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PSS Report: January, 2012
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 01/17/2012 (1953 reads)
PSS Report: January, 2012

Director, Susan Kelley

As a follow up to the full board assessment workshop, schools have been invited to submit proposals for time to work together on assessment projects. I have received some wonderful proposals for teachers to be able to share ideas and create materials and am excited to see the final projects. This is a direct result of the suggestions made by teachers on the workshop evaluations.

From all reports from our high schools, the attendance pilot project is showing encouraging results. In a recent conversation with a school principal, I was informed some schools are seeing a ten percent and higher improvement in attendance. This is very encouraging. We know it is a lot of work for teachers, but we are also hearing that they are very happy with the results. We continue to work with the Department of Education to refine and improve the process and are working on being able to get reports from PowerSchool very soon.

The Policy Committee continues to work on policy development and revision. This is time consuming but important work, and I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment and energy.

We are working with various partners including the police, Mental Health and AFSCBC to create consistent, positive messages about how to deal with bullying in schools and in the wider community.

Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Language Arts Consultant P-12, Audrey Kyte-Murphy

In early November, a team of eight high school teachers attended a two-day workshop developed by the Department of Education to introduce the new resource, Teaching In Action 10-12, to English teachers. This team will provide professional development for high school English teachers in the Board.

On November 7th, CBVRSB coordinators and consultants presented an overview to CBU Education students.

Geraldine Beaver continues to provide mentoring in P-3 Language Arts Strategies. The after-school sessions at Mira Road Elementary were well attended, and each week approximately 12 teachers are learning how to administer and use Reading Records to improve instruction.

Mentors and consultants met November 25th to discuss the role of the mentor and how it is evolving. A plan has been developed to support individual schools in developing a writing continuum to be used for assessment for learning and for conferring with student writers. Visits to Brookland, Harbourside, and MacDonald resulted in planning further support during their January Learning Monday. It is a goal to have each school in the Board use this opportunity to improve the writing skills at all grade levels, and to develop clearer expectations for teachers regarding writing expectations as they engage in professional conversations at their sites.

The Early Literacy Intervention Program continues in a positive way. The data collected to this point shows reading and writing growth for the majority of students receiving support. Susan Mac Donald, Early Literacy Coach, is collecting detailed information from each early literacy teacher. Seventy-five percent of the intervention is delivered within the regular classroom setting. The first block is completed and five additional short-term ELT positions will be in place beginning in January 2012 to provide further intervention.

A recent meeting hosted by the Department of Education focused on the 2011 Grade 3 ELLA writing results and the planning of a two-day workshop entitled Young Writers In Action 2-3. In May, teams of teachers from each board will attend this professional development session. Grade P-3 teachers will be introduced to the recently developed P-3 Reading Assessment Resource later in the school year.

Mathematics Consultant P-12, Arlene Andrecyk

In November, math mentor Marlene Urquhart and I met with the teaching staff and administration of Harbourside and Greenfield Schools respectively to review each school’s EEMLA and EMLA results. Examining results, encouraging collaboration with instructional strategies, and ways to improve student achievement were discussed. Marlene will meet with each teacher, observe students in math classrooms and will also provide further support and co-teaching if requested.

A session was held at Bras d’Or Elementary where discussions focused on effective instructional strategies and assessment, developing lesson plans and co-teaching.

On November 18th, grade one teacher, Lenore McKinnon from Shipyard Elementary, and Arlene Andrecyk participated in a math workshop called “Show Me Your Math” St. F. X. University. “Show Me Your Math” has been an on-going event in the Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey schools since 2006, inviting youth to explore the mathematics in their community context through conversations with elders and community members. Through a grant from the Tri-Partite Education forum, the “Show Me Your Math” Program is expanding both within Mi’kmaw schools and in public schools that serve the Mi’kmaw communities.

I have been attending ongoing meetings with the Department of Education Mathematics Curriculum Implementation Steering Committee to discuss the adoption of the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for math.

Two Early Math Intervention teachers will be hired for Harbourside Elementary and Greenfield Elementary respectively for an intervention program to further support students in their mathematical development. Support will be given to students in grades two and three. The intervention is a pull out program to provide extra support to small groups of students.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

Schools were very busy with many Christmas concerts and performances. A listing of concerts that took place is available on the Arts Education website calendar at" Performances also took place throughout communities in shopping malls, nursing/senior homes, tree-lighting ceremonies, parades, hockey games, etc.

