PROGRAM SERVICES P-6
Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator
Language Arts Consultant P-12, Audrey Kyte Murphy
The Early Literacy Intervention is currently being delivered in Grade Primary to support students who have been identified as needing support to consolidate their reading behaviors before they end their first school year. On April 3rd and 4th all the primary teachers attended a full day professional development session where they received information about the Early Literacy Intervention in Grade Primary. Teaching strategies to support phonemic awareness and guided reading were also discussed in the session. The teachers received a comprehensive resource called Thinking It Through which they can use to support their programming for 4 and 5 year old students.
The Early Literacy teachers have submitted data to Susan MacDonald, Early Literacy Coach, and then to the Dept. of Education. This data will be used to track the effectiveness of the intervention in grade 1 to date. The Early Literacy Teachers are to be commended for their dedication to delivering this intervention.
The 35th Annual Public Speaking Event for grades 4-12 took place April 11-19 at Memorial High School, Sydney Mines. The Public Speaking Committee appreciates the support received from teachers who helped coordinate the evening event. Many schools throughout the board had students prepare speeches for the event.
On May 2, grade 7-8 English teachers attended an inservice focused on “Critical Literacy in the Classroom.” They will also be receiving student texts to support those who require additional support to move forward in their reading development.
The Writing Continuum Initiative has been introduced to all schools and 20 elementary schools have formed writing teams at the school level to develop this continuum. Professional development support is being delivered by Audrey Kyte Murphy, Geraldine Beaver and Lyn McInnis.
After school sessions entitled “Using Reading Records in Grades 4-6” have started at Mira Road Elementary. The sessions are open to all teachers and subs and are on a voluntary basis.
Mathematics Consultant P-12, Arlene Andrecyk
Through funding from the Department of Education, an Early Math Intervention Program has started at Ferrisview Elementary school. The intervention is a five week pull out program providing extra support to small groups of students in grades 2 and 3 to continue to help students in their mathematical development. Nineteen students have been identified to participate in the program. Although it is early in the program, the administration, teachers, parents and students of Ferrisview are very excited about the potential of this wonderful opportunity. Both Greenfield Elementary and Harbourside Elementary have finished intervention programs this year and are seeing the benefits of this support. Teachers and parents report that students’ math understanding and confidence have increased. We look forward to the same results at Ferrisview.
On April 18-20, Maureen MacNeil, grade six teacher from Coxheath Elementary, Marilyn MacDonald, grade five teacher from Harbourside Elementary and Marlene Urquhart, Math Mentor, attended a Department of Education item writing session that focused on the new grade 6 math assessment which will be implemented in October 2012. The session took place in Halifax and was led by Sherene Sharpe, Evaluation Services.
Students of Shipyard Elementary are currently busy preparing projects for the Show Me Your Math Fair which took place at Shipyard on April 26. Grade 1 teacher, Lenore McKinnon, is the lead organizer of the event. A number of students will be selected to attend the Show Me Your Math Fair being held at St. Francis Xavier University on May 2. This fair 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. The program helps students to develop a greater sense of pride in their culture while also increasing their interest in mathematics. Through a grant from the Tri-Partite Education forum, the Show Me Your Math Program has expanded both within MK schools and in public schools that serve the MK communities.
Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews
Sydney River Elementary choir students in Grades 5 & 6 performed for the Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance service on April 20, 2012. The “Dare to Dance” challenge took place in schools from April 22-29, 2012. Schools that participated are eligible for prizes from the NS Department of Education.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s annual art exhibit, featuring work from students in Grades 4 – 12 officially opened at the Mayflower Mall on Tuesday, April 24th at 7 pm. The exhibit will be in place from April 24th – May 23rd.
Celtic Colours is offering concerts in schools throughout the month of May to promote Gaelic Awareness month.
Many of our school bands are performing in festivals throughout Canada and the United States in May. Good luck to all involved and thank you for all the preparation that goes into providing these opportunities to students.
The national broadcast for Music Monday will take place in Sydney at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre on Monday, May 7th. Sydney was selected this year to be the city of the showcase concert. Over 1100 students will participate in a parade and concert. A parade will begin to proceed to MTCC on May 7th at 11:30 am, where a showcase concert will take place at 12 noon. The Barra MacNeils are featured performers and students will perform with them.
