PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES UPDATE - November 2004
Archie MacEachern, Acting Superintendent
Ambrose White, Acting Coordinator/School Services
n There was disruption of classes at several schools this past month for a variety of reasons. School Services worked closely with Operational Services at Whitney Pier Memorial (spray), St. Joseph’s, Sydney Mines (Fire) and several other schools that lost instructional time due to power outages. Thanks to Paul Oldford, Coordinator of Facilities Management, and Colleen MacMullin, Coordinator of Transportation, for their cooperation and support during these situations.
n STEPS TO SUCCESS
Several meetings were held with Mr. John Astephen and the committee to
process applications for the STEPS TO SUCCESS Program. The program at
Breton Education Centre is new this year and several applications were received
this month. Each case is discussed on its merits and recommendations
rendered by our committee.
n Budget statements were issued to the schools this month. Special thanks to George Boudreau and Joan Poirrier for their assistance with these statements. Charmaine Sampson is also available to help schools with their own accounts.
n Report Cards / Envelopes were printed for the schools in November. Milton Bonnar does a great job at Memorial High School in the production of the Report Cards. This is a huge task and thanks to all for your help with the Report Cards.
n Student Fees:
I want to thank all the schools for their prompt responses to the survey on
Student / School Fees. The Department of Education is studying this issue and
will survey all schools in the Province themselves.
n Code of Conduct:
A new draft of the School Code of Conduct is being processed. It is an update of
the original that was distributed in 2001, of which Mr. Marvin Harvey was a
n Scent Reduced Environment:
Several schools are initiating procedures for a “scent reduced school” because
of staff and students who have allergies. These schools are recommending
procedures with the support of the School Advisory Council, staff and students.
n Presentations were made to parents of the Peer Youth Centre at Ashby. Information regarding regular programming, alternative programming, suspensions and Code of Conduct was discussed.
n Mr. Marvin Harvey
Finally, I want to offer my sincere gratitude to Mr. Marvin Harvey, who has met
with me on two occasions to help with my adjustment to the School Services
position. Marvin’s most recent visit was a tremendous help to me, particularly on
the issue of school budgets. Thank you Marvin.
PROGRAM SERVICES (P-6)
Annette Currie, Coordinator of Program Services (P-6)
On November 5, 2004, grades primary to two workshops were facilitated by a group of twelve teachers covering curriculum content area in patterning, numbers, operations, and geometry. The sessions showed teachers the progression from grade to grade in the lower elementary grades.
Teachers new to teaching grades P-2 continue to attend Tuesday sessions at Ashby and Shipyard Schools. These workshops are facilitated by Donna Robson and Linda Neville. The last session will be held on November 30. The thirty-plus participant teachers will be recognized for their commitment to supporting their students through their attendance in these after-school professional development sessions over the past two months.
On October 22, teachers at Coxheath Elementary spent an afternoon participating in a workshop which focused on ways to engage students with non-fiction text.
On Staff Development Day, November 5th, grades 4-6 teachers participated in workshops held at Jubilee, Shipyard, and Greenfield Elementary Schools. The Writers in Action (WIA) team members facilitated sessions on poetry writing and persuasive writing. Teachers on the Board's Assistive Technology team facilitated a workshop on Writers Companion, a piece of software that will be installed on all computers, grades 4-12. The commitment, energy, and expertise which the WIA team members lent to this endeavor is evidenced in the positive feedback received from teachers verbally and in the evaluation forms.
Teachers representing schools in Glace Bay will attend professional development workshops focusing on delivering a Balanced Reading Program. These workshops will be held at Ashby Elementary and will be facilitated by Donna Robson.
Language Arts Facilitator, Brenda MacIsaac, delivered a workshop during the morning session of the Elementary Principals' meeting which was held at the Staff Development Centre, North Sydney, on November 18. The concept of a Balanced Literacy Program and creating a literacy ethos, the role of the principal, will be the themes of the workshop.
The Write Traits 4 kits have arrived. Carl Anderson will facilitate sessions for grade 4 teachers on this resource during the last week in November. As well, grades 5 and 6 teachers and resource teachers who did not receive in-servicing last year will be invited to attend.
Grade 6 students participated in the 2004-2005 Provincial Elementary Literacy Assessment from October 18-21. In discussions with principals and teachers at the schools, the process seemed to go more smoothly than last year. On November 25-28, teachers from our Board will take part in the marking sessions in Halifax.
