PSS Report February 2009
Category : Programs and Student Services Report
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 02/10/2009

PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-6, Janine MacAulay

Primary PD

The third and final installment of the Primary Professional Learning Workshops took place on January 27 and 28, and was presented by the Department of Education.  Primary teachers and their principals were in attendance.  Primary teachers also submitted evaluations of the Primary Teaching Resource draft that was introduced last spring by the Department.  Response from teachers in CB-VRSB to this document was overwhelmingly positive.

Spelling P-9 Document

The implementation team for Spelling P-9 presented a full-day inservice for representatives of each elementary school site on January 9.  The inservice focused on the document itself as well as how to incorporate spelling/word study into reading and writing workshop.  Teachers were reminded of the developmental nature of spelling and were encouraged to teach spelling strategies rather than random lists of words.   An overwhelming number of classroom teachers have identified spelling/word study as an area of interest for the February 3rd  system inservice day, and the team is preparing for sessions to support teachers in this important aspect of literacy teaching.

LIFT Program (Literacy Initiative for Teachers)

The LIFT program, as introduced to year one and two schools in September, is winding down.  In February, three more year two schools will resume the program.  No additional year one schools will be introduced during this session to allow the LIFT team to consider changes and revisions to the program to ensure it is still meeting the needs of schools.  A set of evaluation surveys for LIFT participants has been developed to direct this process.

Family Violence Prevention Week

The opening ceremonies for Family Violence Prevention Week took place at Cape Breton University on February 6 with the Brookland Elementary School Band performing.  On Friday, February 13, schools are asked to support Purple Friday by wearing something purple to support victims of Family Violence.  Any donations from schools will go to support Cape Breton Transition House.  Elementary principals received a packet of suggested Family Violence Prevention Week activities at their January meeting for distribution to teachers.


Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

January Review

Mentoring

There has been a significant increase in requests for mentoring at the elementary and junior high levels.  Every teacher at one elementary school has self identified.  Mentors are visiting schools and talking to teachers about the mentoring program and teachers who have been mentored are discussing their positive experiences.  Those are two of the factors for the increase in requests.

Professional Development Plans

Five of our mentors were involved in the planning for the February regional professional development day.  Five topics were covered over ten workshops. 

Parent Information Sessions

Math Mentor Ron Muller has continued with his parent workshops at Mira Road School.  The staff at Shipyard School  prepared a parent session at their school on the evening of February 4.  Math Mentor Maureen Wadden, who facilitated evenings at both Donkin and Gowrie, went to Shipyard to support the teachers in the planning of their session.

PRIME

(PROFESSIONAL RESOURCE AND INSTRUCTION FOR MATHEMATICS EDUCATORS) 

Several schools have continued their professional development through accessing mentors to work with PRIME as well as other supports.

February Plans

February 3rd Regional Professional Development

There were ten math sessions at the elementary level as a result of teachers’ preferences.  They included:

∙           Multiplication and Division Using Base Ten Materials Grades 4-6  (Two sessions presented by Ron Muller)

∙           Mental Math Strategies Grades P-3 (Two sessions presented by Tara Colbert)

∙           Mental Math Strategies Grades 4-6 (Two sessions presented by Bruce Colford)

∙           Fractions – Hands-On Grades P-3 (One session presented by Theresa Devoe)

∙           Fractions – Hands-On Grades 4-6 One session presented by Theresa Devoe

∙           Addition and Subtraction Strategies Grades P-3 (Two sessions presented by Susan Ward)


Parent Information Sessions

Ron will continue with his parent workshops at Mira Road School.  Parents have the opportunity to experience a lesson as their children do. 


Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

Regional meetings took place for instrumental teachers within the CB-VRSB.  These meetings were held at Breton Education Centre, Glace Bay High, Memorial High, Riverview and Sydney Academy.  Discussions included programming, standards, transitioning for students, retention, instrument selection, and teachers had the opportunity to share concerns and ideas.  These meetings were held in a very positive light with hopeful plans for a beginner band workshop to take place in September 2009, where all beginner band students would receive initial instruction from teachers with specific expertise on each instrument.

