09 Apr. 2018
EQAO Executive Team completes visit to KPDSB Schools
Media Release - April 9, 2018
We were pleased to welcome members of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) to our schools last week.
Dr. Steven Reid, Chief Assessment Officer for EQAO, and members of the EQAO Executive Team visited KPDSB schools in Kenora, Dryden, Ignace, Red Lake, Ear Falls, and Sioux Lookout. They were also welcomed to Lac Seul First Nation to tour schools and meet with leadership in the community.
Staff and students from all areas of the Board were given the opportunity to meet with the EQAO Executive Team to share their experiences in education in Northwestern Ontario and specifically, with the provincial standardized tests. All students in Ontario are required to write the provincial assessments in Grade 3 and 6 (Reading, Writing and Math), Grade 9 (Math) and Grade 10 (Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, a requirement for students to attain their Ontario Secondary School Diploma).
Reid had the following to say about his team’s visit, “In light of our commitment to modernizing EQAO assessments, our team was eager to learn more about realities and experiences in Northern Ontario. Director of Education, Sean Monteith, and his team were gracious hosts, taking us all across the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board to connect with students, staff and community members. We were honoured that so many people took the time to share their understandings, as well as their thoughts and hopes for the future.
“It is important to offer all students across Ontario equitable opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and EQAO gained valuable insights in speaking with KPDSB students, staff and community members. EQAO’s commitment to the future will reflect learnings from our visit, and we will continue to listen to perspectives from across the province as we develop assessments that are more student-focused, easily accessible and engaging. Our team has left with a great gift of knowledge. Miigwech KPDSB!”
Sean Monteith, Director of Education for the KPDSB added “For two full days, members of the EQAO Executive Team traveled throughout the entire district and met with staff, administration, parents, and most importantly our students, to look at how the realities and experiences unique to Northwestern Ontario might be reflected in the types of questions they are assessed on. Our kids are just as gifted and capable as any in all of Ontario. They should be able to share their experiences with the value they deserve; the fact EQAO and their leadership recognized this and came to see firsthand validates this. We are grateful for their time with us in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board.”
Before- and After-School Program Survey for Families for 2018-2019 School Year
As we prepare for the 2018-2019 school year, we wanted to reach out to our families to find out your needs for before- and after-school programs next school year.
In order to gather this information, we have created a short survey for you. We are offering the survey both as a paper copy (will be sent home with your child this week) and an electronic option, please fill out whichever survey you are most comfortable using. Please visit this link - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/beforeafterschool2018 for the electronic survey.
The survey is open to families who have children in Kindergarten to Grade 5 in the 2017-2018 school year, as well as families with children who will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. Any information you can provide is helpful, even if you do not plan to enroll your child in before- or after-school programs.
Thanks for taking the time to fill out the survey! The electronic version will be available until the end of the day on April 30, 2018.
KPDSB students in Red Lake and Sioux Lookout appointed to 2018-2019 Minister’s Student Advisory Council
Media Release - March 21, 2018
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board wishes to congratulate Red Lake District High School’s Drea Sinclair and Queen Elizabeth District High School’s (Sioux Lookout) Tristan Bouchard on their appointments to the 2018-2019 Ontario Minister’s Student Advisory Council. Both students were selected from more than 400 applicants from across Ontario.
The Minister’s Student Advisory Council provides students with an opportunity share their ideas and advice directly with the Minister of Education on how to make Ontario’s schools greater places for all students to learn, grow and succeed. Students on the Council are also encouraged to speak up and take action on topics to strengthen student engagement across the province. Appointments to the Council are for a one year term, commencing in May 2018.
Bouchard, currently in Grade 9 at Queen Elizabeth District High School, had the following to say about his appointment, “I am both nervous and excited at the same time. I’m not going to represent myself, I am going to represent my high school, and the youth in my region. I applied for this opportunity because I feel like the youth in our area are not heard at the provincial level, and I want to do something to remind the government that we are still here.”
