PROGRAM SERVICES P-6 COORDINATOR, CATHY MACNEIL
Language Arts Consultant P-12, Audrey Kyte-Murphy
Daily sessions to support the development of reading and writing are continuing to be delivered through Succeeding in Reading. The Early Literacy Teachers completed their first six week block which ended on October 26. Two Hundred students were involved in the intervention over this period. Following reassessment at the end of this block the students who reached grade level expectations were released to continue their literacy growth in the regular classroom. Depending on their needs some students were referred to resource programs or continued to be part of the program when the second eighteen week block began in early November. We have very dedicated teachers delivering this support.
Grade 8 English teachers attended a professional development session November 2, 2012. It focused on engaging readers and writers through the use of the new resource, Nelson Literacy 8, and how it can be used to develop literacy strategies to support students participating in the provincial literacy assessment new to grade 8 this year. Through mentoring, teachers are receiving follow up support as they utilize this resource. Working as a team the Literacy Support Consultant, mentor, ELA consultant and a team of classroom teachers are developing a Writing Conventions Framework [7-9] as a follow up to the one implemented this year at the elementary level. This was developed in response to a need for this as reflected in provincial assessments.
Site based professional development to teachers at several schools continues to be delivered with the focus on improving writing growth for their students. Facilitated by Audrey Kyte-Murphy, teaching staff at Riverside and George D. Lewis attended after school sessions and teams of teachers attended full day PD sessions at St Anne, St Agnes, Robin Foote and Rankin.
Teachers new to their grade level are continuing to receive support. It is being delivered to the teachers during after school meetings, consultant visits, peer visitation arrangements, and mentoring support days arranged by the English Language Arts Consultant.
The Department of Education continues to send a number of resources to teachers at various grade levels to support programming in English Language Arts. The revision of the English language Arts Guide 4-6 continues with representation on a provincial team provided by Audrey Kyte-Murphy and Stacie Barrie, CBVRSB grade 4 teacher.
The Raise a Reader money is being used to purchase books for classroom libraries at the grade 5 and to support readers in grade 7.
On November 30, a workshop facilitated by Audrey Kyte-Murphy titled “Honoring the Developmental Nature of Individual Writing Growth” was presented during the CBVRSB conference day. Also, a presentation to CBU Bachelor of Education students focused on an overview of the English Language Arts Program in our board was presented November 13.
Mathematics Consultant P-12, Marlene Urquhart
In Mathematics instruction and development, November has been extremely busy preparing for the new curriculum. Marlene attended Provincial Mathematics Team meetings in Halifax and significant progress has been made with the Grade Primary to Grade Three curriculum documents. With the Primary to Grade 3 draft copies being reviewed it is hoped that the team can do a final review at our next meeting. The Provincial Mathematics team has also been developing professional development sessions for teachers across the province, and has developed documents that highlight the similarities and differences teachers and students will see as the new curriculum is implemented.
On November 6th and 7th, Grade Six teachers from the Cape Breton Victoria School Board, the Strait Regional School Board and the Mi’kmaw Kina’matenewey Board gathered at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre to mark the grade 6 Provincial Mathematics assessment. Marlene and Michelle MacAulay, Mathematics Coach, were reliability checkers for the session. It was a wonderful learning opportunity for all in attendance.
Michelle has been working with teachers both individually and in small groups. Pedagogy and assessment practices are the key items teachers have been requesting support. The teachers Michelle has met with have reported that they are excited to incorporate the assessment pieces and practices in their classrooms.
During December, Marlene returned to Halifax to attend Provincial Mathematics Team meetings. The team prepared a plan for the second day of professional development for curriculum implementation. The second day of professional development for P-3 teachers will lead the teachers through activities that will strengthen their mathematical knowledge and support best practices in the elementary classroom. I am very pleased to say that our teachers and principals are excited about the adoption of the WNCP curriculum and I look forward to working with them through the entire implementation process.
Marlene continues to support Greenfield and Marion Bridge through each school’s accreditation process. Both schools have chosen goals focusing on Mathematics and staff and students have been working hard to meet their goals.
Michelle MacAulay, Mathematics Coach, has been visiting and supporting teachers through mentoring/coaching. She has developed lessons that encourage best use of mathematics manipulatives in the classroom, and has developed thoughtful and challenging assessment pieces with teachers.
Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews
Celtic Colours has provided programming to five of our Grade 9 music classrooms at no cost to our schools thanks to a Cultural Opportunities for Youth grant. The new program is called “Roots in Rooms” and features a series of visits by Celtic musicians right in music classrooms.
Dr. Dale Lonis, world-renown music educator and conductor, was in Cape Breton and delivered a professional development session to music teachers on November 26th. This session was very thought provoking and well received. Dr. Lonis also worked with four of our band programs in the two days following the professional development. Thank you to Ardith Haley from the NS Dept. of Education for making this opportunity happen here in Cape Breton.
Chalmers Doane, famous ukulele guru and music educator, delivered a ukulele workshop to students at Brookland Elementary School on November 27th. This workshop was also open to all music teachers. Ukulele groups under the direction of music teacher Suzanne Doane are growing and have performances planned throughout the Christmas season.
Christmas concerts took place in all of our elementary schools, along with many of our junior and senior high band programs. Coxheath Elementary Choir was invited to sing with the Cape Breton Chamber Orchestra, and Sydney River Elementary School choir was invited to sing with the Cape Breton Chorale. School groups also performed in local malls, senior homes, tree lighting ceremonies, and at hockey games. These performances are listed on the Arts Education website at www.cbv.ns.ca/finearts. Thank you to all students, staff and parents for making these seasonal performances so successful.
Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Shea
WOW Reading Challenge
There are 13 elementary schools and 6 junior high schools in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board that are registered in the 2012-2013 Reading Challenge which began on November 22, 2012, and will end on April 3, 2013. This number is down in both categories this year, but there is a new Junior High registered for the first time: Malcolm Munroe. The first set of prizes was ready and many schools have picked these prizes up. Another set of prizes will be distributed sometime in January 2013. Over 400 boxes of books have arrived to stock the shelves of the warehouse in Florence in preparation of this year’s events. Many schools have already begun their individual prize draws and the feedback to date is that the students are very excited about their reading adventures.
“Rocky the Pug”
St. Agnes Elementary had the distinct honour of having a Christmas reading from Chantel Reid-Demeter, own of “Rocky the Pug”. Rocky and Chantel were recent guests on the “Dragon’s Den” and although their product wasn’t a hit with the “Dragons”, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has purchased (through the library program) a copy of one of Rocky’s books for each elementary library. There is a series of 10 titles on various topics from bullying, Glace Bay UNIA, etc. Rocky teaches the children about respect, self-esteem, etc., and the children at St. Agnes were delighted at the visit. Also that day, each student received a Christmas picture book to keep courtesy of the Adopt-A-Library program.
November PD for Library Technicians
CBVRSB Library Technicians met at the Staff Development Centre on November 30, 2012, for their professional development in various ways that they could seek RCH knowledge and resources. Margie Moore, Library Technician Sydney Academy did a presentation on the various companies and resources that she has had success with in obtaining appropriate materials for RCH topics to complement the curriculum in her school. Ray Fernandez, Education Media Librarian at the Nova Scotia Department of Education did a workshop on the new Eduportal being initiated at the Department. Staff was very eager and keen to learn about this new avenue for discovering resources. Lisa Mulak and Nicole Radzikowski, Librarians at the McConnell Library in Sydney, did a presentation on Reader’s Advisory with a flair on Dystopian literature. The day ended with questions from staff about hiccups they had with some aspect of Insignia; the automation program is a continuing learning curve for all. Carmelita Shea, Library Consultant, was involved with the PD day at Sydney Academy (elementary teachers) as she presented information about selecting appropriate children’s books and the tools available for selection.
On November 5, 2012, volunteers from across the province gathered in New Glasgow for the annual Wal-Mart Literacy Awards, honouring individuals who volunteer and run various programs associated the WOW reading Program, through Adopt-A-Library. Leadership awards were given to many people in various walks of life, not just from an educational purpose. This year, a new award was created by the Wal-Mart Committee which inducted 4 pioneers being inducted into the “Wall of Fame”; a perpetual plaque bearing the inductee’s names will be hung in the Mew Glasgow Library where Cst. John Kennedy, Adopt-A-Library Coordinator, is based. This year’s inductees were: the Honourable Peter MacKay (Minister of Defence, Canada), the Honourable Ross Landry (Minister of Justice, Nova Scotia), the assistant manager of Wal-Mart New Glasgow Sharon DeYoung, and Carmelita Shea, Library Consultant for the CBVRSB.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
On December 19, 2012, Carmelita Shea, Library Consultant, was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal at a ceremony at the WOW Warehouse (Adopt-A-Library) located in Florence Elementary. MLA Eddie Orrell, Cape Breton North, presented Carmelita with the Jubilee medal for her work with fostering a love for reading to children, especially students within the CBVRSB. Mrs. Stacey Barrie’s Grade 4 class at Florence had the distinction of being guests for the ceremony in addition to Mrs. Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator of Programs (P-6), various library staff, other Board personnel, and family of Mrs. Shea. Each student received a new book from Mrs. Shea as a remembrance of this day, also courtesy of the Adopt-A-Library program. Lots of smiles, photos and great comments on the value of reading were shared by all. Mr. Orrell’s daughter was also in attendance and she commented that “she wished such a facility/program was available when she was in school”.
Teachers’ Resource Centre
The centre has begun the process of automated circulation of resources from the collection. It is a slow process, especially in doing recon of older materials in the collection, but the intent is to have all items bar coded within the next year. Such a goal depends on technology, time and priority of requests.
Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea
Community Use of Schools Grants
The following partnerships are making use of the funding provided by the Department of Education for increasing physical activity in students in the after school hours.
Yoga Education for Children: Beyond Physical Stretches
Vineeta Sharma from Eastern Holistic Yoga will be with students in classes at Cusack and Mira Road schools. It will be twice a week for a five month period. Yoga plays an important role for developing creativity, receptivity, memory and will power in order to grasp education values with a relaxed approach.
YMCA Afterschool Get Moving Program
The Board in conjunction with the YMCA of Cape Breton is launching a pilot project in three elementary schools: Jubilee, J.B. Croak, and Tompkins. Together, the YMCA and the board will offer a recreational program aimed at increasing healthy eating and physical activity during the after school hours. The goal is to offer after school programming twice per week at the schools immediately following dismissal. This will be free of charge for the students.
Northside Youth Inclusion Program
The project is designed to address risk factors in youth aged 12 to 17 of both genders. The project will include recreation nights for the remainder of the year for the youth at two different sites. This will allow the youth an opportunity for healthy recreation while allowing an opportunity to monitor and assess their progress.
Nutrition for Learning, Dietician Debbie Madore
Health Promoting School’s grants have been provided to 26 schools for initiatives that support healthy, active living. A meeting was held in Sydney with Sharon Young, from Health Promotion and Protection, Larry Maxwell, and Mike Routledge, Public Health, to provide this group with an update on what is happening in our board. Sharon provided an overview on what is happening at the provincial level, and plans for a provincial meeting in the new year.
Breakfast and/or snack programs continue to thrive in all schools. Participation rates continue to stay high. Sponsorship was renewed with Kiwanis Club of Sydney, Louisbourg Seafoods and Canadian Tire Jump Start program. Provincially, Nourish Nova Scotia continues to move forward in its work to create a Registered Charitable Organization that can support breakfast programs with funding and resources.
I had the pleasure to attend the Adolescent Obesity Conference the end of October in Halifax. I participated as a Table Host for the pre-conference and was able to share the work at our board.
