Primary Registration numbers have increased to 841 as of April 10. This is up from 790 at initial registration in January.
Primary transfers will be decided the week of April 16-20, 2007.
There has been a huge influx for school transcript requests due to the new passport regulations to the United States.
Principal′s In Focus
All our principals and a contingent from Central Office attended the third annual Principal′s In Focus session in Halifax on April 4 & 5. The keynote presentation on Sustainable Leadership was delivered by Dr. Andrew Hargreaves, a leader in educational research in North America. It was a very interesting session including all principals from across Nova Scotia plus Central Office staff and Department of Education staff. It was very informative and provided principals the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the province to attend concurrent sessions on a variety of educational topics and initiatives, and to question the Department of Education during an accountability session.
Mr. White attended a meeting in Toronto, Ontario on March 22-25 on Education for Sustainable Development. He was one of two representatives from Nova Scotia. It was very interesting and a national focus is being developed on this issue.
Occupational Health and Safety
An Occupational Health and Safety meeting was held on Wednesday March 21, 2007 and Mr. White gave an update on Student Insurance reports for the month.
Mr. White visited Harbourside Elementary School on April 2, in conjunction with their Annual Multi-Cultural Day. It was a great experience with many of the students and staff dressed in their appropriate dress. Foods, dancing, music, and exhibitions were all part of this wonderful day. Congratulations to the staff of Harbourside and to all who helped make this event such a success.
Department of Education – School sites are in the process of receiving text resources from the department. Included in the shipment are letters of explanation from Ann Blackwood. The DOE now ships to the Staff Development Center copies of all the resources.
LIFT, PPULS, Mentors and Mentoring
Literacy Initiative for Teachers (LIFT) – LIFT has started in the following sites: Mount Carmel, Jubilee, St. Joseph′s Sydney Mines, and Florence. A small document has been created outlining the purpose, responsibilities and offers a timeline for the process. Third year plans are being developed and will provide very specific site needs and requests. Plans will be included in the document and the data will be used to strengthen these professional learning communities.
Primary Promoting Understanding for Lifelong Success (PPULS) – A document is in the works that will outline the purpose of this initiative. The team has been comprised of practitioners from early elementary, each of which offer the group a particular expertise. It is our goal to create a model classroom that will house ‘good practice’ exemplars from across our board. The group is an example of a mentoring experience as they look to each other to strengthen their individual practice. Florence Elementary has offered a wing of their school to be dedicated to these model classrooms.
Promoting Understanding for Lifelong Success 2-3 (PULS) – Practitioners are being called together to replicate at the grade two – three level a model classroom built around good teaching practice with exemplars. This classroom will also be housed at Florence Elementary.
Promoting Understanding for Lifelong Success 4-6 (PULS) - Practitioners are being called together to replicate at the four to six level a model classroom built once again around good teaching practice with exemplars. This classroom will also be housed at Florence Elementary.
Mentors – Maxine Hardy, Michelle Solazzo and Jason Kempt are all actively mentoring. As we work our way through this process, new learnings around how we can better meet the needs of our teachers are becoming evident. Mentors will be attending a two day Department of Education sponsored event in April at the Old Orchard Inn.
Primary Parent Fairs – A brochure has been created and will be mailed to every parent who has registered their child for the 2007-2008 school year. The community groups, services and organizations involved in the event have been extremely positive and helpful.
Making Meaning – Making Meaning is dedicated to celebrating our students′ successes in literacy through music, visual art, movement, drama, and authorship. Jason Kempt and Stephen Muise are co-chairing the event. The evening is intended to provide a learning experience for schools as well as the community. It is for this reason that we have chosen to facilitate the evening with dialogue that will make connections to our purpose and good classroom practice.
There have been two Math Mentor Secondments hired to service schools in our Board: Ron Muller (Mira Road School) at the elementary level, and Theresa Devoe (Dr. T. L. Sullivan Jr. High) at the junior high level. Each term will run from February 13 to June 27. Several other mentors will continue to provide ongoing mentoring on a part-time basis. Mentoring requests continue to grow.
Van de Walle Book Study:
Van de Walle was a world renowned mathematician who has greatly influenced many of the new math strategies we are using. His untimely death this year is a great loss to the math community. As the book study group gets farther into the book, the discussions get livelier. When teachers return with the activities completed by the students, the result is powerful learning. The group has a tendency to stay beyond five o′clock; in fact, Sharon has had to end it and send everyone home. They knew that the book study would be enlightening and informative, but didn′t realize it would be so lively and so much fun. The book study will continue this month with the last session on April 24.
