PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES UPDATE – April 2005
Archie MacEachern, Director of Programs & Student Services
Ambrose White, Acting Coordinator
We hope to make decisions on all Primary transfer requests by the end of April. Schools will be notified of the decisions.
principals and teachers, Archie MacEachern and myself
attended this 2-day workshop in
Training for other schools will occur next year and a CB-VRSB team will be created to help implement this system and schools would then develop their site based teams.
School-based funds will be allocated based on last year’s data. Further information will be forthcoming.
PROGRAM SERVICES (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)
Rick Simm, Coordinator
“Information Technology Team”, consisting of
A number of workshops were held in March dealing with the integration of technology strategies in the curriculum areas of English, Social Studies and Science. Lead teachers in each of the subject areas spent four days creating lesson plans for their colleagues and these were posted on the Board web site in the Teachers’ Resource section. The main focus area for April is mathematics.
Students taking online courses have been interviewed and for the most part, there is general satisfaction with the programs being offered. In fact, interest among other students in the high schools involved (Baddeck, Cabot and Rankin) has been heightened considerably. Online students are impressed with the level of delivery and the support being offered. A provincial meeting to discuss these interviews as well as other related topics will be held in Halifax on April 27 and 28.
Canadian History 11
On March 29, all second semester Can His 11 teachers attended a workshop at the Staff Development Centre. The workshop was devoted to utilizing the “Test/Exam” Module on the Chinook site to build a bank of assessment questions. This resource was then posted on the Board web site to be utilized by all Canadian History 11 teachers.
The Kurzweil project is ongoing. Two more texts have been scanned and are in the process of being edited.
We have received an order of “The Writer”. It combines powerful portable word processing features along with a most complete and comprehensive portable keyboard instruction program. This month the resource teacher and a student at Thompson Junior High have received training in its usage.
The Writers Companion software has arrived and is ready for distribution to the schools. Professional development is being planned for lead teachers in each school. Writing across the curriculum will be the focus of these workshops.
Several PD sessions have already been held with teachers (Grades 4-6 and Grade 7 Science) on Writer’s Companion. It is a fabulous piece of software designed to enhance student-writing skills. The teachers who have been in-serviced are impressed by the application and look forward to having it installed on their classroom computers.
The grade seven projects for 2004-05 were complete as of March 31st. Mr. MacKinnon is working on a final report that is due April 30th. Through IEIE-7 this year, we conducted 367 FTE professional development days. Reg Johnston and Brenda MacIsaac planned and delivered most of these days. We were able to cover teaching strategies in a four-computer classroom, multimedia, and lesson unit building. The lessons the grade seven developed this year along with the grade four lessons from last year have been posted to the Board website under teacher resources. A comprehensive report covering IEIE –7 (April-04 to Mar.31-05) will be posted to the website the first week of May.
Boards are currently looking for web-based solutions to our data problems. There are five products under review and hopefully a direction will be set by the first week of May for our Board.
The mentorship program has been
completed. We are currently working on the report for
Conference call meetings are taking place weekly as we iron out any problems that still exist with the electronic version of the provincial report card. The final scripts will be tested province wide on April 19th. Most teachers at Jubilee will take part in this test. If this is a success our next decision will be to determine how many schools want to use the electronic version next year.
John Astephen, Coordinator
David Brennick, Coordinator
The co-teaching team working with Don Glover, Special
Education Consultant with Student Services Division of the Department of
Education, was informed by Mr. Glover that due to a backlog at the Department,
we are facing a delay in the filming of our co-teaching video. Earlier,
it had been anticipated that filming would begin in late April. We are
now booked for the week of
On a positive note, Don Glover and Roy Whitley from
Learning Resources and Technology Division of DOE are very impressed with the
document to date. Mr. Glover has asked Lina Vickers and Heather
Nauss-Vickers from Jubilee Elementary to make a presentation on their
experiences co-teaching at the elementary level at the Deputy Minister’s
Elementary Principals’ meeting on
Resources from Department of Education
Resources for AR8 (Active
Approximately 18 senior high students from our schools actively participated in the recent Youth Destination 2010 conference at the Coast Guard College. Positive comments were heard from the organizers about the quality of positive thoughtful input they provided to the event which focused discussion around the themes of education, health, arts & culture, and employment. An appreciation is also extended to the Guidance Counsellors in attendance, especially to Sharon Preeper (Glace Bay High) and Wendy King (BEC) who facilitated sessions.
