School Board Meeting Minutes: January 27, 2014
Category : School Board Meeting - Minutes
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 02/25/2014


Sherwood Park Education Centre
Sydney, N.S.
January 27, 2014


REGULAR BOARD MEETING

(1) CALL TO ORDER:

A meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was called to order today beginning at 7:00p.m.


(2) RECORD OF ATTENDANCE:


Present: Stewart Matheson, Acting Chair Sandra Margettie Gary Fraser
John Berk Jackie Organ Steve Parsons
Joan Currie Joyce Lind Yvonne Kennedy
Kevin Ruelland Darren Googoo Barb Mercer
Jack Toomey
Absent: Fred Tilley Lorne Green Darrell Flynn
Also, Present: Ambrose White, Superintendent
Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resources
Susan Kelley, Director of Programs and Student Services
George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services
Paul Oldford, Director of Operational 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. Commissioner Toomey – Server breakdown



(4) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS:

Moved by Commissioner
Seconded by Commissioner

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

Annual Meeting -November 25, 2013

Regular Public Board Meeting -November 25, 2013

Special Board Meeting -November 25, 2013

Special Board Meeting -November 28, 2013

Special Board Meeting -January 13, 2014

Motion carried
2014-01-17



(5) BUSINESS ARISING FROM MINUTES:

All Board members introduced themselves to those in attendance.



(6) CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services distributed the timelines provided by the NSSBA for Appointment/Submission dates.(attached to the original minutes)

Moved by Commissioner Organ
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board accept the correspondence as presented. . .

Motion carried
2014-01-18



(7) DELEGATIONS AND PETITIONS:

Acting Board Chair Commissioner Matheson noted that there will be no presentation this evening due to school cancelations and the start of examinations.



(8) SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT:

Superintendent White began his report welcoming everyone back.

Primary registration for the 2014-15 school year took place on Monday, January 20th and Tuesday, January 21st, with afternoon and evening sessions as well as Thursday, January 23 from 2-4 p.m. Students enrolling in school for the first time are required to register in the school that children from the area traditionally attend. School administration is on hand to help parents and guardians with the registration process. Pupils being registered must be five years of age on or before December 31, 2014, and valid proof of birth must be presented. They are no exceptions to the age requirements. If parents miss the date, please contact your local school to set up an appointment for registration. These numbers are very important for us as they establish staffing requirements for our Board.

As everyone knows, we have been bombarded with snow since December, and we have had a number of school cancellations as a result. We are often questioned on cancellation of school. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board takes great care when making the decision to cancel school due to inclement weather. Consultations are made with police, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, bus supervisors, Board personnel and others from the various areas of our Board. All this is done before a decision is made, no later than 6:30 a.m. It is never an easy decision to make, but it is always made with the safety of students and staff in mind. He thanked Colleen MacMullin and all others involved in this important process for their diligence and dedication to this process.

School review public consultations have wrapped up as of last week. Mr. Bob Fowler led this process and visited each Board to hear directly from the stakeholders involved. Mr. Fowler and his group met with the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board on January 6th, as well as School Advisory Council representatives and the general public in the evening. He did the same with the other seven boards across the province. He also met with the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, Council on Mi’kmaq Education, NSTU and other provincial organizations who have a voice in the School Review Process. He will present his results to the Minister by the end of February and a report on the consultation will follow.

On December 3rd, the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Karen Casey, announced the Education Capital Plan for 2014-15. Under the plan, the Province will purchase and renovate a building in Sydney (on the Tar Ponds site) to serve as a bus maintenance facility for the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board. This is great news for us because of the condition and location of our main bus garage adjacent to Riverview High School. He will keep you posted on the progress of this project.

He attended a meeting on Wednesday, January 15th, in Halifax with Peter MacIsaac, Chief of Police for the Cape Breton Regional Police Service, Sgt. Tom Ripley, and Mr. John MacEachern from the Association for Safer Cape Breton Communities. They met with four Deputy Ministers including:

Judith Ferguson, Deputy Minister of Justice;
Frances Martin, Acting Deputy Minister of Health;
Frank Dunn, Acting Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development;
Lynn Hartwell, Deputy Minister of Community Services
Bob Purcell, Executive Director of Public Safety

The purpose of the meeting was to achieve support for Access 808 which provides shelter to homeless youth. Since opening last year, Access 808 has helped over 100 youth who are living in a cycle of homelessness and whose lives are often affected by other challenges such as mental health problems, addictions, high risk and sometimes criminal behaviors, low family, school and workplace attachments. An integrated approach to developing and implementing interventions and supports for the at risk youth population ensures that barriers to success are eliminated. This is a great program, and we were well received at this meeting. Hopefully, our request for two outreach positions will be successful; because we all deal with these youth and must work together to help overcome their challenges.

The Early Years Center in Sydney Mines, Jubilee site, has a target date of February 3rd to begin the pre-primary programming. To date, 24 children from Sydney Mines have pre-registered. Early Childhood Educators have been hired through the Cape Breton Family Resource Center, who will begin this month. This pilot program is in four Boards across the province and hopefully will expand further in the years to come.

