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Sections > Programs and Student Services Report > PSS Report: March, 2012
PSS Report: March, 2012
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 05/31/2012 (1317 reads)
PSS Report: March, 2012

PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES REPORT

Director, Susan Kelley

February has been a busy month with report cards, parent teacher meetings and a new term now underway. All schools are now using the provincial report card template generated by PowerSchool. Work continues to be done with schools and school communities on the use of PowerSchool and the parent portal as we make this transition. We have also now begun training in the student services portion of the SIS system which is called TIENET.

We are very pleased with the progress shown by students receiving early literacy support in our Succeeding in Reading programming. The Department of Education in their Education Plan has indicated that Succeeding in Reading will expand to grade 2 this year. Unfortunately there is no new funding to support this expansion.

The schedule for the implementation of the new math curriculum has been released. Nova Scotia has adopted the western protocol with a few minor adaptations to the curriculum.

PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Early Literacy

All elementary sites have received Play-Talk-Learn bags to be distributed to the parents of the current Primary students for use at home. The intent of these educational bags is to support early literacy development, specifically oral language, which is an area of concern for our young learners. The bags contain many materials including books, paper, music CD, crayons, etc. There will be additional bags available for the newly registered Primary parent/students during their May Primary Orientation session.

Language Arts Consultant P-12, Audrey Kyte-Murphy

The first twelve-week block of the early literacy intervention has been completed. Susan Mac Donald, Early Literacy Coach, has compiled detailed information regarding the literacy development of the 204 students involved in the reading and writing intervention. The addition of five short- term early literacy teachers in January, working with our full time early literacy teachers, enabled identified students to receive continued support in the second block of instruction.

During the third block, the goal is to identify and work with students in Primary who would benefit from the early literacy intervention.

To further support the tracking of reading development from P-6 literacy, additional Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark kits have been purchased for several schools.

Work has been done to develop a writing continuum to be used by teachers to do formative assessment in their writing workshops. The goal is to have each school staff and /or writing team prepare common assessments and develop their own continuum booklet. This is an ongoing initiative underway in several schools and is supported onsite through meetings with the consultant and mentor.

Geraldine Beaver, literacy mentor, continues to provide support to teachers through classroom visits, school based professional development sessions, and scheduled after-school sessions.

To familiarize Grade 10-12 English teachers with a new Department of Education resource called Teaching in Action 10-12, professional development days will be held March 1, and 2, 2012. On February 17 and 20, 2012, a team of four lead teachers attended planning sessions to prepare for the upcoming professional development. Books have been ordered to be added to grade nine and ten classroom libraries.

Mathematics Consultant P-12, Arlene Andrecyk

On February 2-3, I attended meetings of the Provincial Mathematics Team. The team continued to review and discuss curriculum documents for Primary to Grade Three for the new mathematics curriculum. The team also discussed professional development for administrators and classroom teachers to support implementation.

On February 8, math mentor Marlene Urquhart and I met with the Early Math Intervention teachers Tara Colbert, Alyson Colford, and Greenfield Principal Joyce Morrison to discuss the program. The direct support being offered to students is appreciated and felt to be critical in their math development. Tara and Alyson shared instructional and assessment strategies and resources. Both teachers feel the students involved are really enjoying the program. At the end of five weeks of support, students will be assessed.

Mentoring continues to go well with teachers accessing this support. In January, Mighty Math – Number Heroes software was reviewed by Marlene Urquhart and Gina Tubrett Crawley, PD Support Teacher. Grade five math outcomes were mapped to the software and this information will be posted on the Math P-6 website so that all teachers can have access to this useful tool. A user guide will also be included on the site with quick tips and screen shots to help navigate through the program.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

Keith Mullins performed in many schools during the month of February in celebration of African Heritage month, with his Rhythms of the World show, featuring singing, guitar and drums from around the world, particularly from Cuba and Africa.

