School Board Meeting Minutes: September 30, 2013
Category : School Board Meeting - Minutes
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 10/29/2013


Boularderie School
Boularderie, N.S.
September 30, 2013


REGULAR BOARD MEETING

(1) CALL TO ORDER:

A meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was called to order today beginning at 7:05 p.m.


(2) RECORD OF ATTENDANCE:


Present: Lorne Green, Chair Sandra Margettie Stewart Matheson
John Berk Jackie Organ Fred Tilley
Joan Currie Joyce Lind Yvonne Kennedy
Kevin Ruelland Darren Googoo Barb Mercer
Jack Toomey
Absent: Gary Fraser (sent regrets) Steve Parsons (sent regrets)
Darrell Flynn (sent regrets)
Also, Present: Ambrose White, Superintendent
Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resources
Paul Oldford, Director of Opernational Services
Susan Kelley, Director of Programs and Student Services
John Astephen, Regional Director of Educational Services
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary

(3) APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

(a) Deletions:

There were no deletions.

(b) New Business/Additions:

i. Signing Of CUPE Collective Agreement - CUPE representatives along with the Board Chair and the Director of Human Resources, Beth MacIsaac were called forward to sign the new collective agreement. It was noted that both sides worked hard on behalf of Board employees to achieve this agreement.

ii. Commissioner Tilley - St. Joseph, Glace Bay Elementary

iii. Commissioner Googoo - an Announcement



(4) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS:

Moved by Commissioner Mercer
Seconded by Commissioner Matheson

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

Regular Public Board Meeting - June 17, 2013
Special Board Meeting - June 17, 2013
Special Board Meeting - July 2, 2013
Special Board Meeting - July 9, 2013
Special Board Meeting -September 4, 2013
Special Board Meeting -September 16, 2013
Special Board Meeting -September 23, 2013

Motion carried
2013-09-33



(5) BUSINESS ARISING FROM MINUTES:

All Board members introduced themselves to those in attendance.



(6) CORRESPONDENCE:

n/a



(7) DELEGATIONS AND PETITIONS:

A presentation was made regarding the history of the school using Prezi and iPads. There was an interactive iPad demonstration. Students presenting were: Molly Baxendale, Rory MacInnis, Jacob Fraser, Dane Pedersen.

The presentation provided those in attendance a well informed background of the history of the school. They noted the school consists of students from Grades Primary to Six. They noted that it is more than a school but also a community centre for such things as; vocal choir groups, Celtic colors, houses a community police office and much more.



(8) SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT:

Mr. Ambrose White, Superintendent, welcomed students, parents/guardians, staff, volunteers, board members and all community supporters and partners to the 2013-14 school year. He noted he is looking forward to another exciting and rewarding year for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. He extended a warm welcome to Mr. John Astephen, the newly appointed Regional Education Officer. Many worked John over the years, and his background in Programs and Student Services with the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board certainly provides a strong foundation for his new position and our new relationship with him. We look forward to this working relationship with John and wish him all the best as the Regional Education Officer for our Board and also the Strait Board.

As we near the end of September, our staff and Board have dealt with staffing issues, transportation issues and others that usually arise with the start of a school year. He thanked staff and the Board for their support and dedication as we worked through some of these challenges.

There has been major work done on our capital projects throughout the summer, and he thanked our Operations’ staff for their commitment to these projects and for making sure all schools were ready for opening day.

Our “Looking Inward” document continues to be a focus for us as we start this school year. There are eleven focus group meetings and seven public meetings to be held up to November 20th. These are a follow up to the sessions held last spring and give School Advisory Council representatives as well as the general public the opportunity to make further recommendations in regard to this very important document. We hope to have a draft report ready for the Board by the end of December so decisions and planning for next year can be prepared within the appropriate timelines. The Department of Education will soon publish a draft document on School Review. Mr. Bob Fowler chaired this committee and held many stakeholder meetings over the past few months. We expect the report soon.

Another issue at the forefront this year is cyberbullying and the new legislation that has recently been passed. A document entitled “Bullying and Cyberbullying - What we Need to Know,” a reference for parents and guardians, was provided to every student in Nova Scotia. A conference on cyberbullying was held this summer and four regional meetings for all principals will be held between September 25th and October 2nd. Our principals along with those from the Strait Board and some CSAP principals met on September 26th in Port Hawkesbury at the Civic Centre. The title of the session was “Responding to Bullying and Cyberbullying.” The Deputy Minister of Education, along with Senior Staff from the Department of Education and members of the Cyber Scan Unit, were presenters. The role and responsibility of principals and the new legislation were discussed throughout the day. I will keep the Board updated on this topic as the year progresses. Stand Up Against Bullying Day was Thursday, September 12th, and all of our schools participated in one form or another. I thank all for a job well done.

