Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board


Archie MacEachern, Director



Archie MacEachern, Director


n                  Ms. Mary Ellen Googoo has accepted a position at the University College of Cape Breton.  Mary Ellen has been granted a leave of absence from her position as 50% high school teacher and 50% Mi’kmaq Education Facilitator with the Board.  We thank Mary Ellen for her excellent work with our students and staff and wish her success in her new position.


n                  The Directors of Programs and Student Services from across the Province have prepared a “cost pressure” report to be presented to the Funding Workgroup at the Department.  A copy of the report is attached.


n                  The Grade Six Literacy Assessment student reports will be going home to our parents and guardians on March 24, 2004.  I have attached a copy of a power point presentation (attached) for your reference.





Marvin Harvey, Coordinator


n                  The “Outreach Transitional Support Project” is now entering its fourth week and is servicing over 58 of our most challenging students.  Excellent work is being provided in the eight families of schools created and all early reports are positive.


n                  The “Outreach Redirect Work Placement” project is up and running and two coordinators have done outstanding work for the 15 “school leavers” involved in work placement.  The training and work placement components are provided on an ongoing basis and all feedback is positive.


n                  The joint project, “Stopping Bullying Together” continues to be well received at schools.  This project reached the 5000 student plateau this week.  Some interesting projects are being planned for the closure of this project and student presentations will continue.


n                  Meetings have been held with Operational Services in respect to new guidelines and procedure in respect to fire regulations.  Training will be done in late February and principals will be provided with the necessary inservice activity prior to September 2004.


n                  Schools have been provided with an updated current budget printout and given specific spending guidelines for the end of this fiscal year.  It is our hope that this procedure will be beneficial to schools in respect to maximizing use of resources and also helpful to Purchasing and Finance employees in respect to their individual tasks.


n                  The “Open Door Homeless Shelter” for youth is now processing its first applicants.  We have been meeting with this over the past two years as they tried to make the dream of a shelter for youth a reality.  I strongly commend them on their efforts and excitement surrounds the review of these first applicants.  We will continue to play a role in the educational programming of all candidates.


n                  Senior Management has reviewed the protocol for media announcements in respect to school cancellations.  We will now have two very distinct announcements: one that refers to students and staff at the school level, and the second that refers to all students and all employees of the Board.


n                  The data, in respect to student behaviour, shows a slight increase for the year, up to this point, the area of more specific concern is the incidence of children of a much younger age and the intensity level of the outbreaks.  Intervention of other agencies in an effective and timely manner remains a concern.

n                  The long-standing request for a meeting with representatives of the first nation in respect to some concerns has still not occurred.  It is now well over a year since Mr. Archie MacEachern initiated these requests.





Annette Currie, Coordinator


Language Arts (Brenda MacIsaac)


Professional development opportunities for teachers in the area of literacy are ongoing.  Brenda MacIsaac facilitated sessions for the Active Young Readers team (4-6), Literacy and Technology workshops for grade four, and is currently preparing to meet with teachers at grade five level. 


Programs and Student Services personnel have been collaborating on a workshop for principals, teachers of grade six, and resource/LD teachers assigned to work with upper elementary teachers.  This session, Supporting Literacy Learners, is scheduled for February 12 - 13 at the Canadian Coast Guard College.


Members of the Active Young Readers team worked with Brenda MacIsaac, Ron MacLean and Reg Johnston to introduce teachers new to elementary to teaching strategies specific to literacy, math and science.


A full day session for literacy contact/liaison teachers P-3 and 4-6 has been scheduled for March 10-11, 2004.  Each school will be represented at this workshop which will focus on strategies that can be replicated with staff.


A Publisher’s Display will be held in conjunction with this workshop.  Teachers and administrators will have an opportunity to peruse recent or about-to-be listings by the Department.  This will give schools extra time to view resources prior to placing their order with the Nova Scotia School Book Bureau.


Brenda has also initiated sharing sessions with grades 4-6 teachers.  One such after-school session has been planned at Harbourside Elementary School on February 16.


