The Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board approved the 2012-2013 budget at a meeting on May 22, 2012. The budget shortfall is a total of $4,493,631. There are reductions in all departments within the Board including such things as professional development, equipment/supplies, travel, maintenance, property service, transportation, repairs, reduced bus runs, etc. There is also a total of 75.7 staff reductions for next year, including 56.7 Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union positions and 19 non-teaching staff positions. The impact of such reductions on top of the over $5 million reduction last year, certainly imposes challenges and strains within our system. Our Board faces extremely difficult days ahead if such reductions continue over the next year or more. Despite the challenges, Board and staff are committed to offer the best educational services to the students within our Board.
I had the opportunity to attend Music Monday which was held on May 7, 2012. This is a national event celebrating music programs across Canada. This wonderful event was hosted in Cape Breton and included a parade along Alexandra Street culminating at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. There was a one-hour National web broadcast from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. The event included over 1100 students and the Barra MacNeils. It certainly was a day of celebration of music and the wonderful programs within our system. I want to congratulate all our students who participated in Music Monday along with their teachers, principals and entire school communities. Well done everyone!
The months of May and June often include evenings of celebrations within the schools of the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board. There are Band spring concerts, art exhibits, academic and athletic awards, extra / co-curricular awards to name a few. These events showcase all the wonderful accomplishments and activities of our students and schools. It is wonderful to celebrate the great work of our students.
I would like to offer congratulations to our Transportation Service for being awarded the “Gerald W. Buchan Memorial Award” for the second consecutive year. This award is given to the Board for providing “driver training, accident prevention, mechanical and bus body preventative maintenance programs, stops per kilometer, pre-trip inspections, hours of work regulations, garage cleanliness and appearance.” This is a very prestigious award, and we are very proud of our Transportation Service for winning for the second year in a row!
The program “How Credit Works For You and Against You” is offered to our Junior High School students this year. It aims to educate students on the importance of managing and budgeting their finances and the crucial role credit plays in future financial decisions. The students hear an hour long presentation, and there is an essay aspect of the program that tests the students’ knowledge of the subject matter. Students who participate, share $7500 in prize money during an Awards Banquet later this month. This year, a bursary of $1000 in memory of former Police Chief, Myles Burke, will be presented for the first time to the overall student submission and the school of the winning student. Program partners are Marquis Development, MGM and Associates, Khattar and Khattar Law Firm, Black and Sons Ltd., Dynasty Cabs, Plaza Taxi, Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, Cape Breton Regional Police, Cape Breton Post, XFM Radio, The Coast FM, and the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board. We thank all our community partners for this terrific program and their funding support.
The Department of Education is holding a series of information sessions for Nova Scotians who are interested in seeking office during October’s School Board elections. The sessions will give insight into the roles and responsibilities of an elected Board Member, eligibility requirement, nomination process, honoraria, and general information about individual school boards. Present Board Members are also welcome.
The session for the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board is scheduled for June 6th at 6:30 p.m. at the School Board Office, 275 George Street.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to direct your attention, and that of the board members and staff, to read the comments from our school principals that are placed on individual school websites. These items represent the awards, achievements and successes of our students and staff within the boundaries of the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board. Again, I ask the principals to ensure that these important communications are kept up-to-date.
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