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PSS Report: May, 2009
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 05/13/2009 (2992 reads)
PSS Report: May, 2009

Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Language Arts P-6 Consultant, Donna Robson

Department of Education
The Primary Advisory Group met in Halifax on April 24 to discuss the transition of grade primary students to grade one.  At this meeting, it was announced that the Department of Education would support primary next year with two professional development experiences.  On April 29 and 30, the Department provided two days for a provincial team to look at assessment, grades primary to three.  Donna Robson has been invited to be a member of this group along with Maureen Wadden from Donkin.

Primary Parent Fairs
Primary Parent Fairs will take place in early May. Community representation has grown to include the YMCA, Dairy Farmers of Canada, and Cape Breton Regional Municipality.  Board involvement now includes transportation, as was requested by parent surveys from last year.  Family Place Resource Center will be involved in the evening’s presentation.

Literacy Initiative for Teachers (LIFT)
LIFT continues to support the development of Professional Learning Communities as well as the accreditation process.  Evaluations of the program have been very positive.

Spelling Cafés
Spelling Cafés have been created by our mentors.  The pilots are taking place at Harbourside and Riverside Elementary Schools.  Principals who expressed an interest in the spelling document were invited to attend a spelling café at Harbourside in April. The spelling piece is the crucial link between readers and writers workshop.  The café focused on key messages and suggestions for administrators to support this development at their sites.

Professional Development
Looping professional development is a piece created to support transition and increase student growth.  The focus is on evidence of student artifacts and how we can effectively use this practice to plan for instruction, “Build as oppose to fix”. Primary/one teachers will be given the opportunity to spend a day around this focus, and then we will provide the same opportunity for grade one/two teachers.

Orientation Day
Orientation Day for primary will be a full day.  Reading recovery teachers, Donna Robson, and mentors will be presenting a package of information to parents that will support their child’s primary experience.  The information has been created and will be forwarded to schools.

Mentors continue to provide a variety of supports based on the needs of individual teachers and sites.  Every evaluation speaks to the positive impact the mentor has on classroom instruction.  A key component is the East Bay site as it is grounded in evidence of student work.  Many classroom teachers are requesting support with analyzing the running record and using this information to inform their instruction, especially at the grade four to six level.  All of our mentors are involved in every project related to classroom practice.

Reading Records
A Board summary sheet for reading records is being developed by a team of classroom teachers ranging from grades one to six.  The purpose of this form is to promote the importance of comprehension and provide teachers with the next steps for instruction, as well as providing a consistent form to support conversation.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

April has been a very busy month for arts education in this Board.  The beginning of April featured the ArtReach program from the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia coming to the Fortress of Louisbourg to offer workshops to both visual arts teachers and students.  The Department of Education provided funding for substitute teachers for these workshops.  Artwork from the ArtReach program will be left at the Fortress of Louisbourg for visitors throughout the summer, and students who participated in the initial workshops will facilitate printmaking workshops for further school visits through to the end of the school year.  Feedback from the program was extremely positive and this project not only enables collaboration between feeder schools, but also provides an opportunity for the community to take advantage of this unique project.

As part of the advanced visual art programs, students are required to show their work in public.  Holy Angels advanced art students held their own art exhibit at Melnick Hall and advanced art and International Baccalaureate art students from Sydney Academy held their own art exhibit at the Bean Bank Café in Sydney.   Both were very well received and the artwork was tremendous.  The artist statements provided by the students were very thought-provoking and a testament to the importance of the arts.

Education Week with the theme of “Bringing Arts to Life” featured a tremendous number of events and activities throughout all schools.  Dance, drama, music and visual arts opportunities were featured by bringing experts into schools, as well as featuring the wonderful work of our students.  Some of the highlights included:

