PSS Report May 2008
Category : Programs and Student Services Report
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 05/14/2008

PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

Sheila Kublek – Assistive Technology Consultant

Throughout the month of April a series of small, intimate workshops were held for Intellikeys, Classroom Suite 3 and Kurzweil. These workshops took place at both the Staff Development Centre and on site at schools. As well, a half day workshop on assistive technology was provided to eighteen students from Marconi Campus enrolled in the Teacher Assistant Program.

There have been fourteen student assistive technology assessments performed in the month of April. Several of these assessments were necessary to complete transitioning plans.

A day was spent at Brookland Elementary with the school board′s IPP Lead Team and Colleen Doucet of Starfish Educational Consulting. The workshop involved an intense hands-on development of an IPP based on a fictitious student profile. Ms. Doucet was able to provide a great deal of relative information regarding the development of IPPs.

Mrs. Kublek spent a day with teachers, students and administrators at Mac Lennan Junior High School. The purpose of the visit was to inquire how technology integration was taking place in the school and how the Instructional Support & Technology department could support their endeavors with technology integration. As well, a survey on the use of Co Writer and Write Out Loud has been sent to all grade 4-6 teachers, resource, learning centre and learning disabilities teachers. Once again, we would like to know how teachers are best utilizing the software with their students.

Mrs. Kublek attended the RBTs meeting in Halifax. She had an opportunity during the meeting to do a presentation on the lesson plans and resources available to teachers through the CBVRSB website. The presentation was very well received and many of the meeting′s participants inquired about the prospect of us sharing these resources. As always, we were only too pleased to be able to provide support for teachers everywhere.


Bill Tennant – PD Consultant Technology

A number of workshops for teachers in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 were implemented at the Staff Professional Development Centre focusing on Technology Integration Lesson Plans posted on the Board web site. Teachers had an opportunity to practice integrated lessons, including teaching strategies developed within our Board by our teachers.

Another workshop on FrontPage 2003 is planned for teachers and web page developers. Also, workshops for the Digital QX5 microscope are also planned for a number of elementary and junior high classroom teachers. A number of high school teachers requested a workshop on technology curriculum games. As a result, one is planned in May at the Staff Professional Development Centre.

There were school visits covering Elementary and Junior High schools. Each visit provided an opportunity to make contact with administration and teachers on their perspectives on technology use and integration in the classroom. Site-based professional development was provided and opportunities were arranged for those wishing to learn more about integration, classroom management and strategies. There is much interest in using multimedia in the classroom and as a result there were many requests to have professional development covering all aspects of Multimedia on both the PC and MAC platforms.


Dorothy Tennant – IEIE Consultant

An IEIE Grade 10 professional development session was held at the Staff Professional Development Centre on April 18. The lead teachers from the high schools continue to develop technology integrated lesson plans.

The year end IEIE Summary Report has been completed.

Planning for the 2008-2009 IEIE year is beginning. A basic software image for the Grade 11 computer clusters has been designed. Preliminary steps for hardware ordering have been completed.

IEIE professional development follow up visits have been made to some high schools (Holy Angels, Riverview, Sydney Academy, Glace Bay High and Breton Education Center).

Ten technology integrated lessons have been published to the board website under Technology Integrated Teacher Resources.


RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Lynn Crawford, Coordinator

Mi′kmaq Consultant

Sheldon Googoo in collaboration with Brenda MacIsaac held a very successful workshop Hieroglyphs to Hypertext at Membertou Trade and Convention Center. Sheldon was instrumental in contacting and organizing the many community presenters over the past few months leading up to the conference. Feedback on the two days was very positive and the teachers are looking forward to a follow up session in the fall. Approximately 30 teachers returned Saturday to participate in a Sweat Lodge. Congratulations to Sheldon and Brenda MacIsaac for a job well done!

