MARCH 20, 2018

A 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: Mr. Minichiello, Vice-Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. D'Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith

Absent: Mayor Carpenter

Also Present: Executive Team

Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.

Consent Agenda

Mr. Minichiello explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members for any requests to remove items for further discussion, there were no requests from school committee members. Superintendent Smith acknowledged Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board (BAWIB) for honoring Dr. J. Lynn Griesemer with a scholarship in her name; this scholarship is for graduates of Brockton High School who will attend an institution within the UMass system.

Mr. Sullivan moved the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the consent agenda in its entirety, the motion was seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.

Voted: to adopt the recommendation, unanimous.


The Superintendent presented a letter from the elections commission requesting the use of various schools as polling places during the election cycle this year – September. Superintendent Smith pointed out that schools are not open on the final election day.

Ms. Plant made a motion to approve the use of schools as polling locations per the request; Mr. Sullivan seconded the motion.

On the motion: Mr. D’Agostino shared feedback he has received from teachers about not having the opportunity to show students the voting process when the schools are closed during voting, he asked whether there might be a way this could be done before or after. The Superintendent said the polls are set up a few days in advance and agreed it is a good opportunity for teachers; she will speak to principals about reaching out to the polling commission to have a representative come out.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Superintendent's Report

Recognition of Grade 4 Teacher Timothy D. Sullivan

Superintendent Smith invited Gilmore School grade 4 teacher Timothy Sullivan to come forward to be recognized for administering the Heimlich maneuver to a child who was in distress, saving his life. Principal O’Brien shared the details of Mr. Sullivan’s actions on February 7th and also commended him, then read a letter from the child’s parents expressing their gratefulness. Mr. Sullivan spoke about the experience; a presentation of a certificate followed.

Recognition of Empower Yourself Student Achievement

Mr. Minichiello asked Mr. Cedric Turner and several Empower Yourself students to come before school committee this evening to be recognized for their exceptional performance at the Global Economic Symposium held at the JFK Library in January. Mr. Minichiello said he was very impressed with the students’ poise, presence and performance. Brockton took 1st and 2nd place at the high school level and middle school took 2nd place.

Mr. Turner thanked school committee and the school department for supporting the program where students learn about and compete in economic, financial and engineering events. He said Brockton students are excelling in these competitions. Students Abdul Khan, Aaliyah Gomes, Asad Aden, Guidelson Celamy, Jayla Galvez, Nathaniel Shaver, Schildonald Jeannoel talked to the school committee about their experiences and the opportunities they are receiving as a result of the Empower Yourself program. Mr. Turner invited school committee to attend the April 13th stock pitch competition at Bridgewater State University, Brockton is the reigning state champion.

Spring MCAS 2.0 Testing Update

Superintendent Smith asked Dr. Cancell to review the upcoming spring testing schedule. Dr. Cancell gave a power point presentation that included testing dates from the beginning of April through the end of May, suggestions to parents about how to make sure students are well prepared and how to project and encourage a positive attitude toward the testing. All students in grades 3 – 8 will take the online test, this year there are no consequences with respect to accountability. Grade 10 will take the paper and pencil test for accountability and will also participate in an online field test that will not count. Next year, grade 10 will switch to the online test.

Superintendent Announcements

Superintendent acknowledgements:

Equity in Education Update

The Superintendent reported that she was pleased with the article published in the Sunday Boston Globe titled “Struggling Brockton Schools may sue the state” which highlighted how insufficient funding has harmed the district and showed a stark comparison in school spending between two districts—Brockton and the more affluent Weston. The reporter visited Brockton to interview her and also visited several Brockton schools to look at classes. Since that article she has been contacted by other districts who are interested in joining with Brockton in the lawsuit, she also received a call from the former lead attorney in the McDuffy case, Michael Weisman. The Superintendent and Mr. Petronio will attend a Worcester school committee meeting next Thursday on this topic, she invited school committee members to attend. If there is no movement from the state on the foundation budget, the Superintendent said she said will go forward with the lawsuit if that is what it takes.

Mr. D’Agostino said there is a $24 million difference between Brockton’s actual cost for health benefits and the estimated figure the state uses. He said it is not an unreasonable request to ask the state to use the actual figure which would benefit Brockton greatly.

