Programs & Student Services Update February, 2013
Susan Kelley, Director Programs and Student Services
PROGRAM SERVICES P-6 COORDINATOR, CATHY MACNEIL
Language Arts Consultant P-12, Audrey Kyte-Murphy
On January 24 & 25, teachers of grade two students were involved in a professional development day funded by the Department on Education as part of the Succeeding in Reading Initiative. The focus of the day was “Teaching for Comprehension”. A similar professional development day is being planned for February 25 & 26 for teachers of grade two students.
The response to site based PLCS to enable teachers to review new DVD resources for P-3 from the Department of Education was very positive. Teams of teachers will meet to view and reflect best teaching strategies to deliver a Balanced Literacy Program and effective assessment practices. The consultant will be visiting schools to respond to concerns teachers may have when viewing the reading videos.
Support continues for site based professional development sessions to various schools as requested. The writing continuum development at school level continues to provide site based professional development for teachers.
On February 21, the English Language Arts Consultant with the Literacy Support Team facilitated a Professional Development Day for grade seven English teachers. The day focused on the newly developed writing conventions framework for junior high and explore strategies to support struggling readers at this level. A new student resource called Remix was given to teachers to use with students in need of additional support.
The Succeeding in Reading initiative continues to provide support by providing daily intervention for students in need of literacy support in reading and writing. Since September, the Early Literacy Teachers have worked with or continue to work with 303 grade one students, 34 grade two students and three grade three students, for a total of 340 students. Implementation into grade two has been challenging with the amount of need in grade one as well as staffing concerns.
Cusack Elementary Choir performed at the opening ceremonies of Family Violence Prevention Week at CBU on February 8. All schools were given a list of ideas they could incorporate at the school level to support this week.
The Thirty-Sixth Annual CBVRSB Public Speaking Event sponsored in conjunction with the Cape Breton and Northside NSTU Union Locals is scheduled for April 8-17 at Memorial High School. Information has been forwarded to all schools regarding this event.
Mathematics Consultant P-12, Marlene Urquhart
By month’s end, all teachers P-3 would have received their first day of professional development for the implementation of the new mathematics curriculum. These teachers actively participated in learning opportunities that allowed for a greater understanding of the outcomes and more importantly the pedagogy that supports students’ learning. Resources and assessment pieces will also be discussed.
On February 19, elementary principals also participated in a session that focused on best practices in the elementary mathematics classroom. As instructional leaders, the role of the principal in the mathematics implementation is crucial to its success. Their day focused on ways principals could create an atmosphere of collaboration and mathematics conversation with their teachers.
Lennie Comeau, Evaluation Services, NS Department of Education, came to our board on February 16 to administer grades four and six mathematics field tests in four of our schools. The field tested items will be vetted by provincial advisory groups and will inform the development of mathematic items that will appear on future assessments.
Michelle Macaulay, Mathematics Coach (P-10), continues working with teachers and schools. She has been supporting teachers with lesson development and best assessment practices. She has also supported principals and school teams with mathematics accreditation goals.
I attended Provincial Mathematics Committee meetings in Halifax. The meetings focused on the second day of professional development for teachers, and an initial overview of the grades four, five and six outcomes for the new curriculum was discussed.
Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews
Students from Robin Foote Elementary performed for residents of the veterans’ wing of Harbour View Hospital and Coxheath students performed for residents of MacGillvary Guest Home in celebration of Valentine’s Day under the direction of their music teacher, Carol Ann MacDougall.
The Glace Bay High School Grade 12 art exhibit continues at Cape Breton University’s Art Gallery until February 22.
Heather Fraser, Program Director for the Nova Scotia Choral Federation, will be delivering choral workshops to three secondary schools on Feb. 21 & 22.
The Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design are hosting a conference with the theme of “Growing a Creative Economy.” The third day of this conference will focus on Arts Education, and will involve students, teachers and administrators. Further information is available at http://creativeconference.ca/.
Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Shea
Coles/Chapters Adopt-A-School Program
Each year, Chapters provides local Coles/Chapters stores to adopt a school to raise funds for that school’s library. This year Florence Elementary was selected and approximately $3500 was raised through donations from customers at the store in the Mayflower Mall. Many of these customers are not associated in any way with the selected school but donate because they value the importance of reading as a component of lifelong learning. The principal, Michelle Stubbert, and several students visited Coles on two occasions and selected books for their library. Lists were prepared in advance to obtain books on topics selected by students. Thanks are extended to Coles/Chapters for their dedication to this program and for giving our schools an opportunity to enhance their library collections.
Florence Elementary Cooking Club
On January 31, the Florence Elementary Cooking Club prepared a delicious meal for various guests who had supported their cooking club program. At this time, approximately $400 worth of various cookbooks which were part of the Adopt-A-Library Literacy Program was provided to the school. The cookbooks are child friendly, age appropriate, and appealing to budding chefs. The books also provide nutritional information and activities for each recipe. Two titles presented to the group are: Kids’ Healthy Lunchbox (Cara Hobday) and YUM: Your Ultimate Manual for Good Nutrition (Daina Kalnins). Each student in the club also received a copy of a cookbook to bring home to continue the program’s goal of having children learn to cook/bake and to discover nutritious alternates to the take-out or boxed quick lunch. Active Healthy Living Consultant for the CBVRSB, Mary Lou Andrea, was also on hand to share in their success and was responsible for assisting the school in purchasing a dual oven/stove for the project. Students were very enthusiastic to share their cooking and baking skills as well as having access to new recipes/ideas for their future endeavors.
On Friday February 1, Cst. John Kennedy, RCMP, and the Adopt-a-Library Coordinator delivered another shipment of boxes of books to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’s warehouse located in Florence Elementary. Approximately 150 boxes arrived with an estimated value of $250,000 and were given free to the program. This shipment replenishes the shelves just as the second allotment of prizes was distributed to the 21 schools (P-9) of the CBVRSB currently participating in the 2012-2013 WOW Reading Challenge. Students are receiving top quality, brand new books as prizes to enhance their love of reading. This program enables all students in a school regardless of ability to participate and although there is a recognized top reader student for each school, random prize draws enable everyone an opportunity to win based on the number of books/pages they read.
NSALT Conference 2013
The theme of the Nova Scotia Association of Library Technicians (NSALT) conference to be held in Baddeck on October 24-25, 2013 is “Literacy for Life: Soaring for Excellence”. Planning has begun for this event
Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea
Community Use of Schools Grants
The following partnership is making use of the funding provided by the Department of Education for increasing physical activity in students in the after school hours.
Cool Moves Program
The Whitney Pier Youth Club is a non-profit charity organization that has been actively serving the needs of youth in the CBRM/Sydney/Whitney Pier area over the last 25 years. Cool Moves is an activity and healthy eating awareness program designed to create a life-long appreciation for a healthy, active lifestyle for Boys and Girls Club members 5 – 12 years of age. Cool Moves has two distinct parts: Eat Smart, where participants are encouraged to make healthier eating choices, and Play Cool, where participants are encouraged to engage in more physical activity. All programs at the Whitney Pier Youth Club are run “no-charge” to participants, which is one of the reasons the Club has been so successful.
9th Annual Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Run
Keeping teenage girls active can be a challenge. But Doctors Nova Scotia is trying to change that by establishing girls-only running clubs across the province. This club will focus on fun, personal achievement and the non-competitive nature of running which will hopefully encourage physically activity into adulthood. Malcolm Munroe Junior high will be one of about ten schools involved in this program across the province.
Nutrition for Learning, Dietician Debbie Madore
The Policy Advisory Council (PAC) began meetings January in Halifax. There are representatives from all school boards, with Health and Wellness as the lead. This working group is revising and updating the Food and Nutrition Policy for all Provincial schools. The present policy was developed in 2005-2006 and was fully implemented in schools by 2009. Present revisions will be addressing how foods are categorized for maximum, moderate, and minimum classifications, and there will be tighter regulations for sodium and sugar for all foods served and sold. To date meetings were held January 29 and February 11.
Kiwanis Golden K of Sydney have renewed their sponsorship of Mountainview School with a donation of $3500, and made an additional donation of $1000 to Robin Foote School. I had the pleasure of attending a breakfast meeting on February 13. The members volunteer at the Breakfast program at both schools.
Kiwanis Caleigh Golden K have renewed their sponsorship of Northside schools with a donation of $3500. I attended the breakfast meeting on February 14.
