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Sections > Programs and Student Services Report > PSS Report: September, 2010
PSS Report: September, 2010
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 10/08/2010 (1641 reads)
PSS Report: September, 2010


Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-6, Audrey Kyte-Murphy

Language Arts Consultants Audrey Kyte Murphy and Diane Brennick presented a two-day Literacy Module in June 2010 for teachers and consultants who participated in the NSELC Coaching and Mentoring Module co-facilitated by Sharon Boudreau and Audrey Kyte Murphy in early May.

Two full-time mentors for P-6 have been hired. Their focus for the initial part of the year will be to support teachers new to elementary or new to a grade level. The consultant and mentors attended an information day on September 3 at Eskasoni regarding two new resources placed in upper elementary classes in spring 2010: Nelson Word Study Program and Fountas & Pinnell Assessment Kits. The session was presented by Department of Education representatives.

Literacy support continues to be provided at the school level. Audrey Kyte Murphy delivered a professional development session at Mira Road School on September 2. Also, a board-wide professional development day will be held on September 16-17 for all grade six teachers focusing on comprehension and reading strategies. Several professional development sessions are being planned for both principals and teachers in the upcoming months.

The Department of Education has allotted money to be used for the purchase of resources for grade two. Teachers will receive the resources when the ordering is completed.

Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau



This coming year we have several mentor positions:

  • Ron Muller: permanent 100% FTE mentor P-6, based at Tompkins
  • Lynne MacKay: 100% FTE 7-9, seconded from September to December, then the month of April, based at Malcolm Monroe
  • Tara Colbert: 60% FTE P-6, based at Harbourside, also supporting New Waterford schools
  • Pam Van Dommelen: 60% FTE P-6, based at Bras D’Or, also supporting Florence, Boularderie, and Baddeck schools

Summer Academy

We held our sixth and seventh math academies at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre this summer. Each session was presented over four days. Participants included classroom teachers, resource teachers, substitutes, and pre-service teachers as well as teachers from other boards. There were teachers who were new to teaching, mid-career, and even some very near retirement. The more experienced teachers felt compelled to learn as much as possible to support the students they would teach in the latter part of their career. Each participant received a binder with the outcomes clustered, learning opportunities for each outcome, and the opportunity to experience various hands-on learning opportunities using the manipulatives for that grade level. We focused on the grade primary and six curriculums and had a total of 116 very engaged participants in the two academies. There was a high level of enthusiasm and appreciation for the information received. Several of those who attended have now attended all seven academies. Many have been to five or six. Ron Muller and Tara Colbert presented the primary academy, and Ron Muller and Pam van Dommelen were the presenters at the grade six. The opportunity for professional conversations with like-minded colleagues was, in itself, invaluable. Teachers had stated that they felt more confident and competent to teach mathematics after having attended the academies.

PRIME (Professional Resource and Instruction for Mathematics Educators)

We are revisiting schools where PRIME training has taken place to train teachers new to the school. Those schools are: Coxheath, Mountainview, St Joseph, Cape Smokey, Boularderie, and MacDonald. Ron Muller has already presented Day 1, and it was well received by those teachers. Each school will have a trained facilitator on staff, and those teachers will attend a training session in Halifax, funded by the Department of Education, from Monday, September 13 to Thursday, September 17.

Student Services will expand PRIME training to include more resource teachers. There will be two student services teachers trained to be facilitators and will attend the same training session in Halifax.

Professional Development (New Principals)

Audrey Murphy, Literacy Consultant, and Sharon Boudreau are planning an information session with new principals to provide information to support them in their role as curriculum leaders.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

The Giant radio station has given the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board $30,000 for music programs again this year. This is the third year we have received support from the radio station and our music programs are very grateful. Scholarships are available to music students in grades 5-12 through this grant. The first deadline for applications is September 30. Further information may be found on our website at

Arts education teachers will have an opportunity to meet their colleagues and to share and collaborate on the upcoming year’s activities on September 13. We have some new faces on our staff and we welcome them as part of our team.

We look forward to student enrollment in our instrumental programs, including registration for our string program taking place on September 14 at Shipyard Elementary School.

