Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board






Ambrose White, Acting Coordinator            


  • Student Fees:

School Services are working with others in Programs in relation to the recent Department of Education guidelines regarding Student Fees.  Mr. White is on the Provincial Committee on Student Fees. A report should be ready for the Superintendents in December.


  • Attendance Focus Group:

A focus group will be held on Wednesday, October 5th, from 9-12 to deal with issues on attendance.  Ann Power from the Department of Education, Student Services Division, and others will be there to provide input and to gather information.


  • Food & Nutrition Focus Group:

A focus group of 20-25 people will be held on Thursday, October 13th, from 3:30-5:00 at Brookland Elementary School.  Several people from the Department of Education will be in attendance to gather information from the discussion for the development of future policy.


§         STEPS to Success:

School Services, along with Student Services, held several meetings to hear applications for the STEPS to Success programs at both the elementary and junior high levels.


  • School Budgets:

Schools will receive their budget statements in early October.  School Services and Finance are working together to keep schools aware of expenditures and statements in general.


  • Other:

School Services works closely with Transportation and Operations in the day-to-day routines of our system.  The co-operation and support of all groups is greatly appreciated.












Brenda MacIsaac, Coordinator


Library Services


Memos have been distributed to all schools for individuals wishing to volunteer for a library committee. This committee will be comprised of the Coordinator of Programs P-6, the Library Support Consultant, two principals, two parent volunteers, two library technicians, two teachers and two community representatives (one must be from the NSCC system). The committee will meet bi-monthly and develop a standardized library program for our Board with new policies, guidelines and frameworks. 


A Board celebration to help the TD Financial Group’s Grade One Book Launch Campaign is being planned. Although all details have not been finalized, the event will include an author reading. The idea of a contest for a Board library logo has surfaced and will be further investigated.


The following schools will be completing their library renovations from last year:  J.B. Croak, Mount Carmel and Macdonald.  New schools interested in developing a new library program this year are Ball’s Creek and Middle River. Cape Smokey and North Highlands will be receiving assistance in getting their parent volunteer program up and running again.


Language Arts


Implementing the concept of mentoring in the areas of literacy and math throughout the province is a major initiative undertaken by the Department of Education. Donna Robson, Literacy Consultant P-6, has begun the process of training mentors to work with teachers in their schools. She is working with curriculum team leaders (social studies, science, math, health, and literacy) preparing them to be coaches/mentors in their particular subject areas. Their plan is for all professional development offered this year to have a mentoring component. All PD facilitators during workshop sessions will model the role of mentor. Mentors will also be trained to work with newly hired teachers to support them over the next three years.


Another focus of the Department is to build classroom library capacity. Donna Robson is working with teachers in conjunction with Carmelita Cousins, Library Support Consultant, to help teachers set up libraries in classrooms and choose print texts suitable with respect to students’ interests, reading levels, and age.






The Math Mentoring Program will begin shortly. Sharon Boudreau, Math Consultant P-6, informed elementary principals of the nature of the program. Sharon will be available to mentor teachers in three schools this year on a rotating schedule. Schools selected to become involved in the mentoring program will be determined by the number of principals/schools who express interest in the program and the number of new and new to elementary teachers there are in the school.


Mentoring is a collaborative arrangement between the mentor and participating teacher. It is an opportunity for teachers to focus on the strand, lesson, strategy, etc., of their choice, in a one on one situation. Mentoring can also provide an opportunity for teachers to work in small groups as well as whole school sessions. All mentoring sessions are strictly confidential and non-evaluative. Teachers may arrange for substitutes for up to three days by applying to the Professional Development Fund Committee (Peer Coaching Program Funding). Other options are mentoring during teacher preparation periods or after school, whichever is more convenient for the teacher. Sharon would be at each school for a week or two, depending on the number of participating teachers, move on to the other two schools, then come back to the first school. She will continue this cycle throughout the year, thus providing ongoing support as the school year progresses.


Professional Development


All professional development for 2005-2006 is anchored in the Department of Education’s Learning for Life II Document and CBVRSB’s Strategic Plan.


