PSS Report February 2006
Category : Programs and Student Services Report
Published by Administrator [admin] on 02/16/2006
SCHOOL SERVICES

Ambrose White, Acting Coordinator


- Priorities and Outcomes were completed for the Business Plan (2006-2007). School Services, along with Program and Student Services, worked on these important measures.

- The exam timetable was extended two days due to school cancellations. This caused the second semester to be delayed 2 days and began on Wednesday February 8, 2006.

- Congratulations to all those involved in the 2006 editions of the Coal Bowl and Red Cup. Much preparation and work goes into the organization of these two fine tournaments and we salute all those involved.

A thank you is given to all the volunteers who coach our students in all their teams from P-12 and who supervise and coordinate all co and extra-curricular activities.

- School Services, along with representatives from other departments, met with Department of Education officials regarding the Student Information System (SIS) on February 8, 2006. They are looking for our feedback in the development of a province-wide system that meets the needs of all.

- The Steering Committee of the Communities Partnership on Drug Abuse met in January. Mr. White attended the Community Safety Working Group meeting on January 24, 2006. There was an information session on Methadone Treatment issues with Dr. Joseph Cox, Dr. Tom Crawford and Mr. Everett Harrison on February 8, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in Room #3612 of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.

- Several meetings were held with Student Services to review applications to the Steps To Success Program at the various locations.

- Primary Registration was completed the week of February 6-10, 2006. An extension was granted due to school cancellations.


PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Brenda MacIsaac, Coordinator

Arts Education


Senior high visual art teachers throughout the Board have been approached to have their students participate in 'The Collection of Shadows of Light'. Student artwork will be a retrospective on depression and will be on display during the month of May at the CBU Art Gallery and at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. on May 26th. Students may choose any medium to express their perspectives on this aspect of mental illness. The project is sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association in collaboration with the C.B. District Health Authority and N. S. Health.

Music teachers Christine Hahn, Susan Greaves and Carol Ann MacDougall spent two days sorting and updating the catalogue of materials available to arts educators in the Board. This material is housed at Cornwallis School and contains choral arrangements, music, art and drama texts, as well as videos, and a wealth of other teacher resources. In order to make the material more accessible to arts educators, the list of materials will soon be seen on the Fine Arts website. Once identified by teachers, the needed resource will be forwarded through school mail.

Although February 17th is a site-based staff development day, several arts educators will be hosting in-services. Visual art teachers may attend a session at MacLennan Junior High with facilitator Linda Lou MacIntyre. The topic will be Making Sculpture from Found Materials and Plaster. Classroom music teachers can attend a session at Cornwallis School reviewing a scope and sequence chart, discussing strategies for developing the young child's voice, and examining resources.

A group of art teachers recently met with Dr. Arthur Tucker, Dean of School of the Arts & Community Studies, CBU, and Suzanne Crowdis, Art Gallery Coordinator, to discuss ways to support the delivery of the visual art program through the use of the Art Gallery for student visits, workshops, and presentations on works from the permanent collection.

Memorial High visual art teacher, Diane Lewis, has had her article Secret Lives of an Art Exhibit published in the journal Canadian Art Teachers.

Mountainview Elementary Band, under the direction of Delynn Reid, will be performing at the opening Ceremonies for Family Violence Prevention Week. This ceremony will take place on Friday, Feb. 10th at Cape Breton University.

Library Services

As we move to the end of the fiscal year, 95% of schools have spent their library budget, and most orders are now complete.

The Library Committee met on January 31, 2006. The committee will begin policy development and standardization within the library program and establish a vision for the direction of the program. The next meeting is scheduled for February 23, 2006, at the Staff Development Centre. The committee consists of library staff, principals, teachers, parent volunteers, community representatives and a board member. The committee will meet again in February.

A major weeding process has been completed at the Teachers' Resource Centre. This is essential for efficiency and better circulation of resources. New items can be developed and entered into the collection to meet changes within the curriculum.

A proposal has been submitted to the CBVRSB for an automation system. Several library technicians as well as Carmelita Cousins, Library Consultant, are evaluating the product. A meeting is scheduled for early February to provide feedback to the supplier.

