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PSS Report January 2006
Published by Administrator [admin] on 01/25/2006 (8674 reads)
PSS Report January 2006

Ambrose White, Acting Coordinator

Congratulations to our new Director of Programs & Student Services, Mr. John Astephen. He was appointed to his new position, by our Board, on January 10, 2006. I look forward to working with Mr. Astephen in School Services and the other coordinators in our department.

School Records Policy

The Department of Education is preparing the new Students Records Policy after much research and draft presentations. This new policy will allow our board to replace our existing policy and adapt it as our own.

Instructional Time Tracking Tool

Mr. White met with the principals of the six schools within our Board who will participate, along with 39 other schools across the province, in a tracking study on Instructional Time. These schools will begin this process by the end of January. Our six schools participating are:

Donkin-Gowrie Complex
Harbourside Elementary
Macdonald Elementary
Memorial High School
Rankin Memorial
Sydney Academy


We will have three schools participate in the PEBS tracking form beginning at the end of January. This form tracks discipline and inappropriate behaviours.

SIS Update

The Department is continuing with the development of the Student Information System Project. A status report was presented at the E.P.C. meeting in December. Tasks and milestones completed to date and planned activities for January were reviewed. Approval was granted for adoption of guiding prinicipals and project charter.

Student Fee Policy

The draft policy for student fees was amended and approved at the December E.P.C. meeting. This draft policy will move to the January E.C.F. meeting for adoption.

School Visitations

Once again, it is wonderful to get out to visit schools. Mr. White had the privilege of attending several Christmas Dinners at various schools and was grateful to all those for their invitations.

Principal Evaluations

Ms. Brenda MacIsaac and Mr. White will start visits to our assigned principals on January 16, 2006, to begin the Principal Evaluation process.


David Brennick, Coordinator of Student Services

Guidance / Interagency

Approximately 133 of our grade 11 and 12 students participated in a Health Career Fair at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital on Saturday, November 26, 2005. This jointly (Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Cape Breton District Health Authority) facilitated event provided an opportunity for our students to discuss career possibilities with health career employees

On December 12 a number of counsellors participated in a teleconference on the Jackson Vocational Interest Survey. The session provided counsellors with an insight into the potential use of interest inventories in career counselling.

At a meeting on December 14, 2005, Mary Jo Church from Family Services of Eastern Nova Scotia, Counsellors Cynthia Cunningham and Coreen Carroll-Coleman from Sherwood Park Education Centre and Malcolm Munroe explored the implementation of the Refocus Youth Leadership Program for several of their students.

Department of Education consultants Lee Anne Arsenault (Guidance) and Donna Karsten (Mathematics) updated secondary counsellors, administrators and math teachers on Mathematics programming at the high school level on January 6, 2006, at the Northside Staff Development Centre. This sharing included discussion on recommended pathways, assessment and evaluation practices, and the role of summer school.

School Advisory Council / Accreditation

Our six accreditation schools met on November 29, 2005, to share their progress on their data collection and analysis experiences thus far with the accreditation process. Mitch Landry, Principal Educational Leadership consultant with the Department of Education was present to share his insights and offer advice based on his experiences as an External Review Team Chair for pilot accreditation schools.

Our accreditation schools (including pilots St. Michael Jr. High and Riverview) will be participating in a workshop on January 12, 2006, with Department of Education consultants to continue work on their accreditation process, specifically the goal development phase.

See It Right: A Program for Visual Perception

Learning Disability Teachers attended a workshop on Wednesday, December 14, at the Professional Development Centre on See It Right, a program for assessing students' visual perception through the use of colored overlays. For students who have difficulty with perception, utilizing a particular color or shade will enhance their perception. Participants left the workshop with an understanding of how to carry out an assessment to determine which shade (if any) improves the student's perception as well as a kit containing 18 overlays for assessment purposes. Student Services received two free videos explaining the procedure and the success of the program. Suzanne Brown, Learning Centre teacher at Riverside Elementary, and member of our regional Assistive Technology Team facilitated the workshop and will provide the same workshop to members of the Assistive Technology Team on Friday, January 20th.

Programming for Students with Special Needs (developing IPP's and writing outcomes)

Representatives from Program Planning Teams in all schools attended full day inservices on developing IPP's and writing effective and measurable outcomes on December 6, 7, and 12. The Lead Team to support the implementation of the Resource Handbook reviewed the program planning process, roles and responsibilities, IPP development, and introduced differentiated instruction as a means for delivering programs and facilitating co-teaching. The expectation is that the three representatives will go back to the school and inservice school staff. Each school was provided with a resource binder containing a disc with the entire power point presentation as well as all handouts and materials required to carry out the inservice at site level. A follow-up session on differentiated instruction is planned for later in the year.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiative

Our Regional Autism Team met with Lorie Logue, Autism Consultant, Department of Education, on Thursday, December 15. Ms. Logue provided team members with a provincial update on the Autism Initiative. The team shared its plans for supporting schools with training in ASD. The remainder of the day was spent planning the agenda and presentation for the January inservice.

On January 18 and 19, representatives from elementary school program planning teams will attend a full day inservice, and on February 8, teams from all secondary schools will be inserviced. Our focus will be two-fold: 1) to begin training a core group (including the principal) from each school to develop site level capacity in Autism, and 2) to have the school team inservice school staff as they receive the training. A resource binder, including a disc with the entire power point presentation, as well as all handouts and materials used during the inservice, will be provided to each school to assist the team with site level inservicing.


Brenda MacIsaac, Coordinator

Arts Education (Cathy MacNeil)

December was a month of performances and presentations by all arts disciplines as students prepared for concerts throughout the district. Artwork was displayed throughout the corridors of all schools and the sounds of music filled the air. These experiences for student presentations were an
integral part of students' studies and helped fulfill the creating, making and presenting strand of learning.

