PSS Report February 2008
Category : Programs and Student Services Report
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 02/27/2008

STUDENT SERVICES

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

In January, Student Services Consultants and Lead Teachers met with the Coordinator of Student Services to finalize the brochure and arrangements for the March 29th Parent Conference ‘Supporting Success’. The response from participants, providing sessions and displays, has been extremely positive.

Lead Teachers, Consultants and Coordinator of Student Services attended a one-day workshop for administrators on the ‘Prime’ Math resource. Response to the day to workshops provided for elementary resource teachers is encouraging. ‘Prime’ is giving teachers a new and valuable assessment tool and a useful approach to collaborating with staff to provide appropriate support to students. Cooperation and collaboration between the Board′s elementary math consultant, math mentors and Student Services staff has given new direction to providing effective support to our students.

A meeting was held with administration and staff at Breton Education Centre, the Lead Teacher for PEBS/Behavior and the Coordinator of Student Services to finalize the high school STEPS-to-Success pilot. The pilot will be course offerings such as Physically Active Lifestyles and Career Management Skills that will contain behavioral strategies and learning supports.

Learning Centre teachers and Guidance Counsellors for Junior High and High Schools attended a full-day workshop at Horizon′s Achievement Centre. Options for post-high school opportunities were discussed. Response to the day was very positive.

Courses with the third Mount St. Vincent University Cohort in ‘Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners’ resumed in January. An information session for the fourth cohort is scheduled for February 1st , 2008.


SCHOOL SERVICES

Susan Kelley, Acting Coordinator

The project with the Department of Justice is underway. A meeting was held with Brad Furey, Cathy Viva and Todd MacKeigan, the teacher hired to work with the identified students at the Youth Resource Centre, and at that time we agreed on the first group of students and a short waiting list. Through the Computers for Schools program, we were able to access computers for use by these students.

A meeting was held with CBRM Police and Island Business Ministries regarding bringing in Janelle Guzman, a motivational speaker, and the last person rescued from the wreckage of the ′Twin Towers′. We are looking into a partnership with them similar to what was done last year in schools with former State Trooper, Bobby Smith.

The launch of the Safe Cape Breton Communities Project at CBU was well received and attended, and we are represented on the Board of Directors. Work also continues with various interagency groups including Peer Tutoring Management Team, CATCH, and the Network for Children and Youth.

We continue to take part in, and have input with, the Sustainable Education in NS committee and also with the National Education for Sustainable Development Expert Council which recently met in Toronto. Work continues on issues of sustainable education and practices.

The CBRM Recreation Department is undertaking a study on ′Active Transportation′ which involves encouraging students to walk or bike to school. A meeting was held with this group to determine how we might help with this worthwhile initiative.

Primary registration results are being tabulated with preliminary results expected by the end of this week.


PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

The ‘Instructional Support Team’, consisting of Sheila Kublek, Bill Tennant, Dorothy Tennant, Paul Gartland and Rick Simm, meets on a weekly basis for discussion and planning of instructional support/technology initiatives. The Team report follows.

Assistive Technology Consultant (Sheila Kublek)

Various workshops covering topics such as Kurzweil, Intellitools and Instructional Support for school lead teachers took place during the month of January. Many schools have been visited either for student assessments, with a total of 14 being performed during January, or for consultations on the use and implementation of assistive technology.

A great deal of planning and collaboration has been taking place with several Student Services consultants and lead teachers for the Parent Conference taking place at the end of March. An information booklet about the parent conference has been compiled and is ready to be released to schools and parents in early February.

Preparation and planning is underway for a visit from Clair Zeidel, CEO of Bridges Canada. Bridges Canada is a distribution company for assistive technology software and hardware. Ms. Zeidel will spend a day with Sheila Kublek, members of the Assistive Technology Assessment Team, several speech language pathologists and community service specialists. Ms. Zeidel will be presenting a package of new software entitled Classroom Suite 4.

Recently it was reported that the grade one class at Sydney River Elementary and a young student being home schooled were utilizing a webcam on a daily basis. The principal of the school, Mrs. M. Armishaw, stated that everything was working ‘fantastically’ and that the students interacted daily with the webcam. The students being home schooled are now able to view what is going on in his/her classroom and participate in class activities. Once again, technology makes the impossible .possible!!

