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PSS Report: February, 2011
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 03/01/2011 (2038 reads)
PSS Report: February, 2011


Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-6, Audrey Kyte-Murphy

On January 18 and 19, 2011, grade 2 teachers were involved in a professional development day facilitated by a team from the Department of Education. The focus of the day was “Learning Through the Arts.” This was the second grade 2 workshop provided by the DOE this year.

Information was provided to all schools regarding the upcoming Family Violence Prevention Week February 13-19. CB-VRSB is a participating member of this planning committee, and it is hoped that schools in our board will participate in some of the suggested activities for this week. Mt Carmel Elementary Band performed at the opening ceremonies at CBU on February 11, 2011.

Geraldine Beaver and Thelma Libbus will continue to mentor elementary teachers until April 1st and Bernadette Murray will be available to mentor junior high teachers. The mentors, along with Audrey Kyte-Murphy, continue to provide site based professional development sessions to various schools as requested. Also, after school PLC sessions are now offered tri-weekly at Jubilee and Brookland. These sessions welcome all teachers and substitutes.

At the provincial level, Audrey Kyte-Murphy and Maxine Hardy continue to represent our board on the Curriculum Guide P-3 Revision Team and Geraldine Beaver, Audrey Kyte-Murphy and Donna Robson are working to develop the Reading Assessment Resource Document P-3.

Reading resources have been ordered to support teachers at the grade one level. Student and teacher resources are being provided to enhance writing development at the grade 2 level.

On February 4th and 8th professional development took place for all primary teachers. Facilitators for the day were Susan MacDonald and Joy Cookson, Angela Currie, Audrey Kyte-Murphy, Thelma Libbus and Geraldine Beaver.

Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

January Review:

Math Website

The site has had a number of things recently added to it:

  • Student tracking examples shared by the grades 4-6 teachers at the PD session
  • Power points and other information presented at PD sessions
  • EEMLA/EMLA specific links
  • Mental Math grade 6 power point created by grade six teacher, Tania Colson

o Ron Muller and Tania Colson are in the process of completing a power point for grade three

  • Grades three and six teachers have shared activities which can be used to support students in areas where weaknesses were identified in “Major Lessons Learned”, which were provided by the DOE. Those will be posted on the website once collated.

PD Sessions

There was a workshop with grades three and six teachers where we discussed how to support students being assessed as well as sharing activities.


Mentors are supporting teachers by modeling lessons, co-teaching and coaching. We have noticed an increase in mentoring since we had completed the PD sessions with grades 3 & 6.

Math Buddies


Tara Colbert, math mentor and P/1 teacher, and Brian Lavery, grade 4 teacher, continue to work together to support both the grade 4 and P/1 students. The grade four students listen intently to learn what they need to “teach” the younger students, and are learning the concepts themselves. Students in grade four are much better behaved because they can now identify with the difficulties of being a teacher.


Dawn MacDonald-Gillis 5/6 is working with Lynn MacNeil P/1 and she saw what a struggling student actually knew while watching him explain a concept to the younger child.

Bras D’Or:

Ann Lavery’s grade six students support Miriam Jabalee’s grade 3 students when playing math games. When a concept is taught, Miriam Jabalee, grade three, finds a math game to correspond with what they have learned. Ann Lavery’s grade six students support the grade three’s while playing those games in the main foyer of the school.

Site-based PD – Multiplication and Division using Base ten materials

Teachers of grades 4, 5, and 6, 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 January, 20 schools will have received that professional development. Those schools are: Shipyard, Harbourside, George D Lewis, Florence, JBC, Coxheath, Ferrisview, Rankin, Greenfield, Cusack/Ashby, Glace Bay Elementary, Seton, Tompkins, Riverside, St Joseph’s, Sydney River, St Anne, Mountainview, and Mira Road. Pam Van Dommelen did an assessment and tracking PD at Bras D’Or on Learning Monday.

Math Club

Nancy Stubbert continues her "Math Club" on Wednesdays after school between 2-3pm and parents are always welcome.

Math Baking Contest

The grade 6 students in Florence and Bras d'Or are having a cake baking contest. They are working with improper and mixed fractions and need to use what they have learned to bake their cakes. They are only going to be given some measurement cups and tablespoons. They will have to figure out how many parts of cups and tablespoons in order to measure the proper amounts of ingredients. This is Nancy Stubbert's class in Florence and Ann Lavery's class in Bras d'Or.