Classroom teachers are beginning to communicate with parents via regular newsletters which explain and celebrate what students have done in their classrooms and inform parents of interesting activities planned for upcoming weeks. Neeta Kumar, Grade 3 teacher at Brookland Elementary, received very favorable responses from parents after she sent such a newsletter home. This is a great way to build positive home-school rapport.
The first Literacy Newsletter will be sent to each English Language Arts teacher, resource teacher and principal in elementary and junior high schools the week of November 15-19. The newsletter is a means by which readers can get a sense of what is happening at the Board, school, and classroom levels with regards to literacy. It is also a vehicle for sharing ideas, resources, and web sites. This first newsletter encourages schools to celebrate National Book Week and gives suggestions as to what can be done at the school and classroom levels to help celebrate Book Week.
Fine Arts (Cathy MacNeil)
Beyond the Beat - NSMEA Conference ‘04 was a great success despite other offerings for music educators in the province on that day. An outstanding job was done by the conference committee: Lesley Ann Andrews, Delynn Reid, Keli Brewer, Barb Stetter, Donalda Westcott, Susan Greaves, Melissa MacNeil, Joyce Lively, Eric Favaro, Mary Jane Ross and co-chairs Sean McLennon and Cathy MacNeil. Personnel at Sherwood Park Education Centre are also to be acknowledged for excellent cooperation as the school was the host site. Teachers from across the province were very impressed with the facility, the greenery and artwork as well as the excellent sessions provided.
Various music programs from across the Board were featured in “ An Evening of Music” at Holy Angels High School. At that concert, the Musica Viva Award was presented to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board in recognition of outstanding support for music education programs. Annette Currie accepted on behalf of the CBVRSB.
Nancy McLean, visual art teacher 4-6, was the successful recipient of the Dora Baker Award at the recent Art Association Conference. Next year’s conference will be hosted by visual art teachers in the CB-VRSB and chaired by Greig Bishop, Malcolm Munroe Jr.High.
Following the conference, many music teachers spent Sunday, October 24, at Memorial High School with school choirs taping for Sobey’s “Stars For Christmas”. The selected choirs will be heard on the soon-to-be released CD.
The November 5th Staff Development Day involved session for teachers at the following sites: Sherwood Park (Visual Art- Pueblo Pottery), Breton Education Centre (Ardith Haley Instrumental), Sydney River Elementary (Mary Jane Ross/ Dawn MacDonald Gillis- Orff/ Square Dancing). These sessions were rated very highly by all teachers present and not only attended to skill development but afforded the opportunity to share and plan future collaborative ventures.
November has drama, visual art and music teachers in preparation for the many Remembrance Day Services held throughout the Board. A special display was viewed in the foyer of Malcolm Munroe Junior High School depicting the Cape Breton Highlanders. The instrumental students at Riverview High School, Malcolm Munroe Junior High, and instrumental and choir students at MacLennan Junior High performed in a Peace and Remembrance Program on November 8th at Riverview and were well received by parents and audience members.
Holy Angels High School drama group had its first production of the term featured on November 12th and centered on the effects of World War II and the life of a young Holy Angels student in the early 1940's. An active script-writing group is preparing for a Christmas production. Art displays involving charcoal, pastel and watercolors during Mi’kmaq history month and Remembrance Day exhibits were featured in the foyer of the school
Teachers in the arts continue to present, perform and display the fine talents of students in our Board.
The 6th Annual Historica Fair will be held at UCCB on May 12th and 13th and planning is underway once again for this very educational experience for students.
Library Services (Carmelita Cousins)
Web pages have been completed by half of the Library Technicians. A memorandum will be sent to the remaining group to inform them to contact Jim MacNeil, Data Manager, for password and web pages issues.
The Staff Resource Centre has new acquisitions for a "Special Needs" library, developed by Alicia Cantwell and others. These resources are games, toys and other manipulatives which can be used by students and their teachers.
The generosity of outside companies/agencies, etc., has helped us to provide new books/resources for schools and educators. Approximately 86 boxes of books have been donated by a publishing company in Ontario and will be distributed to elementary schools shortly; top quality new books comprising both fiction and non-fiction titles. The Friends of the Environment, with Toronto Dominion, have donated over $500 for books to Memorial High School; the books are on pollution topics and are already being used by students for research purposes.
