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November Board Meeting Highlights

Media Release - November 12, 2014

Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, November 11, for a regular board meeting.

The November Students Come First presentation titled ‘Four Directions: Where Students Learn to Soar’ was received by Trustees.  Dryden High School (DHS) Vice-Principal, Jennifer McMaster, and Dryden High School Aboriginal Graduation Coach and facilitator of the Four Directions program, Kieran McMonagle, as well as Dryden High School students, gave Trustees a chance to find out more about the new program at DHS this school year. 

The Four Directions program is the first of its kind in our schools.  It began during the summer of 2014 and was created to provide supports for Aboriginal students at DHS.  The graduation coach supports students in a variety of areas including the transition between elementary and secondary school, tutoring and mentorship, community connections, and the exploration of post-secondary opportunities.  The program has been very well received by DHS students and has promoted an inclusive and encouraging environment for them.  In fact, many of the students told Trustees that the program has changed the trajectory of their high school careers in the short time it has been in place.  A separate presentation by McMonagle and the students in the program will be arranged for area media in the near future for those interested to learn more about this new and exciting program.

Evergreen Principal Tim Flynn, accompanied by Student Work Study Teacher Olivia Roberts, and Evergreen host teacher Laurie Carabetsos, presented the First Nation Metis and Inuit (FNMI) Student Work Study Teacher (SWST) report.  In the fall of 2013, the FNMI SWST initiative was offered to ten school boards in Ontario, including the KPDSB.  The FNMI SWST uses a collaborative model where classroom teachers and the SWST learn from the voice of FNMI students in order to take a deeper look at the work we are doing, how it affects our FNMI students, and the types of things we can do to support those students.  The work at Evergreen Public School focuses on supporting students emotionally and socially through establishing caring relationships, coupled with strategies to develop student confidence and success with academic challenge.  The partnership between Roberts and Carabetsos has continued for the 2014-15 school year after both teachers and the staff at the school noted significant positive changes in the students they were working with, both academically and socially.

Scott Urquhart, Student Success Leader, and Del Schmucker, Information Systems Manager, presented the 21st Century Teaching and Learning update.  As a Board, we continue to create, build and implement the vision of a 21st Century learning organization as contained in our strategic plan.  For the 2014-15 school year, areas of focus include a deeper implementation of technology to support curriculum and high quality instruction, work on ensuring one common collaborative sharing platform for teaching staff that will allow for seamless communication and collaboration, and the continuation of our work with Pearson Learning Services and a longitudinal student achievement study that is linked to this work.

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KPDSB October Board Meeting Highlights

Media Release - October 15, 2014

Trustees met at our new Kenora Board Office on the fourth floor of Seven Generations’ Manidoo Baawaatig building at 240 Veterans Drive on Tuesday, October 14, for a regular board meeting.

The October Students Come First presentation titled ‘King George VI Public School – Shining Stars’ was received by Trustees.  King George Vice-Principal, Gayle Mutrie, and King George staff members Laura Farrell and Kristi Tella, as well as a King George Special Education student, shared their experiences in King George’s Shining Star program.  The Shining Stars program supports and celebrates the most vulnerable students at King George.  Trustees heard about the exciting work being done including the use of a variety of therapy techniques and equipment including sensory experiences, music and the mastering of life skills.  Staff stressed the importance of relationships between the children in the Shining Stars Program and all children in the school, as well as with staff members, and spoke passionately about the enjoyment and fulfillment they get from working with our special education students.  Trustees agreed the program and work being done by our staff is nothing short of inspirational.  For more information about the Shining Stars program, please contact the school at 468-7570.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, presented the KPSDB Efficacy Review and Implementation report.  During the 2013-2014 school year, we began the process of a system-wide efficacy review, facilitated by Pearson Learning Services.  The review assesses, from an external and objective perspective, how we are doing in our efforts to put kids first with every decision we make, or need to make, as well as what barriers may prevent us from being able to make those decisions.  The review began with conversations with school staff, students, department managers, and school and Board administration that explored a variety of topics including how we put students first, 21st Century Learning, our strategic plan, and meeting the needs of the whole learner.  The KPDSB Efficacy Report, which includes recommendations, has been submitted to the Board’s senior administration team and school administration teams.   Many of the reports core identified priorities will be acted on as a part of the Director’s work plan for the 2014-15 school year.

