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KPDSB Celebrates Partnership with Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities - May 30 Jumpstart Day

29 May. 2015

Joint Media Release - May 29, 2015

For two years, the Keewatin Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) and Jumpstart have successfully partnered to provide individuals, classes, and schools the tools they need to help kids develop physical and social skills through sport, dance, and other organized physical activities.

As a Chapter member of Jumpstart, KPDSB students have benefited across the region, with students participating in many different activities and programs including hockey academies, swim programs, GPS and geocaching, and hip hop dancing.  Jumpstart initiatives can be found in KPDSB schools throughout Northwestern Ontario, from Savant Lake, to Keewatin, to Ear Falls and Sioux Lookout.

"We are proud to support Jumpstart and National Jumpstart Day, on May 30, by recognizing our burgeoning partnership that is all about supporting kids, and more importantly, putting kids first.” said Sean Monteith, Director of Education, KPDSB.

“This past year, in partnership with Jumpstart and Triple Play, skates and helmets were purchased for our children to participate in skating lessons,” said Heather Mutch, Principal of Keewatin Public School. “Also thanks to Jumpstart, our students participated in swimming lessons at the Recreation Centre.  As a result our kids were able to learn valuable skills, be active and have fun! Thank you Jumpstart for making this possible for our children.”

Jumpstart, Canadian Tire’s national charity, helps kids from financially disadvantaged families participate in organized sports and physical activity by helping to cover the costs of registration, equipment and transportation. Jumpstart also works with a national network of over 2,000 Community Partners, including the KPDSP, to develop physical activity programming that aligns with Jumpstart’s mission.

“We’re so proud to have strong partners like the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board. Together we can give even more kids the opportunity to develop the confidence, teamwork and leadership skills that come with participation in organized sport.” said Glenn McLean, Regional Manager, Jumpstart.

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May Board Meeting Highlights and Principal Appointments for 2015-16

13 May. 2015

Media Release - May 13, 2015

Trustees met at Ignace Public School on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, for a regular board meeting. 

The May “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Got Grit Goal Getters’ was received by Trustees.  Ignace Public School has implemented a new initiative at the school.  Students in the elementary panel have been working with their teachers to set personal goals for themselves that they believe will be difficult to accomplish as a way of challenging themselves to learn the meaning of ‘true grit’.  The school is teaching students that with hard work and perseverance, they can achieve their goals no matter how difficult the challenge may seem.  Trustees heard from students in different grade levels about the goals they are setting for themselves which included working on sounding out words, increasing their reading levels, and improving their math skills.  Many of the students spend a significant amount of time accomplishing their goals and every student who accomplishes their goal is given the opportunity to use the school’s Got Grit Claw Machine to win a prize in celebration of their achievement.

Patty Lyle and Debra Bray, KPDSB Student Counsellors, presented the Mental Health report.  Currently in its third year, the KPDSB Mental Health Strategy focuses on supporting and developing organizational conditions that support student mental health and wellbeing, ensuring increased individual student achievement by providing programs and resources designed to meet the needs of the whole child, and closing the achievement gap in order to meet the needs of our at-risk students.  Both Lyle and Bray talked about the work they do in their roles to support students which included both academic and non-academic support, teleconference and/or videoconference support options for students in remote areas, linking families to community supports like food banks and mental health agencies, as well as working with staff in schools on a variety of topics, including tragic emergency response supports.

The following Principal and Vice-Principal appointments and changes for the 2015-16 school year were announced:

  • Tracey Benoit (currently Vice-Principal at Beaver Brae Secondary School) was appointed Principal of Beaver Brae.
  • Tim Flynn (currently Principal of Evergreen Public School) was appointed Principal of King George VI Public School.
  • Shannon Bailey (currently Vice-Principal at Valleyview Public School) was appointed Acting Principal of Evergreen Public School.
  • Jennifer Gray (currently a Special Education Special Assignment Teacher) was appointed Acting Vice-Principal of Valleyview Public School.
  • Deanna Pacheco (currently Principal of New Prospect Public School) was appointed Principal of Dryden High School.
  • Tanis Mitani-Oberg (currently Principal of Lillian Berg Public School) was appointed Principal of New Prospect Public School.
  • Kathy McConnachie (currently Principal of Dryden High School) was appointed Vice-Principal of Open Roads Public School
  • Kelly Schollie (currently Vice-Principal of Open Roads Public School) was appointed Vice-Principal of Lillian Berg Public School.

Kantola also shared with Trustees a special acknowledgement and plaque for the KPDSB from the Ontario Branch of Canadian Parents for French (CPF).  The plaque was presented in recognition of our efforts to offer bilingual education to families in our communities and to commemorate our commitment to French language education.  Trustees determined the plaque will be housed at Valleyview Public School in Kenora whose French Immersion Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program (FDELKP) was the first to be offered in public schools in the area and has seen consistent growth and success since implementation.  We have also expanded our French programing to include a new French Immersion FDELKP at New Prospect Public School in Dryden for the fall and Extended French options at Beaver Brae in Kenora.

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Letter to Families - ETFO Job Action in KPDSB Elementary Schools for Monday, May 11, 2015

06 May. 2015

Letter to Families - May 6, 2015

Dear Families, Parents and Guardians of KPDSB Elementary Students:

There has been much communicated in recent days in media and reports about potential job action that could impact our elementary schools, our staff, and most importantly our students and their families. We thought it prudent and valuable to share a brief update to parents and families on the status of provincial labour negotiations, specifically with respect to our elementary teachers.

Under a new bargaining framework established by the Ontario Government last year, 2014, negotiations between the province and unions representing teachers have been underway since the new year. While contracts have expired, the bargaining has continued provincially between the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA), the government, and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO). As part of this process, ETFO is in a legal job action position as of Monday, May 11, 2015. It is our understanding that elementary teachers will initiate an administrative work to rule campaign on this date.

