14 Nov. 2019
KPDSB Welcomes New Trustee to Represent the Interests of Indigenous Students, Highlights Kindergarten Programming
Media Release - February 20, 2018
Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, February 13, for a regular board meeting.
The February Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Kindergarten Program Report’ was received by Trustees. Dawn-Marie Terry, Kindergarten Teacher, and Melissa Bradley, Early Childhood Educator (ECE), are one of the Kindergarten Teams at Open Roads Public School and they brought some of their former students to talk to the Trustees about their experiences in Kindergarten. Trustees were pleased to hear the students talk about their inquiry based learning, including how their teachers encouraged them to explore and take their learning outside, and the importance of relationships in the Kindergarten programs. For more information on our Kindergarten programs, please visit www.buddysystem.ca. Kindergarten Registration Week for the KPDSB is February 26 to March 2 and all of our public schools are currently accepting registrations, both online at Buddy System, and in person at any of our schools.
Eric Bortlis was sworn in as Trustee to Represent the Interests of Indigenous Students. Bortlis was sworn in by Director of Education, Sean Monteith, for a term ending on November 30, 2019. Bortlis has served as Director of Professional Development for Teach for Canada and is currently Education Director for Lac Seul First Nation which represents the biggest education services agreement partner of all community partners and tribal councils with the KPDSB. The Board of Trustees welcomed Bortlis and expressed their eagerness to working closely with him during his term.
Monteith stated “We welcome Eric to the Board and are excited to have a person with his experience and leadership working actively in multiple education settings in First Nation schools. We are very pleased to have such an active and competent leader in Indigenous Education on the Board.”
Caryl Hron, Superintendent of Education, and Sarah Stevenson, Director of Integrated Social Services for the Kenora District Services Board (KDSB) presented the Early Learning Partnership Report. As the Ontario Ministry of Education works to create 100,000 more child care spaces, a focus on expanding child care and EarlyON programs into schools to provide better access to services for children and families has allowed the KPDSB and KDSB to continue to grow their partnership as both organizations work to support area families.
Following successful renovations during the first round of funding, which included new child care spaces at both King George VI and Evergreen Public Schools in Kenora, as well as playground renovations at New Prospect Public School in Dryden and Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout, the second round of funding to retrofit schools to accommodate both child care and EarlyON will be completed in three phases:
- Phase One – Dryden Area - During the first phase, child care programs from The Dryden Children’s Resource Centre were relocated to New Prospect and Open Roads Public Schools. Open Roads Public School also had space renovated to create a new kitchen space to support the programming, while New Prospect will receive a new outdoor playground space (to be completed in the spring).
- Phase Two – Sioux Lookout Area - During the second phase, child care programs from Norah Love Children’s Centre in Sioux Lookout will be relocated to Sioux Mountain Public School. Renovations of classrooms at Sioux Mountain will be required to accommodate the additional programming, as well as renovations to the school’s existing kitchen, and the creation of a new outdoor playground space for the programs.
- Phase Three – Kenora Area - During the third phase, child care programs from Cameron Bay Children’s Centre in Kenora will be relocated to Evergreen Public School (Toddler Program) and Keewatin Public School (Preschool Program).
Richard Hodgkinson, Principal of Dryden High School (DHS), introduced a group of teachers who recently participated in the first Teacher’s Tour in the region, put on by the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) through a partnership with Domtar. The professional development opportunity was offered to teachers in late October. The tour provided teachers with an opportunity to participate in classroom sessions as well as tour active harvest operations while participating in hands on activities. Participants were then provided with teaching kits, activities and other materials that fit into the Ontario curriculum. All of the teachers spoke positively of the experience, and saw connections for their students in the Forestry industry, from careers in trades, to science and technology.
Trustees approved the 2018-2019 School Year Calendar. Following two rounds of community consultation, including a survey of families across the region, the calendar has a school start date of September 5, 2018 (historically school has started before Labour Day in the region). The calendar will now be sent to the Ministry of Education for final approval. To view the 2018-2019 School Year Calendar, and results of the survey, please click here.
KPDSB students in Red Lake and Sioux Lookout appointed to 2018-2019 Minister’s Student Advisory Council
Media Release - March 21, 2018
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board wishes to congratulate Red Lake District High School’s Drea Sinclair and Queen Elizabeth District High School’s (Sioux Lookout) Tristan Bouchard on their appointments to the 2018-2019 Ontario Minister’s Student Advisory Council. Both students were selected from more than 400 applicants from across Ontario.
The Minister’s Student Advisory Council provides students with an opportunity share their ideas and advice directly with the Minister of Education on how to make Ontario’s schools greater places for all students to learn, grow and succeed. Students on the Council are also encouraged to speak up and take action on topics to strengthen student engagement across the province. Appointments to the Council are for a one year term, commencing in May 2018.
Bouchard, currently in Grade 9 at Queen Elizabeth District High School, had the following to say about his appointment, “I am both nervous and excited at the same time. I’m not going to represent myself, I am going to represent my high school, and the youth in my region. I applied for this opportunity because I feel like the youth in our area are not heard at the provincial level, and I want to do something to remind the government that we are still here.”
Sinclair, currently in Grade 10 at Red Lake District High School, detailed why she wanted to be on the Council, “I applied for this position because I believe my voice is important and I wanted to advocate for student mental health on and off reserve. I am very excited for this opportunity.”
