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Sections > Superintendent Report > Programs and Student Services > Programs and Student Services Report: January, 2009
Programs and Student Services Report: January, 2009
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 01/27/2009 (2840 reads)
Programs and Student Services Report: January, 2009


January 2009

Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding & Human Rights

RCH Lead Team

The Race Relations, Cross-Cultural Understanding and Human Rights (RCH) Lead Team organized a one day workshop in preparation for Diversity Day on February 13th.  The purpose of the session was to provide schools with suggestions to celebrate diversity and to emphasize this year’s theme “Diversity Day is Everyday.” The workshop included the RCH School Liaisons as well as Principals and took place at the North Star Inn.  The first session was well received and feedback was very positive.  Teachers left feeling they had tools and support to make February 13th a success.  The second session was cancelled due to a storm day and is rescheduled. 

Each school received a copy of the new book The Ultimate African Heritage Quiz Book written by Craig Smith.  This is a valuable resource for all schools.

Mi’kmaq Consultant –Sheldon Googoo

Two CBVRSB Literacy Consultants in-serviced teachers from the band operated schools across Nova Scotia.  The session took place at Membertou Elementary School and is an initiative promoting collaboration between the board and Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey to promote and support student success.  Mr. Googoo was critical in arranging this initiative.

Mr. Googoo is currently working with the fine Arts Consultant, Leslie Ann Andrews, on a new drumming program.  The Fine Arts Department has purchased hand made drums to be used in our Music programs.  All music teachers involved will attend a one day in-service with Mr. Leroy Denny about the significance and importance of the drum in the Mi’kmaq culture. Traditional dance and songs will also be taught to the teachers.

Four Plus Program

The 4+ Program continues to be a success.  The 14 participants are progressing well and have excellent attendance.  Three students are transported daily from Sydney to St. Anne Elementary to participate in the program.


Schools across the board have been promoting various RCH initiatives and are doing remarkable work providing students with an understanding of Human Rights and Social Justice.   

Program Services – P-6

On December 5th, the Cape Breton Regional Police visited each elementary school and drove pre-selected students (one per site) to the Mayflower Mall for the Shop of the Class event. Each student received a t-shirt, lunch, a $100.00 gift certificate for their mall shopping which included a police escort and a stocking full of treats. The students also participated in the making of a tree decoration craft under the guidance of Michaels. The event was a great success thanks to the excellent organization and sponsorship from the Cape Breton Regional Police and the Mayflower Mall.

In December, the Department of Education held its semi-annual meeting of the Active Young Readers/Writers in Action P-6 Lead Team to discuss various issues and initiatives. The final PD session surrounding the new Primary Program Validation Draft will be held January 27th and 28th. 

The Spelling P-9 document and supporting texts are now in schools and teachers are expected to be following the key messages in the document.  The implementation team for Spelling P-9 facilitated an in-service day for representatives of each elementary school site January 9th. This document represents a significant departure from the traditional weekly spelling test, focusing instead on teaching spelling in context and paying attention to individual student needs and developmental stages. 

Literacy mentors continue to provide support to classroom teachers through one-on-one meetings, the LIFT program, and school-based professional development sessions.  On-going PD sessions are being held for teachers new to their grade and/or profession. During these sessions, teachers are presented with ‘best practices’ and are involved in developing a professional growth plan

The opening ceremonies for Family Violence Prevention Week will take place at CBU on February 6.  On Friday, February 13, schools and community agencies will be asked to support Purple Friday by wearing something purple to support victims of family violence.  Relevant activities are being developed for elementary students during this week.

All grade four teachers have completed the workshops concerning the Math Development Records and will complete the MDRs for their students before the results are sent home.

Training in PRIME (PROFESSIONAL RESOURCE AND INSTRUCTION FOR MATHEMATICS EDUCATORS) will assist all teachers in working with students who are struggling with mathematics. Teachers in four schools (Brookland, Coxheath, Cornwallis, and St Joseph, Sydney Mines) have completed their training. 

The Adult Learning Association and the CB Regional Library sponsored a series of workshops aimed at enhancing parents’ ability to help their children with their homework P-6.  Sharon Boudreau was approached to become part of the project, and along with several mentors, presented a workshop at the McConnell Library in late November.

