On February 24, 2014 the Board met for their Regular monthly meeting.
Correspondence was received from the Department of Education regarding approved capital projects. The following projects were approved by the province; the province will purchase and renovate a building in Sydney to serve as a bus maintenance facility for Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. Secondly; Glace Bay High and Memorial High were also approved for capital projects.
A presentation was made by Whitney Pier Memorial regarding the Math Engagement pilot program. The following students were involved in the presentation: Taylor Williston, Sheraton Simmons, Katie Hasiuk, Hellena Washburn and Kiana Zahara. The students presented on the Math pilot project which is occurring at their school. The presentation began with a brief overview. The presentation included a power-point presentation and video. Four schools across the province were selected. Engagement and academic achievement are the key focus points. Some of the subject areas which ipads are used are; Health, Social Studies, Math, English and Science.
Mr. Ambrose White, Superintendent followed up with his report. Highlights of his report included events which occurred in our Board during African Heritage Month. This month the Coal Bowl Classic occurred at BEC and the Red Cup Classic at Riverview Rural High.
The Board Chair, Lorne Green then presented his report for the month. We are presently meeting and planning the Annual General Meeting for all Board members across the province to attend the weekend of May 29, 2014 – May 31, 2014. This is an opportunity for our Board to network with other Boards regarding best practices. The theme of the conference is Making Difference . It is our hope to work with other Boards and Department of Education and Early Development regarding networking, crisis management, recognizing links to school performance and engagement of students. The keynote speaker for the event is the Honorable Minister of Education and Early Development, Karen Casey.
The Minister of Education announced on February 19th an Education Review Panel who will seek public opinion on what is working with public education and what needs improvement. She noted in her press release that "Government is committed to a new direction for the public education system.” The Board and administration encourage everyone to give the panel their thoughts on how to improve public education. We want our Board to be heard! We were also pleased to hear that Mr. Gordon MacInnis from Glace Bay is on the panel. Mr. MacInnis is the Vice-President, Finance and Operations at Cape Breton University.
Both himself along with Superintendent White will be meeting with the Mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality on March 7, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. It is our hopes to create an open dialogue to see where we can work together for the betterment of our students and our municipality.
February is African Heritage Month. Our students and staff have been extremely busy with events taking place not only in our schools but also in our communities. The kick-off event was the gala held at Membertou Trade & Convention Centre on February 1, 2014. The theme for this year’s gala was African Kings and Queens and consisted of a variety of African Nova Scotian entertainment. He thanked the organizers of this event. It was a well attended event and extremely well organized.
The Board would like to acknowledge Oceanview Education Centre student Tatyana Headley who is one of six featured youth on this year’s African Heritage Month poster. This year’s theme “Rising Stars –Celebrating our Youth” seeks to celebrate all African Nova Scotian youth whose positive contributions to their communities make them role models for those who follow. Tatyana’s outstanding contribution to her community is both admirable and inspiring!
Again this year, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board paid tribute to one of our own students during The Black Reflections Arts Gallery which was held at Menelik Hall on February 11th, 12th and 13th . The gallery displayed works of art from some of our African Nova Scotian students along with Baddeck Academy student Jacob Headley who is the featured artist this year. We would like to thank Ms. Marjorie Bursey, Coordinator of RCH along with our Student Support Workers for their hard work and dedication in promoting the importance of recognizing our heritage.
Through the Education Committee report , the Board approved the following;
· A motion was passed requesting Senior staff to explore the option of offering Math year-round at the Grade Eleven and Grade Twelve starting in September, 2014 – the Board would like Senior staff to bring this back to the table for further exploration.
· Human Resources Report
· Programs and Student Services Report
· Substance Use Policy PSS211 will be forwarded to the stakeholders for further review
· Correspondence with be forwarded endorsing the EPIC Peers program
In the Management Committee report, the Board approved the following;
· Director of Financial Services Report
· Director of Operational Services Report
· Human Resources Report
· Request for Resolutions for 2014
· Nomination of Commissioner Yvonne Kennedy for the Education Week Partner Award
Commissioner Mercer provided her NSSBA report.
· Education Week in Nova Scotia will take place from April 20-26, 2014. The theme this year is Active Citizenship: Get Involved, Take Action, Be the Difference. The Nova Scotia School Boards Association (NSSBA) provides the opportunity for each school board to nominate a school board member who demonstrates a keen interest and involvement in relation to the Education Week theme. The NSSBA executive will review the nominations and select one board member to receive the NSSBA Education Week Partner Award 2014.