PD done in September:





Sept. 7

New Hires

Building Community in the Classroom;               Knowing Your Learners

Sept. 12/13

Grade 4 Teachers

Implementation of the New Grade 4 Math Text

Sept. 23

Elementary Principals

Principal as Educational Leader

Sept. 29

Grade 3 Teachers

Soil – facilitated by Marilyn Webster;                          DOE Science Consultant







PD planned for October:





Oct. 14

New Hires

Classroom Learning Environment

5 after-school sessions

Teachers New to Elementary

Running Records

5 after-school sessions

Teachers New to Elementary

Comprehensive Literacy Program

Oct. 25

Teachers, Principals, Guidance

Mi’kmaq Culture & History

Oct. 28

Library Technicians

Practical Issues & The Big Six


Initiatives in Keeping with the Department of Education’s Learning for Life II Document


Reading is Fundamental Initiative


In keeping with the sixth theme in the Department of Education’s Learning For Life II Document, Strengthening Partnerships for Students’ Benefit, the CBVRSB  has  become involved in an initiative that has been proposed by the Cape Breton Regional Library entitled Reading is Fundamental. CBVRSB and the Cape Breton Resource Centre will serve as partners in this project initiative. The project is slated to start December 1, 2005, and end June 30, 2006. The target group is students in grades P-6 in the CBVRSB. The goal of this project is to help foster a love of reading in elementary-aged school children and promote the public library to them as a resource for life long learning.

This project would involve a reading resource person hired by the Cape Breton Regional Library to develop and facilitate a number of book talks for students in grades 2-6. For children in the primary and grade one classes, the reading resource person will use Story Sacks that have been developed by the Cape Breton Family Resource Centre to provide reading sessions within the classroom. In all instances, the reading resource person will have displays of books and magazines available to children through the Cape Breton Regional Library. Story sacks and book talks are great ways to create a relaxed and entertaining atmosphere that will introduce children to new books and encourage them to develop a love of reading that will ideally last throughout their lives.


 During the work term, a goal of the reading resource person will be to visit every elementary classroom in the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board with the book talks and story sacks. In the month of June, the reading resource person will concentrate on promoting the Summer Reading Program to students to encourage them to continue reading throughout the summer.


Mi’kmaq Culture/History Initiative – Mi’kmaq History Month


The second theme in the Learning for Life II Document, Closing the Gap, recognizes that some students need additional or different supports to succeed in the school system. One of its aims is to improve educational experiences, and therefore outcome achievement, for First Nations children. This begins with cultivating an improved relationship with the First Nations community in our Board, Membertou, as well as educating educators about the culture and history of the Mi’kmaq to better understand the children we teach from that community. Sr. Dorothy, former Mi’kmaq consultant for the Department of Education, and Brenda MacIsaac, Programs Coordinator P-6, are planning a number of co-projects and events for 2005-2006.


On October 25, an in-service to be facilitated by teachers from Membertou School is planned for some teachers, principals, and guidance counsellors in the CBVRSB. This will take place at the Membertou Convention Centre. As well, teachers from Membertou will attend professional development events organized by the CBVRSB and participate as members on planning teams. Also, teachers from Membertou and our Board, will work together to construct a Mi’kmaq unit of study for grade 6 students.


Web Site


The Programs P-6 website has been revised and updated. There are a number of new links such as: Events/Programs/Initiatives, Professional Development, What’s New, For Principals, Favorite Websites, and Shining a Spotlight On


The purpose of the site is to improve the flow of communication between Programs Services P-6 and the schools, to provide a forum for teachers and principals to share and access ideas as well as offer suggestions and feedback, and to make teachers aware of information on a timely basis. The  P-6 link can be accessed by going to the main website and following the links or going directly to:





David Crane, Co-ordinator


Breakfast for Learning Program (Debbie Madore)


  • All school sites have been contacted.  Some were up and running the first week of school. All programs will be up and running by October 11, 2005.  No new schools have been started; however, Ms. Debbie Madore has received telephone calls from Ball’s Creek, St. Agnes, Greenfield, and Macdonald Elementary.


·         Funding - Our golf tournament raised $13,000, and our next one is set for June 23, 2006. Nova Scotia Health Promotion has $750,000 for P-6 programs. They have hired a Dietitian in partnership with Breakfast for Learning Nova Scotia Counsel. This individual is setting up a framework for Nova Scotia schools as most Boards, other than the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, are unfamiliar with Breakfast programs. We will be receiving $94,725 for P-6 programs. The funding is to enhance existing programs and to expand to include new programs. Ms. Madore is not sure when this is due to arrive. She did have a meeting with those involved on Sept. 23, and expressed her concern to have the money as soon as possible.


