Rankin of the Narrows
A visit by Mr. Astephen and Mr. White was made to the new school in Iona, Rankin of the Narrows on January 5, 2007. This was the first day for the students in their new school. There was much excitement and pride in the air and justly so. It was very nice to be present during this special day.
Mr. White attended two ‘Safe Streets’ meetings at the Civic Centre during January. There will be three focus group sessions and a public meeting held near the end of February to get feedback from the public regarding the safety of their neighborhoods.
A meeting, attended by Mr. White, was held in Halifax on January 18-19, 2007, on Education for Sustainable Development. Mr. White has been appointed to a National Committee representing Nova Scotia on this topic. He will attend a meeting in Toronto on March 22-23, 2007.
Primary Registration was held on the following days in January:
Tuesday January 30, 2007 2:30-4:00 PM
Wednesday January 31, 2007 2:30-4:00 PM
We are requesting this information from the schools by February 9, 2007.
We are working very closely with Programs and Student Services to find placements for students for the second semester. The board works very hard to make sure all students′ programming needs are met.
Department of Education: A lead team has been put in place for the implementation of the Teaching in Action document. The rollout had been scheduled for late March but has been postponed until the spring. A tentative date for the event will be May 24-25. Instructional passages that will complement the assessment resource for grades four to six will be shipped to sites mid-March.
Curriculum Mapping: Michelle Planetta, Shipyard School, has been working on developing continuum maps for reading and writing with the goal being to develop fluid communication and continuity between grades.
Literacy Initiative for Teachers (LIFT): With the assistance of Lowell Cormier, Mount Carmel School, we have been able to recreate our DVD from last spring. This DVD will be used to encourage, model and promote the creation of professional learning communities in our schools.
A considerable amount of data has been collected from those sites that are just completing their phase one and phase two experiences. We are presently discussing ways in which we can document the information and make it available.
Primary Promoting Understanding for Lifelong Success (PPULS): Practitioners in this group have spent time visiting each others′ classrooms and discussing best practices. This initiative is working closely with technology and their goal is to create video evidence of what integrating technology in the early grades can look like.
Mentors: Maxine Hardy, Math/Literacy Mentor, is scheduling visitations with all of our new teachers in grades primary to six. She works closely on all literacy initiatives currently being implemented at the Board and site level. Michelle Sollazzo, Harbourside School, continues to deepen capacity at her school as she works for extended periods of time as a literacy support person. Jason Kempt, Dr. T. L. Sullivan Jr. High, as a trained primary to nine mentor, has been spending a considerable amount of time observing early literacy experiences.
Primary Parent Fairs: This year we have decided to present the Primary Parent Fairs in late April and early May. The reason for this change is to offer parents the communication before their child attends an orientation day at the school. The dates and site locations are as follows: April 30th at Jubilee School, Sydney Mines; May 1st at Brookland School, Sydney; and May 2nd at St. Anne′s School, Glace Bay.
Making Meaning: We have scheduled the event for the evening of April 23rd at Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. This event is open to the public and provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate student achievement in literacy, visual arts, drama, dance and music. Making Meaning will be in conjunction with Education Week. Event details will follow.
Grade Four Support Packages: The Department of Education is looking at either Prime or First Steps as a program to support this package.
Mentoring: The number of teachers requesting mentoring continues to increase. Some mentoring is ongoing, where teachers have a mentor one day each month. There are individual sessions as well as groups. Teachers within the same grades may prefer to work together to create a support system separate from the mentor. The maximum number is four, with the fourth teacher coming from another school where he/she is the only teacher at that grade level. This promotes cooperation among schools as well as within. Some teachers request on-going mentoring, while others want only one or two sessions.
Math Materials Purchases: There has been a fund created so that schools can order manipulatives which, at present, are lacking. Many schools have responded with requests and are very appreciative.
Math Fair - Brookland Elementary School: On Friday, January 25, Brookland School held a Math Fair. For approximately an hour, parents and other guests were able to move from room to room to see the new math strategies in action.
Book Study – Brookland School: On Tuesday, January 23, a group of eight teachers gathered at Brookland to participate in a book study after school. There were several sessions with homework between sessions. Homework included recommended readings, and participants tried out a strategy or activity from the previous session.
