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Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, visits KPDSB’s Four Directions

03 Oct. 2018

Media Release - October 3, 2018

Staff and students of Dryden High School (DHS) were honoured to welcome Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, to Dryden High School today.

Minister Bennett spent most of her visit with DHS staff and students in the Four Directions space, an innovative approach focused on student success and graduation from secondary school for Indigenous students.  The Four Directions approach has received national attention as graduation rates improve for Indigenous students, with the goal being to closing the graduation gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.  Minister Bennett also met with Board Administration and was welcomed by members of the Board of Trustees.

Four Directions provides intensive support to First Nation, Métis and Inuit students and their families with the goal of seeing each learner through to graduation. Four Directions staff assist with leading and implementing programs, and connecting students and families to support services within the school and the greater community to increase each learners network of support throughout and beyond high school. Dryden High School was the first school within the KPDSB to implement Four Directions, celebrating a 41% increase to 80% of Indigenous students graduating in four years after four years of coaching. Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora will celebrate their first graduating Four Directions class this June, followed by Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout in 2020, and Red Lake District High School in 2021.

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board remains a strong advocate for northern children and their families, with an unwavering focus on reconciliation and supporting the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Minister Bennett stated “Dryden High School’s Four Directions program is an inspiring example of the critical role our schools can play in reconciliation. By increasing the graduation of high school First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, as well as the retention, and their transition from elementary school to high school, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is demonstrating how we all can work together to build a stronger future for Indigenous Peoples and Canadians alike.”

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “While we have been visited by dignitaries and officials before, we are particularly proud to welcome and host the Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations to the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and specifically to our Indigenous Student Graduation Coach program. Having Minister Bennett here to meet with staff and students on the front lines, only validates what many of us have felt for a number of years now and that is that our efforts to close graduation gaps and improve educational opportunities for Indigenous students is reconciliation in action, very much a real effort in the KPDSB. With critical partners such as the Northwestern Health Unit, we welcome all First Nation students and their families to our schools, and we will stop at nothing until that gap is finally closed.”

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KPDSB celebrates staff on World Teachers’ Day

05 Oct. 2018

Media Release - October 5, 2018

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is celebrating teachers and educators across the Board area today for World Teachers’ Day.

World Teachers’ Day is day to celebrate and thank our teachers for the work they do with the children, youth and adult learners in our communities.  Our teachers do more than teach academics.  They are an empathetic ear, a guiding light, a shoulder to cry on, a source of inspiration, and so much more.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “While today is the day of the year that we officially recognize our world class educators, our teachers, it is even more important to recognize their heroic efforts each and every other day of the year. We don’t need just good teachers in the KPDSB, we need the best and that is exactly what we have. As Director of Education, I want to publicly acknowledge our elementary, secondary, special education, and adult education teachers this World Teachers’ Day.”

Thank you to all of our teachers across the KPDSB for always putting our students first.

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Trustees receive update on efficacy in the KPDSB, learn more about new approaches to increase student achievement

10 Oct. 2018

Media Releases - October 10, 2018

Trustees met at the Kenora Board Office on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, for a regular board meeting.  Trustees also toured King George VI Public School prior to the meeting.

The October Kids Come First presentation titled ‘How King George VI Public School Creates a Learning Environment that Promotes Student Achievement’ was received by Trustees.  Principals Tim Flynn and Nicole Vingerhoeds were joined by some of their students to share their experiences at King George with the Board of Trustees.  While King George is well known in the Kenora area for its Recreation Program and Special Education services, students shared some of the many other opportunities available to them at their school.  From Hockey Canada Skills Academy, Primary Choir, and You’re the Chef programs, to language programming and Robotics and Lego Club, Trustees heard how the staff at King George go above and beyond to provide as many opportunities to students as possible.  By providing a variety of programs and extracurricular activities for students in addition to academics, staff at the school note their students are happy, engaged and ready to learn. 

Shannon Bailey, Principal of Evergreen Public School in Kenora, and KPDSB Efficacy Working Group Member, presented the KPDSB Efficacy Report.  In 2013, the KPDSB underwent a System Efficacy Review, conducted by internationally recognized efficacy experts with Pearson Learning Services. Since that time, the KPDSB has engaged in a "whole-system" effort of reform and change with all decisions centered around putting students first.  In 2015, to support the work of efficacy in the KPDSB, and the implementation of actions and decisions, a System Efficacy Working Group, comprised of staff from schools and departments across the KPDSB, was implemented to advise the Board on decisions that impact classrooms and students and suggest areas of improvement. The work of efficacy has provided effective ways of identifying the needs of students and staff, as well as determining new and exciting strategies for improving attendance, graduation rates and mental health supports by using staff and student voice as the catalyst for change.  For more information, please see the attached infographics.

Deanna Pacheco, Student Achievement Administrator, and Caryl Hron, Superintendent of Education, presented the Elementary Achievement Report.  In February 2017, the KPDSB introduced a new support model to assist identified schools, called focus schools, in the Board.   In order to support the focus schools, which were selected based on student needs, the System Achievement Administrator was put in place to work one on one with administrators in each school (six in total) with the goal of increasing student achievement.    The supports for each focus school varied, based on student and staff needs, but all included the use of different assessments to drive the work, as well as increased regular school visits by central support staff and networking between staff to share best practices.  Recently released EQAO results for the 2016-2017 school year show historic results for some of the focus schools, including Sioux Mountain Public School and Red Lake-Madsen Public School.  Staff feedback also indicates the new support model is working and following these successes, the number of focus schools for the 2018-2019 school year has been expanded.  

