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Sections > Programs and Student Services Report > PSS Report: April, 2011
PSS Report: April, 2011
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 06/06/2011 (2538 reads)
PSS Report: April, 2011


Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-6, Audrey Kyte-Murphy

On February 22nd and 23rd professional development days for the CB-VRSB grade 3 teachers were well received by those in attendance. As stated in the previous report, the focus of the days was in response to the 2010-2011 Grade 3 ELLA Assessment results.

On March 24th and 25th CB-VRSB grade two teachers attended a professional development session that focused on the aspects of writing needing support, according to Grade 3 ELLA Assessment results and teacher observations. Their grade 2 students will be assessed in early fall 2011. Using rubrics to assess their present grade 2 student writing and linking it to the grade two outcomes, was part of the day’s agenda. Also, strategies to connect reading and writing, using Sharon Taberski’s recently acquired resources, was presented.

Audrey Kyte Murphy and Cathy MacNeil attended a meeting in early March in response to the recent announcements regarding the loss of Reading Recovery. This is a serious situation as the program was research based and the CB-VRSB had invested a lot of time and money in recent years to improve the effectiveness of the Reading Recovery program. Further meetings were held in Halifax later in the month to begin to look at alternatives to providing this critical support in the early years. Susan MacDonald and Donna Robson represented our Board.

The two full time P-6 mentors, Geraldine Beaver and Thelma Libbus, will finish their mentoring program on April 1st. They will be missed greatly as many teachers have benefited from the support they have provided. Feedback to their mentoring sessions is always positive.

Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

March Review

Math Website

We are continuing to update the website, making it available to teachers, students, and parents.


Ron Muller, Tara Colbert, and Pam Van Dommelen are available to mentor teachers P-6. In April, Lynne McKay will be available to mentor junior high teachers.

Parent Night

There was an information session on math for parents on Monday, March 7th, at Marion Bridge School. The focus was on multiplication and division with base ten blocks and modeling and addition of fractions using pattern blocks. Parents were directed to the board website where they were able to gain access to games and other math activities under the student links section.

Math Buddies

Math buddies continues at Harbourside, grades 4 and P/1, and at Bras D’Or, grades 6 and 3. Students at both schools are engaged. It is a very positive learning experience for them.

Site-based professional development – 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. In March, the following schools have participated in this professional development: Donkin/Gowrie, Robin Foote, Mount Carmel, and Marion Bridge.


A group of resource teachers will have completed their training in PRIME (Professional Resources and Instruction for Mathematics Educators) as of the end of March. The first session was in January and the second held in February,

April Plans

Math Day

Harbourside School held a Math Day on Friday, April 1. Parents can visit classrooms to find out how math learning has changed and the benefit that provides for their children. Tara Colbert, math mentor, is supporting this project.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

A workshop for instrumental music teachers was held on March 28th at Harbourside Elementary. This workshop was facilitated by Dr. James Mark, who is well-known for conducting wind ensemble orchestras, has taught at Mount Allison University, and is a well-known adjudicator. The agenda for the day will include items such as stick technique, rehearsal management, score study and marking, and "what the adjudicator is looking for".

Brookland students will be involved in a musical production of “Chocolate Fever” on April 6th, at Brookland Elementary.

The annual art exhibit featuring work from students in Grades 4-12 from all schools in the CB-VRSB will officially open on Tuesday, April 12th, at 7p.m. at the Mayflower Mall. The show’s theme is “Artmazing” and all are welcome to attend. The show will run until May 8th.

The Cape Breton Regional MusicFest will take place at the Savoy Theatre from April 12th to 15th. Special thanks to Barb Stetter for continuing to run this wonderful event. Good luck to the many bands who participate.

An art exhibit featuring work from advanced high school art students will open at Cape Breton University’s Art Gallery on Tuesday, April 19th at 7 pm. The theme for this show is “It’s Natural” and all are welcome to attend. The show will run until May 20th.

Music Monday will be held across Canada on Monday, May 2nd. Many of our schools participate in singing and playing the designated song for this year to show their support of music education. Further information on the song, the event, and schools that are participating may be found at

Plans are well underway for the 13th annual CB-VRSB Regional Heritage Fair to be held at Cape Breton University on May 5th and 6th, 2011. More than 150 projects and over 200 students are expected to participate from 27 schools incorporating Grades 4-9.

Reading RecoveryÒTeacher Leaders, Susan MacDonald & Joy Cookson

This month, our ongoing professional development sessions took place on March 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th. The emphasis for these sessions was ‘Developing Complex Writing’. Cathy MacNeil attended two of these sessions to discuss the impending changes to early literacy that will take place within our province. Her input was much appreciated by the Reading Recovery® teachers in attendance.