PD Math Sessions (Ron Muller):
Ron has been doing some professional development sessions with The Learning Carpet which have been very well received.
A number of teachers at Mountainview School have met with Sharon to discuss their concerns about math. There is a very positive attitude in the school regarding the new math strategies, including the use of hands-on materials.
Mathematics Support Meeting:
On April 2-3, the Department of Education conducted a session at the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre for grade three teachers regarding the administration of the Math Literacy Assessment which will take place in June.
The Training Class had two inservice training sessions and each of the two Ongoing Professional Development groups met once in March. In addition to teaching children daily, Teacher Leaders continue to support teachers with school visits and ongoing communication by email, fax, and telephone.
Reading Recovery teachers continue to take part in the Literacy Initiative for Teachers. Teacher Leaders support the teachers during the debriefing sessions after school.
Paula Muise discusses Literacy Issues on CBC radio on the third Monday of the month at 4:35 p.m. The topic for March was ′Primary Assessment/Running Records′. In April the topic will be ‘The Button Jar’ ( See Teaching Struggling Readers by Carol Lyons). Paula also attended the GRADS session on March 19.
Teacher Leaders did a presentation on March 9 at Marconi Campus for the Teacher Assistant Training Program. They were also invited to lunch at the campus on Wednesday, March 28.
Planning meetings continue for next year.
Proposed Activities for April:
The annual Teacher Leader Professional Development Forum will be held in Alliston Ontario, north of Toronto in April. Teacher Leaders will be away from April 14-18.
Many elementary, junior and senior high school bands from across the Board are preparing for Musicfest 2007 to be held at the Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay, April 16-20. There will be a total of 47 bands (22 from off-island) who will perform, receive adjudication and also have an adjudicator rehearse with the band. Adjudicators for this year′s event will be Jim Forde, Dr. Greg Irvine, and Dr. Mark Hopkins. In one-hour sessions, each group performs selections, receives feedback on the performance, and an opportunity to work with the adjudicators. Placements of gold, silver and bronze are given for the overall presentation of each band. Music teacher, Barb Stetter, is the organizer of this event in conjunction with Musicfest Canada. The public is encouraged to attend any of the sessions at the Savoy.
A number of arts educators are participating in the planning committee for the Making Meaning Event which will be held at Membertou Trade & Convention Centre on April 23. Various music groups as well as artwork from students will be featured in this event which will also focus on the process of arts integration.
The Arts Department will have representation at the Primary Parent Fairs to be held April 30, May 1 & 2. These evenings provide the opportunity to share with parents the important role arts education has in the educational experience of their children.
Diane Lewis, visual art teacher at Memorial High, and the Cape Breton University Children′s Rights Centre staff will co-author art lessons that reflect the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The university recently received funding from Heritage Canada to support this innovative project and the results will be very applicable in classes throughout the board.
Lynn continues setting up dates to meet with teachers at their school to offer support in the development of Literacy Support Plans. On February 21, she attended the Elementary Principal′s meeting to let them know that she is available to assist their teachers with Literacy Support Plans and to give them the number of days given to their school for working on these plans and meeting with parents.
On February 21, she worked with two new grade six teachers on Literacy Support Plans at Bras d′Or Elementary School. She returned to Bras d′Or on February 23 to work on Accreditation.
At the end of February, she attended and participated in the monthly Consultant′s Meeting. She also attended the Professional Learning Communities meeting in Halifax.
For the past couple of weeks, she has been working in various schools supporting teachers with Literacy Support Plans: Macdonald, St. Mary′s-St. Joseph′s Complex, Boularderie, Tompkins and Glace Bay. On March 19, she attended the Consultant′s meeting where Debbie Graham, Strait Regional School Board, presented.
For the remainder of this month Lyn continued to work with teachers at Cusack, Mountainview, Middle River and Greenfield Schools on Literacy Support Plans.
Lyn is able to witness first hand many wonderful ideas/initiatives going on within our Board!
Surplus Library Resources:
Books have begun to arrive ...actually BOXES have begun to arrive. Approximately 200 boxes have arrived to date for this surplus order and many have been fully processed and distributed to the school. With the remainder to arrive the last week of March and first week of April, there is still plenty to do to complete this project. Comments on the quality and appropriateness of the materials have been very positive.