Congratulations to Jane MacGregor, music teacher, on her recent retirement. Thank you for the dedication to our music and visual arts programs, and for the many students whose lives have been influenced.

High school visual arts students interested in participating in an “advanced” exhibit will have their works displayed at Cape Breton University’s Art Gallery at the end of January. An official opening for this exhibit will be held in February.

The National broadcast of Music Monday on May 7, 2012, will be taking place in Sydney, NS! Stay tuned for exciting details on this wonderful celebration and advocacy for music education within our schools and communities.

Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea

Work is ongoing with the physical education staff on assessment. Self assessment posters were created and will be posted in all gyms in the Board. Information on the grade book was written by the lead team and distributed to all staff.

Our Board once again received the Girls Play2 grant from the Department of Education to support girls-only programs in our Board. Some of the programs that are up and running or completed so far this year are hip hop dancing at Cusack, elementary hockey for grades 3-6 on the Northside, and Zumba at Sydney Academy.

For the first time, Sydney Academy is working on hosting the provincial track and field meet in June at the Cape Breton Health Complex.

The board will offer “Lunch and Learns” for Healthy Living teachers at all of our Junior High Schools. This will be joint project with Addiction Services and Cape Breton Sexual Health.

Sports Animator, Jim MacEachern

A “Fair Play Policy” for hockey was adopted for the second consecutive year as a Pilot Program to encourage equal participation in the Junior High Hockey Program. Play has commenced and will run up to March break with nine teams participating.

Soccer in the Community, a partnering with the Soccer Cape Breton Association, has started with the grade five classes in the CBVRSB participating. The program continues from January to June.

A meeting was held in Sydney in November with the Life Saving Society’s Executive Director to recruit and set up training for potential instructors for the Swim to Survive Program.

The grade four Swim @ School Program and the grade three Swim to Survive Program are wrapping up on the Northside with plans for a grade five and six Program to roll out in February and running through to late spring. Programs are supported by the Northside Pool. The grade three Swim to Survive Program for the Southside is finishing up and a schedule is being formalized to start a grade four Swim at School Program in the new year. Programs are supported by the Kiwanis and YMCA Pools.

The “Curling is Fun” Program offered to grade six students has finished up a successful first section with Jubilee, Bridgeport and MacDonald participating. Plans are being finalized to continue in mid- January.

Plans are finalized for the start up of the Youth in Motion at CBU Program for the grade fours in the School Board. Opening date is scheduled for Thursday, January 5th. A number of sport and recreation community groups collaborate to offer the Program which takes place at CBU.

Library Support Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Library Technicians were involved in professional development in November that centered on engaging students with reading clubs, contests, book displays, volunteering (Library Helpers), and general sharing of strategies to encourage a love of reading. Margie Moore, Library Technician Sydney Academy, shared her knowledge of citations and both APA and MLA styles of referencing were explored.

2011-2012 WOW Reading Challenge (Elementary) has 24 schools in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board registered. Nineteen schools returned from last year and five new schools have registered for the first time. Bags of books and posters were distributed to all schools for prize draws in December. Cst. John Kennedy will visit several schools in the month of January. Many schools have verbally indicated increased levels in their reading and believe this is, in part, because of the success of the reading challenge in their school.

January 26, 2012, is the tentative date for the CBVRSB Board Library Committee meeting.

Dietician, Debbie Madore

As we end the year of 2011, new trends in Nutrition programs are emerging as schools request additional orders for fruit. Clementines were well received at the school level for both breakfast and snack programs. It is hoped that replacing the high calorie junk food snack choices with healthy food choices will carry over to eating habits outside of school.

Sponsorship for breakfast is continual as the program is partially funded by the Government. The school adoption program continues to be a success as we have received renewed adoptions from Louisbourg Seafood for Riverside Elementary. On the Northside, the Kiwanis Caleigh Golden K Group will be providing funding again for the program.

Provincially, work continues on the new model for Breakfast programs. The committee has bi-monthly conference call meetings and is currently developing the Mission Statement, purpose and principles.

