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PSS Report: May, 2013
Published by Marjorie Sawchuk [Marjorie Sawchuk] on 06/13/2013 (1801 reads)
PSS Report: May, 2013

Susan Kelley, Director


Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Early Literacy

Language Arts Consultant P-12, Audrey Kyte-Murphy

Audrey Kyte-Murphy facilitated site based professional development days on writing development and assessment at Cusack, George D Lewis, Rankin, and John Bernard Croak Schools with teams of four to five teachers at each site. As a result of the day, each teacher on staff received a Continuum of Learning binder with information on assessing writing and planning for future instruction. The sessions focused on assessment for learning and enabling students to grow as writers. Also included in the teacher binder are student writing samples from students in the school aligned to the continuum. This concludes a two year initiative to have all elementary teachers owning a writing continuum binder with authentic samples of their student writings, information on expectations for growth, and assessment practices. Writing Key Messages were also developed and distributed to all teachers as a result of teacher conversations during the professional development and information from provincial assessment results. It is hoped that this initiative will help our teachers support students as they grow as writers. The goal is to move this continuum forward to all Junior High Schools in the future. It is in place in P-9 schools.

Primary Orientation will take place during the month of May. Each school received a Primary Program Power Point developed by the English Language Arts Consultant to guide their parent meetings which will be held during the orientation sessions. Also, staff from Special Services has been invited to observe students at the Primary Orientation Days. The Play, Talk, Learn Bags will be distributed to the parents/guardians of new primaries with instruction of best usage of bag content to support early literacy development at home. The bags are funded through the Department of Education.

The distribution of student books for grades five and six to add to their classroom libraries continued this month.

The Succeeding in Reading Teachers have assessed and are now working with grade primary students for a final eight week block of time. The goal is to provide additional support for the students as they finish their primary year. The Department of Education has provided a compilation of guided reading books for grade two classroom teachers to use to support those students who received daily intervention in grade one, as they move into the grade two setting.

On May 30, the Early Literacy Teachers will attend their final monthly professional development session.

Audrey Kyte-Murphy has completed working with a Department Of Education Provincial Team revising the Grades 4-6 English language Arts Curriculum Guide. Previously completed are English Language Arts Curriculum Guides for grades P-3 and 7-9. The revised guides support teachers by offering suggestions for assessment, teaching, student practice, and differentiation based on grade level outcomes. Hopefully, the Department of Education will make these guides available to teachers in the near future.

Audrey has been working closely with the Literacy Support Consultant and Mentor analyzing and reflecting on the Provincial Assessment Data for grades 3 and 6 and setting goals for the next academic year based on areas in literacy development which require more growth as a Board and within individual schools.

Grade 8 students will complete the Provincial Reading, Writing, and Math assessment June 3-6, 2013.

Social Studies

A very successful Regional Heritage Fair took place May 2 & 3 at Cape Breton University. There were 181 students who presented 139 projects to judges, visiting schools and the general public. Six students will be bringing their projects to the Nova Scotia Heritage Fair to be held at Pier 12, Halifax on May 31.

On May 15, grade three teachers received professional development on the new Social Studies curriculum led by Carl Anderson and the Board Implementation Team. Jennifer Burke, Social Studies Consultant, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, was in attendance and gave an overview of the processes for content delivery as needed for 21st C. learners.

Mathematics Consultant P-12, Marlene Urquhart

In May, there were several schools chosen from our Board to do field testing for the Grades 4 and 6 Mathematics Assessments that will take place in the fall of next year. I am pleased that our schools have been chosen to administer these tasks as it not only supports their instruction, it provides the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development with important data that informs the building of the assessments.

Our Board is piloting mathematics support technology for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. As part of this pilot, Marlene Urquhart, Michelle Macaulay (Mathematics Coach P-10), Jillian MacNeil and Michelle Sollazzo from Harbourside Elementary and Brian Ross from Mira Road took part in a webinar supported by the publisher and members from the Department, to help us utilize the program to its full potential. We will meet again in June to report our findings to the Department. The teachers and students have been wonderful to work with and on behalf of the Board would like to thank them for their hard work.

Marlene and Michelle will be meeting with a small group of grades 3 and 4 teachers to prepare a plan for grade 4 teachers in September. It is our hope that we provide a summary of topics covered in grade 3 while focusing on instructional planning and best assessment practice. We will repeat this process in June when we meet with a team of grade 5 and 6 teachers for our grade 6 classes. We hope the result of these meetings provide direction and support for our teachers.

Marlene has been updating the Mathematics P-6 website with information regarding the implementation of the P-3 Mathematics. There has been information for both parent and teachers added to the site. It is my hope that our website will keep parents/guardians informed about the changes that are coming this fall and in years to come.

