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Sections > School Board Meeting - Minutes > School Board Meeting Minutes: September 24, 2012
School Board Meeting Minutes: September 24, 2012
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 10/30/2012 (1598 reads)
School Board Meeting Minutes: September 24, 2012


Staff Development Center
North Sydney, N.S.
September 24, 2012




REGULAR BOARD MEETING

(1) CALL TO ORDER:

A meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was called to order today beginning at 7:05 p.m.

(2) RECORD OF ATTENDANCE:



Present: Lorne Green, ChairSandra Margettie Fred Tilley
Cathi Pierrard Jackie Organ Darren MacNeil
Joan Currie Gary Fraser Darrell Flynn
Steve Parsons Kevin Ruelland Darlene Morrison
Darren GoogooCharlie Keagan
Absent: Barb Mercer
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Also Present:
George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services
Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resource Services
Susan Kelley, Director of Programs and Student Services
Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary


(3) APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

(a) Deletions:

There were no deletions.

(b) New Business/Additions:

Moved by Commissioner Pierrard
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board accept the agenda as presented including the following item. . .

a. Commissioner Organ - Policies

Motion carried
2012-09-13



(4) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS:

Moved by Commissioner Organ
Seconded by Commissioner Pierrard

that the minutes for the following meetings be approved by the Board. . .

Regular Public Board Meeting - June 18, 2012

Special Board Meeting - June 18, 2012

Special Board Meeting - June 25, 2012

Special Board Meeting -August 27, 2012

Special Board Meeting -September 17, 2012

Motion carried
2012-09-14



(5) BUSINESS ARISING FROM MINUTES:

n/a



(6) CORRESPONDENCE:

n/a



(7) Delegations and Petitions:

a. Colleen MacKenzie, Concerned parent- Provided a power-point presentation with a review of the Riverside environment. She noted that Riverside is a rural school. She provided a comparison of Riverside’s student/teacher ratio with other schools within the Board. She further compared the Grades Three/Four combination with other schools. She indicated the class sizes which presently exist at Riverside however she noted that these are subject to change due to the final enrollment figures not due until the 30th of September. She quoted various statements which were made by the Minister of Education, CBC news, Cape Breton post. In summary, she reiterated that Riverside is a rural school; and her feeling that student/teacher ratio is higher in comparison to other schools, significantly larger combined class. (copy of presentation with the original minutes)

Her presentation also included several requests to both Board and staff.



b. Tammy Weagle – Concerned parent – She wished to address correspondence received from the Minister of Education Ramona Jennex with regards to cap sizes. (attached to the original minutes)



(8) SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT:

Mr. Ambrose White, Superintendent of Schools sent his regrets due to another School Board commitment however his report was presented by Mrs. Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resources. (attached to the original minutes and on the Board website)

In his report he welcomed everyone back for the 2012-2013 school year. He offered a special welcome to all those employees of the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board.

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. Within his report he thanked all our volunteers as we begin another school year and will acknowledge their efforts further during April which is Volunteer Month.

In his report he recognized 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 he looks 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:

· Information Technology
· Financial Services
· Human Resources
· Building Infrastructure, and
· Asset Management (includes Transportation)

“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 budgets and in what ways monies 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.

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 13th.

His report mentioned that the speed limit in school zones is now 30 kms down from 50 kms per hour. He requested that everyone please slow down when entering school zones.

The Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board had a school-based inservice on Friday, September 21st.

He recognized 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.

Moved by Commissioner Margettie
Seconded by Commissioner Flynn

that the Board accept the Superintendent’s Report as presented. . .

Motion carried
2012-09-15



A copy of his report is attached to the original minutes.



(9) BOARD CHAIR REPORT:

Mr. Green, Board Chair presented an oral report. He began his report noting that on September 6th our schools opened to 13,700 students. He congratulated both students and staff on a new year.

“Welcome to our fresh new year. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is a powerful influence along with parents, family and the community on children's learning. Although we have taken many initiatives to increase that involvement, I feel strongly that the Board will endeavor to create an even greater long-term vision for increasing that involvement in public education.

