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Sections > Programs and Student Services Report > PSS Report: March, 2013
PSS Report: March, 2013
Published by Marjorie Sawchuk [Marjorie Sawchuk] on 04/16/2013 (1753 reads)
PSS Report: March, 2013

Programs & Student Services Update – March, 2013
Susan Kelley, Director Programs and Student Services
Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board



The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Heritage Fair will take place Thursday ,May 2nd and Friday, May 3rd at Cape Breton University. Approximately 130 projects will be judged on May 2nd with five projects selected to attend the Provincial Display on May 31st at PIER 21 in Halifax. The general public is invited to view the projects on May 3rd, 9 - 11:30 a.m.

Early Literacy
Language Arts Consultant P-12, Audrey Kyte-Murphy

All grade 3 teachers attended a Young Writers in Action Professional Development Day on March 25-26. Audrey Kyte-Murphy and a team of three teachers, including Setz Sue Ann White, Vanessa Hogan, and George Saskalauskas, facilitated the sessions. Teachers were provided information regarding teaching effectively within the writing workshop and received a variety of teaching ideas to teach and assess their students as they grow as writers.

Scheduled site based PLCS sessions are now completed. The sessions enabled teachers to review new DVD resources for P-3 from the Department of Education. Teams of teachers met to view and reflect on the best teaching strategies to deliver a Balanced Literacy Program and effective assessment practices. Visits were made to some of the schools to discuss any concerns teachers had when viewing the reading videos.

Site based professional development sessions continue in various schools as requested during learning Monday meetings. The writing continuum development at school level continues to provide site based professional development.

The Thirty-Sixth Annual CBVRSB Public Speaking Event sponsored in conjunction with the Cape Breton and Northside Union Locals is scheduled for April 8-17 at Memorial High School. Information has been forwarded to all schools regarding this event. Audrey Kyte-Murphy will chair the event. The response from schools was very positive with 15-20 students participating each evening the event is scheduled.

Mathematics Consultant P-12, Marlene Urquhart

In elementary mathematics, the two days of professional development focusing on

September’s implementation of the new curriculum has been completed for primary to grade 2 teachers. Due to weather related issues, grade 3 teachers and those teaching Resource (P-3) are now expected to complete their second day Professional Development by April 10th. During the end of day two professional development, we discussed how to continue supporting mathematics instruction and implementation next year. PLCs and other professional development options were discussed. Also discussed, teachers were advised that there will be a summer institute in Antigonish in late August. This professional development opportunity will support the new curriculum and is being developed by the Strait Board in conjunction with the Department of Education. As soon as the dates are finalized, I will ensure our teachers get the opportunity to attend if they wish.

The Department of Education in conjunction with teachers from across the province, has chosen the resources for grades P-2. These resources will be arriving in schools by the end of March. Principals and teachers are extremely excited about the influx of print resources and manipulatives that will be provided to them to support the implementation process.

Michelle Macaulay, Mathematics Coach (P-10) continues to support teachers with best instructional strategies and sound assessment practices. She is also grouping teachers together who require similar support and who may be from schools where there is only one class at the specified grade level. We are hoping this promotes and supports PLCs in our Board.

I met with the Elementary Provincial Lead Team in Halifax. The front matter of the curriculum document is being finalized and personalized to the needs of the students of our province. Things are moving along well. With the end of fiscal being March 2013, our team is awaiting news regarding the plan for professional development for grades 4-6. We hope to again provide professional development for these teachers next year (2013-2014) as the mathematics implementation for mathematics 4-6 will begin in September 2014. The two days of initial professional development for teachers P-3 has been beneficial this year. Teachers feel supported through this process and we hope this continues.

Grades 4 and 6 students in some of our schools took part in a second phase of field testing items for the Department of Education. It is through these field tests that data is collected to ensure validity of the questions posed on the October Mathematics Provincial Assessment. It is always a wonderful opportunity to participate and be part of the process.

