Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board


PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES UPDATE – June 2005

 

 

SCHOOL SERVICES

 

Ambrose White, Acting Coordinator                    

 

  • STEPS to Success Intake Meetings

School Services, along with Special Services (John Astephen), met recently with several applicants to the STEPS to Success programs. Principals from the applicants’ schools and host principals were also part of the process.  This is a very valuable program that meets the needs of some of our challenging students.

 

  • Policy Review

School Services policies were presented to the Education Committee on 24 May 2005.  Mr. Archie MacEachern and Mr. Ambrose White were on hand to present the policies and to answer questions. The policies were ratified by the Education Committee and will move on to the public input stage.

 

  • Book Orders

Schools are ordering their textbooks for the upcoming school year.  All orders are processed through our office.

 

  • Primary Transfer Requests

All requests for Primary transfers in September 2005 were dealt with and sent on to senior staff.

 

  • Field Trip Applications

There is a large request for field trips as we near the end of the school year.  School Services, along with the Transportation Department, process the applications.  I would like to recognize the support of Colleen MacMullin and the entire Transportation Department for their co-operation throughout the year dealing with this huge undertaking.  Extra and co-curricular trips are recognized as a valuable part of our system.

 

  • Grading Certificates

All schools have recently received their grading certificates for the 2004-05 school year.  This is another part of our system that requires the co-operation of the print operation of Memorial High School and School Services.

 

  • Incident Reports

School Services receives the SIP Incident Report forms daily from schools throughout the system.  Our schools are very vigilant when it comes to reporting accidents and injuries of any nature throughout their normal routine.  Most of these incidents occur on playgrounds before school or during their recess or noon breaks.


 

  • Graduation Dates

 

School

Date/Time

Baddeck Academy     

Wed., June 22, 2005 - 7:00 pm

Breton Education Centre

Thurs., June 23, 2005 - 6:00 p.m.

Cabot Jr./Sr. High                   

Wed., June 22, 2005 - 7:00 p.m.

Glace Bay High                          

Wed., June 22, 2005 - 7:00 p.m.

Holy Angels High                        

Wed., June 22, 2005 - 2:30 p.m.

Memorial Composite High

Wed., June 22, 2005 - 7:00 p.m.

Rankin Memorial High                 

Thurs., June 23, 2005 - 6:00 p.m.

(St. Columba Church)

Riverview Rural High

Wed., June 22, 2005 - 7:00 pm (County Arena)

Sydney Academy                       

Wed., June 22, 2005 - 7:00 pm

Adult High Schools     

Tues., June 21, 2005 - 2:00 pm (Memorial High)

 

 

  • Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support and co-operation of everyone in Central Office, the schools, and the entire system for their help as we near the end of the regular school year.  This has been a huge learning experience for me, and I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Marvin Harvey for his visits and help; Archie MacEachern as Director for his support; and Irene Hart at the office for her tremendous work and professionalism in School Services.

 

PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

                                                                                                                                                           

Annette Currie, Coordinator

 

Historica Heritage Fair

 

During the recent Heritage Fair, a number of special awards were presented in addition to the Awards of Excellence. The HBC Explorers Award, in recognition of outstanding achievement in demonstrating an aspect of exploration that has influenced the history of Canada, was presented to Kevin MacDougall, grade four student at St. Joseph School, Sydney Mines, for his project, A Voyage of Discovery - John Cabot.

 

The RBC Foundation Award for the Celebration of Aboriginal Heritage, in recognition of outstanding achievement in presenting Aboriginal history, heritage or culture was presented to Eric Stevens, grade six student at Eskasoni School, for her knowledge of, and enthusiasm demonstrated on, the topic of Mi=kmaq Medicine.  We were very pleased to have twelve projects from Eskasoni entered in our Heritage Fair this year

 

The Honourable Laurier L. LaPierre, O.C. Medal is awarded to individuals who are recognized for demonstrating exceptional enthusiasm and dedication to history and heritage.  This year we will award nine medals to students who have shown the judges and committee members their willingness to share their passion for heritage, their enthusiasm for learning about history, heritage and culture and their ability to share their research.  The following students will receive a medal and a certificate with a letter of congratulations from the Honourable Laurier LaPierre,

