Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator
Literacy Consultant P-6, Audrey Kyte-Murphy
New resources for the elementary teachers continue to be placed in each school. Grade one teaching resources have been purchased by the Department of Education and are arriving in schools. In addition to these grade one teaching resources, Teacher Professional Books and the Grade 6 Literacy Place Program were also recently purchased for all schools.
The second day of a two- day workshop for grade one teachers focused on assessment for learning took place on January 26 and 27. On January 21, 25 grade primary teachers attended a one-day inservice at Jubilee Elementary School which focused on integrating purposeful play into their classrooms. Consultants from the Department of Education facilitated this session.
Several meetings were held by the Department of Education in Halifax and several teachers along with the English Language Arts consultant represented our Board on the P-3 Language Arts Revision Guide Team and Young Writers in Action P-2 Implementation Team. Teachers in attendance were Maxine Hardy, Thelma Libbus, and Donna Robson.
Two full-time elementary literacy mentors are in place until the end of April. They continue to respond to the numerous teachers who have requested support.
Principals have been asked to forward the name of one teacher to represent their school on a Literacy Liaison Team. An in-service for this group is planned for March 29. The goal is to have this teacher share with their respective staffs the learning which takes place at these sessions, and to be an avenue for further communication among teachers of literacy.
Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau
The mentoring message is spreading; teachers are realizing that it is a valuable support for them. Participants in the program discuss with other teachers the benefits of mentoring and the result is that more and more teachers are self-identifying. Bruce Colford is replacing Tara Colbert while she is on sick leave, and teachers are taking full advantage of his availability.
The facilitation for those schools and resource teachers involved this year has been completed. There have been numerous requests for further support, so it appears that teachers see this as a valuable resource.
Parent Information Night
The PEER Outreach Program sponsored a session, facilitated by Ron Muller, and was held at the Southside Learning Centre on January 23. The upcoming Black Educators Association parent night is still in the planning stage.
Grade Level Meetings
Five schools (Coxheath, Sydney River, Mountainview, Marion Bridge, and Robin Foote) have used a Learning Monday to have teachers from their schools come together to meet at grade levels. The first meeting went well and all are looking forward to the next opportunity.
Math/Physical Education Project
Math and Physical Education teachers worked on developing a set of cross-curricular activities for elementary teachers of both disciplines using the curriculum outcomes. Pam Van Dommelen, Bras D’Or Elementary, and Maureen Wadden, Shipyard, worked with a Physical Education teacher to complete grades primary and one, and have begun working on grade two.
There are two full FTEs, Ron Muller in elementary, and Theresa Devoe in junior high. We also have a sixty percent mentor, Tara Colbert. Bruce Colford is mentoring until Tara returns from sick leave.
Parent Information Night
Marion Bridge is planning to host after-school parent sessions during which parents can participate in hands-on math strategies their children are experiencing in school. Ron Muller, math mentor, will facilitate those sessions.
A Math Day is being planned at Glace Bay Elementary. They have planned to do this during class time and invite family members to come in and watch/participate in some math activities.
Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews
The Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design will be featuring the exhibit “Up Home” from February 4 to March 15, 2010. Susan Tooke’s images and the story in “Up Home” are based on models from the community of North Preston. As part of this project, students from Harbourside Elementary will be working through the PAINTS program with Kris Webster. Student work will then also be part of the exhibit. The official opening took place on February 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design with students and the Lieutenant Governor in attendance.
Penny Steele, visual arts teacher at Malcolm Munroe Junior High School, hosted a mask-making PD session for visual arts teachers on January 25 at 3:15 p.m.
In-servicing for teachers in our Board piloting new grade eight curriculum in the arts took place in Halifax on February 4-5. In-servicing for teachers implementing Music 7 will take place in Truro on February 23.
Holy Angels’ drama group will be involved in the opening ceremonies for Family Violence Prevention Week to be held at Cape Breton University on February 11 at 10:00 a.m.