·         Provincial Food and Nutrition Policy - A memo has been circulated  regarding our consultation, which is set up for October 13th at Brookland Elementary . Ms. Madore expects a great deal of discussion regarding some aspects of the Framework, including no carbonated beverages P-12, no French fries, and all schools to be junk food free.


·         Elementary Menus - A memo has been sent out requesting all Elementary schools to send in a copy of their present menu. Ms. Madore is hoping to assess what is going on at this time, in preparation for the implementation of the new Provincial Framework in January.


·         HR Funding - According to Michelle Amero, Healthy Eating Coordinator for the Nova Scotia Health Promotion, funding will be available in November for Boards to apply for a Dietitian to help implement the new Policy framework. This information has not been announced, but Superintendents have been made aware that this funding is coming. The funding is coming from “Healthy Promoting Schools”, Nova Scotia Health Promotion.


Nova Scotia International Student Program


  • David Crane visited several areas of Brazil, accompanied by Gerry Pittman, Director of the Nova Scotia International Student Program for the Tri-County Regional School Board, recruiting International Students and Agents to join our program and to study in Nova Scotia.  They traveled to Brazil on September 13th, and returned on September 27th.


  • September is a very busy month for the NSISP.  The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has welcomed 11 returning and 47 new students for a total of 58, the most students we have had to date.  The students represent eight countries from around the world (including Oak, our scholarship winner from Thailand).


  • Students were treated to barbeques with their respective homestay coordinators during the month of September.


  • Our Orientation for new students took place in Cheticamp the weekend of October 1-2. Students enjoyed a whale watch and some sightseeing.  They also took part in several workshops and received welcome bags that included donations from many local businesses.


  • We have eight students planning to take part in the Toronto trip Oct. 27-30, while nine have signed up for the second trip Nov.10-13.


  • Our students are starting the year by getting involved in their respective schools and communities:


    • Sydney Academy: the Student Council arranged a guided tour for the NSISP students before classes began. They also have two teacher liaisons; Heather & Sandy Urquhart who will hold regular monthly pizza lunches for their students. Paty (Mexico) is playing Division 2 soccer, Ileen (Mexico) is playing Division 2 soccer and is a member of student council, Simon (Germany) is taking student driving, is a member of student council, and playing Division 2 soccer, Marcella (Brazil) won an All Star award for volleyball and has been approached by several universities offering scholarships. She is also on student council.  Gil and Jung Ho (Korea) are on the badminton team along with Anthony who is also playing Division 2 soccer.


    • Holy Angels: The NSISP were welcomed to their school with a tour and a school t-shirt. Mrs. MacKenzie took the students to the Highland Village last week.  The day included lunch, and some sightseeing. Tara (The Netherlands) has joined the choir.


    • Riverview: The school held a “bring a Canadian friend” pizza lunch that was attended by approximately 25 people. Kimon (Germany) is on the tennis team; Alex (Mexico) is on the soccer team while Fernanda (Brazil) is on the decorating committee. Sergio & Renan (Mexico) have joined a local fitness centre. Oak (Thailand) was interviewed by ATV news on September 20th.


    • Sherwood Park Education Centre: Han Ju and Daniel (Korea) are on the soccer team.


    • Breton Education Centre: B.E.C. has a new teacher liaison, Irene Grezel, who will organize regular lunch meetings for their students. Hiroki (Japan) is on the baseball team, while Martin & Fabian (Germany) are on the Rugby team.


    • Glace Bay High: Glace Bay High had a pizza lunch for their students.  The four students took part in the grad dance and sleepover last week. 


o       Memorial Composite High: The students report that they are enjoying their school and that everyone is very friendly.  Yuen Yee (Hong Kong) is preparing to graduate this year.


English Language Arts (Secondary) (Dianne Brennick)


·         September has been an extremely busy month with regards to English Language Arts.  Dianne Brennick, Literacy Consultant, met with Brenda MacIsaac to go over what has been done to date in English Language Arts, 7-12. 


·         Ms. Brennick had set up a “blog” spot (online) for English Language Arts, 7-12 to keep teachers updated.