Arts programming continues to roll out new curriculum at the junior high level. Many of our junior high schools will implement new grade eight curriculum through various course offerings of Band Instruments 8, Music 8 and Visual Arts 8. Three of our junior high schools will also pilot new Grade 9 Arts curriculum (Oceanview Education Centre, Sherwood Park Education Centre and Sydney Mines Junior High). Support from the Department of Education for this curriculum implementation will take place with the provision of resources and professional development for teachers at least twice during the year.

Professional development will be offered to elementary band teachers on September 28 on new instrumental music curriculum.

We continue to work with our community partners in providing the best possible opportunities for our students and that includes partners such as, but not limited to, the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, Cape Breton University, Celtic Colours, Membertou Trade and Convention Centre and the Savoy Theatre.

Plans are already underway for an exciting visual arts opportunity in conjunction with ArtReach, ArtsSmarts and the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design. Celtic Colours have brought back their school programming this year and will be in many schools during September and October. Membertou Trade and Convention Centre also plans to bring school concerts to us with Symphony Nova Scotia again this year.

We look forward to a great year!

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

On September 2, 2010, the Library Technicians of the CB-VRSB attended Professional Development at the Temple Sons of Israel Synagogue on Whitney Avenue in Sydney. The event was facilitated by Carmelita Cousins (Library Consultant) and Rabbi David Ellis of Halifax.

Ms. Cousins provided the group with a Power Point presentation featuring slides/photos from her recent trip where she participated in the 2010 Holocaust Educator's March of the Living Tour to Germany and Poland. During this trip, she visited six concentration camps, as well as various sides associated with the Holocaust. She also provided a short DVD on "one survivor remembers".

Rabbi Ellis discussed various topics in Jewish culture and presented the group with insight and knowledge for awareness and learning of Jewish culture, religion and life. Rabbi Ellis also conducted a mini-lesson on the Passover Seder dinner during the lunch hour.

Participants left with a multitude of resources on the Holocaust for their schools, as well as knowledge to recognize many aspects of the Jewish world. Members of the Jewish community also attended and were very pleased with the entire day’s sessions.


David Brennick, Coordinator

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

A literacy day was held, in June, for newly trained mentors. Audrey Murphy and Diane Brennick co-presented to the teachers. They reviewed recent literature and research involving a conferring text and an Inquiry Circles resource.

Copies of Teaching Adolescent Writers were ordered to be distributed, one per junior high. In addition, a Repair Kit for Grading has also been requested from the Department of Education for distribution to high schools.

A Summer Institute on evaluation for 7-9 teachers was offered by the DOE, in the Annapolis Valley, with Rick Wormeli.

In August, the Implementation Team for the new 7-9 English Language Arts Guide, met for two days to work on revision. This team includes teachers from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

Students from grades 7-10 in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, who were not successful in mathematics in the 2009-2010 school year, had the opportunity to attend a Skills Building Program in July 2010. This program provides support to a student in the specific areas that are critical for the student to be successful the next year.

On September 1st and 2nd, information sessions were held for grade 7 and grade 8 math teachers. At the session, teachers were introduced to the new Math 7-12 website. Teachers received information on the EMLA that grade 6 students wrote in May 2010. Grade 8 teachers received a package to provide support in the delivery of the math curriculum. Grade 7 teachers reviewed the support package that was given to them in September 2009. Arlene Andrecyk and Lynne MacKay, junior high math mentor, facilitated the sessions.

Community-Based Education/Options & Opportunities (Rhonda Smith, Consultant)

The Department of Education conducted an O2 workshop for new teachers on August 26th and 27th in Dartmouth. New teachers from Breton Education Centre, Cabot High, Holy Angels High, and the Community-Based Learning consultant participated in the workshop.

The Department of Education launched a new O2 promotional video on August 26. Students, teachers and parents from the O2 program at Holy Angels are highlighted in the video.

This summer, sixteen students from Holy Angels, Memorial, Riverview, Breton Education Centre, and Sydney Academy participated in the Building Futures for Youth program sponsored by Construction Association of Nova Scotia. The students had the opportunity to explore work in the skilled trades through 5-6 weeks placement with the following employers/mentors: Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Department of Transportation, Marine Atlantic, CB Drywall, Rod Christmas Plumbing, Trifios, Apollo Masonry, J. Wilkie Mechanical, Superior Truss, and Joneljim Construction. The students earned a summer wage, three co-op credits, pre-apprenticeship hours and valuable work experience for their participation.