Another part of Music Monday festivities involves a parent session with the Director of the Coalition for Music Education. This informational/advocacy session on music education in schools and the community will take place on Monday, May 7th at 7 pm at Sherwood Park Education Centre.
Continuing on the Music Monday theme, the Coalition for Music Education will host its first “Wise Voices” session here in Sydney on May 8th. This will provide youth (approximately 20 students from the CBVRSB) a voice in round table discussions with music industry leaders, business people, musicians, administrators and more. CBMIC (Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative) will have a follow-up session for students on the same day for students to meet and learn from some of Cape Breton’s best music industry professionals.
An arts night will take place at Glace Bay High on May 17th.
Many other concerts and events are posted on the Arts Education website at www.cbv.ns.ca/finearts.
Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea
The 2011 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth reports that during the after-school period, from approximately 3 to 6 p.m., Canadian children and youth are sitting idle indoors – getting a mere 14 minutes, out of a possible 180, of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity. It is important to reverse this trend as research shows that children and youth who are physically active during this time improve their overall daily physical activity levels and health. “Teens involved in supervised after-school programs, for instance, are less likely to experiment with risky behaviors, including drugs and alcohol. Time spent being active outdoors after school lowers levels of anxiety, anger, fatigue and sadness. The science and benefits are clear; we need to re-establish the healthy practice of after-school physical activity in our communities” says Dr. Mark Tremblay, Chief Scientific Officer, Active Healthy Kids Canada, and Director of HALO. “Right now, kids are spending over 40 hours a week in front of screens,” says Dr. Tremblay. “These alarming numbers equate to a very sedentary child, so we must transform the after-school hours into healthy active living time.”
As part of the Department of Education’s Community Use of Schools and After School Physical Activity grant programs, our board has granted close to 20 schools money to assist in the costs associated with after school programming for children and youth. The programs will run for the rest of this school and continue until March of next year.
One program that has been started as part of an accreditation goal is “It Feels Great to Invigorate”. It is a program outlined by ParticipAction Canada and is designed to keep track of physical activity while “reducing screen time at home on a daily basis. Bras D’Or elementary has adopted this and has created a 6 week program where each student will receive an activity tracking calendar to record their minutes of daily physical activity and the amount of screen time watched. Parent/caregivers are responsible for recording their child’s results on the calendar. At the end of the 6 week program the calendars will be returned and the results will anonymously be recorded at school for accreditation purposes. As an added feature, the school has purchased “Let’s Get Activated” bracelets for students who are able to achieve the one hour of daily activity and less than 2 hours of screen time per day. The bracelets come in three colors and are given out in two week intervals.
Sports Animator, Jim McEachern
Soccer in the Community Program continued with Shipyard, Seton, Florence and Jubilee participating.
Youth in Motion at CBU completed another successful year of activity with North Highlands and Cape Smokey traveling to CBU for the day long Program on April 5th. Special thanks to the number of community groups who volunteer their time and instructional expertise over the thirteen weeks of the Program.
The Grade Four Southside Swim School Program is moving in to its final schedule with every grade four class in the School Board having received the instructional Swim Program.
Schedules are being finalized to commence the Grade Five Swim School Program which will compliment the recently completed grade three and four Programs.
Plans for a Pilot Grade Six Swim School Program, for an identified number of schools, are being finalized which will roll out upon the completion of the grade five program.
Plans have commenced for the Annual Junior High Baseball - Elementary / Softball Festival which will take place in early June.
A registration call is going out to schools for the “In Class Instructional Track & Field Clinics” partnering with the Track & Field Association of Cape Breton. The program will offer four in class sessions on the specialized events of Track & Field, to interested Elementary, Junior High and High Schools.
The Sixth Annual Skating Races Jamboree had another successful day of skating races on March 31st at Centre 200 when close to 800 skaters from the elementary schools took part in a full day of skating races. Special thanks to the many volunteers who assist in the day under the direction of the United Commercial Travelers Group.
Library Support Consultant, Carmelita Cousins
The 2011-2012 WOW Reading Challenges have concluded in both the elementary and junior high categories. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and 25 elementary schools and 11 junior highs participating with over 4000 elementary students reading and over 2100 junior high students and 500 junior high school staff involved. The CBVRSB elementary students read over 500,000 books from November 2011 until the end of March 2012. CBVRSB junior high students and staff read over 750,000 pages in a two month time frame.
