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Sections > School Board Meeting - Minutes > School Board Meeting Minutes: May 25, 2015
School Board Meeting Minutes: May 25, 2015
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 06/16/2015 (3570 reads)
School Board Meeting Minutes: May 25, 2015

Cape Smokey Elementary
Ingonish, N.S.
May 25, 2015



The meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was called to order today beginning at 6:00 p.m.


Present: Lorne Green, Chair Stewart Matheson Sandra Margettie
Jack Toomey Fred Tilley Darren Googoo
John Berk Jackie Organ Barb Mercer
Joan CurrieCharlotte Shaw Steve Parsons
Joyce Lind
Absent (with regret): Yvonne Kennedy Gary Fraser Kevin Ruelland
Also, Present: Beth MacIsaac, Superintendent
Cathy Viva, Acting Director of Programs & Student Services
Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services
George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services
John Astephen, Regional Educational Officer
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary


(a) Deletions:

There were no deletions.

(b) New Business/Additions:



Moved by Commissioner Mercer
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

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

Regular Public Board Meeting -April 27, 2015
Special Board Meeting -May 5, 2015
Special Board Meeting -May 11, 2015
Special Board Meeting -May 20, 2015

Motion carried




Mr. George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services read correspondence from the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Honorable Minister Karen Casey. Correspondence was regarding capital projects approved at Glace Bay High, Memorial, St. Anne’s Elementary and Baddeck Academy

Moved by Commissioner Margettie
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

That the Board accept the correspondence as presented. . .

Motion carried


Cape Smokey Elementary students conducted a presentation. Molly Gillis began the presentation with introductions. Steven MacDonald did a presentation on the Spinosaurus the Killer Dino and provided facts regarding this species. Ty MacDonald conducted a presentation on crocodiles. Members of the Grade One/Two class sang a beautiful song for the Board. Three students from Grade Five/Six shared some interesting facts about their Heritage Fair Project. A project presented by Ira Reinhart-Smith regarding Winston Fitzgerald included a tune on the fiddle. Next Evan Fricker did a presentation on Percheron horses. Lium Howley did a presentation on the Englishtown Ferry. In closing; Jeremy Best played a tune on the bells

The presentations were well presented and very well received. Board members expressed their accolades to the students and noted that the pleasure was ours to attend and we took pride in seeing these presentations.


Mrs. Beth MacIsaac, Superintendent presented her report.

“On February 19, 2014, our Minister of Education initiated an Education Review to provide an opportunity for all Nova Scotians to have a voice on the state of education in our province. Six panel members were asked to identify “how to better adapt the education system to ensure success of all students in the changing environment.”

The panel published their report on October 30, 2014, after consultations with students, parents, teachers, support staff and community members. They identified seven areas for improvement: curriculum, teaching, transitions, inclusion, school climate, health and well-being, and a modern structure for the system.

The Minister’s Action Plan for Education was released on January 29, 2015 – The 3 Rs – Renew, Refocus and Rebuild our Education System. The focus of the Action Plan is twofold: (1) math and literacy and (2) readiness for school and eventually ready for the workforce. The plan itself is designed as four pillars – A Modern Education System; Innovative Curriculum; Inclusive School Environments; and Excellence in Teaching and Leadership. It is a plan that is ambitious, aggressive and far reaching in scope. How will this impact our Board for the school year 2015-16?

Firstly, there will be an increased emphasis on the preschool years to ensure students have a strong foundation to begin school. The Action Plan cites our Early Years Centre at Jubilee Elementary for the valuable partnerships with the Cape Breton Family Resource Centre as well as other community agencies. In early fall, an Early Years Demonstration Site, sponsored by the Cape Breton Family Place Resource Centre, will work collaboratively with existing service providers to provide additional opportunities for families with young African Nova Scotian children. Both of these centres provide opportunities for families to come together, learn, and grow with the full support of their community. In addition, a growth and development guide for four year olds is in progress and will be made available to parents, daycare centres and preschools.

The Action Plan anticipates a complete revision of the present curriculum but, for September 2015, the focus will be on grade primary to grade three. Our Director of Programs and Student Services, Ms. Susan Kelley, is the executive lead on this revision and our principal of Middle River School, Ms. Angela Currie, is a teacher lead. Their work to date, along with teachers from across the province, has been truly amazing. They are in the process of streamlining the number of outcomes while integrating technology and assessment into the curriculum. The focus of curriculum delivery in P-3 will be literacy and math. There will be more time built into the school day for these subjects with an integration of other subjects like science and social studies. In addition, there will be more time for physical activity. On May 20 and 21, one P-3 classroom teacher from every school site across the province, as well as school administrators, attended a professional development session on the new curriculum in Halifax. Upon their return, they will facilitate a session at each school focusing on the streamlined curriculum for 2015-16. There will be an additional professional development day in September for all P-3 teachers.

