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

SCHOOL SERVICES

Ambrose White, Coordinator

School Security

School Services is working with our Operational Services Department to develop a policy regarding school security. This includes security of the building itself, what to do in case of various emergency situations, etc. A committee was struck to create this policy and the work is ongoing.

PEBS

Trevor LeBlanc, Principal of Mount Carmel Elementary has been seconded to work with PEBS and Behavioural Support. Trevor has begun this position and will work for School Services and Student Services.

Community Liaison Officers

A meeting of the five Community Liaison Officers was held on November 2, 2006. Round table discussions were held to get feedback from the officers and support for them was also discussed. Our Community Liaison Officers are as follows:

Peter MacKinnon Breton Education Centre

Dennis Burns Glace Bay High

Terry Bourque Memorial High

Dennis MacSween Sherwood Park

Tim Ryan Sydney Academy

NSELC Conference

Mr. White attended the NSELC conference on October 13 & 14 in Dartmouth on ‘Developing Comprehensive School Health’. There were many interesting sessions and speakers on school safety, health, nutrition, etc. Stephen Lewis was the keynote speaker.

Communication Workshop for Principals

A communication workshop for principals was held on October 19 & 20 at the BayPlex. Program Services took the lead on this worthwhile workshop and valuable information was presented to all our principals.

School Services

School Services works very closely with all schools dealing with their day-to-day activities. Field trips, discipline, incident reports are just a few of the areas that School Services works closely with schools.

PROGRAM SERVICES P-6

Brenda MacIsaac, Coordinator

Literacy Consultant P-6, Donna Robson

Department of Education - Classroom teachers at the grades three, four and five levels received a copy of the Tony Stead text, Reality Checks. Teachers at the grade three, four, five and six levels received a supplementary box of Assessment passages.

Board – During the month of October, there were three after-school professional development sessions held at the Staff Development Centre, North Sydney. The sessions were designed to familiarize classroom teachers with the Assessment binder. Schools involved in both phases of LIFT (Literacy Initiative for Teachers) had a session at the Reading Recovery Center at Shipyard School. Phase one schools (Bras D′or, Greenfield and Glace Bay) met on October 5 and phase two schools (Harbourside, St. Anne′s, George D. Lewis and Riverside) met on October 13. Literacy Consultant, Donna Robson, was invited to walk grade nine teachers who were attending a session around literacy support through a reading record. This was a great opportunity to bridge elementary to secondary and takes a bit of time to have conversations about how the two are similar.

Mentoring

Curriculum Mapping, LIFT, Liaisons, Mentors and Mentoring

Curriculum Mapping A memo was sent to the remaining sites in order to schedule a time for the mapping experience. Several of the sites expressed an interest in presenting the mapping plan to their staffs; this being evidence of capacity being built at the site level.

Literacy Initiative for Teachers (LIFT) – The initiative is well underway and the feedback we are receiving is very positive. Bras D′or Elementary is in phase one of the process and they recently held their first designated day which included observation of a reading recovery lesson and an informal debriefing session at the end of the day. Susan MacDonald, Reading Recovery Lead Teacher, and Donna Robson attended the debriefing. It was an example of sites taking the opportunity to make the initiative their own and speak to the strengths and needs of their own staff. Bras d′Or Principal, John Miles, opened the door for other practitioners who were not directly involved with the initiative but expressed an interest in observing and taking part in the debriefing conversations. Ten staff members participated in some very engaged conversation. The staff felt that this was a very productive way to meet the needs of all learners.

LiaisonsSchool liaisons will meet to share and practice presenting a piece of professional development around ‘word study’ and ‘spelling’. This has been a direct request of classroom teachers. November parent/teacher conference will give liaisons an opportunity to facilitate this session.

MentorsAn initial meeting of those practitioners who were trained as mentors was held at Mountainview School. Over the past number of weeks, many requests have been received from individual teachers and schools requesting support in certain areas. We are in the process of developing a plan for our trained mentors and also looking forward to offering the module to others early in the new year. Maxine Hardy, Teacher Mentor, will take a lead role with new teachers.

MentoringThere have been many requests by individual teachers for site visitations and conferences. During the month of October, Donna Robson has responded so far to ten individual requests. The feedback is positive and speaks to the power of differentiating our delivery of professional development.

Mathematics Consultant P-6, Sharon Boudreau

October Review:

Lead Teachers: On October 4 – 6, Lead Teachers and principals from grades primary to nine had the first of three professional development sessions. In past years, there was one session during which lead teachers were given all three workshops to deliver to their staff. This year there will be a one-day session for each workshop being delivered. These sessions are to support teachers in presenting the mental math strategies to their students. Each teacher will have received a grade level draft booklet.

Mentoring: There has been an increase this year in the number of teachers requesting mentoring. At this time, thirty-one elementary and seven junior high teachers have self-identified. Two of our junior high mentors will be visiting all junior high schools explaining the mentoring program to teachers.

