English Language Arts (7-12), Diane Brennick, Consultant
– The Writer′s In Action 9 team presented a very insightful day of writing to the grade 7-9 teachers on February 5th
– The Literacy success team, with help from Lauren Furdas, Eskasoni, provided a very useful day of workshops about cross-curricular reading for the 10-12 teachers. The evaluations from both these sessions were extremely positive.
– The February Literacy 7-12 newsletter has been sent out to all the secondary schools. Planning will commence soon for curriculum mapping in the ELA area from 7-12. A meeting is planned for April 12th.
– The Teaching in Action 7-9 is meeting on April 18th to prepare for in-service presentations May 12 and 13th.
– Staff is currently in Halifax working with the provincial team for Writer's in Action 9. They will be doing workshops in April in Halifax.
– Preparations have commenced for the annual Public Speaking Event which starts on April 1st.
Nutrition for Learning, Debbie Madore, Dietitian
– Applications for Health Promoting Schools (HPS) have been reviewed. Debbie Madore continues to work on group purchasing for equipment.
– The Credit Union Group donated $1000 to Breakfast for Learning .
– North Sydney Caliegh Golden K renewed the adoption of Jubilee with a donation of $3500.
– Ms. Madore presented Healthy Eating to the CUPE staff on the February Professional Development Day at Malcolm Munroe.
– A new Breakfast Program is up and running at the Youth Resource Center, Bing Ave, in partnership with Justice.
– Ms. Madore is working with Adult Schools to provide Breakfast program.
– Canada Bread advised Ms. Madore that bread prices are going up 8%. This is the second price increase this year.
– Two more workshops on Food Safety and Sanitation have been offered to Breakfast Volunteers.
– The HPS subcommittee met on February 12, which included partners from Public Health. Terms of Reference are being developed.
Active Healthy Living, Mary Lou Andrea, Consultant
February 5th Inservice
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, facilitated 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 facilitated by Monan Daneau and Janice Alcorn. Nordic walking was presented 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 inservices on the health related topics.
Jump Against Drugs
The New Waterford Drug Awareness Committee, along with Nova Scotia Addiction Services, brought a US Based Jump Against Drugs campaign to schools in our area. Mark Rothstein's World of Rope Jumping features motivational school programs that emphasize rope jumping, character building, total fitness, and a drug-free lifestyle. Mark has produced a series of six rope jumping and fitness videos that are designed as instructional (how to), entertaining, and motivational. The project provided a 3 day in-school, FREE, easy accessible, Jump Against Drugs Jump Rope Program for School-aged Children in Greenfield, Mt. Carmel, St. Agnes, Bridgeport, MacDonald, and Tompkins schools. This program took our children back to the basics – improve their physical health, and stress the benefits of a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The day opened with a 45 minute ′Rally/Demonstration′ for the entire student body. This was the major Jump Against Drugs portion of the program. The presenter focused on drug free lifestyles, peer pressure/positive choices and self-esteem. The rest of the day was spent doing individual class/grade sessions. Each grade will attend one 30 minute session in the gymnasium, where they will benefit from the personalized instruction and skipping skills. Bussing to schools and a nutritional snack and water were provided to all students by the School Board.
On the Edge Skating Program
During the last two sessions, the program had the on-ice support of two physical education teachers: Paula MacRae with Seton Elementary and Chad Powers with St. Mary′s/St. Joseph′s Elementary, both in North Sydney, as well as Calvin Bradbury, a retired Physical Education teacher who attended St. Joseph′s Elementary in Sydney Mines. The program was enhanced by using board pads to create tunnels to enforce the ‘basic glide’ position, and in sliding routines. Instructors used plungers to mark the track, to set up various courses for edge drills and sculling. Children used batons in early relays and later pushed 5-gallon buckets in races to enforce the basic position. The instructors used large, soft balls that the children pushed around plunger courses. The instructors introduced beanbags, stuffed animals for various forms of tag or ‘pick-up’ games. The instructors also set up courses with hula-hoops to help with cornering. At the completion of each session, the instructors noticed not only that the skating skills improved, but also that the children listened much better, responding very well to the whistle and hand cues. They were anxious to try new things (‘What are we doing now?’), and were willing to help their classmates. Games like ‘add-on’ trains and relays cultivated teamwork among children with varying skill levels. A sincere thank you is extended to Speed Skating Canada, its sponsors, Bernie and Laurlea Crane, instructors from the Northside Blades, the physical education teachers, and the Sydney Mines and District Community Centre for the opportunity to offer this curriculum to the children in our schools.
