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PSS Report April 2006
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 08/21/2006 (7804 reads)
PSS Report April 2006
PSS Report
SCHOOL SERVICES Ambrose White, Coordinator
  • PEBS
Tracking Form Pilot Schools Meeting

Kevin Deveaux, Principal Cusack Complexes

Trevor LeBlanc, Principal Mount Carmel Elementary

Betty Melanson, Shipyard Elementary

Ambrose White, School Services

The above group attended a workshop in Halifax on March 8, 2006, with all other schools piloting the Behaviour Incident Tracking Form, which commenced April 1, 2006. All school representatives were given instructions on how to use the form. The pilot will run through April and May and data will then be compiled and distributed to appropriate schools and boards. Full implementation of the form is still a year away.

The following 30 people representing 14 schools and central office, attended a two-day workshop in Halifax on March 23 & 24, 2006, on Positive Effective Behaviour Support (PEBS).




Barb MacDonald

Patricia Green


Tanya MacPhee

Firman McCormick


Wendy King

Doug MacSween


Gary MacLean

Mary Muise

Glace Bay Elementary

Maurice Gouthro

John Boutilier

Glace Bay High

Jack Ettinger

Peter Campbell

John Bernard Croak

Jim Beaton

Margie Curtis


Jack Humphries

Donnie White

North Highlands

Debbie Poirier

Marie Barry

Northside Learning Centre

Brendan DuGas

St. Mary's/St. Joseph

John Miles

Stephen MacDougall

Sydney Mines Jr. High

Joe Chisholm

Hughie McNeil

Sydney River Elementary

Mickie Armishaw

Michelle Dolan

Mira Road

Sandra LeBlanc

Jan Murray

Central Office

David Brennick

John Astephen

The following is the list of our PEBS Lead Team:

Ambrose White

School Services Coordinator


David Brennick

Student Services Coordinator


Marion MacKinnon

School Social Worker


Tracie Collier

Guidance Counsellor - Riverview


Kathy Coleman

Guidance Counsellor - Shipyard Elementary


Kevin Deveaux

Principal - Cusack/Cornwallis/Ashby Complex


Vic Hanham

Vice-Principal - George D. Lewis


Trevor LeBlanc

Principal - Mount Carmel


Chris Nicholson

Principal - Rankin/Christmas Island


  • A Holocaust presentation will take place on Monday April 24, 2006 at Riverview High School in the morning and Memorial High School in the afternoon.
  • Brenda MacIsaac and Ambrose White have visited each of the principals and schools for a second time in March for the Principal Evaluation process.
  • A report on Discipline was presented to the Education Committee on March 6, 2006.
  • Ambrose is a part of an Accreditation External team that will visit Caudle Park Elementary School in Halifax for three days in April or May.
  • Grade 10 Registration forms were recently sent out to the Guidance Counsellors at our Junior High Schools.
  • Book Order dates for the 2006-2007 school year are as follows:

April 14, 2006

June 23, 2006

October 6, 2006

January 12, 2007

PROGRAM SERVICES P-6 Brenda MacIsaac, Coordinator

Arts Education

On March 20 & 21st, 2006, classroom music teachers P-6 attended an in-service with Orff Specialist, Joe Berarducci, from British Columbia. The opportunity to work with a clinician of such high caliber was greatly appreciated by all staff who left feeling re-energized and eager to put into practice the new learnings from the two days.

Many school bands from across the board are preparing for Musicfest 2006 to be held at the Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay, April 10-13th. Adjudicators for this year's event will be Jim Forde, Maggie Helms and Ron MacKay. In one-hour sessions, each group performs selections, receives an adjudication and receives an opportunity to work with the adjudicators. Placements of gold, silver and bronze are given for the overall performance of the band. Music teacher, Barb Stetter, is the organizer of this event in conjunction with Musicfest Canada. The public is welcome to attend any of the sessions at the Savoy. The schedule will be posted at when finalized.

During Education Week, April 24-28th, many school choirs will be performing 'Get in the Game', the mini-musical that sends a positive message about getting involved in a variety of sports activities. Students are encouraged to be more physically active through singing inspiring lyrics of a variety of upbeat songs in this thirty minute presentation. Art work of students will also be proudly displayed throughout the halls of our schools.

