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Toll Free: 877-287-5430
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KPDSB & Seven Generations Launch New Adult Learning Portal

05 May. 2020

Media Release - May 5, 2020

As a part of Education Week 2020 (May 4-10), the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) and Seven Generations Education Institute (SGEI) are excited to launch a new online portal to support adult learners across the region.

The new online portal - https://www.nwoadulted.com - is host to a wealth of information, including:

  • Pathways– Depending on the goals of each learner, the portal offers individual pathway planning in the following areas:
    • Earning your high school diploma
    • Upgrading for college or university
    • Upgrading for employment
    • Upgrading literacy skills
    • Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) – Adult learners may be closer than they think to reaching their goals.  The new portal provides PLAR information for mature students including a credit calculator that can provide potential students with a senior credit estimate they can apply to their high school diploma.
    • Course Selection –Adult learners can choose between university, university/college, college, and workplace preparation courses, as well as open courses for Grades 11 and 12.
    • Success Stories – The portal includes a variety of success stories from past Adult Education graduates.  By sharing their stories, we can celebrate our students’ achievements and inspire potential students to reach out and complete their high school education.
    • Online Registration – There are a variety of ways to register for Adult Education through the portal, including a new online registration process.
    • Contact Information – With numerous sites and locations in the region, the new portal includes location and contact information to support learners.

Sherri-Lynne Pharand, KPDSB Director of Education, stated, “We are so lucky to have this great partnership with Seven Generations Education Institute to provide Adult Education programming in our communities.  This new portal is an excellent way to help interested adults know what is available. The PLAR assessment tool in particular helps potential students know how much their life experience is valued as part of the learning and really helps the goal of a high school diploma be that much more attainable.”

Sean Taggart, Adult Education Partnership Program Principal, added, “The Partnership between the KPDSB and Seven Generations Education Institute has been providing Adult Education for over eight years.  With the launch of the new website, adult students throughout the district have a place to explore opportunities to help them reach their educational goals.  Whether you are interested in completing your OSSD, taking an online blended course, or completing a specific course to enter a college or university program, the website will provide students with the necessary information to move forward.  You’re closer than you think!” 

Background:

In September 2012, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and Seven Generations Education Institute embarked on a partnership to deliver adult education throughout Northwestern Ontario.

The goals of this partnership include:

  • Increasing opportunities for both indigenous and non-indigenous adult learners throughout the KPDSB and SGEI communities to achieve the Ontario Secondary School Diploma
  • Improving access for adult learners to high quality curriculum resources on a full or part-time basis
  • Committing to excellence and innovation in serving the needs of adult learners

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April Board Meeting Highlights - KPDSB Providing Distance Learning for all Students

15 Apr. 2020

Media Release - April 15, 2020

Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board met via Google Meet on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, for the April Regular Board Meeting.

Shannon Bailey, Superintendent of Education, presented the Supporting Distance Learning report. On Monday, April 6, 2020, the KPDSB officially launched distance learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of all schools by the Ontario government. Reconnecting students and staff during the closures was a top priority. 

The first step of supporting distance learning was for staff to reach out to each student to find out what needs would need to be met.  This initial interaction allowed teachers and staff to create a distance learning plan that fits each student, both online and offline.  The creation of an electronic portal supported staff in accessing the resources and training needed to provide distance learning.  Now into the second week of distance learning, staff continue to use their strengths and understandings about technology-enabled learning and equity of education to reach every student and continue allowing students to learn with their teachers while schools are closed. 

In addition to academic supports, the Board has also put additional supports in place for students and families during the pandemic, including Mental Health resources, access to free wifi at all KPDSB buildings and a listing of community supports that can be accessed through the KPDSB’s website

Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, presented the Board Office Amalgamation update and Board Office Amalgamation Committee update.  As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt across the province and country, the Board of Trustees voted to rescind previous motions regarding the consolidation of the Dryden and Kenora Board Offices. 

In June 2019, the Board voted to execute the consolidation of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board’s Board Offices in Dryden and Kenora into Keewatin Public School for September 2022.  Additional motions in the fall of 2019 required the creation of a Board committee to oversee the consolidations.  The Board rescinded all motions regarding the consolidation of Board Offices at the April meeting.  At this time, all resources are being focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting distance learning during the school closures.  The consolidation of the Board Offices has been referred back to the Senior Administration team for review.

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KPDSB appoints Joan Kantola as Interim Director of Education

06 Jan. 2020

Media Release - January 6, 2020

Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board have appointed Joan Kantola as Interim Director of Education.  Kantola is currently the Superintendent of Human Resources and Special Education.

The appointment follows the resignation of Caryl Hron, Interim Director of Education, at a Special Board Meeting on January 3, 2020.  Hron will continue in her role as Superintendent of Education.  Kantola will hold the position of Interim Director of Education January 3-20, 2020, at which time, Sherri-Lynne Pharand will officially step into the role of Director of Education.

