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Sections > Programs and Student Services Report > PSS Report: September, 2011
PSS Report: September, 2011
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 09/13/2011 (1851 reads)
PSS Report: September, 2011


Director, Susan Kelley

June was a busy month with many changes. As we reached the end of the school year, we said good bye and good luck to our colleagues who have either retired or are moving on to other things. Many of the PSS team have new job descriptions with increased responsibilities and we welcome Debbie McIsaac, Kevin Linden, and Mike Mombourquette to the PSS team. While it certainly will be a challenge, I am delighted to be starting in my new capacity as director and look forward to an exciting year.

Some of the highlights in this months report include a focus on our goal to close the achievement gap for our students by working on improving engagement, and on raising the bar for students who, for a variety of reasons, are achieving at the lower end of the continuum. Research states that excellent teaching and leadership are two of the most important factors in improving student achievement so we continue to work on these areas with a focus this year on classroom assessment practices.

Special thanks goes out to the folk at the GIANT radio station for their fourth annual $30,000 donation to support students in our music programs!

As a step toward meeting recommendations in the Reality Check Report, Lynn Crawford, Coordinator of Race Relations Cross-Cultural Understanding and Human Rights will now report directly to the Superintendent as well as to her Director and will be included in meetings with senior staff.

We continue to work with schools, parents and our colleagues in HR to meet the many needs of student services. With the decrease in TA positions, this is a particularly busy area at this time. We are also starting a Schools Plus project with the facilitator and field worker being based at SPEC.

Two major projects this year in School Services will be the School Liaison Officers in 8 of our schools and also the Attendance and Engagement pilot in our high schools. Both of these will involve monitoring and data collection.

Our data managers were busy in June with the management of the online transfer list data. Also, throughout the summer they worked on various on-going projects including our newly designed Fitness Log.

This year all elementary schools are involved in the implementation of the provincial Student Information System. This is a very busy time for schools and for our staff who support schools through this process. Many hours were spent over the summer in preparation for this and for TIENET, the student services component of the SIS.


Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-12, Audrey Kyte-Murphy

The implementation of ELS will be a major focus for the month of September. Data was collected from each primary teacher and was analyzed to identify students entering Grade 1 who may need additional support. Thanks to the Board’s support, 15 ELT positions were allotted for this program. These teachers attended PD sessions facilitated by Audrey Kyte Murphy and Susan MacDonald.

Audrey Kyte Murphy and Maxine Hardy attended the final meeting of the ELA P-3 Curriculum Guide Revision. This was a two-year project. Audrey Kyte Murphy and Stacie Barrie represented our Board at the 4-6 ELA Curriculum Guide Revision meeting at the DOE.

Early Literacy Coach, Susan MacDonald

With the provincial elimination of Reading Recovery, June was a very busy month. Teacher Leaders were busy collecting and compiling end of year data in preparation for the writing of our annual site report. Copies of this report were forwarded to Cathy MacNeil, Heather Janes-Pederson, Trainer/Coordinator of the Atlantic Division and Janet Bright, Department of Education. We are happy to report that we served more children this year than last and that our discontinuing rates increased in our Grade One students.

The new Early Literacy Teachers (ELTs) met in June to discuss assessment, selection of student resources, tracking of student progress and ongoing professional development. ELTs were provided with a copy of Pat Johnson’s book, Catching Readers Before They Fall, during the summer to read in preparation for the fall.

On September 2nd, 6th and 7th, professional development will be offered for the ELTs . Cathy Cotton, retired Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Strait Regional School Board, will be guiding the teachers through the available resources that are included in the Leveled Literacy Kits and helping to organize them for use in schools.

Arts Education Consultantanchor, Lesley Ann Andrews

June ended on a very busy note in the Arts department with many end of the year concerts, productions, talent shows and graduation ceremonies. Of special note, was a beautiful final concert at Holy Angels High School with the Cape Breton Chorale as guest performers. Also of note, was the final concert for our violin program.