PD Consultant (Bill Tennant)

School Web Pages, Life Works Portfolio Web Mail accounts, school visits, multimedia projects, and MAC training follow-up were the main topics of January 2008.

Principals continued to make requests for help with their school web pages. A number of school web pages have been updated to Content Management (Xoops). Training site teachers to set up and maintain their school web site is ongoing. A report on school web pages was given to Mr. Simm indicating the areas of concern and improvement.

As a result of the DOE′s workshops using Life Works Portfolio, there were many requests for web mail accounts from administrators and teachers. There was also other staff requiring accounts from various schools throughout the Board.

Following the completion of the MAC Multimedia training at Mount Carmel, there were several requests from other teachers who wish to have training in this area. The site based PD for MAC training is ongoing.

Over the course of this reporting period, there was an opportunity to provide professional development to consultants and teachers to enhance students′ presentations using various multimedia techniques. One such method involved Camstudio to produce screen casts for students to view while achieving the ICT outcomes.

During this reporting period, planning and implementation of various brain based activities were done with IT lead teachers from the elementary schools. The teachers used the jigsaw model to accomplish their technology integration tasks. Also, the Technology Teacher Resource page was used with the emphasis on awareness for the lead teachers to return to their schools and pass along the value of these resources to teachers across the Board.

School visits are taking place. A major highlight was a visit to Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High to work together with administration, teachers and technology support in developing a system of using the school′s server more effectively while minimizing printing issues. The visits proved to be very positive for the whole school. Many technology issues were discussed and several days of site based PD have been completed with many more planned for the near future. In all, there have been four visits during this reporting period, all with positive and progressive results.

IEIE Consultant (Dorothy Tennant)

Professional Development

Instructional Support lead teachers play a key role in technology integration at each school site. Lead teachers from the grade P – 6 schools attended a workshop session on January 28th where the opportunity was provided to share on best practices. Many good ideas were developed to take back to the school for implementation.

Planning took place for the elementary principals Board wide PD session on February 5. The theme for the day was Whole Teaching – Quality Teaching and the session was activity and technology based. Topics included:

  • Cyberbullying,
  • Motivating Technology Users, and
  • What Would Schools Look Like if We Got It Right? Imagine a school

School visits to speak with classroom teachers are taking place. The goal is to evaluate the progress with technology integration and to determine how consultants can continue to help. Sydney Mines Junior High has been completed (with a report to Mr. Rick Simm) and Sydney River Elementary has been visited. Ms. Tennant continues to work closely with both these schools as a follow up to our initial surveys.

SIS Lead Teacher (Paul Gartland)

Baddeck Academy Update:

Training has been completed with all secondary teachers and an electronic report card will be issued the 2nd week of February. Elementary teachers will receive report card training by February 13, 2008, and will issue an electronic report card for the upcoming term. Student data is being checked for accuracy. Civic addresses will be input, which provides transportation with current and accurate data.

Elementary Schools producing electronic report cards using Outcomes:

Baddeck

Bridgeport

Brookland

Coxheath

Donkin

Gowrie

George D. Lewis

Greenfield

Jubilee

Marion Bridge

Mira Road

Riverside

St. Mary′s (North Sydney) – two classes

Secondary Schools producing electronic report cards using Outcomes:

Bridgeport

Donkin

George D. Lewis

Baddeck Academy

Southside Learning Centre

Professional Development:

Considerable PD was delivered during January & February, adding Bridgeport (P-6), Riverside, Baddeck and Greenfield to the list of schools producing report cards. As well, comprehensive comment banks for specialist teachers (Art, Music and Physical Education) were developed with the cooperation of Cathy MacNeil and Mary Lou Andrea.


PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Brenda MacIsaac, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-6, Donna Robson

Department of Education:

Donna Robson is part of a small group creating a teacher resource document surrounding the ELLA (Early Language Literacy Assessment).

Board:

LIFT - Twenty-one of our sites are now involved in the Literacy Initiative for Teachers. Preparation for the changeover and the associated professional development session is scheduled for February 11 at Shipyard School. As our understanding of sites deepens, the goal of LIFT is to support schools as requested.

PULS (Promoting Understanding for Lifelong Success - East Bay Project) - There is a scheduled opening of the East Bay site on February 21. The purpose of PULS is to be the voice of classroom teachers and an opportunity to celebrate their resourcefulness. In doing so, a Professional Learning Community has been created around evidence of student learning, and in partnership with colleagues.