February Plans:

Site-based PD – Multiplication and Division using Base ten materials

Teachers of grades 4, 5, and 6, in several schools will take part in a site-based, half day professional development on multiplication and division using base ten blocks. Jubilee, St Agnes, Donkin/Gowrie, Cape Smokey, Baddeck, Middle River, Marion Bridge, Boularderie, Brookland, and Mount Carmel will receive that PD. Ron Muller will facilitate a session at Brookland with P-3 teachers on “Outcome-bases” centres.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

The Heritage Fair committee has met and plans are underway for the 12th Annual Regional Heritage Fair in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. The fair will involve over 30 schools and 225 students and will take place on May 5-6, 2011, at Cape Breton University.

Laura Schneider, curator of Cape Breton University’s Art Gallery, met with interested high school art students on Jan. 21stto put plans in place for an exhibit of advanced art work in the main gallery. This exhibit will take place in April 2011.

A focus group of elementary music and visual arts teachers met on February 3 to discuss assessment in this area. The intention is to provide key messages and suggestions to teachers in the area of assessment in preparation for the implementation of PowerSchool for the coming school year.

Music and visual arts teachers who are piloting new Grade 9 curriculum for the Department of Education will meet in Halifax for further professional development on Feb. 4th, 2011.

Heather Fraser, Program Director for the Nova Scotia Choral Federation, was in Cape Breton for the week of Feb. 7-11. During this time, Heather worked with 19 schools to assist with choral programs. Evening sessions were held for junior and senior high students, and a mass elementary choir day involved more than 400 students singing at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre on Feb. 10th.

The ArtReach program, ArtsSmarts program, and the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design have collaborated to provide arts-enriched professional development to teachers from Grades 3 – 12 on Feb. 9th. These teachers will then bring students back to the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design to interact with prints from a national collection. Three other schools (Bras d’Or, George D. Lewis and Holy Angels) will also be involved by having artists come in to work with students in their schools as part of this project.

The opening of Family Violence Prevention Week took place on Feb. 11th at Cape Breton University. MacDonald, Mount Carmel and St. Agnes elementary schools will open this event with their choir students.

A session for teachers on a recent teacher’s experiences in Africa will take place on Feb. 16th at Shipyard Elementary School. This will coincide with African Heritage Month and will feature interactive drumming as part of the session.

Reading RecoveryÒTeacher Leaders, Susan MacDonald & Joy Cookson

January has been a very productive month for Reading Recovery®. Our ongoing professional development sessions took place on January 12, 17, 19, and 20. The emphasis for these sessions was ‘Thinking about Reciprocity’. We also discussed the discontinuing process for our first round of Reading Recovery® children and stressed the urgency for a quick turn-around between intakes of children.

In addition to our 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 January 6th, our monthly meeting was held with Cathy Viva, Cathy MacNeil and Audrey Murphy. The anecdotal data collected at the December meetings was discussed with our Reading Recovery® teachers and their support teachers and we developed a plan to address many of the issues raised. Also during this meeting, we discussed the content of the professional development sessions we will be providing for the grade primary teachers in February.

Also this month, Susan and Joy attended the National Forum for Reading Recovery® Teacher Leaders. In-service sessions included the following topics:

· The Importance of Advocating for Early Literacy

· The Challenge of Ensuring Practice Changes

· Live teaching sessions within the Toronto School District

· Getting Power into School Visits

· Further Exploration of Teaching

· Powerful In-Service Sessions: From Planning to Evaluation to Planning

· Initiative Supporting Reading Recovery®

· The Shape of Support Sessions for Trained Teachers

· Critical Transitions

The guest speaker for several of these sessions was Barbara Watson, a Reading Recovery® Trainer from New Zealand. Barbara Watson is very involved in the implementation of Reading Recovery® internationally and has a lot of expertise to share with Reading Recovery® Teacher Leaders around the world.

Over the last few months, the Students Served in Reading Recovery® in Nova Scotia for 2009-2010 form that is required by the Department of Education was completed. By the end of the month, this document will be sent to Janet Bright at the department for further consideration.

Ongoing professional development sessions took place on February 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th. The emphasis for these sessions will be ‘Attending to Change over Time’.

