10 May. 2018
April Board Meeting - Trustees learn about entrepreneurship programming in schools, receive learning technologies update
Media Release - April 11, 2019
Trustees met at the Kenora Education Centre on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, for a regular Board Meeting.
The April Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Valleyview Entrepreneurship Program’ was received by Trustees. Lisa Achilles, Principal of Valleyview Public School, Valleyview students, and Cierra Parkhill, Lake of the Woods Business Incentive Corporation (LOWBIC), shared their recent learning with Trustees. Valleyview Public School has introduced a focus on business and entrepreneurship in partnership with LOWBIC through the Head Start in Business program. The goal of the program is to create learning environments that expose students to entrepreneurship experiences. The creativity and experiences shared by the students through programs like Be a Business Bee (Kindergarten-Grade 2), Create a Business Logo (Grades 3-6), and Kids Invent Program (Grade 6), impressed the Board of Trustees. With programs also available for intermediate and secondary students, there is no shortage of opportunities for program expansion in KPDSB schools. Components of the program are also available in French to support French Immersion students. Trustees thanked the presenters and expressed their hope to see more of this programming in schools in the future.
Jason McDonald, Learning Technologies Administrator, and Alexander McEachern, Technology-Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact, presented an update on the 2017-2020 KPDSB Learning Technologies Strategic Plan. Currently, in the second year of the three-year plan, technology-enabled learning has continued to expand and be available to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Key components of the plan include:
- The introduction of more than 400 Chromebooks in all primary grades with purposeful planning as to which applications will best meet student learning needs.
- The implementation of the G Suite set of educational tools from Google to support online classroom environments that allow for access to learning anytime and anywhere.
- Leveraging technology to collaborate across the region and beyond using video conferencing software that enables teachers to bring experts from various fields into classrooms, and helps students to develop global connections with students all over the world.
- Fostering creativity and critical problem-solving skills in students across the Board including providing more STEAM-focused learning opportunities through hands-on Makerspaces, computer coding and robotics.
- Integrating design technology into schools like 3-D printers and plasma cutters that allow students to learn with industry-standard tools.
- Ensuring on-going professional learning for staff through Learning Technology Champions at each elementary and secondary school who work with the Technology Enhanced Learning Teacher to mobilize and support the purposeful integration of technology for teaching and learning.
Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, presented an update on the KPDSB’s migration to new financial/accounting software called Sparkrock. Implementation began in October 2018 with a planned go-live date of July 1, 2019. Benefits provided by Sparkrock include cloud-based accessibility from anywhere with internet, timely and accurate financial reporting resulting in more informed decision making, and electronic approval routing for invoice payments, purchase orders and expense claims, making financial processes much more efficient and streamlined.
June Board Meeting Highlights - KPDSB Approves 2019-2024 Strategic Plan
Media Release - June 12, 2019
Trustees met at Red Lake District High School on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, for the last regular Board Meeting of the 2018-2019 school year.
The June Kids Come First presentation titled ‘The Red Lake DHS Food and Nutrition Initiative’ was received by Trustees. RLDHS teacher Darren Bausch, and students Connar Oster, Morgan Howell and Logan Ryczek, shared details of the initiative and how it has impacted them personally since it was implemented. The goal of the initiative is to encourage students to know where their food comes from, as well as to provide healthy food options in the school and to model healthy eating for students. From student athletes who have noticed an improvement in their conditioning, to students and staff composting and growing their own healthy foods right at the school, the benefits to the school community as a whole are being celebrated.
The 2019-2024 Strategic Plan was presented and approved by the Trustees, and concludes months of consultations and gathering of feedback from stakeholders. The new plan will guide the work of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board for the next five years. The plan includes a new vision statement; the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board puts students first by creating a culture of learning. New goals or areas of focus include:
- 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 school and staff are actively engaged in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
To view the 2019-2024 Strategic Plan in full, please click here.
Director of Education Sean Monteith presented the 2019 Employee Recognition Report. Each June, The Board publically acknowledges all employees with 25 years of service and retirees for their achievement and contributions to education in the Northwest. The 2018-2019 school year brought with it the retirement of 17 dedicated employees and another 11 were recognized for reaching the 25-year milestone. Combined, these employees have more than 700 years of service to public education. The Board of Trustees acknowledge this incredible contribution and expressed gratitude for all they have done for children and youth throughout their careers.
