Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board


Archie MacEachern, Director of Programs & Student Services

Archie MacEachern, Director



§                     Textbooks


§                     Waiting List for Assessments


§                     Policy Adoption/Review Process (attached)


§                     Support for Students with Special Needs – Special Delivery Model


§                     Autism Conference (attached)


§                     Pre-Primary Pilots 2005-2006 (attached)





Ambrose White, Acting Coordinator                


Early indication is that primary registration is down from last year.  Final analysis is being completed and transfer requests will be dealt with by the end of March.  Principals convey some frustration that no matter what advertising, etc., that we do, a large number of people miss the registration dates and call the schools between March and June to register their children.


School Services is in the process of reviewing and updating its policies.  I want to thank the committee of principals who dedicated their time to this policy review.  We are developing a new policy on Head Lice and Board Visual Identity.


Most winter teams are completing their playoffs to determine the right to move on to Provincials.  The NSSAF motto, “Education through Sport”, is endorsed by our Board, and we wish all our teams best of luck in their playoffs.  The spring session will bring a new schedule of sports.


The latest statements were issued to all schools, and they are aware of their budget status as we near the end of the fiscal year.


School Services, along with Operational Services and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Fire Services will make a presentation to all principals on March 9th.  Two sessions.—.9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.—.will be held with the principal and custodian from each school.








Rick Simm, Coordinator


The “Information Technology Team”, consisting of Liz Mahoney, Reg Johnson, Peter MacKinnon and Rick Simm, meets on a weekly basis for discussion and planning of technology initiatives. The IT-Team February report follows:


Policy Development

Much effort has been put into the development of policies for the integration of technology within the curriculum.  These policies have been put forward for review.


P3 School Technology Refresh


Management committee meetings have been held at all seven P3 schools to discuss plans for technology refresh.  This process has been working well with good cooperation from all parties.  A summary report is forthcoming. 


Secondary Professional Development (Reg Johnson)


In a continuing effort to support the Grade 7 IEI rollout, a third round of workshops will be held in March. These workshops will key on the curriculum areas of English, Social Studies and Science. Brenda MacIsaac, Literacy Facilitator, will assist me in providing our Grade 7 teachers with effective teaching strategies to integrate technology into their courses. The emphasis for this series of workshops will be utilizing the writing software, Writers Companion, in the classroom.


Curriculum Lead Teams


Lead teams in Grade 7 English, Social Studies and Science spent four days in February developing lesson plans for the intended purpose of integrating technology into the curriculum. The end result was fabulous as a number of excellent lessons were developed. They will now be posted on the Board web site for access by all Grade 7 teachers.


Canadian History 11


On March 29, all second semester Can His 11 teachers will attend a workshop at the Staff Development Centre. The day will be devoted to instructing these teachers on utilizing the Test Module within the Chinook site. By the end of the day, a bank of test and examination questions will have been created for use by everyone.


IT Outcomes


In anticipation of the Department of Education’s release of their new “vision” document on Information Technology, I will be conducting an information session for the staff of Dr. T.L. Sullivan on March 4. The session will focus on the IT outcomes and the need to integrate them into the curriculum.




Visual Arts/Technology


Due to increasing demand from Visual Arts teachers seeking to employ technology in their lessons, a workshop will be held for them on March 4. The workshop will be held at Holy Angels High School and will be facilitated by Vince Nicholson, a teacher at the school. Vince will be illustrating the versatility of Photoshop Elements in enhancing an Art/Graphic Arts lesson.


IEIE Facilitator (Peter MacKinnon)




The additional hardware (194 computers) has been sent to the schools. The technicians are in the process of setting them up.  The lesson plan workshops have been completed and the units designed will be posted to the website.




The mentorship project is winding down. Nineteen schools participated, eight elementary schools, five junior highs and three high schools along with two grade primary to nine schools. A final report will be done in April and posted to the board website. A one day session is in the planning stages to allow mentors to share the positives and negatives of the project.


Brookland Elementary


The additional software ordered in December should arrive by the end of this month. Some of our PD will be to familiarize teachers on how to integrate this software to meet their subject outcomes.