Lead Teachers: On February 12 and 13, Lead Teachers, grades P-9, will have the third of three professional development sessions. The Lead teachers will have presented the first and second workshop to their staff. All teachers should now have a copy of the draft for their grade level. This session continues to support lead teachers in presenting the mental math strategies to their students.
Mentoring: The mentoring will continue and expand as more teachers self identify.
Short Term Study Leave: Ron Muller, Mira Road School, one of our elementary mentors, has been approved for a short term study leave. He will be visiting schools and meeting with the math consultant and mentors. Also, Ron has arranged to meet with John Mighton, the author of Myth of Ability, to discuss the JUMP program which is targeted at children at risk in mathematics. He will also visit classrooms using this program. In addition, Ron will attend a conference on the weekend which focuses on patterning and algebra from P-3.
Reading Recovery® Teacher Leaders / Early Literacy Consultants,
(Paula Muise - Ongoing Professional Development, Two Groups
Susan MacDonald - Teachers in Training)
The training class had two inservice training sessions and each of the two on-going professional development groups met once in January. Teacher Leaders continue to support teachers with school visits and ongoing communication by email, fax, and telephone.
Teachers continue to take part in the Literacy Initiative for Teachers (LIFT). Teacher Leaders support the teachers during the debriefing sessions after school.
Paula Muise discussed Reading Recovery® on CBC radio on Monday, January 22, at 4:35 p.m.
Teacher Leaders chaired the GRADS meeting on January 8 and attended the session on January 29.
Teacher Leaders prepared a document for the Department of Education for the tracking of Reading Recovery® students for the upcoming grade three assessment.
A presentation entitled ‘A Proposed Action Plan for Reading Recovery® in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board’ was also prepared for a meeting which was held at the Shipyard Training Centre on January 17. Ann Power, Department of Education, and Janet Bright, Reading Recovery® Consultant from the Department, met with personnel from this Board to review programme results and discuss future directions of the implementation.
Teacher Leaders are also preparing a presentation to senior staff that will support changes in the implementation of Reading Recovery® in the Board, aligning our practices with the Standards and Guidelines of the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery®.
Proposed Activities for February include: Trainer visit from Irene Huggins; closing of first phase of LIFT; beginning of new LIFT programme (inservices and school visits); Coordinators′ Meeting; regularly scheduled inservices with teacher groups.
Ardith Haley, Arts Education Consultant, Department of Education, met with arts educators from this Board on January 24 during a "Meet and Greet" held at Brookland Elementary School Library. This was a wonderful opportunity for Ms. Haley to hear about arts programming in our Board, various areas of needs in terms of curriculum documents, and the general status of arts delivery throughout the region. On January 24 and 25, she visited schools in the area, specifically arts teaching spaces.
The Glace Bay Elementary Schools Band will be performing at the opening ceremony of Family Violence Prevention Week taking place in the Great Hall, Cape Breton University, on February 9 at 10:00 a.m. Each year performing groups from the Board are pleased to participate in this ceremony.
There are a number of arts related initiatives that are currently being planned by
teachers. Some of these include October Conference 2007 (a collaboration of the various arts disciplines and will be held at Baddeck Academy), as well as discussions with Cape Breton University personnel regarding additional usage of Gallery space for presentation of art work by our students.
Board Library Committee: The Board Library Committee has begun developing standardized outcomes and goals for the library program. Grades primary to six outcomes have been mapped out and a review of these will take place at the next meeting on February 14. Lesson plans, strategies, activities, etc., will be provided to facilitate the delivery of this program in an efficient and effective manner. One concern is the lack of staffing at the elementary level where library technicians are limited. The intent to increase staff at this level will assist in making the elementary program stronger. Several new initiatives will be addressed for the secondary level (i.e., Accelerated reader, Insignia Library Automation).
Rankin School of the Narrows: The library at this new facility received a major weeding/culling as the new resources have been placed in the collection. Many items from the old building, such as the Celtic materials, will remain due to their importance within the community. The new collection will include 2007 references materials, a strong Celtic section, and curriculum related resources in all subjects, as well as interest reading books. Administration, staff, librarian and volunteers have worked extremely hard to make this new library a vital part of the school′s presence.
