10 May. 2018
KPDSB announces resignation of Director of Education
Media Release - July 15, 2019
Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board have accepted the resignation of Sean Monteith, Director of Education, effective August 15, 2019.
Monteith, who has been with the Board for 25 years in a variety of roles, including elementary and secondary teacher, vice-principal and principal, Superintendent of Education and for the past six years, as Director of Education, has accepted the position of Director of Education with the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.
Under Monteith’s leadership, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board has gone through significant organizational restructuring resulting in a flattened organization, and a succession strategy that has positioned the work of the Board centrally around students. Over the last six years, the Board has established numerous agreements and partnerships with agencies and First Nations, particularly Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and Lac Seul First Nation, established the provincially recognized Four Directions Graduation Coach Program and Rapid Response Northern Support Team, seconded staff to various First Nation schools, and created the province’s first-ever Hockey Canada Skills Academy programs. Indigenous students are now graduating on par with non-Indigenous students in the KPDSB, and the Boards’ vision of “Kids First” has become the standard for all schools and staff. The KPDSB also recently completed its biggest capital project, the construction of Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout, after six years of work.
Monteith stated, “Many emotions and thoughts are going through my head tonight, with so many years and work behind us; I am grateful to the staff, students, communities and trustees. I am excited to begin a new chapter of hard work and effort in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, but without question, saying goodbye is very bittersweet. I think the best way to sign off is to say to everyone in the KPDSB…thank you.”
Upon accepting Monteith’s resignation, Chair of the Board, Cecile Marcino stated, “It is with regret that we say goodbye to Sean Monteith as our Director of Education. He has worked tirelessly to advocate not only for our students and staff, but education in the Northwest as a whole. Many of the achievements of our Board under his leadership will undoubtedly change lives, and we are proud of the organization we are today. We wish to thank him for his leadership and dedication to our schools; he will be greatly missed. We wish him all the best in future.”
Trustees will begin their work to replace Monteith this fall. Current Superintendent of Education, Caryl Hron, will step into the role of interim Director of Education effective August 15, 2019, and will remain in the position until a new Director of Education is officially appointed. Hron has been with the Board for 30 years and has been Superintendent of Education since 2010.
Trustees approve 2019-2020 budget
Media Release - July 16, 2019
Trustees met via teleconference on Monday, July 15, 2019, for a Special Board Meeting.
Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, presented the 2019-2020 Budget Estimates Report. The 2019-2020 Budget Estimates contain an in-year surplus of $196,000 on a Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) basis and is in a deficit of $602,000 on a Ministry of Education compliance basis. The government allows a 1% deficit to offset funding changes and the KPDSB is compliant with Ministry guidelines. Total budget for the KPDSB for the 2019-2020 school year is $94.8 million.
While 2019-2020 proved to be a challenging budget due to changes mandated by the provincial government, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board stayed true to its commitment to protect front-line staff in schools wherever possible.
Total revenues for 2019-2020 are projected to decrease by $1.1 Million (1.2%) compared to the 2018-19 budget. Changes are due to a decrease in grants for student needs ($1.8 Million) to reflect provincial austerity measures.
Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrolment for the 2019-2020 school year is projected at 4,706 students. This includes 2,876 elementary students and 1,830 secondary students. Enrolment at KPDSB schools is projected to increase in the elementary panel by 95 students, with a decrease in the secondary panel of 98 students compared to 2018-2019 Budget Estimates. Overall, most of the enrolment decline is at secondary schools in Dryden (down 30 students or 5%) and Ignace (down 11 students or 22%). As a result, there are some teacher staffing reductions in some areas due to declining enrolment.
Most of the budgeted capital activity for 2019-2020 is for two major renovation projects at Ear Falls Public School and Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora. Other major capital projects include child care spaces at Keewatin Public School and Evergreen Public School in Kenora.
Overall, staffing is up 0.8 FTE positions from the 2018-2019 budget. There is an increase of 5.1 FTE front-line staff in the schools and a decrease of 4.3 FTE staff outside the schools.
Findlay stated, “Despite the funding cuts, we made a commitment to protect the jobs of front-line staff in our schools to continue to provide quality programming for kids. We cut department budgets by 25% and streamlined operations through attrition and reductions in staffing positions outside the classroom. We are changing the way we do business. By making cuts in areas that don’t directly impact students, we found savings to protect teaching positions and we will continue to look for more efficient and effective ways to deliver programming to students.”
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.”
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.”