A team of teachers has been actively involved in the SoundWaves committee for the upcoming ECMA events being held in Cape Breton. A twenty-nine page educational resource was distributed to schools in the first week of January. This resource contains key-stage curriculum outcomes for language arts, music, social studies and technology, along with many lesson ideas and resources. Over twenty student groups applied to the SoundWaves competition with eleven being selected to perform as opening acts for ECMA performers in the schools. These eleven will remain in the competition until the final concerts to be held at the Savoy Theatre on March 3 and at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre on March 4. Six of our schools are hosting ECMA concerts with seventeen schools attending SoundWaves concerts across the district.
The CB-VRSB will host its Eleventh Annual Heritage Fair on April 29-30 at Cape Breton University. While the national fairs program has undergone some structural changes, our staff is committed to providing another successful fair for our students. The awards structure may be slightly different, with many more local awards being given. Schools are currently submitting their “Intent to Participate” forms.
Reading Recovery™ Teacher Leaders, Susan MacDonald & Joy Cookson
Heather Janes Pedersen, Trainer/Coordinator for the CIRR, Atlantic Division, made her annual visit to our Board. Heather spent one day each with Susan and Joy, observing them work with students as well as with the training groups. She provided valuable feedback which will help in their work with children and teachers. Susan & Joy also had the opportunity to meet with Cathy MacNeil while Heather was here to discuss implementation issues.
The continuing contact group met on January 21 with an emphasis on extending phonemic awareness by developing ways of solving words when writing. Both training groups met twice this month on January 12 & 13 and January 25 & 28.
The Fountas & Pinnell Assessment kits have arrived and have been distributed to all elementary schools in our Board.
Susan and Joy continue to meet regularly with Cathy MacNeil, Audrey Kyte-Murphy and Sheila Kublek to discuss early literacy issues within our Board; one meeting occurred on January 22 and the next meeting planned for February 25. On January 25, Susan and Joy attended the Programs Meeting being held at the Staff Development Centre.
Looking ahead to February, the continuing contact group will meet on February 18 and the training groups will meet on February 9 & 10 and 23 & 24.
Susan continues to work with two children at Rankin School of the Narrows while Joy continues to work with three children at Shipyard Elementary and one child at Marion Bridge. They continue to make school visits with training teachers.
Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins
On January 6, 2010, the “World Junior High Reading Challenge” was launched at six schools in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board: Thompson, Dr. T. L. Sullivan, Sydney Mines Jr. High, Bridgeport, Sherwood Park and Baddeck Academy. Over 1500 students are participating within these six schools as well as approximately over 200 staff (teachers, librarians, secretaries, teacher assistants, etc.) The event will run for approximately eight weeks and the winners will be announced prior to the week of March Break. A celebration of success is planned at the overall winning school and will hopefully include dignitaries and member from the partnerships involved: Wal-Mart, Cape Breton Regional Police, politicians, Screaming Eagles, etc. Prizes and trophies will be awarded to the overall winners at the school level, as well as the top student and top staff member. This program is a provincial pilot project in partnership with the Adopt-A-Library program and Cst. John Kennedy, Provincial Coordinator. As this pilot grows and develops, it will move into the world level within the next two to three years.
David Brennick, Coordinator
English Language Arts (7-12), Diane Brennick, Consultant
Phonse Martell, Jacqueline Poirier, and Diane Brennick attended the first meeting for Writer's in Action 12. They planned the workshop sessions and selected the specific presentations that they will work on. They will be attending a three day work session in March and will be presenting the workshops in May.
The Winter 2010 Newsletter was sent out to all 7-12 schools in early January.
The dates for the annual Public Speaking event have been set: April 6th for grades 10-12, April 7th and 8th for grades 7-9 and April 12th-15th for grades P-6. This event takes place at Memorial Composite High School.
Desk Blotters, outlining the English Language Arts Document (7-9) at a glance, are being sent out to schools. The Department of Education is sending them directly to the sites so that each English Language Arts teacher will have a copy. The Framework for English Language Arts 7-9 will be on the front with the back outlining the specific curriculum outcomes for each grade level.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board created a Curriculum map for English Language Arts (7-9), which is being sent for final proofing to the printers.
Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant
Arlene Andrecyk visited all math teachers at Sherwood Park Education Centre, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High, Sydney Mines Junior High, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High, Bridgeport School and Donkin School. Each meeting was an informal session in which the teachers had an opportunity to meet with the Mathematics Consultant and discuss the delivery of the math curriculum. Teachers discussed such topics as mental math, assessment, and teacher collaboration.
