PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES UPDATE - January 2005
Archie MacEachern, Director of Programs & Student Services
Archie MacEachern, Director
Program & Student Services Policy Review
We have begun the process to review and update all policies of the Program and Student Services department, including policies in Programs, School Services, Student Services, Race Relations and Cross Cultural Understanding (RCH), and the Integration of Technology. The review will follow the process outlined in the Board’s “Policy Development, Adoption and Review” policy.
Strategic Plan Update
We have recently begun the process to get a progress report on the status of the twenty-one (21) objectives and ninety-six (96) actions outlined in the Board’s Strategic Plan (2003). The full update report will be presented to the February Education and Management Committee.
The province has announced that they will establish twenty (20) pilot sites for a pre-primary program for four year olds. Details on the program, at this stage, are very limited. We are presently investigating possible sites within our Board.
Ambrose White, Acting Coordinator/School Services
All schools have submitted their book orders for the 2004-05 budget. All orders were due at the end of December 2004.
Financial statements were issued to schools December 2004. These statements give schools a detailed account of their expenditures to date and where they stand for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Student Records Policy
School Services and Special Services are reviewing the Department of Education Draft on Student Records. These records include the Cumulative Record, Confidential Record and Youth Criminal Justice Record. Security and Protection of Privacy are key issues in dealing with records, and our committee will review the draft and later make schools aware of the updated policy.
Freedom of Information–Protection of Privacy (Foi-pop)
I attended a workshop in Halifax on Freedom of Information–Protection of Privacy in late November 2004. This was a very informative workshop, and the presentations dealt with pertinent information respecting both school and confidential records.
School Services, Special Services and Programs (7-12) met with representatives from various outside agencies dealing with students at the Junior High level. The meeting was held at the Training Centre, and a tour of the new facility nearby was arranged.
School Services is working with Jim MacNeil (Webmaster) to develop our site. Information regarding School Services policies and other topics, such as Primary Orientation and Code of Conduct, will be forthcoming.
Information has been recently forwarded to all elementary schools concerning registration for Primary 2005.
Island Community Justice
On 20 January 2005, a presentation concerning Alternative Programming for Students at Risk was made to Island Community Justice personnel. Cooperation and information is always shared between our Board and this agency. Also, I met with the Youth Peer Program at Ashby on 17 January 2005.
School Services continues to work with Special Services with STEPS to Success referrals and with the Occupational Health Committee on a regular basis.
Scent Reduced Environment
In recent years, there has been an increasing number of staff and students within our Board who are sensitive to scents such as cologne, perfume, etc. Most schools within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board promote a scent-reduced environment to promote a healthy and safe environment for all members of their school community. Many of the schools send home this information at the beginning of the year, along with other school information through a newsletter, booklet, handout, website, etc. Posters are evident in some schools, and reminders are sent home at various times throughout the year to increase awareness of this issue.
PROGRAM SERVICES (P-6)
Annette Currie, Coordinator of Program Services (P-6)
Mathematics P - 6
Successful workshops were held in December with the teachers new to elementary and new to junior high math within the last three years. Many of these teachers have or plan to use the math mentors available to them.
Planning has been completed for the implementation of the new grade three core resource to take place at one-day workshops for grade three teachers on January 26 - 28 at the Staff Development Centre, North Sydney.
Lead teachers elementary and junior high schools have been providing school based mathematics professional development to their respective staffs. Seventy math leaders provide professional development support at the school level in grades primary to nine.
Literacy (Brenda MacIsaac)
Plans are now underway for the Board's annual Public Speaking event which will be held at Memorial High School on April 4, 5, 6 and April 11, 12, 13 & 14. Co-chairing the event are Mary MacDonald, Principal at St. Joseph's/St.Mary's Complex and Bernadette Hollohan, Shipyard Elementary School. There was an excellent turnout at the first meeting of public speaking liaison teachers on January 12. At this time a number of committees were formed. Schools will receive guidelines and more information will be mailed to schools shortly.
