20 Nov. 2017
Nishnawbe Aski Nation and KPDSB Sign Historic Memorandum of Understanding
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE - May 11, 2017
TIMMINS, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance educational services and opportunities for students and staff. This historic MOU represents an invested commitment and partnership to support NAN and KPDSB students and staff.
“Nishnawbe Aski Nation students, whether attending First Nation or provincial schools deserve education opportunities that will enable them to follow their dreams,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox. “For far too long, First Nations students have fallen through the large divide between these two systems. By working together we can ensure that we are focused on student success. We appreciate the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board’s commitment to improve education outcomes and we look forward to strengthening our relationship.”
The agreement was signed today in Timmins, Ontario during the NAN Chiefs Spring Assembly. The signing of the MOU is an important step to help NAN students reach their full learning potential, and at opportunities comparable to the general student population in Ontario.
“With this signing, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board take the unprecedented step of partnering together, putting the interests of children ahead of mandates, policies, and bureaucracy,” said KPDSB Director of Education Sean Monteith, “Perhaps most importantly, achieving this not by directive but rather by an ethical responsibility to Northern Ontario, and students and parents from NAN communities who look to education as the leveler of the field. Today is a day worth remembering, we are very pleased.’
The MOU focuses on several priority areas to improve educational outcomes for NAN students in both NAN First Nation operated schools and provincial schools. The priority areas include:
- Student Support Services – Development and implementation of strategies to support student safety and well-being measures, including mental health, student transition and orientation programs, parent engagement initiatives, support mechanisms for students living away from home, student retention strategies, involvement in extra-curricular activities, and the development of a First Nation student anti-addiction education program.
- Curriculum – Strategies to enhance the inclusion and integration of First Nation history, culture, perspectives and language within the provincial curriculum as appropriate.
- Professional Development – Strategies to support staff in meeting the holistic learning needs of First Nation students, development of strategies to facilitate cross-cultural training and professional development for educators in the provincial education system.
- Communication – Identification of mechanisms to improve communication between provincially funded schools and First Nation schools.
- Human Resources – Explore options to facilitate increasing the number of First Nation staff, including the participation of elders, in provincial schools.
- Parental Participation – Strategies to facilitate improved parental communication with, and involvement in, the provincially funded schools their children attend.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) represents 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty No. 9 and Ontario portions of Treaty No. 5 – an area covering two thirds of the province of Ontario in Canada.
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) delivers high-quality educational programming to more than 5000 elementary, secondary and adult education learners across Northwestern Ontario.
For more information please contact: Sheena Valley, Communications Officer- Keewatin- Patricia District School Board (807)223-5311 Ext.247 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information please contact: Tamara Piché, Communications Officer – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4906 or cell (807) 621-5549 or by email email@example.com
KPDSB Accepting Applications for the Office of Trustee for Sioux Lookout
Due to a recent resignation, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board will accept applications for the office of:
Representing the interests of ratepayers in:
Term of Office: September 2017 to November 30, 2018
As per the Education Act, a person is qualified to be elected as a member of the Board if the person is,
- Canadian citizen;
- of the full age of eighteen (18) years;
- a resident within the area of jurisdiction of the Board; and
- a public school elector.
Applications to be submitted to:
Mr. David Penney, Chair of the Board
Keewatin-Patricia District School Board
79 Casimir Avenue
Dryden, Ontario P8N 2Z6
Closing Date for Applications is August 28, 2017
School Starts on Tuesday, August 29th! Welcome Back from our Director of Education!
Back to School! Classes start on August 29, 2017!
Message from the Director of Education
What a "Back to School” message means depends a great deal on who you are, where you live and if you are around young people; whether that be as parents, grandparents, elders, teachers or community members. In the days ahead, the relaxed atmosphere of the dog days of July and August, transitions into cooler nights, shorter days, and kids with backpacks walking our sidewalks emitting the sounds of laughter. I always think of the parents of first year kindergarten students, and more specifically their emotions, as they send their greatest investment and achievements...their children, off to start school; and in doing so keeping in the back of their minds that 14 years from now they will hopefully graduate from high school.
As the proud Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, I write this annual message while sifting back and forth between looking out over my favorite Northern Ontario lake in Ear Falls, reflecting on the summer's events dominated by fishing and reading, and feeling the energy and invigoration that working in the service of children brings. I recognize I am biased, but in my own opinion there is no greater calling than EDUCATION.
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 has been completed in Red Lake, Dryden, and Kenora; and work in Sioux Lookout on our new Sioux North High School has begun and is on track! 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.
September marks the beginning of new chapters for many students and families, but also for our staff who eagerly await the arrival of faces of young learners, looking to be inspired and they themselves inspiring 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!