The Sioux Lookout Capital Assets Report was presented to the Board. Trustees voted to direct Board Administration to approach the Ministry of Education to utilize $1 million in existing reserve funds to proceed with the demolition of the prohibitive to repair portion of Queen Elizabeth District High School in Sioux Lookout (students and staff moved into their new school, Sioux North High School, in March 2019). The remaining portions of the building would be renovated and retrofitted in conjunction with Seven Generations Education Institute to offer post-secondary programming, including paraprofessional worker programs, Indigenous Nursing programs and Adult Education programs to support adults without a high school diploma.
Under Business Arising from Committee of the Whole, Monteith presented the KPDSB Consolidation Report. Recent government funding rollbacks amounting to approximately 4% of the overall annual Board operating budget have caused the administration and Trustees to look at all areas of spending for potential savings. The Board’s adopted stance to protect teaching positions and instructional services means that all operations needed review including the way the Board does business between the two offices, one in Dryden and the Head Office Kenora Board Office. After careful consideration, a motion was put forward and approved unanimously by the Board of Trustees to consolidate the two Board Offices and relocate both offices to Keewatin Public School in Kenora for September 2022. In total, the cost to operate both offices including lease and overall costs associated is in excess of $200,000 per year. In addition, the merging of the two offices into one location would allow for unprecedented job and portfolio consolidations, and in the process find significant savings at the central level. The end result of consolidating the Board Offices would be a mitigation of reductions in classrooms and school based positions at both elementary and secondary panel.
At present, Keewatin Public School is currently operating at approximately 50% capacity in terms of student occupancy and pupil places. The elimination of the remaining 160 pupil places on the second floor of Keewatin Public School to accommodate the KPDSB Board Office supports the Board’s efforts to apply and secure funding for its only remaining major capital project priority: a replacement school for Valleyview Public School in Kenora.
Monteith stated “Tonight the Board of Trustees have made the decision to act on their commitment to the vision of the KPDSB, to put kids first. By approving a new Strategic Plan for the next five years and to make progressive decisions on capital and consolidation that protect classrooms, the Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board have taken the hard course of action and not shied away from our challenges. In the end our staff, our schools and our students will be the better for it.”
KPDSB launches new section of website for Mental Health supports, checks in on Capital Projects for 2017-18
Media Release - May 10, 2018
Trustees met at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board’s Kenora Board Office on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, for a regular board meeting.
The May Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Students with Abilities and Special Education Co-op Program – Beaver Brae Secondary School’ was received by Trustees. Beaver Brae Secondary School’s Vice-Principal Lisa Achilles was joined by students and community members to talk to Trustees about a new Special Education Co-op being offered at Beaver Brae this school year. Goals of the program include preparing students for employment, and educating community employers on opportunities for hiring students and their ability to be valuable contributors to the employment sector. Community partnerships are crucial to the program, in particular is the school’s partnership with the Kenora Association of Community Living (KACL). Trustees heard firsthand the pride and enjoyment felt by the students, as well as the close bonds between the students, their mentors and program/school staff.
Candice Kerkermeier, Mental Health Lead, presented the Children’s Mental Health Update. Kerkermeier presented a new section on the KPDSB’s website for Mental Health resources and support in recognition of Mental Health Week (May 7-11). Included in the new section is links to:
- KPDSB Mental Health and Addictions Strategic Plan
- Mental Health Student Resources
- Mental Health Parent/Guardian Resources
- Mental Health Staff Resources
- Mental Health in Schools
- Mental Health Monthly Newsletter
- Trauma Informed Resources
- Crisis Supports (includes crisis phone numbers for youth and adults)
To view the entire section of the website, please visit *|SITE_URL|*pages/view/mental-health.
Steve Parker, Assistant Manager of Facility Planning and Development, presented the 2017-2018 Capital Projects Update. Parker updated Trustees on on-going and planned work on KPDSB classrooms and schools for the school year. Major projects include completion of Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout, a major renewal of Beaver Brae Secondary School’s (Kenora) Technology wing, major renewal of Ear Falls Public School, and installing tunable LED lighting in all KPDSB schools. Parker also spoke to new applications available to monitor school and building systems to reduce utility consumption with an added benefit of classroom access to the application for teaching and learning, as well as work in a handful of elementary schools through the Childcare Capital Grant.