Kantola stated, “I look forward to working with our students, staff and Trustees as the Interim Director of Education until we officially welcome our new Director of Education, Sherri-Lynne, to our Board on January 20.  Thank you to the Board of Trustees for this opportunity.”

Cecile Marcino, Chair of the Board, added, “We accept Caryl’s resignation and wish to thank her for her commitment to our Board and to the children and youth in our region.   We appreciate the time Caryl has given through her work as Interim Director of Education and look forward to continuing to work with her in her role as Superintendent of Education.”

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KPDSB elects Chair and Vice-Chair, Trustee appointments announced

11 Dec. 2019

Media Release - December 11, 2019

Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, for the Inaugural Board Meeting.  Trustees were honoured to attend Dryden High School’s Four Directions Winter Feast and Student Art Show as a part of the December Students Come First presentation prior to the meeting. Trustees also introduced and welcomed new Director, Sherri-Lynne Pharand (Sherri-Lynne will officially step into the role on January 21, 2019).

Trustee Cecile Marcino from the Kenora area was acclaimed for the second year in a row as Chair of the Board for a one-year term following 18 years serving as Vice-Chair.  Trustees Dave Cornish, Roger Griffiths and Gerald Kleist all received nominations for the position of Vice-Chair with Trustee Roger Griffiths ultimately being elected as Vice-Chair for a one-year term.  Griffiths has served as a Trustee for the Dryden area for six years.

The following Trustee appointments were made:

  • Trustee Eric Bortlis was appointed to the Executive Committee for the period of December 10, 2019, to April 30, 2020, and Darrin Head was appointed to the Executive Committee for the period of May 4, 2020, to November 30, 2020.
  • Trustees Roger Griffiths, Marilyn Duncalfe and Dave Cornish were appointed to the Audit and Finance Committees for a one-year term.
  • Trustees Eric Bortlis, Bob O’Donohue and Gerald Kleist were appointed to the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC) for a one-year term. 
  • Trustees Eric Bortlis, Gerald Kleist 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.

Trustee Marcino, Chair of the Board, stated “Thank you to my fellow Trustees for your support and thank you to the administration and staff across the board for all that you do for our students.  We had a great year and I am looking forward to 2020 and all that we’ll accomplish together.”

Trustee Griffiths, Vice-Chair of the Board, added “Thank you to the Board for putting your trust in me as your Vice-Chair.  I’m excited about the work we are doing and look forward to the next year in the position.”

Sheena Pilipishen, System Communication & Media Administrator, presented the 2019 Director’s Annual Report.  The report celebrates the achievements of students and staff over the past year while providing an overview of programming opportunities in the Board.  The 2019 report received a fresh new look this year, becoming an interactive website full of videos and photographs.  Highlights of the 2019 report include our work around student achievement, safe and supportive schools, innovative practice and reconciliation.  Please click here to view the full report or visit our website at kpdsb.on.ca and click on ‘Board Information’.

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KPDSB appoints Sherri-Lynne Pharand as Director of Education

26 Nov. 2019

Media Release - November 26, 2019

Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board are pleased to announce the appointment of Sherri-Lynne Pharand to the position of Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, effective January 21, 2020.

Pharand, currently Superintendent of Education with Lakehead District School Board (LDSB), has extensive and varied experience as an educator.  Since beginning her career in 1990 as a teacher, she has worked as a principal and vice-principal, including positions as Principal of Leadership Development and Supervising Principal of Instructional Services, as well as Executive Lead for the Managing Information for Student Achievement (MISA) Thunder Bay Region Professional Network Centre, Superintendent of Education, and Acting Director of Education for LDSB.

As a Superintendent of Education, Pharand has focused on providing the best educational opportunities to all students and ensuring students have what they need to be successful.  Her portfolios have included: School and System Improvement, Curriculum and Instruction (including Early Learning), School Effectiveness and Student Success, French and English as a Second Language Programs, Indigenous Education, Information Technology, Leadership, Contract Management, and Research and Development.  She has co-authored a chapter called Student Motivation in Large Scale Assessment in a book titled Large-Scale Assessment in Education: Theory, Issues and Practice, and led the development and implementation of the Urban Aboriginal Education Project.  Pharand’s belief in collaborative professionalism has led to her presenting at numerous local, national and international conferences.  Most importantly, she believes in the capability of every student and the capacity of every educator and support staff to meet the needs of children and youth. 

Pharand stated, “I believe passionately in improving learning for students and preparing them for their futures. To accomplish this, it takes all our collective efforts: the leadership of trustees, the talents and learning of staff, the engagement of parents and families, and partnerships with communities. I am looking forward to working together to ‘put our students first by creating a culture of learning’ and in doing so, supporting strong, northern communities.”

Cecile Marcino, Chair of the Board, added, “We are pleased to welcome Sherri-Lynne to our Board.  She brings with her a wealth of experience, including experience in education in the North, and we look forward to working with her as Director of Education.  Her passion for education and putting students first was evident to us as Trustees and we are confident our students, staff and all stakeholders of the KPDSB will be well served by her appointment.”

Photo of Sherri-Lynne Pharand

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