School Board Meeting Minutes: March 30, 2010 - Special
Category : School Board Meeting - Minutes
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 04/28/2010


Central Office
Sydney, N.S.
March 30, 2010


SPECIAL BOARD MEETING

(1) CALL TO ORDER:

A Special Board meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was called to order today beginning at 5:04 p.m.

(2) RECORD OF ATTENDANCE:



Present: Lorne Green,Chair Jackie Organ Sandra Margettie
Charlie Keagan Barb Mercer Fred Tilley
Cathi Pierrard Joan Currie Gary Fraser
Darlene Morrison Steve Parsons Kevin Ruelland
Darren MacNeil Darren Googoo
test
Absent: Darrell Flynn (sent regrets)
test
Also Present: N.E. Davis, Superintendent
George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services
Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resource Services
John Astephen, Director of Programs and Student Services
Ambrose White, Director of Operational Services
Paul Oldford, Coordinator of Facilities Management
Mary Passerini, Coordinator of Human Resources
Jim Burton, Director of Regional Educational Services
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary


(3) RESOLUTIONS:

Moved by Commissioner Keagan
Seconded by Commissioner Mercer

That the Resolutions be forwarded as presented. . .

Motion carried
2010-03-22



(4) NSSBA – SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER OF THE YEAR NOMINATION:

Moved by Commissioner Morrison
Seconded by Commissioner Organ

That Commissioner Keagan be nominated for School Board member of the year. .

Motion carried
2010-03-23



Commissioner Margettie entered the meeting at 5:11 p.m.
Commissioner Pierrard entered the meeting at 5:14 p.m.
Commissioner MacNeil entered the meeting at 5:17 p.m.
Commissioner Googoo entered the meeting at 5:41 p.m.



(5) SCHOOL FACILITIES REPORT:

Mr. Ambrose White, Director of Operational Services began the session advising the Board that Senior staff had met and reviewed options for which the Board to review. It was the decision of Senior staff that it would be to best interest of the Board to bring forth all recommendations for the Board to consider.

Mr. Paul Oldford, Coordinator of Facilities Management spoke with regards to the serious consideration which should be given to a review of School Facilities. He highlighted a number of schools which have been brought forward for consideration.

Recommendation “A” identifies eight schools which will be a part of the Facility Review process under the Ministerial Education Act Regulations, Section 16. Recommendation “B” was to develop a comprehensive long-term strategy for other facilities (see Report attached). Recommendation “C” is to consolidate the students in Glace Bay elementary into the Main building while utilizing the portables for Adult Education. Recommendation “D” is to consolidate the junior high students in Bridgeport and Donkin into Oceanview Education Centre and the junior high students in George D. Lewis into Sherwood Park Education Centre. Recommendation “E” is to move the Staff Development Centre into St. Joseph, North Sydney. Recommendation “F” is to complete the facility’s report for the non-school buildings excluded from the February, 2010 Facilities report.

Mr. George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services advised the Board of the Educational funding challenges that our Board will face in the coming year. He felt that we as a Board have a responsibility to eliminate access capacity within our Board. He advised that it is placing a strain on all areas of the Board. He felt we would be better servicing the students of our Board in the future if we proceed with a Facility Review. He advised it is the Board’s decision and one which cannot be made lightly, but none the less given serious consideration.

Commissioner Tilley advised that it was a tremendous amount of work which went into providing the Board with some tough decisions to be made. Commissioner Margettie agreed that the Board is at a point where the Board needs to conduct the review however it may mean that we in the end will not be closing any facilities.

Moved by Commissioner Fraser
Seconded by Commissioner Mercer

That we not accept Recommendation “A” in the Facilities Report. .

Motion defeated

Commissioner Parsons spoke with regards to Recommendation “A” and advised he felt the list could be expanded.

Commissioner Mercer requested clarification on the definition of capacity within our schools.

Mr. Oldford advised that if Facilities Review is accepted the next step would be an impact assessment for each identified site. Transportation, efficiencies in staffing, etc. are all considered in the impact assessment.

Commissioner Ruelland suggested studying the idea of implementing family of schools in areas of concern.

Mrs. Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resources advised that we have lost over 5,000 students and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to reduce the number of staff in order to achieve the mandated cuts. Senior staff has been concerned for several years now with the program offering at the junior high level which presently exists in some of our complexes. She feels there is the possibility of consolidations if the Board wished for senior staff to review.

Mr. John Astephen, Director of Programs and Student Services noted that the distance for the furthest student from the school and the grade level are all areas which would be reviewed through an impact assessment. He noted we have always accommodated requests for transfers through both the sending and receiving schools. He advised we accommodated as long as it does not incure any additional staffing or transportation costs.

Commissioner MacNeil questioned the capacity at receiving schools and the issue of boundaries.

Mr. Ambrose White advised that if the Board decides to proceed to the impact assessment it would be the wish of management to hire a consultant to assist in this process.

Commissioner Tilley felt that the Board has a responsibility to view this as a Board and not to take any of this personally. He felt we should look at all school facilities. Commissioner Margettie agreed with the comments made by Commissioner Tilley.

Commissioner Mercer spoke with regards to the boundaries. She strongly felt that the implementation of boundaries should also be included in any recommendations.

Commissioner Parsons advised that boundaries are an issue but the more serious issue is the excess capacity (1.5 million square feet).

Mr. Oldford cautioned the Board with regards to proceeding with all schools that fit the criteria due to the timing of capital funding which has been projected. The reality is that the government has said that they will fund our capital projects but timing and amounts can be subject to change.

Moved by Commissioner Parsons
Seconded by Commissioner Tilley

that Recommendation “A” under the Facilities Report not be accepted. .

Motion defeated

Commissioner Fraser questioned the legality of including Marion Bridge, Middle River and Gowrie on the list of identified schools.

Moved by Commissioner Margettie
Seconded by Commissioner Pierrard

That the Board accept Recommendation “A” including Holy Angels on the list. . .

Motion carried
2010-03-24



Commissioner Fraser voted against the motion
Commissioner Parsons voted against the motion
Commissioner Tilley voted against the motion

Commissioner Currie advised that because a school is a part of the School Review process it does not mean that the schools will close. Some schools have been reviewed for over thirty years and they are still open.

Commissioner Mercer requested to go on record as not supporting the closure of rural schools.

Commissioner Organ noted that when you lose a school it seems like your loosing the communities identity however she has lost six schools in her area and the community still has an identity and the students are all doing well.

Commissioner Googoo Indian Affairs advised that they need to close their schools and they signed a joint capital agreement with the province. They were not consulted and on several occasions requested a school for their community. To this day, the request is still there. Nothing is set in stone and as communities begin to grow and prosper the needs for a school will become apparent. He also feels that it is not the school that makes the community.



(6) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

the meeting adjourned at 6:43 p.m.





__________________________________________________
LORNE GREEN GEORGE BOUDREAU
BOARD CHAIR BOARD SECRETARY