Congratulations are extended to Commissioner Yvonne Kennedy who has been nominated by our Board to receive this prestigious award. Commissioner Kennedy is a most worthy nominee based on her interest, dedication and tireless involvement in educational activities.
· As referenced by the Board Chair, this year the Nova Scotia School Boards Association (NSSBA) Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be hosted by the CB-VRSB at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre on May 29, 30 and 31, 2014. The AGM Planning Committee is busily engaged in organizing activities that will reflect the theme, Making a Difference!
· The NSSBA has called for a maximum of 2 resolutions from each school board for this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). Boards are encouraged to seek input from stakeholders such as SACs, schools, and communities when developing their resolutions.
· The Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) Congress 2014 will be hosted by the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) from July 3-5 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. This year’s theme is Excellence: Reimagined. Registration is now open and regular updates will be provided on the CSBA and OPSBA websites: www.cdnsba.org/www.opsba.org
· The NSSBA Education Meeting which was cancelled on January 22 due to inclement weather has been rescheduled to take place on March 6, 2014.
· The next scheduled NSSBA Board of Directors meeting will be held on the evening of March 6 and on March 7, 2014.
The following is the report of the Regional Educational Services, Mr. John Astephen:
1. Designated Special Education Private School ( DSEPS) and Tuition Support Program (TSP)
A private/independent school that has a primary mandate to provide programming and services for students with special needs, as defined for the purposes of the Tuition Support Program (TSP), may apply for designation status. The school must have been in operation for at least one year and employ only teaching staff who hold a teacher’s certificate issued by the Minister of Education, with demonstrated qualifications or competencies to teach students with special needs. The school must follow the Nova Scotia Public School Program (PSP). The school must have rules and procedures related to student’s conduct and behavior that incorporate the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness and accord with the policies and procedures made by the Minister. The school must be solvent, maintain the financial security required by the Minister and a fidelity bond and general liability insurance. The school must have measures in place to protect student and staff from harm. The school must not be affiliated with a religious faith or denomination and is either recognized as a non-profit organization or a charitable organization. Designation is valid for two years and may be renewed if the school demonstrates on-going meeting of their obligations: DSEPS must report annually to the Minister proof of compliance with the regulations and on student progress related to their Adaptations or Individual Program Plan; DSEPS must meet with the funded student’s school board as least two times during the school year to report on student progress and transition plans; DSEPS must conduct provincial assessments and examination at the request of the Minister; DSEPS must develop transition plans for all funded students who are leaving to pursue their studies in the public system, post-secondary education or through employment. Current DSEPS include Bridgeway Academy with campuses in Dartmouth, Truro, and Yarmouth, Churchill Academy in Dartmouth; and Landmark East School in Wolfville. The Tuition Support Program (TSP) provides funding which partially covers the tuition cost of designated special education private schools.
The Tuition Support Program (TSP) provides an option for students who meet program eligibility requirements to access specialized programming and services outside the framework of the Nova Scotia public school system. The intent of the TSP is to provide students with the opportunity to develop strategies and skills which will support their successful transition back to their neighborhood school, post-secondary learning and/or community.
The TSP addresses the specific needs of students who have been diagnosed with one of the
following disorders or disabilities:
• Learning Disability (as defined by the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, 2002)
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
• Autism Spectrum Disorder
All eligible students receive the same base per pupil funding unit which is paid directly to the DSEPS. Parent/Guardians are also able to apply for a supplemental grant, the amount of which is
determined on a sliding scale, based on their reported family income during the previous taxation
year, to further assist them in meeting the related tuition costs.
The maximum amount that a student is eligible to receive through the TSP is 90% of the tuition
costs of the DSEPS or the combined total amount of the funding unit and the maximum supplement. The 2013-2014 funding unit is $7,600.
The Tuition Support Program is available to students for three years, with a potential fourth additional year available, in cases where transition outcomes have been identified through the program planning process.
For some students, exceptional circumstances make the transition especially challenging and families now have the ability to explore the option of entering into a tuition agreement following the established parameters of the Tuition Support Program.
Additional information on DSEPS and/or TSP can be found on the following website(s):
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