All stakeholders create a culture of learning so that students come first.

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April Board Meeting Highlights

Media Release - April 15, 2015

Trustees met at Valleyview Public School on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, for a regular board meeting.  Trustees also had the chance to visit with the staff and students of Valleyview earlier in the day.

The April “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Kenora Grade 6 Transition Activities’ was received by Trustees.  Kenora area Vice-Principals Shannon Bailey (Valleyview Public School), Tracey Benoit (Beaver Brae Secondary School) and Lisa Achilles (Beaver Brae Secondary School), as well as Kenora area staff members Val Silvester (Evergreen Public School) and Patty Chisholm (Beaver Brae Secondary School), were joined by students from five of our Kenora area schools to share their experiences with the transition activities taking place this year.

The cross-panel activities play an important role in preparing students for the transition from Grade 6 to Grade 7 by easing anxiety students may feel, and ensuring both students and their families feel comfortable, welcome and connected to Beaver Brae’s staff, and the historic building itself, before they enter the school in the fall.  Trustees heard how the transition activities have created an incredible sense of community between Beaver Brae and our elementary schools, with students sharing their own individual experiences.  Many stated they were no longer nervous or anxious about the transition and were looking forward to becoming Broncos in the fall.  Some of the transition activities the students have been participating include wood and bike shop, court sports, cosmetology, foods lab, hockey academy, French language events, and several family information nights.  For more information about Beaver Brae Secondary School and the opportunities it offers to students in the Kenora area, please contact the school at 468-6401.

Michael Boos, Principal of Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout, and Steve Dumonski, teacher at Sioux Mountain Public School, presented the Sioux Mountain Hockey Skills Academy Report.  In response to interest from students, the school’s parent council, and the community of Sioux Lookout, Sioux Mountain is offering a hockey skills academy to all interested students beginning in September 2015.  To date, 87 students in grades 1-8 have signed up for the program which will offer differentiated instruction for students based on their hockey skill level, with both an on and off ice component totaling between 100 to 250 minutes of instruction per week. The focus of the academy is to increase student academic achievement by addressing the whole student, including their physical, mental and emotional development.  An application has been submitted to have the academy accredited by Hockey Canada and the program is being offered for free thanks to partnerships with Jumpstart and local organizations.  For more information, contact Sioux Mountain Public School at 737-3480.

Lynn McAughey, Principal of King George VI Public School (Kenora), Wayne Mercer, Vice-Principal of Queen Elizabeth District High School (Sioux Lookout), and Rachelle Davenport, Vice-Principal of Ignace and Upsala Public Schools, presented the KPDSB Principals & Vice-Principals Efficacy Report.  The role of a KPDSB principal is vast and includes providing a safe and welcoming learning environment, ensuring the curriculum is being delivered and assessed appropriately, building and maintaining positive relationships with various stakeholders, and above all else, making sure students always come first.  Recent studies have shown that parents and families don’t always understand what school leaders do and by providing information on their roles to our communities, we hope to see increased engagement in our schools and with our administration.  For more information on the role of a KPDSB principal and how they can support families in our communities, please contact Sheena Valley at 223-5311.

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Sunset Country Regional Science Fair - RLMPS - March 28

Red Lake-Madsen Public School is hosting the Sunset Country Regional Science Fair.  It is open to the public to come and see the projects from 1:00-2:00pm on Saturday, March 28.  The top two projects will move onto the nationals in New Brunswick. 

Good luck to all participating students!

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Survey for parents/caregivers of children with Special Needs


Parents/Caregivers of Children with Special Needs

Ever wished you had the chance to redesign the system? 

The Government of Ontario has asked agencies in the Kenora and Rainy River Districts to come together to improve the service coordination and integration of rehabilitation services to children and youth with special needs.

We welcome your input.  Please fill in a survey for a chance to win a dinner for two along with child care costs for the evening ($100 gift card), by April 15, 2015.  The link below will take you directly to the survey.

For more information about the Government’s Special Needs Strategy:

Special Needs Strategy website:


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KPDSB Celebrates OFSAA Gold and Bronze!

Media Release - March 12, 2015      

We are extremely excited to announce the Girls’ Curling Team from Queen Elizabeth District High School (QEDHS) has won Gold at OFSAA!  Congratulations to the girls and school from all of us across the KPDSB.

Steve Poling, Principal of QEDHS, said “I just want to say that we are super proud of the girls, the coaches, and the parents who have supported this team.  This is an extremely exciting moment for all of us at QEDHS.  This Gold medal is the first OFSAA Gold for us and we couldn’t be more proud!” 

