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Patti-Jo Brunton, Vice-Principal
Sabrina Morton, Head Administrative Assistant
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Trustees explore impact of assistive technology and coding, celebrate 2018 achievements in Director’s Annual Report

09 Jan. 2019

Media Release - January 9, 2019

Trustees met via videoconference on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, for a regular Board Meeting. 

The January Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Bringing the Learning OUT through Coding’ was received by Trustees.  Doris St. Jules, Principal of Lillian Berg Public School, and Shannon Elliott, Grade 5/6 Teacher, were joined by Lillian Berg Public School students to share their experiences in coding with Trustees.  The students shared some insights into coding, including a definition of coding, why it is important, and what they’ve learned through coding. Trustees heard how the students are learning about perseverance, innovation, creativity, problem-solving and teamwork through their coding activities, with some students even designing their own video game.  Elliott shared how proud she is of her students and how coding encourages them to take risks, teaches them not to be afraid to make mistakes and to celebrate their successes when they overcome challenges.

Tim Flynn, Principal, Nicole Vingerhoeds, Vice-Principal, and student Isaiah Stahls from King Geroge VI Public School in Kenora presented the Special Education Assistive Device presentation.  Students at King George and schools across the Board area are using technology to support student learning, including different assistive technology and devices for Special Education students, including students with learning disabilities.  Technology, and in particular assistive technology, helps to remove barriers to learning for students. Isaiah shared some of his experiences with using assistive technology, including how it has supported him in completing his assignments by allowing him to use speech to text for writing rather than pen and paper, an area he struggled with in the past.  He shared with Trustees that he can write faster using the technology and that it helps him not to get frustrated with his school work so he can focus on completing his assignments.  Isaiah’s mother, Robyn, shared that they have seen improvement in many different areas since the introduction of assistive technology to support him in the classroom.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, and Sheena Valley, Communications & Strategic Branding Officer, presented the 2018 Director’s Annual Report.  The Director’s Annual Report highlights the work of our staff and students in 2018.  Areas of focus in the report include our continued work in the area of reconciliation, academic success, mental health in schools, 21st Century learning, Indigenous student support and success, wrap around supports, specialized programs and strategic partnerships.  The report also includes a notable achievements section.  In 2018, the KPDSB celebrated a variety of achievements, including:

  • A visit to Dryden High School by Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, where she met with students who are a part of our Four Directions First Nation, Metis and Inuit Graduation Coach approach.  The KPDSB’s Four Directions approach has received National attention with our first graduating cohort in June 2018 from Dryden High School showing a 40 percentage point increase in the number of self-identified students graduating from Dryden High School compared to previous averages.  The Four Directions approach was also recognized by Indspire at the 2018 National Gathering for Indigenous Education in Edmonton, Alberta, where Tania Sterling, Superintendent of Education, was presented the Indspire Nurturing Capacity: Documenting Community plaque.
  • The appointment of two of our students, Drea Sinclair from Red Lake District High School, and Tristan Bouchard from Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout to the 2018-2019 Minister’s Student Advisory Council.  Drea and Tristan were chosen from more than 400 applicants from across Ontario.
  • Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake was named the first Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund Legacy School in Canada.  The school has a variety of initiatives planned to honour the designation, including the dedication of two benches outside of the schools, the dedication of the school’s Native as a Second Language classroom as the Legacy Classroom, and the renaming of the school’s end of the year NSL award.
  • The KPSDB became the first school board in Ontario to register all of its schools for OPHEA Healthy Schools Certification.  OPHEA’s Health Schools Certification recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community.

To view the 2018 Director’s Annual Report, please click here.

Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, presented the Ear Falls Public School Capital Project update.  Construction is set to begin on the $5 million project for the total renovation of Ear Falls Public School.  The project will be done in two phases, with the first set to begin in March 2019, and the second beginning in June 2019, with completion anticipated for September 2019. 

Findlay also presented the Sioux North High School Capital Project update.  Work continues on our new school, Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout, and excitement continues to build as we prepare to move into the new building from the old Queen Elizabeth District High School site.  Spaces built for our partners in the building, FIREFLY and Confederation College, are now complete and staff from those organizations are beginning their move into the building.  Staff and students are anticipated to move into the new building following the March Break.  A grand opening for the new $30 million school is being planned for spring 2019.

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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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School Starts on Tuesday, August 29th! Welcome Back from our Director of Education!

23 Aug. 2017

Back to School! Classes start on August 29, 2017!

Message from the Director of Education

What a "Back to School” message means depends a great deal on who you are, where you live and if you are around young people; whether that be as parents, grandparents, elders, teachers or community members. In the days ahead, the relaxed atmosphere of the dog days of July and August, transitions into cooler nights, shorter days, and kids with backpacks walking our sidewalks emitting the sounds of laughter. I always think of the parents of first year kindergarten students, and more specifically their emotions, as they send their greatest investment and achievements...their children, off to start school; and in doing so keeping in the back of their minds that 14 years from now they will hopefully graduate from high school.

As the proud Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, I write this annual message while sifting back and forth between looking out over my favorite Northern Ontario lake in Ear Falls, reflecting on the summer's events dominated by fishing and reading, and feeling the energy and invigoration that working in the service of children brings. I recognize I am biased, but in my own opinion there is no greater calling than EDUCATION.

September is almost here, and I welcome all of our students, staff and families back to our schools!  Our schools in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board are sparkling.  Much capital work has been completed in Red Lake, Dryden, and Kenora; and work in Sioux Lookout on our new Sioux North High School has begun and is on track! There is a feeling in the air of excitement, enthusiasm, renewed energy and thoughts of the year ahead with all of the promise and hope that public education can bring….education truly is the great leveler of the field. And nowhere in this province of Ontario is education more important than right here in the Northwest.

September marks the beginning of new chapters for many students and families, but also for our staff who eagerly await the arrival of faces of young learners, looking to be inspired and they themselves inspiring those around them with stories of resilience and optimism.

The past year for us in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board was a powerful reminder of what can be and what hard work and innovation can achieve, when we work together and think outside-of-the-box. I see our hard work and enthusiasm as absolute traits of us Northerners. I also want to take the opportunity to extend best wishes to all in the region for a successful year ahead, and specifically to the students, families and staff of the Kenora Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boreales, and Northwest Catholic    District School Board. May we work together in a spirit of cooperation that supports all students in the name of public education, and as always, put their needs first!

As the Director of Education for the KPDSB, I assure all parents and students that our commitment to the needs of Northern Children, your children, remains resolved, determined and assuredly uncompromising.

Best wishes for 2017-2018.

Sean Monteith,                                                                             
Director of Education

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Live Stream of Construction of Sioux North High School (Sioux Lookout)

04 Sep. 2017

Our new high school (Sioux North High School) in Sioux Lookout is really taking shape!  Save this link to watch the construction - https://www.youtube.com/embed/live_stream?channel=UCQGj4ntcdJSsaIpV4q1TA_A 

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