PROGRAM SERVICES (7-12)
David Crane, Co-ordinator of Program Services (7-12)
Breakfast for Learning Program (Debbie Madore)
· Canadian Tire is donating an extra $2000 for a total donation of $5500 for Harbourside Elementary School adoption, as their actual bills total close to $5500 for the year. Russell Unilowsky and his wife are coming for breakfast at Harbourside on November 23rd. Students are making thank you cards.
· Calls have been made to MemberCARE and Golden K, to see if they will be adopting their schools again.
· More pictures have been in the Cape Breton Post for Sunrise adoption and Canadian Tire.
· Membertou plans to give $3000 again this year.
· New Waterford Rotary gave $1000.
· Ashby Elementary School Breakfast for Learning Program is up and running.
· We are currently attempting to implement the Breakfast Program at Brookland Elementary School. Their Program is expected to begin in approximately two weeks.
· Vernon MacIsaac, Principal, Ball’s Creek requested a Breakfast for Learning Program. Debbie Madore, Breakfast for Learning Co-ordinator, explained that we require new funding before expanding. Ball’s Creek is now on our “waiting list” for new programs.
· Students have been selling tickets at the Screaming Eagles Hockey games, starting in November. They have raised over $1400 so far.
· A presentation was made to Y’s Men, Sydney. Ms. Madore is hoping that they will adopt a school this year.
· Ms. Debbie Madore attended a meeting in Halifax for the group, working towards a Nutrition policy for Nova Scotia schools. No recommendations have been set out as of yet. Ann Blackwood would like everything to go through Superintendents first.
· Subway would like to provide breakfast once per month to a school with their sandwiches. (Deli Sandwiches - Turkey and Ham on the small bun) Ms. Madore also mentioned the 2nd Annual Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Breakfast for Learning Golf Tournament. She is hoping to see some support from them.
Newspapers In Education
The artwork which was submitted by students for the Cape Breton Post Yuletide Edition will be displayed at University College of Cape Breton’s Art Gallery (date to be announced). This display will be a representation of P-12 students’ artistic work from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.
Nova Scotia International Student Program
Canada’s first International Education Week will take place November 15-19, 2004. Homestay Co-ordinator, Paula Pace, and two students made a presentation to Rotary Services Club, on Tuesday, November 16, 2004.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s Nova Scotia International Student Program continues to grow. Students are already enrolled for second semester in most high schools.
Healthy / Active Living Committee
Ms. Mary Lou Andrea, Physical Education Facilitator, has been appointed chair of this committee. The first meeting of the year took place on Tuesday, October 19, at Central Office. Debbie Madore prepared a one page survey for distribution to the elementary principals regarding the changes which have occurred in their schools as per the healthy eating recommendations presented to them at the June Principals’ meeting. Also, David Crane and Annette Currie will be asking the principals of each school to form an Healthy / Active Living Committee. Physical Activity grant information was sent out to each school. Physical education teachers were given information regarding the Screaming Eagles visit to Physical Education classes to promote Active, Healthy Lifestyles at the November 5th inservice.
Drug Awareness Committee
The Drug Awareness Committee met on October 18, 2004. Mr. Dennis Burns, Community Liaison Officer, Glace Bay High, and Miss Karen MacPherson, grade twelve student, Holy Angels High School, have been invited to sit on the Committee.
All secondary schools were asked to form a school-based Drug Awareness Committee, consisting of the principal, guidance counsellor, teacher, parent, and student. They were also given a mandate to develop a clearly articulated and well-publicized drug/substance policy for their school, focusing on education, prevention, counselling/addiction services, and enforcement. They will seek assistance and input from their School Advisory Council, and utilize copies of drug policies from other Boards in the province to help in developing Regional site-based and Board policies.
The lists of school-based Drug Awareness Committee members are due on November 19th, 2004.
Science / Technology Fair
The Science Lead Team will be inservicing secondary schools on project-based Science. This initiative is in preparation for the Canada-Wide Science/Technology Fair Exposition held in Vancouver in February.
A very successful Regional Professional Development Day was held on November 5th, 2004. Evaluations from that day showed high levels of positive feedback and teacher satisfaction.
Physical Education (Mary Lou Andrea)
Active School Communities - Preparing a survey to investigate barriers that are preventing students from participating in the program and brain storming ways to get these students active.