Choral and instrumental students will also be participating in the Annual Kiwanis Music and Drama Festival to be held in late April. These performances and subsequent adjudications give the students important feedback and reflection so that they may move to the next stage of the learning process.

Library Services

Riverside Elementary is continuing to update their card catalogue system. Parent Volunteer, Kenny LeBlanc, has been training in ALA (American Library Association) filing rules which are standards for the industry. Follow-up training will be held in April.

Work has begun on the selection guide 2006-2007 to be distributed to principals and library technicians in late August. It is hoped that this year's guide will contain many top quality selections. Review journals used this year include: Horn's Book List, Quill and Quire, School Library Journal, Booklist, Canadian Children's Book Centre and several online sources. The guide will be continued on an ongoing basis and should be completed in late June.

A preliminary draft is in the working stages for a Collection Development Policy which will govern selection of materials and resources for our school libraries and Teachers' Resource Centre. The Board's library committee will undertake this task and will meet again in early April to continue the

work on this policy. The next goal of the committee is to begin developing a standardized library program for the different grade levels.

During March, 425 books were catalogued for various schools and the Resource Centre. Cataloguing and distribution of school resources is an ongoing process. All orders have arrived and will be prepared as soon as possibly. 'Hot' items this month were the hockey helmets, Scholastic Science Place Kits and requests for high interest/low vocabulary materials. Requests have begun for DVD loans. This will be addressed with the new budget to begin in April. A summer project will hopefully enable the VHS collection to be weeded and the DVD format to begin.

Literacy Initiatives

A meeting was held at the Staff Development Center on March 21st for those expressing an interest in training to become a Reading Recovery Teacher. A number of teachers throughout the board attended this meeting. There will be a follow-up meeting early in April.

Irene Huggins, a trainer with the Western Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery, will be visiting Teacher Leaders on March 27 & 28 and will observe Teacher Leaders as they work with children and as they run training sessions with groups of teachers. She will also meet with the Teacher Leaders and Brenda Mac Isaac, the Reading Recovery Board liaison.

Plans are being made for the regional Meeting of Teacher Leaders to take place
here in Sydney on May 12 at the training centre at Shipyard School.

Schools taking part in the Early Literacy Initiative are already discussing the positive impact on classroom practice. The creation of these professional learning communities is helping to restructure many of our professional development opportunities.

Over the span of three days, new teachers from grades primary to six will be given the opportunity to attend a practice-based session. Primary to two teachers will have the opportunity to read, discuss and share the new Literacy Place Resource that has been sent out by the Department. Teachers from grades three to six will work with the Department of Education's Classroom-based Assessment document.

Plans are underway to host community-based Primary Orientation Fairs for parents. Three schools, Harbourside, St. Anne's, and Jubilee will host the event for the schools in their geographic areas. The purpose of the fairs is to open the doors to communication between parents and educators involved in the process of educating their children. Anne Gillis from Harbourside was the inspiration behind this idea.

In conjunction with Friends Forever, a Celebration of Arts and Culture extravaganza is being planned for late May. Center 200 has been tentatively booked for this event. More information on this initiative will be forthcoming.

Women's National Hockey Championships were held this month and schools across our board were given the opportunity to attend games and act as host for all of our provincial teams. Hockey Canada in a press release acknowledged that the Breakfast of Champions Program hosted by schools in the Cape Breton-Victoria Board was the best ever!!!! As a footnote, the behavior of our students attending the games was exemplary.

Literacy Support

March is a very busy time for our elementary schools in the area of literacy support. During the week previous to March Break, all schools received the Literacy Assessment results for each of their grade six students from the Department of Education. These results were distributed to parents on Wednesday, March 8th. Schools are now in the process of contacting the parents of those students who did not meet expectations, to set up a meeting to go over the literacy support plan for their child. Most of these meetings will take place before the end of March and the literacy support plans are well underway.

Resources were allocated from the literacy support budget for substitute time for elementary schools based on two days for every five students needing a support plan. A memo was sent to each elementary school principal, to let him/her know how many sub days they have in total for this purpose. This time was well received and will be well used.

The weekly literacy strategy continues to go well with comments from teachers being very positive. Work continues on the web page and hopefully it will be posted within the month.

