Ambrose White, Acting Coordinator/School Services
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board sent a team of eight people: Trevor LeBlanc, Marion MacKinnon, Victor Hanham, Tracie Collier, Chris Nicholson and Ambrose White, to the Positive Effective Behavioural Support Workshop in Halifax. This was a follow-up to the conference held last April where thirty people from fourteen of our schools were in-serviced. The above-mentioned eight will serve as a lead team and act as a liaison group for our Board. The Department of Education plans to in-service all schools within the next three years.
Two new School Liaison Officers were approved by our Board in partnership with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Police Service. These officers will be located at Breton Education Centre and Sydney Academy. They will complement the three officers who are currently placed at Sherwood Park, Glace Bay High and Memorial High School.
School Services is working with consultants and other new staff recently appointed, in order to help make their adjustments as painless as possible.
John Astephen, Coordinator
David Brennick, Coordinator
Department of Education Priorities & In-Service Planning 2005-2006
Student Services division of the Department of Education lists the following as priorities for professional development and in-service planning for 2005-2006:
· Autism Training
· Implementation of Transition Planning Document
· PEBS/Code of Conduct Follow-up Workshops
· Student Record Policy
· Program Planning Guide for Parents
· Assistive Technology Guide
· IPP Template
· School Psychology Guidelines
Our Board was represented by a team of five individuals at an Autistic Spectrum Disorder workshop in Halifax from August 16th to August 24th. The team included Louise Smith (SLP), Alisa Cantwell (SLP), Darlene Kyte (Learning Centre Teacher), Jody Harpell (Educational Psychologist), and Michelle Armishaw (Principal). The workshop provided an overview of ASD, the global and specific difficulties of our students and strategies for helping students identified as having Autistic Spectrum Disorder. There were opportunities to learn from one another and to share our strengths and needs. As a follow-up to the professional development, our team will be meeting at the end of September to discuss and prioritize our professional development needs and plan in-servicing for school staffs.
Planning is underway for a two-day workshop for six of our schools who will be participating in the School Accreditation Process.
Principals and co-chairs from Bras d’Or Elementary, MacLennan Junior High, Shipyard Elementary, Breton Education Centre, Dr. T.L. Sullivan and Cabot Jr./Sr. High will be engaged in the internal review and school improvement process over the next year.
Two pre-primary classes are underway at Boulardarie with 15 children and Riverside Elementary with 18 children. The lead Early Child educators have recently undergone training in Dartmouth and children will be arriving September 12th.
The first phase of the LifeWork Portfolio, a resource to support life and career planning, has begun with implementation in grade 7 health and PDR classes. A two-day workshop for teachers of grade 7 health and PDR and Guidance Counsellors at that level is planned for the last of September.
CB-VRSB was assigned seven seats for students this first semester and it appears that all seats will be used by Baddeck High, Cabot High and Rankin High. For the second semester, we expect to fill 7 more seats. Rick Simm, Coordinator of Programs (Instructional Support) will sit on a provincial committee to monitor the Online Course Delivery pilot.
Over the summer, technology support staff were very busy doing a major technology refresh in Cape Smokey Elementary, North Highlands Elementary, Jubilee Elementary, Greenfield Elementary and Riverside Elementary.
All grade 8 classrooms in CB-VRSB are designated to receive a cluster of four computers plus related software, infrastructure and PD. Infrastructure is in place and most computers have already arrived at the school sites and many are installed. PD activities are being planned for the near future.
Several web-based SIS programs are being tested at various school sites in CB-VRSB. Data is being converted and school administration and support staff will soon receive training.
P–6 program initiatives for 2005-2006 are anchored in the Department of Education’s Learning for Life II document and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s Strategic Plan.
Areas of Focus:
1. Creating professional communities and positive school cultures.
Learning for Life II: Raising the Bar
Action - Professional development for principals.
- Extensive, site-based professional development for school teams
working together to achieve results for students. (S.T.A.R.S. Program)
2. Improving communication.
This will be done through:
Action - Newsletters will be published in December, March, May, and June.
They will highlight activities taking place in schools, ideas for teachers and parents, suggested resources and websites, student work, instructional strategies, and so on.
- The P-6 Programs website will be posted on September 24th and may be accessed by clicking on the Programs P-6 link on Cape Breton-Victoria School Board’s main website.
3. Addressing the issue of ‘time for teaching and learning’.
Learning for Life II
Action – A committee comprised of teachers and administrators will investigate ways to improve both the quality and quantity of contact time. Ideas and suggestions will be shared for schools to adopt.
4. Providing professional development.
Timely, engaging, and authentic professional development opportunities will continue to be offered to teachers and administrators. The delivery of professional development will continue to move towards a site-based model. The focus of PD will be anchored in the Board’s Strategic Plan and the Department of Education’s Program Initiatives for 2005-2006.
Action - Teachers and administrators will receive professional development.
· New teachers - A ‘new teacher induction process’ has begun with the first workshop taking place on Wednesday, Sept. 7. (S.T.E.P. Program – Supporting Teachers Entering the Profession). New teachers will attend workshops periodically throughout the year. As well, they will have the support of a trained teacher mentor.
· New administrators - A ‘new administrator induction process’ will begin. (S.N.A.P. Program – Supporting New Administrators’ Program). New administrators have identified areas where they require support and in-services will be offered in these areas.
· Liaison teachers, teachers at targeted grade levels where new initiatives are being implemented, as well as substitute teachers will also receive professional development.