School choirs performed on the Christmas Daddies Show from the live remote site, the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. on December 4th. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, school choirs could also be heard performing in the local shopping malls and guest homes. These performances were greatly appreciated by all audiences and strengthen school-community relationships.

Additional activities are listed on the Fine Arts under calendar. Also found at the site, under notice board, is the United Nations Secretary-General's Study on Violence Against Children. Throughout this report there are many illustrations from the students of Memorial High School, Sydney Mines. This art initiative was carried out under the direction of visual art teacher, Diane Lewis.

The website, managed by Lesley Ann Andrews, Sydney River Elementary, contains the list of arts educators at each school, teacher resources, a notice board, information regarding programs, a gallery for artwork, and the calendar for events. It is a valuable source of information for those visiting the site.

Library Services (Carmelita Cousins)

The first meeting of the newly formed Library Committee is scheduled for January 31, 2006, at the Staff Development Centre.

With the assistance of Peter MacKinnon, Technology Facilitator, inquiries have been made into a possible Board purchase of the library automation software component of the SIS (Student Information Software) program currently being investigated for the Board. Insignia is currently the choice of the library program in the Halifax Regional School Board. Mr. Humayon Butt, Insignia, is setting up a demo system for testing by our library staff. Several library technicians will evaluate the program via the internet and provide feedback. A quote will then be forwarded from Mr. Butt.

During December, over 298 books were catalogued for various schools and the staff development centre. This is an on-going process and with various book fairs planned, new books will be arriving shortly. Circulation has increased tremendously this month over the previous month, partly due to the new teacher sessions.

A meeting was held at Cape Smokey Elementary with staff and parent volunteers who wish to re-vitalize the library. Ms. Clara Hardy will be the parent contact. They have shown a major interest in using the library for both school and community purposes. A follow-up visit will take place in early spring. The library windows are brightly decorated with a reading theme.

Mount Carmel has completed their library renovations and has transformed a classroom into a welcoming environment. The highlight of the room is an Inukshuk which sits proudly in the corner near the shelving. This Inukshuk was made by Trevor LeBlanc (principal) from old hardcover books which were destined for the recycle bin.

Literacy Initiatives (Donna Robson)

An update on the curriculum mapping process referred to in the November report: Brenda Mac Isaac, Programs Coordinator P-6, and Donna Robson, Literacy Consultant, have been visiting schools and meeting with teachers and administrators to explain this process of planning for instructional needs. Curriculum mapping entails examining the school's writing program and revising it to ensure a balanced and comprehensive writing program from grades primary to six.

Schools have now begun the process of mapping their individualized school-wide writing programs. This is a collaborative effort with all classroom teachers from P-6 involved as well as administration. This process ensures that teachers know what forms of writing are/should be taught in elementary and at what grade levels. It facilitates collaboration amongst staff in schools and the necessity for them to work as professional communities. At the same time, this mapping process ensures that specific writing genres/forms are explicitly taught at some point throughout the elementary school years.

Reading recovery teachers, grades primary and one classroom teachers, and school principals from Harbourside, Riverside, George D. Lewis, and St. Anne met at the Staff Development Centre on Jan.11th. This was the first step in an Early Literacy Initiative in the CBVRSB which sees grades primary and one classroom teachers as well as reading recovery teachers working together on strategies which are implemented in reading recovery sessions and need to be carried over into the classroom. Over a three month period, classroom teachers will observe reading recovery sessions. A debriefing /discussion session with administration, classroom teachers and reading recovery teachers will then take place. This should prove to be a very valuable learning experience for all involved which will greatly benefit our children.

Literacy Support

The actual elementary literacy assessment was written by our grade 6 students between October 18th and October 21st. The results will be sent to schools by the end of January. To assist teachers in interpreting the results and developing literacy support plans for students who did not meet expectations, support will be provided to schools. There will be an in-service for literacy support teams from each school during the first week in February. These teams will be comprised of grade 6 teachers, school administration, and student support teachers. This session has been organized in response to a request by principals for professional development on: interpreting the data, the actual writing of a support plan, using the plan to inform instruction. As well, release time will be provided for schools to write plans and meet with parents.

Grade 3 students will be writing a literacy assessment in October 2006 and a math assessment in the spring of the same school year.

In December, a workshop was conducted with staff at Rankin/Christmas Island Complex on incorporating cross-curricular research into literacy programming in grades P-6.

Physical Education/Healthy Active Living (Mary Lou Andrea)

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has made nutrition and active living a priority for schools. Our schools have an important influence on the health of children and youth in our communities. Research has shown that there is a reciprocal relationship between health and learning. Learning is necessary for good health. Good health is necessary for learning.

The CBVRSB will receive a $60,000 grant for a Health Promoting Schools Initiative. Schools who wish to participate in this initiative and require monetary support to do so will be asked to submit a proposal. Based on criteria established by the AHL Committee, schools at both the elementary and secondary levels will then be chosen to form a Health Promoting Schools Professional Learning Community. These schools will work together to establish themselves as Health Promoting Schools.

Math (Sharon Boudreau)

Students in grade 3 in 2006-2007 will be writing an elementary math assessment in the spring of 2007. This year's grade two teachers will attend a workshop in January to ensure that grade 2 outcomes are being taught and to support them in areas where they require assistance.

