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Sections > School Board Meeting - Minutes > School Board Meeting Minutes: February 24, 2014
School Board Meeting Minutes: February 24, 2014
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 04/29/2014 (24014 reads)
School Board Meeting Minutes: February 24, 2014

Sherwood Park Education Centre
Sydney, N.S.
February 24, 2014



A meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was called to order today beginning at 6:58p.m.


Present: Lorne Green, Acting Chair Sandra Margettie Gary Fraser
John Berk Jackie Organ Darrell Flynn
Joan Currie Joyce Lind Yvonne Kennedy
Kevin Ruelland Darren Googoo Barb Mercer
Jack Toomey Stewart Matheson Fred Tilley
Absent: Steve Parsons
Also, Present: Ambrose White, Superintendent
Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resources
Susan Kelley, Director of Programs and Student Services
George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services
Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services
John Astephen, Regional Director of Educational Services
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary


(a) Deletions:

There were no deletions.

(b) New Business/Additions:



Moved by Commissioner Matheson
Seconded by Commissioner Fraser

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

Regular Public Board Meeting -January 27, 2014
Special Board Meeting -January 28, 2014
Special Board Meeting -February 3, 2014
Special Board Meeting -February 10, 2014

Motion carried


All Board members introduced themselves to those in attendance.


Mr. George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services distributed correspondence from the Department of Education and Early Development. The correspondence was regarding its Capital Plan and approved projects. (attached to the original minutes)

It was noted that three projects were approved for our Board.

Moved by Commissioner Fraser
Seconded by Commissioner Kennedy

That the Board accept the correspondence as presented. . .

Motion carried


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
Kiana Zahara

The students presented on the Math pilot project which is supported at the 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 in which ipads are used are; Health, Social Studies, Math, English and Science.

Commissioner Margettie thanked the students and staff for their wonderful presentation which was very informative and peaked the interest of all Board members.


Superintendent White began his report welcoming everyone back.

This February, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of African Heritage Month in Nova Scotia. This year’s theme is “Rising Stars – Celebrating our Youth.” The Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board is very proud to acknowledge Oceanview Education Centre student, Tatyana Headley, who is one of six featured youth on this year’s African Heritage Month poster. Tatyana is always eager to give back and to serve as an inspiration to youth in her community and around the world. Her volunteer work with the Undercurrent Lighthouse church and her mission trip to the Dominican Republic for Habitat for Humanity have enabled her to have a lasting positive effect in the lives of others. Tatyana strives to be a leader in her school by participating in the “Me to We” program, Project LEAD, and the Black Educators’ Association Cultural Academic Enrichment program. Tatyana is certainly a “Rising Star” and fits into this year’s theme perfectly. Congratulations Tatyana. We are very proud of you. Every school within our Board celebrates the beautiful African Canadian Heritage throughout the year but especially in February. Speakers, performers, dancers and various projects and presentations are held in conjunction with this theme. He congratulated all schools for their work in this area.

His report often gives him the opportunity to acknowledge many of the wonderful accomplishments of our students and schools and this month, He recognized two annual sporting events that have been occurring for over 30 years and are much more than “sporting events.” He referred to the Annual Coal Bowl Classic Basketball Tournament at Breton Education Centre in New Waterford and the Red Cup Hockey Showcase Tournament at Riverview High School.

The Coal Bowl is unique in that teams stay at the school, participate in academic exercises, visit local sites, museums, etc. Students participate in fundraisers, attend dances and socials and really get to know about the community and Cape Breton. They also get to meet players from other provinces and learn about their communities. This great event would not occur without the wonderful support of over 300 volunteers and many community and corporate sponsors.

The Red Cup Classic also features teams from Cape Breton, from across the province and Maritimes, and sometimes from across the country. The rink is packed to capacity each night, and the students are highly engaged and supportive of this wonderful event. Again, community/ school volunteers and corporate support are the anchors of this tournament. He congratulated both schools and their students, parents, and communities at large for another successful tournament. These two events are examples of the many types of high level co and extra curricular activities that occur at many of our schools throughout our Board, and he uses them as examples of all the others as well.

The second semester recently began, and the targets for student enrollment through the Nova Scotia International Student Program have been met for this year. Student enrollment increased from 81 students in the fall of 2012 to 124 students in January of 2014. Staff continues to work hard to provide quality homestays and an inviting and great educational experience for the students.

On February 20th, there was a professional development day for all junior high principals. The day was a collaboration between Secondary Consultants for Math and English, the Secondary Programs Coordinator and the RCH Coordinator. The day was arranged in response to a request to look at specifics regarding goal setting in the School Improvement Plan of the Continuous School Improvement process and an opportunity for principals to consider what their results are telling them in regards to student success and student need within their population. This information can be invaluable in providing leadership for the school improvement process and in giving guidance to teachers regarding their practice.

The very successful 02 Program – Options and Opportunities is presently operating in five of our eight high schools. To offer 02 to the remaining three high schools; namely, Memorial High, Rankin School of the Narrows, and Baddeck Academy, a number of options are being explored. One unique option for Rankin School of the Narrows and Baddeck Academy is to offer 02 in both schools but as one program sharing the FTE support and program resources. Flexible scheduling in each school will assure that the components and outcomes of the 02 program are delivered and accomplished. Both schools have established community-based learning opportunities. Rankin School of the Narrows with the Highland Village and Baddeck Academy is in its second year offering cooperative education. Programs would be set to go in September 2014, pending funding.