Nova Scotia Association of Library Technicians (NSALT):
Carmelita Cousins represented the Library Technicians at the Annual General Meeting of the Nova Scotia Association of Library Technicians in Halifax on March 12. By-laws and policies were addressed and a new executive was elected. Membership is the main focus of this group in the upcoming months. It is the intent of Carmelita Cousins to have all CB-VRSB Library Technicians as voting members of this association.
Elementary Library Technicians:
After many years of planning, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has hired three new Library Technicians to serve various elementary schools within the Board. Currently, Library Technicians have only been assigned to secondary schools. These three ladies will be based at one school and do the circuit for others in their assigned areas. With the Nova Scotia's Department of Education document "Learning for Life II", funding was provided to school boards for narrowing the gap in various programs and services to students; school libraries have benefited from this allotted funding and the three new positions have been created. Carmelita Cousins provided a day-long training session for the three new hires in areas of budgets, policies, cataloguing, programs and other library related functions. Ms. Cousins stated that this was a very proud moment for her because one of her goals was to have staff available at the elementary level to assist with literacy needs. All ladies are students
with the Nova Scotia Community College On-line Learning Program in Library Information Technology Diploma.
The new hires are as follow: Liz MacDonald (base school Brookland, Sydney circuit) Michele Nicholson (base school St. Mary's/St Joseph's complex, Northside circuit) and Donna Lovell (base school Bridgeport, Glace Bay and area circuit)
An In-service for all grade eight Social Studies teachers was held February 2, 2007 at the Staff Development Centre. Wayne Hamilton from the Department of Education, along with Sally Capstick and Andrew Unsworth, both from our Board, shared many valuable strategies and activities with all present. Packets were sent out to any teachers unable to attend due to a conflict with exams.
Sheila MacDonald has agreed to pilot units for the Teaching in Action 7-9 guide supplement. She will start this in late April. The supplement to the guide will be ready for distribution sometime in the fall.
An infusion for the grade 9 Active Readers has arrived at all the junior highs. A committee met to peruse and sort the grade nine infusion materials and recommended lists went out to the schools.
High school English Language Arts teachers (1 per school) are signing up to attend a session about the new African Heritage Language Arts course. This course will be piloted in 2007 and will be fully implemented in 2008.
Jeffrey Wilhelm′s book, Engaging Readers and Writers with Inquiry, is being delivered to all senior high schools. Jeff Wilhelm was the presenter to the Literacy 10 success teams.
The Active Readers Assessment Resource was presented to the newly hired Literacy Support teachers.
In last year′s Young Writers Short Story contest MacLennan junior High was a runner up school. Information and application forms for this contest have been sent out to all secondary schools.
A number of teachers and the ELA consultant Diane Brennick went to Halifax to participate in the marking of the the provincial English 12 exam. This experience is excellent professional development for teachers.
A synopsis of the English Language Arts programs was presented to the Teacher Assistant students at Marconi Campus.
The Spring Newsletter has arrived in all the secondary schools.
Memorial has produced a fabulous student newspaper. It is filled with excellent articles and student art work. Diane Lewis is doing wonderful things with her students at Memorial Composite High. One of the student writers, Amy Donovan, is also writing a column in the Cape Breton post about Junior Achievement.
A meeting is scheduled with the Secondary Math and Science department heads to discuss cross curricular literacy, on April 5th.
Healthy Henri project had its launch on March 5th. It is a partnership with Cape Breton District Health Authority, community and Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. Restaurants can submit menus for Healthy Henri rewards. Awards are based on an established set of criteria for healthy menu choices.
An inservice was held on February 23rd for cafeteria staff, held at Sherwood Park Education Centre. Information included an update on the new Canada Food Guide, Food Policy and vegetarian cooking.
A presentation was made to Teacher Assistant students at Marconi Campus on Food Policy.
Ms. Debbie Madore presented food policy to Chartwells staff at a meeting on March 28th.
A new breakfast program was started at Tompkins, in Reserve, on April 3rd, 2007.
Ms. Debbie Madore attended a meeting in Halifax for Breakfast for Learning on March 23rd.
Health Promoting Schools:
There was a meeting held in Halifax for Health Promoting Schools. Two representatives were present from each board. This is now called the Health Promoting Schools Steering committee. Plans are to establish criteria for funding allocation. There will be no provincial increase in money for Health Promoting Schools. It will remain at $700,000.
Ms. Madore attended a one-day conference at Wagmatcook, and presented with Cynthia McCormick at the conference on Health Promoting Schools at our Board.
Cynthia McCormick, attended a Sexual Health Workshop in Halifax. This was an excellent presentation; she would like to see Health teachers receive in-servicing in this area next year. She received an estimate cost for this presentation.
