Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board


Archie MacEachern, Director



Annette Currie, Coordinator


Elementary Language Arts


Teachers were invited to submit poetry written by students as well as pictures of students/teachers engaged in poetry activities during April’s Poetry Month.  Many schools responded sending poems, descriptions of activities, pictures, and slide shows.  As a result, an elementary and junior high poetry newsletter, created by Language Arts Facilitator, Brenda MacIsaac, was sent to schools the first week in June.


Jeannie Stone and Lynn Crawford facilitated a Writers in Action workshop at the Staff Development Centre.  All grade five teachers from across the Board attended.  The workshop addressed such topics as assessment: purposes and strategies, constructing and using rubrics, writing conferences and portfolios, writing workshops, and writing genres.  The workshop was very interactive and gave participants the opportunity to share some of their own ideas as well.  The feedback from participants was excellent. 


The 2004 - 2005 Writers in Action Team spent four days at workshops in Halifax and now have much to share with teachers in our Board during the next school year.  Writing workshops are planned for grades 4 - 6 for the November 5th  Professional Development Day.  Teachers on the WIA team will work in pairs to put on writing workshops in four different sites across the Board.  Topics such as persuasive writing, the place of grammar and spelling in writing, and writing information texts in content areas will be addressed at these workshops.  The WIA team will meet for two days in June to begin planning for the fall.


Active Young Readers P-3, 4-6 and Active Readers 9 debrief and planning sessions were held in Halifax.  Donna Robson and Brenda MacIsaac represented our Board at these sessions organized by the Department of Education.  Recent activity around literacy, plans to support struggling readers, and next year’s professional development plans were shared by each Board.


Harbourside School hosted an Elementary Debating Tournament at the school on June 3.  Six teams from the Board participated.  Teams and students were awarded medals for outstanding performances.  Participants did an impressive job.  These students really know how to plan, organize and deliver persuasive arguments.  They were obviously very well coached by their teachers, Jeannie Stone, Carl Anderson, and Lynn Crawford. 



The Cape Breton Post sponsored a Spelling Bee for grade six students on May 31 at Shipyard Elementary School.  To qualify for the Bee, students had to have won a spelling bee competition in their home classes.  Round two of the process took place in four classrooms at Shipyard School.  The four finalists from the second round (Jeremy Francis, Boularderie; Brendan DesRosiers, Greenfield; Chris MacKinnon, Mountainview and Max Wawer, St. Mary’s/St. Joseph School) met in the cafeteria for the final round.  The overall winner was Brendan DesRosiers from Greenfield Elementary School.


Friends Forever XIII


Elementary programs department had an overwhelming response to its thirteenth publication of Friends Forever.  Forty-one elementary schools responded to the invitation to submit writings of various genre to be published in Friends Forever XIII.  Two hundred eighty-two students, whose work was selected for publication, were presented with a personal copy of the anthology.


With students, teachers, administrators, parents/guardians, sibling, grandparents and friends, more than 1,200 people attended the celebration held at Centre 200 on Thursday, June 10.  Coxheath Elementary School Band, under the direction of Noelle Wadden, and Mountainview School Choir, under the direction of Delynn Reid, provided musical selections during the evening.


We thank principals and staff for the tremendous support shown for this project.  A sincere thank-you to the many teachers who volunteered their time to help prior to, and during, the evening’s program and to Extension and Community Affairs, University College of Cape Breton, for their support in printing Friends Forever XIII.


Historica Fair (Overview was presented in the May report)


Over the course of two days, more than 1,500 students, teachers, family, friends and community members had the opportunity to view living history in action during Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s Fifth Annual Heritage Fair held at University College of Cape Breton, May 13 & 14, 2004.


From a group of eighteen projects judged to be outstanding, three students were selected to accompany their projects to the non-competitive National Historica Fair, scheduled to take place from July 5 - 12 in Montreal, Quebec:


·  Gregory Warren, Donkin/Morien

·  Martin Hodder, Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High

·  Victoria McNeil, Breton Education Centre


The Honorable Laurier L. LaPierre O.C. Medal, in recognition of exceptional enthusiasm and dedication to history and heritage, was presented to six students whose 2004 projects met the criteria for the award:




·  Steven Gittens, Cusack/Cornwallis School

·  Rachel MacNeil, Rankin/Christmas Island School

·  Emmanuel Xidos, Sydney River Elementary School

·  Emily Yorke, Sydney Mines Jr. High School

·  Evan MacLean, Breton Ed Centre

·  Jared MacNeil, Rankin/Christmas Island School


We are proud of all our students who participated in the celebration of culture and heritage.  Their projects were well researched and well presented.  The judges, forty-five ladies and gentlemen from all walks of life, were impressed with the high caliber of demonstration of student knowledge, the enthusiasm of our students, and their interest in preserving their own culture and heritage.




