10 May. 2018
KPDSB elects new Chair and Vice-Chair, Trustee appointments announced
Media Release - December 5, 2018
Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, for the Inaugural Board Meeting.
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board swore in it’s new Board of Trustees, welcoming four new members for the 2018-2022 term. The list of Trustees and the areas they represent are below.
- Cecile Marcino, Chair
- Dave Cornish
- Jennifer Kitowski
Ear Falls Area
- Gerald Kleist, Vice-Chair
- Barb Gauthier
- Roger Griffiths
Sioux Lookout Area
- Darrin Head
Red Lake Area
- Marilyn Duncalfe
Ignace and Sturgeon Lake Areas
- Bob O’Donohue
Pickle Lake, Savant Lake and Upsala Areas
- Michelle Guitard
Individual on the Board to Represent the Interests of Indigenous Students
- Eric Bortlis
The Board of Trustees elected Cecile Marcino from the Kenora area as Chair of the Board for a one-year term following 18 years serving as Vice-Chair. Trustees Dave Cornish, Barb Gauthier and Gerald Kleist all received nominations for the position of Vice-Chair with Trustee Gerald Kleist ultimately being elected as Vice-Chair for a one-year term. Kleist has served as a Trustee for the Ear Falls area for 18 years.
The following Trustee appointments were made:
- Trustee Barb Gauthier was appointed to the Executive Committee for the period of December 4, 2018, to April 12, 2019, and Trustee Bob O’Donohue was appointed to the Executive Committee for the period of April 22, 2019, to November 30, 2019.
- Trustees Roger Griffiths, Marilyn Duncalfe and Michelle Guitard were appointed to the Audit and Finance Committees for a one-year term.
- Trustees Eric Bortlis, Dave Cornish and Gerald Kleist were appointed to the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC) for a one-year term.
- Trustees Eric Bortlis, Dave Cornish and Darrin Head were appointed to the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for a one-year term.
- Trustees Barb Gauthier and Marilyn Duncalfe were appointed to the Early Years Advisory Committee (EYAC) for a one-year term.
- Trustees Darrin Head and Michelle Guitard were appointed to the Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) for a one-year term.
- Trustee Jennifer Kitowski was appointed to the Transportation Policy Committee for a one-year term.
- Trustee Jennifer Kitowski was appointed to the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) Board of Directors.
Cecile Marcino, Chair of the Board, stated “Thank you to my fellow Trustees for the opportunity to be your Chair and I look forward to the upcoming years with this Board. I know that any challenges we face, we will face together as a team. As a long-standing Trustee with the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, I am very proud of the work of our staff and students and know that we will all continue to put our students and their needs first.”
KPDSB first school board in Ontario to register all schools for OPHEA Healthy Schools Certification
Media Release - December 18, 2018
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board has become the first school board in Ontario to register all its schools for the OPHEA Healthy Schools 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. Participating schools across Ontario complete the 6-Step Healthy Schools Process, which aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School resource. Through a point-based system schools plan their Healthy Schools process over the course of the school year. They outline the steps needed to achieve certification as gold, silver, or bronze.
“For the first time ever, all schools from one school board are participating in OPHEA’s Healthy Schools Certification! The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board should be proud of all its schools for their commitment this school year in becoming a Healthy School, and in promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community.”
- Sarah Christie, Bilingual Projects Leader, OPHEA
“We know that active healthy living and exercise is important for everyone, and particularly youth. Being physical and in turn promoting physical and mental well-being has become a priority for all of us in our schools. We know that in Northern Ontario, physical health and well-being are even more important and we are proud in Keewatin-Patricia to ensure we are doing our best to encourage this way of life. Congratulations to all of our schools and their champions in each location for promoting and making this a way of being.”
- Sean Monteith, Director of Education, Keewatin-Patricia District School Board
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. In the 2017-2018 school year, 16 KPSDB schools received the OPHEA Healthy Schools Certification with 11 achieving gold level certification.
Trustees explore impact of assistive technology and coding, celebrate 2018 achievements in Director’s Annual Report
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.
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.”