The Breakfast program was Featured Article on November 3 Weekend Section of the Cape Breton Post. The story was well done and received positive feedback from many viewers and can be now viewed on the board website.
PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12 COORDINATOR, CATHY VIVA
Vocational Programs Consultant, Ken Collier
Memorial High will once again host the Skills Nova Scotia Competitions on March 26th, 2013. These competitions give our students the opportunity to showcase their skills, and possibly represent our province at the national competitions. Plans are underway to expand our competitions to include the provincial welding competition. Staff is presently in the process of completing the scopes and competition projects.
The Career Awareness tours for our three Grade 9 feeder schools (Thompson Jr. High, Sydney Mines Jr. High, and Dr. T.L. Sullivan Jr. High) are now complete. These tours saw 214 students attend our school, providing an awareness of the assortment of programs that are 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. Plans have also started to bring students from the other grade 9 schools to our school as well.
Students from our Dining Room Services and our Cooking programs completed their Food Safety Certification on Wednesday, November 21st. This course is required by those working in the food industry and the certification will accompany the students as they begin to apply for jobs in the future.
Visitations to the junior high schools have begun. Presentations have been made to Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High and Cabot High with others planned for the New Year.
Jason LeFrense, who owns J.L.F. Productions, spent three days in our school filming our Vocational programs. Jason has been employed to create a 4-5 minute commercial showcasing our Vocational Programs. This video will be available for viewing on our web-site as well as being used while making presentations. We are looking forward to the completion of this project.
A number of students completed the applications for the “Building Futures for Youth” summer employment project sponsored by the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. The deadline was December 20thand we encouraged interested students to apply. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
French Second Language Programs Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh
• Capacity building for French Second Language programs of the CBVRSB is continuing, especially for Core French (7-9) “classes expérimentales” (neurolinguistic approach to second language learning.) Due to the success of this approach a new cohort of teachers is being trained. The first inservice took place on November 19 at Shipyard Elementary, followed by a second session on December 3. Facilitators for the days included Elaine Melanson, Consultant, French Second Language Programs, Nova Scotia Department of Education; Celeste Foisy Lahey, Literacy Support Lead Teacher, and Laurie MacIntosh, French Consultant. The next series of professional development training sessions will be partnered with the Strait Regional School Board. The sessions are scheduled for the Mulgrave Professional Development Centre on January 10th and 11th, and February 6th, 2013. Professional development and support is ongoing for our official Core French “classes expérimentales” as well. All eight teachers participate in mentoring with Celeste Foisy Lahey and professional development sessions have taken place on December 14 at Shipyard Elementary and on December 14 in Mulgrave.
• Professional development opportunities are also in place for grade six Intensive Core French and Late French Immersion (7-12). A professional learning community for senior high French Language Arts teachers is exploring incorporating the European Common Framework outcomes into the French Language Arts curriculum. The Riverview PLC will meet with the other senior high French Language Arts teachers to share their work at an inservice, tentatively set for January 23, 2013.
• DELF, (Diplôme d’études en langue français) international exams are scheduled for the week of April 22 to 26, 2013. Grade 12 students from four high schools will be participating this year. These exams give international recognition to students for their accomplishments in French. Seven teachers from the CBVRSB will act as examiners/markers in the administration and evaluation of these exams. The teachers have been trained extensively with “refresher” sessions on December 6 and 7 and on March 27 and 28 at the Nova Scotia Department of Education.
• Laurie MacIntosh (French Consultant) and Celeste Foisy Lahey (Literary Support Teacher) presented an information session on French Second Language strategies related to teaching the neurolinguistic approach to pre-service teachers and Dr. Maureen Finlayson of Cape Breton University on November 26. The students then visited Lindy Oliver’s experimental Core French class at Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High to observe the strategies in practice.
• Itinerant Core French teachers (4-6) participated in a workshop on December 5 at the Northside Professional Development Centre. Brad MacNeil facilitated the workshop on Grade Book, PowerSchool, and TieNet.
• Gérald Félix, Director, French Second Language Service Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Education, visited with Laurie MacIntosh on December 6 to discuss the progress of French Special Projects and to identify the priorities for French Second Language with the CVBRSB.
• Socio-cultural opportunities for French Second Language outside the classroom are also taking place. Senior high Integrated Core French students from BEC enjoyed a cultural visit to Cheticamp while senior high late French immersion students from Riverview and Memorial High participated in ViewFinders (Youth Wing of the Atlantic Film Festival) on November 26 and 27. The students viewed the screening of a French language film, followed by a workshop. Viewfinders films are geared towards youth with a special focus on films that were also made by youth. The workshops featured can range in content from animation to hands-on technical crafts and sound recordings.
• On January 15 and 18, representatives from the Department of Education will visit with students from our senior high schools to deliver a short presentation on MyExplore (the Summer Bursary Program) and the Nova Scotia/Quebec Exchange Program.
Community-Based Learning/Options & Opportunities (O2) Consultant, Rhonda Smith
Options & Opportunities
NSCC Marconi Campus provided five days in November for campus tours. The Community-Based Learning consultant and guidance counselors arranged tours for our high school students. As a result, over 300 students from the O2 schools, adult high schools and other high schools were able to visit the programs at Marconi Campus.
O2 schools, BEC and Sydney Academy are partnering with Junior Achievement to incorporate the Company Program into the Community-Based Learning 10 program. Company Program provides a business and economic learning experience for high school students so they can better understand how businesses are developed, organized, managed and operated.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS), the Department of Education and the Nova Scotia Community College have entered once again into a partnership from September 2012 to August 2013 to offer co-operative education students the Building Futures for Youth program. The Building Futures program will provide co-op students with the opportunity to explore and experience careers in the construction trades during the summer of 2013. Program presentations were conducted at the high schools November 14, 15 and 16. Students must apply online and the deadline for applications is December 20, 2012.