In the continuing effort to support student learning, high school principals have been asked to provide Arlene Andrecyk with the provincial examination mark and the final mark for all students that took either Math 12 or Advanced Math 12 first semester.
The second Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Math League Game is scheduled for February 6, 2010, at Cape Breton University.
Community-Based Education/Options & Opportunities (Rhonda Smith, Consultant)
Twenty-one (21) students from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board have applied for the Building Futures for Youth program sponsored by the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS). There are sixteen seats available and the students will be interviewed on March 29, 30 and 31. The Community-Based Learning Consultant, Rhonda Smith, is organizing interview prep sessions that will be held in each school before March Break. Students will know early in April who will participate this summer.
An Options & Opportunities (O2) information session for guidance counsellors from the junior and senior high schools is set for the afternoon of February 24th at the Staff Development Centre. The goal is to assist counsellors with the understanding of O2 and to provide an opportunity for questions and discussions. Coordinators and Mentors from the Nova Scotia Department of Education will facilitate the session.
There are thirty-one (31) potential graduates this year from the O2 cohorts at Breton Education Centre, Cabot High and Glace Bay High. An update from Nova Scotia Community College admissions show that twenty-five (25) of these students have applied for seats at NSCC for 2010-2011. They have applied for various programs at Marconi, Strait, Akerley and Waterfront campuses.
Riverview Rural High School will offer Co-operative Education in the second semester beginning February 2nd. There are 17 students currently enrolled for this credit course.
Junior and senior high schools are encouraged to take advantage of funding from Apprenticeship training and Skill Development. The Workit Grants are provided to schools to increase student awareness and opportunities to explore careers in the skilled trades. Some schools have used the funding to provide workplace tours and transportation to other Nova Scotia Community College campuses. Memorial High is providing one-day test-drives for grade nine students who want to explore a trade. This is a Workit Grant project in partnership with Memorial, guidance counselors and the Community-Based Learning Consultant.
Vocational Education (Ken Collier, Consultant)
The “Career Awareness Day” for Grade 9 students from schools throughout our board will take place on Tuesday, February 9, 2010. Presently, there are 14 schools participating. These students will have the opportunity to experience the programs that are offered in our school, as well as view a number of competitions in the Skilled Trades.
December 18/09 was the deadline for students to apply to the Construction Association of Nova Scotia for the “Building Futures for Youth” project. This project hires a number of students from our board for summer employment and is designed to provide Grade 11 students the opportunity to explore a career in the construction industry. We had five students apply, and interviews will take place in March.
February 1, 2010 is the start date for the renovations to the Radio room, as well as the building of the new TV studio for our school. These renovations will truly compliment our Radio and Television Broadcasting Program and students and staff are eagerly awaiting the completion of this project. All of the equipment that was previously purchased in the equipment upgrade project will now be utilized. We would like to thank the board staff as well as the Board Members for their continued support.
The “Test Drives” for students are going well. Students are able to come to our school and spend the day in a program and experience a trade or technical program. To date, five schools have participated with very positive feedback from the students. So far, grade 9 students have participated, but we are open to students from other high schools as well.
Students have been busy preparing for exams, and all are looking forward to the exams being completed. It’s hard to believe that the school year is one half over. We hope that all students have had a successful and productive first semester.
French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant)
Representatives from the Nova Scotia Department of Education recently visited students at all the local senior high schools, accompanied by Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant. A presentation was made to all grade eleven and twelve students interested in participating in the “My Explore” program (Summer Language Bursary Program). The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board continues to send many high school students to French Second Language summer language schools across Canada.
Post oral interviews of grade six Intensive Core French students will be carried out in the next two weeks by Laurie MacIntosh, and Suzanne Aucoin, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High. Alina MacFarlane, a researcher hired by the Nova Scotia Department of Education, will observe the interview process conducted by Laurie MacIntosh and grade six Intensive Core French students at Glace Bay Elementary School on February 1st, 2010. Ms. MacFarlane will be including her observations as part of the research project.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Canadian Parents for French will once again collaborate to sponsor the annual Concours d’art oratoire (French Public Speaking Contest). The organizing meeting for teachers took place on January 27th at the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, Central Office.
