20 Nov. 2017
Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, visits KPDSB’s Four Directions
Media Release - October 3, 2018
Staff and students of Dryden High School (DHS) were honoured to welcome Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, to Dryden High School today.
Minister Bennett spent most of her visit with DHS staff and students in the Four Directions space, an innovative approach focused on student success and graduation from secondary school for Indigenous students. The Four Directions approach has received national attention as graduation rates improve for Indigenous students, with the goal being to closing the graduation gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Minister Bennett also met with Board Administration and was welcomed by members of the Board of Trustees.
Four Directions provides intensive support to First Nation, Métis and Inuit students and their families with the goal of seeing each learner through to graduation. Four Directions staff assist with leading and implementing programs, and connecting students and families to support services within the school and the greater community to increase each learners network of support throughout and beyond high school. Dryden High School was the first school within the KPDSB to implement Four Directions, celebrating a 41% increase to 80% of Indigenous students graduating in four years after four years of coaching. Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora will celebrate their first graduating Four Directions class this June, followed by Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout in 2020, and Red Lake District High School in 2021.
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board remains a strong advocate for northern children and their families, with an unwavering focus on reconciliation and supporting the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Minister Bennett stated “Dryden High School’s Four Directions program is an inspiring example of the critical role our schools can play in reconciliation. By increasing the graduation of high school First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, as well as the retention, and their transition from elementary school to high school, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is demonstrating how we all can work together to build a stronger future for Indigenous Peoples and Canadians alike.”
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “While we have been visited by dignitaries and officials before, we are particularly proud to welcome and host the Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations to the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and specifically to our Indigenous Student Graduation Coach program. Having Minister Bennett here to meet with staff and students on the front lines, only validates what many of us have felt for a number of years now and that is that our efforts to close graduation gaps and improve educational opportunities for Indigenous students is reconciliation in action, very much a real effort in the KPDSB. With critical partners such as the Northwestern Health Unit, we welcome all First Nation students and their families to our schools, and we will stop at nothing until that gap is finally closed.”
KPDSB celebrates staff on World Teachers’ Day
Media Release - October 5, 2018
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is celebrating teachers and educators across the Board area today for World Teachers’ Day.
World Teachers’ Day is day to celebrate and thank our teachers for the work they do with the children, youth and adult learners in our communities. Our teachers do more than teach academics. They are an empathetic ear, a guiding light, a shoulder to cry on, a source of inspiration, and so much more.
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “While today is the day of the year that we officially recognize our world class educators, our teachers, it is even more important to recognize their heroic efforts each and every other day of the year. We don’t need just good teachers in the KPDSB, we need the best and that is exactly what we have. As Director of Education, I want to publicly acknowledge our elementary, secondary, special education, and adult education teachers this World Teachers’ Day.”
Thank you to all of our teachers across the KPDSB for always putting our students first.
Trustees receive update on efficacy in the KPDSB, learn more about new approaches to increase student achievement
Media Releases - October 10, 2018
Trustees met at the Kenora Board Office on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, for a regular board meeting. Trustees also toured King George VI Public School prior to the meeting.
The October Kids Come First presentation titled ‘How King George VI Public School Creates a Learning Environment that Promotes Student Achievement’ was received by Trustees. Principals Tim Flynn and Nicole Vingerhoeds were joined by some of their students to share their experiences at King George with the Board of Trustees. While King George is well known in the Kenora area for its Recreation Program and Special Education services, students shared some of the many other opportunities available to them at their school. From Hockey Canada Skills Academy, Primary Choir, and You’re the Chef programs, to language programming and Robotics and Lego Club, Trustees heard how the staff at King George go above and beyond to provide as many opportunities to students as possible. By providing a variety of programs and extracurricular activities for students in addition to academics, staff at the school note their students are happy, engaged and ready to learn.
Shannon Bailey, Principal of Evergreen Public School in Kenora, and KPDSB Efficacy Working Group Member, presented the KPDSB Efficacy Report. In 2013, the KPDSB underwent a System Efficacy Review, conducted by internationally recognized efficacy experts with Pearson Learning Services. Since that time, the KPDSB has engaged in a "whole-system" effort of reform and change with all decisions centered around putting students first. In 2015, to support the work of efficacy in the KPDSB, and the implementation of actions and decisions, a System Efficacy Working Group, comprised of staff from schools and departments across the KPDSB, was implemented to advise the Board on decisions that impact classrooms and students and suggest areas of improvement. The work of efficacy has provided effective ways of identifying the needs of students and staff, as well as determining new and exciting strategies for improving attendance, graduation rates and mental health supports by using staff and student voice as the catalyst for change. For more information, please see the attached infographics.
Deanna Pacheco, Student Achievement Administrator, and Caryl Hron, Superintendent of Education, presented the Elementary Achievement Report. In February 2017, the KPDSB introduced a new support model to assist identified schools, called focus schools, in the Board. In order to support the focus schools, which were selected based on student needs, the System Achievement Administrator was put in place to work one on one with administrators in each school (six in total) with the goal of increasing student achievement. The supports for each focus school varied, based on student and staff needs, but all included the use of different assessments to drive the work, as well as increased regular school visits by central support staff and networking between staff to share best practices. Recently released EQAO results for the 2016-2017 school year show historic results for some of the focus schools, including Sioux Mountain Public School and Red Lake-Madsen Public School. Staff feedback also indicates the new support model is working and following these successes, the number of focus schools for the 2018-2019 school year has been expanded.