After School Module: The first three of four workshops were presented on Wednesdays, October 4, 11 and 18. There are twenty very enthusiastic teachers attending these sessions. We have been practicing using the various hands-on materials (manipulatives), and the curriculum document.

November Plans:

After School Module: The last session will be on November 1.

Mentor Meeting: Literacy Consultant Donna Robson and Math Consultant Sharon Boudreau will be meeting with math and literacy mentors from grades primary to nine on November 3.

Lead Teachers: On November 16 -17, Lead Teachers from grades primary to nine will have the second of three professional development sessions.

New Teachers: New teachers in grades 4-6 will receive a Math workshop on November 28.

Reading Recovery® Teacher Leaders / Early Literacy Consultants,

Paula Muise & Susan MacDonald

Paula Muise - Ongoing Professional Development, Two Groups

Susan MacDonald - Teachers in Training

Once teachers were hired for the final positions, Assessment Training was once again offered for those teachers and inservice sessions began. Teachers in training must be provided with eighteen inservices in order to complete the requirements for the course. Two inservice sessions were held in October. Trained teachers taught lessons for the new teachers so they could observe live lessons through the one-way screen in the training centre.

A number of exemptions were requested from The Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery® (CIRR) to accommodate the ways in which the training deviates from the Standards and Guidelines of the CIRR (for example, the size of the training group; the number of students with whom teachers are working; the late start of training and teachers working in Reading Recovery® in full-time positions). An exemption was also requested to allow additional sessions for all teachers for ‘Hard to Accelerate’ students.

Trained teachers, in two groups of twelve, each attended a session. An extra inservice was offered on October 26 for teachers with children who can be considered hard to accelerate. These extra sessions are part of the Action Plan devised by Teacher Leaders to help improve the implementation. They will be offered, as needed, throughout the year.

An inservice for all teachers was planned for October 27 entitled ‘Supporting Teachers of Struggling Readers’.

Teacher Leaders also offered four after-school sessions on The Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement by Marie Clay for all interested teachers.

Teacher Leaders planned and delivered two, all-day inservice sessions for teachers from the schools involved in the Literacy Initiative for Teachers (LIFT). They also attended the debriefing sessions at the LIFT schools.

Teacher leaders teach children daily and make school visits to observe teachers and support their understandings.

Arts Education Consultant, Cathy MacNeil

Thompson Junior High School has been the successful recipient of a ten thousand dollar Band Aid Grant awarded by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). Thompson is one of forty schools in Canada receiving this grant which is used to replace aged band instruments and support music education in schools. Music teacher Suzanne Doane, as well as Thompson administration, undertook the intense application process and are thrilled to be winners. Ms. Doane is currently ordering instruments and knows they will be a tremendous asset to her program on the Northside.

Halloween sounds and sights can be heard and seen in the music and art elementary classrooms throughout the Board. November will involve the practicing of songs reflective of Remembrance Day along with artwork depicting this occasion as students prepare for the many school Remembrance Day services that will be held during the week of November 6. One such presentation will involve the students from Robin Foote Elementary Choir and MacLennan Jr. High Band /Choir under the direction of Carol Ann MacDougall and Noelle Wadden respectively. This service will take place at MacLennan Jr. High on November 8 at 12:45 p.m.

Grades primary to three classroom teachers will soon be receiving a package containing many art-making materials that will support meeting the various outcomes in the Visual Art P-6 Guide. These orders should be in schools by late November.

Two works of student art are being sent to the Nova Scotia School Board Association to be on display in the boardroom of their building in Dartmouth. The works are by Aaron Bungay, Florence Elementary (Megan MacInnes Art teacher) and David Curry, Malcolm Munroe Jr. High (Greig Bishop Art teacher).

All Arts educators were encouraged to attend their special association professional development day on October 27. These conferences, in addition to offering high quality professional development sessions, allow Arts educators to meet with their colleagues from across the province, compare programs and collaborate.

December is the month for large school presentations of music, artwork, and drama productions. Many of our music teachers have school choirs performing in the Christmas Daddies Telethon taking place Sunday, December 3.

Library Services Consultant, Carmelita Cousins

Board Library Committee: The Board Library Committee has finalized their second policy for approval. This policy encompasses ‘Collection Development’ and offers guidelines for providing all schools in the Board with appropriate and essential materials for their libraries. A ‘Challenged Form’ is also included under the umbrella of the policy; this will assist in the decision making process when a book is being challenged as being inappropriate. Criteria for the selection of materials and weeding tips are also included.

The next policy for development will be looking at the issue of replacement fees for lost and/or damaged materials. The Committee has begun researching and developing standards for programming at the P-6, 7-9 and 10-12 levels. Each level will have learning outcomes and standards which should be completed, but will allow for flexibility for individual schools to ‘do their own thing’ in addition to covering the basics.