In addition to providing ongoing professional development sessions to our Reading Recovery® teachers, teacher leaders continue to provide daily lessons to four children at Mira Road Elementary and three children at Bras d’Or Elementary as well as two students at Florence Elementary who are close to reaching the average bands in reading and writing within their classroom.

Also during March, Susan attended meetings at the DOE on March 4th, 8th and 9th. The purpose of these meetings was to create a framework for the new early literacy intervention that is being developed to help children in grades primary to three. This new intervention will be the replacement for Reading Recovery®.

Looking forward to April, our ongoing professional development sessions will take place on April 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th. The emphasis for these sessions will be ‘Achieving Active Problem Solving’.

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Reading Challenges:

With only 2 weeks remaining of the challenges, all schools are motivating the students to continue their reading. Positive feedback has been given at both levels, but in elementary, it has already been noted that reading assessment numbers have increased. As the challenge winds down, school leaders are in full swing for motivating students and staff to continue their love of reading. Winners at both levels will be announced after the final tally date of April 8, 2011.

Cabot Junior and Senior High:

Cabot’s library received a generous donation from Edna Staebler in 2006, and is still using funds to purchase books, magazines, technology materials and upgrades, and other materials that keep the library up-to-date. This past October, Cabot purchased 2 chairs and a love seat to accommodate a reading corner in our library. Through Edna’s 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.

New School Acquisitions:

Ferrisview and Oceanview have received the initial allotment of books from the DOE allotment. Both schools are very pleased with the selections and quality of the materials provided through this grant, and in the work of Carmelita Cousins in selecting appropriate material for their students. The main supplier S & B Books located in Mississauga, Ontario, is very reliable and dedicated in assisting in this process. More books will be received shortly.


David Brennick, Coordinator

Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

Junior high students from seven junior high schools have been sharpening their math skills in preparation for the Math Olympiad competition which took place on March 29 at Oceanview Education Centre.

On February 24 and 25, Arlene Andrecyk met with junior and senior high math teachers from Baddeck Academy and Cabot High respectively. Junior high teachers discussed the support being provided for grade 7 students that did not meet expectations on the Elementary Math Literacy Assessment. High school teachers examined results of the January 2011 Nova Scotia Examination Math 12 and Advanced Math 12 for their particular school. At Cabot High, Arlene also worked with math teachers as they developed math goals for School Accreditation.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Math League Game 3 took place on March 9 in the Glace Bay High School library. Glace Bay High, Holy Angels High, Cabot High, Riverview Rural High, and Sydney Academy entered teams. Participants enjoyed the game. A team from Sydney Academy placed first. There were two random draws for graphing calculators. Overall standings for the 2010-2011 school year are: teams from Sydney Academy placed first and second, Riverview Rural High School placed third. The Math League Provincials will take place on April 16 in Halifax.

To further support teachers in the implementation of appropriate follow-up for students that are not yet meeting expectations on the Elementary Math Literacy Assessment, Arlene Andrecyk is continuing to visit grade 7 math teachers.

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

The student interviews for the Building Futures for Youth program were held February 23-25. The interviews were conducted by the Human Resources Coordinator of Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS), the Community-Based Learning Consultant and two employers from the community. There were 18 students interviewed and the HR coordinator (CANS) chose 10 students to participate in the program this summer. Students chosen were from Memorial High, Glace Bay High, Breton Education Centre, and Sydney Academy. A parent information session will be held on May 3 and the first week of training at Nova Scotia Community College is scheduled for May 24-27. The second week of training will be in June after final exams. The program will offer students 5-6 weeks of paid pre-apprentice work placements during the summer. Students can also earn up to three Co-op credits.

The Community-Based Learning Consultant met with Nova Scotia Community College on March 28 to discuss the grade 8 career exploration program. For the past three years, this program offered “at risk” grade 8 students a chance for hands-on exploration in the trades and exposure to the community college environment. This program can be funded through the Workit Grant Funds that are available to the junior high and high schools.

Three Options and Opportunities students from Holy Angels will compete in the 14th Annual Nova Scotia Skills Competition in April. The three competitions are in Baking, Fashion Technology, and the Job Interview.

Nova Scotia International Student Program (Tammy Sampson, Consultant)

Spring is finally here and we continue to have a great year in the NSISP! All of our 25 new students have arrived and we also welcomed a Belgium student who transferred from the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.

Tammy Sampson and David Brennick spent 2 weeks in Campeche, Mexico, as a part of a Leadership camp with 20 Nova Scotian students and 20 Mexican students. Four of the students represented our local high schools including Riverview Rural High, Sydney Academy, and Holy Angels High.

Several of our students took part in the Nova Scotia International Student Program March Break cultural trip to Montreal and Ottawa. Many others traveled around the province, to their home countries, or to meet parents around Canada and the United States.