New High School Physical Education Credit Requirement
All students entering grade 10 in 2008 will be required to earn one physical education credit toward graduation. Therefore, students will need to take one physical education course over three years at high school to meet the requirement. The following courses are eligible to meet the physical education requirement. Physical Education 10 (full credit), Physical Education 10A (half-credit), Physical Education 11 (full credit), Physical Education 11A (half-credit), Dance 11, Fitness Leadership 11 (half-credit), Physically Active Living 11 (full-credit), Physical Education 12 (full-credit), Physical Education 12A (half-credit), and Physical Education Leadership 12 (full-credit). Physically Active Life Styles Career and Life Management 11 (PAL/CALM) will be no longer offered after the 2008-09 school year. An implementation workshop is scheduled for April 15-17, 2008, for the new PE 10 and PAL 11 courses. A teacher from each high school in the Board will be asked to attend. The Board may want to consider a three (3) year budgetary plan for releasing of money to schools for PE equipment upgrades. Schools do not see the need for extra staff to accommodate the transition for the mandatory Physical Education requirement at this time.
This program is under the direction of Paula MacRae from Seton Elementary, as well as a variety of staff at the schools providing girls only programming. Some of the activities that have taken place so far are: Beginner hockey for grade 5-9 Northside area schools, Tae Kwon Do at Bras d′Or Elementary for grade 5-6 in the area schools, Knight to Remember Badminton night for the junior high schools on the Northside, and dance sessions at Thompson Junior High. Future plans include fitness sessions at the local gyms throughout the Board for junior high girls, toning classes at Cabot High, cheerleading at St. Agnes, floor hockey at Marion Bridge and George D. Lewis, self-defense classes in New Waterford, Glace Bay and Sydney to name a few. This program is ongoing and always looking for new ideas and activities to keep girls active in our Board.
Community-Based Learning (O2 ), Rhonda Smith, Consultant
The February 5th, Regional Professional Development Day, for the O2 and Cooperative Education teachers was a very productive day. The session also included the Co-op Ed. teacher from the Eskasoni School Board, a junior high teacher, and a vice principal.
Glace Bay High O2 teachers held their Family Orientation night on February 28 with the parents of their students. There were 13 parents, students, the Community-Based Learning Consultant and the Coordinator of Youth Apprenticeship in attendance. There was an information session on youth apprenticeship training conducted by Lisa Frizzell, Coordinator of Youth Apprenticeship, Department of Education. Parents were also given information on the work placement forms and NSCC Intent to Enroll form that the students will be taking home for their signatures.
Feedback from the parents about the program and teachers was very positive and they welcomed the opportunity to meet and ask questions.
An Options & Opportunities (O2 ) /Community-Based Learning information session for guidance counselors and administrators (7-12) was held on Friday, February 29th at Glace Bay High. The session was organized by the Coordinator of Student Services (Guidance) and the Community-Based Learning Consultant. Peter Smith and John Cochrane, Consultants for Community-Based Learning, Department of Education, conducted the session. Also presenting was John Drish, Coordinator of Trades Integration; Barb Burke, College Prep NSCC; and Lisa Frizzell, Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator, Department of Education.
Holy Angels held a Career Fair for their students on Tuesday, February 26. There were approximately 30 booths set up in the gymnasium with about 80 participants from the community. The students from each grade were to view each booth, obtain answers to questions that they prepared and obtain brochures and pamphlets on various careers. Co-op Ed. students played a big part in setting up the booths, decorating the gym and acting as hostess for the day as part of their school program. The Sunrise Rotary Club, the school′s community sponsor, provided assistance in contacting the various community organizations and providing refreshments throughout the morning. Sandra MacDonald, Co-op Ed. teacher did an excellent job in bringing the community into the school.
Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant
On January 31, 15 Grade 12 Math Teachers participated in a regional marking session at the Staff Development Centre, North Sydney. For the NSE Mathematics and Advanced Mathematics, teachers in the province no longer mark their own students′ booklets at the school site. They work with other teachers from the Board and elsewhere in the province and collectively mark all of the student booklets. Teachers involved in this session found the day to be very valuable professional development .