Ms. McCormick attended a meeting with principals and physical education teachers involved with the ski pilot at Ski Ben Eoin organized by Rick Preeper and Jim MacEachern. She was asked to impress upon on those involved that this program was linked to the physical education curriculum and she composed a letter to parents informing them of the initiative and the importance of their support in making sure their child participates.
The Active Healthy Living Committee is interested in a strategic plan with some measurement of where we are now and where we are going. A meeting was set up with John Hudec, Cape Breton University, to try to establish a relevant question for research in our board. It was decided at this meeting to wait for further data from the P.A.C.Y. 2006 study which is being released bit by bit.
Ms. McCormick has been asked to work on the completion of the fitness and outdoor pursuits modules. She met with Jerome Stewart February 15-16 to reorganize the fitness module and address new resources for the physical education program. She attended a planning committee meeting for outdoor pursuits at the end of February.
Physical Education Outcomes were developed for the 2007-2008 business plan.
A physical education in-service was organized for February 23. The focus of this in-service was outdoor education and it included activities for all grade levels. Mary Lou Andrea was in attendance with some Bachelor of Education students from St. Francis Xavier University and they presented some cross-curricular lessons meeting the outcomes for physical education, fine arts, language arts, and social studies. Leroy Hodder presented activities to introduce the use of GPS. All teachers received an excellent resource for skipping from Dwight Lucas (Provincial skip coach).
On February 9th, high school resource teachers and resource teachers new to junior high attended a math in-service at the Staff Development Centre, North Sydney. Sharon McCready, Daniel Demeurs (each from the Department of Education) and Arlene Andrecyk were facilitators. Activities were done with two manipulatives (two color counters and alge tiles). Teachers were given a package of two color counters, a case of alge-tiles and resource material to take back to the resource center in each high school. During the day teachers also developed a list of names of attendees with schools and e-mail addresses to help resource teachers network. Plans are underway to have a second in-service.
The Senior High Math Committee is hoping to have a Junior High Math League Game this spring. Cathy Horechuk-MacDonald has sent a letter to all junior high schools encouraging each school to send a math teacher to the next Senior High Math League Game.
On Feb. 12th and 13th, Math Leaders received their third day of in-servicing. They are now doing that in-servicing with teachers in their schools.
On February 27th Grade 9 Math Teachers were in-serviced on Geometer′s Sketchpad. Bill Tennant, Arlene Andrecyk and Blair Cooke facilitated.
From March 6th-March 9th, eight Math 12 Teachers from the board were in Halifax correcting Nova Scotia Math 12 Provincial Examinations. Teachers found this was excellent professional development.
Teachers in the Math Departments at Breton Education Centre and Glace Bay High School 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. Teacher comments, suggestions and concerns could be raised at this time.
The final game of the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board Math League will take place on Saturday, March 31st from 9-12 a.m. Cape Breton University is providing the venue and a nutrition break.
The Sydney Academy Travel Group, along with chaperones: Ginny Sampson and Shaun Morrison, went to Salvador, Brazil on March 2 and was scheduled to return on March 17. However, the weather in New York City left the group in Sao Paulo, Brazil from March 16th–March 19th and they stayed in Newark on March 20th. They arrived in Sydney at around 10:00 pm on March 21st from a once in a lifetime experience.
The Exchange between Sydney Academy and Colegio Oficina was a great success! Our students lived with students from Colegio Oficina in their homes. It was a wonderful experience for all of the students to learn the differences and similarities between our cultures.
Students attended classes in the mornings including Portuguese lessons, history, pottery, traditional dancing, etc. The afternoons were reserved for excursions to museums, churches, turtle nurseries, beaches, malls, schooner cruise, and traditional restaurants. There were also a few days scheduled to spend time with their host families.
It was an amazing experience for everyone involved in the exchange and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board looks forward to receiving our new Brazilian friends next year!
The new equipment from the upgrade project has been received. We are presently waiting for the installation of some of this equipment, but most is in use already.
Our Kitchen and Dining Room renovations are complete. The students and staff began using the new facilities on Monday, March 19, 2007. Everyone is very pleased with the outcome of the renovations.
An Open House is planned for Monday, April 16, 2007 in conjunction with Education Week. The Vocational Department plans to showcase the new equipment, provide tours of the shops, and meet with parents who may have children interested in entering one of our programs.
Students and staff are also busy preparing for the Skills Nova Scotia Competitions which will be held in April.
