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Sections > Programs and Student Services Report > PSS Report: January 2011
PSS Report: January 2011
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 02/08/2011 (1973 reads)
PSS Report: January 2011


Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-6, Audrey Kyte-Murphy

Professional Development

On November 29, we had our Board-wide shut-down day and the Young Writers in Action Lead Team (P-1) brought key messages about ‘The Writing Workshop’ to grades P-1 teachers. The information was presented at the Department of Education Training Session for our Board Team in October. Jacqui MacIntosh and Tammy Harrison from the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board presented a well received workshop on ‘The Developmental Nature of Writing’ to P-1 teachers. The Department of Education supported their visit. Also, Lynne Healey, principal writer of the Spelling P-9 document, focused on Spelling Strategies and Cathy Cotton, retired teacher from the Strait Regional School Board, familiarized grade four teachers with the Assessment Kit 4-6 from Foutas & Pennell. Lead Reading Recovery Teachers conducted a session for grade five teachers on comprehension in regard to fluency. A session on Visual Literacy by Robyn Neal and another on Happiness and Sustainability facilitated by Catherine O’Brien took place.

The teacher feedback from all these literacy sessions was positive. Thank you to Susan Martin O’ Brien, Department of Education, for her support in enabling Lynne Healey, Jacqui MacIntosh, and Tammy Harrison to share their expertise.

Keynote speaker, Debbie Graham from St. Francis Xavier University, spoke about the lessons she learned throughout her career with the message being, take care of yourself, pace yourself and remember to keep the joy in teaching.

The Department of Education held a Professional Development session for twenty-five grade one teachers at Coxheath School on December 10. The focus was on integrating the Arts and providing opportunities for purposeful play in grade one classrooms and an understanding of the developmental stages of students in this grade.

On November 26, December 9, 14 and 15, grades four and five teachers attended professional development sessions to focus on Whole Class Literacy Plans and how to use Reading Records to inform your instruction.

Literacy Mentors

The two full-time elementary mentors continue to support teachers in their classroom practices and junior high mentor Bernadette Murray has responded to numerous requests for help from P-9 teachers.

The after-school professional development sessions at Brookland Elementary were well attended since October and it is a goal to begin a similar session to accommodate Northside teachers as well as substitutes in January 2011.

Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

November/December Review:


Teachers continue to access mentors for support. Other teachers have requested mentoring but with the mentors already booked, they must wait months. Mentors attended a professional development session with Sharon McCready, Department of Education, around the Grade Seven Support. Since the grade seven teachers will be supporting students at the elementary level, all mentors found the information valuable.

Math Buddies – Harbourside

Tara Colbert, math mentor and primary/one teacher, along with Brian Lavery, grade four teacher, worked together to support students at the grade levels they were presently teaching. Tara met with Brian as a mentor and then they co-taught place value to the grade four students under the premise that they would be “teaching” this to the grade primary/one students. Those grade four students were very engaged and also developed a reflection sheet to be filled in after their buddy session. The grade four students thought they were evaluating the primary/one students, when in actuality it was a self-evaluation. The primary/one parents relayed to Tara that the children were very excited about this one-on-one time with the older students.

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. As of the end of December, the following seventeen schools will have received those sessions: Shipyard, Harbourside, George D. Lewis, Florence, John Bernard Croak, Coxheath, Ferrisview, Rankin, Greenfield, Cusack/Ashby, Glace Bay Elementary, Seton, Tompkins, Riverside, St Joseph’s, and Sydney River.

Mental Math PD

There was an after school professional development session on mental math P-6 at Boularderie school on November 25 facilitated by mentor, Pam Van Dommelen. There was a discussion about dedication a school-wide block of time for mental math. Sydney River Elementary already has this dedicated time in place.

Math Club

At Florence Elementary, the grade six teacher, Nancy Stubbert, has started Math Club, an opportunity for students to come after school for extra help in areas of need. She found parents were also coming especially to understand the purpose of using base ten manipulatives in understanding the process.


There were one-day workshops for teachers of grades four, five, and six on our Board’s method of tracking students who have not yet met expectations on the EEMLA assessment. Various methods that could be used to track students, as well as ways to organize that information, were discussed. There was also a presentation and discussion on differentiated instruction.

Other PD

On November 19, Ron Muller presented a three-hour session with twenty-five tutors who are involved with the Peer Outreach Program. Those involved appreciated the support and felt more competent to work with the students.