A number of site-based professional development sessions have taken place. The number of requests which Sharon Boudreau, Elementary Math Consultant, is receiving from schools to provide professional development for staff is increasing steadily. Sharon has been able to provide timely PD on topics teachers have generated. Three schools have submitted proposals to become involved in the math mentoring initiative - Robin Foote, Macdonald, and Cusack. Teachers in the schools express their desire to be mentored and the areas in which they require support. Sharon then works with these teachers on a rotating basis either in the classroom setting, or one-on-one, or in small group sessions. Cape Smokey and North Highlands' teachers are also involved in this mentoring program during the month of January and are being mentored by Maxine Hardy, a CBVRSB participant in the Math Mentoring Institute held in Halifax in August.


ACAP Cape Breton, along with 41 other communities, were selected to represent the One-Tonne Challenge. The One-Tonne Challenge is a national awareness and educational campaign to get each Canadian to reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions. One program in this campaign is the One-Tonne Challenge Public Education and Outreach Program. This program is designed to inform teachers, schools, and school boards of what tools are available to either develop within a teaching curriculum or present to students in the form of lesson plans.
ACAP Cape Breton has been chosen by Natural Resources of Canada to deliver this education and outreach program. Mark Jackson from ACAP Cape Breton will make a presentation about this program to elementary principals on Jan.13th. This program is particularly suited to Grade 5 curriculum outcomes. Grade 5 classrooms will be invited to participate in this program.
Participants will receive Climate Change teaching kits, website training, introduction to the One-Tonne Challenge and lesson plans that are developed to include a wide range of climate change topics. The Government of Canada has prepared this teacher's kit to provide teachers with information on existing materials that can help to introduce the concept of climate change into the classroom and to provide ideas to help students make learning about climate change relevant to their daily activities.
Social Studies

Sr. Dorothy Moore, Membertou Education Consultant, and Brenda MacIsaac, Programs Coordinator P-6, are collaborating to develop a unit on the Mi'kmaq experience in Cape Breton. During October, Mi'kmaq History Month, it was obvious that schools have to move beyond displays of wigwams, warriors, and totem poles and towards a more accurate portrayal of Mi'kmaq culture and history.

This unit, therefore, will focus on the history, culture, and traditions of the Mi'kmaq in Cape Breton and will concentrate on the past 100 years. It will include text resources, technology, and visual resources. It is hoped that the unit will be ready for teachers to use in September of 2006.

The dates of May 4 and 5, 2006, have been set for the 7th Annual Historica Fair to be held at Cape Breton University. Information has been forwarded to schools with the hope of increased participation this year. Students will be asked to Make History Come Alive as they research topics and prepare to present their projects.

Professional Development

A number of professional development opportunities are planned for teachers and administrators. Grade 2 teachers will attend math PD sessions in late January. Their students will be writing the first math assessment next year when they are in grade 3.

Curriculum liaison teachers from each school will meet at the Staff Development Centre at the end of the month. They will prepare workshops on persuasive writing to deliver to their staffs at the February staff meetings.

Principals will be attending PD sessions on Building Professional Learning Communities and Establishing a Positive School Climate. Mitch Landry, DOE Consultant, will facilitate a session on this topic at the January 13th Elementary Principals' Meeting.

Grade 6 teachers, administrators, and resource teachers will be in-serviced in developing effective literacy support plans during the first week in February.

Website: Memos regarding PD opportunities are posted each Monday on the P-6 link at the CBVRSB website
Click on the ‘What's New' link.


The December edition of the P-6 Curriculum Newsletter was distributed to all schools/classrooms in the CBVRSB. This newsletter provides educators with the opportunity to share what they are doing at the classroom and school levels. It is by sharing that educators learn from each other and have the opportunity to celebrate their successes.


David Crane, Coordinator

Breakfast for Learning Program (Debbie Madore)

We now have 41 school sites offering Breakfast for Learning. Some expansion has occurred in anticipation of provincial funding. Cusack Complex now offers breakfast five days per week. Ms. Debbie Madore made a visit to St. Agnes Elementary School, and they now have a program going three days per week which started November 22nd. In addition, St. Joseph Elementary (North Sydney), which is part of St. Mary's Complex, has a program, which started in late November. Macdonald Elementary staff is also anxious to get started. They planned to start their program in November.

Ms. Madore continues to wait for Provincial Funding. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will receive $94,725 through Nova Scotia Health Promotion. The Department of Education is trying to establish a Framework for the other boards, which are not familiar with Breakfast for Learning. Ms. Madore has given input regarding what the framework and guidelines should include at a meeting November 4th, and she attended a meeting, November 17. Due to the delay in this money, which is not expected to arrive prior to Christmas, the Canadian Living Foundation will send out the promised $10,000 in November, which we were not to receive until February/March 2006. They will have granted Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board a total of $25,000 for this year. (This includes the $10,000) In anticipation of the expansion based on provincial funding, accounts are being set up with Scotsburn and Canada Bread for breakfast supplies.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board had its Focus Group feedback session on October 13th. The general feedback for the group was for moderation in choices to allow students to have some higher fat choices once in awhile. The second major issue was for a slow implementation process. The third major issue is the revenue issue and who/how the money will be replaced that is lost due to the reduction in revenue that will happen once the junk food is banned. This revenue does support curriculum. Provincial Meetings were held in Halifax on November 18th to discuss the feedback and plans for Policy implementation.

Ms. Madore has taken the opportunity to work with Shipyard Elementary to improve their menu, and is actively working with Greenfield and Boularderie. Each of these schools wanted to make their menu healthier and are trying to make the cafeteria recover costs and show some revenue. The Principals and cafeteria managers are happy to have the support of a Dietitian.

Ms. Madore had the pleasure of attending the National Breakfast of Learning Conference in Ottawa, in October. It was a great conference and she had the pleasure of meeting our Prime Minister outside of the Legislature.