The mission of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is as follows: "The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board fosters a caring, dynamic and creative environment that provides educational opportunities, promotes a love of learning, respect for others, and challenges all persons to develop their full potential to become confident, versatile, lifelong learners and thinkers".

We are proud of what our community has done to bring our dreams for your children closer to reality. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has committed the entire school system to an ambitious strategic plan, a yearly business plan and a guarantee that the bulk of its yearly budget will be directed to the children's classroom.

Our budget supports a wide range of services for our children ranging from core curriculum support, special services for all students, cultural and diversity initiatives, technology innovations, library services improvements, international baccalaureate, vocational education options, O2 options and opportunities, and a myriad of new course selections for high schools.

The Education Act outlines the responsibility of parents and students as a critical factor in student success. That partnership begins with the parent or guardian, your child's principal and teacher. They share a dream of success for your child. Please support this partnership. Make sure your child comes to school each day rested, neatly dressed and ready to learn. Ask your child about what he or she has been learning at school and show interest in the work your child is asked to do at home. Encourage your child to read for school and pleasure, so that your child can discover the power of reading. Share information about your child's interests, hobbies, worries and past experiences so that your teacher will know your child better and will be able to teach him or her more effectively.

Again, welcome back to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board where every teacher, principal, support staff, and board member is committed to your child's success as a learner.

We the board have always focused on student achievement and will continue to do so as our primary goal. It is an ongoing struggle to attain the resources to meet the need of all of our students. We continue to be as efficient and effective as possible in the delivery of our programs, while at the same time, collecting data to set priorities and policies that best meet our needs.

It is much easier to be cynical about education, to be scornful of school or to complain about what is wrong. To some people, it is much harder to become part of a positive force that understands education, is supportive of school and is willing to participate in doing what is right. The time is fast approaching for voters to decide who will shape and direct local education for the next four years. School boards elections take place October 20th, 2012 and it is now that people should take time to ensure that the most dedicated will be given that most important duty. The local school board is that important link between the public and the Department of Education. Board members serve their communities in several important ways.

Again, it will be the board’s intention to keep the public of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board more aware of the crisis and consequences which face our communities. We are a regional board that is coping with drastic student decline. We have made the point clearly that the strategies of affluence experienced by other board’s offers us little guidance. Some boards are able to project surpluses while we struggle to balance our budget. We are a board with both declining enrolment combine with inadequate funding.

Investing in quality education is one of the best investments we can make as a society. This was the battle cry of the partnership in education over the last three years. Apparently, it has fallen on deaf ears. When you are faced with higher class sizes, reduced program initiative funding, reduction in instruction resources and fewer support staff, one must conclude that our excellent school system is at risk. We have to responsibly speak out about the impact on learning conditions for students.

Reduced student enrollment has always been used to justify reduced funding. This is a false concept which is better substituted with the idea that now is the time to enrich and expand the opportunities for students who remain in our trust. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board in grappling with untenable budget decisions that affect staffing and ultimately the students in the classroom.

Since the school boards realize it can’t do everything to immediately solve problems confronting the educational concerns of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, it does not follow that it can do nothing.

It is our hope that we will not go the route alone. We will be asking that the other stakeholder to accompany us along the way. I make special reference to the following: Department of Education, Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Home & School Federation, Advisory Councils, M.L.A.’s and the communities of Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board.”

Moved by Commissioner Flynn
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board accept the report as presented. . .

Motion carried
2012-09-16



EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORT



(10) REPORT FROM COMMITTEE:

Moved by Commissioner Tilley
Seconded by Commissioner Pierrard

that the Board approve the minutes of the Education Committee Meeting of Monday, September 17, 2012. .

