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Sections > Programs and Student Services Report > PSS Report: October, 2012
PSS Report: October, 2012
Published by Marjorie Sawchuk [Marjorie Sawchuk] on 10/23/2012 (2042 reads)
PSS Report: October, 2012

Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Early Literacy

Language Arts Consultant P-12 Audrey Kyte-Murphy

On August 29th a full day Professional Development session was facilitated by ELA Consultant Audrey Kyte Murphy and Math Consultant, Marlene Urquhart. Key messages and best practices in literacy and math were presented and demonstrated. It was a wonderful day to connect with and support these teachers. The session was well attended by teachers moving from junior /senior high to elementary.

Further support is being delivered to these teachers during after school meetings, peer visitation arrangements, and mentoring support days.

Site based PD is being delivered to teams of teachers at several schools as the implementation of the Writing Continuum developed in 2011-2012 continues. The goal is to have this in place in all elementary schools by December, 2012. Based on feedback received from working with the teachers, a set of key messages regarding Writing P-6 is being distributed to all teachers in the CBVRSB.

All teachers of grade primary and one students attended a Professional Development Day focused on Reading Assessments. The facilitator of the sessions was Barb Rushton, Department of Education. The day was funded through the Department of Education.

The Early Literacy Intervention [Succeeding in Reading] is in the second year of implementation, we have the following FTEs:

13 full time Early Literacy Teachers

3 20% Early Literacy Teachers (Two teachers teach 80% in a grade six classroom, one teaches resource 80%)

2 50% Early Literacy Teachers( One teacher teaches 50% in a grade five classroom, the other is 50% Early Literacy Coach)

In September, we reassessed those primary students who received daily Early Literacy support in the spring. Those who still needed support were kept on for this first six week block. We also assessed those grade one students who were reading near grade level and would benefit from this six week block of time.

Early Literacy Teachers attended a full day of professional development on September 13th with an emphasis on “Awareness of Sounds in Words”. They had the opportunity to view a live early literacy lesson, examine our 2011-2012 data, review our 2012-2013 plan, and discuss assigned readings related to our emphasis.

A session for teachers of combined classes took place on September 28th with Marilyn Webster, Dept.of Education, as facilitator.

The Department of Education is sending a number of resources for teachers at all grade levels. One in particular is Nelson Literacy 8 Program. It is tentatively planned to support Grade 8 teachers with the implementation of this resource at a PD session in November. Craig Seward, Literacy Mentor for grades 7-12, continues to support classroom teachers regarding literacy development strategies in English and other subject areas.

Mathematics Consultant P-12, Marlene Urquhart

Michelle MacAulay was appointed the new Mathematics Coach (P-10) and she is based at Brookland Elementary. Michelle has experience teaching at both elementary and secondary levels. She is a welcome member of our team and an excellent resource for our teachers and students. Michelle and Marlene have already visited schools and hopefully will be able to provide support wherever it is needed.

Results for the Early Elementary Mathematics Assessment were released earlier this month and we are all very pleased with the overall improvement our students and schools have made. With the Reading, Writing and Mathematics Assessment 6 and the Reading and Writing Assessment 3 occurring from October 2nd through 5th, Debbie Madore, Dietician, will be offering milk to schools so that our students can begin their assessments with a healthy treat. In the past, some schools have offered milk to their students before the assessments and it has proven to get them focused and relaxed.

As part of the provincial mathematics team, Marlene participated in curriculum development meetings in Halifax on September 20th and 21st. The implementation team is working hard to ensure a smooth transition to our new curriculum. In 2013-14, implementation of the new mathematics curriculum for grades Primary to 3 will occur. In the present school year, professional development for Principals and Primary to Grade 3 teachers will take place before March 31st, 2013. We look forward to the adoption and implementation of the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

Arts educators met as a group on September 18th to share information, connect with peers, and receive important information.

Thank you so much to the Giant 101.9 FM radio station for once again providing a $30,000 grant to music programs and students in the CBVRSB. This is the fifth year the station has provided this to us, which is just incredible. These grants have enabled students to attend music camps, purchase instruments, receive scholarships, and for the department to purchase instruments and provide support in the music area. In the past four years 97 scholarships to individual students have been awarded. We are extremely grateful.

A project is planned in coordination with Cape Breton University’s Art Gallery and Glace Bay High School art teacher, Sally Capstick. Personnel from the art gallery will be visiting the classroom to focus on visual literacy concepts. The gallery has also offered space to high school GSA (gay-straight alliance) groups wishing to host events there.

A new ukulele group for Grade 5 students in the Sydney and former county areas will begin at Brookland Elementary School on Monday evenings under the direction of Suzanne Doane starting in October.

