30 Apr. 2018
KPDSB students participating in provincial Skills Ontario Competition in Toronto
Media Release - May 2, 2017
14 students from the KPDSB traveled to Thunder Bay in early April to compete in the Skills Ontario Qualifying Competitions at Confederation College in Thunder Bay. Students from Beaver Brae, Dryden High and Queen Elizabeth represented the KPDSB and their schools by demonstrating their skills in culinary, small engines, carpentry, video production, and welding. It was the largest group of students to date to attend a Skills Ontario qualifier from the KPDSB.
All of our students, while up against tough competition from students across the region, placed in every area of the Skilled Trades qualifier. They each earned themselves a bid to the provincial competition currently underway in Toronto (May 1-3, 2017), where they are facing off against top competitors from across the province. Our students’ participation in Toronto also marks the largest group of qualifying students to ever attend a provincial competition for the KPDSB.
Richard Hodgkinson, Alternative Learning Lead for the KPDSB, said “Good luck to all of our students currently competing in the Skills Ontario Provincial Competition. Your dedication and passion has lead you to where you are today and we are very proud of your accomplishments.”
Hodgkinson continued, speaking to the importance of skilled trade opportunities for secondary students in the area “We want to prepare our secondary school’s youth for the highly-skilled economy of tomorrow. We offer multiple programs in all our secondary schools including Specialist High Skills Majors, School College Work Initiative Dual Credits, Cooperative Education, Peer Mentoring, and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship to help students engage, learn and develop their skills. These enable and empower all our youth, including females and Indigenous youth, to consider a career in the skilled trades and technologies. Through the Skills Ontario Competition, programs and our regular technology courses are just another way to help students decide their pathway when they graduate.”
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.”
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.”
KPDSB celebrates excellence at Dryden High School, receives update on KPDSB/NAN partnership
Media Release - November 14, 2016
Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, November 8, for a regular board meeting.
The November “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Skills for Life’ was received by Trustees. Dryden High School (DHS) teachers Paul and Dave Darling, accompanied by DHS students, shared a glimpse into technology programs offered at DHS. The classes offered through DHS’s technology department are vast, including transportation, communications, construction and manufacturing technology, computer sciences and robotics, dual credits (where students can earn both a high school and college credit) in welding and basic hand tools, and an integrated trades bundle credit program. Students at the presentation shared what the technology courses mean to them, telling Trustees that the hands on learning offered through the tech classes reduces stress, provides creative outlets, builds confidence, and increases engagement while providing an opportunity to explore new experiences and find out what they are interested in, all while having some fun during the school day.
A group of DHS staff also made a presentation to Trustees, titled ‘A Story of our Successful Graduates and Leaders of Tomorrow’. DHS teachers Jason Stevenson (Languages Department Head, English), Kurt Schmidt (Science Department Head, Physics, Outdoor Education), Blair Roberts (Senior Biology and Chemistry, Environmental Science), Nicole Moline (Senior English, Anthropology) and Joanna Ulisse-Caren (Senior Math - Calculus and Vectors, Advanced Functions, Data Management) shared some of the strategies they use in their classrooms as they work to prepare their students for their careers of choice. All agreed on the importance of challenging their students through inquiry based strategies to support them in becoming resilient, self-sufficient learners who can think critically and form out of the box solutions to any challenges they may face in the future.
Following the teachers presentation, videos of DHS alumni were shared where former students spoke about how their time at DHS prepared them for the careers and post secondary studies they have chosen. Trustees heard many of the students not only felt they were well prepared for their programs, but that they watched their classmates struggle and were grateful to the staff at DHS for going above and beyond to make sure they had the tools they needed to succeed. The students spoke about specific staff in the building who had impacts on them, often identifying more than one teacher or staff member, and extended their appreciation and thanks to their former teachers for their support, which often continued past graduation.