Two other aspects under the programming umbrella being developed are: library automation software and the ‘Accelerated Reader’ program. This group is working very hard to bring all stakeholders together for a unified library program for the Board. Discussion at the next meeting will include presentation for the purchase of the library automation product and the creation of a long-term plan of action.

October Professional Development Day: Library Technicians attended workshops in two locations. One workshop focused on the ‘Accelerated Reader’ program which several school libraries are currently using. Others attending this session consisted mostly of Junior High schools. The facilitator was Nancy MacDonald and the session was held at St. Michael′s Junior High. The second workshop was facilitated by Ellen Gushue at Riverview. The focus of that workshop was ‘Librarysoft’, an automated software program for cataloguing and the creation of MARC records. Those who attended this session have the program in their school or are new to the cataloguing and MARC processes. This was the first time that the entire group was not at the same workshop. The intent was to provide each Library Technician with a professional development day that reflected their needs and programming initiatives.

Happy Halloween with Books: Florence Elementary hosted a ‘spooky story’ afternoon on Halloween. Invited guests read Halloween stories and poems to the students. Ms. Cousins arrived in costume as usual and shared some stories with the children.

PROGRAM SERVICES 7-12

David Crane, Coordinator

Nutrition for Learning (Debbie Madore, Dietitian)

Food and Nutrition Policy

Food policy has begun phase one of the implementation plan. Ms. Debbie Madore will be visiting all schools to review the present menu and what changes are needed for January 2007. A brief one-page report will be provided to each school Principal.

Funding has been received to implement the food policy – approximately $30,000. As Ms. Madore visit schools, she will be assessing any capital needs such as food processors or convections ovens, which can be provided through the food policy funding.

Ms. Madore, Dietitian, presented at the TAPHE conference Oct 27, on the new food policy.

Health Promoting Schools

Our Board received $80,000 in HPS funding. Applications for the 2006 Health Promoting School Fund were sent to Principals and Physical Education Teachers. Notification to successful candidates will be completed by November 30, 2006.

Breakfast Program

Breakfast programs are up and running in 47 sites. A new program has begun at Bridgeport. It is a snack program at recess, with the intention of making it a breakfast program prior to instructional time.

Canadian Tire has agreed to adopt the Breakfast program at Harbourside again this year. The New Waterford Credit Union will not be adopting the program at St. Agnes as the Principal requested the money go to another area of the school for this year.

Sobeys is donating $1000 to the Breakfast program again this year.

Chartwells plans to implement a hot breakfast program at Memorial High. Ms. Madore is concerned that this may compete with the existing program.

Both Cape Smokey and North Highlands have requested Chartwells to look at setting up services at their school.

Walk to Breakfast on October 4, with Glace Bay Elementary was a success.

Ms. Madore attended the Canadian Living Foundation, Breakfast for Learning National Meeting in Ottawa.

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

This is a very exciting time for English Language Arts as the initiatives are beginning to move into the high school arena. Our board Literacy Success 10 Team had a very interesting and informative session at the Oak Island Inn, due largely to the skills of the keynote speaker, Jeff Wilhelm. Phonse Martell and Diane Brennick along with Lauren Furdas from the Eskasoni board did a presentation on Socratic circles that was very well received.

The team was introduced to a variety of reading teaching strategies that will enhance our teaching and support our learners. The resources for this initiative have been ordered and will be arriving soon.

Prior to leaving for this event a Facilitation workshop was held at the Staff Development Centre. The participants spent a very profitable day learning and practicing facilitation skills.

A fall newsletter was sent out to all the secondary schools and teachers and administrators will find in it a number of useful and pertinent bits of information.

Plans are currently underway for the annual Public speaking event. This year will mark our 30th year of hosting this event.

A number of our teachers attended the annual conferences held last Friday and have returned to their classrooms with a multitude of new ideas and strategies.

Active, Healthy Living (Physical / Health Education) (Cynthia McCormick, Active Healthy Living Consultant)

The TAPHE 2006 conference held at Sherwood Park Educational Centre was a great success. Budget details and final numbers are still being tabulated. A quick break-down of the conference:

A presentation was made by Cynthia McCormick and Paula MacRae on our Health Promoting Schools Initiatives at the Comprehensive Health Symposium October 13-14.

A notice was sent out to 18 schools providing them with $500.00 to refresh their physical education equipment.

Natalie Flinn has been seconded to the Department of Education as the Active Healthy Living Consultant and she has requested a meeting of all AHL consultants on November 21, 2006.

Cynthia McCormick is in the process of arranging certification courses for the Youth Fitness Leadership Program. This is a facilitators program enabling teachers to certify students who can then assist with programs in their own school or within their family of schools. This initiative is beneficial to high schools running Leadership Programs.

Ms. McCormick is also in the process of collecting feedback from Principals on the implication of the compulsory Physical Education credit for high schools.