The regional skills competition for Radio and Television Broadcasting was held at our school on March 8th. Three teams of 2 students from our school will travel to Halifax to compete in the provincial competition. Thanks to George Gregory and his students for all their hard work.
Two of our Memorial High students attended the Canada Games representing our province. They were Cheryl Leblanc competing in speed skating, and Michael Gerrow, competing in boxing. Michael is also a student in the Motor Vehicle Repair Program. Michael won a Bronze Medal, and was the only Cape Bretoner to win a medal. Congratulations to both of our students.
February brought to a close the first semester for high school students. Ms. Hynes felt that they had built a good rapport and working relationship. She was very sad to see them go, but happy to have been a part of their English Second Language experience. In the weeks that followed she helped collect reports and transcripts that needed to be forwarded to their respective countries.
There was a turnover of eighteen Nova Scotia International Students, marking the beginning of a new semester. She began again, the process of scheduling classes, informally assessing student′s English proficiency, and getting the program in place. Ms. Hynes has attempted varying methods of instruction at the high school level, and has found that what is working well for one group does not necessarily work for the other. It brings new meaning to the term ‘differentiated instruction.’ Where some have voiced a preference for an English (conversation & grammar) class, others have requested help in learning English for academic purposes.
In three cases Ms. Hynes has arranged for outside tutoring (volunteers from the substitute list) to assist three students academically in various subject areas.
Ms. Hynes attended an English Second Language meeting for proposed program development: They were able to enlist the help of Darlene Boone (CBU), and other highly qualified professionals within our board to help us further develop the ESL program.
Finally, early on in the month of March (March 2/07), Ms. Hynes attended a meeting at St. Michael′s Jr. High with the Principal, teachers, and teacher assistants working with Sammy and Sally Huang. The purpose of the meeting was to come together as a group to devise a plan to begin integrating the girls into the curriculum. Ms. Hynes provided background material on China, detailed assessments of the girl′s progress, handouts on content-based teaching strategies, and also put forth the idea of scanning and translating portions of text in heavy content area subjects.
There are three high schools, Cabot High, Breton Education Centre and Glace Bay High offering the Options & Opportunities (O2) program to grade 10 students. This three-year program is a unique combination of high school credits and hands-on learning: in class, in the community and in the workplace. At the end of the program, students will have their high school diploma and a career plan. They will have the skills and experience they need to make an informed decision about the next step in their lives.
Cabot High School has 7 students, 3 females and 4 males. In the first semester, the students participated in a number of career exploration activities through research, field trips, and guest speakers. They visited the Alderwood Nursing Home, Keltic Lodge, MacLeod Resources in River Denys as well as Nova Scotia Community College, Strait and Marconi Campuses. They participated in an Entrepreneurial Fair and a Career Fair held at Cabot. Students have completed Passport to Safety which provides workplace health and safety awareness and will also work towards completing First Aid training, WHMIS and online health and safety 101. Students use the activities and experiences as part of their life/work portfolios. Five of the students who are 16 years old will start their work placement credit this semester.
Breton Education Centre has 13 students, 12 males and 1 female. In the first semester, the students also participated in a number of career exploration activities through field trips, research and guest speakers. First aid training, WHMIS and passport to safety are planned for second semester. All of the activities and experiences are a part of their life/work portfolio development. Six students will start their co-op work placement in May. They have had class presentations and a field trip to Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi Campus with a return date in May to participate in week long sessions.
Glace Bay High began the O2 program at the start of the second semester. There are 16 students, all male, involved in the program. So far, they have had class presentation from Nova Scotia Community College and will continue with career exploration throughout this semester.
Future events for the students/teachers include Candace Carnahan (Worker′s Compensation) presentation on workplace safety and a one day information sessions for all O2 students at Marconi campus.
Holy Angels High has initiated Co-op Education grade 11 and 12 for their second semester. They are interested in starting an O2 program in September 2007.
On January 31st, Rhonda Smith, Community-Based Learning Consultant, attended the Invest in Youth session put on by the Department of Education at the Cambridge Suites for government agencies. There were approximately 65 representatives present for this session. John Cochrane, Community-Based Learning Consultant for the Department of Education, spoke about his involvement with Co-op Education and the Options and Opportunities program presently in our high schools. As a result, Angus Fleming from the Cape Breton Regional Municipality has requested a presentation be made to the Directors/managers of CBRM.
John Cochrane returned on March 7-8 to visit the O2 program at Cabot High and also to do an information session on O2 to the junior and senior high guidance counselors.
Tracey Leary, Worker′s Compensation Education Consultant, will visit the O2 and Co-op classes to discuss workplace safety.