O.C.:

 

 

$                    Blake Cousins, Grade 6, St. Joseph Elementary, Sydney Mines

Project: Sailing With My Great Great Grandfather

 

$                    Evan Ashford, Grade 4, St. Joseph Elementary, Sydney Mines

Project: Newfoundland Disaster - Tidal Wave 1929

 

$                    Kaitlyn Jones, Grade 7, Donkin/Gowrie Complex

Project: Canadian Dancing

 

$                    Esther Abel, Grade 5, Brookland School

Project: Maple Syrup

 

$                    Matthew Terry, Grade 6, Cusack/Ashby Complex

Project: Men of the Deeps

 

$                    Nicole Pronk, Grade 8, Malcolm Munroe

Project: La musique traditionelle: la coeur du cap breton

 

$                    Gary Hood, Grade 9, Malcolm Munroe

Project: Les chemins de fer du cap breton

 

 

$                    Laura Bryden, Grade 9, Whitney Pier Memorial

Project:  L=histoire d=un soldat

 

$                    Mitchell Hanna, Grade 5, Mountainview School

Project: The Canada Games

 

Each year our students are invited to design a tattoo that reflects a Canadian theme.  It might be a building, a landmark, a totem pole, a Canadian hero, whatever means something special to a student.  This year, two of our students were among those selected as winners across Canada: Avery Varnes, Seton Elementary School and Jonathon Beaton, MacLennan Jr. High School.

 

The Wonderful World of Words for Word Wizards

 

Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, in cooperation with the Cape Breton Post=s Newspapers in Education program, held a most successful event on Saturday, June 4, at Shipyard Elementary School.  The day began in the cafeteria where 33 students assigned to table groups met soon-to-be friends from other schools across the Board.  Here they began to design a logo related to their interpretation of The Wonderful World of Words for Word Wizards.  Time was provided throughout the day for the students to return to the cafeteria to complete their logo.

 

Students worked together in assigned groups on a series of activities involving words in a variety of contents.  Students soon learned that in order to complete the activities they had to investigate, discuss, debate and problem-solve.

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Brenda MacIsaac, Facilitator of Literacy, prepared a slide show of the day=s activities.  Participants and their parents/guardians were invited to view the slide show prior to the presentation of awards.  The day ended with the reading of a poem written by Brandi-Anne Hibbs and dedicated to Annette Currie prior to her retirement in June.  Brandi titled the poem, The Footprints You Leave Behind.

 

Friends Forever XIV

 

On Thursday, June 9, 283 students representing all elementary schools across Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will join in an evening of recognition for young writers from grades primary to six.  Instrumental selections by Greenfield/Tompkins Bands under the direction of Jackie and Keith Roach will provide the musical entertainment for the evening.  The audience will hear seven students present their writing and will be introduced to Shannon Lee, grade six student, Greenfield School, whose artwork has been selected for the cover illustration.  Student readers include:

 

$                    Jessica MacNeil, Boularderie School

$                    Timothy McCarthy, Bras d=Or

$                    Jacqueline Sampson, Harbourside

 

$                    Cody Campbell, Riverside

$                    Cassie MacDonald, St. Anne

$                    Emily Spurrell, St. Joseph, Sydney Mines

$                    Kayla MacIntyre, Shipyard

 

Each student whose work has been published will receive a personal copy of Friends Forever XIV.  Each school will receive a copy which will be available to students through the school library.  Friends Forever has been sponsored by Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and the School of Education, Health & Wellness, Cape Breton University, for the past fourteen years and continues to be a wonderful vehicle for students to write for a wider audience.