On November 18, elementary principals attended a morning workshop facilitated by Brenda Mac Isaac, Facilitator of Language Arts. The focus of the workshop was helping the principal's envision what a comprehensive literacy program should look like. Ideas were shared with respect to what principals and staffs could do to help create a literacy ethos in their schools.
In the first Literacy Newsletter teachers/schools were encouraged to celebrate 'Book Week". Many schools did have students and staff engage in a number of terrific literacy activities such as poetry workshops, reading information texts with members of the community, author's day, grandparent's day, and so on. Much of what took place in the schools will be published in the February Literacy Newsletter.
Teachers new to teaching grades 3-6 will attend a two-day workshop facilitated by Brenda Mac Isaac and Donna Robson on January 26 and 27. The purpose of the workshop is to provide the teachers with an overall picture of what a balanced literacy program encompasses. As well, the intention is to provide teachers with specific ideas and strategies which they may use in their classrooms.
Donna Robson has set up a 'model classroom' at Ashby school. This is an innovative way of providing professional development to teachers on a needs basis. Principals have been invited to offer teachers at their schools the opportunity to spend the day there with Donna. The purpose is to help teachers envision how a classroom could be physically structured to facilitate literacy learning. Many teachers from a number of schools have taken advantage of this learning opportunity.
The first step in creating a Literacy Website for the Board has been taken. Professional development sessions have generally been supported with multimedia slide shows created by facilitators. These can now be accessed by participants and others by visiting the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board website (www.cbv.ns.ca).
Grade 4 teachers, as well as teachers new to grades 5-7, attended in-services facilitated by Carl Anderson, Sydney River Elementary, on the Write Traits program. This year the Department of Education provided Write Trait kits for grade four classroom teachers.
Fine Arts (Cathy MacNeil)
The November-December period was an extremely busy one for the music teachers in our Board. School Christmas concerts, performances at malls, churches, stores, senior residences, television, etc., occupied evenings and weekend hours for students and teachers. The “Hanging of the Greens”, which took place at United Baptist Church in Sydney, featured the choirs from St. Mary’s Elementary on the first evening and Seton Elementary on the second night. Both performances were very well received by the audience. Coxheath Elementary Choir was featured on Live at Five singing carols, and the Christmas Daddies show presented a number of school choirs from our Board. In addition to the vocal rendition of carols, instrumental groups were also quite busy with school performances.
The Holy Angels Drama group's second production, the "Christmas Scare", was performed at Holy Angels in December. The play was written and directed by the grade 10 drama students with mentoring from the grade 11 and 12 senior students. The grade 11 drama students will be working on the Historica project early in the second semester.
The visual art department at Holy Angels also presented a school exhibit entitled “Celebrations around the World”. In it, students investigated how various cultures and nationalities celebrate at this time of year and responded to it creatively through each cultural context.
The students in grade 3 from Robin Foote will be performing “O Canada” at the opening of Home Depot on January 25th. They will also be involved in a mini workshop where they will undertake making a wood product.
A collaborative project is underway with the Physical Education Department. It involves five school choirs and a musical, “Get in the Game”, which will be performances during Active Healthy Lifestyles week in May.
Library Services (Carmelita Cousins)
Several school are working on re-vamping their libraries. Progress is continuing with Macdonald, John Bernard Croak, Greenfield and Mount Carmel Schools.
Parent volunteers at Brookland Elementary School are very supportive of the library program and have begun their schedule; it is working perfectly. The support from parents, staff and administration has made this program a vital component of their daily routine. Staff, parents and children are all proud of their new facility.
The Staff Resource Centre has been a hub of activity, especially with the month of December and the usage of Christmas materials. We are now preparing for the month of February which is “African Heritage Month” and a very busy time for resources.