Junior High Results
Sydney Mines Junior High captured first place in the World, Canada, Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton, with an average of 719 pages read per student. The top student reader in the CBVRSB was Rebecca Bennett of Sydney Mines Junior High. Becky MacDonald, Library Technician at Sydney Mines Junior High, was the top CBVRSB staff reader. Baddeck Academy was silver in the 0-249 student division, with Donkin Complex winning bronze in this same division. Sydney Mines received first in the 250+ division, with Dr. T.L. Sullivan in second place and Sherwood Park in third place. Special Recognition for Literacy was also presented to Sherwood Park Education Centre.
Bridgeport Junior High was the “Champion of Champions” as they won first place in the Past Champion division; schools which win the world championship automatically enter this division and remain in this elite group for a period of 3 consecutive years. Bridgeport was the champion in the first year of the junior high category in the pilot project and last year they were the world champions! Kudos to their teachers, administration, and especially Mrs. Carla Warren, Library Technician, for their determination and faith in reading!
St. Agnes in New Waterford placed second in the World books/student and first in their division in the CBVRSB with Donkin-Gowrie Complex next and Marion Bridge third. In the second division, Glace Bay was first, Brookland second, followed by Greenfield. Donkin-Gowrie received Special Recognition for Literacy.
Overall, this program has generated a huge amount of reading in many of the CBVRSB schools; it demonstrates the commitment to literacy, and represents hard work of teachers, library staff, and others in promoting the “JOY OF READING”.
Nutrition for Learning, Dietitian, Debbie Madore
Breakfast programs celebrated Volunteerism with its annual Thank You Breakfast at Sherwood Park. All volunteers of Breakfast were invited to attend the event, enjoy breakfast and receive a Thank You certificate. Guest Speakers for the event were two grade 6 students from Riverside Elementary, who expressed their positive views on breakfast. Provincial Breakfast program Representative Margo Riebe-Butt attended and assisted with the presentation. All groups that adopted schools for the year, with a donation over $3500 were acknowledged and received a plaque. This event coincided with the National Volunteer week. They are the key to the success of the program, and their efforts are invaluable.
Golf tournament plans are underway for the annual golf tournament in support of Breakfast Programs. Denise Gallant CU Wealth and Insurance is the co-chair for the event and Sydney Credit Union is on board as the partner. It is scheduled for June 22, The Lakes, Ben Eoin.
Work continues with the provincial group that is creating a registered charitable organization to support children and youth nourishment programs. It is now called Nourish Nova Scotia, and we met in person last week for continued work around logo and governance structure.
PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12
Debbie McIsaac, Coordinator
Math Consultant P-12, Arlene Andrecyk
This year, 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 participated in Math Olympiad. The competition took place in Whitney Pier Memorial gymnasium on May 3. The Math On committee is meeting regularly to ensure everything is in place for a successful and fun filled event.
CB-VRSB Math League Game 3 took place on March 31 at CBU. Riverview and Sydney Academy entered teams. CBU provided a nutritious break. The game went well. A team from Riverview placed first and a student from Riverview won the random draw for a graphing calculator. Congratulations are extended to Riverview High School for placing first overall in the 2011-2012 Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Math League. They will compete in the Nova Scotia Math League Provincial Final to be held at Dalhousie University on April 21.
NSISP Program Manager, Kevin Linden
On April 2, 2012, we held a placement meeting to look at the number of applications and returning students to our board. We received a total of 31 new applications and have 10 returning students. There are still applications being submitted to us from the NSISP which require a two week process and placement timeline. This has been somewhat different from previous years and has caused some restraints on placing students with families.
We have been actively seeking additional homestays and are attempting to broaden our hosting schools to include Baddeck Academy. We currently have one family who is willing to assist the program, and we are seeking another to ensure the international student is not the sole individual in the school. Glace Bay is another area which we are attempting to secure potential families. On Thursday, April 26, three students attended Munroe Night and spoke to potential families about their personal experiences here in the program. Many parents expressed an interest in the program and requested Homestay Brochures.