- The Writers in Action 9 Lead Team will be going to implementation sessions May 16, 17, and 18th.
- The Teaching in Action 7-9 Lead Team will be trained in November to present, to our teachers, the new supplement for the Grade 7-9 English Language Arts Guide.
- The dates have been set and confirmed for the 30th Annual Public speaking Event: April 10th for senior high; April 11th, 12th for junior high, and April 17th-19th for elementary.
- Diane Brennick and Susan Kelley, Literacy Support Consultant, made a presentation on Professional Learning Communities at the January Secondary Principals′ Meeting.
- The English 12 exam has been written and a number of our teachers will be attending the marking sessions in March.
- A session with high school English Department Heads has been planned to discuss literacy in the content areas.
- Grade eight Social studies teachers received a final in-service on the new grade eight text on Friday February 2/07.
- A refurbish for the grade 9 classroom libraries has been received at the schools from the Department of Education.
Nutrition for Learning, Debbie Madore, Dietitian
- The Department of Education sent out a letter directly to Principals on the communication piece around vending contracts. Vending machines are to have only water, real juice, and milk for January. Schools are working with vendors on existing contracts. All new contracts will comply with the Food and Nutrition Policy.
- A Food Policy meeting was held in Halifax on January 22 to review how implementation has been going in Boards across the province.
- School Services has covered the cost of convection ovens for Holy Angels, Mountainview, Riverview, Dr. T.L. Sullivan Junior High and Breton Education Centre, and the cost of a 20L mixer, purchased for Sydney Academy.
- Breakfast program meetings were held in Halifax on January 18 & 19 to develop Provincial Standards and Guidelines.
- Breton Education Centre was visited and a school-based committee is eager to create a strong Breakfast program. Participation in the program at the school has always been poor.
- Breakfast programs are up and running in 49 sites. Programs began in Florence and Mountainview this month. Volunteers are being recruited for Tompkins and a refrigerator has been ordered.
- Kiwanis Caleigh Golden K re-adopted Jubilee Elementary with a donation of $3500. Sydney Rotary confirmed re-adoption of Riverview.
- Health Promoting Schools:
A Health Promoting Schools update, including a review of the budget, was provided at the January 24th Active Healthy Living Committee Meeting.
- Ms. Madore attended the Grand Opening of the Fitness Center at St. Agnes School on Jan 25, 2007.
Active Healthy Living, Cynthia McCormick, Consultant
Work has continued this month on the preparation of the senior high school Physical Education Curriculum. There has been some updating of the curriculum which was written a few years ago and portions were piloted last year. There are six modules in the curriculum, and the Active Healthy Living consultants and Physical Education teachers will meet next month to develop lessons and look at resources to go with the guide. There were many concerns expressed by Principals in our Board that the schools are not ready to embark on this initiative because of limits in resources, facilities and time. The AHL consultants were informed that there may be a possible postponement of the September 2007 date for commencement. However, it is hoped that the curriculum guides will be in schools by spring.
The junior high Health curriculum is also in the process of being re-written. New texts have been reviewed and a new grade 8 text will be sent out to schools soon. A review of media is presently being carried out and an extensive list of resources have been approved will be available for next year.
A sub-committee of the Active Healthy Living Committee is in the process of developing a policy for the Board to promote full participation. This is the result of concerns expressed by the Active Healthy Living Committee that all students who are interested in playing a sport but fail to make the cut should have an opportunity to participate.
The ‘Girls Only’ after school program is in full swing in North Sydney, Glace Bay and New Waterford. Each area is providing Fitness programming for girls in grades 5-9. A program of dance will be offered in the Sydney River area scheduled to begin in February.
A Cross Country Loppet will be held at Ski Ben Eoin, February 18th. This will be advertised through the schools with the hope that families will come to participate. A number of cross country skiing workshops will be presented to interested schools prior to the event.