Math Initiatives

Teachers continue to receive math mentoring support at Robin Foote and Cusack schools. Principals, Donna Rankin Neville and Kevin Deveaux, both indicated that they have received positive responses from the teachers regarding the mentoring. They have noticed that participating teachers are feeling more confident, competent, and empowered when they have received this support. Teachers have indicated that the confidentiality aspect of the mentoring has made them feel more comfortable about expressing their concerns and opening up about areas where they feel they need assistance.

Pauline Martin, vice principal at St Agnes, has indicated that several teachers on staff, including herself, are interested in being mentored. We will look at that possibility for May and June. The importance of leaders in schools self identifying for mentoring is critical to the success of the mentoring process.

At a provincial meeting on the mentoring program, there was some discussion as to how mentoring looks across the province. Each Board has some differences in how the mentoring was implemented. Those differences would include: full year, full time mentors; half year, full time mentors; one day a week/cycle mentoring; and mentoring as requested. The consensus was that it took a great deal of time to create an atmosphere where teachers felt comfortable enough to self identify.

The Early Mathematics Literacy Assessment team will conduct workshops for grade three teachers during the 2006-2007 school year. In our board, these introductory sessions will be held on September 18th and 19th, 2006. The administration information sessions will be held on April 2nd and 3rd, 2007 and the assessment itself will take place June 5, 6, and 7, 2007.

The DOE will be presenting a Mathematics and Literacy Mentor Workshop on April 12th and 13th at Oak Island, Western Shore, NS. Sharon Boudreau and Donna Robson will represent our Board at this workshop.

Social Studies

Grade 6 teachers in 21 elementary schools across the Board are working with their students on a four-lesson curriculum unit on anti-racism called FAST. This unit is very timely as March was International Month for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. As well, liaison teachers attended a PD session at the SDC on Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms. The liaisons, in turn, will

present this PD session at their respective staff meetings on April 3rd. This will prepare teachers for the April 28th Board-Wide PD day on Culturally Responsive Schools which will be held at Harbourside Elementary.


The Grades 5 and 6 science curriculum guides will be implemented in 2006-2007. Eight teachers who are on our Board's Implementation Team will attend a DOE implementation workshop in early May to prepare to facilitate PD sessions in our Board on the science curriculum documents.

Professional Development - March

Ø Curriculum Mapping - Marion Bridge; March 6

Ø Reading Recovery Strategies - Harbourside, St. Anne's, Riverside, George D.Lewis

Ø Integrating the Visual Arts into all Disciplines (Eric Favaro); March 8

Ø Culturally Responsive Schools- Curriculum Liaison Teachers; March 24

Ø How Students Learn- Elementary Principals; March 27

Ø Writing Persuasive Text- Grade 5 Teachers; March 29

Ø Leading and Learning are Indispensable to each Other- New Administrators; March 30

Ø Classroom-based Assessment- New Teachers; March 30, 31, April 3


David Crane, Coordinator Breakfast for Learning Program (Debbie Madore, Nutrition for Learning Coordinator)

There are new programs starting in various schools, including: Middle River, Mira Road, and Greenfield. More schools will start new programs in April.

RBC has given two cheques in the amount of $500 each to 2 Northside schools. New Waterford Kinsmen will be giving $1750 towards Greenfield's program. Northside Kiwanis have adopted Jubilee again with a donation of $3500.

Registration forms were sent out in early February to attract teams for the June 24 Annual Golf Tournament. Seven teams have confirmed.

Ms. Madore continues to work on the planning committee for the AGM meeting in May.

Food and Nutrition Policy Implementation Nova Scotia Health Promotion has hired Heather Spiedell to do some Public Relations around the new Nutrition Policy. On Friday March 24, Speaker Clarke and the new School Health Coordinator, Dwayne Provo (Dept. of Education/Nova Scotia Health Promotion & Protection), attended lunch at Sydney Academy to celebrate the successes they have made to improve the quality of food sold in the cafeteria. Sydney Academy eliminated their deep fat fryer one year ago. The Food and Nutrition Policy is waiting approval from the new Minister of Health Promotion and Protection. Health Promoting Schools Funding was received for Health Promoting Schools in the amount of $60,000. Ms. Debbie Madore, Nutrition for Learning Co-ordinator, continues to meet with the Health Promoting Schools sub-committee, and they have been reviewing applications, as they arrive, for funding. Cafeteria Inservice A date has been set for May 2, 2006, to inservice cafeteria managers. Speakers for the day include Mary Daly, Public Health Nutritionist, Lars Willum, Chef, Cape Breton Gourmet, and Giselle Cameron, Cape Breton Regional Hospital, and Ms. Madore. The theme is creating healthy cafeteria menus. The funding to be used is from the $31,000 for implementing the new food policy. English Language Arts (Secondary) (Diane Brennick, Language Arts Consultant, 7-12)

