Highlights of the Regular Board Meeting, April 29, 2013
Category : Board Highlights
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 04/30/2013

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REGULAR BOARD MEETING
Held at Breton Education Centre, New Waterford
April 29, 2013


On April 29, 2013 the Board met for their Regular monthly meeting.

Under Business Arising from the minutes the following Board members served Notice of Motion:

a. Commissioner Ruelland – Served Notice of Motion to remove Mount Carmel from the School Review list at the next Public Board meeting.

b. Commissioner Fraser– Served Notice of Motion to remove St. Agnes from the School Review list at the next Public Board meeting.

c. Commissioner Lind– Served Notice of Motion to remove MacLennan Jr. High from the School Review list at the next Public Board meeting.

d. Commissioner Toomey– Served Notice of Motion to remove Florence Elementary from the School Review list at the next Public Board meeting.

Breton Education Centre student Michael Power made a presentation with regards to the opportunities for students at the school. He highlighted Active Healthy Living at Breton Education Centre and the New Waterford area. He spoke of the various programs which occur in the school.

He provided a power-point presentation highlighting the grant awarded and assisted by the Board along with support provided by the School Board to put in place a golf program in the school. It was noted that students who participate in the Options and Opportunities program assisted in putting the room together ie. laying carpet, curtains, etc.

He further spoke of the Coal Bowl program and its success over the years.

Superintendent White provided his report. He noted that Education Week 2013 was held from April 21-27. This year’s theme is “Teaching for a Sustainable Future.” Many of our schools planned events and activities in relation to this theme. The provincial presentation of the Education Week Awards was held on Monday, April 22nd. He recognized Mr. Paul Bowne and Ms. Gloria Farmakoulas as successful recipients of the Education Week award.

On March 23rd, Serena MacDonald, teacher, Riverview Rural High, facilitated a provincial conference for students who are part of the Gay-Straight Alliance in our board. The day was created in cooperation with Jer’s Vision, which is a Canada Youth Diversity Initiative that works across Canada to address discrimination and promote diversity. Students came together to discuss homophobia and transphobia, bullying and the importance of diversity. Students from the different schools across the province registered for this event. These students worked together with the goal of empowering themselves, working toward a way to create equity and the celebration of diversity in their own schools. The hope of this conference was that the students who participated would leave with enough information to become change agents in their own schools!

The French Public Speaking Event, Concours d’art oratoire, was held on Tuesday, April 9th, and Wednesday, April 10th, 2013, at Brookland Elementary School.

It was noted by the MC, Colin Landry, Core French teacher, Brookland Elementary, that one of the most difficult things to do is to speak in front of a group of people, and I concur. All participants did an excellent job of their presentations and deserve to be recognized for their preparation and performance.

The Board accepted fifteen NSTU retirement(s)/resignation(s) and three CUPE retirement(s)/resignation(s).

Sabbaticals were approved for three NSTU staff along with approval given for deferred salary leaves, term recommendations and long-term substitute recommendation. CUPE leave absence

The Board further approved a reduction in itinerant fine arts and guidance positions in order to strive to achieve a balanced budget for the 2013-2014 school year.

Commissioner Mercer was nominated for the Montgomery Award for school board member of the year. Since elected in 2008, Ms. Mercer served on many committees as a representative of the board. Her dedication and level of participation goes above and beyond what an elected school board member would or could contribute.

The following policies were approved by the Board:

It was further noted that the draft Communication, Procurement and Purchasing and Security in Schools and Administrative Buildings policy will be forwarded to the stakeholders for review and brought back to the Board at a later date for approval.

Commissioner Mercer provided her NSSBA report which included the following upcoming events:

59th NSSBA Conference & AGM CSBA 2013 Congress
May 30 - June 1, 2013 July 4 - July 6, 2013 B C
White Point Beach Resort, NS Vancouver, B.C

Commissioner Fraser congratulated Glace Bay High School Panthers Cheerleaders on their win on the weekend. They won the Provincial Cheerleading Championships for 2013. He requested that correspondence be forwarded on behalf of the Board.

Commissioner Matheson spoke regarding the Notice of Motions which were received earlier this evening regarding the School Review process. He noted as Commissioners we are all about the students and their achievements. We have had Public Speaking, the Heritage Fair and many events taking place throughout our school system and we have very talented and well educated students which we take pride in. He thanked our teachers, parents and support staff who assist in these achievements.

He further noted as Board members, they have a responsibility to balance the budget. He noted the Looking Inward document looks at family of schools, middle school concept and many options. He further noted that we our Board is struggling to achieve a $4,000.000 deficit. Next year the Hogg Formula is changing and we will be transitioning to Hogg 11. With all things considered; we can expect an even greater decrease in funding. He feels we are presently struggling financially and any further funding reduction will cripple our Board.

He further noted that he strongly supported moving forward with the School Review process.