  • Baddeck Academy featured their “Celebration of Learning” with a gallery style presentation using the Silver Dart anniversary theme.
  • Ballet Jorgen performed at Cabot High and John Bernard Croak Schools.
  • Kenny Boone visited Donkin and Glace Bay Elementary as part of the PAINTS program.
  • Bras d’Or Elementary hosted its “Come Ceilidh with the Kids.”
  • Cape Breton MusicFest took place all week at the Savoy Theatre with a special performance by St. F.X. faculty and staff.
  • The Foggy Lake singers performed at Jubilee Elementary.
  • Mira Road had an arts Gaelic theme in conjunction with their Gaelic projects.
  • The Northside Honour Choir performed at the Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance service.
  • The Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble performed a concert in conjunction with Riverview High School.
  • Sherwood Park hosted “Maritime Idol.”
  • Shipyard Elementary Choir released their own C D.
  • Many schools held an open house for parents and the community to participate in and view arts-based activities such as artwork, concerts, dances and plays.
  • Many schools hosted their own school Historica Fairs with students being judged to go on to the regional fair.
  • Some schools had feeder schools working together on arts-based activities.  This collaboration certainly benefits everyone!

Congratulations were extended to Mr. Ed Davis, Superintendent and recipient of the NS Educational Administrator's award, and to Paula Jane Francis and Nancy McLean, recipients of Education Week teacher awards.  They were recognized by the Department of Education on April 20 at a special ceremony in Dartmouth.

Visual arts teachers were busy setting up for the annual Art Exhibit of student work (grades 4-12) taking place at Cape Breton University’s Gallery II from April 28 to May 21.  The official opening took place on April 28 at 7:00 pm.

The CB-VRSB’s Tenth Annual Historica Fair took place on April 30 and May 1 at Cape Breton University, with public viewing on May 1 from 9 am to 1 pm, and closing ceremonies on May 1 in the Canada Games complex at 2 pm.

Many of our junior and senior high instrumental programs are preparing for trips away to National band festivals.  We wish them all good luck and safe travels.

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

Reading Recovery continuing contact groups met this month on April 1 and on April 8.    Heather Janes-Pederson, Trainer/Coordinator Eastern Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery visited with reading recovery teachers on May 5.

Mrs. MacDonald will be attending the Atlantic Region Teacher Leader’s Meeting being held in Prince Edward Island on May 11.  She will also be participating in the Primary Fairs being held throughout our Board in May as well as some school visits.

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Middle River School Visit
Dressed in costume, Carmelita visited Middle River Elementary to share some stories and discuss authors with the children.  Many had questions about books and some offered suggestions on what other students should be reading.  During the morning, students also read to Ms. Cousins and were excited to receive reading bracelets and Frisbees for their promotion of reading to others. 

Bookmark Launch
During George D. Lewis’ Mariner Night, the Board’s Library Committee launched its official Board Bookmark, created by student Holly Steylen.  Holly received her original design encased in glass for posterity and all in attendance received a bookmark which will be distributed to all students in the system prior to June.

The library automation project is still ongoing and all staff is working diligently to create a Board database for launch in the near future.  Students will then be able to search for books and resources from home, and then pick them up at their school the next day.

Carmelita Cousins was the recipient of the Nova Scotia Association of Library Technicians Award of Excellence in March 2009 at their Annual General Meeting in Halifax.  The award recognizes an individual for outstanding service to library technicians in Nova Scotia and to NSALT.

Rick Simm, Coordinator

Assistive Technology Consultant (Sheila Kublek)

Throughout April, 10 students received assistive technology assessments.  Three Learning Centres were visited in order to take an inventory of assistive technology hardware and software.  Several student transition meetings have taken place at various schools in order to support the student’s needs in assistive technology.

Professional development was provided for Kurzweil, Classroom Suite 4 and Intellikeys.  One session provided an overview of assistive technology available to support students at the elementary level. Training workshops for the provincial IPP Modules were provided for all resource, learning centre, learning disabilities and Steps teachers.

The RBTS meeting was attended in Halifax on April 16 & 17.  Throughout the meeting, discussion involved IEI, free Aliant resources available online, Robots Programming Competitions, Moodlemoot and standards for online courses. 

PD Consultant (Bill Tennant)

There were a number of schools visited during this reporting period including St. Michael’s Junior High, Cabot High, Greenfield Elementary, St Agnes Elementary, Dr. T.L. Sullivan, Breton Education Centre, Sydney Adult High, Mount Carmel Elementary, St. Mary’s Elementary and Baddeck Academy.

Conversations were held with classroom teachers on technology use in their daily curriculum and site-based professional development was provided.  

