SmartSection is developed by The SmartFactory (, a division of INBOX Solutions (
Sections > Programs and Student Services Report > PSS Report: April, 2013
PSS Report: April, 2013
Published by Marjorie Sawchuk [Marjorie Sawchuk] on 05/07/2013 (2738 reads)
PSS Report: April, 2013

Susan Kelley, Director

Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Regional Heritage Fair 2013

The 2013 Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Heritage Fair will take place at Cape Breton University on May 2 & 3. Students in grades four to nine will display and present their research on local, provincial and national topics as they “Make History Come Alive”. Six outstanding projects will be selected for the Provincial Display to be held at Pier 21 on May 31. The general public is encouraged to visit Cape Breton University on May 3, 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. to view student research and chat with the presenters.

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

Site based professional development sessions are planned for various sites during April. Cusack, George D. Lewis, Rankin, and John Bernard Croak will have teams of teachers attending these learning sessions focused on assessment for learning and enabling students to grow as writers.

The Thirty-Sixth Annual CBVRSB Public Speaking Event sponsored in conjunction with the Cape Breton and Northside-Victoria NSTU Locals took place April 8-17 at Memorial High School. Approximately 110 students from grades primary to twelve participated in the event. Teachers from various schools volunteered to coordinate each evening. The Public Speaking Committee appreciated the adjudicators who attended each night and provided feedback to each of the speakers.

Primary Orientation will take place during the month of May. Each school received a Primary Program Power Point to guide their parent meetings which will be held during the orientation sessions.

There will be a distribution of student books for grades five and six to add to their classroom libraries later in the month.

Succeeding in Reading Teachers are completing an eighteen week block with grade one students with assessments being conducted this month. To date, the teachers have serviced approximately 316 grade one’s, 38 grade two’s, and 3 grade three’s, for a total of 357 students since September 2012.

The teachers will be assessing grade primary students for participation in the next eight week block of time.

On April 25th the Early Literacy Teachers will attend their monthly professional development session focused on Talking, Reading and Writing. To support Succeeding in Reading, additional resources from the Department of Education are arriving later this month. Early literacy teachers will be asked for provide feedback on the resources.

Mathematics Consultant P-12, Marlene Urquhart

In elementary mathematics, I am very pleased to report that professional development for the new curriculum has taken place for all teachers grades primary to three, resource teachers and principals. Teachers were engaged and highly motivated during these sessions. Our direction in mathematics is clear and our teachers are excited about the changes beginning this September.

To support the implementation of the new mathematics curriculum, the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development issued resources to all schools in late March. The resources included Big Books, Teacher Resources and compact discs that directly support the new mathematics curriculum. It is hoped that the curriculum documents will be ready for distribution to schools in May.

Marlene attended Provincial Mathematics Lead Team meetings in Halifax in March. Items discussed focused on the development of yearly plans for each of the grades being implemented as well as development of the grades four to six curriculum document. With the end of fiscal being March 31, I am awaiting word from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development regarding funding for professional development for grades four to six. The implementation for Mathematics 4-6 will take place in September 2014.

At the March Principals’ meeting, Marlene and the Literacy Support Consultant, Janet Briggs, discussed the data for both the Elementary Mathematics and Literacy Provincial Assessments. Marlene provided individual copies of school data to each principal. Janet also provided copies of the literacy results. It is our hope that principals and teachers will interpret the results and respond to the data so that we can better inform our practice which will ultimately support and help our students succeed.

St. Anne’s school invited Marlene Urquhart and Michelle Macaulay to their April Learning Monday meeting. We discussed and interpreted the school’s Mathematics 6 results with the entire staff and discussed possible goals for their Continuous School Improvement Plan. It was a wonderful opportunity to work with this staff. With the data collected all year long and the data from the Provincial Assessment, the school staff is making informed and very positive decisions toward their mathematics goal.

Michelle Macaulay, Mathematics Coach (P-10), continues to provide support to many elementary schools.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

Mount Carmel students received a $200 gift card from Long & McQuade for submitting their music video of their “Love Rescue Me” project. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Glace Bay High School’s band on their recent performance trip to Disney World. Good luck to all travelling performance groups this spring.

Whitney Pier Memorial art students took part in a project to improve and beautify the cultural heritage of the Whitney Pier Heritage Trail with assistance from local artists, Cape Breton University and the Sydney Architectural Conservation Society.

Congratulations to the Cape Breton Chorale on the celebration of their 40th anniversary! A concert in celebration will be held on April 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Savoy Theatre. Many of our music educators are part of the Chorale, and the Chorale also provides a scholarship to an eligible music student for post-secondary study.

National Dance Week takes place April 22 – 29 with many schools participating in the “Dare to Dance” challenge. Further information is available at

The CB-VRSB Annual Art Exhibit, featuring work from grades four to twelve is called “Through the Looking Class” this year. Opening night will be held at the Mayflower Mall on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:00 p.m. Demonstrations will take place along with performances from ukulele groups and Riverview High students. The exhibit will remain at the mall from April 30 – May 12. The public is invited to attend during regular mall hours.

