Sunday, June 1, 2014

Expect "Easy To Read" Report Cards

South Shore parents can expect some big changes when their child picks up their report card in a few weeks. Reports cards will now include personalized comments from teachers on the students' strengths, areas which need improvements and advice on how to improve learning at home. It's a big change - compared to old system - which some parents found difficult to understand because of wording that wasn't conversational. A recent survey on report cards found 63 per cent of those who filled it out, felt the comments from teachers didn't help them understand their grades. The survey also suggested 58 per cent felt the comments didn’t help them understand where their child need help to improve. Education Minister Karen Casey says parents can expect to see changes immediately. She says the comments will be clear, personalized and jargon free.

Some survey results:

In total, 5,811 students, parents, teachers and school administrators from across the province filled out the survey.

Key findings from parents were:
-- 58 per cent felt teacher comments did not help them understand where their child may be struggling
-- 63 per cent felt comments did not help them understand report card grades and wording
-- 62 per cent felt comments did not help them support their child's learning at home

Annapolis Valley: RCMP Believe Arson Behind Weekend Fire

Arson is suspected after a fire in the Annapolis Valley. The RCMP answered a call to a home last night in Nictaux after someone allegedly threatened another person. When police got to the home on Old Runway Drive, thick black smoke was pouring from the home. Crews quickly put the fire out but the house sustained considerable damage. No one was hurt. Later in the evening, RCMP arrested a man in Middleton for questioning in connection with the fire. No word yet on any charges. The provincial fire marshal's office is also investigating.

Three Charged After Separate Weekend Drug Busts

Three men are facing charges as a result of two un-related, weekend RCMP drug busts in Nova Scotia. A traffic stop near Thorburn in Pictou County resulted in two arrests, the seizure of a large quantity of marijuana, drug trafficing paraphenalia and money. Two Pictou County men in their mid 20's face numerous possession and trafficking charges and will be in court in September. Meanwhile, in Baddeck, a 49 year old man has been charged with marijuana possession and trafficking after a home in the Cape Breton community was searched by the RCMP. He too will be making a fall court appearance.

High Profile Lawyer Found Guilty Of Sexual Assault

A well known Halifax defence attorney has been found guilty of sexual assault. The jury in Lyle Howe's two week trial reached its verdict late Saturday after ten hours of deliberations. He was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 19 year old woman in Halifax three years ago. However, he was found not guilty of drugging the woman. He will be sentenced July 30th. Howe is expected to appeal the verdict.

Two South Shore Athletes Win Awards

South Shore athletes Alex Duckworth and Thorne Sutherland have received recognition as major amateur athletes. Duckworth of Kingsburg in Lunenburg County has been awarded "Female Athlete of The Year" by Sport-Nova Scotia. She participated in this year's Winter Olympics in Sochi and came close to being in the semi-finals of the half-pipe snowboarding competition. She earlier won the Nationals. Sutherland, who is from Lunenburg, has been hailed "Official of The Year" for his judging talents at the World Trampoline Championships. The awards were handed out last night during a special ceremony in Halifax. (Photo: Alex Duckworth)

SPTS-Getson & Muise Drafted Into The QMJHL

A couple of notable South Shore hockey players have found their places in a familar Eastern Canadian hockey organization. Keith Getson of Bridgewater has been drafted by the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The veteran player with the Charlie's Pizza South Shore Mustangs was picked in yesterday's third round of the annual Q-League draft. Another Mustang player, Colby Muise, is off to join the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles after being selected in the 7th round of the draft.
(Photo: Keith Getson)

NDP Leader Ready To Tackle Economic Woes

The leader of Nova Scotia's New Democrats says she doesn't understand why the provincial government hasn't started working out the problems that are dragging down the economy. A clear direction to follow was outlined in the Ivany Report earlier this year and Maureen MacDonald says time is being wasted by just sitting and waiting for something to happen. She says other areas are taking up too much time and being studied to death!

The former finance minister says if asked, she's prepared to work closely with PC leader Jamie Baillie and Premier Stephen McNeil in a combined effort to tackle the economic woes.