On February 4th and 8th, in-service sessions were provided for the grade primary teachers within our board. The focus for these sessions will be ‘Building a Strong Foundation for Literacy Learning’.

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Reading Challenges:

The reading challenges underway in the Board received a major boost when over $100,000 worth of books arrived at their warehouse location in Florence Elementary. As sited by the Cape Breton- Regional Police, boxes were loaded in Pictou and brought to the site in Florence. The cost of these boxes of books was only $4500 due to major discounts and agreements with various publishers and book suppliers. Cst. John Kennedy, Provincial Coordinator of the Adopt-A-Library programs, has worked diligently to bring partners to the project in both fundraising and sponsorship such as Wal-Mart, Rotary clubs, Police, regional libraries, etc. Today there are schools participating in the elementary reading challenge from across the province, Saskatchewan, India, Ireland, South Africa and in several communities in Northern Canada.

In the current elementary reading challenge, there are 19 schools from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board participating: Shipyard, MacDonald, Middle River, Donkin-Gowrie, Tompkins, St. Anne’s, Glace Bay, Jubilee, Ferrisview, Baddeck, Boularderie, Brookland, Cusack-Cornwallis-Ashby complex, George D. Lewis, Marian Bridge, and St. Agnes. At the halfway point of the competition, St. Agnes school in New Waterford is in the second place provincially, and leading schools in the CBVRSB. Ms. Carmelita Cousins, Library Consultant, is conducting “Prize Patrols” at each school with the assistance of Cst. Hank Lamond and other members of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service. Each student selects a “treasure/prize” from the treasure chest for doing a great job in reading. Motivation remains high and students are very excited about the competition while having fun reading!

The Junior High challenge began on February 1, a few weeks later than the pilot project last year. This change in time frame was to allow for exams and to continue reading past March Break. Both challenges end on April 1, and tallies are to be submitted by April 8. Schools in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board participating are: George D. Lewis, Breton Education Centre, Baddeck, Sydney Mines, Thompson, Dr. T.L. Sullivan, and MacLennan. Four schools from mainland Nova Scotia are also participating as the project moves forward beyond the pilot project stage.

Celebrations will be held at the various schools during Education Week and the winning school in each division, elementary and secondary, will have their celebration as well. In May, the official opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at the warehouse in Florence with various dignitaries, politicians, police, Board members, senior management, staff, etc. in attendance.


David Brennick, Coordinator

Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

CB-VRSB Math League Game 2 took place on January 15 from 9:00 am till 12:00 noon, at Cape Breton University. Glace Bay High School, Holy Angels, Cabot 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 January 18, grade 7 math teachers, new to the grade, received professional development for the new grade 7 geometry outcomes. Arlene Andrecyk facilitated the workshop. The feedback was very positive.

On January 28, Grade 12 Math Teachers participated in the NSE Mathematics and Advanced Mathematics regional marking session at the North Star Inn, North Sydney. Teachers involved in this session found the day to be very valuable professional development.

To further support teachers in the implementation of appropriate follow-up for students that are not yet meeting expectations on the EMLA, Arlene Andrecyk is presently visiting grade 7 math teachers.

Vocational Education (Ken Collier, Consultant)

Plans are continuing for the Skills Nova Scotia Competitions which will be held on April 19, 2011. Registration opened on January 24th and students are looking forward to the competitions. These competitions give our students the opportunity to showcase their skills, and possibly represent our province at the national competitions.

The Grade 9 Career Awareness Tours for our outlying schools will be held on February 8th. These tours gave 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. Presently, there are 12 schools scheduled to attend.

Students are presently in the process of writing their first semester examinations. This is always a stressful time for the students, and we are supporting the students in many ways. We are hopeful that success will be realized by all.

December 17/10 was the deadline for students to apply to the Construction Association of Nova Scotia for the “Building Futures for Youth” project. This project hires a number of students from our board for summer employment and is designed to provide Grade 11 students the opportunity to explore a career in the construction industry. We had three students apply, and interviews will take place in February.

The “Test Drives” for students will begin in the upcoming semester. Students are able to come to our school and spend the day in a program and experience that trade or technical program. This program was very successful last year, and we look forward to its continued success this year.