DramaFest takes place in Halifax from May 2-4. Good luck to students and staff participating in this event.

Music Monday will be held on Monday, May 6. This year the Coalition for Music Education in Canada is celebrating its 20th anniversary by partnering with the Canadian Space Agency to fill the skies with music! Chris Hadfield will sing the song from space with students on Music Monday. Many of our schools are participating in this event, with some schools meeting at the Mayflower Mall on Monday, May 6 at 11:15 a.m. to perform the song together. Further information can be found at

An Orff music workshop will take place for music teachers at Sydney River Elementary School on Saturday, May 11 from 9:30 am to 1:00 p.m. This workshop is facilitated by Orff Nova Scotia.

Spring concerts have begun and many will be listed on the Arts Education website calendar at

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Shea

Reading Challenges:

The 2012-2013 WOW Reading Challenges have ended and schools are being notified by Cst. John Kennedy, RCMP, of their successes. Further details of winners in our Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will be presented in May’s report. Overall, students in the CBVRSB read over 3,000,000 pages at the Junior High level, and over 300,000 books at the Elementary level. Cst. John Kennedy, Coordinator of the Adopt-A-Library literacy program, is very pleased with the numbers this year at both levels and he will be coming to Cape Breton in early May for trophy, banner and individual prize celebration. There should be plenty of hardware and banners and prizes being delivered to CBVRSB schools next month. Schools are already planning celebrations and invitations will be sent to distinguished guests once the dates are announced and winners are finalized. Top readers in each school that participated will get a special prize basket (Elementary, Junior High student, and Junior High staff). As well, the overall reader in these three mentioned categories will receive a CBVRSB overall prize.

NSALT 2013:

Planning is progressing on the NSALT conference 2013 to be hosted by CBVRSB at Baddeck on October 24-25, 2013. There are eight workshop sessions confirmed out of a total of nine slots. Topics include: mental health, speculative literature, digital resources, etc. Philip Roy, award winning Canadian children’s/young adult author will be giving a keynote address to all delegates in the afternoon and hit is hoped that his most recent book will be launched in Baddeck at that time, as its storyline has a big Baddeck connection. Also, Lesley Crew, renown Cape Breton author, will be doing a workshop at the conference; Ms. Crewe is delighted to be coming to our conference and sharing her novels with the delegates.

Board Library Committee:

A meeting was held on April 5 at the Staff Development Centre. Topics discussed were: reading challenges, NSALT, warehouse situation, fund raising efforts and activities in some schools.

Teachers’ Resource Centre:

Circulation at the Centre has increased dramatically, and the task at hand is to increase the collection to reflect on requests and reviewing gaps in the collection that currently exist. New Reading Boxes are needed and there are new ones being developed on several topics, especially in regards to culture, history, and diversity:

  • Kathy Kacer (Holocaust) author, fiction and non-fiction
  • Cinderella around the world, fiction only
  • Islamic/Muslin stories , fiction
  • Carol Matas (Holocaust) author, fiction only
  • Kindertransport (Holocaust) topic, fiction and non-fiction
  • Dear Canada Series, historical fiction
  • I am Canada, historical fiction
  • Dual language stories, fiction (picture books only)

These kits will be developed and completed over the summer with inclusion to the collection at the start of the new school year in the fall. As requests come in and resources are assessed, more kits will be developed.

Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea

Elementary Sexual Health

The grade five team, which consisted of the Board’s Active Healthy Living Consultant, two guidance counselors, two grade five classroom teachers and two public health nurses, has completed a binder that looks at linking grade five sexuality health outcomes and user friendly lessons. This will be distributed to all grade five teachers in the board next month. A similar a team will now look at the grade four sexual health outcomes and produce a similar document that will be ready for teachers in the fall.

Physical Education Leadership 12 Professional Development

This session was held on March 28 at the Staff Development Centre. Seven of the eight high schools were represented. The National Coaching Certification program on Fundamentals Movement Skills was the main presentation. This topic is Module 3 in the new curriculum for this high school course. It is based on the Canadian Sport for Life long term athlete development and it explores the themes of fair play, safety responsibility and communication. The goal is to expose participants to an innovative process that will help them teach the Fundamentals Movement Skills such as throwing, catching, balance and agility. Teachers were given resource books on improving children’s lives through physical literacy. This module consists of twelve classes and gives many opportunities for students to assess and improve their teaching of the Fundamentals Movement Skills.

Nutrition for Learning, Dietician Debbie Madore

On April 15, Breakfast Program volunteers and supporters attended the annual thank you breakfast at Sherwood Park Education Centre. Rikki Lee Andrews, Provincial Representative for Breakfast Clubs of Canada, spoke briefly on what BCC is doing on a national level.

All volunteers received a certificate as a thank you for their hard work throughout the year. In addition, businesses and service clubs that provide financial support to breakfast received a plaque.