Inclusive education is a valuable focus of the Action Plan. Provincial criteria will be developed for placing a student on an IPP. Once placed on an IPP, criteria will also be developed for monitoring student progress.

Other initiatives that are emerging from the provincial commitments include a class cap of 25 (with flexibility) for students in grade four, an increase in the number of reading recovery teachers and math mentors, as well as a new position to provide early intervention math support for students. In addition, there will be a new program for grade 9 students at Riverview High School – Discovering Opportunities. The focus is to help students make the connection between learning and work opportunities in this transition year. It is designed for students who are academically capable but feel discouraged with school.

An additional exciting new program that will be introduced in our Board is Brilliant Labs – “a platform to empower teachers to support creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.” This program is designed to make learning both fun and relevant to students by using technology in new ways “to solve every day challenges.”

By working in close partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Education on these initiatives, as well as others articulated in the 3R’s, it is our hope that we can better prepare our students both for their experiences in our school system and also their eventual transition into the world of work.

Moved by Commissioner Mercer
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

To accept the report as presented. . .

Motion carried





Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Tilley

that the Board approve the minutes of the Education Committee Meeting of Monday, May 4, 2015. . .

Motion carried


Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board approve the PSS Report presented by Ms. Cathy Viva, Acting Director of Student Services. . .

Motion carried


Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Tilley

That the Board approve the following requests for a Leave of Absence. . .

Employee #






Jennifer Morrison

MacLennan Jr. High (Base)

Guidance Counsellor (second request)

August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016



Sean McLennon

Oceanview Education Centre

(second request)

August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016

Motion carried


Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Currie

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

Employee #






Peter Casagrande

Malcolm Munroe Jr. High

Six Months: August 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017



Nancy Robinson

Sydney River Elementary

(Assessment Centre)

Six Months: August 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019

Motion carried

d. NSTU Withdrawal from Deferred Salary Leave:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board approve the following request to withdraw from the deferred salary leave plan. . .

Employee #






Stephen MacDougall

Seton Elementary

Withdrawal from Deferred Salary Leave (Six Months: February 1, 2021 to July 31, 2021)

Motion carried

e. NSTU TERM Recommendation:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Shaw

That the Board approve the following term recommendation. . .

Employee #



New Term


Sub #40039987

Leah Gillis

Greenfield Elementary

Grade 6

Term: April 20, 2015 to July 31, 2015

Motion carried

f. Human Resources Reports:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Berk

That the Board approve the report as presented by Ms. Wendy King, Director of Human Resources. . .

Motion carried



Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Organ

that the Board approve the minutes of the Management Committee Meeting of Monday, May 11, 2015

Motion carried

h. Mr. George Boudreau - Report of the Director of Financial Services:

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

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

Motion carried

i. CUPE Retirement(s)/Resignation(s):

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Organ

That the Board accept with regret and thanks for years of service the following Retirement(s)/Resignation(s). . .


Name of Employee

Position Employed in



Effective Date


Eileen Chiasson

LBG/Sherwood Park


August 31/15

Motion carried

j. TCA Request Plan:

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Management Committee recommend creating one capital TCA project to wrap up a number of building consolidation projects into one project. . .

Motion carried


Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Shaw

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

Motion carried


Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Shaw

that the Board accept the correspondence report as presented at the Management Committee meeting. . .

Motion carried


Mrs. Barb Mercer, NSSBA Representative provided her report:

A Nova Scotia School Boards Education Committee took place on May 14, 2015.

Collaborating health partners, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Sara Kirk, Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research at Dalhousie University and Jessie-Lee McIsaac, a postdoctoral fellow at Applied Research Collaborations, made a presentation to the NSSBA Education Committee. Dr. Robert Strang began the session by underscoring the importance of the physical and mental health of students as significant contributors to the achievement of academic outcomes. He explained that the Health Promoting Schools Model encompasses health curriculum, youth health centres, the school food and nutrition policy as well as the physical and mental health components. He advised that work is being done to finalize the revised School Food and Nutrition Policy. Clarity will be provided on the parameters of the policy, in particular, where the policy stops and where parental discretion begins. The government is incorporating local input from both education and health sectors. There are a number of major education policy changes and Dr. Strang believes that the School Food and Nutrition Policy fits well within these.

Regarding SchoolsPlus, he commented that all partners continue to look at how they can work together to move this program forward understanding how it influences curriculum outcomes.