Laurie MacIntosh has been invited by the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT) to take part in a two-day workshop in Ottawa on February 3-4, 2010. The session will assist leaders interested in designing and implementing mentoring/coaching programs in support of their second language teachers’ professional growth.
On January 14th, Alan Nicholson, Bridgeport School; Bernice Burke, St. Michael Junior High School; and Celeste Foisy Lahey, Riverside Elementary; travelled to Mulgrave to participate in a professional development day at the Strait Regional School Board. The workshop, for teachers of the “Experimental Core French” pilot classes, was facilitated by Gisèle Carrol and Celeste Foisy Lahey. In other professional development initiatives, grade six Intensive Core French teachers will participate in an inservice at Harbourside Elementary School on February 19th. Facilitators will be Laurie MacIntosh and Celeste Foisy Lahey. Grade seven Integrated Core French teachers of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will participate in a workshop in mid February via Marratech.
Riverview Rural High and Memorial High are the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s pilot schools which will participate in DELF evaluation. French Second Language evaluations of selected grade twelve students from both schools will take place in the spring. Students will be assessed using an internationally recognized instrument from France called the DELF (Diplôme d’études en langue française). The purpose of these evaluations is to give students international recognition for their accomplishments in French Second Language learning. A refresher session for trained examiners/markers will take place on February 18-19, in Halifax. Trained examiners/markers from our board include: Brenda MacNeil, Jennifer Moss, Laura Dunlop, William Sampson, and Craig Buckland.
Nova Scotia International Student Program
On January 9th, Lisa Hartery, Chignecto-Central Regional School Board International Student Progam, visited our board to deliver an informative presentation about the Campeche leadership camp to all participants and their parents.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board International Student Program Skating Party took place at C200 on Sunday January 10th, 2010. Host families, students and friends had a great time!
A ski day was held for all 1st semester students on January 21st.
Our schools did a great job saying goodbye to our 26 departing students! There were certificate presentations, dinners, wall paintings, and gifts of school memorabilia.
Preparations are underway for the arrival of 20 new Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board International Students, who will be attending schools during second semester. Winter orientation for new students, will take place Feb. 19th – 20th, 2010. Events include a get together for all students, a ski day for new students, and information sessions about the Nova Scotia International Student Program.
The two English Second Language teachers are preparing students for exams. They are also making changes to schedules to accommodate the new and departing students.
English Second Language
The English Second Language program focuses on grammar points, listening and speaking skills, and reading comprehension. At the high school level ESL students are provided with support for their assignments/ tests. An individual program based on their English proficiency level has been developed for each student. This program includes grammar and writing strategies. Along with the grammar and writing lessons, oral communication skills are practiced during each class. In February the International Student Program will welcome some new students. The new students will be assessed and a program will be developed for each student.
At the elementary and junior high level the newcomers are given support with their curriculum and lessons that build on their English skills. Students at these levels work at their own pace with an individual program.
Some shifts in scheduling were necessary to provide the maximum support for those students writing exams. On January 21st, a meeting was held with ESL teachers, Tammy Sampson, and David Brennick. It was emphasized that teachers ensure that everything was being done to provide support for students writing exams. On Friday, January 22nd, a memo was placed in the mailboxes of the Sydney Academy teachers, to let them know that support would be available for their Nova Scotia International Students during exams, should they or the student want that help. Mr. Brennick also made available some information about two English Second Language programs that exist outside our board. Both had interesting insight to share and he reminded and encouraged us to explore ideas outside our own district that may lead us to new ideas for our program.
Rick Simm, Coordinator
Acting Assistive Technology Consultant (Tracey Dove)
Assessments: Assistive Technology assessments were performed at St. Anne’s, Tompkins, Cornwallis, Greenfield, St. Joseph’s S.M., Riverview, Coxheath, Harbourside, Seton, St. Agnes, Ashby, Baddeck and Malcolm Munroe. Based on the recommendations of the assessments appropriate hardware and software were implemented into students’ curriculum.
