PSS Report: March, 2009
Category : Programs and Student Services Report
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 04/07/2009


PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES

John Astephen, Director

Student Vote

This past fall, more than three thousand schools across the country took part in Student Vote, the non-partisan parallel election program developing habits of citizenship within young Canadians.

Students studied the democratic process, local candidates, party platforms and national issues before voting on the official candidates in their schools’ ridings.  Students themselves took on the roles of Returning Officers, Poll Clerks & Scrutineers on Student Vote Day at their schools, sharing in the responsibility of teaching democracy to their peers.  Three schools in Cape Breton-Victoria participated in the project and submitted Student Vote results from their schools.  Certificates of Recognition for the following dedicated teachers have been provided that requires signatures from the Board Chair and the Superintendent:  Michael Dunphy, Cabot Junior/Senior High School; Carol MacDonald, Dr. T.L. Sullivan Jr. High; and Susan Ward, Glace Bay Elementary.  Arrangements will be made for school visitations and presentations.

PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator

Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

Mentoring

There has been a significant increase in requests for mentoring at the elementary and junior high levels.  As mentors visit the schools and meet teachers at workshops, the message is getting out.  We now have whole schools where there is a mentoring culture.  Most, if not all teachers have self-identified to be involved in the program. Over time, even resistant teachers are opting into the program.

Mentors are finding that there is more and more informal mentoring.  When mentors are in the schools, teachers will often ask quick clarifying questions.

Professional Development Plans

Five mentors presented various aspects of math best practice at the February regional professional development day.  The workshops offered a wealth of support for those teaching math and were very well received by all participants.

Parent Information Sessions

Math mentor, Ron Muller, has continued with his parent workshops at Mira Road School.  The staff at Shipyard School presented a parent session at their school on the evening of February 4.  Math mentor Maureen Wadden, who facilitated evenings at both Donkin and Gowrie, also supported the Shipyard teachers in the planning of their session.  Teachers were very receptive to the suggestions, yet infused their own ideas into their centres. Comments indicated the parents found the session informative and now feel they have a better understanding of the math program.

March Plans

Parent Information Sessions

Ron will continue with his parent workshops at Mira Road School and give parents  the experience of a math lesson as it unfolds for their children.  On March 26, Greenfield School will host a Parent Information Session for parents of elementary students in our Board.

Summer Academy

Plans are underway to present two Summer Academies again this year.  On August 10-13, there will be an Academy based on the grade one curriculum; a second Academy on August 17-20 will be based on the grade five curriculum.  Due to limited space, participation in the academy will be offered first to CBVRSB staff, with any remaining seats offered to substitute teachers, pre-service teachers, as well as teachers from other Boards. 

In the past two years, classroom teachers, principals, resource teachers, substitute teachers and pre-service teachers, both new to teaching and veteran teachers have participated in the academies. 

Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

Professional development sessions took place on February 3 for all arts educators at Sydney Academy.  Multiple sessions were offered in the areas of dance, drama, classroom music, instrumental music and visual art.  Dance teachers had an opportunity to work with Lucy Wintermans, and visual art teachers had an opportunity to work at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design with Katherine Scott.  Feedback was positive and further opportunities for itinerant teachers to work together are desired.

To date, nineteen schools have registered for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Historica Fair.  Gowrie School was the winner of the early-bird entries and received $100 to be used for resources within the school.

The Stadacona Band performed for Malcolm Munroe Junior High School and Glace Bay High School on February 5.  Part of the reason for the Malcolm performance included a thank you for the loan of their bass clarinet during a Christmas performance in Membertou.  The Stadacona Band has offered to return to Sydney for school performances in the future.

Brookland and Sydney’s grades five and six instrumental groups under the direction of Michele Xidos performed for the opening ceremonies of Family Violence Prevention week at Cape Breton University on February 6.

A scholarship committee met and decided on four $250 scholarships to be awarded to Cape Breton music students as part of the Cape Breton Post concert series.  The scholarship recipients are:  Stephen Gallant from Riverview, Anita MacDonald from Rankin, John Stephenson from Breton Education Centre, and Amanda Williams from Memorial High.  These scholarships will be presented at the Savoy Theatre during the concert series.

The “Art Dramatique” class at Holy Angels presented their black light “Beatlemania” performance to students, staff and parents on February 17.

Students at Memorial High School presented an art show on February 18 as part of a fundraiser which featured work from Memorial along with its feeder schools.

