Four
Directions
Jennifer McMaster
Four Directions Administrator
Keewatin Patricia District School Board
(807) 737-3500 ext 1224
jennifer.mcmaster@kpdsb.ca
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KPDSB explores experiential learning opportunities in schools

10 Oct. 2019

Media Release - October 10, 2019

Trustees met on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, for a regular Board Meeting.

The October Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Teaching from the Land – Land-Based Learning’ was received by Trustees.  Dryden High School (DHS) Principal Richard Hodgkinson, along with teacher Len Gardner and students Baron Crowe and Drea Sinclair, shared their experiences in the new interdisciplinary studies course at the school.  The course was offered in the second semester of the 2018-2019 school year through a partnership with Confederation College, allowing students to earn both a high school credit and a college credit.  Course activities focused on genuine connections to local and regional traditions and use of the land with the intent to develop students’ understanding of the significance of land and nature in both traditional and current activities.  The course culminated with students from DHS joining outdoor education students from Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake and travelling to the Old Post on Lake St. Joseph.  The Old Post was a traditional meeting place for the Indigenous peoples of the area, was one of the first inland trading posts established by The Hudson’s Bay Company in 1786 and was the location for the signing of Treaty 9 in 1905.  Both students and staff spoke highly of their experiences in the course, indicating it fostered a sense of pride and identity for many of the students.

Lynn McAughey, Principal of Adult and Experiential Learning, and Tracey Bichon, Pathways Coordinator, presented the Experiential Learning report.  Experiential learning is hands-on, real-world learning that allows students to develop a deeper understanding of their learning and its connection to the real world.  Students in experiential learning programs develop transferable skills to prepare them for the transition to future employment while engaging in education and career/life planning through exposure to a variety of careers and pathways.  Experiential learning is a key component of secondary programming in KPDSB schools with the 2018-2019 school year seeing a total of 1,142 participants in programs like outdoor education, Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM), dual credit programs, cooperative education and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs (OYAP).  Core beliefs of experiential learning programs include that all students can be successful, success comes in many forms, and there are many pathways to success.

Deanna Pacheco, Student Achievement Administrator, Michelle Parrish, Student Achievement Secondary Teacher, and Lindsay Young, Student Achievement Elementary Teacher, presented the KPDSB Math Plan.  The KPDSB received a total of $446,000 for the 2019-2020 school year to provide targeted support for focus schools (schools that are identified as requiring additional support based on standardized test scores over a five-year trend).  The funding supports school-based Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and the Student Achievement Team in assisting schools in implementing school and student-specific plans to improve performance based on student needs, as well as monitoring progress and the impact of the supports provided. 

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KPDSB and CUPE Local 1939 reach agreement for 2019-2022 Collective Agreement

24 Oct. 2019

CUPE Logo

Joint Media Release - October 24, 2019

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and its Local Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1939 (representing Caretaking and Maintenance Staff), are pleased to advise that they have reached agreement on local terms and conditions for the 2019 to 2022 Collective Agreement.

Both parties will recommend the memorandum to their respective groups for ratification in the near future and look forward to implementation of both the Local and Central Terms and Conditions for staff.   No details of the settlement will be released pending ratification.

Caryl Hron, Interim Director of Education, stated, “I am pleased that the parties were able to reach a settlement that will pave the way for continued successful working relationships between the Board and the Union.  We greatly value our CUPE staff; the work they do each and every day keeps our schools operating safely and efficiently.”

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KPDSB appoints Sherri-Lynne Pharand as Director of Education

26 Nov. 2019

Media Release - November 26, 2019

Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board are pleased to announce the appointment of Sherri-Lynne Pharand to the position of Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, effective January 21, 2020.

Pharand, currently Superintendent of Education with Lakehead District School Board (LDSB), has extensive and varied experience as an educator.  Since beginning her career in 1990 as a teacher, she has worked as a principal and vice-principal, including positions as Principal of Leadership Development and Supervising Principal of Instructional Services, as well as Executive Lead for the Managing Information for Student Achievement (MISA) Thunder Bay Region Professional Network Centre, Superintendent of Education, and Acting Director of Education for LDSB.