Healthy Sexuality Resource

The Healthy Sexuality Resource is being printed at this point in time, and it is hoped that it will be distributed this month. Five of the Nova Scotia Regional School Boards will distribute the resource in grade seven. All grade seven students must have active consent forms signed. The Strait Regional School Board will not distribute the resource, and will leave it up to Public Health to do so.

Ann Blackwood, Director, English Program Services, Department of Education, is waiting to see what grade level the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will use to distribute the resource, as it was distributed in grade eight last year. Ann Blackwood feels that grade seven is an appropriate level in order to provide information and protect children.

The Personal Development and Relationships (PDR) teachers are using the book as a resource, especially in grade eight, where there is a strong healthy sexuality component.

Professional Development

A two-day workshop was held for all P-12 Principals on October 19-20, 2006. The purpose of this workshop was school and community communication. The workshop focused on a school and community communication plan that supports and enhances student achievement. This plan outlined the responsibility of the school, the parents/guardians, and the students, so that student success can be achieved. The principals′ evaluation of this inservice was very positive.

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

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board International Student Program recently said goodbye to three teachers from Bogota, Colombia, who spent the month of October working in several of our schools. Jairo Gomez, Rubinstein Hernandez B., and Esperanza Chia - all from Gimnasio Moderno School - worked with students from Sydney Academy, Glace Bay High, Seaton Elementary and Thompson Jr. High on a regular basis. They also made guest appearances teaching dance classes at St. Michael Junior High and Riverview High School. The teachers arrived in Nova Scotia in September with a group of 45 students from their school who will be studying in Nova Scotia for five months. In recognition of their dedication to the teaching profession;,the teachers were given the special honour to accompany their students. They will visit three more school boards across Nova Scotia before returning to Colombia.

Halifax Cultural Trip on October 26th-28th, thirty-five of our students traveled to Halifax. Students enjoyed museums, shopping, restaurants, and movies. They had a great time.

October is a very important month for our students: not only was it a first-time experience of autumn and the beautiful changing of the leaves; many students will also be going trick-or-treating for the first time in their lives!

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has 70 students enrolled in the Nova Scotia International Student Program. The students are placed in four junior high and six senior high schools, and are from ten countries. A full-time English Second Language Teacher is assisting these students in addition to supporting 27 landed immigrants and exchange students.

Schools & Students

Our schools continue to do a great job welcoming and including the NSISP students.

Holy Angels

Each student was introduced to their fellow students during a pep rally in the gym. They were treated to a pizza party with their teacher advisor. Holy Angels has four International students, two of whom are returning students and will graduate in June. Moe Matsumoto is a grade 12 student. She is on the volleyball team and will join the badminton team after Christmas. She is also the International student representative on the Student Council. Evelyn Sissingh is from The Netherlands and she is delighted to be a cheerleader! She is also on the soccer team. Maria Laris is from Mexico and she too is a cheerleader. Joy Seo is from Korea and is a great math student. She is in the Math club and will be part of Holy Angels Math League team at CBU. The international students were taken out to lunch and also to a tour of the Fortress of Louisbourg with Principal, Theresa MacKenzie. They loved the fortress and took many pictures to share with their families at home.

Malcolm Munroe

Daniella Liebanas, from Mexico applied to be a member of the Yearbook Committee and was a successful candidate. This should prove to be a wonderful experience for her.

Sydney Academy

Students recently took part in a fieldtrip to Ingonish. Sydney Academy′s new principal has many new initiatives for the NSISP program in his school including: purchasing flags representing the different countries, highlighting a different international student each week on the bulletin board, reading their biographies on the PA, international food celebrations, and playing of various international music and anthems in the cafeteria. Monthly pizza lunches also continue. Update meetings every 2 weeks with the principal to plan a multicultural club. International students also attended the Hallowe'en grad party.

Riverview

The NSISP School Liaison and Vice-Principal accompanied students on a trip around the Cabot Trail. Students enjoyed a lunch compliments of the school along the way. They also continue to host monthly pizza lunches.

Breton Education Centre

Breton Education recently won the soccer provincials; Pablo Henrique Llinas Tono (Colombia) was the goalie.

English Second Language (Stephanie Hynes, English Second Language Teacher)

Stephanie Hynes, English Second Language Teacher, enjoyed the set up of the job; Administration and teaching staff have been very cooperative and supportive.

In the first few weeks, Ms. Hynes worked hard to establish a rapport with students, assessing strengths and weaknesses with regard to reading, writing, listening, and speaking, in an attempt to develop individual/group programs according to need. Each student has been assigned a file folder containing a work record report – outlining the work/topic/subject covered on a particular date, plus any relevant and/or corresponding lessons and activities.