Grade 10 -12 English Language Arts teachers attended a full day in-service at Riverview Rural High School, during the March 3rd Regional Professional Development Day for semestered schools. A list of recommended sites for English curriculum and outcomes was compiled and distributed to all appropriate teachers. Suzanne Brown did an excellent presentation on 'See it Right' which was very well received by the teachers in attendance.

Diane Brennick, English Language Arts Consultant (7-12), went with a number of teachers from the Board to Halifax to mark the grade 12 provincial English Exams. This is an excellent professional development activity for all teachers.

The plans have been finalized for the upcoming English Public Speaking event, March 3-6; 10-11. The co-chairs, Bernadette Hollohan and Mary MacDonald, have worked extremely hard to make this a success. The number of expected participants is impressive.

A number of professional resources have been sent out to the schools. The second refresh for the 7, 8, and 9 Active readers has also arrived.

Carl Anderson attended a planning session in Halifax for the upcoming in-service days for Writers in Action 8.

An article about Teacher Professional Portfolios, written by Diane Brennick, is featured in the latest Aviso Magazine.

Literacy Support Plan (Susan Kelley, Literacy Support Consultant)

The weekly literacy strategy continues to go well with comments from teachers being very positive. Work continues on the web page, and hopefully it will be published within the month.

Workshops were held with teams from the junior high schools consisting of an English Language Arts teacher (grade 7 or 8), a subject area teacher (grade 7 or 8), a student services teacher and an administrator. Topics covered included the actual assessment and what it looks like, best practices in teaching writing, and the writing of literacy support plans. This included looking at areas of the plans that we need to make sure we are completing, such as the recording of student progress. The workshops were well received and some schools have already requested a follow-up. These teachers will also receive a weekly literacy strategy idea in their email.

A suggested timeline was created for the junior high schools to help them keep the literacy support plans up-to-date. The timeline also includes preparation for the Grade 9 Literacy Assessment, which will take place in May 2007.

English Second Language (ESL) (Jen Kokoska, ESL Teacher)

Most Nova Scotia International Student Program students have returned from holiday and are ready to get back to work. High school and junior high school students are preparing for upcoming mid-semester tests and projects.

The new Chinese immigrant students are slowly adjusting to life in Canada and are showing some signs of progress. Ms. Kokoska, English Second Language Teacher, has been working with their teachers to help devise some teaching strategies to help these students. All new students to the Nova Scotia International Student Program seem to be adjusting to life in Canada with moderate ease.

Overall the English Second Language Program is running smoothly. The workload of each student is becoming progressively more challenging at this time, and it is recommended that the English Second Language Program will continue, providing extra support for students.

Active Healthy Living (Physical / Health Education) (Mary Lou Andrea, Active Healthy Living Consultant)

The theme for this year's Education Week, which takes place April 23 to 29, 2006, is Healthy Living: Step up to the Plate! / Partez du bon pied: vivez sainement! Education Week packages on activities and ideas have been sent out to all schools. These information packages were assembled by Mikki Armishaw, Principal, Sydney River Elementary, and Physical Education Teachers, Paula MacRae, Seton Elementary, and Steve Ranni, Sherwood Park Education Centre.

Ms. Mary Lou Andrea, Active Healthy Living Consultant, conducted a full-day inservice for high school Physical Education teachers and Physically Active Lifestyles teachers on March 3rd regarding new senior high school resources. Numbers were small, however reception was good.

Ms. Andrea attended a workshop in Halifax on Fairplay in Our Schools on March 21st. The purpose of this workshop was to integrate Fair Play principles and practices within the Nova Scotia Department of Education Code of Conduct Policy for Schools.

PACY (Cynthia McCormick, PACY Facilitator)

Physically Active Children and Youth (P.A.C.Y.)