Primary Parent Fairs - So far, we have five scheduled fairs. This year, the format has been adapted somewhat in order to include the students registered to attend in September 2008. A partnership with the Health Care Facility will enhance the fair experience.

Primary - It has been encouraged that schools hold a full day primary orientation as opposed to two afternoons. Reading Recovery teachers and literacy mentors are working to provide a one-hour parent information session that will take place at their child′s site on orientation day. Schools will only have to inform parents of the date and the session. A DVD is being produced to support parents in their understanding of what primary should look, sound and feel like. The DVD will be shown during the Parent Fairs.

Mentoring (Jason Kempt, Michelle Solazzo, Geraldine Beaver, Maxine Hardy and Audrey Murphy) - Mentors are involved in a range of experiences ranging from collaborating, consulting, coaching, creating and facilitating. The model classrooms at East Bay are providing them with data and a structural foundation. All mentors are involved in LIFT, East Bay, site-based mentoring and board facilitation.


Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

January Review

Early Elementary Mathematics Literacy Assessments:

The results of the Early Elementary Mathematics Literacy Assessments were explained to teachers at the January professional development session. It is expected that parents will receive the letters in early February, and at that time teachers will contact parents/guardians of students who will be put on a Mathematics Development Record to discuss their results.

Grade Four Mathematics Development Records:

Day two of the four-day professional development sessions was held early in January. Participants included all grade four teachers, upper elementary resource teachers as well as mentors. As part of the two-day in-service, the teachers worked on the support plans for their students identified as scoring less than 400.

Teachers are responsible for the plans and resource teachers are working with the teachers to support the students ‘not yet meeting expectations’. The day was very successful. Written evaluations were very positive.

PRIME Leadership:

The Department of Education presented a leadership course to all elementary school administrators and math mentors on January 31 at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. This workshop was designed to assist administrators in understanding how math strategies have changed and how to support their teachers.

Lead Teachers:

A workshop for math lead teachers was held on January 21-22. This was a continuation of last year′s Mental Math sessions which were very well received. All elementary teachers should now have a draft of mental math for their grade. Grades two and four will have a completed Mental Math booklet with the other grades to follow. Lead teachers were given a copy to distribute at their schools.

Mentoring:

Math mentoring is teacher initiated, teacher directed, and teacher driven. Requests for mentoring are increasing as the year progresses. Having met the mentors at the Mathematics Developmental Record Workshop, many classroom teachers and resource teachers have requested mentoring.

February Plans

PRIME (Professional Resource And Instruction For Mathematics Educators):

PRIME is a research-based professional learning initiative using a developmental approach. Elementary resource teachers and math mentors have received kits and the second day of PRIME training. The main purpose is to support grade four teachers in their implementation of the support plans for students identified as not yet meeting expectations. This training will assist resource teachers in working with all struggling math students and the third session will be held February 25-26. The three pilot schools for this program, Mountainview, Cape Smokey, and MacDonald Elementary, are also continuing their training sessions.

Parent Information Sessions:

Parent information sessions will be held at North Highlands Elementary and Cape Smokey Elementary the evenings of February 25 and 26.


Arts Education Consultant, Cathy MacNeil

Visual Art teacher, Diane Lewis, has had her document, Teaching Children′s Rights Through Art , published by Cape Breton University Children′s Rights Centre. In this document, the works of students from Memorial High School are featured as they used painting, sculpture, and other visual arts media to create an artistic representation of each article in the Convention. This curriculum was designed to convey the principles of the Convention, to increase the student′s sensitivity to the importance of the rights of others, and to enhance the student′s appreciation of the visual arts. It is very well-written and contains assessment and evaluation strategies along with projects consistent with the learning outcomes for visual arts. The projects presented may be adapted for any grade level. The curriculum is available in English and French and can be found under:

Resources at http://discovery.cbu.ca/psych/index.php?/children/index.php.

Sherwood Park Educational Centre Band, under the direction of Sean McLennon, will perform at the opening ceremony of Family Violence Prevention Week on February 8, at 10:00 a.m., in the Great Hall, Cape Breton University.

Harbourside Elementary and MacDonald Elementary Schools, both recipients of ArtsSmarts grants, will be unveiling their individual arts projects in February. These schools are to be congratulated for these excellent arts initiatives.

On February 5, arts educators participated in a variety of sessions including dance and movement, drama, Orff for the elementary classroom, an overview of students with exceptionalities, and a visit to the new site for the Centre for Craft & Design.

