begin September 16, 2019.
- On the first day of school, executive team members made it a priority as they visited schools to stop in to thank custodians and food service workers for their hard work getting ready for school opening. 16,295 students are enrolled as of today compared to last year’s 16,085 (increase of 210) Attendance for today was 14,774, a gain of 112 students enrolled versus last year’s total of 14,662. This does not include kindergarten numbers. (usually 1200 to 1300 more students)
- Parent Registration is open both days and week nights for parents to register their children if you’re a Brockton resident.
- Chief Academic Officer June Saba-Maguire, Dr. Soraya DeBarros and Marcia Andrade-Serpa continue to monitor class sizes at all grade levels.
- Buildings were in excellent shape for the start of the first day of school, thank you to the Facilities crew and Craftsman for all their hard work.
- The district has 54 buses and 56 vans transporting 8,700 students riding the buses, 1,040 riding the vans, he expects them to settle into the schedule within the next few weeks.
- Thank you to our Custodians who also work as our crossing guards, we have 126 traffic crossing guard posts across the city.
- Thank you to Brockton Police Officer Lt. Vardaro and School Police officers for their assistance around the city. We have 11 School Police officers, 3 School Resource officers along with one additional to join. Thank you to the Brockton Police, City Police and School Police for the support they offer helping to keep our students safe and assisting with traffic in the morning and afternoon.
Chief Academic Officer June Saba-Maguire reported on the opening of Elementary Schools:
- Positive feedback was noted by Principals, Assistant Principals and teachers that attended the convocation.
- As of today, we have 993 students registered for kindergarten.
- Class sizes for grade 1 is approximately 24-26, grade 2 is approximately 24-28, grades 3 to 5 is approximately 24-28.
Dr. Clifford Murray Principal of Brockton High reported on the opening of Brockton High School and Middle Schools:
- Positive feedback was also noted by the Deans, Assistant Deans and teachers that attended the convocation.
- Thank you to School Police for their support and set up for the additional traffic.
- Thank you to the custodians at Brockton High School and Middle Schools for their hard work during preparing for the school opening.
- Thank you to the outside grounds for their hard work beautifying the schools.
- Thank you to the School Committee members and Interim Superintendent for working hard in replacing the retired staff last spring. Having additional staff on board this year was noted and thanked.
- Middle schools had a 95% attendance rate of over 4,000 students. Brockton High School had a 93% rate.
- Friday night’s varsity football game is a “Black and Red” event, people are asked to wear the school colors and to bring a canned food item in lieu of purchasing a ticket to support the student-organized food drive for the Charity Guild food pantry. The game will begin at 5:00 p.m., due to the EEE threat in Massachusetts as a precautionary.
School Committee members were pleased from positive feedback of the convocation, the smooth school opening and hard work from all.
Interim Superintendent discussed a grade 2 student from the Downey School who was reported missing. There was a false report that the student left the building, at no time he left the building. School police was called immediately, and the school was put into “Shelter in Place”. A call was made to the parent of the child, another call was placed to parents informing them of what was going on and to avoid panic of it being their child. Protocol was followed, we are reviewing how the student ended up in the wrong class. The student was in a class the entire time safe and sound and had a good day. Interim Superintendent Thomas met with the mother and family members. We will take a look at our procedures and protocols for the first day of school. Thank you to Executive Team members, Lt. Vardaro, Kim Gibson and everyone for their assistance.
Chief Financial Officer Aldo Petronio
- Chartwells School Dining Services served 5,497 breakfasts and 10,995 lunches today versus last year’s 5,508 breakfasts and 11,360 lunches.
- Work is being set up to put in new serving lines at South Middle school and West Middle school and should be completed sometime before Thanksgiving.
- There are additional funds in the food service budget that is only allowed to be used for that department. We will look at schools to see where we can improve and upgrade.
- The Compromise Committee came out with the final budget and is recommending a Finance Subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
- Interim Superintendent Thomas mentioned that we will put a needs list in the Friday packet, enrollment figures, middle school and elementary needs.
- The MSBA is scheduled on October 22, 2019 to conduct a first walk-through of North Middle School. It will consist a team of architects, engineers and members that work for the MSBA. They will walk the building with Interim Superintendent Thomas, Dr. Cobbs, Ken Thompson, Principal and our HVAC person on site to decide if we are eligible to move forward in their process. Information is expected by the end of the calendar year if we are accepted in the feasibility study.
- Mr. Minichiello reminded Interim Superintendent Thomas that we also want to pursue the renovation of Brockton High school after October 2019 about the next steps.
- Mr. D’Agostino enquired about the roof renovation at the Huntington school. Interim Superintendent Thomas mentioned the process is underway and repairs will begin in the spring of 2020.
Items to Refer to Subcommittee
A Finance Subcommittee meeting will take place Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 6:00 p.m., the location will be confirmed, and information provided in the Friday packet.
- A reminder the Brockton High football game is Friday, September 6th at 5:00 p.m., against Duxbury High School.
- The “Choose Brockton” brochure is available. Thank you to former Superintendent Kathleen A. Smith, JD, Michelle Bolton and the team who worked diligently on the production of the brochure.
- Mr. Bath mentioned student Fallon Smith of Bridgewater donated $700 of school supplies to the Hancock Elementary school. We will invite Fallon (grade 5 student) to our next school committee to acknowledge her.
- Mayor Rodrigues discussed the changing of the School committee meeting date on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. to Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m., due to the Preliminary elections for the city of Brockton.
Mr. Sullivan motioned to the School Committee meeting date change to Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m., seconded by Mr. Bath.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
- Ms. Asack said she enjoyed visiting the Ashfield, Brookfield and Mary Baker schools on today; everything was running smoothly. Ms. Asack also acknowledged the Baker school for the chalk “positive” sayings for the students on the first day of school.
- This Friday, September 6, 2019 at the McKinley Park the village neighborhood association is having an after-school fun in the park, crafts, face painting, etc. from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Mayor Rodrigues discussed the upcoming year 2020 is a census year.
- Everyone is encouraged to participate in the 2020 census.
- On December 14, 2019 City Hall is planning an event to celebrate Brockton and its 125th year anniversary celebrating, the proceeds will go to benefit the Champion Fund in memory of our former Mayor Bill Carpenter.
Seeing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:07 p.m.
Michael P. Thomas