Professional Development: Professional Development sessions were conducted with the Instructional Support Lead Teacher from each school within the board on Moodle, Comic Life and AT websites including www.sandboxlearning.com, www.raz-kids.com & www.tumblebooks.com.
Professional Development sessions on Kurzweil were conducted with the teachers from the following schools: Holy Angels, Riverview, T.L. Sullivan, Whitney Pier Memorial & Thompson. A professional development session on Intellitools was conducted with a teacher from Dr. T.L. Sullivan Jr. High. A professional development session on the Writer Plus was conducted with two students from St. Joseph S.M. Professional development sessions on various assistive technology, including Co-Writer, Write Out Loud, Start to Finish books and literacy websites were conducted with a teacher and her students from Ashby Elementary. Professional development sessions on Dragon Naturally Speaking V. 10 were conducted with teachers/students from St. Michael Jr. High and Middle River. A professional development session on Dysgraphia was conducted with the staff from Baddeck Academy. As of February 1, 2010, Ms. Sheila Kublek will return as Assistive Technology Consultant. John Astephen, Director of Programs & Student Services, would like to thank Ms. Dove for her excellent work in providing student and teacher training in the use of assistive technology.
Community Education (Heather Patterson)
Exams are underway at all four adult high schools and Ms. Patterson has been interviewing potential students since January 4th. There are 22 new students in Sydney, six for the Northside site, four in New Waterford and students in Glace Bay are still involved in the interview process.
There continues to be much interest in this program and increasingly the interest is from younger (21 and under) students who come with many challenges. The program has been moving over the years from its original intent to serve adults to more of an alternative school for younger students. We have been very fortunate to have the services of a guidance counselor in Sydney one morning a week and there is certainly a great demand for similar service in Glace Bay as well.
Plans are underway for graduation which will be held in the Sydney area this year. This year, there is a student who is “72” years young who will be receiving the Nova Scotia Diploma for Adults. The Adult School is very proud of her accomplishments over the past two years. She is an inspiration to students and staff alike.
Adult Evening Classes
This week, students wrote exams in Chemistry 12, Biology 12, Math 12 and English 12. Registration for the winter courses began on Monday night, January 25th, and ran until Thursday night, January 28th, at Memorial High School.
SIS/IT Professional Development Consultant (Kurt Kublek)
In the SIS (Student Information System) part of Mr.Kublek’s job, he has been very involved in the provincial talks concerning the new student information system, Power School. Mr. Kublek has been attending meetings via teleconference and in person in Halifax. The project is taking off and will be in full swing very shortly.
Mr.Kublek has also been working in his IT (Information Technology) branch of the position in a number of areas. He has been involved in workshops with lead teachers from all of our schools. The sessions were very productive and the feedback extremely positive. A follow-up to these workshops is scheduled. Furthermore, Mr. Kublek has been doing on-site professional development mostly with Moodle. Moodle is a tool that teachers can use to enhance their classes and many teachers and consultants have been taking advantage. As a result a school board Moodle has been set up for teachers and other school board staff to utilize. They may use it for professional development or for classroom purposes. The requests for professional development in this area have been growing.
IEI/PEBS Consultant (Trevor LeBlanc)
Additional hardware, including digital cameras, video cameras, LCD projectors and web cams, has been ordered and received and is currently being distributed to various IEI schools.
Professional development has continued with grade 12 IEI teachers. The area of focus has been on Comic life in the classroom, developing integrated lesson plans using 4 computers effectively, and implementation of Moodle. An updated web page for Lesson plans is currently under construction and should be finalized by March 1st. A review of the use of technology in the IEI schools will be completed and a report will submitted. A workshop is currently being developed for interested schools with Smartboard in order for teachers to maximize the strengths of the hardware and promoting its use interactively with students rather than using it as a presentation tool.
Susan Kelley, Coordinator
A two day workshop was held with first year accreditation school teams around data analysis, priority setting and ‘School Improvement Planning’. This is the second of the two workshops offered by the Department of Education in collaboration with CB-VRSB personnel for schools entering the Nova Scotia School Accreditation program (NSSAP).
