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 Early Years Open Gym to Valleyview Public School for month of March
Media Release - March 1, 2019
We are excited to announce the Early Years Open Gym in Kenora will continue during the month of March at Valleyview Public School. Families are invited to join us on March 5, 19, and 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The Early Years Open Gym is a free event for children ages 0-6. It provides an excellent opportunity for families to socialize, have fun, and be active with their child(ren). New for the month of March, thanks to the Salvation Army, Chef Pitre and the Hospitality and Tourism class at Beaver Brae Secondary School, a light dinner will also be provided free of charge for families.
The Early Years Open Gym would not be possible without the strength of community partnerships. We would like to thank all of our partners for working with us to ensure that kids come first.
Marnie Schuster, EarlyON Coordinator, stated “The Early Years Open Gym time was initiated by listening to the needs of our families, but it’s success is in having the support of our community partners who are genuinely invested in providing the best for families.”
The Early Years Open Gym began in January and has been hosted at different schools in Kenora, with the March events taking place at Valleyview Public School. The Early Years Open Gym is a free community event to encourage physical activity and play during the cold winter months.
KPDSB awards capital projects in Ear Falls & Sioux Lookout, receives update on Beaver Brae project
March 6, 2019
Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, for a regular Board Meeting.
Trustees awarded Finn Way General Contractor Inc. the Ear Falls Public School Capital Renovation Project at a total cost of $7,780,539, resourced through announced School Condition Improvement funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education. Details of the renovation include:
- Major renovation work to all program areas throughout the school to replace and reorganize classrooms with new layouts, finishes and systems upgrades including:
- Fully enclosed classrooms to improve noise control and classroom functionality
- Heating and ventilation upgrades to improve indoor environmental quality and energy performance
- ITS infrastructure replacement throughout (cabling, wireless access, projection)
- New tunable LED lighting in each classroom
- New millwork storage with classroom sinks and built-in teachers’ desk units
- New exterior roofing, insulation, cladding and windows which will drastically improve the energy performance and internal comfort for students and staff
- Redesigned spaces such as the library, administration, gymnasium, and washrooms to ensure they are fully accessible, as well as staff work areas
- New landscaping including a new parking lot, stormwater management, sidewalks and fencing to provide improved access into and around the school
Renovation work at Ear Falls Public School will begin this month with fully occupied classrooms by September 2019. Non-classroom and exterior work will continue into the fall of 2019.
Trustees awarded the Sioux Mountain Public School (Sioux Lookout) Roof Replacement Contract Tender to Lakehead Roofing & Metal Cladding Ltd. for a total cost of $1,100,000. Replacement of the room at Sioux Mountain is funded through School Condition Improvement funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education.
Trustees also received an update on the Beaver Brae Secondary School Capital Project. Currently out to tender, Phase 1 of the Beaver Brae capital project is expected to reach a total budget of approximately $6 million. With construction anticipated to begin in late April with completion in March 2020, the scope of work for Phase 1 includes:
- A new dramatic arts room that includes telescopic seating for up to 150 people, as well as a new performance stage and theatre sound and lighting to accommodate the currently fastest growing program at the school
- A large visual arts studio with lots of open space and natural light
- A new welding/manufacturing shop
- Relocation of Beaver Brae’s popular Bike Shop to improve external access to the program and storage
- Upgraded Food and Nutrition/Hospitality space with new equipment to accommodate high demand for those programs
- Fully upgraded state of the art Communications Technology lab including a video broadcasting studio and green room, photo studio for digital photography and a new computer lab layout
- A new fitness and weight room more than double the size of the current space to support personal fitness among students and staff
- Upgraded cafeteria with new layout including booths and charging stations
Phase 2 of capital project work at Beaver Brae will upgrade the schools parking lot and athletic field and improve accessibility at the school.
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “These three capital projects, including a complete rebuild of Ear Falls Public School and the renewal of the Beaver Brae Secondary School’s Tech Wing, have been identified as major priorities for the Board, and will bring equity of opportunities to the young people of Ear Falls and Kenora.”