 

Sydney Steel

 

Sydney Steel Museum, with the support and cooperation of Elementary Programs, has prepared a workshop for grade five students focusing on the steel industry in Cape Breton.  The group, with the guidance of chairperson Eric Parsons, has completed a power point presentation which in combination with artifacts and hands-on items gives the students an excellent overview of Sydney Steel and its place in Cape Breton=s history and heritage.  The team has visited nine schools, nineteen classrooms and, having met recently with Annette Currie, is ready to launch the workshop which will meet with provincial outcomes for Social Studies.  The launch will take place at Harbourside School on Thursday, June 9th

 

Youth Speaks Up - Dr. Jack Yazer

 

Dr. Jack Yazer, Founder of Youth Speaks Up, will retire at the end of this term.  The final session for grade six students in Sydney is scheduled for June 12 at the Delta in Sydney.  Dr. Yazer has given generously of his time to the students across this Board, is passionate about students deciding for themselves to say no to alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, and is now seeking a person with a like passion to take over so that Youth Speaks Up can continue.

 

 

We in elementary programs have heard nothing but the best about the program and its impact on most students.  Not only have they learned to say no, but they have learned to debate issues, have listened to individuals who have made poor choices/decisions, and to others who have changed their ways and are now happier, healthier people.  Perhaps there is an individual among our readership who will contact Jack Yazer for more information about his work with our youth.

 

End Notes

 

 

As we approach the touch-down of another school year, I want to take this opportunity to thank our Programs and Services people for their support and cooperation in helping to build a sound educational system.  Each Facilitator, Consultant, Coordinator and Director has contributed to the success that teachers and principals have had in their respective schools.

 

From the gradual implementation of Reading Recovery to the transition from school to community, it takes a commitment from dedicated educators to actualize the vision that success can be found for every individual we serve in our classrooms.  We are fortunate to have had a super Superintendent and elected Board members to carry the torch for educating our youth!

 

 

Program Services 7-12

 

David Crane, Co-ordinator

 

Breakfast for Learning Program (Debbie Madore)

 

Ø      Ms. Debbie Madore, Breakfast for Learning Co-ordinator, attended the monthly meeting in Halifax regarding the Nutrition policy framework for Nova Scotia schools.  They are presently dealing with language and should have a draft ready for consultation in August.  Ann Blackwood, Director of English Program Services, Department of Education, will be communicating directly with the Superintendents regarding the policy.

 

Ø      Ms. Madore attended a meeting with Ann Blackwood and representatives from the Office of Health Promotion regarding funding for a Province-wide Breakfast Program, P-6.  They are proposing to add $250,000 to the already announced $750,000 and allow for Dietitians to be hired at each Board to unroll the policy and manage the Breakfast program.

 

Ø      Sobeys and the Sydney Shopping Center will be donating money to the Breakfast program.  Sobeys has agreed to donate $1000, and the Sydney Shopping Center will donate $1750. This will go towards the program at Sydney Academy.

 

Ø      McHappy Day raised $2700 for the Breakfast program.  The Cape Breton Post took a picture.

 

Ø      Golf tournament plans are going well.

 

 

 

Ø      Ms. Madore is working on hiring a cafeteria worker for Brookland Elementary to begin in September with a healthy menu that meets the new criteria of the nutrition policy.  Interviews are June 7th.

 

Nova Scotia International Student Program

 

Ø      June is a very busy month for the Nova Scotia International Student Program.  We have already said goodbye to Sergio who completed his time with us.  He returned to Colombia on June 1st.  Students will be departing throughout the month.

 

Ø      Many of our students had great success on sports teams in their respective schools.  Nico (Taiwan) won three awards for badminton, while Christian (Germany), Mariline (Brazil) and Marck (Mexico) also won awards for their respective teams just to name a few.

 

Ø      Several of our Sydney Academy students took part in a documentary about Mi’kmaq studies with teacher Gloria Johnson.

 

Ø      Dorothy Kaiser took her students to Louisbourg on May 28th.  She ended the day with a barbeque for the students.

 

Ø      Millie George and Breton Education Centre treated our New Waterford students to a visit to the Miner’s Museum followed by lunch.

 

Ø      Ron Shaw, Riverview, and Paula Pace, Sydney Academy, will be taking their students to Louisbourg on June 10th.

