English Language Arts (7-12), Diane Brennick, Consultant
Teams are being assembled to work on the Curriculum Mapping initiative started last year. We have completed the grade seven and eight sections and continue to work on the other grade levels. Teams are also being formed to work on English exams grades 9-11. The goal is to come up with prototypes and sample questions that reflect the English 12 provincial exam template.
Our board team, along with Diane Brennick and Phonse Martell, members of the provincial team for Literacy success 12, went to the Annapolis Valley for three days of training for the implementation planned in February with our teachers. The session consisted of three days with Anne Davies, a renowned assessment expert. On the third day, there were presentations from the provincial team members with session topics ranging from book talks to reading strategies.
A team will be formed soon to represent our board on the revitalized Writers in Action 10/11 team. This team has been dormant at the Provincial level for four years and, once active, will be going to Halifax in May for a training session.
Community-Based Learning (O2 ), Rhonda Smith, Consultant
The Co-operative Education teacher workshop (October 10) and the Regional Administrative/ Guidance session (October 17) were a tremendous success. Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board had representatives from every high school at both sessions. The strong interest, commitment and support from within CB-VRSB were evident in both sessions. Terry Keough, Co-op teacher from Sydney Academy, was the key speaker at the teacher′s workshop. Terry′s commitment and dedication to the program and his Co-op Ed students impressed all 120 participants. Kevin Deveaux, principal of Sydney Academy, spoke to the administrators and guidance counsellors from the Strait, CSAP and CB-VRSB school boards. Kevin spoke about the challenges and benefits of co-operative education in his school.
Consultants from the Department of Education conducted O2 school visits in October. It was an opportunity for principals, counsellors and teachers to discuss O2 curriculum, resources, funding and to highlight student successes.
The Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Workforce Development has provided regional school boards with funding, Workit Grants , to increase high school students′ awareness and opportunities to explore careers in the skilled trades. The funding is administered by the community-based learning consultant. Each high school under CB-VRSB has been given a proposal package to create projects that link students′ awareness and exposure to the skilled trades.
Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS), in partnership with Department of Education (English Program Services), NSCC, and Department of Labour and Workforce Development, will expand its ‘Building Futures for Youth’ program to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board in the 2008-2009 school year. The program consists of three components: in-school pre-placement, CANS training at NSCC and a 6-7 week youth pre-apprenticeship work placement in July and August. The program is designed for O2 and Co-op Ed. students who are interested in exploring and gaining meaningful experience in the skilled trades associated with the construction industry.
Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant
On October 2 and 3, all grade 8 math teachers, French and English, participated in a geometry workshop that focused on Chapter 3 of the new grade 8 textbook. Sharon McCready, Mathematics Strategy Consultant, Department of Education, facilitated the in-service. Teachers were engaged in hands on activities and 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 student assessment. Teachers were encouraged to contact Arlene and use the junior high mentors in the board if they wanted more support with setting up and delivering the math curriculum. Teachers also shared e-mail addresses and were encouraged to network.
On October 9, teachers that taught math and english in the Skills Building Program in July 2008 met at 2:30 in the Sydney Academy library. David Brennick, Coordinator of Program Services (7-12); Kevin Deveaux, SBP Coordinator; Diane Brennick, Language Arts Consultant; Sharon Preeper, Glace Bay High School Guidance Counsellor; and Arlene Andrecyk facilitated the meeting. The focus of the meeting was to provide teachers an opportunity to discuss their experiences as teachers in the Summer Skills Building Program and to gain their input for improvement.
On October 22, Arlene Andrecyk met with Marlene Urquhart, vice-principal of Malcolm Munroe Junior High, and Gloria Farmakoulas, math teacher at Morrison Junior High, to discuss Math Olympiad, a junior high math league. Malcolm Munroe will be hosting the regional competition this year. Malcolm Munroe, Morrison Junior High, St Michael Junior High, Sherwood Park Education Centre, Dr. T. L. Sullivan, Sydney Mines Junior High and Breton Education Centre are the participating schools in 2008-2009. Students in these schools will have school based math competitions throughout the school year. In the spring of 2009, each school will enter a team in a regional competition. A team is composed of twelve students, four students from each grade level, and two coaches. Math competitions provide participants with an avenue to engage in problem-solving activities in a collaborative atmosphere. Students have the opportunity to enhance their mathematical reasoning, make mathematical connections and communicate mathematical ideas.