PROGRAM SERVICES (7-12)
David Crane, Co-ordinator of Program Services (7-12)
Breakfast for Learning Program (Debbie Madore)
· Northside Golden K have renewed their adoption of Jubilee Elementary of $3500. A picture and story are planned with the Cape Breton Post.
· A cheese sale was held in December through Farmers, with an estimated profit of $150. Debbie Madore, Breakfast Program Co-ordinator, plans to repeat this fund-raiser in 2005, but will start planning earlier for better results.
· Plans for the June 24, 2005, golf tournament have begun. Debbie Madore hopes to see that more school board administration have the opportunity to attend and / or play this year. Bell Bay has offered four free rounds of golf as a draw prize for a team who registers before March 31.
· The provincial committee that is designing a framework for the province, meets monthly. Anne Blackwood will have meetings with Superintendents in the near future to discuss progress, proposals, and breakfast programs. Each school board will use this framework to implement individual board policies, an ongoing process for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.
· The Premier announced that money would be available for Province-wide breakfast programs. Ms. Madore called Mr. C. Clarke to determine what the “younger years” encompasses. His executive assistant, Rob, told her that it includes grades P-9. Anne Blackwood, Director of English Program Services, Department of Education, was told that it includes grades P-6. Ms. Madore wrote an e-mail to the Premier to thank him, and encouraged him to include all grade levels.
· All schools were called prior to the Holidays to find out their equipment needs. All schools not currently running a breakfast program will be visited in January to see what would be required, and Principals will be made aware of the possibility of Government funding for next year.
Nova Scotia International Student Program
· February 11, 2005, will be orientation day for new Nova Scotia International Students coming to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.
· There are seven new Nova Scotia International Students arriving second semester, for a total of 46 students in our program this year.
English Second Language (ESL)
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board hired a 40% English Second Language Tutor, Millie George, who is responsible for both Nova Scotia International Students and Landed Immigrants.
Canadian History 11
Canadian History 11 teachers will meet with Bruce Fisher, Social Studies Consultant, Department of Education, on February 9, 2004, at the Northside Staff Development Centre. The purpose of this Focus Group Meeting is to gather feedback on the outcomes structure of Canadian History 11 as well as to receive suggestions that will enhance the curriculum and the curriculum guide. A teacher from each senior high school has been invited to participate.
Healthy / Active Living Committee
The committee met on December 7th . All schools in the board are encouraged to form Active, Healthy Living committees in their schools. Results of the survey that was sent to all elementary schools was presented with very positive results. It was decided to send a letter from the committee to all schools recognizing their endeavors to make more nutritious foods available to the students; information on beverage drinks would also be sent to all schools. Copies of the Food and Nutrition in Nova Scotia Schools was given to all committee members for review for our next meeting. A handout on healthy fundraisers was also distributed to all members; a sub-group would look into adding more to the list. Parts of the movie Supersize Me were shown to the committee. The committee recommended that the secondary principals be shown this movie, which was done at the Secondary Principals’ meeting at Riverview on January 18th . Four new members were added to the committee, they include: Joan Currie, Dr. Andrew Lynk, George Marshall and Lorne Greene. Dr. J. Gainer, the chair of the Cape Breton District Health Authority Obesity Committee, would like to meet with the committee to work on a comprehensive approach to promoting active, healthy lifestyles among the students within the Board. A joint meeting of the two committees will take place.
Exposure to Cape Breton Publications
The Active Readers Nine (AR9) Team, under the leadership of Brenda MacIsaac, Literacy Facilitator, will meet on February 9, 2005, to plan implementation and distribution of Cape Breton materials in our schools. Ron Caplan will be invited to attend the next meeting in March.
Drug Awareness Committee
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Drug Awareness Committee continues to meet, and schools are sending their school-based drug policies to Central Office. The intent of the Regional Committee is to build a Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Drug Policy with this assistance.
