HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REGULAR BOARD MEETING
North Highlands Elementary
May 26, 2014
On May 26, 2014 the Board met for their Regular monthly meeting.
Correspondence was received from the Department of Education regarding TCA projects.
A presentation was made by students of North Highlands Elementary. Grade Four student Ali MacKinnon, Grade Five student Rory MacKinnon and Grade Six student Emma MacKinnon did their speeches from the public speaking competition. They also had a bullying video from the 2/3 class and a nutrition video from the P/1 class.
The presentations were excellent and very informative.
Mr. Ambrose White, Superintendent followed up with his report. (posted on the Board website) Highlights of his report included The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board welcomes Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Karen Casey, on May 29th. Minister Casey will visit with the Board and discuss issues, concerns, trends and other topics. She will also be here to open the NSSBA Annual Meeting. I will be visiting schools with Minister Casey on Friday morning, May 30th. We will visit several schools within our Board, and I look forward to the opportunity.
The Minister announced another Schools Plus site for our Board to be located at John Bernard Croak School. This announcement took place on Friday, May 23, and this is once again providing a wonderful service to students and families in the Glace Bay area. Our site at Sherwood Park Education Centre has proven to be an extremely valuable program, and I am confident the new site in Glace Bay will be likewise. We hope to open a third site in the Northside area in the future to service Victoria County as well.
On Tuesday, May 27th, at Baddeck Academy, the Lieutenant Governor’s Education Ceremony will occur at 1 p.m. This ceremony recognizes the leadership and volunteer efforts of grade 11 students from each of our high schools. His Honour Brigadier-General, The Honourable J.J. Grant, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, will preside at this wonderful ceremony. Recipients of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medals are:
Hanna Timmons, Breton Education Centre
Eric Van Keulen, Breton Education Centre
Shannon Buchanan, Cabot Jr./Sr. High
Hanna Morrissey, Cabot Jr./Sr. High
John McNeil, Glace Bay High
Christine Smith, Glace Bay High
Andrew Cantwell, Memorial High
Jenna Jessome, Memorial High
Sean Freeborne, Rankin School of the Narrows
Lindsey MacNeil, Rankin School of the Narrows
Jonathan Cookson, Riverview High
Lauren Turner, Riverview High
Ainslie Pierrynowski, Sydney Academy
Michael Williams, Sydney Academy
Nicholas MacDonald, Baddeck Academy
Cassidy Smith, Baddeck Academy
We congratulate these students for their tremendous achievements and share with their families in the celebration of these awards.
I attended the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation “Celebration of Sport” on Friday, May 9th, in Halifax with Mr. Charles Sheppard of our Board. This event recognizes all student athletes and coaches across the province. We had representation from Baddeck Academy, Rankin School of the Narrows, and Riverview High School. An added feature this year was the addition of international students and we had some of our international students there with Mr. Kevin Linden. It was a very positive and joyous event, and I congratulate all student athletes within our Board and the coaches who give so generously of their time.
On Monday, May 5, in Mahone Bay at the Nova Scotia Pupil Transportation Conference, Ms. Colleen MacMullin, Coordinator of Transportation, was proud to accept on behalf of the CB-VRSB and the Transportation Department, a gold medal for achievements in training and preventative maintenance programs, as well as compliance with stops per mile, trip inspections, safety practices and cleanliness of busses and garages. Besides the Gold Award, our Board was presented with the “Gerald W. Buchan Award” again as top carrier in the province. This is a tremendous achievement for our transportation people, and I salute all who work so hard in the safety of our students in the entire Transportation Division.
Music Monday was held on Monday, May 5th. This year, the Coalition for Music Education in Canada is celebrating the 10th Annual Music Monday. We celebrated with the official Music Monday song “Is Somebody Singing” co-written by astronaut Chris Hadfield. Many of our schools are participating in this event, with some schools who met at the Sydney Airport on Monday, May 5, at 12 p.m. to perform together. Further information can be found at www.musicmonday.ca
The Nova Scotia Skills Competitions were held at Memorial High on Wednesday, April 9. Competitions were held in Carpentry, Workplace Safety, Electrical, and Welding. As well, a Career Showcase was featured with members from industry, skills partners, and various training facilities. The Nova Scotia Skills Competitions allows students the opportunity to showcase their skills and compare what they are doing to other students from around our province. Students from throughout the province competed including Halifax, South Colchester, Dartmouth, and others. Gold medalists have the opportunity to compete at the national competitions which will be held in Toronto, Ontario, in June.