At the Primary level, students have started with the very basics (i.e. Greetings, Colors, Alphabet, and Numbers 1-10) and survival language (checking for understanding of tasks such as ‘Open the book, Point to the board, Take your pencil, Sit down, Stand up, Close the door, Turn to page two, and Put your hand up’). Students seem to be responding quite well. She was delightfully surprised with the language proficiency of some. Zelalem Tizzard – Boularderie Elementary comes to mind she is an extremely bright & happy child who appears to be adjusting quite well and is an absolute pleasure to teach! Ms. Hynes′ ability to be creative has been especially challenged at this level so as to keep the students both entertained and motivated to learn. The teachers and administration of these students have been and continue to be extremely supportive. The children have amazed us all in their ability to adjust, and we agree that they are at an ideal stage of development for language acquisition skills.

At the Elementary & Junior High levels, where students have mastered ‘the basics’ and survival language, we have started with reading comprehension activities, varied according to level of proficiency. In the area of grammar, they are working on ‘simple’ sentences and correct sentence structure (identifying complete sentences, and different types of sentences). Students have been encouraged to express their ideas on paper, through writing samples, and orally through open conversation.

At the High School level Ms. Hynes has been encouraged by the English proficiency of many of these students and their eagerness to improve. Due to the large number of students at this level, more time has been spent attempting to organize and group students according to their needs. For the month of October, class time has been spent helping students interpret and complete assignments in English Literature, Math, History, and Global Geography. The objective for future classes will be to maintain more of a balance between working on in-class assignments and building their English proficiency skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).

At all levels, time has been taken to acknowledge the tradition of ‘Halloween.’ Students have completed reading, writing, and vocabulary activities on the subject. In addition to this, students were shown strategies in how to approach a text. We looked at the cover, author, pictures, titles, and table of contents, index, glossary, and additional referenced readings.

Overall, Ms. Hynes has been well received by teachers and administration. They seem very grateful for the additional support that we are able to offer their students.

Ms. Hynes is encouraged by the students′ willingness to respond and cooperate in a small group setting, sometimes one-on-one, or being pulled out.

I have been impressed by the efforts made by some classroom teachers to accommodate their English Second Language learners. Resource teachers have voluntarily added English Second Language students to their caseload. One teacher has even taken the time to scan textbooks, then copy and paste necessary material onto ‘Google’ translator sites.

Ms. Hynes is being challenged daily, in her ability to be creative, resourceful, and innovative, both in teaching the students and being a means of support for the classroom teacher. She is also very thankful for opportunities for professional development thus far:

ESL Resource Review

Goal: To review a shipment of ESL resources, with the hope of having them added to the ALR booklist. Presently there are approximately only 12 ESL resources/books on the list. IPP′s and ESL Learners: Program planning teams/coordinators are not putting students on IPP′s, unless the student has been allotted a realistic amount of time to succeed academically on their own first. If after said time the student is still not progressing, he or she may be referred for ed psych assessment (ideally with a translator present, so as to prevent bias). Depending of the test results the student then may/may not be placed on an IPP. For teachers who are struggling with the issue of how to assess a new ESL learner it has been suggested, in some cases, that teachers not mark the student right away in areas where they cannot meet the outcomes. In place of a mark they may put ‘Beginner ESL Student’ in the comment field.

NSLTA

Attended three workshops: Creating in a New Language, ESL Sharing Session (P-12), & Program Planning for ESL (P-12). They touched on a number of things; specifically how similar/different it may be for one to write in their first vs. second language. It was suggested that teachers comment on content first, and structure second (i.e. ideas, paragraphs/organization, sentences, words, spelling, capitalization, punctuation accordingly). Ms. Hynes had the opportunity to attend a sharing session (P-12), where materials such as books/workbooks, handouts, and games were shared among fellow English Second Language teachers. Finally the last workshop focused on program planning for ESL Learners (P-12). She found this workshop extremely helpful as the approach and ideas could be transferred to other levels.

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

Preparation for the 2007 Regional Science Fair has begun. The committee has begun the new website which should be up and active by the end of November. This website will allow for online school and finalist registration.

A presentation about science fair and its importance was made at the August Principal′s meeting. The aim of this presentation was to encourage more school participation in science fair. A memo will be sent out before week′s end to all principals to remind them of the fair. School registration will begin the month of December. At this point the number of schools participating will be finalized.

The Canada Wide Science Fair will be held in Truro, Nova Scotia in the month of May. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is permitted to send four finalists along with two chaperones. This will cost approximately 10,000 dollars along with 5,000 to run the regional fair for a total of 15,000 needed to be fundraised. Fundraising will begin this month for the fair.

Vocational Education (Ken Collier, Vocational Education Consultant)

Things have been very busy as Memorial High School. The Grade 9 tours of the vocational programs have started. Safety orientation and WHMIS training has taken place, and 221 students have taken part thus far.


