DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES
Programs and Student Services, under Director John Astephen, has embarked in an initiative to further support principals in their very important role as educational leaders in their respective schools. Beginning in early December, through the Nova Scotia Educational Leadership Consortium’s Professional Learning Programs, principals in CB-VRSB will be able to access the following four Professional Learning Modules throughout the school year:
Registration fees will be provided for principals on a first come, first served basis as resources permit. In an effort to build capacity within the Board as well as at the site level, CB-VRSB Coordinators and Consultants have been, and will continue to be, trained as facilitators for these and other modules. This, in turn, will enable more immediate access to these professional learning opportunities for all educators in CB-VRSB without the additional costs in time and financial resources in travelling to other areas of the province to participate.
PROGRAM SERVICES P-6
Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator
On October 21, the grade six students from the Northside elementary schools attended a presentation by Holocaust survivor, Philip Riteman. Holocaust Education is included in the grade six curriculum in our Board and Mr. Riteman’s sharing of his experiences and overall message to ‘do good’ in the world was very well-received by the students in attendance.
Literacy Consultant P-6, Audrey Kyte-Murphy
The Board’s Young Writers in Action team attended a three-day Department of Education Workshop on October 6-8 and are planning a presentation focused on “The Writing Workshop “for P-1 teachers in our Board on November 29.
The grade two classroom learning resources have been ordered. The funding for the purchases came from monies allocated by the Department of Education. These resources will enable teachers to continue developing their math and literacy programs.
The after-school professional development sessions continue at Brookland Elementary once a month. They have been expanded to include all P-6 teachers and substitutes. Each session thus far had about 50 teachers in attendance.
The two fulltime elementary mentors continue to respond to numerous requests. Their support is well received by teachers. The teachers in grades 7-9 can now access mentoring support by requesting the support of Bernadette Murray.
In addition, professional development sessions during Learning Monday meetings continue to be facilitated by Audrey Kyte Murphy, Thelma Libbus, and Geraldine Beaver.
Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau
Teachers continue to access mentors for support. Mentors attended the Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI) session put on by our Board and found the information valuable.
A Parent Information Night was held at Marion Bridge School on October 22. Parents in attendance were very receptive and requested additional sessions. The presenter, Ron Muller, focused on key concepts in current mathematics instruction.
Mental Math PD
Teachers at Tompkins who didn’t attend a Special Association Conference used their conference day (October 22) to take part in a mental math workshop presented by Ron Muller.
Site-Based PD – Multiplication and Division Using Base Ten Materials
Teachers of grades four, five, and six in several schools have taken part in a site-based, half-day professional development on multiplication and division using base ten blocks. Those schools are: Shipyard, Harbourside, George D. Lewis, Florence, John Bernard Croak, and Coxheath.
Florence Elementary School
Florence Elementary had a second monthly math challenge for October again promoting math conversations at home.
A Teaching Resource
A grade three and grade six teaching resource was provided to schools from the Department of Education.
Mentors will attend a workshop on the grade seven support delivered by Sharon Mc Cready, Department of Education.
Mental Math PD
There will be a mental math session presented by Pam VanDommelen at Boularderie School on November 25.
Site-Based PD – Multiplication and Division Using Base Ten Materials
Teachers of grades four, five, and six, in several schools will take part in a site-based, half day PD on multiplication and division using base ten blocks. Those schools are: Ferrisview, Rankin, Greenfield, and Cusack.
There will be one-day workshops for teachers of grades four, five, and six on Differentiated Instruction.
Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews
Diane Lewis, visual arts teacher based at Greenfield Elementary, has returned from a trip to The Children’s Holocaust Museum in Tennessee where she was able to experience first-hand the projects undertaken at the school in association with holocaust education. Most widely known is the Paper Clip movie documentary. Further information on this may be found at http://220.127.116.11/homepage_pc.cfm?id=78.
Our schools’ art departments are busy preparing for Remembrance Day celebrations which will involve dance, drama, music and visual art presentations and performances.
Professional development sessions are planned for all arts disciplines to take place on November 29. Twelve different workshop sessions will be offered to address the areas of dance, drama, music and visual arts.
Laura Schneider, curator of the Cape Breton University Art Gallery has invited high school art teachers and students to participate in a special art exhibit to take place along with the CB-VRSB’s annual student art exhibit in April 2011. Students will receive workshops from Laura at the university and the theme will centre on “It’s Natural.”