We would like to also congratulate and celebrate the Girls’ Hockey Team from Dryden High School (DHS) who won Bronze this morning in Kenora.  It is unprecedented that KPDSB schools have won two OFSAA medals on the same day, and we continue to demonstrate ourselves as an athletic power, both regionally and provincially.

Kathy McConnachie, Principal of DHS, stated “We’re all so proud of the girls.  We were behind them right from the start and we are very excited for them.  They played very strong games and deserved to earn a medal today.”

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “It has been an amazing and memorable week for several KPDSB secondary schools. With Dryden High School hosting OFSAA Volleyball, Dryden High School and Beaver Brae Secondary School participating in OFSAA Hockey in Kenora, and with Queen Elizabeth District High School competing in OFSAA Curling, this week has been as much about athletics and competition as it has been about celebrating achievements in all of our high schools. Having watched personally as DHS won their Bronze medal this morning, and now hearing of the QEDHS Gold medal championship win, it underscores that no matter who you are or where you come from, our students can persevere and accomplish their dreams. Cassidy, Ashlyn, Kacie, Jenna, Taylor and Coaches Glen Poirier and Angela Edmond: many dream of competing at the provincial level, a very few qualify, and only the best can call themselves “Provincial Champions”. We are all very proud of you, you have made QEDHS and the KPDSB very proud today!”  

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KPDSB celebrates alumni and approves new French Immersion FDELKP at New Prospect Public School!

Media Release - March 11, 2015

Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, for regular board meeting.

The March “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Celebrating KPDSB Graduates – Where Are They Now’ was received by Trustees.  The video, presented by Sean Monteith, Director of Education, featured KPDSB graduates from Dryden High School, Red Lake District High School, and Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora.  Trustees heard how the students’ experiences in our elementary and secondary schools not only helped to guide and prepare them for their futures, but that many of our programs and staff had lifelong impacts on them.  Many of the alumni wished to give thanks to school staff through the video, a testament to the influence of our schools and staff and the work they do every day for our students.   We are extremely proud of our students and alumni’s achievements and hope to share more of their stories in the future.  To watch the video, please click here or visit our website at

Brad Bartlett and Jen McMaster, Dryden High School vice-principals, and Bob Kowal and Tracey Benoit, Beaver Brae Secondary School vice-principals, presented the Secondary School Academic Excellence report.  The report detailed the programs and supports offered by our secondary schools and how those programs go hand in hand with the highest of expectations for both our students and staff.  Using a wide variety of learning platforms such as e-Learning, web-based, experiential, outdoor, alternative programming, or traditional classroom structures, each of our secondary schools strives for academic excellence that meets the holistic needs of our students, while ensuring academic achievement is at the forefront. 

Caryl Hron, Superintendent of Education, presented the Dryden Area French Immersion report.  Following a community survey and French Immersion Kindergarten Registration Night on March 3, Hron informed Trustees that as of Tuesday morning, 16 families have registered for a French Immersion Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program (FDELKP) at New Prospect Public School.  Having met our goal for registrations within the first week, we are encouraged as to the future success of the program and Trustees voted to implement the program for September 2015.   The program will expand with the students through their elementary school years and next steps include ensuring the right staff are in place and preparation for a fall start up.  Interested families can still register for the program by contacting New Prospect Public School at 223-4713.  For more information on this new program, or our extremely successful French Immersion program at Valleyview Public School in Kenora, please visit our website.


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February Board Meeting Highlights

Media Release - February 11, 2015

Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, for regular board meeting.

The February “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Sioux Mountain Junior FIRST Lego League – Learning Science and Technology through Building’ was received by Trustees.  Sioux Mountain Public School Principal Michael Boos and teacher Kristin Ward, along with four Sioux Mountain Lego League students, shared the work they have been doing with Trustees.  In total, 44 students at the school are participating in the Lego League and the program has been extremely successful with staff at the school noting a large increase in student engagement.  Trustees were very impressed with the presentation, with many stating that the engagement and excitement of the students was evident and that the learning the program was offering was extremely beneficial as students use a variety of important skills including critical thinking, problem solving and team work.

Scott Urquhart, Student Success Leader, presented the Student Success Lead Report.  The Student Success Strategy was first introduced in 2003 as a direct effort to modernize practices in intermediate and secondary schools to better meet the needs of students and improve graduation rates.  The work of the strategy is vast, including supporting students who are at risk, creating unique and meaningful pathways for students, improvement of instruction, building a culture of inclusiveness, and assisting students in transitions both from elementary to secondary, as well as into adult education programming for mature students. 

