PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES UPDATE - October 2004
Archie MacEachern, Acting Superintendent
Ambrose White, Acting Coordinator/School Services
School Services continues to work on a daily basis with our schools to facilitate the day to day routine of the system. We offer help, support, and intervention in situations when called upon by school administrators.
Some highlights for October include:
n Meetings held with Special Services (John Astephen), school personnel, and outside agencies such as Child and Adolescent Services, doctors, etc., to determine placements for particular students. Several meetings were held on applications for the Steps to Success Program.
n Schools will receive their budget statements before the end of October. Final staffing, enrollment, and other information has been processed to set the budgets for each school. As well, individual financial statements from the schools are being forwarded this month.
n Mary Lou Andrea and I will be attending a workshop on “New Pathways to Increased Physical Activity”, on Tuesday, October 26th, at the Gaelic College.
n Several meetings were held at various schools to discuss behaviour modification programs for students deemed necessary to warrant such intervention.
n We continue to process and monitor all incident reports, field trip applications, and suspensions. Schools are very good in following policy in regard to these areas.
PROGRAM SERVICES (7-12)
David Crane, Co-ordinator of Program Services (7-12)
Breakfast for Learning Program
· Canadian Tire will be adopting Harbourside for this year ($3500)
· MemberCARE has been contacted to adopt Sydney Academy again. They will be contacted again this month.
· A presentation was given to Northside Golden K to adopt Jubilee again; they will call Ms. Debbie Madore to confirm this month.
· An anonymous donation of $3500 was given to adopt Riverside. Program to begin on Friday Oct. 15th.
· MV Osprey donated $2000. They were contacted. This will probably be an annual donation.
· Picture coming in CB Post for Kiwanis adoption ($3500) and RBC donation ($2500)
· Sobeys have been contacted for major donation.
· Tim Hortons –Ms. Madore had one meeting and sent a letter, and is trying to get a meeting with the owner.
· Ashby complex will have a program. Kevin Desveaux will put $1000 towards the cost and is looking for a donation from business associate of $500. They will run part time (three days per week).
· The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles plan on hosting a Road Hockey tournament for Sept 2005 (annual event). This could raise initially $3500, and could become a major fund-raiser like the golf tournament held last year.
· Office of Health Promotion has established a working group to write a provincial policy for Nova Scotia Schools. No representative from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was present at Sept 22 meeting. Ms. Madore is trying very hard to get details on this “working group”. The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 27and she plans to attend. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board needs to be represented. Anne Blackwood’s office will send details.
Newspapers In Education
In conjunction with the Newspapers In Education Program, Cape Breton Post, a Yuletide publication will be featured prior to Christmas. It will feature seasonal stories, poems, and recipes from students in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. Artwork from students throughout the district was submitted to the Cape Breton Post and on October 5th, 2004, Carol Beaton, Cape Breton School of Craft & Design, Linda Lou MacIntyre, retired visual art teacher, and Cathy MacNeil, Facilitator-Fine Arts, undertook the task of selecting ten works of art to be displayed in this publication. One of these works was also chosen to be the cover design of the edition. Such promotion of students' literary and artistic work is a great support to programs.
Nova Scotia International Student Program
n There are presently 49 Nova Scotia International Students in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board schools.
n The Fall Orientation was held on the weekend of September 18th at the Day’s Inn in Sydney. Activities included: a visit to Ed’s Party House, shopping at the mall, bowling, a movie, a pizza party, and prizes. The students were well behaved and all went well.
n Plans are underway for the fall activity (October 16th): a visit to the Ridin’ High Ranch for a wagon ride, pumpkin carving, pony rides, and a bonfire. The day will end with a get together and pizza party.
n Riverview Rural High School has plans to take their Nova Scotia International Students around the Cabot Trail on October 14th.
Healthy / Active Living Committee
Active, Healthy Living Committee- I have been appointed Chair of this committee. Our first meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 19th at Central Office.
Drug Awareness Committee
The first meeting of the Drug Awareness Committee is scheduled for October 19, 2004. The agenda will include future plans, work on the Regional Drug Policy, and discussion of the Drug Survey, conducted at University College of Cape Breton.