Approximately 60 people attended a Drug Awareness Meeting at Glace Bay High, on December 7, 2004. In attendance were: Board Members, Drug Awareness Committee members, staff from Glace Bay High, administration from two junior high schools, and 20 parents. Also in attendance were Dianne MacDonald, Addiction Services and Constable Dennis Burns, Community Liaison Officer, Glace Bay High. Cst. Burns made a hands-on presentation of what drugs are available in our area, and materials were handed out regarding drug use and abuse. There was a reduction noticed in use of drugs on school property, and it seems that more students are coming forth asking for help with their drug problems.
Science / Technology Fair
A Science / Technology Workshop was held, on January 12, 2005, at the Northside Staff Development Centre, led by True Burke and Suzanne Aucoin, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High. All secondary schools were represented and Marilyn Webster, Science Consultant, Department of Education, was in attendance. There was a raised sense of interest in this project-based initiative.
Plans are underway for the March 4, 2005, Regional Professional Development Day for semestered schools, and for the April 22, 2005, Regional Professional Development Day for non-semestered schools.
Physical Education (Mary Lou Andrea)
· Active School Communities - This is the final year for the pilot project. Everything is working well. The project just received news that the complex along with Brookland Elementary, just received a 10,000 grant from the Office of Health Promotion to promote outdoor activities in their schools. Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 26th at Cusack School.
· Quality Physical Education Program Advisory Committee- This national committee will have a conference call on January 28th and will meet in Calgary, Alberta, from March 3-6. The committee is heavily involved with the promotion of 2005 being the International Year for Sport and Physical Education. During our visit to Calgary, the committee will be visiting local schools who have established daily physical education.
· Sexual Health Network - On January 5, the network met with Marian Campbell from St. F.X.U. to talk about the role the UCCB Wellness Centre had with the development of the Sexual Health Network. In the afternoon that day, the Sexual Health committee took part in a roundtable discuss on the proposed Sexual Health Strategy being put forth by the Office of Health Promotion. The network is also planning a professional development day for PDR/CALM teachers.
· Active Communities Committee which is part of the Provincial Strategy regarding Active Kids/Healthy Kids. It is the second phase of the strategy. The first one was Active School Communities (pilot at Cusack). This committee brings various agencies across Cape Breton together to promote active healthy living in the community. The next meeting will take place on February 1st.
· Centre for Leadership Development Committee- Work is being done to try to finalize the April conference. The next meeting is January 21 at the Staff Development Centre.
· Tobacco Reduction Strategy Committee- The next meeting is on January 31 at the Public Health Office in Sydney.
· St. Joseph Elementary, SM - Ms. Mary Lou Andrea made a Christmas presentation to the grade two class on physical activity in the classroom.
· School Visits- Ms. Andrea made visits to Cusack, Florence, Seton, Riverview and Jubilee.
· March 4th Inservice - Vonnie King will be doing a full day inservice on Body Wisdom - Your Inner Teacher for all Physical Education, PAL/CALM, and Family Studies teachers at the high school level.
· April 22nd Inservice- Plans are underway regarding this inservice day for non-semestered schools.
· 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 CBDHA area schools. Jacquie Moffatt, a retired PAL/CALM teacher with our Board, was contracted to talk to the schools in Cape Breton to find out the barriers being faced with implementing this program. Her report has been sent to St. John Ambulance.
· Healthy Eating For Community Partners for CBDHA - The next meeting will take place on January 27 at the Public Health Offices. Guest speaker will be Jim Rutten, Community Shared Agricultural Project, The Lake Ainslie Development Association.
· Also on the agenda is a community scan of nutrition and healthy eating programs.
· 2005 International Year of Sport and Physical Education- Ms. Andrea attended a meeting sponsored by the Office of Health Promotion in December in Halifax to brainstorm ideas to celebrate this year. A provincial launch is slated for sometime in January.
· Cape Breton Fiddlers Marathon Youth Run- Information on the run was presented to the principals with more information to follow at the April 22nd inservice for P-9 Physical Education teachers.