March is Nutrition Month, with the theme this year “Best foot Forward-Plan, Shop, Cook, Enjoy”. A local group of Dietitians are working on a few initiatives to carry out over the month that will support people to cook more and plan meals versus eating on the run, which can contribute to unhealthy habits and obesity. For our schools, Big Crunch is scheduled for March 22.
Breakfast Clubs of Canada is a National group that provides funding to our Board to support Breakfast Programs. This year, the Help Them Shine campaign will run from February 14 to March 19 in Walmart stores across Canada. With the sale of $1 bookmarks, all proceeds will support BCC. You will see the campaign running at our local Walmart stores.
Early Development Instrument (EDI)
McMaster University, along with principals and primary teachers, have developed an Early Development Instrument (EDI) questionnaire. It measures how ready children are to learn when they are about to start grade one. The questionnaire was completed by grade primary teachers for all CBVRSB primary children in February. It includes questions about a child’s development from ages 0-5, including: physical health and well-being, social knowledge and competence; emotional health and maturity; language and cognitive development; general knowledge and communication skills.
The Department of Education is supporting the EDI completion in all Nova Scotia School Boards this year and hopes to use the results to map out necessary programming for the pre-school years and Primary.
PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12 COORDINATOR, CATHY VIVA
Mathematics Consultant P-12, Marlene Urquhart
Michelle Macaulay, Mathematics Coach (P-10) met with Art MacDonald, Principal of Whitney Pier Memorial and a collaborative learning team to discuss their mathematics goal. Marlene and Michelle will provide professional development to the mathematics teachers at the end of the month to support their Continuous School Improvement goal.
I met with secondary principals to advise them of the new mathematics courses being offered in September 2013 and the pathways students can follow as they progress through high school. With the implementation of these new grade ten courses, it was decided it was no longer necessary for our board to offer the grade nine bridging program.
In the fall, grade eight teachers met with Marlene Urquhart and Michelle Macaulay to devise a new yearly mathematics plan. At this professional development session, it was decided that all grade eight students would write a common cumulative assessment in late January/early February. This assessment would not only evaluate the new yearly plan, it would provide valuable feedback that would inform our assessment practice. Teachers were asked to administer this one-hour assessment in the date range, January 30 to February 4. On February 26, grade eight teachers gathered at the Staff Development Center to debrief the assessment and discuss each item on the assessment. The afternoon session focused on item writing.
Marlene attended Provincial Mathematics Committee meetings. Work continues on the new grade ten courses that will be implemented in September 2013.
Vocational Programs Consultant, Ken Collier
The second semester has begun and the grade twelve students are excited to begin the last hurdle in their vocational training. Students are looking forward to completion of their program, work experience, and the Skills Competitions.
Registration is continuing for the Nova Scotia Skills Competitions which we will host on March 26. These competitions give our students the opportunity to showcase their skills, and possibly represent our province at the national competitions. A change in the times for the competitions will hopefully allow for better promotion among our students. The closing ceremonies for the competitions will take place at approximately 2:15 pm instead of the traditional 5 pm.
Visitations to the junior high schools will be completed in February. Tours of the vocational programs at Memorial High are scheduled for February 26. Eleven schools will come to Memorial High that day for the Career Awareness Tours.
Five of our students have applied for the “Building Futures for Youth” summer employment project sponsored by the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. Interviews are scheduled for March 5 and students are presently preparing for this day. Good luck to all that applied.
Nova Scotia International Students Project Manager, Tammy Sampson
• Arrivals and Departures for out students leaving after first semester and our new students were met with some cancellations and delays due to weather conditions.
• We received twenty-seven new students for second semester; three were transfers from other school boards.
• I took part in the Airport Greeter Committee meeting.
• The winter orientation for new students took place on the weekend of Feb 15-16. We hosted the SRSB and also welcomed all full year students for a full group activity on Friday evening.
• Dorothy Kaiser hosted a Student Ambassador meeting on February 14 in preparation for their participation in the orientation.
• Student Ambassadors facilitated the icebreaker portion of the orientation.
• The Co-op student working with the Project Manager created a welcome booklet for new students.