The May -June period is a performance/presentation time for teachers of the arts. A very successful art exhibit , Art inSight, held at Gallery 11, UCCB, concluded with many fine compliments on the quality of student work presented at the exhibit.  Drama productions were also featured during the last few weeks as students displayed their dramatic skills through acting, writing, set design, and directing. One impressive and very entertaining production was undertaken at Sydney Academy where a collaborative effort by drama, visual art and music departments produced an original play complete with original music.


Attendance at various band/musicfests involved travel by many school bands to other provinces and even to the U.S.  Memorial High School Band members had a very educational trip to Boston where they performed in a festival in that city. Others travelled to Quebec and Halifax. McLennan Jr. High Band went on a Cape Breton tour which included performances in a number of Strait Regional Board schools and ended with an overnight stay at St. Anne’s College where an evening of square dancing occurred. Once home, these performing groups also held concerts for family and friends, a final display of their year’s study in music. Similarly, school choirs, recorder groups and the violin students all held closing recitals, impressing audience members with their skill development.


Many of our teachers will be involved with summer study and teaching. Of note, is study at the Julliard School of Music in New York by Noelle Wadden.  She will be involved in studies dealing with the Dalcroze Methodolgy for music instruction. Our music department looks forward to her sharing of experience in this fine method.







ENDNOTES (Retiring Administrators)


The world is full of teachers standing before their classes in the authority of their knowledge.


They have memorized content, absorbed methods, organized time tables and presented facts.


But true teaching is more than that.


And true administration is more than that.


It is inspiring students and staff to high ideals and excellence, then helping them reach those goals.


It is challenging unchallenged ideas, exposing unsupported claims.


It is burning away the limitations, leaving the gold purer than ever.


It is tapping into Heaven’s wisdom using it to ensure their communication with others is pure, peaceable.


A good teacher who moves into administration catches the vision, accepts the responsibility and rises to the challenges.


We will remember each of our retiring principals as one who made a difference in Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board:


John Angione, Robert Beaton, Peter Bren, Robert Cox, Ron Desveaux, Angela Hickey, Charles Holmes, Frank Howell, Jeannette MacDonald, David MacIntyre, Linda MacKay, Kip MacLean, Alton MacLeod, Norman MacMullin, Kevin MacNeil, Judith McLellan, Barry Olford, Rick Preeper, Barbara Ruelland, Sheldon Shaw, Brennan Sheppard


Elementary Programs Department extends a hearty thank you to all staff for their ongoing support and cooperation over the past year and wish each and every one a safe and happy summer vacation.







Program Services (7-12)


David Crane, Co-ordinator


Breakfast for Learning Program


The Nutrition for Learning Committee, under the direction of Debbie Madore, organized a very successful golf tournament.  This initiative raised over $10,000.


Sunrise Rotary has “adopted” Holy Angels High School to support their Breakfast Program.


Canadian Living Foundation: Breakfast for Learning will give the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Breakfast for Learning Program three installments of $7,000.


Nova Scotia International Student Program


There are eight schools involved in the Nova Scotia International Student Program - six high schools and two junior high schools.  There are forty-seven students in place for September 2004.


Healthy / Active Living Committee


The Healthy / Active Living Committee will be actively pursuing “Physical Activity Grants” through the Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion, Sports and Recreation.


Science / Technology Fair


Two teachers and three students attended the Canada Wide Science Fair in Newfoundland.  Our students received honorable mention.


It is hoped that the Science / Technology Fair will be fully implemented in secondary schools in 2004-2005.