Quality Physical Education Program Advisory Committee- The next meeting will take place in Ottawa, November 19-22.
Sexual Health Network- The last meeting took place on Tuesday, November 9, at the Planned Parenthood office. An update on the research project was given by John DeRoche. The data was in draft form and the network was asked to review the document and give feedback for the next meeting. Discussion also took place regarding the Youth Sexual Health Strategy from the Office of Health Promotion. Topics were also discussed regarding a PAL/CALM inservice. Some of the topics were Healthy Relationships, Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The next meeting is scheduled for December 14 at 3pm at the Planned Parenthood office.
Active Communities Committee- Ms. Andrea attended a full day workshop at the Gaelic College on October 26th. The workshop was intitled: “New Pathways To Increased Physical Activity”. The keynote speaker was Dr. Ken Barter. Success stories were also presented at this workshop, one of which was the Cusack/Cornwallis/Ashby project.
Centre for Leadership Development Committee- Work is being done to finalize the April conference. Ms. Andrea attended the Kitchen Party which was very successful. The next meeting will take place on November 15th .
Tobacco Reduction Strategy Committee- The next meeting is scheduled for November 16th at the Public Health Office in Sydney.
Greenfield - Ms. Andrea made a presentation on Physical Activity in the Classroom to the staff at the November Staff meeting.
St. Joseph Elementary, Sydney Mines - Ms. Andrea made a Halloween presentation to the grade two class on physical activity in the classroom.
Walk to School Week- As a result of participating in this week, two of our schools (St. Joseph, Sydney Mines and Shipyard Elementary), won prizes.
School Visits - Ms. Andrea made visits to Cusack, Sherwood Park, Florence, Greenfield, and Jubilee.
November 5th Regional Professional Development Inservice- According to the assessments, the inservice was a success. The majority of teachers P-12 were in attendance. Presenters for the day were Mary Daly, Public Health Nutritionist; Claire MacLean, Heart and Stroke; Lorne MacDougall, Shipyard; Joan Robertson, Morrison; and Mary Lou Andrea.
Life Smart Training Program - The initiative includes a partnership with the Cape Breton District Health Authority, St. John Ambulance and the Heart and Stroke Foundation to enhance and promote the Life Smart training program within the Cape Breton District Health Authority area schools.
Healthy Eating For Community Partners for Cape Breton District Health Authority - On November 26th, Ms. Andrea will be attending a meeting to discuss progress on Healthy Eating and to establish a task force on Healthy Eating.
Vocational Review Committee
The Department of Education is now reviewing the Vocational Review Report. Acting Superintendent, Archie MacEachern, is awaiting a call on how the Department of Education will move forward with this document.
· Junior High teachers had Professional Development sessions dealing with verbs in the curriculum document and their implication in questioning and the levels of questions. They had an interesting presentation on problem solving and game theory. Also there was a session on technology and its use in the classroom.
· Senior High teachers had four Professional Development sessions on: Calculator Use on Exams, how students can use the calculator to their advantage; Linear Equations, real world examples; The Item Bank, how teachers can use this online resource to make test and exams; and Geometer’s 4, practical classroom applications.
· Grade 12 teachers attended a session in Wagmatcook on Friday, November 12. This session on the grade 12 provincial exams gave teachers information on the removable content for this year only. Teachers will not be able to remove questions this year, as they were able to do last year.
· Mentors will meet on Friday, November 19, for training and planning ways to get more teachers to take advantage of the mentorship.
· The Junior High Geometer’s 4 Team will meet for a second session of training on November 24th. Grade 7 mathematics teachers will be in-serviced on classroom strategies to make the best use of the IEI computers they will have in their rooms.
· Planning is underway for math workshops for resource teachers to be held mid-January. Many of the resource teachers have been asking for additional math training.
· December 6th, Ron MacLean will be at North Highlands to address the staff and to work with teachers.
· Sixty-four students / sixteen teams were at the first math league competition of the year held at UCCB.
Literacy (Brenda MacIsaac)
October 5 – 8: The Active Readers 9 Team attended a four-day workshop session in Halifax. The focus of the workshop was assessment, and Anne Davis was the guest presenter.
October 14 - 15: Jacqueline Poirier (BEC), Brenda Mac Neil (Memorial), Marlene Mac Lean (Baddeck), and Brenda Mac Isaac, Literacy Facilitator, attended the first high school level Department of Education province-wide in-service in Halifax. The focus was on writing. At this time, the Department informed participants that implementation of the AR initiative at the high school level would officially begin in September of 2006. In 2005/2006, there would be a consolidation of AR 7-9 initiatives.