Mathematics (Ron MacLean)


Successful workshops were held with teachers new to elementary grades during the last week of January and the first week of February.  Teachers felt these sessions were of value to them.  Plans are in place to hold such sessions in September for teachers new to elementary P-3 and 4-6.


Upcoming workshops with grade four teachers will focus on strategies to promote student competence with the multiplication facts.



Fine Arts (Cathy MacNeil)


The month of January, for many of our arts educators, is a time for beginning repertoire for spring productions, music festivals and many performance opportunities.  Senior High teachers are also preparing for the second semester with entirely new groups to work with.


Many fine elementary choirs were featured on the “Sobey’s Stars for Christmas” CD. Jubilee Choir, under the direction of Mary Jane Ross with Paula Jane Francis accompanist, tied for fifth place which means an additional $1,000.00 for the music program at Jubilee. This choir, along with the Northside Honor Choir , will be providing musical entertainment prior to the “Celebration on Ice” show , Feb. 21st, at Centre 200.  Another fine choir, St. Anne’s Elementary, under the direction of Donna-Lee McLennon, sang at the opening ceremony of “Family Violence Prevention Week” at UCCB on Friday, February 6.


An excellent committee of music educators from the CB-VRSB is in place and meeting regularly to plan the Nova Scotia Music Educator’s Conference to be held October 21 - 23, 2004, at Sherwood Park. The co-chairs for the conference are Sean McLennon and Cathy MacNeil. It has been many years since our Board has hosted this event; that very successful event was held in Baddeck in 1989.  The theme for this year’s conference is “Beyond the Beat!” as suggested by Melissa MacNeil.  Johnna Anderson, a first semester Design 11 student at Sydney Academy, designed the logo for the conference.


One of our visual art teachers, Nancy McLean, has had her article “Dinner Party” published in the January ‘04 issue of School Arts , a U.S. publication.  It is a description of a project undertaken with Memorial High School students when she was teaching at the school.  Also featured are various pictures of completed works from a number of her students.


Discussions are underway to assure that the new facility of Brookland Elementary will have quality music and art equipment in place when the school opens in September.  Attention to the brand of band instruments to be ordered is necessary to ensure longevity of instrument life and ease of playing by the students.


Roots of  Empathy


Roots of Empathy is a program designed to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children.  Working in partnerships with communities, Roots of Empathy delivers an innovative classroom program (connected to our curriculum outcomes) that aims to reduce aggression through the fostering of empathy and emotional literacy.


The heart of the program is a neighborhood infant and parent who visit the classroom once a month for the full year.  With a certified Roots of Empathy Instructor, students are coached to observe the baby’s development, celebrate milestones, interact with the baby, and learn about the baby as well as the baby’s needs.


We introduced this program last fall in five schools (Ashby, Baddeck, Florence, St. Joseph, North Sydney, and St. Mary’s) and we understand that it is helping students to better understand human nature.  Feedback from schools later in the spring will help us to assess the value of Roots of Empathy, after which we will met with elementary principals to review the program.



Public Speaking Event


The Annual Public Speaking Event, which is co-sponsored by the CB-VRSB, and the Cape Breton & Northside -Victoria Locals of the NSTU, will be held at Memorial High School beginning April 19th.  It is hoped that as many schools as possible participate in this event which provides an excellent oral speaking opportunity for students grades 4 to 12.



Historica Fair


This year’s Historica Fair will take place on May 13 & 14  at UCCB.  Four students from this Board will be displaying their projects at the provincial fair to be held at the Citadel in Halifax on Feb. 16th.  These students had outstanding projects at last year’s fair.  They are:  Justina Zatzman from Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High; John MacAulay, Sherwood Park Education Centre; and Devon Sullivan& Mark Gallant from Mountainview Elementary.

Library Services (Carmelita Cousins)


A workshop for all Library Technicians is planned for on February 27, 2004, to be hosted by Ellen Gushue at Riverview high School.  Ms. Leslie Andrews will be facilitating a morning session on “Microsoft Front Page”.  The afternoon session will be a continuation of the November PD day policy statements, guidelines and work strategies.