Literacy (Brenda MacIsaac)


Grade 9 English Language Arts teachers met at the Northside Staff Development Centre for a debrief/reflection/goal-setting session. Teachers closely examined the January exams which they had constructed. They shared ideas, looked for ways to make exams more outcomes-based and process oriented, and determined specific goals for the next exam in June. This workshop was facilitated by Brenda Mac Isaac.



Drug Awareness Committee


The Drug Awareness Committee has distributed pertinent information on Oxycontin to the schools in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.  Schools have been instructed to form site-based Drug Awareness Committees.


Newspapers In Education


It has been a very successful year for Newspapers In Education in our region.  A Special Edition Newspaper was published by the Cape Breton Post that showcased twenty-two of our schools.


Physical Education (Mary Lou Andrea)


Timetables-MaryLou Andrea, Physical Education Consultant, met with Itinerant teachers to discuss schedules and bussing requirements. 


Health Symposium- Ms. Andrea attended the Health Symposium at UCCB which was sponsored by the Cape Breton Health Authority on June 18th .


Annual Track and Field Day- A very successful meet was held with 12 schools participating.  The overall winner was St. Michael Junior High in Glace Bay.


G. D. Lewis Elementary Awards Day- Ms. Andrea attended this day on June 21st.


French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh)


·                      Interviewing for twenty new French teaching positions will take place the week of July 5th-9th, 2004.


·                      Special project evaluations (2003-2004) were completed on June 25, 2004.  All Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Department of Education initiatives were successfully carried out; the ten professional development days for French Second Language teachers merits particular mention.


·                      Special project funding guaranteed by the Department of Education for 2004-2005 is approximately the same as that of this year; that is, $177,500.00 plus $5,693.00 to support linguistic and sociocultural enrichment opportunities for students.


·                      Special Project funding has been received for a second pilot site for Intensive Core French (grade six).  Joining Riverside Elementary School’s pilot will be Harbourside Elementary School. 


Janet Sullivan-MacIntyre was seconded to the Intensive Core French teaching position at Harbourside Elementary.  Training for Ms. Sullivan-MacIntyre will take place at Université de Québec à Montréal, August 11-18, 2004.  A follow-up session will take place for experienced Intensive Core French personnel from August 19-21, 2004, at Université de Québec à Montréal.  Celeste Foisy (Riverside Pilot teacher) and Laurie MacIntosh (French Consultant) have been invited to attend and share their experiences in Intensive Core French with their colleagues across Canada.





Kevin MacNeil, Coordinator

John Astephen, Coordinator




On June 4, 2004, members of the first resource cohort from Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board gathered to celebrate the success of and completion of the first Resource Masters Program.  As part of the celebration, participants shared a summary of their major projects.


Projects focused on topics such as transition practices, strategies for students with learning disabilities, effectiveness of a behavioral program, parental brochure on IPP’s, referral forms, reading recovery strategies applied to classroom practice.


It was suggested that the abstract from each project be posted on the Student Services website so people could access the information if interested.


Mr. Ed Davis, Superintendent, offered congratulations on behalf of the board and presented each member of the cohort with a certificate.


Second Resource Cohort


The second Resource Cohort from Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board began in April, 2004.  There are twenty-four participants from various schools in the school district.  We also have participants from the Eskasoni School and Membertou Elementary.  Teachers are from both the Elementary and Junior High levels.  They have completed their first course on exceptionality.  Their curriculum course, which will be presented as a summer institute in July.



Plans have been made for a third cohort to begin next school year and a fourth to start in the latter part of the year.  A list of over 70 teachers who are interested in the program was compiled at a meeting in February.


Speech Language Services


The Speech Language Department was actively involved with Elementary schools in celebration of Speech Language month during May.  As culmination to this event, two members of the Speech Department, Cathy McCoy and Nancy Robinson, appeared on CJCB Talk Back program.  Cathy and Nancy discussed the various speech language difficulties and the programs and services offered by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.  The program was very well received and we received a number of positive comments regarding the show and the professionalism of our staff.


Elementary Literacy Assessment


Elementary Schools throughout the board have responded to a request from Testing and Evaluation Division of the Department of Education to assist them in tracking and monitoring students who did not meet expectations. Schools were asked to submit information regarding the status of literacy support and transition planning for those students who did not meet the expectations in reading and/or writing.  Students support plans have been developed and transition meetings between elementary and junior high school teachers are scheduled for September.