Senior staff attended an ANSEA Conference on February 20th and 21st on the theme of “School Security”. Mr. Ken Trump, President of National School Safety and Security Services, was the keynote speaker. He has been making schools safer for over 30 years. He and his team advise superintendents, school boards, administrators, and their community partners on how to reduce risk, prevent and prepare for crises, and strengthen community confidence in school leaders on safety and preparedness issues. We also had principals, other central office staff, CBRM police and CLOs in attendance. It was very well done.

Finally, it is that time of the year, i.e. budget time, and all Boards are waiting for their draft profile sheets for our upcoming year. We will certainly inform the Board when and what those numbers are as soon as we year.

He directed everyone’s 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, he asked the principals to ensure that these important communications are kept up-to-date.

Moved by Commissioner Googoo
Seconded by Commissioner Fraser

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

Motion carried


The month of February, 2014 was a very busy month for our Board. 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.

Friday, February 28th all Board Chairs will meet in Halifax.

Moved by Commissioner Mercer
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

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

Motion carried



Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

that the Board approve the minutes of the Education Committee Meeting of Monday, February 10, 2014 .

Motion carried


Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Education Committee recommend that Senior staff explore the option of offering math year-round at the Grade Eleven and Grade Twelve beginning September, 2014 and report back to the committee on its findings. . .

Motion carried


Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Mercer

That the Board accept the PSS Report as presented by the Director of Programs and Student Services, Mrs. Susan Kelley at the Education Committee meeting. . .

Motion carried

c. NSTU Flex Pension Option Withdrawal:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Matheson

That the Board approve the following request to withdraw from a Flex Pension Option. .

Employee #






Ginny Sampson

Glace Bay High

Withdrawal from Flex Pension Option

(March 24, 2014 to May 2, 2014)

Motion carried

d. NSTU Deferred Salary:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Flynn

That the Board approve the following request for deferred salary leave. . . .

Employee #






Dawn Donovan

Oceanview Education Centre

Six Months: February 1/15 to July 31/15

Motion carried

e. Amendment to Terms (For Information Only)

Employee #



Previous Dates



Sub #: 40014771

Term #: 40036607

Bev Young

Harbourside Elementary

Term: January 7, 2014 to March 5, 2014

Term: January 7, 2014 to May 30/14

f. Amendments to Terms (For Information Only):

Employee #



Previous Assignment

New Assignment



Dorothy Kaiser

Sherwood Park

Education Centre


Sherwood Park Ed. C.

English as an Additional Language (Temp Assignment) Feb 17/14 to July 31/14 Base: Sherwood Park Ed. Centre

g. Human Resources Report:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board approve the report as presented by the Director of Human Resources Beth MacIsaac at the Education Committee Meeting. . .

Motion carried

h. Policies forwarded to stakeholders for review: (information only)

Substance Use Policy PSS211 – for review by stakeholders.

i. EPIC Peers program:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

That the Board support the recommendation that the Board endorse the application to the RBC foundation on behalf of the EPIC Peers program by way of letter. . . .

Motion carried



Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

that the Board approve the minutes of the Management Committee Meeting of Monday, February 17, 2014 . .

Motion carried

k. Report of the Director of Financial Services:

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Matheson

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

Motion carried

l. CUPE Retirement:

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Mercer

That the Board accept with regret and thanks for years of service the following retirement. .


Name of Employee

Position Employed in


Effective Date


Ada Pittman

LBG/St. Anne’s


Feb 27/14

Motion carried

m. Bus Driver Posting – WK#1213:

Regular employee awarded a change in his position due to the above mentioned posting (for information):









Oct 7/13

Harold Oakley

Baddeck/North Shore

(will be filled as a fall down)

Baddeck run (pos#1)

Feb 24/14

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Organ

That the Board approve the following individuals for regular status. . .








Sept 15/03

Allan O’Handley

Glace Bay run (pos#2)

Feb 24/14


Sept 30/03

Vincent Sheppard

Glace Bay run (pos#3)

Feb 24/14


Jan 31/07

Rita Campbell

Baddeck/North Shore

(fall down)

Feb 24/14

Motion carried


Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Currie

That the Board recommend acceptance of the report presented by the Director of Operational Services at the Management Committee meeting. . .

Motion carried

o. NSSBA – Requesting 2014 Resolutions:

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board recommend acceptance of the correspondence. . .

Motion carried


Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Mercer

That the Board nominate Commissioner Yvonne Kennedy for Education Week Partner Award. . .

Motion carried


Commissioner Mercer presented the following 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:

· 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.

Moved by Commissioner Fraser
Seconded by Commissioner Currie

That the Board approve accept the report as presented. . .

Motion carried


Mr. John Astephen, presented the following report:

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): ... -education-private-school

Moved by Commissioner Fraser
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

That the Board approve the report as presented by the Regional Educational Officer. . .

Motion carried




Next Scheduled meeting date - Monday, March 31, 2014 – Sherwood Park Education Centre –7:00 p.m.

(15) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

the meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m.


(16) Public Session:

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