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Sections > Programs and Student Services Report > PSS Report: April, 2009
PSS Report: April, 2009
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 04/22/2009 (1919 reads)
PSS Report: April, 2009

Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Language Arts Consultant P-6, Donna Robson

Department of Education Initiative :  A team of seven Literacy Mentors attended a provincial mentoring event April 2-3 in Halifax. This session addressed the various aspects of the mentoring process and allowed teachers to receive additional professional development.

Primary support for early entry 2008/2009 :  Primary teachers will be receiving print material in the form of PM Gems. The purchase of this material has been made to support consistency in primary practice.  Each primary teacher will be given a set of texts leveled from 2-10. Although we encourage the use of a variety of text styles and genres, this is an attempt to have several resources Board-wide in each of our classrooms. Distribution will take place in a May session that will include professional development and colleague conversations. This will be the end of the provincial disbursement for this year.

LIFT :  The opening session for schools entering year two of LIFT took place at East Bay site this month. The structure of the second year session has changed to meet the expressed needs of the teachers involved. Schools in their second year are as follows: Coxheath, Brookland, and St. Agnes. LIFT is under the umbrella of the literacy mentors.

Primary Parent Fairs :  Dates have been set for the spring fairs. The team will meet early in April to contact our community partners. Brochures will be mailed to each registered primary student by the middle of April.

Primary Orientation Days :  Schools have been requested to submit their date for this event. It has been suggested the one day may begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 12:45 p.m. The purpose is to provide our new students with an authentic experience in the primary class. The day will be supported by a 45 minute parent presentation that will be facilitated by reading recovery teachers, Board mentors, or the Language Arts Consultant.

Board-Wide Reading Record Summary Sheet : A cross-grade team has been invited to attend a day session around the creation of a Board-wide summary sheet. The sheet will be accompanied by a list of strategies that will support the classroom teacher as they analyze the record. The team consists of six teachers from grades one to six, as well as the mentors and Reading Recovery Consultant, Susan MacDonald.

Looping and Transition : Looping sessions will be held late in the spring between primary/one teachers, and one/two teachers. The purpose around this piece is to focus on student assessment and find a way to best transition this information, and to allow for instructional alignment. Sessions will take place at East Bay site.

Mentors :  Spelling cafes created by the literacy mentors are a direct response to concerns around the spelling document. At this point they are being offered at Harbourside and Riverside. It is hoped that these programs will be expanded.

Mentors Supporting Accreditation Goals :  Mentors have been requested to support sites developing and in the process of meeting their goals. Most requests are coming from writing goals.

Mentors and East Bay :  All mentors are utilizing the East Bay sites as a means to support classroom practice through evidence of student work.

Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

March Review


We are receiving requests from teachers who have not previously self identified.  There are also a number of teachers who have had ongoing mentoring throughout the year. As the relationships develop, teachers are visiting classrooms and mentors are invited into their classes.  Teachers who come to schools where there is a mentoring culture self identify more quickly than in schools where there has been little or no mentoring.   Mentors encourage teachers to ask questions, even if they haven’t self identified.

Parent Information Sessions

Ron Muller, Math Mentor, has continued with his parent workshops at Mira Road School.  Each month, a group of parents meet with Mr. Muller to experience the new math strategies.  A child of one of the parents, who had been weak in math, has shown great improvement since the parent has been attending these sessions.  Ron is also mentoring the teacher of this student.

The staff at Greenfield School presented a parent session at their school on the evening of March 25.  Math Mentor, Tara Colbert, went to Greenfield to support the teachers in the planning of their session. Teachers did a great job of creating centres and demonstrating to parents how children are learning mathematics in their classrooms.  The session was very well received by the parents who feel they have a better understanding of how math is learned and are more prepared to support their children’s learning.  Additional math nights have been requested.

April Plans

Parent Information Sessions

Mr. Muller will continue with his parent workshops at Mira Road School.  Parents have the opportunity to experience a lesson just as their children do in their classrooms.