The format of the Career Showcase was changed for this year with the goal of having more participation from the students who were in attendance to view the competitions and career showcase. Participants were asked to have interactive displays for students to complete, as well as have group activities that allowed for more participation with the various vendors. This proved to be a worthwhile change, as feedback from students was very positive.
Nineteen students from Memorial High competed in the various competitions and a number of medals were achieved. Congratulations to all the students who competed. As well, a big thank you goes to the staff and students who helped in the planning and implementation of the competitions. A great job by all involved.
The Board Chair Lorne Green followed with his report. During the month of May, Gerald Walsh & Associates advertised and short-listed for interviews for a new Superintendent. The Board recently conducted interviews with the short-listed candidates and it is the hope of the Board to advice of the new Superintendent before the end of the school year.
Government to Strengthen Supports for African Nova Scotia Students -In an effort to strengthen supports for African Nova Scotian students, government will conduct an internal review of key organizations that provide supports for students across the province. The review will look at mandates, roles, responsibilities and governance of organizations to ensure there is no duplication of roles and to maximize efforts to support African Nova Scotian students.
Budget discussions are ongoing and as in the past, we are facing challenges in achieving a balanced budget. Senior staff and myself have met on several occasions. Mr. George Boudreau, Director of Finance is working with senior staff on a line-by-line review to achieve savings in all areas. It is the hopes of myself and senior staff to bring to the Board for approval a recommendation of a balanced budget for 2014-2015.
The Student Support Worker program is holding a presentation for Grade Twelve graduates. The Board should of all received invitations to this event which is scheduled for Thursday, June 12, 2014 at Menelik Hall.
The Kiwanis Builders Club had been holding events throughout the Board at our schools. The work of the Kiwanis Club in our schools is greatly appreciated. All of these programs enhance the education of our students building confidence in our students and broadening their minds.
The Nova Scotia School Board Association will be holding their 60th Annual General Meeting and Conference this week (May 29th – May 31st). This year we are the hosts for this event. The theme for the event is “Making a Difference”. I would like to thank the Board for their hard work in making this event one that other Board will be bragging about for years to come.
Education Review – Survey Day - The Minister’s Panel on Education is promoting a “Survey Day” on May 30 across the province to encourage people to complete the survey. They have asked that schools encourage students, teachers and staff to “Take the Survey” online (computer or handheld device) during school hours on Friday, May 30. The panel recognizes it may prove challenging to accommodate everyone at some schools, but they are hopeful schools can find a way to make it happen. The also ask for schools to consider making announcements leading up to May 30th to let students and staff know they can have their say on May 30th and how they can participate. They are hoping to reach as many students and staff as possible.
Ministers Visit – She is visiting our Board this Thursday and will be attending the AGM
Looking Inward Document – creating lots of discussion in the community, striving to keep dialogue going and it opens dialogue for suggestions and discussions
Board Chair’s Meeting was held in Halifax on May 2nd – discussions ensued regarding the AGM, provincial February holiday and how it will affect Board budgets.
MOU with NSSBA and the Department of Education to create a better working relationship between the two.
Through the Education Committee report, the Board approved the following;
· Human Resources Report
· Programs and Student Services Report
· Adopt A Library Program
· French Special Projects
· School Calendar for 2014-2015
· Board Meeting Calendar
In the Management Committee report, the Board approved the following;
· Director of Financial Services Report
· Director of Operational Services Report
· Human Resources Report
· Chartwells Contract
· Bay St. Lawrence Bus Garage to Victoria County
· TCA projects for 2014-2015
Nova Scotia School Boards Association (NSSBA) Highlights – Were respectfully submitted by Commissioner Barb Mercer
NSSBA Governance Items
The Finance Committee met on May 5, 2014, utilizing the VIA video conferencing system. The audited Financial Statements for the period ending March 31, 2014 were accepted.
NSSBA Board of Directors' meetings are scheduled for May 29 and May 31.