Math teacher, Bernadette MacNeil from Sydney Mines Junior High, and Math Consultant, Arlene Andrecyk, presented at the Mathematics Teachers′ Association Conference on October 24, 2008.
Nova Scotia International Student Program, Tammy Sampson, Consultant/Program Manager
– Tammy Sampson recently travelled to Colombia as part of a marketing and promotion trip with a colleague from the CCRSB, both representatives of the NSISP. They visited and presented to agents, parents, students and principals in Medellin, Bucaramanga, Bogota, and Barranquilla, as well as participating in an education fair in Cali. The focus in Colombia is on short term groups.
– All of the schools they visited are very interested in teacher intern programs.
– This year, the NSISP provided a scholarship for a Colombia student from a government sponsored public school, Gimnasio Sabio Caldas. This school is in affiliation with Gimnasio Moderno. Ms. Sampson and her colleague had the opportunity to visit this school while they were in Bogota and to meet the classmates of Tatiana Castro, the scholarship winner. There are approximately 1100 students in this school. This was an amazing experience for them and a chance for them to experience the real Bogota. The school is a complete support system for the students meeting their medical, academic, and nutritional needs.
– Ms. Sampson had the opportunity to visit Los Pinares, the school our short term group comes from. The principal is very pleased with our program.
– The NSISP full group activity will be a Screaming Eagles hockey game. This will take place on November 2nd . The short term students are also attending the game as an excursion. We have invited them to dinner with the NSISP and some of the hockey players.
– The cultural trip to Halifax is now full. We will travel to Halifax November 7th – 9th .
– Agent visits are scheduled to continue into the fall.
English Second Language, Geoffrey Laurence
The schedule and support for ESL (English as a Second Language) are fully implemented as of the beginning of October. The NSISP (Nova Scotia International Student Program) and landed immigrants are receiving support in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Grammar and vocabulary enhancement activities are also included during the sessions.
An advanced class has been included in the schedule for the students at Breton Education Centre and at Sydney Academy. These two schools have a large number of NSISP students, some of whom are quite advanced.
Some landed immigrant students are also benefitting from extra time since October 27. Students at Brookland and Sherwood Park Education Centre are receiving more time on Mondays. Time was made available in the schedule when one student, who has been in ESL for two years, has decided to try a semester without ESL. Due to the amount of content covered during class in a semestered system, the student does not want to miss those classes. For now, at least, this allows for more time to be spent with some other landed immigrant students.
Vocational Education, Ken Collier, Consultant
Representatives from Skills Nova Scotia visited our school on October 15, 2008, and spoke to a number of classes with regard to the Skills competitions. April 7, 2009, has been selected as our tentative date for this year′s competitions being hosted at our school. Students were very interested and spoke at length with the representative.
Teacher David White attended the Professional Development session in Halifax for Co-op teachers on Friday October 10, 2008. David found this to be a very informative session, and returned with resources which will be very useful in delivering this program.
A session for Administrators and Guidance Counsellors was held in Port Hawkesbury on Friday October 17, 2008. Attending from Memorial High School was Principal Patsy Blais, Vocational Consultant Ken Collier, and Guidance Counsellor Martia MacLean. This session was also very informative regarding the delivery of the Co-op program from an administrative side.
Students from our Radio and Television Broadcasting Program assisted the Sydney Rotary Club with their Disco Ball fundraising dance. Students worked the dance by operating cameras and providing technical support to the organizers. This is an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their talents, and provide support to our local community as well.
Mr. Kent Brewer and the Electrical students are planning a joint project with Seton Elementary School in North Sydney. The Electrical students will be partnered with a Grade 6 class to explore the area of energy conservation in the electrical field. Planning is still underway and we expect this to be a very rewarding experience for all involved.
Students from our Radio and Television Broadcasting Program hosted our 7th annual Horror Fest that took place in our lecture theatre on October 28th . This was a fundraiser that continues to be very successful.
French Second Language, Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant
– Laurie MacIntosh (French Consultant) and Celeste Foisy Lahey (Riverside Elementary), along with French Second Language Consultants from the Nova Scotia Department of Education conducted Intensive Core French ‘train the trainer’ sessions for FSL consultants and coordinators from across the province. The two day session took place in Halifax on October 14th and 15th , 2008.
– Gérald Félix (French Consultant, Nova Scotia Department of Education) visited the CB-VRSB from October 27th- 30th , 2008. He and Laurie MacIntosh visited the Intensive Core French classes, as well as former ICF students and their teachers at Malcolm Munroe Jr. High and Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High with the aim of tracking student progress at the junior high level.