Michelle Macaulay has been supporting teachers with manipulative use in the classroom. She has been using her skills to co-teach with elementary teachers. She continues to visit schools to ensure they are receiving the support they need.

Marlene attended Provincial Elementary Mathematics Team Meetings. These meetings were especially productive. Yearly plans for grades P-3 were finalized and a plan for supporting teachers with a combined grade 3-4 class next year was also completed. Teachers who will have a combined 3-4 class next year must implement the new grade 3 mathematics curriculum while supporting the APEF mathematics curriculum for grade 4. We are planning to do a session with these combined grade 3-4 teachers in June so that they have direction and support for September.

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

Music and visual arts students from Breton Education Centre participated in a Coffee House to showcase their work on April 24.

Neptune Theatre performed the production of the Classical Kids “Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery” in several schools in April.

May is Gaelic Awareness month. The Celtic Colours Festival has programming for elementary schools taking place to support this which includes curriculum links and an interactive school performance. Celtic Colours was successful in receiving a grant to help lower costs to elementary schools who would like to participate in this program.

Music scholarships from the “Giant” music grant will be awarded in May to music students attending summer camps and to assist those going for post-secondary study in music. Thank you to Newcap and the Giant radio station for their incredible support of music programs and students in the CBVRSB.

Baddeck Academy students performed the musical “42nd Street” on May 6-8 at the school under the direction of Jason Kempt.

On May 7, Mount Carmel School students opened an art exhibit featuring a John Lennon theme of peace. This exhibit was based around a found recording of a phone call from John Lennon to Jack Columbus at a local radio station during the Montreal “Bed In for Peace.”

Glace Bay High School is hosting an arts night on May 16 at 7 pm, and a band concert on May 21.

Sydney Academy will host their “rock” show concert on May 22 at the school.

A session will be held soon for teachers with information on Cape Breton University’s new program – Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies with a major in Music.

Good luck and congratulations to the many teachers and students involved in the production of “Les Miserables” at the Savoy Theatre in May.

Natasha Burke is directing the play “Hard Biscuits” with students from George D. Lewis School at the Louisbourg Playhouse from May 28 to 31.

Rankin of the Narrows School is producing their own school musical and performing it at the school on June 7 and 8.

Many other concerts and performances are taking place in schools during May and June, with many of the dates posted on the Arts Education website at

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Shea

Reading Challenge:

Celebrations and presentations began May 6 as Cst. John Kennedy (RCMP) and Coordinator of the Adopt-A-Library Literacy program visited schools in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board presenting them with their trophies and banners. Marion Bridge Elementary is the 2013 World Champion in the Elementary Division with an average of almost 200 books per student. Sydney Mines Junior High was the ”Champion of Champions”, winning the Past Champions category for Junior High with an average of pages per student at 667; Dr. T. L. Sullivan is the new World Champion for Junior High, having read approximately 565 pages per student; Malcolm Munroe Junior High received a banner for the “Most Outstanding First Year participant” at the junior high level having read over 245,000 pages. Baddeck Academy excelled in both the elementary and junior high division, coming first in Victoria County at both levels, as well as a bronze placing in the world. Donkin-Gowrie Complex also received bronze for their third place win in the world at elementary.

As well, the Top Reader in the CBVRSB in the Junior High Category was at Donkin Junior High and Silver for Elementary Cape Breton County, having read over 35,000 pages. The Top Reader in the elementary category for the CBVRSB was at Glace Bay Elementary, having read 1225 books! Other schools receiving banners were: Cape Smokey (Bronze Victoria County), North Highlands (Silver Victoria County), Thompson (Silver Cape Breton County), Breton Education Centre (Bronze Cape Breton County), St. Anne (Silver Cape Breton County), Brookland (Gold Cape Breton County), Glace Bay (Bronze Cape Breton County), and St. Agnes (Bronze Cape Breton County). All banner presentations should be completed by the end of May.

Board Library Committee:

Work is progressing slowly on the creation of the rubric for selecting appropriate materials for school libraries in the CBVRSB. Committee members want the wording to be definite and not allow for any misconceptions of the criteria. The committee is meeting again on May 22, 2013 for another day.


The growing pains of learning Insignia and becoming fully automated are starting to dwindle. Progress has been made and CBVRSB is moving towards automated circulation. Several schools have started circulation in this manner, and others are still learning the skills. A link for Insignia has now been placed on the CBVRSB webpage, allowing students and staff to search the Board database from home. For some schools, there is still some data input required as their collection is not fully operational in an automated environment. Secondary schools are closer to completion and as each book becomes a MARC (Machine Readable Cataloguing) record, the database will grow by leaps and bounds.