On Wednesday, March 30, in
conjunction with a P-12 Principals’ meeting, a Publishers’ Display was
held at Brookland Elementary. Principals and teachers were presented with
an opportunity to view newly listed additions to the Authorized Learning
Education Week 2005 is scheduled from April 17-23
this year. The theme, “History: Look in Your Own Back Yard” is
being celebrated in all schools across the Board. Many students are using
this theme as a vehicle to plan and present a project prior to the Board’s
annual Heritage Fair, scheduled for May 12-13 at
Friends Forever XIV, an anthology of children’s writing provides the reader with the opportunity to read and enjoy a range of writing genres from informational to personal and poetic text. Students from grades primary to six write for different purposes and different audiences and are encouraged to share, publish or display their thoughts and ideas. Friends Forever gives students the opportunity to share their writing with a wider audience. The annual evening of recognition for our young authors will take place at Centre 200 in June – the date to be finalized.
Plans are in place for the annual
Cape Breton-Victoria Heritage Fair scheduled to take place May 12-13 at
The Centre for Leadership
Development, a cooperative project of Cape Breton-Victoria, Eskasoni and Strait
Regional School Board, held its 17th Annual Conference April 7-8 at
Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. Dr. Blye Frank, Director of the
Division of Medical Education,
During the presentation of awards on
Thursday evening, Mrs. Ruth Arsenault, currently principal of Mira Road School,
Following the recognition of those recipients of
this year’s Centre for Leadership Development Awards, Russell MacDonald, a
retired educator and former member of the Centre for Leadership Development
Fine Arts (Cathy MacNeil)
Dr. Joseph M. Calahan, Vice President, Xerox Foundation, has said that “Arts Education aids students in skills needed in the workplace: flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate; the ability to learn new skills, to be creative and innovative, and to strive for excellence”. Certainly, these are the goals that the arts educators in the CB-VRSB embrace in their everyday teaching.
Presentation of student work, whether it be visual
or performing arts, is an important aspect of arts education. April
through June is a time when these presentations are featured throughout the
Board to very appreciative audiences. One such event in planning is the Annual
Art Exhibit to be held in May at Gallery 11,
Six elementary school choirs have
been busy rehearsing “Get in the Game” to be presented at various community and
school locations, May 6-13, in conjunction with the Phys Ed Department and
National Active Healthy Living Week. These choirs are from Coxheath,
St. Mary’s School Choir and the
Northside Honor Choir, under the direction of Paula Jane Francis and Mary Jane
Ross, recently provided thirty minutes of impressive singing prior to the
Celebration on Ice Show held at Centre 200. An added plus was that the
students were then able to view the show featuring some of
Unfortunately, the performances by 25 local school bands and choirs had to be cancelled due to the CUPE strike. It is hoped that these fine performances will be displayed at other concert opportunities in the future.
Literacy P-12 (Brenda MacIsaac)
§ The Literacy Newsletter has been distributed to all schools in the Board. It includes suggestions to help teachers celebrate World Theatre Day; literacy initiatives and events happening in classrooms and schools throughout the Board; and accounts of events which took place during National Book Week. The newsletter is a communication tool. It is meant to be a valuable source of information with respect to what is happening at the Board, school, and classroom levels in the area of literacy learning. The hope is that teachers will get ideas from their colleagues via the newletter and incorporate some of these ideas/activities into their teaching practice at the elementary, junior, and senior high levels.