Several International Students did presentations at Greenfield and Mountainview Elementary Schools; a great learning opportunity for all involved!

Two of our Homestay Coordinators are preparing to depart for Mexico – They were chosen for the Nova Scotia International Student Program FAM tour and will spend two weeks living in Mexico with host families.

As always, we continue our recruiting campaign for new host families. Our targeted growth areas are North Sydney and Glace Bay.

French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant)

The annual Concours d’art oratoire (French Public Speaking Contest) was held on Tuesday, March 22 and Wednesday, March 23 at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High. This competition is part of a National festival sponsored by Canadian Parents for French and locally by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

The following students won in their category and will now go on to represent the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board at the provincial concours in Halifax on May 7, 2011:

5/6 Core French: Samuel MacDougall, Cusack Complex

5/6 Middle French Immersion: Annette MacLellan, Coxheath Elementary

6 Intensive French: Victoria Burke-Wadden, Glace Bay Elementary

7/8 Core French: Dana Saeed, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High

7/8 Late French Immersion: Lauren Turner, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High

7/8 Francophone: Eleanor Van Veen, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High

9/10 French Immersion: John-Oliver MacLellan, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High

11/12 Late French Immersion: Beth MacLellan, Riverview Rural High

11/12 Francophone: Ranee MacIntosh, Sydney Academy

French Second Language events:

  • DELF workshop for examiners/correctors in Halifax on March 28th and 29th.
  • Inservice for grade seven Immersion French Language Arts at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High, March 29th.
  • Launching of “Mon Monde” site for grade six Core French pilot schools, April 6th.
  • Intensive Core French Inservice (grade six), April 26-27, at Riverside Elementary.
  • Senior High French Language Arts Inservice, April 27th, at Sydney Academy.

The 30th annual Cape Breton Regional Science Fair was held on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011, at the Grand Lake Road Fire Hall. Once again, the fair was a huge success. Eleven schools participated in the fair with over 100 students participating. Our students showcased their projects to over 50 judges from science-based organizations within our community. We are fortunate to have such volunteers who give up their day to judge our fair.

We are pleased to say that we have a lot of returning students each and every year to our Regional Fair, which can only indicate that they have enjoyed their time at the fair, and that they and their teachers believe in the value of project-based science. We are continuing to promote the science fair in our schools. Beginning science fair at the junior high level, helps build a strong science fair community in high school. Doing science fair in the classroom at any level covers the majority of the science outcomes necessary for each grade level and at the high schools, and it allows students to do their independent research based project.

This year, our fair had 27 projects entered in the senior level, the highest number in all of Nova Scotia. We feel this shows the value of science fair in the classroom and especially for those students intending to continue with science in their future. Many of our science fair participants have been awarded prizes and employment opportunities due to their participation in science fair.

Over $4000 in cash prizes, $28,000 in scholarships and bursaries from various colleges and universities, along with many other prizes, were awarded at this year’s fair, as well as four trips to the Canada Wide Science Fair to be held in the month of May in Toronto, Ontario. We have many sponsors in the community who have been supporting our fair for many years and it is greatly appreciated. It is our goal to reward good science fair projects at all levels in all divisions as well as providing our students the opportunity to compete at the Canada Wide Science Fair. We also provide each student at the fair with science packages containing information and items from science organizations across the province and the country. This promotes science and allows students to see where science can take them in their future.

We have been very fortunate to have won many awards and prizes at the National level in the past years of science fair. Our goal is to produce high-level projects but, as well, we are encouraging the development and the love of science in our younger participants. At the provincial and national level, our team from Cape Breton has always been well respected and admired not only for their science projects but their positive interaction with the other students and their respect for the fair itself. Our students have been represented in posters for science fair and as well a provincial video explaining the steps of science fair. Preparing for a National Science Fair requires a great deal of commitment in the preparation from everyone involved and to date has been a great success.

As our fair is continuing to grow each year, we are now moving to Cape Breton University for future years. The university has been an anchor of support for us over the years financially as well as providing judges and mentors, helping with the printing of projects, allowing the use of facilities and anything else we may need. We are very excited about this move and anticipate great success with CBU.

Our winners from Cape Breton for the Canada Wide Science Fair are as follows: Kathleen Orrell, Kendra MacCuspic, Dominique Duggan and Nolan Smith. We wish them the best of luck on this great journey of science!


Rick Simm, Coordinator

Community Education (Heather Patterson)

Adult High School Program

There are many phone calls coming in from students inquiring about the Adult High School program for September 2011. Screening is taking place and potential students are being sent to their last school to get transcripts in preparation for their interviews in May. Our graduating students are preparing their portfolios and meeting with the guidance counselors in their sites to further discuss educational opportunities for September 2011. We are encouraging our graduates to consider all of their options including employment opportunities in our local area. We are working with them to get applications and to fine tune their resumes and cover letters.