The work of the student success strategy aims to reach every student.  The Student Success Lead works with in school support teams in elementary schools and student success teams in secondary schools, as well as a dedicated student success teacher in each secondary school, to remove barriers for students while focusing on both their academic and social needs.  From credit recovery, access to night school, and high expectations of students, to specialized programing like the Meno Ya Win classroom in Sioux Lookout or the Four Directions program in Dryden, the student success initiative is supporting our students by providing a vision of a future where anything is possible for them, and leading them down an individual pathway to graduation.  For more information, or to view the entire report, please visit our website at

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, and Sheena Valley, Communications Officer, presented the 2014 Director’s Annual Report.  The report celebrates the accomplishments of our staff and students over the past year, and 2014 was a year of what we believe is unprecedented change for the KPDSB.  This year’s report is a combination of videos and written reports that can be viewed on our website by clicking here.  From the expansion of our Transitions North programs, to visits from high ranking Ministry of Education staff including The Honourable Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, to our new $30 million high school in Sioux Lookout, our staff and students have plenty to celebrate and look forward to in the coming years. 

Trustees approved the 2015-2016 school year calendar.  The calendar will now be sent to the Ministry of Education for final approval.  The 2015-2016 draft calendar was created by the School Year Calendar committee, comprised of representatives from school boards across the region, following consultations with staff, families and communities,   

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KPDSB and FIREFLY partner to provide child care spaces at Evergreen Public School

Media Release - January 19, 2015

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and FIREFLY are pleased to announce that, effective March 2, 2015, the partnership between the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and FIREFLY will be expanded to include new child care spaces at Evergreen Public School in Kenora.

We are also happy to announce the implementation of a new before school program at Keewatin Public School to complement the existing after school program. 

All Kenora area KPDSB schools have child care services provided by FIREFLY, including Evergreen Public School, Keewatin Public School, King George Public School, and Valleyview Public School.  Visit and go to our Kindergarten Registration page for more information about the child care programs offered at KPDSB school’s in partnership with FIREFLY.

Tim Flynn, Principal of Evergreen Public School, stated “We are excited to welcome FIREFLY’s child care spaces to our school.  Evergreen, being a community school, is a prime location to house a child care facility and we believe having FIREFLY in our school is a perfect fit.  We will work closely with FIREFLY staff so that we are able to meet the needs of parents and children in our community.”

Christine Philipsen, Senior Manager, FIREFLY Child Care, added “We are pleased to be able to provide FIREFLY's child care services at Evergreen Public School. KPDSB support and ongoing partnership with FIREFLY helps in making child care for children and their families more accessible.”

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January Board Meeting Highlights

Media Release - January 15, 2015

Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, January 13, 2015, for regular board meeting.

The January “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Our School, Our Community, Our Future’ was received by Trustees.  Sioux Narrows Public School Vice-Principal, Gayle Mutrie, and two Sioux Narrows students shared their school and community pride with Trustees. The students talked about the support they get from the community of Sioux Narrows and how much they enjoy being a part of such a tight-knit community.  Trustees thanked the students for their presentation and were impressed by how passionately the students spoke about their school and all of the ways the staff and students at Sioux Narrows Public School give back to their community.

Caryl Hron, Superintendent of Education, presented the Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program (FDELKP) report.  We currently offer 25 full-day programs in 16 elementary schools across the Board area.  Our FDELKPs have been extremely successful with 92% of our Kindergarten students graduating our Kindergarten program reading for the 2013-2014 school year.  Kindergarten Registration week for the KPDSB is January 26-30.  Please visit for more information and to watch our new Kindergarten video titled ‘A Day in the Life of a KPDSB Kindergarten Student.  Since being posted on Tuesday, the video has received more than 1000 views.

The 2014-2015 school year marked the fifth and final year of a five-year implementation in the province of Ontario for the FDELKP.  The full-day program provides students with a smoother transition into Grade 1, and supports children in developing the social and academic skills necessary for school and life.  With both a qualified Kindergarten teacher and an early childhood educator in many of our classrooms, our Kindergarten students are well supported.

Susanne Bastable, School Effectiveness Lead, presented the Leadership for School Effectiveness report.  The role of the school effectiveness lead is vast and includes supporting staff in continuous learning around effective leadership for improvement, building capacity of principals and supervisory officers, board and school improvement planning, and monitoring of school and student data in order to support the closing of student achievement gaps.  For more information, please contact Susanne Bastable at 223-5311.

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December Board Meeting Highlights

Media Release - December 4, 2014

Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, for the inaugural board meeting.