Professional development will be delivered through:
· Board-wide professional development days
· At school sites
· The model classroom program
· Optional after-school sessions
· PD packages created by curriculum teams for schools to use during staff meetings
Some PD Topics:
· Improving School Climate
· Integrating Literacy Across the Curriculum
· Aligning Assessment with Curriculum Outcomes
· Differentiating Instruction
· Active Healthy Living
Other events taking place:
David Crane, Co-ordinator
This year is going to be very exciting for Nutrition and Learning! Presently there are 39 school sites that will be restarting their breakfast programs. The Office of Health
Promotion (OHP) has been contacted regarding the Provincial funding of $750,000 that was promised for Elementary programs Province-wide. OHP has partnered with Canadian Living Foundation, Nova Scotia Counsel, to increase the already present part-time Dietician that works for the Counsel to full time until March 31. This person is going to work on a Provincial Framework for Breakfast programs. Ms. Debbie Madore, Nutrition for Learning Consultant, is on the Executive of the Nova Scotia Council, and will be meeting with the Dietitian, and hopefully OHP on September 23. Ms. Madore anticipates that the money will be sent out once this person is in place. The Province does recognize that unlike the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, other Boards need to receive some structure and direction in setting up Breakfast Programs.
Improving cafeteria and vending choices is a priority for this year. Several nutrition initiatives have been set out for schools. The Provincial Policy Framework, which Ms. Madore has had the opportunity to be a part of, is targeted to go for consultation this Fall, and begin implementation January 2006. Ms. Madore plans to set further nutrition initiatives for this year, and she is piloting a Healthy Choice Menu at Brookland Elementary.
Fundraising will continue to be an ongoing program to support the Breakfast for Learning Program. The Golf Tournament date has been set for June 23, 2006!
This year, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is welcoming back 11 returning and 47 new students, for a total of 58. We have eight countries represented this year including our Nova Scotia International Student Program scholarship recipient from Thailand. September is a busy month of arrivals and registration. Our homestay coordinators are busy planning get-togethers with their respective students. All have decided to host barbeques in their homes to give their students a chance to get to know them. Our Orientation for new students will take place October 1st and 2nd in Cheticamp. The main activity will be a whale watch. There will also be some touring along the Cabot trail and a movie night. Students will also take part in several workshops to help ensure their continued adjustment and success throughout the school year. The workshops focus on relationships, school involvement, culture shock, and physical fitness.
Science / Technology Fair
Plans are currently underway for this year’s Regional Secondary Science and Technology Fair.
Physical / Health Education (Mary Lou Andrea)
A presentation was made to the P-12 principals regarding upcoming events. Also, facts regarding physical education and physical activity were handed out. A brief presentation was made to the new elementary teachers regarding active, healthy classrooms.
Work is ongoing regarding bussing and schedules.
Ms. Mary Lou Andrea, Active, Healthy Living Consultant, has the following priorities for 2005-2006:
A major initiative will be training in Dynamic Classroom Assessment Sept 27-29th. After the training, lead mathematics teachers in junior high schools will be in-serviced and trained in this program during the 2005-2006 school year. The province has designated funding under the math strategy to cover the cost of this program. The new Grade Nine Core French resource will be available in the spring of 2006. At that time all grade nine mathematics teachers will be in-serviced on the new program. The Teacher Resource Document for mathematics teachers, grades 7-9, is now being distributed to teachers. Planning will take place at the next provincial consultants meeting for workshops on the mandated day for grade seven math teachers. Mentoring is continuing with some changes in grades P-9 with funding under the math strategy grant.
In high school, the10 Essential Mathematics Program will be available to all schools to offer during the second semester. Work is continuing on the development of the grade 11 Essentials course, which will be available to all schools for the second semester of the 2006-2007 school year. Brenda Meery will continue on the writing team for the grade 11 Essentials with meetings scheduled throughout this year. Mr. Ron MacLean, Secondary Mathematics Consultant, will continue to meet with the high school lead team to discuss other issues in high school mathematics.
Resource teachers in junior high will be receiving additional workshops on mathematics. This initiative was started a few years ago and is continuing.
There are many exciting initiatives taking place in 2005-2006 in French Second Language. We currently have three pilot sites (Riverside, Harbourside, Greenfield) for grade six Intensive Core French, with three teachers who have been trained in Montreal. David Brennick and Laurie MacIntosh also attended an information session for administrators at UQAM in August. It is hoped that Intensive Core French will help revitalize Core French programs in our Board and encourage students to remain in the program until graduation from high school.
New curriculum materials for Junior High Core French have been purchased and new pilots will be taking place this fall. Several inservice days have been set aside for implementation of these materials into the Junior High Core French curriculum. There will also be an emphasis on Senior High Core French this year by establishing a focus group to help in the retention of our students. Global simulations, Grade Twelve Core French on-line, and a Professional Development Committee will all help in this initiative.
The Extended Core French program remains strong. Many resources have been purchased and grade seven teachers will be inserviced on the new Social Studies program this fall with inservicing for Grade Eight Extended Core French teachers in the spring.
The Late French Immersion program is thriving and continues to remain stable despite decreasing enrollment in our Board. We have strong numbers with little attrition. Some initiatives for Late French Immersion for 2005-2006 are: inservicing for the new Grade Seven Social Studies program, a new PDR program for grade seven, resources and inservicing for Active Readers (grades nine and ten), as well as Writers In Action (grades seven and eight).
Drug Awareness Committee
All schools are organizing school-based Drug Awareness Committees, and are developing school-based Drug/Substance Policies.
A meeting was held with all Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Secondary Consultants to outline duties, and to discuss priorities of the Department of Education and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.
The new grade seven Social Studies Textbooks have been delivered to all Junior High Schools (Teacher’s Resource to follow).
RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING & HUMAN RIGHTS
Charles Sheppard, Coordinator
§ Plans are underway for a junior high inservice on November 8th regarding the Racial Equity Policy. Location TBA.
§ A meeting of RCH Advisory Liaison team will take place in the near future.