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September Board Meeting Highlights

13 Sep. 2016

Media Release - September 13, 2016

Trustees met at Lillian Berg Public School in Vermilion Bay on Tuesday, September 13, for the first Board Meeting of the 2016-2017 school year.

The September “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘2016 Kids Come First Video’ was received by Trustees.  Sheena Valley, KPDSB Communications Officer, shared the new video with Trustees.  The annual videos are shown to all staff on the first day of school each year to celebrate the hard work of our staff, students and families, and to provide a visual representation of our vision statement ‘Kids Come First’.  The concept for the 2016 video was created by the KPDSB’s Staff Efficacy group and was titled ‘We are the KPDSB’.  The video includes footage from all areas of the board with staff and students sharing ‘we are’ statements about who they are both as individuals, and within the organization.  The 2016-2017 school year marks the fourth video since the initiative began and all four videos have been extremely well received by staff, with many requests to continue to create new videos each school year.

Heather Mutch, Principal of Keewatin Public School (KPS), as well as KPS staff Mike Dean, Anna Percy, Jacob Jeswiet and Andy Simons presented the Keewatin Public School Environmental Partnership report titled ‘Can Learning be an Adventure’.  During the fall of 2014, KPS staff and School Council embarked on a collaborative mission to develop the True North Adventure Program.  The program focuses on providing a wide variety of recreational learning opportunities using the natural surroundings neighboring the school to encourage students to understand, respect and connect with the natural world while nurturing students’ love for the outdoors.  From a partnership with Scouts Canada that allows a Scouts program to operate during the school day (the program at KPS is one of only two programs in all of Ontario that operates during school hours), to becoming a Boreal Forest School, to sports and recreation programming like the KPDSB’s Hockey Canada Skills Academy, the program is helping to develop active, engaged and confident learners.  KPS staff spoke passionately about the response to the program from students and look forward to continuing to develop the program, including the creation of a new $34,000 outdoor classroom through funding received from the Ministry of Education.

Scott Urquhart, Student Success Leader, presented the Secondary Summer Learning 2016 report.  Summer learning opportunities for students in the KPDSB continue to expand as we strive to meet the needs of our students.  Approximately 30 KPDSB staff worked in secondary programs during the summer of 2016.  Programs like credit recovery, reach ahead credits, e-learning, dual credits (where students can earn both secondary school and Confederation College credits) and cooperative education courses were offered this past summer, as well as providing opportunities for students to take additional courses to explore career options they may be interested in.  The Four Directions program running in Dryden, Kenora and Sioux Lookout also offers reach ahead credits as an embedded part of the program where graduation coaches support Aboriginal students in getting the best possible start in high school by earning credits prior to starting Grade 9.  The programs offered each summer are based on identified student need in each community and we look forward to continuing to expand our summer learning opportunities each year.

Urquhart also presented the Meno Ya Win Health Centre/KPDSB Partnership report.  In the spring of 2014, the KPDSB partnered with the Meno Ya Win Health Centre and the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority to provide educational services to hospital clients residing in the Jeremiah McKay Kabayshewekamik Hostel next to the hospital.  That support has since expanded to include clients with Tikinagan Child and Family Services and families at the First Step Women’s Shelter in Sioux Lookout.  The K-12 classroom and Adult Learning Centre are located in the main lobby of the hospital and support students in continuing their education while away from home.  In addition to the academic instruction, the program also offers various cultural aspects including traditional drumming and student counselling, as well as access to fitness and nutrition supports.  Enrolment in the program continues to increase each year with more than 160 students of all ages accessing the classroom this past school year.  Students in the program also have the option to continue the support they have received when they leave the hospital by using a variety of technology options. 

Caryl Hron, Superintendent of Education, presented the Child Care Program Planning update.  From 2012-2015, the KPDSB and the Kenora District Services Board (KDSB) have received funding from the Ministry of Education to renovate spaces both inside and outside our schools to accommodate child care programs.  Renovations were completed at King George VI Public School and Evergreen Public School in Kenora, New Prospect Public School in Dryden, and Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout.  The Ministry of Education has since announced another opportunity to apply for capital funding to continue this work.  As part of this second round of funding, the KPDSB and KDSB have submitted a plan to continue to add child care programs and Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres (previously called Best Start Hubs) into our elementary schools.  If funding is approved, the plan has three phases and would be completed by the 2019-2020 school year:

Phase 1 – Dryden Area – All child care programs previously located at the Dryden Children’s Resource Centre have relocated into New Prospect and Open Roads for September 2016.  Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres in the Dryden area will rotate between Open Roads and New Prospect.  The Dryden area Nursery School Co-Op currently operates out of New Prospect Public School.

Phase 2 – Sioux Lookout Area – All child care programs from the Norah Love Children’s Centre in Sioux Lookout would relocate to Sioux Mountain Public School.  The Sioux Lookout area Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centre is already located at the school.

Phase 3 – Kenora Area – All child care programs currently located at the Cameron Bay Children’s Centre would relocate to Evergreen Public School and Keewatin Public School.

Hron stated “For five years now the KPDSB and KDSB have worked collaboratively and efficiently in our efforts to enhance child care services for families.  This plan is the next step in that relationship and we are optimistic this second round of funding will come through to allow us to implement these changes by the 2019-2020 school year.”


Welcome Back Note from Director of Education, Sean Monteith

24 Aug. 2016

Back to School!  Classes start on August 30, 2016!

