Welcome to the 2011-2012 school year. We continue to face challenges as we prepare the course for our upcoming school year. We start the year with a clean slate and must build on the positive aspects of our system.
Communications is a key factor within our Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. As a central office team, we must get our messages to schools, parents, students, communities and partners about what it is we really do. Many problems arise because of a breakdown in communications, and I see this as a goal we must improve upon in 2011-2012. Schools must also strive to improve communications with their parents, communities, school advisory councils, etc. through monthly reports, websites or the old fashion face-to-face communication with their people. This will allow us to do what we are here to do and that is to educate students in the best possible manner.
Education is all about students and being there for them and caring for them is first and foremost. We must treat our students in a way we would want our own children to be treated.
I do look forward to working with the elected members of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, along with our senior staff, school administrators as well as staff and students.
I would like to recognize the support and co-operation of the Department of Education, the Cape Breton Regional Police Services and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board in working together to continue the valuable School Liaison Officer services to our schools. We now have four police officers working within eight of our junior and senior high schools. This service is extremely valuable, and we look forward to a continued relationship with these wonderful partners.
Our Board did receive financial support from two other strong partners within the past few weeks. The ‘Raise a Reader’ campaign in partnership with the Cape Breton Post netted us valuable dollars to spend on ‘Early Literacy Resources’. We thank the Cape Breton Post for this ongoing contribution. Also ‘New Cap Radio’ donated $30,000 to our Fine Arts program. This is the fourth year for this donation and $120,000.00 goes a long, long way to aid our ‘Fine Arts’ program. Thanks so much ‘NewCap’.
I would like to mention the ‘Minister’s Task Force on Cyberbullying’. The Minister of Education is inviting members of the public and in particular youth, parents/guardians, educators and members of our school communities to provide input and to share their ideas and suggestions on cyberbullying through a new survey and website.
The Cyberbullying Task Force and working group will use the information from the survey to help develop recommendations for the Minister of Education.
Along with the survey, the website provides valuable resources for youth and teens, parents/guardians, teachers, schools and community members as well as links to partnering organizations.
The survey will remain open until September 30, 2011. To complete the survey, please access: http://cyberbullying.novascotia.ca/survey.
To learn more about the ‘Minister’s Task Force on Cyberbullying’ and to access the online resources, visit: http://cyberbullying.novascotia.ca.
A series of focus groups on cyberbullying is being arranged within each Board at the upper elementary, junior and senior high school levels. Our Board will be participating on September 29th.
We also had the official opening of ‘Ferrisview Elementary School’ and ‘Oceanview Junior High School’ this month. Congratulations are extended to all the partners and the school communities involved in these exciting events. These schools have all the latest equipment in labs, classrooms, technology, etc. to offer the best for our students. This combined with the wonderful teaching staff in both schools will make education and learning most enjoyable at these two new schools.
One of our priorities for the 2011-2012 school year is ‘Assessment’. On Monday, October 3rd, all elementary schools will be involved in a board-wide professional development day on ‘Assessment’. The following day, Tuesday, October 4th, all secondary schools will have a similar day. The Facilitator for these workshops is Sandra Herbst. Sandra is a noted system leader, author, speaker and consultant with almost twenty years of experience in education. She has worked in both elementary and secondary schools and is a former classroom and specialty teacher, school administrator, program consultant and for the past eight years, was an Assistant Superintendent of a large
Urban School District. Sandra is also a past President of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents and the Manitoba ASCD Affiliate.
The theme for these workshops is: ‘Leading the Way to Making Quality Classroom Assessment Work for Learning’.
Educators work hard every day on behalf of their students. They understand that helping learners to take ownership and be actively involved is important for everyone’s success. Assessment for student, teacher and system learning is one way to make this happen.
This interactive and practical workshop will help to extend your understanding of how to deeply engage students through the use of assessment for learning strategies in these areas:
Classroom-based stories, student work samples and video clips from subject areas and grade levels will help you to make connections to your current practice. Come prepared to reflect, talk and learn from each other. These should be two valuable and interesting professional development opportunities.
Finally, I wish all of our students, staff, board and school communities all the best for 2011-2012.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to direct your attention, and that of the board members and staff, to read the comments from our school principals that are placed on individual school websites. These items represent the awards, achievements and successes of our students and staff within the boundaries of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. Again, I ask the principals to ensure that these important communications are kept up-to-date.
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