The Historica Fair 2009 committee met on January 12 to discuss and make plans for the 10th annual Historica Fair to be held at Cape Breton University on April 30 and May 1.  Schools are currently submitting their “Intent to Participate” forms.

A group of arts education teachers met to discuss ideas and plans for Education Week 2009 with the theme of “Bringing Arts to Life.”  A list of ideas for planning that week will be distributed to all schools after the provincial packages arrive in mid-February. 

Students in grades 9-12 were treated to free tickets to the Canadian Chamber Choir concert held at the Savoy on Saturday, January 24, as part of the Cape Breton Post concert series.  Four $250 scholarships are also available to students with this initiative.  The application deadline was January 30, 2009, with scholarships being awarded during the final two concerts in the series.  Two Northside Honour Choir students made introductions for the choir and another student wrote a review of the concert for the Cape Breton Post.

St. Anne’s Elementary Choir was asked to perform at the African Canadian Symposium at Membertou Trade & Convention Centre on January 31.

Many of our fine arts teachers facilitated sessions in their various areas of expertise.  Three sessions were offered in each area of dance, drama, classroom music, instrumental music and visual art.

A logo contest was distributed to schools as part of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s Active Transportation initiatives.  The deadline for entries is February 27, 2009.


Reading Recovery™ Teacher Leader / Early Literacy Consultant, Susan MacDonald

On January 9, Susan MacDonald had the opportunity to attend a professional development day at the Staff Development Centre on the Spelling Document.

Reading Recovery® teachers met on January 20 & 21 for ongoing professional development (OPD).  The emphasis of these sessions was “Working Actively to Achieve Shifts in Learning.”   Our next OPD sessions will be held on February 17 & 18.

School visits continue, with visits to the following sites: Seton, Baddeck, Glace Bay Elementary, Mira Road, St. Agnes and Marion Bridge.  It is recommended in the Standards and Guidelines that each teacher receive one visit per year (minimum) and more if needed.  Visits can be requested by teachers when they are having difficulty with a particular student and would like some advice.

On February 3rd , at the system professional development day, the Reading Recovery® team had the opportunity to attend a session of their choice in the morning and met as a team in the afternoon.  The agenda included some time spent with Paul Gartland on the Reading Recovery® website and our online reporting system.  We also revisited ‘Roaming Around the Known’.

Mrs. MacDonald attended the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery® Annual Teacher Leader Professional Forum in Richmond Hills, Ontario held from January 25-28 It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues from across Canada to discuss issues and new information in the world of Reading Recovery® .  The guest speaker this year was Peter Johnston, who is a Professor of Education and Chair of the Reading Department at State University of New York at Albany.

Mrs. MacDonald also continues to work with three children daily at Shipyard Elementary School.


Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Junior High Challenge

Plans are being finalized to have a “Junior High Challenge” in conjunction with the “Adopt-A-Library” program.  This will run for approximately six to eight weeks and schools will be treated with prizes in addition to the overall winning award.

Insignia

The server software has been ordered and, once received and installed, the online/web-based program can be implemented, tested and searched by students.  Further training is expected before this becomes final. 

Diversity

Library staff are currently preparing for “Diversity Day” on Friday, February 13.  Activities include book displays, challenges, story readings, etc.



STUDENT SERVICES (EDUCATIONAL QUALITY & ACCOUNTABILITY)

Susan Kelley, Coordinator

The first year Accreditation Schools are now working on developing their goals and on writing their school improvement plans.  As a result of work done by the Department of Education, these plans can now be entered into an on-line database.

Results for the Early Language Literacy Assessment (ELLA) have been distributed to parents.  Our board has improved on almost all areas of this assessment.


Active Healthy Living – Mary Lou Andrea, Consultant

AHL Consultants Meetings

AHL consultants from across the province met in Halifax to discuss assessment in physical education and health. Department of Education updates were also discussed.

Community Partnerships

Discussions are underway with the Cape Breton Physiotherapy Association for the Physical Activity Challenge.  This is the second year for this event. Last year, two schools in our board took part and this year we will increase the number of schools participating to six.  The grade 5 classes from each school will wear pedometers for a two week period. The average number of steps will be calculated and the winning school will receive a Nintendo WII system.