· Active, Healthy Lifestyle Week- The theme for this week May 6-14 is “Get in the Game”. Several elementary schools will be presenting a musical with the same name. More information regarding this week will be sent out to the schools.
Mathematics (Ron MacLean)
· Successful workshops were held in December with the teachers new to elementary and new to junior high math within the last three years. Many of these teachers have, or plan to use, the math mentors available to them.
· The planning sessions for the resource workshop in mathematics have been proceeding with the workshops scheduled for February 24, 25 and 28. Resource teachers from elementary to high school will attend a one-day workshop on the developmental teaching of mathematics and use of manipulatives. Plans are to have a second workshop later in the spring for these resource teachers with more work on the use of manipulatives to promote the developmental concepts of mathematics.
· Planning for the next senior high math day on March 3rd is underway. The senior high committee met on January 12th and will meet again on February 11, 1:00 p.m. at the Northside Staff Development Centre.
· The junior high leaders will be brought together to plan the next day for junior high mathematics on April 22nd.
· The junior high team working on Geometers will meet on Thursday, February 3, and grade 7 math teachers will attend an in-service on Friday, February 4, as part of the IEI initiative.
· Lead teachers in elementary and junior high schools have been providing school based mathematics professional development to their respective staffs. There are 70 math leaders providing Professional Development support at the school level in grades primary to nine.
· Three teachers have been selected from across the province to sit with the regional math consultants on the selection of the next grade nine resource. A request has been made to our Board for one teacher to be part of this group. It is the intention of the province to have a new grade nine resource as soon as possible. Consultants will meet mid February to look at proposals from publishers.
Literacy (Brenda MacIsaac)
· On November 16, Grade 12 English teachers met with Debra Abbot from the Department of Education. Changes to the format of the Grade 12 exams were discussed.
· Grade 7 English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies teachers have attended the following workshops facilitated by Brenda MacIsaac: 1) Integrating literacy and technology into the curriculum, November 22-24; 2) Literacy Across the Curriculum, January 18-20.
· In the first Literacy Newsletter, teachers/schools were encouraged to celebrate 'Book Week". Many schools did have students and staff engage in a number of terrific literacy activities such as poetry workshops, reading information texts with members of the community, read a book sleep-overs, author's day, grandparent's day, and so on. Much of what took place in the schools will be published in the February Literacy Newsletter.
· The first step in creating a Literacy Website for the Board has been taken. Professional Development sessions have generally been supported with multimedia slide shows created by facilitators. These can now be accessed by participants and others by visiting the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board website literacy link.
· Literacy teams continue to provide site-based Professional Development to schools on request. Recently, Cabot High, Malcolm Munroe Junior High, Sherwood Park, Coxheath Elementary, and Morrison Junior High have taken advantage of this opportunity. As well, colleague visits and mentoring continue to be elements of literacy support provided for teachers upon request.
· To help the transitioning process from junior to senior high school, department heads and lead teachers from all junior and senior high schools have begun meeting to share ideas, information, and to do some collaborative planning. The next meeting of this group will be held on February 7.
David Brennick, Co-ordinator of Student Services
French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh)
· Piloting of Junior High Core French materials has begun across the province. Bulk purchasing of new materials by the Department of Education will take place in early spring. The pilot teachers involved are Natalie MacKay (George D. Lewis), Marilyn MacGillivray (Breton Education Centre), and Lisa Roach (St. Michael Junior High). A training session for the pilot teachers took place in Halifax on November 30, 2004.
· An on-line French Language course developed by the Nova Scotia Department of Education (intermediate level) will begin the week of January 17, 2005, for a six week duration for teachers across the province. Four teachers from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will participate in the on-line course. The goal of the course is to improve oral and written French Language competencies of the teachers involved.
· The annual Concours d’Art Oratoire (French Public Speaking Contest) is in the planning stage. The event is scheduled for the last week of March.