On February 23, grade three students from Sydney River Elementary were filmed incorporating movement in their music class.  This filming will be released on a DVD by the Department of Education during Education Week for promotional purposes.

Students from Baddeck and Glace Bay High are involved in a project with composer Scott MacMillan entitled “Sky’s the Limit” in celebration of the anniversary of the Silver Dart.  Students will work with Scott to compose music in Baddeck.  Scott will then make a master composition and arrangement of the work to be performed by Symphony Nova Scotia at Celtic Colours in the fall of 2009.

As part of a grant from the “Giant 101.9 FM” radio station, authentic Mi’kmaw drums, dancing sticks and CDs were purchased for use in our schools.  These instruments will be kept at Shipyard School with the intention that teachers who have had training with them will be able to borrow them for use in their schools.  Training for teachers will take place on March 9 with Leroy Denny.  Leroy will then return for a workshop on Mik’maq drumming with the music teacher and students at Shipyard School.

Plans are underway for the annual Art Exhibit of student work to take from April 28 to May 21 at Cape Breton University’s Gallery II.

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

On February 3 the Reading Recovery teacher team had the opportunity to attend a session of their choice in the morning and then meet as a team in the afternoon.  The agenda included reviewing the Reading Recovery® website and the online reporting system. 

The opening session of LIFT for year two schools (Brookland, Coxheath and St. Agnes) was held On February 12 at East Bay Elementary School.  It was a very positive day with much discussion about the Teaching in Action P-3 Document and the different types of writing that we should be seeing in our classrooms.  Ideas were shared and the teachers had the opportunity to visit the model classrooms set-up at East Bay.

Reading Recovery® teachers met on February 17 & 18 for the continuing contact sessions.  The emphasis of these sessions was “Fostering a Love of Writing.”   The next continuing contact sessions will be held on March 31 and April 1.  Heather Janes-Pederson, trainer for the Eastern Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery®, will be spending the day with Susan MacDonald on March 31.  During her time in the board she will be observing various teacher/student reading recovery session. 

 School visits continue this month at the following schools:  St. Anne’s, Marion Bridge, Jubilee, St. Mary’s, MacDonald, Bras d’Or and Rankin.  It is recommended in the Standards and Guidelines that each teacher receives one visit per year (minimum) and more if needed.  Visits can also be requested by teachers when they are having difficulty with a particular student and would like some advice.

The Department of Education hosted a meeting of Reading Recovery® Teacher Leaders from Nova Scotia and their liaison administrators on February 24th . During this meeting the ‘who’ of reading recovery services was highlighted and provincial stats discussed.

In March, the closing session of LIFT for first year schools (Mira Road, Baddeck, Seton, and Ashby/Cornwallis) will be held on March 25. There will be an information session on March 27 for teachers who may be interested in being a part of training in the 09-10 year.

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

North Highlands School

Cory Williams, Library Technician at North Highlands School, has been leading an ‘Author of the Month’ project.  A grade four and a grade six student team create a poster together.  They display one author for younger children and one for older children as well as a book display with the posters changed at the first of the month.   Cory presents a brief talk about various authors to all the classes on the first library visit of the month.

Celebration at St. Anne’s School

On Wednesday, February 18, St. Anne’s School officially opened their new renovated library.  The enthusiasm in that room was amazing as students, teachers, staff, Board representatives, parents, School Advisory Council members, Library Committee members, and administration watched as Lorne Green, Board Chair, cut the ribbon.  This library is truly a place to welcome students to foster their love of reading.  With bright colors, an updated collection, and a large fish tank, this library will be the envy of all for years to come.  After the official opening, treats were served and all in attendance marveled at the new facility and congratulated those responsible for the transformation.

Insignia

Library technicians received more training on February 3 on the Insignia Library Automation program.  This session was done remotely with Humayon Butt of Insignia via telecommunications from Edmonton.  Mr. Butt was able to manipulate the LCD to instruct the session and questions were asked as well.  It proved that technology can assist in training even from a distance.  The intent is to have Mr. Butt in Cape Breton for another on-site training session before the end of this school year.

Board Library Policies

Library policies have been presented to Senior Management for  approval.  These policies have been developed and tweaked by the Board Library Committee since its implementation in 2005.  These policies will be the first of their kind that reflect school library programs in the province.

Board Library Committee

This committee has been working on some new initiatives which will be unveiled in the late spring and early fall.  With the adoption of policies, which has been its main goal, the committee will turn their focus to standardization of the library program in all grade levels.  New initiatives will complement the standardization.