Sports Animator Report- Jim MacEachern

  • The Youth in Motion @ CBU Program for the grade four classes has commenced, with every elementary school in the School Board registering for this full day of physical activity classes. Schools participating in January were Cusack, Glace Bay Elementary, Shipyard and Harbourside.
  • Registration continues for the 3rd Annual Skating Races Jamboree with twenty schools registered to date. The event will take place on March 27/28, 2009 at Centre 200.
  •  A Youth in Motion @ CBU Orientation Luncheon was held for the participating Grade Twelve Leadership students from Sydney Academy.
  • Initial plans have commenced for an Invitational Junior High / High School Indoor Track and Field Meet at CBU for April, as well as an Outdoor Invitational Meet for May. Both Meets would be hosted by the Track & Field Association of Cape Breton.
  • A Provincial Workshop was held in Halifax with Sport Animators from across the Province.


PEBS/Behavior Support-Trevor LeBlanc, Lead Teacher
    

·                  A six month review and update of the new behavioural development program (former STEPS program on the North Side) has just been completed.

·                  A questionnaire will be given to each of the schools that are served by the program for input and suggestions

·         A Non Violent Crisis Intervention training session (refresher) was completed on February 2nd for all teacher assistants and administration.

·         There are four behavioural support referrals in this month and all are being addressed.

·         Each school was asked to send a copy of their code of conduct matrix.

·          The resource, Strong Kids, is a social skills training program that will be administered to the STEPS classes and will become part of their curriculum

·         A three hour presentation on “An introduction to PEBS and Systematic Supervision” took place on February 3rd for 60-80 lunch/bus/grounds supervisors


Breakfast for Learning/Nutrition Policy/Health Promoting Schools – Debbie Madore, CBVRSB Dietician

Nutrition for Learning

Breakfast Programs

Breakfast programs continue to run in 57 sites. Robin Foote Elementary was approached to start a program for students and it was scheduled to begin February 4.

The dairy industry has announced an increase in the price of milk for February. The school milk price will not be affected by the increase, and the price of milk will remain .35 for 250 ml

Renewed Adoption

Kiwanis Caleigh Golden K, North Side, have donated $3500 towards the breakfast program at Jubilee school, Sydney Mines.  Ms. Madore had the opportunity to join the group at their meeting on January 22, and provide an update on the program.

HEAL Cape Breton

Meetings continue to be held with the Healthy Eating sub-committee of HEAL. Discussions have been held around the agenda and tool to be used to promote healthy eating in the community.

CBU student projects

Three groups of students will be doing projects around the food policy at CB-VRSB schools for their Community Nutrition program. Two of the projects include celebrating the success of the food policy and looking at what is available during the school day and at tournaments on the weekend. The third project is to develop a teaching tool for educating students on portion control for snacking.

National Breakfast for Learning

Sobeys have completed one of three in-store promotions across Atlantic Canada last week, where a percentage of sales from specific foods went towards Breakfast for Learning. The advertisement was in their flyer and in store. Money raised will go back to National Office, then back to programs in Atlantic Canada.

Provincial Funding

As year four of Learning for Life comes to an end, a meeting was held with all Provincial leads in Nova Scotia around how the Provincial Model for Breakfast Programs will look in future years. No decisions have been reached as to how to proceed for next year.

School Accreditation

Ms. Madore had the opportunity to network with schools participating in year one of the accreditation process, North Star Inn, January 15. Schools were encouraged to utilize healthy eating and physical activity strategies to reach their data driven goals.

Webpage

The Nutrition for Learning website can be viewed at www.cbv.ns.ca/nutritionforlearning.

Golf Tournament in support of Breakfast for Learning

Registration forms are actively being circulated for support and participation in the Golf tournament. To date, Aliant and Johnson Insurance have confirmed their participation.

Health Promoting Schools:

Provincial

Teleconferences that were going to be held in November and December, have been scheduled for this upcoming week around the Provincial Showcase for May.  The next Provincial meeting will be held in March.