Holocaust Educator Of The Year:

The 2013 Holocaust Educator of the Year Award was presented to Carmelita Cechetto-Shea (Library Support) at the Holocaust Remembrance Service on April 14, 2013, at the Sons of David Synagogue on Whitney Avenue, Sydney. Selected by a committee from within the Cape Breton Holocaust Education Committee, the award honors an individual who has a “strong commitment and dedication to raising awareness and sensitizing students to the consequences of racism through Holocaust education”. The Cape Breton Holocaust Education Committee consists of various educators from the public school system, universities, and members of the Jewish community.

Teachers’ Resource Centre:

Work continues on the development of new reading boxes on various themes/topics/author studies. With the 300th anniversary of Louisbourg, there will be a reading box of materials developed with both fiction and non-fiction resources to meet the expected demand for materials on the Fortress. Two boxes will be created, one for secondary and one for elementary.

As well, the Teachers’ Resource Centre has begun automated circulation and a dedicated computer for patron use will be available so that staff can search the CBVRSB database onsite.

Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea

I attended the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance National Convention and Exposition; Drive Your Future 2013, in Charlotte, North Carolina April 23-27. Over 15,000 physical and health education teachers from around the world attended.

Some of the sessions attended included a presentation designed to give adapted and general physical education teachers effective and practical choices when teaching students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Part I focused on visual mediums including social stories, scripts and visual modeling using the iPad and computer. Part II introduced activities designed to promote sensory integration and play through engaging equipment. Part III addressed assessments that can be utilized across a number of settings.

Today’s students are engrossed in a technology enhanced world where Internet, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, iPods, iPads and a host of other digital resources are a way of life. The session showed how to embrace the new technologies and develop new pedagogies by flipping the classroom.

Another session focused on various iPad applications that could be used for student assessment within physical education teaching programs. Formative and summative assessments were discussed and demonstrated covering the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective learning domains.

One other session was an experiential multidisciplinary workshop that focused on how exergames (video games that require physical exertion to play) can be used as a means to accumulate more physical activity in today’s sedentary society. The panel led live demonstrations and competitions on the use and benefits of exergames in schools, fitness clubs, and at home.

Nutrition for Learning, Dietician Debbie Madore

Breakfast and snack programs continue to thrive in our Board. Recently many schools have been experiencing an increase in participation rates. Meal day counts have been submitted to Margo Riebe-Butt, Provincial Breakfast Coordinator with Department of Health and Wellness for funding for next year. A provincial conference call is planned for later in May to discuss the funding for Boards for 2013-2014,

Nourish Nova Scotia continues to move forward as a nonprofit organization to support nourishment programs for children and youth. It has received Registered Charitable Status and was the lead for a presentation from Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, held at Halifax West on May 9, 2013. Dr. Freedhoff addressed the group of students and discussions were held around marketing of food to youth from Industry. He was well received.

Policy Advisory Group continues to hold monthly meetings in Halifax to update the Food and Nutrition Policy for Nova Scotia Schools. The purpose of food at school is to provide nourishment to support learning and growth. The policy will allow and encourage more “whole food” with a stronger emphasis on vegetables and fruits, and less processed package foods.

I had to pleasure of participating in “Bullying Stop Here” inservice at the Staff Development Centre, North Sydney, on May 2, and an update of the Looking Inward document.

Plans continue to unfold around the Breakfast Golf Tournament, which is scheduled for June 21, The Lakes.


Cathy Viva, Coordinator

Mathematics Consultant (P-12), Marlene Urquhart

On behalf of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, I would like to congratulate the Math On Olympiad Team from Malcolm Munroe Junior High. They represented our board very well at Provincials, which were held at Dalhousie University on May 12. In fact, the grade seven team, Aiden Ellerker and Stephen Syms, placed third overall. How impressive!

I am pleased to report that our first day of Grade 10 professional development is scheduled for June 4 at the Staff Development Centre. Teachers have already been given the outcomes for our new Mathematics 10 courses but we will have an in-depth look at what is expected from these courses. New resources for both Mathematics 10 and Mathematics at Work 10 have been purchased and will be available to schools by the end of June. A second day of professional development will be done early in September.

Our grade 8 students will be writing their second Board common cumulative test on May 21. Marlene Urquhart and Michelle Macaulay will visit schools the week of May 27 to talk with teachers and students about this assessment to see how it supported the yearly plan and instructional practices. The grade 8 students will write the NS Reading, Writing and Mathematics Assessments June3-6.

Marlene has been updating the Mathematics 7-12 website with information on the new curriculum as well as other important documents that may be useful to teachers.