Monteith stated “Numerous structural changes throughout the 2013-14 school year enabled the foundational setting to be established for an efficacy review.  While administration is very proud of the achievements and changes we have made, we realize to become the best school board we possibly can be, we needed to take a very clear and honest look at our organization, all aspects and functions of it, and what we can do better.  The principal starting point was that we needed to do, and be, better for our students.”

Caryl Hron and Joan Kantola, superintendents of education, as well as Susanne Bastable, School Effectiveness Lead, and Scott Urquhart, Student Success Lead, presented the 2014-15 Board Strategic Improvement Plan for Student Achievement report.  The annual report was presented using three areas of achievement: academic, children’s mental health, and staff development.  Priority areas for the plan include engagement in learning, an integrated instruction and assessment model, and the use of intervention strategies for any student not achieving success.  The plan covers a wide-variety of components of the work that we do including student and staff wellbeing, leadership, staff development, critical thinking, writing, mathematics, and graduation.  For more information about our 2014-15 Board Strategic Improvement Plan for Student Achievement, please contact Susanne Bastable at 223-5311.

Caryl Hron and Scott Urquhart also presented the 2014 Summer Learning report.  We provide a variety of summer learning opportunities for our students in both the elementary and secondary panels.  From reach ahead credits for Grade 8 students going into Grade 9, to credit recovery, summer cooperative education, and summer literacy and numeracy camps, our students have lots of options.  During the summer of 2014, a total of 480 credits were earned by students working towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).  For more information, please contact Scott Urquhart at 223-5311.

The summer camps were offered to students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 who were thought to be at-risk in their literacy or numeracy development.  A total of 94 students participated in the three-week programs which ran in Dryden, Ear Falls and Kenora.  With a focus on explicit literacy/numeracy instruction supported by a strong recreation component and hands-on learning opportunities, the students who attended the program showed impressive achievement results.  For more information, please contact Caryl Hron, Superintendent of Education, at 223-5311.

Dean Carrie, Superintendent of Business, presented the Sioux Lookout High School Site Report.  Trustees approved Sioux Mountain Public School as the site for the new school to replace Queen Elizabeth District High School (QEDHS).  The selection of the Sioux Mountain site allows for the creation of a campus type of environment that allows for excellent student programming opportunities, particularly for elementary students where they can benefit from access to specialized program areas and teachers.  With the resources planned to be in the new school (provided by Confederation College, FIREFLY, Meno Ya Win, and Toronto Sick Kids), and the resources already available at Sioux Mountain, the placement of the new school at the Sioux Mountain site will create a community hub with all the resources our students and staff need all in one area.  For more information, please contact Dean Carrie at 468-5571.

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Ontario Minister of Education Visits our Sioux Lookout Area Schools

Media Release - October 6, 2014

The KPDSB is excited to welcome The Honourable Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, to our Sioux Lookout area schools tomorrow (October 7, 2014).

Minister Sandals will begin her time in Sioux Lookout with a tour of Queen Elizabeth District High School (QEDHS) where school administration and staff will share the inspiring work they are doing to support the diverse needs of the school’s student population.

Following the tour at QEDHS, Minister Sandals will attend the Grand Opening of the Cultural Room at Sioux Mountain Public School (11:00am).  The Cultural Room, completed in April 2014 using Ministry of Education funding and KPDSB reserves, was a significant gesture on the part of Sioux Mountain and the KPDSB to build and foster relationships with the many First Nation communities and organizations in the Sioux Lookout area.  The design of the Cultural Room was created through consultations with community Elders and is a place that allows students, their families, school Elders, and staff to do drumming, traditional cooking, and smudging during the school day.

 

Honourable Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, stated ““Every student should see themselves reflected in Ontario’s curriculum.  That’s why I’m very proud of Sioux Mountain Public School's Cultural Room, because innovations like these are helping our students and schools achieve excellence and ensure equity in education.”