STUDENT SERVICES (EDUCATIONAL QUALITY & ACCOUNTABILITY)

Susan Kelley, Coordinator

In February all grade 9 students wrote the Junior High Literacy Assessment (JHLA), a provincial literacy assessment.  The results of this assessment will be available in June of this year.  Also the results of the Elementary Literacy Assessment (gr. 6) were sent to schools and to parents.

With the assistance of Mr. Jim Burton, Director of Regional Education, a meeting was held with all principals of schools in their second and third year of implementation of the Accreditation Process.  At this meeting we discussed challenges, celebrated successes, answered questions and shared ideas.  The new School Improvement Plan database that has been developed by the Department of Education was also presented and demonstrated with the help of Tom Baker, Data Manager, the Marratech online interface and Deborah Andrews and Susan Crandall of the Department of Education.

Active Healthy Living – Mary Lou Andrea, Consultant

February 3rd In-service

Physical Education teachers P-12 were together on February 3rd at Sydney Academy for a full day in-service.  A session on dance in motion was led by Nancy Donovan, a music teacher from our board.  It was very interactive and each teacher was provided with handouts and music to bring back to their school programs.

Other sessions included geo fitness which is a dance and fitness activity using DVDs and mats. Fitness Blast and Get Strong fitness DVDs were presented and provided to the teachers. The TRIKKES that were purchased at Mount Carmel were also demonstrated.   High school teachers enjoyed a session on the Bouldering Wall that was built on the stage wall. The afternoon activity included a yoga session for all levels of physical education teachers. Yoga resources were distributed to all P-9 teachers. All sessions were met with a great deal of enthusiasm and teachers were delighted with the new resources that they received.

Healthy Living 7-9 teachers from across the board met at Sydney Academy. Presentations were made on the drug and gambling survey, new resources for Healthy Living, Department of Education updates as well as yoga for the classroom teacher.

Sports Animator Report- Jim MacEachern

The Youth in Motion program continues. Schools participating: Marion Bridge, Mira Road, Ashby, Coxheath, East Bay, Mountainview, J.B. Croak, Donkin, Gowrie,  and Greenfield.

Committee work continues on the Fair Play Policy document.

Skating Races Jamboree committee meetings continue with plans for third annual Skating Races Jamboree set for March 27 / 28 at Centre 200 in Sydney.

Sport Animator and Active Healthy Living Consultant were provided the opportunity to bring the Junior High Principals up to date on the status of the Fair Play Policy.

Plans for Soccer in the Community Program to commence in March have been finalized with a registration call going out to the elementary schools and their grade five classes. This program offers cardio-fitness sessions with a soccer theme.

The Sport Animator was able to assist in partnering with the St. Theresa's Men’s Club in their offering of a March Break Physical Activity Program.

PEBS/Behavior Support-Trevor LeBlanc, Lead Teacher    

Ø  Work is underway with Health Promoting Schools and Active Healthy Living to create an initiative that will be introduced in the Spring of 2009.  “Power Play” is an initiative that will bring positive play back to the playground. The goal of the program is to have staff teach the children basic games that they can play on the school grounds regardless of the amount of space and equipment available.   Training will also be provided to grade six students to become the “PALS”(playground  Activity Leaders).  Playgrounds will see a drop in bullying, physically aggressive conduct, and more active and healthy children.  Four schools will pilot the elementary program in April/May. Each school will be in-serviced and receive a Power Play Equipment Kit, Student Manuals and a Game Manual.

Ø  In order to get families involved in the Power Play initiative a survey of the Parent’s favorite games when they were in elementary will be sent to each elementary school.   The survey will be random (20 per school) The results will be tabulated and put in the manual comparing today vs. yesterday games.

Ø  Pins, stickers, and fridge magnets  will also be ordered for PEBS as part of our marketing campaign to really get PEBS practiced within the schools.

Ø  All schools have been asked to submit a copy of their PEBS matrix.  Any school that is having challenges within this area will be provided direct support and examples.

Ø  A new online tracking system modeled after the provincial form is currently being developed exclusively for our board and may be ready to review this week.  The form will track all disciplinary action from each school and will keep data for each school to see where the challenges may be.   This data can be extremely beneficial for Accreditation purposes.   This data will also be tabulated automatically and sent to Student Services.  Jim MacNeil is creating this software for us and has been an invaluable resource! 