Preparations will soon be in place for the many school Christmas concerts and celebrations to take place in December. Please check the Arts Education website calendar for listings of these events at www.cbv.ns.ca/finearts.
Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins
The Adopt-A-Library Warehouse is almost ready for operation. Two rooms at Florence Elementary School are being transformed into the Cape Breton Chapter “Words of Wonder” Warehouse. Shelving has been secured and once the final cleaning touches are completed, the next step will be bringing the resources/materials/books to the location and ready for the upcoming Reading Challenges at both the junior high and elementary levels. A special event is being planned for the new year with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Schools have had some author presentations. A couple of author visits were Phillip Reitman (Holocaust survivor) and Sheree Fitch (children’s author).
Various schools have requested presentations. Riverside grade six classes had many questions and comments on the seriousness of the Holocaust. Baddeck is planning a full day with all students from grades six to twelve. Some schools want the entire student population to attend, while others request the presentations to only certain grades.
Reading RecoveryÒTeacher Leaders, Susan MacDonald & Joy Cookson
The emphasis for this month’s continuing contact professional development sessions was: ‘Increasing Awareness of Strategic Activity’. These sessions took place on the following dates:
Group A – October 6
Group B – October 7
Group C – October 27
Group D – October 28
Susan and Joy continued to work with their Reading Recovery children . Three children at Marion Bridge finished their series of Reading Recovery lessons this month and teacher leader Susan MacDonald will now move to Mira Road Elementary to cover a maternity leave of a Reading Recovery teacher. Joy continues to work with three children at Bras d’Or Elementary.
On October 19, Susan and Joy attended the Achievement Gap Initiative Meeting which was held at the Staff Development Center. This was a very informative presentation.
On Conference day which was held on October 22, Susan and Joy presented an inservice to Reading Recovery teachers who did not travel away to attend conference sessions. The inservice covered the following topics:
This day appeared to be beneficial for those who were able to attend.
Looking forward to November, Heather Janes-Pedersen (Reading Recovery Trainer/Coordinator for the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery Atlantic Division) will be attending the next continuing contact professional development sessions which will take place on November 3 and 4. Susan and Joy will also meet with Cathy MacNeil on November 3. They are looking forward to this opportunity for professional development with Heather Janes-Pedersen.
The next Reading Recovery meeting with Cathy MacNeil, Cathy Viva and Audrey Kyte-Murphy will take place in the morning on Friday, November 5.
Continuing contact professional development sessions will take place on the following dates:
Group A – November 3
Group B – November 4
Group C – November 24
Group D – November 25
The emphasis for these sessions will be ‘Making more powerful teaching decisions’.
For the system based professional development day scheduled for November 29, a session on phrasing and fluency for the grade five teachers is planned.
PROGRAM SERVICES 7-9
David Brennick, Coordinator
Plans are ongoing for the November 29th Regional Professional Development Day in all subject areas.
English Language Arts (7-12), Diane Brennick, Consultant
Sheila MacDonald and Diane Brennick went to Halifax for two days of work and planning for
the soon to be revised 7-9 English Language Arts Guide. This new guide will be a great
tool for all of junior high English teachers. Work on the guide is scheduled to be finished by December and then it will go to printing.
The 7-12 Curriculum Maps have been distributed to all English Language Arts teachers in the Board. We have received a great deal of positive feedback from teachers and
principals about this map and schools are already stating to use it for future planning. The Nelson 7 Literacy Kits have arrived at the schools for all grade 7 English teachers as well.
Work is underway for our system based in-service day in November. A team from Writers in Action 10-12 will be presenting a guided imagery writing activity. In addition, a representative from Nelson will be here to train our teachers on how to use the Literacy 7 kits.
Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant
On October 5, all grade 7 math teachers attended a full day of in-servicing. The focus of the in-service was an examination of the Elementary Mathematics Literacy Assessment (EMLA) 2010 results and appropriate follow-up to assist children’s mathematical development. Teachers were engaged in a number of activities they could use in their classrooms to activate prior knowledge, to vertically accelerate student learning and to monitor student progress. The feedback was very positive. Teachers were encouraged to contact Arlene Andrecyk or Lynne MacKay, junior high mentor, if they wanted further support. A second day of support is scheduled for November 17.
Arlene Andrecyk is presently visiting math teachers, in grades 7-12, that are new to schools or teaching math courses for the first time.