On April 4-9, there were 10 international students who took part in the Ottawa/Montreal Cultural Trip with Program Manager Kevin Linden. The five day trip included a tour of Parliament Hill, Canadian Mint Tour, Tour of Sussex Dr., Biodome Science Centre, Olympic Games Stadium and a tour of Old Montreal. Included in the Cultural Trip was a NHL hockey game, which for many was their first National Hockey Game.
I am pleased to report that two of Ron Shaw’s Brazilian students visited a grade six classroom at Sydney River Elementary to assist the teacher on a project pertaining to Brazil. Many of the international students are interested in doing such presentations with our elementary students. We currently have a student from Mexico and Turkey who are willing to do presentations in the school system.
On April 19th, Mr. Jairo Gerraro, a Colombian VP from the Modereno School, came to meet with his six students. He was impressed with their placements and what the HSC had to say about each student in the program.
There are many students who will be continuing their studies at various universities throughout the United States and Canada. Oliver Chao was accepted to Concordia University and Denis Koktork has applied to Ryerson film school. We have several already accepted to Nova Scotia universities as last reported.
The International students have been great supporters of local businesses and school programs. Many have joined school teams such as rugby and soccer and are great asset. We have many international parents who have come to visit their children from areas such as Mexico, Czech Republic and Belgium this term. The hosting families have opened their homes to these parents and have created lasting memories. This year, we have three former students returning for vacations as well as attending family weddings.
One of our long standing families, the Campbell’s, were asked if they would write a testimonial for the new NSISP brochure. In this, Anne Campbell talked about the rewards of having a student and the lasting impressions the experience has had on the family unit. Her major focus was around teens and their commonality in any culture. A picture of Anne and her current student will be a focus in this marketing tool.
There were two social events that took place for March and April. One was a Karaoke evening held at Sydney Academy and another was a Pot Luck Supper. Both events were well attended and students and their families expressed sincere appreciation for both.
On June 1-3rd a final Halifax Culture Tour is scheduled. We have 49 students signed up and paid to attend. The event will focus on Halifax Museums as well as a trip to Peggy’s Cove. A total of six chaperones will accompany the students on this educational tour.
The month of May and June will be busy with new applications as well as year end grades to be sent to agencies. Copies of transcripts, reports cards and extension letters are just a few of the many responsibilities placed upon the Homestay Coordinators.
Finally, June 10th will be the final event for the students before returning to their homes or ESL Camps. We will hold an appreciation barbecue for the families and the students to show our thanks for choosing Cape Breton as part of the international experience.
Vocational Consultant, Ken Collier
The Nova Scotia Skills Competitions have been completed. After we hosted the competitions here, some students travelled to Dartmouth to compete in Auto Service and Welding. Tyler Smith was successful in obtaining a silver medal in Welding, and Jesse Bray received the bronze medal in Welding. Congratulations to all involved.
Six students from Memorial High will compete at the National Skills Competitions which will be held in Edmonton in May. This is the result of obtaining Gold medals at the Provincial level, and will now have the opportunity to represent Nova Scotia as part of the Provincial team. This is an excellent learning opportunity as students get to compete with their peers from across the country. The ability to showcase their talents, as well as see how they respond in a competition setting, makes this a very satisfying event. Congratulations to all the winners and competitors. The National Competition takes on an almost Olympic type event. There are lots of teams bonding, flag waving, and team dynamics. Participants will remember this for the rest of their lives.
The registration process for September 2012 has begun. Students have been steadily submitting applications to enter Vocational Programs. Indications show that our programs are becoming even more popular than before.
Students from the Dining Room Services program will assist the CWL from St. Pius X Catholic Church with a fundraising lunch on May 30, 2012. This Ham and Potato Salad lunch is a major fundraiser for this group, with the average age of the members being approximately 80. This is an excellent way of teaching our students the importance of volunteering and assisting a group in need. It also shows students the importance of being involved in one’s community and the importance of this event.
Students from the Carpentry, Welding, and Electrical shops were involved in the construction of a mini version of a sugar shack which aids in the production of maple syrup. Highland Gold Maple Products asked if we could become involved, and the result was very impressive. The shack was built by the Carpentry students and wired by the Electrical students. The Welding students worked on the renovation of a mini version of an evaporator for the shack. Students from around the school also participated in the painting of murals around all four sides of the shack. The completed project was very impressive, and the students were very proud of their accomplishments. Great job everyone.
