20 Nov. 2017
Beaver Brae’s Tracey Benoit appointed to Ontario Minister of Education’s Principal Reference Group
Media Release - October 11, 2017
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board wishes to congratulate Tracey Benoit, Principal of Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora, on her recent appointment to the Minister of Education’s Principal Reference Group (MPRG). Benoit will join the MPRG for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years.
The Minister’s Principal Reference Group (established in 2006) is made up of 20 principals and vice-principals from across Ontario who are appointed by the Minister of Education. Principals serving on the MPRG provide the Minister with invaluable advice on a wide range of policy and program matters through their perspectives and experiences with Ministry of Education programs and policies. They also share their individual insights, feedback and recommendations for education in Ontario directly with the Minister of Education.
Benoit stated “My initial reaction was one of shock when I learned I was chosen to be a part of the Minister’s Principal Reference Group. It’s now sinking in and I understand the importance of the role, I feel very honoured to be a part of this group. We have a firsthand opportunity to provide feedback on Ministry initiatives and their impact on our students and schools, and it’s exciting to think about the impact that my voice will have on future education policies and programs. The Minister is interested in what educators, students and stakeholders have to say and I feel that it is critical to have the input of everyone across Ontario.”
Benoit added “I’m also excited to be able to collaborate with the principal group to share effective practices and to hear about their programs that foster student success. I know that what I learn over the next two years will help me develop immensely as an instructional leader and I’m really looking forward to that part of it.”
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said “We are indeed pleased and proud of Tracey’s appointment to the Minister’s Principal Reference Group; but we are not surprised. Those that know Tracey know her to be a leader among her peers and she deserves this appointment.”
October Board Meeting Highlights
Media Release - October 12, 2017
Trustees met at Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout on Tuesday, October 10, for a regular board meeting. Trustees held their board meeting following an opportunity for a firsthand look at the progress to date on the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board‘s new high school, Sioux North High School. Trustees were pleased with the progress and were informed that the walls have now been erected with roof work to begin within the week. Please click here to view a live stream of the construction.
The October Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Project Sunset – Sioux Mountain Public School’ was received by Trustees. Project Sunset Coordinator, Curtis Robb, and Sioux Mountain student, Kanaysah Kakegamic, shared their experiences in the program with Trustees. Project Sunset is an OPP-led initiative, designed to empower children and build skills like resiliency and self-awareness through a strengths-based, outdoors-focused experiential learning curriculum. Some of the hands-on activities students in the program participate in include dogsledding, rock climbing, canoeing, and camping. Kanaysah had plenty to say about the program, including that the program makes her feel safe and throughout the presentation, she referred to those involved as her family. Kanaysah plans to return to the program once she goes on to high school as a mentor for the younger students. Project Sunset is offered to students at KPDSB schools in Sioux Lookout, Dryden and Kenora.
Deanna Pacheco, Student Achievement Administrator, presented the Student Achievement report. The position of Student Achievement Administrator was put in place in February 2016 and works closely with central Student Achievement Special Assignment Teachers and school administration. Six KPDSB school were identified as the focus of the student achievement work for the 2017-2018 school year. The work includes school and classroom visits to talk about instruction and assessment, sharing resources and best practices, and support for both school administrators and staff based on school and classroom needs. The province’s renewed Math strategy is also an important component of this work and ultimately, the goal is to see students’ literacy and numeracy scores improve over time.
Superintendents Caryl Hron, Joan Kantola and Tania Sterling presented the 2017-2018 Board Continuous Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BCIP) update. The 2017-2018 BCIP, along with individual School Improvement Plans, guides the work of our schools. Taking a grass roots approach to the plan, this year’s plan development includes increased analysis of school data with school administration, discussions around areas of student and teachers needs in each school, prioritization of centralized supports for schools, consultation with elementary and secondary administrators and central staff to identify priorities, and development of a draft BCIP for sharing with schools for feedback prior to presenting the BCIP to the Board of Trustees.