Students from Robin Foote Elementary performed for residents of the veterans’ wing of Harbour View Hospital in celebration of Valentine’s Day, under the direction of their music teacher, Carol Ann MacDougall.

Students from Florence and Sydney River Elementary Schools, under the direction of their music teacher, Nancy White, performed at the Mayflower Mall on February 11 as part of a flash mob choir in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Heather Fraser, Program Director of the Nova Scotia Choral Federation, will be in Cape Breton to workshop with ten of our school choirs from February 29 to March 2. This project is part of a Perform! Grant.

Teachers had a professional development opportunity available to them through the ArtReach program on February 2. This is a project that involves ArtSmarts, ArtReach, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design. Teachers and students will have the opportunity to interact with prints from artist Jacques Hurtubise and will be given curriculum related lessons and ideas under the guidance of Elizabeth Lalonde. Students from Mount Carmel and Sydney Mines Junior High will also have their artwork featured at an exhibit that is part of this project. Mount Carmel students have been working through ArtsSmarts with their teacher Diane Lewis and professional artist Onni Nordman. Sydney Mines Junior High students have been working through ArtsSmarts with their teacher Sharyn Brennan and professional artist Lynda Lou MacIntyre. The official opening of the exhibit takes place at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design on March 1 at 6:00 p.m.

Elementary music teachers will take part in a workshop day on March 23 with music teacher James Jackson. James Jackson is accomplished in Orff methodologies and will focus on ways music teachers can focus on needs presented in the Understanding the Early Years report.

Brookland Elementary students are busy preparing for a performance of the musical Rumpelstiltskin on March 28.

Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea

The physical education department is presently working with Tennis Canada and Tennis Nova Scotia to introduce tennis to some students during their physical education classes. The benefits of tennis are numerous as it is an affordable sport that can be played with family and friends and offers the opportunity to gain some fundamental movement and life skills. It is also an engaging sport that can be played throughout one’s life.

Sports Animator, Jim Mc Eachern

Youth in Motion at CBU Program is an opportunity for Grade Four classes to take part in a full “healthy eating-fitness day of physical activity” events at the great facilities on the CBU Campus. It continued through February with St. Agnes, Mount Carmel, George D. Lewis, Coxheath, Bridgeport, John Bernard Croak, Riverside and Etoile de l’Acadie participating.

Soccer in the Community Program, coordinated by Soccer Cape Breton Technical Director Mike Whyatt and leadership students from Glace Bay High, Sydney Academy and Riverview High continued with East Bay, Mira Road, Coxheath and Marion Bridge Schools participating in February.

Marion Bridge and George D. Lewis completed their Instructional Program in the “Curling is Fun” Program at the Sydney Curling Club with a mini Bonspiel; with Harbourside starting up their Pilot Curling Program which will run until March Break.

The Swim at School Program at the Kiwanis and YMCA Pools has commenced for the Grade Four classes, and will run for the next two months. Plans for the Grade Five Northside Swim at School Program continue with a projected start up of late April.

The Registration deadline for the 6th Annual Skating Races Jamboree, which will take place on Saturday, March 31 at Centre 200, closes on February 24 with a record number of schools expected to register large teams. Close to 1000 grade primary to six students are expected to participate.

Application has been made to the Federal Summer Careers Program, seeking support for a Summer Baseball Camp for students over the summer months.

The “Fair Play CBVRSB Junior High Hockey League” is winding down its regular season with a playoff running up to March Break. Thirteen teams participate in the League.

Organizational plans have commenced for the upcoming CBVRSB Elementary / Junior High Boys and Girls Baseball / Softball Festival which will run in early June.

Library Support Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Teachers’ Resource Centre

The Teachers' Resource Centre is continuing to grow and develop in the new location. Visitors to the centre comment about the new wonderful space as well as the addition of a work area for small meetings and/or reading which has already been effective for several small meetings by consultants and mentors. New equipment and resources are arriving daily and improvements are seen in both areas (i.e. new book cart, windows, book return, etc.). In addition, new resources are being processed and added to the collection (i.e. assessment kits, reading boxes, DVDs, etc.). In regards to automation, the Resource Centre has now begun circulation electronically; this will enable reports to be printed with overdue items.

