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PSS Report May 2006
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 08/21/2006 (5995 reads)
PSS Report May 2006

PSS Report

SCHOOL SERVICES

Ambrose White, Coordinator

- Community Liaison Officers

On April 5, 2006, Mr. Astephen and Mr. White met with the five Community Liaison Officers working in our schools. It was a very good meeting. Issues common to all were discussed, along with unique situations in each school. The five Community Liaison Officers are:

Peter MacKinnon Breton Education Centre

Dennis Burns Glace Bay High

Terry Bourque Memorial High

Robert Walsh Sherwood Park Education Centre

Tim Ryan Sydney Academy

- School Insurance Program

A meeting was held at the School Insurance Office in Halifax on April 6, 2006. This session was on Outdoor Education and Risk Management.

- Steps to Success

We had three intake meetings for our Steps to Success Programs at the Elementary and Junior High levels.

- Drug Awareness

A meeting of the Drug Awareness Committee was held this month and we discussed the possible penalties for students involved with alcohol and drug-related activities and their involvement in Interscholastic Activities. General consensus was agreed and final details will be worked out at a meeting in May.

- Principals In Focus Group Meeting

Mr. White attended the Principals In Focus meeting that was held in Halifax on April 20, 2006. Every principal in the province, along with Central Office Staff, School Board Officials, etc., were in attendance. There were over 500 people called to the meeting by the Deputy Minister of Education. It was a very interesting and informative two days.

- Principal Evaluations

Ms. Brenda MacIsaac and Mr. White completed our Principal Evaluations at Brookland Elementary, Ball's Creek Elementary, Mira Road Elementary and St. Agnes Elementary.

- Peer Tutoring

Mr. White met with representatives of the Peer Tutoring Program this month, along with members of the CATCH Project.

- Education Week

Mr. White and Superintendent Ed Davis visited Gowrie, Donkin, Bridgeport and St. Anne's Schools during Education Week. They had great visits and thank the staff and students for their great hospitality.

PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Brenda MacIsaac, Coordinator

Literacy P-6 (Donna Robson, Consultant)

Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will be hosting a Primary Parent Fair in May. An invitation will be extended to all parents of children who will be attending school in September, 2006. The fair will take place at Jubilee on May 16th, Harbourside on May 17th, and St. Anne's on May 18th.

The agenda will include a short presentation surrounding the entry year and will include visual displays of what primary looks like. The foyer and hallways will house information booths that will be staffed by school and community personnel and volunteers. They will include the following: Speech Language, Student Services, The Arts, Breakfast Program, Regional Library, Kidsport, Individual and Family Well Being (Big Brothers and Sisters, Police Boys and Girls Clubs, Every Women's Center, Family Place Resource Center), Department of Education, and Board Libraries. A parent questionnaire will be available for anyone interested in signing up for workshops relating to supporting student success through literacy. Each site will provide a model classroom for parents to view.

Friend's Forever will now be part of a larger celebration that will be hosted at Center 200 on May 31st. This event is entitled 'Making Meaning' and its purpose is to showcase the many ways meaning can be represented and comprehended. The celebration will begin at six o'clock in the main concourse area. Between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m., the community will be invited to sit in on a reader's cafe where pieces from Friend's Forever will be shared, walk through an art gallery and take a moment to observe an artist working, be part of a movement class in motion, or sit and watch a mini production. At 7:15 p.m., we will be turning to the main stage where we will showcase many of our students.

A team is in place to attend the launching of a 'Teachers In Action' program document. The event will take place on May 23rd and 24th in the Annapolis Valley.

The Early Literacy Initiative continues to drive future professional development experiences.

The curriculum mapping experience has provided data that will support the development of future instructional alignment planning. A small team will spend a day reviewing the maps and making suggestions for how we need to proceed in the future.

Literacy Support P-9 (Susan Kelley)

During April, the grade six teachers continued to meet with parents of students who did not meet expectations in either reading and/or writing on the provincial literacy assessment. Literacy support plans are being written for these students. These schools have a limited number of substitute days to use to enable this to run smoothly. Schools greatly appreciate these days.

The literacy support web page has been posted. Work is ongoing on this resource. The weekly literacy strategy emailing continues with more teachers being added to the list at their request.

Several teachers from our Board attended a weekend session in Port Hawkesbury with Tom Henderson, Department of Education, to begin writing items for next year's Literacy Assessment. This is an excellent professional learning experience. The grade six assessment will be conducted Oct. 3-7, 2006. This is earlier than in the past. The grade three literacy assessment is scheduled for the fall of 2007.