School Adoptions:

A school adoption is a donation of $3500 towards a specific school program. They include the following:

Kiwanis Club of Sydney Brookland Elementary
Glace Bay Kinsmen Glace Bay Elementary
Kiwanis Ceilidh Golden K Northside Schools
Rotary Club of Sydney Riverview High School
Louisbourg Seafoods. Riverside Elementary
Meco Construction Disaster Kleenup Glace Bay High & Bridgeport Elementary
Kiwanis Club of Cape Breton Golden K Mountainview Elementary
Arrow Construction Products Ltd St. Anne Elementary

Certificates for general support of Breakfast Programs

We are fortunate to have other supporters of programs that give in the following ways:

Sydney Credit Union: Presenting sponsor for the annual Golf Tournament, to be held June 21, The Lakes.

Scotsburn Dairy: The staff donate through payroll deduction.

Breakfast Clubs of Canada: Have been supporting breakfast programs with a donation of $38,000 since 2010.

Sydney Canadian Tire: Donate $2000 to support Harbourside Elementary.

Kinsmen Club of New Waterford: Donate $1750 to Greenfield Elementary.

You can never say thank you enough to a volunteer. Next week is National Volunteer month. On April 15, volunteers and supporters of breakfast received a delicious breakfast and heartfelt thanks from CB-VRSB.

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

Mathematics Consultant (P-12), Marlene Urquhart

On April 12, six junior high schools gathered to participate in the Math On Olympiad held at Whitney Pier Memorial. It was a truly enjoyable time for student teams and their coaches. There were 72 students participating in the competition, 40 student volunteers from the host school as well as a number of teacher volunteers. Malcolm Munroe Memorial won the competition and are headed to Provincials in Halifax on May 12. Our School Board will be well represented. The organizing committee included, Michelle Macaulay, Gloria Farmakoulos (CoChair), Chris MacDonald (WPM advisor), Janet Briggs and Gina Tubrett Crawley. To Debbie Madore, CBVRSB’s Dietician, who supplied milk and fruit to our participants and volunteers, it is certainly appreciated. Our participating school coaches were, Kim McCarron (Breton Education Centre), Tanya Jamieson (Dr. T.L. Sullivan), Michelle MacKenzie (Malcolm Munroe), Mark MacNeil (Oceanview), Dannie Gillis (Sydney Mines Jr. High) and Chris MacDonald (Whitney Pier Memorial). The committee members and coaches are to be congratulated on their commitment to students and their time and preparation for the day.

As President of the Nova Scotia Mathematics Teachers Association, Marlene Urquhart attended the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) conference held in Denver, Colorado. It was a wonderful conference that provided incredible and relevant professional development in the area of mathematics education. In the role as MTA President, Marlene is the Nova Scotia Delegate for the Canadian Caucus for NCTM Affiliates. She is also a voting member for the Delegate Assembly for NCTM. These positions allow Marlene to be on the ground level of mathematics trends in education in both Canada and the United States.

Michelle Macaulay, Mathematics Coach (P-10) has been working on a second common cumulative assessment for all grade eight students in our Board. The first common test was administered in January. We plan to administer the second assessment in May. We have been working with grade eight teachers to ensure we are using best instructional and assessment practices. Teachers have been working hard and have been following the yearly plan that was discussed in October and revisited in February. Michelle has also been visiting grade eight teachers who have requested support.

We are still awaiting word regarding funding for professional development for grade ten mathematics implementation. It is the hope to provide PD for grade ten teachers during the first week of June 2013, with follow up in September. We are also awaiting word on possible resources that will be available to our teachers but no final decision has been made by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Marlene will be attending a Secondary Mathematics Provincial Team meeting in Halifax on April 24-25.

French Second Language Programs Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh

Seventy-three grade twelve French Second Language students from Sydney Academy, Glace Bay High, Memorial High and Riverview Rural High will be participating in DELF (Diplôme d’études en langue française) examinations from April 22-26. There will be 516 students from 24 schools across the province taking part in the examinations this year, with Riverview Rural High having the largest number of participants from a Nova Scotia Sr. High School. This prestigious recognition of student’s success in French Second Language is a goal of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CERF), an exemplary model that links language teaching and learning to six levels of proficiency to meet real world requirements for employment and post-secondary opportunities.

The annual Concours d’Art Oratoire (French Public Speaking Competition) was held on April 9 and 10 at Brookland Elementary School. Thirty-four students from grade five to twelve, from Core French, Integrated Core French, French Immersion, and Francophone categories competed. Winners from each category now have the opportunity to compete at the provincial Concours in Halifax on April 27.

Three successful professional development sessions were held during the month of April for FSL. Senior High French Language Arts teachers met on April 5 at Sydney Academy, while both cohorts of “classes expérimentales” (neurolinguistic approach) teachers participated in in-servicing on April 11 and 12 at Shipyard Elementary School. Upcoming professional development initiatives include a two-day workshop in Halifax on May 6 & 7 for grade six Intensive Core French teachers as well as an in-service for Elementary Core French teachers (grades 4-6) scheduled for May 10 at Shipyard Elementary School.

