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.
KPSDB Continues to See Enrolment Increases
Media Release - November 15, 2017
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is pleased to report increased student enrolment for the 2017-2018 school year. The KPDSB for the first time in its history, will no longer be eligible for the “Declining Enrolment Grant” in 2017-2018.
The Board credits several factors for the increase in enrolment including its expansion of innovative student-based programs that increase student engagement and the efforts of front-line school staff to put the needs of students first. Additional acknowledgement must be given to ongoing and exhaustive efforts of administration to work closely with and sign formal agreements with Indigenous partners such as Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO), Seven Generations Education Institute (SGEI), and Lac Seul First Nation (LSFN).
Budgeted enrolment for the 2017-2018 school year was 4,842 students. Current enrolment for the KPDSB is 4,868, 26 students above the projected or budgeted enrolment.
Notable enrolment increases include:
- All Kenora elementary schools: Valleyview, Evergreen, Keewatin, and King George VI Public Schools are above projected and actual 2016-17 enrolments;
- Beaver Brae Grades 7/8 increased enrolment by 17 students;
- Golden Learning Centre in Balmertown is 17 students over budget;
- Sioux Narrows Public School enrolment at historic high; enrolment of 31 students;
- Lillian Berg Public School in Vermilion Bay, increase of 22 students over 2016-17;
- Queen Elizabeth DHS in Sioux Lookout is an additional 20 students higher than historic 2016-17 numbers with a total of 508; up from 396 students in 2013-14;
- Enrolment in Senior Kindergarten was 12 higher than projected at 296 students.
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said “There are always compelling indicators that clearly and indisputably demonstrate the direction an organization is headed in. The enrolment growth in many of our schools and the enrolment picture across the Board is strong. The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board continues to strengthen and with that so does our responsibility to Northern Ontario children.”
The KPDSB is currently seeking applicants for employment in all positions and will hold Recruitment Fairs in communities across the board area following a successful event in Sioux Lookout on November 8. Upcoming events include:
- Dryden/Ignace/Vermilion Bay areas – December 11, 2017 at Dryden High School from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
- Red Lake/Ear Falls areas – January 10, 2018 at Red Lake District High School from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
- Kenora/Sioux Narrows areas – January 30, 2018 at Manidoo Baawaatig from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
KPDSB & KDSB Receive Funding to Renovate Spaces for Child Care
Media Release - February 15, 2017
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) and the Kenora District Services Board (KDSB) are excited to announce we have received more than 3.6 million in funding to renovate and retrofit spaces in five KPDSB schools to create state of the art child care spaces.
The renovations are possible thanks to funding from the Ontario Government and Ministry of Education.
In total, $3,630,024 in funding will go towards renovations at the following schools:
- Open Roads Public School in Dryden ($403,336)
- New Prospect Public School in Dryden ($806,672)
- Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout ($1,210,008)
- Evergreen Public School in Kenora ($403,336)
- Keewatin Public School in Keewatin ($403,336)
The renovations will be completed in three phases, with phase one having already begun in Dryden. The remaining two phases (Sioux Lookout and then Kenora) will be completed by the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
Our organizations are pleased to continue working with our child care providers and elementary schools to provide seamless coordination of services for children and their families as they grow through our school communities.
Caryl Hron, Superintendent of Education for the KPDSB, said “As part of our Students Come First vision to support children in the communities of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, it has been our goal to provide the best services for our families by providing child care programs and Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres in our schools. Every child deserves the best start in life, and it is our honour and privilege to work closely with the KDSB and area child care providers to make sure all families are supported so that children can thrive and flourish in a high quality learning environment.”
Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer for the KDSB, added “The investments being made in moving standalone child care programs into schools demonstrates the positive partnerships that exist between the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, Kenora District Services Board and child care operators. It is our collective desire to ensure that children and families in our communities feel supported and that all families in the district have access to safe and affordable child care programs.”
Kenora’s Beaver Brae Bronco Cheerleaders win Bronze at World Championships in Florida
Media Release - March 8, 2017
The staff, administration and Trustees of the KPDSB wish to acknowledge the incredible achievements of Beaver Brae Secondary School’s (BBSS) Bronco Cheerleaders at the High School World Cheerleading Championships at Disney World in Florida this month.
The BBSS Cheer Team, made up of 19 student athletes in grades 7-12, travelled to Florida mid-February to compete in the Junior Varsity Division after winning their bid to the High School World Cheerleading Championships in February 2016 from the Manitoba Association of Cheerleading.
In December 2016, the team was adjudicated in Winnipeg by a representative from the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), and shortly after, the Broncos were invited by the International Cheer Union to enter a second event at the world championships called Game Day, making the BBSS Broncos the first international team to compete in the event.
We are proud to announce the Beaver Brae Broncos Cheer Team won a bronze medal in the World Junior Varsity Non Tumbling finals. Their placing helped earn the Canadian teams a silver in the Nations Cup. The Broncos also placed seventh overall in the U.S. Nationals Game Day event in the Junior Varsity division earning the Bronco Cheerleaders a Silver Nations Ranking.
Deb Allan, Head Coach for the Broncos Cheer Team, credits the team’s unprecedented achievement at the world stage to the hard work and dedication of each and every student on the team, the support of their families, teachers and coaches, and Beaver Brae’s Bronco Cheer Academy.
Allan stated “This opportunity provided for our team was such an honour and it was a very proud moment to be Canadian and a Bronco. The girls demonstrated such strength and composure at every single step and showed that they belonged on that Worlds Stage. Our Bronco Cheerleaders looked great in purple, white and Bronze and are now a nationally and internationally recognized school program in North America. Congratulations girls, this is an achievement you can carry with you for the rest of your lives and we’re very proud of you.”
KPDSB Trustees Approve Name for New High School in Sioux Lookout
Media Release - April 12, 2017
KPDSB Trustees approved a name for our new high school in Sioux Lookout at the April regular board meeting (held April 11, 2017, at Ignace Public School). The new name, ‘Sioux North High School’, received unanimous support from Trustees.
The process to select a name for the new high school began in May 2016. In accordance with KPDSB Policy 805 – Naming of Educational Facilities, the Naming of the New Sioux Lookout High School Committee was created. Members of the committee included area students and staff, as well as community representatives from both Sioux Lookout and Lac Seul First Nation.
Following a number of face to face community consultations in Sioux Lookout and Lac Seul, the public was given an opportunity to submit possible names for the new school through an online survey in June 2016. Submitted names were then voted on by members of the committee and a short list of three options was once again given to the public for input through another online survey in December 2016.
Results of the final survey indicated ‘Sioux Lookout True North High School’ received the majority of votes (approximately 800 of 1300 votes – the other name options were Points North District High School and Lac Seul District High School).
The naming committee held one final meeting, where students on the committee suggested an abbreviated version of the top choice, adjusting the name from ‘Sioux Lookout True North High School’ to ‘Sioux North High School’. The students’ suggestion received full support from the membership of the committee and the name was officially submitted to the Board of Trustees on behalf of the committee.
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “The naming of our new high school in Sioux Lookout, Sioux North High School, not only represents another significant milestone to our end goal of an official opening, it also represents the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board remaining true to its vision statement that we put students first, and with that comes the inherent responsibility to honour their voice.”