The Keewatin Patricia
District School Board puts
students first by creating
a culture of learning
Kenora - Head Office
4th Floor - 240 Veterans Drive, Kenora, ON P9N 3Y5
Phone: 807-468-5571 Fax: 807-468-3857
Toll Free: 877-275-7771
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79 Casimir Ave, Dryden, ON P8N 2Z6
Phone: 807-223-5311 Fax: 807-223-4703
Toll Free: 877-287-5430
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News
News

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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KPDSB updates Board Continuous Improvement Plan, Special Education Plan for 2019-2020 school year

14 Nov. 2019

Media Release - November 14, 2019

Trustees met on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, for a regular Board Meeting.

The November Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Legacy School Project’ was received by Trustees.  Crolancia Public School Principal Holly Szumowski, along with Crolancia students, shared their experiences to date as a Downie Wenjack Legacy School.  In November 2018, it was announced that Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake would become the first Downie Wenjack Legacy School in the country (all KPDSB schools have since been registered as Legacy Schools).  The legacy school program is an opportunity for classrooms/schools to lead the movement in awareness of the history and impact of the Residential School System on Indigenous Peoples.  Legacy Schools are provided with a Secret Path Toolkit and educational support resources to engage students, staff and school communities as a catalyst for reconciliation in Canada.  Students and staff have accomplished many of their goals only a year after the announcement, including creating an outdoor learning area for everyone in the school.  Students worked together to build and install benches and a fire pit for the new space.  To learn more about Crolancia’s Downie Wenjack Legacy School journey, please click here to view a video created by the students.

Trustees welcomed Shannon Bailey to the position of Interim Superintendent of Education and Student Success.  Bailey was appointed to the position beginning November 12, 2019, following 21 years with the Board.  During that time, she has worked in both the elementary and secondary panels and has held positions as a special education teacher, intervention teacher, vice-principal and most recently, principal at Evergreen Public School in Kenora.  Areas of focus for Bailey include holding high expectations for students, providing equal opportunities, using strategies of self-regulation and incorporating Reconciliation in schools and classrooms across the Board. 

Bailey stated, “I am looking forward to being a part of the Senior Administration Team to support the incredible staff of the KPDSB who work tirelessly to support the academic and non-academic needs of the students in our schools.”

Caryl Hron, Interim Director of Education, Joan Kantola, Superintendent of Education, Shannon Bailey, Interim Superintendent of Education, and Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, presented the 2019-2020 Board Continuous Improvement Plan (BCIP).  The annual BCIP guides the work of the Board and focuses on four priority areas as set out by our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan:

  1. Student Achievement: Ensure the necessary resources are provided to all students to increase their individual achievement.

  2. Safe and Supportive Schools: Ensure all students have safe learning and working environments, where the academic and mental health needs of the child are met.

  3. Innovative Practice: Demonstrate effective change-ready leadership.

  4. Reconciliation: Ensure all schools and staff are actively engaged in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

 Joan Kantola and Terri Forster, Regional Teacher Diagnostician and Special Education Leader, presented the 2019-2020 Special Education Plan.  The plan guides the work of schools and the Board in terms of supporting and enhancing special education services.  Areas of focus include providing programs and services in the student’s home school wherever possible (including appropriate accommodations and modifications), promoting a focus on inclusive practices in schools and respect for differences and diversity, providing a range of placement options for students, and collaboration with curriculum central support staff to ensure support for the development of quality programs and provision of services for all students.  For more information, please click here to view the 2019-2020 Special Education Plan or click here for the Parents’ Guide to Special Education.

Richard Findlay presented the 2019-2020 Enrolment Report.  Overall, enrolment at the KPDSB continues to be stable.  As of October 31, 2019, a total of 2,935 elementary students were enrolled in KPDSB schools, 72 more students than one year ago and 75 students above budget projections for the 2019-2020 school year.  For secondary, a total of 1,893 students were enrolled at a KPDSB secondary school on October 31, 2019, 75 fewer students than October 2018 and 35 students lower than budget projections.

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KPDSB and CUPE Local 1939 reach agreement for 2019-2022 Collective Agreement

24 Oct. 2019

CUPE Logo

Joint Media Release - October 24, 2019

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and its Local Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1939 (representing Caretaking and Maintenance Staff), are pleased to advise that they have reached agreement on local terms and conditions for the 2019 to 2022 Collective Agreement.

Both parties will recommend the memorandum to their respective groups for ratification in the near future and look forward to implementation of both the Local and Central Terms and Conditions for staff.   No details of the settlement will be released pending ratification.

Caryl Hron, Interim Director of Education, stated, “I am pleased that the parties were able to reach a settlement that will pave the way for continued successful working relationships between the Board and the Union.  We greatly value our CUPE staff; the work they do each and every day keeps our schools operating safely and efficiently.”

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