Our Board is committed to supporting schools and staff as we begin another school year. The significance of the role of the teacher is fundamental in the education of our students. He recently read an interesting article, “There’s Always That One Teacher”, by Michael Sadowski, in the September edition of Educational Leadership. He states clearly that “one teacher can make a world of difference - but he or she shouldn’t be expected to do it alone.” Again, we endeavor to support teachers and schools within our jurisdiction as they work within this noble profession.

He had the opportunity along with Susan Kelley, Director of Programs and Student Services, to attend a Rededication Ceremony of the McLennan Centre at the Fortress Louisbourg on September 12th. The rededication was performed by His Honour, Brigadier-General, The Honourable J.J. Grant, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. The rededication pays tribute to the contributions of Katherine and J.S. McLennan to the Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site. Also, the inaugural conferring of the Katherine McLennan Award was presented to John C. O’Donnell, longtime conductor of the Men of the Deeps. A wonderful concert by the Men of the Deeps followed in the chapel, and both the music and setting were inspiring. There are now a large number of resources available to our students at the McLennan Centre at the Fortress and online that will enhance the history and culture of our area. It was a great day.

He directed everyone’s attention, and that of the board members and staff, to read the comments from our school principals that are placed on individual school websites. These items represent the awards, achievements and successes of our students and staff within the boundaries of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

Moved by Commissioner Matheson
Seconded by Commissioner Currie

that the Board accept the Superintendent’s Report as presented. . .

Motion carried
2013-09-34

A copy of his report is attached to the original minutes.



(9) BOARD CHAIR REPORT:

Commissioner Green welcomed everyone to a fresh new year. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is a powerful influence along with parents, family and the community on children's learning. Although we have taken many initiatives to increase that involvement, he felt strongly that the Board will endeavor to create an even greater long-term vision for increasing that involvement in public education.

The control and management of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is enshrined in the capacity of the elected School Board of Cape Breton-Victoria. The office of the Superintendent is responsible for overseeing the successful operation of the region’s schools, inclusive of all school-sponsored activities and student experiences.

All regional administrators report to the Superintendent of Schools. Through these individuals, regional employees are held accountable for the welfare of the students and their academic and extra-curricular success. School programs and student activities, as well as finances, special services, instruction, technology and professional development are coordinated through the office of the Superintendent via the Directors of Human Resources, Finance, Programs & Student Services and Operations.

The mission of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is as follows: "The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board fosters a caring, dynamic and creative environment that provides educational opportunities, promotes a love of learning, respect for others, and challenges all persons to develop their full potential to become confident, versatile, lifelong learners and thinkers".

Education is all about students and being there for them and caring for them is first and foremost. We must treat our students in a way we would want our own children to be treated.

It is much easier to be cynical about education, to be scornful of schools or to complain about what is wrong. To some people, it is much harder to become part of a positive force that understands education, is supportive of schools and is willing to participate in doing what is right.

The Education Act outlines the responsibility of parents and students as a critical factor in student success. That partnership begins with the parent or guardian and your child's principal and teacher. They share a dream of success for your child. Please support this partnership. Make sure your child comes to school each day rested, neatly dressed and ready to learn. Ask your child about what he or she has been learning at school and show interest in the work your child is asked to do at home.

I want to remind the elected board members to take advantage of their own professional development (PD) through our association NSSBA Nova Scotia School Board Association. After all we are responsible and we will be held accountable for education for all students in the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School board. Please be advised that if you haven’t already registered for upcoming professional development “Community Engagement” to take place in mid-October to please do so.

He further recognized that October 1st is Treaty Day which marks the start of Mi’Kmaq History Month.

Moved by Commissioner Tilley
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

That the Board accept the Board Chair report. . .

Motion carried
2013-09-35



EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORT



(10) REPORT FROM COMMITTEE:

Moved by Commissioner Mercer
Seconded by Commissioner Berk

that the Board approve the minutes of the Education Committee Meeting of Monday, September 16, 2013. .

Motion carried
2013-09-36



a. PSS REPORT:

Moved by Commissioner Mercer
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board accept the PSS Report as presented by the Director of Programs and Student Services, Mrs. Susan Kelley at the Education Committee meeting. . .

Motion carried
2013-09-37



b. APPROVAL OF BOARD POLICIES:

Moved by Commissioner Mercer
Seconded by Commissioner Berk

That the Board approve the following policies as presented. . .