Sheldon Googoo, John Astephen –and Ms. Crawford met to discuss the Ministers Response Increasing the Effectiveness of Service Delivery to Mi′kmaw Learners. In this session Sheldon provided a clear understanding of the new role the Mi′kmaq Liaison Office is to play, and gave insight into other Mi′kmaq education service providers; the Council on Mi′kmaq Education and the MK Education working group. Sheldon stated there is no additional funding to be provided for the service delivery and curriculum support initiatives outlined in the minister′s response. Federal funding will remain the same and channeled through MK to provide the Bands and the Province with funding.

Sheldon′s insight was a result of his regular attendance at the Mi′kmaw Kina′matney Strategic Planning sessions and regular contact with Candy Palmater, Department of Education Mi′kmaq Liaison Officer.

Student Support Workers

Student Support Workers attended the Council on African Canadian Education (CACE) Parent Summit April 22-24th. The Student Support Workers really enjoyed the three days, and were very pleased with the positive feedback they received from parents. Throughout the three days parents of African Nova Scotian students continuously praised the efforts of the Student Support Workers, and the comfort and support they provide to students in the schools.

Students Support Workers are continuously in contact with Ms. Crawford to share student achievements, progress and concerns.

RCH Coordinator

Throughout the month Ms. Crawford attended various cultural and professional development workshops. The sessions included NSELC Module 8 – Schooling and Social Justice (3 days), NSTU Equity Conference (2 days), and NSELC - Dr. Robert Marzano Workshop.

Cathy Viva and Ms. CrawfordI conducted one principal evaluation meeting during the month and Ms. Crawford was a member of the Accreditations External Review Team for Plymouth School in Yarmouth (3 days).

PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12

David Crane, Coordinator

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

The Curriculum Mapping team has started work on aligning the curriculum with the outcomes. This work will be done for Language Arts 7-12.

The Teaching in Action document is ready to be shared with all 7-9 English Language Arts
teachers.

Our board Writers in Action team will be going to Wolfville for a three-day implementation on May 14th,15th and 16th.

The May ELA newsletter has been sent out to all junior and senior highs.

The Public Speaking event was a huge success. Well over a hundred students participated
in the event this year.


Nutrition for Learning, Debbie Madore, Dietitian

Debbie Madore continues to work on Group purchasing for equipment for HPS.

Rotary has renewed their adoption of Riverview, with a donation of $3500.

A letter went out to businesses that annually give to Breakfast for Learning requesting continued support for this year.

Golf Tournament applications have gone out. To date, there are 14 teams confirmed.

Strive for Five, an inservice on Healthy Eating which promotes Vegetables and Fruits for school cafeterias, was a success on April 15. We received good feedback from everyone.

Nutrition Month was kicked off with a Big Crunch event. Schools were encouraged to have all students eat an apple, and utilize the supporting material for curriculum.


Active Healthy Living, Mary Lou Andrea, Consultant

Grade 10 Physical Education Implementation Workshop

On April 15th -17th, physical education teachers from eight of the nine high schools in the board attended a three-day implementation workshop at Oak Island as part of the new grade 10 physical education curriculum. Teachers were able to review the new text for the course, as well as the curriculum guide. Teachers were very enthusiastic about having a new curriculum and for being able to try first hand some of the new and exciting programs available for high school. A big thank you is extended to Joel LeBlanc from Sydney Academy who was our board′s representative on the implementation team. Board professional development will follow for all high school staff in the spring and fall.


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

Career Exploration Program

Pilot Project: NSCC and CBVRSB

The Career Exploration Program, a joint initiative between the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and Nova Scotia Community College, Marconi campus will begin with sixteen grade 8 students on May 12, 2008.

The following schools have identified students for the program:

  • Breton Education Centre: 3 students (1 female, 2 males)
  • Bridgeport School: 2 students (1 female, 1 male)
  • Donkin-Gowrie Complex: 3 students (males)
  • Morrison Jr. High: 4 students (2 females, 2 males)
  • St. Mike′s Jr. High: 4 students (1 female, 3 males)

This 3-week program will provide an intervention for the Grade 8 student who is presently disengaged in his/her learning and is not achieving his/her potential. It is the intention of this pilot program that the students will make the connection between what they are learning in the classroom and a career path.