French Second Language Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh
The focus of French Second Language programs has shifted somewhat from professional development initiatives to human resource initiatives as we struggle to do more with less. Some highlighted events which will take place in the near future include:
* April 25-27- Training at the N.S. Dept. of Education for provincial French Consultants and Coordinators on OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview). The training is rigorous but will prove beneficial to our board in measuring language competence of both French language students and teachers.
* April 28- The annual Concours d'art oratoire (French Public Speaking Competition) will take place on Saturday, April 28th, at Mount St. Vincent University starting at 1:00 P.M.
* May 7- Virtual meeting with the French Language Branch of the N.S. Department of Education and provincial FSL Consultants and Coordinators.
* May 11- Inservice in Mulgrave for Core French 4-9 "classes expérimentales" teachers from the CBVRSB, Strait Reg. School Board and Chignecto Central School Board. This inservice was rescheduled from May 1st.
* May 16- Grade six Intensive Core French inservice facilitated by Celeste Foisy Lahey and Laurie MacIntosh at Riverside Elementary School.
* May 9/10- Inservice facilitated by Dr. Katy Arnett for Core French teachers, grades 4-9. Dr. Arnett is an Associate Professor of Educational Studies and Acting Department Chair at St. Mary's College of Maryland. She holds a M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Dr. Arnett works with French second language teachers throughout Canada as they work to support students with disabilities in their classes. The subject to be explored is differentiation and differentiated activities for the elementary and junior high Core French classroom, including grouping strategies, assessment and classroom management embedded within differentiation.
English Second Language, Millie George
During the month of April, EAL students have been discussing reading and writing strategies that would facilitate comprehension by focusing on key words and expressions. Some of the strategies include word analysis to decode and understand new vocabulary. Students are reading age appropriate texts and identifying compound words by predicting their meaning. Students are encouraged to attempt new words by speaking and using the words appropriately in their writing. Students have been developing reading strategies to be more effective writers by planning their writing, revising, and editing.
By using listening strategies, students will improve comprehension and interaction in the classroom. By listening actively, it is the intent that students will be able to take notes, create graphic organizers, ask appropriate questions and make appropriate comments.
Community-Based Learning/Options & Opportunities (O2 ) Consultant, Rhonda Smith
There are 42 O2 students graduating this year. Fifty-seven percent (57%) have applied to attend the Nova Scotia Community College in September 2012. In addition to receiving their high school diploma, each graduate will have an O2 completion certificate, many workplace safety certificates and a minimum of four co-operative education credits which equals 400 hours of work experience in our community. During April and May, the Community-Based Learning consultant is conducting financial sessions with the grade 12’s in preparation for their post secondary plans.
North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH)
The North American Occupational Safety & Health week is May 6-12 this year. The Cape Breton NOASH committee is providing a one hour presentation to high school students by Joe Legge called “The Face of Workplace Tragedy”. By focusing on workplace safety and educating young workers, NAOSH hopes to prevent injuries in the workplace and to encourage a culture of safety awareness.
PROGRAM SERVICES (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)
Rick Simm, Coordinator
Assistive Technology/TIENET Consultant, Sheila Kublek
Throughout the month of April, 30 junior high school and elementary school lead teachers and principals have received the first day of a two day training session for TIENET. Once the schools received their first day of training, the schools were able to access the TIENET production environment through Power School and/or Power Teacher. Most of the schools immediately entered student profile information which consisted of a diagnosed diagnosis or disorder and documenting services students are currently receiving in the 2011 – 2012 school year.
SIS/IT PD Consultant, Kurt Kublek
During the past month, Mr. Kublek has continued to work with schools in their efforts to capture all of their students’ course requests for next year, and to schedule their schools. At the senior high level, Mr.Kublek has held workshops using Power School’s “Power Scheduler” and at the junior high level held a workshop working with software called aSc Timetables. Mr. Kublek has continued to help schools with the accreditation process with the extraction, interpretation and presentation of data.