French OPI (Oral Proficiency Interviews) will be carried out by Laurie MacIntosh, French Consultant, during the month of May with students from the five official pilot “classes expérimentales” (George D. Lewis, Rankin of the Narrows, Greenfield, MacLennan and Whitney Pier Memorial Schools are the official pilot sites). Ms. MacIntosh will also be facilitating parent-information sessions for the grade six Intensive Core French Program. Meetings are scheduled for April 30 at Greenfield Elementary, May 1 at Bras d’Or Elementary with a tentative date of May 15 at Glace Bay Elementary and Harbourside Elementary.

Nova Scotia International Students Programs Manager, Tammy Sampson

  • The Co-op students created, planned and initiated a student event held on April 10. The event was a “games night” and students enjoyed an evening of karaoke, twister, board games and wii.
  • Quarterly student evaluations have been completed and submitted to the NSISP.
  • The next ISP full group activity will be the cultural potluck on May 26.
  • We continue to receive new student applications for September.
  • Student extension plans have been submitted to the NSISP Finance Officer. We have 13 confirmed returning students. HSCs are busy with student study permit extensions.
  • We have two students planning to apply for the NSISP student scholarship.
  • The Homestay Coordinator Conference will take place in Debert on April 26-27. Tammy Sampson will be one of the leads on a discussion panel re student arrivals and departures. Millie George and Tammy Sampson will attend a planning session for NSISP documents previous to the commencement of the conference.
  • Plans are underway for the SRSB to join us for the end of year event.
  • Five CBVRSB students have been chosen to take part in the EduNova activity to take place in Antigonish on May 13-14.
  • Tammy Sampson will represent the CBVRSB at the upcoming CAPS-I conference May 5-8.
  • The CBVRSB International Student Program has been asked to be present during the upcoming EduNova FAM tours occurring in May (agent tour) and June (Vietnam agent tour), during the Cape Breton region hosting event. Details to be announced.

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

Options & Opportunities

A province-wide O2 Showcase was held on April 3 and 4 at the Westin in Halifax. This was an opportunity for our schools to showcase what is happening in their schools. Our Board also had two O2 students from Cabot High and two from Sydney Academy attend this year’s event. The Minister of Education, Ramona Jennex, opened the event on April 3 and spoke to our students about the program at their schools. On April 4, the teachers attended a workshop with their counterparts from other schools and the students participated in a supervised tour of the Halifax Shipyard and a tour/test drive at NSCC Waterfront Campus. It proved to be a great opportunity for teachers and students to meet and share ideas/experiences with other schools.

Building Futures for Youth Program

The Building Futures for Youth program is a partnership program that the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has with the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) and Nova Scotia Community College. This program provides students with the opportunity to explore and experience careers in the construction industry. The interviews have been completed and nine grade eleven students have been chosen with two additional students placed on a waitlist. A family information session will be held on April 30 at NSCC Marconi Campus conducted by the coordinator of the program from CANS and the Community - Based Learning Consultant from our Board. The first week of training at NSCC Marconi Campus is scheduled for May 21-24 and the second week is in June after final exams. This summer, the program will offer our students 5-6 weeks of paid pre-apprentice work placements. Students are supervised during their placement and can also earn up to three co-op credits.

Vocational Programs Consultant, Ken Collier

Students are busy preparing for the National Skills Competitions which will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia in June. We have five students who will be competing at this event, and if the itinerary is any indication, everyone should have a very enjoyable time. The following students will be competing:

Electrical Installations

Gold Cody Bellefontaine


Gold Morgan Canning

Graphic Design

Gold Brooke LeBlanc

Workplace Safety

Gold Kieran Higgins


Gold Keenan Whelan-Thomas

Students from our Radio and Television Broadcasting Program assisted at the Membertou Trade and Convention Center for the George Canyon Concert on April 9 and the Matt Anderson Concert on April 20. The experience the students get shooting video and switching is very valuable. These opportunities may open doors for future employment.

Two groups of Memorial students won 1st and 2nd prizes in the RRFB Nova Scotia Recycle Contest for Region 1. These students were enrolled in the Film and Video Production class. The awards banquet will be held on Wednesday, April 24. The two groups are:

1st Prize Callum Cooke, Meagan Fitzgerald, Venus Sorizo, and Kyle MacNeil.
2nd Prize Erin Bragg, Dylan Cantwell, Alyssa Ford, and Natacha Robillard.

Both of these films were entered in the Atlantic Film Festival Viewfinders Green Screen Challenge, which were shown in Halifax on Saturday, April 20.

As well, the two films along with a third, which was created by Kayla Walsh, Barry Samways, Joe Bicknell, Tyler Bragg, and Daniel White were entered in the Universal Film Challenge and became semi-finalists. These films were also shown in Halifax this past weekend.