Nova Scotia International Student Program (Tammy Sampson, Consultant)

This year, we are welcoming back 15 returning students and 64 new students for a total of 79 international students in our school board. We have students representing thirteen countries this year including: Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, China, Germany, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Mexico, The Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Japan, and Turkey. We are very excited about the diversity of students and growth of the program this year.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has also welcomed many new host families for the school year. A total of 55 Cape Breton Regional Municipality families have welcomed students into their homes.

We have many exciting events planned for our students and host families in the upcoming months. So far, students have been getting to know their families, schools, and communities. Homestay coordinators are hosting welcome barbeques during the month of September. The new student orientation will take place September 24th-25th in Baddeck.

We have lots of support personnel in place for our students including two new English Second Language teachers, and school liaison staff in most schools.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board International Student Program has also once again been invited to participate in the Nova Scotia International Student Program Campeche Leadership Camp to take place during March break for 2 weeks. This will be the second year participation will include multiple school boards. This venture is a cost effective way to keep the program available to Nova Scotian students.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is also preparing to take part in a school to school exchange program between Breton Education Centre and The Jean Piaget School in Brazil.

We are also in the midst of agent and principal visits to our area. These visits began with the arrival of Trudy Martinez and Monica Perdomo from Gimnasio Femenino, a school in Bogota, Colombia. They came to visit their students studying in Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High and Breton Education Centre.

As always, we continue our recruiting campaign for new host families. Our targeted growth areas are North Sydney and Glace Bay. We are also looking for a fifth homestay coordinator in the Glace Bay area to help facilitate this growth.

French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant)

Intensive Core French and Experimental Core French (literacy-based) pilot class teachers will meet on September 9th at Harbourside Elementary to map out mentoring services for the 2010-2011 school year. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has received a grant from the Nova Scotia Department of Education to free up Celeste Foisy-Lahey as a full-time mentor. There will be six Intensive French classes this year and there will be three new experimental Core French classes (Greenfield Elementary, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High, and MacLennan Junior High). Our board has also received another grant to continue mentoring services for our elementary and junior high Core French teachers.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will again participate in the Official Language Monitor Program. Language assistants are assigned to an educational institution to help second language teachers encourage students to interact in the language they are studying and to raise awareness of the culture associated with the language. Our French language assistants this year are Nicholas Crépit who will work with teachers and students at Malcolm Munroe Junior High and Lynda Béland who will work with teachers and students at Memorial High and Sydney Mines Junior High.

Congratulations go out to one of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s French teachers who will be awarded the Canada Parents for French-Nova Scotia “French Second Language Educator of the Year Award 2009”. Marie Andrews, elementary Core French teacher at Cusack Elementary/Ashby Elementary, will receive this prestigious award at the CPF-NS Presidents’ Banquet in Dartmouth on September 25th.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Tri-County Regional School Board will act as pilot sites for a new interactive website to promote French Second Language among grade six students. Launching of the site will take place later this month at Sydney River Elementary School. The website is a secure closed site which will feature fun activities such as games, francophone music, videos, etc. to promote learning French.

Upcoming professional development initiatives will include meetings of the Senior High French Language Arts PLC, as well as launching of the new grade seven Integrated French Curriculum Guide.


Rick Simm, Coordinator

The new Student Information System (SIS) called Powerschool is up and running throughout the province and, in particular, 15 schools in CB-VRSB. The implementation of the SIS is a major undertaking and kudos go to the Student Information System Team (Kurt Kublek, Brad MacNeil, Tracie Collier, Sheila Kublek, Jim McNeil and Tom Baker) who have been working tirelessly to prepare schools for the start of the school year. The SIS team worked hard over the summer months to get the schools ready for the opening day of school.

This is a busy time of year for adult education. We are doing the intake of students into the Adult High Schools and registration for a full range of adult evening classes will be held the week of the 13th of September. Evening classes will begin the last week of September for credit courses and GED preparation and general interest and computer classes will begin the first week of October.


Susan Kelley, Coordinator

The Early Elementary Math Literacy Assessment (EEMLA) was written by grade 3 students across the province.

A meeting was held with the principals of Holy Angels High and Sydney Mines Junior High to gather feedback for the Department of Education, on the Teacher Growth Planning Pilot. Last year was the final year for this pilot, and we were the only board in the province to participate.