Debbie McIsaac, Coordinator

Math Consultant P-12, Arlene Andrecyk

On November 10th, teachers teaching Math 10 and Math 10 Plus attended a full day workshop at the Staff Development Centre. Grade 9 math teachers, Dan McNabb, Dr. T. L. Sullivan Junior High, and Anne Grenier, Malcolm Munroe Junior High, facilitated a session that focused on examining the grade 9 curriculum outcomes and samples of grade 9 math examinations. Grade 10 teachers discussed the knowledge students have when they come into grade 10 and strategies teachers can use to activate this prior knowledge. Denise Breen, Glace Bay High School guidance counselor, spoke with the group on the math stress some grade 10 students experience as they transition from junior high to senior high. She related concerns students have expressed to her and what students feel would help them to alleviate some of this stress. Mike Mombourquette, Student Services Consultant, did a presentation on student adaptations. He addressed some of the questions and concerns teachers have, particularly the concern that the student, while on adaptations, is meeting the curriculum outcomes.

In the afternoon, teachers had an opportunity to closely examine the June 2011 common grade 10 exam from the Chignecto Central Regional School Board and match the curriculum outcomes to the exam specifications. Teachers discussed piloting a grade 10 common exam in the 2012-2013 school year. It was agreed that this year there will be a standard formula sheet for Grade 10 Math and Grade 10 Math Plus examinations. Teachers were given other math resources during the workshop.

The feedback from the day was very positive. Teachers felt the information and resources they received were very valuable and the networking that took place was very helpful.

Arlene Andrecyk and Sydney Academy math teacher, Sandy Urquhart, have completed a unit to provide teachers with instructional strategies that focus on the geometric proofs found in Advanced Math 12.

CB-VRSB Math League Game 1 took place on December 3 at Cape Breton University. Riverview, Cabot and Sydney Academy entered teams. CBU provided a nutritious refreshment break. The game went well. This year, calculators are not allowed at the competitions. A team from Riverview placed first. A student from Cabot High won the random draw for a graphing calculator.

On November 24th, 25th and December 15th, Arlene Andrecyk visited math teachers at Sydney Academy, Memorial and Glace Bay High School respectively. The teachers had an opportunity to discuss the delivery of the math curriculum and raise comments, suggestions and concerns.

Vocational Consultant, Ken Collier

The Grade 9 “Career Awareness Tours” have started at our school. To date, we have welcomed Dr. T.L. Sullivan Junior High, Sydney Mines Junior High, and Thompson Junior High (approx. 260 students). These tours give the students the opportunity to view the programs that are offered at our school for consideration as they prepare to enter senior high in September of 2012. These tours are always popular and the feedback we receive is very positive.

As Vocational Consultant, I attended the 2011 Nova Scotia Liberal Policy Conference on Saturday November 5th in Halifax, as a panelist for the afternoon session entitled “Securing our Future”. This proved to be a very interesting session as discussions took place about the education system around our province. The insight into the Memorial Composite model, and the lessons we have learned from our experiences, were greatly appreciated.

Students took part in our annual Remembrance Day Service on November 10th. This service is always very well attended, and the staff and students do an excellent job. The feedback we receive from our local veterans is very inspiring. Great job everyone.

Juanita MacDonald from the Construction Association of Nova Scotia came to our school on November 23rd for a presentation to our students about the Building Futures for Youth Program. This program sees approximately 12 students from our board hired in the summer to introduce them to careers in the trades. Approximately 75 students attended the session and interest was very high. This was coordinated through Rhonda Smith, Community Based Learning Consultant.

The Skilled Trades/Technical Programs that are offered at Memorial High will be represented at the career Fair taking place on Tuesday, December 6th at Riverview High School. Our Program display will be set-up as well as our Information Technology Program and our Plumbing Program. We look forward to this being a very successful day.

Visits to the junior high schools from outside our catchment area are underway, to start the presentations for students entering grade 10 next year. School tours will be set-up in the New Year, but this presentation allows the students to discuss our school with their parents before the tours takes place. All junior high schools will be visited.