Message from the Director of Education:

As I write this “Welcome Back to School” message as the proud Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, I do so bouncing back and forth   between looking out over my favorite Northern Ontario lake in Ear Falls, and watching my Toronto Blue Jays close out another win! Such as it has been for the past couple months, July and August…most of which has been spectacular days filled with     sunshine, great fishing, and good books. And knowing many of our families, our staff and community members, I suspect it has been the same for many of you!

However, cooler nights, shorter days, and amazing hues of blue and    orange sunsets are upon us, and with it an amazing time of year for      education: “Back to School”.

September is almost here, and I welcome all of our students, staff and families back to our schools!  Our schools in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board are sparkling, much capital work completed in Red Lake, Dryden, and Kenora; with work about to begin in Sioux Lookout. There is a feeling in the air of excitement, enthusiasm, renewed energy and thoughts of the year ahead with all of the promise and hope that Public Education can bring….education truly is the great leveler of the field. And nowhere in this province of Ontario is education more important than right here in the Northwest.

As you read this annual message, many parents will share the trepidation that sending your first kindergarten child to school can bring; trepidation that I can say I share with many other fathers myself, as I send my oldest son Aoedan off to college for the first time as he prepares for his journey in the trades. September marks the beginning of new chapters for many families, students, and staff who eagerly await the arrival of faces of young learners, looking to be inspired and they themselves to inspire those around them with stories of resilience and optimism.

The past year for us in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board was a powerful reminder of what can be and what hard work and innovation can achieve, when we work together and think outside-of-the-box. I see our hard work and enthusiasm as absolute traits of us Northerners. I also want to take the opportunity to extend best wishes to all in the region for a    successful year ahead, and specifically to the students, families and staff of the Kenora Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boreales, and Northwest Catholic District School Board. May we work together in a spirit of cooperation that supports all students in the name of public education, and as always, put their needs first!

Best Wishes for 2016-2017.

Sean Monteith,                                                                             
Director of Education



Trustees approve awarding construction contract for new Sioux Lookout high school!

24 Aug. 2016

Media Release - August 24, 2016

After two years of formal planning, consulting, designing and working closely with the Ministry of Education and community partners, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is pleased to announce it has awarded the contract for the construction of the new state-of-the-art high school in Sioux Lookout to Everstrong Construction Limited, with work to begin immediately.

Following the closing of the tender process and consultations with the KPDSB’s architectural firm for the new school, Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler, the Board of Trustees voted at a special board meeting held on August 23, to award the contract to Everstrong Construction Limited at a total cost of $24,083,000.00.  Everstrong comes highly recommended with extensive experience in school construction and will utilize several subcontractors from Northwestern Ontario. 

Contributions from the Ministry of Education for the new Sioux Lookout high school total $24.7 million with total construction costs reaching $30 million including partner spaces.  The construction and ultimate completion of the new facility is anticipated to take approximately two years, with an expected opening in September 2018.

Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, said  “Our government is proud to invest in capital projects like this new high school and community hub in Sioux Lookout. Facilities like this support students by giving them modern facilities and greater opportunities to learn in a high-quality environment.”

“It’s exciting for us as a Board of Trustees to see this project reach this point today, where we are awarding the construction contract,” stated Dave Penney, Board Chair.  “We welcome Everstrong to the project and look forward to working with them as we get closer to opening up the doors to our new secondary school in Sioux Lookout.”

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “After two years of diligently working with the Ministry of Education and our partners, and with a year before that of working with the Ministry to advocate for this new high school, it is incredibly gratifying to see this contract awarded and this most significant milestone now met.  We are well on our way.”

Rendering for new Sioux Lookout High School


2016 Red Lake Road Run to support RLDHS Athletics

10 Aug. 2016

The 2016 Red Lake Road Run is a 5K, 10K, and Half-Marathon event in the Red Lake area that will take place on Sunday, September 25.  REgistrations are now open!  Click here to register!

2016 marks the sixth annual run with proceeds supporting RLDHS's Athletics programs.  The marathons are open to participants wishing to run and/or walk.

Visit or call RLDHS (727 2092) or email for more information, to request a paper registration form, or to volunteer.  Online registration and course maps available online at (click on School Events).



KPDSB approves contracts for roof work at Dryden High School and Beaver Brae Secondary School

14 Jul. 2016

Media Release - July 14, 2016

Work will begin on roofing projects at Dryden High School and Beaver Brae Secondary School for the 2016-2017 school year following the approval of roofing contracts by Trustees at a Special Board Meeting held on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.

The KPDSB is pleased to announce that Beaver Brae’s roofing contract has been awarded to Oakwood Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. Ltd at a price of $1,675,162 (not including taxes).  The contract will see the replacement of the majority of Beaver Brae Secondary School’s roof.

Dryden High School’s roofing contract has been awarded to Racco Industrial Roofing at a price of $1,503,734 (not including taxes).  The contract will see the total replacement of 100% of Dryden High School’s roof.

Both projects were approved by the Board this past spring in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board’s Long Term Capital Plan.  While the work at Dryden High School was originally for the replacement of 55% of the roof, with the rest to be replaced within five years, recently announced funding by the Ministry of Education for School Condition Improvement and cost savings of having the work done all at once when the contractor was already on site, prompted Trustees to extend the scope of the original project to replace 100% of the roof at Dryden High School during the 2016-2017 school year.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “Dryden High School and Beaver Brae Secondary School represent our two biggest schools and footprints; and also in some ways the most complex roofing jobs that require attention. This investment in both BBSS and DHS will address these two approved major capital work projects quickly after Trustees approved the Board’s Long Term Capital Plan.”