On February 5, mathematics teachers in junior and senior high schools participated in a full day of professional development at Sydney Academy. This was the first time junior and senior high math teachers attended the same in-service. Twenty-two math teachers worked together with Arlene Andrecyk to organize the day. These teachers facilitated or presented sessions. During this day, teachers were given an opportunity to collaborate with teachers within their grade and course and within other grades. Teachers felt sharing teaching strategies, resources, comments and concerns was very valuable professional development. Teachers also had the opportunity to attend two of six available sessions: Autograph, Geometer′s Sketchpad, Equation Editor, Graphing Calculator (Basic and Advanced) and Itembank. Lisa Lunney, a professor from St. Francis Xavier, addressed the teachers in the afternoon. She talked about relating mathematics to the culture of the students in your classroom. Later in the day she did an information 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 7 and 8, all grade 7 math teachers, French and English, participated in a geometry workshop that focused on Chapter 10 of the new grade 7 textbook. Sharon McCready, Mathematics Strategy Consultant, Department of Education, facilitated the in-service. Teachers were engaged in hands on activities. The feedback was very positive. After the workshop, teachers expressed a greater comfort level with the content, manipulatives and instructional strategies.
Arlene Andrecyk, Math Consultant, led a discussion on common student errors on grade 7 assessments.
The second CB-VRSB Math League game took place on February 16 at CBU. Eighteen high school teams participated in the event. The game went very well. CBU provided a nutritious refreshment break. A team from Sydney Academy came first in Game Two. The students on this team were presented with plaques. There were three random draws for graphing calculators .
Teachers in the Math Departments at MacLennan Jr. High met with Arlene Andrecyk for one school noon hour. The 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. Arlene was available for the rest of the day to meet individually with any math teacher and resource teachers.
Nova Scotia International Student Program, Tammy Sampson, Manager
Some School News
Sydney Academy , Riverview, BEC, Holy Angels, Memorial High, GBH, and SPEC all welcomed new students this month. School liaisons have been busy with welcoming activities such as lunches, school tours and meetings with school assemblies .
Vocational Education, Ken Collier, Consultant
Plans are still taking place for the secondary Nova Scotia Skills Competitions being held at Memorial Composite High School on March 19, 2008. Meetings have been held with representatives from Skills Nova Scotia, and everything seems to be going well. As mentioned previously, we will be hosting competitions in Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing, Motor Vehicle Repair, Radio and Television Broadcasting, and Workplace Safety. Students are busy practicing for the competitions. 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 .
Work on the training trailer for Cape Breton Regional Fire Services has been completed, and they took possession of the trailer last week. 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 .
Principal, Patsy Blais, and Vocational Education Consultant, Ken Collier, attended the Nova Scotia School Board Association Atlantic Conference in Halifax, on January 31-February 2, 2008. The theme of the conference was ‘Skills and Trades: A Vital Alternative’. Ms. Blais and Mr. Collier were asked to make a presentation at this conference, which was very well received. Many school boards are looking at ways to expand students′ exposure to the skilled trades .
Students have been very busy with the start of the second semester. Meetings have been held with students with attendance issues, and we are looking forward to a very successful semester. Career Awareness Tours are continuing with the Grade 9 students, as well as from outside facilities. These tours are going very well with very positive feedback from the participants .
English Second Language, Geoff Laurence, Teacher
This reporting period was busy with exam support, the departure of some NSISP (Nova Scotia International Student Program) students, and the arrival of new NSISP students. The new NSISP students are in the final stages of assessment. This assessment is for proficiency in oral (listening and speaking), reading, and writing skills. The results of this assessment will determine whether they will need ESL (English as a Second Language) support and how much time they will receive .
January 28 – February 1
ESL classes at the high school level were cancelled this week and replaced with exam support during those times. Support was offered at Glace Bay High, Baddeck Academy, Sydney Academy and Riverview .
February 4 – 8
Most of the scheduled departures of the NSISP students took place at the end of last week and over the weekend. Thirty-two students left and twenty-three took their place. Most of the new students arrived in time for the new semester, although at least one is arriving at the first of March. The proficiency assessment began with students at Glace Bay High and Sherwood Park Education Center .
During this week, letters of introduction of Geoffrey Laurence, an explanation of his responsibilities, and contact information were placed in all mailboxes of teachers who had NSISP students. Another letter was inserted in the same mailboxes offering a package of materials, mostly gathered from the in-service Stephanie Hynes and Geoffrey Laurence provided for Breton Education Centre teachers on November 23, 2007. The main document offered was a copy of the booklet English as a Second Language: A Resource for Classroom Teachers. To date, five teachers have requested this package .
February 11 – 15
This week was spent meeting new students and assessing their proficiency, as well as continuing with classes of NSISP students who were here last semester and landed immigrant students .
February 18 – 22
After school on Tuesday, February 19, there was a meeting to discuss the current status of the ESL program and any concerns the ESL teachers might have. Tammy Sampson, Stephanie Hynes and Geoffrey Laurence were in attendance. Among the items discussed were the needs of the NSISP students and landed immigrants and the amount of time they receive support, computer software for ESL students, concerns of the ESL teachers, the possibility of an in-service in April for teachers who have ESL students, and the agreement to have regular monthly meetings .