On April 29th, Boularderie School will host a Parent Information Session for parents of elementary students in our Board.

Summer Academy

Summer Math Academy will be held at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre again this year.  Binders will be provided containing curriculum outcomes clustered into units with “learning opportunities” included.  The first Academy will be held on August 10-13 and will focus on the grade one outcomes; the second Academy will be August 17-20 and will focus on the grade five outcomes.  The advertisement will be out in early April for CBVRSB staff only, as space is limited.  At the end of April, it will be open to substitute teachers, pre-service teachers, and teachers from other boards. 

There have been several teachers who have attended all three academies and have indicated that they will be attending the two this summer as well.  Teachers and subs have already been asking when they can sign up.  Feedback from teachers who have attended previous academies has been very positive and they have communicated that their teaching practices have changed.  Students now have opportunities to show their true abilities.

Atlantic Canada Mathematics Assessment Resource Entry-3

Earlier this year, this resource has been sent to all grades one to three teachers.  The Entry (primary) level is expected to be available in mid April.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

The Drama club at Cabot High, which also includes junior high students, presented the play “A Stone in the Road” to students at both Cape Smokey Elementary and North Highlands Elementary on February 25.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s Active Transportation committee met to decide on the winners of their Active Transportation logo contest.  The winner and honorable mentions come from Dr. T.L. Sullivan School as well as Jubilee Elementary School.  Presentations of these awards and the unveiling of this logo will take place during Education Week.

Classroom music teachers received professional development from the Department of Education and Maria Alley on the music series “Do Re Me and Maria.”  This series is part of the primary roll-out materials and comes complete with teaching resources, CDs and a DVD for every school.  The material is targeted for students in grades primary to two and is very multi-cultural in its content.  Every primary classroom teacher will also receive a CD to support this program with their students.

Eleven of our schools attended the drama production called “In Pink” at the Savoy Theatre on March 27.  This excellent production was based on the anti-bullying campaign initiated by two high school students in the Valley area of Nova Scotia.

Schools are busy preparing for Education Week with the theme of “Bringing Arts to Life” which takes place April 19 - 25.  Cape Breton Regional MusicFest will also take place at the Savoy Theatre during this week.  Thank you to Barb Stetter for continuing to arrange and facilitate this music festival for our instrumental groups. 

Visual arts teachers are busy preparing and selecting artwork from students in grades four to twelve for our annual art exhibit which takes place at Cape Breton University’s Gallery II from April 28 - May 21.  Opening ceremonies will be held on Tuesday, April 28, 7:00 pm at Cape Breton University.

Reading Recovery™ Teacher Leader / Early Literacy Consultant, Susan MacDonald

Susan MacDonald has been involved in LIFT this month, attending debriefing sessions after school at Baddeck and Brookland Schools.  The closing session for year one schools (Baddeck, Seton, Mira Road, Ashby and Cornwallis) was held on March 25 at East Bay Elementary.

An Information Session was held for those teachers interested in training in the fall of 2009 for Reading Recoveryâ .  The presentation included a brief history of Reading Recoveryâ , the requirements and expectations for training, and an overview of the training year.

Reading Recovery® continuing contact teachers met on March 31 and April 1. The emphasis of the sessions was “Fostering a Love of Writing” which was a continuation from the last session. The next continuing contact sessions will be held on May 5 & 6.

School visits have been on-going including the following schools:  Bridgeport, St. Joseph’s (Sydney Mines and North Sydney), Baddeck, Ashby, Brookland, Bras d’Or, and Greenfield.  It is recommended in the Standards and Guidelines that each teacher receives one visit per year (minimum) and more if needed.  Visits can be requested by teachers when they are having difficulty with a particular student and would like some advice.

Rick Simm, Coordinator

Assistive Technology Consultant (Sheila Kublek)

Throughout March, five student assistive technology assessments were performed at various grade levels.  Six Learning Centres were visited in order to take an inventory of assistive technology hardware and software.  Several Program Planning Team meetings requested the representation of assistive technology throughout March. 

