11 May. 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
Keewatin-Patricia Announces Significant Changes to Administration Team, Completes System Restructuring
Media Release - May 10, 2017
Trustees met at Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake on Tuesday, May 9, for a regular board meeting.
The May “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Kids in the Kitchen and Athletic Education at Crolancia’ was received by Trustees. Staff members Amanda Pedalino and Kayla Blakney, accompanied by Crolancia students, shared some of the ways they are thinking outside the box to deliver athletic and extracurricular activities to their students. One example of this work is the partnership between Crolancia and Ignace Public School to allow both schools to participate in area sports tournaments. Students said being able to participate in different sports has encouraged them to be more active, improved their confidence, and provided opportunities for them to face and overcome challenges. Other examples include an after-school healthy eating cooking class provided through a partnership with the area Northwestern Health Unit where students learn about healthy eating options, safe food preparation and cooking skills.
Candice Kerkermeier, Children’s Mental Health Lead, presented the Children’s Mental Health Update. The KPDSB Mental Health and Addictions Strategy for the 2016-2017 school year is guided by three main goals; building organizational mental health and wellbeing, increasing mental health literacy, and changing classroom climate. The work around the strategy is vast, including training for all staff to become a trauma informed and proactive response Board, incorporating student voice through student mental health focus groups, identifying mental health champions in each school and office, conducting staff mental health needs assessments, and resource development to support staff. For more information and access to resources, please visit the recently developed Mental Health section on our website at *|SITE_URL|*pages/view/mental-health.
Superintendents Caryl Hron and Joan Kantola presented the KPDSB Administration and Business Report. The following appointments were announced for the 2017-2018 school year.
Dryden High School
- Principal – Richard Hodgkinson (currently KPDSB Adult and Alternative Education Administrator)
- Vice-Principal – Natasha Menard-Mousseau (currently central Teacher Diagnostician)
- Richard and Natasha will join current Vice-Principal Brad Bartlett as the administration team for DHS
New Prospect Public School (Dryden)
- Principal – Kelly Schollie (currently Principal of Lillian Berg Public School in Vermilion Bay)
- Vice-Principal – Ryan Graham (currently acting Vice-Principal at Dryden High School)
Open Roads Public School (Dryden)
- Principal – Tanis Oberg (currently Principal of New Prospect Public School)
- Vice-Principal – Teri Jackson (currently Vice-Principal of New Prospect Public School)
Lillian Berg Public School
- Principal – Humberto Pacheco (currently central Technology and Assistive Technology Administrator)
Sioux Mountain Public School (Sioux Lookout)
- Principal of Sioux Mountain and KPDSB Adult and Alternative Education – Steve Poling (currently Co-Administrator of Sioux Mountain Public School)
- Vice-Principal – Barb Van Diest (currently Vice-Principal of Ear Falls Public School)
- Vice-Principal - Andy Schardt Sioux Mountain & Queen Elizabeth District High School K-12 Transition (currently Co-Administrator of Sioux Mountain Public School)
Ear Falls Public School
- Vice-Principal – Doris St. Jules (currently Vice-Principal of Golden Learning Centre in Balmertown)
Evergreen Public School (Kenora)
- Principal – Shannon Bailey (currently acting Principal of Evergreen Public School)
Ignace Public School
- Vice-Principal – Adele Bernaudo-Marth (currently acting Vice-Principal of Ignace Public School)
System Administrator Support
- Safe and Supportive Schools (Kenora) – Gayle Mutrie (currently Vice-Principal of King George VI Public School in Kenora)
- Teacher Diagnostician and Special Equipment Amount (Dryden) –Syrena Lalonde (currently Principal of Open Roads Public School in Dryden)
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said “With the appointment of our new Superintendent of Business and with the multiple school administration appointments and assignments, the reorganization of Keewatin-Patricia District School Board’s organizational structure is now complete. After two years of careful planning and strategic conversations, our schools and students are well placed for success looking ahead.”
KPSDB appoints new Superintendent of Business
Media Release - May 9, 2017
Trustees of the KPDSB are pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Findlay to Superintendent of Business and Chief Financial Officer for the Board, effective July 2017.
Findlay began his accounting career with the Kenora Board of Education in 1992 and has since worked in both the private and public sectors throughout Northwestern Ontario. He has held leadership roles in accounting, finance, and business consulting and for the past nine years has owned his own public practice accounting firm in Kenora. Findlay is active in his community, he has been coaching youth sports for nearly two decades, and is currently an elected Director on the Copperfin Credit Union board.
Findlay stated ““My career journey has come full circle and I am back at Keewatin-Patricia where I started out. With experience in both the private and public sectors, I hope to bring a unique perspective to the senior management team. Together we all have an opportunity to contribute in innovative ways to the development of our students.” He added “I am excited and honoured to be joining an organization dedicated and devoted to putting kids first. I share this vision and I am here to support the success of all students in our board in any way possible. I look forward to working with our dedicated, hard-working, and passionate staff throughout the system.”
Dave Penney, Chair of the KPDSB Board of Trustees, said “We welcome Richard to our organization and look forward to working closely with him. His expertise will be a valuable resource for our organization and we wish him all the best in his new role.”
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “We are pleased to have Richard assume the role as Superintendent of Business for the KPDSB; his experiences in both public and private sectors, as well as his unwavering commitment to kids make this addition to an already strong Senior Administration, a natural fit. As Director I am pleased for the KPDSB, and welcome his innovative thinking to a restructured organization, built for the future, built for kids."
Dean Carrie, current Superintendent of Business, will be retiring at the end of the 2016-2017 school year after 30 years with the public school board.
KPDSB students participating in provincial Skills Ontario Competition in Toronto
Media Release - May 2, 2017
14 students from the KPDSB traveled to Thunder Bay in early April to compete in the Skills Ontario Qualifying Competitions at Confederation College in Thunder Bay. Students from Beaver Brae, Dryden High and Queen Elizabeth represented the KPDSB and their schools by demonstrating their skills in culinary, small engines, carpentry, video production, and welding. It was the largest group of students to date to attend a Skills Ontario qualifier from the KPDSB.
All of our students, while up against tough competition from students across the region, placed in every area of the Skilled Trades qualifier. They each earned themselves a bid to the provincial competition currently underway in Toronto (May 1-3, 2017), where they are facing off against top competitors from across the province. Our students’ participation in Toronto also marks the largest group of qualifying students to ever attend a provincial competition for the KPDSB.
Richard Hodgkinson, Alternative Learning Lead for the KPDSB, said “Good luck to all of our students currently competing in the Skills Ontario Provincial Competition. Your dedication and passion has lead you to where you are today and we are very proud of your accomplishments.”
Hodgkinson continued, speaking to the importance of skilled trade opportunities for secondary students in the area “We want to prepare our secondary school’s youth for the highly-skilled economy of tomorrow. We offer multiple programs in all our secondary schools including Specialist High Skills Majors, School College Work Initiative Dual Credits, Cooperative Education, Peer Mentoring, and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship to help students engage, learn and develop their skills. These enable and empower all our youth, including females and Indigenous youth, to consider a career in the skilled trades and technologies. Through the Skills Ontario Competition, programs and our regular technology courses are just another way to help students decide their pathway when they graduate.”
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