Reading Challenges

Prizes were distributed to all schools participating in the WOW Reading Challenges. With only six weeks left before the end of the reading, schools are entering their numbers/statistics and reviewing the improvement and participation of students. Cst. Hank Lamond, Cape Breton Regional Police Services, has been diligently visiting schools promoting the reading as well as bringing the "prize patrol' to all students. The Prize Patrol enables every student in a school to select a small prize from a treasure chest of treats such as pencils, erasers, bookmarks, etc. It is hoped that every school and every student get to partake in the prize patrol before the challenge ends in early April. Schools are unaware of their standing in regards to other schools in the Board, Province and world. Hence, the winners will be surprised when the final tally is completed. Banners are given to the top three schools in each of the divisions in our Board. This means that twelve schools will be celebrated for their achievements.

A fund raiser was held on Saturday February 11, at the Wal-Mart on Spar Rd. With support of the Wal-Mart store, over $1500 was raised to help support the Adopt-A-Library project. Several grant applications were also submitted in the quest for funding to continue the program and to provide an abundance of books for the students.

School Library Re-organizations

Several elementary schools have requested assistance in the re-organization of their libraries. These schools currently have no service/support from Library Technicians and are operated by parent volunteers. When the reorganization is completed, training will be provided to both teachers and parent volunteers at the respective schools.

Nutrition for Learning, Dietitian Debbie Madore

Creating Healthier Lunches:

Class II results have been reviewed with families of schools. The meetings allowed for the opportunity to brainstorm how we as a school community can improve the health outcomes of our students.

Glace Bay Elementary has come forward looking for a program that may change what the children bring for lunch. We are introducing Green Wednesdays, where students will be encouraged to have something from the green food group (vegetable and fruit) at lunch. The students are also being encouraged to bring to school more environmentally friendly food and packaging. The goal is in two–fold: fewer “lunchables and frozen packages” and more basic sandwiches and fruits in reusable containers on Wednesdays.

I have had the pleasure of speaking to the Grade Six class at Glace Bay Elementary. The teacher, Ms. Tanya Colson is the lead teacher for the Green team which led the school for environmental friendly alternatives. Her whole class is on board as school leaders.

The Green Wednesday will begin with educating the parents about the project in the lobby of the school on Feb 23 and 24 during parent teacher. I will be there accompanied by members of the Green Team. The project will be kicked off on Wednesday Feb 29, with a rally in the gym. Cathy Trafford of Clean NS/Green Schools will be there to promote the environmental side of the project. We also plan to have samples of food for that day.

Golf Tournament:

Plans have also begun for the Golf Tournament in support of Breakfast Programs. It will be held on June 22 at The Lakes, and the Sydney Credit Union is once again the presenting sponsor.

PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12

Debbie McIsaac, Coordinator

Math Consultant P-12, Arlene Andrecyk

Secondary

Junior high students from Malcolm Munroe Jr. High, Whitney Pier Memorial, Oceanview Education Centre, Breton Education Centre, Sydney Mines Junior High and Dr. T. L. Sullivan are currently having school based competitions to prepare for the Math Olympiad Competition which will take place on May 3 at Whitney Pier Memorial.

On February 17, all grade 8 math teachers, both French and English, participated in a full day workshop at the Staff Development Centre. Sharon McCready, Mathematics Strategy Consultant, Department of Education, facilitated the morning session. Teachers were engaged in hands on activities that explored proportional reasoning. Sharon gave each teacher resources developed provincially. Debbie McIsaac, Coordinator of Programs (7-12), and Lynn Crawford, Coordinator of RCH attended part of the afternoon session. Marlene Urquhart and I co-facilitated an information session on the Grade 8 Mathematical Literacy Assessment which will take place on June 5-6, 2012. The afternoon ended with a discussion on continued support for students that did not meet expectations on the Elementary Mathematics Literacy Assessment (EMLA). The feedback from the day was very positive.