Professional development was provided for Kurzweil, Classroom Suite 4, Intellikeys and various assistive technology software and adaptive equipment.  Most of these sessions took place at the school site.  Along with teachers and support personnel, two of the sessions included parents of students receiving the support of assistive technology.  By having parents involved in the training, it allows them to be a part of their child’s curriculum and promotes continuity between home and school. 

Training workshops for the provincial IPP Modules were provided for the staff of Glace Bay Elementary and all school principals. 

The assistive technology consultant was informed in early March that she was chosen to be a presenter at the Learning For Every Student Examining Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology Conference being held at Cape Breton University in June 2009.  

PD Consultant (Bill Tennant)

There were a number of schools visited during this reporting period including St. Michael’s Junior High, Thompson Junior High, Boularderie Elementary, Sydney Mines Junior High, Dr. T.L. Sullivan, and BEC.

At all these schools, site-based professional development was given to teachers who requested support in integrating technology in their classrooms. This was achieved through different classroom management and teaching strategies.

Mr. Tennant spent a day at St. Michaels Jr. High working with teachers and students on video editing and use of the Studio 10 program.   The teachers and students intend to use this training to produce video projects. Other schools mentioned above also received professional development on video editing with similar expectations.

Professional development provided at SMJH and BEC involved video editing at a higher level of film production using the blue/green screen or keying process. Here, too, expectations for enhancement of student projects and design were the main focus.

At Boularderie, the teaching staff requested professional development for the IMacs at the school. To their delight, the sessions covered a wide range of strategies and ideas on how to integrate technology in their classrooms to achieve their curriculum outcomes.

Acting SIS Lead Teacher
(Kurt Kublek)

Mr.Kublek has been working this month in different areas including not only Student Information Systems (SIS) but also technology integration.  Teachers were supported creating and implementing Moodle courses in their classrooms.  Other site-based professional development activities focused on the use of different software and web applications that support students in meeting many of their outcomes including writing and other ways of representing.  These sessions were provided at both the elementary and secondary levels.

With respect to SIS, Mr.Kublek has been visiting schools to offer help with the IPP reporting functions of the Outcomes system.  Again, the response from teachers was very positive and these sessions are followed with correspondence to the principals and teachers with how-to guides and technology integration ideas.  The visits also provided excellent opportunities to ask teachers about their technology use and to offer any assistance. 

Mr. Kublek continues to offer support to all schools and has been helping some collect data for accreditation purposes.  Work continues on a website designed to help teachers and administrators with common questions from the Outcomes program in the form a video and text tutorials.

Adult High School
(Principal, Heather Patterson)

A new semester is underway at our four adult high school sites.  We continue to work within our resources to meet the needs of our adult learners. We have had several different groups in to speak to our students this semester.  Those would include: Addiction Services, the Regional Police Drug Squad and the Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment   Progress reports will be handed out on April 17th.  Staff at our four sites will have a presentation from Danny Eddy of the NSTU on the “Millennium Generation” on April 24th.

The meeting, sponsored by the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL with Dept. of Labour & Workforce Development) that was scheduled in March and cancelled due to weather will now happen in  May.  All adult high schools in the province will be in attendance with a focus to be placed on enrollment and retention.  The changing economic climate and the expected increase in demand for adult programming will also likely be on the agenda. 

Adult Evening Classes

Our winter offering for adult evening classes began in February.  Most of the general interest courses are winding down and are set to finish in early April.  Our credit courses will run until June as well as GED Preparation.

IEI Consultant (Dorothy Tennant)

Preparations were made for two multi teacher on-site professional development initiatives as requested by teachers via their administration. One involved Sydney Academy teachers who requested time to become familiar with the virtual classroom/Moodle model.  Eight teachers took part. They now have a Moodle account, tutorials and hands-on experience with Moodle. Other high school teachers continue working with Moodle. We support them via email and have given them access to tutorials.  This session proved very successful based on the positive feedback received from teachers.