On December 6th, the Cape Breton Regional Police once again treated selected students from elementary schools to a shopping day. This is called “Shop of the Class” and due to the generous support of the Mayflower Mall and a number of local businesses, the day was a very joyful event for all participants.

Examination for semester one for all high school students began this week. We wish all students the best as they prepare and study for their exams.

Lastly: he directed everyone’s attention, 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. Again, he asked the principals to ensure that these important communications are kept up-to-date.

Moved by Commissioner Margettie
Seconded by Commissioner Organ

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

Motion carried
2014-01-19



(9) BOARD CHAIR REPORT:

There was no report at this time due to the absence of the Board Chair.



EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORT



(10) REPORT FROM COMMITTEE:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Fraser

that the Board approve the minutes of the Education Committee Meeting of Monday, January 13, 2014 .

Motion carried
2014-01-20



a. Human Resources Report:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Organ

That the Board approve the report as presented at the Education Committee Meeting. . .

Motion carried
2014-01-21



b. Jubilee Elementary – Reinstatement of Vice Principal:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Mercer

That the vice principal be re-instated at Jubilee Elementary School until July 31, 2014 and be reviewed every year during staffing. . .

Motion carried
2014-01-22



c. PSS REPORT:

Moved by Commissioner Toomey
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

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
2014-01-23



d. Policies forwarded to stakeholders for review: (information only)



MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE REPORT



e. REPORT FROM COMMITTEE:

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Fraser

that the Board approve the minutes of the Management Committee Meeting of Monday, January 20, 2014 . .

Motion carried
2014-01-24



f. Report of the Director of Financial Services:

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Currie

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

Motion carried
2014-01-25



g. LEGAL SERVICES:

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Margettie

That the Board (as per the service level agreement), recommend the extension of the contract agreement with Sheldon Nathanson for one additional year. . .

Motion carried
2014-01-26



h. EAL SUPPORT (ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE):

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Organ

That the Board recommend approval of the extension of a .5 teacher for EAL support. . .

Motion carried
2014-01-27



i. REPORT – DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS – MR. PAUL OLDFORD:

Moved by Commissioner Berk
Seconded by Commissioner Currie

That the Board recommend acceptance of the report presented by the Director of Operational Services at the Management Committee meeting. . .

Motion carried
2014-11-28



(11) NSSBA REPORT:

Commissioner Mercer provided the highlights of the report.

Highlights from Nova Scotia School Boards Association (NSSBA) meeting which took place on December 5-6, 2013, are as follows:

A progress report on the NSSBA’s Vision for Education in Nova Scotia Schools based on input from 26 interviewees was provided by Penny Milton. Recommendations included defining a mechanism to obtain input from students, the development of a public discussion paper on future directions in education to dialogue with partners such as municipalities and business organizations and discussion with board chairs and superintendents to develop ideas to inform relevant government consultations.

On November 12, 2013, the NSSBA President met with the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. An informal but very positive conversation took place pertaining to the NSSBA MOU, the School Review Process, the NSSBA Vision for Education in Nova Scotia Schools, and the government’s Blue Ribbon Panel and plan to re-invest 65 million dollars in public education.

The final draft of the NSSBA Position Paper on the School Review Process was presented and discussed. The expectation was that the paper would be endorsed by the Leaders Advisory Committee on January 13, 2014.

Sherry Jarvis, Project Coordinator of the Nova Scotia Alliance for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, made a presentation to the Board of Directors. Ms. Jarvis indicated that the Alliance would like to partner with school board members across the province. The present partners in the Alliance include the Canadian Cancer Society, NS Division, Cancer Care NS, Capital District Health Authority, Dieticians of Atlantic Canada, Doctors NS, Ecology Action Centre, Health Promotion Clearing house, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Physiotherapy Association of NS, Recreation NS, St. Francis Xavier University as well as a number of individual members. The Project Coordinator is very open to making a presentation based on the theme, Making a Difference, at the upcoming NSSBA AGM.

A letter was sent by the NSSBA to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development expressing concerns about developments at the federal level with respect to the proposed First Nation Education legislation which was crafted without consultations with First Nations as primary partners.

A new executive assistant for the NSSBA has been recruited. A warm welcome is extended to Ms. Debbie Grady. Ms. Grady can be reached at 902-491-2856 or by email dgrady@nssba.ca

Moved by Commissioner Fraser
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

That the Board approve accept the report as presented. . .

Motion carried
2014-01-29



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

1. Regional Education Services

The Regional Education Officer (REO) provides advice to school boards and school board senior staff on educational matters, and reports to the Minister on educational conditions throughout the province. As the field representative of Regional Education Services, the REO provides province-wide leadership and support to the department and school boards related to public school quality and accountability. This encompasses providing departmental liaison with elected boards and senior staff, monitoring implementation of recommendations from reports accepted by the Minister (e.g. Reality Check), monitoring quality of programs offered by overseas schools offering the Nova Scotia curriculum and representing the Minister/Department at the regional level.

