School Board Meeting Minutes: March 23, 2016 - Special
Category : School Board Meeting - Minutes
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 03/30/2016

Glace Bay High
Glace Bay, N.S.
March 23, 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
Wendy King, Director of Human Resource Services
Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services
Lewis MacDonald, Coordinator of Human Resources
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary


Ms. Melissa MacDonald along with Mr. Derrick Hayes presented on behalf of the SOC for the Glace Bay Family of Schools. They identified their mandate, the options they were provided along with options that were brought forward. They noted three public meetings were held. They were given the task of dealing with unique considerations and made recommendations on their preferred options. While identifying the preferred option they provided the background information that assisted in making this decision.


No comments at this time.


Mr. Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services began with a power-point presentation.

Included in his report were the following highlights:

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


Ms. Brenda MacLean, former parent of students who attended Bridgeport School, highlighted the positive initiatives for Bridgeport School. She noted the gym, land, etc.

Mr. Allister Moore, representing the SAC for John Bernard Croak, would like to see a new school for the area and preferred Option eleven from all the options presented. He asked about future declining enrolment.

Mr. Willie Currie spoke of the revitalization project for the area of Number two which is presently served by John Bernard Croak VC Memorial School.

Ms. Millie Detchevery spoke as a parent. She loves the school her son attends (John Bernard Croak VC Memorial). She also accesses the daycare located next to the school.

Mr. Paul Prince spoke on behalf of MacDonald Elementary. He advised that he is a member of the SOC for the school. He would like to see a new school for Tompkins, MacDonald Elementary and Bridgeport School. He advised that the area of Dominion lost four schools, Reserve lost two schools and Gardiner Mines lost two schools.

Mr. Joe Hickey, a citizen of the Dominion area, noted he attended classes in Dominion and graduated from the former MacDonald High. He supported a new school for the area of Dominion, Reserve and Bridgeport. He questioned asbestos and whether it existed in Bridgeport School. He would like to see a school with modern standards for the area.

Mr. Paul Prince presented a petition along with letters from business persons supporting a new school for the area.

Mr. Devon Pickup, parent of three, recognized the initiative to reduce class sizes and the considerations given to these initiatives. It was noted that we would be following the class size guidelines laid out by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

He further questioned the amount of funds identified to refurbish Bridgeport rather than to put these funds towards a new school. He then questioned the previous long term plan to build a new school for the Dominion area.

Ms. Nicole Musial, parent, member of the SAC for Tompkins and a member of the SOC for the Glace Bay Family of Schools, noted that nineteen members voted for the preferred option. She spoke of the voting process that occurred.

Ms. Melissa MacDonald, representing Tompkins Elementary, spoke of her disappointment with the process and the impact it had on communities and members of the SOC. She sees education as an investment in our children and an investment in our future.

Mr. Allister Moore recognized the Board and noted that they have some tough decisions to make. He wished the Board the best of luck.

Ms. Leona Brown who is a Board employee advised that she had hoped that the Board checks for asbestos.

Ms. Brenda MacLean noted that due to decline in population, decline in enrollment we no longer have our previous towns and communities we are all one – all apart of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. She highlighted the green space that presently exists at the Bridgeport site.

Mr. Allister Moore clarified his previous comments.

Mr. Greg White, parent of students attending Tompkins Elementary felt strongly in support of a new school for the area.

Mr. Willie Currie parent of a student for JBC, reiterated his support.

Commissioner Fraser noted that each school has made valid points on why their school should be retained. He thanked the committee members for all the hard work they have done. He noted that the Board has been mandated to make some difficult decisions due to lack of funding and declining enrollment. He said not everyone will be happy with the end results but difficult decisions have to be made.

He wished to have his comments recorded supporting the building of a new school for the Seaside area.

Commissioner Shaw thanked the SOC members and all members of the community for their hard work. She noted it has been a labour of love. She further advised that the Board will take all comments into consideration.

Commissioner Matheson noted he is from Sydney however he represents all students of the Board and that every area has their challenges. He, too, reiterated that no decisions have been made. The Board has some tough decisions to make.


Board Chair Lorne Green stated the Board is elected to represent all students and they have many tough decisions to make. If the tough decisions are not made, then the Board will be forced to make alternative tough decisions that will impact students and programs. He further noted that the Board closes schools while the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development open schools. They are responsible for the entire system not just Glace Bay. The Board has been provided an extensive amount of information to assist in making some difficult decisions for the betterment of all our students.

(8) Adjournment of the Special Board Meeting . .

The meeting adjourned at 8:28 p.m.