Science / Technology Fair
A Science Lead Team (7-12) has been established to plan for Professional Development for Science Teachers. Program Services and the Science Lead Team are in the process of compiling a science contact list for junior and senior high school teachers. Each school was asked to select a science contact who will receive any information concerning science in the future. They were also asked if they are planning to hold a school science fair this year, as the Cape Breton Regional Science / Technology Fair will be held in February.
Plans are well underway for the Junior / Senior High Regional Professional Development Day on November 5th. Principals and Department Heads are an integral part of this initiative.
Physical Education (Mary Lou Andrea)
n Active School Communities - Ms. Mary Lou Andrea will be attending a meeting on Thursday, October 14, to discuss the upcoming year at Cusack/Cornwallis/Ashby.
n Quality Physical Education Program Advisory Committee- Ms. Andrea took part in a conference call on October 5th regarding the International Year of Sport and Physical Education. The next meeting will take place in Ottawa, November 19 -22.
n Sexual Health Network- Ms. Andrea is the Co-Chair of this committee with Cathie Penny from Planned Parenthood. Their first meeting was held this year on October 12th to discuss actions for the upcoming year. The Network has been bringing together educators from the community and the local school system over the past two years with the goal of improving both the access to, and the quality of, sexuality education for youth in Cape Breton. Providing professional development workshops is one of the initiatives of the network. Another initiative is through a research project which is pursuing to gain a better understanding of the challenges that PDR and Calm teachers face as they attempt to provide sexuality education for students. The data has been collected and is being analyzed. More information will follow shortly. The next meeting will be held on November 9th .
n Active Communities Committee- Ms. Andrea will be attending a full day workshop at the Gaelic College on October 26th. The name of the workshop is “New Pathways To Increased Physical Activity”. The keynote speaker is Dr. Ken Barter from Memorial University.
n Centre for Leadership Development Committee- Ms. Andrea attended the Welcome Back Night held at Brookland Elementary. The next meeting will be held on October 18th to prepare for the Kitchen Party.
n Tobacco Reduction Strategy Committee- Ms. Andrea has been asked to represent the school board on this committee. They met on Monday, October 4, for a meeting to give a update on what is happening around this issue. The next meeting will take place on November 16th .
n Terry Fox Hike- Ms. Andrea was asked to take part in the Cabot High Hike along the coastal trail in Neil’s Harbor on September 23rd. The grade 7 students from the school took part in this hike to raise funds for Terry Fox.
n Walk to School Week- Various schools throughout the Board took part in “Walk to School Week”. Ms. Andrea was invited to walk with Jubilee Elementary. There was a great turnout of students, staff, parents and invited guests.
n School Visits- Ms. Andrea made visits to North Highlands Elementary , Brookland, Seton, Jubilee, Harbourside, Sydney River Elementary, Mount Carmel, Greenfield, J.B Croak, Bridgeport.
n November 5th Inservice- Ms. Andrea is working on preparations for the inservice which will be held at Sydney River elementary. She is meeting with two Physical Education teachers on Friday, October 15, to help with the presentations for this day.
Vocational Review Committee
A Program Review of the Vocational/Technical programs at Memorial Composite High School was commissioned in January 2004, as a component of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s Strategic Plan. A Review Steering Committee was established to offer input and direction for the program review. The goal of the review is to provide information about the current program and to offer recommendations for improving and expanding the program to enable students to be able to take their place as contributing members of society.
The final report will be presented to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board at their October 18th meeting.
David Brennick, Co-ordinator of Student Services
French Second Language
n Students at the grade six Intensive Core French pilot sites (Riverside / Harbourside) are thriving and enjoying their experience. National pre-testing of the students will be carried out on October 14-15, 2004, by Agnès Picolet, Moncton, New Brunswick.
n A successful junior high Core French inservice was held on September 24, 2004, at Greenfield Elementary School. The focus of the workshop was to present new junior high Core French materials, with special emphasis on the unit “Rétro-monde” (Oxford University Press). Junior high French teachers are excited to be receiving new communicative resources which enhance the learning environment of the junior high Core French classroom.
n The newly appointed Core French Consultant (grades 4-12) from the Nova Scotia Department of Education, Mr. Gérald Félix,will be visiting our Board on October 28, 2004. Mr. Félix will be visiting both grade six Intensive Core French classes to review the progress of the students and to offer support.
n French Second Language Consultants from across the province will meet on November 1, 2004, in Halifax to evaluate new junior high Core French materials.
n Plans are now finalized for the November 5th Professional Development Day at the North Star Inn. Among presenters will be Ronald Bourque (Public Service Commission), Joanne Turner (Canadian Parents For French), Anne Baccardax (Nova Scotia Department of Education), and Yves Rossignol (Southside District School Board).
n Suzanne Aucoin, Sheila MacDonald, Brenda MacIsaac, and Laurie MacIntosh met on September 30, 2004, to examine the bridging document English Language Arts Supplement-Late French Immersion, Grades 7/8. A workshop will be held in early November to present the document to grade seven and eight teachers of French / English Language Arts.