An information session was held with LD teachers regarding the assessment and support plans at Shipyard Elementary School. Many of the concerns of these teachers in regards to how LD students do on the assessment were discussed.

During the next six weeks, all schools will be visited to gather information on what has worked well this year and to get their input on what concerns they still have. This information will be used for a year-end report and to make recommendations for next year.

Mathematics P-6 (Sharon Boudreau, Consultant)

Mentoring continues, most recently with teachers at Greenfield and Brookland Elementary Schools.

Mentors from across the province recently attended a workshop at Oak Island. We are beginning to see a positive shift in teachers' attitudes towards the mathematics strategies; hopefully, will see that grow as the mentoring opportunities increase. Teachers at Greenfield will be mentored by Ron Muller.

Manipulatives continue to be organized at various sites. Pam Van Dommelen and Ruth Mac Donald at Baddeck Academy, Ron Muller at Ashby, and Susan LeBlanc at St. Anne's have been organizing the manipulatives at their respective schools with the support of their administration.

Mentoring will continue during the month of May. Teachers at St. Agnes have self-identified for mentoring and plans are in place to accommodate those teachers.

Arts Education (Cathy MacNeil, Consultant)

Many schools throughout the Board will be celebrating 'Music Monday' on Monday, May 1st at 2:00 p.m. At that time, they will join students across Canada through song or instrumentally as they celebrate music education in Canada.

The artistic work of students, grades 4-12, will be on display during the Annual Art Exhibit to be held in Gallery 11, Cape Breton University, during the month of May. The opening ceremony is on May 2nd at 7:00 p.m., and will also feature a performance by the Northside Honor Choir. Having the opportunity for our student artists to display their work in an art gallery setting is an important aspect of their art making experience.

There will be another very impressive art display by twenty-two senior high students who have submitted works for the 'Shadows of Light Collection'. This collection is their retrospective on depression and is sponsored by the Cape Breton Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association and the CB-VRSB in conjunction with National Mental Health Week (May 1-6). The framed works will be on display in the main art gallery of Cape Breton University in May, as well as at the Membertou Trade & Convention Center during the CMHA Annual Gala Dinner on May 26th. The Cape Breton Branch of the CMHA will publish a book featuring the artwork by these student artists.

Art teachers are also creating their own web-based art galleries. Robin Jensen, visual art teacher at Riverview High School, has developed an excellent gallery site at www.cbv.ns.ca/rv/art.

May 4th and 5th are also the dates for The Nova Scotia High School Drama Festival, which is a project of The Educational Drama Association of Nova Scotia, The Nova Scotia Department of Tourism & Cultural, and Dalhousie Theatre Department. Many of the senior high drama groups will be attending this annual, noncompetitive theatre festival, held on the campus of Dalhousie University. Students who are interested in any aspect of the performing arts are able to: develop their talents through workshops taught by professionals; share ideas and experiences with students from all over Nova Scotia; and showcase their own plays in a professional environment to a wide audience of their peers.

A small jazz combo from Glace Bay High, under the direction of Barb Stetter, performed at a very special government function on May 2nd in Halifax as representative for the CB-VRSB.

During the month of May, many junior and senior high performing groups will be travelling to various cities: Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, New York and Toronto to participate in music festivals. Not only are these performance opportunities where the bands/choirs can grow musically, but these students also attend many cultural and arts related events during their visits. Such travel and performing experiences are treasured by the students who participate.

There will be an abundance of concerts in late May /early June throughout the Board as performing groups share their musical works through performances for peers, parents, and friends. One such concert will take place May 29th, 7:00 p.m., at the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre and will feature the Sydney Academy Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir and Folk/Contemporary Groups.

The month concludes with a ‘Celebration of the Arts' to be held on May 31st, at Centre 200. In addition to performances by bands and choirs and displays of artwork, there will be presentations and acknowledgements of the ‘Friends Forever' student authors. It is anticipated to be a very enjoyable event.

The 7th Annual Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Historica Fair will take place May 4th and 5th at Cape Breton University. On display will be over 150 projects from students grades 4-9. Projects will be judged with those selected as outstanding to proceed to the interview stage. Two projects will then be chosen to represent the Board at the National Fair to be held this year in Halifax, July 10-17th. Janet Maillet-MacInnis, Malcolm Munroe, has been asked to serve as Head of Delegation for the Nova Scotia team.

Library Support Services (Carmelita Cousins, Consultant)

Library Technicians were involved in a day long in-service at Memorial High School on April 28th. During the morning session, they were given a presentation by Carmelita Cousins on the 'Big6' information literacy model which was developed by Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz. This was a continuation of the presentation from October. The staff viewed a DVD on the topic which further exemplified the model and provided two different examples of how this model can be incorporated into all aspects of the curriculum. The staff also created the six strategies into posters for display in their library. Nancy MacDonald and Ellen Gushue provided the group with an overview of the Board Library Committee Meetings and informed the group of the progress being made in both policies and program planning.