Regional Science Fair
The 2007 Cape Breton Regional Science Fair was held on March 28th & 29th at the NSCC, Marconi Campus. This year, 10 schools and over 90 students participated in the Regional Fair. During registration, students participated in a variety of science challenges and NSCC tours. The NSCC proved to be a wonderful location for the fair, offering a large amount of services to participants and the science fair committee itself. A thank you to our major sponsors: The Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board, Cape Breton University, and Bell Aliant.
Judging was held from 1- 4pm on March 28th with judges coming from all areas of the Cape Breton science community. The Public Viewing attracted well over 200 visitors followed by a successful awards ceremony with numerous sponsors sending representatives to present the awards. Over 4,000 dollars in awards and prizes was presented along with 4 trips to the Canada Wide Science Fair to be held May12th- May 20th in Truro, Nova Scotia. Students will also attend the Nova Scotia Showcase to be held May3-5th in Halifax. At the showcase, sponsored by NSYES, all finalists from across Nova Scotia will meet and display their projects. The representative for Cape Breton are Erin McKenna (Malcolm Munroe, grade 9), Sheralynne Deveaux( Riverview, grade 12), Mike MacIsaac and Todd Mercer( Riverview, grade 10)
The Regional Science Fair Committee was very pleased with all aspects of this year′s fair and continues to work to encourage more school to participate next year. A CD containing the awards ceremony power point and a slide show was sent to all participating schools.
The Cape Breton Regional Science Fair website is currently up and running at: http://www.cbv.ns.ca/sciencefair/.
It is still somewhat under construction but the main information is currently being displayed.
Efforts are underway to have a photo placed in the Cape Breton Post of the finalists for the Canada Wide Science Fair.
- Met with Active Healthy Living Coordinator, Cynthia Mac Cormick, to gather background for the drafting of an ‘Elementary Schools Full Participation Policy’.
- Continue to work to finalize Ski Ben Eoin Outdoor Healthy Life Styles Pilot Project. Meeting with Ski Ben Eoin Project Committee.
- Facilitated, participated in meetings with Challenger Disabled Group, to include them in the Ski Ben Eoin Project.
- Facilitated inclusion of Mountainview Elementary Grade Fours in the Ski Ben Eoin project for snowshoeing.
- Worked on information notification and registration for the ‘Inaugural Elementary Schools Skating Racing Jamboree’, to be held on March 31, 2007 at Centre 200.
- Attended Track and Field Association of Cape Breton monthly organizational meeting.
- Met in small group setting with Janet Barlow, Halifax, Coordinator for ‘Active and Safe Routes to School’.
- Facilitated contact for Robin Foote School and Health Board Funding for the snowshoe program.
- Initial contact with Life Saving Society of Nova Scotia, to assist in gathering background information for potential future learn to swim program.
- Attended meeting in Halifax with Gordon Richardson, Life Saving Society Director to gather background information on their program ‘Swim to Survive’.
- Met with Paul Oldford to assist Mac Donald Elementary in upgrading their school track facility. Good reception with spring time hope of upgrading work.
- Soccer in Community Program continues with great reviews.
- Initial correspondence with Meaghan Detheridge, Active Kids Healthy Kids Coordinator, with reference to a skate boarding program for the school system. Gathering information.
- Met with David Crane, to assist in providing documentation for Physical Activity Outcomes in the Business Plan for the DOE.
- Greenfield and Harborside ‘Sport NS After School Programs ‘ in full swing.
- Additional late registration for Soccer in Community Program: twenty-nine out of a possible thirty-eight schools registered to participate.
- Visited Northside Resource Centre to access equipment for Cape Breton University Youth in Motion Program.
- Worked on scheduling of Skating Racing Jamboree with Chair Alan Bragg. United Commercial Travelers and CB-VRSB partnering on hosting the event.
- Met with Gord MacInnis, V.P. CBU, with reference to Recreational Complex developments.
- CBU Youth in Motion Program rolls out with twenty grade four classes attending full day Healthy Living – Physical Activity sessions.
- Roll out of ‘Inaugural Elementary Schools Skating Racing Jamboree’, sponsored by United Commercial Travelers & CB-VRSB. Over 500 participants from eighteen schools. Formal report to follow.
- Roll out of Ski Ben Eoin Outdoor Lifestles Program for Elementary, Junior High, High School, and Challenger Disabled Group. Pilot project in the works for the past year. Great response and participation.Formal report to follow.