David Crane, Co-ordinator


Professional Development


On February 27, all semestered schools will have a full day of Professional Development.  Senior High Schools are collaborating on presenting various in-service sessions in the content areas.


All non-semestered schools will have a half day site-based Professional Development session and a parent/teacher session.


The Canadian History 11 In-service has been rescheduled for February 20, 2004.


Plans are underway for a “Literacy Support Plan” Professional Development session to support struggling readers.  This will include grade six and grade seven teachers.


Plans are underway to provide Professional Development for grade six and seven teachers to collaborate on a transition “Literacy Support Plan”.  This plan will concentrate on those students who did not meet the expected learning outcomes for the Grade Six Literacy Assessment.


Grade Nine Examinations


The administration of the grade nine exams was very efficient and effective.


Program Services will be looking at the student examinations and working with school administrators and teachers in order to ensure these exams and the final examinations are meaningful measures of student achievement.


Nova Scotia International Student Program


Presently, there are forty-three students in our program.  The Home-stay parents attended an orientation on February 12 at Sydney Academy.  The new students will have an orientation session on February 15, 2004.


Breakfast Program


There are thirty-six schools participating in the Breakfast Program.  This is a very positive program and is a reflection of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Senior Management commitment to this endeavor.  A Bell Bay Golf Tournament is being organized to take place June 25, 2004, to raise money for the Program.


Science / Technology Fair


Program Services is presently re-introducing “Science / Technology Fair”.  This endeavor will include grades 7-12 and the projects will be classroom-based.  A Science / Technology Fair Committee is being established.  The goal of this committee is to have students produce authentic Science / Technology projects.  It is hopeful that two teachers and two students will attend the National Science Fair to be held in Newfoundland.


Physical Education (Mary Lou Andrea)


Nutrition for Learning - Mary Lou Andrea, Physical Education Consultant, met with Debbie Madore, Breakfast Program Co-ordinator, to discuss what was happening with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board regarding Physical Education and ways in which they can work together in the schools.  Ms. Andrea was also asked to help plan the Nutrition for Learning Charity Golf Tournament at Bell Bay in June.


Active School Communities - Ms. Andrea attended a meeting on January 8, 2004, at Cusack Elementary School to receive updates on the program.  Everything is great.


Healthy Sexuality Document - On January 13, 2004, Ms. Andrea, David Crane, Co-ordinator of Program Services (7-12), Annette Currie, Co-ordinator of Program Services (P-6), Janet Bickerton, and Jean MacQueen met with Frank Covey, Department of Education, to discuss the rollout of the document.  The following day, Ms. Andrea attended the Secondary Principals’ Meeting at Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High.  The Healthy Sexuality document was discussed at length.  After the meeting, members of the Healthy Sexuality document committee discussed options for the rollout of the document with Archie MacEachern.  Mr. Covey will be making a presentation to the Board on Monday, February 16, 2004.


Junior High Track and Field - A meeting was held at Malcolm Munroe on January 22, 2004, with all Junior High Physical Education Teachers to plan for the upcoming track and field event.  The event will take place on June 4, 2004.


Grade 4-6 Health Planning Team - On January 23 and 26, 2004, Ms. Andrea was at the Northside Staff Development Centre planning the upcoming Health Inservice which took place on Friday, February 6, 2004.  The topic of the inservice will be an overview of the guide.



Brookland Elementary School - On January 28, 2004, Ms. Andrea met with the administration staff of the Brookland Elementary to discuss the Physical Education equipment for the new facility.  


Education Week


Education Week 2004, “Science: Question, Investigate, Discover!”, will take place from April 18th to the 24th.  The Education Week Selection Committee met on February 10, to choose two award recipients, one from Cape Breton District Local and one from Northside-Victoria Local NSTU.  These teachers will be honored at the awards ceremony on April 19 at The Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO).     