• We welcomed Kenzo Okada from Japan as part of his agent visit to NS on Sunday February 17. Mr. Okada is in Canada for a 22-day tour to meet students from the Momoyama School in Japan. Unfortunately, schools were closed and road conditions did not allow for home visits before his noon flight departure time.
• Our host schools and Student Ambassadors are busy with welcome activities for the new students.
French Second Language Programs Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh
The organizational meeting for the Concours d’Art Oratoire (French Public Speaking Competition) was held on February 14. The Concours allows Canadian Parents for French-Nova Scotia to sponsor an activity where students from across the province express themselves and are recognized for their talents in French Public Speaking. This year’s local event is scheduled for April 9 & 10 at Brookland Elementary, with the provincial Concours slated for April 27 at Mount Saint Vincent University.
The last two professional development sessions for CBVRSB’s new cohort of teachers of the neurolinguistic approach to teaching French second language took place on February 6 & 7 at the Mulgrave Professional Development Centre. We currently have fourteen Core French teachers from grades four to nine trained in this approach.
A promotional agent from the Nova Scotia Department of Education will be visiting grade ten and eleven students from our high schools the week of February 25 to do presentations on the Nova Scotia-Québec Six Month Student Exchange Program. This is a program that enables French second language high school students from Nova Scotia to host a French-speaking student from Québec in their home for three months and then to spend three months studying in a French secondary school in Québec.
Registration for the Late French Immersion Program and classroom visits to elementary feeder schools are taking place the weeks of February 11 and February 18.
Upcoming initiatives in French second language include:
• Senior High French Language Arts PLC in-service focusing on the European Common Framework will take place on February 15 at Sydney Academy.
• A visit by the French Coordinator and a team of teachers from Chignecto Central School Board on February 21 & 22. The Intensive Core French class at Bras d’Or Elementary and Core French “classe expérimentale at Whitney Pier Memorial will be visited.
• In-service for teachers of the neurolinguistic approach to teaching Core French will take place on March 22 at Shipyard Elementary School.
• Cultural project, « Fêtons la Mi-Carême » workshop March 7th-9th for students from CBVRSB, Strait Regional and the CSAP.
• Refresher training session for DELF (Diplôme d’études en langue française) examiner/markers, March 27 & 28 in Halifax.
• Inservice for the new cohort of teachers of the neurolinguistic approach to teaching Core French, April 5 at Shipyard Elementary School.
• DELF examinations for grade twelve French second language students from Riverview High, Memorial High, Sydney Academy and Glace Bay High to take place April 22 – 26.
Community-Based Learning/Options & Opportunities (02) Consultant, Rhonda Smith
Sector Council Partnerships
Research and discussions are ongoing regarding partnerships between sector councils, school boards (community-based learning) and high schools. Information and Communication Technology Council has a certificate program called FIT (Focus on Information Technology) that provides students with the essential 21st century skills and competencies in business, technology and communication while completing their secondary diploma. Alignment of FIT to the NS curriculum and relevant courses at two of our high schools is presently being assessed. FIT is a certificate program that can enhance business and information technology programs at the high school level. There is also a component for students to complete a co-op placement.
Workit grant are available to junior and senior high schools to promote awareness of the skilled trades. To date, Workit Funds will support a career day at a junior high school and a number of high school projects. One high school project will provide students with the opportunity to explore two trades: carpentry and glazier. A second high school project will assist the school with their textile production class and their after school sewing class. The goal is for students to acquire the skills to compete in the NS Skills competition in Fashion Technology. Workit Funds will also assist students from Memorial High with their registration fee to compete in the NS Skilled Trades Competitions. Workit also provides support for the students involved in the summer program, Building Futures for Youth.
STUDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR, CATHY BOUDREAU
Student Services Consultant, Genevieve Richardson
With the upcoming "roll out" of the Learning Disability Policy from the Department of Education , we provided two days of professional development to classroom teachers who currently have a student who has been diagnosed with a learning disability and their administrator. The first day session was this month for four groups over a two-day period. The participants were given information on what a learning disability is, how to interpret and extract valuable information from the Psycho-Educational Assessment for student programming, self advocacy, use of technology with LD students, etc. The participants were given time to look at their own student to try to determine what areas their own student was affected from their diagnosis of an LD. They had to come up with some strategies that may support their student in the classroom. The team also provided the groups with some good strategies as well. The participants were to go back to their respective schools and try some of these tools/strategies with their students and report back to us at the follow-up session in April.