- Attended Animators Workshop in Halifax on Friday March 30, 2007.
- Formatted program for Skating Racing Jamboree; had 600 booklets printed for distribution at the event.
- Working on Statistics Evaluation Form for Health Promotions.
- Continue to try to source funding resources.
Literacy Support Teachers were hired at the junior high level to help support those students who did not meet expectations on the elementary literacy assessment in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Initially teachers worked to organize their schedules, assessed students′ needs, and gathered materials to work with these students. In March, further progress was made and we now have a mixture of co-teaching, small group instruction, and strategy instruction for these students. Teachers have reported that this is working quite well and that many students are enjoying the small group interaction. All junior high schools, depending on the number of students with Literacy Support Plans, have access to a Literacy Support Teacher.
Workshops were held for these teachers to ensure they have the professional support needed to be effective. Materials were also provided for both the teachers and the students. Literacy Strategy e-mails continue to go to teachers once a week.
All year-one accreditation schools are putting the finishing touches on their Internal Review Plan and have set a date for their External Review. By the end of April, all of our schools will have finished this part of the process.
The 2007 annual French Public Speaking Contest (Concours d′art oratoire) once again proved very successful. This event, sponsored by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Canadian Parents for French witnessed 31 students participate in seven categories at our local competition on March 20-21 at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High. Our local winners will now go on to compete at the provincial competition at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax on April 28th, 2007.
Oral post-testing at all four Intensive Core French sites – Riverside, Harbourside, Greenfield, and Bras d′Or – has been completed. These schools take part in national testing of oral and written French language skills. The students from each of the four sites will finally meet when they travel to Cheticamp in May for cultural excursion. Celeste Foisy, Riverside, is a member of the National Steering Committee for Intensive French. She and Scott Murchison, Bras d′Or Elementary, will be facilitators at a workshop in Halifax on August 20-21 for grade six and seven Core French and Integrated Core French teachers.
Hél?ne Crane, Glace Bay High School, represented the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board at an inservice in Halifax on March 30th. This virtual session using Elluminate Live software is part of a ‘CASLT Chez Vous’ series of regionalized professional development opportunities which enables teachers to interact with other French Second Language educators from the Atlantic Region.
A website for French Second Language Programs is now up and running (www.cbv.ns.ca/french)
A successful professional development session for Elementary Core French teachers took place on February 19th at Greenfield Elementary School. The teachers worked on initiatives to explore through professional learning communities. Presenters included Laurie MacIntosh, and Marie Andrews (Cusack Elementary).
Laurie MacIntosh attended a planning session for grade 7 Integrated French on February 23rd in Halifax. Grade seven integrated French teachers from across the province will attend a training session in Halifax on April 26, 27. The purpose of the workshop is the launching of the new grade seven Integrated Core French Curriculum guide. Facilitators will be Laurie MacIntosh, Celeste Foisy, Riverside Elementary, Elaine Melanson, Consultant, Department of Education, Dr. Claude Germain, Université de Quebec ? Montreal, and Dr. Joan Netten, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Laurie MacIntosh attended a meeting of the working committee of Core French mentors, grades 7-9, on March 30th in Halifax. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the progress of the mentorship project to date and to plan for the 2007-2008 school year. This project proved very successful this year. Junior high Core French mentors include Laurie MacIntosh, Marily McGillivray, Breton Education Centre, and Leah Hopkins, St. Michael Junior High School.
French Language Assistants continue their work with French teachers of our schools. Mirielle 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.
There will be a performance by the francophone magician Marc Tardif for students at Cusack Elementary at Brookland Elementary on April 25th.
Innovative Projects: Applications have been received from schools for assistance with innovative projects that use technology to support curriculum. Appropriate resources have been provided to support these worthwhile projects.
Online Course Delivery: The very successful 3 year provincial pilot project has been concluded with the purchase of appropriate software, but there is still work to be done in the area of developing protocols and procedures. It will be very interesting to determine how this becomes a vehicle for professional development.
Assistive technology workshops have been conducted at the Staff Development Centre for junior high school learning centre and resource teachers, Instructional Support and Technology School Contacts, and students enrolled in the Teacher Assistant Program at Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi Campus. In addition to larger group workshops, there have been some small group sessions which targeted specific hardware and/or software. Many of these smaller sessions have taken place within the school environment. Several workshops benefited from the expertise of members of the Assistive Technology Assessment Team, including, Tracy Dove, Carrie Ramsay and Genevieve Richardson.