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

Nutrition for Learning

Breakfast Programs

Breakfast programs continue to run in 59 sites. Robin Foote and Seton began their programs in February and things are going very well. We now have breakfast programs in 59 of 60 school sites.                                         

Nutrition for Learning Committee

The Committee met in February and new members were welcomed. They included Elected Board Member Darren MacNeil, Volunteer Lisa Douglas from Scotiabank in North Sydney and Vic Hanham, Human Resources. The group received an update on the programs, and discussions were held around fundraising.

Fundraising

Payroll deduction: Staff are being made aware of the payroll deduction opportunity where they can donate to the breakfast program via biweekly payroll deduction.

Teams are being sought for the 6th annual golf tournament. At this time, there are approximately 6 teams confirmed.

           

Professional Development

A full day on health and wellness was provided to the teacher assistants on February 3 PD day.  Ms. Madore presented on Healthy Eating, and it was well received by all.

Wellness Day Rankin

Ms. Madore had the opportunity to participate in the Wellness day at Rankin of the Narrows on February 12 for grades P-6. Focus for the presentation was on the Food Guide.

CBU Nutrition 101

Ms. Madore had the opportunity to present the School Food Policy for NS Schools to the students at CBU.

National Breakfast for Learning

Sobeys have completed one of three in-store promotions across Atlantic Canada. Walmart have begun their “Go Bananas” Campaign at local stores, where the participants can purchase a book mark for $1.00 and donate the money to Breakfast for Learning, National.

Health Promoting Schools:

Provincial

Conference calls have been held around plans for the Provincial Showcase, which is scheduled on May 13, in Halifax/Dartmouth. The showcase will be open to HPS school teams, schools and possibly students, who are participating in the presentation.

Food and Nutrition Policy :

Healthy Henri Award

Nineteen schools have been identified as potential winners of the Healthy Henri Award. The award ceremony is booked for March 30 at the Big Fiddle.

Ideal Foods

Ms. Madore had the opportunity to meet with the two Dietitians from Ideal foods. They have new products available for snacks and meals that fit the food policy. They have been visiting schools and providing samples for the students to try.

Literacy Support Report – Lyn McInnis, Literacy Support Consultant

The month of February was very busy. In-servicing was completed with all grade 4 teachers. The focus was around the idea “from assessment to instruction”. Janet Porter, Literacy Support Consultant, from the Department of Education worked with our Literacy Team to provide teachers with very practical ideas of what assessment in the classroom can look like. Teachers were able to gain a better understanding of determining “starting points” for their students based on what they “can do”. The importance of moving students toward the next developmental step in becoming a more proficient reader and/or writer was emphasized. Time was also spent examining the Literacy Development Record documentation.

Elementary principals and teachers were informed of the availability of support for teachers in developing strategies/activities around their Plans (LDR’s, LSP’s, whole Class Instructional Plans).

The Junior High Literacy Assessment was written this month. The Literacy Support teachers at the junior high level continue to support students who have Literacy Support Plans. Regularly scheduled professional development sessions continued with these teachers.

In-servicing was provided at Dr. T.L. Sullivan Jr. High this month. The focus was on persuasive writing. 

By March 3rd , all new to grade 10 teachers will have received site based in-servicing around developing “Whole Class Instructional Plans” as outlined in the Learning through Literacy document. Teachers were encouraged to examine their data from the Junior High Literacy Assessment to determine a focus for their “Whole Class Instructional Plans”.

Substitute days were given to grade 3, 6 and grade 11 teachers who were working on Plans for their students.

Monthly LSAG meetings have continued in Halifax with Janet Porter.

PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

Assistive Technology Consultant (Sheila Kublek)

During the month of February, there were six assistive technology assessments performed with students.  Many schools received visits to follow up on student progress with assigned software and hardware. 

On the February 3rd professional development day, Mrs. Kublek was involved in providing training for the IPP Modules 1 – 3 to resource, learning disabilities and Steps to Success teachers at Brookland Elementary.  Throughout the month of February, onsite and group professional development has been provided for Intellikeys, Classroom Suite 4 and Kurzweil.

The Assistive Technology Lead Team met on February 18, 2009.  The members of the team received training in Classroom Suite 4.  They also had the opportunity to review software designed to support early literacy and numeric skills as well as functional living skills.  

PD Consultant (Bill Tennant)

There were a number of schools visited during this reporting period including Sydney Mines Junior High, John Bernard Croak Elementary, Tompkins Elementary, Jubilee Elementary, and Seton Elementary.

Site-based professional development was provided to teachers in these schools who requested support in integrating technology in their classes. This was achieved through different classroom management and teaching strategies.