Professional development on video editing was provided for two teachers at St. Michael’s Jr. High. The teachers continued their efforts with video production from several school initiatives and class projects.

Site-based professional development on use of the Smart Board was provided to several teachers at Cabot High.  There was also time to converse with all classroom teachers on how they were using technology in their curriculum. .

Consultants, mentors and school web page leaders had professional development on using Xoops as their content management program.

Acting SIS Lead Teacher (Kurt Kublek)

Mr. Kublek has been working this month in a variety of different areas within the realm of Student Information Systems (SIS).  Mr. Kublek has been involved in online and face-to-face meetings on a local and provincial level discussing a new SIS product for primarily the junior and senior high schools. He has also worked with the developer of the already established elementary SIS product, Outcomes, to enhance the product with the ultimate goal of better serving our schools. 

Site-based professional development has been provided to the users of Outcomes with respect to the IPP module, the new primary registration procedures, and the new features of the product.  Furthermore, access to the Outcomes database has also enabled Mr. Kublek to help various schools with data collection with their on-going accreditation process.

Work has continued with reading recovery teachers to make changes to their website and to provide assistance for the collection of vital data.  The forms on the site were enhanced to not only print information but to collect the data so that it can be managed in an efficient and informative manner.

Mr. Kublek reports that the RBTS meeting was not only very informative but educational.  It was an excellent opportunity to talk with people from other school boards and to learn more about the inner workings of education in the Province.   Mr. Kublek will return to the classroom at the beginning of May.   Director John Astephen extends thanks to Mr. Kublek for his work in supporting students and staff in SIS for the past several months.

IEI Consultant (Dorothy Tennant)

Two multi teacher on-site professional development initiatives, as requested by teachers via their administration, have taken place.   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 to work 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 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 took place on April 1 and 2 because of previous school cancellations due to weather.

An after school Multimedia Team Professional Development meeting took place on April 1.

School professional development visits continue. 

The IEIE (Grade 11 focus) initiative has ended for the budget year 2008-2009. The year end annual report has been completed.  Plans for IEIE 2009-2010 have not yet been developed.

Adult High School

Report cards were given to students on April 17th.  Professional development was held for all staff on April 24th with Danny Eddy of the NSTU on the “Millenium Generation”.  As well several staff have been attending conferences sponsored through the PDFC, including topics such as homophobia, autism and the explosive child. 

Ms. Patterson attended a session sponsored by the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL with Dept. of Labour & Workforce Development) for all adult high schools in the province on Monday, April 20th.  It is now one year since the Adult Education Division of the Department of Education has been moved to the new Department of Labour and Workforce Development, and we were given an overview of the vision and mission of this department going forward.

Our discussion as a group focused on enrollment and retention as well as the pressures of delivering the program to students with such varied needs.  Principals expressed concern to department officials that funding for NSSAL programming has not been increased in many years despite increasing costs.  Karen Gatien, acting director of the Adult Education Division acknowledged our concerns and indicated that no budgets have been set yet but they hope to have figures for us mid-May.   

Ms. Patterson has been asked to participate in one of five regional information sessions sponsored by the Department of Labour and Workforce Development.  The Cape Breton session will be held on Wednesday, May 13th from 12 noon to 7pm at NSCC Marconi.  It is entitled “Building for Growth” and is targeted to individuals who want to explore training or employment options or employers who may require specific training or upgrading for their employees.  Ms. Patterson will be setting up a display to show the Adult High School program as well as adult evening class offerings. 

Adult Evening Classes

Most of the general interest courses are now finished.  Our credit courses will run until June, as well as GED Preparation.

 STUDENT SERVICES (Educational Quality & Accountability)
Susan Kelley, Coordinator

Principals of schools in years 2 and 3 of the accreditation/school improving planning process met and received training on using the new provincial web-site for ‘School Improvement Plans’ and Annual Reports.  The response from these schools was overwhelmingly positive regarding this site and the capacity to do this on-line.  Year one schools have already received this training and are using the site.

Active Healthy Living – Mary Lou Andrea, Consultant

AAHPERD (American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) National Convention - A couple of the highlights would be attending sessions on active playgrounds including Peaceful Playgrounds and Play On which focuses on elements of play to support physical activity.  Also many contacts were developed at the various exhibits on display.

