Brockton, Massachusetts
Regular School Committee Meeting
August 8, 2017 -- MINUTES

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: 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 Members

Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 7:13 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag. He announced that Mayor Carpenter would not be in attendance tonight due to an out of town commitment.

Hearing of Visitors Jacqueline Healy and Jim McAvoy, representing BHS Band Boosters Association, addressed school committee with their concerns about budget cuts and the impact on the music department. Mr. Minichiello responded.

Plouffe student Paedyn ElChami read a statement to the school committee about how her participation in the music program has positively impacted her life.

Consent Agenda Mr. Minichiello explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members if there were any requests to remove items for further discussion; Mr. D'Agostino raised Items D and F, Mr. Sullivan raised Item G.

Mr. Gormley moved to accept the Superintendent's recommendation on the following remaining items from the Consent Agenda:

Approval of July 11, 2017 Regular School Committee Meeting Minutes
Approval of July 10, 2017 School Committee Retreat Minutes
Acceptance of June 20, 2017 Finance Subcommittee Meeting Report
Acceptance of July 25, 2017 Finance Subcommittee Meeting Report
Acceptance of Notification of Executive Session Minutes Review
Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Appointments: Certified & Non-Certified
Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence,
Resignations, Retirements

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

With respect to Items D and F, Accounts Review subcommittee meeting reports from the July 13, 2017 and August 1, 2017 meetings, Mr. D'Agostino said in light of the budget he would go over the minutes to enlighten the public of what the subcommittee does, he proceeded to read both sets of minutes.

Mr. D'Agostino moved to accept Items D and F, reports of the July 13, 2017 and August 1, 2017 Accounts Review subcommittee meetings respectively; the motion was seconded by Mr. Gormley and the vote was unanimous.

With respect to Item G, Authorization to submit for a Bill Belichick Foundation Grant, Mr. Sullivan wanted to recognize the generosity of the foundation. The grant offers $10,000 to communities in need of financial support and, if awarded, will provide equipment and uniforms for Brockton's lacrosse program. Mr. Minichiello spoke briefly about the lacrosse program and thanked Dr. Murray for being instrumental in getting this off the ground in Brockton schools.

Mr. Sullivan moved to accept Item G, authorization to submit for the Bill Belichick Foundation Grant; the motion was seconded by Ms. Sullivan and the vote was unanimous.

Superintendent's The Superintendent began her report by calling for a moment of silence in recognition of
Report the passing of two Brockton Public Schools students this summer, Miguel Martinez and Daphelu Dorvil. She extended condolences to the families on behalf of the school department and school committee.

The Superintendent shared the following announcements:

Summer Programs and graduations – the Superintendent recognized the Community Schools office and all of the summer programs for our students; graduates of the summer school program, Edison Academy, the Footbridge Program at Bridgewater State University and the YMCA/Brockton Public Schools Power Scholars; and the Empower Yourself Aviation Program.
The Brookfield School has received a $150,000 21st Century grant for academic and enrichment after school programs; the district is now looking for another grant for another grant for South Middle School.
A bill currently on the floor is of interest to Brockton; this bill would allow districts to have some autonomy in making decisions as to how to best instruct their English Language Learners (ELLs).
Music Department Staffing Cuts
The Superintendent invited Music Director Vinny Macrina to explain how this year's budget cuts have impacted Brockton's music program.

Mr. Macrina explained that Brockton serves close to 1,000 students in the middle and elementary music programs, plus the high school; he has lost a total of five music teachers due to budget cuts and one unfilled retirement, leaving the department with only two teachers to teach instrumental music across the entire district. Mr. Macrina said his concerns are for the music program as a whole, parents and students, and equity in the schools as he will need to make a decision as to which schools will be able to keep the program. He wants parents to be aware of the possibility that without any help there will not be an instrumental program for grade 4 students in the upcoming year. He said music class and chorus will continue, the instrumental program will be affected.

The Superintendent said this is important for parents to know and for school committee to know as district administrators begin to put together a priority list.

Mr. Macrina responded to questions from school committee.

Arnone School Turn Around
The Superintendent invited Arnone Principal Colleen Proudler to talk to school committee about plans to support turnaround priorities at the school; the school did not receive the $300,000 turnaround grant as hoped but there are some small supports that can begin the work and better position the school for grant monies.

Principal Proudler said school administration and staff worked very hard on the grant application and a plan to provide more instruction time, she explained the following supports:
1) Hiring lunch aides to cover lunch and recess periods for teachers and to work with the students to fully implement Playworks,
2) Ten (10) days of Readers’ Workshop professional development training for all teachers in the building
3) Guided math - Five teachers will be trained as lead teachers and work in conjunction with the Instructional Resource Specialist;
3) Professional Learning Communities (PLC) – Training by Teachers21 consultants for one building lead teacher and one lead teacher at each grade level;
4) Training of lunch aides with Playworks program and compensation for one support staff person as the Playworks facilitator.