We were asked by English Program Services to review and evaluate a piece of technology software for students who may require intervention for mathematics. Two classes from Harbourside Elementary and a class from Mira Road School are helping with the evaluation process. Looking forward to seeing how the students and teachers do with this pilot project.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

Congratulations to Tara Coombs, music teacher at Cabot High, for being the recipient of a $10,000 music band-aid grant from MusicCounts.

St. Agnes Elementary School students have an art exhibit called “Spectacular 13” featured at the New Waterford Credit Union from February 28 to May 2, 2013.

Many of our teachers, along with some high school students, attended a conference sponsored by the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design on “Growing a Creative Economy.” There were many fabulous guest speakers, along with a panel discussion focusing on youth and creativity for the next generation. Further details on the speakers and agenda may be found at

Itinerant music and visual arts teachers will be receiving training on the use of iPads in their classrooms in early> April.

The Annual Art Exhibit, featuring work from Grades 4-12, will be held at the Mayflower Mall from> April 30th to May 12th.

Plans are underway for schools to participate in this year’s Music Monday event, to be held on Monday, May 6, 2013. Further information can be found at

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Shea

Reading Challenges:

Schools participating in the reading challenges are winding down as the competition ends on April 4 (reading ends) and school have until April 11 to submit final numbers. Prizes will be ready for pickup around the same time, and schools will also have their top reader prizes at that time.

This year there will be a CBVRSB Top Reader at the elementary level. The warehouse facility located in Florence Elementary has recently been replenished for upcoming years which enables the program to continue with new items as well as meeting the trends in the reading world for children and young adults. Cst. John Kennedy is preparing winning banners and trophies, and hopes to visit top-performing schools

Library Collections:

As the fiscal year ends, library collections are being infused with a multitude of resources which compliment the curriculum outcomes as well as foster the love of reading. Library collections are becoming more inclusive of topics which relate not only to learning, but also to the “life” of each student and staff. Diversity and equity are two topics that are seeing an increase in resources in the libraries, as well as books focusing on encouraging boys, reluctant readers, etc. New “words” are appearing especially in the Young Adult fiction such as dystopian, steampunk, etc. Young adults especially will read what they like to read and see reading as something in addition to classroom reading work.

Board Library Committee:

The committee has begun the task of creating a CBVRSB Rubric for the Selection of Appropriate materials to be used in addition to the DOE Bias Instrument Tool. The timeline for completion of this rubric will be September 2013 so that it can be submitted for the approval process. The committee will continue the development of this rubric at their next meeting April 5, 2013 at the Staff Development Centre.

Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea

Fitness log is a board developed fitness program that has been used the past couple of years in our physical education program to track the physical fitness of our students. It is web based program that emphasizes personal fitness for a healthy lifestyle rather than goals that are based solely on performance. There are four assessment areas: cardiovascular fitness (beep test), abdominal strength and endurance (curl ups), upper body strength and endurance (push ups) and flexibility (sit and reach). Each score is evaluated against standards that have been established using our own students’ data to indicate levels of fitness. Graphs are used to indicate the students’ performance according to their age and gender.

This has been an ever involving project with many phases. Recently the lead team for assessment and fitness log spent some time with students in our board videotaping and recording still shots. The students demonstrated the proper procedure for performing the assessments and activities. This will then be posted on the fitness log page as well as made into posters will be developed for all schools.

It is our hope that data from this will help our teachers develop the classroom teaching strategies required to meet the needs of the students. This is a very unique project and has captured the attention of school boards across the province.

Nutrition for Learning, Dietician Debbie Madore

Nutrition Month:

In celebrating Nutrition Month, Elementary schools participated in Big Crunch, where all students had the opportunity to eat a local apple. It was planned for March 22, which ended up being one of the biggest storms of the year!! However, schools participated on March 21 and March 26.

