School Board Meeting Minutes: November 19, 2012 - Special
Category : School Board Meeting - Minutes
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 11/27/2012

Central Office
Sydney N.S.
November 19, 2012



A Special Board meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was called to order today beginning at 5:08 p.m.


Present: Lorne GreenJoan Currie Barb Mercer
Darrell Flynn Joyce Lind Sandra Margettie
Steve Parsons Jackie Organ Jack Toomey
Fred TilleyStewart MathesonYvonne Kennedy
Gary Fraser John Berk
Absent:Kevin Ruelland (sent regrets) Darren Googoo
Also Present:Ambrose Whiter, Superintendent
Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resource Services
Susan Kelley, Director of Programs and Student Services
George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services
Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services
Dr. Allan Lowe, Special Advisor- School Board Relations for the Department of Education
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary

(3) Superintendent, Mr. Ambrose White:

Superintendent White welcomed all in attendance. He reiterated the importance of attending the NSSBA orientation session which is scheduled for later this week. He noted that this evening all will be provided a break-down regarding the structure, governance and procedures. Board members were requested to ask questions at anytime.

(4) Dr. Alan Lowe, Special Advisor- School Board Relations for the Department of Education:

Dr. Lowe began his presentation with a power-point presentation. The power-point began by highlighting the roles of the Board Chair and the Vice-Chair.

“A school board is accountable to the Minister of Education and responsible For the control and management (through the superintendent) of the public Schools within its jurisdiction in accordance with this (Education) Act and the Regulations.” Section 64.1 of the Education Act.

Roles of School Boards are as follows:

He further defined the Code of Ethics and what procedures are in place if a breach of Code of Ethics occurs.

The powers, responsibilities and accountability of the Minister of Education and the Superintendent were highlighted within the power-point presentation. He further noted that the Board often has to make decisions that cannot be delegated to the Superintendent.

He noted that Board meetings are Public board meetings and normally occur once a month. The Board often participates in regular committee meetings. Attendance of Board members is mandatory. Individual Board members do not have authority to make decisions or take action on behalf of the Board. The Board has a duty to uphold the implementation of a board decision after it has been passed. Board members do not have a direct role in resolving or dealing with individual parent concerns or issues.

A Board member can and should make the parent aware of existing protocols and refer parents to the appropriate staff; the teacher, the principal, the area supervisor, the director and/or the Superintendent.

One of the prime duties of a board is to develop clear policies.

Effective School Boards reflect on their effectiveness. This not only includes whether objectives have been met, but also includes looking at how effective the board is in dealing with aspects of board governance.

(5) Superintendent, Mr. Ambrose White:

Mr. Ambrose White, Superintendent of Schools, began his presentation by distributing a draft copy of the Strategic Plan. He noted he is the sole employee of the Board. He spoke of the supervision of employees. He noted that our relationship with the Department of Education, Justice, Health and other Inter-collaboration agencies is an important relationship and one which must be continually encouraged.

He noted that some schools have traditional Home & School Association. All our schools have SAC’s which are legislated.

He noted we strive to be transparent and to improve upon our communication with the media, parents and school communities.

He spoke of the structure of senior staff and its protocol in meeting every Monday and discussing and collaborating regarding many issues of the Board.

On the question of the role of School Advisory councils it was noted that their role is defined within the Education Act. It was noted that every school should have a continuous improvement plan.

(6) Mr. George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services:

Mr. George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services, distributed to the new Board members a package containing the Education Act, By-laws Stipend report and expense forms.

He noted that Board member’s must follow the By-laws and the Rules of Order. The Board follows Bourinot’s Rules of Order to receive clarification when we cannot address the issue through our own By-laws. He further noted Board member’s governance document includes information regarding the meetings of the Board, Rules or order, committees, public presentations, Minutes and Records, correspondence, Code of Conduct.

He highlighted the committees which the Board has an opportunity to participate in. The two major committees highlighted were the Education and Management committee.