Workit Grants are available for each junior and senior high school. These grants are for school projects and partnerships that will promote awareness of the skilled trades and increase opportunities for students to explore careers in the skilled trades. The community-based learning consultant presented information packages to the principals on November 28.
Community-Based Learning Policy
At the November 28 principals’ meeting, the community-based learning consultant reviewed the Community-Based Learning Policy with the junior and high school principals. The Community-Based Learning Policy, that has been recently implemented by the Department of Education, defines the school’s responsibilities when offering co-operative education, job shadowing, service learning, and mentoring or short-term work/community placements.
Mathematics Consultant (P-12), Marlene Urquhart
The focus for November in Mathematics in the CBVRB has been in preparing for the implementation of the new curriculum, specifically the Mathematics 10 courses. There will be three Mathematics courses offered in September of 2013, Mathematics 10 (220 hours), Mathematics at Work 10 (110 hours) and Mathematics Essentials 10 (110 hours). Sydney Academy will offer Mathematics PreIB10 as well. Students in Mathematics 10 will write a Provincial Mathematics exam in June 2014. In preparation for this assessment, initial talks with High School Principals and Senior High Mathematics Department Heads have begun and it has been suggested that Marlene, with a group of senior high teachers, provide a common midterm assessment piece for January 2014. This assessment piece is intended to provide information for instruction for our teachers while providing valuable information regarding the learning process of our students.
Marlene and Michelle contacted the teachers of our new Grade 9 Mathematics Bridging Course to provide continued support throughout the year. Michelle, Mathematics Coach, prepared a lesson on the effective and efficient use of algebra tiles in a grade 9 classroom and modelled these lessons for our grade 9 Bridging teachers. Both teachers and students enjoyed the time Michelle was in the classroom. Marlene also met with the principal, guidance counselors and Mathematics Department Head to discuss Mathematics 9 Bridging and the pathway for the students enrolled.
On November 26th, Senior High Mathematics Department Head and Mathematic Lead Teachers, attended a day long professional development session. During the day, we discussed the implementation schedule for senior high mathematics courses and examined WNCP documents for Grade 10 Mathematics. We also discussed our board’s pilot course, Mathematics 9 Bridging. There have been some gains for our students. All of our high schools will be using the Mathematics 12 Exam provided by Evaluation Services, Department of Education in both January and June. This will be the last year that the Department of Education will provide a prepared common exam, our team discussed the idea of creating our own Mathematics 12 exam. Marlene will contact Susan Kelley, Director Programs and Student Services and Cathy Viva, Coordinator Program Services (7-12) and discuss this item.
Michelle continues to provide support to junior high mathematics teachers with the yearly plan that was developed in September. The teachers who have made contact with her are progressing well and are working hard.
On December 11th, both English and French Immersion Mathematics 9 teachers participated in a one day professional development session funded by the Department of Education. Marlene and Michelle facilitated the workshop. The use of variable, student misconceptions of variable and best assessment practices were items on the agenda. Grade 8 Mathematics Assessment results were examined and support for students who did not meet expectations was discussed.
Both Marlene and Michelle attended Grade 8 Mathematics meetings in Halifax. The Grade 8 assessment results were discussed and field test questions were vetted.
Nova Scotia International Students Project Manager, Tammy Sampson
• Tammy Sampson, Millie George, and Patsy MacQueen presented at the November 30th conference day. The topics covered included EAL supports as well as information on Newcomers and the ISP.
• Our seven, three month students departed at the end of November.
• Currently we have twenty-six new students for second semester.
• Some of the students are preparing to travel home for Christmas while others are awaiting visits from family and friends from their home countries. All student travel has been documented.
• The full group activity took place on November 2nd. The event included an Eagles Hockey game followed by a meet and greet with the team.
• Many of our students took part in their school Remembrance Day ceremonies.
• The optional student cultural trip to Halifax took place November 16-18th.
• Four of our Sydney Academy students (from Mexico, Brazil, Japan and Turkey) took part in a cultural day at Riverside Elementary on December 17th. They taught students about their cultures, made ethnic food, and did some origami.
• The Christmas Potluck was held on December 16thand was a huge success.
• Our three students have been chosen for the Campeche Leadership Camp. The meeting for parents and students was held November 17th.
• Tammy Sampson will have a Co-op student from Riverview working in the ISP office beginning November 18th.
RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING & HUMAN RIGHTS COORDINATOR, LYNN CRAWFORD
Throughout the past few weeks I had been extremely busy organizing the professional development day for teachers. The Expanding Cultural Competence: Responding to the Lives of our Students professional development day was held on November 30th at Sydney Academy and Sherwood Park Education Center. The day began with keynote speaker Lindsay Willow at one site and Enid Lee at the other. The keynote speakers switched sites in the afternoon to provide the opportunity for all staff to hear both presenters. Throughout the day staff also had the opportunity to attend two other presentations of their choice. There were 44 presenters in total sharing their expertise with teachers in the areas of race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, class, socio-economic status, education, religion, spiritual beliefs and more.
The successful day was the result of the hard work of the organizing committee. A special thanks to Diane Lewis, Mike McPhee, Marjorie Graves, Carmelita Shea, Marjorie Bursey, Maureen McNamara, Jeannie Stone and Vince Nicholson. Thank you to site coordinators Cathy Viva and Marlene Urquhart for ensuring things ran smoothly at their sites. I also wish to thank the many volunteers who helped in some capacity to ensure the success of our PD day.
Information has been provided from the Department of Education Evaluation Services regarding the grade 12 Mathematics common assessments. A request has gone out to principals for the number of students writing to complete the packages needed for each site. These resources will be produced and secured until the administration of the assessments on January 28th.
Janet Briggs, Literacy Consultant and Mentor attended the board assessment coordinators meeting on my behalf and has updated me on provincial matters. More information regarding the assessment program will be provided at a later date.