January Plans:

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 professional development on multiplication and division using base ten blocks.


There will be professional development sessions for all grades three and six teachers. Teachers of those grades have expressed concerns about the Department of Education assessments which are written at both grade levels.

Mathematics Parent Fair

There will be a parent fair at Harbourside Elementary School on Wednesday, January 26.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

Schools were busy participating in Christmas concerts throughout the month of December. Other performances also took place for community parades, tree lightings, telethons, and seniors’ homes … just to name a few!

The Christmas spirit was alive and well in our schools with some specific examples of the meaning of the season below:

  • Harbourside School had a live feed of their concert sent to a hospital in Halifax for the father of some of their students who is a burn victim.
  • Harbourside School dedicated a day of their Christmas concerts to the Delorey family in memory of James Delorey.
  • Glace Bay High School dedicated the last piece the high school band performed in their concert to the celebration of life for a girl from the community who was tragically killed.
  • One of the students who participated in “Shop of the Class”, refused to spend any money on himself and only bought for others, even offering something to his driver that day. (His police chaperone then made sure he received something anyway.)

Dance, drama, music and visual arts teachers attended various professional development offerings put forward by our Board on November 29. Sessions were held in various locations and included specific sessions on dance, drama, the Beaton Institute’s Diversity in Unity resource, ukulele, choir, Grade 8 Band curriculum implementation, Grade 8 visual arts curriculum implementation, recycled art projects, visual literacy and jewellery techniques. Thank you to the Nova Scotia Department of Education, the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design and Cape Breton University in partnering with us for some of these sessions.

Thank you to the Savoy Theatre for hosting the show “A Christmas Carol” on December 14 to many students.

Holy Angels’ students produced a black light theatre with a Charlie Brown Christmas theme. This was performed for many elementary schools in December along with a public performance.

MacDonald Elementary, Mount Carmel School and St. Agnes Elementary are working on a joint musical project that will include all students and staff in a video of “Love Rescue Me.”

Reading RecoveryÒTeacher Leaders, Susan MacDonald & Joy Cookson

December has continued to be a busy month for Reading Recovery®. The ongoing professional development sessions took place on December 8 for groups A and B, and again on December 9 for groups D and C. During these sessions teachers focused on ‘the orientation to the new book before the first reading’ and ‘making effective use of the practice page during writing’. They also took this opportunity to reflect on last year’s data and to review the goals set for Reading Recovery® for this school year.

In addition to the role of supporting Reading Recovery® teachers, Susan provided daily lessons to four children at Mira Road Elementary and Joy worked with three children at Bras d’Or Elementary.

On December 3, Susan, Joy and Cathy MacNeil travelled to Halifax for a Reading Recovery® meeting at the Department of Education. During this meeting, they reflected on the board, province and national data for Reading Recovery®. They discussed common issues arising across Nova Scotia and shared ways in which different boards were dealing effectively with these common issues. Representatives from each board were then given the opportunity to reflect on their present goals and consider how they were going to be achieved.

On the afternoons of December 13 &14, Susan, Joy, Cathy Viva, Special Services Coordinator and Cathy MacNeil met with all the Reading Recovery® teachers and their fifty percent backfill teachers. The purpose of these meetings was two-fold: to talk about things that are going well for these teachers as they share the responsibility of their classrooms, as well as identifying and problem-solving any issues that have caused difficulty or concern.

Looking ahead, the ongoing professional development sessions will take place on January 12, 13, 19 & 20. The emphasis for these sessions will be ‘Thinking about Reciprocity’.

Throughout the month of January, Susan and Joy will be preparing a professional development session for primary and grade one teachers. The focus for the session will be early literacy behaviors. The session will be part of a day of professional development provided to these teachers at the beginning of February.

Shop of the Class

The Cape Breton Regional Police, along with the Mayflower Mall and The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, held the third annual “Shop of the Class” on December 3rd. Each elementary school had a participant who was able to attend lunch shop with a police officer using a $100.00 gift certificate from the mall, create a craft, and be the recipient of a stocking full of presents. It was a very joyful experience for both students and police!

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Professional Development – October

Library technicians were treated to two workshops on October 27. The day began with a round-table of highlights from each school and the sharing of ideas – a very informative session. Nancy MacDonald presented a session for the staff on Creative Book Talks with various examples for developing one in each school. In the afternoon, Wanda Robson, author of the book, ‘Sister of Courage: The Viola Desmond Story’ conducted a session on her book and entertained the staff with her stories, wit and charm.