Tours of the vocational programs from other groups have taken place as well. On October 5/06, Premier Rodney MacDonald, and MLA Cecil Clark toured the school. On Friday October 13/06, Cecil Smith and Gary Clark from the Chignecto Central Regional School Board toured the school. On Thursday, October 26/06, a delegate from Egypt, along with Mr. Jim Burton, Regional Education Offices, enjoyed a tour at the school as

well. Also, on Tuesday, October 31/06, members from the Nova Scotia School Board Association visited the school along with some members from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

Memorial High School has received an award from St. John Ambulance for recognition of the number of students that have been trained in First Aid and CPR. A representative from the school will accept the award in Halifax this coming weekend at a banquet being held in their honour.

Mr. Ken Collier attended the School Administrators Conference in Sydney on Friday, and it was a very enjoyable experience. The presenters were very informative, amusing, and enjoyed by all. It was a great day to not only meet new people, but network with colleagues as well.


Plans are still being made with regard to the upgrade of equipment at Memorial High School, and meetings are ongoing for improvements to the infrastructure as well.

PROGRAMS (INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)

Rick Simm, Coordinator

The Board continues to provide appropriate technology and related support to all learning spaces grades P-12. The most recent ‘Secondary Resource Project’ has been finalized, with computers and necessary and appropriate software, having been placed in all Resource rooms and/or Learning Centres in secondary schools within the Board. There are plans to continue the Resource Project into the elementary grade level.

The provincial IEI funds in 2006-2007 are targeted to provide technology, PD and infrastructure to grade all 9 classrooms. Significant Board funds are provided in order to respond to needs for all other grade levels.

Mr. Simm attends regular meetings regarding the Online Course Delivery pilot project. At a recent meeting held in Halifax on Oct 13th, discussion took place on the release of a Request for Proposals from software vendors. This is a major step in the process.

Under the direction of Datamanager, Jim McNeil, a Winschool Users Group has been formed. By way of leaders within this group, new users can seek assistance with managing their student information system.

The ‘Instructional Support Team’, consisting of Sheila Kublek, Bill Tenant, Dorothy Tenant and Rick Simm, meets on a weekly basis for discussion and planning of instructional support/technology initiatives. The Team report follows.

Assistive Technology Consultant (Sheila Kublek)

In the past month eleven schools were visited where Assistive Technology student assessments were performed, students and teachers received training, and/or classroom consultations were executed. A conference call with a team of professionals at APSEA was conducted to assist with programming for a student in one of our Learning Centres. This consultation was successful in revealing ideas and supports that could stimulate the child′s learning.

In following up to a project started last year, a home visit (accompanied by computer technician, John Cox) was made to a student′s house who is home schooled on a permanent basis. The student required re-installation of a webcam and software to assist with meeting curriculum outcomes and to enable her to socialize with peers in her class at Seton Elementary. This visit was a highlight of the month as it was both enlightening and extremely rewarding.

A three day workshop for Intellikeys and Intellitools was held at the Northside Staff Development Centre. Sherry Power-Jessome and Melanie Dolan, presenters for the workshop, shared their wealth of experience regarding Intellikeys with teachers and teacher assistants from all grade levels. It appeared that all participants departed from the workshops with a better understanding of Intellikeys and they were able to complete unique materials suited to individual student needs.

There has been a great deal of collaboration between consultants for professional development and cross curricular ideas. Relationships were particularly forged and developed at the Communications & Creativity – Working With Our Communities conference held at the Bayplex.

Plans are underway for all three technology consultants to provide professional development to teachers north of Smokey. Due to their difficulty obtaining substitutes for professional development initiatives, we will bring the professional development to them. Professional development for assistive technology will be customized to meet the needs of the teachers and students.

Kurzweil network licenses have been successfully installed in nine junior and senior high schools, as well as, the Staff Development Centre. The wheels are in motion and dates are set for teacher training on Kurzweil.

We were very fortunate to be provided with expert training in website management and maintenance. This training resulted in the updating of the Assistive Technology website.

IEIE Consultant (Dorothy Tenant)

The month of October was a time of delivering professional development, working on the IEI initiative and networking with consultants, administrators and teachers.

On October 17 and 18th teachers who are new to grades 4, 5, and 6 received professional development on technology integration. As an introduction they learned about the technology department and Department of Education philosophy with regards to a seamless technology integration policy that will enable them to reach ICT as well as curriculum outcomes simultaneously. Teachers learned how to navigate our board website so they could effectively utilize all the valuable resources linked to the main board web page.

Some of the other topics explored were the EBSCO data bases and how to use them with the students; efficient use of Ednet e-mail accounts for information transfer and communication via hands on activities; explanation and demonstration of technology and teacher resource board based links and how to use them to share and learn from colleagues and consultants. There was a positive response to the ′forum initiative′. Many teachers registered on-line while at the sessions. Copyright and plagiarism issues were discussed because they are now becoming larger issues due to the ease of cutting and pasting.