On February 3rd , a workshop for secondary ELA teachers was held at Memorial High School using technology in supporting classroom literacy strategies. One such strategy was creating comic strips/books through various literacy curriculum approaches. With the use of a web based program called Toon Doo, teachers and students could create their own strips/books covering a multitude of outcomes in the ELA curriculum.

The introduction to a new pilot program for Science 10 Learning Passages took place in Halifax.  The third and final meeting outlined the components of the ICT program and its impact on literacy support for the Science Program at the high school level. Those present spent the day going through each learning passage editing or capturing any problem area that may cause some issues for students and teachers.  

IEIE Project Facilitator (Dorothy Tennant)

The IEIE (Grade 11 focus) initiative continues. All of the specialized software order has arrived and all has been installed on IEIE computers. Both hardware and software budgets have been depleted.

A very successful board wide professional development day took place on February 3. Technology and Instructional Support staff hosted sessions on the importance of ICT and curriculum integration in high school. The sessions were hands on and teachers have responded with requests for more information and professional development.

Follow up on-site professional development and mentorship is continuing with technology integration involving Moodle, Xoops, Multimedia, and Comic Life etc.

More sessions are also in the planning stages.

High school visits are taking place since exams are just finished.

A series of after school virtual professional learning workshops on using Moodle began on Feb. 25 and was facilitated by NSVS and the Department of Education. The link to the registration URL, the Marratech URL, the username and password was shared with interested teachers and curriculum consultants.  A session has taken place at the SDC in the model classroom.

Acting SIS Lead Teacher (Kurt Kublek)

The month of February has been very rewarding.  Mr. Kublek reports that he has settled into his new position and has been working primarily in four areas that are all connected with Student Information Systems (SIS):

  • Instrumental Music Reports:   Because our school board is the only one that offers Instrumental Music, it was necessary to gather data and generate our own report to supplement the regular report cards. This seems to have gone very well.
  • Report Cards: With every reporting period there are changes that need to be made to homerooms and courses because of changes in staff, students, etc.  This month was no exception and  the transition to the new provincial report cards (through Outcomes) has been very positive.
  • Provincial Export:  Mr.Kublek was very busy helping  secretaries with this export. 
  • SIS:  Mr. Kublek has continued to sit in on discussions of the new proposed provincial student information system with other school boards via video conferencing and email as a part of a team with Mr. Simm and Mr. Gartland.

On the Horizon

Now that the report cards have been distributed, work has begun on developing a series of how-to’s to post on a website to assist teachers and administrators in navigating through the Outcomes system in the future.  Primary registration data entry will also commence.

Facilitator Community Education (Heather Patterson)

Adult High School

A new semester has begun at our four adult high school sites.  We continue to work within our resources to meet the needs of our adult learners.  That can sometimes mean combining options for attaining credits such as correspondence study, or adult evening classes.  This expands our ability to provide opportunity for specific courses that we do not have room in our timetables to offer. 

Attendance and retention continue to challenge staff and administration.  One of our teachers, Jeff Maxner, has created a program for tracking attendance which we piloted in Sydney first semester, and now have extended to all four sites.  It enables Ms. Patterson to access attendance patterns and data for all students.  This will be crucial in the battle for improved attendance.

On March 24th Ms. Patterson will be attending a meeting in Halifax sponsored by the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL with Dept. of Labour & Workforce Development).  All adult high schools in the province will be in attendance with a focus placed on enrollment and retention.  It is expected that the changing economic climate and the expected increase in demand for adult programming will also be on the agenda. 

Adult Evening Classes

Our winter offering for adult evening classes began in February.  The huge demand for Math 12 and Chemistry 12 has resulted in us running two sessions for each class.  We have both courses being taught in Sydney and in Glace Bay for the semester.  Combined, we have 32 in Math 12 and 37 in Chemistry.  The growth of the Practical Nursing program at NSCC has prompted this demand.  

STUDENT SERVICES

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

The Support for Students website was reviewed by the Coordinator of Student Services with the Database Manager on February 19th .  Sessions for teams from each school and Student Services staff are planned for April 2009.

On the February 3rd Professional Development day, consultants, lead teachers, and the Coordinator of Student Services offered sessions to principals, resource teachers, learning disabilities teachers, and learning centre teachers.

The principals were engaged in an exploration of strengths and challenges related to teacher assistants, resource services and IPP development. As a follow up to the sessions, the IPP modules will be given to the principals on March 10, 2009.