The follow-up sessions will also include information on LD and behavior, LD and anxiety, demonstrating some of the technology that is available, etc. The initial session seemed to be well received. Participants indicated that they enjoyed getting this information and knowledge about their own LD student that will help to support their LD in the classroom. They felt that using a real student rather than a case study student was so beneficial to them in supporting their student needs.
A number of referrals for Gifted and Talented support were received from the schools, through Tienet information system. These referrals were distributed to some of the Gifted and Talented lead team members who went to the schools to meet and observe the student, gather information from their teachers, administrators and from their files and provide support/strategies to be used with the student in the classroom. The Gifted and Talented team members were well received in the schools and they provided lots of support for these students. The team members did up reports with their recommendations.
Copies of their reports were distributed to the Coordinator of Students Services, Student Services Consultant and to the schools. The team members were recommending that the schools scan this report and upload it into the student's document library in Tienet.
Throughout the month of February, there were a number of referrals for teacher assistant support. A number of classroom observations were conducted and information was gathered to help in determining if additional teacher assistant support was warranted. If the teacher assistant support was not recommended, we discussed with the school's program planning teams what other strategies and/or supports may have to be put in place to support the needs of these students.
In February we met with the Autism Intervention Program (AIP) team to discuss some of the children who have been diagnosed with Autism and will be attending our schools in the Fall of 2013. We have been meeting with this group for many years now and we feel that it helps tremendously when we are looking at successful transitions for these students during primary orientation as well as full-time primary students in the Fall. We are meeting with daycares and other outside agencies who work with our preschoolers early in March. It is wonderful to be able to work so collaboratively with these professionals in support of our upcoming students. Their information helps with strategies and supports that should be in place to support successful transitions into our schools.
ASD Consultant, Louise Smith
Throughout the month of February I continued to provide school based direct/consultative support for students, teachers and families with respect to program development and implementation. Classroom based support and programming, as well as attendance at program planning (PPT) and individual program plan (IPP) meetings was ongoing throughout the month. Transition meetings were attended for students with significant needs who will be moving from elementary to junior high as well as for new students entering school in September.
CBVRSB sent six representatives to a four day intensive PEERS® (UCLA Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) training in Halifax, January 29 to February 1. Representatives from CBVRSB include: Louise Smith (ASD Consultant), Alisa Cantwell (Behavior Support), Nancy Robinson (Speech-Language Pathologist, ASD Lead Team), Francine Burke (Psychologist, ASD Lead Team), Lorna Gillis (Learning Centre Teacher, Riverview High School), Margot O’Leary (Guidance Counselor, Glace Bay High School).
This PEERS® training was sponsored by the Department of Education as part of its ASD initiative. Teams from all school boards in Nova Scotia were represented at this training. PEERS® is a fourteen-week, evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated teens in junior high or high schools who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. During each group session teens are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in session during real play activities (e.g. playing sports, board games, etc.). Elizabeth Laugeson, presenter and program developer / director, presented information /training with respect to both the clinical and school based PEERS® program models.
Development of a comprehensive social skills program for teens has been identified as a priority for the CBVRSB ASD lead team for the 2012-13 school year. In addition to the PEERS® program, programming involving social thinking (Michelle Garcia Winner) and healthy relationships and sexuality (Isabel Henault) will form the basis of this comprehensive social skills curriculum. Members of the PEERS® group will meet and work on developing a teacher friendly program package. Identifying pilot program sites/schools and determining how to administer this programming in a meaningful way for students, families and schools will be a very important part of this process. While many students would benefit from this type of program, there are students who will not be successful within and beyond school without it – these are the students we need to reach with this programming.
On February 6, a meeting was held with Sheila Kublek, Assistive technology/TIENET Consultant, to discuss students diagnosed with ASD and the specialized programming/ASD initiatives in place within our board to support them. It was a very informative session giving excellent direction on how best to represent student numbers (which are ever increasing) and specialized programming within the TIENET information system.