The Library Committee is diligently working on a 'Collection Development Policy' and various components which fall under this topic (i.e. weeding, donations, etc.). It is hoped that the policy will be complete at the next meeting and ready for submission to the Board and the process required for approval.

Requisitions have begun to be written for the Consolidated Library Order. The amount per student this year has been increased from $4.00/student to $4.50/student. This is the first time in approximately six years that the budget amount per student has been increased. The 2006-2007 Selection Guide is currently being developed and should be ready for distribution to the Principals in August.

John Bernard Croak Elementary School is currently developing a list of books for this school with some suggestions for their library based on money received through a healthy active living grant received by the school. Approximately $900 was received towards the purchase of new books that focus on active and healthy living.

During April, 635 books were catalogued for the various schools and the Resource Centre. Several new kits were developed and are in the processing stages. The Brookland grant has been completely processed and all books have been completed and forwarded to the school. Many schools also had book fairs which contributed to the numbers.

During the month of May, we will continue with processing, book review reading, and weeding the collection; prepare for summer students and the video/DVD project to be finalized; and visit Riverview to view their setup which might be utilized here.

Reading Recovery (Linda Neville, Lead Teacher)

On alternating Thursdays, beginning in the fall '05, Michelle Sollazzo, Reading Recovery teacher, met with the grades primary to three teachers at Harbourside Elementary School. To support Guided Reading and Early Literacy in these early grades, the Principal, David Benedict, asked Michelle to meet with the teachers after school to help them with their understanding and delivery of balanced literacy in their classrooms. During these sessions, teachers discussed and participated in activities involving Taking and Analysing Running Records, Matching Books to Readers, Book Choice and Book Introduction, Early Writing, and Organization and Management of a Balanced Literacy Classroom. This professional development program ended the last week of April.

Cindy Morneau, Reading Recovery teacher at Macdonald Elementary, is continuing to deliver professional development to the grades primary to two teachers. She is assisting them in their understandings of how to take and analyse records of children's reading behaviour to support Guided Reading.

Coleen Aikens, Reading Recovery teacher at

Mira Road
, is working with the early elementary teachers. To support their understanding of the power of running records in the delivery of Guided Reading, she and the Principal, Sandra LeBlanc, invited teachers to view Reading Recovery lessons.

There will be a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader meeting hosted by Heather Janes and Joe Ritchie in Truro on May 12th. Gisele Bourque, Reading Recovery Trainer, will be in attendance. The focus of this meeting will be to become familiar with the new guide book, 'Literacy Lessons: Part One and Two.' It is expected that the new guide books will be introduced to the Reading Recovery teachers in the fall 2006.

On May 17th, the regular monthly inservice for ongoing professional development teachers (Group 1) will take place at the Reading Recovery Centre. On May 31st, Group 2 will also meet at the Reading Recovery Centre.

In addition to the above, Teacher Leaders work with children daily; provide continuing professional development and support for trained teachers through visits and inservices; monitor the progress of children; support the development of school teams; disseminate information and participate in the Reading Recovery network to maintain their own professional development; and work closely with district Administrators to achieve effective program implementation, operation and evaluation.

Reading Recovery (Paula Muise, Lead Teacher)

The training class met only once in April. Paula Muise, Teacher Leader, was off for several weeks due to a serious illness in the family. One inservice session was held on April 27 at the Training Centre at Shipyard School. On April 28, an all-day inservice was held at Cornwallis School. The

session included work on 'Bringing Meaning into Reading and Writing' and the study of the article 'Talking, Reading and Writing' by Marie Clay. All teachers in training were present for the whole day.

The regional meeting originally planned for our site in May has been cancelled as only one Teacher Leader (Paula Muise) was available for the session. It will take place in Truro instead. Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will host a meeting some time in the fall.

New guide books have been ordered for the fall for all teachers. One training session has taken place on May 11. The other is planned for May 25. Another session may be scheduled to replace the one cancelled on April 13.

Paula Muise attended the regional meeting in Truro on May 12th.

PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12

David Crane, Coordinator

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

New start-ups include Macdonald Elementary. Sydney Lion's club have given $500 towards the Breakfast for Learning Program.

The Food and Nutrition Policy is waiting approval from the new Minister of Health Promotion and Protection. However, we continue to move forward with Healthy Initiatives.

