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so that students
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KPDSB revisits strategic direction, reviews efficacy work for system reform and change

11 May. 2016

Media Release - May 16, 2016

Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board met at Sioux Narrows Public School on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, for a regular board meeting.

The May “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Our Community, Our School, Our Future’ was received by Trustees. Students from Sioux Narrows Public School shared examples of many different types of support they receive from the community of Sioux Narrows.  From visits to the school by area community professionals and volunteers to work with students, to fundraising efforts supported by area businesses, the kindness and generosity of the community of Sioux Narrows is a source of pride for the school.  Students have built meaningful relationships with many members of the community and area schools in Nestor Falls and neighboring First Nation communities, and they expressed their gratitude for the opportunities these relationships have provided.

Teachers Janice England (Beaver Brae Secondary School), Melissa Ewanchuk, (Valleyview Public School) and Deneen Iverson (Evergreen Public School) presented the KPDSB System Efficacy Report. In 2014, the KPDSB underwent a System Efficacy Review, conducted by internationally recognized efficacy experts with Pearson Learning Services. Over the last three years, the KPDSB has engaged in a "whole-system" effort of reform and change with decisions centered about the Board's Vision Statement:

All Stakeholders create a culture of learning so that students come first.

To support the work of efficacy in the KPDSB and implementation of actions and decisions, a System Efficacy Working Group, comprised of staff from schools and departments across the KPDSB, has been implemented to advise the Board on decisions that impact classrooms and students and suggest areas of improvement. Representatives of the working group spoke passionately about the efficacy work taking place in the Board and shared their renewed pride in the organization with Trustees.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, presented the Revised 2013-2018 Strategic Plan.  In February, the Trustees and Director of Education met in Dryden tor a Strategic Planning Retreat to revisit the strategic direction of the organization. As a result, the Board’s Vision, and Mission Statements were reaffirmed, as was its first goal. Substantial changes were made to the remaining two goals around achievement gaps and 21st Century Learning. Utilizing the System Efficacy Working Group, the recommended changes were taken back to staff to solicit feedback on the changes. All schools and staff in the KPDSB have had an opportunity to give feedback and the response to the suggested changes of the Board of Trustees has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive.  A copy of the revised 2013-2018 Strategic Plan is being distributed with this release.

Trustees welcomed a new Student Trustee for the 2016-2017 school year.  Red Lake District High School student Justine Duncalfe will join the Board of Trustees beginning in September 2016 for a one year term.  Student Trustee for the 2015-2016 school year, Kim Korobanik, will support Justine in preparing for the new role as a part of her final month on the Board.


Ontario Premier visits Thunder Bay, makes funding announcement for new Sioux Lookout High School

03 May. 2016

Media Release - May 3, 2016

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met last week with Director of Education, Sean Monteith, in Thunder Bay to reaffirm the Province's support for the partnership between Confederation College and the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board. The announcement was in support of the partnership in the new high school being constructed in Sioux Lookout.  Construction is set to begin this summer with an expected completion date during the 2017-2018 school year.

During her visit to Thunder Bay, Premier Wynne announced an additional $1 million dollars in funding to support the construction of student learning and wellness spaces for students transitioning into the college’s programming. The funding will greatly support the concept of a community hub school design and will allow for the construction of cutting edge learning spaces for both secondary and college students, while providing more opportunities for dual credits (courses that allow secondary students to earn both secondary and college credits for completed courses) and many other innovative programming options.

In her comments, Premier Wynne stated that the new KPDSB high school in Sioux Lookout represents the kind of community hub model that she envisions for the province, and praised the leadership the Board has exhibited.

Monteith stated “I feel confident in commenting that Premier Wynne has taken a special and particular interest in our new high school in Sioux Lookout; not just because it represents a new facility, but more importantly because it represents a new beginning and hope for so many young people."


KPDSB approves long term capital plan, sets sights on replacement school for Valleyview

08 Mar. 2016

Media Release - March 8, 2016

At the March Board Meeting, the KPDSB Board of Trustees approved the 2015-2025 Long Term Capital Plan.

Previously, top spot on the list of capital projects for the KPDSB was held by the replacement of Queen Elizabeth District High School (QEDHS) in Sioux Lookout, a $23.8 million build currently underway with a proposed completion date of 2017.

Trustees approved construction of a replacement school for Valleyview Public School in Kenora as the board’s top capital priority for submission to the Ministry of Education.  As enrolment at Valleyview continues to grow, including enrolment in their popular French Immersion program, finding a long term solution to provide adequate learning spaces for families who have chosen Valleyview Public School for their child’s education is a top priority for administration.  The proposed completion date for a replacement school is 2020 at a cost of $14 million.

With Valleyview at the top of the list for submissions to the Ministry of Education for the KPDSB’s capital projects, a major renovation to Ear Falls Public School sits in second (at a cost of $4.36 million with a proposed completion date of 2021), followed by a replacement school for Savant Lake ($1.4 million with a proposed completion date of 2022) and a major renovation at Dryden High School ($11.25 million with a proposed completion date of 2022).  Below is the full list of Board approved capital projects from the 2015-2025 Long Term Capital Plan.