Thanks to the dedicated work of our Board’s Property Services Department, the support of senior management and the Board’s Education Committee, two classrooms have been transformed into the Cape Breton Chapter Warehouse which has become a location for storage and organization of books, materials, prizes, etc., associated with the Adopt-A-Library Program. The space includes numerous shelving, a work area and Advisory Board meeting area.

The creation of this space is timely with the beginning of the Elementary WOW (Words of Wonder) Reading Challenge which was launched in our Board on November 15, 2010. Nineteen of our schools have registered for the challenge and rallies were conducted in several schools by Cst. John Kennedy, Provincial Coordinator. Students were excited and eager to begin reading to win the Cape Breton/Nova Scotia/Canada/World trophies! Reading materials will be distributed at various intervals to support and enhance the project. Prize Patrols will also be arranged at various intervals, led by the Cape Breton Regional Police and/or Cst. Kennedy.

Details of the Junior High Challenge will be distributed shortly. This challenge will begin on February 1, 2011, as opposed to the earlier January 4 date. The change in date occurred when schools voiced two concerns: reading levels dropped during the grade nine exam week, and the challenge ended prior to March Break. With a new start date and an extension into April, both concerns have been addressed. Last year, six of our schools (staff and students) read over one million pages with Bridgeport School receiving the trophies as Cape Breton and World Champions. This year, the pilot project has been extended to the remaining areas of Nova Scotia as well as schools in Canada, Ireland and India.


David Brennick, Coordinator

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

Diane Brennick attended a meeting to prepare a mentoring session that will be offered to a team of teachers in our board. This will take place in April. The focus this year is 7-9 and the topics will be varied.

The staff at Thompson Junior High was in-serviced on the ABC's of Assessment. This was a full morning session and was very informative.

On November 29th all English Language Arts teachers were in-serviced on a number of concepts important to their grade level. The seven's were given a full day in-service on the Nelson Literacy packages that have gone out to the schools. The 8-12 group spent the morning experiencing a guided visualization writing activity. This was very much appreciated and enjoyed. Some teachers are already trying this in their classrooms. The afternoon was spent participating in a video conference (VIA) with Sue Taylor Foley, which gave a basic overview of assessment and the gradebook available to teachers through PowerSchool. Participants then went over Ken O’Connors 15 Fixes.

The provincial debrief meetings for 7-9 and 10-12 were held recently in Halifax and our
board shared information from our very successful principals' literacy day.

Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

On November 4-5, Arlene Andrecyk attended an in-service at the Membertou Convention Center on Using Data to Improve Student Learning, facilitated by Victoria L. Bernhardt, Ph. D. The in-service was sponsored by the MK schools.

On November 17, all grade 7 math teachers attended a full day of in-servicing. The focus of the first part of the in-service was an examination of instructional strategies to assist children’s mathematical development. Sharon McCready, Mathematics Strategy Consultant, Department of Education, facilitated. Teachers were engaged in a number of activities they could use in their classrooms such as effective questioning, the value of estimation and ways to differentiate mathematics instruction.

In the afternoon, Arlene Andrecyk discussed the importance of monitoring student progress in an on-going systematic, organized manner. When monitoring student progress, consideration should be given to product, observation and interview.

The feedback was very positive. Teachers were encouraged to contact Arlene Andrecyk or Lynne MacKay, junior high mentor, if they have any questions or concerns. To further support teachers in the implementation of appropriate follow-up for students not yet meeting expectations on the EMLA, Arlene will be visiting each grade 7 math teacher.

On November 29, math teachers from grades 7-12 participated in a full day of professional development at Sydney Academy. In the morning, Lennie Comeau, Mathematics Evaluation Coordinator, Nova Scotia Department of Education, did a session for the grade 12 math teachers outlining the changes to the math provincial examinations. For the rest of the high school math teachers, Arlene Andrecyk facilitated a session on Effective Instructional Practices. Sharon McCready, Mathematics Strategy Consultant, English Program Services, Department of Education, did a session on Grade 7 Mental Math. Grade 8 and 9 math teachers attended a session with three facilitators: Dan McNabb demonstrated how the smart board can be integrated in the math classroom while Rachelle MacIsaac and Michelle MacArthur showed how they do Mental Math in their classrooms.