February 23 – 29
The assessments of most of the new NSISP students are complete. A report of those results will be finished and sent to the office by March 7 .
ESL teachers, in collaboration with Tammy Sampson, Nova Scotia International Student Program teacher are investigating the possibility of acquiring student-centered language learning computer software that students could use daily. This software could provide support at various levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced .
Following the ESL meeting on February 19th , Tammy Sampson contacted Joyce Millman, department head of English at Cobequid Education Centre and also involved as a consultant in ESL with the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board. Joyce offered three suggestions: Rosetta Stone software, Learn to Speak English: The Complete Interactive Course, and Learning Games Practice .
English Second Language, Stephanie Hynes, Teacher
Work continues to be focused in the content areas of the students′ programs. The students are putting forth their best efforts to participate in the core curriculum. As mentioned in January′s report, teachers and support staff have been generous in offering their time and adjusting their programs to include our second language learners. It is very much a learning experience for us all .
Our ESL program did get some media attention this month on CBC′s ‘Information Morning’ program. The Pembroke children at Greenfield Elementary were interviewed about their lives in the North vs. their lives here in the Maritimes. The principal made mention that she was very pleased with support our program is offering her students .
Ms. Hynes has been experimenting with technology, in search of software programs to assist our students in developing their language proficiency independently. Presently sampling Essential Skills, Instant Immersion English, and a Demo ordered from Laureate (catalogue company ).
Ms. Hynes attended Literacy Success 11 and Writers in Action 9 professional development session. She also attended workshops ‘Resource review session for ELA ,’ ‘Integrated and Assistive Technology’, and ‘The Guided Visual Experience .’
Things to note:
Sports Animator, Jim MacEachern
Highlight Update :
– Youth in Motion @ CBU Program Schedule: February :
|February 7, 2008:||George D. Lewis, Jubilee,St. Joseph (SM), St. Mary′s (SM)|
|February 14, 2008:||Cusack, Ashby, St. Anne′s|
|February 28, 2008:||Mount Carmel, Donkin, Gowrie, Mac Donald, Riverside|
– Registration confirmations have been received for the Second Annual CB-VRSB / UCT School Skating Races Jamboree from forty-four schools. Schools will submit their rosters by March 1, 2008. Event to take place at Centre 200 on April 5, 2008. Planning continues with the organizing committee .
– Soccer in the Community Program, co sponsored by the CB-VRSB and Soccer Cape Breton and CBU Varsity Soccer Program, commenced on Friday February 15, 2008. The Program, a fitness cardio program with a soccer theme, will run for twenty-one sessions from February to April with the balance of the registered schools receiving the Program in September through to November, 2008.
February Schedule :
– A small Leadership Curriculum committee was struck and met to discuss the possibility of incorporating the Coaching and Officiating aspects of Sport into the curriculum content of the high school leadership program. The hope would be to pilot the program at a few high schools in the fall .
– The Junior High Hockey Program commenced its playoff wrap up after a successful short regular season pilot for nine Junior Highs. Plans call for a full year program in the 2008-2009 school year .
– Plans for the Swim to Survive / Learn to Swim Program for grade threes continue with the five school pilot to commence in April and run through to the end of May .
Cape Breton Regional Science Fair, True Burke, Chairperson
The Cape Breton Regional Science & Technology Fair is scheduled for March 26th and 27th , 2008, at the NSCC, Marconi Campus. The judging will be on Wednesday the 26th and the public viewing and awards ceremony on Thursday the 27th . There are 13 schools registered for the fair, however, we only anticipate 10 schools to actually send projects to the fair. The science fair committee met February 22, 2008 between 8-10 pm to clarify some aspects of the fair .
Fundraising has been underway and has been successful to date. Some major sponsors are Cape Breton University and Aliant, as well as NSERC and the Bank of Montreal .
This year, the CWSF was held from March 10 -18, 2008 in Ottawa, Ontario. We sent 4 students to represent Cape Breton at the National Fair .
David Brennick, Coordinator
French Second Language, Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant
– The CB-VRSB, along with CPF (Canadian Parents for French) will be hosting the annual Concours d′Art Oratoire (French Public Speaking Contest). It will take place on Tuesday, March 25th and Wednesday, March 26th at Malcolm Munroe Jr. High School at 7:00 p.m. Core French, Integrated Core French, Intensive Core French and Late French Immersion students will compete locally. Winners from each category will go on to compete at the provincial ‘Concours’ on Saturday, April 26, 2008, in Halifax .