A revised draft document of the Arts Challenge for Credit is available to schools, staff and students with more precise guidelines on how to successfully complete a challenge. Students wishing to challenge an arts course must declare their intent to their school’s guidance office by September 30th.

An arts Gradebook team has been assembled to assist itinerant teachers with the further implementation of Gradebook for 2012-2013. They will be visiting staff during October to help with this assessment/communication tool.

Band programs are thriving in the CBVRSB, so much so in the Glace Bay area that we had to add extra rehearsals! There was also such an interest in workshops offered by Dr. Dale Lonis that he will return to Nova Scotia in November specifically to visit Cape Breton. Individual school bands will have the opportunity to participate in workshops, and there will be an evening workshop offered for teachers as well.

ATA/EDANS (art and drama) conferences will take place in Halifax and the NSMEA (music) conference for teachers will take place in Truro in October.

I look forward to another wonderful year working with students and staff in the CBVRSB.

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Shea

Professional Development

Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Library Technicians met at the Staff Development Centre in North Sydney on Friday September 21, 2012. The morning began with an information session with Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator of Programs P-6 and Libraries and Wendy King, Coordinator of Human Resources (CUPE) discussing the new assignments as well as roles and responsibilities within the classification. The remainder of the morning was facilitated by Carmelita Cechetto-Shea, Library Consultant, with topics including: school library policies adoption, budgets, upcoming conference day and November 30 board in-service day, upcoming reading challenges, as well as other housekeeping items. The afternoon featured a presentation by Nancy Robinson, Autism Lead Team member, who provided the group with best practices and explanations of autism and the role we all play in assisting these students in nurturing their growth and development within the library setting. A delightful lunch hour discussion was held as well.

Reading Challenges 2012-2013

Approximately 430+ boxes of books, materials, etc. have arrived at the Adopt-a-library Warehouse located in Florence Elementary. The dates for the reading challenges to begin have not been finalized by Cst. John Kennedy, Coordinator of Adopt-A-Library, but expectations are that both the elementary and the junior high competitions will begin in mid-November. Notification will be sent in late October to all schools with further information.

NSALT Conference 2013

Library Technicians of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will be hosting the NSALT (Nova Scotia Association of Library Technicians) October conference day in 2013. Plans have begun in preparation of hosting this conference as CBVRSB did in 2008. A conference committee is being formed to finalize the details such as location, workshops/session, exhibitors, keynote, etc. The 2008 conference was very successful and hopefully the delegates coming to Cape Breton from across the province will once again have an informative and entertaining time, bringing back knowledge, collaboration and friendship to their schools.

Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea

New Brain Surgery: Fitness/Brain Blasts September 5th Ted Temertzoglou

This was an active session that took physical education teachers through several FUNctional Fitness/Brain Blasts. The new functional fitness charts developed by Thompson Educational are infused with the latest brain research (Ratey, 2008). These charts will help increase health and performance related fitness. This was an excellent workshop for all Physical Education teachers looking to enhance their instructional strategies for inclusive fitness. Learn through various circuit designs, small sided games and various pieces of equipment teachers learned how they can help students of all abilities succeed.

Building upon the Long Term Athlete/Participant Development (LTA/PD) program developed by Canadian Sport for Life, this new set of primary fitness charts will support physical education curriculum in our board. They focus on fundamental movement skills with minimal equipment. These sturdy charts can be used by teachers to customize cardio respiratory, speed, agility, balance, and resistance routines to suit their students' current fitness level.

All teachers in attendance went back to their schools with an age appropriate set of fitness charts.

Hip Not HEP Workshop September 20th

In the Cape Breton District Health Authority, the rate of Hepatitis C is 47.2 per 100,000 compared to the provincial rate of 22.2 per 100,000. In our district last year there were 59 cases of Hep C reported to public health. Based on a provincial Notifiable Diseases Surveillance Report (2011) we know that many of the of cases in NS reported risk factors such as injection drug use, tattooing, and having sex with a person at high risk for having Hep C.

In response to this, Public Health Services delivered presentations to grade 9 classes on Hep C for the last several years. This year Public Health Services are partnering with the Hepatitis Outreach Society of Nova Scotia (HepNS) to deliver the Hip not Hep workshops for youth age 12-24. Hip not Hep is a dynamic, interactive workshop about safer tattooing and piercing. Its goal is to educate participants about Hepatitis C transmission and prevention. Thought provoking questions lead to discussions with the hope that youth then decide for themselves how to make safer choices.

Nutrition for Learning, Dietician, Debbie Madore

Fall is in the air and schools are back in action for the 2012-2013 school year. Many breakfast program were up and going on day 1 greeting children with the aroma of toast as they entered the building. Every year there are some volunteers who retire so it is always a challenge to find new helpers. The majority of programs are now underway.