A teacher (David Gillard) has been hired for the period of May 7 to May 30th to teach the core subjects Math, English, Science and Social Studies as directed by the student′s regular teacher from each school. The teacher and students will spend the mornings in the classroom and the afternoons in the trades shop. There has been a change in the trades that the students will explore. The students will spend 1 week in Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, 1 week in Metal Fabrication & Plating and 1 week in Carpentry.

On Tuesday, May 6 an orientation session was held for the students and family members at Marconi Campus from 7 pm to 8 pm. There were 14 students with family members in attendance for the session. Students were given gift bags from NSCC with general information about the campus. The NSCC faculty of the three trades gave a brief overview of their trade and what the students will be working on. All three faculty members stressed the importance of math in their trades and the importance of being very attentive in the shop area.

The students will start Monday May 12 with WHMIS and OH & S training. There will be sessions during the first week on the high school programs offered at our Board such as skilled trades at Memorial High School and the Options & Opportunities programs at Breton Education Centre, Cabot, and Glace Bay High, as well as post secondary programs at NSCC.


Community-Based Learning

Three students from Holy Angels will participate in the Skills Competition at NSCC in Dartmouth in Women′s Apparel Design on April 25, 2008. Women′s Apparel Design has just been recognized under designated trades category, therefore, funding for their participation was approved under the Workit Grant Funding.

The Community-Based Learning Consultant, Rhonda Smith, and John Astephen visited Baddeck Academy on April 18 to review their request for a future Options & Opportunities program. An update on the program and the schools involved was given. Department of Education resources were provided for the principal and vice-principal for their planning process. It was explained that the Board started with two schools initially and expanded to the third in the second semester of last year. There are presently two other high schools with requests in for the next opportunity for the Board to expand. Baddeck Academy will be added to the list. Other options, such as Co-operative Education credit, and a possible partnership with NSCC for some trade demonstrations to the students were also presented for future considerations.

The O2 students and teachers are preparing for their co-op work placements which will take place during the month of May. The teachers from BEC, Glace Bay High and Cabot High are also preparing for the O2 Showcase and Workshop on May 27and 28 in Dartmouth. This year we will have some O2 students′ participation as well.


Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

In January, 2008, students wrote the NSE Mathematics 12 and Advanced Mathematics 12. On April 2, all high school Principals and Math Department Heads met at Sydney Academy library to examine the results of these examinations and to discuss how both teachers and students involved in this assessment process can continue to be supported. David Brennick, David Crane and Arlene Andrecyk led the discussions.

On Thursday, April 3, all teachers who are teaching Math 12 and Advanced Math 12 in the 2007-2008 school term, including first and second semester, met at the Sydney Academy library from 1:00 till 3:00 p.m. This meeting was an information session to discuss common errors made by students on the provincial math assessments. Marlene Urquhart presented the information and gave a resource binder to each teacher. David Brennick, David Crane and Arlene Andrecyk led discussions with teachers.

On April 4, high school math students participated in the final game of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Math League. Cape Breton University hosted the event and provided pizza for all participants and coaches. Sydney Academy placed first and each player received a plaque. Two graphing calculators were also given out at a random draw. Math students from six high schools have participated in Math League in the 2007-2008 school term: Riverview, Breton Education Centre, Memorial High, Holy Angels, Sydney Academy and Glace Bay High School. Sydney Academy and Memorial High School, the two high school teams with the highest points accumulated over the three games, will now compete in the Nova Scotia Math League Provincial Final to be held at Acadia University in Wolfville on May 10, 2008.