The arts staff honored our retirees for this year and would like to acknowledge them here – Gwen Boyce, Laurie Gorman, Susan Greaves, and Barb Stetter in the music area, and Joard Burke and Brenda Burns in the visual arts area. We wish them all the best in their future and thank them for their invaluable contributions to our Board and students.

In June, Chalmers Doane, ukulele guru extraordinaire, came to Brookland School to work with a group of ukulele students.

Band recruitment meetings and instrument selection took place in many schools before the end of June so band programs are ready to begin in September.

Grade 9 Arts pilot teachers met in Halifax in June to report their experiences with new curriculum before it is released to everyone in September 2011. New curriculum for Band Instruments 9, Music 9 and Visual Arts 9 will be available for teachers before school begins. Resources and professional development will be provided by the NS Department of Education to support teachers in this area.

Thanks to the Giant 101.9 FM radio station for once again providing a $30,000 grant to music programs and students in the CBVRSB. This is the fourth year the station has provided this to us, which is just incredible. These grants have enabled students to attend music camps, purchase instruments, receive scholarships, and for the department to purchase instruments and provide support in the music area. We are extremely grateful.

We look forward to another exciting year, welcoming new staff to our department, working with partners in the community, and seeing the tremendous growth opportunities the arts provide to our students.

Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea

September will see the launch of the Fitness log. The Fitness Log is a Board developed web based fitness assessment that incorporates a variety of health components including; cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. It will enable teachers to assess, report and educate students on the importance of physical activity. The information from these assessments will assist us in determining students' level of fitness and then in deciding what we can do to help all students develop a healthy lifestyle.

A Healthy fitness zone will be used to emphasize personal bests. The Fitness log will be able to generate reports at a variety of levels including class, school, and Board. Using these reports, teachers and administrators can evaluate the fitness levels of students and make decisions on allocating resources or demonstrate the value of the program. It will help students learn how to it feels to become more physically fit and to value the benefits of a physically active lifestyle.

All physical education staff were inserviced on the program on September 2nd.

Sport Animator, Jim McEachern

The Sixth Annual CBVRSB Junior High Girls and Boys Softball/ Baseball Festival was held the first week of June with close to 200 Junior High students participating in the week long event.

A Pilot Elementary Boys and Girls Baseball Festival took place in conjunction with the Junior High Festival to gauge the interest from the elementary students. Four schools participated with plans to expand the Festival in the 2011 - 2012 school year.

The grade four Swim @ School Program finished up in June; the Program offered every grade four child in the School Board the opportunity to receive formal swim instructional classes utilizing the Northside and Kiwanis Pools.

The grade five Pilot Swim @ School Program wrapped up at the Northside and Kiwanis Pools with identified schools being given the opportunity to participate in formal instructional classes in swimming. Plans call for an expansion to a full Board program for 2011 - 2012.

A summer Recreation / Baseball Camp has just been completed with the support of the Sydney Sooners Baseball Club and the federal government Careers Summer Employment Program. Over 100 children received instruction and fair play in the sport of baseball for the months of July and August.

Plans have started for the 2011 -2012 Swim to Survive and Swim @ School Programs for the students in grades three to six, with the three local Pools (North side, Kiwanis, YMCA) supporting the Programs.

Dietitian, Debbie Madore

Golf Tournament June 24, 2011

A successful golf tournament in support of Breakfast Programs was held at The Lakes on June 24, 2011. Presenting sponsor again this year was Sydney Credit Union. The tournament was sold out with 36 teams of four.

New for this year, Meco Construction was the meal sponsor, donating $3500 towards the event. They have asked for the profits of their meal sponsorship to be directed towards St. Anne’s Elementary in Glace Bay. In addition, there was a silent auction at the event.

Dwayne Provo, Provincial School Health Coordinator, visited the tournament and was “impressed” by our event, the community partnerships and spirit.

In total, we raised approximately $29,500!!! Event planning is beginning already for 2012!