Registrations for the Vocational Programs are continuing. Applications are still being received, and acceptance letters will be issued in the near future.

Lynn Crawford, Coordinator

Mi’kmaq Consultant, Marjorie Graves

At the beginning of April at the Northside Staff Development Center we had the opportunity to have Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden from St.Francis Xavier University come and put on an in-service on the Show Me Your Math Fair being held in Eskasoni. Show Me Your Math is a program that invites Aboriginal Students in Atlantic Canada to explore the mathematics that is evident in their own community and cultural practices. Although we did have six schools participate in the in-service, only one school was able to attend the Math Fair that took place at the Elementary School in Eskasoni. Through the Show Me Your Math fair funding, Lisa allotted us some money to provide honoriums to Elders to come into to our classrooms to help share their knowledge of math in the Mi’kmaq culture.

This month I have also working with elders Jane Meader and Lawrence Wells. They visited Shipyard Elementary on many occasions to work with the students on their Show Me Your Math projects. I would like to thank each of these elders for coming into our school and sharing their knowledge with the students. We also had Dr.Lisa Lunney-Borden come to Shipyard to teach the students about birch-bark biting.

This month I have had a chance to visit some more schools, which included Rankin of the Narrows, Marion Bridge, Riverside, Donkin, MacDonald Elementary and Greenfield. At each school I left an information package on Mi’kmaq culture that could help support the teachers with incorporating the Mi’kmaq culture into their curriculum.

Literacy Support Consultant/Coach, Janet Briggs & Literacy Mentor, Craig Seward

· Individual meetings with elementary principals were continued this month. The results of the Nova Scotia Assessment in Reading and Writing at the grade 3 and 6 level were discussed. Principals are sharing data with all staff and planning whole school approaches to addressing identified needs.

· The annual public speaking event was a success. As a member of the planning committee and a junior high adjudicator I was very impressed with the quality of the students’ speeches as well as their enthusiasm.

· The annual Math-On Olympiad was hosted this year by Whitney Pier Memorial. As an assistant, I was able to witness the students’ math skills and the enjoyment they expressed with the friendly competition.

· Craig Seward continues to mentor teachers to assist them with meeting the literacy needs of students.

· Craig also began visiting grade 8 classrooms to deliver workshops focused on reading and writing skills. An overview of the grade 8 provincial reading and writing assessment is also a component of the workshops.

· May promises to be a very busy month as we continue with the grade 8 workshops and continue to assist schools with whole school plans to address literacy needs.

Cathy Boudreau, Coordinator

Throughout the past month, the Student Services Department has been busy receiving and interpreting information/data pertaining to student needs and staffing. Specifically, the Student Needs Assessment was completed and follow-up analysis undertaken; the Special Class Placement Survey was completed by school personnel; the needs of new primary students commencing school in September 2013 with special needs were identified and school based transition meetings have begun for those students; and staffing related matters have been considered.

The Coordinator has been working closely with colleagues in Human Resources to determine availability of supports for students for the upcoming school year as well as examining Student Services staffing requests/needs. The Coordinator attended the session with school board principals and our legal team; continued school visits with principals along with the Coordinator of School Services; assisted with the orientation of the school based mental health clinician to her base school; facilitated a meeting with school board guidance Counselors; facilitated a half day session for student services itinerant staff (including psychologists, speech language pathologists, social workers, guidance and schools plus personnel) with guidance staff regarding The Youth Access Centre, the Schools Plus Program; "Go To Training" in our school board and Power School; attended a meeting with the Coordinator of Secondary Programs with Mary Musgrave regarding Youth Health Centres; participated in a teleconference with Coordinators of Student Services from across the province with Rola AbiHanna, Guidance Consultant with the Department of Education, regarding TIENET and guidance Counsellors; and attended Program Planning Team meetings at Brookand, SPEC, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High, and Robin Foote.

School visits were made to Boularderie School, Thompson Junior High, BEC, St. Anne's, Riverside, Tompkins, and Southside Learning Centre. On April 18 and 19, the follow up/part two of the in-service for representative participants from elementary and junior high schools on Learning Disabilities took place. Participant evaluation responses reflected that the content of the professional development sessions was perceived to be useful to staff and beneficial for identified students with a diagnosed learning disability. In early March, Ann Louise Miller joined the Student Services Team in her role as secretary to the department. I wish to publicly welcome Ann Louise to the position. Together, we recently participated in a TIENET Training session with Sheila Kublek, TIENET Lead/AT Consultant.

As always, the Coordinator continues to respond to parent inquiries and to school queries of a student services nature. We in Student Services will continue our work to support new and returning students with special needs in the upcoming months in preparation for the 2013-2014 school year.