French Second Language Programs Consultant, Laurie MacIntosh

The 30th annual Concours d’Art Oratoire (French Public Speaking Competition) took place at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax on April 27. Unfortunately, only eleven of our twenty-two local winners from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board were able to compete at the provincial competition due to prior commitments. Fionna MacLellan (Sydney River Elementary) won Silver in the grade 5/6 Core French category, while Joyce Sseguya-Lwanga (Malcolm Munroe Junior High) won Silver in the 7/8 Late French Immersion category. Ashna Asim (Sydney Academy) won Gold in the grade 11/12 Integrated Core French category and will go on to compete at the national competition on May 25th at the University of Ottawa.

French Special Project funding for the 2013-2014 school year has been approved by the Nova Scotia Department of Education. The CBVRSB would like to thank Mr. Gérald Félix (Director, French Second Language Programs, Nova Scotia Department of Education) and wish him good luck on his retirement from education in July of 2013.

French OPI (Oral Proficiency Interviews) are currently being conducted by Laurie MacIntosh, French Consultant, with students participating in the five official ‘classes expérimentales’ as well as students participating in the Nova Scotia-Quebec Exchange Program. Parent information sessions for the grade six Intensive Core French Program have also been delivered by Ms. MacIntosh during the month of May.

Inservicing for French Second Language teachers is winding down for the school year. Elementary Core French teachers (grades 4-6) took part in an inservice at Shipyard Elementary on May 10thfacilitated by Laurie MacIntosh (French Second Language Consultant), Celeste Foisy Lahey (Literacy Lead Teacher for FSL) as well as Brad MacNeil (Technology Department). Teachers were fortunate to have the opportunity to order French Second Language resource materials due to the influx of extra funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Education. On May 15th, Mr. Michel Martin (Chenelière) visited with Laurie MacIntosh and Craig Buckland (Junior High French Immersion Resource Teacher). Mr. Martin provided new literacy resource materials to aid Craig’s work with literacy support for students. The final inservice of the year for grade six Intensive Core French teachers will take place on June 3 and 4 in Halifax, facilitated by Elaine Melanson, French Consultant, N.S. Department of Education.

Nova Scotia International Students Programs Manager, Tammy Sampson

  • The upcoming ISP full group activity has been changed from a cultural potluck to a spring tea. Awards will be presented to host families, students, coordinators, and school support staff. The event will be held on May 26th as previously scheduled.
  • We continue to receive new student applications for September. We currently have 65 new and returning students slated for the CB-VRSB.
  • Student placements have begun.
  • Students and Homestay Coordinators set up an information booth at the Mayflower Mall on May 11th.
  • Tammy Sampson and five CB-VRSB students took part in the EduNova activity in Antigonish on May 13-14th.
  • The CB-VRSB ISP will honor graduates with a dinner on May 30th.
  • As per a recent request from the International Centre of English Academic Preparation, Tammy Sampson has been in talks with the organization regarding potential sponsorship for CB-VRSB ISP activities. A meeting will take place in June.
  • The Vietnam Agent FAM tour will take place June 10-14th.
  • The CB-VRSB ISP staff will be hosting a full day workshop for school liaison support staff for our 13 current schools. An invitation will also be extended to George D. Lewis School in Louisbourg.
  • The Edu Nova Tour took place in May with a stop at Cape Breton University/
  • Paul Millman and Ben MacKeil will be in the area at the end of the month to take video footage for promotional materials.

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

Co-operative Education Support Funding

English Program Services has approved funding to support co-operative education in the high schools for 2013-14. For this coming year, grade 11 and 12 students at Sydney Academy, Riverview High, Memorial High, Baddeck Academy, Breton Education Centre and Glace Bay High will have the opportunity to obtain a co-op credit. Projections indicate that over 200 students (outside the O2 program) will explore a potential career through co-op.


May 5-11 was North American Occupational Safety & Health Week. Presentations on workplace safety were made to high school students by Allyson Audit from the Threads of Life Workplace Tragedy Series. Six co-op teachers, along with the community-based learning consultant, also attended Safety First in Cape Breton conference on May 10 at Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. This was the first of it kind in the area and such sessions as Safety and Prevention with Youth in the Workplace, proved to be very informative and relevant to our programs.

New Teacher Workshop for O2 and Co-op

There will be a workshop for any new teachers to the O2 and Co-op programs on August 22 and 23. This is part of the Summer Learning Opportunities for Teachers and is sponsored by the Department of Education.

Vocational Programs Consultant, Ken Collier

Students are continuing to prepare for the National Skills Competitions which will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, in June. The five students who will be competing at this event are very excited and final preparations are taking place. Good luck to all involved.

Jamie Baillie, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia and MLA Eddie Orrell, visited our school in late April. Both were very impressed with the variety of programs which we offer and indications are that they are very committed to the training we offer here at our school.

National Occupational Health and Safety week was held from May 6thto May 10th. Allyson Audit attended our school as part of the “Threads of Life Program” and shared her story with many of our students. Her story involved the death of her brother in the workplace and she shared with the students the impact that this had on her and her family. Emphasis was made on working safe and exercising employee rights in the workplace.

