PSS Report: September, 2009
Category : Programs and Student Services Report
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 03/03/2010

RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING & HUMAN RIGHTS

Lynn Crawford, Coordinator

New Logo

The Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding and Human Rights (RCH) department is pleased to share a draft of the new logo that will be associated with RCH programs. The logo represents all staff, students and board members have a hand in promoting RCH initiatives to create a global understanding and appreciation of diversity.



PROGRAM SERVICES (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

The instructional Support team has experienced staff changes for the upcoming year. We extend best wishes to retirees Dorothy and Bill Tenant, to Sheila Kublek who is Acting Coordinator for Student Services and to Paul Gartland who has returned to George D Lewis school. We welcome Tracey Dove as Acting Consultant for Assistive Technology, Trevor LeBlanc as Consultant for IEI-PEBS and Kurt Kublek as Consultant for IT Professional Development- SIS project manager.

Rick Simm attended several meetings over the summer months in hopes of moving the provincial SIS initiative ahead. Special thanks go to Elizabeth MacNeil, Kurt Kublek and Terry Boone for taking part in the SIS software evaluation held Halifax in July.



PROGRAM SERVICES 7-9

David Brennick, Coordinator

Guidance/Social Work

We are pleased to welcome four new Guidance Counsellors for the 2009-2010 school year: Jennifer MacDonald at Breton Education Centre; Catherine Lever at Coxheath, St. Agnes and Mount Carmel; Jennifer Harvey at Morrison Junior High and John Bernard Croak; and Norma Jean Ryan at Sydney Mines Junior High and Jubilee Elementary. We also welcome back from their guidance sabbaticals: Dawn Donovan at St. Michael Junior High, and Cindy Wallace at Riverview Rural High.

Crisis Intervention teams are being reconfigured for the current school year and a professional development initiative around how to best deal with school-based crisis is being planned.

Our policy development committee will continue its work on referral forms, procedure practices for counsellors, and counsellor roles and responsibilities within the Department of Education’s Comprehensive Guidance and Counselling Program. It is expected that their work will dovetail the similar work currently underway at the provincial level. A number of counsellors through various committees are working on the October 23rdNova Scotia School Counsellor Association’s conference which will be held at Memorial High School.



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

On September 2, 2009, Audrey Murphy, English Language Arts (P-6) Consultant, and Diane Brennick, English Language Arts (7-12) Consultant, presented a workshop to P-6 teachers at St. Anne's Elementary School in Glace Bay on Media Literacy and Visual Media. The teachers participated in two hands-on activities that they will take back to their classrooms, to support one of the school’s accreditation goals.

A provincial group of 7-9 teachers and consultants will attend planning and sharing meetings to be hosted by CB-VRSB on September 30th, at the Northside Staff Development Centre.



Mathematics (7-12) (Arlene Andrecyk, Consultant)

On August 10-14, Kim Mader, from Riverview High School, and Charlie Oliver, from Holy Angels, went to Halifax to attend the Facilitator Training Program on BreakThrough Mathematics: Perspectives on Problem Solving. This Department of Education initiative is designed to provide math leaders with instructional methods that research has shown directly impacts student achievement. These math leaders can now in turn use the knowledge and materials to build learning communities of secondary mathematics teachers.

All grade 7 math teachers have received a package to support them in the delivery of the math curriculum. This package was developed by the junior high math mentors and math consultant Arlene Andrecyk. The support document examines appropriate methods of computation, student assessment and the required daily mental math component. Grade 7 math teachers had the opportunity to attend one of three sessions where Arlene Andrecyk and math mentor Theresa Devoe discussed the support package.



Community-Based Education/Options & Opportunities (Rhonda Smith, Consultant)

The Options & Opportunities program will see new students entering grade 10 this year at four schools: Holy Angels High, Glace Bay High, Breton Education Centre, and Cabot High.

The new O2 teachers and guidance counsellors attended a two-day workshop August 27 and 28 in Halifax. New initiatives and updated resources from the Department of Education for the school year were also presented to the new teachers and school administrators from across the province.

The Department of Education is supporting the expansion of Co-operative Education in four of our high schools this year (memorial, Sydney Academy, Holy Angels and Riverview). Riverview will begin Co-operative Education in the second semester.



Vocational Education (Ken Collier, Consultant)

Presently, vocational staff are busy preparing for the coming year. As of September 2nd, 2009, our Vocational enrollment was 333, approximately 34% of the school enrollment. We anticipate this number to grow within the next few days.

Meetings have been held with Vocational staff, and plans are underway to host Nova Scotia Skills Competitions again this year, as well as investigate a different format to our traditional Grade 9 Career Awareness Tours. Discussion seems to be leaning towards a Skilled Trades/Vocational Showcase in our gym, with many Grade 9 schools attending, as well as our Memorial High students. As plans are developed, we will continue to keep everyone posted.