– Two inservices will take place for the ICF teachers in the near future. A local professional development workshop took place at Riverside Elementary on November 4, 2008, while the provincial inservice was held on November 7, 2008, in Halifax.
– Elementary Core French teachers will meet on November 13th from 1:00 to 3:00 at Greenfield Elementary School for an afternoon PD session.
– Elaine Melanson (French Consultant, Nova Scotia Department of Education) will be visiting the CB-VRSB on November 19th and 20th , 2008. Ms. Melanson and Laurie MacIntosh will visit the schools, teachers, and principals which receive funding from French Special Projects. Every year, funding is made available through federal, provincial, and school board budgets to support a number of French second language learning opportunities.
Cape Breton Regional Science Fair, True Burke, Chairperson
A professional development session was offered to all schools 7-12 to help teachers prepare for the science fair. This session concentrated on the organization of a fair within a classroom and the school. Teachers received many resources to help improve their existing fair or to help them begin a science fair at their school.
The science fair committee along with Mr. Brennick organized this session at the request of many science teachers who were interested in science fair. We hope that this session will improve participation at this year's regional science fair.
Primary Program - The Primary Program has been an important focus of the Department of Education and our Board this year. Primary teachers and principals attended a workshop presented by the Department of Education on October 8-9, discussing the importance of developmentally-appropriate practice (DAP), oral language, and play with a purpose in the primary classroom. Teachers are also using the Primary Common Assessment to collect data on their students′ literacy skills and to inform classroom instruction. Materials and resources which address the needs of our youngest learners are being purchased through Department of Education funding and will be placed in classrooms shortly.
LIFT (Literacy Initiative for Teachers) - The LIFT program is underway in year one and two schools. Grades primary and one teachers, as well as Resource teachers, have been observing Reading RecoveryTM lessons and convening at the end of the day to discuss how to implement strategies they have seen in their own classrooms. Literacy mentors have been chairing these after-school debriefing sessions and offering insight where requested.
Literacy Mentors - The literacy mentors continue to meet with teachers who request support in their classroom practice. The mentors are also taking advantage of professional development opportunities in the Board (including the Primary Professional Workshops and the STEP program for new teachers) to ensure they understand the needs of the teachers with whom they work. Janine MacAulay and Sharon Boudreau, Lead Mentors in literacy and mathematics, have been meeting to discuss common issues in the area of teacher mentorship in CB-VRSB.
Literacy Conference in Membertou - Membertou Elementary School will be hosting a teachers′ conference on literacy in January. Janine MacAulay has met with Sharon Bernard, Principal of Membertou Elementary, to offer support and suggestions on organizing this conference.
Gifted Education - Requests for assistance with students requiring enrichment or acceleration are coming in through the Student Services Department. The Gifted Education Lead Team will meet in November to further develop its members′ capacity in serving gifted and talented students. The members of the Gifted Education Lead Team and their mandate may be viewed at www.cbv.ns.ca/giftededucation .
Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau
EEMLA (Early Elementary Mathematics Literacy Assessment) - The results for this year are expected to be out earlier than last year. It is anticipated that those results will be made available to teachers in November.
Grades Four Math Development Records - The two professional development days for teachers new to grade four have been completed. When the EEMLA results have been sent to teachers, there will be a professional development day for all grade four teachers. It will be a management piece and time to work on their MDRs.
Grades Five Math Development Records - Math Development Records will be continued for those students who were identified as a result of the EEMLA assessment written in grade three. Teachers have had a two-day workshop during which they were presented with information as to how to support those students, as well as all students. They were then given an opportunity to begin to develop the records for this year.
PRIME (Professional Resource and Instruction for Mathematics Educators) - This training will assist all teachers in working with struggling math students. Four schools in our Board are participating in the PRIME training, and the goal is to complete all fifteen hours before Christmas. These schools are Brookland, Coxheath, Cornwallis, and St Joseph, Sydney Mines.
PRIME - The PRIME training will continue for those schools involved. Resource teachers will receive the first day of training in PRIME.
Parent Information Sessions - There will be a focus this month on getting information out to parents with regards to the new math strategies. We will show them what math looks like now and how they can help their students.