November 5 Staff Development Day: Grades 7-9 English, social studies, and science teachers attended literacy workshops at Sherwood Park. These in-services focused on integrating literacy activities across the curriculum. High school teachers met at Breton Education Centre for a writing workshop facilitated by Sylvia Gunnery, a retired teacher from Nova Scotia and a professional author. The AR9 Team facilitated the workshops at the junior high level and their commitment, energy, and expertise was evidenced in how well their workshops were received by teachers. Evaluation forms submitted by teachers were very positive. The AR9 team members : Sheila Mac Donald, Craig Seward, Amber Orychock, Neeta Kumar, Chris Boutlier, Tina White, Irene Grezel, Yolanda Aubrecht, and Danyelle Smith.
November 30: Write Traits 7 kits have been delivered to all grade seven homerooms in the Board. Grade 7 teachers and junior high resource teachers who were not in-serviced on this resource will participate in a Write Traits workshop to be held at the Northside Staff Development Center on Nov. 30. The session will be facilitated by Carl Anderson, grade 6 teacher and Vice Principal at Sydney River Elementary. Carl attended a three-day conference on Write Traits in the summer of 2003.
Integrating Literacy and Technology Across Subject Areas: Grade 7 English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science teachers will attend full day in-services facilitated by Brenda MacIsaac at the Northside Staff Development Centre. These sessions focus on strategies to incorporate both literacy and technology into these specific subject-areas.
Morrison Junior High – On October 22, teachers (grades 7-9) took part in a workshop facilitated by Brenda MacIsaac on specific strategies to incorporate comprehension-building activities into all subject areas. The staff at Morrison has identified improving literacy skills school-wide as the number one priority in the school improvement plan for this year. Each homeroom is scheduled to include a reading comprehension instructional period during which time specific reading comprehension strategies would be introduced and practiced throughout the year. The strategies would also be reinforced by the teachers in their specific content areas.
Sherwood Park – On October 22, teachers at Sherwood Park participated in a workshop facilitated by Brenda MacIsaac. This workshop focused on learning strategies that would help teachers use and manage four computers in a classroom of 24+ students as the students engage in literacy activities.
Cabot High – On November 19, Brenda MacIsaac, Liz Mahoney, and Cathy Viva will be at Cabot High working with teachers who have asked for support in planning programs for students who did not meet outcomes in the 2003 Elementary Literacy Assessment. These students are now in grade 6.
Malcolm Munroe / Whitney Pier Memorial – AR9 Team members will be facilitating half-day sessions at these schools. The intent of the sessions is to help teachers understand the need to teach literacy in content areas.
Dr. T. L. Sullivan – During the last week of September, grade 7 students at T.L. Sullivan were engaged in an interdisciplinary unit which included a variety of literacy activities that focused on Vincent van Gogh. Co-teaching was an integral part of this unit as the resource teacher, LD teacher, Art teacher, and English Language Arts teacher facilitated the learning activities together.
Thompson Junior High – On October 13, grade 8 and 9 students at Thompson were treated to a writing workshop facilitated by Nova Scotia author, Joanne Taylor. This workshop was a follow-up to a workshop given by Ms. Taylor last year.
· Secondary Department Heads and Lead Teachers – On October 28, representatives from each junior and senior high school met at the Staff Development Centre for a full-day session. The teachers expressed how delighted they were to have this opportunity to share and plan with their colleagues. This is one of the reasons these sessions will continue. Also, the meetings across grade levels help in the development of a secondary literacy program that builds on and reinforces what has been taught in previous years. It also assists in helping in the process of planning for smooth transitioning of students from junior to high school.
· Grade 12 English Exams – Debra Abbott from the Department of Education will meet with Grade 12 English Communication teachers from each school as well as a representative from Grade 12 English Language Arts courses. She will inform teachers of changes to the exams in a session to be held at the Northside Staff Development Centre.
· Grade 9 - Teachers have received the AR9 kits and teacher resources from the Department. (first week in November) As well, teachers and principals have received information advising them of what to do with the resources, FAQs, and a list of what should be in each kit.