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KPSDB Continues to See Enrolment Increases

15 Nov. 2017

Media Release - November 15, 2017

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is pleased to report increased student enrolment for the 2017-2018 school year. The KPDSB for the first time in its history, will no longer be eligible for the “Declining Enrolment Grant” in 2017-2018. 

The Board credits several factors for the increase in enrolment including its expansion of innovative student-based programs that increase student engagement and the efforts of front-line school staff to put the needs of students first. Additional acknowledgement must be given to ongoing and exhaustive efforts of administration to work closely with and sign formal agreements with Indigenous partners such as Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO), Seven Generations Education Institute (SGEI), and Lac Seul First Nation (LSFN).

Budgeted enrolment for the 2017-2018 school year was 4,842 students.  Current enrolment for the KPDSB is 4,868, 26 students above the projected or budgeted enrolment.

Notable enrolment increases include:

  • All Kenora elementary schools: Valleyview, Evergreen, Keewatin, and King George VI Public Schools are above projected and actual 2016-17 enrolments;
  • Beaver Brae Grades 7/8 increased enrolment by 17 students;
  • Golden Learning Centre in Balmertown is 17 students over budget;
  • Sioux Narrows Public School enrolment at historic high; enrolment of 31 students;
  • Lillian Berg Public School in Vermilion Bay, increase of 22 students over 2016-17;
  • Queen Elizabeth DHS in Sioux Lookout is an additional 20 students higher than historic 2016-17 numbers with a total of 508; up from 396 students in 2013-14;
  • Enrolment in Senior Kindergarten was 12 higher than projected at 296 students.

 

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said “There are always compelling indicators that clearly and indisputably demonstrate the direction an organization is headed in.  The enrolment growth in many of our schools and the enrolment picture across the Board is strong.  The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board continues to strengthen and with that so does our responsibility to Northern Ontario children.”

The KPDSB is currently seeking applicants for employment in all positions and will hold Recruitment Fairs in communities across the board area following a successful event in Sioux Lookout on November 8. Upcoming events include:

  • Dryden/Ignace/Vermilion Bay areas – December 11, 2017 at Dryden High School from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Red Lake/Ear Falls areas – January 10, 2018 at Red Lake District High School from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Kenora/Sioux Narrows areas – January 30, 2018 at Manidoo Baawaatig from 3:00pm to 8:00pm

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October Board Meeting Highlights

12 Oct. 2017

Media Release - October 12, 2017

Trustees met at Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout on Tuesday, October 10, for a regular board meeting.  Trustees held their board meeting following an opportunity for a firsthand look at the progress to date on the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board‘s new high school, Sioux North High School.  Trustees were pleased with the progress and were informed that the walls have now been erected with roof work to begin within the week.  Please click here to view a live stream of the construction.

The October Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Project Sunset – Sioux Mountain Public School’ was received by Trustees.  Project Sunset Coordinator, Curtis Robb, and Sioux Mountain student, Kanaysah Kakegamic, shared their experiences in the program with Trustees. Project Sunset is an OPP-led initiative, designed to empower children and build skills like resiliency and self-awareness through a strengths-based, outdoors-focused experiential learning curriculum.  Some of the hands-on activities students in the program participate in include dogsledding, rock climbing, canoeing, and camping.  Kanaysah had plenty to say about the program, including that the program makes her feel safe and throughout the presentation, she referred to those involved as her family.  Kanaysah plans to return to the program once she goes on to high school as a mentor for the younger students.  Project Sunset is offered to students at KPDSB schools in Sioux Lookout, Dryden and Kenora.

Deanna Pacheco, Student Achievement Administrator, presented the Student Achievement report.  The position of Student Achievement Administrator was put in place in February 2016 and works closely with central Student Achievement Special Assignment Teachers and school administration.  Six KPDSB school were identified as the focus of the student achievement work for the 2017-2018 school year.  The work includes school and classroom visits to talk about instruction and assessment, sharing resources and best practices, and support for both school administrators and staff based on school and classroom needs.  The province’s renewed Math strategy is also an important component of this work and ultimately, the goal is to see students’ literacy and numeracy scores improve over time.

Superintendents Caryl Hron, Joan Kantola and Tania Sterling presented the 2017-2018 Board Continuous Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BCIP) update. The 2017-2018 BCIP, along with individual School Improvement Plans, guides the work of our schools.  Taking a grass roots approach to the plan, this year’s plan development includes increased analysis of school data with school administration, discussions around areas of student and teachers needs in each school, prioritization of centralized supports for schools, consultation with elementary and secondary administrators and central staff to identify priorities, and development of a draft BCIP for sharing with schools for feedback prior to presenting the BCIP to the Board of Trustees.

Kim Carlson, Facilities Manager, along with Chris Edie, Assistant Manager Facility Operations & Maintenance, and Steve Parker, Assistant Manager Facility Planning & Development, presented the 2017 Capital Projects report.  Highlights of capital work included:

  • Construction of Sioux North High School (Sioux Lookout)
  • Child care space planning at Sioux Mountain Public School (Sioux Lookout), New Prospect and Open Roads Public Schools (Dryden)
  • Roof replacements at Evergreen, King George and Keewatin Public Schools (Kenora)
  • Parking lot improvements at Red Lake District High School

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