– The Adult Learning Association and the Cape Breton Regional Library are sponsoring a series of workshops aimed at enhancing parents′ ability to help their children with their homework P-6. Sharon Boudreau was approached to become part of the project and Sharon, along with several mentors, will present a workshop at the McConnell Library on November 26 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. It has been advertised in the Fall Adult Program Brochure that has been distributed throughout the municipality.
– Ron Muller will be doing monthly night classes at Mira Road School beginning November 5 with parents who want to learn more about how to use manipulatives to build conceptual understanding.
– Maureen Wadden will provide a math evening at 6:30 at Donkin on November 10 and Gowrie on November 12. There will be stations containing grade banded activities with teachers to support.
EEMLA - Evaluation Services has indicated that the 2008 results should be sent to teachers in November.
Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews
Over 1,600 of our students from grades four to twelve attended Symphony Nova Scotia′s Democracy 250 concert held at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre on October 20. Our students were treated to a wide variety of music as well as joint numbers with vocalist Jordan Croucher. The Symphony hopes to be able to visit Cape Breton more often in the future with more interactive visits to schools and classrooms.
Glace Bay High School′s Marching Band performed in downtown Sydney to help raise money in conjunction with the Hospital Foundation′s Radiothon on October 16.
Congratulations to Diane Lewis who has received a PDAF grant to work with recycled materials to create ‘green’ art with her students. Congratulations also goes to Suzanne Doane who has had one of her musical compositions arranged by Gary Ewer and commissioned by Jeff Doudrey.
Many of our teachers attended provincial association conferences. These conferences are great opportunities for our teachers to network and learn within their specific disciplines.
Coxheath Elementary Choir along with Riverview Band students performed at the Cape Breton Regional Municipality′s swearing-in ceremonies at Centre 200 on November 6.
The ′Cape Breton Post′ and the Savoy Theatre, in conjunction with the CB-VRSB Arts Education Department, are offering a classical concert series which will offer many opportunities to Cape Breton students. The four concerts in the series will take place on November 25, January 22, February 16, and March 15. Students will be asked to provide performance introductions at the concerts and to write a review of a concert to be published in the ′Cape Breton Post′. Some free tickets will be provided to students as well as four $250 scholarships for musical endeavors. Applications for these scholarships are on the Arts Education website at www.cbv.ns.ca/finearts and will be awarded during the two final concerts of the series.
Many of our performing groups will be performing for upcoming Remembrance Day services as well as being invited to perform for Christmas events in downtown Sydney, at Christmas Daddies, and at the Mayflower Mall.
The 10th Annual Cape Breton Regional Historica Fair will be held April 30 to May 1, 2009, at Cape Breton University. Elementary and junior high schools have received their initial informational brochure. Students will be involved in researching and presenting a project which focuses on a historical aspect of Canada or their community.
Reading Recovery® Teacher Leader / Early Literacy Consultant, Susan MacDonald
During the month of October, a number of school visits took place with teachers who had questions about the children they teach. The two monthly ongoing professional development sessions were also held for teachers on October 28 and 29.
On October 24, professional development time was spent with the exchange teacher from Columbia who is at Holy Angels High School, and support was given for literacy lessons and online reporting.
For those teachers who missed the session regarding online reporting, Paul Gartland has volunteered to visit their schools to review the reporting process.
School visits and LIFT will be on the agenda for November.
Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins
Nova Scotia Association of Library Technicians Conference 2008 was a huge success. Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Library staff hosted the first NSALT Conference in Baddeck on October 23-24. Seventy delegates attended from across the province representing school, public, community college, government libraries and special libraries. Exhibitors in the library world displayed their products for delegates to discover new products and services.
NSALT President Erica Smith presented Conference Chair Carmeltia Cousins with a bouquet of flowers in appreciation of her hard work and the delegates provided a standing ovation to Ms. Cousins and her dedicated team who planned such an excellent conference!
STUDENT SERVICES (EDUCATIONAL QUALITY & ACCOUNTABILITY)
Susan Kelley, Coordinator
Over the past month, the year one Accreditation Schools continued to work on their Internal Review Report which is due in early December. Schools in year 2, 3 and 4 of this process are busy implementing their school improvement plans. The Board Accreditation Coordinators from across the province held their meeting in Sydney this month.
Data was collected by all secondary schools and submitted to Ted Vaughn, Assistant Director of Evaluation Services Department of Education, for the AIMS Report.
Teachers from our board participated in the marking of both the ELA (grade 6) and the ELLA (grade 3 literacy assessment). This is a wonderful learning experience for teachers.