Michael Boos, KPDSB principal currently on secondment with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), presented the NAN/KPDSB partnership update. In 2013, discussions began between NAN and the KPDSB to look at new ways of support northern children. Through those discussions, a partnership was formed to develop and implement a pilot program to support Frist Nation schools within the NAN territory though leadership development, while working collaboratively to help design and promote strategies to equip First Nation students with the self-confidence and educational opportunities to be successful in reaching their education goals. Beginning steps of the pilot program include, but are not limited to, an assessment of what is needed, on the ground assistance based on community needs, support for teacher evaluations, retention strategies, transitions strategies, and principal mentorship. Participation by NAN communities is voluntary, with the following communities participating in the initial pilot program as of November 8, 2016: Fort Severn First Nation, North Spirit Lake First Nation, Webequie First Nation, Marten Falls First Nation, Long Lake #58 First Nation, and Mattagami First Nation. Each First Nation will work directly with Boos in developing a plan to meet their needs.
KPDSB appoints New Superintendents of Education, Human Resources
Media Release - February 14, 2017
Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board are pleased to announce the appointment of Tania Sterling to Superintendent of Education with responsibility for Secondary Schools and Student Success effective August, 2017; and the appointment of Joan Kantola, currently Superintendent of Education, to the new position of Superintendent of Human Resources and Special Education effective April 1, 2017.
The appointments mark a further significant milestone in the Board’s restructuring of its administration and executive teams. Supported by the Efficacy work that has been underway for the past four years and taking place across the board and schools, these changes also secure strong succession planning for the future.
Dr. Sterling made the following comments about her new appointment “Over the past few years, I have developed strong relationships with staff and a deep understanding of the goals that lie ahead. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities offered by this new position with KPDSB.”
“I am very appreciative and humbled to be assuming my new role” said Joan Kantola with regards to her new appointment. “I have great respect for our current Human Resources staff and I look forward to working alongside the department to ensure we maintain the highest level of customer service for our entire system. I am looking forward to building a collaborative working relationship with Tania in her new role in our efforts to continue to put students first.”
Dave Penney, Board Chair, said “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are extremely pleased to welcome Tania, knowing that her qualifications will no doubt be a great asset and that she will help to strengthen what we know is already an incredibly strong executive leadership team here at the KPDSB. We look forward to working with Tania and Joan in their new appointments.”
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “With the appointment of Tania Sterling to our team and the experience that she brings with her; and the appointment of Joan to a new realm of responsibility, the KPDSB has taken the last major step towards its end-goal of a system-reorganization. Capitalizing on the new external expertise Tania brings, and supported by the reassignment of existing assets and experiences Joan, Caryl Hron, Dean Carrie, and Kathleen O’Flaherty possess, as Director of Education I could not be more pleased. This is tremendous for the KPDSB; there is simply a lot of gratification being felt today.”
Dr. Tania Sterling comes to the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board with over 22 years of instructional and educational leadership experience in Ontario. She has designed and facilitated face-to-face and online professional learning in K12, higher education, and corporate settings. In June 2013, Tania assumed the Vice President, Efficacy role at Pearson Canada to ensure its products and services had a measurable impact on learners. Her most rewarding system improvement work has involved collaborating with educators and leaders in K12 school districts in Northwestern Ontario and the Ministry of Education in Nunavut to support the unique needs of FNMI learners. In her free time, Tania enjoys cooking, yoga, and spending time outdoors. She and her husband Kevin keep busy schedules coordinating visits with their two sons Kurtis and Jack who are attending university, and cheering their daughter Julia on during her competitive dance season.
Joan Kantola has been the Superintendent of Education with the KPDSB since 2013 when she assumed responsibility for the Board’s Special Education and Elementary Schools’ Programming. Recently Joan successfully completed the Rotman School of Business Strategic Executive Human Resources Management Program, with the University of Toronto.
Joan and Tania will work alongside Caryl Hron Superintendent of Elementary Education, Early Learning and Instruction; Dean Carrie, Superintendent of Business; Kathleen O’Flaherty, Assistant Superintendent of Business; and Director of Education Sean Monteith.