Mi’kmaq Consultant, Marjorie Graves
In November a big focus of my time was dedicated to the professional development planning team for the November 30th PD day, Expanding Cultural Competence: Responding to the Lives of our Students. I was very pleased to be a part of this team and to have the opportunity to provide teachers with such an array of presenters on such a broad range of topics. For the professional development day, I did two presentations on How to Incorporate Mi’kmaq Culture Into Your Curriculum.
I have also attended an in-class presentation at the Rankin School of the Narrows, by Albert Marshall. Albert and his daughter visited Mrs. Dawn Gillis-MacDonald’s grade 5/6 class and talked to them about many parts of the Mi’kmaq culture. He spoke to the students for a couple of hours and the students really enjoyed the presentation, and the students actually said it was the best presentation they had ever seen. Albert plans to revisit the class in the upcoming months, to share with them more of his knowledge of the Mi’kmaq culture.
I have been working gathering up some names, to create a list of Mi’kmaq guest speakers. I would like to provide teachers with guest speakers on many different topics and hope to have this completed early in the New Year.
I also have had the amazing opportunity this year to be a part of the Shop of the Class at the Mayflower Mall. It was a very worth-while event and it really helped to put a lot of people into the Holiday Spirit.
Literacy Support Consultant/Coach, Janet Briggs
The month began with professional development for all Grade 8 English Language Arts teachers with an introduction to the Nelson 8 program. Craig Seward and I assisted Audrey Kyte-Murphy and a Nelson representative with the session. In addition, I was able to provide the teachers with an overview of a package I provided to help grade 8s prepare for the literacy component of the new Nova Scotia Assessment for grade 8s. This package included an overview of the assessment, as well as writing assignments and reading comprehension assessments. The information provided in the session as well as the package seemed to be well received by the teachers.
The following week Craig Seward and I participated in the correcting sessions for the elementary assessments. Craig was a table leader for the grade 6 assessment and I was a corrector for the grade 3 assessment. It was a valuable experience to see first-hand how the rubrics for correcting the writing components of the assessments are applied. This was the first year that levels 1 to 4 were used instead of meets/does not meet. The hope is that the 1 to 4 level will provide better information about student writing for teachers.
On November 13th, I made a brief presentation to CBU Education students on the role of the literacy consultant in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. I also did a presentation to staff at Sherwood Park Junior High on reading comprehension strategies and the content areas for their half-day professional development session.
Craig Seward, Literacy Mentor, continued to meet with individual teachers to provide literacy support.
This month Craig and I began providing small group support to all grade 8 English Language Art teachers regarding the Nelson 8 program. This program places emphasis on both reading comprehension strategies and writing strategies so it is a wonderful fit with Literacy Support. The small group approach encourages a professional learning community and allows teachers to work together as a team. Each session begins with how the Nelson program fits into the Language Arts program and is aligned with provincial outcomes. The day provides teachers with supported time to explore the on-line component of the program and to design lessons using the workshop model. These learning communities are extended to an on-line format as the lessons that are being created are added to the Literacy Support moodle. The small group approach has been well received and seems to be both a productive and enjoyable way for teachers to learn and to collaborate.
STUDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR, CATHY BOUDREAU
During the month of November, the Coordinator of Student Services continued to collaborate with the Special Classes Assessor regarding the Special Class Placement Survey for the new year and how to incorporate that process with TIENET. The Coordinator continued consultations with the TIENET Lead for the board, Sheila Kublek, regarding various aspects of TIENET and Student Services (December 3rd meeting held at Staff Development Centre). The Coordinator receives referrals for service via TIENET and directs them appropriately to Student Services personnel. The Student Services Department continues to receive requests for TA support which are followed up by the Student Services Consultant.
The Student Services Coordinators Meeting held on November 9th at St. FX University was attended as was the Coordinators meeting at the Department of Education in Halifax on December 7th. On November 13th, the Coordinator and Student Services personnel presented to Bachelor of Education students at Cape Breton University and gave an overview of the services and supports available to students via the Student Services department. The Coordinator also assisted with interviews of secretarial candidates for the school board that day.
On November 19th, the Coordinator attended the professional development session by Dr. Isabelle Hanault, which was well attended by teachers, Student Services staff, and community agency representatives. The session highlighted healthy sexuality for persons with autism and Asperger's Syndrome. On November 22nd, further networking with our colleagues in Family Services was achieved via a meeting with their Community Outreach Workers, the School Board Schools Plus Facilitator and School Board Social Workers. That process has continued with our participation in the Youth Team Meeting at Family Services (meeting held on December 13th). Networking with colleagues at CBU in the Counselling Diploma Program was established as a result of meeting with the Human Resources Coordinator and CBU staff to discuss the program. The Coordinator of Human Resources (CUPE) and this Coordinator co-facilitated a meeting with the Assessment Office secretaries in the school board to consider ways to service all assessment office personnel.
On December 6th, the Coordinator of Student Services attended the Schools Plus Steering Committee Meeting in Dartmouth, at the Halifax Regional School Board Office. On December 14th, the Coordinator facilitated the Student Services Team meeting which reviewed work achieved to date, established upcoming events, and set priorities for each area. The Coordinator was able to address school board speech-language pathologists (December 17th) and school psychologists (December 19th) during their respective team meetings. Due to illness, the Coordinator postponed the meeting with Guidance Counsellors. Following the TIENET session with guidance personnel on January 9th, the Coordinator will meet with guidance personnel.
Throughout this period of time, the Coordinator attended a Coordinator/Consultant Meeting (November 22nd) and all other PSS meetings that were held as well as the Principals' Meeting on November 28th. The Coordinator and members of the Student Services Team assisted with logistical/on site management of the RCH district wide in-service program offered at Sydney Academy on November 30th. The professional development sessions that day were positively received by many participants and certainly encouraged awareness, reflection and ways to embed culturally proficient practices in the curriculum and classroom in general.