In preparation for the visit of the Accreditation Team in the fall 2010, visits have begun with school teams of the eight schools in the fourth year of the NSSAP cycle. During these visits, any questions are answered and the school’s goals, data and annual reports are reviewed.
Follow-up was done with three junior high schools identified by the Department of Education as exhibiting growth in the area of reading comprehension on the Junior High Literacy Assessment (JHLA). Discussion continues around strategies which led to this success.
Work continues on the CB-VRSB Business Plan, reporting achievements and setting priorities for 2010/11.
Active Healthy Living – Mary Lou Andrea, Consultant
The CB-VRSB Olympic Torch Run continued through January. Participation has been great and the feedback from schools is very positive. ATV, Live at Five, did a story on it and featured students from St. Mary’s Elementary School. The wind up will take place on Feb.12th with central office personnel picking up the torch at Holy Angels and carrying it to the Public Health offices.
Plans are underway to do a book study with Physical Education Teachers on the book, Talk about Assessment by Damien Cooper. Portions of this book study will be recorded and will be posted it on our new Moodle site which is currently under construction.
Work began on reporting achievements from the business plan and on setting goals for 2010/11.
News was received that we were successful in getting funding from ECBC towards outdoor recreational facilities for several schools.
Sport Animator Report – Jim MacEachern
PEBS/Behavior Support-Trevor LeBlanc, Consultant
Breakfast for Learning/Nutrition Policy/Health Promoting Schools – Debbie Madore, CB-VRSB Dietician
Nutrition for Learning
Breakfast programs are up and running in 59/60 school sites. School adoptions have been renewed with Kiwanis Club of Sydney, and their sponsorship of Brookland Elementary; Golden K in North Sydney has given Jubilee $3500 every year. This year will be giving $1000 to Haiti and $2500 to Jubilee school.
Schools continue to have challenges with the fundraising piece of the food policy. Discussions will be held around this issue.
A Golf Tournament in support of Breakfast for Learning will be held on June 25 at The Lakes Golf Course, Ben Eoin. Sydney Credit Union is now a full partner for the event, thanks to Denise Gallant, Financial Advisor with Credential Financial Group. Denise has been a part of Breakfast for Learning for several years.
Health Promoting Schools:
The Health Promoting Schools Committee is presently working on how to define schools as Health Promoting, and establishing criteria for what schools need to exemplify to be entitled “Health Promoting”. The plan is to have schools receive a HPS Banner for display at the school.
An Olympic torch is travelling through the schools sites to promote healthy active living. Milk is available to schools to give out to students as part of the celebration.
Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cape Breton
Meetings continue to be held with the Healthy Eating subcommittee of HEAL. Goals for 2010 are to deliver quick healthy eating messages to the public around portion control, and healthy snacks.
Ms. Madore received a certificate in Mentoring following a three day workshop with Sharon Boudreau, NSELC.
Professional Development is ongoing with Technology and the utilization of Moodle
Literacy Support Report – Lyn McInnis, Literacy Support Consultant
The Elementary Literacy Assessment (ELA) and the Early Language Literacy Assessment (ELLA) results were made available to schools this month. Plans are being made around the follow-up to these results. Schools will be given the opportunity to decide whether they would prefer site-based support or off-site support as they begin to develop Literacy Support Plans to enhance student achievement.
This month, binders were compiled for all junior high schools. These binders contained individual student “Summary of Student Progress” forms to allow teachers to report on the progress being made with regards to strategies being used as part of the whole class plan to enhance student achievement. The binders will be distributed during the month of February.
A Literacy Support Mentor was hired to work at the secondary level beginning in February. The literacy mentor will work closely with the junior high schools to examine Literacy Assessment results and to help determine “next steps” with schools. Professional development around instructional practices and identified literacy strategies will be highlighted.
Literacy Support Advisory Group Meetings will be attended this month in Halifax with Janet Porter. Information around the Literacy Assessments will be discussed. Also, a meeting will be attended in Halifax to “share approaches in literacy” with other boards. Site-based support with junior high and senior high teachers around reading records was given. Work has begun on developing a ‘Moodle’ site for Literacy Support.