Breakfast Programs

In June, funding reports were submitted to Breakfast Clubs of Canada, Breakfast for Learning and Department of Health and Wellness (with Health Promoting Schools). For September, all our programs will be beginning for the school year. The new funding formula for distribution of Provincial Breakfast funding will increase what we will be receiving for our Board from $89,000 to over $110,000 for this upcoming school year.

Health Promoting Schools

Funding has been approved from the Department of Health and Wellness for our Board. We met with Dwayne Provo in June around our accomplishments for 2010-2011 and our plans for 2011-2012 school year.

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Additional schools will be brought into the Insignia project. It is anticipated that all secondary schools will be completed by January.

Preparations are underway for the upcoming WOW Reading Challenges with the hope for increased school participation. A meeting of the Provincial Committee is tentatively set for our location in Florence on September 12, 2011.

External funding for the Adopt-A-Library program will be sought. During the summer, six applications were submitted for grants. The intent is to complete 1-2 each month as they can be very labour intensive and often only available in online format.

PD topics for library staff have been identified as wellness, Insignia training, book clubs, and other library related topics.

New to the collection this year is the "Start-To-Finish" kits for Assistive Technology. The kits/packages include a book (fiction or non-fiction) with either a CD or audio tape and/or Teacher's Guide. Requests have also included more "books on CD" for Listening Centers, etc.

Assist school libraries and staff in transitional stages of growth: Riverview, Cusack, and St. Agnes to name a few.

Cusack has been selected by COLES as the school to be adopted this year; funds are raised at the Mayflower Mall location and then the school selects books for the amount raised.

Moving the Teachers' Resource Centre to a larger space will be completed sometime in late September or early October. Items no longer appropriate and out-dated have been removed to make the collection more current.

New materials have been purchased, especially DVDs and professional books. Requests have also been received for new and updated Reading Boxes at all levels P-3, 4-6, 7-9 and also 10-12 which would be new to the collection. High interest/low level material requests are also increasing.

Carmelita will sit on the Canadian Library Association's jury committee which selects the new Canadian book for the award winning novel in the Young Adult category (ages 13-18). This is a 5-year appointment which consists of reading a multitude of new novels submitted from Canadian publishers and Canadian authors.


Debbie McIsaac, Coordinator

Mathematics (P-12) Consultant, Arlene Andrecyk

On June 20-21, Grade 12 math teachers participated in the NSE Mathematics and Advanced Mathematics regional marking session at the North Star Inn, North Sydney.

Students from grades 7-10 in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, that were not successful in mathematics in the 2010-2011 school term , had the opportunity to attend a Skills Building Program in July 2011. This program provides support to a student in the specific areas that are critical for the student to be successful in the next year.

On August 10-12, Arlene Andrecyk and secondary math teachers, Heather MacLean and Heather MacDonald, attended a TI-Nspire Cx CAS Professional Learning Workshop at Baddeck Academy.

Marlene Urquhart has been appointed as the Math Mentor for Grades 4-9 for the 2011-2012 school term. In September, Marlene and Arlene Andrecyk will be contacting teachers that are new to a grade to provide any support the teacher may want.

Math Department Heads will meet on September 14.

On September 8, all grade 8 math teachers will attend a full day of in-servicing. The focus of the in-service will be an examination of the Elementary Mathematics Literacy Assessment (EMLA) results, and appropriate follow-up to continue to support children’s mathematical development.

Elementary teacher, Melissa Serroul, attended the "Teaching Combined Classes" workshop,
in Mulgrave, on August 9/10. Marilyn Webster facilitated the session.

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

The Department of Education conducted an O2 /Co-op workshop for new teachers on August 25 and 26. Seven new teachers from Glace Bay High, Breton Education Centre, Sydney Academy, Cabot Jr./Sr. High, and Riverview Rural High, along with the Community-Based Learning Consultant, participated in the workshop.