A visit was made to Cape Smokey Elementary and North Highlands Elementary and their official SAC papers were signed. Plans are underway to do the same for Glace Bay High within the next couple of weeks, which will give all schools in CB-VRSB a School Advisory Council.
Sport Animator′s Report
Plans have been finalized for the first section of a four part section for the Sydney Credit Union Swim to Survive / Learn to Swim Program. Ten schools and fourteen grade three classes are participating in the first section. Each class will have four lessons at the Kiwanis Pool, under the instruction of the Kiwanis Pool qualified trainers, and three in-class sessions with their classroom teachers. Schools participating are: Cornwallis, East Bay, John Bernard Croak, Mira Road, Marion Bridge, Mountainview, Mount Carmel, St. Agnes, St. Joseph (SM), St. Mary's.
Plans are in progress for the roll out of Section II of the Sydney Credit Union Swim to Survive / Learn to Swim Program for mid November, with eight additional schools participating.
Health Promoting Schools funding applications have been screened, and funding has been directed to applying schools across the Board, with a variety of Physical Activity and Healthy Eating projects and programs being activated at participating schools.
Initial meetings have commenced on planning for the Third Annual Youth in Motion @ CBU Program, which will run from January '09 to April '09, offering grade fours across the School Board an opportunity to participate in physical activity and healthy eating days at CBU.
An information meeting was held with Principal Bruce Mac Donald, T.L. Sullivan, on the potential of an exciting project idea to build a new sports field /track/ activity area facility on the school property. This is in the planning stages.
An organization meeting was held to commence plans for the upcoming Soccer in the Community Program, which offers grade fives across the School Board the opportunity to participate in Physical Activity / Fitness drills with a soccer theme, under the guidance of Soccer Cape Breton and CBU Varsity Soccer.
Nutrition for Learning Dietitian
HEAL CB Award
Breakfast for Learning was awarded the Healthy Eating Active Living Cape Breton award on October 21, at the 19th Annual Excellence in Business Awards Gala Dinner. The Cape Breton District Health Authority, in conjunction with the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce presented the award. The award recognizes outstanding quality, innovation and professionalism in local businesses that strive for excellence.
A Breakfast for Learning Newsletter was sent out to all students in the CB-VRSB grades P-6. The newsletter outlined background information on the program and addressed the need for volunteers. It was well received and has generated some new volunteers.
In addition to the newsletter, an interview was held with the Cape Breton Post on the need for volunteers in the Glace Bay area. This did result in a few volunteers calling in to assist.
Kiwanis Club of Sydney continues to provide support to Breakfast for Learning with their renewed partnership with Brookland Elementary. They donated $3500 towards the program and they continue to volunteer at the program on Thursday.
J.K. Marina once again is partnering with Riverside Elementary and donated $3500 to the program for this 08-09 school year.
Breakfast for Learning, Nova Scotia Advisory Council
The CB-VRSB will be receiving $20,000 from this Council for the 08-09 school year. Funding is not expected until spring 2009. There is a pending National partnership with this Council and Sobeys. To date, the details have not been decided.
Interviews were held with radio stations 1270 CJCB and sister stations Max 98.2 and the Giant 101.9 regarding the breakfast program and the partnership with Kiwanis. ATV news also attended the Kiwanis luncheon and recorded pieces of the presentation for airing on the CTV news and Breakfast Television. In addition, an interview was held with The Coast 89.8 regarding the HEAL CB award.
Health Promoting Schools:
Provincial Meeting :
The first HPS meeting for Provincial leads was held in Halifax on October 16. Dr. Stan Kutcher, Psychiatrist and Dr. Bianca Horner, GP, each presented to the group. Dr. Kutcher is looking to enhance Mental Health in the schools by taking a more proactive approach. He is asking schools and HPS groups to include Mental Health and Wellness in programs, so that it is part of programs in a non-stigmatizing manner. We also received information from Dr. Horner on the Curriculum Guide for Mental Health P-9. She is awaiting final approval from DOE for implementation on the guide.
Grants to schools
The $81,000 budget received by our Board for HPS has been reviewed and schools received notification of funding on October 27. Approximately $59,000 will be utilized to provide grants to schools to support physical activity and healthy eating initiatives. Remaining funding will be utilized to support Community Partnered programs including Swim to Survive.