·         Ms. Brennick went to Halifax to prepare for two in-service sessions which she will be presenting in Dartmouth next week.


·         Ms. Brennick has spoken to Principals and teachers regarding materials, programs and needs at their schools.  She has reviewed professional resources and Writers Companion for sharing with other teachers.


·         Ms. Brennick attended the Grade six-literacy assessment session, September 22, 2005, at the Northside Staff Development Centre, to get an idea of the implications for grades seven and eight. 


·         Ms. Brennick also attended the School Accreditation session in Baddeck, September 25-26, 2005, to define a support role for the participating schools.


·         Ms. Brennick provided the Department of Education with numbers of students and teachers for distribution of materials.


·         Ms. Brennick met with Cathy MacNeil, Fine Arts Consultant, to discuss cross-curricular possibilities and Public Speaking. 


·         Ms. Brennick hosted an update/refresher session for the Active Readers 9 lead team.  She has set up dates and lined up presenters for upcoming in-servicing regarding: AR9, WIA 10 and Write Traits 7,8.  She also prepared a display of English Language Arts (senior high) at the Northside Staff Development Centre in North Sydney.


Literacy Support Plan (Susan Kelley)


  • During the first week of school, Ms. Susan Kelley, Literacy Support Consultant, spent much of her time organizing and setting priorities.  She met with David Crane and with David Brennick to discuss their expectations.  For September her mission was to start gathering data from junior high schools around Literacy Support Plans.


  • On Friday, September 9, Ms. Kelley attended a meeting at the Department of Education on Literacy Support Plans.  At this meeting, 16 issues were identified by boards across the province.  Ann Blackwood, Director of English Program Services, identified the three priorities of the Department of Education:  (1) Effective/efficient use of funding; (2) Implementation/ monitoring/evaluation of LSP’s; (3) Enhance understanding/fulfillment of roles/responsibilities at all levels.


  • All consultants met with Brenda MacIsaac, David Crane and Ambrose White on September 12th.  This was an introductory meeting to discuss common goals and how we can work together.


  • Over the last few days, all junior high school principals were contacted and meetings were set-up with them and some of their staff around Literacy Support Plans.  At these meetings, we discussed their impressions of the process of writing the plans and implementing them in the classrooms.  Ms. Kelley asked for suggestions/concerns they might have to improve on the process.  We also discussed how the funds that were allotted to schools for LSP’s were spent.  Our schools have done an excellent job.  Ms. Kelley is keeping a binder on each school with the information that she gathers.


  • Ms. Kelley asked all junior high schools to make copies of the LSP’s of the students who are now in grade eight.  We will use these to create exemplars of what a good LSP looks like.  Also, she requested an overview of how they spent their funds.  This data will be used to improve and direct our practice around Literacy Support Plans and how to best meet the needs of our struggling readers and writers.  If schools purchased resources or implemented strategies that worked well this information should be utilized. 


  • An email was sent to all junior high school principals requesting a list of the grade 7 students in their school on LSP’s.  This should be in by the end of September.  Ms. Kelley also asked for the names of any grade eight students with an LSP who moved in or out of their school since June.  She will cross check these lists with the master list from the Department of Education when tracking these students to ensure that we have up to date support plans for each student.


  • In meeting with some schools, Ms. Kelley learned that they were using an electronic template to create the LSP.  A copy of this template with suggestions was also made available to every junior high.


  • Tom Henderson, Department of Education, conducted a workshop with new resource teachers, new grade 6 and 7 teachers and new elementary principals, on September 22nd.  At this session, Mr. Henderson covered many of the issues around the assessment including the administration of the assessment, marking sessions in Halifax, interpretation of results, the literacy support plan, meeting with parents. He answered many questions.  Then Cathy Viva did a short presentation of what was done at Dr. T. L. Sullivan for the struggling readers and writers identified by this assessment.


·         On Sept. 26th and 27th Ms. Kelley attended a workshop on the ‘School Accreditation Process’.


Active, Healthy Living (Physical / Health Education) (Mary Lou Andrea)


  • Schedules – Ms. Mary Lou Andrea worked on scheduling problems at G.D.Lewis and Donkin/Gowrie Schools.