Ms. Madore met with Stan MacDonald, Pepsi Cola, regarding our planned Food and Nutrition Policy. We will work together to set up a plan for vending for the High Schools that are under Pepsi. Pepsi hopes to continue to work with the schools to provide vending services, and they recognize the need for healthy foods and snacks.

The new owner of Canadian Tire, Mark Barsanti, made a visit to Harbourside, which has been adopted by Canadian Tire for the last 2 years. The new owner plans to continue with the financial support. Denise Gallant, Credential Financial Strategies, has made a donation of $2050 to Memorial High School. She came to the school for breakfast and a Cape Breton Post photo. She has also agreed to be part of the Nutrition for Learning Committee. Kiwanis has renewed their adoption of Brookland with a donation of $3500. Ms. Madore is still awaiting word from Sunrise Rotary regarding their adoption of Holy Angels and Membertou's sponsorship.

St. Agnes School has been adopted by New Waterford Credit Union with a donation of $3500. Sydney Rotary has confirmed their commitment to Riverview, with a donation of $3500 expected this month.

Ms. Madore participated in the Bell Ringer sessions offered to School Advisory Councils, Board Members and Administrators of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board on November 16. She provided information on the new Food and Nutrition Policy and Active Healthy Living update.

Ms. Madore has had meetings with Scotsburn to see if payroll deductions can be set up for their staff. This is still pending approval from their administration.

Several Registration forms have been sent out to businesses to commit to our Breakfast for Learning Golf Tournament, which will be held on June 23, 2006.

Ms. Madore is part of the planning committee for the Provincial Board AGM that will be held in Baddeck in May. Norma Baxter, Communications Officer and Myrtle Turnbull-Campbell, Board Member, are coordinating this event.

Nova Scotia International Student Program

 January is a busy month for everyone at the NSISP. We are saying goodbye to 13 students who were with us for only one semester. At the same time, we will be welcoming eleven new students who will begin their studies in the CBVRSB in February.

 Our winter activity will take place this weekend. Students will be treated to a Screaming Eagles Hockey game followed by a turkey buffet dinner.

 Several of our principals attended a day-long workshop sponsored by the NSISP in Debert on January 6th.

 The ESL teacher has started to work with the students who need some extra support.

 Sydney Academy: Several students took part in the Remembrance Day Ceremony. The school liaisons will be hosting a 'goodbye lunch' for the five students leaving at the end of the semester. They also continue to host their monthly pizza parties. Jane from Korea is quite involved in school activities, she plays in the school band, has volunteered with the key club, plays badminton, sings in the choir and has somewhat become a bit of an understudy with the jazz band. We can't believe how she can do all this and still excel academically. She is pretty amazing! (As quoted from her host mom)

 Glace Bay High: First semester students and their host families have been invited to a going away dinner at a local restaurant. They also continue to host their monthly pizza parties. Our two Brazilian girls are leaving at the end of the month.

 Holy Angels: In November, the International students went to the Rotary Sunrise Breakfast meeting at Mescaleros. A guest speaker from Holland spoke of Canada's contributions in Holland during the Second World War. Tara Boers from the Netherlands got to meet and speak to this lady in her native tongue. Our international students participated in the school's Remembrance Day ceremony and a video tape of it was sent to Tara's home at her request. A pizza party was held for our international students and Canadian friends of their choosing in late November. The international students enjoyed a Christmas treat; they went to lunch at Boston Pizza where holiday traditions were exchanged with each other. The school is awaiting snow so that a ski day at Ben Eoin can be scheduled before Tara returns home.

 Riverview: Our student from Thailand (Oak) came to the Principals' meeting and spoke about his experience as a scholarship winner with the NSISP. Riverview is the first school in our Board to purchase and display flags of the countries our students represent. Three students will leave at the end of the semester.

 BEC: Fabian from Germany will leave at the end of the semester. He will be replaced by a Korean boy who requested the school.

 MHS: Ana Clara from Brazil will end her time with us at the end of the semester

 SPEC: Douglas from Brazil will also complete his studies at the end of the semester. Han Ju (Korea) plays soccer every Sunday at the Canadian Coast Guard College.

 Gil,Korea, SA, Benjmamin (German) MHS and Kimon German (RRHS) have all purchased ski passes and have been out snowboarding. Ana Clara Brazil (MHS) was written up in the newspaper for playing hockey.

 All students in the program took part in the Christmas Potluck, held at Sydney Academy, on December 18, 2005.

English Language Arts (Secondary)

The first newsletter of the year for English Language Arts 7-12 was sent out to all of the junior high schools and the senior high schools just before Christmas.

The November 4th in-service day was a great success all round. The participation of staff and students made it a great learning experience.

"Write Traits 8" was introduced to the grade eight teachers and the "Write Traits 9 and 10 materials have been sent out to the schools for future in-servicing.

Several students from MacLennan Junior high were successful in the Human Rights Day Poster and Poetry Contest.

Some of the Writers in Action 8 Lead Team Members are preparing for inservicing in May.

Literacy Support Plan

During November, the number of literacy support plans in each of the junior high schools were finalized. A meeting was held with George Boudreau to discuss the budget for this school year as well as to get an update on where each school stands in relation to last years funding. Based on this years funding and the number of units in each school, a budget was determined for each junior high to support the work going on in schools around literacy support. An updated report was submitted as requested by Lyle Harnish at the Department of Education, regarding the students in grade 7 with Literacy Support Plans, indicating the junior high they are attending.

Information gathering meetings with the elementary principals continued regarding schools' thoughts/needs around both the assessment and the Literacy Support Plans. As a result of the information obtained from the elementary schools, it was agreed that release time would be provided in the spring to facilitate the writing of the plans and meeting with the parents. Also, an inservice is in the works for elementary school teams made up of an administrator, grade six teacher(s) and a resource teacher from each grade six school on writing the support plans. This inservice will take place in February after the results of the 2005 assessment are received by schools, so that we can use the results to calculate our professional development needs and the teachers can use it to inform their classroom practice. This is planned as a direct result of the needs expressed by the schools.