Student Services Consultant, Genevieve Richardson

Throughout the month of April there were a number of transition meetings and transition support was provided to a number of schools. Many of these transition meetings were for the new primaries who will be attending our schools in the Fall of 2013. These transition meetings often included: school program planning teams, the parents/guardians, a number personnel from the various daycares, preschools and outside agencies (Autism Intervention Program, Allkids Early Intervention, etc). These meetings help in providing valuable information regarding the child’s strengths and challenges and what supports may be required to ensure a smooth transition into school. Had some transition meetings for students who are transitioning from level to level.

Visited some daycares and preschools to meet and observe some of the new students who will be coming into our system in the Fall.

Toured the Haley Street Adult Service Centre, with some parents, for a possible placement in the near future.

Toured a junior high LD program with some parents for a possible special class placement.

The Coordinator of Student Services, through the Tienet information system, is still receiving referrals for teacher assistant support. There were some classroom observations conducted during the month of April.

With the upcoming roll-out of the Learning Disability Policy from the Department of Education, two days of professional development were provided to a classroom teacher who currently had an LD student and the school administrator from each of our schools. The first session was held in mid- February. The participants were given information on what a learning disability was, how to interpret and extract valuable information from the Psycho-Educational Assessment for student programming, self advocacy, etc. The participants were given time to look at their own student and try to determine what areas were affected from their student’s LD diagnosis. The LD lead team also provided the groups with some good strategies and tools to use with their students. The participants went back to their respective schools to try some of these tools/strategies with their LD students and report back to us at the follow-up session in mid-April.

The follow-up session was held in April and it included a debriefing from the participants about how things had gone with their LD students with the new knowledge they had gained form our first session. The LD lead team also provided the participants with information on LD and disruptive behaviors, LD and anxiety. They also had some demonstrations of various technologies that is available, etc. Both the February and April sessions seemed to be well received. Participants indicated that they enjoyed getting this information and knowledge about their own LD students so they could better understand and support these students in their classrooms.

ASD Consultant, Louise Smith

April was a very busy month with ongoing classroom/program consultations, program planning and individual program plan meetings and many transition meetings. Schools were very busy with transition meetings at all levels: New primary students entering school in September, students with significant needs moving from elementary to junior high and from junior high to high school. The ASD consultant attended thirteen transition meetings for new primary students with a diagnosis of Autism that will be coming to school in September. Meetings were held at Shipyard, Cusack, Seton, Cape Smokey, Riverside, Greenfield, Harbourside, Jubilee and Sydney River Elementary. These meetings included school team members, student services representation (ASD consultant), preschool intervention program personnel (AIP/ALLkids), daycare and preschool representatives and parents. The meetings are an excellent opportunity to share the strengths and challenges of the new students and begin the process of developing programs to make entry to school a successful experience. There are many students with significant needs, and very anxious parents, coming into our schools in September. The ASD consultant also attended transition meetings at Sydney Mines Jr. High and Riverview High School.

The ASD consultant attended program planning meetings and worked with school teams/families to develop highly structured and individualized programs to support several students experiencing significant difficulties (some out of school). It is definitely worth noting the hard work and dedication of school teams and their support of students and their families - it makes all the difference and is seen in the success of the students.

The PEERS group met again on April 23 to continue our work on a comprehensive social skills program for students in CBVRSB. Great progress is being made. The team has developed a pre and post assessment protocol for students/families and staff and students at Glace Bay High are at work on role play videos for the program. To date, the student curriculum is almost complete. It consists of three supplementary lessons focusing on social thinking, followed by the fourteen PEERS lessons and ends with three supplementary lessons focusing on healthy relationships and sexuality. All together, it will be a twenty lesson/week program. As part of the program, there will also be twenty corresponding parent sessions (for parents of teens participating in the program) to review objectives/goals of each session and provide specific information/strategies to allow parents to support their teens with targeted skills. CBVRSB is very fortunate to have an incredible team working on this project. Thank you to Nancy Robinson, Alisa Cantwell, Francine Burke, Lorna Gillis and Margot O'Leary for your time, hard work and dedication to this project. Your hard work in bringing this program to life is going to make a huge difference in the lives of many students. It is expected that the program will be piloted in two high schools during the 2013-14 school year. Glace Bay High and Riverview High have been identified as potential pilot sites.

On April 10 and 11, the ASD Consultant attended a two day Autism in Education learning forum: Advancing Capacity though Collaborative Learning. The session was held at APSEA (Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority) in Halifax and participants included autism specialists in education from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The main objectives for this interprovincial collaboration were:

∙ to increase knowledge and understanding of methodologies and processes for addressing

challenging behavior in schools;

∙ to review challenges and solutions in implementing and sustaining effective practices;

∙ to build upon an infrastructure for increased sharing and knowledge transfer among educators

within the Atlantic provinces.

Day one (April 10) was a day of discussion and sharing with respect to practices within each of the provinces represented. Day 2 (April 11) was a day of professional development facilitated by Dr. Cathy Pratt. Dr. Pratt is Director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at the Indiana Institute on Disability. She is a well-respected presenter and delivers training throughout North America in a number of areas related to ASD. Her topic, Translating Research into Practice: Applying Evidence-Based Practices to Address Challenging Behaviors in Schools, focused on designing de-escalation plans and conducting functional behavior assessments in order to develop behavior support plans that teach students alternative skills while decreasing problematic behaviors. It was an excellent two days of sharing and learning.