  • CLD Committee – Ms. Andrea attended a meeting on September 15th to plan for upcoming events.  The first lecture series, which will take place on October 6th with Father Paul Abbass and Father Roman Dusanowskyj, is entitled “You Can Make a Difference”.  Plans for an evening in November as well as the Conference in April were also discussed.  The next meeting will take place on October 13th.


  • Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Run Program - Bernadette MacLellan was hired by Doctors Nova Scotia as a coordinator for the Cape Breton area.  To date, 35 schools from the P-9 level have shown interest in the program.   Students are running with their school clubs once or twice a week and are asked to do one run on their own.   They are to record their distances in a log book provided by Doctors Nova Scotia.  The goal is to get as many students as possible participating in running and to conclude the program with a run at the Cape Breton Fiddlers Youth Run on October 29th. 


  • Terry Fox National School Run – The run took place on Friday, September 16th with the majority of our schools involved.  Ms. Andrea took part in the Seton Elementary Walk.


  • Elementary Lead teams - All professional development at the P-6 level will include an Active Healthy living component this year.


  • Ball’s Creek – Ms. Andrea met with all staff of the school about creating a positive playground for their students.  The staff was very enthusiastic.  Ms. Andrea will return on October 6th to teach the students and staff some playground games.


  • Milk Energy Sports Fair 2005 September 22–24 - There were 3500 students from the Cape Breton Area who took part in the Sports Fair at Cape Breton University.  The Fair enabled students to try a bunch of sports they may have not tried before, including judo, football, fencing and many more.  They were able to check out demonstrations and talk to the athletes who excelled in their sports. Congratulations are extended to Sport Nova Scotia and its sponsors: Milk Energy, the Office of Health Promotion and Doctors Nova Scotia, for bringing the Sports Fair to Cape Breton. 


  • Active, Healthy Living Mentors Pilot Project - Paula MacRae, Seton Elementary, and Jim Wallace, Bras D’Or Elementary, are two physical education teachers piloting a project where they work with the classroom teachers in their schools to integrate physical activity throughout the curriculum.  Part of this project will be introducing an Active, Healthy Living monthly calendar.  The calendar is available for viewing on the boards P-6 website. They will also be working with the teachers on the Balance First kit. This kit is widely used across Canada and the United States to increase Active, Healthy Living in our students.  It is hoped this pilot will be introduced to other schools next year. These teachers, as well as Ms. Andrea, spent September 26th planning for this project.


  • CAHPERD Physical Education Advisory Committee - A conference call was held on September 29th with all committee members.  Ms. Andrea was asked to write an article for the winter edition of the National Physical Education Journal.  Her topic will be regarding the physical education musical “Get in the Game”.   Also discussed was the upcoming Physical Education Forum, which will take place in Ottawa November 16th -20th, where Ms. Andrea will be one of the participants.


  • Respectful Work Place Inservice – Ms. Andrea attended this inservice at Thompson Junior High on Friday, September 30th.


  • Screaming Eagles- Once again the hockey team will be visiting area schools to discuss active, healthy living with our students. Ms. Andrea also set up a booth at the Sept 28th hockey game to promote physical education and maintaining an active lifestyle.  She brought the sports cups which were a big hit with the students attending the game.   The booth was shared with Erin Neville-Gillis, physical activity coordinator, from the Cape Breton District Health Authority.


PACY (Cynthia MacCormack)


  • The first meeting with Dr. Jack Porter took place on September 6, 2005.  An office was provided for the research project, for Cynthia McCormick, PACY Researcher for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, which needed some cleaning, and a phone line had to be hooked up.  An overview of the PACY 2001 study was provided to get Ms. McCormick up to speed with what needed to be done. 


  • A copy of the document was delivered to Mr. David Crane at a meeting, September 8th, at which time we discussed the need for a second person to assist with the study (which would have to come from the Dalhousie funding). 


  • During the next week several e-mails and phone calls were exchanged with the lead team in Halifax, Dr. Phil Campagna and Mr. Glenn Sharpe.  The workshop was set for the week of the 19th but later moved to the week of the 26th.  Cell phones and travel arrangements were organized and finalized.  


  • A workshop was held in Halifax on September 29-30.  Instruction was given on proper use of the equipment and the computer software to be used.  A variety of information letters, questionnaires and consent forms were provided to get the teams started.  All teams will begin contacting schools Monday, October 3rd, to arrange for school visitation.  The goal is to collect 15-20 sets of data weekly, but it was suggested to start with a few small schools to get comfortable with the equipment and process.