Memorial High School hosted the Lieutenant Governor’s Award on Wednesday, May 8th. The students in our Cooking Program prepared a luncheon which was held after the ceremonies. The Dining Room Services students also assisted with the serving of the luncheon. Indications were that it was a very enjoyable event.

A number of staff attended the “Safety First in Cape Breton Conference” which was held at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre in Sydney on Friday, May 10th. This was a very informative day and the presentations were interesting and educational.

Transition meetings are now being held for students entering our school in September. These meetings give us the opportunity to better prepare for the arrival of these students and also ensure that accommodations are in place upon their arrival.

Plans are underway for the annual Vocational Department Student Barbeque. This event is always well attended and looked forward to by both staff and students.

Representatives from Seaboard Industrial will be providing a training session on Fall Arrest Protection for our Grade 12 trades students. This session will help prepare students to enter the workforce with a broader knowledge of using certain types of equipment.

Many students will also be participating in the work experience component of their vocational program during the week of May 21st – 24th. Students will have the opportunity to apply their skills in a workplace environment and obtain valuable experience. Students also have the opportunity to make contacts for possible future employment opportunities.


Lynn Crawford, Coordinator

Gay Straight Alliances

Recommendation 11 in the Task Force Report on Bullying and Cyberbullying recommended that all Boards establish groups that support the safety and inclusion of marginalized students. Efforts have been made to create groups in the CBVRSB schools and we currently have 11 active groups, and 3 schools requesting support to establish committees at their sites. A committee is being constructed to assist those schools who require some support and guidance in getting GSA groups started. I wish to acknowledge the great efforts of teachers and volunteers in leading the GSA groups in our board. A special thank you s extended to Riverview teacher Serena MacDonald for her leadership in organizing the regional GSA conference in March.

4+ Program

Plans to re-offer the 4+ Program in the 2013-2014 school year are currently underway. A small committee of Glace Bay community members will assist with the promoting and recruiting for this year’s program. Applications will be made available on June 5th and the deadline for submitting applications will June 30th. The program will only operate if there are enough applications submitted by the deadline date, there will be no deadline extensions. Parents/guardians submitting applications will be notified if the program is proceeding by July2.

Common Grade 12 Assessment

All High Schools have been advised that the grade 12 Common Mathematics Assessment will be written on June 14th. The assessments are being copied and packaged at Central office and will be delivered to schools by June 6th.

Cape Breton Regional Spelling Bee

The Board was pleased to support the local Cape Breton Regional Spelling Bee held at Whitney Pier Memorial on May 13th. The event was sponsored by the Black Educators, Association, Project Lead, and Community United for Black Education and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. African Nova Scotian students from grades 1-8 participated in this year’s Spelling Bee. The overall winner was a grade one student who like all participants displayed a tremendous amount of confidence. All participants enjoyed the event and received a t-shirt and gift card for their participation in the Bee.

Student Support Workers

The annual Honouring Our Graduates evening sponsored by the Student Support Worker program will take place on June 12 at 7:00pm. The number of students being recognized this year is twenty-five. The event will take place at the Menelik Hall on Laurier Street.

Mi’kmaq Consultant, Marjorie Graves

I have been working on gathering resources for the Mi’kmaq Studies 10 teachers. I have had the opportunity to meet with most of the teachers, who are and will be teaching this course next year and share with them what I have compiled.

Currently, I am working on looking through the curriculum documents for grades P-6 and finding opportunities for teachers to embed the Mi’kmaq culture into their classrooms/curriculum. This project will be ready for teachers to use for the upcoming school year. If any teachers have any suggestions on how they are doing this in their classrooms presently, please forward them to me and we can share these ideas with all teachers (

I have also had the opportunity to visit the remaining schools on my list, within the school board. For each of these schools, I wanted to inform them of the prospect of visiting the Membertou Heritage Park for the end of year school trips and I also left them with some information on the Mi’kmaq culture.

I put on a professional development session at North Highlands Elementary; they had asked me to put on a session to share ideas with them on how to incorporate Mi’kmaq culture into their everyday classroom activities. I shared many ideas and lesson plans with the teachers and we also had some valuable conversations on how they were already doing some of this within their classrooms.

Lastly, I had the pleasure of attending the L'nui'sultinej Conference held at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish. L'nui'sultinej is an annual conference which brings together Mi'kmaq people from across the Mi'kmaq Nation to look at education issues related to language preservation, enhancement and revitalization.

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

The Coordinator of Student Services began the month by attending a two day Coordinator's Meeting with Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Staff in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, on May 1 and 2.