– Oral and written post-tests have been completed for the Intensive French students. Students in grade six Intensive Core French have returned to their regular curriculum after completion of their intensive period of study of French. Students at Riverside, Harbourside, Greenfield, Bras d′Or and Glace Bay Elementary Schools had a very successful first semester. These students were able to increase their communication skills in French, their level of self-esteem, as well as their overall responsibility for learning and becoming more autonomous learners. Test results will be available in the early spring. Further information on this unique program is available at www.caslt.org .
– Laurie MacIntosh attended a meeting at the Nova Scotia Department of Education on March 4, 2008, as part of objective 6,2 / 6,3 French Second Language Action Plan .
– Three professional development sessions were held recently for French Second Language Teachers. Approximately fifty FSL teachers gathered at the North Star Inn on February 5, 2008, to hear presentations by Mr. Daniel Demers (Special Education Consultant, Nova Scotia Department of Education), and Mr. Tony Orlando (retired French Consultant, AVRSB). Evaluations for the PD session were very positive .
– On February 18th , the Intensive French teachers participated in a full day session at Riverside Elementary School. The focus of the day was compacting the curriculum for second semester. The teachers will meet again for another PD day in early April .
– On February 22nd , grade nine Late French Immersion teachers met at Greenfield Elementary School for an inservice on literacy support materials, as well as activities and assessment tools related to Writers in Action. Facilitators were Suzanne AuCoin, Janet Maillet-MacInnis and Laurie MacIntosh (French Consultants ).
Susan Kelley , Acting Coordinator
The pilot program with the Department of Justice is in month two. Debbie Madore has arranged for these students to have breakfast at their facility through our Breakfast for Learning Program .
A follow-up 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 continuing with plans to arrange for her to speak to several of our schools while she is here in April .
A preliminary meeting was held with our Board level Attendance Committee. School administrators from each level, including our Provincial Attendance Committee representatives, sit on this committee with a Board representative, and several Central Office staff. We received a report from the provincial committee representative, and we discussed several action items including tracking attendance for the Board, getting input from all principals at a combined principals meeting, and creating some positive messages for media about what we are doing around student engagement and attendance .
Work is on-going with various interagency groups including Peer Tutoring Management Team, CATCH, the Network for Children and Youth and the Committee for Safer Cape Breton Communities .
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. The First Annual Sustainability Symposium ‘Peacebuilding & Earthkeeping: Creating a Culture of Respect for People & the Planet’ will be held in Halifax on March 29th and 30th . This information has been distributed to all schools. For more information on this see the following link :
The CBRM Recreation Department is undertaking a study on ′Active Transportation′ which involves encouraging students to walk or bike to school. A link to a survey on this topic has been added to our website and you are encouraged to take part .
The last of our schools will receive PEBS training on March 17th and 18th in Halifax. A Board lead team has been chosen and will meet sometime before the end of March to look at where we are with PEBS and where we are going .
PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)
Rick Simm, Coordinator
The ‘Instructional Support Team’, consisting of Sheila Kublek, Bill Tenant, Dorothy Tenant, 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)
In the past month, Mrs. Kublek was able to visit many schools and performed 10 assistive technology student assessments. Preparation and planning is underway with the transition lead teacher, Genevieve Richardson, to be involved with the transition process for students entering the CB-VRSB in September 2008 and who require the support of assistive technology .
The assistive technology consultant, assistive technology lead team members, and various speech language pathologists were very fortunate to be able to spend a day with Ms. Claire Zeidel, CEO of Bridges Canada Ltd. Ms. Zeidel spent a day at the Staff Development Centre to do an interactive presentation on Classroom Suite 4, comprehensive language and math software. Conversation and questioning was encouraged about all types of assistive technology. It was very beneficial to be able to tap into Ms. Zeidel′s expertise and knowledge in the area of assistive technology .
A professional learning community took place at the end of February in Lunenburg for all assistive technology specialists within Nova Scotia. The day was spent sharing assistive technology practices, policies and products from each Board. At this venue, the announcement was made that the Nova Scotia Department of Education will be creating an assistive technology DVD. The DVD will contain an assistive technology student ‘success story’ from each Board within the province. The filming for this DVD is scheduled to take place in April 2008 .
PD Consultant (Bill Tennant)
During the month of February, workshops at the SDC were provided to IT lead classroom teachers covering various technology topics. Also, there were several workshops provided to grade 10 teachers under the IEIE initiative from the specific subject areas. Technology integration was the main focus .
During the month of February, there were many requests from classroom teachers to have technology site-based PD in their classrooms. A closer look at how to implement software into the curriculum along with the challenges of classroom management and teaching strategies were the main concerns. The collaboration and cooperation during each visit was valuable in helping those teachers use technology more effectively to enrich their student′s learning environments as well as meeting the outcomes for their particular grade level .