On March 21, I was in Sydney River Sobeys for Ask a Dietitian program from 4:00-6:00. Several local Dietitians volunteered their time to support nutrition month in the community.

Active Healthy Living:

On February 25, Mary Lou and I had the opportunity to meet with the Active Healthy Living Committee to update them on what is happening at the schools and allow them to provide input on moving forward. The meeting allowed for great discussions.

Nourish Nova Scotia:

Nourish Nova Scotia continues to move forward towards establishing a Registered Charitable Organization to support nourishment programs, including youth, for children and youth. We continue to meet via conference call 3-4 times per month. I participate on the Allocation Task Force, which reviews the funding formula utilized to determine Breakfast Program funding distribution. For the past several years Provincial Government has supported the school boards with a total of $750,000 for breakfast, spread over the eight school boards based on the formula that was developed 2 years ago by the task force.

Golf Tournament:

A planning meeting for the 10th annual golf tournament in support of Breakfast Programs was held with the Sydney Credit Union on March 19th. Sydney Credit Union continues to be the presenting sponsor.


The Local Science Fair for our schools was scheduled for March 20th and 21st. Due to inclement weather the public viewing on the 21st was cancelled and the awards ceremony was held on March 25th. The projects presented by students were inspiring and teachers and parents can be proud of the accomplishments of the students involved. Students were awarded monetary and gift awards as well as scholarships. Four of our students are Canada Wide Science Fair winners and will be attending the National Science Fair. They are Callum Pickles, Nicholas Barrett, Jocelyn Manley and Ainslie Perrynowski.

Mathematics Consultant P-12, Marlene Urquhart

The month began with a professional development session for all mathematics teachers at

Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High. To support the school’s school improvement mathematics goal, Marlene Urquhart and Michelle Macaulay provided teachers with support focusing on Geometry in the Junior High classroom as well as assessment practices. The morning was spent on evaluating the instructional plan for each grade level as well as the importance of using proper mathematics vocabulary in the classroom. We also participated in valuable activities that not only support geometry concepts but encourage fun and active student learning.

Math On Olympiad continues. Breton Education Centre, Dr. T.L. Sullivan, Malcolm Munroe, Oceanview, Sydney Mines Jr. High and Whitney Pier Memorial took part in the event on Friday, April 12th at Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High. This is an exciting mathematics event that encourages students to have fun while problem solving.

Marlene met with the Secondary Provincial Mathematics Lead Team in March. Items discussed focused on the units of study for the new Grade 10 Mathematics pathways that will be implemented in September 2013. Professional development for grade 10 teachers will take place at the end of May or early June. Marlene sent the outcomes for Mathematics 10 and Mathematics at Work to the Senior High Department Heads or Lead Team teachers. In turn, these outcomes were to be shared with mathematics teachers.

Vocational Programs Consultant, Ken Collier

The Nova Scotia Skills Competitions were hosted on Tuesday, March 26th at Memorial High School. These competitions give our students the opportunity to showcase their skills and possibly represent our province at the national competitions. These competitions take a lot of planning and work and would not be possible without the support of the students and teachers of Memorial High School. A huge thank you to all who were involved to make these competitions such a wonderful success.

Six competitions were held and the results were very exciting. Students from Memorial High were successful in winning 16 of a possible 18 medals. Congratulations to all the participants.

The following are the results:

Electrical Installations

Bronze Austin LeBlanc
Silver C.J. Sims
Gold Cody Bellefontaine


Bronze Kris Roper
Silver Connor Gillis
Gold Jared Confiant


Bronze Grace McEvoy
Silver Elijah Thornton
Gold Morgan Canning

Graphic Design

Bronze Jessie Tremblett
Silver Samantha Robinson
Gold Brooke LeBlanc

Workplace Safety

Bronze Leon Singer (Eastern Shore)
Silver George MacDonald
Gold Kieran Higgins


Bronze Colin Gillis
Silver Jonathan Newcombe (CEC)
Gold Keenan Whelan-Thomas

Three of our students have been awarded positions in the “Building Futures for Youth” summer employment project sponsored by the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. Congratulations to all involved.