May continued to be a very busy month for dealing with staff related matters. This Coordinator worked very closely with all Coordinators of Human Resources in an effort to address all staff related queries as well as with the Programs and Student Services Team. On May 13, the Coordinator of Human Resources (CUPE) with support from another Human Resources Coordinator and this Coordinator, made a presentation to the elected school board regarding student needs within our board and the associated teacher assistant support for students with identified needs. This information was shared with school principals on May 21 to inform the TA support they will be receiving for their schools for the 2013-2014 school year. The itinerant pool staffing meetings were also held on May 21.

During this month, Crisis Intervention Teams were mobilized to support students and staff at Riverview High School as well as Malcolm Munroe Junior High following the sudden passing of a high school student. We also provided evening support to an associated girls’ basketball team.

Throughout the month, the Coordinator continued to attend Program Planning Team Meetings at schools, including Sydney Academy and Sydney River Elementary. Meetings were held with Schools Plus staff. On May 22, this Coordinator attended a Schools Plus and Mental Health Clinician session in Truro, Nova Scotia. The Coordinator continues to attend Continuous School Improvement sessions at schools with the Coordinator of Secondary Programs. A guidance meeting was held on May 24 as well.

As the reports from Student Services staff outlines, May has been a busy time for continuing to support the transition process for students entering our school system as well as for students with special needs moving from elementary to junior high, and junior to senior high. Student Services personnel have also been supporting school personnel with Primary Orientation Days as a way to further assess student needs and to identify appropriate services for our new primary students for the Fall.

Student Services Consultant, Genevieve Richardson

Attended many transition meetings held in various schools throughout our Board. These meetings are very important for students just coming into our system and for students who are transitioning from grade to grade or level to level. During these meetings we talk about the students’ strengths and challenges and what they need in other to have successful transition. The parents are a large part of this process, as they often know their children best. These meetings help in determining what supports and or accommodations need to be put in place so the child is more successful with the transition. These meetings also help in determining the different roles and responsibilities the team has to play with the transition plan. The meeting notes and transition plan are put in the student's document library inTienet. The new students coming into primary in September, are also in Tienet so any of their information/reports, etc. can be uploaded into the system for future reference.

Worked on the Special Class Placement lists during the month of May. Special Class Placement takes a considerable amount of time because there are many things to consider before decisions are made with placements. There is a Special Class Placement Committee who support Cathy Boudreau in the decisions for special class placement but Cathy Boudreau has the final say for any of these placements. The information, for Special Class Placement, was sent from the schools to Cathy Boudreau's office, through Tienet. This new system of collecting this important information from the schools is helping to make this process easier

Next week there will be an evening parent session held by Allkids Early Intervention. The director of Allkids contacted Cathy Boudreau to see if some of her Student Services personnel could attend an evening session with parents to discuss some of the things we have available in our Board and how some of the processes work when looking for support for their children. There are a number of us attending this session. The session helps to give some support and comfort to these sometimes anxious parents who may be new to the education system, etc. We have been doing this evening parent session, with Allkids Early Intervention, for a few years now.

ASD Consultant, Louise Smith

May continued at a hectic pace with many transition meetings involving new students (diagnosed with ASD) entering primary in September and students with significant needs moving from elementary to junior high and from junior high to high school. The ASD Consultant attended transition meetings at Florence Elementary, Ferrisview Elementary, Glace Bay Elementary, St. Agnes Elementary, Rankin School of the Narrows, Breton Education Centre, Riverview High School, Glace Bay High School and Baddeck Academy. Arrangements were made for grade level transition meetings at Brookland Elementary and Mountainview Elementary for students with significant needs and extensive programming.

Primary orientation days were scheduled throughout the month of May across the district. The ASD consultant, along with other members of the student services team, the board's Speech-Language Pathologists and Psychologists and school based personnel worked together with grade primary teachers to support new students identified with special needs (via the board's transition process) and document needs of students who were not previously identified. The ASD consultant provided/supported schools with the development and implementation of visual supports/structure for identified students in an attempt to provide a successful and positive day for new students and their families. The ASD consultant attended primary orientation days at Jubilee Elementary, Sydney River Elementary, Rankin School of the Narrows, Glace Bay Elementary, Ferrisview Elementary, Cusack Elementary and Cape Smokey Elementary.

The ASD Consultant continued to provide site based program/student support via the Board's referral process as well as with respect to Board based ASD initiatives (i.e., STAR, TEACCH, TTAP). Classroom based consultations involved direct work with students, teachers and teacher assistants -development and implementation of visual supports and programming materials. Information was shared with PPT teams via school based meetings. The ASD consultant continued to be involved with IPP meetings/updates for students involved in the STAR program. Significant progress continues to be documented for students following the STAR curriculum. The expertise demonstrated by teachers and teacher assistants with respect to specialized instructional strategies and program curriculum implementation is definitely worth noting - excellent work by all involved.