This summer nine O2 and Co-op students from Breton Education Centre, Sydney Academy, and Memorial High participated in the Building Futures for Youth program sponsored by the Construction Association of Nova Scotia, in partnership with School Boards, Department of Education, Nova Scotia Community College, and employers. The students completed their second week of training at Marconi Campus on June 30. They were then given the opportunity to explore work in the skilled trades with the following employers/mentors: Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, AB Mechanical, Transit Plumbing & Heating, Cape Breton Drywall, Superior Truss, Joneljim Construction, Firestop, and Roclan/Dora. The students earned a summer wage, three co-op credits, pre-apprenticeship hours, and valuable experience for their participation.

Nova Scotia International Student Program Consultant, Kevin Linden

This year, we are welcoming 12 returning students and 64 new students for a total of 76 international students. We have students representing 16 countries this year including: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia, The Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey. We are very excited about the diversity of students and growth of the program this year.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has many new host families for the school year; a total of 50 Cape Breton Regional Municipality families have welcomed students into their homes. The Homestay Parent Orientation was held at Sydney Academy on August 23 for all new and returning host families.

The new Director and Program Manager for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board International Student Program, Debbie McIsaac and Kevin Linden, travelled to Baddeck on August 17-18 to attend the annual Nova Scotia International Student Program Consortium Meeting.

We have many exciting events planned for our students and host families in the upcoming months. Homestay coordinators are hosting welcome barbeques during the month of September. The new student orientation will take place September 16-17 in Baddeck.

We have support personnel in place for our students including 2.5 English Second Language teachers, and school liaison staff in most schools.

We welcomed an agent, Ana Carolina Barros, and agent from Via Mundo, who visited her students on September 6/7.

As always, we continue our recruiting campaign for new host families. Our targeted growth areas are North Sydney and Glace Bay. We have recently added Denice Breen to our team; our new Homestay Coordinator for the Glace Bay area.

French Second Language Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh

Many French Second Language Teachers participated in professional development workshops and language institutes during the summer months at Istorlet, Acadia University, and the Department of Education. Four more French Teachers were trained in literacy strategies for our “classes expérimentales”, and one teacher was trained in Ottawa to teach Intensive Core French at Greenfield Elementary.

Celeste Foisy-Lahey will serve as Core French Mentor for 2011-2012. Celeste will be working with French “experimental class” teachers and Intensive French teachers within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Strait Regional School Board.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will have two French Language Assistants assigned to schools this school year. Alice Cabille will be working with teachers and students at Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High, while Nicholas Crépit will be working with teachers and students at Riverview Rural High School. Language assistants are assigned to schools to help second language teachers in their classrooms, to encourage students to interact in the French language and to raise students’ awareness of the French culture.

Upcoming initiatives for French Second Language:

  • Meeting of French experimental class teachers: Wednesday, September 7, at 3:00 p.m. at Riverside Elementary
  • Workshop for Pilot teacher of “Littératie en Action”, Suzanne Aucoin, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High: September 14, in Halifax.

Vocational Education Consultant, Ken Collier

Vocational staff has submitted General Curriculum Outcomes for each of the locally developed courses that are taught at Memorial High. We look forward to having these inserted into PowerSchool so staff will be able to align their tests, assignments, projects, and other assessments with the outcomes. This will be a very positive way of keeping parents informed of their children’s progress.

Plans will soon be underway for the Skills Nova Scotia Competitions taking place in the new year. These competitions give our students the opportunity to showcase their skills, and possibly represent our province at the national competitions. Dates have yet to be established. We are anticipating another successful year.

We are eagerly awaiting the installation of the dust collection systems in our school. The initial work has begun, and we look forward to a speedy installation.


Rick Simm, Coordinator

SIS/IT Professional Development Consultant, Kurt Kublek

During the first part of July, the SIS team were working on the end of year process (EOY) for PowerSchool. This entailed finishing schedules, fixing errors, etc. With this EOY, we were busy working with the Department of Education in the area of school data exports. When this was completed, we were involved with the preparation, release and testing of PowerSchool 7. As project manager, Kurt Kublek was also responsible to attend various meetings with his colleagues from the other school boards.