Instrumental teachers are invited to have their bands participate in the Cape Breton Regional Musicfest 2008 which takes place April 14-18. There are approximately 2,000 students receiving instrumental instruction in our Board. Such instruction greatly enriches the educational experience of these students not only musically and socially, but also cognitively.

Gaelic Studies:

The Department of Education has approved funding for Rankin School of the Narrows teacher, Dawn MacDonald Gillis. Her proposal, Gaelic Studies 11 & Community Gaelic Arts 10 Live, On-Line will allow students from schools throughout Nova Scotia to explore Gaelic language and culture through an on-line medium.


Reading Recovery® Teacher Leader / Early Literacy Consultant, Paula Muise

The biggest change in Reading Recovery® has been the beginning of Susan MacDonald′s maternity leave in December. Since that time, Ms. Muise has taken over Ms. MacDonald′s duties with the teachers in training. Ms. Muise has been visiting the new schools she has taken over, getting to know the teachers better, observing lessons and assisting teachers in their teaching practices and understandings of theory.

Inservices for the training class are held every two weeks, with one each month for each of two groups of trained teachers. With 32 teachers to work with, supervise and plan for, it has been very busy.

We are approaching the end of lessons for the children who entered lessons in September and whose programs have lasted up to the maximum of 20 weeks. The second major intake will begin as teachers complete testing and selections are made.

Reading Recovery® teachers attended the in-service on February 5 on ‘Teaching As Jazz’ at the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre.

Many Reading Recovery® teachers offered after school in-service sessions in their school for teachers interested in Running Records. In many cases, it has led to the teachers continuing to explore other literacy issues that interest them.

Reading Recovery® teachers continue to play a major role in the LIFT program. They carry on the roles of leaders in school-based literacy action in our Board. New schools will join the LIFT program on February 11. Ms. Muise will be assisted by the literacy mentors in the absence of Ms. MacDonald. A number of inservice sessions will be presented in order to introduce teachers to the practices of the program.


Literacy Support Consultant, Lyn McInnis

The Junior High Literacy Assessment results have come to the high schools. Ms. McInnis and Millie George have been working in each high school to put together binders for each grade ten teachers of English, Math, Science, and Social Studies with their students′ assessment results. When the binders are completed, they will be providing in-servicing for teachers around completing an Instructional Plan for their course. They have been very well received thus far.

Lyn has met with the new Literacy Support teachers at the junior high level on February 6 as a planning session for the year.

Schools are presently waiting for the Early Language Literacy Assessment (ELLA) results to come from the Department of Education. In-service planning for the grade three teachers is presently underway. Ms. McInnis will be working with Literacy Consultant, Donna Robson, in this area. The grade six Elementary Literacy Assessment results are also expected soon. Ms. McInnis will provide in-servicing on a need-be basis.

Ms. McInnis has also been attending regular LSAG meetings in Halifax with Janet Porter, Department of Education. A very busy, productive month!

PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12

David Crane, Coordinator

English Language Arts (7-12), Diane Brennick, Consultant

Denise Oake, a teacher at TL Sullivan Junior High, and Ms. Brennick attended the debrief session for Active Readers 9/ Writing in Action 9 in Halifax in December. Ms. Oake and Ms. Brennick reported on all the literacy initiatives in the CBVRSB.

The first meeting for the Annual Public Speaking event was held on the 15th of January. A good representation of all the schools was present and the guidelines for this year′s event were approved.

Carl Andersen and Diane Brennick went to the Department of Education to participate in planning for the Writers in Action implementation in May. They will be presenting a number of workshops.

The Literacy Success 11 team, the Teaching in Action Team and the Writers in Action team met during the month to prepare workshops for the Board wide in-service day on February 5th . Teachers from Eskasoni were invited to join us on that day.

The Board was represented by Ms. Brennick on a book review for Literacy Success 10′s book infusion. A number of student books intended for our transitional readers were reviewed for possible purchase by the Department of Education. These books should be in the classroom before the end of this school year.

The resources for the Teaching in Action 7-9 (a supplement to the English Language Arts 7-9 guide) have arrived in the schools. It is made up of two components: a teacher guide and student reading resources.


Nutrition for Learning, Debbie Madore, Dietitian

As part of AHL, Ms. Madore continues to work on HPS grants. Blenders have been sent out, including Smoothie recipes.