Kent Brewer, our Electrical Instructor, attended a conference in Washington, DC sponsored by Microsoft. Kent was selected based on past global projects as one of thirty global teacher mentor/coaches to provide professional development and guidance on 21st Century Student Skills to small groups of the 130 participants from 70 countries around the world. Kent was also a leader for learning excursion groups of teachers to different areas of the Smithsonian Institute namely SERC (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center). This was an excellent experience for Kent and we are very proud of him for this invitation. Congratulations Kent.

Plans are underway for the Skills Nova Scotia Competitions taking place on March 28/12. These competitions give our students the opportunity to showcase their skills, and possibly represent our province at the national competitions. We are anticipating another successful year. I attended the Skills Excellence Awards and Skills Nova Scotia Board Meeting on December 9th and everything is moving along very smoothly with the competition plans.

The Carpentry students along with their Instructor, Arno Raymakers, have just completed the renovations of two storage sheds for the Sydney Mines Minor Baseball Organization. One of these sheds was previously damaged by fire in June, and the second was a donation. These sheds were first fixed, including new siding installed at the school, and then were transported back to the ball field. Plans are also underway for the students to visit the ball field to assist in the re-siding of another building. This is a great opportunity for students to be involved in their community as well as understand how important volunteers are to a community. This was a great project and we are very proud of all involved.

The Cooking students assisted the St. Joseph’s Women of Peace and Hope from Sydney in a fundraiser that they were hosting. Our students helped prepare cranberry pudding which was used in the fundraiser which took place in early December. Once again, seeing our students involved in community projects is very satisfying and the students are always eager to help.

French Language Arts Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh

Professional development and support for French second language teachers continues to be a priority for the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board. Several professional development initiatives have been held recently for FSL teachers within the CBVRSB. On December 1st, a full-day inservice was held at Riverside Elementary School for grade six Intensive Core French teachers while teachers of the literacy-based “classes expérimentales” met at Riverside Elementary on December 13th. The Sr. High French Language Arts PLC also spent a productive day at Sydney Academy on December 12th sharing activities that promote oral and written production.

Three Sr. High French teachers from the CBVRSB participated in the teacher training session on DELF (Diplôme d’études en langue française) on December 5th, 6th and 7th at the N.S. Dept. of Education. Three schools, (Riverview Rural High, Memorial High and Sydney Academy) will have students participating in the DELF evaluation from April 16-20. Our board has five teachers trained as DELF examiners/markers. The purpose of the DELF evaluation is to give students international recognition for their accomplishments in French second language learning. Students will be evaluated on their oral and written expression and comprehension.

French Second Language Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh is currently organizing meetings with the French departments of CBVRSB’s Junior/Senior High Schools. The purpose of the meetings is to offer P.D. support to French teachers, to provide information on local and provincial initiatives and to examine classroom resources.

Mélanie Rocha, Dept. of Education French Services Branch accompanied Laurie MacIntosh to the Sr. High Schools on January 12th. Ms. Rocha will present an overview of the Explore Program (Summer Language Bursary Program) and the Nova Scotia Québec Exchange Program to Sr. High students. Both of these programs have proven very beneficial to students from our board.

French teachers interested in having their students participate in the annual Concours d’Art Oratoire (French Public Speaking contest) will meet on January 18th to finalize details for the local Concours. The provincial Concours will take place on April 28th at Mount St. Vincent University. The Concours allows Canadian Parents for French-Nova Scotia to sponsor an activity where students from across the province express themselves and are recognized for their talents in French public speaking. For many teachers, it is an opportunity to incorporate public speaking into their curriculum so that all their students benefit from the use of research, writing and presentation skills.

A full day inservice will take place for French teachers from both the Cape Breton Victoria and Strait Regional Board’s “classes expérimentales” on January 25th in Whycocomagh. There are currently six French teachers from our board piloting this literacy-based approach.

English Second Language, Millie George

The first semester has been a very busy time for the English second language students with their adjustment to living in a new country. Other challenges have been in developing lessons that meet the needs of this diverse group of learners. The English Second Language support has been well received and greatly appreciated by the teachers in the high schools. All students have completed a quick placement test at the beginning of the semester and the five month students will complete a second version at the end of this semester before returning home. The score will be an indicator of any areas that may need improvement in how the English Second Language Program is delivered.

I attended the ESL conference in Halifax in October and spent sometime sharing new strategies for assessing second language learners. At the conference, I was able to view different models for assessment and have set a goal to develop a better assessment rubric with outcomes for the ESL learner.