The Coordinator had the opportunity to visit several schools in November and December, including Brookland Elementary, Harbourside Elementary, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High School, Marion Bridge Elementary, Riverview High School, Cusack Complex, St. Anne's Elementary and the Schools Plus site at Sherwood Park Education Centre.
The Coordinator has received a number of special requests from schools which are being explored and considered by the Student Services Department. It has been a busy, productive time in Student Services. On behalf of the Student Services Team, we wish you all a safe, healthy holiday season. We look forward to working with everyone in the New Year.
Student Services Consultant, Genevieve Richardson
Throughout the months of November and December, there were a number of referrals for additional teacher assistant support. These referrals are coming to the Coordinator of Student Services through the TIENET Student Information System. Once the referrals are approved, a classroom observation is conducted and information is gathered to help in determining if additional teacher assistant support is warranted. Teacher assistant support is not always the solution and we have to determine what each student needs in order to be successful. The student may require additional programming supports (i.e., visual) and/or strategies that may need to be implemented or fine-tuned to support these students in their classrooms.
Presented to B.Ed. students at CBU on some of the roles and responsibilities of the Student Services Consultant. There were approximately thirty people in attendance.
Attended and supported many schools with their program planning meetings, transition planning meetings and IPP development and IPP meetings.
Presented to a junior high school on the morning of parent teacher in November, on IPP’s. There were approximately twenty-five teachers and administration in attendance.
Supported our home assistance teacher with some students on the home assistant support caseload. Conferred with home assistant teacher about possible students to be added to the caseload and we looked at scheduling. Did a home visit and met with a parent and student to talk about some programming options.
Met with the Coordinator of Student Services and the Learning Disabilities Lead Team to discuss and plan some support for our teachers and administrators with the role-out of the Learning Disability Policy. Some sessions are planned for February and April.
Helped in coordinating support for our gifted and talented students from some of the Gifted and Talented Lead team members. A number of referrals for gifted and talented support were received from schools, through TIENET, to Coordinator of Student Services. Our Gifted and Talented lead team members were well received by our schools and the support they gave the students and teachers was greatly appreciated.
Presented a session on “Transitioning” at the RCH inservice in late November. There were twenty-six teachers/administrators who signed up and attended the session which seemed to be well received. The whole RCH inservice day was a great success! It was a job well done for the people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, ensuring that our teachers/administrators had lots of choices, etc. Their efforts were greatly appreciated!
Consulted with various consultants within our Board regarding a number of students. We are very fortunate to have a wonderful knowledge base of consultants in their various fields so we can tap into their expertise and resources in helping to support our students. They are always reading and willing to collaborate and support in any way they can.
ASD Consultant, Louise Smith
November and December continued to busy months with students settling back into school routines and teachers developing and implementing program supports and individual program plans. The ASD Consultant continued to provide site based support with respect to STAR program (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research) development and implementation for new and returning students. Site based support/training for teachers, teacher assistants and program planning teams continued at established STAR sites. The ASD consultant attended Program Planning Team (PPT) meetings and Individual Program Plan (IPP) meetings to support development of program supports and individual program plans for students identified with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). School and classroom based support (modeling/coaching) continued to be provided to support implementation of student programs/plans. Classroom based consultations and program development as part of the Board’s referral process was ongoing.
On November 13th, the ASD Consultant, in conjunction with the Coordinator of Student Services, Student Services Consultant and Behavior Support Teacher, provided an overview of programming and services available to students within CBVRSB, to students in the Education program at Cape Breton University. The role of the ASD Consultant as well as specialized programming and the Board’s ASD initiatives were reviewed with the group. Feedback received was positive.
On November 19th, Dr. Isabelle Henault, presented a full day workshop entitled “Healthy Sexuality for Individuals with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome”, at the Northside Staff Development Centre. Dr. Henault is a psychologist from the University of Quebec at Montreal. Her practice and studies have focused on providing diagnosis, education and support to children, adolescents, adults and couples living with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Dr. Henault has developed a relationship and sex education program, and is the author of “Asperger’s Syndrome and Sexuality: From Adolescence through Adulthood”. Dr. Henault provided a dynamic day of practical information that was well received by those in attendance. Participants attending the session included Student Services consultants and members of the ASD lead team, Speech-Language Pathologists, Psychologists, Leaning Center Teachers and Guidance Counsellors. Two representatives from Horizon Achievement Center, Haley Street Adult Services Center, Society for Treatment of Autism of Nova Scotia, Braemore Home and Child and Adolescent Services were also in attendance. Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive. Dr. Henault’s session and healthy sexuality curriculum is viewed as an important piece of the development of a comprehensive social skills curriculum for adolescents and young adults diagnosed with ASD. The development of this curriculum has been identified as a priority for the CBVRSB’s ASD lead team during the 2012-13 school year. This session was made possible as a result of CBVRSB’s collaboration with the Strait and South Shore Regional School Boards utilizing targeted ASD funding allocated to Boards by the Department of Education.
During the month of November, the ASD Consultant attended a Programs and Student Services Coordinators and Consultants meeting at the Northside Staff development Centre (Nov 22), provided a collaborative consultation at Etoile de l’Acadie (centre scolaire), in Sydney (Nov 28) and volunteered and participated in the Board wide PD day, at the Sydney Academy location (Nov 30).
On December 6th & 7th, the ASD Consultant co-facilitated the Nova Scotia Educational Leadership Consortium’s (NSELC) ASD module 14. It was a pleasure to have NSELC facilitator Yvonne Rafuse here in CBVRSB. Yvonne is a former ASD Consultant and Coordinator of Student Services in the South Shore Regional School Board and brings a wealth of information to the module. There are 14 CBVRSB teachers/administrators representing elementary and junior/senior high participating in the module (a great group!). Feedback from participants has been very positive. Day 3 of the module is scheduled for January 11th.