On February 13, the ASD Consultant along with the Coordinator of Student Services and other members of the student services team, met with representatives from the Autism Intervention Program (Cape Breton Health Authority) to begin the transition process for new students with a diagnosis of ASD who will be entering primary in September, 2013. Twenty-one new students were identified as part of this initial meeting. Programming, progress as well as general strengths and challenges for each of the children were identified and discussed. School based transition meetings will be scheduled in April/May. A support/evaluation plan for scheduled primary orientation days, to further assess incoming student need, was discussed by the student services team
On February 25, a meeting was held with Speech-Language Pathologists and members of the ASD lead team to finalize plans for a follow-up professional development session regarding the ”Visual Supports for School Success Binder” . The Visual Supports binder is a resource that was created by the board’s ASD lead team during the 2011-12 school year. The resource binder was presented to principals at their April, 2012 meeting and a copy of the binder was provided for every school. This follow-up professional development session will take place on March 1 during the professional development portion of the parent-teacher designated day. Professional development sessions will be held in five locations within the board: North of Smokey, Northside, Sydney County, Sydney, and New Waterford/Glace Bay. All schools are being encouraged to send representation to the sessions. Each school can send up to five participants, two of which should be teachers (preferably from the school’s program planning team). Teacher Assistants can be included as part of each school’s participant list. The purpose of these sessions is to build awareness of the materials and information contained in the binder and to build capacity for the creation of visual supports at the school level as part of the school’s program planning process.
On February 22, the ASD Consultant completed the online training for reporting severely disruptive behavior, and on February 27 attended the principal’s meeting held at the Norhside Staff Development Center.
Head Psychologist, Maureen Clare MacDonald
During the month of February, we welcomed a second B-level assessor to our Team. This individual will be assisting in the reassessment of those grade twelve learning disabled students who require updated testing before beginning post-secondary studies. I met with the assessor on several occasions, and compiled his caseload and assessment battery . I continue to be available to both B-level assessors for individual case consultations.
Four of our Team members, and both B-level assessors, were involved in the LD in-service which took place on February 14 and 15. By all accounts, this in-service was very well received. Follow-up will take place in April of this school year.
After several cancellations due to weather, I was able to bring the Psychology Team together for a meeting. We were able to prioritize outstanding referrals, and plan for additional upcoming challenges facing our Team. We lost a fourth psychologist to maternity leave earlier this month, and will say goodbye to a fifth on the 22nd of this month. As a result it was necessary to redistribute thirteen additional schools to our six remaining psychologists. Although our Team members are already overtaxed, all willingly and graciously volunteered to assume additional responsibilities.
As a professional development component for our meeting, I arranged for one of our psychologists to present on the UCLA PEERS Program, a social skills training program for adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Following our meeting, those who had not yet had the opportunity to view the “Seriously Disruptive Behavior” modules watched and discussed these as a group.
I have continued to move forward with the formative evaluations of designated psychologists, completing an observation and post-observation meeting with one psychologist this month. As always, I continue to provide school psychology services to my five schools, and effective immediately, have volunteered to service a sixth school.
Behavior Support Teacher for Students with Special Needs, Alisa Cantwell
Addressing referrals for behavior support continue to be the main focus in the last month. Presently, over 30 students are receiving behavior support services. Consultations include classroom/school observations, functional behavior assessments, program development and support, and PPT/IPP meetings. When appropriate, students are referred for school-based resources, including Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology, Guidance, and Social Work. This collaborative support continues to grow and positively affects the educational experiences of students who experience behavior challenges.
From January 29th to February 1st, six representatives from CBVRSB attended the PEERS training in Halifax. This workshop was funded through the Department of Education as part of its ASD Initiative. PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) was developed by Dr. Laugeson and her colleagues at ULCA. PEERS focuses on teaching the skills necessary to establish and maintain friendships for adolescents with high-functioning autism or other developmental delays/disorders. The intense four-day workshop provided the participants with knowledge, materials, and enthusiasm to plan/propose implementation of this program within NS Jr/Sr. High Schools.
On March 1st a workshop was held for the TAs from Brookland Elementary, Riverside Elementary, and Mira Road Elementary schools. This workshop was requested by the Administration of Brookland Elementary and focused on understanding the functions of behavior and evidence-based intervention strategies.