Sheila Kublek, Coordinator
At the beginning of January all schools received a Placement Survey package. This package included a step by step process in how to refer a student for special programming or placement, an electronic placement survey to be completed by each individual school, special programming/placement referral form for students and a parental permission form for special programming/placement. All schools are required to return the placement survey form to the placement committee by the first week of February.
During the month of January afternoon professional sharing sessions were held for all resource, learning centre, learning disabilities and learning strategies teachers. Topics discussed were additions to the IPP for data collection, IPP reviews and reporting, student transitioning and placement for the upcoming school year and a sharing of practices for service delivery and reporting.
The IPP Lead Team gathered in mid January to prepare presentation tools and materials for IPP Modules 3 and 4. Each school has two representatives who received training in IPP Modules 1 and 2 in October. These same two representatives will receive training for Modules 3 and 4 in February.
The transitioning of new students into grade primary has been initiated by Student Services. Mrs. Genevieve Richardson, Student Services Consultant, has been contacting the necessary day cares and preschools, along with organizations such as All Kids Early Intervention and AIP (Autism Intervention Program) to begin transitioning plans for students identified as having special needs.
Louise Smith, ASD Consultant, continues to support STAR programming in established and newly expanded sites. Classroom observations, teacher and teacher assistant support, direct student programming and follow up programming has been provided at Coxheath, Boularderie, Sydney River, Riverside, St. Joseph (SM), Glace Bay Elementary, John Bernard Croak, Holy Angels, Brookland and Florence Elementary.
At the end of January, all Learning Centres received a copy of the book “You, Me and My OT” written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Kristi Bridgeman. The book was produced by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and written to inform children about occupational therapy services along with the varied adaptive tools that can be of assistance to many people. These books were purchased through an ATEC grant initiated by Mr. Rick Mac Kinnon, a Learning Centre teacher at Bridgeport School.
On February 1, 2010, with the return of Cathy Viva from her study leave, Sheila Kublek returned to her position as Assistive Technology Consultant. As is evident in her contribution to this monthly update, Ms. Kublek has demonstrated excellent administrative, communication, and leadership skills as Acting Coordinator of Student Services. Director John Astephen is thankful for her contribution on behalf of the students and parents of the Board.
RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Lynn Crawford, Coordinator
The 3rd African Heritage Month Gala was held Saturday, January 30, 2010, at the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. The evening was a celebration of culture, music, and honoring community leaders. Robert Upshaw, Vice-Principal at Cole Harbor High, was the Master of Ceremonies and his humorous and upbeat talents entertained the guests throughout the evening. The evening began with a procession of African drummers leading special guests, gala committee, and Cape Breton Regional Police Service Honor Guard into the room to enjoy a 3-course meal. Guest speaker for the evening was Honorable Percy Paris, African Heritage Minister. Mr. Paris praised the committee and the African Nova Scotia community for their dedication and advocacy in the celebration of African Heritage and Culture. The Tom Miller Humanitarian Award was presented to community leaders Marilyn Brewster and Joe Parris. The event concluded with door prizes and a dance featuring Asia & NuGruv. The CB-VRSB was represented by Board Members, Coordinators, Consultants and RCH Lead Team members.
On February 12, 2010, the RCH Lead Team will be hosting the second annual Diversity Day. The theme for this year is "DIVERSITY DAY-365 DAYS." All schools are encouraged to celebrate Diversity through special initiatives through curriculum delivery.
A newsletter will be circulated in mid-February highlighting various events at schools and will provide new resources, websites, upcoming events, dates to remember, and the history of African Heritage Month. Co-editors of this newsletter are Marjorie Bursey (Teacher, Thompson Junior High) and Carmelita Cousins (Board Library Consultant).
The Teachers' Resource Centre and School Libraries have many resources available to honour African Heritage Month. Books, videos, DVD's, and kits are displayed in both the Centre and at schools. Many of these resources also provide suggested activities and lesson plans. One new resource, INTEGRATING MULTICULTURAL LITERATURE, written by Kaavonia Hinton & Gail K. Dickinson, is in libraries and classrooms in secondary schools. Schools have also received Shantay Grant's picture book UP HOME which vividly portrays life in Africville. The Book Diversity Project from several years back has infused many books and video resources into all school libraries. Each year, new titles are added to the collection.
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