On April 15, junior high school math students from Sydney Mines Jr. High, Malcolm Munroe Jr. High, Sherwood Park Education Centre, Whitney Pier Memorial, Morrison Jr. High and Breton Education Centre participated in the Math On Olympiad Competition. The event took place at Morrison Junior High gymnasium from 2 pm till 5 pm. Seventy-two students participated in the problem solving activities. Over forty students from Morrison Junior High volunteered to work at this event and had such positions as time keeper, recorder, canteen worker, master of ceremonies, and checker. Gloria Farmakoulas organized these workers. Brian Spencer, Sharon Boudreau and Sandy Urquhart were judges. The event was very successful. In teams of two, students were engaged in problem solving. They competed in grade level competitions as well as poster problem solving. The top four teams from each grade level also competed in a challenge competition. Several ribbons, awards and prizes were given to successful participants. The winning school team, Malcolm Munroe Junior High, received a school banner and has been invited to the Halifax Math-On Olympiad Regional Competition on May 3, 2008. This was a pilot project. Already two principals from other junior high schools have expressed an interest to participate in the 2008-2009 school year.

On April 18, Arlene Andrecyk attended a workshop at the Dartmouth Teachers′ Centre on the software program, Autograph, version 3.2. Participants were introduced to web resources and software that can be used to help students to visualize topics in secondary mathematics.

On April 22, all Grade 8 Math Teachers were introduced to the new grade 8 math text ‘Mathematics 8: Focus on Understanding’. Teachers also received the Teacher′s Resource for this text and were guided through the binder. Sharon McCready, Mathematics Strategy Consultant, Department of Education, facilitated the in-service.

Arlene Andrecyk, Math Consultant, led a discussion on writing a grade 8 math communication plan. Teachers were encouraged to use the junior high mentors in the board if they wanted support with setting up and delivering the math curriculum.


Nova Scotia
International Student Program, Tammy Sampson, Manager

  • We continue to receive applications for the September 2008 school year. Placements will begin in May.
  • Eleven of our students have confirmed that they plan to return to the CBVRSB for September.
  • Student evaluations were completed during the month of April. They will be sent to agents along with report cards.
  • Our April newsletter has been sent out to schools, coordinators, school board staff, students and families. Thanks to Michelle for putting this together for us!
  • The CBU skating party, pizza lunch, and campus tour for all students and host families took place on April 20th, 2008. There was a great turn out. Many students skated for the first time!
  • NSISP staff will travel to Acadia May 1st-3rd for a homestay conference and training workshops.
  • Tammy Sampson will do a presentation on Student Orientation during the conference.
  • Plans are confirmed for the host family appreciation dinner. It will take place at the Quality Inn on May 15th, 2008.
  • The Cultural Potluck has been moved to May 25th, 2008. This is to take place at the Sydney Academy cafeteria. Paul Millman and Ben will visit during this event to get some video footage and interviews for program marketing materials
  • The NSISP is beginning the new family recruitment campaign for the month of April. If you or someone you know is interested in hosting, please contact Tammy at 577-0349 or tsampson@staff.ednet.ns.ca
  • The CBVRSB ISP will be hosting the August NSISP meeting.


Vocational Education, Ken Collier, Consultant

The students who were Gold Medalists in the Nova Scotia Skills Competitions, are busy preparing to represent our province during the Canadian Skills Competitions in Calgary, Alberta from May 25-28, 2008. This will be an exciting and rewarding experience for all involved. We wish them all the best.

Grade 9 Career Awareness Tours are continuing with only one school left to tour our school. These tours give Grade 9 students the opportunity to experience a variety of careers that they may consider when choosing their career path.

The registration process is continuing for the upcoming school year. Our feeder schools have been visited to help prepare students for their upcoming course selections. This will prove to be a very busy time in the upcoming weeks.

Students taking part in the Home Maintenance/Workshop Program are assisting Seton Elementary School with refurbishing their outside student play area. The disassembly of some of the equipment has taken place, and the refinishing process is taking place. This project should be finished by mid-May. The students were very eager and proud to participate in this very worthwhile venture.