· Teachers of grade nine late French Immersion met at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High on December 22, 2004. The focus of the meeting was the development of appropriate process exams for grade nine French Immersion.
· The grade six Intensive Core French pilots are progressing well at Riverside Elementary and Harbourside Elementary Schools. Students will return to their regular curriculum delivery on February 1, 2005. Dr. Joan Netten and Dr. Claude Germain visited the sites on November 22, 2004, as well as Department of Education Core French Consultant, Gérald Félix, on November 18, 2004. Laurie MacIntosh, Celeste Foisy, and Janet Sullivan-MacIntyre met with their Intensive Core French colleagues in Halifax on December 6, 2004, to share their experiences with the program. The teachers will meet at Shipyard Elementary on January 21, 2005, to continue compacting the curriculum for second semester.
· French consultants from school boards across the province offering Extended Core French will meet on January 26, 2005, in Halifax. The committee’s goal is to explore the strengths and challenges of Extended Core French (7-12) and to develop curriculum guides for junior high Extended Core (with particular emphasis at the grade seven level).
John Astephen, Coordinator of Student Services
David Brennick, Coordinator of Student Services
Lead Team to Support the Implementation of Supporting Student Success:Resource Programming and Services
The Lead Team met again on Friday, December 3, 2004 to begin work on the development of a professional development module on writing effective Individual Program Plans (IPPs). The module will focus on writing effective and measurable, general and specific outcomes. The goal is to have the module ready for presentation to principals and lead teachers in March. The Team will meet again on February 3rd in an attempt to complete the module.
Math Inservice for Resource Teachers
Math Inservices are planned for resource teachers working with students in grades P-12. Resource personnel include Ron MacLean, Math Facilitator for the Board, Genevieve Richardson, Resource Teacher at Greenfield Elementary and member of the Lead Team.
Co-Teaching Provincial Video
Don Glover, Student Services Consultant for the Department of Education, will meet with our Co-teaching team on Tuesday morning, February 15, 2005, to review our draft of a script for the video on co-teaching and to consider recommended sites for video clips.
Mr. Glover will meet with high school guidance teachers and Learning Centre teachers in the afternoon of February 15th to review and discuss a template on which schools will be asked to provide additional information on high school students with IPPs and transition plans. This information will assist us in demonstrating a need for post-secondary options for students with special needs and, more specifically, a pilot program in partnership with NSCC, Marconi Campus. Ruth Fraser, Transition Coordinator, NSCC Disability Services, will also present information on the Smart Steps Transition Planning Options being made available to high schools.
CB-VRSB Speech language Pathologist Win SPAA Awards
The Speech Department of our Board was presented with the Public Awareness and Media Award 2004 for its ”May is Speech and Hearing Month” project. The project consisted of the following:
· A radio trivia contest in which callers had to answer a question related to speech/language issues and could win a kid’s packet (phonics or language workbook, pencil, crayons, notepad, etc.). This contest ran on the morning show of a local radio station during May. Two SLP’s also went on a radio phone-in show to discuss speech services in the school system. They also distributed “May is Speech and Hearing Month” calendars to schools for use as the monthly calendar. Interesting “speech facts” were included on the reverse side of the calendar. The 2004 team consisted of Kelly Roberts, Kathy MacCoy, Louise Smith, Alisa Cantwell, Laura Wells and Nancy Robinson.
· Louise and Alisa have been very active in incorporating structured teaching and visual systems in the programming for special needs students in our Board. During the 2003/2004 school year, both Louise and Alisa structured Learning Centres (one in Sydney Mines and one in Glace Bay) for special needs students according to the TEACCH methodology. This consisted of adapting or making curriculum materials, setting up work centres, daily schedules, and work schedules for each student in these classes. They also both acquired PDAF grants for these centres to help with materials, physical structure and assistive technology. Finally, during the 2003/2004 school year, they were busy inservicing teachers, parents and teaching assistants on the use of visual systems with students with Autism and other special needs.