Plans are well underway for the 2004 Elementary Literacy Assessment.  This year’s Assessment will be held between October 18 and October 21, 2004.  Harbourside, Brookland, Jubilee, and Greenfield Elementary schools participated in field testing during this year’s assessment in June 2004. 


In preparation for this year’s assessment, Mr. Tom Henderson, Literacy Assessment Consultant for the Department of Education, will assist our board with professional development on September 2 and September 3, 2004.  Classroom teachers new  to grade 6, resource teachers new to grade 5 and 6, grade 4 and 5 classroom teachers, grade 7 English Language Arts teachers, grade 7 social studies teachers, and resource teachers new to grade 7 will attend.  Mr. Henderson will also be available for a professional development session for principals on October 1, 2004.










Rick Simm, Coordinator


The new Datamanager, Jim McNeil, has done considerable work on a process for the Human Resources Department to accept online applications.  It is anticipated that the next Voluntary Transfer process will have an online component.  Teachers will have applications validated according to their e-mail address and professional number.


The “Information Technology Team”, consisting of Liz Mahoney, Reg Johnson, Peter MacKinnon and Rick Simm, meets on a weekly basis for discussion and planning of technology initiatives.  The IT-Team report follows:


Assistive Technology (Liz Mahoney)


Two members of our Assistive Technology Team (Liz and Suzanne) have just returned from a Leader Summit in Illinois.  It was an opportunity to understand how to help others by effectively using the Don Johnston products for literacy solutions.  It was also an excellent opportunity to network with eighteen other educators from across Canada on the delivery of Assistive Technology to our students.  Liz is happy to report that our board is among the leaders in this area.


We have had a number of requests for the Assistive Technology Team to mentor Resource and Learning Centre teachers.  The plans are being developed and the mentoring will take place before October of 2004.


During the past school year, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board initiated and trained a team of ten teachers in the field of Assistive Technology.  The team consists of classroom teachers; resource and integrated resource teachers, learning centre teachers, speech language pathologists, a guidance counselor and a learning strategies teacher and a parent.  Each teacher and parent received a minimum of ten days of training on the technology that is widely used in our Board.  This team then did approximately seventy-five Assistive Technology assessments. Subsequent to the assessments, the following actions took place.



Writing devices such as the Alphasmart were placed with twenty-seven students.  Kurzweil 3000 software was placed in six high schools along with a state of the art computer and a high-end scanner with a document feeder. These systems have the potential of impacting all Learning Disabled students in each of those schools.  During the summer months, I hope to have a student assigned to me who will scan Grade 10 Language textbooks.  During the same time period, the Learning Resources and Technology Division of the Department of Education will be scanning the Junior High School texts.  We will share the resources. This will greatly facilitate the implementation of this system in the fall.


Several complete computer systems were placed in each of Thompson Junior High Learning Centre, Glace Bay Elementary Learning Centre, the Learning Centre at Glace Bay High, the resource room at Whitney Pier Memorial, and the Baddeck Academy Learning Strategies Program.   These computers were equipped with the software and access devices, such as switches and scanning software and alternate keyboard such as Intellikeys, needed for the students within the program.  They were also equipped with Augmentative Communication devices such as Go Talk.


Grade Primary, Mira Road Elementary, received a complete computer system as well as a computer table and Intellikeys hardware and software. Grade Primary, St Anne’s Elementary, received a complete computer system, Intellikeys hardware and software. Sydney River Elementary received three sets of Intellikeys.   Coxheath Elementary received two sets of Intellikeys.  In total, ten sets of Intellikeys were placed in schools.


Many schools received specialized software such as Clicker 4 , Writing With Symbols, the Start of Finish Literacy Series, CoWriter and WriteOut Loud, Intellimathics, Sentence Master and Balanced Literacy.


Many hours were spent on Professional Development.   This took the form of full day in-services, twelve after-school workshops that include sixty teachers, and one-on-one sessions where members of the Assistive Technology team would train teacher on devices new to them.  Finally, but a very important part of the professional development component is the mentoring which took place in the classroom setting with teacher and students present.


IEI Extension (Peter MacKinnon)


The five grade four units of work developed by 20 grade four teachers were given to the elementary principals on April 28th.  A copy of each of the five units was also sent to each teacher who worked on the project. The units are available at the SDC and will be put on the IEIE web page in the near future.