Resource teachers reviewed Modules 1, 2 and 3 of the 4 IPP modules.  Learning centre teachers were engaged in strategies for communication and behavior improvement.

Evaluations for the day were very positive, and questions from the evaluations will be answered in a mail out to principals.

The Department of Education has provided boards with a draft of the Gap Analysis Report (2008-2009) on Core Professional Services provided in our Student Services Department.  In each category, our Board has exceeded the minimum recommended ratio.  Student Services is grateful to the Board for its recognition of the importance of these support services to the students in our schools.  Please see attached spread sheet at the back of the update.

RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING, & HUMAN RIGHTS

Lynn Crawford, Coordinator

African Heritage Month

African Heritage Month was celebrated throughout the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board during the month of February.  Activities and lessons revolving around African Heritage were the focus for meeting curriculum outcomes and celebrating the rich African history.  All schools were provided with a copy of Craig Smiths African Heritage Quiz book, which was instrumental in supporting activities such as an African Heritage Video Conference between Mount Carmel and St. Agnes Elementary.

The Student Support Workers in collaboration with Noreen MacKinnon, from the Black Educators Association, held the 2nd Annual Black Reflections Art Gallery at the Menelik Hall, displaying beautiful pieces of student’s artwork for four evenings. 

African Heritage month presentations were conducted by the Student Support Workers in many classrooms, the Inspirational Singers entertained students at several schools, and Archbishop Waterman was a guest speaker. Archbishop Waterman shared his experience of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement and today witnessing the efforts of people like Dr. King, which resulted in President Barack Obama being the 44th president.

Diversity Day

Diversity Day celebrations were held on February 13th with a wide variety of events and activities.  Several schools held general assemblies to celebrate the day, while others had teachers conduct lessons on diversity in their classrooms.  Guest speakers were a highlight for many schools, while school trips to local cultural museums and culturally diverse churches was the choice of other schools to celebrate.   CBC Radio reporter Wendy Bergfeldt was extremely pleased with the activities at Morrison Jr. High and commended the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board in addressing all areas of diversity.  Two Morrison students and Archbishop Waterman were interviewed by Ms. Bergfeldt.

Principals had the opportunity to submit a proposal to offset the costs for their school activities.

A diversity day video was provided for staff to use with students, provided by Brian Doue, Vice Principal of George D. Lewis. 

Sheldon Googoo

Mi’kmaq Consultant

Apuknajit

This Mi’kmaq word comes from a time when our elders would move their camps into the woods to hide from the winds and snow that they would have to deal with. The Mi’kmaq word means snow blinding month.

I arranged for Mi’kmaq Elders Alberta and Murdena Marshall to in-service Social Studies Teachers at Riverview High School. The morning session dealt with the topic of Two Eyed Seeing which is a Mi’kmaq Concept that deals with Traditional Knowledge and Mi’kmaq world view. The session was very well organized as teachers learned how to bring many Mi’kmaq concepts into there teaching practices.

Mr. Googoo has joined the Social Justice Conference organization team. This conference will be held in Membertou in May. He looks forward to working with this group in the next few months. Mr. Googoo approached Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and informed them about the conference.    Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey  is  interested in being a part of the conference and is willing to provide video conferencing of parts of the conference for schools to participate.

Mr. Googoo worked with Lesley Andrews, Fine Arts Consultant over the past few months developing an Aboriginal Drumming program. This program will be delivered at the elementary level and teachers will be in-serviced on the history of the drums. Mr. Leroy Denny will provide in servicing and guide students in the painting of ten drums. This project will be launched at Shipyard Elementary School in March.

PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12

David Brennick, Coordinator

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

The February 3rd Regional Professional Development inservice, held for English Language Arts teachers (7-12), went extremely well.  The writing sessions presented by Marjorie Bursey, Denise Oake and Danyelle Smith were very well received. They provided a wonderful workshop that will enrich the teaching of writing at the 7-9 grade level.


The 10-12 English Language Arts teachers particularly enjoyed the technology integration lessons presented by Kurt Kublek, Bill and Dorothy Tennant. The session on Assessment was well done and we know we need further work in that area. The teachers were really enthusiastic about the presentation of the students in Tanya Royal's classes.  She videotaped Co-Constructing Criteria with her classes.


Writing in Action 10/11 planning meetings were held in Halifax.  Phonse Martell and Diane
Brennick attended and are working on the provincial implementation event to be held in
May.

A planning meeting for the Public Speaking Event was held on February 17th with all of
the school based representatives in attendance.


