Brockton, Massachusetts Regular Meeting February 7, 2017

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. D'Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith

Also Present: Executive Team, Kellie Jones, Laurie Silva

Mayor Carpenter called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.

At 7:08 p.m., Mr. Minichiello moved to recess the meeting in order to complete the business of the Finance Subcommittee meeting; Mr. Gormley seconded the motion.
Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

The meeting resumed at 7:25 p.m.

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, there were none.

Mr. Sullivan moved the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the consent agenda in its entirety.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Superintendent's Superintendent Smith said she was pleased to begin her report by recognizing
Report Hugh McGlone, former president of the BHS Alumni Association. Mr. McGlone, a 1991 BHS graduate, presided over the association for over 8 years, stepping down in October of 2016. The Superintendent and Mayor Carpenter presented Hugh with a plaque and a certificate in honor of his service to the Brockton community. Mr. McGlone thanked the committee and thanked his colleagues, many of whom were in attendance.

The Superintendent gave the following updates:
• Secretary of Education Betsy Devos was sworn in today, the Superintendent said she will keep an eye on tax dollars and public education
• On March 21st a workshop has been scheduled for parents to hear from an immigration lawyer with respect to their rights and the supports available to them

• On March 10th M.A.S.S. is sponsoring a conference on poverty and education; she has been asked to speak about the impact of the direct certification requirement on our district. She encouraged members to attend if they are available.
• Legislators have been invited to a meeting at the Superintendent's office on March 24th to discuss FY18 budget implications and advocacy
• BHS Science Fair – the Superintendent thanked staff for their hard work and said she continues to be amazed at the scope of projects the students present
• A citywide mentor rally, sponsored by the YMCA, was recently held. The Superintendent encouraged people to be in touch with Amanda Trask at the YMCA if they are interested in finding out more about mentoring.

Budget Update
Mr. Petronio presented a preliminary look at the FY18 budget. He passed out a summary of the governor's budget which showed that Brockton is basically receiving level-funding from the state. Mr. Petronio explained funding issues that will impact the FY18 budget, including only a .21% increase in Chapter 70 funding to Brockton which will amount to slightly over $300,000 while requiring the city to increase its aid to the district by $1.8 million; a drop in the reimbursement for students who have left to attend charter schools from 100% to 25%; and millions lost as a result of direct certification. He explained that Brockton's efforts to get more families signed up to be counted has been stalled because of the new conversation around immigrants.

Mr. Minichiello asked Mr. Petronio to continue to collect data with respect to low income families in the same way used prior to the state's implementation of direct certification, while continuing to comply with the direct certification requirement. He said he understands it is more work but this data will substantiate what Brockton has lost due to the new system and show the inequity. Mr. Petronio said he is already collecting that type of data and will show school committee at the next finance meeting.

Mayor Carpenter also pointed out several inequities in the governor's budget. He said Brockton was one of the fastest growing enrollments in the state, yet received one of the lowest increases in state aid. He felt the district needs to pursue getting another year of 100% charter school reimbursement to allow the district to properly adjust to the loss of about 300 students. He also felt that, more than last year, the direct certification requirement is discriminatory against Brockton and other gateway cities.

The Superintendent said she will put together a timeline for budget meetings and advocacy for the committee.


Diversity Commission Meeting
The Superintendent reported that she went before the city's Diversity Commission, she and Dr. Moran answered questions with respect to the district's efforts to diversify in the area of teaching and administrative staff. She said the BPS diversity action plan is still in draft form, but a meeting to finalize is scheduled this month and after that it will be presented to school committee. Mr. Minichiello said he also attended the diversity commission meeting and he believes that everyone in the school district is open to addressing this issue.

On the topic, the Superintendent reported that Brockton Public Schools will hold its own recruitment fair in April; Dr. Moran gave further details. Mr. Gormley said DESE has made it very expensive to become a teacher and until the state addresses that problem you will not see many urban students going into teaching. The Superintendent said that type of incentive has been discussed in the district, however, it has a budget impact.

Teacher Exchange Program
The Superintendent asked Kellie Jones and Laurie Silva to talk about an opportunity to begin an exchange program between Brockton and Cape Verde. Ms. Silva said this has been in discussion for a few years, plans are in the making to begin this with one teacher from Cape Verde and one from Brockton in April of this year. Ms. Silva said funding requirement would be minimal, the Superintendent said this is now in the legal department and she will send more information when it is available. Ms. Jones said the district would like to start with one teacher each, and if successful expand this in the future.

Trauma Sensitive Schools
The Superintendent asked Dr. Sal Terrasi to talk about a recent article in NEA Today that highlighted Brockton's efforts on several fronts with respect to trauma sensitive schools. Dr. Terrasi explained several initiatives that are having a positive impact in the classrooms. Courses are run in partnership with Lesley University, teachers working in trauma sensitive schools are giving positive anecdotal feedback. The Superintendent invited school committee members to visit one of the trauma sensitive schools.

West Middle School
Dr. Cliff Murray, Principal of West Middle School, gave a presentation that looked at student life at West Middle School. He shared snapshots of students engaging in academics and extracurricular activities. Dr. Murray spoke about the hybrid sports program that was created this year as a result of budget cuts, which has resulted in higher participation numbers all around and a significant increase in the number of female students taking part in sports activities. Dr. Murray also shared that West is piloting student IDs for grade 8 students and it is working out well.

 

Items to Refer to The Superintendent said a Facilities Usage meeting will need to be scheduled on
Subcommittee Tuesday, February 28th; Mr. Minichiello said he would like to add a Finance meeting that night to continue the discussion of this evening's meeting; Superintendent Smith said she would like to schedule a Superintendent's Contract subcommittee meeting to set goals in April/May.

New Business Appointment of Save Our Sports Board Member
The Superintendent reported that at the January 21st retreat, the committee discussed and was in agreement that a school committee member would be appointed annually to the Save Our Sports Foundation board. At the retreat, Mr. Gormley was nominated.

Mr. Minichiello moved to appoint Mr. Gormley as the school committee representative on the Save Our Sports Foundation Board; the motion was seconded by Ms. Plant.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Finance Subcommittee Report
Mr. Minichiello gave the following report.
The Finance subcommittee met at 6:30 p.m. earlier this evening, all members were present. At the meeting the committee discussed adding some athletic coaches positions not in the original budget; the committee voted unanimously to reinstate three athletic coaching positions as presented: one freshman baseball coach, one men's and one women's assistant track coach, for a total of $11,722. The discussion about the substitute issue with respect to compensation will be discussed further at the February 28th Finance meeting.

Mr. Gormley moved to accept the report, the motion was seconded.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Mr. Minichiello moved to ratify the subcommittee's vote to reinstate the three athletic coaching positions as described in the report (above); the motion was seconded.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Ratification of MOA between the Brockton School Committee and the Brockton Food Service Workers.

Ms. Sullivan thanked members of the negotiation team for their work. She said that the food service workers do a tremendous amount of work for the schools and the children and she was pleased to negotiate this contract.

Mr. Gormley moved to ratify the contract between the Brockton School Committee and the Brockton Food Service Workers as presented, the motion was seconded.

Voted: to ratify the contract; unanimous.

Finally, the Superintendent announced that her Executive Assistant Donna Migdal retired on Monday, February 6th, she thanked her for all of her hard work in the district over the years and wished her a very happy retirement.

Seeing no other New Business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen A. Smith, JD
Secretary

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Handouts: FY18 Chapter 70 Foundation Budget and FY18 Ch. 70 Budget Summary
Copy of West Middle School Power Point