Students from our radio and Television Broadcasting Program completed an imaginative script called “Riddle in the Dark” created by Mr. Sid River. After completing the project, the class contacted Mr. River and emailed the project to him. Included is the response from Mr. River to the instructor, George Gregory:

“Hi George, Thank you so much for your email and the MP3 of your production of 'Riddle in the Dark'. I have to say that I was blown away by the performances and the production, you've all done a truly excellent job. The three actors all performed the characters exactly as I had imagined (and you were right, Gollum's voice was perfect precious!) and the backing music and foley (as I believe it is called in the 'business' - Ooh get me!!) really made it sound professional. Please pass on my fullest congratulations to the performers and production crew.”

The registration process for vocational programs has begun although applications are coming in a bit slow due to previous school cancellations. Hopefully everyone will be back on track in the next few days.

Community-Based Learning/Options & Opportunities (02) Consultant, Rhonda Smith

The Co-operative Education and O2 schools have partnered with the police liaison officers of our high schools to offer a co-op police placement program. This program will offer co-op students who are interested in a career in policing the opportunity to explore all aspects of this career. To date, there are approximately 18 co-op students from four high schools involved in this> program. A number of workshops and events are set up by the liaison officers for the students. Some of the workshops are polygraph workshop, Canine unit, Traffic control, Emergency Response Team, Marine unit, Police Station tour, report writing and Police Day.

Another component of this program is the students committing to volunteer at specialpolicing and we want the students to experience this. In May, the students will participate in a tour of the Police Academy at Holland College. This program would not be available without the interest and cooperation of the liaison officers, their colleagues and Tom Ripley, Cape Breton Regional Police.

Co-op is about establishing community partnerships. In co-op, the “community is our classroom”. In addition to the police program, the co-op placement program with the Cape Breton District Health Authority has grown this year and the partnership with the Building Futures for Youth program under the Construction Association of Nova Scotia continues to attract students who are interested in the skilled trades.

Nova Scotia International Students Project Manager, Tammy Sampson

The staff of NSISP hosted an agent visit from Bogota, Colombia – Katty and Jairo Gomez met with homestay coordinators , Secondary Programs Coordinator and students from Gimnasio Moderno.

Several students from our board took part in the optional NSISP cultural trip to Montreal and Ottawa during the March Break. Many other students were busy with travel plans for the break including trips around the province, out of country, and visits home. Still others took the opportunity to meet family and friends in other parts of North America.

The full group monthly activity took place on March 24th, a family and friends skating party.

I represented the NSISP along with Paul Millman on a trip to Asia in the month of March –

countries visited included Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand.

A student ambassador meeting was held on March 29th We continue to receive new student applications for September and student placements will begin this month.

Dorothy Kaiser will represent the CB-VRSB ISP at the upcoming FAM tour to Colombia.

French Second Language Programs Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh

• Despite school closures due to inclement weather, the focus of French Second language programs remains on professional development initiatives and support for French Second Language students and Teachers. Capacity building is at the forefront of our Core French (4-9) experimental classes with 14 teachers trained in the neurolinguistic approach. Teachers receive mentoring and ongoing PD support. Inservices have been rescheduled to April 11 (new cohort) and April 12th (previously trained cohort) at Shipyard. As well, a team of Teachers from Chignecto Central

through their Professional Learning communities. The next inservice will be held on April 5th. Some of these professional development initiatives and materials will be supported by the infusion of additional funding from the French Minority Language Fund.

• Mr. Jean Claude Bergeron (DOE French Immersion Consultant) accompanied by Laurie Macintosh French Consultant, visited local Senior High Schools on March 6th to meet with students on the Nova Scotia-Quebec 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 Quebec in their home for three months and then to spend three months studying in a French high School in Quebec. Mr. Bergeron also discussed the upcoming DELF examination with grade twelve French Teachers. Delf (Diplôme d’étude en langue française) exams will take place from April 22nd to 26th. Over 75 grade 12 FSL students from four high schools will be participating in the exams this year which give international recognition to the students for their accomplishments in French.