 

Ø      Glace Bay High will be taking their students and host-parents to lunch at the Miner’s Museum later this week.

 

Ø      We had a very successful end of year activity on Saturday June 4th.  The students enjoyed a full day in Baddeck: hiking to the Uisge Bahn falls, sailing on the Amoeba, kite making at the Alexander Bell Museum, and a pizza supper at the Yellow Cello. There was also some free time for Cape Breton souvenir shopping.

 

Ø      All of our students will receive Nova Scotia International Student Program certificates and pins before their departure. The schools will be making these presentations along with school memorabilia during end-of-year ceremonies and activities.

 

Ø      We are busy preparing for the new school year.  To date, we have 35 new students for September and 11 returning for a total of 46.  We are expecting approximately 10 more students.

 

Science / Technology Fair

 

The main objectives of the Cape Breton Regional Science and Technology Fair are as follows:

 

First, we want to help our students become scientifically literate; in other words, learning through inquiry, problem solving, and decision-making.  We are encouraging students to become life-long learners and to become directly involved in the learning process.  Science is now a hands-on, minds-on experience for the students, allowing students to become actively

 

involved through activities such as Science Fair.  Our goal is to give students the skills, knowledge and attitude necessary to apply what they learn in their everyday life making science more relevant.

 

Second, we want to give our students the same opportunities as other students across Nova Scotia.  We want our students to be able to successfully compete with other students in our province and across Canada in all aspects of science.  The opportunities available to students who attend a regional fair and/or a Canada Wide Fair are endless - recognition at universities for their efforts that is essential when applying, scholarships and cash prizes just to mention a few.  The students of Cape Breton deserve to be at the same level as the rest of Canada.

 

The Cape Breton Regional Science & Technology Fair was held on March 31st at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School.  The Fair was a great success awarding over $2,000 in prizes plus three trips to the Canada Wide Science Fair being held in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Judges for the fair were mainly from Cape Breton University, but also from local engineering and science related companies and junior and senior high schools in our area. This year, four schools from the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board participated in the fair:  Malcolm Munroe Junior High, MacLennan Junior High, George D. Lewis, and Riverview Rural High.  Although there were only 27 projects submitted, our numbers have significantly increased from last year.  Next year, we are hoping to at least double the number of schools that will participate in the fair, focusing on the high school level.  Riverview is already planning their science fair for next year and we hope this will encourage other high schools to also participate.  To increase participation, the Regional Science Fair Committee realizes that there are four important steps:

 

1.      To encourage teacher willingness to participate and actively engage their science class in science fair is essential.  This can be done in numerous ways, but it is felt that a meeting held in early September for teachers from schools interested in participating in the 2006 Regional Science Fair would best meet the needs of everyone and give schools ample time to prepare for Regionals.

 

2.      To have the three winners who attended the 2005 Canada Wide Science Fair do a presentation at numerous schools to tell them of their positive experience and explain the importance of attending and participating in science fairs.  This, of course, would be accompanied by a slide show presentation and handouts prepared in advance.

 

3.      To meet with the Regional Science Fair Committee in June to delegate roles as to ensure further success in future fairs.  Also, to organize fundraising for 2006 in hopes of sending five participants to the 2006 Canada Wide Science Fair to be held in Quebec.  It is important for us to provide adequate prizes at the Regional Fair to not only continue to encourage participation each year but also to promote the development of necessary scientific and communication skills.  It is equally important that we continue to send more and more students to the Canada Wide Science Fair to let our students view the level of projects at this level and to have the opportunity to compete for much needed scholarships, prizes, and recognition.

 

4.      To include elementary schools (grades 4-6) in the Regional Science Fair.  Their projects could not be judged as part of the Regional Science Fair and would not have to follow Regional Science Fair Guidelines – they could be demonstrations and displays.  This would promote interest in science in younger students.  Prizes would still be awarded in these categories.  It is suggested a contact be named to organize this part of the Regional Science Fair.