Several meetings were held at the Department of Education in November. The first one dealt with revisions to the parent and administrator guides for the elementary literacy assessment. Then a meeting was held to look at the grade nine assessment planned for the spring of 2007. Late in November, a team of teachers and administrators traveled to Halifax for the marking of the 2005 Elementary Literacy Assessments. This session was to be continued on Saturday, Dec. 10, in Halifax. This is a very worthwhile activity and provides an excellent opportunity for professional development for teachers and administrators.

At the request of the staff at Rankin/Christmas Island Complex, a professional development session was held at their November staff meeting regarding the whole process of literacy support planning
and the recent and upcoming assessments. A follow up had been planned with them on December 2, 2005, around transactional writing and reporting research.

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

Nova Scotia Health Promotion had called for proposals to outline how school boards intend to support Comprehensive School Health. There was an opportunity to receive funding to support the healthy eating and physical activity initiatives. Ms. Madore, Breakfast for Learning Coordinator, in conjunction with Mary Lou Andrea, Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Daly, Public Health Nutritionist, and other Public Health representatives, participated in this project. Several meetings have been held to write the proposal and plan the presentation.

Health Promoting Schools Proposal - Executive Summary

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has made nutrition and active living a priority for schools. This is reflected in the Strategic Plan: Lifelong Learning Developing Our Full Potential. Our schools have an important influence on the health of children and youth in our communities. There is a reciprocal relationship between health and learning. Learning is necessary for good health. Good health is necessary for learning. They are intricately linked and both are affected by the social context of children's lives. There exists a mound of widely accepted evidence, in both the education and health sectors, to support this positive correlation. Our local partnership has a practical understanding of how societal factors (determinants of health) impact on both the health and learning of our children and youth.

Inherent in our planning for the Health Promoting Schools (HPS) Program is the application of a population health approach. Specifically, local deliverables will emerge after requisite collaborative consideration of a preventive, 'upstream' focus, evidence-based planning, adaptation of best practices to local circumstances, school as a unique community unto itself, and integration of the health promotion framework. Five areas of emphasis within this framework will be: healthy policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, developing personal skills, and re-orienting services in support of positive youth development.

We will build capacity and foster leadership at the local level through initial communications and providing professional development for all schools at the outset, and by including a strong support structure through all phases of our Health Promoting School (HPS) Program. Sustainability will be ensured by maximizing existing linkages and alliances and by developing organization infrastructure. This will be achieved through integration of HPS programming with School Improvement Plans, and through coordination of School Advisory Councils and school-based Active Healthy Living Committees (AHLC). The latter will include representation from parents, youth and Public Health and will report to the AHLC of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board (CB-VRSB).

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, along with Public Health Services, are taking action to encourage and support the development of health promotion schools across the Board.

The HPS initiative has identified three areas of emphasis:
1. Advocacy and Awareness
2. Resource Development and Promotion
3. Teacher Preparation

HPS is implementing strategies to:
1. Advocate for a comprehensive approach to school health
2. Identify and provide quality curriculum support resources
3. Recognize exemplary programs and practices
4. Promote teacher training in health
5. Support quality research related to school health
6. Facilitate schools and communities working together on important health issues

Both Public Health Services and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board strongly endorse 'The Canadian Association of Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD)' approach to comprehensive school health. Independently, Physical Activity and Nutrition disciplines of both our agencies regularly integrate CAHPERD concepts to internal program planning. Therefore, CAHPERD will be the tool utilized to establish HPS. The opportunity to jointly plan HPS allows us to capitalize on our practical experience and to formalize this comprehensive approach in a more deliberate manner.

The 12 Characteristics of a Healthy School Community
1. A health-minded school administration
2. A holistic view of health
3. A safe and healthy learning environment
4. Community participation and collaboration
5. Meaningful student involvement
6. A coordinated plan or framework
7. Health policies
8. Quality health instruction
9. Access to current, quality health resources
10. Inclusive school health programs and services
11. A spirit of lifelong learning
12. Regular evaluation

The board will receive $60,000 for this project.

Sexual Health Network - Ongoing meetings to prepare for upcoming inservice for PDR and CALM during the February 17th Professional Development Day.

Mathematics (Secondary) (Ron MacLean)

The first four modules in Dynamic Classroom Assessment in-service for junior high teachers have been completed. Approximately one-third of the junior high teachers are involved in this 30 hour program of professional development designed to improve classroom instruction in mathematics through dynamic assessment. The next module is scheduled for January 30th.

Texas Instruments began the T3 training modules on December 9th and 10th and the next workshop in this series of modules is scheduled for March 30, 31, and April 1. We are supplying the location for the training that involves teachers from our Board, Strait Regional School Board, Eskasoni, and Waycobah First Nations School. This arrangement has allowed a number of high school teachers from our board to take advantage of this training not usually offered in our area.

Guidance Counsellors, principals and lead mathematics teachers from secondary schools in our region met with representatives from the English Program Services to review and discuss the changes that have been made in mathematics in the Public Schools Program. Donna Karsten and Lee Anne Arsenault from the Department of Education met with the group to bring them up to date on the changes.

Mathematics mentors will meet at the Staff Development Centre on Jan 30th for an update and workshop on mentoring.

The senior high math committee will meet on February 1st to discuss concerns at the high school level and plan for the next in-service day.

Provincial math consultants will meet on Jan 12th and 13th to discuss the new grade 9 core resource and plan for its implementation.

