10 May. 2018
KPDSB celebrates 16 schools receiving Ophea Healthy Schools Certification
Media Release - June 4, 2018
Through a partnership with the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), 16 Keewatin-Patricia District School Board schools have received Ophea Healthy Schools Certification, with 11 schools achieving gold level certification.
Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community. There are currently 238 schools in the province who have achieved the Healthy Schools Certification, 16 of which belong to the KPDSB. The KPDSB is also proud to note that 100% of secondary schools in the Board have achieved the certification.
“We are so excited to hear about all of the great work happening at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board. To have 16 schools complete the process and certify gold or silver is an amazing accomplishment. That these schools were able to work with their communities and partner with other schools from their school board, for a total reach of 18 out of a total of 20 schools is even more impressive. Ophea is very excited to continue working with KPDSB and can’t wait to see what will be accomplished next school year.” - Sarah Christie, Bilingual Projects Leader, Ophea
“The Northwestern Health Unit is a proud partner of KPDSB in the Healthy Schools Certification process. The engagement and energy that each school has shown to achieve gold or silver certifications shows a Board-wide commitment to creating schools that support student and staff well-being. We look forward to continuing work with KPDSB and are happy to celebrate this significant achievement” - Shannon Robinson, Manager, Chronic Disease Prevention, Northwestern Health Unit
“This Healthy Schools Certification for KPDSB schools is more than just about healthy active living. If people take a few minutes to look at the graphics and the data on the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board they will see what the province sees; true leadership, a focus on supporting both students and staff, and a recognition that we need healthy staff to model for healthy students. The Board recognizes the importance of our staff’s personal well-being and is grateful to the Northwestern Health for its leadership and support.” - Sean Monteith, Director of Education, Keewatin-Patricia District School Board
*Please see the accompanying Healthy Schools Certification Board Report for more information.
Ophea is a charitable organization that champions healthy, active living in schools and communities through quality programs and services, partnerships and advocacy, and is led by the vision that all children and youth value and enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy, active living.
Job Posting - Superintendent of Indigenous Education and Reconciliation
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is looking for a strong, dynamic individual with extensive experience in educational administration and strong innovative leadership in the area of Indigenous Education. Please click here to view the job posting.
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 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.
Keewatin Public School to Offer Forest School Programming for 2018-2019
Media Release - March 19, 2018
Through the Child and Nature Alliance’s Forest School Canada, key staff in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board will receive training in creating programs about nature and the forest thanks to a generous donation by Domtar in Dryden.
Forest School is an educational approach that can be found in schools around the world. Children in a Forest School learn in the natural environment with students spending the majority of their time learning outdoors. The program ensures regular and repeated access to the same natural spaces around them so children can build an ongoing relationship with both their teachers, and the land.
Keewatin Public School in Keewatin will be the first KPDSB school to offer Forest School programming, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. Keewatin Public School will also unveil a new outdoor learning environment in September to accompany its Forest School programming. The new outdoor learning environment, based on the four elements of earth, water, wind and fire, will provide children with the ability to explore and learn outside in a space designed to foster their learning.
Heather Mutch, Principal of Keewatin Public School, stated “Keewatin Public School is thrilled to announce our plan for accreditation as a Forest School and the opportunity for our children to reap the benefits. Forest School is an inquiry-based, child-centered approach to learning where all students foster their curiosity and develop great ideas in a place-based, outdoor environment.”
“This innovative approach to education is a good fit with our values and our longstanding efforts to support youth in their understanding of sustainability concepts,” said Bonny Skene of Domtar. “We are very pleased to support teachers from the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board in developing their knowledge and expertise and we look forward to more Forest School accreditations in our region.”
Mutch added “Having Forest School programming at Keewatin Public School fits nicely with our school-wide focus on outdoor and environmental education and our successful partnership with Scouts Canada. We wish to thank Domtar for their generous donation which allows us to provide staff training and program implementation.”