On January 28, 2013 the Board met for their Regular monthly meeting.
The meeting began with a correspondence report presented by Mr. George Boudreau, Board Secretary. He noted that the Minister of Education will be visiting our Board on February 25, 2013. He also noted that the NSSBA are requesting representation on the resolutions committee and a nomination committee. It was further noted that names should be forwarded no later than March 15, 2013.
During the delegations and petitions agenda item the Board was pleased to have Mr. Sam Finney, a Grade Six student and Mr. Lucas Penney, a Grade four student of Jubilee Elementary. Both students provided the Board and public with an excellent presentation. We were informed of the history of Jubilee Elementary school and how they make use out of Smart boards in their school. The Board and staff appreciated the presentation made by the students.
Superintendent White followed up with his report. He identified the four critical issues which were identified in the Strategic Plan. Those issues were:
a) Governance which stresses a collaborative governance model.
b) Pathways to Success which involves all dimensions of the services provided by the CBVRSB.
c) Integrated Curriculum/Instruction: This is reflected in our Vision/Mission to provide a learning environment that challenges all students to succeed.
d) Demographic Dynamics: Declining enrollment impacts all areas of our work and is directly linked to funding thereby creating fiscal pressures.
Copies of his report can be found on the Board website.
He congratulated our own Commissioner Fred Tilley on his recent appointment of Principal of the Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi Campus and Dr. David Wheeler who was appointed President elect of Cape Breton University effective April 1, 2013.
Board Chair Lorne Green welcomed back all students and staff along with Board members. He noted that the Board will now roll up their sleeves, get back work and make some of the difficult decisions that have to be made in order to deliver the best education opportunities to the students of the Cape Breton-Victoria School Board.
This year the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will embark upon a very emotional and difficult issue - the review of, and the possible closure of, some of our schools. This alternative will not been considered lightly, but the Board realizes and guarantees comprehensive instructional programs for all students in all schools. By reviewing schools, we are able to offer more students more services, varied facilities access, technological onsite itinerant instruction and other opportunities not offered at small school sites.
He noted that we have an upcoming meeting dedicated solely to this issue and full board participation is strongly recommended.
The mission of all regional boards is to manage the system in order to achieve the goals set for children to accomplish their outcomes, to ensure their welfare, safety and the fulfillment of their future expectations.
The Regional Board assumes responsibility for policy making, for monitoring all aspects of children's education, for the operation of all school facilities, and for transportation within the boundaries of Cape Breton County & Victoria County. The Board is responsible for appointing a Superintendent to manage the budget, hire and supervise all staff, account for the students' welfare and their educational achievements as well as make recommendations for the operations of all schools and support services. All board members have received the superintendents’ performance appraisal forms and I encourage members to complete as much of this as you are comfortable with. Understanding some may feel as though you were not on the board long enough yet.
Board chairs from across the province have met to discuss various issues such as shared services, contract negotiations both teachers and CUPE. It is our hope that the province can come to an agreement with both as not to cause an effected to the education of student we are entrusted to care for.
He took the time to publicly thank the Golden-K for the initiating the first K-Kids in the province. This group is from Harbourside Elementary School. Some board members may remember Donald Matheson who was the former Director of Operations with this board and is reasonable for this group. He works directly with them to oversee all activity as well with the help of staff at the school. He encouraged all board members to pay a visit to this school to see first-hand the good work they are doing on behave of the board and community. He further noted that they are truly an inspiration and the future leaders of this community, province and perhaps even the country.
During the Education Committee report the Board approved the Schools Trips and Tours policy. They also approved several policies to be forward to the stakeholders. The policies identified were:
· Police Intervention in the School Setting
· Reporting Child Abuse
· Contact with Child Protection Authorities
· Network Access & Use
· Cancellation of Classes
· Transfer of Students
Commissioner Mercer was nominated to represent the Board on the NSSBA Education, Communication and Finance Committee. The Board’s alternative representation will be Commissioner Parsons.
During the Management Committee report the Board passed motions to approve several casual cleaners, maintenance staff as well as casual Student Support Workers.
The Board also accepted the recommendation to sustain services with the Bank of Montreal for another two years.
Commissioner Matheson moved a motion which was accepted by the Board to rotate the Board meetings throughout the Board over the next year. It was agreed that it will provide the public a greater opportunity to attend meetings.
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