The PEERS group met again on May 3 to continue work of the development of a comprehensive Social Skills Curriculum for the CBVRSB. Excellent progress was made. The pre and post assessment measures have been purchased and are ready for teachers, teens and parents. Our teen curriculum is finished and there is one last parent session lesson to complete. All fourteen PEERS lessons form the basis of the program. There are three supplementary lessons that start the program: Lesson A, Social Thinking Skills 1 - Thinking with your eyes; Lesson B, Social Thinking skills 2 - Good and Weird Thoughts - Expected and Unexpected Behaviors in a Group; and Lesson C, Social Thinking Skills 3 - Perspective Taking. These three supplemental lessons are followed by the first thirteen PEERS lessons. The program ends with three more supplemental lessons: Lesson D, Introduction to Healthy Relationships and Sexuality 1- Friendship vs Boyfriends/Girlfriends; Lesson E, Introduction to Healthy Relationships and Sexuality 2 – Emotions; and Lesson F, Introduction to Healthy Relationships and Sexuality 3 - Public/Private Behaviors and Consent. The Program ends with PEERS lesson fourteen - wrap up and graduation.

The supplementary lessons are modeled after the PEERS format with homework review, Didactic Lesson ...etc. (structured / scripted format). It is anticipated that parent sessions will be scheduled during the evenings of the teen sessions. Parent session lessons have been created for each of the supplementary lessons with just one left to complete. The drama group at one of our pilot high schools is working on role play videos - so there will be "peer models" as part the program. The ASD Consultant and school based members of the PEERS group, Lorna Gillis and Margot O'Leary, met with administration and other members of school staff in each of our identified pilot sites: Riverview and Glace Bay High Schools. The need for the program, the goals-curriculum, target group and model for implementation were reviewed at each school to get input, address any concerns and ensure support at the school level. The program was very well received at both schools. School staff in conjunction with the school based PEERS member will begin the process of identifying potential candidates for the program. The PEERS team will review files to determine if the program is a "good fit" and then begin the process of meeting with teens and parents. Both schools felt a locally developed course for credit was a great next step and staff shared ideas to help ensure the program was a good fit within the current high school curriculum.

On May 23, the ASD Consultant, along with other members of the student services team, provided an information session at ALLKIDS early intervention program, for parents of new students entering grade primary in September, 2013.

Maureen Clare MacDonald, Head Psychologist

This past month, we said goodbye to the two B-level assessors who provided assistance to our Team for a limited amount of time. Their support was greatly appreciated by all.

I met with the Coordinator of Student Services to discuss our personnel needs for the 2013-14 school year. I also met with all Psychology Team members as a group, to review the circuit changes for the upcoming school year. We welcomed Lauren Clare-Duggan back from her maternity leave. We scheduled our next meeting for the end of this month, and I have arranged a professional development component for that time.

Our psychologists have been very involved in Transition meetings at all levels, as well as Primary Orientations at our Elementary schools. We will continue to be involved in Transition meetings for the remainder of the school year. As Head Psychologist, I was also called upon to be involved in a crisis intervention this month. Our Team, along with speech-language pathologists and social workers, also attended a year-end Tienet update which was provided by Sheila Kublek.

I continue to carry out the formal evaluations for three psychologists. I was able to complete the final observation and follow-up meeting for one psychologist, and will complete this process for the remaining two later this month. Case reviews have now been completed for all psychologists currently involved in the evaluation process. As always, I continue to consult with Program Planning Teams, our psychologists and outside agencies, as well as to provide school psychology services to my family of schools.

Behavior Support Teacher for Students with Special Needs, Alisa Cantwell

In the month of May, the Behaviour Support Teacher focused on learning about and meeting students identified with special needs starting school in September 2013.

The Behaviour Support Teacher attended several primary transition meetings held at students’ community school. For parents/guardians, the meeting was the first Program Planning Team held for their child. Outside agencies presently providing services (e.g. Daycares, Allkids, AIP, etc.) attended these meetings. The schools provided welcoming environments for many anxious parents/guardians. The input from parents and outside agencies was valuable in developing transition plans to ensure successful transitions for these students into the school environment.

The Primary Orientation Days held thus far have been very successful. In part, the success of the students can be attributed the transition process established by Student Services. Through this process they are able to develop and implement the necessary supports during Orientation Day and foster opening lines of communication with the parents/guardians and service providers. Student Services personnel, including Resource Teachers, Guidance Counsellors, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Psychologists, have participated to ensure a positive initial experience for every new primary student. Their support is greatly appreciated.