PACY is a provincial wide study of the activity levels of our children and youth. Phil Campagna at Dalhousie University is collaborating with Nova Scotia Health Promotion, and other departments, St. F.X. University, Cape Breton University and Acadia University to do this research study. The study is important to help answer the questions 'How active are our children and youth in Nova Scotia?' 'Why are they physically active?' and 'What are the usual food intakes of our children and youth?'

The study involves approximately 200 students across Nova Scotia. Both boys and girls in grades 3, 7, and 11 are being invited to participate. Schools are randomly selected and students and parents are asked to consent. The study involves wearing an accelerometer (activity) monitor during a normal week of activity and filling out questionnaires by both students and parent. The student questionnaire contains items about their activity choices, why they are active, etc. The parent questionnaire asks for information about family, education, race and the relation to the child's activity. The background information (e.g. parent education, income, employment status, height and weight of parent, race of parent and child) will provide us with a context for your family's physical experiences from which to compare families and children with similar backgrounds. Postal codes ensure the children are grouped with other children in similar school board and health districts. The questions also explore the parent role in facilitating and encouraging children's physical activity involvement. In grade 7 and 11 the students participate in an online Food Behavior Questionnaire on the University of Waterloo site.

The information gained through this study will be used in the design of effective physical activity programs.

- Thirty students have completed the project at Sydney Academy.

- Seventeen students at Malcolm Monroe are presently wearing monitors. Monitors will be picked up Thursday, March 30th upon completion of the project.

- Nine students at Glace Bay high will complete the activity on Wednesday March 29, and another 23 will be hooked up next week.

- Breton Education Centre, grades 7 and 11, were introduced to the project Monday March 27th and their consent forms are due back on Thursday, March 30th.

- Memorial High School will be introduced to the project Wednesday, March 29th.

Mathematics (Secondary) (Ron MacLean, Mathematics Consultant, 7-12)

Dynamic Classroom Assessment for junior high teachers continues with three modules remaining. The next session is scheduled for April 10th with a preparation session for the presenter on April 5th.

Texas Instruments, T3 training modules will continue on March 30, 31, and April 1, for the high school teachers who began the modules in December.

Senior high mathematics teachers met on March 3 for a workshop at the Staff Development Centre, during the Regional Professional Development Day for semestered schools. Workshops on Fathom, Ti Navigator, and Autograph were presented to the teachers. Fifty user licenses of Autograph have been purchased and distributed to each of the high schools including the Adult High Schools.

The new grade 9 core resource is on schedule with the first of the workshops on its implementation to take place at the Northside Staff Development Centre on April 12th. We are currently working at the provincial level to develop the program for the day.

Grade 7 mathematics teachers met on March 9th for a workshop at the Northside Staff Development Centre. Sessions on the new grade level teacher resource, Working with Integers and Assessment, were provided throughout the day. The following resources were distributed to the grade 7 teachers: Mathematics Assessment Grade 7 by Gage, Teaching Reading in Mathematics, Mathematics Assessment Handbook, Illustrated Math Dictionary, and Nonfiction Writing Prompts.

Planning has begun for a Junior High Math League to be held this spring in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. Texas Instruments has supplied us with 12 graphing calculators to use as prizes.

The last of the regional high school math league competitions was held on March 25th at Cape Breton University. Teams will be selected by the provincial coordinators of the event to attend the provincial math league competition to be held in Truro this year.

Vocational Education (Fred Martell, Vocational Education Consultant)

Several Memorial Composite High School Students won gold in the 9th Annual Nova Scotia Skills Competitions, held throughout Nova Scotia during the month of March. Stephen Oulette won the Automotive Competition, A. J. Ford took gold in Carpentry, and Mike McDonald and Travis Collier won in Video Production. Josh Hatcher also won Silver for Cooking. These winners will now attend the 12th National Skills Competitions, in Halifax, May 23-26th, 2006. This is the first time in 12 years that the National Competition is held in our province, and represents approximately 400 trade students, in 39 categories.

Mr. Fred Martell, Vocational Education Consultant, invites everyone to visit Memorial's Web-site at for further information regarding Vocational Programs, and upcoming and previous events at the school.

Professional Development

Plans are underway for a Professional Development Day, April 28, 2006. This is a Regional Professional Development Day for all non-semestered schools.

A Science Safety Guidelines inservice was held on March 29, 2006, at Sydney Academy (Library). This inservice was facilitated by Marilyn Webster, Science Consultant, Nova Scotia Department of Education, and will address some concerns regarding science labs.