There will be a Physical Education in-service held February 23, 2007, at Sherwood Park Centre. The morning will be spent with the Education students from St. Francis Xavier University. They will present lessons for outdoor education. Teachers will also spend time working with a GPS (Global Positioning System) under the direction of Leroy Hodder. During the afternoon sessions, teachers will receive a skills program for skipping.
The second Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Math League Game took place on January 13th at Cape Breton University. Eighteen teams participated in the event. The game went very well. Students and coaches appeared to really enjoy the competition. Several school teams are wearing t-shirts they have designed themselves. Coaches took pictures of the event. At the next game, the pictures will be on display for the students.
Grade 9 math teachers received a bank of suitable examination questions to use as a resource when developing the Grade 9 January Math Examination. This resource had been developed by some of the grade 9 math teachers.
Sandy Urquart, Elaine MacEachern and Arlene Andrecyk finished developing a teacher resource package for the probability unit in Math 12. All grade 12 math teachers received this package and are planning to do the probability unit first in the second semester.
In January, Grade 12 math classes in Cabot High, Glace Bay High School, and Memorial High, are participating in field-testing for the NSE Mathematics.
Teachers in the Math Departments at Holy Angels, Sydney Academy, and Memorial High, each met with Arlene Andrecyk for one school noon hour. Each meeting was an informal session in which the teachers had an opportunity to meet with the math consultant and discuss the delivery of the math curriculum.
February is a very busy time for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board International Student Program. We are saying goodbye to 29 students from countries such as Colombia, Germany, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico and Brazil who were with us for one semester. The schools have done a fantastic job giving these students memorable goodbyes. Activities across the board included school assemblies with cultural presentations, dinners with principals and school liaisons, a tour of the civic centre followed by a visit with the mayor, presentation of NSISP certificates, pins and school memorabilia. The Nova Scotia International Student Program will also be hosting a ski day for all one semester students and will present each student with a picture CD to commemorate their time in Nova Scotia. The Colombian teachers who spent the month of October in our classrooms will also be returning to participate in this activity.
We are also busy with preparations to welcome the 19 new international students who will be arriving the first week of February. The families are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest members of their families!
Soon after they are settled into their new homes, students will travel to Truro to take part in a two-day Winter Orientation session with other Nova Scotia International Students from School Boards across the province. Students will participate in several workshops including sessions on Culture Shock, Good Relationships, Fitness and Health, and Rules and Regulations of the Nova Scotia International Student Program. Students will also enjoy an afternoon of skiing at Wentworth.
In the upcoming months, there are many activities planned for the students including a full-group ski day, a skating party for students and host families, an optional cultural trip to Montreal and Quebec City and one to Halifax. We also plan to host our second annual host family appreciation dinner. Students will conclude their semester with a full-group trip to Baddeck, including a boat tour on the Puffin boat cruise in Englishtown. Graduation will also be an exciting time as twelve International Students will conclude their time with us as they walk across the stage during graduation ceremonies.
Sherwood Park Education Centre made a presentation to the English Second Language students on Thursday, February 1st and Friday, February 2nd. Bernie McVeigh, Principal, presented the students with a gift, including a Canada flag, international pin, and certificate.
Natalia Salmon, a Nova Scotia International student at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High, participated in the Prince Edward Island Classic gymnastics meet held Saturday, January 27th, at the Prince Edward Hotel. She won a gold medal on the balance beam, and placed fourth overall in Novice 3, in her first competition.
New equipment is arriving at Memorial Composite High, which was ordered through upgrade money, and students and staff are eagerly awaiting some of the larger shipments which will arrive within the next few weeks. We are also looking forward to some infrastructure changes which will complement the purchase of this new equipment.
We are awaiting the installation of six new Smart Boards in our vocational programs, and as soon as the installation is complete, staff and students will be actively using these new resources. This will bring our number of Smart Boards to 13. One of our staff members, Kent Brewer, will be attending a Master Training Session in Halifax on Feb. 6/07, and then plans are to have some training take place under Kent's direction.
First Aid and CPR training is continuing under the guidance of Mr. Charles Colson, and
online WHMIS and Safety Orientation will commence in the second semester, for the balance
of the students who have not completed this training under the direction of Mr. Colson.