Ms. Madore continues to meet with the Health Promoting Schools Sub-committee and we have been reviewing applications as they come in for funding.

A date had been set for May 2nd to inservice cafeteria managers. Ms. Madore had been extremely busy preparing for this Professional Development Session. This day was well received, and there were many in attendance. Ms. Madore is now planning a follow-up meeting with cafeteria managers, and she plans on updating Principals on her progress.

Ms. Madore made a presentation to Teacher Assistants on healthy eating for their Professional Development Day April 28th, 2006. It received very positive feedback.

Golf Registration forms were sent out in early February to attract teams for the June 24th tournament. Ten teams have confirmed.

Ms. Madore continues to be part of the planning committee for the AGM conference.

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

The April 28th Non-Semestered Schools' Regional Professional Development Day went extremely well. There was a great turnout. The support from the staff of Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School, where the day-long inservice took place, went above and beyond the call of duty and the evaluations are very positive. People felt they learned new things and felt the day was well planned and presented. All in all it was a success.

Meetings are being held to prepare for Writers In Action 8 in May at Oak Island. Our WIA8 team has been working hard to prepare for the April 28th inservice.

The Public Speaking was a huge success. The co-chairs Mary MacDonald and Bernadette Hollohan did a phenomenal job of organizing this event.

A newsletter went out to all junior and senior high teachers discussing everything that is going on in English Language Arts.

Literacy Support Plan (Susan Kelley, Literacy Support Consultant)

A Professional Development session around literacy support was held at Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High School at their April staff meeting. Another information session was held with Learning Disabilities teachers regarding the assessment and support plans at Shipyard Elementary School. Many of the concerns of these teachers in regards to how Learning Disabled students do on the assessment were discussed. Also several sessions were held with teachers to provide support and direction for their work with literacy support plans for struggling students. A session was held for grade 9 English Language Arts teachers to give them an update on the Literacy Assessment for grade 9 students in May of 2007.

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

The month of April has been a good month for the English Second Language Program.

Nova Scotia International Students have familiarized themselves with the new schedule and have expressed gratitude for the extra time that is being spent with them. Most students are diligently working and preparing for the end of the semester/term.

The English Second Language schedule for April will continue until the end of May. In June, Ms. Kokoska will adapt the schedule to the students' study and examination requirements/schedule.

Overall, this month has been very successful.

Active, Healthy Living (Mary Lou Andrea, Active Healthy Living Consultant)

Education Week, April 24-27th, was a great success. Mary Lou Andrea was very busy preparing for this week-long, board-wide event.

Through a grant provided by the Department of Education, all schools across Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board have been given the program, 'Dance Dance Revolution'. To kick off Education Week and launch this program, all schools were asked to celebrate healthy living by participating for fifteen minutes in 'Dance, Dance Revolution' at 11:00 a.m., on Tuesday, April 25th.

On Tuesday, April 25, 2006, the following special Education Week Activities sponsored by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board were presented at the Mayflower Mall between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.:

- 6:30 p.m. - Speed Stacking Routine by Mira Road Grade Three Students;
- 7:00 p.m. - A musical, "Feeling Good", by Sydney River Elementary Students;
- "Dance, Dance" Demonstration throughout the evening;
- Speed Stacking Demonstration throughout the evening;

This was well attended by students and parents from across the Board.

Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Cape Breton University presented a Physical Activity & Lifestyle Day Education Week Pilot:

- Four grade five classes were randomly drawn to participate in the first ever Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board/ Cape Breton University, Physical Activity & Lifestyle Day, which will took place at Cape Breton University on Tuesday, April 25, 2006, as an exciting part of our Education Week Activities.

- The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is very appreciative of the partnering of community resources put in place to achieve this exciting day of activities for our selected grade five participants.

- It is the hope of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board to use this pilot day of activities as a basis for future expanded partnering with Cape Breton University in offering the students of our Board academic and scholastic opportunities through the use of the excellent resource facilities and staff of our Community University.

The day proved to be an enjoyable, valuable learning experience for all involved.

Junior High (7-9) physical education teachers attended a two-day track and field coaching certification inservice at Cape Breton University while the P-6 teachers attended a 'low-organized games' inservice at Mira Road.

CAHPERD National Meeting was April 2nd -5th: Mary Lou Andrea attended meetings in Montreal for the national physical education association on quality school physical education.

PACY (Cynthia McCormick, PACY Facilitator)

- A report, containing all data, was submitted on Tuesday, April 25, to Halifax on four schools within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board: Sydney Academy, MacLennan Junior High, Glace Bay High and Riverview Rural High.

- The final four students are being tested at Cornwallis.

- Breton Education Centre grade 7 students have completed a number of questionnaires, which must be collected.

- Breton Education Centre grade 11 students are just finishing the activity monitor portion of the study and will pass in monitors Monday May 1st.

- Memorial High School has 12 students ready to participate and they will be set up with monitors Wednesday May 3rd.

- Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School allowed Ms. McCormick to set up two more classes and she has received eighteen more consents. These students will be hooked up May 12th.

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

Dynamic Classroom Assessment for junior high teachers continues with two modules remaining. The final session is set for May 19th at the SDC.

Texas Instruments, T3 training modules will continue on May 12th & 13th with the final sessions on June 27th & 28th.

A workshop to support the implementation of the new grade 9 core resource was held at the SDC on April 12th. A representative from the publisher attended the workshop since this was the first workshop on this new resource written specifically for Nova Scotia schools.

Grade nine math teachers met on the afternoon of April 28th to discuss exams and develop exam questions at levels 1, 2, and 3. The intention is that these questions will become part of a bank of questions available to teachers.

After discussions with junior high teachers, it was decided to put off the junior high math league until next school year. It could then be run in a similar fashion to the high school math league. Texas Instruments has supplied us with 12 graphing calculators to use as prizes.

Two teams from Sydney Academy and one team from Glace Bay High School will represent the CB-VRSB in the provincial high school math league finals in Truro on Sat. May 6th.

Announcements on mathematics initiatives from the province for next year are awaiting budget approval.

Professional Development

There was a two-day inservice for Grade seven Social Studies teachers (English and French Immersion) on Wednesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 20, 2006, at the Northside Staff Development Centre. This inservice was led by Janet Maillet-MacInnis from Malcolm Munroe, and the other members of the Social Studies, grade seven Lead Team. Ms. Maillett-MacInnis believes, from comments made to us by the teachers, that they left the in-service with many practical ideas and resources that will help them in their classes.

The April 28th, Non-semestered Schools' Regional Professional Development Day was very successful, and Inservice Assessment Reports were very positive. The Junior High, English and Content Areas Inservice, was held at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High, and was facilitated by Diane Brennick, Susan Kelley, and Ron MacLean. This day was also the second day of a two-day inservice for all junior high physical education teachers in our Board, held at Cape Breton University, and facilitated by Mary Lou Andrea, Active Healthy Living Consultant.

There is a Gaelic Language and Culture Workshop, being held at Dalbrae Academy, Mabou, on May 4-5, by the Department of Education, which includes several teachers from our Board.

There will be a three-day Implementation Workshop for Grade 8 Social Studies held by the Department of Education, in Darmouth for nine teachers in our Board, including Diane Brennick (Team Leader), English Language Arts Consultant, and Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant.

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

- The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board hosted a skating party for Nova Scotia International Students, their host family, and their friends on April 2nd. It was well attended and we plan to make it an annual event.

- Millie George and her Nova Scotia International Students from Breton Education Centre had a bowling party, including lunch, for their second semester coordinator activity. The school paid for the lunch. The other coordinators are planning their events in the next month.

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

- As the school year progresses, many of our students continue to make contributions to their respective teams: Han Ju (from Korea, attending Sherwood Park Education Centre) won a gold medal along with his partner in the recent Junior High Regional Doubles Badminton Championship, Jane (from Korea, attending Sydney Academy), & Aki and Moe (from Japan, attending Holy Angels High) advanced to the high school badminton provincials championship, Thorben (from Germany, attending Riverview Rural High) and Oscar (from Mexico, also attending Riverview Rural High) made the Rugby team as did Martin (from Germany, attending Breton Education Centre), while Alan (from Mexico, also attending Breton Education Centre) made the provincial soccer team just to name a few. Oak (our Scholarship student from Thailand, attending Riverview Rural High) has a role in the school's upcoming performance of Grease.

- Preparations are underway for a Spring Halifax shopping trip; twenty-nine of our students signed up for the trip that will take place May 11th-13th, 2006.

- Several of our students have been chosen to represent our Board at a Student Conference May 4th - 6th, 2006. They are all taking one Canadian friend each.

- Our 'commitment to return' letters were due last week; it appears as if we have 15 students planning to return, up from eleven last year.

- Thanks to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, our scholarship winner from Thailand will be receiving a renewal for the 2006-2007 school year. All costs are covered by the Nova Scotia International Student Program and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board (except the cost of his flight and a small portion of his homestay fees).

- We are busy interviewing families for September's student intake. We have also started to place students. Our goal is to place more students in the Glace Bay and Northside areas respectively.

- Two of our students have entered their artwork in a province-wide contest for NSISP students entitled, 'What NS Means to Me'.

Science & Technology Fair (True Burke, Chair, Science & Technology Fair Team)

The Cape Breton Regional Science & Technology Fair was a great success this year. Although the number of participating schools is still quite low, the quality of the projects is quite high. We had only 4 schools participate this year: Malcolm Munroe Junior High School, MacLennan Junior High School, Sydney Mines Junior High School and Riverview Rural High School. We had 3 divisions in the fair (Junior, Intermediate and Senior), with the first place winner from each division representating Cape

Breton-Victoria Regional School Board at the Canada Wide Fair to be held in Saguenay, PQ form May 13th to May 22nd. The winners for our fair are as follows:

Mike Parsons & Eric Pushie Malcolm Munroe Junior High School

Gary Hood Riverview Rural High School

Sheralynne Deveaux Riverview Rural High School

The students participated in the Nova Scotia Showcase this past weekend (April 27- April 29, 2006) in Halifax. This event is sponsored by Nova Scotia Youth Experiences in Science. At the showcase, the students presented their projects to numerous people in the science community and also the public. This showcase also gives the students the opportunity to meet the other participants from Nova Scotia before heading to Nationals.

The Regional Science Fair committee worked extremely hard to have a successful fair this year. Our intentions are to continue to encourage and promote science in our junior and senior high schools. Fundraising is a challenge as the total cost to run the fair and send our students to Nationals in approximately $15,000, and this will increase as the fair grows. As mentioned before, the opportunities for our students are endless once they have participated in a Canada Wide Science Fair so growth of the fair is essential.

Our major sponsors this year were the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board, Cape Breton University and Aliant.

We greatly appreciate the support of the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board and all their efforts to help make the fair run smoothly.

Options & Opportunities for Student Success (O2)

Barb Costelo, Principal, Cabot Jr. / Sr. High, and Brian Spencer, Principal, Breton Education Centre, have expressed interest in the Options & Opportunities Project. We are now moving forward with this initiative.

PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

Student Information Systems (SIS) - Biweekly video-conference meetings are held with the Working Committee to establish a provincial solution to SIS. Schools are being sought to take part in a pilot project in September and January with a goal of implementation by September 2007.

The Junior High School Online Homework project has been very successful at junior high and has been extended to some elementary schools. Mr. Simm is following up with the remaining three junior high schools and this initiative will be evaluated for possible extension to other elementary schools.

The pilot project for the online delivery of high school courses has been very successful in Rankin Memorial, Cabot High and Baddeck Academy. Some schools are already preparing the registrations for next year.

Thirteen of our sixteen junior high schools are now posting homework on the website and seven elementary schools have initiated online homework after hearing about the success of the program at the junior high level.

IEIE PD (Peter MacKinnon)

School Visits

Most junior high schools were visited to help them prepare for the IEIE grade nine provincial rollout for 2006-2007. All grade nine rooms were visited to see what infrastructure would have to be put in place for next year. Another purpose of the visits was to introduce software provided by the province and explain how it was to be used. The grade seven and eight rooms were also checked to see if all IEIE equipment was in place and working.

Meetings

Bi-weekly conference calls continued dealing with issues on the provincial standardized report cards. Mr. MacKinnon attended the RBTS meeting in Halifax on April 18th to April 20th as well as the online committee meeting in Halifax on April 27th.

Workshops

Two workshops have been planned on how to use the electronic microscope, one for elementary teachers on May 17th, and another for junior high teachers on May 18th. The workshops will be facilitated by Dorothy Tennant and each teacher will receive a microscope, provided by IEIE software money to take back to their classroom.

Student Information System

We are currently doing final evaluation on the information systems being piloted in our Board. These include outcomes at Jubilee, a school also doing the electronic provincial report card. Riverside and George D. Lewis are testing the Maplewood system from Ontario. Cusack Complex is testing Epiphany, a product designed by the Chignecto School Board, and Brookland Elementary is testing Insignia, a product out of Edmonton.

Web Site Development and Updates

The IEIE website is being updated with current information and future plans. Our lesson plans are being updated using the provincial template and will be posted to the technology section on the Board web site.

Technology PD (Bill Tennant )

School web pages, junior/senior high school visits, video editing/ DVD producing, web mail, software implementation and professional development were the main topics of April 2006.

During the month of April, a number of workshops are planned for the beginning and middle of May. Technology integration is the main focus, combining the usage of different grade level software, multimedia techniques and teaching strategies to achieve the curriculum outcomes.

Another workshop on FrontPage 2003 is planned for teachers and web page developers. Also, workshops for the Digital QX5 microscope are planned for a number of elementary and junior high classroom teachers. A number of high school teachers requested a workshop on technology curriculum games. As a result, one is planned in May at the SDC.

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

Digital video editing projects were an important topic this month. At a number of schools in our Board, teachers had requested assistance and guidance in the area of video/DVD production. These projects are to be used for future teaching resources in the classroom as well as for PD.

Future plans for the Grade 9 roll-outs resulted in visits to all junior high schools in our Board. Data pertaining to all necessary technology elements for each classroom setup was gathered and recorded. Also, all senior high schools fell under a similar plan with visits and recording of all necessary data.

Assistive Technology (Liz Mahoney)

The Secondary Student Service Project is almost complete. Where necessary, new computers were placed in Learning Strategies rooms, Learning centers, Resource and Integrated Resource rooms, Steps to Success rooms and Learning Disability rooms in Baddeck Academy, Breton Education Centre, Bridgeport, George D. Lewis, Holy Angels High, Memorial High, Morrison, Riverview, St. Mike's Junior High, and Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High School. The schools have been most appreciative of this new hardware and software since they have never been considered in any of the IEI rollouts. The remaining schools will be assessed within the next week and work orders placed immediately.

Several new referrals for Assistive Technology assessment have been submitted and will be addressed during May.

STUDENT SERVICES

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

Co-teaching Video

On March 29, participants in the Provincial co-teaching video viewed the completed video with Mr. Don Glover, Consultant for Student Services, Department of Education and Ann Power, Director of Student Services, Department Of Education. The quality of the completed video was exciting for all those involved. On April 19, four teachers involved in the video presented the video to the Consultants in the Board. Learning Center teachers, learning strategies teachers, and resource teachers were introduced to the video as part of the April 28th workshop. Response from the teachers' presentation was very positive, and teachers expressed interest in having a copy of the video for their schools. The co-teaching video will be presented at the May Principals' meetings.

The newly formed transition team met to prepare a workshop for Student Services teachers for April 28th. The workshop revolved around the provincial transition guide and new transition practices. Members of the transition team will be presenting the information at the May Principals' meetings.

Sessions to compile a directory of community based services have started. The goal is to have the directory completed by the middle of June. The directory will be available on the Student Services website for access to school staffs and to parents.

The Coordinator and Consultant of Student Services will be revising the Student Services Handbook and it also will be placed online.

Members of the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Team participated in a 'make and take workshop' on April 24th and 25th in Truro and a workshop for Autism Intervention in Halifax on April 28th and 29th. A member of the ASD team and three members from the Supporting Student Success lead team planned and conducted workshops for the Speech Language Pathologists and School Psychologists on April 28th.

A training session on Non-violent Crisis Intervention was held on April 28th for teachers and teacher assistants in the 'Steps to Success' programs throughout our region.

The evaluations from the April 28th sessions were very positive and contained good suggestions for future workshops and inservicing.

Student Services - FRENCH

David Brennick, Coordinator

A very successful Professional Development Day took place on April 28, at the Delta Sydney. Fifty French Second Language teachers took part in an interactive and informative workshop entitled 'Learning Centres and Differentiated Teaching'. Workshop presenter was Nancy MacLeod, French Second Language Consultant, Annapolis Valley Regional School Board.

A follow-up workshop will take place in Montreal this August for teachers of grade six Intensive Core French. Celeste Foisy, Riverside Elementary School, participated in a training session on April 29-30. Celeste will be a facilitator at this year's National Summer Institute in Montreal on August 10-12.

One hundred and sixty students from grades 5-12, across the province, competed in Canadian Parents for French's Annual French Public Speaking Contest (Concours d'art oratoire), on Saturday, April 29th at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax. Once again, students from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board were very successful at the competition; medal winners include:

Silver: Allie White, Greenfield Elementary School (Grade 5/6 Intensive Core Category)

Gold: Brandon Fry, Memorial Composite High School (Grade 9/10 Late Immersion Category)

Gold: Laura Brennick, Memorial Composite High School (Grade 11/12 Core Category)

Laura Brennick will now go on to compete at the National Concours at University of Ottawa, on May 27th, 2006.

Gerald Felix, French Consultant, Nova Scotia Department of Education, visited our Board on April 25th. Mr. Felix visited a grade ten Core French Pilot at Breton Education Centre and then met with David Brennick, Laurie MacIntosh, and the three Principals and teachers involved in the Intensive Core French Program.

Laura Dunlop, Breton Education Centre, Helene Crane, Glace Bay High, and Laurie MacIntosh, will attend a follow-up training session for the simulation pilot 'A bords: la croisière', on Friday, June 2, 2006.

The grade eight Social Studies workshop was held on May 10-12, in Halifax. As part of French Second Language Programs, Laurie MacIntosh and Bernice Bugden, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High, will be part of the 9 person lead team.

Elaine Melanson, French Consultant, Department of Education, will visit our Board on May 23-24. Ms. Melanson will be meeting with the Junior High Integrated Core French Teachers. Laurie MacIntosh will be attending a two-day workshop in Halifax, on May 17-18, facilitated by Ms. Melanson. The focus of the meetings will be the continued support for the grade seven Integrated Core French Program, and Implementation of the new grade eight Social Studies Program into the Integrated Core French classroom.

There are five retirements among French Second Language teachers this year. A celebration to honor them will take place on June 15th at Riverview Rural High School (3:00 - 5:00 p.m.). The retirees include: Clovie LeBlanc and Roger Gallant, Riverview Rural High School; Joanne Kelly, Holy

Angels High School; Adele Young, Glace Bay Elementary School; and Helen Udle, MacLennan Junior High School.

Accreditation/School Advisory Council

Plans are well underway to form a School Advisory Council at Glace Bay High following a presentation on the evening of April 26th at the school. Interested parents, community members, staff and students will now begin the process of preparing a letter of agreement and supporting bylaws which will then be brought forward to the school board at a future date. It is expected that Department of Education revisions to current SAC supporting documentation will result in new Guidelines for School Advisory Councils and reflect their important role in supporting student success in schools. This work will likely increase in intensity over the next few months with a target timeline for completion in late fall.

Visitations to our current Accreditation Schools will begin this month and continue until the first week of June. The purpose of External Team visits will be to review the work of the Internal Review Teams with respect to their analysis of the data generated through a series of questionnaires on school and student achievement distributed last spring. They will be looking not only at the data analysis but also at the fit of the school's improvement plan and the goals, strategies and actions with the findings from the analysis. Our school communities are to be commended for their commitment to this process and the seriousness they brought to the exercise.

While our Accreditation Schools are being visited a number of our administrators and teachers will be either leading or participating on External Review Teams in other school boards. This should prove to be a valuable professional development opportunity for our educators and benefit our system as they bring back new learnings from their involvement in this process.

Assessment

A number of requests to re-evaluate the results of this year's Grade 6 Literacy Assessment have been forwarded to Evaluation Services of the Department of Education. The increase in the number of requests parallels a similar pattern across the province. Our students performed well relative to their counterparts across the province on this assessment and this is in part reflective of concerted efforts to address needs identified in earlier assessments. In collaboration with Evaluation Services there will be field testing of test items scheduled to appear in future mathematics and literacy assessments occurring in random classrooms in our board over the next month.

Our teachers and consultants continue to serve on various provincial assessment committees facilitating our contribution to assessment initiatives underway in the province. Plans are underway to in-service all Grade 3 teachers in September for next Spring's planned Grade 3 mathematics provincial assessment.

Pre-Primary Program

As the provincial Pre-Primary initiative, located at Boularderie and Riverside Elementaries in our board, begins to wind down for this year planning is underway for the second year of this two-year pilot. It appears at this time that both schools will have enough four-year olds from within their catchment area to fill the spaces. Reports form both schools indicate that this play-focussed, developmentally appropriate learning experience has been very successful and it is expected that their readinesss for schooling will be very beneficial for these children.

Student Services/Inter-Agency

Guidance Counsellors and Social Workers have participated in a number of professional development activities recently including a day session with the IWK Child Protection Team pediatricians Drs. Amy Orenstein and Steven Bellemarre. This session was sponsored by the Inter-Agency Association for

Professional Development, of which we are members. Other opportunities included a session on the pharmacology of illicit drugs with Shaun Burke from the Capital Health Region sponsored by the Community Partnership on Drug Abuse, an upcoming visit to Shushan, a camp designed to address the needs of adolescents experiencing substance abuse issues, and a presentation by Scott MacKenzie, labour analyst with Service Canada, on demographic and labour trends in our region and their impact on career choices for students.

The provincial Youth Health Centre Standards and Guidelines committee will visit our area, and efforts are being made to facilitate the attendance of a number of our students at this session, which is scheduled to be held in Waycobah on Thursday, May 11th. Our students serve on Youth Health Centre advisory committees at the school level. Observations shared during a recent visit by Department of Health official suggested that we have the best-managed Youth Health Centres in the province.

Plans are underway to recognize those teachers, students and facilitators who have participated in the Roots of Empathy initiative in our schools over the past year. This celebration will take place on June 14th at Mount Carmel Elementary in New Waterford.

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