Marlene Urquhart, Sandy Urquhart and Arlene Andrecyk, from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, presented at the Mathematics Teachers Association October Conference on October 22 at Cole Harbour District High School, Halifax.
Junior High Math Olympiad and Senior High Math League will both take place this school year. Plans are underway for the first Math League competition scheduled for November 27 at Cape Breton University.
Science & Technology Fair (True Burke, Chairperson, Science & Technology Fair)
Plans are underway for the 2011 Cape Breton Regional Science & Technology Fair. The Cape Breton Regional Science Fair Committee met on November 2nd with science teachers who have already registered for this year’s fair. There were also some representation from other schools who wanted more information on the local Science Fair in order to begin planning their school-based fairs.
Community-Based Education/Options & Opportunities (Rhonda Smith, Consultant)
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, the Construction Association of NS and the Nova Scotia Community College have once again agreed to enter a partnership from September 2010 to August 2011. The Building Futures for Youth program will provide students with the opportunity to explore and experience careers in the construction trades during the summer of 2011. Program presentations to grade 11 students were conducted November 1-3, 2010. Deadline for applications will be December 17.
School visits to O2 classes were made by the Community-Based Learning Consultant October 4-8, 2010. The College Prep Coordinator, NSCC, and the Department of Education, Community-Based Learning Coordinator, attended some of the visits. It provided an opportunity to meet the new students, the returning students and to answer their questions about the program.
The O2 Marconi Days at NSCC, October 13, 14 and 15, were very successful this year. The students were able to participate in campus tours, portfolio sessions, and money management and have the opportunity to talk with O2 graduates who are now attending programs at NSCC. This year marks the 5th year for the O2 program in four high schools. Two O2 students presented the principal of NSCC a certificate of appreciation recognizing the contribution Marconi Campus has made to the O2 program.
On December 9 and 10, 2010, the Department of Education is hosting an O2 mid-year professional development workshop for O2 teachers across the province. Representatives from the four O2 schools and the community-based learning consultant will be attending.
Vocational Education (Ken Collier, Consultant)
Plans are continuing for the Skills Nova Scotia Competitions which will be held on April 19, 2011. We are hoping to expand our competitions this year. These competitions give our students the opportunity to showcase their skills, and possibly represent our province at the national competitions.
On September 30th, students took part in the annual Terry Fox Walk to raise money for cancer research. This is a very worthwhile project and students are always willing to participate.
Seaboard Industrial has been in our school fit-testing students for respirators which will be used in areas which produce dust and fumes. This is in part due to the situation with the dust collection systems being shut down throughout the province by the Department of Education, until inspections and upgrades have been completed.
The inspection of our dust collection systems has been completed by EPM Consulting of Halifax. We are now anxiously awaiting the results and recommendations to the systems, and hope for a speedy solution to the problem.
The Grade 9 Career Awareness Tours for our three feeder schools, Sydney Mines Jr. High, Thompson Jr. High, and Dr. T.L. Sullivan Jr. High, have been scheduled. November 15th will see the first group come to our school, with December 7th planned as the completion day. These tours give students the opportunity to see what we offer at Memorial Composite High, as well as information as to what is expected of them in their Grade 9 school year. Students have always enjoyed these tours.
Juanita MacDonald from the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) will be in our school on Monday, November 1, to do a presentation on the Building Futures for Youth Program to our Grade 11 students. The students are the present grade 11 co-op students and any other grade 11 student who is willing to participate and complete the 25 hour in-school component at the designed time. Rhonda Smith, Consultant for Community-Based Learning, had made the arrangements for this presentation.
Students from our Radio and Television Broadcasting Program participated in the annual “Disco Ball” at the Membertou Trade and Convention Center. This is an annual fundraiser for the Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club. We are very proud of these students for their work, and they have already been invited to participate in some future events which we will report on when they take place. Included is a letter that was sent to Instructor George Gregory from the Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club:
Good Morning George
I wanted to send a very quick note to the students from Memorial High School who helped us out on the weekend with our annual "Disco Ball" at Membertou Trade & Convention Center.
To Devon Aker; L.J. Postlethwaite and Rhianon Peters a huge "Thank You" from all of us at the Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club, your work was professional and it was a pleasure to work with these three wonderful students.
Memorial High School and George Gregory have been big supporters of this project from its start just six years ago, and we again appreciate the commitment that Memorial High Broadcasting students have played in making this a successful event each year.