Also planned is a visit to the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre where the Minister will see first-hand the partnership between the KPDSB and the Meno Ya Win, and the exceptional strides we have taken to provide quality education options for families staying at the hospital and/or hostel for extended periods of time.  The Minister, accompanied by Dave Murray, President and CEO of the Meno Ya Win Health Centre, will visit our classroom on the lower level of the hospital.  For more information about our program at the Meno Ya Win Health Centre, please click here.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “Within the past month, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board has been visited by Ministry staff, including the Assistant Deputy Minister, the Deputy Minister and now the Minister of Education for the Province of Ontario. Our student achievement measures are all up and improving, our culture is strong and inclusive, and we are building a new 30 million dollar high school that we aspire will be a jewel of the north. The Minister will get to see first-hand what many of us in the KPDSB have felt and known for a long time; that our staff and schools are first-class and that all of our efforts to improve the lives of students are nothing short of heroic.”

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KPDSB staff and Director pleased with EQAO improvements across the Board

Media Release - September 18, 2014

It was good news for the staff and students at KPSDB schools with the release of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) 2013-14 primary and junior assessments in reading, writing and mathematics on September 17.

For the first time in the history of the Board, all of the assessments show either an improvement, or in the case of one measurement, results remained status quo.  While we know there are many ways of measuring the achievement of students, we are very proud of our staff and students with the release of our results.  The EQAO results are another tool staff can use to identify where students are excelling and what areas students may need additional support in.

Work will continue in our schools with staff looking at individual school and student assessments and planning next steps for the students in our classrooms.  This work will look different in every school and every classroom and is not based on the EQAO results alone as there are many factors to consider when looking at individual student achievement. 

The EQAO results aid us in exploring different aspects of our students learning and understanding some of the factors that contribute to their overall success.  When comparing students’ achievement on the standardized tests and our own assessments year to year, it is apparent that the longer students are in our schools, the more their overall achievement improves, and we believe this is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our staff.  We know that the more time our staff has to work with a student, the more our students are able to achieve, and that achievement is about more than academics.  By consistently putting the needs of our students first and supporting the whole child, our students are able to not only learn, but thrive in our schools.

Grade 3 (Primary) Results

 

2012-2013

2013-2014

Reading

53%

56%

Writing

56%

65%

Mathematics

56%

56%

Grade 6 (Junior) Results

 

2012-2013

2013-2014

Reading

68%

76%

Writing

60%

72%

Mathematics

42%

44%

 

 

 **The results above are from the Participating Students results.  EQAO releases All Students results, which are results for all students in the grade, and Participating Students results, which are results for only those students who wrote the assessment.  We believe the Participating Students results are a more accurate view of the results of the assessments.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “We are so very proud of our staff and students and the hard work they put in every day in our classrooms.  We know there is much work to still be done but we are gaining momentum with every day that passes.  EQAO assessments are one more piece of the puzzle when it comes to the achievement and success of our students and it’s extremely encouraging for us and our students to see our results improving but we know we need to continue to explore all aspects of the work we are doing, not just written assessments.  We will always put the individual needs of our students first and foremost.”

We encourage you to explore our individual school results as well as the Board results.  You can find the reports at www.eqao.com.

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Deputy Minister of Education visits KPSDB schools in Sioux Lookout

Media Release - September 15, 2014

The KPDSB excitedly welcomed Deputy Minister of Education, George Zegarac, to our Sioux Lookout area schools today (September 15).

The Deputy Minister, accompanied by Sean Monteith, KPDSB Director of Education, spent his time in Sioux Lookout touring Sioux Mountain Public School and Queen Elizabeth District High School, speaking to staff and students about programming and the needs of the schools.  Staff shared information about many of the innovative and progressive programming options students in our schools have access to while students shared their stories of where they come from, challenges in their lives, and how our schools in Sioux Lookout have supported them.

