Open Roads
Public School
20 Davis Street, Dryden, ON P8N 1R4
Phone: (807) 223-4418 Fax: (807) 223-5346

Tanis Mitani-Oberg, Principal
tanis.mitani-oberg@kpdsb.on.ca

Teri Jackson, Vice-Principal
teri.jackson@kpdsb.on.ca

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News
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KPDSB announces resignation of Director of Education

15 Jul. 2019

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.

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Trustees approve 2019-2020 budget

16 Jul. 2019

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.”

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KPDSB searches for new Director of Education

19 Aug. 2019

Job Posting - Director of Education

An exciting and rewarding opportunity for a collaborative, visionary and empowering servant leader who is an evidence-based, accountable and an inclusive decision-maker, to lead the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board in putting students first by creating a culture of learning.

A progressive and proud public school board serving beautiful Northwestern Ontario, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) is guided by its vision as a board: “The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board puts students first by creating a culture of learning.” With the largest geographical area of all the district school boards in Ontario, KPDSB has schools in Kenora, Sioux Narrows, Vermilion Bay, Ear Falls, Red Lake, Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Ignace, Pickle Lake, Savant Lake and Upsala, the Board plays a vital role in serving the educational needs of many neighbouring and Northwestern Indigenous communities.

With a broad geographic base, talented front-line staff and passionate teachers, and a committed senior leadership team, KPDSB is focused on improving the overall well-being of K-12 students, with an emphasis on supporting vulnerable populations and Indigenous communities. With this in mind, the Board is seeking a leader with a proven track record of promoting the success and well-being of Indigenous communities, a committed, inclusive educator who will lead the way to help all students succeed by providing innovative approaches that address inequity in education for their communities.

As the Director of Education, you will meaningfully participate in achieving KPDSB’s four strategic goals, namely:

  • Student Achievement: Ensure the necessary resources are provided to all students to increase their individual achievement.
  • Safe and Supportive Schools: Ensure all students and staff have safe learning and working environments, where the academic and mental health needs of the child are met.
  • Innovative practice: Demonstrate effective “Change Ready” leadership.
  • Reconciliation: Ensure all schools and staff are actively engaged in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Given the Board’s significant technological investments to become a leader in Northwestern Ontario in virtual learning, and your experience with cutting-edge instructional practice, you will advocate strongly for innovation in education, including the effective, proactive use of new and emerging technologies. You are committed to the continuous improvement of student learning, and can effectively adapt to the changing landscape of education and implement initiatives that will move the Board toward a successful future.

Passionate about public education, community engagement and student success, you are prepared to establish a proactive communication strategy that will build on positive relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders — staff, students and parents, trustees and unions, and all communities. Your clear commitment to addressing the needs of Indigenous peoples as you enhance student success and well-being will be evident. You will demonstrate political acumen in championing and embedding leading governance practices by working with, and supporting, the Board of Trustees in an open, transparent and trusted relationship.

Setting your own agenda while capitalizing on existing plans, partnerships and strategies, as you transition successfully into this high-impact, highly visible role, you will build trust and credibility with all interested parties and further enhance the KPDSB culture of inclusion. You will also evaluate and optimize the allocation of resources across the Board to maintain fiscal stability in the face of limited government funding realities.

With a track record of success combining Supervising Officer papers with a Master’s degree and system leadership experience working within a school board, with proven acumen in financial accountability in a similarly small to medium system, you are adept at holding yourself and others accountable for actions and deliverables, building a vision and executing a strategic plan for an organization.

You are recognized for your high emotional intelligence, integrity and visibility, and your ability to listen to, engage with, and leverage the diverse perspectives of trustees, educators, support staff, students, parents and community leaders. You are equally known for building staff capacity by providing opportunities and strong mentorship, and for gaining the respect of staff, students, parents/guardians, elders and employee groups through empathetic, consistent leadership.

Informed by research and evidence, you are an assured manager of change, able to strengthen, inspire and motivate the senior management team, and build capacity through focused instructional intervention and family engagement. Having worked successfully in diverse communities and rural settings, with families and community partners to enhance student success and well-being, you are committed to equity and inclusion, and conversant with effective interventions to eliminate barriers to success. Experience in educational leadership in Northwestern communities would be an asset.

To be considered for this career-defining mandate with high visibility, accountability and impact, please send your application, in confidence, specifying the job title in the subject line of your email, by September 19, 2019, to careers@phelpsgroup.ca.

KPDSB is an equal opportunity employer. The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

Phelpsgroup – Toronto

401 Bay Street, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4

Phone: 416-364-6229

 

 

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KPDSB Welcomes New Trustee to Represent the Interests of Indigenous Students, Highlights Kindergarten Programming

20 Feb. 2018

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.

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Keewatin Public School to Offer Forest School Programming for 2018-2019

19 Mar. 2018

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.”

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