Sports Animator (Jim MacEachern, Sports Animator)

- Mr. Jim MacEachern, Sports Animator, met with Geoff Mac Lellan, Federal MP Executive Assistant, to gather information on potential federal funding sources.

- Mr. MacEachern continues to assist Ski Ben Eoin Board in attempt to access funding for a future pilot program with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. (Some funding obtained)

- Whitney Pier Youth Club, with the assistance of Mr. MacEachern, has been successful in making an application for physical activity program funding.

- Mr. MacEachern worked with Challenger Disabled Sports Group, and Velo Cape Breton Cycling Group to determine the best approach for funding for existing and expanding programs.

- Mr. MacEachern held initial meetings with Sydney Academy administration with reference to developing an aggressive plan for a Fitness Program & Facility for the school. He also arranged and participated in an information meeting with Nova Scotia Health Promotion representatives and Sydney Academy administration.

- Mr. MacEachern participated in the Heath Promoting Schools Committee to finalize the application form and protocol. He also works with the committee in screening Health Promoting Schools applications.

- Mr. MacEachern arranged and participated in a presentation preparation meeting, and the actual meeting for presentation of the Cape Breton University and Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board potential partnering project with reference to 'Physical Activity and Healthy Living'. He also met with Mark Smith, Director of After School Programs, Sport Nova Scotia, to make an initial pitch for another potential pilot project for the Board.

- On Monday, March 27th, 2006, Mr. MacEachern drafted and distributed a memo to all elementary schools to make them aware of a funding opportunity for schools who participate in, or who would like to start a 'Canada Games Themed' Program. He obtained 35 school applications for potential funding for Activity Day Projects.

- Mr. MacEachern assisted in promoting and establishing a High School Track & Field Meet, to be held April 21st at Cape Breton University Field House Facility. This event will be sponsored by the Track & Field Association of Cape Breton, Sydney Academy, and Riverview Rural High School. Mr. MacEachern also assisted in setting up a two-day Level I Track & Field Clinic for Junior High Physical Education Staff and interested community resource. This clinic will take place April 27 and 28 at Cape Breton University Field House.

Nova Scotia International Student Program (Tammy Sampson, Program Manager)

- Our four Homestay Coordinators completed a workshop on March 21st in Halifax along with Coordinators from several other school boards.

- A host parent meet-and-greet was held last month. This was an information session as well as an opportunity for new host parents to meet the current parents.

- Several of our students, along with Tammy Sampson, Program Manager, attended a cultural diversity celebration on honour of the international students attending Cape Breton University. Students were treated to a buffet dinner, a fashion show and entertainment.

- Students and host families are invited to a skating party, which will take place Sunday, April 2nd, 2006. They also had the opportunity to meet some of the international students studying at Cape Breton University.

- Plans are underway for a host parent appreciation dinner in May.

- Homestay coordinators are busy planning for their individual student activities.

Science & Technology Fair

The Cape Breton Regional Science & Technology Fair was held on March 30, 2006, at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High. The awards were given out that evening. Four students and two teachers will have the opportunity to attend the Canada Wide Science Fair in Montreal, in May 2006.

French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant)

The annual French Public Speaking Contest (Concours d'art oratoire) was held on March 21 and 22 at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School. This event, sponsored by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Canadian Parents for French, witnessed 30 students from nine categories participate. Our local winners will now go on to compete at the Provincial contest on Saturday, April 29th, 2006, at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax.

Grade nine French Language Arts teachers (Late French Immersion and Integrated Core French) will participate in a two-day inservice on April 10th and 11th in Antigonish. The inservice will focus on the implementation of the new grade nine French Language Arts resource, 'Trousse d'appreciation de rendement en ecriture'.

Plans are underway for a fourth pilot site for grade six Intensive Core French. A teacher training session will take place this summer in Montreal. Celeste Foisy, Riverside Elementary School, will act as a facilitator for the training session. Students at Riverside, Harbourside and Greenfield Elementary Schools have been pre- and post-tested as part of national evaluations of Intensive Core French.