Literacy Initiatives

The Early Literacy Initiative has begun. George D. Lewis, Riverside, Harbourside and St. Ann Elementary Schools are involved in this initiative. An essential component to ensure continued success of the Reading Recovery Intervention Program is that classroom teachers continue to use Reading Recovery strategies in the classroom once students have been discontinued from the Program. Thus, this initiative has Reading Recovery teachers, and grades one and two classroom teachers as well as school principals observe Reading Recovery sessions and then meet to discuss reading strategies.

Two pilots are currently under way at Ball's Creek Elementary. Grades 3-4 teacher, Patti Bauer, is currently piloting Pearson's Reaching Readers. As well, grades 5-6 teacher/ principal, Jeannie Stone is piloting Pearson's Trios Program which focuses on cultural diversity. Thus far, the pilots have been very successful.

The Department of Education will support Boards who plan to offer summer institutes in the area of Literacy. On Feb. 9th and 10th, Donna Robson, Literacy Consultant, and Barb Mercer, teacher and principal at Marion Bridge Elementary, will attend a workshop in Halifax to work with other educators from across the province on the framework of these institutes. The target participant audience is new teachers and administrators.

Literacy Support

During the first week in January, Tom Henderson contacted the table leaders from the elementary literacy assessment marking session and invited them to be part of setting the cut score for the reading portion of the 2005 assessment. Four table leaders from the CBVRSB represented our Board at this session. This was a valuable professional learning activity for these teachers.

Work continues with the planned in-service for literacy teams from all elementary schools to be held during the first week in February. The preliminary results from the 2005 Elementary Literacy Assessment have arrived in schools. At the request of schools, a timeline has been created to assist with site-based planning and support.

Contact was made with publishers to gather samples of resources that schools might use for struggling readers and writers. A list of resources, both text and software, is currently being compiled. It is hoped that this list will support the list currently on the student services website.

A literacy support web-site is being constructed and will contain the above list and timeline. Other pertinent information and links will also be posted on this site.

Math Initiatives

A number of teachers in the Board have expressed interest in the Math Mentoring Program. Teachers from Robin Foote, Cusack, and MacDonald Elementary were mentored this month and the general consensus was that mentoring is essential for the successful delivery of the new math strategies. Ron Muller is mentoring teachers from Ashby and Cornwallis Schools while Maxine Hardy is providing mentoring support for teachers at Cape Smokey and North Highlands.

The provincial team composed of math consultants from across the province continues to work on the information package which will accompany the mental math video. Both of these resources will be distributed to schools. As well, Home Communication Kits have been distributed to all schools across the province. Math Assessment: A Practical Handbook will be distributed to all teachers from grades primary to twelve in the spring.

Grade two teachers and a complement of resource teachers and elementary principals from across the Board attended math in-services in January. These PD sessions focused on the Grade 2 curriculum outcomes and how these could best be addressed. Teachers are now aware that in May of 2007, all grade 3 students in Nova Scotia will write a math assessment constructed by the Department of Education. The next workshop planned is for substitute teachers and will be held on Friday, Feb.17th, at the Staff Development Centre in North Sydney.

Brookland Elementary held its annual Math Fair on Friday, February 3rd, and as usual, it was a huge success. Sharon Boudreau facilitated a PD session on mental math and using manipulatives on Feb. 6th at Sydney River Elementary, at the school's request.

Science

Mark Johnson from ACAP (Atlantic Coastal Action Program) did a presentation on Climate Change at the Elementary Principal's meeting and then presented again at the Liaison Teacher's PD session. The Climate Change program fits seamlessly into the Grade 5 science unit, which deals with issues around climate and the weather. Students who participate in the program will achieve a number of curriculum outcomes while becoming actively engaged in exploring this topic/concept. As well, the Climate Change website is engaging, interactive and, quite simply, a wonderful resource for teachers, students, and parents.

Social Studies

The dates of May 4 and 5, 2006, have been set for the 7th Annual Historica Fair to be held at Cape Breton University. Many schools have already submitted their intent to participate forms with George D. Lewis winning the early bird draw. Students have begun work on projects that Make History Come Alive.