We have a group of students in Sydney for whom we hope to get a Food Handlers course for and all students will take WHMIS by the end of April. With the new Occupational Health and Safety 11 classes in place in three sites, they will take Passport to Safety as we work towards building up the student’s portfolio. As well, anyone who is graduating in June and did not receive First Aid and CPR will have an opportunity to do so in May. Graduation has been confirmed for Monday, June 27th at 2:00 at Breton Education Centre Details are being worked out now for the ceremony itself.

Adult Evening Classes

Night classes are running smoothly despite the number of storm day interruptions. We will have to double up nights in some classes to complete on time.

SIS/IT Professional development Consultant (Kurt Kublek)

This month, Mr. Kublek has been working at different stages of implementation of the new School Information System (SIS). As project manager, Mr. Kublek has been working with his team to launch nine new elementary schools to the system. These nine new schools have done very well with their first number of weeks of implementation after converting from Dadavan Outcomes. Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board now has the most schools (24) on Powerschool in the province.

Under the umbrella of iNSchool, Powerschool has been running very well for the board’s Phase One schools which have recently introduced the student-parent portal. Through this portal, parents (and students) can access (via the Internet) information about their children’s school experience including attendance history and grades. Mr. Kublek and his team have also been working closely with the school and other members at the board level to do such things as schedule Phase One schools for next year and work towards better assessment practices.

Next year, CB-VRSB will bring Powerschool to nearly 30 more schools in the board in Phase Two. Mr. Kublek and his team have been working to make this process happen as conversion of data and plans for professional development are being developed. Once these schools come on line, all of the schools in the board will be on the same system allowing for greater access to information for students, parents, schools and school board.

IEI Consultant (Tracie Collier)

The IEI project continued in March with a site-based professional development project. Teacher trainers were trained in computer programs which were included in the IEI Grade 4 rollout and geared for Grade 4 teachers. These teachers then provided professional development to Grade 4 teachers in their own environment. Feedback regarding the site based approach was very positive from both the lead teachers as well as the teachers who received the training. Marlene Urquart organized this project as well as assisted in the training of the lead teachers. Both the IEI and the Assistive Technology Consultants also provided the training to the lead teachers.

IEI schools also utilized additional site based professional development to further explore technology integration in their environment.


Susan Kelley, Coordinator

Each year in Nova Scotia, we encourage students to eat fresh apples by having ‘The Big Crunch’. Students and staff in our board took part in this and following are a few pictures from Bridgeport, Cape Smokey, and Shipyard.

Big Crunch Bridgeport.JPGBIG CRUNCH Cape Smokey.JPGP3030003.JPG

Literacy Support, Lyn McInnis

During the month of March, Ms. McInnis has been very busy working with grade six teachers, on-site, developing Whole Class Plans and discussing reading comprehension and writing strategies. Teachers are working diligently to provide quality instruction for their students. This work will continue until the end of March.

All teachers within our board, grades three to nine, have now received in-servicing around Whole Class Plans as a response to the Literacy Assessment Results. Teachers have responded favorably to the Whole Class Plan approach.

Grade two teachers are being brought together to look at the ELLA data. Teachers are looking for areas of strength and areas that need to be supported within their schools. Teachers are being given the opportunity to work with a writing rubric to assess students’ writing. Working with Audrey Murphy, Geraldine Beaver, and Thelma Libbus has been tremendous.

New reading resources have arrived for our junior high schools, and Craig Seward and Lyn McInnis will be distributing those to schools in the near future. Craig and Lyn will offer support as teachers begin to use the new materials.

Craig continues to work within classrooms emphasizing reading comprehension and writing strategies across the curriculum.

Word Sharp Writing Dictionaries have arrived from the Department of Education for English teachers from grades nine to twelve. This book is an excellent resource to be used as a writing tool, but also supports reading comprehension around vocabulary development.


Cathy Viva, Coordinator

The Speech-Language Pathologists attended a Provincial-wide conference at the end of February where programs & modules of delivery service were discussed. As a result, the Speech-Language Pathologists will be meeting to discuss ways of maximizing their time in school & meeting the needs of an increased number of students identified with Speech & Language difficulties.

The Student Services team is creating guidelines for the many services Student Services teachers provide. Committees, including Classroom Teachers, Administrators, Student Services Teachers and parents, will meet to discuss and create guidelines.

Two (2) of our School Psychologists will be presenting at the Principal’s Meeting regarding follow-up and programming from Psycho-Educational reports.

The Student Services Consultant is continuing to meet with the Learning Disabilities and Gifted Education committees to review programming and supports for students in our Board.

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