Resource List – A list of resources (high interest, early-transitional reading levels), which schools may purchase, has been compiled by Cathy Viva and Peggy MacIntosh to satisfy requests from teachers and principals who are looking for resources to support students.
The first Literacy Newsletter will be sent to each English Language Arts teacher, Resource teacher and Principal in Elementary and Junior High schools the week of November 15-19. The newsletter is a means by which readers can get a sense of what is happening at the Board, school, and classroom levels with regards to literacy. It is also a vehicle by which ideas, resources, and websites can be shared. This first newsletter encourages schools to celebrate National Book Week and gives suggestions as to what can be done at the school and classroom levels.
Literacy Support Plan
All Junior High / Middle Level schools submitted school-based Literacy Support Plans. These plans will be reviewed to ascertain how funds from the Literacy Support Plan account can be dispersed.
David Brennick, Co-ordinator of Student Services
French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh)
n The November 5th Professional Development Day for French Second Language was held at the North Star Inn. Presenters included Danick Clavel, Ronald Bourque, Joanne Turner, and Yves Rossignol who provided a variety of workshops including the multicultural class room, job opportunities for bilingual graduates in the federal public service as well as composing French songs with students. Approximately 70 teachers participated in the event and evaluations were very positive.
n Gérald Félix, Core French Consultant (grades 4-12), Nova Scotia Department of Education, will be visiting the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board on Thursday, November 18, 2004, to discuss French Special Projects and to visit the schools and personnel involved with these projects. During his visit on October 28th, Mr. Félix and Ms. Laurie MacIntosh dropped by the grade six “Intensive Core French” pilot sites at Riverside Elementary and Harbourside Elementary Schools to observe the students, to meet the teachers, and to offer continued support for the initiative.
n There has been a good response and display of interest in the opportunity for mentoring among our French Second Language teachers. Requests will be facilitated within the coming months.
n Alysha Roach, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High, and Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant, will represent the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board at a workshop in Halifax on December 2-3, 2004. The focus of the session will be the development of the new classroom assessment tool for French Language skills of grade nine French Immersion students.
n French Second Language Consultants from across the province, including Laurie MacIntosh, participated in an evaluation of Junior High Core French materials on November 1st in Halifax. Curriculum materials from several companies were evaluated and selected for piloting by teachers across the province. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will pilot three units. The teachers involved in the process include: Natalie MacKay, George D. Lewis - Oxford University Press; Marilyn McGillivray, Breton Education Centre - Thompson/Nelson; Lisa Roach, St. Michael Junior High - Pearson. The pilot teachers will be inserviced in Halifax on November 30, 2004.
John Astephen, Coordinator of Student Services
Lead Team to Support the Implementation of Supporting Student Success:Resource Programming and Services
The Lead Team met on Friday, October 29, at the Staff Development Centre. Items on the agenda included:
· Updates on Learning for Life Pilots, Elementary Literacy Assessments/Student Support Plans
· November 5th Professional Development Initiatives
· Professional Development Initiatives for 2004-2005:
Ø Literacy and Numeracy PD for Resource Teachers
Ø Development of 30-minute presentations on various components of the Resource Handbook
Ø Identification of best practices and encouragement for teachers to apply for substitutes under the Peer Coaching/Peer Monitoring Program
Ø Providing PD for new principals, new resource teachers, new guidance teachers on the Resource Handbook
Ø Ron MacLean and Brenda MacIsaac provided information to the Lead Team on PD initiatives and resources for Resource teachers and Special Education teachers in Numeracy and Literacy. In addition to sessions planned for the November 5th system day, plans are under way for Math professional development for elementary resource teachers as well as sessions in literacy for junior high school teachers.
Ø The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 3, 2004. It will be a working session to develop 30-minute PD sessions on writing IPP’s and Co-teaching.
Co-teaching Pilot Programs and Provincial Video on Co-teaching
The concept of a professional development video to support and promote co-teaching as a resource program delivery model was an idea that started with consultation and collaboration between the Lead Team and the Co-teaching pilots at Jubilee Elementary and St. Joseph’s Elementary in Sydney Mines. During site visits to the Learning for Life pilots on Co-teaching, Don Glover, Special Education Consultant, and Ann Power, Director, Student Services Division from the Department of Education invited our teachers and administrators to develop a provincial video that would be available to teachers in all boards in the province.