The following are some of the Regional Education Services duties:

Roles and duties of the REO are included in legislation. The following are sections from the Education Act, the Ministerial Education Act Regulations and the Governor in Council Education Act Regulations.

Education Act

Interpretation

3 (1) In this Act,

(ab) “regional education officer” means a regional education officer appointed pursuant to this Act;

REO Duties

Duties
26 (1)
It is the duty of a teacher in a public school to

(s) keep such records as are required by the school board or the Minister and permit the inspection of those records by the board, the superintendent or superintendent’s representative, the principal, the supervisor and the Minister or Minister’s representative or, upon their request, provide the records to them;

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS

Duties and powers
64 (2)
A school board shall, in accordance with this Act and the regulations

(m) invite the Department of Education to name a representative to participate in the process of hiring the superintendent and to participate in the annual evaluation of the superintendent;

Duties and rights of private school
131 (2)
The Minister may appoint or designate a regional education officer to assess a private school, including its teachers, its educational programs and its instructional materials, to inspect its facilities and to perform such other duties with respect to the private school as the Minister may require.

Regional education officers
142 (1)
The Minister may appoint persons in the Civil Service as regional education officers for the purpose of this Act.

(2) A regional education officer shall

(a) act as an educational adviser to one or more school boards;

(b) visit schools and report to the Minister on the educationalactivities at the schools and the conditions of the schools, consultwith and co-operate with other educational agencies and generally aid the Minister in keeping in touch with educational conditions throughout the Province;

(c) promote the advancement of education by holding public meetings; and

(d) perform such other duties as the Minister determines.

1995-96, c. 1, s. 142.

Ministerial Education Act Regulations
School year, holidays, hours of school

3 (9) When a classroom has not been operated on a school day and the teacher cannot claim the day as a school day under the provisions of Section 11 of the Governor in Council Education Act Regulations, with the approval of the regional education officer, school may be taught on any of the following days not regularly included in the school year:

(a) the school days of the spring vacation;
(b) not more than three Saturdays during a school year,

but no classroom may be in operation for more than 195 days in a school year, and no teacher may teach or claim credit for more than 195 days in a school year.

4 (1) A school board may at its discretion and after consideration of each proposal, approve participation by its staff and students in school travel programs within the Province, within Canada or outside Canada, provided that

(a) neither teachers nor students are away from the school for more than fifteen school days, unless a greater number of days is approved by the school board and the regional education officer;
(b) parents of participating students are informed of the purpose, and nature, and are given a detailed itinerary of the program, and the parents give their consent; and
(c) the board is satisfied that the educational benefits of the program can be considered as equivalent to those that would be received by the students during the same period of time in the classroom setting.

Governor in Council Education Act Regulations

Recognition of teaching service

Days claimed

11 (1) For the purpose of determining the service of a member of the instructional staff in any school year, the following periods shall be reckoned as days taught, and no teacher shall suffer loss in salary if the teacher does not teach on a school day when a school is closed by

(d) an order of a school board or its representative in consultation with a regional education officer; however, failure of a board to consult the regional educational officer shall not result in a loss of salary or benefits to a teacher;

(2) For the purpose of determining the service of a member of the instructional staff in any school year, the following periods shall be reckoned as days taught, and no teacher shall suffer loss in salary if the teacher does not teach on a school day when absent with the approval of the school board

(b) for not more than two days while attending a professional conference or institute or meeting not called at the direction of the Minister, provided any such professional conference or institute or meeting has the approval of the Director of Regional Education Services;

Teacher’s Certificates and Permits

16 (2) The Minister shall appoint a Certification Appeals Committee composed of three persons, one of whom shall be nominated by the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union, one of whom shall be nominated by the Minister, and one of whom shall be a person chosen from among the regional education officers who is acceptable to the two parties and who shall be chair.

30 (1) When a school board certifies that no holder of a Teacher’s Certificate is available for a teaching position, the Minister may issue a Teaching Permit to a person who is recommended by the regional education officer for the region in which the school or class is situated, subject to the Minister being satisfied with the person’s subject matter and pedagogical expertise.

Moved by Commissioner Fraser
Seconded by Commissioner Berk

That the Board approve the report as presented by the Regional Educational Officer. . .

Motion carried
2014-01-30



(13) NEW BUSINESS:

i. Commissioner Toomey – Server breakdown - Commissioner Toomey noted that he recently read an article in the local newspaper regarding servers which crashed and the information was not backed up properly in a school in another Board.

He questioned the seriousness of this issue and what do we do to ensure all our data is backed up properly. Mr. Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services noted that our board has a back up of all servers.



(14) NEXT MEETING DATE:

Next Scheduled meeting date - Monday, February 24, 2014 – Sherwood Park Education Centre –7:00 p.m.




(15) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

the meeting adjourned at 7:26 p.m.





__________________________________________________
LORNE GREEN GEORGE BOUDREAU
BOARD CHAIR BOARD SECRETARY




(16) PUBLIC SESSION: