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Sections > Programs and Student Services Report > PSS Report: March, 2011
PSS Report: March, 2011
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 06/06/2011 (1602 reads)
PSS Report: March, 2011


Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-6, Audrey Kyte-Murphy

After school professional development sessions continue to be offered between 3:00-4:00 tri-weekly at Brookland Elementary and Jubilee Elementary. The current sessions are focusing on administering and coding Reading Records.

Grade Primary teachers attended professional development days on February 4th and 8th. Teacher feedback from the sessions was very positive. During the first part of the day, Joy Cookson and Susan Mac Donald, Lead Reading Recovery teachers, shared Reading Recovery strategies which should be used by Primary teachers to support students in Primary not progressing as expected at this point in the year. Audrey Kyte Murphy focused a session on revisiting the Primary Common Assessment and the mentors, Geraldine Beaver and Thelma Libbus, led a session on the value of Interactive Writing at the Primary level. Angela Currie presented a workshop on the importance of directed play in grade Primary.

Audrey Kyte Murphy will co-facilitate Grade 3 PD days with Lynn McInnis on February 22nd and 28th. The focus of her sessions will be on how to support students who are having difficulty applying good word choice and proper use of conventions in their writing. The 2010-2011 ELLA results indicated results in these areas were not as strong as expected overall in CBVRSB. Several of the strategies to be introduced were presented by Lori Jamison at the Reading for The Love of It Conference which the Language Arts consultant recently attended. Other current research based messages from this conference will also be shared at various upcoming professional development sessions. The mentors will also be in attendance to share their expertise in the area of writing.

Several student resources have been purchased and are being placed in the classrooms to support struggling readers and improve the classroom libraries.

Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

February Review

Math Website

The website is continuously being updated with information for teachers, including links and resources. Several schools have used at least a portion of their Learning Monday to review the site.

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. They have now integrated reading and music into their lessons.

Mental Math

Harbourside has a dedicated mental math time and, as a result, it is being incorporated into Physical Education, Music and Resource.

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 February, twenty-seven schools received that professional development. In addition, Ron Muller will facilitate a session at Brookland with P-3 teachers on “Outcome-based centres”.

March Plans

Site-based Professional Development – Multiplication and Division using Base ten materials

Grade 4-6 teachers at Donkin/Gowrie, Marion Bridge, Robin Foote, and Mount Carmel schools will take part in a site-based half day professional development on multiplication and division using base ten blocks.

Parent Night

There will be an information session on math for parents on Monday, March 7th at Marion Bridge School.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

A very moving rendition of “Love Rescue Me” was performed at the opening of Family Violence Prevention Week on Feb. 11th at Cape Breton University. MacDonald, Mount Carmel and St. Agnes elementary school students sang and played this very appropriate song while a video of the entire staff and student body of all three schools accompanied the performance.

A group of elementary music and visual arts teachers met as an assessment focus group on March 1st to discuss key messages for assessment with the upcoming implementation of PowerSchool.

Teachers who are implementing Grade 8 Music received professional development from the Department of Education on March 1st.

Reading RecoveryÒTeacher Leaders, Susan MacDonald & Joy Cookson

Professional development sessions took place on February 10th, 16th and 17th. The emphasis for these sessions was Attending to Change Over Time. On February 17th at the monthly meeting with Cathy Viva, Cathy MacNeil and Audrey Murphy, proposed cuts to Reading Recovery and how they will impact upon the children who struggle the most with literacy at the grade one level within our board was discussed. Concern was expressed for those children and how they will succeed with group instruction alone.

Ongoing professional development sessions took place on March 2-3, and two more will be held on March 9-10. The emphasis for these sessions will be Developing Complex Writing.

Ongoing professional development for Reading Recovery® teachers will continue as well as direct instruction for students at Mira Road, Bras d’Or Elementary and Florence by the teacher leaders.

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Cabot Junior/Senior High School Benefactor:

In 2006, Cabot School received a generous donation from Edna Staebler for various acquisitions in the library program for such items as books, magazines, technology materials that keep the library up-to-date. This past October, Cabot purchased two chairs and a love seat to accommodate a reading corner in our library. Kim Rambeau, Library Technician at Cabot, believes that Edna would have loved to see this reading corner in the library. Through her wishes, each spring Cabot continues to receive 1-2 boxes of used books (from an annual book sale) from the Canadian Federation of University Women of Kitchener-Waterloo, of which Edna was a long standing member.

Elementary Reading Challenge:

St. Agnes Elementary had the honour of being in first place in the province at the end of January after 2 months of participation on the current reading challenge. Twenty schools in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board are participating with schools in the province, other Canadian cites, and such countries as South Africa, Ireland, and India. Prize patrols have begun at the 20 participating schools; these are being conducted by library staff with the assistance of the Cape Breton Regional Police. Each child in every school receives a treat/reward for their reading activities.

Junior High School Reading Challenge:

The Junior High Reading Challenge began on February 1, 2011, with 10 schools participating in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board; all six schools from last year’s pilot are back again this year with 4 new schools. There are other schools from around the province also competing.


David Brennick, Coordinator

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

There was a networking meeting held in Halifax for all English Language Arts 7-12 Consultants and other support staff. Our board sent Diane Brennick, Sheila MacDonald and Bernadette Murray. The Power teacher Gradebook was discussed as well as other assessment practices.

A session on the ABC'S of assessment was presented by Diane Brennick and Bernadette Murray at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School for all staff.

The first meeting of the 2011 Public Speaking Committee took place on February 16th at the Staff Development Centre.

Diane Brennick and Audrey Kyte-Murphy attended the Reading for the Love of It Conference.
Sessions were presented by Harvey Daniels, Kelly Gallagher, Mary Bigler, and others. Many
of theses presenters are authors of resources sent out to all of our schools. The
insights provided by these authors will be shared in future in-servicing with our teachers.

Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

On February 16, mathematics teachers, new to Grade 8 and Grade 9, received professional development for the new geometry outcomes. Arlene Andrecyk facilitated. Feedback was very positive.

On February 17, Christine MacDonald and Charlene Bradbury, resource teachers at Oceanview Education Centre, worked with Arlene Andrecyk. The group examined instructional strategies that focused on differentiated instruction for Grade 8 Math Teachers to further support student learning.

The Math Olympiad committee met on February 17 to continue planning for the board competition which will be held on March 29 at Oceanview Education Centre. Presently the seven schools participating, Sydney Mines Jr. High, Malcolm Munroe Jr. High, Sherwood Park Education Centre, Whitney Pier Memorial, Baddeck High, Oceanview Education Centre and Dr. T. L. Sullivan, are having school based competitions.

Arlene Andrecyk spoke with guidance counsellors 7-12 at the February meeting, providing an overview of the recent math initiatives.

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.

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

January’s meeting of the Community-based Learning consultants was held with representatives from School Insurance Program (SIP). This was a very informative session as teachers must exercise risk management and due diligence with every student placed in the community.

The Community-Based learning consultant continues to meet with the teachers of the O2 schools in preparation of their presentations to grade 9 students. With Power School, students will be registering early this year. Family information sessions are also being planned.

On February 18, the community-based learning consultant attended a guidance counselors’ session and provided information regarding programs such as Cooperative Education, Options & Opportunities, and Building Futures for Youth. Counselors were encouraged to access the Workit Grant Funds for any trade related career exploration projects that they may be planning.

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.

Donna Fraser who works for the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board was at Memorial High on Thursday, February 10, 2011. They are investigating alternative programs for high school students and wished to view and ask questions about the vocational programs that are offered at Memorial.

The Grade 9 Career Awareness Tours for our outlying schools was held on February 16th. These tours gave students the opportunity to see what is offered at Memorial Composite High, as well as information as to what is expected of them in their Grade 9 school year. There were many positive comments about the tours.

Interviews for the Construction Association of Nova Scotia for the “Building Futures for Youth” project took place on Wednesday, February 23, 2011. 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. Good luck to all who will participate in the interviews.

The “Test Drives” for students will begin this 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.

French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant)

In January, representatives from the Nova Scotia Department of Education visited senior high schools accompanied by French Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh, to provide an overview of the Explore program to grade 11 and 12 students. “Explore” is a five-week intensive language learning course which allows students to improve their French and meet other students from across Canada.

Mélanie Rocha, Department of Education representative for the Nova Scotia-Québec Exchange Program, visited high schools within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board on February 25th to provide information on the exchange program. The Nova Scotia-Québec Exchange Program is a reciprocal program which pairs students from Nova Scotia and Québec. It offers French Second Language students the opportunity to live a full-fledged immersion experience while improving fluency in the French Language. Ashley LeBlanc and Jenny Mattison from Sydney Academy are participating in the Nova Scotia-Québec Exchange this year. The girls left Nova Scotia on February 5th and will return in late April. Both the “Explore” and “Exchange” programs can be considered a new credit this year called “Expérience Culturelle 12”.

Gérald Félix, Acting Director of French Second Language Programs, Department of Education, visited the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board several times during the months of January and February to discuss French Second Language priorities as well as to visit our grade six Intensive Core French classes and experimental classes. Mr. Félix will be returning the first week of March as part of special project evaluations.

A select number of grade 12 students from Riverview Rural High and Memorial Composite High will take part in DELF evaluations during the week of April 11-15th. The purpose of the DELF (Diplôme d’études en langue française) evaluation is to give students international recognition for their accomplishments in French Second Language learning. This test is now recognized in over 170 countries and several million candidates have already received DELF diplomas.

Upcoming French Second Language events:

  • Launching of pilot “Mon Monde” site for grade six Core French, March 9th
  • French Public Speaking Contest (Concours d’art oratoire) at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High, 7:00 p.m.; March 22nd for Core French, Intensive Core French, Integrated Core French, and Francophone categories; and March 23rd for Late French Immersion Category.
  • DELF refresher workshop in Halifax, March 3rd and 4th for teachers, and March 28th and 29th for examiners.

Nova Scotia International Student Program (Tammy Sampson, Consultant)

February brings the new semester and lots of changes for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional International Student Program. Twenty-three of our twenty-five new students have arrived! We are welcoming some new host families and schools this semester. Two of our students had some visa issues and will arrive later this month. Arrivals did go well this semester, despite some delays and cancelled flights. Tammy Sampson was at the airport in Halifax for the week of greeting and assisting students with departures and arrivals. We were expecting two agent visits (Brazil and Colombia) that were cancelled due to weather.

The new student orientation took place February 11-12th . We were pleased to welcome students and staff from the Strait Regional School Board International Student Program. Events included a pool party get together with all students, a ski day, and the orientation sessions.

Registration for the Nova Scotia International Student Program March Break cultural trip to Montreal and Ottawa opens this week.

Several teachers have contacted Ms. Sampson in the past weeks about working with our students for various presentation opportunities.

Report cards and transcripts have been delayed due to inclement weather.

Planning is underway for upcoming Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board International Student Program monthly activities.

Communication has begun with a new potential homestay coordinator for the Glace Bay area. We are also exploring some newspaper media coverage possibilities in the next months. As always, we continue our recruiting campaign for new host families. Our targeted growth areas are North Sydney and Glace Bay.


Rick Simm, Coordinator

Assistive Technology Consultant (Sheila Kublek)

For most of our schools February was the month to release student report cards and to review individual program plans (IPPs). During this period, support was provided to several schools with the Support for Students database which houses our IPPs and generates student IPP report cards. As well, February was the start of a new semester at the high school level. Assistive technology supported many students entering new courses for the next semester. The appropriate hardware, software and adaptive equipment were put in place for several of our high school students.

There has been an increase in collaboration with the speech language pathologists in the pursuit to provide more effective augmentative communication devices to some of our non verbal students. In the past two weeks two iPads and two iPods have been placed with students to support communication needs and academic curriculum. The iPads, iPods and the communication application Proloquo2go was provided through assistive technology. The SLPs are responsible for the communication programming and implementing in the classroom and school environment. This is an endeavor that has many school personnel, parents and students very excited at all the available possibilities!!

Throughout the month of February assistive technology has had a presence with Student Services personnel in meeting with local day cares, preschools and outside agencies in preparation for students entering grade primary in September 2011. These consultations have already resulted in the ordering of assistive technology tools and requests for customized adaptive equipment prepared by Operations personnel.

Community Education (Heather Patterson)

Adult High School Program

Enrollment for the Adult High School program remains high with 185 students in four sites. Sixty four of those students are potential graduates for June 2011. We are awaiting approval for our graduation date and the ceremony this year will be held at Breton Education Centre Theatre.


Susan Kelley, Coordinator

Debbie Madore, Nutrition for Learning

Breakfast Funding

Caleigh Golden K North Sydney has renewed their adoption of Jubilee Elementary with a donation of $3500. Sydney Canadian Tire renewed their adoption of Harbourside Elementary with a donation of $5500. Northside the Lakes have donated $300 to support the vegetable/fruit snack program at Thompson Jr. High.

Big Crunch

On March 3, elementary students in the CB-VRSB had the opportunity to “Crunch” an apple to kick of Nutrition Month. Ideal Foods were able to obtain Red Delicious apples, harvested from Nova Scotia to all participating schools. Supporting our local farmers is a positive step. An estimated 9000 apples were crunched at 2:00 pm on March 3.

Strive for Five

In order to press and support more vegetables and fruits in our schools, Ms. Madore had the opportunity to meet with several schools around their foodservice including Glace Bay Elementary, Mountainview and Sydney River. Schools with cafeterias are encouraged to utilize the recipes from Strive for Five on the menu. The majority of our Youth are not meeting the recommended five servings per day. Schools were encouraged to offer more fruit at breakfast or during snack programs.

Mary Lou Andrea, Healthy Active Lifestyles Consultant

All P-9 physical education staff spent a day on linking the outcomes to assessment in the gym. Sample participation rubrics were distributed and discussed. Also discussed throughout the day was the fitness tracking software that is being developed by our board technology department. A pilot will be ready to go in the spring. This program will allow physical education teachers to test the fitness level of students and track it throughout the year. It will also give us board data on our student’s fitness levels.


Cathy Viva, Coordinator

During the month of February, the staff of Student Services met with Allkids, the Autism Intervention Program staff, and staff from local daycares and preschools. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss the strengths and challenges of students with special needs, who will be entering our elementary schools in September 2011.

Staff of Student Services also provided an evening session to parent of students with the Allkids organization on Monday February 14, 2011. There were approximately 25 parents in attendance. A presentation was made and a question period followed. Parents also had the opportunity to address staff individually following the meeting.

PRIME (Math) Training was provided for 20 Resource teachers during three separate sessions. One took place the end of January, middle of February and the final session will be the middle of March. This training will allow Resource teachers to assess Math skills and programs, more specifically for students strengths and challenges.

The Learning Disability lead team is made up of four LD teachers from both the elementary and secondary levels. The purpose of the LD lead team is to create a handbook for schools regarding best practices and/or guidelines that the LD teachers are using in their programs, with response to intervention for LD students. We are hoping to present this document to principals and Student Services personnel. We are also hoping to have the handbook available to teachers, principals and schools, etc., on the CBVRSB website.

The Gifted lead team consists of four classroom teachers from both the elementary and secondary levels. The purpose of the gifted lead team is to help support teachers, principals and schools with students who are gifted and talented. Members of our team provide on-site support when their referral for support has been approved by Cathy Viva. These team members help to provide strategies, resources, and programming options, etc., at the classroom and or school level. There are a number of students and teachers who have benefited from this service.

The Gifted Education and Talented Development (2010) document from the Department of Education was just released and another aspect of this team is to present this document to our principals and student services teachers. The team will be working on this presentation early in March 2010.

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