Food and Nutrition Policy:

Health Henri Award

S chools are encouraged to apply for this award. The award ceremony will be held at the Big Fiddle on March 30.


Literacy Support Report – Lyn McInnis, Literacy Support Consultant

During the month of January contact was made with all of the high schools assisting them in continuing the “Learning through Literacy” process. It was requested that all teachers with identified students in their rooms who have “not yet met expectations” on the Junior High Literacy Assessment, complete the “Summary of Student progress”, marking the end of first semester.

Binders were made for the high schools with individual assessments of students identified as “not yet having met expectations”. All grade 10 and 11 teachers will now be responsible to use these binders to obtain their student’s individual assessments. They will then use this data to inform the development of their “Whole Class Instructional Plan”.

Site based in-servicing is planned for any new to grade 3 and grade 10 teachers with regards to the Literacy Assessment results.

The Junior High Literacy Support teachers met this month. The focus of the meeting was to share resources and plan for up-coming professional development. The Junior High Literacy Assessment is scheduled to be written February 23rd - 26th .

Janet Porter, from the Department of Education, was with us on February 4th , 5th , and 6th , and provided in-servicing for all grade 3 teachers.



PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

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


Assistive Technology Consultant
(Sheila Kublek)

For the month of January there was a total of ten student assistive technology assessments performed at various grade levels. 

A professional development session was provided to five learning centre teachers.  The session involved training with Classroom Suite 4.  This is an upgrade from Classroom Suite 3 which all of these teachers were using with their students.  Classroom Suite 4 has many different functions and is suited to meet the needs of a wide student body. 

Assistive technology support was provided to Memorial High School in the opening of a new learning centre.  Necessary equipment and software were implemented to meet the needs of the students transitioning into the new learning centre. 

Kurzweil support was provided to teachers preparing tests and exams for students using Kurzweil for test taking purposes. 

Assistive technology played a role in the implementation of IPP Modules to Student Services teachers during the board wide professional development held on February 3, 2009.  Several days of planning and material preparation took place throughout the month of January.


PD Consultant
(Bill Tennant)

There were a number of schools visited during this reporting period including Baddeck Academy, Glace Bay Elementary, Mira Road Elementary, Marion Bridge Elementary, and Seton Elementary.  At Baddeck, Glace Bay Elementary and Mira Road schools, site-based PD was provided for teachers who requested support in integrating technology in their classes.


IEIE Consultant
(Dorothy Tennant)

Professional development activities are ongoing for the IEI project. Technology Integrated lesson plans are in development stage and nine lessons have been published to the Teacher Resources Web site.  Follow up on-site professional development and mentorship is continuing.

High school visits resumed February 4, after exams finished.  Ms. Tennant worked closely with the Secondary Literacy Consultant preparing the technology integration component for the February 3rd professional development sessions.


Acting Principal Adult High and Community Education
(Heather Patterson)

Adult High School Program

Students are completing exams for first semester and teachers are interviewing potential students for February 2009.  There is a small number of students in our four sites who are completing their requirements to graduate this January.  Ms. Patterson has rearranged her staffing complement to reflect registration and to allow for more resource time for students with higher needs.  The program continues to work within its resources to accommodate the needs of these learners and to assist them in their progression towards a high school diploma.

A number of students are attending both our Adult High School and our adult evening classes to complete math and science components required for post secondary programs, particularly at NSCC.

Ms. Patterson continues to work with the partners who support our students: Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Workforce Development, Nova Scotia Department of Community Services and Service Canada to assist adult learners in returning to school as they pursue a lifelong learning path.  With current economic trends and potential federal money in the current budget for retraining workers, Ms. Patterson expects the next months to be very busy with non-graduates seeking opportunities to achieve their high school diploma as they explore future options. 

Adult Evening Classes

Registration was held in early January throughout the local area.  There was sufficient enrollment to run the following classes:

Academic Math 12

Chemistry 12

GED Preparation

Medical Terminology (Glace Bay)

Medical Terminology (Sydney)

Introduction to Computers (Sydney)

Introduction to Computers (Northside)

Microsoft Word/PowerPoint

Conversational French

Woodworking

Advanced Woodworking

There continues to be a demand for Chemistry 12 and Academic Math 12 as students prepare to enter programs that require these courses.  


