Brockton, Massachusetts Regular Meeting April 4, 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: Mr. Minichiello, Vice-Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. D'Agostino, Mr. Gormley,
Ms. Plant, Mr. Sullivan, Mrs. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith

Also Present: Executive Team

Absent: Mayor Carpenter

Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 7:09 p.m., followed by a salute to the flag.

Hearing of Visitors Mr. Minichiello invited Helen Virga and Lisa Sinkiewicz to address the committee.

Ms. Sinkiewicz asked school committee to consider taking another vote to overturn the decision to move the Gilmore School. Ms. Virga shared her many concerns about moving the Gilmore students to the Barrett Russell.

Mr. Minichiello responded that this school committee and administration are always open to discussion with parents and staff and we will do the right thing with respect to making sure the students have what they need. He said there are situations where, unfortunately, difficult decisions need to be made.

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, there were no requests.

Mr. Gormley moved the Superintendent's recommendation to approve the Consent Agenda in its entirety, Mr. D'Agostino seconded the motion.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.

Communication Superintendent Smith presented a request she received via email from Stonehill College students, asking school committee members if they would be willing to participate in an interview discussing their opinions on current discipline policies within the Brockton schools. Committee members can contact her office with any questions.

Superintendent's Diversity Task Force
Report The Superintendent reported that the BPS Diversity Task Force, made up of community and school department members, has met several times since October to have discussions about diversity in school department staffing. An action plan is close to being finalized, a Recruitment and Networking Fair is scheduled on Thursday, April 27, 4 – 7 p.m., and tonight she will unveil a "Grow Your Own" video that will be used to encourage students to go into the teaching profession and come back and teach in Brockton schools. Dr. Moran introduced Mr. Angel Cosme and Mr. Jacob Tagger, members of the task force, who updated school committee on the discussions and actions coming from the group. Following the update the video was shown.

Superintendent Smith thanked Lynne Tartaglia for producing the video and introduced the following "home-grown" teachers featured in the video who were present: Brian Cassell, Allison MacDonald, Bob Hogan and Carlito Weaver. The Superintendent announced that she would like to get this video out into the community.

Alannah Healy
The Superintendent shared an article from Husson University in Bangor, Maine, commending Alannah Healy, BHS alumni and daughter of deceased school committee member Michael Healy, as a star pitcher on the softball team. Alannah has dedicated her last season to her father, who she called her "first coach, catcher, and biggest critic."

Bilingual Department Presentation
Director of Bilingual Education Kellie Jones prepared a power point presentation to give an overview of the wide range of bilingual services that includes not only our student population but also parents and adults in the community. Of particular note is that over 30 languages are represented in Brockton, with students of Cape Verdean and Haitian descent making up 75% of the bilingual population. The presentation included student assessment data. Ms. Jones said Brockton is considered a state and national model for process and programs, this year Brockton will be the featured district for innovative and responsive programs for immigrant and refugee students in a DESE newsletter.

Hancock Elementary School Presentation
Principal Stephen Shaw and instructor Allison MacDonald prepared a power point presentation highlighting the welcoming culture of the Hancock School. Mr. Shaw talked about the positive impact Professional Learning Teams have had at the school and showcased the collaboration between the school and community.

Update on the FY18 Budget
Superintendent Smith provided a brief update on the Finance subcommittee meeting held earlier in the evening. She reported that the Mayor has given her an initial budget figure, the district will be dealing with a $16 million deficit, she is working with her executive team and will be looking at all areas, including transportation and another school closing to close this gap. She reported she continues to work on advocacy with all elected officials and will continue to update school committee as the district moves through the budget work.

Mr. Minichiello announced that Ward 2 City Councilor Thomas Monahan was in attendance and welcomed him to the meeting.

Items to Refer to Superintendent Smith said she would like to schedule a policy subcommittee
Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, April 12th and have Mr. Jim Hardy from MASC in attendance. Mr. Minichiello said at that meeting he would like to add discussion about a policy concern brought to his attention by Mr. D'Agostino with respect to BHS prom policy.

Mr. D'Agostino asked that any supporting documentation with respect to the school department's policy for prom attendance be provided to members in preparation for the meeting. Superintendent Smith said she will ask BHS administrators to attend as well to talk about the current policy in place. She said she goes to one of the proms each year and invited school committee members to attend as well.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen A. Smith, JD
Superintendent/ Secretary

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Handouts: Copy of BPS Recruitment and Networking Fair
Copy of Bilingual Education Presentation
Copy of Hancock School Presentation