Kent Brewer, our Electrical Teacher, just returned from the ‘Partners in Learning Regional Innovative Teachers Conference 2008’ held in Hanoi, Vietnam. The forum brings together 200 leading teachers, educators and Ministry of Education officials representing 21 countries together to share their innovative classroom practices with other participants of the conference. The teachers have a chance to network with other teachers, compete for the coveted ′Innovative Teacher of the Year′ Award, and spend four days collaborating to share their experiences, curriculum and exchange knowledge. Kent found this conference to be a very rewarding experience.


English Second Language, Geoff Laurence, Teacher

April 1 – 4:

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

April 7 – 11:

The ESL class at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School was replaced with a whole school activity in the gym. This provided the NSISP students an opportunity to interact with the other students in different classes and experience the school spirit which is a big part of the Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School.

Report and comments for NSISP students, who regularly attended ESL classes, were made available for inclusion in their report cards this week.

April 14 – 18:

Classes were pre-empted at Glace Bay High to accommodate a presentation by a guest speaker about her ordeal and survival of the World Trade Center tragedy in September 2001. The whole school and visiting schools were attending and a decision was made that this would be worthwhile for ESL students to attend. Discussion of this presentation would be the starting point for a conversation component in future classes.

April 21-25:

Classes this week involved support with listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, as well as with projects and class assignments.


English Second Language, Stephanie Hynes, Teacher

What is happening in our schools because of what we are doing?

For the month of April our English Second Language Learners have continued to astound Stephanie Hynes with their work ethic and ability to cope with the curriculum.

The Heritage/Historica Fair was one of the biggest events of the month. All of our students did an excellent job and are showing great progress. Our Inuktitut students, at Greenfield Elementary, even got themselves a third place ribbon. Jenny Hu, from Rankin School showed great improvement at the Fair this year by orally presenting her project on the role of Chinese Workers during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. This topic was of special interest to Jenny with her being from China. In the same respect, Shayan and Pooyan Taherzadeh of Brookland Elementary orally presented a project on Iran. It was very clear that they were both pleased and proud to be able to participate and share a piece of their culture.


Professional Development

Ms. Hynes attended a time management session on April 2, 2008, with Gerard Cormier. She felt, as an Itinerant teacher, it was helpful to learn strategies for effective planning, prioritizing, and goal setting.


Things to note:

  • Ms. Hynes has come to truly see the importance of age-appropriate placement for the students in our public school system. In the case of ESL, proficiency is only one aspect to consider when students from other language backgrounds come into our system.


Sports Animator, Jim McEachern

Highlight Update:

  1. Youth in Motion @ CBU Program Schedule for April:
  • April 3: Baddeck, Middle River, Eskasoni
  • April 10: Rankin on the Narrows, Sydney River, Membertou
  • April 17:Marion Bridge, Mira Road, North Highlands, Cape Smokey, Etoile de L′Acadie
  • April 24: Mountainview, East Bay, Boularderie
  1. The Sport Animator, as a member on the CBU Health Complex Committee, met with MLA Alfie MacLeod, seeking support from the Provincial Government to bring the Complex to a reality.
  1. Plans were being finalized to implement a seven school pilot of the ‘Swim to Survive / Learn to Swim Program’ for the grade three level in the Board. The program will run for five weeks ending on June 13, 2008.
  1. The Second Annual UCT / CBVRSB Skating Races Jamboree was successfully run off at Centre 200, on Saturday, April 5, 2008, with close to eight hundred students from thirty-nine schools participating. The event was well received by students and parents. Congratulations to all the volunteers who made the event such a great success.
  1. Soccer in the Community School Visitation Schedule for April:
  • April 1, MacDonald Elementary
  • April 4, St. Joseph (NS) Elementary
  • April 8, St. Mary′s (NS) Elementary
  • April 15, Marion Bridge Elementary
  • April 16, Rankin On The Narrows Elementary
  • April 18, Ashby Elementary
  • April 22, Baddeck Academy
  • April 24, North Highlands
  • April 25, Cape Smokey
  • April 29, Florence Elementary
  • April 30, Jubilee Elementary


Cape
Breton Regional Science Fair, True Burke, Chairperson

The finalists for Cape Breton will be leaving Wednesday for the Team Nova Scotia Showcase to be held at Saint Mary′s University May 1st , 2nd and 3rd. Students will have the opportunity to meet scientists, present their projects to the public, and meet the other members of team Nova Scotia. This event is sponsored by Nova Scotia Youth Experience in Science.