On October 23, 2012, a world autism awareness bill was passed by members of the House of Commons in Canada. Bill S-206 officially recognized April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day in Canada. The ASD consultant attended activities/events celebrating and promoting autism awareness at Greenfield Elementary on April 2 and Mountainview Elementary on April 5. Many other schools throughout CBVRSB participated in a variety of activities and events aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of autism. A fantastic job was done by students and staff who organized and participated in these events at their schools.

Maureen Clare MacDonald, Head Psychologist

In the three weeks since my last report, our Psychology Team has continued to focus their efforts on completing CBVRSB priority referrals, as well as assessments of Grade 12 students with identified learning disabilities who are pursuing post-secondary programs in September, 2013. Two of our psychologists were also involved in the Learning Disability follow-up in-services on April 17 and 18. Three of our psychologists continue to supervise the internship of a Mt. St. Vincent school psychology intern.

All psychologists attended a joint meeting with Guidance Counsellors on April 10. We received a great deal of valuable information through presentations on the Youth Access Centre, Schools Plus, and Go To Training. We were pleased to have the opportunity to come together with our colleagues in Guidance, Social Work and Speech, as well as Mental Health. We look forward to future networking opportunities and collaborations with these knowledgeable professionals.

As Head Psychologist, and at the request of the Coordinator of Student Services, I reviewed the existing circuits and proposed changes for the 2013-14 academic year. I met with our Coordinator to review the proposed changes, as well as to discuss other relevant issues which will impact our Team in 2013-14. I continue to consult with Team members and our B-level assessors. I also continue to provide school psychology services to my family of schools. My formal evaluations of three psychologists are also on-going.

Behaviour Support Teacher for Students with Special Needs, Alisa Cantwell

Behaviour consultations and transition meetings were the focus in April. Behavior support services were provided for fifteen students in seven schools. Many of these consultations include developing a transition plan for the next school year.

Transition meetings for new primary students continued. Parents of a child with special needs have many concerns and questions about their child starting school. The transition meetings help to address many of their questions and fears. Individual transition plans are developed to facilitate a successful transition into school come September.

Louise Smith and I completed our supervision of a student enrolled in the Behavior Intervention program at the Port Hawkesbury campus of the NSCC. This was an extremely positive experience. Through an evaluation process, the behavior teacher will share the skills and experiences gathered by the student with the program instructors at the NSCC.

The behavior support teacher, along with the Speech-Language Pathologists, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Student Services Consultants attended the Guidance Counselors meeting on April 10. This was an informative day with presentations on Access 808 (a support service for young adults aged 16 to 24), the Schools Plus program, Power School, and PEERS.

The behavior support teacher continues to be involved with the PEERS initiative (Social Skills for Teenagers with Developmental and Autism Spectrum Disorders). The PEERS core team meets on a monthly basis, with the focus of developing a pilot project for the upcoming school year.

Rick Simm, Coordinator

SIS/IT PD Consultant, Kurt Kublek

Assistive Technology/TIENET Consultant, Sheila Kublek

In the area of assistive technology there have been eighteen assistive technology assessments performed with students across the board.

It is that time of year when elementary schools are beginning transition meetings and plans for new students entering grade primary. For assistive technology it means making sure any necessary hardware or software is ordered now so that it will be available in September. Some elementary schools like to have some adaptive hardware on hand for their primary orientation day. This year schools are able to create transition plans, begin IPPs and document meeting minutes in Tienet for primary students who will be entering school in September 2013. Elementary schools are reporting that they find this feature very useful and efficient.

There was a meeting held in Halifax in late March for all the Tienet provincial facilitators. The majority of the agenda was focused on year end processes that need to take place at the school and board level. We are currently in the process of developing a Tienet year end “check list” for school and board personnel. This “check list” will help guide people through the tasks that need to be completed by the end of the school year.

The second day of the Learning Disabilities workshop took place in April for all elementary and junior high schools. An overview of assistive technology was provided during day one of the workshop. Participant feedback at the end of the session requested that there be a hands-on demonstration of available assistive technology; therefore, a variety of software and hardware was demonstrated to the workshop participants. Many of the teachers and administrators present agreed that most of their students diagnosed with a learning disability could benefit from the support of assistive technology.

IEI-E/SIS Consultant, Brad MacNeil

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. Two proposals were received from Alert Solutions (Power Announcement) and Synrevoice (School Connects Web). The next major step as a group will be to review the Technical/Business Requirements submitted by each vendor and review the scoring templates and discuss the approach to scoring. A meeting is scheduled for April 25, 2013.

