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Superintendent's Report - February 25, 2008
Published by Karen Delaney [Karen Delaney] on 02/27/2008 (3964 reads)
Superintendent's Report - February 25, 2008



On February 1st , 2008, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board sent their final submission to the Nova Scotia Utility & Review Board. Our submission contained the background which describes the boundaries and the electoral districts within the jurisdiction of our Board and the number of elected school board members.

Presently, there are fourteen (14) Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board members on the amalgamated board, twelve (12) of whom are elected within the electoral boundaries, one African Nova Scotian who is elected pursuant to Section 42 (a)(1) of the Education Act and one of whom is a Mi′kmaq representative appointed pursuant to Section 42 (4) of the Education Act.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is proposing a realignment of its existing electoral boundaries so as to conform with the newly revised municipal districts of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The proposal will result in a total of thirteen (13) elected board members and one African Nova Scotian elected member as well as one appointed Mi′kmaq member. This will result in a net total of fifteen (15) members for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. We believe that the current proposal will reflect, as closely as possible, the current governance model and that if approved, will provide the framework which will enable the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board to continue with our successful governance model (to the public, if details are required, please refer to our web site for your convenience .

With regards to the impending election which is set for October 2008, it is most fitting that our community should give added attention to what our Board represents and what are some of its major responsibilities.

Currently, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board actively operates fifty-two (52) schools throughout its jurisdiction in addition to other properties which include a dedicated staff Resource Centre, a Central Administration Office, a Property Services Office and four Maintenance Garages. Our current budget is approximately $135,000,000. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board currently employs two thousand three hundred thirty-three (2,333) employees of which one thousand two hundred fifty-eight (1,258) represents teaching staff and the balance is non-teaching staff.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board′s many responsibilities include the following: the selection of the regional Superintendent, the development of general policies according to the wishes of the community and requirements of law, and the hiring of all personnel based on recommendations of the Superintendent of Schools. The School Board adopts salary schedules, approves funds to finance school operations, and must review the annual operating budget for the regions of Cape Breton County and Victoria County. The Board meets on a regular schedule with the provision to have emergency meetings when required. All board meetings are open to the public and provide time during regular meetings for community input and comments. The Board is always anxious to hear the perspectives of the public and welcomes any contributions and suggestions it receives from this input.

Madame Chair and board members, please allow me to continue on with our theme dedicated to the community, parents, guardians and students. My theme tonight is the ′Role of the Principal′ in the context of our Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board boundaries......

A very visible part of a school building principal′s role is management. Such tasks as the budget, the calendar, and the master schedule demands the principal′s attention. Current research indicates, however, that the principals of the most effective schools do not become consumed with these managerial tasks. Rather, they choose to spend a larger amount of time serving as instructional leaders in their schools.

What characteristics are seen in principals who actively make quality instruction not only a focus of their jobs but also their school′s mission? There are many.

First and foremost, principals who are instructional leaders model effective teaching strategies and serve as a resource for others. They are energetic, enthusiastic, visible proponents of instruction in and out of their buildings. They are a visible presence, always willing and accessible to discuss instructional matters.

In addition, they openly communicate to parents, students and staff the benefits to be derived from the pursuit of quality instruction. They choose to provide opportunities for employees to grow professionally through planned staff development activities and they focus on instructional issues at staff meetings and parent meetings.

Decisions about how to allocate resources such as time, money and effort are often based on their relationship to instructional issues. Recognizing that without sound instruction children are ill-equipped to find success in the world, these principals work hard to safeguard class teaching time and effective teaching strategies.

In addition, good principals attempt to provide risk-free environments where employees are encouraged to be creative and to generate new ideas to maximize instruction. Teachers are empowered to assume leadership roles in the building, and professional learning communities are actively promoted and supported.

The results of a principal′s involvement in the instructional process are revealing. Studies have indicated that a positive relationship exists between a principal′s emphasis on strong instructional leadership and the increased academic achievement of students. With this knowledge in hand, it is no small wonder that school principals - elementary through high school - are making it a primary goal to emphasize instruction.

Madame Chair, I direct your attention, and that of our Board, to the attached reports emanating from our schools and the information about students′ successes and the achievements of our staff. I further ask that you review the ′Superintendent′s Memos′ section that focuses on events and initiatives that have occurred since our last meeting.

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