The other initiative involved six teachers from various schools but the session venue was Breton Education Center. This teacher group wished to learn Final Cut Express and Green screen techniques to meet their curriculum outcomes. The session was rescheduled from March 30 and 31 to April 1 and 2 because of school cancellations due to weather.

Science Fair judging by Dorothy Tennant, with particular focus on technology use, took place at Sydney Mines Junior High and also at the Regional Science Fair located in the Grand Lake Road Fire Hall.

The IEIE (Grade 11 focus) initiative has ended for the budget year 2008-2009. Now, data will be collated and the annual report will be prepared.

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

On March 10, 2009, the principals were invited to attend a session on IPP Modules 1-4.  This was a result of a request from the February 3, 2009, In-Service Day with principals asking for the training.  All but five (5) principals were in attendance and evaluations were very positive.  Follow-up to the day included answers to questions formulated on the evaluation sheets.  This Q & A document was e-mailed to all principals that were in attendance.

On March 24 & 25, 2009, Student Services staff and Psychologists attended a seminar on “Attachment Disorders” presented by Diane Benoit.  Feedback from the two days was extremely positive, especially from the psychologists who were in attendance.

David Brennick, Coordinator

English Language Arts (7-12), Diane Brennick, Consultant

A Literacy day was held at Thompson Junior High. All students attended this exceptional session on Literacy strategies. Very impressive work was done by the staff and administration of the school.

Three teachers from our Board are on the Writers in Action Provincial lead team. They were in Halifax last week to prepare a provincial implementation.

Planning is underway for a joint session with the Literacy support consultant to present reading strategies to junior high teachers.  The Test and Exam booklets have been bound and are ready for distribution to all junior and senior high English Language Arts teachers.

Finally, the Annual Public Speaking event opened April 6th and runs most days until April 16th.

Community-Based Learning (O2), Rhonda Smith, Consultant

The Options & Opportunities schools have begun their visits to grade 9 students at the junior high schools.  The grade 9 students have an opportunity to hear about the program through a power-point presentation by the teachers and from students who are presently in the program. Parent information sessions are also scheduled for early April.

There are 18 students from Memorial and Sydney Academy scheduled to be interviewed on April 21 and 22 for the CANS “Building Futures for Youth“ project.

Holy Angels held a very successful Health Fair for their students on March 26th.  The Co-op Education and Options & Opportunities students worked together and had a very informative workplace health and safety booth.

Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

On March 12, 2009, all high school Math Department Heads met at the Staff Development Centre to examine NSE Math 12 and Advanced Math 12 assessment results for 2008 and January 2009 as well as the final grades for all students in the board enrolled in Mathematics 11 and Advanced Mathematics 11 first semester.  David Brennick, Coordinator of Program Services (7-12), Susan Kelley, Coordinator of Student Services, and Arlene Andrecyk, Math Consultant (7-12) led discussions on how both teachers and students involved in this assessment process can continue to be supported. 

On March 11, over 20 resource teachers received the third day of PRIME, a program that provides professional resources and instruction for mathematics educators.  Arlene Andrecyk and Ron Muller facilitated the sessions. The feedback was very positive.

The Junior High Math Olympiad Committee is busy planning for the regional competition to be held at Malcolm Munroe on April 21, 2009. Currently, each school is having school based competitions.  Over 70 high school students took part in the CB-VRSB Math League Game 3 on March 28 at Cape Breton University. The game went well.  CBU provided a nutritious refreshment break. A team from Glace Bay High School placed first. The school was presented with a plaque. There were two random draws for graphing calculators.

Nova Scotia International Student Program, Tammy Sampson, Consultant/Program Manager

Many of our students travelled during March break. Six of our students took part in the Montreal/ Ottawa cultural trip while others visited friends in other parts of Nova Scotia, travelled to other parts of Canada, while a few took the opportunity to go home. Some also had family visit from their home countries.

Dorothy Kaiser, Homestay Coordinator, held a bowling day for her students.  A ski day was held for all students on March 6th. Everyone enjoyed the day.