Acting Student Information Lead Teacher
(Kurt Kublek)

Since starting the SIS position at the Staff Development Center three weeks ago, Mr. Kublek has been progressing primarily on:

·         Preparing for the February 3rd in-service day where he provided two one-hour sessions on technology integration and literacy assessment

·         Entering data into the Outcomes system for all of the Instrumental Music teachers’ classes

·         Providing site-based professional development with Outcomes

·         Dealing with the everyday issues with Outcomes including passwords for new teachers, new students to the board, student transfers, etc

·         Working with Mr. Simm and Mr. Gartland on the SIS pilot at Breton Education Center



STUDENT SERVICES

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

Final revisions on the Student Services Handbook are being completed. The handbook will be distributed to School Principals in the form of a CD. The handbook contains information on the services provided by the Staff of Student Services and Student Services teachers at the school level. Forms and process for accessing services are also outlined in the document. A section on frequently asked questions was added to the document, and it outlines questions that student services staff members are frequently asked at the school level. It is hoped that the document will be used for program planning and will simplify the process for accessing services.

Student Services policies were reviewed by staff and have been submitted to the Director of Programs and Student Services for review. Changes made to the provincial policies are reflected in the revisions.

The Support for Students website is still in the revision process and should be ready to view within the month of February. The input process has been simplified, and it is hoped it will become a useful tool for program planning teams and Student Services staff.



RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING, & HUMAN RIGHTS

Lynn Crawford, Coordinator

RCH Lead Team

The Race Relations, Cross-Cultural Understanding and Human Rights (RCH) Lead Team organized a one day workshop in preparation for Diversity Day on February 13th .  The purpose of the session was to provide schools with suggestions to celebrate diversity day and to emphasize this year’s theme “Diversity Day is Everyday.” The workshop included the RCH School Liaisons as well as Principals and took place at the North Star Inn.  The first session was well received and feedback was very positive.  Teachers left feeling they had tools and support to make February 13th a success.  The second session was cancelled due to a storm day and is rescheduled for February 9th at the North Star Inn. 

Funding is available to support school based diversity day initiatives and celebrations.   Each principal has received a proposal application that must be submitted for approval.

African Heritage Month Celebrations

The Student Support Workers (SSW) are busy organizing programs, presentations, and special projects for African Heritage Month.  Students involved in the SSW program are working with the SSW’s to help promote African Heritage Month in their schools.

The Cape Breton Victoria Regional School board in conjunction with the Black Educators Association and the African Nova Scotian Affairs Office are sponsoring an Art Exhibit titled Black Reflections .  This will take place February 23-26 at the Menelik Hall in Whitney Pier. The exhibit is open each evening 5-7 p.m. and will display the art work of African Nova Scotian students.

Arrangements have been made for the Maritime Centre for African Dance (MCAD) group to perform for our students.  The organization is dedicated to teaching, sharing and promoting African Culture to youth and adults across Nova Scotia and Canada.  It is a collective of different individuals from Africa who have trained in traditional dance and ranges from South, North, West and East of Africa. On February 26th , they will perform at the Savoy theatre for 700 students.  They will also be performing at two Glace Bay schools.

Several schools have shared their wonderful African Heritage Month celebration ideas, as well as utilized me as a resource in making contact with community groups.

Each school received a copy of the new book The Ultimate African Heritage Quiz Book written by Craig Smith.  This is a valuable resource for all schools.

PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12

David Brennick, Coordinator


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

The dates for Public speaking have been set. They are April 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 14th, 15th, 16th.  It will be held in the Lecture Theatre at Memorial Composite High.


The Literacy Success 12 team, The Writers in Action 9 Team, and the Spelling Team were busy during January preparing for the February 3rd PD day.


Our work in curriculum mapping will be shared at a provincial meeting to be held in February in Halifax. The other boards are very interested in our map and its format.