Food and Nutrition Policy :
Several schools have been inquiring about the use of ‘food campaigns’ for fundraising; in particular, selling apple pies. The Provincial Policy promotes only nutritious foods and although pies are made with apples, they are too high in fat and sugar to meet the criteria for the Maximum or Moderate food list of the policy. Schools and parents are being encouraged to fundraise with non-food items.
Report for October/November
– On October 23rd and 24th training was provided in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention for 25 Teacher Assistants.
– There have been a number of requests for the Autism NVCI (Non-Violent Crisis Intervention)training and they will be accommodated in the next couple of months
– Individual Behavior Support consults have been on-going and emphasis continues to be made as to the benefits of Behaviour Support teams at the school level.
– All behaviour/PEBS related forms are being consolidated with other student services forms and are being placed in a board level data base that will be available to all schools.
– A new form has been created for building a Behaviour Support Plan
– A new parent-friendly functional behavioural assessment form has just been completed and will be used to get background information from parents.
– Our revised PEBS website will be ready by mid-November.
– Our 1st PEBS newsletter was introduced on October 22nd and profiled Southside Learning Centre. The Newsletter will be available on the website
– PEBS lead team met in October and are working on a board-wide mandate for PEBS.
Literacy Support Report
Lyn McInnis-Literacy Support Consultant
Millie George-Lead Teacher
During the month of October, all of the JHLA assessment binders for the grade 11 teachers were completed. Dates have been set for site-based in-servicing for all grade 11 teachers, who were not in-serviced last year, on developing their ‘Whole Class Instructional Plan’, ‘Student Conversation Record’ and Summary of Student Progress’ documentation. Support will be provided to enable teachers to begin to develop strategies for their students, with particular attention given to students identified as ‘not yet having met expectations’ on the JHLA Assessment.
All grade 3 teachers participated in the scoring of the ELLA.
In-servicing for all grade 4 teachers will be provided in developing Literacy Development Records (LDR′s) for students identified as ‘not yet having met early stage expectations’ on the Early Language Literacy Assessment (ELLA). Support will be provided to allow for site-based in-servicing to minimize classroom disruption. This in-servicing will be completed in November/December.
In-servicing, by way of an after school session, was given at Cabot High School late in October, dealing with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities.
Requests to work with teachers on developing Reading Records have also been accommodated.
The Junior High Literacy Support Teachers met on October 31, at the Staff Development center, where they were given an introduction to ‘Solo’ software, as well as information on ‘Blended Structure and Style in Writing’.
Active Healthy Living Update
Mary Lou Andrea, Consultant
Over 800 student runners took part in the Doctors Nova Scotia Youth run held on October 25th . Many thanks are extended to teachers, parents and other volunteers who promoted the event and organized running clubs at the school level. An Active Healthy Living booth was set-up at the Fiddlers Run Expo on Saturday.
A two day professional development session was held on October 21 and 22 at Rankin of the Narrows School in Iona for high school physical education teachers to assist them in teaching the new high school physical education credit. Fifteen teachers from the nine local high schools took part as well as a teacher from Columbia. Ted Temertzoglou from Thompson Publishing in Toronto presented the new text book to the teachers and introduced them to inclusive fitness blasts for use in all classes. Ted was very positive about high school Physical Education and it seemed to be contagious with the teachers from the board. Teachers left the session feeling energized.
Joel LeBlanc from Sydney Academy introduced the staff to mountain bike skills that can be used in the gym and on the parking lot. The teachers were then familiarized to the GPS units by Mary Lou Andrea and geocaching took place at the Highland Village.
The second day involved the teachers working on map and compass skills using the Highland Village grounds. This was conducted by Chris Samson from Eco Tourism consulting from Antigonish. The teachers appreciated the two days and left very excited about the new curriculum in the high school and look forward to more professional development days in the near future. Evaluations of these two days were extremely positive.
RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING & HUMAN RIGHTS
Lynn Crawford, Coordinator
Mi′kmaq History Month
Sheldon Googoo, Mi′kmaq Consultant
Throughout the month schools celebrated Mi′kmaq History Month, focusing on the rich culture and heritage of the Mi′kmaq people. One wonderful initiative was an exchange program between the students of Mira Road Elementary and Membertou Elementary. Mira Road hosted a fun filled day of celebration and activities. The day concluded with Mira Road being presented with a framed eagle feather, the highest honor in the Mi′kmaq culture. Another engaging initiative was Mi′kmaq History Month Jeopardy at Sydney Mines Jr. High. Students were presented with various facts throughout the month and concluded the month with a jeopardy tournament. All questions were derived from the facts shared during the month.