• The Concours d’Art Orataire (French Public Speaking competition) will take place at Brookland Elementary School at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday April 9th (Core French, Intensive Core French, and Integrated Core French categories) and on Wednesday April 10th (Late French Immersion and Francophone categories). Winners from each category will go on to compete on> April 27th at the provincial competition in Halifax.


During the month of March, Student Services staff has been holding transition meetings for new primary students with identified special needs commencing school in September 2013. This has been a busy and productive process. This, along with the upcoming transition meetings for individual students at schools, will allow school program planning teams to better prepare appropriate programming for students requiring additional program supports.

The Student Services department is also currently conducting the Special Class Placement Survey for the 2013-2014 school year. The Student Needs Assessment was prepared in conjunction with the Human Resources Department and was undertaken this month.The Student Needs Assessment will allow Human Resources and Student Services to review student needs pertaining to TA support so that we can accurately provide support to students in this regard.

This month, the CBVRSB participated in the ASD Feasibility Project in partnership with Public Service Canada. The purpose of the study is to identify our students with ASD via the TIENET system and have a researcher verify the existence of supporting documentation for the ASD diagnosis in student school records. In addition to the aforementioned, the Coordinator of Student Services has attended Program Planning Team Meetings for students with special needs upon request and has been working closely with the Coordinator of School Services regarding appraisal sessions with principals. As always, the Coordinator receives calls from parents of students with special needs and assists to address those concerns in a timely manner.

I attended the principals meeting on March 27th and was pleased to present the "Go To Trainer" team for CBVRSB. The "Go to Trainer" team consists of Lindsay Latham (Schools Plus Facilitator), Michelle Gouthro (Schools Plus Community Outreach Worker), Marion MacKinnon (School Social Worker) and Nancy MacIsaac (School Social Worker). They will be joined by Laura MacNeil (School Based Mental Health Clinician) commencing on April 8,

2013. We will be developing a schedule to in-service identified "Go To Educators" from each school throughout upcoming months. This initiative stems from Dr. Stan Kutcher, Sunlife Chair for Adolescent Mental Health and will provide selected staff with excellent information regarding mental distress, mental illness and mental disorders and how to respond appropriately when students present themselves to staff for direction and support.

Although March is a relatively short month, the Student Services Department has been very active in supporting its' initiatives, staff, parents and students.

Student Services Consultant, Genevieve Richardson

I was a co-presenter at Cabot Junior/Senior High in an afternoon session on the “Visual Support Binder” on Friday, March 1, 2013. Nancy Robinson was the other presenter during our session. Over 25 staff members from Cape Smokey, Cabot and North Highlands attended the session. The “Visual Support Binder” was implemented last year and principals were inserviced on it. All schools in our board were given a copy of the binder and they were asked to inservice their staff on it. Our session was a follow up session on the binde>r. Our session seemed to be well received, by all our participants.

Throughout the month of March there were a number of transition meetings and transition support provided to a number of schools. We met with and visited a number of daycares, preschools and outside agencies in support of our new primaries having a successful transition into our school system. These sessions and site visits help in providing valuable information regarding the child’s strengths and challenges and what they may require in order to ensure a smooth transition during Primary Orientation in May, and then when they start school in the Fall.

There are still a number of referrals for teacher assistant support that keep coming to Coordinator of Student Services through the Tienet information system. A few classroom observations were conducted throughout the month of March. >Some of the classroom observations that were scheduled did not take place due to school cancellations and have to be rescheduled.