Electronic Report Cards


The use of the electronic report card at Jubilee seems to be going much smoother for the February reporting period. As of today, March 2nd, all teachers have their data entered and three classes have been printed. I will participate via phone regarding the progress of the report card across the province today.


Data Management


Jim McNeil, our data manager, has the Dadavan Central Module updated at the Staff Development Center. We are looking at alternative methods to gathering data as the current process is very cumbersome.


Assistive Technology (Liz Mahoney)


Since the last report, three high school texts have been completed for the Kurzweil program.  CD’s have been made and will be distributed to the principals of those schools using Kurzweil for their LD students.


All reports assessments on recent assessments have been completed and sent to the principals. The technology requirements of these assessments have been placed in the Track-It database.





Annette Currie, Coordinator


The Roots of Empathy


The Roots of Empathy program fosters the development of empathy, which results in more respectful and caring relationships and reduced levels of bullying and aggression.  The heart of the program is a neighborhood infant and parent who visit the classroom once a month for a full year.  With a certified Roots of Empathy instructor, students are coached to observe the baby’s development, celebrate milestones, interact with the baby and learn about an infant’s needs.


This program complements the classroom curriculum, which is built on the framework of essential graduation learnings.  We are pleased with the gradual implementation of Roots of Empathy within our elementary schools.  Ashby, Baddeck, Bras d’Or, Coxheath, Florence, Greenfield, Mount Carmel, Seton, St. Joseph (North Sydney) and St. Mary’s each has a class in grade one, two, or four participating in the program this year.


Funding for Roots of Empathy is provided through an intersectoral collaboration between a number of government and community groups.  Coordinator of Roots of Empathy, Jim Mustard, from Margaree, with the help and support of David Brennick, Coordinator of Student Services, when he served with the Network for Children and Youth, were instrumental in introducing the program to Annette Currie, and through her to elementary principals across the Board.


Cape Breton-Victoria’s Historica Fair


Thanks to Jim MacNeil, Data Base Manager, teachers, students, parents and wider community can enjoy a virtual tour of projects presented at our Annual Historica Fairs.  We are proud of the efforts demonstrated by all of our students who participated in the celebration of living history.


Plans for this year’s Historica Fair are moving forward.  The Fair, scheduled for May 12 – 13, will have, in addition to student presentations of projects, workshops for students and a finale on Friday afternoon where we will celebrate with song and dance that which is so important to us – Cape Breton culture and heritage.


Feeling Yes, Feeling No


Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board continues to endorse the implementation of the Feeling Yes, Feeling No program in its elementary schools.  Upon a request from the guidance counselor and teacher, students at the grade five level are introduced to this program, which deals with sexual abuse and sexual assault prevention.  Feeling Yes, Feeling No is carried out with the cooperation and guidance of the Children’s Aid Society.  A session for parents precedes the in-class presentation.  During their session, parents receive an overview of the Feeling Yes, Feeling No program followed by a viewing of the video, which will be used in the classroom.  The contents and goals of the video are discussed.  A closing discussion led by a Child Protection worker from Children’s Aid provides parents with statistics about sexual abuse and sexual assault and further confirms the importance and value of such a program in our schools.





Program Services 7-12


David Crane, Co-ordinator


Breakfast for Learning Program (Debbie Madore)



§         Ms. Madore did a presentation at Glace Bay Kinsmen. They will be adopting Glace Bay Elementary Breakfast program, with a donation of $3500. The program is scheduled to start April 5 for grades P-1 in the portables. Ms. Madore has been talking with Lorraine Sheppard, Vice-Principal. She is very receptive to the program. She does support having the program P-6, so I will be working to have this accomplished beginning September.



Nova Scotia International Student Program


§         Many of our new students are taking advantage of the ESL support class. Millie George has modified her schedule to work with these kids.


§         The February Orientation was a success! It was a great opportunity for our students to come together as a group. They had fun learning step and square dancing.  We did have to reschedule the ski day several times due to weather- but it was worth it – the kids had a great time!









Science / Technology Fair


§         Four schools, so far, will be participating in this year’s Regional Science / Technology Fair.  Two more schools are still considering.  Riverview is a definite for next year so that will add to numbers.


