SEPTEMBER 5, 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: Mayor Carpenter, Chair; Mr. Minichiello, Vice-Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. D'Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith
Absent: Ms. Plant, Ms. Sullivan
Also Present: Executive Team Members, School Police Supervisor Lt. Donald Mills
Mayor Carpenter called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag. He asked for a moment of silence in recognition of the passing of a beloved high school teacher, Mr. Donald Gillis. Superintendent Smith said he was well known for his commitment to the students and will be greatly missed.
Mayor Carpenter 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 Mr. D’Agostino.
- Approval of August 14, 2018 Regular School Committee Meeting Minutes
- Acceptance of August 28, 2018 Finance Subcommittee Report
- Acceptance of Donation: Burlington Stores
- 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.
Introduction of Incoming School Police Officers
Lieutenant Mills introduced six incoming school police officers; one has completed the policy academy and is already on board; the other five will join the force after completing the academy, which begins on Monday. He pointed out that five of the recruits are Brockton High School alumni, the other has deep roots in Brockton and whose father recently retired from the Brockton Police Department. He introduced Officer Spencer Benoit, Alicia Fernandes, Adilson Andrade, Darnell Campbell, Jonathan Drane and Michael Gomes. Lt. Mills said all candidates came highly recommended.
Mr. Minichiello welcomed the officers. Lt. Mills, responding to a question from Mayor Carpenter, said these six positions will restore the department to previous numbers.
Opening of Schools
The Superintendent started her report with a power point presentation with pictures from convocation and the first day of school. The Superintendent reported the following:
- The convocation was well attended; staff were asked to bring donations of non-perishable goods to contribute to the Brockton High/Charity Guild food drive.
- The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has begun a new initiative, Amazing Educators, to recognize teachers across the Commonwealth. Brockton’s Dr. Michael Robinson, a teacher at South Middle School, will be featured on the first billboard display.
- Thirteen Gold Apples were awarded to recognize exceptional teachers: elementary teachers Colleen Crehan, Maria Fontes, Mostafa Mouhieeddine, Kelli Reardon; middle school teachers Andrew Fantucchio, Ana Gonzalez, Michael Robinson, Germana Rodrigues; high school teachers James Burley, Linda Goldberg, Joanne Nelson, Deirdre Smith and Terry Finnegan from the Keith Center received gold apples and a certificate.
- A number of staff collaborated with the Superintendent to create and perform a short musical number at the convocation titled “Brockton Kids Count – West Side Story”; the Superintendent thanked all who participated and showed the video.
- 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.
- This year the theme will be “Choose Brockton” as we begin a campaign to get the word out about the wonderful things Brockton schools offer. Jay Miller from Brockton Community Access is currently working on a show that will air at the end of September where he will showcase the schools.
- 14,971 students are enrolled as of today compared to last year’s 14,794, this does not include kindergarten figures. The Parent Center reported 65 more students registered today. Kindergarten registrations will be on hold for the remainder of the week to allow the Center to focus on grade 1 -12 assignments and will resume next week.
- The new preschool program will open with two classrooms (four half-day sessions) at the Arnone School, if additional classes need to be added they will be housed at the Downey. This program will capture the children whose birthdays fall in November and December who could not enroll in kindergarten as a result of rolling back the kindergarten start age.
- This month the district will apply to the MSBA for the North Middle School renovation project; numbers at middle schools have increased as a result of the closing of grade six at North and are being closely watched.
- All buildings were clean and ready for students, children were all working hard, routines are already in place.
- Human Resources has been working non-stop to have staff in place for the opening of schools; job advertisements have been posted for MTA and paraprofessional openings.
Dr. Murray reported on the opening of Brockton High School.
- He thanked custodians, grounds crews, teachers and staff, food services and Human Resources for ensuring a wonderful opening. Out of 4,100 students registered, approximately 3,600 students reported to school.
- The Belmont Street construction project has caused a few delays, but parents have been very understanding.
- Friday night’s varsity football game will be 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.
Deputy Superintendent Thomas reported on transportation, facilities, and food services.
- The district has 48 buses and 51 vans transporting 8,344 students, he expects them to settle into the schedule within a week or so.
- Thank you to Mayor Carpenter, Brockton police and the public works department for their assistance with issues with the Belmont Street construction project; due to project delays they have ended up directly in front of the high school entrance in time for the start of school, sidewalks are also torn up. First Student Transportation has been very helpful with picking up students who must walk on Belmont Street.
- Work on installing security “bank window” entrances continued over the summer at Ashfield, Downey, South, East and Plouffe schools. These lobbies allow parents to conduct simple drop off or pick up transactions without having to enter the buildings. Installations are scheduled for the fall at Angelo, Arnone, Kennedy and West; Davis and Raymond were completed in the spring. Other schools will require more study by facilities and an architect to accommodate their entry designs.
- Food Services reported 5,551 breakfasts and 11,482 lunches were served
There were several questions and some positive feedback about the buses running on time. Mr. Thomas said he felt this was a smoother start than previous years, he credited the bus drivers for doing a fine job. With respect to students arriving tardy to school because of a late bus, Mr. Thomas responded that those tardies will be excused.
The Superintendent reported that she was notified yesterday that South Middle School was awarded a $175,000 grant for 21st century after school programs, she also heard from the Angelo School principal about additional funds for science instruction.
The Superintendent notified the committee that her executive assistant Wanda Alves will retire early next year; she said because this position is the primary support for school committee she will send members a copy of the job description and asked for their input.
Items to Refer to Subcommittee
- Mr. Sullivan announced a free movie event (Frozen) in D.W. Field Park on Friday, September 7th, at dusk.
- Mayor Carpenter announced a free movie showing of “Coco” on Saturday evening at Mulberry Park, sponsored by Psi Iota Omega.
- Ms. Asack said she had great visits at the Ashfield, BHS and Brookfield today; everything was running smoothly.
Mr. Thomas gave a demonstration of the new lockdown buckets that were given to every classroom teacher. He thanked Lowes of Brockton for assisting with the supplies and donating the buckets. Brockton staff have been trained for various school safety scenarios, this bucket is designed to assist teachers in these situations. Mr. Thomas said safety and security in the schools is a number one priority; the governor has put up $72 million in grant funds and Brockton is in the process of applying for these funds.
Mr. Minichiello congratulated the Superintendent on a very successful convocation, he said the presentation to staff from Lt. Mills reinforcing lockdown protocols was excellent and he thanked Lowes for being a great partner to the schools.
Seeing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Kathleen A. Smith, JD