Another highlight of February was the opportunity to visit several schools to converse with classroom teachers about technology use in their classes. On an informal level, there were some instances where technology integration was tried and tested during the visit leading to follow-up contact and implementation of these strategies .
IEIE Consultant (Dorothy Tenant)
Professional Development 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. Our topics were :
There were 46 FTE days of on site professional development for teachers in the month of February. Topics were technology integration and web paging for school and classroom teachers .
There were 73 FTE days of professional development that took place at the Staff Development Center in North Sydney. These days centered around PD for IT school contacts and IEIE Grade 10 Lead teachers .
All IEI hardware and software has been installed. PD, by way of workshops and site-based activities for IEI Grade 10 teachers, is ongoing .
RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Lynn Crawford, Coordinator
Ms. Crawford reports that she is pleased to see that Minister Casey has agreed to address the educational gap for Mi′kmaq and Aboriginal students. Any additional support that may enhance the great work and the position currently held by consultant Sheldon Googoo, is great news. Clearly Mr. Googoo has been addressing many concerns in the Mi′kmaq community and in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, which clearly demonstrate the need for the department′s commitment .
Presently the Membertou Band and Council have support workers staffed in the CB-VRSB, working with students daily. Any additional resources and support to assist with their continuous efforts of promoting student success and achievement will be beneficial to Mi′kmaq and Aboriginal students .
African Canadian Studies – The Times of African Nova Scotians
The Times of African Nova Scotians resource has been distributed to our local high schools, and in speaking with teacher Maureen MacNamara of Riverview, she said, ‘I was delighted to receive such a wonderful resource with relevant material of the African Nova Scotian community. Students are able to make connections to their home community of Cape Breton and to local leaders. It is a valuable classroom resource .’
The publisher of the journal is currently seeking input for the next publication. He is seeking student input by featuring a provincial contest for students in grades 9 – 12. Submissions must feature a notable Nova Scotian, Past or Present, or a Community Elder. Students taking African Canadian Studies 11 may also submit an essay assigned in class. The contest will be promoted within our Board .
Sheldon Googoo – Mi′kmaq Consultant
This is the time of the year that our elder′s believe that we should be fortunate to have made it through a hard and difficult winter. The elders believed that the way to sure our gratitude was to have a feast to honor the Little Man who was outside and watched over the nation. The elder′s would leave food for the Little Man that protected them from winter .
Sheldon provided the above history at the start of his monthly report and I wanted to pass it on. Sheldon continues to visit schools throughout our Board to provide assistance with curriculum development; this is done through speaking with teachers and students about the importance of Mi′kmaq history. A teaching manual, titled ‘Kekina′muek- Learning about the Mi′kmaq of Nova Scotia’, is a new teacher resource obtained from The Confederacy of Mainland Mi′kmaq, and Sheldon has distributed it to various schools .
Sheldon attended the Pow Wow at St. Joseph′s Elementary in Sydney Mines and complimented the work done by Donna Clark. During the month Sheldon has attended various meetings to assist with program delivery .
Key Recommendation of Mi′kmaq Services Review
"The new division I plan to implement in response to the project report is designed to ensure that the Mi'kmaq community, as well as other Aboriginal Nova Scotians, will receive an improved level of service in all areas of education" this is a quote of Karen Casey Minister of Education .
Mr. Googoo firmly believes that Mi'kmaq educators must hold the province accountable to ensure that these words are put into action. He trusts that the Minister will not shelf this report without taking action .
Student Support Workers
The Student Support Workers have been extremely busy during African Heritage Month. They maintained regular meetings with students as well as provided assistance to principals in dealing with RCH incidents, and participated in various activities celebrating African Heritage Month .
Events Attended this Month by SSW:
- 10th Annual Black Basketball Game at Sydney Academy
- Guest Speaker, Curtis Coward, former MLB player at WPM
- ANSA African Heritage Month Gala
- In-service Halifax – African Canadian Services Division (NSCC Program)
- St. Ann′s African Heritage Month Celebration
- Black Reflections Art Gallery (4 Day′s)
- Wanda Robson on Presentations
- Book Launch UNIA Hall
- African Heritage Month Showcase at Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High
- Parent Teacher′s Conference
- Riverview African Heritage Month Celebration
- Various schools - African Heritage Month presentations
A highlight this month was the RCH School Representatives In-service. The school reps attended a one day session ‘Battling Homophobia in the Classroom’. Presenter Gerard Cormier from NSTU led the morning session. The afternoon consisted of Adrianne McMahon from the Sexual Diversity Center at CBU, followed by a presentation by Ms Crawford to address questions from feedback of an earlier in-service. Feedback on the day was very positive .