For the upcoming assessment for math and literacy schools are encouraged to promote breakfast at home and utilization of the breakfast program. A memo was sent out to schools to support the assessments and invite schools to allow milk and fruit in the classroom.

Health Promoting School applications have been sent out. For this upcoming year, we are offering maximum allowable limit of $3500 per school, with emphases on ongoing programming outside of curriculum time. Schools will be visited by Mary Lou Andrea and myself to give opportunity for conversations around what schools’ plan to do for this school year.

I continue to provide support to Nourish Nova Scotia. Charitable status has been applied for and we are planning retreat/meeting for October as a group.

Looking forward to an exciting and busy school year!!

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

Mathematics Consultant (P-12) – Marlene Urquhart

On June 19th – 21st, Grade 12 teachers participated in the NSE Mathematics and Advanced Mathematics regional marking session at the Staff Development Center.

On July 19th -21st, Marlene attended curriculum meetings in Halifax at the Nova Scotia Department of Education. The Mathematics 10 course will begin in September 2013. Math Professional development for Grade 10 teachers will occur after March 31st, 2013.

On September 11, 2012, teachers of our non credit pilot course, Math 9 Bridging were provided a day of professional development. Yearly plans, sample lessons, manipulative use and common and cumulative assessments were discussed. Teachers from Glace Bay High, Memorial High, Sydney Academy, Riverview, Adult High School and Southside Learning Center are currently offering this unique course. Marlene Urquhart and Michelle MacAulay, Math Coach (P-10) facilitated the day.

On September 21st, Michelle MacAulay worked with the staff of the Southside Learning Centre as well as the math department at Oceanview Education Centre. Best practices, mental math and accreditation goals were some of the items discussed. The feedback from both schools was positive.

Vocational Programs Consultant – Ken Collier

Students are settling into their classes and getting back into their routines. Enrollment is very good and a great year is anticipated.

Plans will soon be underway for the Skills Nova Scotia Competitions taking place in the new year. These competitions give our students the opportunity to showcase their skills, and possibly represent our province at the national competitions. Dates still have yet to be established. We are anticipating another successful year.

The dust collection systems in our school are close to being operational. The plan was to be fully operational by the start of the school year but technical difficulties arose. The Operations staff has been excellent trying to repair the problems while talking with the manufacturer. We are hoping that a solution is found very soon as not having an operational system causes disruption in the delivery of our curriculum.

Plans are underway to bring our Grade 9 feeder schools to our school. These tours bring student awareness of the assortment of programs that is offered at Memorial High. It also allows students to know what we expect of them in their Grade 9 year when it comes to applying to one of our Skilled Trades/Technical Programs.

Discussions have been held with Cathy Boudreau, Coordinator of Student Services, to bring the junior and senior high Guidance Counsellors to our school for an information session. Movement within our system always bring new faces to some of these positions, and the information session will allow the guidance counsellors to be better prepared to answer questions from students concerning our programs.

Project Manager – Nova Scotia International Students – Tammy Sampson

September was a busy month in the ISP. We welcomed 78 students to our area including 14 returning students. We are also extremely pleased to have among our students a scholarship winner from Bogota, Colombia as well as a scholarship recipient from the public school program from the Pernambuco region of Brazil. With the arrival of students also came agent visits. We had visits from the following agents: Timo Becker (Xplore), Andreas Heinrich (Xplore), Antonio Bacelar (ViaMundo), Trudy Martinez and Carlos (Ginasio Feminino, Bogota, Study Union), Talita Lencki and Carolina Ferraz Vieira (Experimento) with Mabel Barber (NSISP). Tammy Sampson also met with all of the above agents in Truro and Halifax during arrival week. She also met with Albertina Franca the Coordenador Regional do Programa Ganhe o Mundo SECRETARIA DE EDUCAÇÃO DE PERNAMBUCO.

With the addition of Baddeck Academy, we are working with 13 schools this semester. With this new addition, we also welcomed a new homestay coordinator on a tentative basis for a total of 6. The homestay coordinators had a busy month as students settle into their homestays, schools and communities. We welcomed several new families for this semester and have several upcoming visits planned. The NSISP FAM tour was announced and we have one member of our CBVRSB homestay coordinator team who will travel to Colombia to represent our school board in April 2013.

The CBVRSB is also taking part in a provincial ISP program – school Ambassadors. These are high school students who received leadership training at the EAL camp in Truro in August. The representatives work with the program to offer support and activities for the international students in their schools and communities. Six of our schools are participating with a total of nine students. We also have teacher liaisons in all schools.

EAL programming and scheduling is in place with most of our students getting some form of EAL support. This year we currently have the support of two EAL teachers who work with the NSISP students as well as newcomers. Monthly meetings with the EAL teachers are being planned for the year.