The portion of the session that was the highlight of the day for many was a hands-on technology and curriculum ‘Shoebox’ project that all the teachers worked on. By the end of the day they had developed their own autobiography project for presentation to the group and as a model for their students. They e-mailed the Inspiration or PowerPoint portions to themselves. They also emailed themselves all the directions and worksheets needed to start the unit with their students. They learned how to zip files and sent themselves all the files used during the entire day. This worked well and saved much paper and hours of running off hard copies. The groups were very pleased with this approach and we hope to continue disseminating print information electronically for future Professional Development days.

Plans are being made for a technology component in a Grade 5 Science Implementation Workshop (that will take place on December 5) and also for Junior High math software integration.


Other professional development work was done this month. Grade 11 Canadian History teachers were aided in doing their on-line registration. A full day mentorship with a grade 6 senior teacher was conducted on technology integration tips that could be used in her classroom.

A 30 minute technology website presentation was delivered at new grade 7 and new grade 8 teacher PD sessions. The technology consultant team is also planning two days of professional development workshops at three schools North of Smokey on December 7 and 8.

The Information Economy Initiative Extension Project is being managed on an ongoing basis. The rollout hardware and software for the grade 9 classes is in place in all schools. Some hardware and software budgeting issues are currently being addressed.

PD Consultant (Bill Tennant)

Professional Development for Web pages, Grade 9 Roll-out, Web mail, online registration, databases (Outcomes), school visits and multimedia projects were the main topics of October 2006.

Principals continued to make requests for help with their school web pages and plans to resolve these items are being addressed on a daily basis.

Teachers attending workshops had many requests for web mail accounts. There was also other staff requiring accounts from various schools throughout the board.

Planning for upcoming PD for Grades 9 teachers and other IEI integration initiatives in November is ongoing. Because of the shortage of substitutes, there will be no more than two classroom teachers from any given school pulled out at one time. Integration of technology will again be the main focus of all workshops.

Teachers from high schools delivering the online course, Canadian History 11, attended a workshop at the SDC to set up web accounts and register their classes for the course. Teachers were given a deeper insight into the integration process with a closer look at the resources they have at their disposal. The collaboration, sharing of ideas and reflection on course outcomes was invaluable as a result of the PD.

In order to meet the needs of classroom technology integration, school visits are necessary to provide coaching or mentorship with achieving the outcomes. It is a valuable tool to provide guidance and ideas to the classroom teacher. It is the intention that all junior high and senior high schools will be visited to provide such support in technology integration.

As a result of school visits, many interesting projects arise from the collaboration between all parties concerned. The end result being resources (DVDs) produced by teachers and students to be used in future teachings and student presentations.

Community Education Consultant (Rhonda Smith)

Mr. Simm has completed the necessary teacher supervisions for the five new teachers in the Adult High school. These reports will be filed with the Human Resources Department by November 1st.uHuman resources department

STUDENT SERVICES

Cathy Viva, Coordinator

On October 3, 2006 teachers from the STEPS program met at the Northside Staff Development Centre. The agenda included a presentation on behavior plans with Cathy Boudreau and a working session on developing

behavior plans with Cathy Viva. Plans for a November meeting include a presentation on assistive technology with Sheila Kublek and a working session on resources to use with their students. Participants remarked on the usefulness of the day and their need to have further meetings to continue to support one another.

The Coordinator of Student Services attended two meetings in Halifax during the month. The first meeting was with the Provincial Assistive Technology team to complete the final edit on the assistive technology guide for the province and to work on the information sheet on assistive technology. Both documents will be ready for release this year. The Assistive Technology Consultant and the Coordinator of Student Services will be planning for the roll out of the documents within the School Board. On October 5th the provincial transition team met to edit the recommendations to the joint committee of provincial agencies. The final report will be presented to the committee on November 16th.

The Learning Disabilities teachers met on October 12th and shared resources and useful strategies. Future PD for the group was discussed and a meeting for November was planned.

On October 16th the Coordinator of Student Services met with the new class of students in the Teacher Assistant Program at the Nova Scotia Community College (Marconi Campus). The provincial guidelines for Teacher Assistants were reviewed and students asked numerous questions about job requirements in our district.

The two Coordinators of Student Services attended a two day provincial student services coordinators meeting in October. The first day was a review of program planning with Colleen Doucette and the second day′s agenda centered on issues concerning boards across the province.

The month ended with a meeting of the resource teachers and integrated resource teachers at the Northside Staff Development Centre. The meeting was well attended and the agenda included a presentation by Janet McVicar and Leanne Marcil on ‘Missing Pieces’, ‘Developing Behaviour Plans’ with Trevor LeBlanc and ‘Writing Annual Goals on IPPs’ with Cathy Viva.

All presentations were well received by the group and future plans for in-servicing were discussed.

The highlight of the month was the presentation of Missing Pieces to several groups and schools in our district. The presentation was created by Janet MacVicar and Leane Marcil as a result of discussions with the Coordinator of Student Services around the need to understand students with special needs and the role teachers play in their lives. The presentation is a very informative and emotionally moving piece that serves as a reminder to educators of the effect we can have on students′ lives.