He further addressed the issue of School Board member stipends including Board member expenses. He noted that each Board member receives a conference travel amount and all meterage is paid according to the provincial rate. He noted the Board members also receive a meal allowance. He further noted that the present daily allowance is $45.00 the new stipend report has set the rate at $50.00, but the Minister of Education is encouraging Board members to limit the daily allowance to $38.00. The Board will have to make a decision on what rate they want to adopt.

Recovery of internet services is provided by the Board. Travel policy forms were circulated.

He noted that the Board has a responsibility to approve and adhere to a balanced budget. On the question the Board were advised that the Board finance departments have requested that the Board’s be provided with their budgets for the next fiscal year as soon as it can be made readily available.

He noted that most of our documents are available on our Board website.

Mr. Boudreau advised that he also acts as Board Secretary. He represents the Board on the provincial School Insurance Program (SIP). He manages the preparation of annual budget along with providing monthly and annual financial reports. He advises the Superintendent on all issues regarding Finance.

He reviewed the roles and responsibilities of those individuals who are employed in management roles within his department.

On the question the issue of privatization and its impact on our Board was addressed.

(7) Mrs. Susan Kelley, Director of Programs and Student Services:

Mrs. Susan Kelley, Director of Programs and Student Services advised that Programs and Student Services is a large department with six coordinators. She reviewed the roles of each Coordinator within her department along with the consultants that also fall under this department. Within her power-point presentation she highlighted their individual primary responsibilities.

Mrs. Kelly distributed draft copies of the Strategic Plan for 2012.

On the question the Board will be emailed the forthcoming RCH Inservice scheduled to take place at Sydney Academy.

On the question the Board requested clarification on reductions in administration staff at the Department of Education level.

It was further noted that Inservicing within the Board needs to be better communicated to parents and guardians to ensure those individuals of the healthy and constructive dialogue which is taking place.

(8) Mrs. Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resource Services:

Mrs. Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resource Services advised that the Human Resources Department consists of herself as Director, two Coordinators along with a .5 SAP advisor and a Occupational Health and Safety Officer.

The functions of the Human Services department are according to the Ministerial Education Act Regulations. She noted labour relations, including support of for local and provincial bargaining. Performance management and growth planning systems along with non-teaching professional development all fall under this department.

Some of the areas of responsibilities which were highlighted within the power-point were Employment Equity, OH & S, Employee health, Succession planning, Coordination of staff allocations, staff recruitment and placement along with principal support in the area of human resources.

Implementation of several policies; fall within the realm of the Human Resources department. Such policies as; Conflict of interest, EAP, Employment Equity, Hiring, Leave/Secondments, OH & S, Principal’s Performance Appraisal, Reference Checks, the Respectful Learning and Working Environments, Dress Code and Sexual Misconduct between Staff and Students.

Highlighted in her power-point presentation were the demographics of the Board. Fifty-one schools, 1091 permanent teachers, 50 permanent teachers who do not own positions, 635 substitute teachers, 330 CUPE casual employees, 30 confidential employees and 937 CUPE Regular employees.

She further highlighted the primary responsibilities for the administrative staff within the department.

(9) Mr. Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services:

Mr. Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services began his power-point presentation with an overview of his department and the roles and responsibilities of the individual administrators within the Operational Services department.

He noted that within this department Facilities Management, Transportation and technology departments exist.

He noted that the identified managers also have functional accountability.

He highlighted the Facilities Management, Pupil transportation and the information technology budget. He further identified the number of employees within this department.

He highlighted the challenges which the Board will be hoping to address over the next four years. Enrollment decline, aging infrastructure, decision regarding P3 leases, transportation and IT – keeping up with technological change.

Lastly; he addressed the issue of capital funding and opportunities which may exist within the next four years. He advised that the Department has revamped the program for allocating long term capital funds. Introduction of a capital repair grant program.

On the question the Board wished to address the issue of students being transported in taxis as a service of private conveyance where smoking may occur.

On the question, all power-points will be forwarded electronically to the Board.



(11) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

the meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.. . .