On May 10th, the team will be leaving to attend the Canada Wide Science Fair which is being held in Ottawa, Ontario. The students participating include: Todd Mercer, Mike MacIsaac, Alyssa Moss and Jonathan MacNeil.

The Science Fair committee is hoping to put on a professional development day on science fairs for interested schools this June to prepare them for September.


SCHOOL SERVICES

Susan Kelley, Acting Coordinator

Twenty teachers and administrators and a board member attended a two day training session on ‘The Virtues Project’. This is based on a philosophy of creating a culture of character in schools by integrating the cultivation of virtues (courage, honor, kindness, etc.) into the existing curriculum, the code of conduct/PEBS, and daily classroom life. It is not tied to any specific belief system but uses an inclusive virtues-based approach to bring out the best in students. It is set up on a framework of five strategies which include:

1) Using the language of virtues: find positive attributes on which to focus;

2) Recognizing teachable moments by asking what can I learn from this situation, focus on the positive;

3) Set clear boundaries by setting bottom line behaviors that won′t be tolerated and building a positive approach to discipline emphasizing both assertiveness and restorative justice practices.

4) Honor the spirit of the school by including school-wide celebrations.

5) Offer the art of companioning which encourages moral choice and allows the safe expression of feelings and encourages students to come up with their own solutions.

The workshop was very well received and we continue to get positive comments from participants. It was great to have Myrtle Turnbull-Campbell take the time to join the workshop.

A committee of administrators from each level, board representative and programs folk met to begin drafting a policy for student use of communications technology (including but not limited to cell phones, video recording, text messaging equipment, personal digital assistants, MP3 players and CD players). We are in the process of creating a first draft of a policy to get feedback from schools.

A meeting was held with representatives from the Northside Rotary Club to discuss partnering with them in promoting their sailing program for students with special needs. The club has purchased a specially rigged sail boat and has a trained instructor to carry out a program this summer. This program is free for students and we are excited to be able to work with them on this worthwhile project. Our first step will be to get information to schools in the Northside about the project and then to set up an information session for parents about the project. This will give both parent and students a chance to ask question about the program and to see the boat.


PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Brenda MacIsaac, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-6, Donna Robson


Department of Education

The Department of Education presented the Primary Document on April 28 & 29 at East Bay School. Primary teachers and administrators attended the session. Mentors attended a two-day work shop in Halifax on April 17 & 18. The focus of the sessions was differentiation of instruction.

Board

Literacy Initiative for Teachers - LIFT continues to expand throughout our Board. Board mentors are taking a leadership role with this ongoing project. LIFT is taking on a life of its own and requires significant management as it grows.

PULS (Promoting Understanding for Lifelong Success) – The East Bay site is being utilized by our members and we are receiving many requests to visit the site.

Primary Parent Fairs – A schedule for the upcoming Primary Parent Fairs is as follows:

  • May 12 - St. Anne′s
  • May 13 - Greenfield
  • May 14 - Brookland
  • May 15 - St. Joseph′s (Sydney Mines)
  • May 22 - Cape Smokey

Children will be invited to attend the Fair with their parents. We are working in conjunction with the Cape Breton Health Care Facility.

Primary Timeline – The Primary Parent Fairs will be followed up by an Orientation Day at sites that will include students attending for a day and also a parent information session that will last for forty-five to sixty minutes. Parents will be given an orientation package that will include three brochures created by Reading Recovery Consultant Paula Muise around reading, writing and talking. This session will be hosted by Reading Recovery teachers and Board mentors. Information surrounding this session will be included on the Parent Fair brochure and will be followed up by school administration.