Ms. Madore attended a meeting in Halifax for developing ongoing monitoring of Food and Nutrition Policy. She is part of the work group.

All 52 breakfast programs are getting back on track after the holidays, Cabot High is awaiting a new refrigerator.

Coxheath began a lunch program three days per week; food is brought in.


Active Healthy Living, Mary Lou Andrea, Consultant

On the Edge Skating Program

This six hour instructional program for grade three students from Seton, St. Joseph, Sydney Mines and St. Mary′s Complex is underway. This program is taking place on Mondays and Thursdays at the Sydney Mines Rink under the direction of the Northside Blades instructors, Bernie and Lauralee Crane, with assistance from the schools′ physical education teachers. It has been a positive experience for all. Students are thoroughly enjoying the program and the skills learned throughout the sessions will enhance the students′ ability to become lifelong skaters.

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Conference, Ottawa

Mary Lou Andrea made a presentation at this conference on the day and life of a physical education teacher on behalf of the Canadian Association of Health and Physical Education Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD).

Physical Education 10

Mary Lou Andrea, as well as Joel LeBlanc, Sydney Academy, attended planning sessions for the implementation of the Physical Education 10 program that will begin in September.

February 5th Professional Development Day

All levels of physical education staff will be involved in this day with a variety of sessions being offered. Sessions were available for the Healthy Living and CALM teachers in the area.

Physical Education teachers P-12 were together on February 5th at MacLennan and Robin Foote schools for a full day inservice. Sessions included dance in motion which also included the elementary music teachers. This session given by Nancy Donovan, Mount Carmel music teacher was very interactive and each teacher was provided with handouts and music to bring back to the schools. The grade 7-12 teachers worked with the Dance 11 teachers in a session given by Monan Daneau and Janice Alcorn.

Nordic walking was provided to all levels by Andrew MacNeil, Baddeck Academy, Penny MacLean, Cabot and Chad Power St.Mary′s. Nordic walking is a relatively new sport established in Finland in 1997. It is a time-efficient, low stress, full body workout.

Other sessions included Speedminton for the secondary PE teachers. Speedminton ® is great as an alternate to tennis, squash or badminton, or just to have fun at the beach, a park, in the gym, or your backyard. This session was lead by Laura Wilson from Holy Angels.

Dwight Lucas from Jump Pro in Halifax conducted a very informative session on skipping to all elementary teachers. He offered many new ways to teach an old activity. Each school was given a skipping package to take back to their school in the hopes to create skipping programs both in class and after class.

Healthy Living and CALM teachers from across the board met at MacLennan. The Sexual Health Network made various presentations including AIDS Jeopardy and group discussions on What Makes a Great Sex Educator. The afternoon session included a presentation by Dr. Bianca Horner from Halifax on the new curriculum supplement Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies. All sessions were well received with participants looking forward to future inservies on the health related topics.

New Schools in Glace Bay and North Sydney

Mary Lou Andrea reviewed the plans for both schools and sent a report to Paul Oldford stating her concerns for both sites which included improvement to the gym size and playground areas.


Community-Based Learning (O2 ), Rhonda Smith, Consultant

The O2 teachers from Breton Education Centre, Cabot High and Glace Bay High attended a province-wide O2 workshop on January 11, 2008. The workshop was hosted by Department of Education and the teachers had an opportunity to participate in bell ringer sessions on Workplace Health and Safety, Co-op Education, Literacy and Mathematics issues. The afternoon provided networking sessions for the teachers to share ideas and best practices.

The Co-op Education mentor from the Department of Education has spent the week of January 14 -18 conducting sessions with the Community-Based Learning Consultant, the Co-op Education. teachers from Holy Angels and Sydney Academy and the O2 teachers from BEC and Glace Bay High.

Co-operative Education credit course will begin for the first time at Sydney Academy in the second semester with 25 students. Holy Angels will begin their second year of Cooperative Education credit course also in the second semester with 13 students.

The Co-op Education. and O2 teachers attended an in-service on February 5, Regional Professional Development Day, at the Staff Development Centre. The sessions included Invest in Youth, Employer Database Use and a session with Lisa Frizzell, Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator, Department of Education.


Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

Math Teachers at Memorial High School and George D. Lewis, 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. Teacher comments, suggestions and concerns could be raised at this time.

