Brockton, Massachusetts
Regular School Committee Meeting
September 26, 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: Mayor Carpenter, Chair; Mr. Minichiello, Vice-Chair; Ms. Asack,
Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith

Absent: Mr. D’Agostino

Also Present: Executive Team Members, Kellie Jones, Marcia Andrade-Serpa

Mayor Carpenter called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. followed by a salute to the flag. Superintendent Smith asked for a moment of silence in memory of Anthony Ando, son of Lisa Ando, an administrative assistant in our technology department.

Hearing of Visitors Janet Landerholm, IBAA&TEA President, addressed the committee on behalf of the union with concerns about the level of administrative assistant staffing in several departments as a result of budget cuts and a request to consider recalling more administrative assistants.

Consent Agenda Mayor Carpenter explained the purpose of the Consent Agenda and asked members if there were any requests to remove items for further discussion, Mrs. Sullivan removed Item I, a donation to the Raymond School.

Mr. Minichiello moved to accept the Superintendent's recommendation on the following remaining items from the Consent Agenda, the motion was seconded by Mr. Gormley:
• Approval of September 6, 2017 Regular School Committee Meeting Minutes
• Acceptance of July 27, 2017 Policy Manual Review Subcommittee
• Acceptance of September 20, 2017 Accounts Review Meeting Report
• Acceptance of three separate donations of backpacks to Raymond School from Patricia Jackson/The Jackson Center, Dr. Andrea Wuotila/Easton Health Solutions Chiropractic Center, and Sandra Kirk/ FIA Global Co.
• Acceptance of Angelo School Unsung Heroes Grant Award
• Approval of Overnight Trip Request: Empower Yourself to Ron Burton Camp
• Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Appointments: Certified, Non-Cert.
• Acceptance of Notification of Personnel Actions: Leaves of Absence, Resignations, Retirements
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Mrs. Sullivan wanted to call attention to Item I, the donation of a promethean smart board and an Epson projector for teacher Kelly Hagerty’s classroom at the Raymond School by Mr. Michael Fish through

Mrs. Sullivan moved to accept Item I, donation to the Raymond School; the motion was seconded by Ms. Plant and the vote was unanimous.

The Superintendent called out Item E, the VOYA Unsung Heroes grant recently awarded to the Angelo School and invited Angelo School Principal Marcia Andrade Serpa to talk more about the award.
Ms. Andrade Serpa explained that the school was awarded $2,000 as a result of a winning innovative teaching application, with which they will be able to purchase two Museum of Science Engineering in Education science kits. After reading about the grant award in the media, an anonymous donor came forward and offered $10,000 to the school to further fund the science program. As well, the school is in the running for a larger grant from VOYA and should hear by the end of the month.

Superintendent's Superintendent Smith began her report by introducing this year’s student representative to
Report the school committee, Shama Erase.

Shama introduced herself as a senior from the Red house and gave her report about what is happening at the high school. She said new principal Dr. Murray has made a good impression on students and she is excited to have been chosen to represent her school.

Recognition - Teamsters Assistance with Hurricane Relief
The Superintendent reported that the district conducted a drive for donations and supplies for the Hurricane Harvey Relief program, resulting in 25 large boxes of items that needed to get to Houston, Texas. Deputy Superintendent Thomas reached out to Brian McElhinney, the Teamsters representative to our custodian union, who arranged to have the boxes packed, loaded and delivered to Houston, Superintendent Smith and Mayor Carpenter presented him with a certificate thanking the Teamsters for their assistance.

Mr. McElhinney introduced Mr. Bill Trask, Mr. Ed McPherson and Mr. Dan Spillane who assisted with the effort and were present with him. Mr. McElhinney said when he received the call for assistance they were happy to partner with the school department. The boxes were packed and brought to Boston where they were loaded onto one of eleven trailers heading to Houston. All items were delivered to the appropriate agencies by Teamsters Local 988 in Houston, and a video was made that can be seen on

The Superintendent noted that in light of additional hurricanes that have caused more flooding and devastation, a monetary collection is being taken up that will be given directly to the Red Cross of Massachusetts.

Kindergarten Opening Report
Superintendent Smith reported that kindergarten enrollment is currently at 1,261 and the opening went very well; a slide show of the first day of school for kindergarteners across the district was shown.

Reporting on kindergarten, Mrs. Saba-Maguire said enrollment is down by approximately 100 students compared to last year at this time, there are concerns about large class sizes in the northwest zone and also some large bilingual classes in other areas.