§         The Cape Breton Post is doing a pre-article on the fair to boost it then a post-article with the winners and sponsors etc.


§         Ms. True Burke has been working with David Crane, trying desperately to raise funds, and has had some success.  We have received prizes as well which she will use as draws (students put names in as they arrive) This will encourage participation in future years.  Sobeys has donated money and food for judges.


§         Ms. Burke has secured some coverage also on CBC.


§         ECBC and the Bank of Montreal are hopefully going to become major sponsors.


§         Ms. Burke has a meeting Wednesday with U.C.C.B. - who are our biggest sponsor so far.



Professional Development


The March 4th, 2005 Semestered Schools/Senior High Professional Development Day is as follows:







Lead Facilitator


Business Teachers


NSCC, Marconi Campus


Glen Cunningham, Business Department, Sydney Academy /

Barb Burke, College Prep Co-ordinator, N.S.C.C., Marconi Campus


English AND

Resource Teachers


Northside Staff Development Centre


Brenda MacIsaac, Literacy Facilitator


Family Studies Teachers


Holy Angels High


Sheila Reeves, Family Studies, Riverview Rural High


French Teachers


Holy Angels High


Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant


Guidance Teachers


Holy Angels High


David Brennick, Co-ordinator of Student Services


Instrumental Music Teachers


Sydney Academy


Cathy MacNeil, Fine Arts Facilitator


Mathematics Teachers


Holy Angels High


Ron MacLean, Mathematics Facilitator


Physical Education  AND

PAL/CALM Teachers


Holy Angels High


Mary Lou Andrea, Physical / Health Education Facilitator


Science Teachers


Glace Bay High


Vince Gillis, Science Department Head, Glace Bay High


Social Studies Teachers


Glace Bay High


David Crane, Co-ordinator of Program Services (7-12)


Visual Arts Teachers


Holy Angels High


Cathy MacNeil, Fine Arts Facilitator


Vocational Teachers


Memorial Composite High


Fred Martell, Vocational Education Facilitator



Physical / Health Education (Mary Lou Andrea)


§         Ms. Mary Lou Andrea continued work on Physical Education Policies as well as a Healthy Eating Policy.


§         She attended the Education Partners Forum in Truro, February 18th and 19th. The two workshops she attended were on physical education and healthy eating. She was encouraged by what she heard in both sessions.


§         Ms. Andrea attended both principals' meetings reminding principals to include the

itinerant teachers when discussing learning centre students and students on IPP’s.


§         Ms. Andrea is assisting with the Steps challenge between Central Office Staff and Sydney River Elementary. Let's get moving!


§         She is continuing to work on April 22nd inservice for P-9 Physical Education teachers, grade 4 health teachers and junior high PDR teachers.


Mathematics (Ron MacLean)





§         A very successful high school math league was held on Saturday, February 19, at UCCB.  UCCB has been very accommodating and supplies nutritional snacks for the students participating.  Fourteen teams participated in the event with a team from Riverview taking top honors.





Literacy (Brenda MacIsaac)


§         Maria Carty from the Department of Education worked with the Active Readers 9 Team at the Staff Development Centre on Feb.23. The Department of Education has published a new resource for junior high teachers: the Classroom-Based Assessment Resource. The Active Readers 9 team will be in-servicing all junior high English Language Arts teachers on how to use this resource on April 22, the Board’s Staff Development Day.


§         Barry Wilson and Susan Martin-O'Brien, Literacy Consultants from the Department of Education, will facilitate a session in the morning with high school English teachers on the movement of the Active Readers initiative into high school. As well, at the request of lead teachers, a workshop on Comprehension Strategies for struggling readers will take place in the afternoon.


David Brennick, Co-ordinator of Student Services


French Second Language


§         French Consultants from across the province met on February 24/05 in Halifax to begin developing a new curriculum document for grade seven extended core French.  It is hoped that the document will be ready for implementation in September 2005.  The next meeting of the committee will be on March 31/April 1, 2005, in Halifax.