In January, math leaders received a day of in-servicing. They will now do that in-service with teachers in their schools.

On January 28, students wrote the NSE Mathematics and Advanced Mathematics. Teachers in the province will no longer mark their own students′ booklets at the school site. They instead worked with other teachers from the board and elsewhere in the province, and collectively marked all of the student booklets. Sixteen mathematics teachers from the CB-VRSB were involved in the regional marking session.

St. Francis Xavier is commencing a cohort in March 2008 for teachers in the CB-VRSB to begin a Master of Education in Curriculum or Leadership with a focus on Middle School Mathematics Pedagogy.

On February 5, all mathematics teachers in junior and senior high schools had the opportunity to come together at Sydney Academy for a full day of professional development. Twenty-two math teachers worked together with Arlene Andrecyk to organize the day.


Nova Scotia International Student Program, Tammy Sampson, Manager

  • January is a busy month in the NSISP! At the end of the semester said good bye to 31 of our students and welcomed 24 new students! It was a bittersweet time for program staff and host families.
  • The NSISP experienced a full day PD session in Truro on Tuesday January 29th .
  • Tammy Sampson assisted students as they arrived and departed from the Halifax airport.
  • We hosted a ski day for all one semester students. This took place on Friday, January 25th .
  • Our student/friends/host family skating party took place at C200 on Sunday, January 25th from 3:30-5:30pm.
  • Three of our students were recently interviewed by the Cape Breton Post.
  • We are now engaged in our 2nd semester new student orientation.


Some School News

Sydney Academy, Riverview, BEC, Holy Angels, Memorial High, and SPEC said goodbye to students last week. Students were engaged in a variety of events including NSISP certificate and school memorabilia presentations, dinners, and school assemblies.


Vocational Education, Ken Collier, Consultant

Plans are still taking place for the secondary Nova Scotia Skills competitions being held at Memorial High School on March 19, 2008. Memorial will be hosting competitions in Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing, Motor Vehicle Repair, Radio and Television Broadcasting, and Workplace Safety. Registration will be taking place later this week. A ‘Career Showcase’ will take place along with the competitions. Skills Nova Scotia is coordinating tours from various schools to view the competitions and the career showcase.

Memorial has purchased a Defibrillator. This life-saving piece of equipment was purchased with funds which we acquired from the ‘Safest School Award’, sponsored by the Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association. The defibrillator was installed in the gymnasium of the school.

Work is near completion on the training trailer for Cape Breton Regional Fire Services. This trailer will be used for training firefighters throughout the municipality, and we are very proud to have been associated with this project. Thanks to our Carpentry and Electrical students, and their instructors, for their work on this project.

On January 23, 2008, we had a visit from Mr. John Drish, Coordinator of Trades Integration for the Department of Education. Mr. Drish toured the various programs at Memorial High School with great interest. He will be returning in the future to participate in a variety of our classes and shop areas.

Memorial has received approval to offer a Welding Program in September of 2008. This is a welcome addition to our programs, and we have students already expressing interest in enrolling in the program. Thanks to everyone involved for making this dream a reality. This process started a long time ago, and without the help and support of senior staff and administration, we would never have seen this approved.


English Second Language, Geoff Laurence, Teacher; Stephanie Hynes, Teacher

January 3 – 25

The classes with the landed immigrant students and NSISP students are continuing as before. The classes consist of support in listening skills and activities for speaking, reading and writing. Grammar and vocabulary exercises are a component of these activities. Some students have also been receiving assistance with projects assigned by their teachers and with tests and other assignments.

The new NSISP students will be assessed when they arrive at the beginning of the second semester. This will be done during regular class time and will not affect other students. The teachers who have not had NSISP students before will be given the resource English as a Second Language: A Resource for Classroom Teachers. They will also receive resources with strategies to use with ESL students in their classes.


English Second Language, Stephanie Hynes, Teacher

More effort has been made this month to work directly with the students and their teachers to become involved with content that is being covered in class. Contact names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses have been exchanged in an attempt to optimize communication during or after school hours.

Students are maintaining on average one hour of ESL instruction a week. In the following cases outside tutoring has been arranged for an additional 1-2 hours per week: Two students from China (Brookland Elemenatary) and two students from Iran (Brookland Elementary). Two substitute teachers with the CBVRSB have volunteered to provide tutoring for these students. Also, in some schools, the resource/reading recovery teachers have made some time for our students.