  • Dr. Campagna informed Ms. McCormick that Mr. Stuart Jamieson , retired teacher who worked on PACY 2001, will be asked to assist with the larger groups of students.  Jason MacLean, a seconded teacher for the St. F.X. team, will assist in the Port Hawkesbury area.


Mathematics (Ron MacLean)


  • Four staff members from our Board have been trained as facilitators in Dynamic Classroom Assessment. This training took place in Halifax last week.  Dynamic Classroom Assessment is an initiative supported by the province.  The DCA training for teachers requires 30 hours of PD.  The next step will be decisions on how this training will be delivered to junior high teachers of Mathematics.  The province has requested we hold off on decisions until after our next Consultants’ meeting, Oct 13th -14th. 


  • Planning has begun for the November 4th Professional Development Day for high school teachers.  Two days are mandated by the province.  I will be meeting with the high school team next Tuesday, October 12th.


  • The first regional math-league competition for high school students will be on November 5th at Cape Breton University.  Cape Breton University has partnered with us on this project over the last two years.


  • Work is continuing on the new grade nine core resource, with the implementation scheduled for the spring of 2006.  The final review of the resource will be Oct. 17-18.


·         The teacher resource in mathematics has been distributed to all Junior High teachers.  This resource is an excellent supplement to the curriculum documents.


French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh)


·         The students in grade six Intensive Core French are progressing well.  There are currently three schools offering this unique delivery of Core French and the grade six curriculum:  Riverside Elementary (Celeste Foisy), Harbourside Elementary (Janet Sullivan-MacIntyre), and Greenfield Elementary (Colin Landry).  The teachers involved attended training sessions in Montreal this past August.  David Brennick and Laurie MacIntosh also attended an information session for consultants and administrators at UQAM in Montreal.  All 74 students have been pre-tested (oral interviews) by Laurie MacIntosh and Suzanne AuCoin (Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High), who were trained by the New Brunswick Department of Education in Moncton on August 31-September 1, 2005.  The post-testing will take place the first week of February 2006.


·         The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is once again participating in the Odyssey Program (formerly known as the French Second Language Monitor Program).  Frédéric Amyot, from Deschambault, Québec has been assigned to Riverview Rural High.  The aim of this program is to foster the use of Canada’s official languages by giving young people an opportunity to share their language and culture with students in other provinces.


·         Some of the provincial professional development sessions planned for September have been postponed by the Nova Scotia Department of Education due to sickness of several of the French Second Language Consultants.  These training sessions will take place at a later date in Halifax.  It is also important to note that Andrée Green, Director of French Second Language Program Services, has recently retired from her position at the Department of Education.  Andrée will be missed as she has been a great friend and support to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s French Programs.


·         Some of the local initiatives planned for October include a presentation by Jan Claes (Halifax Regional School Board) and Léo-James Levesque (Pearson Education) for Junior High Core French, as well as Suzanne AuCoin, Alysha Roach, and Laurie MacIntosh (grade nine Immersion, Lecteurs actifs).  The November 4th Professional Development Day will host a “CASLT chez vous” at the North Star Inn. Guest facilitator will be Nicole Thibault, Executive Director of CASLT (The Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers).


Professional Development


Plans are underway for a “Regional” Professional Development Day for all grade levels on November 4th, 2005.


Healthy Sexuality Resource


The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will survey Junior High Principals to ask for recommendations regarding the possible distribution directly to grade eight students this year.  We will collaborate with the Nova Scotia Department of Public Health before presenting final plans to the Education Committee for approval.  Ann Blackwood, Director of Program Services, Department of Education, has been apprised of this plan.


Program Consultants


Regular meetings are taking place with Program Consultants to plan and implement Provincial and Regional Board initiatives.


International Baccalaureate Program


Discussions are ongoing with Principal Brian Dwyer and teachers at Sydney Academy regarding supporting and enhancing the International Baccalaureate Program.


Vocational Education (Fred Martell)


·         Memorial Composite High School is finalizing its Vocational registration for the 2005-06 semester.


·         We have approximately 330 students in our twelve core programs with an additional 25 students in our Workshop program. The construction trades, Carpentry, Plumbing and Electrical are filled to capacity. Although there is limited space in some vocational programs, scheduling cannot accommodate their academic needs.