Work for the upcoming school year is centered on setup and preparation of documentation to help schools within the Board have a successful launch of PowerSchool this fall.

Assistive Technology/ESP Consultant, Sheila Kublek

TIENET Update:

TIENET is the program that will be used to do the Student Services component of the Student Information System. Throughout July and August, a total of six meeting days were held in Halifax. The provincial TIENET facilitators worked with representatives, Tom Reale and Eric Chow, in configuring the necessary forms to be stored within TIENET. Roles people will play with TIENET and security roles were also topics of in-depth discussion. Each board had to submit a TIENET training plan at the end of June 2011. During the second week of July, all provincial facilitators received a copy of the TIENET training plan from each Board. Facilitators were requested to review all the plans, make any necessary changes or additions and then resubmit the plan to Darrell Hiltz.

Data Managers, Jim McNeil and Tom Baker

· Programming and database amendments where developed on the following applications:

- Principal

- Teacher Vacancy

- Voluntary Transfer List

- Support for Students

- Fitness Log

· A bug tracking application will be added in the near future allowing application users to report and track identified issues in our software.

· A planned Blackberry/Exchange rollout was implemented for Principals and Consultants. Outstanding users will be accommodated in early September.

· SQL reports where developed for use in PowerSchool and implemented by Kurt Kublek.

· Support for both the teacher vacancy list and voluntary transfer list was ongoing throughout the summer.

· Installation and configuration of a second web/data server hosted at the Staff Development Centre is ongoing. Expected completion is October 2011.


Charles Sheppard, Coordinator

School Liaison Officers

· Coordinated meeting between members of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service, Department of Education and the CBVRSB Board Chair and Superintendent to discuss the reconfiguration of the School Liaison Officers. Four officers will work in eight of our schools this year. Schools involved are: Sydney Academy, Riverview, Memorial, Glace Bay High, Sherwood Park, Oceanview , Breton Education Centre, and Malcolm.

Principals’ Meeting

· Chaired and attended the principals meeting at Memorial High. This meeting was the first one of the year and welcomed back all returning principals, new principals, coordinators and consultants.

Student Transfers

· Fielded and continue to field telephone calls requesting school transfer in grades primary and other grade levels


Cathy Viva, Coordinator

The Student Services Department has been working diligently on Teacher Assistant requests. Parents and Principals are making requests for additional Teacher Assistant support for their children/students. Several complaints have been received from parents regarding the reduction of Teacher Assistant support in the Board.

Parents were also seeking transfers to different schools, which in turn requires new programs and/or support.

We were successful in receiving additional Teacher Assistant support.


Lynn Crawford, Coordinator

Student Support Worker Program (SSW)

The first Student Support Workers meeting took place on Friday September 2nd. The day consisted of sharing some excellent ideas for the upcoming school year to improve the SSW program in supporting African Nova Scotian Students. The SSW’s are looking forward to bringing these initiatives to schools and working closely with principals and staff.

The resignation of Student Support Worker Noreen MacKinnon was received with much dismay. Noreen was an instrumental part of the SSW team as a dedicated employee. On behalf of the Student Support Worker program, we wish Noreen all the best with her new job and thank her for all the great work she had done with and on behalf of the students of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

Literacy Support Consultant, Lyn McInnis

The month of September has begun with on-site professional development for new to grade three and new to grade six teachers around the Early Language Literacy Assessment and the Elementary Literacy Assessment.

Grade three teachers will be receiving National Geographic books to use with their students. Each teacher will receive multiple copies of three different titles.

Plans are under way for on-site in-servicing with teachers in grades three to nine around Whole Class Plan development.

At the junior high level, schools will continue to receive their Stepping Up with Literacy Place kits, as well as professional development in using them. Craig Seward has begun working with new to junior high teachers in setting up programs and using effective strategies.

High school teachers will be taking part in a reading comprehension strategies in-service beginning in November. This will be a continuation to in-servicing which began last year. Plans are also underway to begin book clubs with some of our junior and senior high schools.

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