Educational Services Facility
9:30 a.m.

July 21, 2020 Special School Board Meeting

Meeting processes continue to be modified in response to the COVID-19 emergency.  There will be no public attendance; however the meeting will be live streamed on both Spectrum Channel 496 and the District YouTube Channel and the meeting will be recorded for later viewing.  You must register in advance to make public comments.  The registration link will be posted via the District website   July 17-20, 2020.  Participants will be called Monday, July 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Recorded messages will be played during the public comment portion of the meeting.


The School Board held a special School Board meeting to consider delayed start dates on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at the Educational Services Facility in Viera.  Notice of the special meeting was advertised in the Friday, July 17, 2020 edition of Florida Today.  An affidavit of publication is available in the Board Office.

A. Call to Order
1. Call to Order

Chairman Misty Belford called the special meeting to order at: 9:32 a.m.  She explained that the purpose of the special meeting was to approve the Superintendent's recommendation for calendar modifications based on later start dates. 

A. Roll Call
2. Roll Call

Members Present:  Misty Belford, Cheryl McDougall, Tina Descovich, Matt Susin and Katye Campbell


Ms. McDougall was present telephonically.


A. Moment of Silence
3. Moment of Silence

There was no moment of silence held.

A. Invocation
A. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Belford led the Pledge of Allegiance.

A. Entertainment
A. Board Member/Superintendent Recognitions
A. Emergency Item
A. Adoption of Agenda
5. Adoption of Agenda
Adopt the July 21, 2020 Special School Board meeting agenda and its revisions.
Vote Results ( Approved )
Motion: Katye Campbell
Second: Matthew Susin
Misty Belford - Aye
Katye Campbell - Aye
Tina Descovich - Aye
Cheryl Mcdougall - Aye
Matthew Susin - Aye
A. Administrative Staff Recommendations
B. Recognition of Visitors/Guests/Staff
C. Resolutions/Proclamations
D. Presentations
E. Public Comment
6. Public Comment

Protocols for public comments have been modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Callers registered in advance and were called Monday evening, July 20, to record comments.  Those comments were played during this portion of the meeting.

Tom Westermeyer 

Elizabeth Chaille 

Anthony Colucci

Vanessa Skipper

Kyle Savage

Kelly Nobles

Rachel Preston

Makaylee Clark

Erin Dunn

Alyssa Wells

Sarah Hardy

Barbara Wilcox



F. Consent
Items Pulled for Discussion
G. Action
G. Superintendent
7. Calendar Modifications Based on Later Start Dates
Reopening Criteria.pdf
Copy of Percent Positive - county.pdf

At the July 14, 2020 School Board meeting, Dr. Mullins had provided documents detailing calendar modifications for a later school start date due to COVID-19.  Dr. Thedy provided information on calendar options and modified start dates.  Extensive discussion surrounding these options ensued. Ms. Campbell asked if we delayed the start of school, will the summer feeding be continued until that time.  Dr. Mullins stated they would look into that and get an answer back to the Board.  

Chairman Belford asked for a motion.  Mr. Susin made a motion to approve the Superintendent's recommendation to modify the 2020-2021 school year calendar to accept a school start date of August 24, 2020 followed by a second by Ms. Descovich which opened the motion up for discussion. 


Ms. Belford began by saying she believed  that some community members felt that Governor DeSantis' recent remarks meant that schools would not be penalized if brick and mortar classes were not in session in August.  She read verbatim a statement he made and felt that his intent was not clear.  She reached out to his office for clarification, but had not received a call back.  She stated that two things that were clear in his statement is that 1.  He did not want decisions based on fear and 2. He wants to be collaborative.


By all metrics she had seen and read, Brevard was going in the wrong direction by the increased number of positive cases of COVID. She continued that the Board had to rely on health experts for guidance and she said they have to base decisions on facts.  She is supportive of the calendar move to the 24th, but asked for the Board to consider tying some facts to their decision.


She provided each board member with a document of compilation of metrics to identify when we should lighten our mitigation strategies.   Health officials she had spoken with said that 14 days of declining metrics is incredibly important before we reopen schools. Chairman Belford proposed supporting the school start date of August 24, with the full reopening plan as proposed provided we have some with some established metrics identifying the "green light."  Until we can get to that point, we would need to open with e-learning and online options.


Ms. Descovich appreciated the metrics that Ms. Belford provided.  Ms. Descovich had also sent a listing of metrics to the Board on the percent of positivity for new cases. She stated that Brevard is the lowest percentage of positive cases of all of our surrounding counties. In particular, she is interested in the metrics surrounding children. Ms. McDougall stated that she did not like to compare our district among other districts and did not want to use our children as guinea pigs.  Ms. Belford said that the health professionals she had spoken with told her that the most important metric was a steady decline over 14 days.