As the Director of Education for the KPDSB, I assure all parents and students that our commitment to the needs of Northern Children, your children, remains resolved, determined and assuredly uncompromising.
Best wishes for 2017-2018.
Director of Education
Beaver Brae’s Tracey Benoit appointed to Ontario Minister of Education’s Principal Reference Group
Media Release - October 11, 2017
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board wishes to congratulate Tracey Benoit, Principal of Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora, on her recent appointment to the Minister of Education’s Principal Reference Group (MPRG). Benoit will join the MPRG for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years.
The Minister’s Principal Reference Group (established in 2006) is made up of 20 principals and vice-principals from across Ontario who are appointed by the Minister of Education. Principals serving on the MPRG provide the Minister with invaluable advice on a wide range of policy and program matters through their perspectives and experiences with Ministry of Education programs and policies. They also share their individual insights, feedback and recommendations for education in Ontario directly with the Minister of Education.
Benoit stated “My initial reaction was one of shock when I learned I was chosen to be a part of the Minister’s Principal Reference Group. It’s now sinking in and I understand the importance of the role, I feel very honoured to be a part of this group. We have a firsthand opportunity to provide feedback on Ministry initiatives and their impact on our students and schools, and it’s exciting to think about the impact that my voice will have on future education policies and programs. The Minister is interested in what educators, students and stakeholders have to say and I feel that it is critical to have the input of everyone across Ontario.”
Benoit added “I’m also excited to be able to collaborate with the principal group to share effective practices and to hear about their programs that foster student success. I know that what I learn over the next two years will help me develop immensely as an instructional leader and I’m really looking forward to that part of it.”
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said “We are indeed pleased and proud of Tracey’s appointment to the Minister’s Principal Reference Group; but we are not surprised. Those that know Tracey know her to be a leader among her peers and she deserves this appointment.”
October Board Meeting Highlights
Media Release - October 12, 2017
Trustees met at Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout on Tuesday, October 10, for a regular board meeting. Trustees held their board meeting following an opportunity for a firsthand look at the progress to date on the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board‘s new high school, Sioux North High School. Trustees were pleased with the progress and were informed that the walls have now been erected with roof work to begin within the week. Please click here to view a live stream of the construction.
The October Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Project Sunset – Sioux Mountain Public School’ was received by Trustees. Project Sunset Coordinator, Curtis Robb, and Sioux Mountain student, Kanaysah Kakegamic, shared their experiences in the program with Trustees. Project Sunset is an OPP-led initiative, designed to empower children and build skills like resiliency and self-awareness through a strengths-based, outdoors-focused experiential learning curriculum. Some of the hands-on activities students in the program participate in include dogsledding, rock climbing, canoeing, and camping. Kanaysah had plenty to say about the program, including that the program makes her feel safe and throughout the presentation, she referred to those involved as her family. Kanaysah plans to return to the program once she goes on to high school as a mentor for the younger students. Project Sunset is offered to students at KPDSB schools in Sioux Lookout, Dryden and Kenora.
Deanna Pacheco, Student Achievement Administrator, presented the Student Achievement report. The position of Student Achievement Administrator was put in place in February 2016 and works closely with central Student Achievement Special Assignment Teachers and school administration. Six KPDSB school were identified as the focus of the student achievement work for the 2017-2018 school year. The work includes school and classroom visits to talk about instruction and assessment, sharing resources and best practices, and support for both school administrators and staff based on school and classroom needs. The province’s renewed Math strategy is also an important component of this work and ultimately, the goal is to see students’ literacy and numeracy scores improve over time.
Superintendents Caryl Hron, Joan Kantola and Tania Sterling presented the 2017-2018 Board Continuous Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BCIP) update. The 2017-2018 BCIP, along with individual School Improvement Plans, guides the work of our schools. Taking a grass roots approach to the plan, this year’s plan development includes increased analysis of school data with school administration, discussions around areas of student and teachers needs in each school, prioritization of centralized supports for schools, consultation with elementary and secondary administrators and central staff to identify priorities, and development of a draft BCIP for sharing with schools for feedback prior to presenting the BCIP to the Board of Trustees.
Kim Carlson, Facilities Manager, along with Chris Edie, Assistant Manager Facility Operations & Maintenance, and Steve Parker, Assistant Manager Facility Planning & Development, presented the 2017 Capital Projects report. Highlights of capital work included:
- Construction of Sioux North High School (Sioux Lookout)
- Child care space planning at Sioux Mountain Public School (Sioux Lookout), New Prospect and Open Roads Public Schools (Dryden)
- Roof replacements at Evergreen, King George and Keewatin Public Schools (Kenora)
- Parking lot improvements at Red Lake District High School