Our students are continuing to take part in school activities and events. Not only are they taking part, many have become active participants of sport teams and other activities. This includes a student who was a part of the winning coal bowl team at Breton Education Centre, a student who made the finals in March madness at Sydney Academy, and students who received awards in cheerleading and art competitions.

The Nova Scotia International Student Program has expressed concern about the number of exchange students accepted in the boards. They are asking all boards to be diligent in keeping the numbers at the acceptable ratio and with languages and countries other than the ones with which we work.

We are continuing to receive applications for September. This includes our first application from Belgium.  We are also continuing to interview new families for September.  Twelve of our students have confirmed they plan to return in September. Deadline to extend (securing the current homestay) will be April 15th, 2009.  Paula Pace, Homestay Coordinator, and Tammy Sampson completed a Spanish Basic II course.

Vocational Education, Ken Collier, Consultant

Things have been very busy in the Vocational Programs at Memorial Composite High. The renovations in the Carpentry, Electrical, and Plumbing are complete, and staff and students are enjoying the new facilities. Thanks to all who contributed in making this project a reality.

Students and staff have been busy preparing for the Nova Scotia Skills Competitions, which took  place on April 7/09.  We hosted competitions in Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing, Motor Vehicle Repair, Graphic Design, Radio and Television Production, and Workplace Safety.

Kent Brewer and his Electrical students are in the final stages of completing the electrical project with the Grade 6 class from Seton School. This has proved to be an excellent project which has been enjoyed by all involved.  Students from Seton School will be visiting our school in the very near future.

There will be an announcement in the next week with regard to a sizeable donation of hand tools to the vocational programs from a local company. More information will follow soon.

Students are soon going to be registering for courses for the 2009-2010 school year. This proves to be a very busy time for all involved. Visitations have taken place to our feeder schools as well as a number of others as well.

A meeting with Grade 9 students and their parents took place on Wednesday, April 1st, at 7 pm. This was a great opportunity for parents to become familiar with our school and the registration process.

French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant)

The local Concours d'art oratoire (French Public Speaking Contest) was held on March 24th and 25th at Malcolm Munroe Jr. High School. Twenty-three students in eight categories participated in the highly successful event sponsored by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Canadian Parents for French. Local winners from each category will now go on to compete at the provincial Concours in Halifax on April 25th at Mount St. Vincent University.

Provincial DELF scolaire assessments will be carried out from April 14th-17th, 2009. DELF
(Diplôme d'études en langue française) will take place at Riverview Rural High School.  The purpose of this evaluation is to give students international recognition for their accomplishments in French Second Language learning on oral and written expression and comprehension.

Elementary Core French teachers (grades 4-6) will meet on Thursday, April 16th at Greenfield Elementary School (1:00-3:00) for a professional development session.  Facilitator will be Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant.

French Immersion teachers from Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High and Riverview Rural High will participate in filming short video clips to accompany L'immersion en français au Canada-Guide pratique d'enseignement published by ACPI (Association canadienne des professeurs d'immersion).

A virtual meeting will take place April 8th between Laurie MacIntosh and Tell me more , a global leader in language learning software.

English Second Language (Geoffrey Laurence, Teacher)

This has been a short month with snow days and March Break.   The timetables have become more stable as the month progressed. The amount of support, the number of hours and classes the NSISP and landed immigrant students have been receiving was based on their needs assessments. The schedules should remain stable for the remainder of the school year.

Cape Breton Regional Science Fair (True Burke, Cape Breton Regional Science Fair Chair)

The Cape Breton Regional Science Fair was a huge success with 11 schools participating, 102 projects and over 130 participants.  It was held at the Grand Lake Road Fire Hall.

Over 4,000 dollars was awarded as well as four trips to the Canada Wide Science Fair to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  The four students who will be representing the Cape Breton Region in May will be:  Najala Orrell, Todd Mercer, Kathleen Orrell, and Alyssa Moss, who all attend Riverview Rural High School.

Other prizes and microscopes were awarded to schools as well.

Mr. David Brennick attended the public viewing and awards ceremony on behalf of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

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