School Board Meeting Minutes: March 22, 2016 - Special
Category : School Board Meeting - Minutes
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 03/30/2016

Riverview Rural High
Coxheath, N.S.
March 22, 2016



A Special Board meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was called to order today beginning at 6:30 p.m.


Present: Lorne Green, Chair Sandra Margettie Steve Parsons
Joan Currie John Berk Yvonne Kennedy
Barb Mercer Jackie Organ Darren Googoo
Joyce LindJack Toomey Stewart Matheson
Gary Fraser Charlotte Shaw Kevin Ruelland
Absent (sent regrets): Fred Tilley
Absent: n/a
Also, Present: Beth MacIsaac, Superintendent
George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services
Wendy King, Director of Human Resource Services
Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary


Amber White-Young presented on behalf of the Riverview Family of Schools SOC. She highlighted the number of meetings that have occurred since September. She noted that the committee was tasked with reviewing the options which were brought forward along with making recommendations to the Board. They further highlighted that they have had three public meetings to ensure that the community would have an opportunity to express their concerns and/or opinions.

Counsellor Ivan Doncaster spoke expressing concerns for students of the East Bay area. He suggested that students travel to East Bay school; rather than towards the Sydney area.

Peggy Mann, representing George D. Lewis asked for the operating costs for George D. Lewis. Mr. Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services addressed her concerns. He further noted that the amounts can be found in the reports on the board website. She further noted that the Board will be doing damage to the community. She wished to see Board assistance in their submission for a Hub School.

Laurie Fortune, parent from the East Bay elementary area, noted that she has requested information with regards to transportation that she felt was vague when received. She is concerned about bus stops and the catchment area impacted.

Ms. Fortune noted the amount of tax dollars paid by the citizens of this area and she would like to see some of these dollars remain in the community. She identified past schools that no longer exist in the area.

Ms. Cheryl Munroe a resident of Front Lake Road spoke of the boundary change for the area. She noted that she drives her daughter to Marion Bridge school and her daughter is thriving at this site. She says she sees herself and the residents of the area as members of the Marion Bridge community.


Mr. Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services presented the technical report. The first four pages were background information.

Highlights of the report included:

· Reference Documents
· Hub School Information
· Reference Criteria
· The SOC Report and Recommendations
· Facilities and Capital requirements
· Transportation
· Boundaries
· Human Resources
· Programming and Student Services
· Timeline
· An Appendix section


Ms. Peggy Mann questioned again the operating costs and the difference in costs from varying buildings. She again reiterated concern for the community.

Ms. Dawn MacNeil, student attending MacLennan Middle School, expressed concern over the boundary issue noting that they were never enforced in the past. She spoke of the importance of small schools in communities.

Ms. Lauren Petrie, student of MacLennan Middle School, she supports keeping MacLennan open and creating a P-8 school for the Westmount area. She noted that she has submitted letters to the editor, spoke on CBC and has spoke to the Board at the last public meeting. She also submitted more names for the petition submitted at the Board meeting.

Ms. Cynthia Smith, parent of student who attends MacLennan Middle School spoke of her concerns for her daughter who suffers anxiety issues. She spoke of past experiences her daughter has had and the positive environment provided to her at MacLennan Middle School.

Another parent from East Bay elementary spoke with regards to the bussing issue and the times of the busses and distance traveled.

Ms. Karen Leon, parent of a student who attends MacLennan Middle School spoke of her daughter’s needs. She spoke of absenteeism in our schools and its relation to class size. She feels our children are going to be the next leaders of our communities.

Miss Tessa MacNeil who attends MacLennan Middle School spoke expressing her concerns of the possible loss of her school. She spoke of the issues that she feels exist in a larger school such as bullying. She spoke of acceptance in a larger school environment.

Ms. Amber White-Young, Chair of the MacLennan SAC spoke. She noted that she didn’t agree with all the decisions and yet she understood it was a procedure. She noted that she would like to see a P-8 in the Westmount area. She spoke of the gymnasium at the school, the sense of community in the school. She highlighted students who suffer with mental health issues.

She highlighted what she sees as the extra programs occurring at the MacLennan Middle school.

Ms. Viola Doncaster noted that she was greatful for the small schools that existed in our Board while her son attended school.

Miss Chelsea Mugford, a student at MacLennan Middle School spoke of the importance of small schools and the benefits that come from these learning environments. She would like to finish her years in Middle School at MacLennan. She spoke of what she sees as the extra programs that exist and the opportunity provided to explore these programs.

Ms. Peggy Mann questioned the amount of money the Board receives per student from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Miss Olivia Fraser, a student of MacLennan Middle School spoke of the positive impact the school has had on her education. She noted that she thrives in a small learning environment.

Ms. Laurie Fortune, East Bay Community member, advised that the Board should look at schools that are deteriorating in the Board. She would like to see East Bay remain open.

Ms. Peggy Mann advised that they are waiting for costs from an architect.

Ms. Cheryl Hutt, Louisbourg Community member questioned the number of reductions in positions within the Board if schools are closed.

Miss Lauren Petrie thanked the Board for their time this evening and she hopes the Board takes all comments into consideration.

Commissioner Stewart Matheson recognized students who spoke and the keen interest they have in their communities. He noted that no decision has been made yet and Board members are all here to listen and to give consideration to all the comments that are made. He further highlighted the loss of students per year and the concerns the Board has with regards to excess square footage.

(6) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

The meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.