There was a referral for gifted and talented support received through Tienet information system to Coordinator of Student Services. Helped in coordinating support from a team member to visit the school and meet with the student and teache>r. Our Gifted and Talented lead team members are always well received by our schools, and the support they give these student and teachers is greatly appreciated.

ASD Consultant, Louise Smith

Throughout the month of March, I continued to provide school based consultations and attend PPT (program planning team) and IPP (individual program plan) meetings to support student program development and implementation. Visual supports were created for several families to provide structure and support for students at home and support families with getting students to school on a regular basis. Home based visits were arranged with families to support implementation of home supports.

School based support with respect to STAR program evaluation and implementation was ongoing. Lorna Fraser, teacher at GBE and member of the ASD lead team, provided support to expand the STAR program at Mountainview Elementary to include new primary students and began student evaluations at Robin Foote Elementary School which is an identified school for STAR program expansion during this school year. Thank you to Lorna for all of her hard work and for sharing her time and expertise to help support and expand this program.

The ASD Consultant, members of ASD Lead Team and the Board's Speech-Language Pathologists planned a follow-up professional development/information session for elementary and junior high schools regarding the purpose and use of the "Visual Supports for School Success" binder that was distributed to all schools in CBVRSB in April, 2012.The sessions took place on March 1st during the professional development portion of this parent- teacher day and were held in each of the following areas: North of Smokey (Cabot), Northside (Staff Development Centre), Sydney County (Sydney River Elementary), Sydney (Sherwood Park Education Center), New Waterford (Greenfield Elementary) and Glace Bay (Oceanview Education Centre). Representatives from all elementary and junior high schools, including teachers/program planning team members and teacher assistants attended the sessions. The purpose of these sessions was 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. Feedback regarding the sessions was reportedly very positive.

The ASD Consultant attended a provincial ASD Consultant Group Meeting on March 1st at the Department of Education in Halifax. The meeting was facilitated by Susan Josza, ASD Consultant with the Department of Education. The agenda included board updates regarding ASD initiatives, PEERS training follow-up, APSEA sensory issues paper and April professional development session, ASD Document and discussion of complex cases and new programs. The meeting was an excellent opportunity to collaborate, problem solve and share information.

The ASD Consultant provided a school based professional development session for staff at Malcolm Munroe Junior High School on March 21. The session was requested by members of the school's program planning team to obtain additional information regarding supports and programming for students diagnosed with ASD within the mainstream junior high setting. Three student services teachers and four classroom teachers attended the session. It was an excellent collaborative session focusing on the strengths and challenges of ASD, best practice and classroom based strategies and programming focusing on the needs of junior high. The school staff did an excellent job applying the information to students at their school and developed a plan for moving forward with respect to classroom strategies as well as school based initiatives. A follow-up planning day for the group was supported by the school's administration and the student services department: ASD Initiatives in action - great work to all involved.

The PEERS team (CBVRSB participants who attended the provincial PEERS training) met on March 7th and March 27th to start to develop a comprehensive social skills curriculum and plan for implementation for students in CBVRSB. The program will consist of approximately 20 sessions/lessons beginning with lessons targeting social thinking (Michelle Garcia Winner) with an emphasis on perspective taking. The PEERS program in its entirety will follow, with lessons on healthy relationships (dating) and sexuality (Isabel Henault) added to conclude the program. The social skills curriculum will be designed to be teacher friendly, with all lessons of the program (instructions, group activities, homework) represented individually and housed in curriculum bin. A parent component is being developed to complement the student curriculum. Two pilot sites (High School) will be identified to implement the program during the 2013-14 school year (Sydney/Glace Bay). Trained members of the PEERS team will facilitate the program in each of the pilot sites.

Additional teachers will be identified in each of the pilot sites as well as anticipated expansion sites, to participate in the program in a support/coach role. This will allow for hands-on, site based training and planning for additional teachers who will assume a facilitator/lead role for the program. Building capacity will continue via this train the trainer site based model as the program is implemented/expanded. Upon completion of the social skills curriculum in pilot sites, the program will be evaluated by the PEERS team. It is hoped that this program will form the basis for a locally developed course for credit at the High School level.