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

Options & Opportunities

The Department of Education provided a two day workshop for new O2 /co-op teachers August 21-22. Five new teachers from Glace Bay High, BEC, Sydney Academy and Baddeck Academy, along with Community-Based learning consultant participated in the workshop. The CBL consultant is visiting O2 schools to meet the new grade 10 students, talk with grade 11 and 12 students about their career pathways and the milestones for NSCC that have to be met this year.

Preparation is underway to expand the O2 program to Riverview in the second semester, February 2013.

Co-operative Education

This year, the co-operative education program is expanding to Baddeck Academy. In addition to this, Breton Education and Glace Bay High are expanding their co-op programs to include students outside of the O2 program. An official announcement ”Co-op Expansion in Cape Breton” by the Deputy Premier took place October 5 at Glace Bay High.

Summer Co-op

This past summer twenty-one (21) students worked towards completing a co-op credit. Summer co-op provides the opportunity for students to participate in co-op whose schedule does not allow for co-op during regular school year, the Building Futures for Youth students and for students interested in careers that are best explored in the summer. The students completed their credit under the supervision of three co-op teachers and the community-based learning consultant.

French Programs Consultant- Laurie MacIntosh

A number of French second language teachers participated in summer institutes and professional development workshops during the summer months at the Nova Scotia Department of Education, at Istorlet, as well as at Acadia University. Four teachers underwent training at the <Quoi de neuf> workshop which now enables them to participle in Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s Core French “classes expérimentales”.

As part of Special Project funding, Celeste Foisy Lahey will serve as Literacy support lead teacher for Core French “classes expérimentales” and grade six Intensive Core French. Ms. Foisy Lahey will share her mentoring support services with the Strait Regional School Board. Funding has also been approved for Mr. Craig Buckland to serve as a Literacy Resource Teacher for Junior High Late French Immersion schools for the upcoming year. French Special Project evaluations will be carried out by Ms. Elaine Melanson , Consultant, French Language Services Branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Education in mid-November.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will have three full-time French Language Assistants assigned to schools this year. Maxime Bélanger will be working with teachers and students at Glace Bay High School and Oceanview Jr. High, Simon Busilacchi will be working with teachers and students at Riverview Rural High while Heidi Charron will support French students and teachers at Memorial High in Sydney Mines. Language Assistants are assigned to schools to help second language teachers in their classrooms, to encourage students to interact in the French language and to raise student’s awareness of the French culture. The Odyssey program is an excellent example of collaboration between provinces and the government of Canada (the Council of Ministers of Education and the Department of Canadian Heritage) which aims to foster the use of Canada’s official languages by giving young people an opportunity to share their language and culture with students in other provinces and territories.

Laurie MacIntosh (French Consultant), Hélène Crane (Glace Bay High School) and Jacqueline Lewis (Bridgeport School) were part of a fourth cohort of DELF examiner/markers trained this summer at the N.S. Dept. of Education. They will join previously trained examiner/markers Laura Dunlop, Brenda MacNeil, William Sampson and Craig Buckland who will administer and correct the oral and written components of the DELF exam (Diplôme d’études en langue française). The DELF exam gives students international recognition for their accomplishments in French. Approximately fifty grade twelve French second language students recently received their DELF diplomas, several achieving the highest recognition (B2) which among many other benefits, gives the student direct access to universities in France and added opportunities to work in a francophone region or in a bilingual environment.

Several French second language initiatives are underway again this year. Suzanne AuCoin (Malcolm Munroe Jr. High) and Laurie MacIntosh (French Consultant) attended a training workshop in Halifax on September 20th. Ms. AuCoin will continue the French language arts pilot “Littératie en action” at Malcolm Munroe Jr. High. Meetings were also held for this year’s teachers of the “classes expérimentales” (neurolinguistic approach to second language learning) on September 11th. There are five official pilot sites (George D. Lewis, MacLennan Jr. High, Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High, Rankin of the Narrows and Greenfield Elementary). With the success of this approach, interest to participate is growing among French teachers. There are three unofficial pilot schools (Malcolm Munroe Jr. High, Brookland Elementary and MacDonald Elementary) as well as a new cohort to begin in early October. Grade six Intensive Core French teachers also met on September 10th. Intensive French is offered at four sites this year.(Harbourside Elementary, Greenfield Elementary, Bras d’or Elementary and Glace Bay Elementary).

Lynn Crawford, Coordinator


The planning committee for the November 30 Professional Development Day is meeting regularly and plans are progressing well. The theme for the day is Expanding Cultural Competence: Responding to the Lives of Our Students. The sessions will take place at Sherwood Park Education Center and Sydney Academy. The keynote speakers will be Enid Lee and Lindsay Willow, two educators who are known for their great work in addressing social justice issues. There are currently 32 others speakers confirmed to assist with the day.