Ms. Campbell said that she believed metrics should be part of the reopening plan and that the calendar could be approved without a decision on metrics. There was discussion about the need for more expedient testing results. Mr. Susin asked if they could workshop metrics further and is open to the conversation, but was not ready today to make a decision.  After some discussion on metrics, consensus was reached that the calendar could be voted on independently of established metrics and metrics could be brought back for more discussion at another workshop. Chairman Belford called for the vote on the calendar which passed unanimously.


Ms. McDougall wanted to change the expectation of wearing a mask to a mandate or requirement rather than "expected."  She said that it was a proven way to protect people.  Ms. Descovich suggested that if the Board had an interest in changing the language, if it could be part of a conversation during the metrics workshop.  She felt that there is a difference between age groups and exceptionalities and felt they needed a more lengthy conversation. Mr. Susin stated there would be issues of how to deal with students in ESE such as a waiver.


Regarding the mask language of expected or mandated; Ms. Campbell felt a decision should be made today one way or the other. She said that parents need that information in order to make decisions.  She is concerned about students having to wear them all day and said if we make it mandatory, there will have to be a consequence for not wearing which causes more issues.


More discussion followed and Ms. Belford said that the medical professionals she spoke with said that the mandating of masks with the strongest language possible is one of the most important measures that can be taken. There was more conversation about exceptions and the need for measures to help ensure the safety and well being of faculty, staff and students. G


Ms. Belford, Ms. McDougall and Mr. Susin each wanted to look at this in more depth and the consensus was to move it to a Board workshop while Ms. Descovich was fine with workshop pong the topic and Ms. Campbell did not feel the language in the reopening plan needed changes.  Direction was provided to Dr. Mullins to have staff research what this might look like if it were make the changes. Chairman Belford explained that Board members should forward specific information requests to Dr. Mullins so that he and staff can prepare for the workshop which will be held on July 30 do discuss both the metrics and mask language.


Mr. Susin asked questions about Brevard Virtual School being translated to Spanish.  Dr. Solvent said that the website itself could be translated; but the content comes from Florida Virtual, which does not have that feature. He asked about AP classes and eLearning as well as Pre, and Brevard After School.  Mr. Susin asked Ms. Moore (Assistant Superintendent of Student Services to detail the plan when students, teachers, and athletes test positive for COVID.  Ms. Moore provided some explanation; but cautioned that each case is super specific. 

Approve the Superintendent's recommendation to modify the 2020-2021 school year calendar to accept a school start date of August 24, 2020
Vote Results ( Approved )
Motion: Matthew Susin
Second: Tina Descovich
Misty Belford - Aye
Katye Campbell - Aye
Tina Descovich - Aye
Cheryl Mcdougall - Aye
Matthew Susin - Aye
H. Information
I. Staff Reports
J. Additional Public Presentations (If Required)
K. Board Member Reports/Discussion Points
L. Superintendent's Report
M. Adjournment
8. Adjournment

Chairman Belford adjourned the work session at: 12:13 p.m.

For further details of this meeting, please visit the published meeting video at www.brevardschools.org.

Chairman: __________________________ Secretary: ___________________________

INSTITUTION:  ARTICLE IX - SECTION 1.  Public education. - The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require.

ADDRESSING THE BOARD:You must register in advance to make public comments.  The registration link will be posted via the District website Friday, July 17-20, 2020.  Registered participants will be called Monday, July 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Recorded messages will be played during the public comment portion of the meeting.

NOTE:  If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the Board with regard to any matter considered at this meeting, he/she will need a record of the proceedings and, for such purposes, may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made and that the record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.

NOTE:  Sensory and mobility impaired persons seeking assistance for participation in any meeting, conference, or seminar should contact Tina Snyder, Manager, Professional Standards, five days prior to the meeting date.  Ms. Snyder may be reached at 321-631-1000, ext. 11226 (voice) or snyder.tina@brevardschools.org (email).

NOTE:  This publication can be made available to persons with disabilities in a variety of formats, including large print, DVDs and Braille.  Telephone or written requests should include your name, address, and telephone number.  Requests should be made to School Board Office, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, FL  32940-6699, (321) 633-1000, ext. 11412 at least two (2) weeks prior to the time you need the publication.<br><br>
NOTE:  We respectfully request that ALL ELECTRONIC ITEMS AND CELL PHONES REMAIN OFF while the School Board is in session.

NOTE:  Brevard Public Schools Television (BPS-TV) will broadcast this meeting live on Spectrum cable channel 496.  BPS-TV will replay the meeting Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday at 12:30 p.m.,Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.  and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Board meetings are also available as streaming video on the district web page at www.brevardschools.org.   

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