PACY (Cynthia MacCormick)

Introduction to the project was completed at Thompson and MacLennan Jr. High Schools as well as Tamarac Elementary and Jr. High. Consents were picked up at the above-mentioned schools as well as Mountainview, Cusack and Malcolm. Activity monitors were picked up from Bayview and placed with students at Dalbrae Academy.

French Second Language (David Brennick)

On November 18th, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board hosted a provincial inservice for teachers across the province of grade six Intensive Core French. Facilitators were Dr. Joan Netten, M.U.N. / U.Q.A.M., and Mr. Gerald Felix, French Consultant, Department of Education. On November 28th, two members of the Yellowknife Catholic School Board, along with Gerald Felix, David Brennick, Co-ordinator of Student Services, and Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant, visited the grade six Intensive Core French classes at Riverside, Harbourside, and Greenfield Elementary Schools. Everyone involved were very impressed by the progress of the students to date.

Three successful French inservices took place during the month of November. On November 4th, sixty-five French teachers gathered at the North Star Inn to participate in 'CASLT Chez vous'. Facilitator for the day was Nicole Thibault, Director of the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers. On November 21st, junior high Core French teachers took part in a workshop facilitated by Ms. Jan Claes, Halifax Regional School Board. The workshop focused on establishing successful routines and teaching strategies in the junior high Core French classroom. On November 29th, Leo-James Levesque, Co-ordinator of English/French Programs, District 17, New Brunswick, presented a workshop for junior high Core and Integrated Core French teachers. His workshop highlighted new communicative resources from Pearson Education.

Beginning January 16, 2006, seven French Second Language teachers will participate in a French course on-line delivered by Charles Baurin of Acadia University. The course is offered to support teachers who have an interest in improving their oral and written French Language Skills.

Amanda O'Regan, Riverview, and Laura Dunlop, Breton Education Centre, participated in a two-day inservice for grade ten Core French ('Simulations Globales'), in Halifax on January 9-10. These teachers, along with Helene Crane, Glace Bay High, will pilot new materials for the Department of Education with their grade ten French class next semester.

Laurie MacIntosh will be participating in a two-day workshop on January 12-13, in Moncton, NB, hosted by David MacFarlane, New Brunswick Department of Education. The focus of the workshop is training for conducting post-evaluation interviews of students enrolled in grade six Intensive Core French.

Upcoming professional development initiatives for February include a workshop for senior high Core French, as well as, junior high Late French Immersion, grades 7-8 (Écrivains à l'oeuvre - Writers in Action).

Regional Science & Technology Fair

The 2006 Cape Breton Regional Science and Technology Fair has been scheduled for March 29-30. March 29th will be set-up (9:00-12:00) and judging (1:00-5:00), and March 30th public viewing (6:00-7:00) with the awards ceremony (starting at 7pm). The location once again will be the gym at Malcolm Munroe Junior High School. We are very excited to have eight schools committed to participating in the fair - each allowed to send 10 projects to the Regional Fair for a total of 72 projects. Although eight schools have shown interest, we are to assume that they may not be able to send 10 projects each but we are hopeful. There are two schools having a school-based science fair but not sending students to the Regional Fair. These schools will be encouraged to send any projects they feel could represent them at a Regional level - regardless of a school fair.

Fundraising for the Fair is underway. We are currently looking for several major sponsors in hopes of eliminating a long fundraising campaign. Aliant, CBRM, Bank of Montreal, and ECBC were contacted in the month of October in regards to funding a student to attend the Canada-Wide Science Fair. Applications for the above mentioned have been submitted. We also rely on the support of the local business community to help fund the fair. A meeting with Cape Breton University, who sponsored a student last year, was held this week. They will once again be sponsoring a student and providing funds from other departments for prize money. NSERC has also committed $750.00. Our major supporters are the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Cape Breton University. We also need funding for the Regional Fair itself. It is important to give numerous awards and prizes to as many participants as possible to encourage future participation. Last year, 2005, we were able to give out approximately 2,500 dollars in prize money along with three trips to the Canada-Wide Science Fair. With more participants this year, the funding needed for the fair and cost of organizing will be increased.

The initial down payment for the trip to the Canada Wide Science Fair has been paid - it was due December 16, 2005. The remaining balance is due April 15, 2006. Students will be traveling to Saguenay, Quebec in May to compete at Nationals.

We are looking at creating 'loot bags' for all participants in the Regional Science & Technology Fair. This again would generate interest for future years. All participants will receive certificates.

The Cape Breton Youth Science Association is the organizing association for the Fair. It is a registered non-profit charitable organization able to issue tax receipts to our sponsors. We are in the process of changing signing officers as the existing members are no longer associated with the Cape Breton Regional Science & Technology Fair. This process should be completed by the end of January. Sander Taylor will remain on the board for the association. He is also a liaison between our Fair and CBU.

A meeting of the science fair committee was held the second week on January. The committee consists of the following people:

True Burke, Chairperson (Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High)
Suzanne Aucoin, Vice-Chair (Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High)
Brent Burke, Treasurer (Sherwood Park Education Centre)
Paul Gartland, Technology Facilitator (Principal, George D. Lewis School)
Jennifer Moss, Chief Judge (Riverview Rural High School)

A web site has been created for the Regional Science Fair. Efforts are underway to put all registration and application forms on the web so that in future years this can be done through our web site: . This web site will eventually include lists of winners, photos and other aspects of the fair.

The next meeting for the Science Fair committee will be held the beginning of February.

Healthy Sexuality Resource

Nova Scotia's: Sex? A Healthy Sexuality Resource, is scheduled to be delivered to all Junior High Schools within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board in January. This resource will be distributed to all grade eight students provided the school receives written consent from parents/guardians. Program Services (7-12) provided the Department of Education with grade eight enrollments, to ensure enough resources will be provided. This resource will also include two information sheets per parent/guardian and at least one teacher's resource for every school. Plans are underway to provide Professional Development to support grade eight PDR teachers in the distribution of this resource.