Monies raised from this event help our club to continue to support local projects like "Loaves & Fishes" food bank meals for needy families and International projects like "Shelter Box" in which our Club just sent two complete temporary housing units to Haiti worth $1000 each, you have played a part in making this happen, Thank You!
Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club
French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant)
Several successful inservices took place recently within our Board for our French Second Language teachers. Grade six Intensive French teachers met at Harbourside Elementary School on October 18 for a one-day workshop while grade seven Integrated Core French teachers met at Greenfield Elementary School on October 27 to examine the new grade seven Integrated Core French curriculum guide. Facilitators for both days were Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant, and Celeste Foisy-Lahey, Intensive Core French Mentor.
Several French teachers of our Board took part in provincial French Second Language initiatives as well. Laurie MacIntosh attended the Intensive Core French inservice in Halifax on October 8. On October 1, three teachers from our Board: David Tobin, Bernice Burke, Sean Duggin; who are piloting Intensive Core French literacy strategies attended an inservice in Antigonish hosted by the Nova Scotia Department of Education.
Mr. Gilbert Taylor, Atlantic Representative for the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, visited the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board recently. Mr. Taylor conducted a parent presentation on October 12 and visited with Late French Immersion students at Riverview Rural High the following day. Mr. Taylor presented his report on the “Atlantic Round Table Discussions on the Continuum of Second Language Learning Opportunities”.
Mr. Gérald Félix, Acting Director of French Second Language Programs, Department of Education, will be visiting our Board during the last week of November. Mr. Félix and Laurie MacIntosh will visit the schools, teachers, students, and principals on initiatives which receive funding from “French Special Projects”. Every year, funding is made available through federal provincial and school board budgets to support a number of French Second Language learning opportunities. Mr. Félix will visit Central Office, Riverside Elementary, Harbourside Elementary, Greenfield Elementary, Bras d’Or Elementary, and Glace Bay Elementary Schools.
Professional development day plans are underway for November 29. Facilitators include Mr. Hughie Batherson and Mr. Daniel Bélanger from Université Ste-Anne and Flavie-Isabelle Hade from the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques.
On December 7-8, Late French Immersion students at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High will participate in the Atlantic Film Festival “Viewfinders” workshop.
The grade six Intensive Core French inservice will be held on December 13-14 at Riverside Elementary School.
Nova Scotia International Student Program (Tammy Sampson, Consultant)
Following a CBC radio interview, Tammy Sampson and several Sydney Academy students participated in television interviews for French CBC on the NSISP.
Andrea Ashton, Marketing and Communications Officer, Nova Scotia International Student Program, also came to spend time in the Board. She met with Norma Baxter, Communications Officer, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, to discuss media and publication opportunities for the Board’s International Student Program. She also visited many of our schools to update our school profiles for Nova Scotia International Student Program promotional materials.
The Nova Scotia International Student Program cultural trips to Toronto and Niagara Falls were very successful. Staff and students from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board who attended the trips reported positively on the experiences.
The soccer game at Cape Breton University, sponsored by EduNova, on October 17, was also a great success.
Of course, the month of October presented many fantastic “new” experiences for our students! Many are enjoying their first experiences with autumn and the beautiful foliage, and many also enjoyed their first “Canadian” celebration of Halloween!
Our next activities include an all-day, full group activity on November 7. The day will include a movie at Empire Theatres followed by an Eagles Hockey game and dinner with players from the team! We are also preparing for our optional Halifax trip for students to take place November 19-21.
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.
PROGRAM SERVICES (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)
Rick Simm, Coordinator
Assistive Technology Consultant
Assistive technology has gained the services of Melanie Dolan as a 50% Assistive Technology lead teacher. Melanie has experience as a Learning Centre and elementary classroom teacher and has been a long standing member of the Assistive Technology Lead Team. Her knowledge and expertise will be very useful in the area of Assistive Technology.
Along with student assessments and follow ups at the school level, professional development has occurred in the areas of Intellikeys/Intellitools, Kurzweil, and an FM system.
The IPP report card, based on the provincial template, was created by Jim Mac Neil in the Support for Students database. Mrs. Kublek presented the report card at the October Principals’ meeting. To date, the response to the IPP Report Card has been very positive. Several teachers have expressed their appreciation over the reduced amount of work when completing the IPP Report Card.