Girls Play2 elementary hockey concluded with the girls taking part in the 1st Annual Benchwarmers women’s hockey tournament. Many positive comments were received from parents and fans alike.

A five session Self Defense course was offered to a grade 8 class at Thompson Junior High as part a pilot project in the area. A similar course will be conducted with a class of females at Malcolm Munroe later this year.

A Health professional development day for all grade 5 teachers was held on April 7 and 8 at the Staff Development Centre. Topics presented included All about Puberty by Geoff Oliver and Susan MacIntyre from Greenfield Elementary and Active Healthy Living across the Curriculum which was presented by Sandra Kelly and Debra Murray. Funding for these days was provided by a grant from the Department of Education.

The Olympic Torch Relay starts on October 30, 2009, but in some Canadian schools, it has already begun.  Since January 20, 2009, students at Cusack School have so far run 3,000 km and hope to complete the 45,000 km before the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.  “Beginning on April 27, 2009 we’ll get parents and teachers involved by counting their mileage outside of the school.  Soon, all students will have pedometers to calculate their kilometers during each school day,” said physical education teacher Leroy Hodder.

At Cusack Elementary, a lap is 50-meters long in the gym so students will need to run over 900,000 laps to complete the total torch relay route.  “We run a minimum number of laps and calculate the total for each class, and then those of the entire student body, “Hodder explained.  “To include other groups and to increase the mileage covered, we also count the laps run by the basketball and cheerleading teams during their practice.”

Sport Animator Report – Jim MacEachern

Sport Animator met with Life Saving Society of Nova Scotia, working towards creating a high school leadership certification for instructors to assist in the further development of the Swim to Survive Program.

The Third Annual Skating Races Jamboree was held on Friday and Saturday, March 27/28 at Centre 200 in Sydney. Students from across the Board from Grades Primary to Grade Eight participated, with all participants having a great weekend of participation.

Youth in Motion program continued at CBU for the grade fours in the School Board with the following schools scheduled: Brookland, MacDonald, Mount Carmel, St. Anne’s, Riverside, St. Agnes, Bridgeport, Tomkins, Membertou, Robin Foote.

Soccer in the Community Program, partnered with Soccer Cape Breton and the CBU Varsity Men’s and Women’s Soccer Teams, commenced with the following schools scheduled :

Seton, J.B. Croak, Shipyard, Brookland, Marion Bridge and George D. Lewis.

Plans were finalized for the scheduled start of the third Section of the Grade Three Swim to Survive Program which began April 6th.

Assistance was provided to the St. Theresa March Break Activity Program for the school children of the area.

PEBS/Behavior Support-Trevor LeBlanc, Lead Teacher       

  • Professional development is currently being reviewed for schools that require extra or refresh of School-wide PEBS.
  • PEBS presentations were provided to Brookland Elementary and Boularderie.
  • In addition to a PEBS overview Brookland Elementary also received an evaluation and implementation strategy for their minors and majors as part of their code of conduct change and data for their accreditation outcomes
  • Guidance personnel at Greenfield Elementary received training in FBA data entry
  • Individual Support has been on going over the past month in the following schools:
  • Cusack Elementary, Ashby, Boularderie, Seton, Riverview, Tompkins, Bras D’Or, Cape Smokey Elementary.
  • On April 15 and April 17th the CB-VRSB along with partners  CBRM Police and Island Ministries brought in a motivational speaker to three of our schools.  Memorial High, Riverview, and Malcolm Monroe were host to an extremely dynamic speaker that spoke to students about issues of drug abuse, alcoholism, teen suicide, anorexia, and other serious teen issues.  The talk was well received by both students and staff.  In addition there was a lot of exposure through various media agencies.
  • Our PEBS Lead team met on April 24th for a workshop to create a power point guide to the manual ‘7 Steps to A Proactive School Wide Discipline Plan’. The Power point will be distributed to every school next week for use with staff.
  • A teleconference was held recently at Morrison Junior High on a tutorial for the new data tracking software Easy Discipline in order to track and analyze office referrals.
  • The Power Play Program continues to be developed.  The program should be ready to roll out in early June for a September start in 4 pilot schools.  Those schools tentatively are Mira Road Elementary, Coxheath Elementary, Greenfield Elementary, St. Joe’s Elementary Sydney Mines

Breakfast for Learning/Nutrition Policy/Health Promoting Schools – Debbie Madore, CB-VRSB Dietician

Nutrition for Learning

Breakfast Programs
Breakfast programs continue to run in 59 of 60 school sites. A Thank You Breakfast for Volunteers was held on April 29 at Sherwood Park Education Center.                                  