Rick Simm, Coordinator

SIS/IT PD Consultant, Kurt Kublek

One of the biggest innovations in technology integration in our schools today is the use of handheld, mobile devices. With this in mind, Mr. Kublek has been working with others in and outside of the board regarding I-Pad Deployment planning. The development of a plan to manage the devices in our school system is an immense undertaking with many facets to the plan including, funding, application management, curriculum, security, technology infrastructure, etc.

As we close in on the end of the school year, Mr.Kublek has been working with the schools on their end-of- the-year reports including the new provincial Courses Taught report and the quarterly extract. And recently, as a part of an ongoing proactive dedication to security in our systems, Mr.Kublek and his team did a forced password reset for all teachers and administrators’ accounts (this will be done on an annual basis).

Furthermore, planning for the 2013-2014 school year is a large part of Mr. Kublek’s responsibilities right now. He has been registering students in the Nova Scotia Virtual School (NSVS) for next year, helping schools to prepare their schedules, pre-registering students (mostly new primary students), transferring students, etc.

Mr.Kublek has also continued with the bi-weekly meetings as project manager for Powerschool. Many of the topics covered include discussions on cumulative report advancements, new PowerTeacher Gradebook screen testing, provincial assessment results, etc.

Assistive Technology/TIENET Consultant, Sheila Kublek

Assistive technology has been able to provide an iPad to all elementary and junior high learning centre teachers. A day was spent with these teachers exploring the iPad and many useful applications that they can use to support their students’ programs. The learning centre teachers were very excited to have received such an innovative and rewarding teaching tool. There have been 13 assistive technology assessments performed through the end of April and into May.

A luncheon meeting was attended with our board’s SchoolsPlus facilitator and SchoolsPlus community outreach workers, along with the principals or representatives from the schools participating in the SchoolsPlus program. The purpose of the meeting was to show administrators how to fill out a referral for SchoolsPlus through Tienet and to gain a better understanding of the schools’ student needs. The SchoolsPlus facilitator and community outreach workers track a great deal of student data through the Tienet system.

A meeting took place with all the itinerant core professional staff (school psychologists, SLPs, social workers, EAL, etc.) to go over end of year procedures for Tienet. A check list has been developed to deliver to schools to assist with their end of year procedures. The check list outlines the procedures that need to take place and who is responsible for performing these duties at the end of the school year.

IEI-E/SIS Consultant, Brad MacNeil

After finding out the costs associated with the province’s plan to implement an auto-dialer solution, representatives were asked if boards were still willing to move forward with the RFP process. On May 17, we received notice that all boards would like to proceed with the RFP evaluation on the basis of the $1.00 per student annual cost. The Management Steering Committee also gave their endorsement to proceed. There is a meeting scheduled for the end of May to move forward with the RFP process.

A PASCO science probe evaluation session in Halifax was attended to help identify which science probes are appropriate for each grade level. The DOE will be using this information to update the provincial book order site, so that the appropriate hardware is available. We currently have seven SPARK Science Systems. The plan is to distribute the hardware to seven of our junior high schools at the start of the 2013-2014 school year. A PD plan is being developed, along with Moodle courses designed to help teacher’s access information and labs specific to their grade levels.

This year’s IT Summer institute will be held in Antigonish (St.FX) August 6-9. Each board is allowed to accept 20 participants. Response has been good. To date, ten teachers from our board have been applied to attend. The focus of this year’s summer institute is on ‘Blended Learning.’ Teachers will bring resources specific to their grade levels and be able to attend sessions which will help them get closer to their goals of managing a Blended Learning Environment for their students. We have seen an increase in this area as teachers look for new ways to support their classrooms virtually. Many schools and teachers have taken advantage of our board Moodle space for this purpose.

Our next RBTS meeting is scheduled for June 7 and will be held at the CCRSB board office in Truro.

Data Managers, Jim McNeil & Tom Baker

Implement changes to the Principal portal, including revised staffing form, incumbent tracking and additional reporting functionality.

Design and developed new features for inclusion in the Voluntary Transfer List process.

Reviewing hosting requirements for web accounts.

Ongoing support continued for Blackberry Exchange Services and web hosting.

Weekly data imports for Aesop including all personnel and related subject information were conducted.


Charles Sheppard, Coordinator


Department of Community Service, Child Welfare Division

Met with Bob O’Handley, Director of Comhla Cruinn, Amy MacNeil, Team Leader and Bernie McVeigh, Principal, Sherwood Park Education Centre, to discuss placements of their residents in our school system. This was an initial meeting to review a number of key issues and concerns.

Lt. Governors Awards, Memorial High

Attended the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards ceremony at Memorial High School on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013. Sixteen students from across the CBVRSB received medals honouring their accomplishments

Extended Suspensions

Three students received extended suspensions beyond five (5) days for various disruptions involving violence and drug offences.

Severe/Classroom Disruptions

Please see attached the classroom and severe disruptions for May, 2013.



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