Due to inclement weather Math League Game 2, scheduled for February 18, has been rescheduled for February 25 at Cape Breton University.

NSISP Program Manager, Kevin Linden

To date we currently have enrolled a total of seventy two students from nineteen different countries in our school board. Since our new student arrivals, in January, students have been busy integrating in the schools and attempting to fit in to our culture. There have not been many reports this term of homesickness or culture shock. Our new students were welcomed to a supper evening organized by student friends of the internationals at Boston Pizza in early February. A phone call was received from a local doctor’s wife commenting on how such a large group displayed such respect towards one another. She made the comment that despite the language issues each student helped communicate for one another and all were engaged in conversations and attempting to use their English.

The NSISP lead team for the CBVRSB met to discuss events which are to take place as part of the memorandum of agreement to host monthly events. We currently have in place various events such as skiing, sleigh ride, curling, cultural pot luck supper , parent appreciation night as well as the year end trip to Halifax.

On February 17-18th our new students took part in a Winter Orientation held at the Quality Inn on Kings Rd. Following the orientation the first semester students had an opportunity to meet the new students at a planned social held on site. The new international students attended a learn to ski program at Ben Eoin Ski Hill on the 18th.

We are happy to report that fall applications are being forwarded and agencies are speaking very highly of the events planned for their students here in Cape Breton. A Face Book NSISP page for Cape Breton is established as a means to communicate with the students and to share their memories of their visit here. A first semester student posted a memory diary which has been used as part of the NSISP marketing tool sent out to agencies by Andrea Ashton, Marketing Advisor NSISP. Her video diary highlighted her stay here in Cape Breton and what she had accomplished.

We are happy to report that several of our international students have done well this term on their academic achievements. We have had several study extension completed and there are students returning next year. We currently have six internationals graduating this year. Three students have applied to attend university here in Canada. One student from GB High was accepted to the University Of Alberta Faculty Of Engineering and has received an entrance scholarship. Another student from Sydney Academy was accepted to Acadia University. We also have a student who received a Bursary from the NSISP to extend his stay until June.

We are very happy to report that Karen Nagamime(Japan) and Yejin Cho(Korea)have had their art work presented at the CBU Art Gallery. Karen Nagamime was one of only two RHS students to be asked to participate in this advanced standing art display.

Samantha Pichon, of Riverview, was given a surprise gift from her house parents of a trip to travel home to France for March Break to see her family. Samantha is returning home early as her brother must have a delicate surgery in late May.

Many of our international students have taken a keen interest in both school and community intramurals. We have students on rep teams playing hockey as well as soccer through CBU.

Many of the school teams have internationals as part of their line ups. During Coal Bowl, Umut Kucukarslan accepted the role of BEC’s Mascot and wowed the audience with his performance. Also Sera Sarikaya from Turkey was a Coal Bowl Princess.

Another interesting bit of information was how the international students have help boost our local economy. To date we have had 13 families come to visit our internationals and visit schools where their children are attending. While staying here many have taken part in local heritage sites, and visited many tourist attractions. This May we have a father travelling here from Belgium to meet with the guidance counselor to discuss his son’s future university plans here in Nova Scotia.

Vocational Consultant, Ken Collier

February has been off to a good start for the new semester. Students are settling in to their new courses or continuing on with their skilled trades or technical programs.

Rhonda Smith, Community Based Learning Consultant will meet with our candidates for The Construction Association Nova Scotia, Building Futures for Youth Program. Rhonda will help prepare the students for the interviews of which will be held on March 1/12. This program sees approximately 10-12 students from our board hired in the summer to introduce them to careers in the trades.