Nutrition for Learning Committee
A meeting was held with Vic Hanham and Darren MacNeil around the golf tournament. Ideas for teams were discussed. It is scheduled for June 12, Bell Bay.

Payroll deduction: Approximately twenty staff have completed the form to participate in payroll deduction program.

Professional Development Strive for Five
On April 22, the cafeteria managers attended the second Strive for Five workshop with facilitator Colleen Joice. The participants had the opportunity to prepare new recipes that met the guidelines of the food policy. The recipes increase the exposure of vegetables and fruits for the students, encouraging students to “Strive for 5” vegetables and fruits in the day. It was well received by all.

Wellness Day Whitney Pier Memorial
Ms. Madore had the opportunity to participate in the Wellness day at Whitney Pier. The school population was divided into six groups that rotated through the class. The focus of her presentation was on Label Reading and Energy Drinks.

Guest Speaker Marconi Campus and CBBC
Ms. Madore continues had the opportunity to present the School Food Policy for NS Schools to the students at Marconi Campus and CBBC Teacher Assistant program.

National Breakfast for Learning
Sobeys have completed two of three in-store promotions across Atlantic Canada. Revenue generated does filter through the National Funding pot and is returned to the Atlantic Region.

Nova Scotia Council, Breakfast for Learning
I continue to participate as Co-chair for this council. A meeting was held on March 27 in Halifax and discussions included the Council’s role as a partner with Health promotion & Protection (HPP) for the Provincial funding provided to Boards.

Provincial Funding
A second meeting was held with the leads for Breakfast Programs in each school board on March 26. Priorities were established and recommendations were made to work on a plan for distributing the $750,000 of funding to school boards in September 2009. It was reported by Michelle Murton that the $250,000 to support the Food Policy will be given as one lump sum to each board with the breakfast funding for next year. A subcommittee will be looking at modifying the traditional formula for determining funding to boards so that the formula accounts for the number of breakfast programs and other health determinants.

Volunteer Highlighted
All school boards in the Province were asked to identify a leading breakfast program and its student volunteers.  The breakfast program at Baddeck and student Keith Matheson, a grade 11 student, that volunteers daily at the program at Baddeck were highlighted in our Board.  Ms. Madore interviewed Keith and included his thoughts with an overview of the programs at CB-VRSB. Our story was chosen by HPP Communications as the story to include in a press release around volunteerism!

Health Promoting Schools:


The Provincial Showcase is planned for May 13, in Dartmouth. The showcase will be open to the Health Promoting Schools (HPS) school teams, schools and possibly students that are participating in the presentation.


Presently we are working to develop a HPS logo to provide an identity or brand to the program.

Food and Nutrition Policy:

Health Henri Award
This is a nutrition program lead by Public Health in partnership with the Cape Breton District Health Authority, CB-VRSB, and Heal Cape Breton. Local restaurants and schools submitted menus for review. Fourteen schools that adhere fully to the Provincial Food and Nutrition Policy received awards in a ceremony at the Big Fiddle on March 30. The list includes:

Sydney Academy
Dr. TL Sullivan
Glace Bay Elementary
Glace Bay High
Holy Angels

Policy Advisory Committee:

A meeting was held in Halifax on April 3. Plans are underway Provincially via the Health Promotion & Protection (HPP) Communications office to do PR around the Provincial Food Policy and its successes in the school.

Seaside Cable
Three years ago, Chef Lars Willum was developing a cooking show and invited Ms. Madore to participate in an episode of “Be My Guest” series that centered around Breakfast. Over this past month, Seaside Cable contacted Ms. Madore indicating that they are trying to complete the series, and they did some taping of the Breakfast program at Holy Angels.