In the afternoon, David Brennick, Coordinator of Program Services 7-12, spoke with the teachers on iNSchool. He asked for feedback, comments and/or concerns teachers may have. Then teachers had the opportunity to attend one session from the following: Differentiated Instruction (Theresa Devoe and Lynne MacKay), Student Engagement using the Smart Board (Dan McNabb), Math Fun (Colin Campbell), and Math 10 Examinations ( Laurie Iannetti and Arlene Ryan). There was also an information session by Trevor Adams, Saint Mary’s University, on the new cohort starting in January 2011 for the Certificate in the Mathematical Sciences for Education. Overall, the feedback was very positive. Teachers felt they had an opportunity to collaborate, become more comfortable with technology and gain valuable information and resources.

CB-VRSB Math League Game 1 took place on December 4 at Cape Breton University. Glace Bay High School, Holy Angels, Memorial High, Riverview and Sydney Academy entered teams. CBU provided a nutritious refreshment break. The game went well. A team from Sydney Academy placed first. There were two random draws for graphing calculators.

On December 6 and 7, grade 9 math teachers attended a two day in-service at Harbourside Elementary. Allister Wadden, TI representative, facilitated. The focus of the in-service was on using the smart board with the TI-Nspire CAS. Teachers examined math activities to further engage student learning through technology integration involving the Smart Board and the TI-Nspire CAS.

This year junior high students from Sydney Mines Jr. High, Malcolm Munroe Jr. High, Sherwood Park Education Centre, Whitney Pier Memorial, Baddeck High, Oceanview Education Centre and Dr. T. L. Sullivan are participating in Math Olympiad. On December 15, the Junior High Math On Committee had the first meeting of the school year to start planning for the regional competition to be held at Oceanview Education Centre on March 29. Currently each school is having school based competitions.

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

A co-operative education promotional video was launched by the Minister of Education on November 16, 2010. Students from the co-op programs at Sydney Academy and Holy Angels were highlighted in the video as well as parents and the employers who were the mentors for the students. This is the second promotional video launched by the Department of Education this year. Students, teachers and parents from the O2 program at Holy Angels were highlighted in the O2 promotional video launched in August 2010.

Nineteen students from CB-VRSB sent in completed applications and documents for the Building Futures for Youth program sponsored by the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS). This year there are twelve seats available and students will be interviewed February 23-25. The community-based learning consultant will organize interview preparation sessions for the students.

Teachers from the O2 and co-op programs met on November 29 for the system-wide professional development day. They were provided with sessions on power teacher in relation to their programs, co-op moodle and workplace health and safety updates. Teachers also had the opportunity to identify and share best practices for the promotion of their programs, student selections and workplace experiences.

Vocational Education (Ken Collier, Consultant)

Plans are continuing for the Skills Nova Scotia Competitions which will be held on April 19, 2011. It is hoped that competitions will be expanded this year. These competitions give students the opportunity to showcase their skills, and possibly represent the province at the national competitions.

Students from Carpentry, Plumbing, and Electrical Programs toured the new Northside Community Civic Center on three separate occasions. These tours allowed the students to observe the construction of this new facility and see the progress as well as compare this to their curriculum. The anticipation and excitement surrounding the construction of this facility is evident throughout the community. The tour also allowed the students to witness what can be accomplished when people work together towards a common goal.

The Grade 9 Career Awareness Tours for three feeder schools, Sydney Mines Jr. High, Thompson Jr. High, and Dr. T.L. Sullivan Jr. High, have concluded. These tours gave students the opportunity to see what is offered at Memorial Composite High, as well as information as to what is expected of them in their Grade 9 school year. Feedback from the students was very positive.

Students from the Radio and Television Broadcasting Program participated in the annual Tim Horton’s Staff Party at the Membertou Trade and Convention Center. Students had the opportunity to use the skills that they have learned is supplying camera support to the disc jockey.

Students from the Radio and Television Broadcasting Program will also be working at the upcoming Rita MacNeil Christmas Concert. Working at these events gives students experience that they would never be able to obtain in a classroom. Congratulations to Instructor George Gregory and his students.

On Friday, December 3/10, Vocational Consultant Ken Collier was appointed to the Board of Directors of Skills Canada ~ Nova Scotia. This is a two year term and Ken is looking forward to this opportunity. Skills Canada ~ Nova Scotia is a not-for-profit organization that promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies to Nova Scotia youth. Through industry, government, labour, and education partnerships, the Nova Scotia Skills Competition provides students and apprentices with the opportunity to achieve excellence in their field of work.