· Student Assessment, Evaluation & Reporting
· Use of Cell Phones on School Buses

Motion carried
2013-09-38



c. Human Resources Report:

Moved by Commissioner Mercer
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board approve the report as presented by the Director of Human Resources, Mrs. Beth MacIsaac at the Education Committee meeting. . .

Motion carried
2013-09-39

Commissioner Tilley noted that the Department of Education have called for a response to the present system used for Report Cards. He asked that Board members respond to the Departments request for suggestions.



MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE REPORT



d. REPORT FROM COMMITTEE:

Moved by Commissioner Matheson
Seconded by Commissioner Berk

that the Board approve the minutes of the Management Committee Meeting of Monday, September 23, 2013, , . .

Motion carried
2013-09-40



e. Report of the Director of Operational Services:

Moved by Commissioner Matheson
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

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

Motion carried
2013-09-41



f. Business Plan:

Moved by Commissioner Matheson
Seconded by Commissioner Tilley

That the Board recommend approval of the final Business plan. . .

Motion carried
2013-09-42



(11) NSSBA REPORT:

In the absence of Commissioner Barbara Mercer, Board Rep on the NSSBA , Commissioner Joan Currie attended both the Education and Directors meetings on September 26 and 27, 2013. Highlight of the meeting was a presentation on Student Engagement by Dr. Meredith Burton, a classroom teacher from the Annapolis Valley Board. Her expertise on the topic accrued from thirty years of study, research and many different teaching experiences within her Board. All board members attending the fall conference will have the opportunity to learn from her excellent presentation.

Discussion also took place regarding the need and value of PD sessions for teachers. A report entitled “Teaching the Teachers “was circulated.

Mr. Dave Jones and Mr. Trevor Cunningham, both Administrators who attended expressed anxious concerns over the new Cyber Bullying Act .

On Friday the Directors Meeting was held. There were two presentations. A Draft Position Paper on the School Review Process was presented by Mr. Jim Burton. As you would expect, it was extremely well done and well received in the group. A second presentation from Efficiency Nova Scotia entitled “Proposal for Green Job Shadow pilot Project” was also presented. Mr. Hank Middleton was elected Communications Committee Chair, Ms. Richelle Mac Laughlin, Education Week committee rep and Ms. Melinda Daye, Treasurer.

It was with regret that those in attendance were informed that Ms. Akiko Lovett will be leaving her position with the NSSBA at the end of October. The Board wishes Akiko all the best in her future endeavours.



(12) Mr. JOHN ASTEPHEN, DIRECTOR OF REGIONAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES REPORT:

A. Early Years Centre Sites Announced

The province is opening early years centres in four communities to provide families with more access to services and supports for young children.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Ramona Jennex announced the locations of the province's first early years centres on August 22, 2013.

The centres will be located at Jubilee Elementary School in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board; East Antigonish Education Centre in Monastery, Strait Regional School Board; Yarmouth Central in Yarmouth, Tri-County Regional School Board; and Rockingstone Heights School, Halifax Regional School Board.

The early years centres will be located in or near schools to make them accessible, convenient, and familiar places for families in their own communities. Each centre will be tailored to meet the needs of its community by partnering with community organizations to offer programs such as early intervention, before- and after-school programs, regulated child care, early learning programs and parent education.

In July the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation announced it would provide $500,000 to help fund the establishment of province's first early years centres.

In April the province announced it would establish three early years centres during the 2013-14 fiscal year. The decision to add a fourth centre was made to ensure Nova Scotian children and their families in all regions are supported through the early years.

The new centres are expected to open in early 2014.



b. New Director of Mi’kmaq Education

Nova Scotia's aboriginal students and their communities will receive more support as the Mi'kmaq Liaison Office welcomes its new director, Wyatt White. The office is a valuable conduit between the department and the Mi’kmaq community.

Mr. White was appointed by Education and Early Childhood Development in July.

Mr. White brings to the position over 10 years of public service experience. He has worked with Aboriginal Affairs at both the provincial and federal levels. He has also worked with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Mi'kmaw Kina'matneway and other First Nations educational leaders to support and enhance educational programming.



c. School Review Committee Update

The Government of Nova Scotia has initiated a comprehensive review of the School Review Process. This review will focus on the process used to review schools in the public education system; ensuring attention is paid to the value of the school to students, school boards, community, and the local economy.

The review will take place through two phases over the next eight months. The first phase task is to develop a discussion paper that will:

· provide an overview of the current school review process;
· identify challenges and concerns as highlighted by communities and school boards through previous review processes;
· present an exploration of alternative models or elements for consideration;
· propose possible criteria concerning alternate uses of school buildings, such as those providing complementary services to students and families; and
· put forward options and issues related to disposal of a school building that is no longer required to deliver the public school program.