Vocational Education (Fred Martell)

Memorial's Vocational department has been very busy over the past couple of months. As Consultant, Mr. Fred Martell is very appreciative of both Senior Administration and our Board for the support and influx of capital funding. The $150,000.00 dollars allocated has allowed for major capital purchases of equipment for our twelve programs. The cost of commercial equipment for

individual programs is extremely high and it would not be possible to order such equipment under our present budgets. To date approximately 70% of the funding has been spent or committed, with much of the equipment received. The remainder of the budget will be committed within the next couple of days.

Following the Boards Strategic Plan for 'Career Awareness', Memorial Vocational tours for the junior high school have been up and running since October 2005. Since October approximately 300 grade nine students spent Tuesday mornings rotating through twelve programs. Each student is given the opportunity to perform a 10-15 minute project, in the shop environment, on safety or program related task. The tours will continue until June 6, 2006.

All Senior Administration and Board Members, as well as all Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Staff, are invited to have a look at Memorial's new Website Thanks to the great work of Janice March and her students you can now see a two-minute video of each shop., as well as current daily information of Memorial's activities, announcements, sports teams etc.

Forty-one homeroom teachers and approximately 400 students are participating in an online, FREE WHMIS and SAFETY ORIENTATION course sponsored by the Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association. The cost normally charged for the NSCSA safety courses is between 50-75 dollars. Students learn about worksite safety and at the same time, save money.

On March 24th, 2006, Memorial will be hosting the Nova Scotia Skills Secondary competitions for Carpentry and Automotive. Mr. Martell gives thanks to Arno Raymakers,Carpentry Instructor, and Tim Sawchuk, Automotive Instructor, for being Team Leaders for the competitions. Competitions will take place in respective shops during the day between 8:30am and 2:30pm. Everyone is welcome to visit our school on that day and drop in for a moment to watch the competitions. The Gold Medal winners will be part of Team Nova Scotia Skills at the National Skills Competitions in Halifax - the first time east of Ontario - during the 23-26 of May 2006.

Memorial's Occupational Health and Safety Committee appreciates the support of Operational Services for efforts in upgrading our railings at landings 2,3 and 6. The railings meet current standards and will improve student safety within the school.

Workshop Breakfast program is working out very well so far this year. Students from south-side communities arrive by bus later than our regular buses. In an effort to give them an opportunity to participate in our breakfast program, Ron Neville and his students prepare enough bagels for those students.

Memorial is in the process of having an online Application-Registration form for our website. Jim McNeil was approached last year with the proposal and I am happy to say we are 90% complete. Ian Lovett and I met with Jim last week and within a couple of weeks the form will be completed and available at Memorial's website for this years vocational or academic registration.

Sports & Recreation

Mr. David Crane, Co-ordinator of Program Services (7-12) met with Jim MacEachern, Sports Animator, Mark Smith, Director of Sport Development Nova Scotia, regarding an after school program at Harbourside Elementary School.

Jim MacEachern, Sports Animator, includes some of the highlights from the last month:

 Continued searching out potential funding sources for physical activity from the provincial, federal and municipal levels of government.

 Continued systematic schedule of interview meetings with the various principals within the system to establish an inventory of sport and recreation activities in progress and potential wish lists.

 Attempting to initiate physical-activity style programs and assist in sourcing SEED funding for various schools.

 Met with Richmond County counterpart, Darryl MacPherson, to share ideas and suggestions.

 Gave brief overview of new position to gathering of fellow Physical Education faculty at Staff Development seminar at Brookland School, Sydney.

 Met with Darren Haley, Hebbville Academy, to gain background information on Intramurals in Curriculum Project offered by that school.

 Met with representative of ACAP to gain technical background in rink building outdoors for PA programs.

 Traveled to Ottawa to attend CAPHERD National Conference.

 Participated in committee to put together proposal for funding for Health Promoting Schools Initiative.

 Attempted to access basketball equipment for Challenger Disabled Sports Program.

 Met and became member of Ski Ben Eoin 'School Active Lifestyle Committee'. Presently working on a file for a partnering program with schools to expand existing school ski program.

 Met with Victoria County Recreation Director, Tom Wilson, to offer background to new position and possible partnering.

 Met with Active Healthy Cape Breton Committee as part of the Committee's regular monthly meetings.

 Met with Cape Breton University Vice-President, Gordon MacInnis; commenced file on possible partnering program of Physical Activity, Healthy Lifestyle Projects for schools within the Board.

 Initiated contact with Jamie Ferguson and Mark Smith of Sport Nova Scotia, with respect to After School Program for schools.

 Attended quarterly meeting workshop in Truro for Provincial Animators.

 Met with representatives of Elementary Basketball Small Ball, with interest of expanding program in Sydney area.

 Presented background of new position to Sydney Academy staff at monthly staff meeting.

 Met and joined Active Healthy Living Committee with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

 Attended sports forum on Future of Sport in Nova Scotia at the Civic Centre in Sydney.

 Continue to work closely and effectively with Physical Education Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea, and Board Co-ordinators.

English Second Language

Jennifer Kokoska, our 40% English Second Language Teacher, has been hired to assist the Nova Scotia International Students and others requiring English Second Language support.

So far, the English Second Language instruction program is going well. Participating students have displayed a great amount of enthusiasm towards Ms. Kokoska's presence at their schools, and have shown improvement in all areas of English Second Language acquisition i.e. reading, writing, listening, and speaking, on a weekly basis.