Literacy Support Report – Lyn McInnis, Literacy Support Consultant

This month has been busy working with grade 6 teachers in developing Literacy Support Plans (LSPs) for students who were identified as “not yet having met expectations” on the Elementary Literacy Assessment. Site-based support was offered to all schools.

The Junior High Literacy Marking Session was attended, and proved to be a very valuable source of professional development.

Perhaps the highlight of this month was the Reading Strategies Inservice for junior high teachers. During this day Thompson Junior High School’s “Literacy Day” was modeled. This was a very practical in-service which provided teachers with hands-on materials and activities to take back to their schools and classrooms. All grade 7, 8, and 9 English teachers, along with one other core subject area teacher, and the literacy support teachers, were in attendance.

Visits to elementary, junior high, and high schools are planned to provide school administrators and teachers with an end of year check list of reminders around Literacy Development Records (LDRs), Literacy Support Plans (LSPs), and Summary of Student Progress reports. This will help to support effective transitioning.

A new project presently being worked on is using the “Cam Studio” program to provide a tutorial for teachers in completing Literacy Development Records (LDRs), Literacy Support Plans (LSPs), and Whole Class Instructional Plans.

David Brennick, Coordinator

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

Numerous wonderful events and learning opportunities are happening in so many of our schools every day.  The literacy strategies day and the Read-a-Thon at Thompson were fabulous events that had students so excited about English and reading.  Their model for teaching strategies was taken and used at a recent strategies day for junior high teachers in the board.  It was a huge success and now all of those teachers have ready to use lessons.

The Poetry Cafe at Sherwood Park Education Centre, under the direction of Blaine Galloway, was a fabulous event. The students presented their poetry with poise and confidence.  The room was beautifully decorated, and the pride and sense of accomplishment was on every face in the room.

Our annual public speaking event went off without a hitch and the caliber of the speeches was of a very high standard.  Our students spoke with passion, eloquence and poise.  They presented speeches that entertained and educated all in attendance.  Our overall winner at the junior high level was Graham Lynk, a grade nine student at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High.  His speech was entitled "The Path to Peace".  He spoke about Martin Luther King Junior and Barack Obama.  He compared these leaders and their speeches and leadership styles in a very passionate and informative manner.  Our senior high overall winner was Beth Barretto, a grade 11 student from Cabot.  Her speech was about "Invisible Women", the women of Afghanistan.  She eloquently, and with great insight, discussed the plight of these women. 

A team of seven teachers from our board will attend the Writers in Action 10/11 implementation event at the Old Orchard Inn.  Diane Brennick, Phonse Martell and Jacqueline Poirier will be presenting workshops at this event. 

The Exam and Test booklets have been distributed to all secondary schools and have been receiving rave reviews.  A number of schools have copied them to give to all staff members.

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

The information session for junior high guidance counsellors on March 12 was very well attended and the counsellors were pleased with the information presented.  Representatives from the Department of Education presented information on O2, Community-Based Learning, Co-operative Education, Skilled Trades Education, and Youth Apprenticeship. This is the second session this year; the first was in October 2008 for administrators and senior high guidance.

On April 1, the Community-Based Learning Consultant attended the World Café Dialogue – Women in Non-Traditional Trades and Technology at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. This was a great opportunity to inform participants on what is happening in our schools.

There are twelve (12) students from Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board who were chosen to participate in the “Building for Futures for Youth “program this summer. The program offered through the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) will offer the students paid pre-apprentice work placements in the construction trades.  An orientation session for the parents is scheduled for May 7 at Marconi Campus.

Cabot High held a very successful Career Fair on April 27. The O2 teachers and administration planned the event in order to provide all students the opportunity to see different career options. There were approximately 60 participants, some from the local area but a number of them travelled to the school for the event. The O2 students played a part in the set-up and the meet and greet of participants. The school also used the event to promote the students who are participating in work placements in the community.

The O2 teachers and students from Breton Education Centre, Glace Bay High, Cabot High and Holy Angels are preparing for the end of year O2 showcase and workshop to be held May 28 and 29 in Dartmouth.