KPSDB Continues to See Enrolment Increases
Media Release - November 15, 2017
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is pleased to report increased student enrolment for the 2017-2018 school year. The KPDSB for the first time in its history, will no longer be eligible for the “Declining Enrolment Grant” in 2017-2018.
The Board credits several factors for the increase in enrolment including its expansion of innovative student-based programs that increase student engagement and the efforts of front-line school staff to put the needs of students first. Additional acknowledgement must be given to ongoing and exhaustive efforts of administration to work closely with and sign formal agreements with Indigenous partners such as Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO), Seven Generations Education Institute (SGEI), and Lac Seul First Nation (LSFN).
Budgeted enrolment for the 2017-2018 school year was 4,842 students. Current enrolment for the KPDSB is 4,868, 26 students above the projected or budgeted enrolment.
Notable enrolment increases include:
- All Kenora elementary schools: Valleyview, Evergreen, Keewatin, and King George VI Public Schools are above projected and actual 2016-17 enrolments;
- Beaver Brae Grades 7/8 increased enrolment by 17 students;
- Golden Learning Centre in Balmertown is 17 students over budget;
- Sioux Narrows Public School enrolment at historic high; enrolment of 31 students;
- Lillian Berg Public School in Vermilion Bay, increase of 22 students over 2016-17;
- Queen Elizabeth DHS in Sioux Lookout is an additional 20 students higher than historic 2016-17 numbers with a total of 508; up from 396 students in 2013-14;
- Enrolment in Senior Kindergarten was 12 higher than projected at 296 students.
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said “There are always compelling indicators that clearly and indisputably demonstrate the direction an organization is headed in. The enrolment growth in many of our schools and the enrolment picture across the Board is strong. The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board continues to strengthen and with that so does our responsibility to Northern Ontario children.”
The KPDSB is currently seeking applicants for employment in all positions and will hold Recruitment Fairs in communities across the board area following a successful event in Sioux Lookout on November 8. Upcoming events include:
- Dryden/Ignace/Vermilion Bay areas – December 11, 2017 at Dryden High School from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
- Red Lake/Ear Falls areas – January 10, 2018 at Red Lake District High School from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
- Kenora/Sioux Narrows areas – January 30, 2018 at Manidoo Baawaatig from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Ontario Special Needs Strategy Update for Families - Rehabilitation Services
As a family whose child may be receiving or waiting for rehabilitation services (speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy), we are writing to provide you with an update on upcoming improvements to the delivery of children’s rehabilitation services in your community.
As you may know, in 2014 the government launched the Special Needs Strategy in response to feedback received from families to improve the timeliness, effectiveness and coordination of the services that children and youth with special needs require to fully participate at home, at school, in the community and to achieve goals for adulthood.
A key initiative of the Special Needs Strategy is the integrated delivery of rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology, for children and youth from birth to school exit.
Over the past year, service providers – including community-based Preschool Speech and Language providers, District School Boards, Community Care Access Centres and Children’s Treatment Centres – in communities across the province have worked to develop locally integrated, family-centred ways to deliver children’s rehabilitation services to improve family service experiences and outcomes for children and youth with special needs. In doing so, service providers have engaged with families and youth in our communities to seek their input.
What is Changing?
Once the improvements are implemented, children and youth with rehabilitation service needs and their families will have:
A seamless service experience from birth to school exit, with no gaps in service as children transition to school or between service providers;
- Child, youth and family centred service as parents and children/youth work together with service providers and educators to set goals based on their individual needs and strengths;
- Access to a broad range of high quality interventions (classroom, parent training, educator consultation) in settings that are most appropriate to their needs, and as convenient as possible to families; and
- Continuous and consistent services throughout the calendar year regardless of who delivers them in the community.
Following the ministries’ review of initial local proposals, service providers are now beginning to refine their proposals based on consultation with stakeholders. Based on feedback gathered, they will then begin to develop local plans for implementation of their new local models for the integrated delivery of rehabilitation services in each community.
When Will These Changes Take Place?
These changes will be phased in so that they will not disrupt any services your child may currently be receiving in the community or school. Families currently waiting for services will maintain their place on the waitlist. There will be no reduction in service capacity as a result of this change. Implementation of new service delivery models is expected to begin as early as Fall 2018.
We will continue to work together across service providers in the community to ensure that there will be no gaps in services for your child and that any changes will be seamless for you and your family.
How Can I Get More Information?
We will continue to keep you informed as the new model is developed in your community.
You can also visit the Ministry of Children & Youth Services website at www.children.gov.on.ca for more information about the special needs strategy in Ontario.
For more information or if you have any questions, please contact: Sean Monteith, Keewatin Patricia DSB, 807 468 5571 ext 236
Superintendent of Education
Keewatin Patricia District School Board