It is my pleasure to welcome everyone back for the 2012-2013 school year. It was a wonderful summer, and I hope everyone had time to relax and enjoy our beautiful island. I offer a special welcome to all those employees of the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board who are entering new positions in our Board, be it NSTU, CUPE or Confidential. Best of luck in your new assignments.
It was mentioned at the Education Committee meeting this month, the valuable contributions of teachers, other staff, parent and community volunteers to co and extra curricular activities within our schools. These people not only kindly donate of their time, they also represent role models for our students and, at times, help keep our students connected to our programs and schools in general. I want to thank all our volunteers as we begin another school year and will acknowledge their efforts further during April which is Volunteer Month.
I would like to recognize the appointment of Ms. Carole Olsen to the position of Deputy Minister of Education as of September 1st. Ms. Olsen is the former Superintendent of the Halifax Regional School Board. She has firsthand knowledge of the issues and challenges facing the education system in Nova Scotia, and I look forward to working with her in her new capacity.
The Treasury Board office has issued a RFP for a shared services review of common administrative and support functions within all provincial government departments and offices including all school boards. The focus is on the following services:
“The review will outline organizational structure options and recommendations including an evaluation of a regionally distributed delivery model. The review will be conducted over the months of October 2012 to March 2012.” This shared services review coincides with a “Spending Analysis Committee” which is reviewing how government and school boards spend their monies and in what ways finances may be saved and reinvested into programs for students. All school boards have representatives on one of these committees, and we are to be apprised and consulted throughout the process. I will keep the Board updated as the year progresses.
We have completed our Business Plan for 2012-2013 school year and, again, Senior Staff will keep the Board apprised of our goals throughout the year. The final touches are being finalized on our Strategic Plan and will hopefully receive Board approval in the near future.
The Department of Education is committed to “Kids and Learning First,” which is their multi-year plan to help students succeed. The Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board is committed to working with the Department of Education to implement the plan and offer the best programs and support we can for our students. The Department of Education also released the Cyberbullying Task Force report last year and plan to appoint a Coordinator by the end of September. Our Board is also working to develop respectful and responsible students and will work with the Department to that end. All our schools participated in the Stand up against Bullying Day on September 13, and I congratulate all schools on their efforts for this cause.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the speed limit in school zones is now 30 kms down from 50 kms per hour. Please slow down when entering school zones.
The Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board had a school-based inservice on Friday, September 21st. Most schools worked on “collaborative learning” during this day, and I want to thank all schools for their leadership and initiative on this valuable topic.
I would like to recognize Mr. John Helle, a vice principal at Oceanview Education Centre, who received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal from Premier Darrell Dexter at Marconi Campus on August 27th. This medal is awarded to Nova Scotians who made significant contributions to their community and their province. Congratulations to John from everyone at the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to direct your attention, and that of the board members and staff, to 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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