§ On April 1, grade seven science teachers attended the last in a series of inservices on Literacy Integration into the Science Curriculum for 2004/2005. The focus of this inservice was “Teaching for Meaning.” All other inservices planned for April, including the April 22nd Board-wide PD day, have been postponed pending resolution of the CUPE job action.
§ The Board-wide Public Speaking event has also been postponed. This year, a record number of participants/schools have registered. The event is planned over seven evenings and will go ahead, hopefully in May.
Three high school teachers, Marlene
Mathematics P-12 (Ron MacLean)
Workshops were held during the last week of March for all math lead teachers at the elementary level. These teachers provide mathematics PD for their respective schools.
During the provincial math consultants’ meetings, planning occurred for the implementation of the new grade 4 core resource. This is a continuation of the “Math Makes Sense” series by Pearson Education and the books should be ready for release to the teachers in May of this year. The release will include a one-day workshop for all grade four teachers. This provides
the opportunity to supply teachers with pertinent information about the resource. Feedback from the grade three teachers has been positive concerning their new textbook which was implemented in January of 2005. Parents have commented that they find it a much better resource for working with their children. Current plans are to implement grade five during the fiscal year 2006 and grade six in fiscal 2007.
A new grade nine math core resource has been selected and is under development by McGraw-Hill Publishing. It will be ready for the spring of 2006 with grades 7 and 8 to follow.
The mentorship program in mathematics is continuing with teachers taking advantage of this opportunity to receive personalized PD in math.
Keith Jordan, Strait Board, and Ron MacLean have been working on the Mathematics Summer Institute for this summer. The event will take place August 9 and 10 in Antigonish. Many teachers from the CB-VRSB took advantage of this event last year, and it is expected that there will be even larger numbers this year. Keynote speaker will be noted math author, John Van de Walle.
Mr. MacLean attended the NCSM and
NCTM conferences in
The final event in the CB-VRSB Math
league was held on April 2nd. Fifteen teams of high school
students participated in the event. The Riverview A Team won for the
third time this year. At this event, all students were eligible for
random draws for graphing calculators. Twelve calculators were awarded
courtesy of CASIO Canada. Riverview,
Two high school teachers, Bob Crane,
French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh)
The 2005 Annual French Public
Speaking Contest proved very successful. This event, sponsored by the
CB-VRSB and Canadian Parents for French, witnessed 32 students participate in
10 categories at our local competition on March 22 and 23. Our local
winners will now go on to compete at the provincial competition in
§ Students from Glace Bay High, Breton Education Centre, Sydney Mines Jr. High and Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High enjoyed a performance by the francophone singer/composer, Gilles LaPierre at the Savoy Theatre.
A training session took place on
April 8 in
(Malcolm Munroe) and Bernice Bugden (Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High) will
represent Jr. High Late French Immersion teachers of CB-VRSB in
§ The French professional development inservice will take place on April 22 at the Miner’s Museum. Facilitators for the day will be Nancy MacLeod (French Consultant, Annapolis Valley Regional School Board) and Laurie MacIntosh (French Consultant, CB-VRSB).
§ The next meeting of the Extended Core French Committee will take place in Halifax on April 28/29. The goal of this committee is to develop a new curriculum guide for grade seven extended core French. Participants will include Laurie MacIntosh and Jeanette Kennedy (BEC).
§ A training session will be held at the Department of Education, Halifax, on May 2/3 for the Junior High Late French Immersion Leadership Team. The focus of the workshop will be literacy initiatives (Active Readers 9 – Lecteurs Actifs 9). Particpants from CB-VRSB will include Laurie MacIntosh, Suzanne AuCoin (Malcolm Munroe) and Alysha Roach (Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High).
Physical/Health Education (Mary Lou Andrea)
This national committee met in
The group is continuing to meet to discuss plans for the upcoming inservice on April 22.
On March 31, the committee met with the Obesity Committee from the Cape Breton District Health Authority. After updates on what both committees have done so far, discussion took place on how the two committees could work together.