 

The winners of the 2005 Cape Breton Regional Science & Technology Fair are as follows:

 

1.      Sheralynne Deveaux, Grade 10, Riverview Rural High School:

Sanitizing Sydney:  Technologies To Clean Up The Tar Ponds - The study examines technologies to clean up the Muggah Creek watershed. 

Research has shown that the main technologies to be used are solidification / stabilization, incineration, bioremediation, and capping and containment.  Experimentation with solidification and stabilization has been successfully applied to tar ponds like material, using Portland cement and water.

 

2.      Nicole Campbell, Grade 9, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School:

Barbequed Chicken - An experiment to observe the effects of skin exposure to Ultra Violet rays. 

Various sunscreens were applied to separate pieces of chicken skin then placed under a solar light to determine loss of weight, loss of oils and change of color.

 

3.      Maria Paruch, Grade 8, MacLennan Junior High School:

One’s Bigger But… The Other Will Ketchup – The objective was to determine the effect of chemical fertilizer on the growth and produce yield of tomato plants.

The belief is that fertilized plants would show healthier growth and yield more produce than non-fertilized plants while controlling variables.

 

The representatives from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board did a fabulous job at the 2005 Canada Wide Science Fair held in Vancouver, British Columbia.  They were positive and active in all events sponsored by the National Science Fair Committee and the Host Committee.  Sheralynne Deveaux was awarded an honorable mention for her project and Nicole Campbell was the recipient of the Petro Canada Peer Choice Award for her division and age group.  The positive feedback from all three finalists ensures future participation.

 

The Regional Science Fair Committee is extremely grateful for all the support given by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.  As this is only the second year for the fair since it’s ending in 1998, we are very proud of what we have accomplished for our students and our board.  Science Fair offers endless opportunities for our students so we must continue to encourage all junior and senior high schools to participate.

 

Physical / Health Education (Mary Lou Andrea)

 

Sexual Health Network

Ms. Mary Lou Andrea, Physical / Health Education Facilitator, made a presentation with John DeRoche and Janet Bickerton at the Cape Breton University Health Symposium on May 27th regarding the Sexuality Research Project.  The next meeting will take place on June 14th at the Planned Parenthood Office.

 

Active Healthy Living Committee

This committee met on May 31st.  The agenda included plans for creating a Quality School Health program in our Board.  Laurie Murchison, Principal, Malcolm Munroe, expressed interest in piloting the project and Joe MacDougall, Principal, Memorial High, would bring it back to his staff for consideration.  The committee discussed changes to the canteen and cafeteria menus at the P-6 level.  These changes would be presented to the Elementary Principals at the August meeting.  John DeRoche and Janet Bickerton made a presentation to the committee on the Sexuality Research Project.  It was suggested that they make the same presentation to the Education Committee of the Board.

 

Active Cape Breton Communities

Ms. Andrea attended a regional forum on physical activity for youth.  The forum took place May 26th at the Gaelic College.  Keynote speaker was Dr. Phil Campagna, who addressed the group on the upcoming PACY 2 project, which will begin in the fall.  Ms. Andrea did a bell ringer on pedometers.  Other presenters for the day were Joan Weeks on accessing the media, Colin Gillis on High Five, and Jan McCabe on Bone Health.  Robin Foote Elementary performed the Musical, Get in the Game and received a standing ovation.  Our next meeting will take place on June 16th in Cheticamp.

 

School Visits by Ms. Andrea included: 

Sydney River Elementary, Mira Road, Tompkins Memorial, John Bernard Croak, Brookland, Shipyard, St. Joseph (SM), Florence, St. Mary’s, Malcolm Munroe, Boularderie, and George D. Lewis.

.

18th Annual Track and Field Event

This event took place on June 3rd at the Archibald Avenue field.  Twelve teams took part in the event with Breton Education Centre declared the overall and “AAA” winner. Morrison Junior High took the “AA” honours while Bridgeport won the “A” division.  Ron MacLean, Math Facilitator, created a spreadsheet to record the scores, which worked well and allowed us to speed up the results.  The Cape Breton Post was on hand to take a picture of the winning team and post the results in Saturday’s paper.