With the support of Stephen MacDougall, principal of Southside Learning Centre, and his staff, we are experimenting with a novel form of professional development called Situated Teacher Development. In this model, several teachers spend a day at the Southside Learning Centre where they train in Kurzweil (assistive technology software) and get a first hand look at how teachers are implementing Kurzweil into students′ curriculum.
Various schools within the board have been having text books and curriculum novels scanned for use with Kurzweil. By sharing these scanned texts we have been able to quickly assemble an impressive Kurzweil ‘library’ of scanned texts. A list of available scanned texts can be viewed on the assistive technology link of the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board Website. Currently, we are in the process of making all of these texts in the library downloadable from the board′s website.
A great many schools have received visits in the past month in regards to assistive technology. In total, 16 assistive technology assessments have been performed by the assistive technology consultant or members or the assistive technology assessment team. School visits also entailed delivering software and/or hardware, consulting with teachers and students, or providing support and guidance on the use and operation of assistive technology.
A series of workshops for upper elementary teachers has taken place. The grade 6 teachers attended a technology integration workshop on January 17 and February 21. Grade 5 workshops took place March 6 and 7 and grade 4 workshops took place March 19 and 20. The teachers used and discussed classroom management and technology integration strategies at these workshops.
The final Instructional Support School Liaison workshop was held on February 26. A three hour Writer′s Companion workshop was presented to 16 junior high new literacy support teachers.
The E-Portfolio Pilot Project continues to be evaluated as it was field tested with students at Brookland and Shipyard Elementary. Upper elementary teachers are working with their students at 6 schools. Information about the project and a link to the site has been added to the Instructional Support page on the Board web site. An E-Portfolio tutorial has been posted to the Technology/Instructional Support web site.
During the month of March, workshops at the Staff Development Center were given to classroom teachers from grades P to 9 covering various technology topics. Technology integration was the main focus. The use of different grade level software and multimedia techniques were of particular interest to all teachers.
There were many requests for web mail accounts from the teachers attending the workshops. In addition, we received requests for accounts from teachers in various schools throughout the board.
Multimedia is important to teachers especially when they can augment and enhance their teaching strategies to meet the curriculum outcomes on a daily basis. For example, a grade 8 class at Rankin Memorial under the guidance of Brian Tierney won a no-smoking provincial contest through the taping and video editing of this project. This was the end result to top off his classroom teaching with his students about the topic of smoking.
A team of teachers has been assembled to plan and deliver training in the use of different multimedia techniques for classroom teachers. This initiative is ongoing at the board level.
Planning for upcoming PD integration initiatives in April, May and June is ongoing. One upcoming session is the integration of technology under the topic of CSI at John Bernard Croak with two classes of grade 6 students. A PD day will help students and teachers delve into the world of technology through a very exciting and fun learning activities. They will experience how computers, software, QX5 microscopes, cameras, and multimedia working together can provide a class with the knowledge and entertainment about the world of police investigation into crime. The focal point is technology integration and teaching strategies with successful completion of many curriculum outcomes.
Student Services is continuing the information sessions on the Program Planning Guide for Parents. Information sessions will be continuing for parents in the geographical areas of Boularderie, Baddeck, Christmas Island, Rankin and North of Smokey. Dates and locations are as follows:
Tuesday April 10, 2007 Society for the Treatment of Autism and The Autism Society
Monday April 16, 2007 Horizon Achievement Center 9:00 am
Employability Cape Breton 1:00 pm
Personnel from Student Services were invited to attend an after school training session on ‘See It Right’ on March 27 or April 4, 2007 facilitated by Suzanne Brown, Student Services Consultant. Both sessions were well attended. See It Right is a class work-based screening device developed to identify a specific visual-perceptual problem caused by a sensitivity to light. Looking through color may correct this difficulty by altering the timing by which the visual information is received and processed.
Student Services Department has purchased five training kits for sign out use from the Northside Staff Development Center. If a student needs to use color, then the results of the screening will be sent to Student Services and a color will be sent out to the school for individual student use.
On March 26, 2007, Liaison teachers attended a full day session at Northside Staff Development Center. The Coordinator of Student Services facilitated this session and the theme of the day was Struggling Readers and Writers. Teachers were given many practical ideas and interventions to assist students in their writing and reading techniques. Liaison Teachers were also given information on the See It Right Program presented by the Student Services Consultant.
Consultants from both Student Services and Programs were invited to facilitate sessions to Teacher Assistants (Year 2) at Marconi Campus, based on School Board initiatives. Teacher Assistants were given information on school initiatives to make them aware of current programs within the School Board.