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: Mayor Carpenter, Chair; Mr. Minichiello, Vice-Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. D'Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan
Absent: Superintendent Smith
Also Present: Deputy Superintendent Michael P. Thomas, Coordinator of Adult Education Kathleen Quinn, Assistant Coordinator of Adult Education Noreen Giuggio; Technology Coordinator Kelly Young; Lieutenant Donald Mills
Mayor Carpenter called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.
Mayor Carpenter explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members for any requests to remove items for further discussion; Ms. Sullivan removed Item C, Request for a BHS Science Department Field Trip.
Ms. Sullivan moved the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the following remaining items, seconded by Mr. D’Agostino:
Voted: to adopt the recommendation, unanimous.
With respect to Item C, Ms. Sullivan asked for clarification on the number of chaperones; Mr. Thomas responded that four chaperones will accompany the students.
Ms. Sullivan moved to approve the Item C, Field Trip for the Science Department, the motion was seconded by Mr. Sullivan.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
Deputy Superintendent Thomas introduced and welcomed the BHS Swim and Dive team and coaches Zachary and Poliseno, he then invited Mr. Minichiello to talk about the team’s winning season.
Mr. Minichiello congratulated the team for an extraordinary season that finished with a conference title and then the Big3 championship win. He also acknowledged the support of Claire Childs and Mr. O’Neill. Students were given a round of applause and a picture was taken.
Deputy Superintendent Thomas announced that Mr. Matt Frohne and Ms. Candi Keith Fay of the Brockton Texas Roadhouse would be recognized tonight for their ongoing support of the Brockton Public Schools. He invited Ms. Asack to speak to the recognition.
Ms. Asack thanked Mr. Frohne and Ms. Keith Fay for their generous support and willingness to help with fundraisers and donations. She shared a note from the Brookfield School PTO and one from Communications Director Michele Bolton who both expressed appreciation for their generosity and willingness to help whenever needed.
Ms. Keith Fay and Mr. Frohne also spoke and talked about being community minded and wanting to help the schools and the district. Ms. Fay explained different fundraising opportunities for schools and said they would like to see more schools take advantage of their services. Ms. Asack asked members to reach out to their PTOs, PACs to contact Matt or Candi to speak with them. A certificate of appreciation was presented.
Shama Erase reported on upcoming events, including this weekend’s drama festival and the start of spring sports tryouts on March 19th. She said student council and peer mediators will give a presentation on March 14th during period 6 with respect to the Parkland School tragedy; classes took time to talk about the incident and teachers had discussions with students about how to make students feel safer in school; the Massachusetts Life Science Center has offered a paid, six-week apprenticeship and the BHS boys basketball team is playing in the semi-finals tonight.
Mr. Thomas invited Coordinator Kathleen Quinn to give a presentation about the Adult Learning Center. The presentation, given by Ms. Quinn, Ms. Giuggio, and Ms. Young, gave an overview of the various programs offered at the center, including GED and HiSet high school proficiency prep classes and tests, English and citizenship classes, certificate courses, parent connection and involvement programs, and an on-site preschool class. With respect to technology, the center has one-to-one devices for all students to ensure they are educated in digital literacy and ready to enter the workforce. The Brockton Adult Learning Center is one of only five family learning centers in the state and is a model for other communities, Ms. Quinn was pleased to announce that Mayor Carpenter has designated May 23rd as Adult Education Day.
A question and answer period followed the presentation.
Deputy Superintendent Thomas introduced the presentation by reviewing safety and security measures the city and school department have taken since 2010 to increase school safety. He said Brockton has stayed ahead of the curve and we will continue to make student safety a priority. Mayor Carpenter added that the school department has increased the level of policing by bringing Brockton Police Lieutenant Don Mills on staff to command school police, adding and upgrading cameras and locks while continuing efforts to identify and address vulnerable points in order to keep the students safe. He said, in the wake of the Parkland tragedy, we will need to consider investments around student safety that include ensuring that school police are fully staffed as well as considerations about adjustment counselors and mental health services. He said Brockton is the only school district with a fully-sworn police force and other school districts come here to see what Brockton is doing.
Lieutenant Mills showed the presentation he will give at the March 27th parent forum on safety and security. The presentation covers the purpose of and recommended protocols for lockdowns and stay-in-place. He said staff and students need to be trained in the same way they have been trained to do fire drills, to make them comfortable with the procedures. Following his presentation Lt. Mills responded to questions from members.
No items were referred.
Mayor Carpenter directed committee members to Enclosure 18. He said this is a routine disclosure, Deputy Superintendent Thomas is seeking school committee approval to be a member of the certified negotiations bargaining team and school committee has the option to allow or determine that he has a conflict that would interfere. Mayor Carpenter, Mr. D’Agostino and Ms. Plant each conveyed their confidence in Mr. Thomas’ integrity and his ability to fulfill the role appropriately.
Mr. Minichiello moved to accept the disclosure and authorize Deputy Superintendent Thomas to continue to serve as a member of the bargaining team, the motion was seconded by Mr. Gormley.
The vote was unanimous to approve the motion; Mayor Carpenter also cast his vote in favor.
Mr. Minichiello made a motion to close the FY18 budget to any discretionary spending, effective tomorrow, March 7, 2018, seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.
During the discussion, Mr. Minichiello explained that the budget is normally closed at this time of year, any requests for spending after this date are submitted to the Superintendent for approval.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.
Mr. Gormley announced a Ward 4 Meeting on March 14th at the Emmanuel House at 6:30 p.m.
Mayor Carpenter announced that there is green community grant money in the amount of a little over $500,000 that will be put back into school buildings to do a variety of work and repairs. He thanked Facilities Director Ken Thompson for helping to secure this funding.
Ms. Asack thanked the Brookfield and Barrett Russell principals for inviting her to read at their schools on Read Across America Day.
Mr. Minichiello asked Mr. Thomas to schedule the following recognitions for upcoming meetings:
Seeing no other New Business, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
Michael P. Thomas, Deputy Superintendent