Our kitchen renovations have started and are going well. Hopefully we will be completed
by the third week of February.
Students are also busy preparing for the Skills Nova Scotia Competitions. Memorial Composite High will be hosting the regional competition for the Radio and TV Broadcasting competition in early March.
Ken Collier, Vocational Education Consultant, was contacted by Mr. Ed Grimm from Cape Breton University, concerning a request to have some of our Vocational Instructors assist Cape Breton University in providing some specialized training to Home Depot employees for Home Depot's transition into China. This would take place during the summer, and the instructors would travel to China to provide this training. This is still in the early stages of planning, and a meeting will be held in two weeks in Toronto with Mr. Grimm and personnel from Home Depot. A lot of questions still need to be answered. We have three instructors that are interested in this project so far, and it is in the subject areas that Cape Breton University is interested. This is a very rare opportunity, and will be a very interesting and fulfilling endeavor. We look forward to this becoming a reality.
It has been a busy month getting back into the swing of things after the Christmas break. The primary and elementary students have settled in for their second term, while the Gr. 9-12′s were busy preparing for their exams as their first semester has come to an end. Also at this level, with the end of the semester, comes a turnover with our Nova Scotia International Student Program students. Ms. Stephanie Hynes, English Second Language Teacher, will be receiving a list of new students and will be preparing a new schedule for the upcoming term.
In Grade Primary, Ms. Hynes continues to cover initial sounds, working through the Alphabet, practicing new vocabulary on each letter, studying themes of family and people, colors and shapes, and practicing simple social conversation pertaining to school and home.
In elementary school, Ms. Hynes adjusted curriculum to focus more on grammar and spelling, addressed irregular verbs, contractions, correct simple sentence structure, subject pronouns, plurals, and at the same time, always practicing simple social conversation.
At the secondary school level, Ms. Hynes′ focus is on picture dictionary/intermediate workbook activities for those with a lower level of proficiency. She continues to use ‘Real-life’ stories to promote discussion, comprehension, and build vocabulary. In addition to this, each story focused on a particular grammar lesson, with which Ms. Hynes provides supplementary activities/worksheets. In preparation for exams at the high school level, we spent time reviewing questions used on previous provincial exams.
The above is a summary of general topics covered this month at the different grade levels. It is important to note that each child/student is being taught on an individual basis according to their needs. Lessons vary accordingly.
Much time has been spent this month accommodating parents, teachers, and teacher assistants with requested materials and programs, i.e. request for a leveled reading program (Scholastic – Alphakids), computer programs: Wiggle Works, First Thousand Words. Ms. Hynes also helps to organize field trips, home-study material for parents, tutors, provides exam support, and encouragement/support for parents through telephone conversations.
The 2007 Science Fair has nine schools officially registered for the fair to be held on March 27 and 28 at the Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi Campus.
The web site for the Regional Science Fair will be up and running within the next two weeks. The website contains guidelines, regulations, science fair help, application forms and much more. There is also a photo gallery from past fairs and showcases.
Schools′ participant registration deadline is Tuesday March 6th, 2007. Each school is permitted to enter 10 projects. Participant registration forms will be available on-line. All registration forms must be submitted to True Burke at Malcolm Munroe on or before the above mentioned date.
Mr. Jim MacEachern, Sports Animator, made contact and communication with a number of schools to assist in sorting through their Heath Promoting Schools programs and funding.
Mr. MacEachern finalized plans for the ‘Soccer in the Community’ program partnering with Soccer Cape Breton and Cape Breton University Varsity soccer programs. The program commenced school visitation sessions, with 25 elementary schools registered and ready to go. This program will run through to the first of May. Support from Health Promoting Schools funding has been allocated.
A gathering of background information and meetings were initiated to assist in putting together a potential program proposal for a full Board grade three ‘Swim to Survive’ program.
Mr. MacEachern continued working and meeting with Active Healthy Living Consultant, Cynthia McCormick, in formulating a draft discussion paper with reference to establishing a full Board ‘Elementary Full Participation/No Cut Policy’ for sports and athletics in our schools.