The Career Exploration program for grade 8’s will be offered again this year in partnership with Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi Campus. Sixteen students from Breton Education Centre, Morrison Junior High, St. Michael Junior High, and Donkin Complex, will spend three weeks on campus working on their core subjects in the morning classroom sessions, and exploring trades in the shops in the afternoon.

Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

For the 2008-2009 school year, over 90 high school students participated in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Math League; Glace Bay High School, Breton Education Centre, Holy Angels, Sydney Academy, Riverview High School, Memorial High and Cabot High all entered teams.  Teams from Glace Bay High School and Sydney Academy tied for first place overall. These top place teams, as well as a team from Memorial High, qualified for the provincial Math League competition which took place on May 2 in Halifax.

On April 21, junior high school math students from Sydney Mines Jr. High, Malcolm Munroe Jr. High, Sherwood Park Education Centre, St. Michael Jr. High, Morrison Jr. High, Dr. T .L. Sullivan Jr. High and Breton Education Centre participated in the Math-On Olympiad Competition. The event took place in Malcolm Munroe gymnasium. Eighty-four students participated in the problem solving activities. Over forty students from Malcolm Munroe volunteered to work at this event and had such positions as time keeper, recorder, master of ceremonies, and checker. Marlene Urquhart and Gloria Farmakoulas were instrumental in organizing this event. Paul MacDonald (Principal, Harbourside Elementary), Cathy Gouthro (former Math Department Head at Riverview High) and Sandy Urquhart (math teacher, Sydney Academy) were judges. The event was very successful. In teams of two, students were engaged in problem solving. They competed in grade level competitions as well as poster problem solving. The top four teams from each grade level also competed in a challenge competition. Several ribbons, awards and prizes were given to successful participants. The winning school team, Sherwood Park Education Centre, received a school banner and has been invited to the Halifax Math-On Olympiad Regional Competition on May 9, 2009.

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

On Sunday, April 5th, a Skating Party was held for all NSISP students, families and friends.

On April 19th, a Host Parent Appreciation Dinner was held for all Homestay Families, during the 2008-2009 school year.  Many students provided the entertainment for this event.

Many of our students are still involved in many extracurricular activities and sports in our schools.  One student at Sydney Academy won the talent competition for his break dancing, and continued to Membertou Trade and Convention Centre for the final round.  A student at Riverview received a 1st place award in the regional Math contest.  A student from Malcolm will represent us at the Math Olympiad at Dalhousie University on May 9th.  Two students from Holy Angels High traveled with their cheerleading team to Halifax after they qualified to compete in the NSSAF Provincial Cheerleading Competition, April 25th.  Two students from Riverview were guests at a grade 3 class at Sydney River Elementary where they spoke and answered questions about their home countries (Korea and Japan) and culture.

Our end of year blow out will take place this weekend: May 8th- 10th. All of the students in the province will meet in Truro for concerts, presentations and entertainment. Following this, our students will stay in Halifax for shopping and a movie. We will travel with the Strait Regional School Board.

Currently, we have 15 students who have indicated they plan to return to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board for September.

We are continuing to receive applications for September.  We are also continuing to interview new families for September.  We plan to begin our first round of placements on May 13th, 2009.

Vocational Education, Ken Collier, Consultant

Students and staff are very pleased with the results of the Skills Canada-Nova Scotia Competitions which were held at Memorial Composite High on April 7/09.  Medals were won in the following competitions:

Carpentry: Gold Medal- Jay Mason-Parkview
 Silver Medal -Vince Breski-Memorial High
 Bronze Medal- Jordon LeBlanc-Memorial High
Electrical Wiring: Gold Medal- Josh Fifoot-Memorial High
 Silver Medal -Jordon Jessome- Memorial High
 Bronze Medal- Nathan Clarkson- Memorial High
Plumbing: Gold Medal- P.J. Doucette-Memorial High
 Silver Medal -Tie-Kye Longva-Brian Drake- Memorial High
 Bronze Medal- Cortland Roper- Memorial High
Graphic Design: Gold Medal- Andrew Smith- Memorial High
 Silver Medal -Meagan Julcina-Holy Angels
 Bronze Medal- Hilarie Matthews- Memorial High
TV Video: Gold Medal- Jason and Zack-East Hants
 Silver Medal -Bob Matheson-Daniel Julian Memorial High
 Bronze Medal- Jill and Terri Lyn-East Hants
Workplace Safety: Gold Medal- Destiny Pero- Memorial High
 Silver Medal -Liam MacKinnon- Memorial High
 Bronze Medal- Michael Dugas- Memorial High
Auto Service: Gold Medal- David MacDonald- Memorial High
 Silver Medal -James Veinotte-Eastern Shore
 Bronze Medal- Pat McCormick- Memorial High