A session on Writing Strategies is scheduled for February 27th at Dr. T.L. Sullivan Junior high. Diane Brennick, English Language Arts Consultant, Millie George, Literacy Support Teacher, and Lyn McInnis, Literacy Support Consultant, will be presenting.


A new committee to review the needs at the grade seven level of English Language Arts has been formed provincially. We are represented on that team and work has already begun.

The Literacy Success student resources have arrived in the schools and the students seem to be enjoying them.


A resource for classroom teachers has been sent out to each secondary school. The Writing Workshop Survival Kit will be a wonderful resource for teachers embarking on the workshop model in writing.


Sheila MacDonald has been busy mentoring junior high teachers. Many teachers are meeting with her on their own time.


The next newsletter is in the production stages.


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

The Options & Opportunities (O2 ) teachers from Holy Angels, Breton Education Centre, Cabot and Glace Bay High attended a province wide mid-year workshop on January 9, 2009 in Halifax. The workshop was conducted by the Department of Education and the Community-Based Learning Consultants from each board. The teachers had the opportunity to participate in many bell ringer sessions such as Rural School Issues; Life/Work Portfolio; New schools and new teachers; Promising Practices; Resources for the O2 classroom; and a Reading Clinic.

The Community-Based Learning Consultants from each school board met on January 8, 2009.  At this time, Virginia Johnson, Director of Student Pathways, Nova Scotia Community College, gave an update on the number of graduating O2 students who have applied to NSCC for September 2009.  This June (2009) will see the first official graduating class of O2 students who have completed the three years in the Options & Opportunities program across the province. There are 243 potential O2 graduates, 169 (70%) of these students have applied to enter Nova Scotia Community College.  In the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, there are 23 potential O2 graduates. To date, there are 16 applications to Nova Scotia Community College, with 12 of those confirmed attendance based on graduation.

A Regional Professional Development Day was held on February 3rd for Cooperative Education and O2 teachers of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. The sessions included Workplace Health and Safety conducted by the Education Consultant, Worker’s Compensation Board and Developing Learning plans for Co-op work placements conducted by the Co-op mentor from Department of Education.


Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Math League: Game 1 took place on January 10th at Cape Breton University.  Breton Education Centre, Cabot High, Glace Bay High, Holy Angels High, Memorial High, Riverview Rural High and Sydney Academy entered teams. Doug Grant, Math Professor, welcomed the students to Cape Breton University. The game went very well.  The University provided a nutritious refreshment break.  A team from Glace Bay High School placed first.  The school was presented with a plaque. There were two random draws for graphing calculators.

On January 13th , Arlene Andrecyk visited Tanya Lahey’s Grade 9 math class at George D. Lewis. Tanya is presently piloting the Grade 9 Geometry Supplement. After the class, Tanya and Arlene discussed the curriculum outcomes in the supplement and how the students were finding the new curriculum.  This curriculum will be introduced in all Grade 9 classes in Nova Scotia in 2009-2010.

On January 20th , over 20 resource teachers received the third day of PRIME, a program that provides professional resources and instruction for mathematics educators.  Arlene Andrecyk and Ron Muller, Math Mentor, facilitated the sessions.  The feedback was very positive.


Nova Scotia International Student Program, Tammy Sampson, Consultant/Program Manager

Nova Scotia International Students are preparing for the end of the semester and exams. We are also getting ready to say goodbye to our 33 one-semester students and to welcome our 22 new students. This semester will bring our first student from Ecuador to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.  With the arrival of new students, we are also preparing for agent visits to our area.

A ski day for one semester students was held on January 23rd , 2009. It was a cold day but the students enjoyed the activity.

We are happy to announce that Paula Pace and Dorothy Kaiser, two of our long time homestay coordinators have both won placements on the Familiarization tour to Mexico.

We are also preparing for our winter orientation. This year students will stay at the Day’s Inn on February 20th . After our workshops, full year students will join us for a pizza party. The orientation will conclude with a ski day for new students.