Much of October was spent providing support and guidance to Student Services teachers, psychologists, speech language pathologists and program planning teams in successfully completing their monthly reports for the Support for Students database. We are able to confidently report that all school personnel who need to access this site to complete required reports are able to do so and have their monthly reports up to date with accurate information.
Our Assistive Technology Consultant, Mrs. Kublek, represented the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board at an open community information session hosted by Bridgeway Academy at the Civic Centre in Sydney. Bridgeway Academy is a day school for students with learning disabilities. The school offered the information session in the regional area of Cape Breton to determine if there was a need and/or an interest in their services being brought to Cape Breton. Many parents of students attending the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board attended this session.
As mentioned in her September report, Ms. Patterson and her staff are working to ensure students have the skills they need to transition to the workplace as well as post secondary training. The new job readiness teacher has organized sessions for all four sites with the YMCA Enterprise Centers. The YMCA staff has been in and presented job readiness workshops for all grade 12, and in some sites, all students, in the following areas:
Students were presented with certificates to note this training. Guest speaker, Zach Ball, from Skills Canada/ Employment Nova Scotia, did an interactive presentation on skilled trades, what they are and how to access employment in those trades. He was able to visit all four sites and was very well received.
Private career colleges are coming in to meet with students over the next few weeks and preparation is underway to take students on tours of the Community College. Guidance support is helping to arrange test drives for all graduating students. We expect to have CPR/FIRST AID training in early January. The focus for that training will be the approximately forty graduates who can complete their diploma requirements in the first semester. The extended guidance support to all four sites has been a wonderful help and students are definitely benefiting from the counseling they are receiving. Ms. Patterson will be attending a session with other Adult High Schools in the province at the end of the month to deal with the integration of the provincial SIS for September 2011.
Adult Evening Classes
Classes are running for 255 students this semester. Grade 12 credit courses continue to be in huge demand. A waiting list has been compiled for these courses for second semester to avoid heavy registration in January and to get an idea of where courses might have to be extended for that semester. There are currently over 48 people on the list for Chemistry 12 and 14 for Math 12. These numbers are without advertising for second semester so they are expected to climb even more.
STUDENT SERVICES (EDUCATIONAL QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY)
Susan Kelley, Coordinator
In October, information/education sessions were held in five areas across the board with School Advisory Council members. The sessions which were well received included a review of the purpose of an SAC as outlined in the Education Act as well as an overview of the new handbook and our board pamphlet. Over 220 people attended. Special thanks to Barb Costello, Jerry MacNeil, Peter Campbell, Kevin Deveaux, and Brendan Dugas, the five principals who hosted the session in their area.
Debbie Madore – CB-VRSB Dietician
Nutrition for Learning
Breakfast programs are coming together for the 59 school sites. Programs are encouraged to involve students in running the program which supports the community volunteers.
Ms. Madore continues to negotiate a contract with Breakfast Clubs of Canada. Details on the contract should be completed in early November.
Health Promoting Schools
Applications from schools have been reviewed, and letters for approval have been sent to schools. There were 24 schools that applied for funding. Schools that submitted applications also submitted the completed HPS checklist. In follow up, schools will be visited to discuss the checklist and how the HPS can support their school. Banners to recognize programs will be available in the spring 2011.
The food policy is actively being reinforced at schools. In follow up to Susan Kelley’s presentation at the Principal’s meeting, Ms. Madore has been visiting schools to support the policy.
The Healthy Eating committee continues to meet to work on the new brochures, and there have been various discussions around initiatives for the community.
The first meeting for the Golf Tournament planned for June 24 was held at The Lakes on October 13. Denise Gallant, co-chair for the golf was able to attend, and Sydney Credit Union have agreed to be the presenting sponsor.
Mary Lou Andrea - Active Healthy Lifestyles Consultant
The Active Healthy Living Consultants from across the province spent two days in meetings in early October at Baddeck.
The Girls Play2 Northside elementary hockey program received welcomed news from the Canadian Tire Jump Start program. Our program received over $3000.00 in equipment to help with the hockey program that is going into its fourth year of operation.
Jim MacEachern - Sport Animator
Sport Animator participated in the Screening Committee Application Process for the Health Promoting Schools grants. Review process is completed and schools are being notified of their confirmed funding.
Swim to Survive Program for the grade three classes in the Board has commenced and will run through to January. All schools will be offered the opportunity to receive four formal instructional classes at the Northside and Kiwanis Pools.