Mr. Sullivan wanted to recognize two Raymond School teachers: Kristen Crugnale, who purchased six iPads for her class to make up for a shortage of classroom computers in her class of 30, and Kelly Haggerty for getting technology equipment donated and installed in her classroom. The Superintendent thanked Mr. Sullivan for calling out those teachers and acknowledged that many teachers are making the same type of investments at their schools.

In closing her report, the Superintendent gave a public statement about the district’s policy and procedures when handling student safety and security matters, particularly with respect to not sharing information with any media about situations or students in order to protect the child’s safety and privacy.

Items to Refer to Subcommittee

Superintendent Smith said there is a need for finance meetings to discuss the FY19 budget, she suggested March 27th at 8 p.m. directly following the safety forum, and April 3rd prior to the regular school committee meeting. Ms. Plant asked about rescheduling the safety/security/transportation meeting that was canceled due to the weather; the Superintendent responded that she will check with Mayor Carpenter as to how he wants to reschedule.

Unfinished Business

Superintendent Goals

Mr. Minichiello asked for a motion to approve the goals as presented.

Mr. Gormley moved to accept the FY17-18 Superintendent’s Goals as presented; the motion was seconded by Mr. Sullivan.

On the motion: Mr. D’Agostino asked the Superintendent to clarify the funding that would support the construction of a new school which is part of District Improvement Goal # 2. Superintendent Smith responded that having a short and long-term facility master plan is important to the district and the money that pays for buildings does not come from Chapter 70 funds which maintain the operations of the school district, it is a capital improvement and is paid by the city. If a new school was built, Brockton’s share of the cost would be 20%, the state will fund the other 80%.

With respect to District Improvement Goal #3, Mr. D’Agostino asked the Superintendent to share plans for new ways to engage families, the Superintendent responded that would be very lengthy, the goals adhere to the strategic plan which will be presented at an upcoming school committee meeting.

Seeing no further comments, a vote was taken.

Voted: accept the FY17-18 Superintendent’s Goals, unanimous.

Inclement Weather/Protocols for Opening Schools

Superintendent Smith said Mayor Carpenter planned to address this tonight; she will talk with him about a future discussion and report back.

New Business

BHS Graduation Credit Requirement

Mr. Minichiello reported that increasing the graduation credit requirement was discussed at a (March 6th) curriculum meeting where Dr. Murray gave a presentation to the committee. Based on recommendations from the NEASC accreditation report and the addition of the new six-period schedule, Dr. Murray recommended that the graduation requirement be increased from 95 to 104 and members supported the recommendation.

Mr. Sullivan moved to change the number of credits for graduation from 95 to 104 beginning with the class of 2022; Ms. Asack seconded the motion.

Voted: to adopt the recommendation, unanimous.

Bid Review Report

Mr. Sullivan gave the report of the Bid Review subcommittee meeting held earlier this evening, at 5:30 p.m, all members were present. The committee was presented with four bids and made the following recommendations: to award the Food Service Management Provider bid to Chartwells, to award the Student Transportation bid to First Student, to award the Pest Control Services bid to Burgess Pest Control, and to table the Mail Courier Service bid to a finance subcommittee meeting.

Mr. D’Agostino moved to accept the report of the March 20th Bid Review subcommittee meeting; Mr. Gormley seconded.

Voted: to accept the report, unanimous.

Mr. Sullivan moved to award the FY2019 Food Service Management Provider bid to Chartwells; the motion was seconded by Ms. Asack.

On the motion, Mr. D’Agostino commented that although the Chartwells bid went up by $40,000, Chartwells increased their guaranteed give-back by $200,000 which he felt showed their commitment to the school district.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Mr. Sullivan moved to award the FY2019 Student Transportation 3-year contract to First Student Transportation, Ms. Asack seconded the motion.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Mr. Sullivan moved to award the FY2019 Pest control Services 3-year contract to Burgess Pest Control, the motion was seconded by Ms. Asack.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Approval of Superintendent’s Participation on Renaissance Advisory Board

Superintendent Smith presented a request for authorization to extend her participation on the Renaissance Advisory Board through September, 2018. Ms. Sullivan congratulated Superintendent Smith for being asked to be on the board.

Ms. Sullivan moved to approve the Superintendent’s request to participate on the Renaissance Advisory Board as presented; Mr. Sullivan seconded the motion.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Executive Session

The Level IIIB Grievance hearing was withdrawn by the BEA.

Seeing no other New Business, the meeting adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen A. Smith, JD