· Louise Smith and Alisa Cantwell were presented with the Innovation in Program Development and Delivery Award by the Speech Pathologists and Audiologists Association.
Career Cruising Software has been purchased for all secondary (7-12 schools) and guidance personnel, PAL and CALM teachers will have an opportunity to be inserviced on this career tool on March 4th at the Northside Staff Development Office.
A number of interagency initiatives are in progress including a Northside secondary schools (7-12) pursuit of more effective service delivery for their students. Plans are underway to provide ‘Gatekeeper Training’ for a number of guidance personnel as part of the work of the Sydney Community Action on Suicide Group. Representatives from Child and Adolescent Mental Health continue to meet with Student Services personnel to discuss areas of mutual concern with a particular focus on the transitioning of Autism Spectrum Disorder children to schools.
Through Mr. Brennick, the Board is represented on both regional and provincial Youth Health Centre Committees. The regional committee is exploring the future direction of Youth Health Centres given the Cape Breton District Health Authority’s commitment to see them operational in our secondary schools as per their strategic plan. At present, we have Youth Health Centres in Memorial High, Sydney Academy, Glace Bay High, and Breton Education Centre, all of which service feeder schools. The provincial committee is one of six sub-committees charged with developing Youth Health Centre Standards and has a particular focus on forging successful liaison and partnerships between school communities and health authorities.
Youth Destination 2010, a conference being planned for March 9th and 10th will provide opportunities for secondary students in our schools to actively contribute to the development of a regional youth strategy through a series of sessions bringing together various sectors of our community - education, business, government, health, etc.
Regional Assessment coordinators will gather in Halifax on January 21st to review the Mathematics results for Nova Scotia and share in a discussion of the state of Mathematics education in Nova Scotia. There will also be a sharing of the results of the 2004 Elementary Literacy Assessments (grade six). Preliminary results for our Board indicate that a smaller number of students met expectations in reading this year while there appears to be a “genuine, measurable improvement” in students’ writing.
School Advisory Councils
Six Letters of Agreement are being finalized for anticipated formal signing in February. This process involves review by an official from the Department of Education, submission of the request to the Board for approval with a formal signing usually at the school site.
School Advisory Chairs have received an invitation to attend the Department of Education planned Education Forum on February 18th and 19th. In preparation for that, an opportunity for our regional SAC chairs to gather before that date is currently in the planning stages.
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 January report follows:
IEIE Facilitator (Peter Mac Kinnon)
Junior High Schools were asked to submit a technology plan that showed how integration would take place. We have all plans but two. The plans were reviewed and schools contacted by Theresa MacKenzie if revisions were required. The IEIE equipment has been sent to the schools and professional development plans for all grade 7 teachers have been posted to the IEIE page on the board website. One hundred forty new computers and 76 refurbished computers along with eighteen printers have been sent out. Requests for tables and some E Mac computers have been filled.
PD for the grade 7 teachers has started and is being directed by Reg Johnson. More information is available on the web site IEIE page. I am currently working on a plan that deals with the new money allocated to the current junior high project.
In addition to the PD with all grade 7 teachers Lowell Cormier of Mount Carmel Elementary is doing an upgrade course with the E Mac technology on multimedia video editing. This course is being held at Mt. Carmel, Monday and Tuesday (Jan.10 &11) from 2pm to 6pm and Monday January17th beginning at 4pm.. Participants will return to their schools with an E Mac computer to support projects they will undertake with their students.
This program is in full swing. Mentor schools are being visited by the IT-Team to keep us updated on the project.
The PD plan was submitted to Wayne Hamilton and Michael Jeffrey in December. Mentorship was done by two teachers - Kevin Linden and Asta Antolf for twenty five days. They worked directly with classroom teachers integrating the technology. Christine Mac Donald, a grade 3 teacher, conducted a day long workshop on Kidspiration for all grade two and three teachers on January12th. The final software order was completed in December and should be arriving shortly.