The two board teams, one for exams and the other for curriculum mapping, are finishing up
their tasks for this year. We will have a desk blotter for the mapping and a brief
document for the exams, ready to provide to teachers before March.

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

The February 3rd Professional Development Day sessions by the Department of Education and Worker’s Compensation Board were well received by the O2 and Co-operative Education teachers.

An information session on Options & Opportunities and Community-Based Learning for junior high guidance counsellors has been arranged through the Coordinator of Program Services (7-12) and Community-Based Learning Consultant for March 12th at the Staff Development Centre. Department of Education presentations will include O2, Community-Based Learning, Skilled Trades Education and Youth Apprenticeship.

The Building Futures for Youth program has 16 high school applicants from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. The program was developed by the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) in partnership with Department of Education and Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. Interviews with the students and employers will be conducted in April and a family orientation session is scheduled for early May.  To date, there are assurances from the following employers willing to take on the students: Lynk Electric, Roclan Industries, AB Mechanical, Department of Transportation as well as sheet metal union, insulators, carpenters and electricians.

Co-operative Education enrolments in Nova Scotia high schools have shown significant growth in 2008-2009. In the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, there are seven high schools offering Cooperative Education credits through the O2 program and Co-operative Education courses.  There were 118 co-op credits delivered in the 2007-2008 school year. In this school year (2008-2009), the prediction is 251 co-op credits.

Mathematics (7-12), Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant

On January 28, Grade 12 Math Teachers participated in the NSE Mathematics and Advanced Mathematics regional marking session at the North Star Inn, North Sydney. Teachers involved in this session, found the day to be very valuable professional development.

On February 3, junior and senior high math teachers attended the Regional Professional Development Day at Sydney Academy.  Dr. Genevieve Boulet, Associate Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, was the main guest speaker. She did a very informative session on rational numbers, enlightening teachers of many misconceptions students have.  Dr. Boulet also did an afternoon session for any teachers wanting further information.  Nancy Chisholm, from the Learning Resources and Technology Services of the Department of Education, addressed the teachers.  She explained where to access resources available for teachers at the Department of Education website and the Statistics Canada website.  She also provided teachers with handouts.  Nancy Chisholm conducted a technology session in which Grade 7 and 8 math teachers were engaged with the software program, Geometer’s Sketchpad.   David MacFarlane was scheduled to do a lab session with Grade 9 and 10 math teachers on the Statistics Canada website but due to inclement weather, he was unable to attend.

Teachers teaching Foundations and Essentials participated in a session where they were able to review a new resource given to them that day as well as have an opportunity to discuss the programs.  Arlene Andrecyk also presented a session in the afternoon with teachers from grades 9-12 discussing: (1) collaboration and consistency in curriculum delivery; (2) the NSE Math 12 results for 2008; and (3) supporting students in the transition from junior high to senior high.  Overall, the feedback was very positive. Teachers felt they had an opportunity to collaborate, become more comfortable with technology and gain valuable information.

Over 70 high school students took part in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Math League Game 2 on February 7 at Cape Breton University.  The game went well, and the questions were very challenging. Cape Breton University provided a nutritious refreshment break.  A team from Sydney Academy placed first, and was presented with a plaque.  There were two random draws for graphing calculators.

On February 11, Arlene Andrecyk met with junior high school principals to examine the data that had been gathered from 2006-2008 regarding grade 9 math students from grade 9 to grade 10. This data is being used to examine ways students can be further supported in the transition from junior high to senior high school.

On February 17, teachers new to Grade 7 math, junior high resource teachers, and math mentors participated in a geometry workshop that focused on Chapter 10 of the grade 7 textbook.  Arlene Andrecyk and Jody MacLean facilitated the in-service.  Teachers were engaged in hands on activities.  The feedback was very positive, and after the workshop, teachers expressed a greater comfort level with the content, manipulatives and instructional strategies.  Teachers were encouraged to use the junior high mentors in the board if they wanted more support with setting up and delivering the math curriculum.

The two day Grade 8 Math Workshop scheduled for February 19 and 20 was cancelled due to inclement weather and has been rescheduled for April 29 and 30.

On February 24, the Junior High Math Olympiad Committee has scheduled a meeting to continue planning for the regional competition to be held at Malcolm Munroe in April, 2009. Currently each school is having school based competitions.

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

Our arrival period went well this semester despite some delays and flight cancellations. One student cancelled, bringing our new student total to 21.

We have a total of 64 Nova Scotia International Students in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board for 2nd semester. All of the new students seem to be adjusting well.