The Sydney Steel Memorial Committee did a one-hour presentation at the Elementary Principal's meeting in January. It was extremely well received by the principals as the retired SYSCO employees, who facilitated the workshop, certainly made history come alive. The committee has constructed a presentation targeted for elementary students at the grade 6 level. This presentation/workshop focuses on the history of SYSCO and, particularly, on the people who worked at the plant over the years. All principals signed up to have the committee visit their schools and present this excellent workshop to their grade 6 classes.

Lynn Crawford, grade 6 teacher and vice principal at Mira Road Elementary and former RCH Consultant for the Board, is presently working on activities to be provided to all schools and for all grade levels P-6 for African Heritage Month. An African Heritage website is currently under construction as well and will be linked to the CBVRSB's site.

Physical Education/Healthy Active Living

March is Nutrition Month and plans are under way to support teachers in delivering a cohesive program on the topics of Nutrition and Active Healthy Living. Units are being prepared which build on these topics from one grade level to the next, are interactive and hands-on, are interdisciplinary in nature, and are based on achievement of outcomes. These units will be distributed to all P-6 classrooms across the Board.

An AHL (Active Healthy Living) website has been constructed and can be found on the Board's site. It is, of course, a work in progress.

Professional Development

Curriculum liaison teachers from each school participated in a PD session in January at the Staff Development Centre. The purpose of this session was to prepare these teachers to deliver PD to the staff at their respective schools. Topics such as Buddy Reading, Constructing School-based Writing Plans, and Climate Change were addressed. Schools decide on which topic(s) they would want the liaison teachers to deliver workshops during their monthly staff meetings.

Grade 2 teachers attended math PD sessions in late January. Students presently in grade 2 will write the first provincial-wide math assessment next year when they are in grade 3.

Mitch Landry, DOE Consultant, facilitated a session on Establishing a Positive School Climate during the Elementary Principal's meeting on January 13th. He collected ideas/suggestions from principals with respect to how the Department could help them become educational leaders in their schools. The information gathered was collated and e-mailed to principals.

Grade 6 teachers, administrators, and resource teachers were in-serviced during the first week in February on developing effective literacy support plans to support students who did not meet outcomes in reading and/or writing in the 2005-6 Elementary Literacy Assessment. This PD session was facilitated by Susan Kelley, Assessment Consultant for the Board, and Donna Robson, Literacy Consultant.

Website: Memos regarding PD opportunities are posted each Monday on the P-6 link at the CBVRSB website http://www.cbv.ns.ca/Departments/ProgramsStudentServices/P-6.
Click on the What's New link.
Education Committee members are more than welcome to attend any of these sessions!


PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12

David Crane, Coordinator

Breakfast for Learning Program
(Debbie Madore, Nutrition for Learning Coordinator)

Applications have gone out to all schools that have a Breakfast Program or who want to begin a Breakfast Program. The application process is a Provincial initiative. We now have 41 school sites offering Breakfast for Learning within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

Funding
Breakfast Programs Money: According to a letter dated January 30, 2006 to Mr. Astephen, the Provincial funding is being distributed via direct deposit. This money is from Nova Scotia Health Promotion, and the allotment for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is $94,725. Nova Scotia Health Promotion has established a Framework for the boards, which is beneficial to Boards that are not familiar with Breakfast for Learning. Ms. Madore has given input regarding the framework and guidelines.

Policy Implementation Money
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has received $31,575 for implementation of the Food and Nutrition Policy. The Target for this funding is outlined by Nova Scotia Health Promotion, and includes education of cafeteria staff, food safety, and increasing access to healthy, affordable foods.

Policy
The Provincial Food and Nutrition Policy Committee has made changes to the Policy Draft and it was sent to Superintendents in January. Ms. Madore was told that it was well received by the Superintendents. At this time, it is on the desk of Minister Muir and Minister MacDonald for approval. It will then be printed for distribution. Until this happens it is considered to be a draft.

Ms. Madore is awaiting approval of payroll deduction for Scotsburn employees.

Golf Tournament
Registration forms will be sent out in early February to attract teams for the June 24th tournament.

AGM Baddeck
Ms. Madore is a member of the planning committee for this May event.

Nova Scotia International Student Program (Tammy Sampson, Program Manager)

We had a busy few weeks in the Nova Scotia International Student Program. Twelve of our 14 new students have arrived representing Brazil, Mexico, Korea, Colombia, Germany and the Czech Republic.

All of our one-semester students were invited to a ski day at Ski Ben Eoin before leaving last weekend. It was the first experience for many.

Departing students were also given picture CDs from the NSISP highlighting events from their stay in our area.

Our winter orientation will take place February 17 and 18. Students will be treated to a Screaming Eagles Hockey game followed by a pizza party and movies. The 14 new students will spend the night at the Days Inn in Sydney where they will also take part in morning workshops on several topics: culture shock, program rules, good relationships and health and fitness.

Sydney Academy hosted a going away pizza party for their departing students. The principal, Brian Dwyer and David Crane presented the students with their NSISP certificates. Students were also given parting gifts from the school.

Glace Bay High Principal, Mr. Jack Ettinger, along with the Vice Principals, treated the departing students, their host families, and program representatives to a lovely going away dinner at Swiss Chalet. Students and host families were presented with gifts.

Holy Angels had a fantastic multi-cultural session where the NSISP students had the opportunity to teach the students about their countries and cultures. This was in conjunction with a going away celebration for Tara who was returning to the Netherlands. Tara received many parting gifts from the school. The students brought in samples of food and some great displays. We were also treated with a special guest appearance from a former NSISP student, Nathalia, who was here visiting her host family with her sister.

Riverview treated departing students to a going away lunch with presentations of certificates and memorabilia from the principal.

All schools carried out activities to say goodbye to departing students.

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

Ms. Diane Brennick, English Language Arts Consultant (7-12), has been planning a session for grade seven English Language Arts teachers on Writer's Companion. Ms. Brennick is working in conjunction with the technology team at the Northside Staff Development Centre.

The members of the Writers in Action 10 Team have been contacted regarding the March 3rd in-service day.

The members of the Writers In Action 7,8,9 have been contacted re: upcoming preparation sessions with the Department of Education.

A meeting was held regarding Public Speaking, and memos have been sent out to the schools.

A number of books and resources have been sent out to the schools.
The Write Traits materials for grades nine and ten should be arriving at the schools shortly.

Literacy Support Plan (Susan Kelley, Literacy Support Consultant)

Junior high schools are well underway with support for their struggling readers and writers in grades seven and eight. Each school was asked to submit a brief plan of what they are doing to best utilize their budget in support of their students. These plans, in conjunction with school visits, indicate that much thought has gone into the best ways to achieve this. The most common themes include the purchase of substitute time to allow for planning, co-teaching and remedial teaching, as well as the purchase of cross-curricular text resources and software.

Preliminary plans are underway to provide a workshop in February/March for school teams including an English Language Arts teacher and content area teacher from grades seven to eight, a student support teacher and an administrator. The focus of the workshop will include an overview of writing and implementing effective support plans and tracking student progress. Grade nine teachers will be inserviced in the fall of 2006. Students in grade nine in Nova Scotia are scheduled to write a literacy assessment in the spring of 2007.

Contact was made with publishers to gather samples of resources that schools might use for struggling readers and writers. A list of resources, both text and software, is currently being compiled. It is hoped that this list will support the list currently on the student services website.

A literacy support website is being constructed and will contain the above list and timeline. Other pertinent information and links will be posted on this site as it is developed.



Active, Healthy Living (Physical / Health Education) (Mary Lou Andrea, Active, Healthy Living Consultant)

Plans for the upcoming inservice, Technology in Physical Education, are ongoing. This will take place on February 17th, at the Quality Inn, and Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School. Ms. Mary Lou Andrea, Active, Healthy Living Consultant, is working in conjunction with the Technology Department at the Northside Staff Development Centre, in planning this inservice.

Ms. Andrea is working on preparations for the February 17th CLD Conference, and also for the AGM Conference, to be held in May.

Health Promoting Schools: A grant was received in the amount of $60,000. Ms. Andrea will make a presention at the next Principals' Meetings in February to provide information on this grant. Ms. Debbie Madore will also be participating in the implementation plan for the Health Promoting Schools initiative.

The Active Healthy Living website for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is being constructed.

Ms. Andrea made presentations at various workshops throughout the month of January. She also attended meetings with other Active Healthy Living Consultants across the province to work on curriculum needs in the PDR and Physical Education fields.

Mathematics (Secondary) (Ron MacLean, Mathematics Consultant, 7-12)

Dynamic Classroom Assessment for junior high teachers continues with almost six modules completed at this time. Feedback from teachers has been good so far. Teachers are finding these sessions very informative and pertinent to everyday classroom assessment. The next session is scheduled for February 20th.

Texas Instruments began the T3 training modules on December 9th and 10th and the next workshop in this series of modules is scheduled for March 30th, 31st, and April 1st. We are supplying the location for the training that involves teachers from our board, Strait Regional School Board, Eskasoni, and Waycobah First Nations School. This arrangement has allowed a number of high school teachers from our board to take advantage of this training not usually offered in our area.

A workshop has been planned for resource teachers at the junior high level. This workshop will focus on math for struggling learners. The workshop is the second this year and is scheduled for February 24th.

Mathematics mentors met at the Northside Staff Development Centre on Jan 30th for a workshop on mentoring and ideas that they can use to promote mathematics mentoring in their schools.

The senior high math committee will meet on February 9th to discuss concerns at the high school level and plan for the next in-service day, March 3rd.

The new grade nine core resource is on schedule with the first of the workshops on it's implementation to take place at the Northside Staff Development Centre on April 12th. Mr. Ron MacLean, Mathematics Consultant, is currently working at the provincial level to develop the program for the day.

French Second Language (David Brennick) (Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant)

Students in grade six Intensive Core French have returned to their regular curriculum after completion of their intensive period of study of French. Students at Riverside, Harbourside, and Greenfield Elementary Schools had a very successful first semester. These students were able to increase their communication skills in French and English, their level of self-esteem, as well as their overall responsibility for learning and becoming more autonomous learners. Further information on this unique program is available at www.caslt.org

Laurie MacIntosh, French Second Language Consultant, participated in a two-day workshop in Moncton, on January 12th, hosted by David MacFarlane, New Brunswick Department of Education, Dr. Joan Netten, Memorial University, Newfoundland, and Dr. Claude Germain, Universite de Quèbec à Montreal. The workshop provided training for conducting oral post-evaluations of students enrolled in grade six Intensive Core French. Oral post-testing of students enrolled in the Intensive Core French classes will be carried out February 13th-17th, 2006.

Frederic Amyot, French Language Assistant (Odyssey Program of the Council of Ministers of Education), will be working with the French teachers at Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High School during the second semester. This program aims to foster the use of Canada's Official languages by giving young people an opportunity to share their language and culture with students. The language assistant helps second language teachers by encouraging students to interact in French and to raise their cultural awareness.

Yves Rossignol, French Consultant, South Shore District School Board, visited the grade six Intensive Core French students at Riverside Elementary School on Friday, January 20, 2006. Yves witnessed first-hand the daily routine of the Intensive Core French students to help with implementation of the program in the South Shore Board. Yves shared his musical talent with the entire student body of Riverside during an afternoon French concert.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, along with CPF (Canadian Parents for French), will be hosting the annual Concours d'Art Oratiore (French Public Speaking Contest). It will take place on Wednesday, March 22nd, and Thursday, March 23rd, at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School. Core French, Integrated Core French, Intensive Core French, and Late French Immersion students will compete locally. Winners from each category will go on to compete at the Provincial 'Concours' on Saturday, April 29th, 2006, in Halifax.

French professional development initiatives are ongoing. Several French teachers are participating in the mentoring program, as well as a French course on-line, delivered through Acadia University and the Nova Scotia Department of Education, to help teachers improve their oral and written language skills. Upcoming inservices include a workshop for senior high French teachers on March 3rd, facilitated by Ms. MacIntosh and Mr. Gerald Felix, French Second Language Consultant, Nova Scotia Department of Education. A workshop is also planned for grade seven and eight Late French Immersion teachers, facilitated by Suzanne Aucoin, teacher, Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School, Carol Milne, teacher, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High School, and Ms. MacIntosh. The tentative date for this workshop is March 28th, 2006.

Regional Science & Technology Fair (True Burke, Chair, Regional Science & Technology Fair Committee)

The Cape Breton Regional Science & Technology Fair will be held March 29th & 30th at Malcolm Munroe Junior High School. Registration deadline for the fair is March10th, 2006. Registration forms will be sent to all junior / senior high schools during the week of February 13th.

In September, nine schools had shown interest in the fair, however, two of the schools have since decided not to participate. Sydney Mines Junior High is not having their school fair until the end of April so their students will be unable to participate at the Regional Level.

The goal of science fair is to incorporate much needed project-based science into the curriculum. The need for more schools to participate in science fair is essential. More professional development may be needed in early September 2006 to promote science fair and project-based science. The larger the fair the better promotion of science and the easier it is to fundraise.

A meeting was held with Cape Breton University who have once again committed to funding a student's trip to the Canada Wide Science Fair. The cost is approximately $2,500. Cape Breton University, Health Science Department, is also sponsoring prize money in the amount of $500. It was also decided at this meeting that next year's fair could be held at Cape Breton University. This would give the Fair a neutral location that already has the necessary equipment for the fair (such as tables, canteen services, etc) A date will have to be set soon for the 2007 fair to ensure a space at Cape Breton University.

Allen Britten, Professor, Cape Breton University, has made contact with various companies and organizations to help with the fundraising. We are hoping that the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency and the Cape Breton Junior Chamber will be sponsors of the fair. We would like to get as many science / technology related organizations to sponsor the fair to help promote the use of science in society to our students attending the fair. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality and Aliant have also been approached to be major sponsors. The Regional Science Fair needs approximately $15,000 to run the fair at the Regional level and to send four participants to the Canada Wide Fair.

The Nova Scotia Showcase will be held April 26-28 at Dalhousie University. The showcase is sponsored by NSYES (Nova Scotia Youth Experiences in Science). This is a showcase of all the winning projects in Nova Scotia. The representatives have the opportunity to meet the other winners and participate in various science oriented activities over the 3 days.

Paul Gartland, Principal, George D. Lewis, has begun a science fair web site. It now contains guidelines and general information, but in the future we hope to have results, pictures, winners, sponsors, etc. Next year we also hope to have the registration on-line in order to eliminate paperwork.

Healthy Sexuality Resource

Ms. Mary Lou Andrea, Active, Healthy Living Consultant, is currently preparing an inservice facilitated by the Sexual Health Network, to take place on February 17th, at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School. This inservice will be for one grade eight PDR teacher and one CALM teacher from each of the secondary schools. A session regarding the Healthy Sexuality Resource is planned.



Vocational Education (Fred Martell, Vocational Education Consultant)

Diane Lewis, Art teacher at Memorial Composite High School and her Art class, in conjunction with the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, painted themed murals on three landings after renovations at the school. The themes concentrated on diversity of student population.

A former graduate from the Cooking Program at Memorial visited the school to talk about some of his experiences since completing the program. He worked overseas in Paris, and other parts of Europe, and is currently overseeing operations at Marble Mountain Ski Resort in Newfoundland.

The Cape Breton Post will feature articles on both of these stories in an upcoming issue.

Mr. Fred Martell, Vocational Education Consultant, is in the process of planning a training program for PAL/CALM teachers to be trained in Life Smart, which would enable them to teach First Aid/CPR to Memorial students.

Grade nine students continue to tour Memorial Composite High School's Vocational Education Department, giving them an opportunity to experience the program first-hand.

Jenn Thorne, Youth Apprenticeship Program, will facilitate an inservice for Guidance Counsellors (7-12), PAL/CALM teachers, Co-op Education teachers, and Entrepreneurship teachers, on February 17th, 2006, in order to provide details on the Youth Apprentiship Program, which will be unfolding through the Coop Education Program.

Professional Development

The Science 10 Lead Team is meeting to plan professional development for March 3rd, 2006.

The Social Studies, Grade Seven Implementation Team will meet to discuss plans for an upcoming inservice for all grade seven Social Studies teachers to help with implementing the new curriculum.

African Canadian Studies 11 teachers from the region will participate in a Department of Education initiated inservice, on February 16, at the Northside Staff Development Centre. This inservice will focus on the implementation of technology within the curriculum. Maureen Finlayson, Department of Education, will facilitate this day, with help from the board's technology department.

Plans are underway for the site-based Professional Development Day, February 17th, 2006. Agendas are arriving from secondary schools daily. The day will also include various inservices in particular areas of interest.

Sports Animator (Jim MacEachern)

Mr. Jim MacEachern, Sports and Recreation Animator, assisted in coordinating the implemention of a pilot After School Program through Mark Smith, Sport Nova Scotia, partnering Harbourside Elementary and Sydney Academy in Sydney.

Mr. MacEachern is working with Active Healthy Living Consultant, Mary Lou Andrea, and Ski Ben Eoin Schools Program Committee, on a draft proposal for implementing a structured Outdoor Sport & Recreation Program as a pilot project in selected schools. This plan was presented for initial approval with conditions to Board Administration.

Mr. MacEachern continues to meet with representatives of Challenger Disabled Sports Group, to offer assistance in accessing potential funding for program expansion.

ESL (English Second Language) (Jennifer Kokoska, ESL Tutor)

The English Second Language teaching position is now 60%. This was a much-needed increase for many of the ESL students in our board.

The month of January has been successful for the ESL Program. Current students were re-evaluated and with an extra day granted to the program, Ms. Jennifer Kokoska, ESL Tutor, is now able to spend time with more students. New arrivals to the program will be evaluated during the first and second weeks of February and a new schedule has been devised. Changes to this schedule may be necessary as the month progresses to accommodate students with more extensive needs.
Prior to the exam period, Ms. Kokoska was able to assist teachers in identifying students requiring slight adaptations to their examinations, and was also able to provide suggestions and assistance before and during examination weeks.

Some teachers, guidance counselors and resource teachers expressed interest in getting support to maximize students. An information session for all interested teachers is scheduled for February 17, 2006, at Sydney Academy.

Ms. Kokoska will facilitate a meeting at St. Michael Jr. High School, regarding the two new immigrant students from China. The program is running more smoothly each month, and the concerns of both students and teachers are being addressed.


PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

Nova Scotia Community College


A meeting was held to review and revise the Memorandum of Understanding between the CBVRSB and NSCC. In attendance were: Rick Simm, David Brennick, David Crane along with Barb Burk, College Prep Coordinator, Ann Jones, Director of College Prep, and David MacLean, Principal, NSCC-Marconi Campus.

Student Information Systems

The Provincial initiative for SIS (Student Information System) is progressing well. By way of video-conference, biweekly meetings are held with representatives from all Boards and the Department of Education. On February 7th, an important meeting of the CBVRSB Coordinators (PSS, HR and Operations) was held in order to gather input on reports that will be required of the SIS.

Business Plan

A great deal of time was spent in contributing to the CBVRSB Business Plan for 2006-2007. Mr. Simm, in consultation with Peter MacKinnon, Liz Mahoney, Bill Tenant, Rhonda Smith and Jim McNeil, mapped out the intended direction for his department (Program Services - Instructional Support).

IEIE - 8 (Peter MacKinnon, Consultant for IEI)

The video that will be used to demonstrate to principals and teachers what a technology integrated classroom looks like is complete. The video will be used with grade eight teachers during workshops on February 24-27. The video has classroom clips of three elementary classrooms and one junior high classroom showing the teachers using strategies with their students that allow for the integration of technology in the classroom. The video also contains the 'Don't Laugh at Me' clip on bullying done by Mt. Carmel.

One third quarter report for IEIE was sent to Halifax at the end of January. Our final software order is due to arrive soon. We will finish our grade eight workshops by the end of February.

Brookland Elementary PD

We are preparing a workshop for Brookland Elementary teachers on file management and network skills. We will also work with grade level teachers getting them familiar with software available for use in various software areas.

Student information System Pilot

Two Brookland teachers will try doing the provincial standardized report card using the pilot Student Information System, Insignia. We will also be evaluating the SIS pilot by the end of March.

The SIS pilot at Riverside, using the Maplewood SIS system, has the teachers using the electronic attendance module. Two teachers will also try the provincial standardized electronic report card for this reporting period. George D. Lewis is also using the Maplewood system and will attempt the junior high report card electronically.

The provincial pilot for the electronic report card is going smoothly. Many of the problems that occurred early in the pilot seem to be corrected.

IT Professional Development (Bill Tennant, Consultant)

During the month of January, a number of workshops (10) were planned and given to teachers and administrators. Grade 8 IEI technology integration workshops took center stage this month while web pages proved to be an important topic. Plans for Front Page 2003 workshops are in the works for the month of February. During another workshop, Kevin Kearney implemented a homework page that could be accessed by teachers and administrators in their respective schools.

The requests for web mail accounts from the teachers attending the workshops were many. There was also other staff requiring accounts from various schools throughout the Board.

Planning for upcoming PD and other IEI integration initiatives in February is ongoing.




Assistive Technology (Liz Mahoney, Consultant)

During the month of January, assessments were done at Morrison Junior High and Cusack/Cornwallis/Ashby. Two Intellikeys workshops were held for approximately 30 teachers and teachers' assistants. The Assistive Technology Assessment team had two training sessions on a new assessment device called 'See It Right' and new software called 'Earobics.

The Resource teacher and the Steps to Success teacher had a two-day mentorship on the use of Assistive Technology. The staff of Cusack/Cornwallis/Ashby also received professional development on Assistive Technology as part of their staff development.

Plans are being made for professional development for each school's technology integration contact person.


STUDENT SERVICES (Cathy Viva, Consultant)

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Initiative

On January 18th, 19th and February 8th, representatives from school program planning teams attended full day inservices presented by our regional Autistic Spectrum Disorder Team. The day consisted of an overview of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, a review of characteristics, sensory sensitivity, visual supports and the TEACCH method of instructing students. School teams included an administrator, Student Services teacher and a classroom teacher. Teams were provided with two CD's and a folder with information that will enable them to provide inservicing at the school level. Evaluations were very positive and contained suggestions for further workshops.

The ASD team will be meeting on February 21st to review the draft of the ASD guide and to begin planning further professional development for our district.

Advisory Committee for Autistic Spectrum Disorder

The Provincial Advisory Committee for Autistic Spectrum Disorder met on January 30th and 31st. Priorities for professional development for regional teams and a review of materials and the draft guide for ASD were reviewed. Each school district received the three STAR kits for use with students with ASD. The STAR program is a curriculum for communication, behavior and learning skills to be used with students with ASD. Members of the ASD teams from each district will receive training in the program in the spring. Other professional development opportunities across the province were discussed and information will be forwarded to each board as it becomes available.

Teachers of students with learning disabilities will meet on February 23rd at Greenfield Elementary to examine and learn about new assistive technologies being used in our district. Members of our Assistive Technology team will provide direction for the morning. In the afternoon, there will be a sharing session with materials and strategies and a review of policy and forms for Learning Disabilities programs. Teachers will be asked to bring information for the sharing session.

Speech Language Pathologists met on Monday, February 6th for the afternoon. The district's representative for the Speech Language Pathologist Provincial Guidelines reported on the status of the guide and asked for any submissions to be considered for the guide. The session also included sharing materials and the discussing of ideas for Speech and Hearing Month.


RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Charles Sheppard, Coordinator

The RCH Liaison Team met with Mr. Brad Barton for Part 2 of their training. Also in attendance for part of the day was Mr. Ed Davis, Mr. David Crane, Mr. John Astephen, and Mr. Ambrose White.

February is African Heritage Month with schools in the Board celebrating the contributions made by African Nova Scotians and Canadians. Articles and activities will be submitted at month's end.

Mr. Sheppard attended the RCH provincial meeting in the community of Millbrook, N.S. as well as the MECNS (Multicultural Educational Council of Nova Scotia) meeting in Dartmouth, N.S.