17 Sep. 2015
Program helps students feel at home
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is helping First Nation students more in the classroom.
The school board has implemented two initiatives aimed at improving grades and better connecting aboriginal students with their schools and community.
Student success lead Scott Urquhart and Dryden High School graduion coach Kieran McMonagle outlined the First Nation, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) Grad Coach Report to trustees a meeting last week.
They said that the graduation coach model is a new initiative that began in June 2014 under the Four Directions Program.
Currently, there are approximately 15 FNMI graduation coaches across Canada, with the only two in Ontario working in Keewatin-Patricia high schools in Dryden and Kenora — the program is being implemented in Kenora this year.
Urquhart said the the work of gradatuion coaches is vast and includes building meaningful relationships with the students and their families, transition activities for FNMI students preparing to enter high school, participating and being visible at community events, academic and pathways support, and ensuring students know they have a caring adult to talk to throughout the day.
The goal of the Four Directions Program is to increase credit accumulion and mark distribution for FNMI Grade 9 students, he said, noting th th goal has been achieved in the first year with nearly 80 per cent of Dryden High School Grade 9 FNMI students achieving eight or more credits — only three per cent below non-aboriginal students in the same cohort — for the 2014-2015 school year.
Th, he said, is a stark difference from previous school years where approximely 55-60 per cent of Grade 9 FNMI students achieved eight credits.
“We also saw significant improvements in mark distribution for those students and are proud to acknowledge th no students were disconnected from the school over the year. With enthusiastic support from the Student Achievement Division of the Ministry of Educion, we will continue to grow these programs in Dryden and Kenora and hope to expand the program to Queen Elizabeth District High School in Sioux Lookout in the future,” Urquhart said.
Students are also getting help in elementary school.
School effectiveness lead Susanne Bastable and Heather Gardner, Aboriginal family case worker, told trustees that the family case worker position Open Roads School, which began in January 2015, works to support FNMI students in many different ways.
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.
KPDSB launches new application process for employment opportunities
Media Release - December 1, 2016
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) is launching a new platform for receiving applications for positions with the organization.
Apply To Education provides a paperless application system that streamlines the recruitment process for applicants by allowing them to fill out one application online and upload all of their supporting documents to complete their portfolio.
Beginning today, when individuals access www.kpdsb.on.ca/pages/view/employment-opportunities they will be directed to https://kpdsb.simplication.com/ to create a profile and apply for jobs. Additionally, job seekers can request to receive e-mail alerts when a new job is advertised for the Board. There is no cost to applicants to utilize this service.
The use of Apply To Education will replace previous procedures for applying for jobs and being hired within the KPDSB. This platform will also provide additional services within the Board, including management of absences for staff as well as internal job postings.
Jocelyn Bullock, Human Resources Manager stated “We are excited to move forward with this project and look forward to the new working relationship with Apply to Education to improve the overall experiences of potential future employees and current staff”.
KPDSB Chair and Vice-Chair acclaimed, Trustee appointments announced, Trustee Appointments Announced
Media Release - December 19, 2016
Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, December 13, 2016, for the inaugural board meeting of the 2017 calendar year.
The Board of Trustees committed to stability and direction by acclaiming Trustee Dave Penney as Chair and Trustee Cecile Marcino as Vice-Chair.
The following Trustee appointments were made:
- Trustees Roger Griffiths, Jennifer Kitowski and George Seaton were appointed to the Audit and Finance Committees for a one year term.
- Trustees Lesley Barnes, Desta Buswa and Gerald Kleist were appointed to the Native Education Advisory Council (NEAC) for a one year term.
- Trustee Cecile Marcino was appointed to the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) Board of Directors.
- Trustee Jennifer Kitowski was appointed as the alternate to the OPSBA Board of Directors.
- Trustee Dave Penney was appointed as the OPSBA voting delegate.
- Trustee David Wilkinson was appointed as the OPSBA voting delegate alternate for the General Meeting.
- Trustees Lesley Barnes and Michelle Guitard were appointed to the Parent Involvement Committee for a one year term.
- Trustees Michelle Guitard and Jennifer Manitowabi were appointed to the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for a one year term.
- Trustee Roger Griffiths was appointed to the Transportation Policy Committee.
- Trustee Lesley Barnes was appointed as the Transportation Policy Committee Alternate.