Kim Carlson, Facilities Manager, along with Chris Edie, Assistant Manager Facility Operations & Maintenance, and Steve Parker, Assistant Manager Facility Planning & Development, presented the 2017 Capital Projects report. Highlights of capital work included:
- Construction of Sioux North High School (Sioux Lookout)
- Child care space planning at Sioux Mountain Public School (Sioux Lookout), New Prospect and Open Roads Public Schools (Dryden)
- Roof replacements at Evergreen, King George and Keewatin Public Schools (Kenora)
- Parking lot improvements at Red Lake District High School
KPDSB celebrates excellence at Dryden High School, receives update on KPDSB/NAN partnership
Media Release - November 14, 2016
Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, November 8, for a regular board meeting.
The November “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Skills for Life’ was received by Trustees. Dryden High School (DHS) teachers Paul and Dave Darling, accompanied by DHS students, shared a glimpse into technology programs offered at DHS. The classes offered through DHS’s technology department are vast, including transportation, communications, construction and manufacturing technology, computer sciences and robotics, dual credits (where students can earn both a high school and college credit) in welding and basic hand tools, and an integrated trades bundle credit program. Students at the presentation shared what the technology courses mean to them, telling Trustees that the hands on learning offered through the tech classes reduces stress, provides creative outlets, builds confidence, and increases engagement while providing an opportunity to explore new experiences and find out what they are interested in, all while having some fun during the school day.
A group of DHS staff also made a presentation to Trustees, titled ‘A Story of our Successful Graduates and Leaders of Tomorrow’. DHS teachers Jason Stevenson (Languages Department Head, English), Kurt Schmidt (Science Department Head, Physics, Outdoor Education), Blair Roberts (Senior Biology and Chemistry, Environmental Science), Nicole Moline (Senior English, Anthropology) and Joanna Ulisse-Caren (Senior Math - Calculus and Vectors, Advanced Functions, Data Management) shared some of the strategies they use in their classrooms as they work to prepare their students for their careers of choice. All agreed on the importance of challenging their students through inquiry based strategies to support them in becoming resilient, self-sufficient learners who can think critically and form out of the box solutions to any challenges they may face in the future.
Following the teachers presentation, videos of DHS alumni were shared where former students spoke about how their time at DHS prepared them for the careers and post secondary studies they have chosen. Trustees heard many of the students not only felt they were well prepared for their programs, but that they watched their classmates struggle and were grateful to the staff at DHS for going above and beyond to make sure they had the tools they needed to succeed. The students spoke about specific staff in the building who had impacts on them, often identifying more than one teacher or staff member, and extended their appreciation and thanks to their former teachers for their support, which often continued past graduation.
Michael Boos, KPDSB principal currently on secondment with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), presented the NAN/KPDSB partnership update. In 2013, discussions began between NAN and the KPDSB to look at new ways of support northern children. Through those discussions, a partnership was formed to develop and implement a pilot program to support Frist Nation schools within the NAN territory though leadership development, while working collaboratively to help design and promote strategies to equip First Nation students with the self-confidence and educational opportunities to be successful in reaching their education goals. Beginning steps of the pilot program include, but are not limited to, an assessment of what is needed, on the ground assistance based on community needs, support for teacher evaluations, retention strategies, transitions strategies, and principal mentorship. Participation by NAN communities is voluntary, with the following communities participating in the initial pilot program as of November 8, 2016: Fort Severn First Nation, North Spirit Lake First Nation, Webequie First Nation, Marten Falls First Nation, Long Lake #58 First Nation, and Mattagami First Nation. Each First Nation will work directly with Boos in developing a plan to meet their needs.
2017-2018 School Year Calendar Survey
The Regional School Year Calendar Committee is once again looking for input from families and staff around start/end dates for the 2017-2018 school year. Please click on the links above to fill out the quick survey.
The survey will be open until December 9, 2016. Should you have any questions, please contact Sheena Valley, Communications Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.