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. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Mrs. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith
Absent: Mr. D'Agostino, Mr. Sullivan
Also Present: Executive Team Members
Mayor Carpenter called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag and a general announcement that tonight’s meeting will be recorded. He welcomed the BHS Boys Varsity MIAA Division 1 Soccer State championship team.
Mayor Carpenter explained the Hearing of Visitors protocol then invited Joe Campbell, James Lofton, and Jacqui Pinto, Brockton Public Schools Technical Services employees, to address school committee. Each speaker talked about the need to increase staffing levels in the department to properly support the district’s growing technology demands.
Mayor Carpenter called for a motion to suspend the rules to allow the Superintendent to respond.
Mr. Minichiello moved to suspend the rules to allow the Superintendent to speak; Ms. Sullivan seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.
Superintendent Smith thanked the speakers and their entire department for the hard work they do and the many additional hours they put in. She said it is obvious Brockton is a growing district with growing needs and she understands that what is in place is not enough; she assured them that this is an ongoing discussion.
Mayor Carpenter explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members if there were any requests to remove items for further discussion: Mr. Minichiello removed item C, the Patricia Hines-Connelly Scholarship Fund for Young Student Parents.
Mr. Gormley moved the Superintendent’s recommendation to approve the following remaining items from the Consent Agenda:
The motion was seconded by Ms. Plant and the vote was unanimous.
With respect to Item C, Mr. Minichiello recognized the generosity of the people who are supporting the Patricia Hines-Connelly scholarship and spoke on behalf of the entire school committee in appreciation of the donation.
Mr. Minichiello moved to approve Item C, the Patricia Hines-Connelly Scholarship Fund for Young Student Parents; the motion was seconded by Mr. Gormley and the vote was unanimous.
Superintendent Smith shared a letter from the American Red Cross thanking the school district for the donations to the Hurricane Disaster Relief fund, staff and students donated items and money during the devastating hurricane season.
Superintendent Smith began her report with a recognition of the December Red Apple Award recipients. These awards are new this year and will be given out each month at a Red Apple Award ceremony, recommendations come from all areas across the entire district. December recipients were:
The superintendent and school committee recognized Coach Furtado and the boys’ varsity soccer team for winning the Division 1 State championship title. The Superintendent said this particular win was even more special due to the reports she has received about their exemplary conduct during the season.
Coach Furtado thanked school committee for their support and talked briefly about the team both on and off the field and what has contributed to making this a special group of young men. He said that as a team they meet in study hall and do homework together for 45 minutes prior to every practice, each player receives weekly progress from teachers, and in the beginning of the season they go to the library and select books to read during the season, and the bus rides serve as an additional study hall where they do homework. He said the tradition of doing homework on the bus was begun by Mr. Minichiello’s son when he was a freshman on the team.
Mayor Carpenter said a letter written by a parent of one of the Longmeadow players was sent to school committee and several Brockton administrators, complimenting the team for their sportsmanship and outstanding conduct and kindness during the playoff game. The Mayor felt this was also a great tribute to the coach, and said although he was very happy they won the championship, he was especially proud of the way in which this team has represented the city.
Following the taking of pictures, Mayor Carpenter called for a two-minute recess to allow the team to leave.
At 7:31 p.m. the meeting resumed. The Superintendent called on student representative Shama Erase for her report. Shama reported that the holiday concert and drama production went very well, she congratulated the boys track team on their recent win; announced that the honor roll ceremony will take place tomorrow, December 20th, where students who make the honor roll pack the auditorium, there will be an ugly sweater contest on Friday, and finally, Shama gave an update on upcoming athletic events.
Principals Marybeth O’Brien and Carol McGrath prepared a short video highlighting two holiday events at their schools. Gilmore School staff, families and students did their second annual Holiday History Lantern Walk in Campello, led by Lynn Smith, decorating barrels in front of businesses on Main Street while hearing about historic spots along the way. They ended their walk at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church for Christmas carol singing, cookies and milk. Principal O’Brien said this is part of the school’s initiative to involve students in their community and find ways where students and community partnerships come together to foster a sense of school and community pride.
Mr. Gormley attended the walk and commended Lynn Smith and Principal O’Brien, the Keith Park Neighborhood Association, 1st Lutheran Church and the many families and students who turned out for the event.
Principal McGrath said the Raymond School’s entire grade 1 was invited to King Phillip Regional High School in Wrentham by the school’s senior student council as part of their student project to adopt a school. This is the second year that they have partnered with a school in Brockton. Raymond’s 170 first graders were each partnered with a senior at the school and were treated to a wonderful holiday party.
The Superintendent invited Bilingual department head Vula Roumis and Community Schools director Laurie Silva to give a presentation about the upcoming opening of a French immersion program at the Baker School.
Ms. Roumis gave a power point presentation highlighting the benefits of dual language learning and how the French program will look when it opens in September of 2018. It will be housed at the Baker School, beginning with two kindergarten classes, students will receive instruction in all subjects in both languages. The school community was surveyed for a name for the program and “Amitie ́”, meaning friendship, was selected. Currently, the district is planning and getting ready for the kindergarten lottery and registration while continuing to work with the Baker school in preparation for the September opening.
Ms. Roumis also talked about the Seal of Biliteracy which, at the high school level, will be placed on a student’s diploma and a special cord will be worn at graduation.
Ms. Silva added that they have spent many years working with focus teams to strategically design the program model, especially with seal of biliteracy. She said the long-term goal is to have an international school of languages.
Deputy Superintendent Thomas reported that a six-question survey for parents was created; parents will be asked to complete the survey online from Tuesday, January 2 to Wednesday, January 19th. Parents will be notified with a connect-ed call from the Superintendent. If parents do not have access to a computer, one will be available at their child’s school.
The questions will focus on bullying, cell phone and social media use in schools, and the dress code, and will be open from Tuesday, January 2 to Wednesday, January 19th.
Chief of Student Support Services Sharon Wolder reported that on January 24th (snow date January 25th) a Parent Forum/World Café will be held in the Red Cafeteria from 6 – 8 p.m. She explained the design of the forum, where parents who have received training will facilitate discussions on the above issues and one additional topic, the start time of high school. The goal is to get families of our students talking about some of the issues that are critical to the district and to get feedback from these discussions to assist us in the development of a code of conduct. Ms. Wolder said the training will take place on January 11th.
Mayor Carpenter said he was pleased to be present earlier today when Mr. David Sarlitto from Ocean State Job Lot donated 14,000 books at the Parent Information Center.
Mr. Minichiello relayed a message from Mr. Sullivan who wanted to wish everyone Merry Christmas and sends his regrets for not being able to be here.
Seeing no further New Business, the meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Kathleen A. Smith, JD
Superintendent / Secretary
* 12/21/17 - date changed to January 9th due to schedule conflict