Mr. MacEachern is currently co-chairing the planning and organizing of a Skating Races Jamboree to be offered to all elementary classes from the Board, tentatively scheduled for March 31-April 1 at Centre 200 in Sydney. This is a partnership with United Commercial Travelers, Cape Breton Division.
Mr. MacEachern has been busy working with Track & Field Association of Cape Breton to coordinate the running of District and Regional Meets in April and May for the junior high and senior high schools in the Board.
Mr. MacEachern has been recruited to a Ski Ben Eoin committee looking at the possibility of organizing a day of ‘Loppett Races′ for students and families.
Plans are ongoing with Challenger Group (challenged youth) to formulate plans for a field day of events at Ski Ben Eoin.
Mr. MacEachern has been finalizing the format for Cape Breton University partnering of grade four students ‘Kids In Motion @ CBU’ physical activity/healthy lifestyles program. It is hoped that this will be rolled out for middle of February through to April. Eight community groups are sharing in the partnering to assist in implementation of the program. This initiative has also received support from Health Promoting Schools funding.
With the support of some snowfall, Mr. MacEachern is working on the final stages of implementing a pilot program for designated schools to experience alternative outdoor lifestyle sports through a partnering with Ski Ben Eoin. Support from Health Promoting Schools funding has also been received for this initiative.
Gérald Felix, Elaine Melanson, and Jean Claude Bergeron (French Second Language Consultants, Department of Education) will be visiting our Board on February 9th, 2007. They will meet with Laurie MacIntosh and Celeste Foisy (Riverside Elementary) to observe teaching strategies utilized in the Intensive French Program.
Students at all four Intensive French sites will be tested the second week of February: Riverside, Harbourside, Bras d′Or, and Greenfield Elementary Schools. These schools are all part of national testing.
Celeste Foisy, Riverside Elementary, has been recommended by the NS Department of Education, serve as the provincial representative on the sub-committee for Intensive Core French. She will attend a working session in Moncton on February 22-24, 2007. Ms. Foisy and Scott Murchison, Bras d′Or Elementary, will also act as facilitators for an Intensive Core French institute this summer in Halifax.
Elementary Core French teachers will meet on February 19th at Greenfield Elementary School. The teachers will be working on initiatives to explore through professional learning communities.
Laurie MacIntosh will attend a planning session for grade 7 Integrated French on February 23, 2007 in Halifax. Grade seven integrated French teachers from across the province will attend a training session in Halifax on April 26, 27.
A planning meeting for the annual Concours d′art oratoire (French Public Speaking Contest) will take place on February 8th, 2007 at Brookland Elementary School. Tentative dates for the event are March 20-21.
French Language Assistants continue their work with French teachers of our schools. Mireille Chartier will be working with students and teachers at Breton Education Centre this semester while Benoit Chaurette will be at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High.
Mr. Simm is the representative for CBVRSB on the provincial Student information System Committee. The process is moving forward having just reduced the shortlist of software providers to two companies. Further intensive software evaluations are scheduled for end of February.
As the representative for CBVRSB on the provincial Online Course Pilot project, Mr. Simm has attended recent meetings in Halifax. Registrations from the pilot schools Rankin, Baddeck and Cabot have been strong. An Request For Proposal (RFP) for software has been issued and responses will be evaluated in this month.
The website for the instructional Support/Technology department has taken on a new look. This site is constantly updated and is a key component for communication with all stakeholders.
Workshops for the Instructional Support/Technology school liaison persons were held on January 18 and 19. These teachers are key as they become another communication link between the instructional support/technology department and the school. Consultants and lead teachers gave a very informative workshop.
The ‘Instructional Support Team’, consisting of Sheila Kublek, Bill Tenant, Dorothy Tenant and Rick Simm, meets on a weekly basis for discussion and planning of instructional support/technology initiatives. The Team report follows.
During this past month final orders have been received for IEIE hardware. Some residual software will arrive next month for the year ending in March 2007. These orders are and will be delivered to the school sites. Enhanced personal computers will be installed in the model classroom and computer lab at the Staff Development Centre for higher level multimedia projects that will be integrated into the curriculum.