The final web version of Dadavan is not in our possession as of January 12th. We will test run the Jubilee data as a pilot when we receive the program. We are currently updating the central module at the SDC.
Electronic Report Cards
We were able to get the electronic version of the provincial standardized report card done at Jubilee. This was accomplished because of the many hours put in by our data manager Jim McNeil and Jubilee teacher Bill Tennant as they worked through countless problems one after another. The staff of jubilee also stayed with the project to make it work. Supposedly many of the problems encountered are growing pains and corrections have been made to the process. We will run the report card (electronic version) again at Jubilee in February.
I will be conducting after school workshops at Brookland Elementary on the use of ednet web mail on January18 and 19 at 3pm. I will conduct a similar workshop for Brookland staff when their system is up and running.
IT Integration (Reg Johnston)
By November 19, the deadline for registering for online courses, thirteen high school students in our district had registered for online courses beginning in the second semester. This is a tremendous accomplishment considering that no students were enrolled in courses during the first semester. Online course delivery has proven to be a successful alternative to students in small rural high school wanting to receive instruction in courses that they may not otherwise be able to take.
In a continuing effort to support the Grade 7 IEI rollout, a second round of workshops will be held from Jan. 1-4. These workshops will key on English, Math, Social Studies and Science. Brenda MacIsaac, Literacy Facilitator, and Ron MacLean, Mathematics Facilitator, will be assisting me in providing our Grade 7 teachers with effective teaching strategies to integrate technology into their courses. Lead teachers will be identified in each subject area and will be called upon to develop lesson plans to be shared with their colleagues.
I have the pleasure of working with mentors in seven schools in our Board and I have been extremely impressed with the cooperation I have received from them and their school administrators. After visiting a number of classrooms and witnessing firsthand the quality of teaching strategies being employed to enhance technology integration, I could not help but be impressed. Three schools have completed their mentorship periods and are now working on final reports.
Canadian History 11
On February 14, all second semester Canadian History 11 teachers will attend a workshop at the Staff Development Centre. The morning portion of the workshop will be devoted to registering students on the Chinook site while the afternoon session will be spent on sharing successful units of practice.
Assistive Technology (Theresa MacKenzie for Liz Mahoney)
There have been 17 new referrals for Assistive Technology assessments since November’s report. Four of these have been completed and the remaining is in the process of being concluded.
School Technology Plans have been requested from all schools having Grade 7 classrooms that are receiving the IEI clusters. All but two of the schools have submitted initial plans. Principals are presently reviewing their submitted plans to include both the curriculum and technology outcomes that students will reach and the teaching strategies that will be used to accomplish technology integration.
Input will be sought through interviews, surveys, school visits and a focus group in order to formulate a plan for improved technology integration in our schools.
Writer’s Companion: All elementary schools have been contacted regarding their share of the cost for the purchase of Writer’s Companion. All have indicated their interest and some money have been received.
(Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding & Human Rights)
Charles Sheppard, Coordinator of RCH
RCH Meeting, December, 2004
Attended a provincial RCH meeting at the Department of Education, Trade Mart Building, Halifax. Discussion centered around the provincial Racial Equity meetings being held at the various school board around the province. Also discussed the possibility of Nova Scotia hosting a National RCH Coordinators’ Conference in 2006.
MECNS (Multicultural Education Council of Nova Scotia)
Attended the annual MECNS meeting in Halifax. Issues discussed centered around support in the classroom for multi-cultural education. Support in the form of material and training for both students and staff.
Student Support Workers
Held meeting with the student support workers to review the program for this upcoming school year and to discuss their goals and priorities for the upcoming year. Archie MacEachern, Director of Programs & Students Services, was also present to share his thoughts and vision for the program.
African Heritage Month
Preparations are in the works for celebration of African Heritage Month throughout our school district.