Visits continue with the junior high schools from outside our catchment area to conduct presentations for students entering grade 10 next year. This presentation allows the students to discuss our school with their parents before the tours takes place. School tours at Memorial High will take place on February 21/12. 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.

Our Radio and Television Broadcasting Program performs a radio play each year as part of their curriculum. The title this year is “Life with Luigi” and is a 22 minute comedy. Our instructor, George Gregory feels that the production this year is one of the best we have produced which has prompted him into sharing this with CBC Radio. CBC Radio will be interviewing students on Wednesday, Feb. 15th at approx. 5:30 pm on the Main Street Program (CBC A.M. 11:40 on the Dial). The 22 minute Play will be played on Saturday evening on the CBC Program Island Echoes at approx. 8:05 pm.

The production is very well done. Students listened to the completed production on Tuesday and were very proud of the result. We are also very proud of the students and their production. This production will be included in their digital portfolio for reference in their future endeavors. Great job everyone.

An invitation was made to Premier Darrell Dexter and his team, to visit Memorial Composite High to allow us the ability to showcase our school. We would like to ensure that he and his team understand the uniqueness of our school with the variety of programs that we offer. With the recent Shipbuilding announcement, our students are excited about future job opportunities here in our own province.

English Second Language, Millie George

A new ESL schedule has been completed for the junior/high school students which includes the new second semester international students. The first semester students have written a second test which was compared with the first placement test. The students from first semester who were at a beginner level are now at an Elementary level (Way-stage). They are showing increased independence with their oral and written English. Most students tested usually fall between the Elementary and the Lower Intermediate stage (Threshold). There has been a marked increase in the language levels with most of the students. The new second semester students have written the placement test which assists me when working with the classroom teacher in understanding what areas the student may need extra support.

Students are also asked to do a writing sample on various topics depending on the age and grade of the student. Students will continue with writing this semester with such tasks as a letter responding to an article or an advertisement. They will also continue in receiving support with classroom assignments or tests.

It is amazing to see an international or newcomer student who may have little or no English upon arrival become independent learners.

English Second Language, Patsy MacQueen

Since the end of January, there has been no change in the number of schools serviced. Because of this, my schedule of days remains the same; with only minor changes with the students themselves. I have an additional student at Sherwood Park, one at Glace Bay High, and two at Whitney Pier Memorial. These new students are all part of the NSISP group.

Mid-Term reports have been completed for all Newcomers and will be included in their report cards going home next week.

I had the pleasure of having student teacher Amy Burke job shadow for a week. I think it was beneficial for her to get a glimpse of some of the EAL/ESL students, the challenges they face, and the challenge they can be for their teachers.

As of March 9th, I will be on an Educational Study Leave until June. I plan to meet with the substitute as soon as possible to review schedules, student plans, etc.

Community-Based Learning/Options & Opportunities (O2) Consultant, Rhonda Smith

On February 15, eighteen junior/senior high guidance counselors attended an information session about O2, Community-Based Learning, Skilled Trades Education and Youth Apprenticeship at the Staff Development Centre. Representatives from the Department of Education and Labor Force Development presented key initiatives from the Nova Scotia Workforce Strategy and the Kids & Learning First documents. The Co-op and O2 programs in our schools were highlighted in two promotional videos.

The Community-Based Learning consultants from all the school boards participated in a conference call on February 9 with representatives from The Alliance of Sector Councils (TASC). This discussion introduced the potential to establish partnerships between schools and sector councils. This partnership between schools and local employers of a key industry sector can provide new and valuable resources and benefits for young people as they consider and prepare for transitions to further education or directly to employment. The consultants heard from Petroleum Human resources Council of Canada, Canadian Automotive Repair &Service Council, Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace and Construction Sector Council as well as the Toronto (Education) Partnership project. Contact and discussions will continue over the next few months.