Nova Scotia International Student Program (Tammy Sampson, Consultant)

The process for choosing CB-VRSB students to attend the 2011 Leadership camp in Campeche, Mexico is complete. We have chosen four students; two from Holy Angels, one from Sydney Academy and one from Riverview High School. The parent/ student orientation meeting took place on January 12th.

Three of the six chaperones will be from the CB-VRSB; David Brennick, Diane Brennick, and Tammy Sampson.

Our full group ski day took place on January 21st. The students had a great time.

Tammy presented some information at the principals’ meeting on January 26, 2011.

Several of our students will be changing homestays and or schools for second semester.

We will be welcoming 24 new students in the upcoming week. This is the most we have ever received for second semester. Many of our schools had great end of semester events for our departing students.

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.


Rick Simm, Coordinator

Tracie Collier, IEI Consultant

  • Professional Development was provided for all Grade 4 teachers of the CB-VRSB on Comic Life, Photo Story, Images Project, Technology Integration. Tracie Collier and Bradley MacNeil provided this professional development from January 5-7, 2011.
  • During the month of January, Bruce Colford and Angie Harvie further developed the Grade 4 Moodle.
  • The IEI Consultant spoke to elementary principals regarding the availability of site based professional development.

· Bruce Colford and Susan MacIntyre were selected to develop Technology Integrated Lesson Plans for the Department of Education. This was in preparation for a February Lesson Writing Workshop in conjunction with the RBTS meeting. Preparation for this activity took place in January.

Heather Patterson, Community Education

Adult High Schools

· Second semester has begun with a large intake of new students in our four sites. Students completed CPR/FIRST AID training in January and have added it to their portfolio of items to prepare them for the workplace or post secondary training.

· We have initiated some new courses in this program for second semester including: Career Development 11 and Workplace Health and Safety 11 as well as Family Studies 12. It is believed that our students will benefit greatly from having curriculum rooted in everyday life such as the workplace or in the home. Many of our students are single parents and the Family Studies program is a follow up to Child Studies 11 which was introduced in the first semester. The feedback from both staff and students was very positive and the life skills they attained were invaluable.

· Our job readiness teacher is working on opportunities for this semester for our students to either gain certification (such as WHMIS) or experience to help in their quest for post secondary training or job preparedness.

· We are awaiting approval for our graduation date and the ceremony this year will be held at Breton Education Centre Theatre. We will report next month on the expected number of graduates and specifics.

Adult Evening Classes

· Registration for adult evening classes was held the week of Monday, January 10, in Sydney, Glace Bay. We pre-registered students in academic subjects, Math 12 and Chemistry 12 to allow proper time to set up classes given the high demand. We will be running two Chemistry 12 classes; one is Sydney and one in Glace Bay, both are at capacity. Math 12 has two classes as well and we are running Biology 12 and English 12. GED preparation classes are running in Sydney, Glace Bay and at Memorial High. Classes are beginning the week of February 7th.

Jim MacNeil, Data Manager

Ongoing data support for Aesop, Support for Students, and the CB-VRSB web site was provided during the month of January. Support incidents were average for Insignia, Hosted Exchange and web hosting.

The School Cash Accounting pilot is moving forward in several CB-VRSB schools. A required data migration process from Power School to School Cash Accounting was developed. Testing and implementation are scheduled for February.

School Event Reporting was updated on the Principals site. Using this posting feature, school administrators can publicize special events and monthly communications. Integration as an extension to the Superintendent Report is planned for February.

Requested Fitness Log features were incorporated including statistical reporting and achievement tracking. A pending trial involving a test group of Physical Education teachers is scheduled for February release.

Sheila Kublek, Assistive Technology Consultant

Sheila Kublek and Melanie Dolan have completed 21 assistive technology assessments with students at all grade levels within the board. Many of these assessments necessitated the placement of software and/or hardware and accompanying professional development for effective implementation.

An annual review is currently being conducted on the use of personal portable word processors. Every student assigned a portable word process will be reviewed for use of the device. On this note, we were very fortunate to have several portable word processors donated to the assistive technology department by the Jennifer Keeping Accessibility Centre at the University of Cape Breton. Thank you to Mel Clarke, facilitator of the Jennifer Keeping Accessibility Centre, for fostering the wonderful relationship between the school board and the university.

During the month of January, Kurzweil web licenses have been installed at Dr. TL Sullivan Junior High and Thompson Junior High Schools. The web licenses allow both teachers and students to access the features of the Kurzweil software from anywhere with internet access. It certainly fosters a greater use of the software outside of school hours.