Official presentation of Accreditation Plaques by the Department of Education and CB-VRSB staff took place at Shipyard Elementary and Cabot Jr./Sr. High Schools.

Work continues with the Achievement Gap Initiative and the Provincial Racial Equity Policy Leadership Team.

In June, three staff attended facilitator training for the NSELC Module on Assessment at the NSELC offices in Dartmouth.

Debbie Madore – CB-VRSB Dietician

Nutrition for Learning

Golf Tournament

On June 25, The Lakes Golf Club was the venue for a successful golf tournament in support of Breakfast Programs. This was the Seventh Annual tournament, but the first tournament at The Lakes and for the first time, Sydney Credit Union was on board as the presenting sponsor, thanks to the diligence of Denise Gallant, Credential Financial Strategies. Denise has been a member of the Nutrition for Learning Committee for several years.

With the partnership of Sydney Credit Union, and having Denise as the tournament co-chair, the tournament was a sellout, with 36 teams of four, 144 players, and a wait list! Sydney Credit Union provided each participant with a Callaway Mini Looper Golf Bag as the Tee gift. The day was spectacular, with lots of sun and a warm breeze.

During the day, games were held on various holes to increase the revenue at the event. Four of the par 3 holes were insured for hole in one prize including a chance to win a car, $15,000, $10,000 and a chance to win $10,000 in furniture from Schwartz Furniture.

Individuals also had the opportunity to purchase tickets on a set of Diablo Golf Irons, which were donated by Denise Gallant. Each team could also participate in a poker game, with the best poker hand winning 4 refurbished laptops!! There were other various games throughout to make the day and fun for the participants.

At the end of the day, the tournament raised $26,000! This is the largest amount raised during the tournament, which demonstrates the value in the partnership with the Sydney Credit Union and Denise Gallant. June 24, 2011, has been reserved for next year at The Lakes, and plans are already underway!!

Lyn McInnis – Literacy Support Consultant

The month of June was busy with teachers completing summary of student progress notes for literacy support students at elementary, junior, and senior high levels. The NSELC Assessment Module and the Literacy Module were completed in June.

A great deal of time was spent getting the literacy binders ready for junior high teachers. We are hoping to distribute these binders to schools on September 28th. Plans are being developed to talk with principals about the purpose of the binders and possible co-teaching to support the roll out. Lead teachers from each junior high school will receive one day of in-servicing around the literacy lessons and assessment pieces. These teachers will then share the material with English and Social Studies teachers at their school sites.

The development of a new whole class plan approach to support students identified as not yet having met expectations on the ELLA are underway for grades 3, 4, and 5 teachers. In-servicing will be provided for teachers. Once this is achieved, there will be better continuity among grade levels.

Mary Lou Andrea - Active Healthy Lifestyles Consultant

A provincial high school Physical Education 11 two day workshop was attended by a physical education teacher from each of the high schools as well as the AHL consultant. The workshop highlighted the new
courses available to students at the grade 11 level as well as an assessment and mental health presentation.

Both the elementary and junior high track and field events took place at the new track complex next to Cape Breton University. Both days were very successful.

Ten schools will have Physical Education mentors this year as part of a joint venture with Sport Nova Scotia and Department of Community Services.

The meeting of AHL consultants from across the province was hosted in Baddeck.

Jim MacEachern, Sports Animator

  • The Annual Junior High Baseball / Softball Boys and Girls Festival was completed in early June with close to 200 boys and girls from grades seven to nine participating.
  • The Cape Breton Recreation Health Complex on the CBU Campus was officially opened on June 14/10. The CB-VRSB has been an integral partner with a number of community groups, in the planning and securing of this valuable facility, which will offer our children additional facilities for Physical Activity Programs. The facility will be utilized in the 2010 – 2011 Youth in Motion Program for the Board.
  • The Board again was able to offer support to the A.Tyler Harker Association to support a summer 2010 camp for challenged and disabled youth.
  • A no fee Summer Baseball Camp was offered to students in the Sydney area for children not participating in any organized Leagues. Instruction was offered through partnering with the Sydney Sooners Baseball Club.
  • An “After School Physical Activity Programming Survey” from the Provincial Health Promotion & Protection Department was circulated throughout the Board with the tabulated submitted data collected and forwarded to the Provincial Body.
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