Ms. Kokoska has found that a good number of students in the Nova Scotia International Student Program need more help with subject based materials as well as a solid foundation in English as a Second Language (ESL) in order to successfully complete this year.

Newspapers In Education

Newspapers In Education is still in many of our schools. There are approximately 40 schools participating.

Community Partnership Steering Committee

Monthly meetings are still taking place, and Mr. Crane is representing the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.


David Crane met with Barb Burk, College Prep Coordinator, Ann Jones, Director of College Prep, and David MacLean, Principal, Marconi Campus, NSCC, to review and revise the Memorandum of Understanding between the CBVRSB and NSCC.


Rick Simm, Coordinator
The Provincial initiative for SIS (Student Information System) is progressing well. As a member of the Working Committee, Rick Simm represents CBVRSB in biweekly meetings held by way of videoconference. On Feb. 7th an important meeting of Coordinators (PSS & HR) will be held in order to gather input on reports that will be required of the SIS.

Steps have been taken to develop the Junior High School Online Homework project. Through the programming efforts of Jim McNeil, Data manager, and design ideas from Kevin Kearney, Junior High teacher at BEC, we now have an easy-to-use template for posting homework online. With the infrastructure presently in place, a PD session for school representatives is planned for Jan 18th. The school representatives will subsequently train school staff on how to post their homework.

IEI (Peter MacKinnon)


Computers are now in place and working in all grade eight classes. All junior high's and high schools have also be given at least one additional LCD projector. We have conducted two hundred and seventy PD days with the grade eight classroom teachers. Each teacher will have at least four workshop days completed by the end of March. The lesson plans designed by grade eight teachers for grade eight teachers are being edited and then will be put on the board website.

Brookland Elementary

A workshop on using the web based attendance module of Insignia (Student Information System) was held and all teachers are now doing their attendance electronically from their classroom.


All teachers completed the electronic version of the provincial report card for the December report. All teachers are doing their attendance electronically using the (Student Information System) program Outcomes.


The Student IS pilot at Riverside using the Maplewood SIS system has the teachers using the electronic attendance module.

Cusack/Corwallis /Ashby

These three schools are piloting the SIS system Epiphany and are doing their attendance electronically from their classroom. All these SIS pilots will be evaluated by the end of March.

Electronic Report Card

We continue to monitor the use of the electronic version of the provincial standardized report board across the province. A series of conference calls every second Wednesday allow boards to share their progress with each other. Jubilee Elementary is the pilot school for our board.

School Visits

Peter MacKinnon along with Bill Tennant visited most Junior High Schools in early December to discuss with administration any IEIE-8 issues. This gave us an opportunity to check on equipment and discuss the effectiveness of our professional development.

Assistive Technology (Liz Mahoney)

During the past month, Liz has completed a total of 10 assistive technology assessments in Glace Bay Elementary, St Anne's Elementary, St. Mike's Junior High, Cusack, Cornwallis, Ashby and MacDonald Elementary. All of the students assessed have the technology required in place. Teacher and Teacher Assistant training has been arranged and will take place within the next two weeks. Assessment arrangements are in place for the Northside Adult School and JB Croak.

The Assistive Technology Team will receive training next week in a new assessment tool called 'See It Right' that focuses on Learning Disabled students.


Meetings have been held with the principals and mentors of St. Anne's Elementary and Bridgeport. These mentorships have begun and will continue to be monitored.

An Assistive Technology mentorship will take place in Ashby Elementary with the Resource teacher, Lynn O'Neil and AT member Genevieve Richardson.

Professional Development (Bill Tennant)

Professional Development topics were many including web pages, classroom teacher homework pages, Grade 8 Rollout, Web mail, software selection, online registration, and databases. Professional Development was the main focus topics of November 2005.

During the month of November, a number of workshops (8) were planned and given to teachers ranging from grade 4 to grade 8. Writer's Companion and the Computer microscope QX3 and QX5 were the focus for a 2 day workshop at Brookland Elementary. Also, high school teachers spent a day at the SDC registering their students for the Canadian History 11 course. Four days of lesson building sessions were the main focus for this month's IEIE workshops. Teachers from cross

curricular disciplines came together at the SDC to plan, develop and complete as many topic related lessons used daily in their grade 8 classrooms. By placing these lessons on the board web site, other grade level teachers can access these lessons when convenient. Kevin Kearney worked on developing a plan to implement a homework page that could be accessed by each teacher in his respective schools.

The request for web mail accounts from the teachers attending the workshops was many. There was also other staff requiring accounts from various schools throughout the board.

Planning for upcoming PD and other IEI integration initiatives in December is ongoing.

A trip to Halifax to attend a RBTS meeting happened in December. At this meeting, Bill Tennant gave a report on the PD given in the CBVRSB since September. It was a great opportunity to network with peers and stay in tune with new technology.

A request came to me from Deb Murray, a grade 5 classroom teacher, to create a means to connect a special needs home-study student with her classmates at Seton Elementary via the internet. As a solution, two web cameras with appropriate videoconferencing software were installed. One setup of computer and camera was placed in the classroom at Seton Elementary and another setup was established at the home, The process and execution were greeted with much jubilation as Elizabeth, from home, was able to communicate with her classmates visually and verbally via the internet.


Charles Sheppard, Coordinator

Plans are underway for part two of our sessions with the RCH liaisons' lead team and school reps which will be led by Mr. Brad Barton of Barjon Consultants. It is the hope of the RCH department that the School Board members will be inserviced on such issues as employment equity and RCH.

January 16, 2006, is the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and various schools throughout the Board have put on displays to celebrate the achievements of this great leader of civil rights. One such school that should be commended is Ball's Creek Elementary, which celebrated through poetry, song and speech.

February is African Heritage Month.
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