IEI-E /SIS Consultant, Brad MacNeil
BLI Messaging System
The pilot project start date has been delayed based on original expectations. Power school production server is due to be configured to run the BLI messaging system by May 4, 2012. Once the server is configured, the BLI committee will meet to discuss the implementation of the pilot. Schools will have to be trained on how to use the new functionality within the system. This can be accomplished by way of school visits. Approximately 1-2 hours will be required with a representative from each pilot school. The schools which have agreed to participate in the CBVRSB pilot are: Riverview High, Memorial Composite High, Sydney Academy, Breton Education Centre, Glace Bay High, Baddeck Academy, Cabot Jr/Sr High and Rankin School of the Narrows. To date, there has been no mention of who will be expected to pay for licensing and or how much it may cost for the 2012-2013 school year. In short, the system will be able to send out mass e-mails, text messages or voice mails to staff, students and or parents.
Net Book Carts – NS Mobile Technology Implementation
Each school with a P-3 component will be receiving a cart, with 10 net books and a printer for the school. The order is due to arrive over the summer. Once the Net books receive CBVRSB Asset tags and have been imaged by board technicians, they should be ready to go out to the schools in time for the 2012-2013 school year.
Four schools have already received a school cart with 10 net books during the 2011-2012 school year, supplied by the CBVRSB Instructional Support Technology Department. These schools are: Coxheath Elementary, Florence Elementary, Glace Bay Elementary and St. Agnes Elementary.
During the 2011-2012 school year, 10 teachers within grades 3-6 have also received net books as part of an IEI pilot project. Through collaboration, Lead teachers reviewed positive and negative experiences during the pilot phase. Results were very positive.
The focus of the IEI-E project for the 2012-2013 school year will be on grade six teachers. Due to circumstances beyond our control, Toshiba will be changing the price of their Net books. For this reason, we were notified that we had one last chance to get Net books at the original cost, before they were removed from the provincial tender list. Forty new Net books have been ordered through IEI for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.
· Aesop Payroll reporting completed including extraction functionality for weekly payroll reports at school and administration levels.
· Programming changes to Fitness log as per Active Healthy Living Consultant recommendations.
· Creation of Power School custom pages and reports.
· Function and interface amendments in the Principal Portal application.
· Transportation data validation and extraction used in routing application.
· Ongoing support for Blackberry/Exchange services, web hosting and Aesop.
· Planning for infrastructure upgrades for web data services.
RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Lynn Crawford, Coordinator
World Café Workshop
On April 18th, the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board in partnership with the Cape Breton District Health Authority were pleased to host the World Café for Gay Straight Alliances (GSA) and for schools planning to establish new groups. In attendance were 73 youth from 12 schools within the CBVRSB and two students from the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) board. Also in attendance were 21 guidance counselors and chaperones.
Students experienced an action packed day of fun filled interactive activities; they also led some icebreakers providing the opportunity for leadership and networking. Later, students focused on challenges and opportunities for LGBTQ youth and their allies within the school and the community.
The GSA school advisors had the opportunity to hear what other schools are doing across the province and gain some tools to support LGBTQ youth and allies within their respective schools.
A special thank you is extended to Crystal Sampson, board psychologist; Karen Finnigan CBDHA Health Promotion; Youth Project presenters and the many volunteers from the community for making this day a huge success. A report will be compiled reflecting the students’ voices and presented to the board at a later date.
Building Bridges Cultural Competency
The final session of the Building Bridges Cultural Competency Session was held for Guidance Counselors and Student Support Workers on April 16th. This was the third and final session to conclude the Cultural Proficiency training. The day encouraged individuals to reflect on their current practices and the supports provided for First Nations and visible minority students. The day required self-reflection and examining ones privileges, and how they can impede services provided to students.
I had the pleasure of speaking to staff in attendance at the Adaptation Module Training on April 5th and 12th on the importance of examining practices of staff with addressing the needs of cultural diverse students who have been identified as requiring additional support. I encouraged Program Planning teams to examine the cultural diverse needs to ensure they are being met before referring for additional supports of adaptations and IPPs. Emphasis was placed on the necessity for students to see themselves and their culture reflected in learning. Students often disengage in learning because it does not reflect their rich culture and heritage.
Program of Learning Assessment for Nova Scotia (PLANS)
On April 10th, Mr. Jim Rice, Director of Evaluation Services with the Department of Education, presented to coordinators, consultants, principals and mentors on the revised changes for assessments next year. The session provided a look at the revised PLANS, highlighting changes in the grade level administration of some assessment and revised scheduling of other assessments. The 2012 - 2013 assessment schedule will soon be available.