CBVRSB, in collaboration with SRSB and SSRSB, is exploring the possibility of having Elizabeth Laugeson (PEERS program developer/director) return to Nova Scotia to provide a one day "PEERS boot camp" in each of the respective boards, with an emphasis on content and format of PEERS lessons.

On March 19th, I attended an information session provided by Autism Nova Scotia (Halifax) at the Southend Community Center in Sydney. Autism Nova Scotia provided information on their Autism Works program, a supported employment program designed to support workplace success for individuals with autism and their employers. This program supports clients and employers to great mutual success. Since its beginnings in 2009, the Autism Works program has operated at an 87% retention rate. The program’s goal is to provide

clients with tools and guidance, as well as to work closely with employers, in order to vastly advance opportunities for autistic clients to gain speedy, meaningful, realistic and, therefore, long-lasting employment. Autism Nova Scotia has received a grant to pilot this program outside of its center with Cape Breton being considered as a potential site. The center is looking for a collaborative approach between the center, schools, NSCC and community based agencies. The program sounds like an excellent opportunity and is a very good fit with our board's TTAP initiative, filling in a missing piece - how to transfer and generalize functional/transition skills learned in school into work related settings in the community. Further discussion at our board level and with autism center staff is anticipated.

On March 13th, the ASD consultant met with representatives from Breton Ability Centre (Braemore Home) to discuss/learn more about a conference they are organizing locally for December, 2013. On March 25, the ASD consultant attended a workshop in Halifax sponsored by Autism Nova Scotia: "Social Thinking and Transition Planning for the Adult Word and Real Life". It was an excellent opportunity to hear presenter Michelle Garcia Winner and the session provided excellent information that relates directly to the Board's social skills initiative.

Head Psychologist, Maureen Clare MacDonald

Since my last report, I have had the opportunity to attend a Principals meeting, along with the Student Services Team. A very informative morning indeed! During this short month of March, I have continued to coordinate cases for our two B-level assessors, and to consult on these cases following assessment.My formal supervision of three psychologists -- which includes observations, follow-up meetings, case reviews and consultations -- is an on-going process.

I have communicated with all Psychology Team members with regard to their technology status, and am happy to report that our new laptops are in full service. We are all pleased with the heightened level of efficiency this has afforded. With respect to my own caseload, I have devoted this month to the completion of required reassessments of our grade twelve learning disabled students who are pursuing post-secondary studies in September, 2013. As always, I continue to provide school psychology services to six schools and consultative services to parents and colleagues.

Behavior Support Teacher for Students with Special Needs, Alisa Cantwell

Transition meetings for children starting school in September 2013 began in mid-February and continued throughout the month of March. Student Services personnel, including the behaviour support teacher, attended these meetings with representatives from a variety of service providers (including the Autism Intervention Program, Allkids, and several daycares/ preschool programs). The primary goal of these meetings is to gain an initial understanding of each new primary student who has special concerns regarding support from Student Services and the possible supports that may be required to ensure a successful transition into the school system. The next step in this transition process is to meet with each school-based

PPT, including the parents and the service providers. These meetings provide valuable information for both staff and parents. The transitions meetings have begun and will continue throughout the month of April.

Transition meetings (grade to grade, school to school, and school to community) have already begun. These meetings, and follow-up actions, will continue into the months of April and May. As necessary, the behaviour support teacher will participate in this process.

In March, I became one of three individuals from the CBVRSB to become a certified instructor in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NVCI). The NVCI program is recognized world-wide as best-practices in addressing challenging behaviours. The program teaches staff to recognize the level of behaviour of an individual and the most effective strategies to address these behaviours. Techniques/strategies to protect ourselves from an individual displaying verbally and/or physically aggressive behaviours were taught. When and how to restraint an individual were emphasized through many practice exercises and role-playing situations. The CBVRSB participants are now able to teach NVCI to staff employees.

