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News
News

Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout opens its doors to students and staff!

19 Mar. 2019

Media Release - March 19, 2019

On Monday, March 18, 2019, our new school in Sioux Lookout, Sioux North High School, opened its doors to welcome students and staff for the first time.

The new school has 513 pupil places with 23 classrooms.  At a cost of $30 million, features of the building include:

  • Many large window and glass features throughout the building allowing for plenty of natural light and open areas.
  • A sizeable multi-purpose cafeteria/auditorium (or cafetorium) with full dramatic arts capabilities, including telescopic seating, integrated lighting, elevated stage, and a sophisticated sound system.
  • New, state of the art equipment and spaces for shop classes, science labs, communication labs and food and nutrition programs.
  • New furniture throughout the building.
  • A large and bright library with a wall of windows including a variety of seating options and work stations for students.
  • A gym with a hardwood floor and large windows that fill the gym with natural light.
  • A new music room with skylights to allow natural light in and all new instruments to support the music program.

The new school also includes spaces for our partners, including Confederation College and FIREFLY.

Wayne Mercer, Sioux North High School Principal, stated “Yesterday was a day that was long awaited.  Watching our students enter their new building and explore the hallways was a moment in time that is hard to put into words.  Our students and staff deserve this building and all of the opportunities the new space offers is exciting.  All of this couldn’t have been possible without the work of so many people, as principal of the school, thank you to my staff and all of the Board employees who have worked tirelessly to get the building ready, and to everyone that assisted us in making yesterday’s transition smooth for our students.  It was a day to remember and we look forward to making this new building home.”

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “From start to finish the new high school project in Sioux Lookout, now known as Sioux North High School, has represented more than the construction of a new building. It has always been about bringing equity and access to all students from Sioux Lookout, and all of the North. It has been about a new beginning for our communities, our young people and bringing equity of hope for their futures. It is an incredibly proud day and one that we will remember forever. The young people of Northern Ontario deserve nothing but the best, and it is my hope as Director of Education we have made this possibility a reality.”

Background

In April 2014, the KPDSB announced, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Education, the allocation of $30 million to build a replacement school for Queen Elizabeth District High School in Sioux Lookout.  The architect contract for the new building was appointed to Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture Inc. in July 2014, with the construction contract being awarded to Everstrong Construction Limited in August 2016 following two years of planning and consultations.  Official construction of the building, following site preparation, began in the summer of 2017.

A site blessing and groundbreaking ceremony for the new building was held in November 2015. In April 2017, following the work of a naming committee, Trustees approved the new name Sioux North High School for the new school, honouring the suggestion of students on the naming committee to name the school Sioux North.

Sioux North High School

Sioux North High School

Sioux North High School

Sioux North High School

Sioux North High School

Sioux North High School

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KPDSB awards capital projects in Ear Falls & Sioux Lookout, receives update on Beaver Brae project

06 Mar. 2019

March 6, 2019

Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, for a regular Board Meeting.

Trustees awarded Finn Way General Contractor Inc. the Ear Falls Public School Capital Renovation Project at a total cost of $7,780,539, resourced through announced School Condition Improvement funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education.  Details of the renovation include:

  • Major renovation work to all program areas throughout the school to replace and reorganize classrooms with new layouts, finishes and systems upgrades including:
    • Fully enclosed classrooms to improve noise control and classroom functionality
    • Heating and ventilation upgrades to improve indoor environmental quality and energy performance
    • ITS infrastructure replacement throughout (cabling, wireless access, projection)
    • New tunable LED lighting in each classroom
    • New millwork storage with classroom sinks and built-in teachers’ desk units
  • New exterior roofing, insulation, cladding and windows which will drastically improve the energy performance and internal comfort for students and staff
  • Redesigned spaces such as the library, administration, gymnasium, and washrooms to ensure they are fully accessible, as well as staff work areas
  • New landscaping including a new parking lot, stormwater management, sidewalks and fencing to provide improved access into and around the school

Renovation work at Ear Falls Public School will begin this month with fully occupied classrooms by September 2019.  Non-classroom and exterior work will continue into the fall of 2019.

Trustees awarded the Sioux Mountain Public School (Sioux Lookout) Roof Replacement Contract Tender to Lakehead Roofing & Metal Cladding Ltd. for a total cost of $1,100,000.  Replacement of the room at Sioux Mountain is funded through School Condition Improvement funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Trustees also received an update on the Beaver Brae Secondary School Capital Project.  Currently out to tender, Phase 1 of the Beaver Brae capital project is expected to reach a total budget of approximately $6 million.  With construction anticipated to begin in late April with completion in March 2020, the scope of work for Phase 1 includes:

  • A new dramatic arts room that includes telescopic seating for up to 150 people, as well as a new performance stage and theatre sound and lighting to accommodate the currently fastest growing program at the school
  • A large visual arts studio with lots of open space and natural light   
  • A new welding/manufacturing shop
  • Relocation of Beaver Brae’s popular Bike Shop to improve external access to the program and storage
  • Upgraded Food and Nutrition/Hospitality space with new equipment to accommodate high demand for those programs
  • Fully upgraded state of the art Communications Technology lab including a video broadcasting studio and green room, photo studio for digital photography and a new computer lab layout
  • A new fitness and weight room more than double the size of the current space to support personal fitness among students and staff
  • Upgraded cafeteria with new layout including booths and charging stations

Phase 2 of capital project work at Beaver Brae will upgrade the schools parking lot and athletic field and improve accessibility at the school.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “These three capital projects, including a complete rebuild of Ear Falls Public School and the renewal of the Beaver Brae Secondary School’s Tech Wing, have been identified as major priorities for the Board, and will bring equity of opportunities to the young people of Ear Falls and Kenora.”

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KPDSB welcomes Early Years Open Gym to Valleyview Public School for month of March

01 Mar. 2019

Media Release - March 1, 2019

We are excited to announce the Early Years Open Gym in Kenora will continue during the month of March at Valleyview Public School. Families are invited to join us on March 5, 19, and 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The Early Years Open Gym is a free event for children ages 0-6.  It provides an excellent opportunity for families to socialize, have fun, and be active with their child(ren).  New for the month of March, thanks to the Salvation Army, Chef Pitre and the Hospitality and Tourism class at Beaver Brae Secondary School, a light dinner will also be provided free of charge for families.

The Early Years Open Gym would not be possible without the strength of community partnerships. We would like to thank all of our partners for working with us to ensure that kids come first.

Marnie Schuster, EarlyON Coordinator, stated “The Early Years Open Gym time was initiated by listening to the needs of our families, but it’s success is in having the support of our community partners who are genuinely invested in providing the best for families.”

Background

The Early Years Open Gym began in January and has been hosted at different schools in Kenora, with the March events taking place at Valleyview Public School.  The Early Years Open Gym is a free community event to encourage physical activity and play during the cold winter months.

Early Years Open Gym Poster

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Trustees explore impact of assistive technology and coding, celebrate 2018 achievements in Director’s Annual Report

09 Jan. 2019

Media Release - January 9, 2019

Trustees met via videoconference on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, for a regular Board Meeting. 

The January Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Bringing the Learning OUT through Coding’ was received by Trustees.  Doris St. Jules, Principal of Lillian Berg Public School, and Shannon Elliott, Grade 5/6 Teacher, were joined by Lillian Berg Public School students to share their experiences in coding with Trustees.  The students shared some insights into coding, including a definition of coding, why it is important, and what they’ve learned through coding. Trustees heard how the students are learning about perseverance, innovation, creativity, problem-solving and teamwork through their coding activities, with some students even designing their own video game.  Elliott shared how proud she is of her students and how coding encourages them to take risks, teaches them not to be afraid to make mistakes and to celebrate their successes when they overcome challenges.

Tim Flynn, Principal, Nicole Vingerhoeds, Vice-Principal, and student Isaiah Stahls from King Geroge VI Public School in Kenora presented the Special Education Assistive Device presentation.  Students at King George and schools across the Board area are using technology to support student learning, including different assistive technology and devices for Special Education students, including students with learning disabilities.  Technology, and in particular assistive technology, helps to remove barriers to learning for students. Isaiah shared some of his experiences with using assistive technology, including how it has supported him in completing his assignments by allowing him to use speech to text for writing rather than pen and paper, an area he struggled with in the past.  He shared with Trustees that he can write faster using the technology and that it helps him not to get frustrated with his school work so he can focus on completing his assignments.  Isaiah’s mother, Robyn, shared that they have seen improvement in many different areas since the introduction of assistive technology to support him in the classroom.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, and Sheena Valley, Communications & Strategic Branding Officer, presented the 2018 Director’s Annual Report.  The Director’s Annual Report highlights the work of our staff and students in 2018.  Areas of focus in the report include our continued work in the area of reconciliation, academic success, mental health in schools, 21st Century learning, Indigenous student support and success, wrap around supports, specialized programs and strategic partnerships.  The report also includes a notable achievements section.  In 2018, the KPDSB celebrated a variety of achievements, including:

  • A visit to Dryden High School by Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, where she met with students who are a part of our Four Directions First Nation, Metis and Inuit Graduation Coach approach.  The KPDSB’s Four Directions approach has received National attention with our first graduating cohort in June 2018 from Dryden High School showing a 40 percentage point increase in the number of self-identified students graduating from Dryden High School compared to previous averages.  The Four Directions approach was also recognized by Indspire at the 2018 National Gathering for Indigenous Education in Edmonton, Alberta, where Tania Sterling, Superintendent of Education, was presented the Indspire Nurturing Capacity: Documenting Community plaque.
  • The appointment of two of our students, Drea Sinclair from Red Lake District High School, and Tristan Bouchard from Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout to the 2018-2019 Minister’s Student Advisory Council.  Drea and Tristan were chosen from more than 400 applicants from across Ontario.
  • Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake was named the first Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund Legacy School in Canada.  The school has a variety of initiatives planned to honour the designation, including the dedication of two benches outside of the schools, the dedication of the school’s Native as a Second Language classroom as the Legacy Classroom, and the renaming of the school’s end of the year NSL award.
  • The KPSDB became the first school board in Ontario to register all of its schools for OPHEA Healthy Schools Certification.  OPHEA’s Health Schools Certification recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community.

To view the 2018 Director’s Annual Report, please click here.

Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, presented the Ear Falls Public School Capital Project update.  Construction is set to begin on the $5 million project for the total renovation of Ear Falls Public School.  The project will be done in two phases, with the first set to begin in March 2019, and the second beginning in June 2019, with completion anticipated for September 2019. 

Findlay also presented the Sioux North High School Capital Project update.  Work continues on our new school, Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout, and excitement continues to build as we prepare to move into the new building from the old Queen Elizabeth District High School site.  Spaces built for our partners in the building, FIREFLY and Confederation College, are now complete and staff from those organizations are beginning their move into the building.  Staff and students are anticipated to move into the new building following the March Break.  A grand opening for the new $30 million school is being planned for spring 2019.

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KPDSB first school board in Ontario to register all schools for OPHEA Healthy Schools Certification

18 Dec. 2018

Media Release - December 18, 2018

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board has become the first school board in Ontario to register all its schools for the OPHEA Healthy Schools 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. Participating schools across Ontario complete the 6-Step Healthy Schools Process, which aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School resource.  Through a point-based system schools plan their Healthy Schools process over the course of the school year. They outline the steps needed to achieve certification as gold, silver, or bronze.

Quotes:

“For the first time ever, all schools from one school board are participating in OPHEA’s Healthy Schools Certification! The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board should be proud of all its schools for their commitment this school year in becoming a Healthy School, and in promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community.”

- Sarah Christie, Bilingual Projects Leader, OPHEA

“We know that active healthy living and exercise is important for everyone, and particularly youth. Being physical and in turn promoting physical and mental well-being has become a priority for all of us in our schools. We know that in Northern Ontario, physical health and well-being are even more important and we are proud in Keewatin-Patricia to ensure we are doing our best to encourage this way of life. Congratulations to all of our schools and their champions in each location for promoting and making this a way of being.”

- Sean Monteith, Director of Education, Keewatin-Patricia District School Board

Background

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.  In the 2017-2018 school year, 16 KPSDB schools received the OPHEA Healthy Schools Certification with 11 achieving gold level certification.

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