Elementary schools registered for the Reading and Writing 3 and the Reading, Writing and Mathematics 6 Assessments. The assessments were administered the week of October 2-5. A request has been sent to each school requesting names of staff members to participate in the marking sessions in Membertou November 5-7.

There is no provincial assessment being administered at the High School level this year. The new grade 10 Mathematics and 10 English assessments will be implemented in the 2013-2014 school year.

Several teachers’ names were forwarded to the Department of Education to be a part of upcoming assessments advisory committees. Invited teachers graciously accepted the invitation and will represent our board well on these committees.

Student Support Workers

On September 28th the Students Support Workers had the privilege of participating in a one day professional development sessions with educator/consultant Mr. Robert Upshaw. Mr. Upshaw has extensive experience working with Student Support Workers across the province and was instrumental in lobbying for the positions to be in schools across the province. The day focused on the role of the SSW and the importance of ongoing communication with parents, staff and the SSW team. The day provided SSW with a stronger direction in moving forward in their positions, and making a difference in the lives of and African Nova Scotian students.

Mi’kmaq Consultant, Marjorie Graves

At the end of August while attending a Principal’s meeting at NSSDC, I was approached by a couple of different principals to do a professional development session at their schools on September 21st. I also made some contacts this month with Patsy Paul-Martin, who informed me of the upcoming 4th Annual Educators Conference, in Millbrook, NS. Arrangements were made to attend this conference, in hopes of being able to utilize the knowledge gained and share it amongst other teachers.

Work is ongoing on online training through the Glooscap Learning Campus. The course is on Aboriginal Cultural Awareness and is a four-unit program designed specifically for non-Aboriginal people who will be working with Aboriginal people. There are also other courses designed for youth and are designed to give youth a better understanding of Aboriginal culture and people. This promises to be an effective teaching tool for some of our teachers. I have also attended a meeting with the November 30th PD planning committee.

On September 21st, along with Mike Isaac, Student Services Consultant, with the DOE, I gave two presentations, one to Rankin of the Narrows and Riverview Rural High School. With each presentation I included ways in which the teachers could incorporate the Mi’kmaq culture into their curriculum.

Lastly, I have visited Sherwood Park Education Center and have discussed with the Principal planning a Powwow for the upcoming month. We also discussed me attending a staff meeting at the beginning of November to share with the staff ways that they could incorporate Mi’kmaq culture into their curriculum.

Literacy Support Consultant/Coach, Janet Briggs

September has been an exciting and busy month for Literacy Support. With the Nova Scotia Elementary Assessments scheduled for the first week in October, the first priority was to meet with teachers that were new to grade 3 and 6. In total, I visited 18 schools and met with wonderfully keen teachers. Each visit involved an overview of the assessment and procedures, as well as provided suggestions and materials for preparation. Tips for teaching reading comprehension and writing strategies were also provided. I was able to bring a substitute teacher with me to cover classes while the teacher and I met. The substitute brought a lesson designed to assist the children with the upcoming assessment. We were given a warm welcome in every school and it was an absolute joy to work with the teachers and to witness their commitment to helping our students experience success in the upcoming assessments. The accompanying substitutes also consistently commented about how delightful and hard working our grade 3 and 6 students are. Overall, it was a very positive and worthwhile experience and I look forward to continuing to provide literacy support to enhance instruction and learning.

Craig Seward, the Literacy Support Coach, Audrey Kyte Murphy, the Language Arts Consultant/Coach, and I also met to discuss a team approach to addressing system needs. As a result, we will be working together to build a conventions framework for junior high and to provide professional development to grade 8 teachers regarding the new Nelson Literacy 8 resource. Both of these projects will help to enhance student achievement at the junior high level.

Craig has contacted junior high principals with an offer to provide all new language arts, social studies and science teachers with literacy support. He has also provided professional development to the Southside Learning Center teachers with regards to cross-curricular reading strategies. In addition, he provided assistance with assessing student reading abilities with the HIP Reading Assessment. Craig also worked with Darlene Beretta on classroom practice assessment pieces in Science which will be added to the already existing ELA and Social Studies pieces. This will bring the total to two assessment pieces per grade level in ELA, Social Studies and Science. Craig’s next step is to meet with new grade 7 Language Arts teachers to provide an overview of the Nelson Literacy 7 program, to familiarize new teachers with Whole Class Plans and Summary Reports and to help teachers to continue to develop reading comprehension and writing strategies as part of their daily teaching.

In addition, Craig and I have been working together to update the format of the whole class plans for junior high. With the provincial assessment moving to grade 8, and the accompanying changes to scoring, we are also working to improve the transition piece at the junior high level. Craig has been working with the assessment data to create a format that makes individual student data readily available to teachers as they plan their approach to literacy support. The proposed changes should be completed in early October. We look forward to continuing to provide literacy support and to enhance the learning of both students and staff.