Student Support Workers (SSW)
The new Student Support Worker Marie Green is getting along wonderfully. After job shadowing with fellow SSW Dionne Romard, Marie is now working independently servicing her African Nova Scotian student caseload. Marie is based at Whitney Pier Memorial Jr. High.
RCH Lead Team
The RCH Lead team has been meeting and looking forward to a very active year. The committee is busy planning in-servicing for RCH school reps and a board wide Diversity Day celebration entitled Diversity Day is Everyday.
RCH Diversity Committee
The committee has met and outlined its objectives for the year. This RCH initiative is to promote an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of the inherent diversity within our school community. Our primary focus will be the empowerment of members of our school communities by providing them with the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and understanding that foster a safe and open forum of communication.
– To actively provide appropriate grade level resources (books, videos, lesson plans, etc.) that tie directly into the curriculum standards of the Nova Scotia Department of Education.
– To provide support and resources to help develop secondary school GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) groups and maintain existing school GSAs.
– To provide education opportunities for parents, staff, and students that celebrate the diversity within our schools, family, and public school community at large.
PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)
Rick Simm, Coordinator
Sheila Kublek – Assistive Technology Consultant
Throughout the month of October, there have been 26 assistive technology student assessments performed throughout the CB-VRSB. These assessments were performed by various members of the Assistive Technology Assessment Team and by the Assistive Technology Consultant, Sheila Kublek.
A great deal of professional development has taken place throughout the month of October, both on site and in the larger group pull out format. On site professional development has taken place at schools such as Morrison Junior High, Riverview High, Cabot High, Harbourside Elementary, Whitney Pier Junior High and Baddeck Academy. Pull out sessions focused on providing support and information to our Instructional Support and Technology School Lead Teachers on topics such as Kurzweil and Intellikeys. As well, sessions on assistive technology were provided by the Assistive Technology Consultant to teacher assistants during the October provincial conference day.
In mid October all the secondary schools received a Kurzweil tracking form to be filled out and returned to the Assistive Technology Consultant by early November. The purpose of the tracking form is to find out how many students are accessing Kurzweil in each school and what support Kurzweil is providing to these students. As each school submits the completed tracking form, their school will go in a draw for a Kurzweil Learn Station USB Key, a portable device which allows access to Kurzweil on any computer.
Mrs. Kublek has had the opportunity to attend the Learning Disabilities Conference held in Halifax early in October. The conference was very interesting and carried components of assistive technology.
A filming crew from the Department of Education will be on site in the CB-VRSB at the end of October to tape for the Assistive Technology DVD. Mrs. Kublek has spent a great deal of time planning and coordinating with Thompson Junior High School, Elizabeth Leyte - who is the student to be filmed, her parents and her home assistance teacher Ms. Laura Jean Howley.
Bill Tennant – PD Consultant Technology
Principals continued to make requests for help with their school web pages. A number of school web pages have been updated and training has been provided onsite to teachers on how to setup and maintain their school web site.
Workshops for the IT Lead Technology teachers occurred at the beginning of October. The teachers had an opportunity to interact with the CB-VRSB Teachers Technology Resource Web Page through planned activities.
There were a number of schools visited during the month of October including Brookland, Mira Road, Baddeck, Sydney River, St. Joseph-Sydney Mines, Bridgeport, and Memorial. Technology integration was covered through many different strategies. Also, various technology topics were covered.
The introduction to a new pilot program for Science 10 Learning Passages took place in Halifax. The first meeting outlined the rationale and components of the ICT program which adds literacy support to the Science Program at the high school level.
Dorothy Tennant – IEIE Consultant
The IEIE (Grade 11 focus) initiative continues. Hardware has been delivered and installed. The specialized software order has arrived and will be installed on IEIE computers. Professional development sessions with Grade 11 lead teachers from all high schools have taken place on October 1, 10, 23, 30, and 31. Technology Integrated lesson plans are in development. Follow up on-site professional development and mentorship will continue throughout the year.
Some other professional development projects will take place in November including:
– Moodle/Blogging/Podcasting sessions for grade 11 English teachers in partnership with Diane Brennick
– A STATCAN session for Math and Social Studies teachers
– Film and Video Team teacher workshop
– Curriculum Specific Tech Team teacher workshop
– Multimedia Team teacher workshop
– Autograph session for grade 11 Math teachers in partnership with Arlene Andrecyk
School visits continue. High school Principal ′Lunch and Learn′ was a success on October 15.