PROGRAMS SERVICES (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT) COORDINATOR, RICK SIMM
Assistive Technology/TIENET Consultant, Sheila Kublek
There have been seven student assistive technology assessments performed throughout early February. As well, assistive technology has been represented at two program planning team meetings held at the school level. An Intellikeys / Intellitools workshop is being prepared for twelve learning centre teachers. This workshop is scheduled for later in February.
Assistive technology has also had the opportunity to participate in the first of a two day Learning Disabilities workshop provided to the school administrator and one classroom teacher from all of our schools.
In preparation for program placement for students for the 2013 – 2014 school year Tienet is being using to collect current data on student placement. This data is being gathered and organized to send to individual schools to document recommended placements for the 2013 – 2014 school year. This process has also afforded the opportunity to make contact with schools on how they are recording services for students in Tienet. For the most part, all schools are recording information accurately but there is a little information that needs to be “cleaned up” and this process has allowed us to work with the schools’ case managers to improve their student data.
A meeting took place with Lynn Crawford, Coordinator of Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding & Human Rights, Marlene Urquhart, Math P-12 Consultant and Janet Briggs, Literacy Support Consultant to discuss the possibility of storing both student math and literacy support plans in Tienet.
IEI-E/SIS Consultant, Brad MacNeil
Focus will now be shifting from our grade six classrooms to our grades primary-to-three teachers to help support the integration of technology in their classrooms and the use of the new mobile technology centers (Net Book Carts). The professional development will be done on lesson plans available to them through our board website along with provincial resources, such as the Ednet Owncloud, found in the Nova Scotia Eduportal website. Basic operation of the Net Books and our current ICT outcomes will be reviewed, highlighting benchmark goals for students in grades p-3.
The province is continuing with the process to acquire an auto-dialer product that will eventually find its way into all schools in Nova Scotia. When a product is chosen, it will allow districts and schools to send out e-mail, text and voice calls to their student, teacher and parent communities. The system implementation is due to happen August-October, 2013.
I attended the next provincial RBTS meeting in Halifax on February 25, 2013 where discussions on topics such as: 1. BYOD (Bring your own Device to School), 2. Tablets (The effective use of tablet computers and which one(s) would be best to support the delivery of curriculum in our classrooms.) 3. PIIDPA (Personal Information International Disclosure Act; protecting personal information of our students, personnel and the development of tools to support the integration of technology in accordance of Nova Scotia legislation.) 4. Blended Learning (Using web-based programs, such as Moodle, to virtually support and add to our classroom environments.)
Through my experience thus far this year, our teachers seem to be using technology and making concerted efforts to integrate various forms of it into their classrooms. We have been offering continued support and are always investigating new ways of communicating and collaborating with our teachers, through e-mail, web-sites and phone-calls
SIS/IT PD Consultant, Kurt Kublek
Assistance continues to schools with their data with respect to their provincial exports. This process includes the running of the edit checker, correction of data, and uploading this information to the Department f Education. Our schools continue to do well with this process.
We have also been assisting high schools during the storing of grades and report card processes. Again, the people within the schools are doing well with this process. Report cards went out and there no reported issues.
The end of the semester for high schools brings about many things that We assist schools with besides report cards and storing grades. We also help the schools with registration/dropping of students in the Nova Scotia Virtual School, assists with the movement of teachers on terms from school to school with the board, and starts the work in preparation for next year. Some of the planning for next year includes courses requests, registration and scheduling.
Lastly, as a part of iNschool, new reports are always being developed. With this development is a responsibility to not only test the reports but to try to educate the users on their availability and use. Some of these recent reports include the P-6 report cards and new incident management functionality.
Data Managers, Jim McNeil & Tom Baker
Additional features for the CBVRSB Fitness Log were proposed in a meeting with Physical Education teachers and the Active Healthy Living Consultant. Development planning was conducted to map the implementation of these features.
Proposed additional features for the principal portal were implemented, testing is currently being conducted prior to release in March.
A project for school cancellation notices via text messaging was proposed. The service will include self-registration for anyone interested in receiving these notifications. Notices will run concurrent with those already available on the board web site. Development planning is ongoing with a late February 2013 release.
Continuing support for Blackberry Exchange Services and web hosting accounts was ongoing.
Weekly data imports for Aesop including all personnel and related subject information were conducted.
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