Motion carried
2012-09-17



a. PSS REPORT FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES:

Moved by Commissioner Tilley
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

that the Board accept the report as presented by the Director of Programs and Students

Motion carried
2012-09-18



b. POLICIES:

Moved by Commissioner Tilley
Seconded by Commissioner Flynn

that the Board forward to the stakeholders the Respectful Learning and Working Environment, , ,

Motion carried
2012-09-19



MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE REPORT



c. REPORT FROM COMMITTEE:

Moved by Commissioner Parsons
Seconded by Commissioner Pierrard

that the Board approve the minutes of the Management Committee Meeting of Monday, September 17, 2012, , . .

Motion carried
2012-09-20



d. SCHOOL BASED CAFETERIAS:

Moved by Commissioner Parsons
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Management Committee recommend that the Board accept a proposal as presented by the Director of Finance with regards to school based run cafeterias. . .

Motion carried
2012-09-21



e. TENDER FOR AUDITED SERVICES:

Moved by Commissioner Parsons
Seconded by Commissioner Flynn

That the Management Committee recommend that the Board approve the request for a tender for Audit Services. . .

Motion carried
2012-09-22



f. REPORT - DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES:

Moved by Commissioner Parsons
Seconded by Commissioner Tilley

That the Board accept the Financial Report as presented. . .

Motion carried
2012-09-23



g. Report of the Director of Operational Services:

Moved by Commissioner Parsons
Seconded by Commissioner Organ

That the Board accept the report of the Director of Operational Services. . .

Motion carried
2012-09-24



h. CORRESPONDENCE – REQUESTS TO APPEAR AS DELEGATIONS TO THE FULL BOARD:

Moved by Commissioner Parsons
Seconded by Commissioner Flynn

That the Board recommend acceptance of the two requests to appear as delegations to the full Board on Monday, September 24, 2012 . . . .

Motion carried
2012-09-25



i. PRIVATE CONVEYANCE AND STIPENDS:

Moved by Commissioner Parsons
Seconded by Commissioner Pierrard

That the Management Committee recommend that the Operations Department review the process for assigning students for private conveyance and determining fee for services. . .

Motion carried
2012-09-26



(11)NSSBA REPORT:

Commissioner Fraser requested that Commissioner Currie provide highlights of the session which the NSSBA held in Antigonish this summer. Commissioner Currie provided the highlights of the session. Commissioner Keagan noted the excellent work of the facilitator and the staff of the NSSBA.

Commissioner Fraser noted that Commissioner Parsons will be attending the forthcoming meeting on his behalf.



(12) DIRECTOR OF THE REGIONAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES REPORT:

n/a



Commissioner Pierrard would like to see a follow-up on the status of this position.



(13) NEW BUSINESS:

a. Commissioner Organ - Policies

Moved by Commissioner Organ
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board accept the final draft of the Anyphalaxis Policy . . .

Motion carried
2012-09-27

Moved by Commissioner Organ
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board accept the final draft of the Employment Equity Policy

Motion carried
2012-09-28

(14) NEXT MEETING DATE:



Next Scheduled meeting date - Monday, October 29, 2012 at Northside Professional Development Centre.





(15) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

the meeting adjourned at 7:37 p.m.





__________________________________________________
LORNE GREEN GEORGE BOUDREAU
BOARD CHAIR BOARD SECRETARY


(16) PUBLIC SESSION:

Mr. Cecil Clarke, mayoral candidate, would like to see the Board take the opportunity to address issues during the election campaign which concern education and to engage everyone. He noted he is running for Mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. He noted that the focus at the municipal level is to address challenges and to take a different approach to these issues. He would like to see specific sessions throughout the year dealing with issues which involve our youth. Looking for opportunities to integrate our international students would be one of these initiatives. Working with our First Nation communities, recreational communities, and addressing healthy active communities and develop engaged dialogue.

Public transport, strong active healthy communities and an opportunity to explore new opportunities along while creating a stronger dialogue with our provincial and federal government are all positive initiatives.

Mr. David McNabb, parent from Riverside Elementary, wished to point out that initially Commissioner Mercer had made a statement that if the school received two more students in the split grade they could receive another teacher.

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