We are preparing for the five month students departure at the end of January and the arrival of the new students in February.

English Second Language, Patsy MacQueen

Scheduling remains the greatest problem for delivery of the EAL/ESL support, while communication with parents seems to present the greatest test for the classroom teachers of EAL/ESL students. There are 3 junior high schools, 1 high school, and 9 elementary schools, up from 8. The new school is Marion Bridge Elementary. This addition, along with additional time required at Cornwallis for a new high needs student, results in more changes to the schedule. Also, there is a change in the amount of time for students at Oceanview, resulting in less time available for at the high school. Again, decisions on scheduling are based on needs and the ability to reach as many students as possible considering the distances and conflicting school schedules involved.

Community-Based Learning/Options & Opportunities, Rhonda Smith

Co-operative Education & Building Futures Program

The Building Futures for Youth program presentations were completed by December 8, 2011. The Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) received sixteen (16) applications from our Board. The students worked diligently to complete their applications, prepare their resumes, cover letters and references, and safety certificates by the deadline, December 16th. Interviews for the program will be conducted on February 28th and 29th, 2012. The community-based learning consultant will organize interview prep session for the students.

Professional Development for Options and Opportunities and Co-op

The Community-Based Learning consultant organized a PD day for Options and Opportunities and Co-op teachers on November 18th. The sessions included a presentation from NSCC, the “Ships Start here”, outlining the college role in the recent ship building announcement.

Lisa Frizzell, coordinator of youth apprenticeship, presented a session on “Youth Apprenticeship, How does it work?” The teachers also had an opportunity to arrange for school presentations for their students. John Cochrane, Coordinator of Community-Based Learning at the Department of Education, presented “Risk Assessment: Community-Based learning Grades 8-12.

For the new Options and Opportunities and Co-op teachers, this PD day provided an opportunity for them to review and share what is happening in their programs and to plan for the upcoming months of work placements, family sessions and student selection for next year.

NSISP Consultant, Kevin Linden

Since the last report, several events and cultural experiences have taken place with our international students.

Students have been encouraged to partake in events in the local community as a group with friends and family. Many families have exposed the students to hockey and skating. Students attend the Screaming Eagles games on a regular basis, and this year we held a greet and meet dinner with the Eagle Hockey players at a local Restaurant after an attended game.

Later in November, we had arranged a local bus tour for the students to travel to Halifax and spend the weekend touring Peggy’s Cove and attending a Neptune Theatre production, “Let the Bells Ring.” While there, students attended one of the Dartmouth Sports Plex activities as well as attending a local cinema performance and a walking tour of Halifax, which included the citadel. The weekend was a highlight for those who opted to pay for this trip on their own. We had a total of 45 students attend and six chaperones.

Late November found the program reviewing upcoming applications and attempting to place Term 2 students as 32 students are leaving for the first term. This year, we had three extensions decide to remain with us in our program. These students had originally signed up for only five months but have asked to remain with us until June. We are very proud to say that one of these three received a scholarship through the NSISP to extend.

On December 10th we had arranged to have those who were interested partake in a cost shared cultural adventure to Lyrics and Laughter Christmas Show at the Louisbourg Playhouse. It was an amazing performance put on by local artists. The 32 students who attended commented on just how much fun it was and inquired as to other things which take place there.

On December 11th the students held an International Pot Luck Dinner which was a huge success. We had over 125 in attendance. Students either on their own or in partners cooked traditional dishes from their home countries for their invited families. This event was held at Sydney Academy and afterwards the students performed songs and carols with the help of Jane Summerall on guitar.

For many, this will be their first Christmas away from family and for others they have been away for several years. Despite either situation, the holidays are hard to be alone in a foreign country. We are so lucky to have families who genuinely care about our NSISP students.

In review, we have 32 finishing their program of study by the end of January and another 29 who will be joining those full time equivalent students come second semester. All have been placed to date and we are awaiting additional placements from the NSISP.

One of the main issues we have found to be a bit overwhelming is getting the word out in the community about the need for more homestay families.

