20 Nov. 2017
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.
Jack Talks Session in Kenora - Free Community Event on May 2, 2017 at 7:00pm
To recognize Children’s Mental Health Week, May 1-7th, we are hosting a Jack Talks session for all families in Kenora and the surrounding areas.
The session features young leaders who discuss how to identify a mental health crisis, how to seek help, and how to support a friend who may be struggling by sharing their own experiences.
Please join us at Beaver Brae on Tuesday, May 2, for this free community event.
KPSDB Continues to See Enrolment Increases
Media Release - November 15, 2017
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is pleased to report increased student enrolment for the 2017-2018 school year. The KPDSB for the first time in its history, will no longer be eligible for the “Declining Enrolment Grant” in 2017-2018.
The Board credits several factors for the increase in enrolment including its expansion of innovative student-based programs that increase student engagement and the efforts of front-line school staff to put the needs of students first. Additional acknowledgement must be given to ongoing and exhaustive efforts of administration to work closely with and sign formal agreements with Indigenous partners such as Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO), Seven Generations Education Institute (SGEI), and Lac Seul First Nation (LSFN).
Budgeted enrolment for the 2017-2018 school year was 4,842 students. Current enrolment for the KPDSB is 4,868, 26 students above the projected or budgeted enrolment.
Notable enrolment increases include:
- All Kenora elementary schools: Valleyview, Evergreen, Keewatin, and King George VI Public Schools are above projected and actual 2016-17 enrolments;
- Beaver Brae Grades 7/8 increased enrolment by 17 students;
- Golden Learning Centre in Balmertown is 17 students over budget;
- Sioux Narrows Public School enrolment at historic high; enrolment of 31 students;
- Lillian Berg Public School in Vermilion Bay, increase of 22 students over 2016-17;
- Queen Elizabeth DHS in Sioux Lookout is an additional 20 students higher than historic 2016-17 numbers with a total of 508; up from 396 students in 2013-14;
- Enrolment in Senior Kindergarten was 12 higher than projected at 296 students.
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said “There are always compelling indicators that clearly and indisputably demonstrate the direction an organization is headed in. The enrolment growth in many of our schools and the enrolment picture across the Board is strong. The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board continues to strengthen and with that so does our responsibility to Northern Ontario children.”
The KPDSB is currently seeking applicants for employment in all positions and will hold Recruitment Fairs in communities across the board area following a successful event in Sioux Lookout on November 8. Upcoming events include:
- Dryden/Ignace/Vermilion Bay areas – December 11, 2017 at Dryden High School from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
- Red Lake/Ear Falls areas – January 10, 2018 at Red Lake District High School from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
- Kenora/Sioux Narrows areas – January 30, 2018 at Manidoo Baawaatig from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Live Stream of Construction of Sioux North High School (Sioux Lookout)
Our new high school (Sioux North High School) in Sioux Lookout is really taking shape! Save this link to watch the construction - https://www.youtube.com/embed/live_stream?channel=UCQGj4ntcdJSsaIpV4q1TA_A
Ontario Special Needs Strategy Update for Families - Rehabilitation Services
As a family whose child may be receiving or waiting for rehabilitation services (speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy), we are writing to provide you with an update on upcoming improvements to the delivery of children’s rehabilitation services in your community.
As you may know, in 2014 the government launched the Special Needs Strategy in response to feedback received from families to improve the timeliness, effectiveness and coordination of the services that children and youth with special needs require to fully participate at home, at school, in the community and to achieve goals for adulthood.
A key initiative of the Special Needs Strategy is the integrated delivery of rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology, for children and youth from birth to school exit.
Over the past year, service providers – including community-based Preschool Speech and Language providers, District School Boards, Community Care Access Centres and Children’s Treatment Centres – in communities across the province have worked to develop locally integrated, family-centred ways to deliver children’s rehabilitation services to improve family service experiences and outcomes for children and youth with special needs. In doing so, service providers have engaged with families and youth in our communities to seek their input.
What is Changing?
Once the improvements are implemented, children and youth with rehabilitation service needs and their families will have:
A seamless service experience from birth to school exit, with no gaps in service as children transition to school or between service providers;
- Child, youth and family centred service as parents and children/youth work together with service providers and educators to set goals based on their individual needs and strengths;
- Access to a broad range of high quality interventions (classroom, parent training, educator consultation) in settings that are most appropriate to their needs, and as convenient as possible to families; and
- Continuous and consistent services throughout the calendar year regardless of who delivers them in the community.
Following the ministries’ review of initial local proposals, service providers are now beginning to refine their proposals based on consultation with stakeholders. Based on feedback gathered, they will then begin to develop local plans for implementation of their new local models for the integrated delivery of rehabilitation services in each community.
When Will These Changes Take Place?
These changes will be phased in so that they will not disrupt any services your child may currently be receiving in the community or school. Families currently waiting for services will maintain their place on the waitlist. There will be no reduction in service capacity as a result of this change. Implementation of new service delivery models is expected to begin as early as Fall 2018.
We will continue to work together across service providers in the community to ensure that there will be no gaps in services for your child and that any changes will be seamless for you and your family.
How Can I Get More Information?
We will continue to keep you informed as the new model is developed in your community.
You can also visit the Ministry of Children & Youth Services website at www.children.gov.on.ca for more information about the special needs strategy in Ontario.
For more information or if you have any questions, please contact: Sean Monteith, Keewatin Patricia DSB, 807 468 5571 ext 236
Superintendent of Education
Keewatin Patricia District School Board