During the month of December, the ASD consultant attended a Student Services meeting (Dec 14), collaborated with the Board’s Speech-Language Pathologists to plan follow-up professional development for all schools related to the Board’s Visual Support Binder (Dec 17th) and attended a professional development session, “Functional Analysis and the Treatment of Severe Behavior Disorders” by Dr. Brian Iwata, in Halifax.
Head Psychologist, Maureen Clare MacDonald
November and December have been very busy months for our Psychology Team. Two of our psychologists have applied to the M.Ed. in Literacy Education program, which is being offered through Mount St. Vincent University. As Head Psychologist, I was asked to submit reference letters on their behalf. Both psychologists have been notified of their acceptance and will begin their programs in May, 2013.
Three of our psychologists are undergoing formal evaluation this year, and I have now completed the goal-setting meetings with all three. They are currently working on their goals.
At the request of my Coordinator, I represented Student Services at the Province’s local presentation of their Mental Health Services and Addictions Strategy. This was a very informative presentation, on which I will be updating our Team in the New Year.
I was also requested to arrange job-shadowing for a fourth year Honors Psychology student from CBU. Arrangements were made for the student to attend “The First Annual Gay Straight Alliance Day”, which was held on December 14that Oceanview Education Centre. This student will also be meeting with myself and three other psychologists for a job information session, scheduled for December 18th.
Throughout the past several weeks, I have been consulting with the Department of Education and NSCC. Consultations centered around the ways in which we, as a group of psychologists, can best meet the needs of our Learning Disabled and Borderline students who intend to pursue post-secondary studies. I have also consulted with the Director of the Strongest Families program, offered through the IWK. Many of our students and their families are receiving services through this worthwhile program, and we would like to build on this in the near future. I will continue to be in contact with the IWK in the New Year.
At the end of the first week in December, I was requested to compile statistics from all of our psychologists with regard to the number of students who are on the wait-list for services, and the length of time students have been waiting. A summary of the requested information was provided to the Coordinator as well as the Director of Student Services.
I had the opportunity to attend my first Student Services Team meeting on December 14th, and on the 18th will be chairing a full day Psychology Team meeting to review relevant up-dates regarding assessment, new research/initiatives, and to address our staffing concerns. I arranged a PD component for this meeting, which will enable psychologists to receive information on selective mutism, continuing competency, treatment approaches for anxiety, and the daily challenges faced by our LGBTQ youth. Our Coordinator will be joining us for a segment of this meeting to address Department of Education updates and the newly approved LD project.
As always, I continue to provide direct and indirect school psychology services to five schools.
Behavior Support Teacher for Students with Special Needs, Alisa Cantwell
In November and December, my main priority was to provide assessment and intervention services for students with moderate to severe behavior concerns. Consultations were provided for over 18 students in 12 schools. Many of these students and staff will require ongoing support in the new year.
Developing enhanced capacity of staff to support students with behavior concerns will be an initiative in 2013. A behavior team has been proposed to determine the most effective and efficient procedures to accomplish this task. The team will have its first meeting in January.
Several professional development opportunities were attended in the past two months. These included participating in the Student Services presentation at CBU to Education students, attending the Healthy Sexuality for Individuals with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism Workshop (part of the Autism Initiative), attending an iPad workshop for Student Services staff. The highlight of December was attending Dr. Brian Iwata’s workshop “Functional Analysis and the Treatment of Severe Behavior Disorders.” This workshop was offered at Dalhousie University and was the inaugural event of a newly formed provincial network that will focus on neurodevelopmental disabilities. The network is a collaborative project between several governmental departments with the goal of enhancing the quality of service provided to persons with neurodevelopmental disabilities across Nova Scotia. Louise Smith, Chad Bennett and I were fortunate to attend this extremely informative workshop.
PROGRAMS SERVICES (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT) COORDINATOR, RICK SIMM
Assistive Technology/TIENET Consultant, Sheila Kublek
In the area of Tienet the following activities occurred during November and December:
• An information session facilitated by Rola AbiHanna, consultant with the Department of Education, was provided to all guidance counselors in the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board and the Straight Regional School Board at the Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre. The guidance counselors were informed about their upcoming role in Tienet. Guidance personnel will be expected to keep student case notes in the Tienet system as of January 2013.
• A three day meeting was held in Halifax with the provincial Tienet facilitators. Discussion and planning took place regarding security roles, document changes, and guidelines for the release of the confidential files to be stored in Tienet.
• Data was extracted from Tienet for all students receiving services for Learning Centre, Learning Disabilities and STEPS/Birt. This data was extracted in preparation of special class/program placement for the 2013-2014 school year.
• The Schools Plus facilitator and Community Outreach Workers received training for Tienet. All of the documents relating to the Schools Plus program and student placement in the program are stored in Tienet.
• The first reporting period was quite successful with Tienet. Support was provided onsite, by email and by phone in the weeks leading up to the release of report cards and IPP reports.
Throughout November and December there were 25 student assistive technology assessments performed. Jessica Boudreau, Learning Disabilities teacher at Harbourside Elementary and Tracy Dove, Learning Disabilities teacher at Sydney River Elementary assistive with student assessments. Their efforts and knowledge were greatly appreciated. The assessments resulted in the placement of hardware/software and the need to provide onsite support to implement the hardware/software.
Kurzweil training was provided to all resource, learning disabilities, STEPS/BIRT and some learning centre teachers at the junior high level. Some of the training was facilitated by Jessica Boudreau and Anita Mac Donald, members of the Kurzweil lead team.
I participated in a consultative meeting with Sally Cameron, Assistive Technology specialist with APSEA and Frank Mac Donald, itinerant teacher with APSEA to support the learning environment for an elementary student with a visual impairment. Assistive technology hardware and software will be implemented with the student from both APSEA and our own school board. It is very beneficial to be able to share knowledge and resources between two organizations.