Deputy Minister Zegarac also visited the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre to learn more about the partnership with the KPDSB and the exceptional strides we have taken to provide quality education options for families staying at the hospital and/or hostel for extended periods of time.  For more information about our program at the Meno Ya Win Health Centre, please click here.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “Deputy Minister Zegarac was able to see firsthand the incredible work the staff of Sioux Mountain Public School and Queen Elizabeth District High School do with kids. We have long felt that the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is leading in so many areas, particularly in those areas that include specialized student supports, early intervention, speech language investments, and teacher leadership. Having the Deputy Minister come to Northwestern Ontario to see our work is incredibly validating; as Director I continue to be very proud of our staff.”

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Clerk's notice regarding voters list for district school board elections

Notice is hereby given that we have complied with Section 23 of the Municipal Elections Act and that we have available in our offices at 100 First Avenue West, Kenora, Ontario, as of the 2nd day of September, 2014, and 4th Floor, 240 Veterans Drive, Kenora, Ontario, as of the 15th day of September, the list of persons eligible to vote in the territory without municipal organization within the jurisdiction of the following district school boards:

 

  • Keewatin-Patricia District School Board
  • Kenora Catholic District School Board
  • Northwest Catholic District School Board (KPDSB Portion)
  • Conseil scolaire de district du Grand Nord de l’Ontario (KPDSB Portion)
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boreales (KPDSB Portion)

Electors may inspect this list and take immediate proceedings to have any errors or omissions corrected according to law.

Electors wishing to confirm their information on the voters list may telephone the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board office at (807) 468-5571, ext. 230.

Applications for revisions to the Voters List may be filed at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board Office at 4th Floor, 240 Veterans Drive, Kenora during normal office hours from September 15 until October 24, 2014. Applications must be in writing, in the prescribed form, and may be filed in person, by the applicant or his or her agent.

Applications for revision may also be made by mail. Forms for this purpose are available upon request by calling the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board office at (807) 468-5571, ext. 230.

VOTE BY MAIL

Elections in unorganized areas for the office of Trustee for district school boards will be conducted on a vote by mail basis. There will be no polling stations in operation in unorganized areas. Voters who are on the voters list for areas where elections are required will receive a vote by mail kit in the mail. Vote by mail kits will be mailed to electors by October 2, 2014.

Ballots for all district school boards having jurisdiction in the above-noted areas will be returned by mail to the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board Office in Kenora in special envelopes that are designed to protect the secrecy of the voting process. The counting of ballots will commence after 8:00 p.m. on election day, Monday, October 27, 2014.

Voters who believe they are eligible to vote in an election but do not receive a vote by mail kit should contact the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board office at (807) 468-5571, ext. 230 to determine the procedure for obtaining and casting a ballot on or before October 27, 2014.

Sean Monteith, Clerk and Returning Officer                                                                             September 2, 2014

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KPDSB appoints architecture contract for new school in Sioux Lookout

Media Release - July 28, 2014

The KPDSB is pleased to announce the appointment of the architecture contract for our new secondary school in Sioux Lookout to Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture Inc. of North Bay, Ontario.

Following a Request for Proposals (RFP), which received 13 proposals, the KPDSB established an evaluation committee composed of administrative, facilities and academic staff to short list the proposals, meet with the firms, and make a recommendation to the Board.  At a special Board meeting on July 28, the evaluation committee made its recommendation to the Board and Trustees appointed the architecture contract to Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture Inc.

Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture Inc. has extensive experience in working with school boards and is familiar with Northwestern Ontario having built schools for both the Rainy River District School Board and Superior Greenstone District School Board.  References from both school districts were very positive following their work with the firm.

Bob O’Donohue, Sioux Lookout area Trustee said “I’m extremely pleased that the process has begun for our new secondary school in Sioux Lookout and I am eagerly looking forward to our next steps.”

Ian Hill, Principal Architect of Evens Bertrand Hill Wheeler Inc., added “Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture is extremely pleased to have been selected as the architectural firm for the new secondary school in Sioux Lookout.  We have been fortunate to have provided school designs throughout all of Northern Ontario for over 40 years at a time when the school program, teaching methods, and a better understanding of students’ needs have quickly evolved.  We are very excited to begin and on behalf of our firm I thank the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board for the opportunity to be a part of the education vision for Sioux Lookout and the surrounding communities.”

