The Keewatin Patricia
District School Board puts
students first by creating
a culture of learning
Kenora - Head Office
4th Floor - 240 Veterans Drive, Kenora, ON P9N 3Y5
Phone: 807-468-5571 Fax: 807-468-3857
Toll Free: 877-275-7771
Dryden - Office
79 Casimir Ave, Dryden, ON P8N 2Z6
Phone: 807-223-5311 Fax: 807-223-4703
Toll Free: 877-287-5430
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June Board Meeting Highlights

10 Jun. 2015

Media Release - June 10, 2015

Trustees met at King George VI Public School on Tuesday, June 9, for the final Board Meeting of the 2014-2015 school year.

The May “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Parents at Secondary School – Beaver Brae Secondary School’ was received by Trustees.  The Parents at Secondary School (PASS) program is offered at several of our secondary schools, including Beaver Brae in Kenora.  The program allows young parents to work towards their secondary school diploma in a supportive and caring environment where they can complete their credits while caring for their children.  With a focus on life skills as well as academics, students in the program learn about cooking and making healthy choices for them and their children, resources in the community that young families can reach out to for any support they may need outside of the school, and the importance of connecting with other parents who understand the challenges they face.

PASS program students shared their stories with Trustees and often talked about how the program has inspired them to not only complete their high school requirements, but also to look forward to the future and accomplishing the goals they have set for themselves while in the program.  Trustees heard from all of the young parents that they believed they would not be where they are today if it wasn’t for the PASS Program and the support of their teacher, Sherry King, and administration and staff of Beaver Brae Secondary School.  The students all agreed that the program has changed their lives, and that of their children, by helping them to become better moms, and they were extremely grateful for the support we have been able to offer to them.

The Transitions North year-end report was received by Trustees. Principal of Keewatin Public School, Heather Mutch, and Transitions North classroom staff, Mike Dean (teacher) and Nicole Downey (Education Assistant), shared the work that has been happening in their program.  The Transitions North classroom at Keewatin Public School is one of three programs in our Board, with one in Sioux Lookout at Sioux Mountain Public School, and another in Dryden at Open Roads Public School.  The programs are the first in their kind in Ontario schools and were created in partnership with Dr. Gideon Koren of Toronto Sick Kids Hospital and MotherRisk to support students with FASD.

The Transitions North programs have been extremely successful in supporting our students with FASD with staff from all three programs indicating the program is changing lives for many of their students.  With small class sizes, a focus on self-regulation, sensory sensitive classrooms and direct intervention, the students are receiving the support they need from our caring and dedicated staff.  Students in the program learn at their own pace and each student receives unique support that is tailored to their individual needs.  The overall goal of the program is to integrate students back into the regular classroom by providing students with coping skills they can use to ease the transition.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, presented the Employee Recognition report as per Policy 703 – Recognition of Employees.  As the 2014-2015 school year comes to an end , it’s important to acknowledge the work of all of our employees over the past school year but we are also proud to acknowledge the dedicated service of those who are retiring and celebrating 25 years of employment with us.  This year, we are publically recognizing those staff who all together, have over 1300 years of service to public education and children in the Northwest.  Below is a list of our retirees and 25 year honourees.



Retirements                                                                   25 Year Service

Ariano, Dale                                                                    Carlson, Kim                     

Armstrong, Sandra                                                        Kimberley Douglas

Benson, Lee Ann                                                          Dufault, Karen

Bergman, Lynn                                                              Dufresne, Chona

Bruetsch, Clinton                                                           Dzwonyk, Pazia

Brechtefeld, Lorraine                                                    Farrell, Laura

Comhaire, Angela                                                         Favreau, Jim

Cornish, Diana                                                               Fretz, Keith

Duffield, Marilyn                                                            Hill, Rick

Estabrooks, Gloria                                                         Kovel, Deanna

Frenette, Lindsay                                                           Kuznak, Gwen

Galeotafiore, Louie                                                        Lambert, Theresa

Gramatowski, Barbara                                                   Lampi, Carla

Hager, Janet                                                                   Magel, Betty Ann

Hill, Rick                                                                          Marion, Kathleen

Kummen, Madelon                                                        O’Hearn, Rosemary

Lambrechts, Valerie                                                      Ponton, Randy

Lindsay, Mary                                                                 Prosken, Loretta

MacMillan, Doreen                                                        Snyder, Debi

Murray, Carol                                                                  St. Hilaire, Shelley

O'Grady, Susan                                                              Stemkens, Jennifer

Peloquin, Karen                                                             Urquhart, Michelle

Pronger, Cheryl                                                              Wilcox, Richard

Salo, Pauline                                                                  Zabloski, Sherri

Shedden, Paula

Skora, Johanne

Skrupski, Barb

Skye, Leonard

Wilcox, Richard  


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.


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.


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.


Sean Monteith
Director of Education


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.