PROGRAM SERVICES (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

Assistive Technology/TIENET Consultant, Sheila Kublek

The training for TIENET has officially begun in February with the Coordinator of Instructional Support, Student Services and Power School consultants receiving the first training session with the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board’s TIENET training environment. Glace Bay High, Memorial High, Riverview High, Breton Education Centre and Sydney Academy had their TIENET lead teachers trained, along with the principals and vice principals of the schools. Training with itinerant core professionals, such as, school psychologists, speech language pathologists, guidance counselors and social workers will take place within the month of February.

SIS/IT PD Consultant, Kurt Kublek

During the past month we have been working with schools as they prepare for their second reporting period. The high school reports went well and the second semester started with the normal change of classes, credit checks and movement of schools. The P-8 reports are also going well.

During the month we saw approximately 20,000 hits to the Student Parent portal site. The number of parents on the site appears to be increasing and work continues with the schools to increase the number of students with access which will work well in the coming months when the high schools begin to do course requests (which can be managed through the portal).

Data Managers, Jim McNeil, Tom Baker

Programming and database amendments where developed on the following applications:

Principal

Aesop Reporting

Fitness Log

Homework

Ongoing support for Aesop, including staffing changes updated reports and amendments to absence types. A move to payroll reporting for Aesop has been put on hold pending changes to be included in an upcoming SAP update.

Web server updates continue, including security enhancements and virus scanning for uploaded files via FTP and web interfaces. Continual security enhancements are planned for the upcoming months.

Project documentation has been finalized via CB-VRSB Core Technology Committee; a draft version will be presented to senior staff for feedback and approval.

Planning and implementation of student demographic forms and batch process including geocoding and civic address validation is continuing with a switch to NSCAF civic address data.

Work continues on school and special interest group web site updates including content management systems and modules.

Community Education Consultant, Heather Patterson

Adult High School

A new Semester has begun with 51 new students signing up for the Adult High School. In addition to our returning students we now have 196 students over the four sites. That number is slightly above our November count of 186 and what is promising is that numbers have stayed up in our two smaller sites. I am hopeful that these students will see the program through to completion.

Robert Jackson and I made a presentation to the Department of Community Services on Thursday February 16th on how our adult education programs run. The session consisted of department career councilors from across Cape Breton who are responsible for placing their clients in programming to further their education. Their support for our program is crucial to its success since approximately 80% of our students are funded through the department. They were impressed with how the program runs, the success we have had with students and the measures we are taking to prepare our students for lifelong learning and the workplace.

Plans continue for the career/post secondary fair to be held on Wednesday March 7th at our Sydney site. All local private trade schools, the NSCC, and CBU will be present with booths to outline course offerings. Memorial High School will be invited as well to discuss opportunities in their vocational program. We are investigating bringing in employers such as the District Health Authority and CBVRSB to outline possible job opportunities in their organizations.

Michelle Thomason from the Dept of Labour and Advanced Education will be coming by on Tuesday, February 21st to view our operation and to discuss some issues around the program. My number one concern is that our funding has not increased at all in the time that I have been in charge of the program which is now six years. With a provincial focus on preparing a workforce to meet the demands of the future and a large number of our population uneducated, the Adult Highs across this province have a huge role to play in that preparation. My fellow administrators in other boards feel we need to band together to push for new and increased funding to expand and continue the work we currently do. I will report in my next submission how our meeting went.

Adult Evening Classes

All new adult evening classes are underway with 153 people participating in 9 different classes. Included in this is a dedicated computer class for CUPE local 759 from CBRM who had enough interest to have their own class. We were not able to take in all those who were interested in credit courses and GED preparation as classes were full. Plans will soon be made for our September registration and ideas looked at to streamline registration and class scheduling for next year.

French Second Language Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh

Grade 12 French Second Language students at Riverview High, Memorial High and Sydney Academy are preparing for upcoming DELF examinations (Diplôme d'études en langue française). Testing will take place from April 16-20. A DELF symposium will be held in Dartmouth on March 23, sponsored by ACPI and a follow-up training session for DELF examiners/markers will take place on March 27/28 at the Dept. of Education in Halifax.