Cathy Boudreau, Coordinator

During the month of September, the Student Services Department oversaw the transition of new primaries into schools, responded to requests for Teacher Assistant support for special needs students, and responded to parental queries regarding school programs and supports. This was a priority for the department.

Meetings were held with the Student Services Consultant on a weekly basis to coordinate work activities (i.e. assign Teacher Assistant requests, get updates regarding observations, to review the Home Assistance Teacher program and caseload, to identify concerns stemming from Teacher Assistant request follow up, etc).

I have participated in two (2) TIENET training sessions under the leadership of Sheila Kublek. Leanne Marcil, Student Services Secretary, was present during the initial training session and Genevieve Richardson, Student Services Consultant, was present at the second training session.

The SchoolsPlus Steering Committee meeting was held at the Department of Education on September 7, 2012.

Throughout this month, eight (8) school Program Planning Team meetings for students requiring transition support were attended. I assisted with Interviews for a Student Services teaching position at Sherwood Park Education Centre and for the Head Psychologist position with the school board. The applications for the SchoolsPlus Facilitator and School Psychologist postings were reviewed.

Throughout the month of September, I have been in close contact with Student Services Consultants via e-mail, as well as school personnel and parents. I met with APSEA personnel, and have had conversations with Department of Health Personnel. I have worked with Dr. Julie MacDonald, Manager Child & Adolescent Services, to develop a job description for the school mental health clinicians that were recently approved by the Department of Health. I have worked on two (2) requests for additional teaching staff with the Director of Programs and Student Services. I have also participated in Professional Development planning sessions with the PSS team members for the November 30th PD session. It has been a very busy and productive month in Student Services.

Student Services Consultant, Genevieve Richardson

The month of September was very busy with many of our new primary students transitioning into our schools. Support, for a number of our primary students, was provided by members of the Student Services department to ensure a successful transition into our system.

The Student Services department received a number of teacher assistant requests during the month of September. These teacher assistant requests were from a number of schools in our Board who felt that they required additional Teacher Assistance support to meet the needs of their students. Many of these requests involved support for new primaries and/or students who may have moved into the area over the summer, and may not have had transitioning support in the spring.

Two refresher TIENET training sessions were provided by Sheila Kublek. One was held in late August and one in September. They were both great and very informative sessions. We are already using the system to access referrals from our schools, as well as, being able to access information on students, when required, etc. This system helps to save a lot of time for all of our service providers. Once a referral is put in TIENET and sent to the proper service provider, they are notified by email.

Our Home Assistance support program is up and running for another year. This program helps to support students in achieving their grade outcomes, who have a diagnosed medical condition that prevents them from attending their school. Referrals for this support must go through the Coordinator of Student Services for approval. Laura Jean Howell is our Home Assistance support teacher and we have been working on student caseloads and scheduling, as well as, meeting with the parents, school program planning team to help with the plan for support at all levels and of students requiring this support.

Also throughout the month of September, attended some transition meetings, supported some Principals and some Student Services personnel with resources and support for their programs.

ASD Consultant – Louise Smith

September was a very busy month with much time spent supporting students and their transitions back to school. Visual supports and programming were developed and implemented within classrooms to support the identified needs of students entering grade primary, moving from grade to grade and moving from school to school (e.g., Elementary to Junior high). The Student Services Lead Team, along with Speech-Language Pathologists and School Psychologists, joined forces to support school based personnel to facilitate a successful “First Day” of school for students identified with specific needs via the Board’s transition planning process. Brookland, Cusack, Greenfield, Harbourside, Jubilee, John Bernard Croak, Mira road, Mountainview and Robin Foote Elementary school were schools identified with high needs with respect to new primary students and were prioritized for student services support for the first day and throughout the month of September. Feedback from schools was extremely positive with respect to the programming and support provided to students and staff.

The ASD Consultant continued to provide site based support for students diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) via classroom based consultation-working with students directly, modeling strategies and demonstrating use of visual/program supports. Transition and program planning meetings were attended to facilitate and support individualized support plans for identified students. Classroom based consultations, transition planning and programming and as well as program planning meetings were completed at: Mountainview Elementary, Jubilee Elementary, Brookland Elementary, Coxheath Elementary, Sydney River Elementary, Baddeck Academy, Sherwood Park Education Center, Whitney Pier Memorial, MacLennan Junior High and Dr TL Sullivan Junior High Schools.