During the month of February we arranged for Wanda Robson to present at various schools, sharing the story of her sister Viola Desmond (Nova Scotia′s Rosa Parks). In speaking with principals, the sessions went very well .
Ms Crawford read a passage at the book launch ‘One God, One Aim, One Destiny – African Nova Scotians in Cape Breton.’ It is the hope of the UNIA Cultural Museum that we will make this resource available to our schools .
This week, over 1400 students attended a performance by ‘Black Umfolosi’ a group from Zimbabwe. The students were entertained by language lessons, African history, dance and song. Ms Crawford has received several emails and phone calls thanking our Board for providing this opportunity to the students .
Department of Education :
Jason Kempt and Donna Robson will be part of the provincial presentation lead team for the Primary to Nine Spelling Docum ent .
LIFT (Literacy Initiative for Teachers) - Twenty-one of our sites are now involved in the LIFT Initiative. The LIFT changeover session took place on February 25 at Shipyard School. Participation at this session was very encouraging .
PULS (Promoting Understanding for Lifelong Success - East Bay Project) - The opening of the East Bay Site took place on February 21 and was very well attended. Donna Karsten, Department of Education Consultant, spent the afternoon touring the site and conversing with teachers. The day was well attended by school administrators and Central Office staff .
Primary Parent Fairs - We have scheduled six upcoming Primary Parent Fairs, which is an increase from last year. A fair will be held North of Smokey and also one at the East Bay Site. The team will be meeting shortly after the break to create the brochures and contact the community groups involved .
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. Sessions will be put in place for the spring for primary teachers in order to support the age change that will be in effect this fall .
Mentoring (Jason Kempt, Michelle Solazzo, Geraldine Beaver, Maxine Hardy, 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. Schools requesting a session on the morning of February 28 at the East Bay Site were supported by Geraldine Beaver. She also included substitutes who phoned and asked if they could attend. Jason Kempt arranged a shared session between Jubilee and St. Joseph′s, Sydney Mines, also for the morning of the 28th . All mentors are involved in LIFT, East Bay, and site based mentoring as well as Board facilitation. Earlier in the year, many of our Reading Recovery teachers were offering after school sessions at their sites; Michelle Solazzo and Geraldine Beaver have continued with this session on request of those teachers attending. Both groups have made sessions available to substitute teachers .
Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau
Early Elementary Mathematics Literacy Assessments: On Monday, February 18, Parent Report letters were available to be downloaded by schools. Those letters were sent out to parents on Thursday, February 22. Parents of those students who received a ‘Not Yet Meeting Expectations’ letter from the Department of Education will receive an additional clarifying letter from our Board. One letter indicates that parents will receive a call from the teacher, and their mathematics progress will be tracked on a Mathematics Development Record. These MDR′s will be attached to his/her EEMLA results and put into his/her cumulative record card. The other letter was sent to parents of students who were approaching the expectations of the assessment. Since his/her score is just below the expectation, the school will monitor the child′s mathematical development and provide appropriate support .
Grade Four Mathematics Development Records : Day three of the professional development sessions was held February 18, 19, and 20. Participants included all grade four teachers, upper elementary resource teachers, and mentors. The focus of day three was differentiated instruction. 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. Our three host schools, Brookland, Glace Bay, and Boularderie, were very accommodating .
PRIME Leadership: (Professional Resources & Instruction for Mathematics Educators) - The Department of Education presented a leadership course to all elementary school administrators and math mentors. This workshop was well received by those who attended .
Mentoring: Mentoring requests continue to increase. Ron Muller is a full time elementary mentor and Theresa Devoe is a full time junior high mentor. Other elementary mentors include Cheryl Fricker in the North of Smokey area, Susan LeBlanc-Ward in the Glace Bay area and Tara Colbert in the Whitney Pier, New Waterford area. Another junior high mentor is Jody Mac Lean .
Parent Information Sessions: Parent Information Sessions were held on February 25 -26 at North Highlands and Cape Smokey Elementary Schools respectively. Parents who attended these sessions indicated that they felt better informed after the meeting. Cheryl Fricker, Jana Reid, Maxine Hardy, Lindsay Ann Hatcher, and Debbie Donovan from Cape Smokey organized both evenings and set up excellent centers .
PRIME: The third and final workshop on PRIME with resource teachers took place on February 12-13. The resource teachers have indicated that they very much appreciate having such an excellent resource to use with those students requiring math assistance .