French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh)


·                      Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant, Suzanne Aucoin, and Anne Doyle represented the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board in Halifax at a two-day session on Lecteur Actifs-grades 7/8 (Active Readers 7/8).  Participants will be responsible to provide professional development to the Junior High Late French Immersion teachers of our Board.


·                      Andrée Green, Director of French Language Services, Department of Education, will visit our board on February 16, 2004.  She will meet with David Crane, Co-ordinator of Program Services (7-12), Laurie MacIntosh, Archie MacEachern, Director of Programs and Student Services, and the principals of the three Junior High Schools offering Late French Immersion.  Mme. Green will offer insight into Second Language Literacy and upcoming changes at the Department of Education concerning the increase of instructional time for French Language Arts.


·                      On February 5, 2004, Laurie MacIntosh participated in a working meeting at the Department of Education.  French Consultants from across the province spent the day evaluating new pilot materials for Junior High Core French.  Pilots will begin next month.


·                      The post-testing of students in the grade six Intensive Core French pilot at Riverside Elementary School will take place on February 18-19, 2004.  Post-testing consists of a written test as well as an oral interview in French to chart the students’ progress.


·                      Dates have been set for Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s annual French Public Speaking Contest (Concours d’art Oratoire).  The “concours” will take place at Malcolm Munroe Junior High School on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 (Core, Extended Core, and francophone categories), and Thursday, March 25, 2004 (Immersion categories).  Winners will go on to compete at the provincial concours in Halifax on May 1, 2004.




·                      A Masters of Education, French Second Language has begun for eleven French Teachers of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board as well as one teacher from Centre Scolaire Étoile de l’Acadie. The Masters program is being delivered by Université Ste-Anne.



·                      Registration for the Late French Immersion program has begun.  The process should be complete by the end of February.


·                      The “Grade 12 Core French On-line” course has begun.  There are seven students across the province participating.  Unfortunately, Cabot High was unable to participate but Amanda Phalen, a grade twelve student from Sydney Academy, has registered and will be starting her on-line course this week.


·                      The French Second Language Monitors have begun their second semesters with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.  David Ferron is working with French teachers and students from Glace Bay High and Sydney Academy while Normand Théroux is working with French teachers and students at Sydney Mines Junior High.


·                      Plans are underway for the February 27, 2004 inservice at Holy Angels High for Senior High French teachers.  Among the workshops will be a presentation by François Bélanger, Université Ste-Anne, on integration of grammar (La grammaire ennuyante...pas nécessairement.)





Kevin MacNeil, Coordinator

John Astephen, Coordinator


Supporting Student Success:  Resource Programming and Services


Our lead team met on Friday, January 24, 2004, (please see enclosed agenda).  Plans were developed for a one-day workshop on the Canadian Learning Disabilities Association’s Screening For Success.  Michelle Aucoin from Nova Scotia Learning Disabilities Association will facilitate the workshop for our learning disabilities teachers, resource teachers, and lead team members on our system professional development day, February 27, 2004. 


Plans were also developed for a workshop on Non-violent Crisis Intervention for teacher assistants and bus/lunch/grounds supervisors to be held on the same professional development day. 




Data received from the survey of co-teaching in our secondary schools was reviewed.  Survey results indicated that staff in many of our secondary schools, are currently engaged in early attempts of co-teaching.  Fifteen of the nineteen respondents indicated that the school was engaged in co-teaching.  The data also provided us with  a breakdown of the model of co-teaching attempted.  The data left the team with a sense that teachers in many of our schools are beginning to experiment with co-teaching.  As a result of the professional development on the Resource Handbook in September 2003, there now seems to be a readiness on the part of teachers for more professional development on co-teaching as a form of program delivery.  The lead team has begun to plan for some professional development on co-teaching to be scheduled early in the 2004 - 2005 school year.


Professional development in mathematics for resource teachers is planned for March 2004.  The plans include focusing on a strand in mathematics, identifying stages where difficulties occur and developing interventions and strategies to support students encountering problems.  Ron MacLean, Math Facilitator for our Board, will facilitate this session.