Professional Development sessions were provided for Brookland Elementary on September 4th and Greenfield Elementary on September 5th. The sessions focused on “Understanding Autism” and provided school staff with an overview of the strengths and challenges associated with a diagnosis of ASD, a review of understanding and dealing with challenging behavior and strategies/programming identified as best practice for students with ASD. Administration, teachers, teacher assistants and grounds supervisors attended these sessions. It was a great opportunity to provide practical strategies and information to all school staff. Feedback received from the sessions was very positive.

On September 21st, an introductory STAR (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research) Program training session was provided for teachers and teacher assistants at the Northside Staff Development Centre. The session was lead by Louise Smith (ASD Consultant) with support provided by Lorna Fraser (LC teacher, Glace Bay Elementary) and Lee Ann Astephen (LC/LD Teacher, Harbourside Elementary). The STAR Program is a comprehensive behavioral program for young children with autism (and other developmental disabilities). This program was introduced to Boards in Nova Scotia as part of the Department of Education’s provincial autism initiative in 2006 and has been implemented within CBVRSB as part of its ASD initiative since that time. This training session was offered to teachers and teacher assistants who were new to the program but would be part of this programming at their school during the 2012-13 school year. The session provided an overview of the programs developmental curriculum and its three instructional strategies (discrete trial, pivotal response training, and functional routines) as well as, an opportunity for hands on practice for each of the participants. Thirty-two participants representing ten elementary schools attended the training. Feedback received from the session was extremely positive. Currently within CBVRSB there are eleven elementary schools successfully using the STAR program: Sydney River Elementary (training and demonstration site), St. Joseph Elementary, Boularderie Elementary, Riverside Elementary, Glace Bay Elementary, Coxheath Elementary, North Highlands Elementary, St. Agnes Elementary, Jubilee Elementary, Mountainview Elementary and Rankin School of the Narrows. The following schools have been identified as expansion sites for the 2012-13 school year: Brookland Elementary, Robin Foote Elementary and Cape Smokey Elementary (as part of North of Smokey initiative). Each school year, established and expansion STAR sites receive school based training and consultation from the Board’s ASD consultant.

Behaviour Support Teacher for Students with Special Needs, Alisa Cantwell

The first month of school has been extremely busy and challenging. I started back to work on August 27th, as I needed the extra time to develop behaviour programs/supports and to meet with available teachers and principals to deliver and discuss these programs/supports. My main focus for the first few weeks of school was to support the new primary students experience a successful transition into school.

The schools that I provided transitioning support for new students (in all grades) were:

  • Mira Road
  • Brookland
  • Harbourside
  • Glace Bay Elementary
  • Cusack
  • Jubilee
  • Greenfield
  • Baddeck
  • Riverside
  • Marion Bridge.

I also supported students returning back to school by attending PPT meetings and completing school observations at the following schools:

  • BEC
  • OVEC
  • Brookland
  • Memorial High
  • Glace Bay Elementary
  • St. Agnes
  • Bras d’Or
  • Marion Bridge
  • Sydney River.

I attended a PD session on TIENET on August 29th. I presented a workshop on Behaviour Supports for Students with Special Needs for Teacher Assistants from Bras d’Or and Jubilee Elementary Schools at Bras d’Or Elementary School on September 21st.

Rick Simm, Coordinator

Assistive Technology/TIENET Consultant, Sheila Kublek

As usual September is a busy month in the world of assistive technology. Hardware and software continues to be installed for many new students entering our school system for the first time and for students who have transitioned from different grades or different schools. Along with the installation of the hardware/software is the implementation into the students’ programs. This often results in program planning team meetings, professional development for teachers, teacher assistants and students and suggestions for program adaptations and/or individual program plans. Much of the assistive technology could not be successfully implemented without the efforts and cooperation of our board technology technicians. They are always willing to support and accommodate our students using assistive technology.

Most of our junior high schools were upgrade to Kurzweil v. 12 web licensing over the summer months. Plans are now under way to provide appropriate training on the use and implementation of Kurzweil with students at the junior high level.

September also saw the full implementation of Tienet in all schools in the CBVRSB. Tienet training sessions were provided to new school administrators and new Student Services teachers. Tienet support has been provided through email, phone calls and the communication system in Tienet. Many schools are presently requesting on-site support for staff members. Staff training sessions were provided to St. Agnes Elementary on September 21st while several other schools have booked staff sessions for their Learning Monday.

The provincial Tienet facilitators continue to meet by WebEx on a bi-weekly basis in order to provide continued support with Tienet implementation and to make necessary changes and improvements.

SIS/IT PD Consultant, Kurt Kublek

The school year in SIS started in August with the new LMR (Learning Management and Reporting) project where our new group came together to see an intensive product review of two pieces of software, SchoolNet and Equella). This was the initial meeting of the new LMR representatives from the boards. Since that time most of the LMR work has been occupied with the project requirements. (The requirements document is what is used in the procurement of the software.)