Making Meaning – The event was held on Sunday, April 20, at Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. It was a successful afternoon and led to much discussion about how we can communicate the day with a larger audience.

Mentors (Jason Kempt, Michelle Solazzo, Geraldine Beaver and Maxine Hardy) - Mentors are involved in a range of experiences, ranging from collaborating, consulting, coaching, creating and facilitating. The model classroom at East Bay is 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

April Review

Summer Academy:

Plans are now underway for our next Summer Academy. On April 7, the Summer Academy ad was sent to schools and posted on the Board web site. Last summer, we focused on clustering the grade three outcomes, and we had more requests from participants than space. Participants included not only grade three teachers, but teachers of other grade levels, resource teachers, substitute teachers and university students. Many of these participants will be returning this year and have registered for both academies. One academy 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 the two academies are filling up quickly.


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 WhitneyPier/New Waterford area. Another junior high mentor is Jody Mac Lean.


Workshop – Resource Teachers

Junior High resource teachers were given a workshop where several of the math strategies were discussed and they were given the opportunity to practice various hands-on activities.


Provincial Mentoring Meeting (April 24-25)

A group of math mentors from our Board will have the opportunity to meet with other mentors across the province to receive professional development and network with other mentors.


May Plans
:

Early Elementary Mathematics Literacy Assessments

An Information Workshop is planned for May 14 for those teachers who are new to grade three, to assist them in the administration of the assessment.

PRIME

The PRIME workshops for the three piloted schools will continue.

Nova Scotia Educational Leadership Consortium and Department of Education Mentoring Module

A group of math and literacy teachers from our Board will participate in the NSELC Module 12 at the Staff Development Centre, North Sydney, during the week of May 5-9.


Arts Education Consultant, Cathy MacNeil

Audiences were treated to two very fine fundraisers on April 23 and 24, when local musicians offered their talents to support music programs at Riverview High and MacLennan Jr. High. The Riverview presentation was held in the recently built addition which will house the Music and Drama Departments, and featured alumni of Riverview High including Erin and Laurel Martel, Aaron Lewis, Scott Philips and host CBC′s Steve Sutherland. Membertou Trade and Convention Centre was the site of MacLennan′s fundraiser organized by Dave McKeough who arranged to have Jimmy Rankin, Aeslin Debison, Jason MacDonald, and other local performers lend their musical talents for this cause. The support of these musicians is to be applauded.


‘INSPIRATION’
is the theme of the Annual Art Exhibit which opened Tuesday, April 29, 7:00 pm, in Cape Breton University′s Gallery 11. Artwork from Advanced Visual Art senior high students is also being shown in the Reading Room of the CBU Art Gallery. Both shows will be on display until May 23.

Many schools throughout the Board celebrated ‘Music Monday’ on Monday, May 5, at 2:00 pm. At that time, they joined students across Canada in song, or instrumentally, as they celebrated music education in Canada. CBC was asked to be involved in this nation-wide project and offered local coverage.

Many music, visual arts and drama students were involved in the Making Meaning evening held on April 20 at Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. This event highlighted the process of the arts integration within all areas of the curriculum.


Historica

Two students, Nick Holloway (MacDonald Elementary School) and Mary-Michelle Florian (Malcolm Munroe Jr. High) are among three Nova Scotia winners in the National Stamps Contest. They will receive a plaque and letter of acknowledgement during this year′s Historica Award Ceremony on May 2.

The Ninth Annual CB-VRSB Regional Historica Fair took place May 1 & 2 at Cape Breton University. Over 150 projects celebrating Canada′s culture and history were presented. One outstanding project will be selected to travel to the National Historica Fair to be held in Victoria, British Columbia, in July, and three will be selected to attend the Provincial Display 2009 in Halifax. CB-VRSB Historica Committee member, Hugh MacKinnon, has been selected to be head of the Nova Scotia delegation to Victoria.