NSSBA Discussion Paper
NSSBA shared the discussion paper, Shaping a New Vision for Public Education in Nova Scotia, which represents its key submission to the Education Panel.
The NSSBA will also be providing three supplementary papers entitled About Innovation, About Learning and About Student Engagement.
The NSSBA has retained LOT (Leaders of Today) to conduct a consultation with provincial youth. A public release of this document will take place in the near future.
The NSSBA implemented a blog feature on its website on May 7, 2014. The first topic is: "What does your school board do?"
AGM 2014 Update
The AGM, hosted by the CB-VRSB, will be held at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre on May 29-31, 2014. The Honourable Karen Casey will be the keynote speaker Thursday evening. Deputy Minister Sandra McKenzie will be in attendance, as well.
Congratulations to Melinda Daye of the Halifax Regional School Board who was the winner of the NSSBA Education Week Partner Award.
Congratulations are also extended to Rochelle Mac Laughlin who was selected as this year's recipient of the Montgomery Award.
The following is the report of the Regional Educational Services, Mr. John Astephen:
1. Education Review
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is undergoing a comprehensive review of how we deliver education to students in this province.
A Minister’s Panel, chaired by former Lieutenant-Governor Myra Freeman, issued a challenge on May 8 to all Nova Scotians: if you want change, get involved. The education review is the first call to action coming from the results of the Ivany Commission.
On Friday, May 30 the Panel is promoting a “Survey Day” across the province to encourage students, staff, seniors, families and others to go to a neighborhood location (schools, libraries, CAP sites) to complete the survey.
The panel is asking that school boards and schools encourage students, teachers and staff to “Take the Survey” online during school hours on Friday. Parents are being encouraged to go to libraries or CAP sites in their community to participate as well.
The panel recognizes it may prove challenging to accommodate everyone at some schools, but are hopeful that schools can find a way to make it happen.
The panel has also provided a guide to enable likeminded groups to come together to identify issues and bring them forward to the panel. The guide provides a series of question and conversation starters and each section includes facilitator notes, discussion questions and spaces to record input.
The deadline to fill out the survey is June 13 and your participation is greatly appreciated.
You can also share comments, ideas and feedback by
Mail to: Ministers Panel on Education
C/O Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
P.O. Box 578
2. Schools Plus
Students and families in the Glace Bay school community will have greater access to services and after-school programs with a multi-year expansion of Schools Plus and more mental health clinicians in schools.
Students and staff gathered at schools in Glace Bay, Aylesford, Inverness, and New Glasgow on May 23, for the announcement of four new hub sites.
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Geoff MacLellan, on behalf of Minister Casey announced the hub site for Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board at John Bernard Croak V.C. Memorial School, which will support six additional schools.
Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson announced the Strait Regional School Board hub site at Inverness Education Centre Academy, will serve five additional schools.
The department, for the first time, has also pre-approved one School Plus site for the Cape Breton-Victoria, Halifax, South Shore and CSAP Boards. In 2016-17, sites will be added in Chignecto Central, Tri-County and CSAP.
3. CBVRSB Transportation Receives Gerald W. Buchan Award
During the Annual Transportation Conference held earlier this month Colleen MacMullin, Coordinator of Transportation and Technology and her Transportation Department was recognized as the best carrier in the province and awarded the Gerald W. Buchan Award. The award is presented to the carrier with the highest total score in the following areas: training and preventive maintenance; compliances with stops per miles; safety practices; and cleanliness of buses and bus garages. Cape Breton-Victoria’s Transportation Department scored 199 out of a possible 200 points in winning this year’s award. This year’s award marks the 3rd time in four years that Cape Breton-Victoria has received this honor.
Congratulations to Colleen and her team for their exemplary work on behalf of the students and staff throughout the Board.
4. Nova Scotia School Board Association AGM and Conference
Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board members have been working hard in preparation of hosting the 2014 NSSBA Annual General Meeting and Conference at the Membertou Trade and Convention Center on May 29, 30 and 31st. Board members from across the province will convene to engage in educational workshops, network with colleagues, and come together for their annual business meeting to set their course for the coming year.
He looks forward to attending as a conference delegate and anticipated that all delegates will enjoy the wonderful Cape Breton hospitality you have arranged for them.
Congratulations and best wishes for another successful event.