Two professional development days are scheduled for the month of April. On April 19th, Suzanne AuCoin, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High, Carol Milne, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High, and Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant, will be facilitators for 'Ecrivans à l'oeuvre 7/8' (Writers in Action). On April 28th, Core and Integrated Core French teachers, grades four to nine, will participate in an inservice facilitated by Nancy MacLeod, French Consultant, Annapolis Valley Regional School Board. Nancy will present a workshop on learning centres and differentiated learning.


Rick Simm, Coordinator

The provincial initiative for SIS (Student Information System) is progressing well with a plan to achieve a long awaited province-wide solution to SIS. Board level and provincial meetings were held with stakeholders to gather critical input to help in bringing the project forward. An important meeting will be held in Halifax on March 29th for the purpose of evaluating the input that was received to date.

Steps, including necessary infrastructure and PD, have been taken to develop the Junior High School Online Homework project. Most of the schools have teachers presently posting homework to the web. A remaining few schools will receive the support needed to implement the project.

IT Professional Development (Bill Tennant, Consultant)

School web pages, Grade 8 Roll-out, Web mail, software selection and professional development were the main topics of March 2006.

During the month of March, workshops at Brookland Elementary were given to classroom teachers covering various technology topics. Technology integration was the main focus. The use of different grade level software and multimedia techniques were of particular interest to all teachers.

Following the workshops on FrontPage 2003, there were many requests from teachers and web page developers for guidance with the school web pages. Also, there were requests to add new accounts and register new students for the CH 11 course.

There were many requests for web mail accounts from the teachers attending the workshops. There were also other staff members requiring accounts from various schools throughout the board.

Digital video editing projects became an important topic this month. At Jubilee Elementary, students were empowered to produce an interview session for African Heritage month with a student with roots from Sudan, Africa. Following the taping of the interview, a couple of students from the class were instructed in the art of video capture and editing. As a result, the first video stream on the CB-VRSB web site has been posted and linked from the Jubilee web page.

Another project involved taping an integrated literacy lesson of a grade 3/4 class at Ball's Creek. Following the lesson, a DVD was produced for the classroom teacher and the Co-ordinator to use for educational instruction locally and provincially.

Planning for upcoming PD integration initiatives in April is ongoing.

IEI (Peter MacKinnon, Consultant)

Brookland Elementary:

Workshops were held at Brookland for all grade level teachers on March 6 and 7th. These workshops covered grade level software, curriculum games using the web and power point, along with voice-over for power point presentations.


Bi-weekly conference calls dealing with issues on the provincial standardized report cards continue.

A meeting was held at Brookland dealing with technical problems affecting the use of the LCD projectors. Don Lohnes and Wayne Hamilton from Halifax attended, and efforts will be made to clear up picture and sound quality with the LCD projectors.


The balance of our software order has been received and will be sent out to the schools over the next couple of weeks. Plans are now being formulated for the grade nine roll out next year.

Assistive Technology (Liz Mahoney, Consultant)

Assistive technology assessments have been completed in Coxheath Elementary and Sydney River Elementary. The assessed students have the technology required in place. Teacher and Teacher Assistant training has been arranged and will take place within the next two weeks.

The Assistive Technology Team has received training in a new assessment tool called 'See It Right' that focuses on Students with Learning Disabilities.

An Assistive Technology mentorship took place in Ashby Elementary with the Resource teacher, Lynn O'Neil and AT team member Genevieve Richardson.


The mentorship program has been completed at St. Anne's Elementary and Bridgeport. Informal reports indicate great success. A formal assessment of the programs will be completed after March Break.


Cathy Viva, Coordinator

Members of the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Lead Team have been taking advantage of professional development offered throughout the province. Three members of the team attended a workshop on Sensory Integration in Halifax on March 3rd and 4th. Information from the inservice will be shared at the next team meeting in April. Three members of the team were also given seats for the SCERTS workshop offered through the provincial health department on the first two days of the March Break. The three attendees were given the complete program instruction with members of the health profession. Two members of the team attended sessions at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital which gave an overview of the SCERTS program at the same time as the full inservice in Halifax. It is fortunate that we have five members of our team who are aware of the program that the health department will be using with students who are in our school system. The information will be shared with the rest of the team, and school staff will benefit from the training received with practical suggestions for using the program in our schools.

On March 3rd members of the Lead Team for Resource programming and two Speech Language pathologists from our district offered a full day workshop for high school learning centre teachers, learning strategies teachers, and resource teachers. The learning centre teachers were instructed on

how to use visual strategies and visual schedules to help students in their classes. Resource and learning strategies teachers spent the day learning about the 'See It Right' program and various assistive technologies to assist their students.