·         As is the case in September, students are transferring in and out of Memorial vocational programs and waitlists are used to fill openings.


·         During the month of September many parents show up unannounced with the child requesting vocational programs. There also seems to be several requests from junior high schools for workshop openings. Under normal conditions sections in Workshops are based on numbers in June and in many cases cannot be accommodated in September.


·         Also noted in the last couple of years there are fewer and fewer openings for graduates of high school. Students appear to be considering vocational technical training during their high school years rather than after.


·         Fred Martell, Vocational Education Facilitator, does see increased awareness of the programs and also sees increased enrolments as a result.


October 4th is the cut-off date with regards to program registration and Mr. Martell does not expect any further increase in enrolment.


Sports Animator (Jim MacEachern)


  • A two-day Orientation Workshop in Halifax, September 15-16, offered information and program contacts (with the other six Facilitators across the province), which will be of great benefit as time goes on.


  • On September 23-24, Jim MacEachern, Sports Animator Facilitator, was able to attend the two-day NSSAF workshop in Truro, where he was able to obtain an up-to-date status of the Programs offered by the NSSAF body.  His position as Junior High Coordinator for Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board with the NSSAF will be a very positive communication vehicle to allow him constant contact with what he will identify as our Varsity style sports and events.  The NSSAF provides the schools with a program for their skilled players to participate.  A large component of Mr. MacEachern’s position will be to encourage schools to step beyond their regular competitive teams and provide physical activity programs to the average sampling of their student body, who then may or may not eventually gravitate to aspire to perform with the Varsity program.


  • On Tuesday, September 27th, Mr. MacEachern attended the one-day workshop of the Active Cape Breton Communities Committee, in Port Hawkesbury.  This also gives a great opportunity for him to make key contacts in the Sport and Recreation Community.


  • Since the beginning of the school year, Mr. MacEachern has had a good dialogue and contact with Mary Lou Andrea, Active, Healthy Living Consultant, and he sees the two positions complementing one another.


  • Mr. MacEachern is in the process of putting together an information pamphlet on his current position and on ways he may be able to provide assistance to school and community groups, while working collectively to increase the physical activity among youth. 





Rick Simm, Coordinator


Technology PD  (Bill Tennant)


After having meetings with the Technology team during the first weeks of this new school year, many issues surfaced to be addressed throughout the month of September. They included such topics as Web pages, Grade 8 Roll- out, Web mail, software selection, online registration, databases and Professional Development.


Many principals made requests for help with Web pages and Newsletters. Ongoing plans and action to resolve these items are being addressed on a daily basis.


In regards to the Grade 8 roll-out, a week was spent visiting all junior high schools to make contact with the principals and see first hand the set up of the clusters in the classrooms. There were also visits to some elementary schools to address some of their concerns.


On request from the principal at Balls Creek, web mail accounts were setup and PD at the school after hours was accomplished.  There was also other staff requiring accounts from various schools throughout the Board.


There were meetings to discuss software and past achievements with PD on the different software in the schools. Also, we made progress with upcoming PD for Grades 4 to 8, with emphasis on the provincial IEI initiatives for Grade 8.


Canadian History 11 online registration was a concern for some principals. Contact with Wayne Hamilton to receive a logon/ password was accomplished. At the local level, support for those who need help will be given.


There was a two-day workshop on the database, Maplewood. It was necessary to become familiarized with this system.


Eight plus PD days have been scheduled for the month of October. Technology Integration is a major focus for all teachers in our board. PD will span Grades 4 to 8. The Grade 8 teachers will be in serviced more because of the IEIE initiatives. Preparations for all of these PD days are ongoing.


Assistive Technology (Liz Mahoney)


Meetings were held with Program Planning teams or with other staff from St. Mike's Jr. High, G.D. Lewis, Rankin, MacLennan Jr. High, Holy Angels’ High, Memorial High, BEC, Baddeck Academy and Tompkins regarding Assistive Technology adaptations for students in their Buildings.

Workshops have been done with Tompkins and there are workshops planned for WPMJH.  Several members of the Assistive Technology teams are evaluating some "open source" software which we will consider for all schools.  Finally 4 members of our staff have just attended a workshop on using Assistive Technology in teaching students to be active readers.