Nova Scotia International Student Program (Tammy Sampson, Consultant)

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board International Student Program full group event took place on November 7th. The day began at the movie theatre, followed by an Eagles hockey game. Participants enjoyed a great dinner with the team followed by prizes, autographs and photos! It was a great day!

The International Student Program cultural trip to Halifax took place November 19-21st, for all those students attending school in our Board. The fifty students who took part had a great time shopping and seeing the city!

The annual cultural Christmas potluck took place on December 12th.

A family and friends skating party took place December 19th! Skating was a new experience for some!

In November, several program visits occurred. Nohra, a teacher from Bucaramanga, Colombia, spent a week in our Board. She had the opportunity to job shadow Millie George, English Second Language Teacher. It was a great experience for the schools as well as for our students! Thanks to Lois and Billy MacNeil for hosting her and to Millie for working with her!

Also a German Agent, Sabine Mohr, was welcomed to our school board. Sabine met with David Brennick and Tammy Sampson. She also toured several of the schools and met with her students!

Juan Carlos Bayona, principal of Gimnasio Moderno, Bogota Colombia, came to visit his students on November 21st.

Tammy Sampson and David Brennick traveled to Yarmouth to attend several days of business planning and committee meetings with the Nova Scotia International Student Program.

The process for choosing Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board students to attend the 2011 Leadership camp in Campeche, Mexico is underway.

Two homestay coordinators have been chosen to take part in the Homestay Coordinator FAM tour to take place in April, 2011.

Preparations are underway for second term arrivals and departures. Approximately 25 new students are expected to arrive and 33 students will be departing.

As always, the recruiting campaign for new host families is continuing. Our targeted growth areas are North Sydney and Glace Bay. A fifth homestay coordinator in the Glace Bay area will help facilitate this growth.


Rick Simm, Coordinator

SIS/IT PD (Kurt Kublek, Consultant)

The Student Information System (SIS) part of Mr. Kublek’s position has been entwined with many aspects of schools from data entry to evaluation practices. Mr. Kublek and his Powerschool trainers have worked with schools to populate the new gradebook and to generate report cards. With the help of the schools’ lead teachers, Mr. Kublek and his trainers were successfully able to produce the new report card. All the report cards went out on the day they were scheduled to go out. And as this part of SIS wrapped up, Mr. Kublek began discussions with schools on the new parent-student portal, new reports in the system, the discipline module, transportation data, online accounting and future improvements. Furthermore, with respect to the future, Mr. Kublek introduced an online survey that was initiated by the province. The purpose of this survey was to get perspective on how the new SIS product was doing with respect to implementation, training, support, etc. The results will help improve the system and future training.

Mr. Kublek has also started to plan for next year as well. He attended two weeks of training in Halifax on scheduling to assist schools to schedule their students and staff for next year. This training is vital for Phase One schools as well as Phase Two schools (which is the remainder of the schools in the board). The new scheduler is a part of the software that many schools have been waiting for a long time.

Assistive Technology (Sheila Kublek, Consultant)

The Assistive Technology Lead Team met in December to explore updated software and hardware, such as, Co Writer 6, Kurzweil v. 12, iPad and iPod and Proloquo2go. The team also began a collaborative effort in compiling a list of websites that would help support student learning and curriculum planning for teachers. The Kurzweil Lead Team met for a day to prepare for Kurzweil version 12 sessions offered to junior high teachers in December and January. Along with receiving training in Kurzweil the junior high teachers were provided with resources and information on performing reading records with students at the secondary level. Bernadette Murray, Literacy Mentor introduced the HIP document which provided instruction on performing and interpreting reading records.

On December 10th in Halifax, there was a joint meeting between RBTS and Student Services coordinators and consultants. Each school board had an opportunity to share with the group the role of assistive technology within their board. This session revealed that many boards are at varying levels in implementing assistive technology services and supports to students and teachers. It was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with fellow assistive technology specialists and discuss future plans for assistive technology.

IEI (Tracie Collier, Consultant)

Developing Grade 4 Moodle: During the month of December, Consultant Tracie Collier worked with a small group of Grade 4 Teachers to create a Grade 4 Subject Based Moodle that will be used as a resource for Grade 4 teachers who are doing Professional Development in January. This involved Moodle training with Brad MacNeil and collecting technology integration resources for teachers. The grade 4 teachers then uploaded these resources to the Moodle.