I was able to participate in a professional development session with our board’s Speech Language Pathologists for the iPad app Proloquo2go. The session was facilitated by Nancy Robinson who was able to provide very useful information on how to appropriately program Proloquo2go for students with communication challenges. Proloquo2go is an augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch for people who have difficulty speaking or cannot speak at all. This app is provided through assistive technology and is supported by our board’s SLPs.
There was an opportunity to participate in an iPad PD session with several of our board’s consultants, coordinators and rograms director. This session provided us with an opportunity to share information on how to effectively and efficiently utilize the iPad in the work place environment. As always, having the opportunity to share information and recommend useful apps for the device was immensely beneficial.
A highlight in the past two months was the opportunity to participate in the November 30th board wide professional development session. I was able to participate in the registration process for the elementary teachers at Sydney Academy under the direction of Marlene Urquhart. As well, I was able to participate in a group session and observe the key note speakers. Throughout the halls during breaks and session changes the conversations were upbeat and appreciative of the presenters. It was such an overwhelmingly positive day!
SIS/IT PD Consultant, Kurt Kublek
Mr. Kublek and his team have been busy with on-site professional development with primarily P-6 schools. Mr. Kublek, Brad MacNeil and Gina Tubrett-Crawley have been working with the teachers in these schools to make sure that they are comfortable with the board’s gradebook expectations. Nearly all P-6 schools have had the professional development and the remaining schools are scheduled in the New Year. The discussions with teachers have been very positive. As teachers add more to their gradebooks parents are also able to see more and become more involved in their children’s classrooms. To date this year we have had over 120,000 hits on the student-parent portal in CBVRSB!
Mr.Kublek and his team were also active supporting schools with the first set of report cards in the board. All school successfully produced their report cards and the familiarity and comfort with this process is becoming better with every successive report period.
With the other part of Mr.Kublek’s School Information System (SIS) role he has been working with the provincial Learning Management and Reporting (LMR) team to put the finishing touches on the requirements and weighting before they are sent out to the public for tender.
Lastly, Mr.Kublek took part in a customization workshop in Halifax. The workshop was designed to give boards information on how to customize Powerschool in various ways. It the hope of the provincial team and the boards that customizations can be done to meet not only the provincial requirements but the local needs of the boards as well.
IEI-E/SIS Consultant, Brad MacNeil
Grade six teachers from our board have been divided into three groups. To date, each group has had two PD sessions each at the Staff Development Centre. Teachers seem to be getting more comfortable with Power Teacher and are beginning to look for more ways to support their curriculum through the use of technology. Our Board Moodle site has been updated, including a mobile version of the website which will show automatically when the site is accessed via a mobile device. Our grade six teachers have all been issued one course which they can maintain to help organize them or involve students so they can access resources and participate in interactive activities. The courses are an opportunity for teachers to move toward a more blended learning environment, where they can add another level of virtual support and structure to their classrooms. Teachers have created new EduPortal Accounts, which is a new resource site for teacher’s that contains a multitude of provincial resources. Aside from the one session each group has left, smaller sessions are being planned for the New Year to allow grade six teachers to focus on more specific areas of their curriculum. The smaller sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, where teachers will be able to choose from topics such as creating Drupal WebPages, using Starry Night Enthusiast 6 software to investigate science outcomes, Comic Life and Photo Story 3 for story board projects/presentations and exploring effective use of the new mobile technology centers (Net Books) in the classroom.
A review of SAP data migration to the Principal Portal was conducted. Process planning of the information migration is underway.
Suggested changes to the Professional Development Funding Committee online application forms were implemented including more concise instructions for applying and some enhanced functionality within the forms. Increased functionality for management and notifications is ongoing with completion expected in late December.
Development of the voluntary transfer list site included teacher profile form updates improving capture and report functionality for teacher education and endorsement information.
SQL reports for Powerschool were developed and implemented for the Attendance Pilot project. Plans for customizations in Powerschool were discussed as a future project.
Ongoing support included:
• Support for school web sites including ftp and site account resets, module and site updates.
• Ongoing support for Blackberry/Exchange services.
• Aesop data support including personnel and subject data migration.
SCHOOL SERVICES COORDINATOR, CHARLES SHEPPARD
Southside Learning Center (SSLC)
There was an intake meeting held with junior high principals in November to review and admit a total of seven new students into the program from across the board. Transitioning has also begun with principals and program planning team members for students’ reintegration back to their home school(s).
School Liaison Officers (SLO”S)
In November, I attended a meeting with Sgt. Tom Ripley and the members of the SLO’s (School Liaison Officers) at Sydney Academy. Discussion centered on initiatives that each officer is doing in their respective schools and future initiatives that they could do as a collaborative group. I have requested a summative report for distribution to senior staff perusal.
Telephone Calls/School Meetings
Received and answered a number of phone calls from schools and parents dealing with matters of bullying, suspensions and school attendance also held meetings with those involved to resolve said issues.
I had the opportunity to meet with principals and coaches for both girls and boys junior high basketball to discuss the “Fair Play” guidelines for their players. Also in attendance were Mary Lou Andrea, Cathy Viva and Cathy MacNeil. A spirited discussion followed around how certain people interpret what is “fair play” and why it should or should not be implemented. It was agreed that a committee be formed and comprised of principals, active healthy living reps and central office staff to look at this issue further and maybe review the existing guidelines for any changes or improvements.
Severely Disruptive /Classroom Disruptive Incidents Reports
Attached please find charts tracking the number of severe and classroom disruptions reported in the CBVRSB for the months of November/December, 2012.
Computer Usage Violations
Inappropriate Use of Electronic Devices
Minor Interpersonal Conflicts
Mishandling Property of Others
Off Task Behaviour
Chronic Disruptive Behaviour
Disrespect or Insubordination
Disruptions to School Operations
Other Acts of Misconduct
Racial and/or Discriminatory Misconduct
Sexual Harassment and/or assault
Sexual/Physical Misconduct or Abuse
Use or Possession of a weapon
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