School Board Meeting Minutes: March 21, 2011 - Special
Category : School Board Meeting - Minutes
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 04/05/2011

Central Office
Sydney, N.S.
March 21, 2011



A Special Board meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was called to order today beginning at 5:06 p.m.


Present: Lorne Green,Chair Jackie OrganSandra Margettie
Charlie KeaganBarb Mercer (conference call)Darren Googoo
Fred Tilley, Vice ChairCathi PierrardJoan Currie
Gary FraserDarrell FlynnDarren MacNeil
Darlene MorrisonSteve ParsonsKevin Ruelland
Absent: n/a
Also Present:
Ambrose White, Superintendent
Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resource Services
George Boudreau, Director of Finiancial Services
Paul Oldford, Acting Director of Operational Services
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary


Board member Fred Tilley Chaired the meeting. . . .

Superintendent White began the session with an overview of the work which was done to date. He noted that what the Board was about to review is a full analysis of all the sites that meet the criteria approved by the Board.

Cathi Pierrard entered the meeting at 5:16 p.m.

Mr. Paul Oldford, Acting Director of Operational Services advised that the Board is presently struggling with a capacity issue of 40% excess space. He noted that the provincial government has reiterated from time to time our declining enrollment and the initiatives to reduce the spending in education which is compounded by the increase in fuel and heating costs.

The trends are showing that our new registrations are not as high as the number of students which we are losing every year with the exodus of our Grade Twelve students. The present situation is not improving and our Board is faced with making some significant changes relative to our infrastructure needs.

The small school formula was discussed and those schools that fall under the formula were identified.

Board Chair Lorne Green entered the meeting at 5:25 p.m.

Mr. George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services advised those in attendance that he has been advised by the Department that all statistical data in the Hogg formula has been frozen to last year’s level. Any new schools that fall below the one hundred student threshold will not qualify for the small school subsidy.

Darren Googoo entered the meeting at 6:36 p.m.

Mr. Oldford reviewed the six criterias and identified the schools which fall under each criteria. The schools were identified through the following family of schools:

On the question, the Board expressed concern over the declining enrollment in the New Waterford area and the excess capacity at Breton Education Centre.

Mr. Oldford furthered provided a list of possible potential actions for all sites within the Board. He stated that in the review process the Board must be mindful of the deadline of 2016 for notifying the owner of our P-3 schools, of our intent re: long term use.

Reconfiguration was also presented as an option to the Board. Noting that the following schools could have their junior high students attending another site:

Reconfiguration of the Grade Six students from East Bay to attend Mountainview elementary and the Grade Six students from Gowrie elementary to attend Donkin/Morien.

Lastly; Mr. Oldford advised that a list of activities will have to be undertaken over the next one to three years to address the potential actions noted in his report. This list will have to be brought back to the Board by June of 2011. Mr. Oldford suggested that we hire a consultant to guide us in this process.

On the question, the Board was advised that to complete a thorough and reasonable school review; four-five schools per year would be manageable. The identification report has to be announced and available to the public by April 1st. Impact Assessment reports need to be tabled by the Board no later than the 30th of September. Noted, were the dates as prescribed by regulation. Public hearings need to be held and the Board are required to be present at these hearings.

Moved by Commissioner Currie
Seconded by Commissioner Mercer

That the Board place on the school review list for 2011 Ashby and Cornwallis School. . . .

Motion carried

Commissioner Parsons questioned the Learning Centre sites along with the number of Adult Day school sites. Commissioner Green advised that the Board needs to proceed by reviewing the big picture of the Board. Superintendent White advised that boundaries are another issue in our Board and P3 schools that are struggling with enrollment decline.

Also, Commissioner Parsons noted that New Waterford area schools meet one or more of the criterias as established by the Board yet they are not included in the review this year.

He expressed his disappointment with the timing of a public consultation review which in effect has given the New Waterford area schools a reprieve for yet another year.

Commissioner Ruelland Commissioner Flynn advised the Board that the New Waterford review that is presently underway is being well received by the community and are confident that a significant reduction in square footage will result.

Moved by Commissioner Margettie
Seconded by Commissioner Morrison

That the Board place Mira Road, Robin Foote, Middle River and East Bay School on the school review list for the year 2011. . . .

Motion defeated

Commissioner Parsons and Commissioner Mercer voted against the motion

Moved by Commissioner Currie
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board place Robin Foote Elementary on the School review list for the year 2011. . .

Motion carried

Moved by Commissioner Pierrard
Seconded by Commissioner Keagan

That the Board place East Bay Elementary on the School review list for the year 2011.. . .

Motion carried

Commissioner Parsons voted against the motion

Moved by Commissioner Parsons
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board place George D. Lewis, Marion Bridge, Gowrie and Middle River on the School review list for the year 2011 . . . .

Motion carried

Commissioner Mercer and Commissioner Fraser voted against the motion

Commissioner Fraser left the meeting at 7:15 p.m.

Moved by Commissioner Morrison
Seconded by Commissioner Pierrard

That the Board enter into discussions with Mr. Jim Burton about the possibility of engaging his services in the school review process. . . .

Motion carried

Commissioner Keagan voted against the motion


Board Chair Lorne Green spoke with regards to a request from the Kiwanis Pool for financial assistance. Mr. George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services advised that it is in accordance with the Education Act to donate funds to an outside agency is prohibited.

Mr. Boudreau advised that he will review the request and provide further clarification at a later date.

(5) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

The meeting adjourned at 7:18 p.m.