Mi’kmaq Consultant, Marjorie Graves
This month, I started off with attending Module 13: Assessment, in Wagmatcook with the Mi’kmaw Kina’matneway staff. I was invited to attend the module with them; they also covered the costs of the module. The module was two days in April, and there is one more day to complete in May.
I sent out an email to all staff making them aware of the upcoming Atlantic Native Teachers Education Conference being held at Cape Breton University. The conference is being held from May 16th to the 18th.
I wanted to introduce myself to more school administrators, so I personally dropped off more sets of the Grandfather/Grandmother series. I chose the schools that had a larger population and could use another set of books. I visited schools such as: Rankin of the Narrows, Glace Bay Elementary, St. Ann’s Elementary, Harbourside Elementary and Shipyard Elementary.
I conducted a survey at Sherwood Park Education Center to the grade 7, 8 and 9 Mi’kmaq students. With the help of Alice Francis, Mi’kmaq teacher at SPEC, we gave and explained the survey to the students grouping them by grade. I am going to be reviewing these results in the upcoming weeks.
I also did some class presentations at Brookland Elementary and MacDonald Elementary. I have also planned more for the upcoming month. In correlation with this and Education Week, I visited Rankin of the Narrows and Middle River Elementary and made dream catchers with all the students.
Lastly, I attended the Principal’s meeting at the Northside Staff Development Center on April 25th. I was introduced by Lynn Crawford and provided the principals with a contact number, so that they could take it back to their staff members and use it to contact me if they need any help with lessons.
Literacy Support Consultant, Lyn McInnis
Since my last report, I have continued working with elementary schools on developing writing continuums to support the writing process within the classroom. Along with MacDonald Elementary, work is underway with Bras d'Or Elementary, St. Joseph Elementary, and Jubilee School. It is exciting to see teachers working together on such a worthwhile initiative.
At the junior high level, the Summary of Student Progress binders have been completed for each school. They will be passed out to principals at the Principals' Meeting this month.
Craig Seward has approached two new junior high schools, Breton Education Centre and George D. Lewis, and will begin his two week coaching period at these schools this month.
All grades seven and eight teachers will be attending an in-service on 'Critical Literacy in the Classroom' on May 2nd. This is definitely an area of importance for students today. Being able to view various forms of literacy with a ‘critical eye’, will help students gain power in and over their lives.
In-servicing is planned for high school English teachers who had not received the presentation on 'struggling readers' given last year. This will be the final round of in-servicing for this presentation with Betty-Jean Aucoin. Many students continue to struggle with reading comprehension skills, and it is our hope to provide teachers with helpful strategies to strengthen this area.
The Annual Public Speaking Event concluded on April 19th, it was truly amazing! The talent displayed by our students, at all grade levels, was tremendous. Many thanks to all the participants and volunteers who helped coordinate each night.
Cathy Viva, Coordinator
The Lead Team for ASD has constructed a Resource binder for each Program Planning Team. The binders were distributed at the April 25th Principal’s Meeting and principals received a brief presentation on the contents of the binder and how it can be used to build capacity at each school site.
The Lead Team for Learning Disabilities programs have compiled useful strategies to be used with students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability. They also compiled a document with suggested assessments for use by Learning Disabilities teachers.
During the month of April, the Jr. High Resource teachers met and received presentations on Math Manipulations, Grade 8 Assessments, Educational Assessments, HIP Reading Assessments, Start-to-Finish Books, Helpful Tools for Jr. High Resource Teachers, Classroom Planning and TIENET.
The rollout of the Adaptations Modules from the Department of Education continued in April with in-servicing being provided by the Student Services Lead Team.
Initiatives through the SchoolsPlus programs are wrapping up for the year. The Incredible Years Parenting program has three sessions left and should be completed during the month of May. The “Girls Social Skills” program at Mira Road Elementary and Brookland Elementary are continuing and at Sherwood Park Education Centre, the “Express Yourself Anger Management” group and “Free 2BU” group are also continuing.
The SchoolsPlus Coordinator and Facilitator continue to be active with students in their identified schools.
Plans for the Guidance Counsellors, Social Workers and Educational Psychologists to participate in the ASIST Suicide Intervention Program are in place for May.
The Speech-Language Pathologists are planning special events for May’s “Hearing & Speech” month.
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