Post oral interviews are being conducted this week by Laurie MacIntosh for Intensive Core French students as part of provincial testing initiatives.

A successful meeting of Malcolm Munroe's PLC for Core French teachers took place on Feb. 17th at that school.

Upcoming initiatives for French Second Language:

French Public Speaking contest( Concours d'Art Oratoire) Tues. March 27th and Wednesday March 28th at Malcolm Munroe Jr. High School at 7:00 P.M.

March 2nd: Inservice for grade six Intensive French teachers at Riverside Elementary.

April 25,26 and 27: Training session on OPI (Oral proficiency interviews) for provincial French Consultants and Coordinators in Halifax, facilitated by Mr. David MacFarlane, N.B. Dept. of Education.

Virtual meetings with the Dept. of Education through VIA Talk EDnet on Feb.21 (Laurie MacIntosh re: priorities and protocols), March 7 (Intensive Core French teachers) and April 3 (Core French experimental class teachers).

RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Lynn Crawford, Coordinator

Professional Development

An excellent professional development session was held for Guidance Counselors and Student Support Workers titled Building Bridges. The session was delivered by Department of Education staff from the African Canadian Services Division, Mi'kmaq Liaison office and the programs department. The session provided cultural competency training to support staff in their roles and emphasized the importance of strengthening the relationship of Guidance councilors and Student Support Workers. A follow up session will be held in April.

On February 17th, the RCH Lead met to make final preparations for the March 22-23 RCH Professional development sessions. Two staff members from each site will receive RCH PD, and as Collaborative Colleagues will provide onsite to bring RCH PD at their school sites.

Black Reflections Art Gallery

The Annual Black Reflection Art Gallery was held at the Menelik Hall February 14-16, and was a huge success again. The exhibit co-sponsored by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and the Black Educators Association featured beautiful pieces of art from African Canadian students from grades primary-12. Approximately 150 guests attended during three evenings. Sincere thanks to the Fine Arts department for assisting with the collection of student work.

Provincial Assessments

Thanks and appreciation is extended to Arlene Andrecyk and Marlene Urquhart for providing an excellent professional development day to the grade 8 math teachers. The afternoon focused on administering the Grade 8 Mathematics Assessment. This is the first year for the grade 8 mathematics assessment and teachers had many questions answered during this session.

Presentations

It was my pleasure to host and organize Mr. Robert Small's visit to our board. Mr. Small is a nationally known artist most noted for his annual Legacy Posters, which celebrates and honors the significant contributions of African Canadians. Brookland Elementary, Glace Bay Elementary, Coxheath Elementary and Sydney River Elementary had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Small at their schools.

Literacy Support Consultant, Lyn McInnis

This month continues to be busy working in schools with grades three and six teachers on completing their Whole Class Plans. Teachers have found the data spreadsheets we made available to them, very helpful in identifying areas of strength, as well as areas where students need more support. Many great conversations have been a part of the whole class planning process. It is very encouraging to hear teachers reflect on what strategies must be modeled and explicitly taught each time they give their students a piece of text to read or a piece of writing to complete. I was told by one teacher that by having the data on a spreadsheet, she was able to see the direction in which she must go to support her students’ learning, but it also was a vehicle for conversations with other teachers within the school to discuss ways to work to make improvements in a positive way.

At the junior high level, our Literacy Coach continues to work within various schools for a two week period of time. Presently, Craig Seward is working at Dr. T.L. Sullivan Junior High School co-teaching in the grade 9 English classroom, as well as working with Social Studies teachers. Great strategies are being developed and utilized within the classrooms.

The Junior High Literacy Assessment will be written this month, beginning on February 27th and ending on March 1st.