John Astephen, Coordinator

David Brennick, Coordinator


Professional Development Initiatives


·         A Math in-service for resource teachers, grades P-12 was held on February 24, 25 and 28. Topics covered during the one-day workshop included:


o        Progression Map – Fractions

o        Video

o        Diagnostic + Intervention

o        Vertical Acceleration

o        Base Ten

o        Wrap Up + Exit Slips


            In-service evaluation forms indicate that the resource teachers who had an opportunity to participate in the one-day workshop found it to be very helpful. The Student Services Department would like to thank the organizers and presenters of the workshop: Keri McAskill, resource teacher at Mount Carmel; Genevieve Richardson, resource teacher at Greenfield; Cathy Viva, LD teacher and acting Vice-Principal at Dr. T. L. Sullivan Jr. High; and Ron MacLean, mathematics facilitator. During the staff development day on Friday, March 4th, high school resource teachers joined English Language Arts teachers for a workshop on various workshops Supporting Struggling Readers and Writers. This session was held at the Staff Development Centre in North Sydney. Student Services Department would like to thank Program Coordinators for including resource teachers in their professional development initiatives.


·         Principal Chris Nicholson and staff at Rankin Memorial have invited Isabel den Heyer, retired Coordinator of Student Services in the Strait Regional School Board to provide professional development in the area of program planning for students with special needs. Mrs. den Heyer is presently teaching the M.Ed. Resource Cohort offered through Mount St. Vincent University.


·         The Positive Effective Behavior Support (PEBS)/Code of Conduct Guidelines provincial in-service training is scheduled for March 29 – April 2, 2005, at the Citadel Inn, Halifax. The main presenter is Tom Schimmer, a qualified trainer and a vice-principal who has school experience in implementing the Effective Behavior Support Model in Penticton, British Columbia. 


These workshops mark the beginning of the Department of Education’s commitment to provide in-service training to support the implementation of the School Code of Conduct Guidelines in all Nova Scotia schools over the next three to four years. The goal for Year 1 (2004-2005) of the PEBS/Code of Conduct Guidelines training initiative is to provide an opportunity for two representatives, one of whom must be the principal, from each of 100 schools to participate in a two-day workshop on implementing positive and effective behaviour supports (PEBS) and the new school Code of Conduct Guidelines.


Our Board has been requested to select 14 schools and submit the names of the principal and one other participant from each school to attend one of the workshops.



Junior High Guidance Counsellors recently visited Memorial High School to gain a better understanding of the vocational program offerings at Memorial. Counsellors are now better informed when discussing this option with their Grade 9 students. 


Counsellors at the 7-12 level were in-serviced on the web-based “Career Cruising” program at Holy Angels on Friday, March 4th. This is one tool which can be used by educators in helping students in their career decision making.


Members of our Board’s Crisis Intervention team were present at two schools North of Smokey following the untimely death of Principal, Frank Donovan.



Plans are being finalized to enable student representatives from our high schools to participate in the Youth Destination 2010 Conference scheduled for April 7 and 8, 2005, at the Coast Guard College. This conference is designed to bring together youth aged 16 to 29 from our region with members of the adult community around themes of education, health, culture and employment.


 Northside area Guidance Counsellors continue to meet with the Director of the Network for Children and Youth to develop a plan to bring together a number of agencies servicing youth in schools on the Northside initially for information sharing and ultimately to achieve more effective service delivery to Northside youth.


The Sydney Community Action on Suicide group has facilitated a training initiative, which will enable 16 Guidance personnel to be trained over two sessions (one Spring, one Fall) to promote early suicide intervention support to those in need.


School Advisory Council


A member of our School Advisory Council participated in the February 18, 19th Education Partner’s Form in Truro. This followed a pre-Forum information session held at Sydney Academy on February 8, 2005. Six Letters of Agreement are currently with the Department of Education for their final review following minor revisions made at the local level. Once these have been returned, they will be brought to the Board for approval prior to formal signings with the respective school communities.




Vince Warner, Director of Education Services with the Department of Education, provided an overview of provincial assessment and evaluation to all principals at Malcolm Munroe Junior High on February 24, 2005. Results of the 2004 Elementary Literacy Assessment have been released to schools and are scheduled to be released to parents/guardians the week of March 21, 2005.