John Astephen, Coordinator of Student Services
David Brennick, Coordinator of Student Services
Autism Spectrum Disorder Workshop
A joint workshop sponsored by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Early Identification and Intervention Services (EIIS) was held on Monday, September 27th and Tuesday, September 28th at the Staff Development Centre. Participants in the workshop included teachers and teacher assistants of grade primary students with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are currently being followed by EIIS. Participants’ evaluations of the workshop indicated that the session was very well received by both teachers and teacher assistants. A follow-up session was requested in which teachers and teacher assistants can make the various visual cues, schedules, labels and other such tools that are used to organize the classroom environment and support the strategies for improving communication. A follow-up workshop on making such materials is being considered for teacher assistants as part of the November 5th Staff Development day.
A workshop on the new WISC-IV will be held on November 26th at the Staff Development Centre. Our Psycho-Educational Team will receive the necessary training to be certified to use the new test instruments. Jacine Bourassa, facilitator for the workshop, will provide the necessary training during a morning session followed by an opportunity for questions, issues, and concerns in the afternoon.
Provincial Student Services Coordinators’ Meeting
Provincial Student Services Coordinators met in Pictou on October 7 and 8, 2004. Highlights of the agenda included updates on the following documents being developed by committees of stakeholders:
· Transition Planning Guide (targeted for completion early in 2005);
· Student Records Guide (in progress);
· Appeals Guide (in progress);
· Program Planning Guide for Parents (1st draft available for input in January 2005);
· Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (1st draft ready for Directors’ meeting in December).
In addition to the documents listed above, fact sheets are being developed in “reader friendly” language to inform parents and public on such topics as adaptations, inclusion, enrichment, program planning and transition planning. The development of these policy documents and information “fact sheets” address several recommendations of the Special Education Implementation Review Committee Report 2001.
Other agenda highlights included:
· AR8 Resource Kit
· Tuition Support Program
· New Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities (replaces EAPD)
· PEBS/Code of Conduct Guidelines
· Barrier Free Access
· ELA Elementary Assessment
Second Resource Teacher Cohort
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, in partnership with Mount St. Vincent University and the Department of Education, has established a second Resource Teacher Cohort which began in April, 2004. Twenty-four teachers from Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, Eskasoni, and Membertou have enrolled in a Masters in Education program that has been designed to assist teachers in developing the competencies required by a resource teacher. The second cohort completed the “Exceptionalities” course in the spring and a “Curriculum Theory and Practice” course in the summer. They are presently enrolled and participating in a “Literacy for At Risk Learners” course and will begin “Math for At Risk Learners” in January. We anticipate another intake of approximately 25 teachers to begin in late winter or early spring.
UCCB hosted the first meeting of Guidance personnel on September 28, 2004. A range of topics including an update on the Provincial Student Records Policy, Career Planning for Students and the Role of Guidance Counsellors in Student Course Selection were featured on the morning agenda. During the afternoon, officials from UCCB, including President John Harker, updated counsellors on a number of initiatives relative to the student registration process of UCCB and their new Student Services Centre.
The Counsellors Professional Development Sub-Committee is currently planning a series of initiatives including sessions for the November 5, 2004, in-service day. We expect to devote time to crisis intervention and anxiety-related disorders among children with Dr. David Aldridge, Child Psychiatrist, on November 5th.
The official opening of the Youth Health Centres at Memorial High School was held on September 24, 2004. This relocation of the Youth Health Centre on the Northside reflects the contribution of a number of individuals over the past year including Mr. Don Matheson, Mr. Jim Burton, Mr. Joe MacDougall and Ms. Mary Beth LeBlanc.
The Network for Children and Youth, Eastern Nova Scotia, facilitated a meeting on September 17, 2004, with officials from the Cape Breton District Health Authority and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. The discussion focused on the health district’s long-range presence in the high schools within its coverage area and the implication this has for the school districts.