The special needs of our students have been recognized at the high school level. Exam support has been put into place for students requiring assistance. The NSISP co-ordinators and school liaisons, specifically Dorothy Kaiser and Meg Horne, have been very helpful in this situation. These students will be provided with one-on-one support, audio if necessary, a quiet space to work, and time extensions (within reason).

Students are progressing very well.

Professional Development

Attended the ‘Teaching In Action’ session Feb.5th , 2008.

Upcoming Events:

  • Exams
  • Report Cards
  • NSISP student turnover
  • PD Session
  • Chinese New Year Feb.18th
  • Looking into CALS – Computer Assisted Literature Solution, Sponsored by the Rotary Club.


Sports Animator, Jim McEachern

Highlight Update:

  1. The ‘Youth in Motion @ CBU’ Program commenced its second full year of operation offering grade fours across the School Board a full day of physical activity with a healthy lunch wedged in between, at the excellent facilities of Cape Breton University. A total of forty-one schools will be participating in the program.

January′s Schedule:

January 10/08: Robin Foote, Marion Bridge, Mira Road, and Coxheath

January 17/08: St. Agnes, Bras d′or, St. Joseph (SM)

January 24/08: Glace Bay Elementary, Seton Elementary

January 31/08: J.B. Croake, Shipyard Elementary, Bridgeport

Corporate support has been provided by Subway Restaurants and Scotsburn.

  1. A revamped Junior High Hockey League Program was finalized with play commencing on Monday, January 14, 2008. Nine Junior Highs are participating in the Hockey Program, culminating with a closing tournament to be hosted by Breton Education Center on March 1st. All teams have been encouraged to move to a ‘full participation’ model, stressing participation over competition.
  1. A Level I Technical Clinic for Track & Field Players and Coaches was held at Sydney Academy on Friday and Saturday, January 4 and 5, hosted by the Track & Field Association of Cape Breton. Dalhousie University Track & Field coaches Kevin Bourgeoise and Jonathan Doucette, along with Lauchie Beaton from Creignish, instructed the two day clinic. Theme for the Clinic was the jumping events.
  1. An organizational meeting was held to commence planning for the 2nd Annual ‘Schools Skating Races Jamboree’ to be held on Saturday, April 5/08. The CB-VRSB and the United Commercial Travelers have partnered to offer this event to students from grades primary to grade seven. Last year over five hundred school children took part, with expectations of that number to grow for the 2008 Jamboree. A Registration Call has gone out to all affected schools.
  1. Sport Animator, Jim McEachern, had the opportunity to meet with a committee planning the design of the two new schools to be constructed in the CB-VRSB over the next few years. Emphasis was placed on the opportunity to maximize the gym and field facilities in light of the push to get more daily Physical Education and Physical Activity Programming.
  1. Initial organizational planning has taken place to roll out the second year of the ‘Soccer in the Community Program’, partnering with Soccer Cape Breton and the varsity soccer athletes at CBU. The Program offers grade five level students an exposure to fitness and skill development with a soccer theme. Tentative plans call for a February start up.
  1. An application was submitted to N.S. Health Promotions and Protection seeking financial support for identified ‘Girls Only Week’ events to take place in mid February. No response to date.
  1. Plans continue for the ‘Swim to Survive / Learn to Swim Program’ for the grade threes of the Board. Tentative plans call for a pilot program for April and May of this school year with the full Program commencing in September of the next school year (2008-2009).
  1. The Sport Animator presented a ′Discussion Paper’ to the Lions Club, seeking support for a potential ‘Elementary Girls′ Hockey Program’ in the 2008-2009 school year.


Cape Breton Regional Science Fair, True Burke, Chairperson

The Cape Breton Regional Science Fair is scheduled for March 26 and 27 at the NSCC, Marconi Campus. March 26 will be judging and March 27 will be public viewing and awards ceremony. A schedule will be sent out at the beginning of February to all schools. There will be 13 schools participating in this year's Regional Fair. This is an increase from 10 schools in 2007. Fundraising is underway for the fair.

The Canada Wide Science Fair will be held from May 10 -18, 2008 in Ottawa, Ontario.