Three students from Memorial High, Brittany LeBlanc, Brody Boutilier, and Matthew Lutz, participated in the provincial Welding competition, which was held in Dartmouth on April 23/09. The students found this to be a very rewarding experience and represented our school well.

Three students from the Radio and Television Broadcasting Program recently had a film shown in the Viewfinders International Film Festival for Youth. Their film was shown at the Empire 18 Cinemas in Halifax on Thursday, April 23/09. The students are Elizabeth Lailey-Robinson, Bobby Matheson, and. Daniel Julian. These students attended the showing with their Instructor, George Gregory. Congratulations to everyone involved.

A meeting with Grade 9 students and their parents took place on Wednesday, April 1/09 at 7 pm. This was a great opportunity for parents to become familiar with our school and the registration process. The evening session was a great success.

English Second Language (Geoffrey Laurence, Teacher)

This month, the English Second Language program was delivered with a minimal number of interruptions. The Nova Scotia International Student Program students at the junior high level and the landed immigrants in elementary and junior high were offered English Second Language support on all of their scheduled days and times.

The NSISP students at the senior high level wrote mid-semester tests in the weeks before and after the Easter break. Classes were scheduled as usual, but in some cases some students were writing tests at the same time. Although support for these tests was offered to the students, no one requested it.

The classes with landed immigrant students have been running smoothly. Some students who have been in our system two years or more are receiving support with more emphasis on reading and writing skills than on the listening and speaking skills.  Landed immigrant students who have recently arrived, receive the standard support with the integration of the four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant

Canadian Parents for French-Nova Scotia held their provincial Concours d'art oratoie (French Public Speaking Contest) on Saturday, April 25th, at Mount St. Vincent University.  Every school board in the province was represented. The 162 students who attended the event had already won at their regional level. Winners from the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board include:

5/6 Core French:  Gold: Simrin Ismail, Glace Bay Elementary; Silver: Lauren Turner, Sydney River Elementary

9/10 Late French Immersion:  Gold: Sara March, Malcolm Munroe Jr. High

Barb MacKay (Malcolm Munroe Junior High), Celeste Foisy Lahey (Riverside Elementary) and Laurie MacIntosh (French Consultant) attended a workshop in Halifax on May 8th for teachers currently piloting Intensive French literacy strategies in the grades 4-9 Core French classroom. The purpose of this workshop is to allow the members of this professional learning community to reflect on and discuss the progress of the project, to evaluate pertinent learning resources and to plan next steps for the 2009-2010 school year.

Parent information sessions have been completed by Laurie MacIntosh for the incoming grade six Intensive French students.  Ms. MacIntosh will present the final information session at Glace Bay Elementary on May 14th.

Post test oral interviews have been completed for all the grade six Intensive French students with the exception of Riverside Elementary. Oral interviews for those students are tentatively scheduled for June 13th/14th. At that time the grade nine students in the experimental class at Malcolm Munroe Jr. High will be evaluated by Mr. Gerald Felix, French Consultant, Nova Scotia Department of Education.

Elaine Melanson, French Consultant, Nova Scotia Department of Education, as well as Laurie MacIntosh will be conducting the yearly visit for special projects at Riverside Elementary School on June 9th.  They will meet with the grade six Intensive French students, as well as Celeste Foisy Lahey, and Principal, Mr. Campbell MacDonald.

Expressions of interest among French Second Language teachers remain high for many Nova Scotia Department of Education initiatives.  Some of these initiatives include French Proficiency Summer Institutes, working committees for Late French Immersion math, Late French Immersion literacy as well as DELF training for examiners/markers.

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