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, concluded “With the approval of Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture as the architects for the new high school in Sioux Lookout, our dream of providing a new beginning for our students and their futures, has become reality. A new era has begun, and with it, the aspirations of so many. The KPDSB is beaming with pride."

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Red Lake Road Run - Register now and save!

Register now for the 4th annual Red Lake Road Run!  The run will take place on Sunday, September 28th, 2014.

To complete the registration form, please click here.

To view the event poster, please click here.

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Summer Technology Institutes for KPDSB staff

KPDSB's Instructional Technology Teachers have arranged for Summer Technology Institutes that are open to all teaching staff and administrators.  The sessions will be delivered by the technology teachers and will be offered in Red Lake (August 22), Dryden (August 25) and Sioux Lookout (August 26).

Register by August 1 as space is limited!

Please click here for more information!

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June Board Meeting Highlights - KPDSB budget and enrolment projections a picture of stability

Media Release - June 12, 2014   

Trustees met at Keewatin Public School on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. 

The June “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Musical Performances’ was received by Trustees.  Four Beaver Brae Secondary School students delighted Trustees with musical performances, including both dancing and singing, with each student performing individually.  The performance was well received and Trustees thanked the students for sharing their impressive talents.

Trustees approved the 2014-15 budget estimates as presented by Dean Carrie, Superintendent of Business.  Total in-year revenue for the KPDSB is estimated to be $86,334,914.  In-year expenses are estimated to be $85,491,759 with an in-year surplus of $843,155.  Just a few of the new supports for our students included in the 2014-15 budget estimates is an additional speech/language pathologist, a new Transitions North classroom, and additional positions to improve the responsiveness of our IT department and the reliability of IT infrastructure, as well as key capital project expenditures in Red Lake, Dryden and Kenora. Enrolment projections for the 2014-15 school year see a continued trend of stability with a projected increase in enrolment for the fourth year in a row.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated "The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, with the passing of a balanced 2014-2015 budget, continues to demonstrate itself as an organization of confidence and stability, also strengthened by a stable longtime enrolment projection, and highlighted by several key large capital projects across the region. The KPDSB, as a regional board, not only has positioned itself as a leader in one community, but all of our communities."

Dean Carrie and Caryl Hron, Superintendent of Education, presented the Queen Elizabeth District High School (QEDHS) planning update.  In early April 2014, the KPDSB announced funding from the Ministry of Education to build a new secondary school in Sioux Lookout to replace QEDHS.  Following a Request for Proposals (RFP) for architectural and engineering services, 13 proposals were received.  An evaluation committee comprised of board employees will reduce that number to 5-6 firms who will then present to the evaluation committee.  Following the presentations, the committee will recommend one of the companies to the Board of Trustees for approval.  Site selection for the new secondary school continues with identifying and evaluating potential sites, including the possibility of building on the existing QEDHS site or on the same site as our elementary school in Sioux Lookout, Sioux Mountain Public School.  A decision on the site for the new school is likely to occur during the summer or in early fall.

Joan Kantola, Superintendent of Education, Steve Poling, Principal of Queen Elizabeth District High School (QEDHS) in Sioux Lookout, and Holly Szumowski, teacher at QEDHS, presented the Transitions North Classrooms year-end report and the Phoenix Program year-end report.  The KPDSB currently runs two Transitions North classrooms, one at Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout, and one at Open Roads Public School in Dryden.  The Transitions North classrooms support students diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) through partnerships with MotherRisk (under the direction of world-renowned specialist Dr. Gideon Koren from the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children or SickKids) and FIREFLY.  A third Transitions North classroom will be implemented in September 2014 at Keewatin Public School in Kenora.  The Phoenix Program is a pilot project at QEDHS that supports secondary students who are in the child care system, have FASD, and are at risk.  The first year of the program has been extremely successful and QEDHS staff hope to continue the program next school year.

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