In celebration of D-250, a number of seats were made available for Nova Scotia students to participate in the June, 2008 Quebec D-250 conference. During the recent provincial display, 2007 CB-VRSB award winners Matt Clancy and Aaron Boudreau were selected to participate in this Quebec conference. During their visit they will spend time on a First Nations Reserve and Laval University.


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

All three groups had inservice sessions in April, one each for the two groups of trained teachers, and two for the teachers in training.

Teacher Leader Paula Muise attended the Teacher Leader Professional Development Forum in Richmond Hill, Toronto. It was very valuable, as usual, covering issues in literacy, Reading Recovery ® practices, regional meetings and analysis of research and national data. With the improvement of our results in 2006- 2007, we are now discontinuing at the national average, with comparable final scores and stanines for all grade one students across Canada, not just students who have been through Reading Recovery ®.

Attendance at this Forum is required for active Teacher Leaders, according to the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery ® (CIRR) Standards and Guidelines. This maintains the professional standards of all Teacher Leaders and the implementations for which they are responsible. School Boards must also align to the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery Standards and Guidelines in order to maintain their license to offer the program to their students.

Trainer Ann Ballantyne from New Zealand has been hired by the CIRR to work with Teacher Leaders in the Atlantic Region. She provided a day in Halifax, and also presented at the Literacy Conference which led up to the Forum, and at the Forum itself in Toronto. She will be conducting the annual Teacher Leader visit to our site on May 8. She will observe and advise Paula Muise during a session with the teachers in training. She has also volunteered to work with the trained teachers in the morning. This is a fabulous professional development opportunity for our teachers to work with a well known and esteemed Reading Recovery ® Trainer, at no cost to the Board. The session will take place at Shipyard Elementary School.


Literacy Support Consultant, Lyn McInnis

April has been a very busy month. All grade three teachers received in-servicing around the ELLA (Early Language Literacy Assessment) held at East Bay Complex. Lyn McInnis and Millie George presented during the morning session, looking at the Information Guide for teachers, documentation required in developing Literacy Development Records for their students, and supporting teachers in understanding their student′s individual assessment results.

Donna Robson and her team presented during the afternoon session on reading records and the writing process.

Ms. McInnis has also been working with grade six teachers supporting them with the development of their Literacy Support Plans.

At the high school level, a checklist has been given to the principals/vice principals to help them as they continue to support their teachers with the development of their Whole Class Instructional Plans. All high schools are well underway with this process.

Plans are now being made for Lyn and Millie to go back into the high schools, in June, to put together the binders for the grade eleven teachers who will have students ‘who have not yet met the expectations’ on the Junior High Literacy Assessment in their classrooms in September.

Ms. McInnis has continued to attend regular LSAG meetings as well as PLC meetings in Halifax.

Ms. McInnis attended the Marzano conference at the end of the month.


Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Insignia

Plans are in the final stages for the implementation of the Insignia Project. All staff is currently weeding their collections to facilitate the conversion more efficiently. Final training should begin before the school year ends.

Library Order

The order of the consolidated schools is almost complete. Items are currently being catalogued and will all be distributed before the end of June.

Selection Guide 2008 – 2009

Reading of book reviews is ongoing and the guide will be ready for the Principals′ Meeting in August. This year′s guide will hopefully fill the gaps in all school library collections.

NSALT

Meetings with the executive of NSALT are continuing as the conference details are being finalized. Baddeck Academy is the host school and it is expected that there will be approximately one hundred delegates from around the province attending.


STUDENT SERVICES

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

The IPP Lead Team met with Colleen Doucette of STARFISH Consultants for two days to review the IPP process of developing modules for schools, to be offered as possible professional development sessions. Since the session, members of the IPP Lead Team have traveled to 11 schools providing professional development for Program Planning Teams and classroom teachers. An after-school session was also offered to interested staff members. To date, three after-school sessions were provided with professional development for Program Planning Teams.