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said, “The maturity of these two young people, reflective in their comments and influenced by their personal experiences, makes them not only appropriate voices for all Northern Youth, but tremendous ambassadors for the entire Keewatin-Patricia District School Board. The fact that the KPDSB has two students appointed to the Minister’s Student Advisory Council, should not be confused as a coincidence, but rather a reflection of the regard Keewatin-Patricia receives on-going by the Province of Ontario. We are all very pleased of both Drea and Tristan, two remarkable northern young people.”
KPDSB launches 2017-2020 Learning Technologies Strategic Plan in recognition of Education Week
Media Release - May 10, 2018
Trustees met at the Kenora Board Office on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 for a regular Board meeting.
Superintendent of Education Tania Sterling, presented the newly created Keewatin-Patricia District School Board’s (KPDSB) Learning Technologies Strategic Plan to Trustees. The plan was officially launched in recognition of Education Week (May 7-11, 2018).
Creation of the Learning Technologies Strategic Plan started with a 21C gap analysis and needs assessment across the entire KPDSB. The assessment was conducted from October 2017 to April 2018 and included creating a survey for all staff and students on a variety of 21C tools and practices, collecting feedback from different stakeholders groups through meetings and conversations, as well as sending a delegation of staff to the BIT2017 conference in Southern Ontario to network with school boards across the province and research effective models for integrating digital tools into teaching, learning and leading.
Priorities in the plan include:
- Creating a shared vision with input from stakeholders
- Continuing to gather student and stakeholder voice
- Building capacity in future leaders
- Ensuring all KPDSB students are aware of appropriate use of digital learning tools and online networks to ensure safety (Digital Citizenship)
- Making virtual learning environments across all curriculum areas available for students
- Making makerspaces available for all students
- Offering Kindergarten to Grade 12 robotics and coding programs in all schools
- Making augmented/virtual reality available for students in grades 4-12
Sterling stated “Gathering student and teacher voice to help shape where our plan can go next helps us ensure we are preparing our students for an ever-changing world while keeping local needs and interests in mind. We are proud of the exciting opportunities many of our educators are already creating for our students and this formal plan and renewed commitment from our Board of Trustees is going to help us scale up that innovation and provide access to dynamic opportunities across our entire system. We really do feel that technology, when used responsibly and creatively, has the potential to truly make teaching and learning boundless.”
KPDSB Board of Trustees Approve 2018-2019 Budget
Media Release - June 13, 2018
Trustees met at Savant Lake Public School in Savant Lake on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, for the final board meeting of the 2017-2018 school year.
The June Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Cultural Learning – Aboriginal Hand Drum Making’ was received by Trustees. Savant Lake Public School teacher Hope St. Hilaire and students Deja Neecan, Jaylen Fox and Hailey Belmore shared their learning process to create traditional hand drums with Trustees. With guidance from community elders and volunteers, the students learned about the process for creating their drums, from smudging and finding the perfect stick to make their drum sticks, to securing the hide and preparing an offering. Trustees appreciated having the cultural practices shared with them by the students and congratulated them on their completed hand drums.
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, presented the 2018 Employee Recognition Report. Each June, Monteith publically acknowledges all employees with 25 years of service and retirees for their achievement and contributions to education in the Northwest. The 2017-2018 school year brought with it the retirement of 31 dedicated employees and another 11 were recognized for reaching the 25 year milestone.
Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, and Kathleen O’Flaherty, Assistant Superintendent of Business, presented the 2018-2019 Budget Report. Total budget for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board for the 2018-2019 school year is $96 million which is a slight increase (4%) from the 2017-2018 school year budget. The 2018-2019 budget is in compliance with all Ministry of Education Guidelines and was passed unanimously by the Board of Trustees.
Monteith reflected on the 2017-2018 school year. “The year has been an incredibly successful one, with challenges and unavoidable setbacks at certain moments. We end the year, in strong financial shape, a growing reach into the North resulting in positive impacts and outcomes for Northern children and their families, and a burgeoning sense of pride and accomplishment. The success of the Board is nothing, if not without the strength of its people, its students and its communities. I wish all families and staff a wonderful summer.”
KPDSB welcomes Early Years Open Gym to Valleyview Public School for month of March
Media Release - March 1, 2019
We are excited to announce the Early Years Open Gym in Kenora will continue during the month of March at Valleyview Public School. Families are invited to join us on March 5, 19, and 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The Early Years Open Gym is a free event for children ages 0-6. It provides an excellent opportunity for families to socialize, have fun, and be active with their child(ren). New for the month of March, thanks to the Salvation Army, Chef Pitre and the Hospitality and Tourism class at Beaver Brae Secondary School, a light dinner will also be provided free of charge for families.
The Early Years Open Gym would not be possible without the strength of community partnerships. We would like to thank all of our partners for working with us to ensure that kids come first.
Marnie Schuster, EarlyON Coordinator, stated “The Early Years Open Gym time was initiated by listening to the needs of our families, but it’s success is in having the support of our community partners who are genuinely invested in providing the best for families.”
The Early Years Open Gym began in January and has been hosted at different schools in Kenora, with the March events taking place at Valleyview Public School. The Early Years Open Gym is a free community event to encourage physical activity and play during the cold winter months.