Dr. Strang also indicated that the existing relationships with school boards will remain within the newly designated Western, Central, Northern and Eastern Zones of the single provincial health authority.

Dr. Sara Kirk and Dr. Jessie-Lee McIsaac discussed their funding proposal "Creating a Recipe for Health in Nova Scotia", which will be submitted to the Public Health Agency of Canada. They noted that the well-being of students in Nova Scotia is in jeopardy as a result of high rates of preventable chronic diseases; rates that are among the highest in Canada.

There is an opportunity to receive a $5 million grant from the Federal Government. The grant has a matching component which Dr. Kirk and Dr. McIsaac are presently addressing. The result would constitute $10 million over five years to build on existing youth healthy living programs and initiatives in Nova Scotia schools. The proposal looks at having students as "change agents" for health promoting schools. This strategy has been successful in the past with other initiatives.

Programs and Student Services Directors' Reports

Alison King of HRSB, and Michel Comeau of CSAP reported that the Minister's Action Plan has been the main focus of many meetings since its release. They emphasized that the most significant changes for September, 2015, are in the primary to grade three curriculum.

A provincial revision team was set up which included a representative from each school board. An orientation to the new curriculum was organized whereby one teacher from every elementary school in the province and principals representing elementary schools within each board were invited to participate. The intent of this orientation is to provide all primary to grade three teachers with a minimum of one completed unit that models the new integrated curriculum revision. In addition, the directors indicated that all teachers will have professional development opportunities to work through the changes and supports.

Ms. King and Mr. Comeau stated that there are a lot of positive actions in the Minister's Action Plan and that they were especially pleased with the planned expansion to both the Reading Recovery and math mentor programs.

Moved by Commissioner Matheson
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

That the Board accept the NSSBA report as presented by Commissioner Mercer. . .

Motion carried


Mr. John Astephen, presented the following report:

1. Education Week

During the week of April 19th to 25th school communities across Nova Scotia celebrated Education Week. Education Week has been celebrated since 1935, honouring the commitment of teachers and partners to students.Education Week is a co-operative effort of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations, la Fédération des parents acadiens de la Nouvelle-Écosse, the Association of Nova Scotia Educational Administrators and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

This year's theme was Schools as Communities: Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.

One of the features of the Provincial Education Week Committee’s activities is the recognition of educators who have made outstanding contributions to their work relative to the theme. This year’s recipients were being recognized for their work to support student development by engaging the community through service learning, community projects and co-operative education and for encouraging students to take an active role in their schools and communities.

On behalf of The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the following teachers for their fine work in engaging their communities to support student education and development:

· Elizabeth Sehl, Dr. T.L. Sullivan Middle School

· Clara Wadman, Glace Bay High School

2. Grades Primary to 3 Curriculum To Build Strong Math, Literacy Foundation

A streamlined and innovative curriculum with a strong foundation in math and literacy will better support important learning for Grade Primary-to-3 students beginning in September.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey introduced the curriculum on May 20, to 200 early elementary teachers and principals from across the province.

Department staff have worked with teachers since February to make the changes that will see most subjects integrated into the two main areas of literacy and math. They also reduced the number of learning outcomes by more than two-thirds to focus on the essential learning outcomes so there are clearer expectations on student learning.

"The curriculum changes will help students acquire a solid foundation in math and literacy that will benefit them throughout their school years," said Ms. Casey.

The P-to-3 curriculum is one of the more than 20 new initiatives coming to Nova Scotia schools this September as part of the government's five-year education action plan to renew, refocus and rebuild the education system.

The new curriculum development model is designed to ensure curriculum is continuously updated to reflect modern trends in education. The entire P-to-12 curriculum will be reviewed and streamlined over the next few years.

3. Committees/Meetings attended as of April 27, 2015

· April 27, 2015-CBVRSB Regular Monthly Board Meeting, Sherwood Park Education Centre

· May 4, 2015-CBVRSB Education Meeting, Sydney

· May 5, 2015-CBVRSB Special Board Meeting, Sydney

· May 11, 2015-CBVRSB Management Committee Meeting, Sydney

· May 15, 2015-REO Monthly Meeting, Halifax

· May 20, 2015-Launch of P-3 Streamlined Curriculum, Halifax

Moved by Commissioner Margettie
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

That the Board approve the report of Mr. John Astephen, Regional Education Services. . . .

Motion carried




Next Scheduled meeting date - Monday, June 15, 2015 – Sydney Mines Junior High

(15) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

the meeting adjourned at 6:50 p.m.



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