Elementary Literacy Assessment


The generic Report for School Administration and Teachers was shared with principals at a meeting of Elementary Principals on January 21, 2004.  Principals requested a day to collectively develop a consistent board plan for the distribution of student assessment results, sharing results with parents, and developing Students’ Literacy Support Plans.  As a result a one-day in-service entitled Supporting Literacy Learners is scheduled for grade 6 classroom teachers, resource and learning disabilities teachers, elementary, guidance teachers, and elementary principals.  One half of our elementary schools will attend on February 12, and the other half of the 13th.




Guidance Counsellors at the Elementary and Junior High Level have formed a committee with the aim of developing a transition booklet for students at the grade 6 level.  The committee will begin by surveying schools to gather information on existing transition practices and protocols.  The booklet will be generic in nature but also contain information specific to a students’ school community.   The booklet will include information for parents and will be ready for student use in May.


Learning Disabilities


Learning Strategies teachers at the high school level are currently reviewing and updating outcomes for the learning strategies courses at the high school level.  Staff is also working on developing some rating scales to supplement the pre and post testing measures currently in use for the learning disabilities annual report.  Learning Strategies teachers are working with school guidance staff and staff from the Nova Scotia community college regarding the “Adopt a School” initiative.




Rick Simm, Coordinator


Technology PD (Reg Johnston)


n         Organized Canadian History 11 workshop slated for February 20th (rescheduled from January 16 due to storm day)


n         Involved in organizing a three-day Star Office workshop (Grade 7 teachers) slated for March 1, 2, and 3


n         Creation of web mail accounts for students, teachers and administrators


n         Provided school-based support to IT mentors


n         Delivered LCD projectors to John Bernard Croak, Bridgeport and Tompkins


n         Conducting after-school workshops on utilizing the Intel Microscope (attached to a computer) in the classroom.


n         Will be conducting a 90-minute session on “Integrating Technology into the Curriculum” to the Social Studies department at Glace Bay High on February 27 (Staff Development day)


n         Will be conducting an Intel Microscope workshop to teachers at Glace Bay Elementary on the morning of February 27th


n         Accepted a request to sit on the Online Course Delivery Committee established by the Department of Education and will be attending a meeting in Halifax on February 18th



IEI Extension (Peter MacKinnon)


IEI Grade 4


Facilitator, Brenda MacIsaac, delivered the teaching strategies workshop in the CB-VRSB model classroom at the Staff Development Centre.  Teacher feedback rated the workshop high in practicality and classroom adaptability. 


Twenty-five grade 4 teachers have volunteered to take part in a two day lesson building session.  Technology supported units appropriate for the grade 4 curriculum will be done in Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Health.  These units will then be made available to all grade 4 teachers.


All CB-VRSB schools now have a data projector!  Recently, PD facilitators made personal deliveries to each school that did not already possess a data projector.  There are still a number of loaner projectors on hand for schools that require them for a period of time.


Data Management


A web based version of Datavan was demonstrated to some Central Office staff on January 19th.  This demo will also be done for the Win School user group before the end of February.


Web based attendance will be tested at Harbourside by the end of February.




Currently, Rick, Liz and Peter are making visits to our mentoring schools.  After the visits are finished, an evaluation of the program will take place.


Brookland Elementary


A technology skills level survey has been done with the Brookland Elementary School staff to facilitate the development of a professional development plan for the school.  The plan will be drafted beginning in mid February and finalized by mid March.





Charles Sheppard, Coordinator


Mr. Charles Sheppard, Coordinator of RCH, has met recently with Director Archie MacEachern, Programs & Student Services and Coordinators Annette Currie, David Crane,  Kevin MacNeil and John Astephen to draft an RCH strategy.  Highlights of the draft to date include:


n         the creation of a lead team to plan and facilitate PD activities and RCH events;


n         a two-day Cultural Diversity Workshop for all RCH School Liaisons and Principals;


n         a poster contest;


n         and a response to the BLAC report as it applies to Board responsibilities.


Once the draft is finalized, it will be presented to Senior Management and the Board in March.