Beaver Brae Bronco Cheerleaders to return to World Cheerleading Championships in Florida
Media Release - May 16, 2018
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board wishes to congratulate the Beaver Brae Bronco Cheerleaders and their coaches who will once again be representing the Manitoba Association of Cheerleading (MAC) and Northwestern Ontario at the 2019 High School World Cheerleading Championships at Disney World in Florida. The event takes place in February 2019.
In yet another milestone for the team, the Bronco Cheerleaders have received the Paid Bid to the event. The Paid Bid means that MAC will cover the costs of accommodations, park passes and all registration fees for the team. The Bronco Cheerleaders had previously received At Large Bids in 2017 and 2018 (meaning the cost to attend had to be covered by the team and/or school).
The Cheerleading Program at Beaver Brae expanded this school year to a team of 26 athletes, up from 19 during their previous visit to the world stage. To date, the team has won numerous events and awards, including their most recent gold medal at the MAC Provincials last weekend in Winnipeg and the highest score in Senior School Cheer.
Deb Allan, Head Coach for the Broncos Cheer Team, credits the team’s unprecedented achievement at previous World Championships and here at home to the hard work and dedication of each and every student on the team, the support of their families, teachers and Bronco Alumni coaches, as well as Beaver Brae’s Bronco Cheer Academy. Beaver Brae has also announced a new Artistic Sports Physical Education credit for the 2018-2019 school year.
Allan stated “The standards, expectations and opportunities that we provide through Bronco Cheerleading not only builds exceptional athletes and students, but also prepares these young women for perseverance and success in their future.”
Tracey Benoit, Principal of Beaver Brae Secondary School, added “Deb is a committed coach who has brought our Bronco Cheer Team to a world class level. She has an extensive background which has allowed her to mentor many Bronco Alumni and create a strong coaching community. Deb’s philosophy is one of inclusion where she focuses on creating a supportive and positive environment for her team. We’re proud of her and our hard working athletes and look forward to seeing them compete at the Worlds in 2019.”
The Beaver Brae Bronco Cheerleaders won their first bid to the High School World Cheerleading Championships in February 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.
During that first visit to the world stage, the Bronco Cheer Team won a Bronze medal in the Junior Varsity division and were a finalist in the Game Day championship, winning a Silver Nations Cup.
KPDSB announces administration appointments for 2018-2019 school year
Media Release - April 30, 2018
Trustees met at Lillian Berg Public School on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, for a regular Board Meeting (the original April Board Meeting had been postponed from April 10, 2018).
On behalf of the KPDSB Senior Administration Team, Superintendent Caryl Hron presented the 2018-2019 Administration Report. The following appointments were announced.
Lillian Berg Public School (Vermilion Bay)
- Principal – Doris St. Jules (currently Vice-Principal of Ear Falls Public School)
Sioux Mountain Public School (Sioux Lookout)
- Principal – Darryl Tinney (currently Principal of Red Lake District High School)
- Tinney will join the current Vice-Principal Barbara Van Diest
Sioux North High School (Sioux Lookout)
- Vice-Principal – Andy Schardt (currently Vice-Principal at Queen Elizabeth District High School and Principal of Savant Lake Public School)
- Schardt will continue his work with Principal Wayne Mercer and current Vice-Principal Jennifer McMaster
Savant Lake Public School
- Principal – Holly Szumowski (currently Principal of Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake)
- Szumowski will also continue in her role as Principal of Crolancia Public School
Golden Learning Centre (Balmertown)
- Principal – Grazia Cianci (currently Principal of Red Lake-Madsen Public School)
Red Lake-Madsen Public School (Red Lake)
- Principal – Debra Geary (currently Principal of Golden Learning Centre in Balmertown)
Red Lake District High School
- Principal – Shawnda Norlock (currently Vice-Principal of Red Lake District High School)
- Appointment of Vice-Principal at Red Lake District High School to be announced at a later date
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said “On behalf of the entire Senior Administration Team I would like to congratulate these individuals on their assignments and their milestone achievements; and in doing so continue to recognize the depth of leadership in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board.”