STUDENT SERVICES

David Brennick, Coordinator

Literacy Support Plan (Susan Kelley, Literacy Support Consultant)

Workshops were held with junior high literacy support teams involving all grade 9 ELA teachers, a content area teacher, new resource teachers and new administrators. Distribution of the Literacy Resource purchased is underway as are visits to all junior high schools.

The finishing touches are being put on the numbers of Literacy Support Plans in each junior high school and literacy support budgets will be assigned before the end of October. Work is ongoing at the provincial level in preparation for the Grade 9 Assessment in May.

The 2006 Elementary Literacy Assessment was written in October by grade 6 students across our board. These will be returned to the Department of Education this week and the marking session is set for mid-November.

Distribution of the new resource, A Comprehensive Literacy Resource for grades 3-6, is underway and schools have been very glad to receive this excellent text. The first Literacy Strategy email will be sent out on October 30th. These will continue weekly to elementary and junior high teachers and administrators. Visits to all elementary schools have commenced and will be completed by mid November.

The Literacy Support Web page is currently being updated and new strategies and information will be added as they become available.

Pre-Primary

Our Pre-Primary Lead and Support Early Childhood Education from Riverside Elementary (Kim Koechetcki) and Boularderie Elementary (Nicole Podetz) attended an inservice on October 27, 2006, in Halifax. The focus of this session was on the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale and the use of this tool in planning for improvement in Pre-Primary sites. This will play a role in the upcoming provincial evaluation of the Pre-Primary pilots across the province.

Accreditation

An Accreditation Review Team, composed of retired Chignecto Central administrators David Dinaut, and Nancy Fraser, along with Annapolis Valley Grade 3 Teacher Katherine Spence, spent three days visiting the Bras d′Or Elementary School Community in late October. They had high praise for the quality of work undertaken by past Principal Celesta Gerow, current Principal John Miles, and Internal Review Team Co-Chairs Lynn MacInnis, and Jim Campbell. The Resource Team recommended the acceptance of the school improvement plan as presented by Bras d′Or Elementary. Both Lynn and Jim are being called upon to share their expertise with some of our schools going through the Accreditation Process this year.

Meanwhile, Dr. T. L. Sullivan Junior High Principal Bruce MacDonald, and Internal Review Team Co-Chairs Darlene Bereta, and Jennifer MacLean, along with support from Susan Kelley, Literacy Support Consultant, are getting ready for a visit in early November by an External Review Team, led by Margo Tait from the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board. Susan Kelley and David Brennick have been visiting the Principals and Co-Chairs of this year′s eight Accreditation Schools to provide support as they engage their school communities in the data analysis phase of the Accreditation Process.

Assessment

Our grade six students completed the Elementary Literacy Assessment during the week of October 12th, along with other grade six students across the provinces. These assessments will be marked in Halifax during the week of November 16th by a team of teachers, including eighteen from our Board, who will serve as markers or Table Leaders. This experience provides an excellent professional learning opportunity for our teachers which leads to improved instructional and assessment practices in our classrooms.

There will be field testing of items for the Early Elementary Literacy Assessment at Sydney River Elementary and St. Joseph / St. Mary′s on November 16th. This is in preparation for next spring′s assessment which will be written by grade three students in the province.

We have begun a process to identify teachers in our Board who have expressed an interest in serving as markers or table leaders for provincial assessment initiatives. Given the growth in the number of provincial assessments, we want to ensure there is a balance between facilitating capacity building opportunities for interested teachers and respecting their commitment to classroom responsibilities.

RACE RELATIONS, CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Charles Sheppard, Coordinator

Anne Frank Exhibit

The Anne Frank Exhibit was held at Victoria Park Garrison in Sydney. This exhibit which chronicles the life of Anne Frank and the Jewish experience during the Holocaust, ran from September 11, 2006, until October 15, 2006, and was visited by over 58 schools and saw a total of over 8,000 students view the exhibit (from the CB-VRSB and Strait Regional School Boards). Thanks to those students who took the time out of their busy schedules to act as museum docents.

Schools are following up on this experience with various activities, notably Mountainview Elementary School which held a Holocaust Museum on November 6-10, 2006. This event was open to the public.

MI′KMAQ History Month

October saw the celebration of the Mi′Kmaq History Month where many schools in the Board celebrated the contributions of the Mi′Kmaq people. This was celebrated through various forms, including speakers, works of art, music and speech.

Racial Equity Policy

November 7-8, 2006, saw the inservicing of all high schools in the Board on the implementation review of the Provincial Racial Equity Policy. These sessions included the presence of guidance personnel as well as two student leaders from each school this year. The specific components of the inservicing focused on the following:

Racial Equity Policy – an overview

Equitable Instructional Practice

Equitable Curriculum

Equitable Assessment

Equitable Counselling and Learner Development

Equitable Learning Environment