Sinclair, currently in Grade 10 at Red Lake District High School, detailed why she wanted to be on the Council, “I applied for this position because I believe my voice is important and I wanted to advocate for student mental health on and off reserve. I am very excited for this opportunity.”
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said, “The maturity of these two young people, reflective in their comments and influenced by their personal experiences, makes them not only appropriate voices for all Northern Youth, but tremendous ambassadors for the entire Keewatin-Patricia District School Board. The fact that the KPDSB has two students appointed to the Minister’s Student Advisory Council, should not be confused as a coincidence, but rather a reflection of the regard Keewatin-Patricia receives on-going by the Province of Ontario. We are all very pleased of both Drea and Tristan, two remarkable northern young people.”
Keewatin Public School to Offer Forest School Programming for 2018-2019
Media Release - March 19, 2018
Through the Child and Nature Alliance’s Forest School Canada, key staff in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board will receive training in creating programs about nature and the forest thanks to a generous donation by Domtar in Dryden.
Forest School is an educational approach that can be found in schools around the world. Children in a Forest School learn in the natural environment with students spending the majority of their time learning outdoors. The program ensures regular and repeated access to the same natural spaces around them so children can build an ongoing relationship with both their teachers, and the land.
Keewatin Public School in Keewatin will be the first KPDSB school to offer Forest School programming, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. Keewatin Public School will also unveil a new outdoor learning environment in September to accompany its Forest School programming. The new outdoor learning environment, based on the four elements of earth, water, wind and fire, will provide children with the ability to explore and learn outside in a space designed to foster their learning.
Heather Mutch, Principal of Keewatin Public School, stated “Keewatin Public School is thrilled to announce our plan for accreditation as a Forest School and the opportunity for our children to reap the benefits. Forest School is an inquiry-based, child-centered approach to learning where all students foster their curiosity and develop great ideas in a place-based, outdoor environment.”
“This innovative approach to education is a good fit with our values and our longstanding efforts to support youth in their understanding of sustainability concepts,” said Bonny Skene of Domtar. “We are very pleased to support teachers from the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board in developing their knowledge and expertise and we look forward to more Forest School accreditations in our region.”
Mutch added “Having Forest School programming at Keewatin Public School fits nicely with our school-wide focus on outdoor and environmental education and our successful partnership with Scouts Canada. We wish to thank Domtar for their generous donation which allows us to provide staff training and program implementation.”
March Board Meeting Highlights
Media Release - March 7, 2018
Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, March 6, for a regular board meeting.
The March Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Building a Movement Together: Facing Mental Health Issues through Creative Expression and Peer Support’ was received by Trustees. Beaver Brae Secondary School Music and Fine Arts Department Head and teacher, Suzanne McIntosh, along with three Beaver Brae students spoke to the Trustees about the school’s new Jack Chapter. Jack.org is a national network of young leaders who are working to transform the way we think about mental health. The students plan events and activities for their peers with a focus on shifting negative attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours around mental health to create a safer, more supportive school community. Student Lexie Alcock also performed an original song called ‘I’m Only Fifteen’ for the Trustees during the students’ presentation, receiving enthusiastic applause and encouragement from the Board.
Tracey Benoit, Principal of Beaver Brae Secondary School, presented the Minister of Education’s Principal Advisory Reference Group (MPARG) report. In August 2018, Benoit was appointed to a two year term on the MPARG by then Minister of Education, Mitzie Hunter. The appointment marked the first time a principal from Northwestern Ontario has been appointed to the group and Benoit is 1 of 20 principals and vice-principals from across Ontario on the MPARG. 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. That feedback is then used to help determine next steps and appropriate courses of action, whether that is policy, regulation or legislation. Members of the group also share their individual insights, feedback and recommendations for education in Ontario directly with the Minister of Education. Benoit shared with the Trustees that it’s an honour to be a part of the MPARG and that she is proud to be a representative at the table for the KPSDB and Northwestern Ontario.