Heather Patterson – Principal Adult High School
September registration is almost on par with 2007/2008 and our ages range from 17 to 71! We have 11 teachers in our four sites, two of which are new to the program. There have been many requests for our second semester for which we will begin registration in January 2009.
Eastlink Cable conducted an interview segment on the Adult High Schools. The session was filmed as a conversation between Ms. Patterson and a moderator. It should air in November and is anticipated to generate interest in the program. The NSSAL Partnership met on October 30th to discuss challenges and successes with NSSAL students and any initiatives from the Department of Labour and Workplace Development
Continuing Education Classes
There are currently 214 students participating in 13 classes within the board. The largest groups are Chemistry 12 and GED preparation classes which have over 30 students each. There has been great interest expressed for January offerings in Math 12 and Chemistry 12.
As the demand for certain post secondary programs like nursing, licensed practical nursing, paramedic and now laboratory technology increase, this demand will remain high as these programs are appealing to many who did not take the required sciences in high school. The university and the community colleges are not able to meet the bridging needs of these students and both institutions have requested our programs for their students.
The ad for the next offering of courses will run on January 10th , 2009, in the Cape Breton Post and registration will begin on the 12th and run to the 15th in Sydney, Glace Bay, New Waterford and on the Northside. Classes will begin the first week of February.
Paul Gartland – Lead Teacher for Student information Systems
School-based professional development for all elementary schools new to Outcomes began October 2. In total, twenty-four separate sites were visited by one of the electronic report card team members. At these sites, approximately 445 teachers were provided with instruction, assistance and guidance in the use of the electronic report card feature of the Outcomes Student Information System.
The professional development team members were Kurt Kublek, Geoff Oliver, Paul Mombourquette and Paul Gartland.
The SIS Lead was responsible for the delivery model, coordination of scheduling, communication between schools and team members, communication between schools and Department, and tracking of costs. The SIS Lead also facilitated professional development activities at schools from October 2 to October 30. Glace Bay Elementary is the last school to receive professional development and that occurred from November 3 to 6.
September data exports have been completed by all schools using Outcomes. The change in Primary ages necessitated a code re-write by the Department which was completed on October 6th . This year, schools were responsible for ensuring data accuracy, and producing their age-grade-gender reports using the Department′s Edit Checking software.
Feedback from the schools has been positive, and support is ongoing as requested.
Charles Sheppard, Coordinator
Youth Peer and Parents Peace Programs Management Team Committee Meeting:
Mr. Sheppard attended the management team committee meeting held at the Ashby School complex in October for an update on the various programs that are being offered by EPIC (Educational Programs Innovations Charity) in which we (CB-VRSB) are a partner. Updates were shared about the various programs that are available to the youth and the parents in our community.
In conjunction with Democracy 250, a Select Committee, chaired by MLA Michel Samson, toured the province speaking to a select group of youth from our school board about their views on participating in the voting process. Two students, one male and one female, from each high school in the CB-VRSB attended along with a chaperone.
Southside Learning Centre
On Wednesday, October 22, 2008, the Southside Learning Centre held a very successful open house which was well attended by board members, senior staff, former students, parents, community members and the public.
Mr. Stephen MacDougall, principal, staff, students, former students and parents narrated a wonderful historical and present day presentation to the audience about the centre and the students that they serve.
Mr. Sheppard attended the joint occupational health and safety committee meeting and shared with them our report from SIP.
Cathy Viva, Coordinator
During the months of September and October, staff with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Student Services Department were engaged in assisting schools with transitioning and programming for students with special needs.
On September 30th , guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, lead teachers, consultants and coordinators attended a full-day session with Dr. Stan Kutcher on Understanding Adolescent Depression and Suicide Education. The day was both informative and reassuring in regards to the practice with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board in regards to students experiencing depression. Evaluations from the day were very positive and provided several requests for future in-service days.
The lead teachers and consultants have been working on improvements to the ‘Success for Students’ database. As well, they have been engaged in a Policy & Handbook review.
Professional Development sessions for resource teachers, learning centre teachers, learning disability teachers and lead teachers have been ongoing during the month of October and will continue into November. Topics and issues at the Professional Development sessions revolve around accountability, effective programming and authentic assessments.