 

Staffing

An additional staff at the elementary level allowed me to increase physical education at a majority of itinerant schools.  A pilot project at Glace Bay elementary will look at team teaching for two days to increase the students’ physical education time.  Also, Ms. Andrea is looking at having two physical education teachers to act as mentors to classroom teachers in their schools to increase physical activity across the curriculum.

 

May - Active, Healthy Lifestyle Month

A variety of activities took place throughout the month to highlight active, healthy lifestyles. Some of these activities included SpecaTAGular Day, which was a national initiative that took place on May 26th where teachers would highlight tag games at the schools.  The month also included health fairs and dance displays.  Throughout the month the Musical, Get in the Game, was performed at various locations.  It was well received at every location.

 

Mathematics (Ron MacLean)

 

Ø      Teachers can now register for the MSI Mathematics Summer Institute on line at www.strait.ednet.ns.ca.  This is a joint effort by Keith Jordan, Strait Board, Lisa Lunney, MK schools, and Ron MacLean, Mathematics Consultant.  John Van De Walle will give the keynote address and then present to smaller groups of teachers.  This is an excellent learning opportunity for elementary and middle school math teachers.

 

Ø      Mr. MacLean is continuing to review the new Grade Nine, Core Mathematics resource as sections become available.  Peggy MacIntyre, Rankin, is also reviewing the new resource. 

 

Ø      The implementation workshop for Mathematics 10 Essentials has been set for December 1-2, 2005.  English Program Services, Department of Education, will supply Curriculum Guides, textbooks, teacher resources, and other materials to each school offering essentials.

 

Ø      The Senior High Math Committee will meet on Tuesday, June 14th at 3:00 pm at the Northside Staff Development Centre.

 

Ø      Mr. MacLean will be in Halifax from June 8-10 for meetings with the provincial math consultants. 

 

Literacy (Brenda MacIsaac)

 

Department of Education

The Grade Seven English Language Arts Writers in Action team attended a three-day workshop in Wolfville hosted by the Department of Education.  This team is now well prepared to in-service teachers in our Board during the 2005-2006 school year. Resources were provided for the teachers by the Department. As well, all grade eight classrooms will receive Write Traits 8 kits next year. Carl Anderson, teacher and Vice-principal, Sydney River Elementary, will continue to in-service teachers on this resource.  Carl attended training in Minnesota two years ago and is well-qualified to facilitate such workshops.

 

Public Speaking

The Board-wide Public Speaking Event took place on June 9 (high school), June 10 (junior high), and June 11, 16, 17, 18 (elementary) at Memorial High School. The chairpersons of the event, Mary Mac Donald, Principal, St. Mary’s / St. Joseph’s, and Bernadette Hollohan, Teacher, Shipyard Elementary, did a phenomenal job organizing this event. It was a resounding success with many students from grades 4 to 12 participating. The overall winner in junior high was Melissa Hines, a grade 8 student from Cabot Jr/Sr High. In senior high, the overall winner was Lori Ann Deveaux, a grade 12 student from Riverview.

 

Poetry Magazine

Many teachers from grades P -12 submitted poetry written by their students throughout the course of the school year for publication in this year's Literacy Zine.  Both the elementary and junior/senior high magazines will be sent June 8th to schools through the school courier system.  It was much more difficult to choose poetry for this year's magazine as there were so many excellent student submissions. However, this is an indication that poetry is an important part of the ELA curriculum for teachers and students.

 

Literacy Newsletter

This newsletter will also be distributed to teachers by June 10.  It will focus on classroom activities teachers have done in the area of drama.  Many teachers passed along pictures and explanations of what has been happening in these areas in their classrooms.

 

French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh)

 

Ø      A two-day session on the new grade seven Extended Core French initiative will be held in Dartmouth on June 9th and 10th for teachers across the province teaching this program.  Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant, is part of the team involved in presenting an overview of the newly launched grade seven social studies program which will include a variety of concepts within an introductory language based framework.