Some junior high student reading materials have arrived and will be delivered to all schools. Teachers had requested to have more high interest-low vocabulary reading materials in their classrooms, and so we now have these materials for them.

At the high school level, preparation is underway for our upcoming in-servicing around the Teaching In Action 10-12 Document. In-servicing will be provided for all high school English teachers on May 1st and 2nd.

The initial Public Speaking meeting was held this month and all guidelines have been distributed to schools.

Mi’kmaq Consultant, Marjorie Graves

This month I had an introductory meeting at the Mi’kmaw Kina’matneway school board office and met with the Literacy Consultant, Janice Ciavaglia. I was introduced to everyone in the office, including the Education Director, Darren Googoo.

I also have visited the Mi’kmaq Resource Centre to see what kind of resources that had and how they would be willing to help support any students looking to learn more about Mi’kmaq culture and history.

Jubilee Elementary approached me to do a presentation about Mi'kmaw culture on March 7, 2012. I have been looking into do some more presentations for schools, such as MacDonald Elementary and East Bay Elementary. Work has begun on different presentations for these schools, and also gathering resources to bring along with me to enrich the presentation.

An update to the Mi’kmaq Consultant webpage is underway; this will help assist teachers in seeking ways to make the curriculum more equitable for all learners. The main focus is on Aboriginal students within our board, both on and off of the reserves.

I have also been involved in the RCH lead team prep day, for the upcoming PD days in March. Lesson plans on Mi’kmaq dance have been developed to include in the package given out to participating teachers and number of different resources have been recommended.

A survey for Mi’kmaq students both at SPEC and Rankin of the Narrows is being developed to see what they would like to see in their schools, to make them feel both more welcomed and more acceptance of their culture. I plan to deliver classroom presentations with the information that I have collected and also to leave the teachers with some information on what the students are interested in learning, as well as their peers, about their culture. I have been working with Principals to see how this would look and how I will be delivering these surveys.

Lastly, a meeting was held with Kerri Fernandez, to discuss how we could work together to make the transition for elementary students to Junior High an easier transition.

A meeting was held with Bruce Hearney, Educational Social Worker, from Sydney Academy. We used this time to establish a working relationship. He expressed interest with working with me in any future projects, and offered me some assistance.

SCHOOL SERVICES

Charles Sheppard, Coordinator

How Credit Works For You

Facilitated a meeting with the schools participating in the “How Credit Works for You” and the sponsors of the program.

Policy Committee

Met with representatives from the school board and principals to review the boundaries policy.

Department of Community Services/CBVRSB

Meeting held to discuss the formulation of protocol guidelines between the Child Welfare Division and the CBVRSB.

Island Ministry

This year speaker is Cindy Klausen. Meetings have been held to discuss the CBVRSB participation and to finalize the schools in which she will be presented to.

STUDENT SERVICES

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

The Student Services Department has been involved in many initiatives throughout January and February.

The Student Services Department met with the LD Lead Team in January and February to help plan the rollout of the Learning Disabilities Guidelines. We also met with the Gifted Lead Team to help plan the rollout of the Gifted Education Guidelines. These sessions will take place in March.

Student Services Department met with the IPP Lead Team in January and February to help plan the rollout of the Adaptations Modules. These sessions will be taking place in March.

We have been involved in Transition Meetings with outside agencies (Autism Intervention Program, Allkids, etc) and Daycare Centres, focusing on new primary students with special needs for 2012-2013 school year.

The Student Services Lead Team had a TIENET training session in February. TIENET is the new electronic database affiliated with PowerSchool to help keep track of students on IPP and Adaptations.

We have been involved in rolling out the Placement Surveys to the schools. The Placement Surveys gives us an idea of the students who are currently in Learning Centre and Learning Disabilities Programs within our schools.

We have been lucky enough again to be able to bring in two (2) teachers to help with the Student Needs Assessment/Audit. This audit helps us determine which students need Teacher Assistants within our board.

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