The RBTS meeting in Halifax was attended on April 18, 2013. Consensus has been reached that no easy user identifiable information should be contained in the provincial student email accounts. Student accounts will be created at the time a student enters our system under the domain (Nova Scotia Public Education System) instead of, the domain currently in use. Consensus has also been reached that the change would be in place for September, 2013. A process is to be developed to allow the importing of old e-mails in to the new accounts. Discussions are still ongoing as to how the new e-mails will be imported into Powerschool and who will have the ability to view and or reset student passwords. Discussions around BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and Blended Learning continue as we move forward as a group.

Data Managers Jim McNeil & Tom Baker

Design and build of Principal portal staffing form is ongoing, release of this form in the portal is scheduled for mid-April. Principal submitted positions and staffing information is scheduled for processing the first week of May in preparation for the voluntary transfer lists.

Cadence audio has been added to the testing screen of the Fitness Log. Video and image instructional media are slated for inclusion before the end of April.

Aesop data import revisions are in development. Improved import functionality will enhance newly added or revised information compiled from staff and subject records for both casual and permanent employees.

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.

Charles Sheppard, Coordinator


Southside Learning Center
Conducted intake for the Southside Learning Center. Reviewed with the principals expected roles and transition plans.

Principals Meeting
Attended the principal meeting and discuss “Cyberbullying” with them.

Principal Evaluation
Visited principals for their evaluation.

Attended a workshop put on by the boards legal counsel around “ The Duty To Report” to the Department of Community Services Child Welfare Division. This workshop was held at the Northside Staff Development Center.

Meeting with Mi’Kmaq Children Sevices
Held a meeting with Mr. Robert Crosby, solicitor for Mi’Kmaq Child and Family Services and Mr. Sheldon Nathanson, to discuss the new reporting mechanisms that have been adopted by the CBVRSB.

Safe Schools Working Group
Attended the meeting of the Safer Schools Working Group in Lunenburg, N.S. at Bluenose Academy the agenda centerd around; PA systems project update; AED’s in school; social media etc.

Continuous School Improvement (CSI)
Attending Continuous School Improvement meetings at the following schools Cape Smokey Elementary, Riverview High School and St. Anne’s Elementary Schools.

Telephone Calls/School Meetings
Received and answered a number of phone calls from school and parents dealing with matters of bullying suspensions and school attendance also held meetings with parents and administrators to resolve said issues.

Severely Disruptive/Classroom Disruptive Incidents Reports

CBVRSB for months of March/April, 2013.

Programs and Student Services Report (School Services) for February, 2013


Principal Evaluations
Conducted along with my colleague, Ms. Cathy Boudreau school visits and evaluations of principals. Each team has a certain number of schools to visit and I must say that the four candidates that we had the opportunity to meet are doing great and wonderful things in their school and are truly transformative leaders in their approach and philosophy.

Southside Learning Center
Held meetings with Ms. Danielle Aucoin, principal of the center to discuss the students and their program. Discussion also centered on the transitioning phase of the students back to their home schools and how it was being received by the principals. There will be further meetings with principals regarding this matter.

ANSEA Meeting
Attended a meeting at the Westin Hotel on the Role Technology Plays In the Schools. With noted speakers Ruban Puentedura and Brent Frey.

Telephone Calls/School Meeting

Received and answered numerous calls around bullying in schools, fair play in sports school attendance, school transfers and other issues. Visited schools and met with administrators and parents/guardians to resolve such conflicts.

Classroom Disruptive Reports/Severely Disruptive Reports
Please find the reports of classroom and severe disruptive reports for the month of February, 2013.

Programs and Student Services Report (School Services) for January, 2013


Safe Schools Working Group-Halifax, N.S.
Attended the meeting with the working group to discuss and review the Provincial EMP Guidelines on Lockdown & Hold-Secure policy and emergency communication systems in the event of a school emergency. Also, discussed at this meeting was the impact of the Sandy Hook School massacre.

Anti Bullying Coordinator
Met with Ms. Kathleen Richards, Coordinator of anti-Bullying for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) to discuss arrangements for her visit to the area. Her topic will be around the initiatives that are offered by the DEECD.

Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation( NSSAF)
Met with Darrell Dempster, Executive Director of the NSSAF to arrange his presence at a meeting of junior and senior high principals around the topic of “Fair Play In Sports”.

Island Community Justice Society (ICJS)
Attended the regular board meeting of the ICJS. Topics items included the “Restorative Justice Program” and the YIP program and the funding cuts for next year.

United Way
Met with Ms. Lynn McCarron, Executive director of the United Way. The United Way is putting on a ”Thank You Breakfast” for its volunteers who performed exemplary this year and were helpful in the organization achieving their goal this year. A donation was given to the organization to help with the cost of the breakfast.

Severe Disruptive/Classroom Disruptive Incidents Reports
Attached please find charts tracking the number of classroom and sever disruptions reported in the CBVRSB for the month of January.

  View this article in PDF format Print article Send article

Navigate through the articles
Previous article PSS Report: May, 2013 PSS Report: March, 2013 Next article