The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, in conjunction with Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, are very pleased to provide a day of professional development and learning for all administrators, teaching staff and teacher assistants at Memorial High School. Approximately fifteen hundred (1500) people will be part of two sessions. The keynote speaker is Dr. Duncan McKinlay.
Dr. Duncan McKinlay is a member of the Child and Parent Resource Institute in London, Ontario. He has ascribed the term ‘leaky brakes’ to the behavioral difficulties experienced by children and teenagers with Tourette Syndrome and associated disorders like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit-Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Sensory Processing Disorders.
Dr. McKinlay compares the challenges faced by such people to a vehicle with leaking brakes because, just like a car with brakes that don't work properly, they have trouble 'stopping' themselves; they have difficulty regulating angry explosions, tics or obsessive behaviors.
Dr. McKinlay has been working with the Cape Breton Health Authority, Child and Adolescent Services and two school psychologists from our school district to facilitate the ‘Leaky Brakes Program’ in Cape Breton.
Dr. Bianca Horner, Psychiatrist, will present the Mental Health Curriculum she helped develop for the N.S. Department of Education.
Breakout sessions on Anxiety and Stress in the Classroom will be facilitated by school board psychologists and mental health psychologists from Child and Adolescent Services. The breakout sessions will provide knowledge of anxiety disorders of childhood and adolescence. They will promote awareness of the signs and symptoms of anxiety in students and highlight what teachers can do to help. Learning anxiety and stress in the classroom will also be explored.
Dr. McKinlay will also be presenting at a parent session on Monday evening at Memorial High School.
The first reporting period and parent-teacher session for our board was held on November 24th & 25th. Over the past two years, a new report card was implemented in many of our schools and this was expanded to our junior high schools this year. With the implementation of any new report card, there are always bumps and hiccups for teachers as well as parents and guardians. I want to thank all teachers for their patience, hard work and dedication in preparing for these report cards. To the parents and guardians, if you are unsure of anything with the report card, please notify your school. The best way to determine how your son or daughter is doing is to attend the parent-teacher sessions. At the parent-teacher sessions, you can receive first-hand information on your child’s progress. If you are unable to attend the designated date, please contact the school to set up an appointment with your child’s teacher.
The month of November also featured many moving and powerful Remembrance Day presentations in our schools. I was able to take in two such ceremonies at Boulardarie Elementary School and Baddeck Academy. The staff, students, volunteers and guests were very well prepared and certainly the presence of veterans enhanced such services. I applaud all of our schools within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board for honoring those who served and those who gave their lives for our freedom.
As mentioned in my last report, the Department of Education is reviewing the Hogg Report which allocates funding to school boards. Presentations were made this month to senior staff and also to the board at a special meeting on November 17th. This is still a draft document and the team assigned will take feedback from boards across the province before taking it to government for implementation. We will watch this closely as it may have some dire financial impact on the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.
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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