 

Ø      Three teachers of grade six Intensive Core French from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, as well as Laurie MacIntosh and David Brennick, will take part in training sessions at University of Quebec à Montréal, the first week of August.

 

Ø      French Co-ordinators, Consultants, and Nova Scotia Department of Education French Second Language Program Services personnel gathered in Grand Pré on June 3rd for meetings to discuss Department of Education and School Board initiatives for 2005-2006.  The group will meet again on June 22nd with Margelaine Holding to discuss “Targeted Measures” for French Second Language.

 

Ø      Special project funding in the amount of $170,615 has been approved by the Nova Scotia Department of Education for the 2005-2006 academic year to help support French Second Language initiatives.

 

Model Legislature

 

The Model Legislature, which is sponsored by the Department of Education, provided approximately 52 students from across Nova Scotia the opportunity to experience first hand the challenges faced by the men and women who work as their elected representatives.  The students from our board who participated were exposed to the many different aspects of the Nova Scotia Legislature, how decisions are made, and then communicated to the public.

 

Ginny Sampson, English Department, Sydney Academy, accompanied the seven representatives to the Model Legislature 2005 in Halifax as a teacher / facilitator.  She stated that the seven students who represented the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board were eager and motivated to participate in this challenge.  They represented our Board exceptionally well and all felt the weekend was an excellent learning experience.  As the teacher / facilitator, Ms. Sampson would highly recommend that our Board continue to support such a worthwhile learning experience for our students.

 

Interchange on Canadian Studies

 

Vanessa Johnson, student at Breton Education Centre, traveled to Medicine Hat, Alberta, for the Interchange on Canadian Studies, as a representative of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, May 15th to May 21st, 2005.  Vanessa was overwhelmed by the hospitality of the organizers and host family.  She also reported that there was a wonderful camaraderie among the student participants.

 

Each day the guest speaker was well received, the topics were very relevant, and the small group discussions which followed proved to be a positive learning experience.  Guest speaker Severn Suzuki, speaking on the environment, stood out as a high point of the week.  Another highlight was the Wednesday field trip to the Leer ranch, Fort Walsh, and the tour of the natural gas site.

 

Vanessa reported that meeting fellow students from many diverse areas of Canada impacted on her the most.  All of their concerns and interests were very similar despite their varied backgrounds.  She was very impressed with how kind people were in the midst of strangers.  She felt that the trip was a truly worthwhile experience and she was grateful for the opportunity to travel to Medicine Hat as a representative of Breton Education Centre, and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

 

Professional Development

 

Five Junior High Science teachers attended a provincial Science 7/8 refresh in-service.  The topics discussed were Geology, Optics, and Buoyancy / Density.

 

 

STUDENT SERVICES

 

John Astephen, Coordinator

David Brennick, Coordinator

 

Provincial Co-Teaching Video

 

The Co-Teaching Video Team met with Don Glover, Special Education Consultant for the Department of Education, on May 25, 2005. With feedback from Ray Whitley of the Department’s LRT Division, the team looked at some final revisions to the script and developed final plans for filming. Filming is scheduled for the week of October 17, 2005. A crew of four people including two cameras, one sound and Mr. Whitley will meet with the team at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, October 17th and then spend the rest of the week filming.

 

Second Resource Cohort in Partnership with Mount St. Vincent University

 

A second cohort of 25 teachers from Cape Breton-Victoria, Membertou and Eskasoni School Boards has been accepted into a Master of Education program (concentration in Resource) at Mount St. Vincent University. The program is a partnership developed among the three School Boards, the Department of Education and Mount St. Vincent University. Classes for this second intake begin on July 4, 2005.

 

Active Readers 9

 

Cathy Viva, Acting Vice-Principal and LD teacher at Dr. T.L. Sullivan, represented our Board at a recent provincial meeting of resource teachers. Teachers from school boards throughout the province met to review resources and to select the content of the Active Readers 9 Resource Kit. They worked non-stop for two days selecting over 70 titles for the AR9 kits. The Department’s goal is to have them listed on the Authorized Learning Resources and to place an order to provide one kit to each school in the province with a grade 9 in the fall.