Rick Simm, Coordinator

Adult High Schools Principal, Heather Patterson

Community Education

Students from all four adult high sites attended the CBU production of “The Tempest” in November. This annual expedition to the university is very well received and an opportunity that our students welcome and enjoy. The experience is both an exposure to the arts as well as an opportunity to see the university up close as they consider where they will move on past high school.

Forty three students from our four adult sites received First Aid and CPR training in December. A career fair is in the planning stages for early 2012 when we will bring in post secondary schools both private trade and the community college, as well as various safety training schools to showcase their offerings to our students. This will be a part of the incremental funding we received to promote job readiness in our adult learners to better prepare them post high school.

Interviews are ongoing for second semester and will continue in the month of January as new students show interest in getting their high school diploma. Retention is a great concern as we lost students this year for a wide variety of reasons. Those would include mental health issues, medical issues, financial reasons, and in general a lack of appropriate supports in place to allow them to focus on school at this time. The guidance support that we are getting is very helpful but as those councilors will attest sometimes is not enough in terms of time for those who require more assistance. I continue to monitor this and to work with guidance to find ways to support our students.

Adult Evening Classes

We are currently still running our credit classes as well as GED preparation classes. Our next offerings will be advertised in the Cape Breton Post and on Eastlink Cable with registration for second semester beginning the week of Jan. 9th 2012. All courses will begin the first week of February.

SIS/IT Professional Development Consultant, Kurt Kublek

During the month of November, our team was working with the schools to produce their first report card of the year. For the Phase 2 schools, it was the first time that they had done this using Powerschool. Being the first time of the year, various support and training was required. The report card process went very smoothly and only minor issues were reported (mostly involving putting grades in the wrong place within the gradebook).

While the first reports went out in November, it was noted that this was the time of the greatest access to the Student Parent Portal. During the month, there were more than 16,300 student/parent sign-ins. The average number of parent sign-ins per day in November was approximately 530 with an average visit length of nearly 10 minutes. While this is only part of teacher/parent communication, I think that this is a step in the right direction.

Although, November was the first report card period, it was also a period when Tracie Collier and I had a meeting with the guidance counsellors to introduce them to a major new advancement in Powerschool. School administrators (on Powerschool) and students/parents (on the portal) are now able to see all of the courses they have and which courses they need in order to graduate. This “Graduation Plan” will help guidance, students and parents check on their progress and to help them decide on future courses within their program.

As project manager, I have continued to work with other board and provincial representatives to improve the system now and in the future. Prior to one of these meetings, a ceremony was held in the Annapolis Valley where a student was honored as being the 10,000,000th student on Powerschool. It was noted at the event that Nova Scotia is the largest international rollout of Powerschool and the second largest in North America.

The SIS Team have also been working with Cathy MacNeil and Debbie MacIsaac to host a three day professional development opportunity for representatives from all of our schools. The Professional development is designed to integrate the technology of PowerTeacher with good assessment practices. This workshop will take place during the second week of January.

Assistive Technology/ESP Consultant, Sheila Kublek

In the area of assistive technology, there were professional development sessions for Classroom Suite, Intellikeys, Kurzweil and implementing iPods / iPads into curriculum programming for students with communication challenges. There were several requests to attend school program planning team meetings to discuss options for student programming in the classroom.

Throughout November and December, a great deal of time was allocated to the TIENET (Technology for Improving Education Network) initiative. During these two months, the provincial team met in Halifax and participated in various conference calls to create TIENET training scripts, document security, user privileges, and configuration testing of the documents in TIENET. A week in December was spent in Halifax performing the “User Acceptance” in preparation for the formal administrative training for the provincial TIENET facilitators.

The Student Services Personnel have been working on creating a training plan for the implementation of TIENET, as well as making connections between our current practices and how they will be addressed with the TIENET system.

An overview of the TIENET system was provided to all principals at the November Principals’ Meeting and to all Resource, Learning Centre and Learning Disabilities teachers during their group meetings in December.

IEI Consultant, Tracie Collier

From November 29th to December 2nd , all Grade 5 Teachers in the CBVRSB received Professional Development to accompany the IEI rollout. This included training on software installed on the new desktops as well as a variety of technology resources to support the Grade 5 curriculum outcomes as well as ICT outcomes.