Reporting on preschool, Ms. Saba-Maguire said she is working to have a task force in place by early November that will include principals, district administrators, teachers and a school committee member. The committee is tasked with preparing for the roll back of the kindergarten start age next year and the planning and expansion of our preschool program.

Superintendent Smith said that with respect to large class sizes and bearing in mind there is no money to bus children to schools less crowded, she will be looking to move some classes from overcrowded schools to lesser crowded ones. Ms. Plant asked whether parents would be permitted to transfer their child to a school with smaller classes if they do not require transportation, the Superintendent responded that she will make sure that is made available.

The Superintendent gave an update on callbacks and said discussions will continue as we go through the year with respect to district needs.

Budget Update
Mr. Petronio updated the committee about ongoing discussions he is having with other urban districts regarding changes to the funding formula that will help districts recover lost funding for economically disadvantaged students who are not directly certified. He said Brockton is looking at all students who are not directly certified to determine whether they can be qualified using one of the alternative methods, he is hoping to have this completed in time for the October 1 report. Mr. Petronio responded to questions from committee members.

Equity in Education Lawsuit
The Superintendent reported that she and Dr. Cancell spoke with Paul Reville, who had a central role in the Ed Reform Act of 1993, about next steps. Mr. Reville advised them that there will need to be a strong coalition with other urban districts and their legislative delegations, together with businesses, universities and non-profits. He also suggested looking into whether the Hancock case can be reopened.

Dr. Cancell added that the challenge will be to find something that unifies these groups: it will be very important to have the local-state legislative teams and it needs to be a statewide, well-thought-out campaign. The Superintendent suggested that school committee members attending the MASS/MASC joint conference in November might be able to engage with school committees from some of these urban districts that are attending and have discussion. Mr. Minichiello said he would contact Glen Koocher from MASC.

National Professional Development Grant
Director of Bilingual Education Kellie Jones reported that Lesley University has been awarded a five-year, $2.7 million National Professional Development grant to support teachers of English Language Learners, based on a proposal with Brockton as the sole district partner. Brockton will not receive any money, up to fourteen teachers per year will receive free tuition and graduate credits to obtain certification in English Learners teaching and parent engagement. The parent education component of this proposal includes partnering with the Cape Verdean Association where Lesley will provide ESL classes for five years and also develop parent leaders.

Director of Community Schools Laurie Silva said this will greatly benefit the many people on the Adult Learning Center’s wait list for English classes. The grant will also fund a partnership with Bridgewater University to provide MTEL prep classes for our ELL support staff to help them prepare to pass the MTEL.

exSEL Network
Executive Director of Special Projects Sal Terrasi reported that Brockton is one of nine district chosen across the state to be a part of this network and will work with the Rennie Center over the course of one year with respect to promoting social emotional learning in schools. He said this will help Brockton promote our concept of social emotional and trauma sensitive schools and, equally important, it will position us well to inform statewide policy as they turn this into policy recommendations and mandates.

The Superintendent notified school committee of the following:
• She has received a copy of the draft Facilities Master Plan;
• Massachusetts’ ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) plan was approved by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and was given high marks, this will inform our accountability through November of 2019.
• Sharon Wolder, Chief of Student Support Services, will head up a social justice committee that will focus on diversity education, looking at ways to address social issues and efforts to raise awareness about how culture impacts education.
• A Staff Appreciation Night is planned for Friday, October 13th
• Thank you to the YMCA and United Way volunteers who put in many hours beautifying the grounds at the Gilmore School

Items to Refer to Mr. Gormley asked for a policy subcommittee meeting to be scheduled to discuss BEA
Subcommittee Administrators (coaching), and a safety/security/transportation meeting to review policy. The Superintendent referred the extended day rate increase a finance subcommittee meeting. Members agreed to schedule both meetings on October 3rd in the hour prior to the regular school committee meeting

New Business Voting Delegate for MASS/MASC Joint Conference
Mr. Minichiello informed the committee that a voting delegate is usually appointed for the upcoming MASS/MASC joint conference. Ms. Plant nominated Mr. Minichiello as the voting delegate; Mr. Minichiello nominated Mr. Sullivan as the alternate. Mr. Minichiello asked for a consensus, all members supported the nominations.

Mr. Sullivan reported that he attended three open houses this evening prior to school committee, some concerns that were voiced to him were a very large kindergarten class at the George school, the need for paraprofessionals, and the need for a full-time adjustment counselor at the Angelo School.

Seeing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen A. Smith, JD
Superintendent/ Secretary