It is important to inform you that:

-       Schools in the KPDSB will all be open as normal and as expected on Monday, May 11th

-       School Activities such as school trips, extra-curricular activities and sports will continue as planned

Planned teacher job actions are expected to include: non-attendance in any Ministry of Education meetings or initiative, participating in provincial or local meetings, and not performing duties related to the annual EQAO provincial assessments.

I wish to make it clear that locally our relationship between the KPDSB and Keewatin-Patricia Elementary Teachers Association remains strong, respectful and established; the tone remains cordial and we continue our part working towards a fair collective agreement. We have great confidence in our teachers and in their professionalism; we value their work.

Parents and families are an essential partner in a child’s education; as such we will provide any information or updates as they arise and that we believe are necessary to be disseminated to families and parents.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

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KPDSB celebrates Education Week and Children's Mental Health Week

04 May. 2015

Media Release - May 4, 2015

May 4-8, 2015 is Education Week and Children’s Mental Health Week in Ontario. 

Our schools will be celebrating with a variety of activities throughout the week.  From wellness days at secondary schools, to workshops and community activities in elementary schools, to presentations by area partners and alumni in schools across the district, we have plenty to celebrate this week!

Dave Penney, Chair for the KPDSB, stated "Education Week is a great opportunity to thank our staff and community partners for all that they do to ensure the needs of our students are always put first.  There are many students and families who depend on our staff every day and their efforts do not go unnoticed.  Thank you to our staff from the Board of Trustees for everything you do for our students."

Jennifer Fletcher, Student Counsellor for the Red Lake area, added “Mental illness affects us all in some way or another whether it be a loved one, a friend, acquaintance or colleague. By celebrating Children’s Mental Health Week, it allows us the opportunity to bring the work that is happening every day in our schools to the forefront and raise awareness about mental health and the stigmas that are often connected to it.  My dream is to see us all work together to help and understand one another and celebrating this week in our schools is just one more way to support our students.”  

Joan Kantola, Superintendent of Education, said “On behalf of the KPDSB Mental Health Lead, administration and staff, we are committed to supporting all students with the implementation of our system Mental Health Strategy.  This week, and every week, we are focused on the health and well-being of our students.”

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, finished “Education Week marks a short period of time through the year in which we all recognize and celebrate the work of our students and staff but it’s important to note that exceptional work is happening every day in our schools across the region.”

For a detailed listing of the events taking place in each area, please contact Sheena Valley at      223-5311 ext. 247 or visit your local public school.

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April Board Meeting Highlights

17 Apr. 2015

Media Release - April 15, 2015

Trustees met at Valleyview Public School on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, for a regular board meeting.  Trustees also had the chance to visit with the staff and students of Valleyview earlier in the day.

The April “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Kenora Grade 6 Transition Activities’ was received by Trustees.  Kenora area Vice-Principals Shannon Bailey (Valleyview Public School), Tracey Benoit (Beaver Brae Secondary School) and Lisa Achilles (Beaver Brae Secondary School), as well as Kenora area staff members Val Silvester (Evergreen Public School) and Patty Chisholm (Beaver Brae Secondary School), were joined by students from five of our Kenora area schools to share their experiences with the transition activities taking place this year.

The cross-panel activities play an important role in preparing students for the transition from Grade 6 to Grade 7 by easing anxiety students may feel, and ensuring both students and their families feel comfortable, welcome and connected to Beaver Brae’s staff, and the historic building itself, before they enter the school in the fall.  Trustees heard how the transition activities have created an incredible sense of community between Beaver Brae and our elementary schools, with students sharing their own individual experiences.  Many stated they were no longer nervous or anxious about the transition and were looking forward to becoming Broncos in the fall.  Some of the transition activities the students have been participating include wood and bike shop, court sports, cosmetology, foods lab, hockey academy, French language events, and several family information nights.  For more information about Beaver Brae Secondary School and the opportunities it offers to students in the Kenora area, please contact the school at 468-6401.

Michael Boos, Principal of Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout, and Steve Dumonski, teacher at Sioux Mountain Public School, presented the Sioux Mountain Hockey Skills Academy Report.  In response to interest from students, the school’s parent council, and the community of Sioux Lookout, Sioux Mountain is offering a hockey skills academy to all interested students beginning in September 2015.  To date, 87 students in grades 1-8 have signed up for the program which will offer differentiated instruction for students based on their hockey skill level, with both an on and off ice component totaling between 100 to 250 minutes of instruction per week. The focus of the academy is to increase student academic achievement by addressing the whole student, including their physical, mental and emotional development.  An application has been submitted to have the academy accredited by Hockey Canada and the program is being offered for free thanks to partnerships with Jumpstart and local organizations.  For more information, contact Sioux Mountain Public School at 737-3480.

Lynn McAughey, Principal of King George VI Public School (Kenora), Wayne Mercer, Vice-Principal of Queen Elizabeth District High School (Sioux Lookout), and Rachelle Davenport, Vice-Principal of Ignace and Upsala Public Schools, presented the KPDSB Principals & Vice-Principals Efficacy Report.  The role of a KPDSB principal is vast and includes providing a safe and welcoming learning environment, ensuring the curriculum is being delivered and assessed appropriately, building and maintaining positive relationships with various stakeholders, and above all else, making sure students always come first.  Recent studies have shown that parents and families don’t always understand what school leaders do and by providing information on their roles to our communities, we hope to see increased engagement in our schools and with our administration.  For more information on the role of a KPDSB principal and how they can support families in our communities, please contact Sheena Valley at 223-5311.

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