Vocational Education, Ken Collier, Consultant

Plans are still taking place for the secondary Nova Scotia Skills competitions being held at our school on April 7/09. We will be hosting competitions in Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing, Motor Vehicle Repair, Graphic Design, Radio and Television Broadcasting, and Workplace Safety. Registration will be taking place later this week.  A “Career Showcase” will be held in conjunction with the competitions. Skills Nova Scotia is coordinating tours from various schools to view the competitions and the career showcase.

Mr. John Drish, Coordinator of Trades Integration for the Department of Education, was in our school on February 3rd for the Regional Professional Development Day. Mr. Drish  introduced the vocational staff to the new Skilled Trades Programs that are scheduled to start in February in a number of schools throughout the province. Mr. Drish will also show pictures of the new shop areas as well as introduce the curriculum to the teachers.

Work in our new Welding Shop has been completed. Students and staff have been very patient, and are looking forward to spending a lot of time in the shop in the second semester.

Renovations in the Carpentry, Electrical, and Plumbing Shops will begin on Monday, Jan. 26th . These renovations will allow the shops to be better organized, as well as increase the floor space for better use of equipment. These renovations will complement the new equipment purchased in the upgrade project three years ago. Students are looking forward to working with our school board employees to assist in completing this project.


Cape Breton Regional Science & Technology Fair

The Cape Breton Regional Science Fair will be held on March 25th and 26th , 2009.  The location of the fair has been changed due to renovations at the Nova Scotia Community College.  The new location is the Grand Lake Road Fire Hall.  This new location is very central.  There are eleven schools registered for the Regional Science Fair: Baddeck Academy, Bridgeport School, Cabot High School, Glace Bay High School, Holy Angels High School, Mac Lennan Junior High School, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School, Riverview Rural High School, Sherwood Park Education Centre, Sydney Mines Junior High School and Sydney Academy.  The Regional Science Fair committee has been fundraising for the fair since November and is currently recruiting judges from the community to volunteer their time for this event.


English as a Second Language (Geoffrey Laurence, ESL Teacher)

There is a new student from China at Glace Bay Elementary.  She is receiving ESL support three times a week.

Students at Baddeck are in the process of being assessed. There are two Dutch students from last year, one German student who has been at the school for five years and two Swiss students who arrived in December via The Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia. The Swiss students had lived in British Columbia for five years.

A new student from Peru is expected to arrive in our system within a couple of weeks.

A meeting was held after classes on January 22 to provide information and updates on the ESL program. David Brennick, Tammy Sampson, Connie Ferguson and Geoffrey Laurence were in attendance.

There was also an opportunity to express concerns about the program. With the growing number of landed immigrants in our system, it is becoming increasingly difficult to give the amount of support that some of these students should receive. The consensus was that we should consult with other boards and institutions that have ESL students to find out how they determine who receives support in their system compared with ours. We are looking for information on what assessment tools they use initially, and from the results of those assessment tools, who receives support. We are also interested in determining when ESL students should be released from ESL support to make room for students with higher needs. We are looking for an assessment tool/instrument that would be more objective in deciding whether the ESL student continues in ESL support programs or is able to cope and progress in a regular classroom setting.

Communication has been initiated with the Halifax Regional School Board and Saint Mary’s University. A report on the results of this consultation will be included in the next ESL report.


French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant)

A Professional Development Workshop was held at the Nova Scotia Department of Education in Halifax, on January 30, 2009.  Laurie MacIntosh, French Consultant, was trained to present, “Trousses d’écritures” (Write Traits) to Late French Immersion Language Arts teachers of our board.

Post-test interviews for grade six Intensive Core French took place during the week of February 2-6, 2009.  Interviewers include Laurie MacIntosh, Suzanne Aucoin, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High, and Gérald Félix, Consultant, Nova Scotia Department of Education.  Mr. Félix will also visit with the experimental French classes at Malcolm Munroe Junior High and Bridgeport School.

The French Public Speaking (Concours d’Art Oratoire) organizational meeting will be held at 2:30p.m. on February 12th , at Central Office.

Approximately 80 French Second Language Teachers participated in the Regional Professional Development Day at the North Star Inn, on February 3rd , 2009.  The Professional Development Day featured workshop presentations by Louisel Pelletier-Robichaud and André Charlebois from the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers.