PSS Report September 2006
Category : Programs and Student Services Report
Published by Marjorie Graham [Marjorie Graham] on 11/23/2006

SCHOOL SERVICES

Ambrose White, Coordinator

Principal′s Meeting

Thank you to all who helped with the package that was presented to the principals on August 31, 2006, at Malcolm Munroe Jr. High School. There was a tremendous amount of material and information supplied to the principals. The meeting went very well and all the feedback was very positive.

Special thanks to Leanne Marcil for her efforts in organizing the package.

PEBS

Many schools are spending time with PEBS during their Professional Development day on Friday. Best of luck with this venture.

I look forward to working with all the new principals, vice-principals and consultants as they take on new or added responsibilities for the 2006-2007 school year. I wish everyone the best and feel free to contact me if I can be of any benefit to you.

PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Brenda MacIsaac, Coordinator

Professional Development

All P-6 teachers and principals were provided professional development sessions on the Board′s Staff Development Days, September 6 & 7. Topics included:

Differentiated Classroom

Teachers in Action (a new P-3 resource from Department of Education)

Grade five teachers had a session on a new text at that grade level

On September 6 & 7, Reading Recovery teachers took part in professional development sessions related to implementation of Literacy Lessons designed for individuals.

Professional development will also be provided for new administrators on September 20, with a session on The School Learning Environment.

On September 25 & 27, new hires and teachers new to a grade level will have an opportunity to attend a Literacy workshop.

On September 18 & 19, grade three teachers will be attending a session to prepare them and their students for a Department of Education Mathematical Literacy Assessment in June, 2007.

There will be two inservice sessions for the Reading Recovery trained teachers on September 21 & 28. Teacher leaders will attend a regional Teacher Leader professional development session in the Halifax area on September 22.

Social Studies

From September 11 to October 15, Nova Scotia′s Human Rights Commission will bring an historical exhibit to Sydney′s Victoria Park, entitled Anne Frank in the World. More than 70 illustrated panels tell the tragic story of the Frank family′s efforts to avoid capture and internment by Hitler′s Nazis during the Second World War. Students in grades 5-12 from our Board may attend. Teachers will do activities around racism and the Holocaust with the students before attending. For example, Mountainview School will be doing an exhibit where all grades primary to six students will be involved.

Calendar for Elementary Teachers

Elementary Programs Division has provided a school year′s calendar which was passed out to all P-6 principals and teachers at the Professional Development sessions on September 6 & 7. With the calendar, teachers will know ahead of time significant upcoming events as well as ethnic, religious, national and United Nations days/weeks/months.

Parent Curriculum Nights

Individual schools are planning Parent Curriculum Nights for September to give parents an overview of the elementary curriculum, teacher instruction as well as assessment practices at the school site.

PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12

David Crane, Coordinator

Nova Scotia International Student Program

There are currently 70 Nova Scotia International Student Program students enrolled in ten schools within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

Breakfast Program

There are Breakfast for Learning Programs in 44 school sites within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

Professional Development

The Junior High Regional Professional Development Days, September 6-7, 2006, held at Malcolm Munroe Memorial Junior High School, were a great success, focussing on Writing Across the Curriculum. These days were facilitated by Diane Brennick, English Language Arts Consultant (7-12), Susan Kelley, Literacy Support Consultant, and the Writers in Action 8 Team.

The Senior High Regional Professional Development Day, held at Riverview Rural High, September 6-7, 2006, was also facilitated by Diane Brennick, English Language Arts Consultant (7-12), with a great deal of help from Erin Connors in Social Studies, True Burke and Jennifer Moss in Mathematics and Science, and Lauren Furdas (Eskasoni) and Phonse Martell in English Language Arts. The focus was Reading and Literacy Success.

Physical Education Staff (63 in total), participated in a two-day Regional Professional Development Session, September 6-7, 2006, at Sherwood Park Education Centre. The focus of the sessions was Health Promoting Schools, and Girls in Physical Education. These sessions were facilitated by Mary Lou Andrea/Cynthia McCormick, Active Healthy Living Consultant.

Plans are underway for a Substance Use Prevention Education Session for Teachers of both PDR (Personal Development and Relationships) and CALM (Career and Life Management), October 12-13, 2006.

Plans are underway for Professional Development for all Principals. This would be a two-day session focussing on Communication.

Science & Technology Fair

True Burke, Science & Technology Fair Chairperson, and Jennifer Moss, Teacher, Riverview Rural High, are working on the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board′s Science & Technology Fair Website, and plan to unveil it soon.

PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

Coordinator Rick Simm is happy to welcome two new consultants to the Programs Department – Dorothy Tennant, IEI Consultant, and Sheila Kublek, Assistive Technology. These consultants join Bill Tennant, Consultant for Tech PD, Jim McNeil, Data Manager, and Rick to form the Information Technology Team. This group has spent the last weeks in August preparing for the Principals′ meeting and for the September PD days. Dorothy, Bill and Sheila were PD presenters to teachers and administration.

IEI

The IEI Initiative continues to provide us with much needed technology. This year, the emphasis is on Grade 9 allowing us to provide clusters of four computers including infrastructure, software and PD. With some extra resources, we will be able to provide limited technology to grades P-3. Rick will attend an provincial technology meeting later in September at which the IEI details will be finalized.

Mentoring

The Mentoring model for PD will be continued again this year. This has proven to be our best method of helping teachers with technology integration with the curriculum. It is our goal to place at least 20 mentors in schools from grades P-12.

STUDENT SERVICES

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

The Coordinator of Student Services attended a four day Summer Leadership Academy in Inclusive Education from July 24th to July 27th. The Academy was hosted by the Canadian Association of Community Living and by the Department of Education from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The sessions at the Academy were built around the exploration of policy which drives inclusive practices and best practices and strategies for inclusion. The four days were a confirmation of the policies of inclusion in our province and in our

school board. Differentiation of the classroom was a primary focus of the delivery of programs for inclusive classrooms and it confirms the direction of program and student services with the differentiation professional development initiative.

Preparation for the September inservice days began in August with the Differentiation team, the Junior High resource team, the ASD team and the Facilitators for the Lion′s Quest program meeting to prepare materials and organize their presentations and activities. On September 6th and 7th the following workshops were held for Student Services Staff:

1. The Elementary Learning Centre Teachers attended a two day workshop on the STAR curriculum. The STAR curriculum is a program developed for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. It uses ‘best practices’ from several interventions built around addressing the needs of ASD. It includes Discreet Trial, Pivotal Response and the TEACCH methodology. STARS is a provincial initiative through the Department of Education.

2. Elementary Resource Teachers, Learning Disabilities Teachers, School Psychologists and Speech Language Pathologists attended a one day workshop on Differentiation in the classroom. Differentiation is good classroom practices that allow teachers to meet the needs of all students in their classes with an appreciation for their talents, skills and with a clear direction for progress. On the second day of inservicing teachers were introduced to the new ‘Primary to Three’ supplement for the Language Arts Curriculum.

3. The Junior High Resource Teachers, Learning Disabilities Teachers, Learning Centre Teachers and High School Learning Strategies Teachers attended a two day workshop on programming and building Individual Program Plans for students with special needs. The workshop was created to help teachers work on the skills needed to facilitate the program planning process and the participants were given practical strategies and materials to assist students in their schools.

4. High School Learning Centre Teachers and Teacher Assistants attended a two day workshop on Non-violent Crises Intervention. Each of the participants will be certified in Non-violent crises intervention.

5. Teachers and teacher assistants from STEPS to Success programs attended a two day workshop in the Lion′s Quest Curriculum and the Junior and Senior High Curriculums from Thrive Canada. The curriculum is built around building self-esteem, making positive choices, anger management, and developing social skills. Participants were provided with kits to use when they return to their classrooms.

Evaluations from the two days were reviewed and were overwhelmingly positive. Clear direction for future professional development has been developed for the groups. The teams who provided the workshops will continue to be actively involved in future initiatives.

Our School Board has been chosen by the Nova Scotia Department of Education to be a pilot site for Teacher Training for the STAR curriculum. Teachers from our pilot site at Sydney River Elementary and our Teacher Trainer will be attending an inservice in Halifax on September 11th and 12th and Mr. John Gill from the University of Oregon will be in our system on September 14th and 15th to assist the teacher trainer and the teachers in our district. Support will continue throughout the year for the teacher trainer and the teachers involved.

David Brennick, Coordinator of Student Services

Guidance

Guidance Counsellors and Social Workers are preparing for an upcoming Professional Development Refresher Session on their role in Crisis Intervention. Teams have been identified and with many new members, the update will be welcomed.

Pre-Primary Pilot Program

Interest in the two pilot Pre-Primary classes at Boularderie and Riverside Elementary Schools continues to grow, with both programs fully subscribed. The program will be evaluated provincially this year with a view to determining future directions for this initiative.

School Accreditation

The School Accreditation initiative continues to grow with the Principals and Co-chairs of eight new school communities about to participate in two days of inservicing on Thursday, September 14th, and Friday, September 15th at the North Star Inn. The six school communities who began the initiative last year are either finalizing their external review or beginning to implement their school improvement plan.

Assessment

Grade three teachers will be participating in an Early Elementary Mathematical Literacy Assessment Orientation Session, at the Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre on September 18-19th. This is in preparation for the Grade 3 Mathematics Assessment scheduled for early June 2007. Materials and information will be forthcoming shortly for this year′s Grade 6 Elementary Literacy Assessment scheduled for mid-October. On another front, attention will be increasingly focussed on Grade 9 students in preparation for the Junior High Literacy Assessment scheduled for late May 2007.

Intersectoral

The Network for Children and Youth, in collaboration with the Children′s Aid Society of Cape Breton-Victoria and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, will be hosting a one-day consultation on September 20, 2006, from 9:00 – 12:00, at the Delta Hotel.

The purpose of the consultation, which will have representation from a number of agencies, will be to discuss present realities with high risk youth, what needs to be done, and priority of these wishes with a view to developing an action plan to better serve this group of youth.

RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING & HUMAN RIGHTS

Charles Sheppard, Coordinator

Teacher assistants, library technicians, and student support workers participated in workshops on Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and Child Abuse/Child Welfare Act on September 6th and 7th. Feedback received from participants was very positive.

In November, the Department of Education will continue the implementation of the Racial Equity Policy for senior high schools, location TBA.