French Second Language (Laurie MacIntosh, Consultant)

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will again participate in the Official Language Monitor Program. Language assistants are assigned to an educational instructor to help second language teachers encourage students to interact in the language they are studying and to raise their awareness of the culture associated with that language. Our French language assistants this year are Alice Cabille and Benoit Carciofi. Alice will work with teachers and students at Riverview Rural High while Benoit will work with teachers and students at Sherwood Park Education Centre and Sydney Academy.

There will be five sites offering Grade Six Intensive Core French this year: Riverside, Harbourside, Greenfield, Bras d’Or, and Glace Bay Elementary. The oral pre-testing of students will be carried out the third week of September by Laurie MacIntosh and Suzanne Aucoin.

David Brennick, Laurie MacIntosh, and five French Second Language teachers from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board (Heather Urquhart, Hélène Crane, Scott Murchison, Laura Dunlop, and Marie Andrews) will participate in a two-day colloquium on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL), the European Language Portfolio, and the DELF (Diplome d’études en langue française) on October 5-6, in Dartmouth. The CEFRL and DELF will have many applications in teaching, learning, and assessing French Second Language in the near future in Nova Scotia.

Many French Second Language teachers took part in professional development opportunities during the summer. Laurie MacIntosh, Leah Hopkins, Brenda MacNeil, and Suzanne Aucoin attended a two-day training session, at the Department of Education in Halifax, on “Les Trousses d’écriture”. The team will inservice the Junior/Senior High Late French Immersion and Integrated Core French teachers in early October. Five French Second Language teachers attended the two-day training session at the Department of Education in Halifax on “Quoi de neuf” in August. Barbara McKay, Allan Nicholson and Bernice Burke will incorporate the Intensive Core French literacy strategies into their Core French classes this year. These teachers will also attend a follow-up session in Halifax on September 25th. The session will allow the pilot teachers to reflect and discuss the implementation of this project during the 2009-2010 school year.



Nova Scotia International Student Program (Tammy Sampson, Consultant)

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board International Student Program is in the midst of welcoming 79 students to our board. For the first time we are welcoming students from Turkey, Belgium, and Spain. Most of the students have already arrived and have been greeted warmly by their host families. Students are busy getting enrolled in classes and acclimatized to their new communities, and school staff have been arranging tours of the schools.


Coordinators will be hosting a welcome get together for their students and the fall orientation will take place in Baddeck on the 19th-20thof September. Activities will include golf and a hike.



PROGRAM SERVICES (EDUCATIONAL QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY)

Susan Kelley, Coordinator

Achievement Gap Initiative

In August there was a meeting of the provincial steering committee for the Achievement Gap Initiative to go over the final draft of the surveys, review accompanying materials that have been developed for schools and to discuss logistics.

The AGI is part of the ongoing implementation of the provincial Racial Equity Policy. The Department of Education is coordinating the project in which 59 schools across the province (14 in CB-VRSB) will complete student and teacher surveys. It is part of a large research project being overseen by Harvard University researcher Dr. Ronald F. Ferguson. The purpose is to gather information that will help support our continued work to close the achievement gap and to raise achievement for all students. The surveys will be conducted on November 25th.



Health Promoting Schools

This year as part of our ‘Health Promoting Schools’ initiative we have expanded our school grant program to include projects that target PEBS initiatives and Equity projects. This information was distributed to principals at the August meeting.

Breakfast programs are getting underway. We are excited to announce that we have received one of seven $10,000 national grants from Supervalue to assist with our Breakfast Program at Coxheath Elementary School.



The Minister’s Report 2008 (Provincial Assessment Results)

The Minister’s Report to parents and guardians on the assessment results for 2008 was released in July. We are pleased to see that the students in CB-VRSB continue to perform well on these assessments.

NSE Math 12 results show our students achieving at the provincial average which puts them higher than 4 of the 6 other boards in the province, and we lead the province in our results for NSE Advanced Math 12 (pages 16 and 17). The Early Elementary Mathematical Literacy Results also show an improvement over last years results with 68% of students meeting expectations.

Students write literacy assessments at grade 3 (ELLA), grade 6 (ELA) and grade 9 (JHLA). Our students continue to lead the province on the writing portion of these assessments while our reading scores continue close to the provincial average. Programs staff are working closely together to continue to support teachers in their work with our students. The NSE English marks were not available at the time the report was printed.



Accreditation

Six schools in our board are getting ready for the Accreditation Team visit in late October or November. These schools were the first to enter the Accreditation/School Improvement Planning process in our board and have worked hard on their goals. We have 13 new schools entering year one of the Accreditation process this year.



PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Cathy MacNeil, Coordinator



Arts Education Consultant, Lesley Ann Andrews

Arts programming will begin the year strong with implementation of new curriculum at the junior high level. Fourteen of our junior high schools will implement the new grade 7 curriculum through various course offerings of Band Instruments 7, Music 7 and Visual Arts 7. Five of our junior high schools will also pilot new Grade 8 Arts curriculum (MacLennan, Malcolm Munroe Memorial, Morrison, St. Michael’s and Sydney Mines Junior High). Support from the Department of Education for this curriculum implementation will take place with the provision of resources and professional development for teachers twice during the year.

We look forward to student enrollment in our instrumental programs, including registration for our string program taking place on September 15thand 16th at Shipyard and Jubilee Schools.

Scholarships are available to music students in Grades 5-12 through the Giant 101.9 FM grant that was received last year. The first deadline for applications is Sept. 30th. Further information may be found on our website at www.cbv.ns.ca/finearts.

On September 10th, arts education teachers had an opportunity to meet their colleagues and share and collaborate on the upcoming year’s activities. We have some new faces on our staff and we welcome them as part of our team.

We continue to work with our community partners in providing the best possible opportunities for our students and will be involved with partners such as, but not limited to, the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, Cape Breton University, the East Coast Music Awards, Membertou Trade and Convention Centre and the Savoy Theatre.

We are looking forward to a great year!



Reading Recovery™ Teacher Leaders / Consultants, Susan MacDonald & Joy Cookson

This year there will be two Reading Recovery training groups which includes 24 teachers from the CB-VRSB and two teachers from Membertou and Eskasoni. The continuing contact group has 14 teachers who will receive ongoing support during the 09-10 term.

The continuing contact group met on September 1st to review the data from last year, plan the emphasis for the upcoming year, and introduce a new online student monitoring program. Their next session will be held on September 24.

New trainees met for a full day of assessment training on September 2ndat Shipyard Elementary. The next two assessment days will be half days. One was held on September 8th and the other will be held on September 14th. Training sessions will begin on September 22nd (Group A) and September 23rd (Group B).

Susan and Joy will be travelling to Halifax on September 11th to meet with Teacher Leaders and Liaison Administrators from Nova Scotia, their Trainer Heather Janes-Pedersen, and Don Glover and Janet Bright from the Department of Education.



Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

The Teachers’ Resource Centre has been the scene of some changes in its collection. During this summer, with the assistance of summer student Elizabeth Ross, the Resource Centre has been weeded of many items which were outdated and no longer effective resources for today’s curriculum. The collection has been made more efficient and user friendly and will support the needs of P-12 in a more complimentary style. With limited space, it was necessary to discard the items which were not circulating within the collection. This will enable growth for resources which reflect the curriculum +

today. Although still a ‘work-in-progress’, the process of discovering the best resources for teachers and students is well underway. A newsletter will be distributed early in the year to all schools highlighting the resources available. This newsletter will be placed in staff rooms around the Board.



Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

Mentoring

This coming year there will be a P-6 Math mentor and a seconded junior high mentor September – January.



Summer Academy

The fourth and fifth math academies were held at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre this summer. Participants included classroom teachers, resource teachers, substitutes, and pre-service teachers, as well as teachers from other boards. Each teacher received a binder with the outcomes clustered, learning opportunities for each outcome, and the opportunity to experience various hands-on learning opportunities using the manipulatives for that grade level. The grade one and five curriculums were targeted in these sessions and a total of 94 teachers participated in the two academies. There was a high level of enthusiasm and appreciation for the information received. Many of those who attended had been to previous academies and intend to attend any future workshops. Several have been t471o every session. Ron Muller, Tara Colbert, and Sharon Boudreau very capably facilitated both Academies. The opportunity for professional conversations with like-minded colleagues was, in itself, invaluable.



STUDENT SERVICES

Sheila Kublek, Coordinator

Student Services was pleased to welcome Genevieve Richardson as the new Student Services Consultant. To date Mrs. Richardson has been focusing on student transitions, particularly new primary students entering the school system. As well, we were fortunate to have the return of Louise Smith as the Autism Spectrum Disorder Consultant. Ms. Smith is currently servicing 60 students with Autism by providing support to teachers for programming and creating materials for the students. In addition, she continues to facilitate the STAR and TTAP programs.

New schedules which include school assignments and student allotment have been provided to the school psychologists and speech language pathologists. We have 12 psycho- educational assessors with a total of 475 student referrals for assessment. There are 10 speech language pathologists to service all schools within our board. In total they are servicing 859 students, not including the new students entering grade primary.

Information sessions and a professional development segment has been planned for all resource, learning centre, and learning disabilities teachers. The professional development segment will explore the implementation of the IPP report card. Information regarding resource programming, IPP Module training, assessment and accountability, special class trips and updates to the Support For Students web application will be shared with all teachers.