Susan Kelley, Coordinator

Update for Provincial Assessments: grade 12 students wrote NSE’s in Math and English and the grade 9 students are just finishing up the Junior High Literacy Assessments. The parent reports for the ELA (gr. 6) and the ELLA (gr. 3) were sent home.

We have 8 schools up for Accreditation this year. Two of those schools have presented to the DOE and have received notification that they are accredited. Congratulations to Glace Bay Elementary and Sydney River Elementary on their great school improvement work! The other 6 school visits are scheduled over the four weeks.

Mary Lou Andrea - Active Healthy Lifestyles Consultant

As part of the Health Education curriculum, The Kids in the Know resource kit was sent out to all P-9 schools in the board. It is an interactive safety program designed to empower children and reduce their risk of victimization. It promotes assertive and proactive behavior as the foundations of effective personal safety. The practical safety strategies can be applied in locations children frequent including the internet, street, public places and home alone.

Debbie Madore – CB-VRSB Dietitian

Nourishment Programs

Thompson Jr. High is now participating in the vegetable and fruit snack program. There are now five schools in total participating in the program, including Sydney River Elementary, JB Croak, Mount Carmel, and Shipyard. Schools are receiving weekly deliveries of fruit or vegetables to be served in conjunction with the milk program. The food is free and open to all students.

Breakfast Program

Participation continues in the Ad Hoc Funding Formula Committee that is recommending changes to the distribution of Breakfast funding for school boards to include factors for participation rates for student and SES factors.

Breakfast Funding

Golden K Club of Sydney has renewed their adoption of Mountainview Elementary Breakfast program with a donation of $3500.

Nursing Student CBU

I have had the pleasure to work with Dina Edwards, Nursing Student from CBU. She has been shadowing me on the past five Tuesdays to learn about nutrition programs in our Board.

Lyn McInnis - Literacy Support Consultant

During the month of February, all grade 3 teachers will receive in-servicing on developing Whole Class Plans and individual student Summary of Student Progress reports. Teachers will be given time to analyze their ELLA data and plan for future instruction within their classrooms.

Site- based in-servicing, on developing Whole Class Plans, is presently being scheduled for any new to grade six teachers. This will provide teachers time to examine the ELA data, and make instructional decisions based on the data. An assessment tool will be given to all grade six teachers to support transition notes when completing the Summary of Student Progress forms.

The Junior High Literacy Assessment will be written this month, beginning on February 1st and ending on February 4th.

Many junior high teachers have been working with our literacy coach, Craig Seward. Reading comprehension strategies/writing strategies have been highlighted. The co-teaching approach has also proven to be very supportive within some classrooms.

Sport Animator Report – Jim MacEachern, Sport Animator

  • A “Call for Registration” went out to all the Elementary School principals requesting intent on their participation in the upcoming Skating Races Jamboree, scheduled for April. Organizational committee meetings are on going.
  • The popular “Youth in Motion @ CBU” program commenced on January 20th with Harbourview and Brookland Schools as the first scheduled participants. The grade four Program will be offered to all grade four classes in the School Board.
  • The “Curling is Fun” Program, Section 11, with Riverside and Donkin/Gowrie grade sixes participating, started up and will run for four consecutive Wednesdays.
  • “Swim @ School” Program for the grade fours of the Northside has started up at the Northside Pool, offering an instructional Program as a follow up to the grade three “Swim to Survive” Program.

Initial meetings have taken place to commence the organizing for the “Soccer in the Community” Program for the grade fives. Plans call for the Program to roll out the end of February running through to the late spring.


Cathy Viva, Coordinator

Meetings with the Autism Intervention Program, AllKids, local daycare centres and pre-schools have begun and are scheduled to continue through the first two weeks of February. These meetings are important for beginning the transition process for students entering our system in September 2011.

Eight (8) Speech-Language Pathologists from our Board will be attending provincial workshops for Speech-Language Pathologists in Halifax at the end of February. The topic of the meeting is communication strategies for students with autism.

Transition needs of students presently in our system are being identified by schools and information for special placements are being received and collated this month.

Revised guidelines for Speech-Language Pathologists and for Gifted Education and Talent Development were given to Principals in December and January.

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