On March 10th the Coordinator of Student Services and the Transition teacher met with members of the EIBI team to discuss the needs of the students who will be starting in primary classes throughout the region. Transition plans for these students are being revised and the transition teacher will be meeting with the students, their parents and their receiving school staff.

On March 29th the participants involved in the creation of the provincial co-teaching video met to view the final product. It is expected that the video will be released for professional development later this spring.

Student Services - Guidance

David Brennick, Coordinator

Representatives from 14 Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board schools recently attended a two-day training session with Tom Schimmer on PEBS�?Positive Effective Behavioral Supports. This is the second year of training for this initiative which will see all schools in the province engaged in proactive positive approaches to behavior in schools. It is closely aligned with the Code of Conduct initiative and includes a tracking of behavioral incidences component.

Discussions continue with representatives from Student Services and Programs (P-6) with a view to jointly contributing to enhancing the Reading Recovery program. Interested teachers recently attended an information session while an upcoming meeting is scheduled for current Reading Recovery teachers.

Licence renewal for Career Cruising software for 21 secondary schools (including 10 bilingual formats) has been completed. This resource is proving to be a very effective career awareness tool not only for Guidance personnel but also for Personal Development and Relationships (PDR) and Career and Life Management (CALM) teachers.


Reports for this year's Grade 6 Literacy Assessment initiative have been forwarded to schools and parents/guardians with provincial results expected in the Spring release of the Minister's report to parents. A few requests for re-evaluation are being forwarded to the Department of Education with an expected turn around date of April 15th, 2006.

Grade 4 students in our schools will be among students from 200 schools across the province who will be participating this April in the new international assessment Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). The results from this assessment which will be scored this summer in Halifax

will be available by Board and Province. Planning has begun for the Early Elementary Mathematics Literacy Assessment which will be administered to Grade 3 students next year. In-service sessions are scheduled for Grade 3 teachers next fall while administration information sessions are planned for April, 2007. The assessment will take place in early June, 2007.

A number of teachers continue to participate in the planning, design, and making of provincially initiated assessments. They contribute by serving on planning teams such as the Grade 9 Literacy Assessment Team, field- testing items to be used in the test instruments and serving on provincial marking teams. Their contribution is valued.

Accreditation / School Advisory Councils

Responses to the Nova Scotia School Board's Association Lead and Achieve II initiative were obtained both by written submission and through a facilitated session held at Malcolm Munroe on March 7th with School Advisory Council chairs. The comments from individuals in attendance were supportive of the initiative and they welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the previously identified priority areas as well as those specific to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. Jim Gunn,

retired Annapolis Valley Regional School Board Superintendent attended the evening session in his capacity as researcher for this Nova Scotia School Board Association sponsored initiative. An information session is scheduled for April 26th at Glace Bay High to formally establish School Advisory Council for that school community.

Our current roster of six Accreditation schools are finalizing their plans in preparation for a visit by External Review Teams during April and May. At the same time approximately 20 educators from our region are preparing to either lead or participate as a member of External Review Teams which will be visiting Accreditation schools in other Boards. This activity is proving to be successful in focusing school communities on data driven school improvement goals in addition to fostering the growth of professional learning communities within an inclusive school community. Eight new schools in our Board are about to engage in the Accreditation process over the next school year.


Efforts are ongoing to support enhanced accessibility to health services for our students. Visitations have recently been made to Cabot Jr./Sr. High, Holy Angels and Riverview by Department of Education, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and the Cape Breton District Health Authority staff to review space opportunities and needs for Youth Health Centers. Work is nearing completion at Riverview while work at Holy Angels has just begun.

Through the Drug Treatment Group, a subcommittee of the Regional Drug Partnership initiative, a sharing of the needs of adolescents experiencing substance abuse issues and the needs and possible responses to those needs is being explored. It is hoped that additional resources will be dedicated to addressing those needs in cooperation with school communities.

Interest in the Roots of Empathy Program continues to grow with the program being well received in a number of our elementary schools. Efforts underway to seek provincially supported funding of RoE instructors reflect the lead role played by agencies, including our schools, in the eastern region of Nova Scotia.

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