A series of workshops for upper elementary teachers will take place at the Staff Development Centre. Half the grade 6 teachers attended a technology integration workshop on January 17. The session scheduled for the other half on January 16 was cancelled due to weather and has been rescheduled for February 21. Grade 5 workshops will take place March 6 and 7 and grade 4 workshops will take place March 19 and 20.
The E-Portfolio Pilot Project has been launched. Upper elementary teachers are working with their students at six schools. Information about the project and a link to the site has been added to the Instructional Support page on the Board web site.
Principals continued to make requests for help with their school web pages. These requests are being addressed on a daily basis.
Planning for upcoming PD for Grades 9 teachers and other IEI integration initiatives in February and March is ongoing. Integration of technology will again be the main focus.
In order to meet the needs of classroom technology integration, sometimes school visits are necessary to provide coaching or mentorship with achieving the outcomes. It is a valuable tool to provide guidance and ideas to the classroom teacher.
In the area of assistive technology, the New Year began with a barrage of school visits, consultations and student assessments.
Over 14 school visits were made to schools, including Seton Elementary, Whitney Pier Memorial and Holy Angels High. Seventeen students received assistive technology assessments. Almost all of those students had particular software and/or hardware implemented into their school curriculum.
Two days were spent in early January with the Instructional Support and Technology school contacts. Information and modeling for the workshops was provided by Sheila Kublek, Dorothy Tennant, Bill Tennant, Paul Gartland and Brad MacNeil.
Once again, another successful Intellikeys and Overlay Maker workshop was held for classroom teachers and teacher assistants. All participants were grateful for the one to one support provided by workshop presenters, Sherry Power-Jessome and Melanie Dolan. Each participant left the workshop with custom made overlays ready to be implemented with individual students.
To end the month, the Assistive Technology Assessment Team was able to acquire the services of a very keen and eager teacher North of Smokey. We are very pleased to welcome Melanie Burton from North Highlands Elementary as a member to the Assistive Technology Assessment Team.
The TTAP (TEACCH Transition Assessment Profile) Lead team has been meeting and starting the assessment process with two students from Dr. TL Sullivan Jr. High. After the completion of the assessment, the team will formulate a program for each of the students to follow the rest of the school year and into high school. The team will be monitoring the program and will report on the students′ progress bi-monthly. Other School Boards in our province have expressed an interest in visiting our pilot site to see how we have set it up and how we are using the program.
On January 10, teachers from our tri-level classes attended an in-service at East Bay Elementary on Co-teaching as a service delivery system for their classes. There was full attendance of the group and the evaluations and comments on the day were very positive. Teachers had time in the afternoon to do some programming on their own and to refine the co-planning process.
The Educational Psychologists and Speech Language Pathologists continued with their monthly meetings and professional development. A highlight for the psychologists this month was a presentation given by Lauchie MacKinnon from the Strait Board. The presentation included information on helping teachers program for students with learning disabilities and learning disorders. The speech language pathologists viewed a video on visual strategies and reviewed assistive technology. One of our speech Language Pathologists, Kelly Roberts, will be presenting her thesis and subsequent pilot at the National Speech Language Pathologists′ Conference in the spring.
One of two scheduled workshops for Resource teachers was held on January 25. Consultants and teachers from Program and Student Services worked together to present strategies for using the information you get from reading records to plan for students. Evaluations were very positive and contained great suggestions for future in-servicing.
Literacy support teachers were hired for all junior high schools. An orientation/PD session was held for these teachers to ensure that they had materials and a common understanding of their assignment.
The provincial Literacy Support Committee continues to meet to address the many questions that arise around how best to meet the needs of students and schools in providing support for those students with Literacy Support Plans.
Early in February, elementary schools will receive the results of the Upper Elementary Literacy Assessment that their grade 6 students wrote in October 2006.
Accreditation school teams attended a workshop in Mulgrave on writing SMART goals and on creating their school improvement plan. Three schools in year two of the accreditation cycle attended a workshop presented by The Learning Bar on a program called Tell Them For Me. This is an online system that is being piloted in the hope that it will be utilized to gather data reflecting school performance goals.