The second phase will begin in the early fall of 2013 with the release of this discussion paper as the basis for a broad-based public consultation.

As part of the first phase of the review a largely internal committee has been appointed. The committee will develop the discussion paper to support the public consultation in the fall.

The review committee is made up of a chair and staff representatives from provincial departments and two stakeholder groups. The committee members are:

To ensure the discussion paper is comprehensive to support the phase 2 broad-based consultation covering the key issues that are most important to Nova Scotians, the committee sought public input into its development. The submission deadline was July 31, 2013. The public will also have the opportunity to comment on the discussion paper when it is released in the fall.



d. Committees/Meetings Attended:

August 28, 2013

Principals’ Meeting, Northside Staff Development Centre

September 16, 2013

CBVRSB Education Committee Meeting, Central Office

September 18, 2013

Meeting with Superintendents Ambrose White and Ford Rice, CBVRSB Central Office

September 19, 2013

Provincial Regional Education Officers’ Meeting, Department of Education & Early Childhood Development, Halifax

September 23, 2013

CBVRSB Management Committee Meeting, Central Office

September 26, 2013

Responding to Bullying and Cyber-bullying, Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre

September 30, 2013

CBVRSB Public Board Meeting, Boularderie Elementary

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Organ

That the Board approve the report of the Director of Regional Educational Services. . .

Motion carried
2013-09-43



(13) NEW BUSINESS:

a. Commissioner Tilley - St. Joseph, Glace Bay Elementary and Ferrisview Elementary - He noted that three schools submitted appeals regarding their staffing. He noted as a Board we are very diligent in how we assign our staff. He wished to thank Senior staff for sending staff to visit these sites and he thanked the parents/guardians for their passion for the students in our Board.

He noted he is concerned for the Primary/One classrooms. He would also like another review of these three schools who submitted appeals.

He would also like to see correspondence forwarded to the Department of Education supporting extra initiatives for the eighteen schools which were earlier identified.

b. Commissioner Googoo - Announcement - He noted in October he will be appointed to the Canadian Board Association. He looks forward to being a voice for our Board at the national level.



(14) NEXT MEETING DATE:

Next Scheduled meeting date - Monday, October 28, 2013 at Rankin School of the Narrows, Iona at 7:00 p.m.



(15) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

the meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.





__________________________________________________
LORNE GREEN GEORGE BOUDREAU
BOARD CHAIR BOARD SECRETARY




(16) PUBLIC SESSION:

Amie Malley - Parent of a student at St. Joseph. She noted last year a split existed due to a higher enrollment. She noted that that thirteen students required assistance with reading. She noted that her daughter is now in a room of twenty-seven students which is a concern.

Karen MacPhee- she has a concern of safety at the school. Boularderie Elementary. She is concerned with coyotes in the area and the amount of supervision which is in place.

Kristy MacLeod, Chair of the SAC for Boularderie School. She noted that the numbers used for monitoring students with LBG supervision is unacceptable. She noted they have two playgrounds and one person cannot be at the two playgrounds at the same time.

Jennifer Hall, parent of a student at St. Joseph School. She noted they have been pleading for an extra teacher for the school. Her daughter presently has a tutor. Her daughter is overwhelmed and has not written anything in her journal. She noted that the teacher has been absent at various times due to professional development. She is fearful that her daughter will fall through the cracks. She pleaded with the Board to reconsider.

Jennifer Jessome - has a son who is attending St. Joseph School. She noted her son is being bullied at the school. She further noted that the teacher and principal are doing all they can. She further noted there is no vice principal nor are there teacher assistants in the classroom.

Sherry Seymour - Questioned a report of the consultants and coordinators who visited St. Joseph School. She asked whether the parents would receive a copy of this report. Board Chair Lorne Green noted that the Principal would receive a copy of this report.

Ms. Murphy - Noted that she has contacted the Minister of Education in the past and has received the same feed back.

Clarification was asked why the Board waited until now to make a decision on another teacher for the school and did not do this within the first two weeks when St. Joseph had the numbers.

Superintendent White noted that three teachers were removed from schools which was a very difficult process. He noted that schools are monitored throughout the month of September.

Commissioner Matheson noted that we cannot run a deficit. He noted we have ten thousand less students now than we did ten years earlier. He further noted it is difficult for the Board and senior staff to staff schools and still achieve a balanced budget.

Commissioner Toomey stated that he taught for thirty-eight years and he always had large classrooms and some had several challenges. He noted the Board isn’t insensitive, it struggles to balance the budget and meet all the guidelines of the Department of Education.