On April 30, we video-taped Ken Mac Donald’s grade 4 class at Riverside using part of the unit created on Explorers.  Lowell Cormier edited the tape and we now have a seven minute snapshot showing our teaching strategies model integrating technology in a four computer classroom.


The IEI-E budget for next year took a major cut by approximately 33%.  We had to create a plan for Halifax on how the reduced funds would be used.  The 2003-04 year end report for has been posted on the IEIE web site.


The report for IEIE, 2003-2004, has been done and is posted on the board’s web site under the IEIE section. Next years plan has been submitted to Halifax and has been approved. The total approved contribution is $432,482.00, with $200,104.00 for hardware and software and $232,378.00 for technical support, professional development and tables. Our focus next year is grade seven and the final plan will be posted on the web site for September.


This amount represents a cut of $200,000.00 from last year which severely restricts our plans for follow-up professional development and the amount of hardware we can provide at the grade seven level. We plan to track how this cutback affects our ability to deliver the program to the standards we have set over the past number of years. We are also sending examples to Michael Jeffrey in Halifax on the successes of this program hoping funding will be restored next year.

Mentorship (YEI)


We just received our funding ($37,500) from Ottawa for 2003-04 this week. We have also been told the program will continue next year.  We have not received confirmation of the amount of funding we will receive next year although we have been told some funding will be available. A report on this year’s program has been completed and will be placed on the board’s web site before September. Also the criteria for mentorship and the application will be put on the web site before school opens in September. Reports from mentors are available at the Staff Development Center so they can be shared between schools.


We have created a video that shows the direction our professional development is taking with teaching strategies and how it is being transferred into teacher directed activities in the classroom. This will be used as a demonstration video whenever necessary to show where we want to go with technology integration.


Brookland Elementary


The committee for PD planning at Brookland Elementary met and submitted some ideas on the direction they would like to go. I hope to sit down with them next week to put some timelines on what we want to accomplish.


After meetings with school administration and the school’s technology committee, a technology plan for the new school is in place and a plan for professional development has been submitted to Halifax and approved. The plan for professional development reflects our teaching strategies model for the four-computer classroom. The basic software and curriculum based software has been ordered for the school.






Data Management


We plan on doing an update of school data for both systems. We are going to try to get standards for entry-level data before September.


The data management software currently in use will stay in most schools next year. We intend to test a web-based product at some elementary schools as early as September. We plan to standardize the entry of data by indicating to schools basic fields that must be filled in. We will also formulate a plan that will give the administration a report using real time data. 


Technology PD (Reg Johnston)



­       Have been working with a number of teachers in the junior high and high schools on integrating technology into their courses

­       Attended a meeting at the DOE regarding Online Course Delivery

­       Met with principals of Rankin, Cabot and Baddeck high schools re online course survey

­       Assisted Board administrators in developing a protocol for online course delivery

­       Visited schools during Education Week to observe the usage of technology in the area of science.

­       Assisted teachers at Bridgeport School with developing webquests

­          Will be assisting in developing a technology plan for IEI and Mentorship



­          Attended Online Committee meeting in Halifax

­          Liaised an Online pilot project between small district high schools and the Department of Education

­          Reviewed and presented a proposal from Glace Bay High on a model Lab/Tech Centre to the Coordinator of Program Services (Instructional Support)

­          Visited Glace Bay High to observe the layout of proposed Lab/Tech Centre.

­          Met with math teachers at Glace Bay High to discuss enhancing technology integration.

­          Received and reviewed a presentation from Dr. TL Sullivan on their technology co-teaching model.

­          Assisted teachers at Bridgeport and John Bernard Croak with their web pages.

­          Completed a review of MS Front Page as a template for school web pages.

­          Participated in the development of a IEI PD plan for the new Brookland Elementary School 






























Rick Simm, Coordinator


The “Information Technology Team”, consisting of Liz Mahoney, Reg Johnson, Peter MacKinnon and Rick Simm, meets on a weekly basis for discussion and planning of technology initiatives.  The IT-Team report follows:


Assistive Technology (Liz Mahoney)







IEI Extension (Peter MacKinnon)





Mentorship (YEI)







Data Management:





Technology PD (Reg Johnston)