On March 1st, during the morning of the parent-teacher day, a workshop on behaviour support strategies was conducted. The participants were TAs from Brookland, Mira Road and Riverside, and focused on understanding the reasons for behaviour and evidenced-based support strategies.

I continue to be involved with the PEERS initiative (Social Skills for Teenagers with Developmental and Autism Spectrum Disorders). Following the four day training session in January, the six participants who attended this training met in early March to discuss the workshop/program and develop a pilot project program to be to be delivered within the CBVRSB.


The main focus in March has been assisting schools with scheduling. As the end of this year draws to an end staffing, course registrations and scheduling have been a high priority. Part of this process is to ensure that the student’s information for next year is properly formatted so that we can tell where students are going to school next year and to what grade level they will be moving (this included new primary registration). I have also helping the schools through the registration process by first helping them with registration screen set up and later to assist them with the actual student registrations (most of which take place on-line for our high schools).

Besides looking at this year we have also been helping to take a look at our current year. Throughout this month data that would help further look at our Attendance Pilot, Gradebook usage and Parent Portal usage have been gathered.

Work was also done with people at the department of Education on the new Severely Disruptive Behavior Tracking legislation. This work involved setting up administrators for our board and assisting with the management of school principal/vice principal accounts.

IEI-E/SIS Consultant, Brad MacNeil

This year, teachers in CBVRSB received professional development in the form of on-site school based support, consultation; small and larger group sessions at the Staff Development Center. There was a focus on technology integration at the grade six levels, as well as on the effective integration of the provincial mobile technology centers, at the grade primary to three grade levels. Infrastructure, hardware, software and professional development for grade six classrooms, as far as the current funding allowed, was provided.

The professional development program was developed to respond to priorities identified by discussions with classroom teachers, lead teachers, curriculum consultants, and school administrators. Grade six teachers attended sessions at the Staff Development Centre where they had a chance to collaborate with each other and explore what strategies were working or not working well in their classrooms, in reference to effective integration of the ICT outcomes. Teachers were very positive and receptive to strategies which would help accomplish their technology integration goals.

Grades P-3 teachers were trained on the management, operation and potential uses of the new mobile technology carts. CBVRSB Teacher P-3 Lesson Plans were reviewed. Resources have been posted on the following web-site:

Professional development sessions focused on:

• Comic Life, Photo story 3 and Windows Movie Maker software. Basic functionality and application in a classroom environment.Digital camera functionality was reviewed. Sample projects and lesson plans were created by IEIE teachers in a variety of subject areas.

• EBSCO, Own Cloud (File Management), NS EduPortal and general Web-Based tools / resources were explored; maintaining focus on the effective integration of the ICT outcomes in a classroom environment.

• Moodle continued to be a major focus for our grade six teachers this year. They learned how to use Moodle as a classroom resource to support their students and move toward more of a Blended learning/Flipped Classroom approach to classroom management.

• The technology Mentorship program continues to be a successful way to get teachers more comfortable in its implementation at the classroom level.

The province is continuing with an auto-dialer solution, which will allow schools in Nova Scotia to send out mass communications through e-mail, SMS text messages and voice mail.

Data Managers, Jim McNeil & Tom Baker

Instructional videos, pictures and cadence audio were captured for inclusion in CBVRSB Fitness Log. The instructional media will be used to demonstrate proper testing techniques. The audio capture will standardize test timing for Active Healthy Living teachers at all grade levels.

New forms and reports were added to the principal portal in preparation for the school staff reporting. An online staffing form is being developed for use by school administration in conjunction with Human Resource Services.

An OS X basics training session was conducted for Programs and Student Services coordinators. The training material is available online at the Data Manager site here: ... blisher/item.php?itemid=7

Changes and additions to the PDFC application forms were developed for pending public release in April.

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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