Don Glover met with a working committee of teachers and administrators from our Board on October 27, 2004, to begin the process. The Committee met again on November 15th to develop a draft script and recommend filming sites to support the key points of the script. The board team will meet with Don Glover and Ray Whitley from Learning Resources and Technology Division of Department of Education in mid January 2005 to work with the committee on the draft of the script and to arrange for two or three days of filming in the spring. Our goal is to complete the video by the summer of 2005 and options are being pursued for the release of the video. We initially talked about having the video for a Summer 2005 Institute. However, we also discussed the possibility of using this video to refresh Lead Teams from all boards as well as approaching ATEC (Association of Teachers of Exceptional Children) at their October, 2005 Conference.
November 5 System Inservice
Resource and Special Education teachers were included in the Literacy and Numeracy sessions organized by our Coordinator of Program Services. It is crucial that our resource teachers and special education teachers receive the same professional development opportunities as classroom/subject teachers in order to support students in programming that is occurring in the classroom. We thank our colleagues in Program Services for providing this opportunity.
Speech Language Pathologists provided workshops for teacher assistants on Communication Basics: Working with Children Who Have Communication Disorders in the morning while our Teen Health Nurses presented information sessions on Teen Health Centres in the afternoon. These initiatives were coordinated by Mr. Charles Sheppard, Coordinator of RCH/Human Resources.
Another team of Speech Language Pathologists provided a workshop for teacher assistants who work with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The workshop provided instruction in, and time to develop, materials to support students in PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and other structured, work centre programs.
David Brennick, Coordinator of Student Services
Many of our Grade 9 students experienced a day away from school on November 3rd when they participated in the national Take Our Kids to Work initiative. Thanks to the efforts of Guidance Counsellors and many cooperating parents/guardians and employers in the work world, our students were able to gain insights into many different occupations.
On the morning of October 28th, Grades 7 to 12 Guidance Counsellors were hosted by the Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi Campus, and brought up to date on the many changes taking place within the Community College system. Increasing numbers of graduating students from our school system are considering this an option for their post-secondary studies.
Arrangements were made for Guidance Counsellors Sharon Preeper, Janet Briggs, Kathy Coleman and Tom Murphy to be interviewed on November 5th by Wendy Bergfelt from CBC Radio in Sydney. Their observations and thoughts contributed to a series Wendy was running on Youth Issues.
Dr. David Aldridge, Child Psychiatrist with Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the Cape Breton District Health Authority, spent an afternoon with guidance counsellors, social workers and some board administrators on November 5th. Drawing from his experiences serving the needs of children and youth and their families in our region, Dr. Aldridge shared his knowledge of anxiety issues including medication concerns.
Following an earlier meeting between Guidance Counsellors and personnel from the Cape Breton District Health Authority, information on the Saturday afternoon, November 27th Health Career Fair at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital was distributed to high schools and shared with both staff and students. This initiative aims to nurture an awareness among interested Grade 11 and 12 students of the career possibilities in the health care field and particularly the projected human resource needs in our region.
A meeting has been scheduled for November 17th between personnel from the Children’s Aid Society’s new ten-bed Residential Centre and Central Office staff. The purpose will be to share information on the Centre which is scheduled to open in January and explore how the needs of youth at risk can be better met by both organizations.
The feedback received on this year’s Grade 6 Literacy Assessment was favorable to the incorporation of suggestions put forth to improve the process from last year and also reflected a better comfort level on the part of educators and students. Results are expected to be communicated in late January or early February. Meanwhile, a number of educators from our system will be participating as markers and table leaders for this year’s assessment in Halifax in late November.
Dr. Debra Abbott from the Department of Education’s Testing and Evaluation division will be leading a one-day session on November 16th for English 12 and Communication 12 teachers. The focus of this day will be to update teachers on changes from last year and to review the evaluation and testing process for this year’s event.
PROGRAM SERVICES (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)
Rick Simm, Coordinator of Program Services (Instructional Support)
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 November report follows:
IEIE Facilitator (Peter Mac Kinnon)
We have all our software in place and the image has been made and is currently being installed on the 140 new machines. We plan to complete this phase by Friday and on Monday begin imaging the 97 upgrades. We plan to begin distribution the week of the 22nd.
Our first workshops will begin on the 22nd and continue to the 24th exposing all grade 7 teachers to the teaching strategies that will help them manage the four-computer classroom. We hope to get 20 volunteers from these groups to work on lesson planning in early December.