Tracie also participated in PowerSchool Scheduling training in December. This involved two weeks of training in Halifax.

December also included Powerschool support, IEI professional development preparation and communicating with elementary school principals regarding IEI professional development.

Community Education (Heather Patterson, Principal)

Adult High Schools

Students in all four sites have completed the following sessions with various employment centres:

  • Resume Preparation & Effective Cover Letters
  • Interview Techniques
  • Job Maintenance
  • Skills Inventory

As well students from all four sites have been to the Nova Scotia Community College for tours and an information session on their programming. Guidance staff has been conducting test drives with potential graduates to help them choose a career path and plan for post secondary courses.

CPR/FIRST AID training has been scheduled next week in all sites for grade 12 students. Students are preparing for final exams and Heather has been conducting interviews for second semester intake. Heather attended a session with other adult high schools in the province at the end of the November dealing with the integration of the provincial SIS for September 2011. There will be additional meetings on this in the spring as well as training for LAMPS, the new online application program for funding requests.

Adult Evening Classes

Registration for adult evening classes began on Monday January 10th and ran for the week in Sydney, Glace Bay, New Waterford and on the Northside. Students were pre-registered in academic subjects, Math 12 and Chemistry 12 to allow proper time to set up classes given the high demand. Two Chemistry 12 classes will be offered; one is Sydney and one in Glace Bay. There may be a need for a third class depending on the public response. Math 12 could possibly run in two classes as well. Classes will start the week of February 7th.


Susan Kelley, Coordinator

Susan Kelley – Coordinator of Student Services, Educational Quality and Accountability

Elementary schools received the results of the provincial literacy assessment results (ELLA – gr. 3 and ELA –gr. 6) in December. The individual student results were sent home to parents this week.

Also in December the Program for International Student Assessment or PISA (15 year olds) results were released and Canada continues to perform in the top 10 countries in reading, math and science.

Our work continues around School Improvement with six schools preparing to present for Accreditation in late January and early February.

Mary Lou Andrea - Active Healthy Lifestyles Consultant

Jessica Wong from Baddeck, a member of the Canadian Women’s under 22 hockey team and the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs attended a Girlsplay2 hockey session over the holidays. Jessica Wong was named Nova Scotia's Female Team Athlete of the Year by Sport Nova Scotia in 2010. As part of the Canadian under 22 team, she recently won gold at the MLP Cup in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. She also scored a goal to win the 2010 NCAA title in triple-overtime.

Jessica spent time working on skills with the 40 girls from grades 2-9 that attended the
session. She also was very gracious and spent time with the girls signing autographs and
giving words of encouragement for the girls to follow their dreams and to remain active.
She was a great role model for the girls.

Jim MacEachern - Office of the Sport Animator

  1. The grade three “Swim to Survive” Program is in the closing stages of another successful year with every grade three student in the School Board receiving the opportunity to participate in this Life Saving / Life Skill Program. With great appreciation, the District 1 Cape Breton Credit Union Managers Association continue to be the majority funding partner, which allows the continuance of this program from year to year.
  1. Section One of the Grade Six “Curling is Fun” Program has just been completed with St. Agnes and Florence Elementary Schools enjoying a great exposure to the sport of Curling. The Sydney Curling Club and their programming Committee are the instructional partners.
  1. The Sport Animators of Nova Scotia held a Provincial Workshop in Halifax in mid November, providing Animators an opportunity to share programs and ideas.
  1. The grade four “Swim @ School” Program commences on January 13 on the Northside at the Northside Pool.
  1. Plans continue for the Youth in Motion and Skating Races Jamboree, which will unfold over the next few months.
  1. Sport Animator, Jim MacEachern, is working with a planning organizational committee to make application to host the first ever Provincial NSSAF Track & Field Meet, for the spring of 2012.

Lyn McInnis - Literacy Support Consultant

The month of December continued to be very busy with in-servicing for grade four and grade five teachers on developing Whole Class Plans. Lyn McInnis worked with teachers to determine which reading comprehension and writing strategies would be a good starting point for students based on ELLA Results along with current classroom assessment data. Teachers also looked at the Summary of Student Progress piece to be completed in June for individual students identified on the ELLA as “meeting some” or “not yet meeting early stage expectations”. Teachers were provided with assessment materials which they could use back in their classrooms to support them in completing the Summary of Student Progress form.