As a Superintendent of Education, Pharand has focused on providing the best educational opportunities to all students and ensuring students have what they need to be successful.  Her portfolios have included: School and System Improvement, Curriculum and Instruction (including Early Learning), School Effectiveness and Student Success, French and English as a Second Language Programs, Indigenous Education, Information Technology, Leadership, Contract Management, and Research and Development.  She has co-authored a chapter called Student Motivation in Large Scale Assessment in a book titled Large-Scale Assessment in Education: Theory, Issues and Practice, and led the development and implementation of the Urban Aboriginal Education Project.  Pharand’s belief in collaborative professionalism has led to her presenting at numerous local, national and international conferences.  Most importantly, she believes in the capability of every student and the capacity of every educator and support staff to meet the needs of children and youth. 

Pharand stated, “I believe passionately in improving learning for students and preparing them for their futures. To accomplish this, it takes all our collective efforts: the leadership of trustees, the talents and learning of staff, the engagement of parents and families, and partnerships with communities. I am looking forward to working together to ‘put our students first by creating a culture of learning’ and in doing so, supporting strong, northern communities.”

Cecile Marcino, Chair of the Board, added, “We are pleased to welcome Sherri-Lynne to our Board.  She brings with her a wealth of experience, including experience in education in the North, and we look forward to working with her as Director of Education.  Her passion for education and putting students first was evident to us as Trustees and we are confident our students, staff and all stakeholders of the KPDSB will be well served by her appointment.”

Photo of Sherri-Lynne Pharand

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KPDSB elects Chair and Vice-Chair, Trustee appointments announced

11 Dec. 2019

Media Release - December 11, 2019

Trustees of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, for the Inaugural Board Meeting.  Trustees were honoured to attend Dryden High School’s Four Directions Winter Feast and Student Art Show as a part of the December Students Come First presentation prior to the meeting. Trustees also introduced and welcomed new Director, Sherri-Lynne Pharand (Sherri-Lynne will officially step into the role on January 21, 2019).

Trustee Cecile Marcino from the Kenora area was acclaimed for the second year in a row as Chair of the Board for a one-year term following 18 years serving as Vice-Chair.  Trustees Dave Cornish, Roger Griffiths and Gerald Kleist all received nominations for the position of Vice-Chair with Trustee Roger Griffiths ultimately being elected as Vice-Chair for a one-year term.  Griffiths has served as a Trustee for the Dryden area for six years.

The following Trustee appointments were made:

  • Trustee Eric Bortlis was appointed to the Executive Committee for the period of December 10, 2019, to April 30, 2020, and Darrin Head was appointed to the Executive Committee for the period of May 4, 2020, to November 30, 2020.
  • Trustees Roger Griffiths, Marilyn Duncalfe and Dave Cornish were appointed to the Audit and Finance Committees for a one-year term.
  • Trustees Eric Bortlis, Bob O’Donohue and Gerald Kleist were appointed to the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC) for a one-year term. 
  • Trustees Eric Bortlis, Gerald Kleist and Darrin Head were appointed to the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for a one-year term. 
  • Trustees Barb Gauthier and Marilyn Duncalfe were appointed to the Early Years Advisory Committee (EYAC) for a one-year term.
  • Trustees Darrin Head and Michelle Guitard were appointed to the Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) for a one-year term.
  • Trustee Jennifer Kitowski was appointed to the Transportation Policy Committee for a one-year term.
  • Trustee Jennifer Kitowski was appointed to the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) Board of Directors.

Trustee Marcino, Chair of the Board, stated “Thank you to my fellow Trustees for your support and thank you to the administration and staff across the board for all that you do for our students.  We had a great year and I am looking forward to 2020 and all that we’ll accomplish together.”

Trustee Griffiths, Vice-Chair of the Board, added “Thank you to the Board for putting your trust in me as your Vice-Chair.  I’m excited about the work we are doing and look forward to the next year in the position.”

Sheena Pilipishen, System Communication & Media Administrator, presented the 2019 Director’s Annual Report.  The report celebrates the achievements of students and staff over the past year while providing an overview of programming opportunities in the Board.  The 2019 report received a fresh new look this year, becoming an interactive website full of videos and photographs.  Highlights of the 2019 report include our work around student achievement, safe and supportive schools, innovative practice and reconciliation.  Please click here to view the full report or visit our website at kpdsb.on.ca and click on ‘Board Information’.

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KPDSB Media Release

09 Sep. 2015

Media Release - September 9, 2015

Trustees met at New Prospect Public School in Dryden on Tuesday, September 8, for the first Board Meeting of the 2015-2016 school year.

The September “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘2015 Kids Come First Video’ was received by Trustees.  Sheena Valley, KPDSB Communications Officer, and Jordan Hinchey, owner of Spot On Creative, spoke to Trustees about the creation of the annual video that is shown to all staff on the first day of school and at all committee meetings.  The video, created to inspire and give a visual representation of our strategic plan and vision statement of ‘Kids Come First’, includes footage from all areas of the board and has become an initiative that staff look forward to each year. Hinchey spoke of the job fondly, indicating that it’s a project he looks forward to and commended our staff for the work he sees in our buildings “You should all be very proud.  None of what I see or record is a show or put on, it’s the real work that is happening in your classrooms.  You have amazing staff doing amazing things and I’m very grateful to be able to help you tell your story.”

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “This video is truly a representation of who we are as an organization and underscores our three areas of focus: kids, learning and leading.” 

Scott Urquhart, Student Success Lead, and Kieran McMonagle, Dryden High School (DHS) Graduation Coach, presented the First Nation, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) Grad Coach Report.  The graduation coach model is a new initiative that began in June 2014 under the title of Four Directions Program.  Currently, there are approximately 15 FNMI graduation coaches across Canada, with the only two in Ontario working in KPDSB schools (Dryden High School and Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora – new for the 2015-2016 school year).  The work of graduation 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 accumulation and mark distribution for FNMI Grade 9 students.  That goal has been achieved in the first year with nearly 80% of DHS Grade 9 FNMI students achieving eight or more credits (only 3% below non-Aboriginal students in the same cohort) for the 2014-2015 school year, a stark difference from previous school years where approximately 55-60% of Grade 9 FNMI students achieved eight credits.  We also saw significant improvements in mark distribution for those students and are proud to acknowledge that no students were disconnected from the school over the year.  With enthusiastic support from the Student Achievement Division of the Ministry of Education, 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.

Susanne Bastable, School Effectiveness Lead, and Heather Gardner, Aboriginal Family Case Worker, presented the Open Roads Public School Aboriginal Family Case Worker Report.  The position at Open Roads, which began in January 2015, is a new and exciting initiative that works to support FNMI students in many different ways, including creating and fostering strong relationships with students and their families, building a sense of belonging at the school, encouraging and facilitating participation in community events, celebrating student achievement and successes with families, and acting as a liaison between home, school and other community supports.  Gardner spoke of the work she is doing at the school passionately, sharing challenges some of the FNMI students at Open Roads face, and how those needs have to be addressed before children can expect to be able to focus on their learning. From providing nutritional meals for students, to supporting their families in making connections with community supports, the work of Gardner and the school staff is having a positive impact on the lives of FNMI students and their families.

Dean Carrie, Superintendent of Business, presented the Sioux Lookout High School update.  Work continues on plans for the new school to ensure the building will meet the needs of our students and staff once completed.  Trustees heard that soil samples from the future site of the new school have come back and plans for preparation for foundation work are currently being discussed with the Ministry of Education.  We will continue to share updates on the progress of the new school as they become available.

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