Work within Powerschool also began in August as well as I began moving teachers within the system to reflect actual teacher movement. September has been occupied with usual start up activities as we helped schools with their schedules, transfers, etc. Furthermore, I have been doing some initial work with the Student-Parent Portal as all of our board’s schools will begin to use this tool. This work involved with this included setting up usernames and passwords for all parents and students and working with the Cathy MacNeil on the teacher grade book expectations.

IEI-E/SIS Consultant, Brad MacNeil

Each school with grades Primary to 3 will be receiving a cart, with 10 net books and a printer for their school. The focus of the IEI-E project for the 2012-2013 school year will be on grade six teachers. Forty-three grade six classrooms will be receiving three new desktop computers with monitors to refresh the classroom clusters. Based on a special request, two grade six classrooms at Mount Carmel Elementary will be receiving three iMac computers each. Including our P3 schools, 55 grade six teachers will participate in up to three days of training, focusing on support in areas such as file management, lesson plan development/implementation, short/long term plans, troubleshooting and communication, while increasing each teacher’s knowledge of what ICT outcomes are expected throughout each grade level in elementary. The CBVRSB Moodle environment will be used as a virtual home-base for the training sessions. There will also be a focus on the newly developed NS EduPortal, Drupal Web-Pages, virtual desktops/File Storage, Share.Ednet, Ednet Webmail and EBSCO.

Data Managers

Jim McNeil/Tom Baker

  • Support for school web sites including ftp and site account resets, module and site updates.
  • Ongoing support for Blackberry/Exchange service.
  • Aesop data support including adding and supporting new employee/substitute groups.
  • Function and interface amendments in the Principal Portal application.

Charles Sheppard, Coordinator

How Credit Works For You

Met with the committee of the” How Credit Works For You”. This year’s program proved to be a great success with more schools and students participating and over $8,500.00 given out in the form of school and student bursaries. It is hoped that this year we will include this program to schools north of Smokey.

Policy Committee

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

Department of Community Services/CBVRSB

Meeting with board solicitors to finalize protocol documents held to discuss the formulation of protocol guidelines between the Child Welfare Division and the CBVRSB. The final draft of the protocol between the DCS and CBVRSB is still in the draft stages.

Telephone Calls

Fielded a number of telephone calls of a confidential nature from schools and parents that dealt with issues around suspensions, homework school attendance etc. Also met with a number of parents and principals to mediate and resolve issues around stated issues. The start of the school year has brought a number of requests for students to transfer to schools outside of their historical neighborhood ones. Consideration is giving to each unique case as they are presented to us.

Primary Registration/Transfers

Primary registration has ended with the number of new primaries this year totalling 900 students to date. This year seen an additional number of students register over the summer and we were fortunate that these numbers did not result in the need for any additional staff.

Southside Learning Center

The Southside Learning Center has a new principal, Ms. Danielle Aucoin and two new staff members. The direction that school is going is to concentrate more in the areas around math, literacy and technology. They will also be working on positive student behaviors with the staff receiving professional development in working in this area. The length of stay for each student at the Southside Learning Center will be between 16-20 weeks.


These classes also will be taking on a new look with concentration centered on working around setting examples of positive behavior for the students. It is also our hope that the length of stay for each student in these programs will be between 16-20 weeks with the hope of smooth successful transition back to their neighborhood school.

School Liaison Officers (SLO)

A meeting was held with members of the Cape Breton Regional Police Services, Ms. Susan Kelley, Ms. Cathy Viva, Mr. Charles Sheppard, Mr. Tom Ripley and principals from Sydney Academy, Dr. T.L. Sullivan, Glace Bay High, Riverview High, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High, Breton Education Center, Oceanview Educational Center, Memorial High, and Sherwood Park Educational Center. The SLO officers and the schools they are assigned to are as follows:

Const. Brad Burke - Sydney Academy, SPEC and WPM
Const. Mike Rolfe-Riverview and BEC
Const. Hugh MacDonald- Memorial, Dr. T.L. Sullivan, and Sydney Mines Junior High
Const. Ashley MacDonald-Glace Bay High and OVEC

Discussion centered around such things as their role within the school that it be one of pro-activeness and positivism, not one of policing per say. We also talked about the CAPER Handbook and how the officer can be an additional resource to the school when it came to practicing such drills and explaining said procedures to parents and staff. Some principals talked about how the presence of these officers has deterred a potential incident from occurring but they also acknowledged that this is not their only role. The SLO’s have also been instrumental in educating the staff on the latest drug threat that is out there. It was agreed upon to hold bi-monthly meetings with the officers, principals and staff from central office.

Major/Minor Incident Reports

Attached please find charts tracking the number of major and minor incidents in the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board for the month of September, 2012.

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