Across the board, a number of additional sessions for parents who wish to know more about math programming have taken place with more planned for 2009.

Historica Fair 2009 information has been sent to elementary and junior high schools. This year’s fair will be held on April 30th and May 1st at Cape Breton University. Through involvement in the fair, students are able to research local and national topics of historical interest, develop a project, and present their findings to the wider community.

The first group of the recurring “Giant 101.9” scholarships was awarded to three successful applicants.  This group of recipients received monies to help with music books, lessons, instrument upgrades, and for extended travel to lessons.

PROMOTING POWERFUL PRACTICE is the theme of the February 3rd PD day to be held at Harbourside Elementary for all P-6 classroom teachers. Topics for that day include Write Traits, Word Study, Mental Math, Visual Art P-3, and Hands-On Science.

Student Services, Educational Quality & Accountability

January has been a very busy month with provincial assessments being distributed to schools and parents.  The results of the Junior High Literacy Assessment or JHLA, which was written last June by grade 9 students, was distributed to parents in January.  Teachers received support on site from Lyn McInnis, Literacy Support Consultant, and Millie George, High School Literacy Teacher. This year, the JHLA is scheduled to be written in February.  This will allow for a more timely release of the results in June of this school year. 

The Early Language Literacy Assessment (ELLA - grade 3) results have arrived in schools and will go out to parents the first week of February.  All grade three teachers will receive inservicing on using these assessment results to inform and differentiate instruction and also on the Literacy Development Records (LDR).  We are happy to note that our students have improved in almost all areas of this assessment since last year.

Grade 12 students will write provincial exams in English and Math during their exam schedule this coming week.  The Math exams will be centrally marked on Wednesday, Jan. 28th by all grade 12 Math teachers and with representation by Lennie Comeau of Evaluation Services of the Department of Education. 

The schools in their first year of the accreditation process attended a workshop on Jan. 15th and 16th around writing SMART goals and writing their School Improvement Plan.  Work will continue around School Improvement Planning as schools decide on their goals and write their School Improvement Plans. 

Program Services – Instructional Support

Elizabeth Leyte is a 13 year old girl with a medical condition that requires her to receive home assisted schooling for many years.  Since Elizabeth cannot attend a regular school consistently, assistive technology has played a large role in allowing her access to her teachers and peers. 

She has a laptop, webcam and MSN messenger which allow her to interact on a daily basis with her teachers at Thompson Junior High School, classmates and friends.  Through the use of the webcam, Elizabeth can participate in class activities, group discussions, teacher instructions and observe lab experiments.  Teachers are electronically able to provide notes, assignments and directions easily.  Elizabeth’s physical needs are supported by adaptive devices such as a roller ball mouse and a laptop for ease of access. 

There are days when she is confined to her bed or connected to an oxygen machine but remains in touch with her school and friends due to the accessibility of a laptop.  Elizabeth’s mother has often stated that the laptop computer is Elizabeth’s only avenue to the outside world.  Her curriculum is also supported by various pieces of software; one being Speak Q / Word Q which allows her to convert speech to text.  Elizabeth will represent the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board on an assistive technology DVD which is being created by the Nova Scotia Department of Education.

In October of 2008, a filming crew from the Department of Education came to North Sydney to film Elizabeth at home in her “home school” and to film her teachers and classmates at Thompson Junior High interacting with her through the webcam and MSN Messenger.

Student Services

The Coordinator of Student Services, Consultants and Lead Teachers worked with the database manager in November to enhance the Support for Students site. The site has been made more user friendly and now includes the forms associated with Student Services so that all forms can be completed and directed to student Services personnel online. Security issues around confidentiality have been addressed. The site will be presented to the Director of Programs and Student Services in January and will be introduced to Principals and Program Planning team members in the New Year.

A student services handbook has also been compiled and will be placed on the Student Services website when it has been reviewed and approved by the Director of Student Services. As part of the process Student Services Policies were reviewed and the final result is being compiled in draft form for review.

System Inservice

Teachers and school staff will participate in system-wide professional development and training on Tuesday, February 3rd.  The attached schedule outlines the variety of session topics.

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