 

 

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 iniatives.  The IT-Team June report follows:

 

Assistive Technology/PD (Liz Mahoney)

 

Work continues on the Kurzweil project.  Planning is underway for a professional development day for all secondary integrated, circuit, and school based resource teachers as well as Learning Strategy teachers.  They will be trained on the use of the Kurzweil project from the prospective of the teacher and the student.

 

The Assistive Technology Guide working group will resume work on September 28th in Halifax.  It is hoped that it will be completed by the end of October.

 

 

A letter of understanding has been developed for the use of schools that are allowing students to take Assistive Technology devices home.  Mr. White is presently reviewing it.

                                                                                                   

IEIE-8 (Peter MacKinnon)

 

The final report for IEIE-7 has been completed and posted to the Board’s web site.  All the grade eight classrooms have been visited to determine what infrastructure will be necessary for the rollout.  The plan for all components of IEIE eight will be completed next week and sent to Halifax for approval.

 

Data Management:

 

A company out of Edmonton, Insignia, previewed their Student Information System at the SDC on Wednesday June 1st. Their system is client based for the administrative users and web based for teacher and parent use. They are willing to let us test the product at different school levels in September. They will provide free technical support and some training. We will test the product at one elementary, junior and senior school in September. A committee with a representative from each Board, in our case Mr. Simm, will meet in Halifax Wednesday, June 8th to determine where the province will move with regards to student information. Current plans for our Board include testing of Insignia, Outcomes (formerly Dadavan), Epiphany (an in-house Chignecto product) and possibly a system from an Ontario, called Maplewood.

 

Electronic Report Card:

 

Jubilee will run the electronic version of the provincial standardized report card for June. Some minor template changes have been made and conference calls that involve the developers and board reps continue to take place almost weekly. The product has improved since last October and most problems encountered by teachers have been corrected.

 

 PD Planning:

 

Along with the IEIE workshops that are being planned for grade eight, we will also focus on and are planning sessions for teachers new to grade four, five, six and seven. Plans to continue professional development at Brookland Elementary are being worked on. We will also address needs from schools and teachers when requested.

 

A two-day session for facilitators dealing with I-Movie will take place at the SDC on June 16th and 17th.

 

Technology PD (Reg Johnston)

 

Classroom Support

 

School visitations will continue through June with the emphasis being placed upon identifying areas of support for professional development. Mr. Johnston visited most of the teachers who were involved in our teaching strategies’ workshops and am pleased to report that the Grade 7 teachers were extremely impressed with the format of the sessions and considered them valuable in assisting them to integrate technology into their classes. Based upon this feedback, Mr. Johnston will utilize the same format next year as we move ahead with the Grade 8 technology rollout.

 

 

 

Online Course Delivery

 

A special meeting was held in Halifax on May 19 to discuss online course options for next year, a communication’s protocol as well as a procedure to acquire textbooks. Guidance counselors from each of the small provincial high schools were in attendance and were treated to comprehensive overviews of the online delivery models provided by the Strait District and Chignecto boards. Cape Breton has been given six seats by the Department of Education to be utilized by our three small high schools – Baddeck Academy, Cabot and Rankin. No problem is anticipated in filling these seats.

 

School Web Sites  

 

Mr. Johnston continues to work with schools that are attempting to upgrade their web sites. Now that all schools have sites, it becomes a matter of assuring that they remain current. Efforts will be made to contact schools that have outdated sites and work with them to update.

 

AMTec Conference

 

Mr. Johnston had the pleasure of attending the annual AMTec Conference held in Calgary from May 24-27. He also attended a number of sessions devoted to developing web sites, classroom design (with technology in mind) and distance education. Aside from acquiring significant insight into these topics of interest, Mr. Johnston was thrilled to realize how advanced we are in a number of areas as compared to many jurisdictions. Our rollout model, professional development and tech support were some areas that received considerable interest during session discussions.