IEI PD  (Peter MacKinnon)


IEIE 8:  The focus for IEIE this year is grade 8. Equipment was received and deployed to schools early in September, but some wiring and electrical remains to be done. We will be experimenting with some wireless technology at Thompson Junior High, Sydney Mines Junior High, Morrison Junior High and St. Michaels Junior High. The use of this technology solves some space issues and saves on wiring and other infrastructure costs.


The software order for IEIE 8 is being worked on and will be sent to Halifax by mid October.


All necessary information for financial report to Halifax due the end of September was given to Nancy Costigan.


RBTS meeting was held on September 22nd and 23rd.


Student Information System (SIS)


Student data for Jubilee is being updated and is about ready to use. Training for the administration and staff of the school will take place by mid October. Jubilee will run the full SIS called Outcomes that is web based and replaces Dadavan. Jubilee will again do the provincial standardized report card electronically.


Contact was made with the Chignecto School District regarding their SIS that will be piloted at Cusack Elementary. The data has been entered and will be updated early in October with training to administration and staff to follow.


We are still waiting on information regarding a product called Insignia, an SIS we will pilot at Brookland Elementary and Sherwood Park Education Center.


Professional Development:


Dates will be set up for the IEIE-8 workshops throughout the year. We also planned a workshop for a representative from each school at the grade four, five and six on Writers Companion. (Oct.4thand5th)   A two-day session for teachers new to grade seven on integration skills and Writers Companion will be held October 12th and 13th. Grade eight workshops, by subject area dealing with integration, are scheduled for October 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th.


A meeting was held with the administration of Brookland Elementary School on Sept. 21 at Brookland to discuss staff professional development for all grade levels. Ideas formulated at this meeting will be developed as training sessions for the teachers.





Charles Sheppard, Coordinator


On September 30, 2005, we had a system wide shut down day to hold an inservice on the Respectful Workplace and Child Abuse Policy.  All personnel employed by the Board were required to attend these sessions, and by all indications the inservice was well received by those present.


In October, we will see the celebration of Mi’kmaq History Month in our province, with all schools in the Board participating in the contributions and achievements of our First Nations Peoples.


The Department of Education will be continuing to roll out its Racial Equity Policy by holding province wide school board inservicing at the junior high level.  The CBVRSB will be holding their inservice on November 8, 2005 – location to be determined.


Plans are underway to look at the Board policy on Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding & Human Rights.  Once completed, a School Board Members’ inservice will be held.









John Astephen, Coordinator

David Brennick, Coordinator


A two-day training seminar for our six Accreditation schools (Bras d’Or, Shipyard, MacLennan, Dr. T.L. Sullivan, Cabot Jr./Sr. High, Breton Education Centre) with resource personnel from the Department of Education was held in Baddeck in late September. This session was designed to support the work of the schools’ internal review teams in their development of a school improvement plant.


An update session on the Grade 6 Literacy Assessment Initiative was held recently in North Sydney. Eight teachers and administrators shared in the latest refinements of this process with Tom Henderson, Literacy Assessment Consultant with the Department of Education.


Reports from the two schools housing the Pre-Primary pilot classes (Boulardarie and Riverside) indicate that the program has been well received by both school communities and the children have been integrated into the life of the school.


Preparations are underway for Guidance personnel to meet with Department of Education Guidance Consultant, Lee Anne Arsenault on October 12, 2005. Ms. Arsenault will provide an update on the Positive Effective Behavioral Supports initiative as well as the Comprehensive Guidance and Counselling program. Upcoming initiatives include the second stage of Suicide Prevention training for eight counselors and a Health Career Fair scheduled for November 26, 2005.


Autism Workshop for Bus Drivers


A workshop entitled “Transporting Students with Autism” was provided for all bus drivers on September 6th at Malcolm Munroe Junior High School.  Facilitators for this session included Louise Smith and Alisa Cantwell, Speech-Language Pathologists and members of our Autism Team.  The agenda included:


§                     What Autism Is and Is Not

§                     Characteristics of Autism (behaviors you may see on the bus)

§                     Strategies to Improve Behaviours

§                     Group Work

§                     Questions and Group Feedback


According to evaluations provided by the bus drivers, the workshop was very well received.  Drivers’ feedback provided us with helpful information that will assist us in our goal of providing safe transportation for all students.