STUDENT SERVICES

David Brennick, Coordinator

French Second Language, Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant

All French Second Language teachers will attend a professional development day on February 5, 2008, at the North Star Inn. Presenters include Mr. Daniel Demers (Special Education Consultant, N.S. Department of Education) and Mr. Tony Orlando (retired French Consultant, AVRSB). Mr. Demers will examine with FSL teachers program planning, IPPs and differentiated instruction. Mr. Orlando will explore using visuals to enhance students′ language production, as well as an update on CASLT (Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers) initiatives.

Robert McNutt (N.S. Department of Education) and Laurie MacIntosh visited with several hundred grade eleven and twelve students of the CBVRSB on January 9th and 10th . Robert provided information to the students on the Summer Language Bursary Program (Explore). The interest level was very high among students wishing to pursue post secondary studies in French during the summer, as well as during the academic year.

Laurie MacIntosh will attend a meeting at the N.S. Department of Education on February 1, 2008, as part of the Action Plan Committee. Celeste Foisy Lahey has been invited to present a one-day workshop with the committee. Ms. Foisy Lahey has been instrumental in providing learning opportunities for teachers and other staff personnel regarding the Intensive French Program.

The French Public Speaking organizational meeting will be held on February 6, 2008, at Brookland Elementary School.

Oral interviews (post-testing) of all grade six Intensive French students will take place during the week of February 11th . Testing will be carried out by Suzanne AuCoin, Tony Orlando, and Laurie MacIntosh.

An inservice will take place at Greenfield Elementary School on February 22nd for grade nine French Immersion teachers (Language Arts and Social Studies). The focus of the inservice will be new literacy support materials, as well as activities for Writers in Action. Facilitators will be Suzanne AuCoin and Laurie MacIntosh.

Pierre Alexandre Bigras (French Language Assistant) will be working with students and French teachers at Memorial High in Sydney Mines during second semester.

Students in grade six Intensive French and grade seven Late Immersion will attend the performance of a French Language play at the Savoy Theatre in March. The play is entitled ‘Les Ricasseux’ (4 pi?ces a un acte).


French Special Projects 2008-2009

Approved Special Projects are funded on the basis of 50% Heritage Canada, 20% Department of Education, and 30% Regional School Boards.


Project

Total Amount Requested

1.

Co-ordinator, French Second Language

$ 20,000.00

2.

Consultant, French Second Language Programs

$ 60,000.00

3.

Professional development initiative - Short term Immersion for French Teachers (Linguistic proficiency)

$12,000.00

4.

Intensive Core French (grade six): Riverside Elementary School

$ 23,500.00

5.

Intensive Core French (grade six): Harbourside Elementary School

$ 23,500.00

6.

Intensive Core French (grade six): Greenfield Elementary School

$ 23,500.00

7.

Intensive Core French (grade six): Bras d′Or Elementary School

$ 23,500.00

8.

Intensive Core French (grade six): Glace Bay Elementary School

$23,500.00

9.

Intensive Core French (grade six): New pilot site

$ 23,500.00

10.

Linguistic and socio-cultural enrichment opportunities outside the classroom for French Second Language Students (grades 4-12)

$ 5,000.00

Total

$ 238,000.00


RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Lynn Crawford, Coordinator

Student Support Workers

Student Support Workers have been extremely busy planning activities for the month of February. They have participated in the planning of the recent unveiling of the culturally diverse mural at Harbourside Elementary, organizing of the 10th Anniversary Basketball game at Sydney Academy, and the preparation for a play production to take place at Whitney Pier Memorial. SSW also contributed and worked with various schools in preparation for African Heritage Month. The SSW assisted with these various activities while maintaining regular school visits and meetings with students.

Mi′kmaq Consultant

Sheldon has been very busy arranging activities for the April in-service for the implementation of the Mi′kmaq Unit being presented by Programs and Student Services P-6. Sheldon has arranged numerous community members to participate in the delivery of sessions. This experience will provide educators with an authentic learning experience. Some activities will include sweats, oral history traditions, crafts, etc. Sheldon has also responded to various issues throughout the month and continues to work well with principals and community members.

RCH Coordinator

A memo has been sent to principals to provide information for African Heritage Month. An African Heritage link has been created on our board website for teachers and staff to gain easy access to lessons and ideas to celebrate. The site can be accessed through this link: http://www.cbv.ns.ca/welcome/ .

On March 4th , the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, in partnership with the Membertou Trade and Convention Center, will host Black Umfolosi http://www.jproductions.com/bu.html . All schools have been invited to attend free of charge to students. Schools must confirm if planning to attend.