  • Build new replacement school for Queen Elizabeth DHS - $23.80M (2017)
  • Build new replacement school for Valleyview PS - $14.00M (2020)
  • Complete major renovation of Ear Falls PS - $4.36M (2021)
  • Complete major renovation of the southwest portion of Dryden HS - $11.25M (2022)
  • Build new replacement school for Savant Lake PS - $1.40M (2022)
  • Complete major renovation & right-sizing of Ignace School - $8.55M (2023)
  • Complete major renovation & rightsizing of Keewatin PS - $3.38M (2024)
  • Roofing renovation projects across the system - $6.12M (2016-2019)
  • Beaver Brae SS Upper Tech Wing program alterations - $3.38M (2019)
  • Red Lake DHS natural gas HVAC phased renovation - $1.88M (2016 & 2018)
  • Valleyview PS Portables (4) and Washrooms - $1.26M (2016)
  • Red Lake DHS Parking Lot improvements - $0.35M (2017)
  • Upsala School Window and Door replacements - $0.25M (2017)
  • Renovations to Teacherages in Pickle L, Savant L & Upsala - $0.30M (2017)
  • Other minor school condition improvement renovation projects to be determined by the administration on an annual basis based on emerging needs – $0.40M (2016), $1.00M (2017), $1.00M (2018), $1.00M (2019)

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board's Long-Term Capital Plan reflects not only the regional diversity of the entire system with needs identified in many of our schools, it also acknowledges that the recent rapid enrolment expansion at Valleyview Public School in Kenora along with the age of the facility, gives us cause to begin the heavy-lifting of the complete replacement of this school. We are excited and proud of our accomplishments and are committed to seeing even greater expansion.”


KPDSB welcomes new Mental Health Leader

25 Feb. 2016

Media Release - February 25, 2016

It is with great pleasure that the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board announces our new Mental Health Leader, Ms. Candice Kerkermeier. 

Candice comes to us from FIREFLY, a key organizational partner involved in the delivery of children’s mental health services.  She brings extensive experience in the delivery of clinical mental health services, as well as mental health promotion activities, targeting both children and youth in our schools.

As the KPDSB enters year five of the provincial Mental Health Initiative, Candice will continue to collaborate with the School Mental Health ASSIST Team to disseminate resources for increased mental health literacy for staff and strengthen pathways to care for vulnerable students.

She will also continue to focus on implementation of the key priorities with the KPDSB Mental Health Strategy including focused efforts of system support to school staff and administrators to effectively develop and lead “Mentally Healthy Schools”. 

Ms. Kerkermeier stated:

 “I am very excited to join the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board team.  The KPDSB is an extremely dynamic and innovative Board that has done and continues to do a great deal of work in regards to mental health promotion and literacy.  I plan to carry that work forward and continue to build pathways with our community partners to support the mental health of all students.”

Superintendent of Education, Joan Kantola expressed enthusiasm for the new appointment: 

“We are extremely excited to hire Ms. Kerkermeier for the Mental Health Leader positon.  She has worked extensively in many of our schools and brings a global mental health perspective and level of expertise to our Board.  Ms. Kerkermeier will continue to develop strong partnerships with FIREFLY and help to build capacity within the staff in support of students who have mental health issues and help them to be more ready for learning.”


KPDSB releases 2015 Director's Annual Report

11 Feb. 2016

To view the 2015 Director's Annual Report, please click here.

Message from Sean Monteith, Director of Education

On behalf of the Keewatin-Patricia District School, I am very pleased to present to all of our families, Trustees, communities, First Nations partners, staff, and of course our students the 2015 Director of Education Annual Report.

As I reflected on the past year and the events that defined it in the KPDSB, it became clear that in addition to being a very busy 12 months, one also becomes aware of how progressive and innovative our staff and our schools truly are. With the full impact of the Board's Efficacy Review, that three years ago identifying that it was incumbent on us to rethink how we offered programs, delivered courses, appropriated resources in our schools, and unleash an out-of-the-box approach to designing new opportunities, the full regional scale of change within the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board has become obvious. At the center of our work, continues to be the Board's Vision Statement:
All stakeholders create a culture of learning so that students come first.

This stance, affectionately now known as "Kids First", has been the catalyst for many changes and revisions to how we have traditionally brought educational opportunities to all of our communities, as well as increasing our reach into the far north of the province. As we have learned first-hand, stating you put students first by centering every decision made around their needs, is far easier than it is implementing on a daily basis; so much so that it becomes the cultural norm for the organization. Putting kids first, often can mean decisions that alter traditional practices, depart from comfort levels that adults have become accustomed to, and in some cases create challenge. But in our opinion, there can be no greater cause to advocate for, than the cause of empowering a young person to believe they can make their life better, and in the process ...the lives of those around them better too. The KPDSB is about as diverse and expansive a school district as one can find anywhere in the country, and we continue to grow in a number of places. Our approach to ultimately attaining our belief of a"Kindergarten to Diploma" strategy redefines what true student success is. It suggests that as a school board, we make it our cause that every child, sibling and parent who comes to us without a high school diploma,will get our best efforts to ensure they have that very chance. Earlier this year, while talking about the future of the North with Ministry of Education officials, the comment was made tome, that the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is synonymous with never quitting, accepting hard luck and circumstances, and an organization that is beating the odds. With the future of Northern children on the line, the stakes have never been higher nor more deserving of our all-out very best and exhaustive efforts.

Warm Regards,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education
Keewatin-Patricia District School Board