A full day planning session for Homestay Coordinators took place on February 13th . The session went well and we hope to have the opportunity to do this again in the near future. Together, we have planned and booked all activities to bring us to the close of the program in June.

Winter orientation took place at the Day’s Inn on February 20th . After our workshops, full year students joined us for a pizza party.  The orientation concluded with a ski day for new students on Saturday, February 21st.

Six of our students have successfully registered for the Montreal/Ottawa cultural trip to take place during March break.

We have already started to receive and process applications for September intake.  We have also been receiving new host parent applications for September.

One of the Nova Scotia International Student Program students at Breton Education Centre was supposed to leave at the end of the first semester.  Soeren Henkel had been a member of the Breton Education Centre Bears basketball team all season. Permission was obtained for him to stay to play in the Coal Bowl. He was very excited about being able to do this and he proved to be a valuable member of the team. He was named to the

First All-Star Team and can also be proud to have been a member of the first Breton Education Centre Bears’ win of the Coal Bowl Trophy.

Vocational Education, Ken Collier, Consultant

Plans are still taking place for the secondary Nova Scotia Skills competitions being held at our school on April 7th . However, some changes have taken place since our last report. The Carpentry, Electrical and Plumbing Competitions will take place in the gym as opposed to the various shops. We will still be hosting competitions in the Motor Vehicle, Graphic Design, and Radio and Television Broadcasting in their respective shops. Workplace Safety will be held in a variety of locations.  A “Career Showcase” which will also highlight the programs offered at Memorial High 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.

Staff thoroughly enjoyed the inservice that was held on Feb. 3rd . Mr. John Drish, Coordinator of Trades Integration for the Department of Education presented a very interesting outline of the new Skilled Trades Programs that are starting to be offered throughout the province. The afternoon exercise session was also a big hit and was enjoyed by all.

On Feb. 5th , Mr. Andrew Church, Occupational Health and Safety Officer with the NSCC attended our school to make plans for the upcoming Nova Scotia Skills Competitions. Mr. Church is the chairman for the technical committee which is overseeing the Workplace Safety Competition.

Renovations in the Carpentry, Electrical, and Plumbing Shops are continuing. Everything seems to be moving along schedule and everyone is anxiously awaiting the completion of these renovations. Renovations have also been completed in the Graphic Design Shop.

On February 12th , members from the Department of National Defense attended our school and spoke to our Motor Vehicle and Heavy Duty Mechanics students about career options in the military. Students found this to be a very interesting and informative session.

French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant)

The local French Public Speaking Competition (Concours d’art oratoire) will take place on Tuesday, March 24th and Wednesday, March 25th at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High at 7:00 p.m.  French Second Language students from grades 5-12 will participate in this event.  Local winners will go on to compete at the provincial concours in Halifax on April 25th , 2009.

Celeste Foisy-Lahey (Riverside Elementary School) will be part of a team presenting a workshop to French Second Language teachers of the Strait Regional School Board on March 11th , 2009.  Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant, will also participate in this professional development activity to be held in Mulgrave.

A professional development workshop will be held for grade six Intensive French teachers on March 27th , 2009, at Riverside Elementary School.  Facilitators will be Celeste Foisy-Lahey and Laurie MacIntosh.

Jennifer Moss, Riverview Rural High School, and Brenda MacNeil, Memorial High, will meet on March 30th in Halifax at the Nova Scotia Department of Education to finalize preparations for the DELF scolaire assessment. Both Ms. Moss and Ms. MacNeil have been trained to be markers/examiners for the French Second Language DELF assessment to be held province-wide from April 14-17th , 2009.  Ms. Moss will be carrying out assessments of French Second Language students at Cape Breton Highlands Academy Education Centre while Ms. MacNeil will be assigned to Riverview Rural High School.

All post-oral interviews and written compositions have been completed by grade six Intensive Core French students of our board.  Oral interviews were carried out by Suzanne AuCoin, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School, and Laurie MacIntosh.  The results will be compiled as part of a national research project.

English Second Language (Geoffrey Lawrence, Teacher)

Twenty-two new Nova Scotia International Student Program students started school in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board on February 5th. They have all been assessed and are receiving English Second Language support, if necessary.  The level of support is based on their needs as determined by the assessment test.

The schedules for the English Second Language teachers are in a state of flux. Changes are being made weekly with the new students arriving and their needs are being accommodated as well as is possible with the time available.

Mr. Laurence continues to research assessment tools and how they might assist us in making the difficult decisions around scheduling support for students.