20 Nov. 2017
Letter to Families - Potential Student Walk-Out on April 4, 2019
Dear Families, Parents and Guardians, and Students,
We are aware of the potential of a provincial act of civil disobedience in the form of a “walk-out” tomorrow (April 4, 2019, at 1:15 pm) by students across Ontario to protest proposed changes to education following recent announcements by the Ontario government. To be clear, our intention is not to condone nor deny our students their individual expression of a right to protest, but rather to provide you with information.
We wanted to clarify with families that the walk-out is not a Keewatin-Patricia District School Board sanctioned event. It is our expectation as a school board that our students will attend their regularly scheduled classes the afternoon of April 4; however, it is not our intention to prevent students from participating in this planned action. Any students not in attendance in their classes will be marked as absent as per our school board policies, and families will be notified accordingly as per usual.
Our top priority is always the safety of our students and the planned walk-out raises concerns around student safety, especially if students plan to go off-site. Please be aware that we cannot, and will not provide supervision of students off-site as classes will be in session, and any student action will be deemed to be outside of the scope of the KPDSB. Should an elementary student leave the school property without parental consent, we will contact the family as per our policies.
As a Board, we would encourage parents and guardians to use this potential action as a learning opportunity. You might consider initiating a conversation with your child(ren) to discuss why a student may choose to participate in such actions; in other words, what it means to participate in an event like this. There are many ways students can voice their concerns and we believe it’s an important conversation for families to have.
Should you have any questions, we ask that you please contact your school’s principal.
Director of Education and Chief Executive Officer
Keewatin-Patricia District School Board
April Board Meeting - Trustees learn about entrepreneurship programming in schools, receive learning technologies update
Media Release - April 11, 2019
Trustees met at the Kenora Education Centre on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, for a regular Board Meeting.
The April Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Valleyview Entrepreneurship Program’ was received by Trustees. Lisa Achilles, Principal of Valleyview Public School, Valleyview students, and Cierra Parkhill, Lake of the Woods Business Incentive Corporation (LOWBIC), shared their recent learning with Trustees. Valleyview Public School has introduced a focus on business and entrepreneurship in partnership with LOWBIC through the Head Start in Business program. The goal of the program is to create learning environments that expose students to entrepreneurship experiences. The creativity and experiences shared by the students through programs like Be a Business Bee (Kindergarten-Grade 2), Create a Business Logo (Grades 3-6), and Kids Invent Program (Grade 6), impressed the Board of Trustees. With programs also available for intermediate and secondary students, there is no shortage of opportunities for program expansion in KPDSB schools. Components of the program are also available in French to support French Immersion students. Trustees thanked the presenters and expressed their hope to see more of this programming in schools in the future.
Jason McDonald, Learning Technologies Administrator, and Alexander McEachern, Technology-Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact, presented an update on the 2017-2020 KPDSB Learning Technologies Strategic Plan. Currently, in the second year of the three-year plan, technology-enabled learning has continued to expand and be available to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Key components of the plan include:
- The introduction of more than 400 Chromebooks in all primary grades with purposeful planning as to which applications will best meet student learning needs.
- The implementation of the G Suite set of educational tools from Google to support online classroom environments that allow for access to learning anytime and anywhere.
- Leveraging technology to collaborate across the region and beyond using video conferencing software that enables teachers to bring experts from various fields into classrooms, and helps students to develop global connections with students all over the world.
- Fostering creativity and critical problem-solving skills in students across the Board including providing more STEAM-focused learning opportunities through hands-on Makerspaces, computer coding and robotics.
- Integrating design technology into schools like 3-D printers and plasma cutters that allow students to learn with industry-standard tools.
- Ensuring on-going professional learning for staff through Learning Technology Champions at each elementary and secondary school who work with the Technology Enhanced Learning Teacher to mobilize and support the purposeful integration of technology for teaching and learning.
Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, presented an update on the KPDSB’s migration to new financial/accounting software called Sparkrock. Implementation began in October 2018 with a planned go-live date of July 1, 2019. Benefits provided by Sparkrock include cloud-based accessibility from anywhere with internet, timely and accurate financial reporting resulting in more informed decision making, and electronic approval routing for invoice payments, purchase orders and expense claims, making financial processes much more efficient and streamlined.
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
Jack Talks Session in Kenora - Free Community Event on May 2, 2017 at 7:00pm
To recognize Children’s Mental Health Week, May 1-7th, we are hosting a Jack Talks session for all families in Kenora and the surrounding areas.
The session features young leaders who discuss how to identify a mental health crisis, how to seek help, and how to support a friend who may be struggling by sharing their own experiences.
Please join us at Beaver Brae on Tuesday, May 2, for this free community event.
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