This month Lyn McInnis worked with Susan Kelley presenting Module 13: It’s Time to Use Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning to a number of teachers and administrators within our board, as well as one participant from outside our board.

Planning is now underway to begin working with “new to grade six” and “new to junior high teachers” on developing Whole Class Plans. In-servicing will also be provided to all grade three teachers on Whole Class Plans in the near future.

Debbie Madore – CB-VRSB Dietician

Nourishment Programs

The majority of our youth are not meeting the necessary five servings of vegetables and fruits per day. Children need to increase their consumption of this food group for long term health and wellness. In an effort to accomplish this, a Vegetable and Fruit snack program is being developed, which will increase the opportunity in the school day for students to meet the five necessary servings from this group.

For the upcoming New Year, the vegetable and fruit snack program will be piloted in several schools. To date the schools that will be participating include Sydney River elementary, Mount Carmel Elementary, J. B. Croak and Shipyard. Expansion of the program is anticipated as additional funding permits.

With the addition Sydney River to this program, nourishment programs exist in 100% of our schools in the Board!!!


Glace Bay Community Health Board has approved a grant for $1500 to support the Vegetable and Fruit snack program at J. B. Croak.

Breakfast Clubs of Canada (BCC)

Breakfast Clubs of Canada are providing our program with $30,350 in Donor Designated funding and $6250 in Food Coupons for the following schools:

Cabot High

Memorial High

Breton Education Center

Cusack Complex

Sydney Academy


In addition, for this school year, they are providing $10,000 in funding for equipment. Over the next two years, they have agreed to provide $38,800 as a financial grant and $8000 in Juice coupons to the same targeted schools. The major fundraiser that BCC arrange is the Walmart Campaign, which you may be familiar with.

Breakfast for Learning National

This funding organization have once again provided financial support to the Board in the amount of $23,000, and have provided $6000 in gift cards from the Super Store as part of the Presidents Choice Children’s Charity program.

School Adoptions:

Louisbourg Seafoods have renewed the sponsorship of Riverside Elementary; Kiwanis Club of Sydney has renewed their sponsorship of Brookland. Both donated $3500 towards the programs.

Public Relations

Eagle Radio

In November, the Eagle 103.5 did a portion of their morning program from the Breakfast program at Greenfield Elementary. It was well received and the students absolutely enjoyed the attention.


Cathy Viva, Coordinator

Surveys for students with special needs who are transitioning between schools have been distributed to schools for completion. This will allow for effective and efficient transition practices for students. On January 19th staff from Student Services will be meeting with parents of students with Autism Spectrum disorder who will be entering the school system for the first time in September of 2011. The meeting will include an overview of supports and services and will provide an opportunity for the parents to ask any questions they may have about the school their child will be attending.

Three psychologists from the Board are involved in the “Leaky Brakes: training for students with Attention Deficit Disorder, and behavior difficulties.” This training is being provided by Dr. Duncan McKinley from the Ontario Ministry of Health and is in conjunction with the Cape Breton District Health Authority. In February the program will be piloted at the Northside Learning Centre.

The Learning Disabilities Lead team met on Monday, January 10th to put together programs and strategies for learning disabilities programs in our Board.


Charles Sheppard, Coordinator

YIP Program

Mr. Sheppard attended the grand opening of the new location for the Northside Youth Inclusion Program (YIP) program. The program has relocated to the upstairs space of the fire station in North Sydney.

Classroom Climate and Attendance Management

Mr. Sheppard, along with Kevin Deveaux, principal of Sydney Academy, attended the Minister’s response to the report on attendance and classroom climate.

PEBS (Positive Effective Behavior Supports) Training

Along with members of the CB-VRSB PEBS Lead Team, Mr. Sheppard attended a training session sponsored by the Department of Education and held at the Howard Johnson, Chocolate Lake.

Remembrance Days Ceremonies

Mr. Sheppard attended a number of ceremonies at various schools throughout the board.

Bikes for Students (HEAL Cape Breton)

Mr. Sheppard met with Lisa MacDougall, Executive Director of HEAL Cape Breton, and Mary Beth LeBlanc, Coordinator of Youth Health Centers to discuss a pilot project to provide free bikes to high school students to encourage an active healthy lifestyle. Bicycles to be provided by Cape Breton Regional Police Services.

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