Dr. R. Bird asked the School Board what could the Obesity Committee offer the schools that would help with their initiative to improve the lifestyle of the students. This question will be brought back to the Committee, along with the background information that has been provided. Later in the meeting, it was suggested to Dr. Michael Gallivan that a letter be drafted that could address the present funding formula that is being used by the provincial government to establish the budget for the CB-VRSB. Presently, schools are not receiving enough funding to support day-to-day activities at the school and sport teams. Therefore, cafeterias and canteens are being relied on for revenue via the sale of less healthy food. Advocacy is needed for policy change. A recommendation from health would be positive. A great deal of discussion occurred surrounding the topic of prevention. It seems that both committees have the same goals to improve the lifestyle of the children, the family and eventually the community at large. The following are some of the suggestions that came out of the group discussions:
§ With respect to increasing the activity level of the youth, we may have to focus on recess and after school activities, as the school day is busy meeting curriculum targets.
§ Intramurals could be an excellent avenue to increase the activity level of schools.
§ Sport events could have a less competitive focus, but rather have a focus on participation.
§ A draft of a “no cut policy” for elementary students where all students who want to play a sport are allowed to play. Once again, the focus is not on competition but participation.
§ Programs should focus on getting the inactive youth more active. The elite athletes will always be active.
§ Together, both committees could work on a particular project that would affect the community as a whole. For example, we could focus on promoting National Walk to School/Work day, which is scheduled for the fall. It is a project that can be repeated each year, and schools can work towards increasing the participants each year. Workplaces can join in as well.
§ There needs to be an increase in the variety of programs available to the students. In particular, the adolescent female needs to be a focus as they are at high risk of reduced activity by grade seven. A possibility would be to make dance and aerobics available to this age group.
§ Students need to be asked what programs they are interested in.
Participation needs to
be fun. To peak a student’s interest in participation, they could be able
to log their exercise time on a computer. Also, the school could log the
minutes of each student’s activity and correlate it with a walk across
A great deal of discussion was held around this topic. It was suggested to focus on one school to pilot a project that improves the lifestyle of the students. This would include changes in the food/vending choices and the activities available at the school. Cusack Elementary is part of a provincial pilot project, “Active School Community”. They have eliminated junk food and have provided increased activities for the students. Brookland Elementary has also adopted the philosophy and are joining Cusack in some of the after-school programming. We could look at what happened at Cusack and repeat it at another school.
For a school that has adopted changes
that promote a healthy lifestyle, they could be recognized by the District
Health Authority for attaining an assigned level of physical activity and for
making available to the students healthy food
choices. As a joint venture, the two committees can make a “checklist”
for schools to work towards, and the DHA can offer recognition with a “gold
seal” of approval for the healthy lifestyles the school is now promoting.
This may require input from parents. However, once a school achieves such
recognition, it may promote a positive awareness in the community and a desire
by more parents and students to be a part of a “
It seemed that both groups are working towards the same goal of a healthy community. Providing our youth with a positive environment of healthy food choices and physical activity is essential for the development of a healthy lifestyle. The changes will be slow, but both the Obesity Committee of the District Health Authority and the CB-VRSB are willing and eager to work towards making the community healthier.
This group met in Baddeck on March 10 to discuss
plans for a regional forum on physical activity for youth. The
forum would take place some time in May at the
Planning for this week is still underway. It will take place from May 6-14.
School visits included Bras d’Or, Sydney River Elementary, Ball’s Creek, Coxheath, and Brookland.
Principals were reminded of Active Healthy Lifestyles Week taking place in May as well as the importance of being role models regarding this issue. All schools should now have an Active Healthy Lifestyle Committee established in their school. Mrs. Andrea also presented a variety of Brain Gym activities.
Paula MacRae from Seton Elementary was the winner
for the Province. This is the first year for the award. She will
receive the award at the National Physical Education Conference in