PRIME: The three piloted schools, Mountainview, Cape Smokey, and MacDonald Elementary, will continue the PRIME training. There have been many positive comments from staff and administrators of these three schools regarding the benefits of PRIME .
Workshop: A math workshop will be held for LD teachers on March 17 .
Summer Academy: Plans will be underway for our next Summer Academy. Last summer, we focused on clustering the grade three outcomes, and we had more requests from participants than space. Many of the participants from last year have indicated they will be returning this year when we have two separate Academies. One will focus on clustering the grade two curriculum; the other on the grade four curriculum. Membertou Trade and Convention Centre will be our venue and registration will begin in mid April, when we send out our information memo .
Arts Education Consultant, Cathy MacNeil
Holy Angels High School presented Welcome to the Jungle, a black light theater production under the direction of Susan Greaves on March 4-6. Performances ocurred during the school day and an evening performance was held on March 5 at 7:00 p.m. Ms. Greaves received a PDAF grant in 2006-07 to support productions in black light theater. She is continuing this type of production work with students at the school and has a great deal of support/collaboration from all the arts educators at Holy Angels .
Advanced visual art students are beginning preparations for a display of their artwork in the Reading Room of the Cape Breton University Art Gallery in May. Suzanne Crowdis, Art Gallery Coordinator, will oversee the students as they curate their works, prepare artist′s statements and a catalogue for the show .
Ardith Haley, Arts Education Consultant, Department of Education, will be visiting the teachers and students involved in the advanced courses on March 5. She will also be attending the Holy Angels production .
A very special photographic art display, Voices of Children , will take place during the week of March 17 at the Art Gallery, Cape Breton University. In November, 2007, Sydney River Elementary art students of Nancy MacLean were given disposable cameras and asked to take photos of various aspects of their lives. These cameras were then returned to the exhibit organizers in Australia. Voices of Children is an international exhibition of images and words started three years ago by the University of Wollongong, Faculty of Education. The three developers, Ian Brown, Pauline Lysaght and Ros Westbrook started with a small funded project with partner universities in Asia. It now has grown to include Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, Mexico, USA, Nova Scotia, and are waiting for cameras to be returned from Greece, New Zealand, Guatemala and Afghanistan. The traveling exhibition will be at the CBU Art Gallery, March 17- 22 and will be a blend of large A4 size photos (about 50) and two large projected images displaying a further 300 images including the works of the students from Sydney River Elementary .
Reading Recovery® Teacher Leader / Early Literacy Consultant, Paula Muise
Two regular inservice sessions were held for the teachers in training. One each was planned for the continuing contact teachers. One of those was cancelled when the roads were very bad and principals were uncomfortable about driving children. The session was rescheduled for early March .
Reading Recovery® teachers continue to play a role in Board Initiatives such as LIFT (Literacy Initiative for Teachers), PULS (Promoting Understanding for Lifelong Success) and GRADS (Growing Through Reading, Activities, Discussions & Sharing). It is encouraging to see the expertise of our teachers having such a positive influence on literacy practices in this Board .
The LIFT inservice originally scheduled for February 11 and subsequently cancelled because it was a storm day, was rescheduled and held on February 26 .
Paula Muise continues to visit teachers in all the elementary schools in the Board. She was pleased to work with other teachers in planning as well as in delivering the recent LIFT inservice .
Teachers provided data on children referred to Reading Recovery® and predicted numbers served for the year, to assist in planning for next year .
Joy Cookson, a Reading Recovery® teacher, has been awarded a Sabbatical Leave (2008-2009) to study as Teacher Leader in Halifax .
Literacy Support Consultant, Lyn McInnis
February has been a very busy month. All of the binders for the grade ten teachers have been completed with individual student assessment results. Inservicing has begun with the Learning Through Literacy Whole Class Instructional Plan. Ms McInnis and Millie George will continue with inservicing up to March 7, at which time all grade ten teachers with students who have not yet met expectations within their course second semester will have received inservicing .
On February 6, Ms McInnis met with the Junior High Literacy Support teachers. They had a great morning with Elizabeth Sehl presenting Co-teaching Models. Time was also spent on scheduling, sharing materials and best practices, as well as deciding future meeting dates .
Diane Brennick, Literacy Consultant, and Ms McInnis worked together throughout the month as schools requested support with focus groups tied to the Accreditation process. Ms McInnis continued attending monthly Professional Learning Community Meetings with the Department of Education, as well as LSAG (Literacy Support Action Group) meetings .
Plans are now being made with regards to inservicing with the grade three teachers around ELLA (Early Language Literacy Assessment). We are presently awaiting these results as well as the ELA results .