The Board of Trustees maintained consistency and direction by acclaiming Trustee Dave Penney as Chair and Trustee Cecile Marcino as Vice-Chair.

Penney stated “Thank you to my fellow Trustees for you confidence in me and I look forward to the next four years.  These are exciting times for the KPDSB.”

The following Trustee appointments were made:

  • Trustees Lesley Barnes, George Seaton and Roger Griffiths were appointed to the Audit and Finance Committees for a one year term.
  • Trustees Dave Wilkinson and Michelle Ott were appointed to the Native Education Advisory Council (NEAC) for a one year term.  First Nation Trustee Shelley Seymore was appointed to the NEAC for a two year term in December 2013.
  • Trustee Gerald Kleist was appointed to the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) Board of Directors.
  • Trustee Jennifer Manitowabi was appointed as the alternate to the OPSBA Board of Directors.
  • Trustee Cecile Marcino was appointed as the OPSBA voting delegate.
  • Trustee Jennifer Kitowski was appointed as the OPSBA voting delegate alternate for the General Meeting.
  • Trustees Jennifer Manitowabi and Michelle Ott were appointed to the Parent Involvement Committee for a one year term.
  • Trustees Jennifer Manitowabi and David Wilkinson were appointed to the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for a one year term.  First Nation Trustee Shelley Seymour was appointed to the SEAC for a two year term in December 2013.
  • Trustee Jennifer Kitowski was appointed to the Transportation Policy Committee.

The December “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Gateways’ was received by Trustees.  New Prospect Public School (Dryden) teacher, Vanessa Clarke, and four New Prospect students spoke to Trustees about the new Gateways program at New Prospect.  The program focuses on providing students with authentic, hands-on learning opportunities supported by  their teachers and school staff.  Each month, students in grades 5-8 choose an activity they would like to learn more about from a list of activities offered by different members of the school’s staff.  The students told Trustees that they love the opportunity to try new activities they might not otherwise get the opportunity to do and that they appreciate having a say in what activities will be available through student surveys.  So far, some of the most popular activities have been outdoor skills and building snow shelters, science experiments, baking, and community volunteering.

Trustees also enjoyed several video presentations including our Kids Come First videos that were created for our staff to reinforce our stance that kids come first and to inspire and empower our staff to know that they do make a difference every day in the lives of our students.  A video from Dryden High School (DHS) was also shown.  The DHS ‘Roar’ video was created by the entire school and was led by the student leadership class with support of the communications technology class.  It was created to celebrate and foster the importance of building relationships between staff and students, which is an integral part of the school’s improvement plan.  To view the DHS ‘Roar’ video, please click here.

Shelley St. Hilaire, Safe and Supportive School Administrator, presented the Safe and Supportive Schools update.  Suspension data has shown a dramatic decline in the number of students who are being suspended from our schools over the years.  St. Hilaire talked about many of the reasons for the decline, which include the use of restorative practices, increased support for behavior interventions, and the promotion of mental health awareness, as well as additional mental health supports for both staff and students.

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KPDSB introduces new Mental Health Leader, Jennifer Reimer

Media Release - December 2, 2014

It is with great pleasure that the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board announces our new Mental Health Leader, Ms. Jennifer Reimer. 

Jennifer comes to us from FIREFLY, a key organizational partner involved in the delivery of children’s mental health services.  She brings extensive experience in the delivery of clinical mental health services as well as mental health promotion activities targeting both children and youth in our schools.

As the KPDSB enters year four of the provincial Mental Health Initiative, Jennifer will continue to collaborate with the School Mental Health ASSIST Team to disseminate resources for increased mental health literacy for staff and strengthen pathways to care for vulnerable students.

She will also continue to focus on implementation of the key priorities with the KPDSB Mental Health Strategy including focused efforts of system support to school staff and administrators to effectively develop and lead “Mentally Healthy Schools”. 

Jennifer stated “I am very excited to be working with a Board that has such an innovative vision in supporting the whole child. I'm looking forward to continuing the implementation of the Board's comprehensive Mental Health strategy and supporting the wellness of our children, families, schools, and communities across the district. I believe that putting students first, creating nurturing environments that promote positive mental health, and developing strong partnerships will lead to further success within our schools and communities.”  

Superintendent of Education, Joan Kantola expressed enthusiasm for the new appointment: 

“We are extremely excited to hire Ms. Reimer for the mental health positon.  Ms. Reimer has worked extensively in many of our schools and she brings a global mental health perspective and level of expertise to our Board.  Ms. Reimer will continue to develop the strong partnerships with FIREFLY and help to build capacity within the staff in support of students who have mental health issues and help them to be more ready for learning.”

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