Elementary Literacy Assessment
As a follow-up to an earlier session on the Elementary Literacy Assessment process, junior high principals and new principals to elementary spent the morning of October 1, 2004, with Tom Henderson, Literacy Assessment Consultant with the Department of Education. Tom provided an overview of the assessment initiative including revisions to this year’s assessment which will be administered from October 18-21, 2004. The afternoon’s round table discussions provided an opportunity for principals to share their progress developing support plans for the struggling readers and writers identified in last year’s assessment.
PROGRAM SERVICES (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)
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:
Summer students did a lot of work in scanning High School texts for use with the Kurtzweil 3000 computer program. This will prove helpful to students who have reading difficulties.
I am presently exploring the price options for a large purchase of the computer program, Writer's Companion, for all Junior High school. Of Writer's. This program has the potential to be very helpful to some students who are not meeting the Literacy outcomes.
Much time was spent in following up on students who had moved from elementary to junior High or junior to senior high. Arrangements were made for the transportation of hardware. Training of the receiving teachers and teacher assistants has begun or is in the planning stages. I did an assessment of the “Steps for Success” program and all Learning Centres with technology recommendations to follow.
IEI Extension (Peter MacKinnon)
All equipment connected with the 2004-2005 technology rollout has arrived at the Technology Center. Software will be ordered the week of October 12th. The image will be placed on the computers the last two weeks of October; then the computers will be sent to the schools. Professional Development will start in November as all grade 7 teachers do a workshop on “Teaching Strategies in the four-computer Classroom”.
The guidelines and application for this year’s mentorship program were placed online. To date seventeen schools have applied for a mentor with applications closing this week. The successful schools will then be visited by a member of the technology team where, along with the principal, mentor and teachers to be mentored, the goals, objectives and method of evaluation will be discussed. The program will begin in November.
The original plan for Brookland professional development had to be revised because of onsite completion difficulties. On September 29th and 30th sessions were held with all teachers on file management, classroom equipment and network usage.
We are waiting for the web-based version copy of Dadavan to pilot in some of our schools. We had expected the product well before now, and new time lines will have to be established for implementation when the product arrives.
There will be a meeting of the provincial committee on Friday Oct. 15th to decide on the direction the pilot for the provincial template will take. Time is certainly becoming a factor as the first reporting period draws near.
I conducted a workshop at Harbourside on the use of ednet web mail on October 4th. I will conduct a similar workshop for Brookland staff when the internet is in place.
Technology PD (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. I am now in the process of visiting schools without web sites and working with a designated staff member to create and maintain a school site.
Recently I have created a number of web mail accounts for school teaching staffs. I have then 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.
All students enrolled in the Canadian History 11 course have now been registered with the Chinook site and have access to a myriad of educational resources. A workshop was held in September for all Canadian History 11 teachers. Emphasis was placed on how to effectively use web mail and the Chinook site to achieve curriculum and technological outcomes.
As Board representative on the provincial online committee, I recently attended a meeting in Halifax to get an update on current enrollment. A number of boards throughout the province enrolled students in various high school courses. Although our Board had no students taking online courses during the first semester, it does look like we will be taking advantage of this option in the second semester.
In anticipation of the Grade 7 IEI rollout, a great deal of time is being devoted to organizing professional development for all Grade 7 teachers. This PD will concentrate on providing appropriate teaching strategies that will include the integration of technology and will include comprehensive literacy and numeracy components. A great deal of emphasis will also be placed on “onsite” PD.
Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding & Human Rights
Charles Sheppard, Coordinator RCH/Human Resources
RCH Meeting/Workshop (Sept. 30, Oct. 1)
I attended a provincial RCH meeting and workshop held at the Isabelle MacDonald Professional Centre in Halifax. Discussion centered around the Racial Equity Policy and the upcoming provincial school board inservices on this policy.
MECNS (Multicultural Education Council of Nova Scotia)
I attended the annual MECNS meeting in Halifax. Discussion centered around the implementation of the research done by the MECNS Council around multiculturalism and anti-racist education within the school system.
Student Support Workers Handbook
I attended a meeting with staff from the African Canadian Services Division along with individuals from across the province to review the draft copy of the Student Support Workers’ handbook.
Student Support Workers
Meetings were held with the student support workers to review the program for this upcoming school year.