Grade 5 teachers had the opportunity to sign up for further technology integration PD based on their skills, abilities, and needs. This will occur in the coming months. New cameras and LCD projectors were purchased and delivered to Grade 5 classrooms within the IEI mandate.

I made a presentation to the RBTS provincial committee on the CBVRSB approach to Professional Development.

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

The staff of Student Services is continuing to support school staff with program planning and developing programs for students with learning and behavioral concerns. Programs within our ASD initiative continue to expand and retraining has taken place in schools where staff changes have taken place.

On November 28th, all teachers in our region attended a full day session with Dr. Duncan McKinlay from the Ontario Health Ministry titled “Leaky Brakes”. The sessions provided information about children with impulsive behavior and attention problems. Sessions were also provided by psychologists from our region and staff from Child and Adolescent Services, Cape Breton Regional Hospital on Anxiety issues for students. All staff assisted with organization and were joined by coordinators and consultants from programs on the day of the workshops. Teachers were welcomed to the workshop by our Superintendent, Ambrose White.

Schools Plus has started operating from their hub site at Sherwood Park Education Centre and have started programming at the elementary feeder schools. Both the coordinator and outreach worker have been busy forming partnerships within our communities and addressing the needs of individual students.

Lynn Crawford, Coordinator

Mi’kmaq Consultant

I would like to welcome Marjorie Graves as our new Mi’kmaq Consultant. Marjorie will be based at Brookland Elementary and will service schools providing support to staff and assisting with incorporating Mi’kmaq culture in curriculum. Marjorie will be a tremendous asset to the RCH division. Welcome Marjorie!

Student Support Worker Program

Congratulations to Brian Borden as the new Student Support Worker based at Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High. Brian has been working with our board as a casual member since September, and has proven to be dedicated to students. We look forward to Brian's continuous motivation and mentoring to students. Welcome Brian!

Student Support Worker Dionne Romard and I attended the Program Planning Process Facilitator training in Windsor, Nova Scotia December 2nd and 3rd. The session was hosted by the African Canadian Services Division, and examined the program planning process and its impact on African Nova Scotian and First Nation Learners. Community information sessions will be held to provide a clearer understanding of Program Planning Process and Student Services supports.

African Nova Scotian Literacy/Math Support Program

A grant was received from the African Canadian Services Division to support a Literacy/Math support program for students under their guidelines. The pilot program will support students at four Elementary schools and two Jr. Highs. The program will begin in two weeks.


The distribution of Early Language Literacy Assessments (ELLA grade 3) and the Elementary Literacy Assessments (ELA grade 6) results will be distributed to parents and guardians between January 4th and 11th. These reports will provide parents with reliable information explaining if their child is currently meeting the outcomes for their grade level.

Registration for the grade NSE Mathematics 12 and Advanced Mathematics12 Assessments is currently underway. All active grade 12 Mathematics teachers will participate in the marking session on January 30th.

Literacy Support Consultant, Lyn McInnis

As we enter the New Year, all grade 4,5,7,8, and 9 teachers have now completed their Whole Class Plans. I certainly enjoyed working in the schools with teachers and was very impressed to see so many innovative ideas.

With the ELA and ELLA data now available, we will be working with administrators and teachers to analyze their data by providing them with spread sheets to help them identify areas of strength as well as areas which require some support. Thank you to Jim MacNeil for his help in organizing the data.

Many elementary schools have expressed an interest in working on writing continuums as a follow- up to our professional development with Sandra Herbst. This will be a priority for the literacy team in January.

Craig Seward has now visited every junior high school familiarizing various teachers with the Stepping-Up with Literacy Place kits. Teachers certainly appreciated the time to review the kits to see how they could best be used with their students. Lots of great conversations and ideas resulted from their time spent together.

In February, Craig will be based at Dr. T.L. Sullivan for a two week period. This is the third school to date to have Craig based at their school for on-site support.

In November, I attended the Teaching in Action 10-12 professional development sessions with Audrey Kyte-Murphy and a team of high school English teachers. The Teaching in Action Document is an excellent resource which will be given to all high school English teachers. We are planning to work with the team to provide some in-servicing around this resource.

Betty-Jean Aucoin provided a reading comprehension strategies session for our high school Science and Social Studies teachers. This was very well received by the teachers who left with many useful strategies to support struggling readers within their classrooms.

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