20 Nov. 2017
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.
Help our students build; making success in our community
KPDSB Director of Education welcomes all staff and students back to our schools
As I write this “Welcome Back to School” message as the proud Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, I do so bouncing back and forth between looking out over my favorite Northern Ontario lake in Ear Falls, and watching my Toronto Blue Jays close out another win! Such as it has been for the past couple months, July and August…most of which has been spectacular days filled with sunshine, great fishing, and good books. And knowing many of our families, our staff and community members, I suspect it has been the same for many of you!
However, cooler nights, shorter days, and amazing hues of blue and orange sunsets are upon us, and with it an amazing time of year for education: “Back to School”.
September is almost here, and I welcome all of our students, staff and families back to our schools! Our schools in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board are sparkling, much capital work completed in Red Lake, Dryden, and Kenora; with work about to begin in Sioux Lookout. There is a feeling in the air of excitement, enthusiasm, renewed energy and thoughts of the year ahead with all of the promise and hope that Public Education can bring….education truly is the great leveler of the field. And nowhere in this province of Ontario is education more important than right here in the Northwest.
As you read this annual message, many parents will share the trepidation that sending your first kindergarten child to school can bring; trepidation that I can say I share with many other fathers myself, as I send my oldest son Aoedan off to college for the first time as he prepares for his journey in the trades. September marks the beginning of new chapters for many families, students, and staff who eagerly await the arrival of faces of young learners, looking to be inspired and they themselves to inspire those around them with stories of resilience and optimism.
The past year for us in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board was a powerful reminder of what can be and what hard work and innovation can achieve, when we work together and think outside-of-the-box. I see our hard work and enthusiasm as absolute traits of us Northerners. I also want to take the opportunity to extend best wishes to all in the region for a successful year ahead, and specifically to the students, families and staff of the Kenora Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boreales, and Northwest Catholic District School Board. May we work together in a spirit of cooperation that supports all students in the name of public education, and as always, put their needs first!
Best Wishes for 2016-2017.
Director of Education
Beaver Brae is ready for the new school year!
Our staff are busy preparing for the return of our students and we are excited to welcome our newest learners to our school! Click here for some tips on getting ready to make the transition back to school!
Our students 'get cooking' for reach ahead credits
Our Culinary program is off to a great start for the 2016-2017 school year! Click here to learn more about our Reach Ahead credits and what our students have to say about the opportunity!