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Board of Trustees tour Sioux North High School, new childcare spaces at Sioux Mountain Public School

13 Sep. 2018

Media Release - September 13, 2018

Trustees met at Sioux North High School (at the former Queen Elizabeth District High School site) in Sioux Lookout on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, for the first board meeting of the 2018-2019 school year. 

The Board of Trustees were welcomed to Sioux Mountain Public School for a tour of new child care spaces in the school.  Through funding grants from the Ministry of Education, work has been carried out at Sioux Mountain over the summer months to enhance areas of the school for the community’s youngest learners.  The work included:

  • Creation of a new preschool room designed for 24 students.
  • Creation of a new toddler room designed for 15 students.
  • Outdoor playground enhancements for all early years students.
  • Relocation of existing school staff room and renovation to existing stage area.
  • Enlargement of school kitchen to create shared facilities for school and child care programs.
  • Renovations to existing EarlyON room.
  • Parking lot enhancements and expansion.

 In total, the project cost was just under $2 million.  Funding was provided by the Ministry of Education through the Child Care Capital Retrofit Funding ($1.2 million) and the School Condition Improvement Grant ($850,000).

 Trustees were also able to tour the new Sioux North High School building currently under construction in Sioux Lookout on the Sioux Mountain Public School site.  With an expected occupancy date in late 2018 and a move to the new building for staff and students planned for early 2019, the $30 million dollar project has been years in the making and is nearing completion.  The state of the art building has 513 pupil places with 23 classrooms and a building footprint of 6,003m2.  Features of the building include:

  • Large windows and glass features allowing for plenty of natural light and an openness throughout the building, including rooftop solar tubes that allow light into areas of the school without exterior windows.
  • A large multi-purpose cafeteria/auditorium with full dramatic arts capabilities, including telescopic seating, integrated lighting, an elevated stage, and a sophisticated sound system. The cafetorium is located in an arts program cluster to allow close proximity for music program delivery, food services, visual arts and other events/activities.
  • New equipment for shop classes, science labs, communication labs and food and nutrition programs
  • Spaces for partners right in the new building, including Confederation College and FIREFLY.  The new school is also next door to Sioux Mountain Public School, creating a community hub for education and support services.
  • Tunable LED lighting throughout the building that matches the suns colour temperature changes throughout the day.
  • In-floor radiant heating throughout the building (one of the most energy efficient methods of heating a facility in colder climates) which allows for displacement ventilation methods that provide constant fresh air supplies to all areas of the building.
  • New landscaping, roadways and parking.

The September Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Students Building for Students: Timber Frame Outdoor Classroom’ was received by Trustees.  Sioux North High School Teacher Mathew Culham, and students Mike Wilson and Aiden Carroll, shared the details of a unique partnership with Kingsway Park Public School in Thunder Bay.  In November 2017, students from then Queen Elizabeth District High School travelled to Thunder Bay to build a large timber frame structure they had created following months of planning and construction.  The structure serves as an outdoor classroom for the students at Kingsway.  Culham, a timber framer and teacher by trade, spoke fondly of the job and the pride he felt in his students for what they were able to accomplish and give back to another school community. 

Trustees heard how the project provided many benefits for the students involved, including an opportunity for authentic learning, development of transferable skills, and providing opportunities for older students to be positive role models to younger students.  Next steps for Culham’s program include creating a timber-framed winterized structure at Cedar Bay Recreation Facility that would serve as both an outdoor education site for Sioux North High School’s Outdoor Education program, and a facility for northern education authorities land-based, active wellness initiatives and opportunities.

Andy Schardt, current Vice-Principal of Sioux North High School and former Principal of Sioux Mountain Public School for the 2017-2018 school year, presented the Sioux Mountain Public School – Shining a Light on Diabetes report.  Sioux Mountain Public School has partnered with the Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre’s (NGFC) Healthy Living Kids/Right to Play program.  Sun Life Financial, a funder of Right to Play, selected the Sioux Lookout program from 100 other programs to feature in a video to raise awareness.  Criteria for selecting the program to feature included quality of the program, numbers of participants and impact on students.  The video, filmed in the Sioux Lookout area, showcases the work the Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre has been doing in partnership with Sioux Mountain to address the gaps in Type 2 Diabetes prevention by focusing on education, awareness and the promotion of healthy and active living.  To view the video, please click here.

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KPDSB Board of Trustees Approve 2018-2019 Budget

13 Jun. 2018

Media Release - June 13, 2018

Trustees met at Savant Lake Public School in Savant Lake on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, for the final board meeting of the 2017-2018 school year. 

The June Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Cultural Learning – Aboriginal Hand Drum Making’ was received by Trustees.  Savant Lake Public School teacher Hope St. Hilaire and students Deja Neecan, Jaylen Fox and Hailey Belmore shared their learning process to create traditional hand drums with Trustees.  With guidance from community elders and volunteers, the students learned about the process for creating their drums, from smudging and finding the perfect stick to make their drum sticks, to securing the hide and preparing an offering.  Trustees appreciated having the cultural practices shared with them by the students and congratulated them on their completed hand drums. 

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, presented the 2018 Employee Recognition Report.  Each June, Monteith publically acknowledges all employees with 25 years of service and retirees for their achievement and contributions to education in the Northwest.  The 2017-2018 school year brought with it the retirement of 31 dedicated employees and another 11 were recognized for reaching the 25 year milestone. 

Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, and Kathleen O’Flaherty, Assistant Superintendent of Business, presented the 2018-2019 Budget Report.  Total budget for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board for the 2018-2019 school year is $96 million which is a slight increase (4%) from the 2017-2018 school year budget.  The 2018-2019 budget is in compliance with all Ministry of Education Guidelines and was passed unanimously by the Board of Trustees.

Monteith reflected on the 2017-2018 school year.  “The year has been an incredibly successful one, with challenges and unavoidable setbacks at certain moments. We end the year, in strong financial shape, a growing reach into the North resulting in positive impacts and outcomes for Northern children and their families, and a burgeoning sense of pride and accomplishment. The success of the Board is nothing, if not without the strength of its people, its students and its communities. I wish all families and staff a wonderful summer.”

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Job Posting - Superintendent of Indigenous Education and Reconciliation

08 Jun. 2018

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is looking for a strong, dynamic individual with extensive experience in educational administration and strong innovative leadership in the area of Indigenous Education. Please click here to view the job posting.

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KPDSB celebrates 16 schools receiving Ophea Healthy Schools Certification

04 Jun. 2018

Media Release - June 4, 2018

Through a partnership with the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), 16 Keewatin-Patricia District School Board schools have received Ophea Healthy Schools Certification, with 11 schools achieving gold level certification. 

Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community. There are currently 238 schools in the province who have achieved the Healthy Schools Certification, 16 of which belong to the KPDSB. The KPDSB is also proud to note that 100% of secondary schools in the Board have achieved the certification.

Quotes:

“We are so excited to hear about all of the great work happening at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board.  To have 16 schools complete the process and certify gold or silver is an amazing accomplishment. That these schools were able to work with their communities and partner with other schools from their school board, for a total reach of 18 out of a total of 20 schools is even more impressive. Ophea is very excited to continue working with KPDSB and can’t wait to see what will be accomplished next school year.” - Sarah Christie, Bilingual Projects Leader, Ophea

“The Northwestern Health Unit is a proud partner of KPDSB in the Healthy Schools Certification process. The engagement and energy that each school has shown to achieve gold or silver certifications shows a Board-wide commitment to creating schools that support student and staff well-being.  We look forward to continuing work with KPDSB and are happy to celebrate this significant achievement” - Shannon Robinson, Manager, Chronic Disease Prevention, Northwestern Health Unit

“This Healthy Schools Certification for KPDSB schools is more than just about healthy active living. If people take a few minutes to look at the graphics and the data on the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board they will see what the province sees; true leadership, a focus on supporting both students and staff, and a recognition that we need healthy staff to model for healthy students. The Board recognizes the importance of our staff’s personal well-being and is grateful to the Northwestern Health for its leadership and support.” - Sean Monteith, Director of Education, Keewatin-Patricia District School Board

*Please see the accompanying Healthy Schools Certification Board Report for more information.

Ophea is a charitable organization that champions healthy, active living in schools and communities through quality programs and services, partnerships and advocacy, and is led by the vision that all children and youth value and enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy, active living.

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Dryden High School’s Kieran McMonagle to speak to Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples

31 May. 2018

Media Release - May 31, 2018

Dryden High School’s Kieran McMonagle will testify before Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples on June 6, 2018, in Ottawa as a part of an Indigenize the Senate event.  McMonagle is the First Nation, Metis and Inuit Graduation Coach of the Four Directions program at Dryden High School. 

2018 marks the third year for the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples to accept nominations to identify Indigenous youth leaders to share their experiences and thoughts with the committee during an official hearing.  McMonagle was nominated by a colleague and was chosen to address the committee from applicants across the country.  She will identify challenges and share success stories from her work with Indigenous youth in Northwestern Ontario. 

McMonagle stated “Being recognized as an Indigenous Youth Leader at the national level is both an honour and a privilege. I am humbled to have been recognized by a colleague at Dryden High School and hope to influence positive change for Indigenous youth within the region.”  

Richard Hodgkinson, Principal of Dryden High School, said “Kieran is a remarkable leader advocate for Indigenous youth across our region. She goes beyond listening, encouraging and helping guide students, she empowers them. The students she “coaches” know that they have someone who believes in them, who is there for them, and who deeply cares about them and their success. Kieran will be able to share the challenges and successes of our Indigenous youth and how working and learning together, we can help them succeed and develop a positive vision of their future.”

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “Knowing Kieran, and the way she supports her students, I am not surprised that someone of her calibre has been identified by the Senate of Canada’s Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples to share her leadership and experiences. She is not only a model employee of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, but more importantly a fierce advocate for students in her care. She represents everything that the KPDSB stands for in its approach towards Northern Children, that we put their needs first before our own. We continue to be very proud of our staff; like Kieran.”

Background

The Four Directions High School Graduation Coach approach started at Dryden High School in June of 2014.  Four Directions offers First Nation, Metis, Inuit (FNMI) students the opportunity to work with Graduation Coaches who assist with leading and implementing programs, services and other supports to meet the unique needs of First Nation, Metis & Inuit students and their families, with a focus on student success and graduation. Since its inception, the Four Directions program has expanded to Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora, Queen Elizabeth District High School in Sioux Lookout, and Red Lake District High School.  The program has received national attention for its success in supporting Indigenous students in reaching graduation.

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