Curling is Fun / Learn to Curl Grade Six pilot has commenced with St. Agnes and Florence participating in the first sessions.
Organizational plans for the Youth in Motion grade four physical activity program have commenced. Tentative scheduling would have the program commence after the Christmas Break.
A date has been set for the Fifth Annual Skating Races Jamboree which will be held on Saturday, April 2/11, at Centre 200 in Sydney. All grades from primary to grade six will participate.
Lyn McInnis – Literacy Support Consultant
October was a very busy month. School-based inservicing was provided for junior high teachers dealing with creating Whole Class Plans and developing strategies to support struggling readers and writers within their classrooms. Support was also given to several schools in compiling lists of students identified as "not yet meeting expectations" on the Elementary Literacy Assessment. This information will be used to compile the "Summary of Student Progress Binders" for all junior high schools. Craig Seward has been busy working with junior high teachers on reading comprehension and writing strategies. The literacy lesson binders that have been created for English and Social Studies teachers have been very well received and are certainly beneficial in helping teachers assess what reading strategies need strengthening in order to move students forward, allowing them to meet the outcomes.
This month, lower elementary teachers attended the ELLA marking session. Grade three teachers now have informal results for their students in the areas of reading comprehension and writing, which can be used to inform instruction.
The ELA marking session is now underway in Halifax.
A session on Word Study was presented at Coxheath Elementary School for grade 4-6 teachers. This is an excellent resource which may be added to any word study program.
The monthly LSAG meeting was attended in Halifax. New ideas were shared about best possible ways to support students and teachers around the Provincial Literacy Assessment Results.
Cathy Viva, Coordinator
Our partnership with Child & Adolescent Services and eight (8) pilot schools has begun. The pilot will promote interagency collaboration for students having difficulty coping in school and the community. It will provide access to Child & Adolescent personnel at each of the pilot schools. List of schools involved are below:
Sherwood Park Education Centre
Sydney Mines Jr. High
Breton Education Centre
Student Services staff and teachers are engaged in preparation for the November 29 In-Service day. The topic for the day is “Three Tiers of Instruction & Intervention” for students within our system requiring intervention.
Psychologists in our Board attended a one day workshop on October 1, 2010, provided by the Department of Education. The topic was on “The Definition of Learning Disabilities”. It was a full day conference and has provided requests for further Professional Development in the area.
Student Services welcomes Melanie Dolan and Mike Mombourquette to our team. Melanie will be providing support through Assistive Technology and Teacher Assistant Reviews. Mike will be providing support for students with behavioural concerns.
We would like to congratulate the team of Speech-Language Pathologists from the Strait Regional School Board on their award at the recent SCHANS Conference day in October.
Student Services continues to provide on-site support at the request of individual schools.
RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING & HUMAN RIGHTS
Lynn Crawford, Coordinator
How the Cougar Came to Be Called the Ghost Cat - Author Michael Isaac
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board wishes to congratulate Michael Isaac, a teacher at Shipyard Elementary, on the recent publication of his new book How the Cougar Came to Be Called the Ghost Cat. The main character Ajig experiences a lost identity, and feels compelled to give up part of who he is in attempt to fit in. The story is a reflection of Mr. Isaac’s own lived experiences as a Mi’kmaq person growing up in Listuguj First Nations in Quebec.
Over the past month Mr. Isaac has been busy presenting his story in classrooms within our board, as well as other boards. He has been featured in the Chronicle Herald, appeared on Breakfast Television, and was hosted at the Micmac Native Friendship Center in Halifax. In the near future, the Department of Education will be developing a teaching guide to accompany his story.
Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI)
Phase two of the Achievement Gap Initiative implementation has begun. On October 18, principals of the non-participating schools in the AGI received a one day in-service to be enlightened on the initiative and to review the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board results. On October 19, the session was repeated for the Consultants and Mentors within our Board.
A subsequent session took place on October 27, allowing principals to share the experience of bringing the information to their schools and the feedback received. Importance was placed on “reflecting on the information as opposed to deflecting.” The board was pleased to have Sylvia Parris, the Multicultural Education Consultant with the DOE, join us to connect the AGI with the Racial Equity Policy and the implementation of the Innovation Configuration (IC) Map. Sylvia’s ongoing support is truly appreciated by our Board.
The sessions were presented by the Programs and Student Services team.
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