Twenty schools have been selected for mentorship. There are 11 repeat schools and 9 new to the program. The schools have been divided between, Rick, Liz and Reg and myself to facilitate better supervision.
More changes are taking place at Brookland regarding the image and network access. We hope most will be solved by Nov.12th. David and I are working to finalize the PD plan for the Department and should have everything in place the week of the 15th.
The final web version of Dadavan should be in our possession on the 10th of November. We will then test run the Jubilee data as a pilot.
We will be working with Bill Tennant and the staff of Jubilee the week of November 15th attempting to do the web version of the provincial standardized report card.
I conducted a workshop at Shipyard Elementary on the use of ednet web mail on November 1st. I will conduct a similar workshop for Brookland staff when there system is up and running.
IT Integration (Reg Johnston)
In an effort to get the last number of schools in the Board online, I have developed, with the capable assistance of Leslie Ann Andrews from Sydney River Elementary, a template that makes creation and maintenance relatively easy. To date, seven schools have posted web sites with the remainder are projected to be completed before the Christmas break.
I continue to create web mail accounts for school teaching staffs. I have also been attending staff meetings to provide direction on how to use the new accounts. I have been impressing upon school administrators to ensure usage of the accounts by regularly sending messages to their teachers.
On October 29, a demonstration on Online Course Delivery took place at the Staff Development Centre. In attendance were the principals, guidance counselors and interested students from Rankin, Cabot and Baddeck high schools. Personnel from the Strait District and Chignecto-Central Regional School Boards were on hand to demonstrate their course delivery platforms. As a result of these demonstrations, 12 students from our Board have registered for online courses.
In anticipation of the Grade 7 IEI rollout, a series of workshops will be held from November 22-25. These workshops will key on English, Math, Social Studies and Science. Brenda MacIsaac, Literacy Facilitator, will be assisting me in providing our Grade 7 teachers with effective teaching strategies to integrate technology into their courses.
Meetings have been held with administrators, mentors and participating teachers in those schools which applied for and received mentorships for this school year. Emphasis at these meetings was placed on in-class support and co-teaching opportunities.
Assistive Technology (Liz Mahoney)
There have been forty-two referrals for Assistive Technology assessments since September 2004. Over sixty per cent of these were from the secondary level. This is a noticeable increase of secondary level referrals from previous years. There are five assessments to be completed.
Training sessions for teachers and teacher assistants of those students assessed, were held twice at Breton Education Centre, and MacLennan Junior High, once at Sydney Mines Junior High, Cape Smokey Elementary, St. Joseph’s, North Sydney, and Ashby Elementary.
Workshops were held at the Staff Development Centre for teachers and teacher assistants from Glace Bay High, Glace Bay Elementary, and Whitney Pier Memorial High School.
Community Education (Rhonda Smith)
Adult High School Program
_ The first semester started September 7, 2004.
_ There are 184 students on the registers as of October 1.
Glace Bay Adult High School – 60 Northside Adult High School – 34
Sydney Adult High School – 57 New Waterford Adult High School - 33
93 students over the age of 21 are NSSAL (Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning) funded. 90 are under the age of 21 and/or in continuous program.
One student is a returning grad funded by Department of Community Services.
_ The Department of Education’s Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) has granted funded to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board to deliver a minimum of 500 public school credits to eligible students (21 and over) in this school year through the Adult High School Program.
The fall session of adult evening courses began October 4, 2004. There are 10 classes being offered in this session. There are approximately 160 participants for these classes. The classes are Introduction to Computers, MS Word/PowerPoint, Simply Accounting, Conversational French, Medical Terminology (2) Woodworking (2). Community Education of CBVRSB also supports a literacy class for 14 mentally challenged adults one night a week.
Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding & Human Rights
Charles Sheppard, Coordinator RCH/Human Resources
On November 8-9, all our elementary schools participated in a day-long workshop on the implementation of the Racial Equity Policy. Each school sent a team consisting of a classroom teacher, an administrator, and the school based RCH advisor.
During the workshop, each team had the opportunity to develop an understanding of the Racial Equity Policy focusing on an overview of the policy and the following sections:
n Equitable Curriculum
n Equitable Instructional Practices
n Equitable Assessment
n Respect and Affirmation of Learner’s first language
Assisting with the workshop were Sylvia Parris, Patrick Kakembo, Tom Henderson and Eric Favaro.