The Regular Meeting of the Brockton School Committee was held this evening in the Theatre at the Dr. William H. Arnone School, 135 Belmont Street, Brockton, MA, 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. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith
Absent: Mayor Carpenter, Ms. Asack, Mr. D'Agostino
Also Present: Executive Team Members, Director of Student Enrollment and Registration Center Dr. DeBarros, Lt. Mills, School Resource Officers Nichole Anderson and Jason Mosley
Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag and a general announcement that tonight's meeting will be recorded.
George School parent Danielle Canniff addressed school committee with a request for an opt-out policy with respect to mandatory uniforms for students; Amanda Brown, another George School parent, also asked for an opt-out policy for same.
Mr. Minichiello explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members if there were any requests to remove items for further discussion: Ms. Sullivan removed item C, Plouffe School Overnight, Out-of-State Field Trip request, and item E, Acceptance of the Mary E. Baker PTA Scholarship in memory of Elaine Santos.
Mr. Gormley moved the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the following remaining items from the Consent Agenda; the motion was seconded by Ms. Plant.
Voted: to adopt the recommendation, unanimous.
With respect to Item C, Ms. Sullivan asked Principal Nessralla to talk further about the field trip request. Principal Nessralla first showed a video of the school's 2017 trip to New York City. She said this year she would like to take the students to Philadelphia from June 8 - 10, 2018 for an educational trip that will include Gettysburg and the Amish country. Ms. Nessralla answered questions about chaperones and fundraising, all members spoke favorably about the trip.
Ms. Sullivan moved to approve Item E, Plouffe School trip to Philadelphia from June 8 - 10, 2018; the motion was seconded by Mr. Sullivan and the vote was unanimous.
With respect to Item E, Ms. Sullivan wanted to publicly acknowledge the Baker School PTA’s scholarship in memory of former teacher Elaine Santos. Mr. Minichiello added that it is commendable that the scholarship is being offered by the PTA, as it says something about the impact Ms. Santos made with students and families.
Mrs. Sullivan moved to accept Item E, the Mary E. Baker PTA Scholarship in Memory of Elaine Santos; the motion was seconded by Mr. Gormley and the vote was unanimous.
With respect to the Adult Education grant (Item D on the Consent Agenda), Superintendent Smith said she will invite Coordinator of Adult Education Kathleen Quinn to come before school committee at a future meeting to give an update.
Shama Erase offered a report on upcoming holiday activities at Brockton High School, including the upcoming drama production "Bone Chiller'', a DECA movie night fundraiser with proceeds going to help the Boxer Buddy program and the annual holiday concerts. Other holiday activities include a staff and students Angel Tree gift collection and a hat drive being conducted by the knitting club.
Lt. Mills introduced officers Nichole Anderson and Jason Mosley to share a power point titled "Social Media -Your Frenemie", a program they created and are presenting at middle schools. Officers Anderson and Mosley gave a shortened version of what they present to students; they are trying to educate students about accountability and consequences with respect to social media use. Nichole and Jason stated that students and staff have been very receptive to the presentation and they have been asked to work with school administrators on a follow up curriculum for students.
Ms. Plant suggested that the program be presented at the high school and at a parents' academy. Superintendent Smith said the issues they addressed are the issues our youth are dealing with every day and was pleased to hear about the follow-up curriculum. She thanked Lt. Mills and Officers Anderson and Mosley for their efforts.
Dr. DeBarros' annual enrollment update for school committee included a power point presentation with enrollment data, demographics and statistics, as well as several changes in the responsibilities of the SERPIC. She said the center has become a family service center where, in addition to registering children, staff are now able to identify and guide families toward resources that can help with needs they may have, provide school supplies, backpacks, and even clothing and food items to families with needs. She has hosted visitors from several districts who are interested in the Brockton model.
The total enrollment to date is 16,860, down from 17,344 last year, with kindergarten registration down by about 74 students from last year. New this year:
Following the presentation, Ms. Plant asked Dr. DeBarros about sending out information to parents on the kindergarten start age rollback that starts this year, Dr. DeBarros responded that she is preparing for that and beginning in January information will be sent out in advance of the March kindergarten registration. Superintendent Smith added that notice of this change has already been shared in the community.
The Superintendent concluded her report with several updates:
Mr. Sullivan asked for an update on the equity lawsuit; the Superintendent responded that she is arranging a forum that will include other urban superintendents, Paul Reville, attorneys, the MTA, MASC/MASS representatives, she is planning that for later in January.
The Superintendent said she would like to schedule a school committee retreat on Saturday, January 27th, more information will follow.
The Superintendent announced that she is pleased to be one of eight superintendents whose applications were accepted to visit Lisbon, Portugal as part of a grant-funded cross-cultural education program. The grant was submitted by State Senator Marc Pacheco an Taunton Superintendent Julie Hackett, the trip will take place during the April, 2018 school vacation period.
Mr. Minichiello reported that both the Hancock School spaghetti supper fundraiser for children in need, and the Jingle Bell Run fundraiser that benefits the enterprise Helping Hands fund, were well attended and very successful.
Mr. Gormley announced the Davis School craft fair on Saturday from 10 to 3.
Seeing no further New Business, the meeting adjourned at 8:47 p.m.
Kathleen A. Smith, JD