The Superintendent said the total cost for this would be approximately $90,000 and stressed that supporting the turnaround plan at the Arnone is a district and DESE priority. She said there is a good possibility that grant funding will be available soon. Mr. D'Agostino said he applauds what the Arnone staff does at the school and he is glad to see that they can receive additional support.

Youth Opioid Prevention Grant - the Superintendent reported that the district has received $30,000 from the Attorney General's Office Youth Opioid Prevention Grant which will be used to implement curricula and programming that will target our middle school students over a two-year period.

Finally, the Superintendent reported on the district's obligation to pay unemployment.

Items to Refer to The Superintendent asked the committee to schedule a Superintendent's Contract
Subcommittee subcommittee meeting to discuss goals.

New Business Ms. Asack thanked the team from Cradles to Crayons for the donation of 2,000 filled backpacks and 2,000 books for the second year in a row. The backpacks are being held at the warehouse and she will to get these out to the buildings as quickly as possible. She asked that if a family has a need to please reach out to school committee.

Mr. Minichiello gave a report of the August 1, 2017 Finance Subcommittee meeting:
The Finance Subcommittee met on August 1, 2017 at the Arnone School at 6:30 p.m., present were members Asack, D'Agostino, Gormley, Minichiello, Plant and Tim Sullivan. Mr. Minichiello reviewed all discussion items at that meeting and reported that the committee voted to recommend the reinstatement of one track coach at the high school due to safety reasons and an increase in participation.

Mr. D'Agostino moved to approve the report of the August 1, 2017 Finance Subcommittee meeting; seconded by Ms. Plant, the vote was unanimous.

Mr. Gormley moved to approve the committee's recommendation to reinstate the assistant track coach for 2017-2018 at a cost of $4,138; seconded by Mr. Sullivan,

On the motion, Mr. Gormley explained that there are a large number of participants in the program and that part of the training includes students running out on the streets, this position was cut last year but the program has grown and it is a safety issue.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Mr. Minichiello gave the following report of the August 8, 2017 Finance Subcommittee meeting: The Finance Subcommittee met at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, all members were present. The committee discussed the budget barometer update, programs and positions, and spent a considerable amount of time on a discussion around funding positions from savings and grants.

Mr. Sullivan moved to accept the report of the August 8, 2017 Finance Subcommittee meeting, Ms. Asack seconded the motion, the vote was unanimous.

Mr. Minichiello stated the recommendations made at that meeting, as follows:
1) With $160,000 in savings from nursing contracts in the special education department, recall three teaching positions at the Huntington Therapeutic Day School (science, technology, Spanish) and one guidance counselor to be split between Davis and South middle schools at a cost of $40,000 each;
2) With SPED 240 grant funds, rehire one special education department head;
3) Use grant funds to rehire one adaptive physical education (PE) teacher;
4) With funds realized from the resignation of a PE teacher, rehire one high school PE teacher and an additional adaptive PE teacher using the remaining funds plus $10,000 from the SPED Contracted Services (MCAS Alt);
5) With funds from the Community Schools Revolving Account, reinstate the Edison Academy Principal with a modified job description and recall one administrative assistant in the word processing department at Central.

Mr. Sullivan moved to approve the committee's recommendations as stated by Mr. Minichiello; the motion was seconded by Mr. D'Agostino and the vote was unanimous.

Other New Business
Mr. Sullivan thanked Mr. Macrina for his presentation; he said school committee has met every Tuesday and more than once concerns about the instrumental program have been expressed, many members "did not want to see any cuts to the music department at all."

Mr. Gormley recognized several alumni groups—including basketball, football, and track—who are doing great things in the city for the children. He said Bob Saltzman is working to bring all these groups together, create a database and pool the resources of all the alumni groups, he asked anyone who is part of an alumni group to reach out to Mr. Saltzman or the Community Schools office.

Mr. D'Agostino talked about a program called Above the Clouds operating at Norwood Airport, running several programs for students. He said he would like to give the group an opportunity to speak at a school committee meeting.

Ms. Asack gave a reminder of Summerfest happening on Saturday, August 19th

Mr. Minichiello announced that the district is working with our attorney with plans to go forward with an equity in education lawsuit. He said each year the funding mechanism has changed to the detriment of the city and he felt this is the right time.

Executive Session Mr. Minichiello announced that school committee would go into Executive Session in the Music Room in accordance with MGL Chapter 30A, Section 21A(3), to conduct level IIIB certified grievance hearings and would not reconvene.

Mr. Minichiello called the Roll Call Vote:

Mr. Minichiello – yes Ms. Asack – yes Mr. D'Agostino – yes
Mr. Gormley – yes Ms. Plant – yes Ms. Sullivan – yes
Mr. Sullivan – yes

The meeting adjourned at 8:39 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen A. Smith, JD
Superintendent/ Secretary