17 Sep. 2015
Dryden High School’s Kieran McMonagle to speak to Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples
Media Release - May 31, 2018
Dryden High School’s Kieran McMonagle will testify before Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples on June 6, 2018, in Ottawa as a part of an Indigenize the Senate event. McMonagle is the First Nation, Metis and Inuit Graduation Coach of the Four Directions program at Dryden High School.
2018 marks the third year for the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples to accept nominations to identify Indigenous youth leaders to share their experiences and thoughts with the committee during an official hearing. McMonagle was nominated by a colleague and was chosen to address the committee from applicants across the country. She will identify challenges and share success stories from her work with Indigenous youth in Northwestern Ontario.
McMonagle stated “Being recognized as an Indigenous Youth Leader at the national level is both an honour and a privilege. I am humbled to have been recognized by a colleague at Dryden High School and hope to influence positive change for Indigenous youth within the region.”
Richard Hodgkinson, Principal of Dryden High School, said “Kieran is a remarkable leader advocate for Indigenous youth across our region. She goes beyond listening, encouraging and helping guide students, she empowers them. The students she “coaches” know that they have someone who believes in them, who is there for them, and who deeply cares about them and their success. Kieran will be able to share the challenges and successes of our Indigenous youth and how working and learning together, we can help them succeed and develop a positive vision of their future.”
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “Knowing Kieran, and the way she supports her students, I am not surprised that someone of her calibre has been identified by the Senate of Canada’s Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples to share her leadership and experiences. She is not only a model employee of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, but more importantly a fierce advocate for students in her care. She represents everything that the KPDSB stands for in its approach towards Northern Children, that we put their needs first before our own. We continue to be very proud of our staff; like Kieran.”
The Four Directions High School Graduation Coach approach started at Dryden High School in June of 2014. Four Directions offers First Nation, Metis, Inuit (FNMI) students the opportunity to work with Graduation Coaches who assist with leading and implementing programs, services and other supports to meet the unique needs of First Nation, Metis & Inuit students and their families, with a focus on student success and graduation. Since its inception, the Four Directions program has expanded to Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora, Queen Elizabeth District High School in Sioux Lookout, and Red Lake District High School. The program has received national attention for its success in supporting Indigenous students in reaching graduation.
KPDSB celebrates 16 schools receiving Ophea Healthy Schools Certification
Media Release - June 4, 2018
Through a partnership with the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), 16 Keewatin-Patricia District School Board schools have received Ophea Healthy Schools Certification, with 11 schools achieving gold level certification.
Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community. There are currently 238 schools in the province who have achieved the Healthy Schools Certification, 16 of which belong to the KPDSB. The KPDSB is also proud to note that 100% of secondary schools in the Board have achieved the certification.
“We are so excited to hear about all of the great work happening at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board. To have 16 schools complete the process and certify gold or silver is an amazing accomplishment. That these schools were able to work with their communities and partner with other schools from their school board, for a total reach of 18 out of a total of 20 schools is even more impressive. Ophea is very excited to continue working with KPDSB and can’t wait to see what will be accomplished next school year.” - Sarah Christie, Bilingual Projects Leader, Ophea
“The Northwestern Health Unit is a proud partner of KPDSB in the Healthy Schools Certification process. The engagement and energy that each school has shown to achieve gold or silver certifications shows a Board-wide commitment to creating schools that support student and staff well-being. We look forward to continuing work with KPDSB and are happy to celebrate this significant achievement” - Shannon Robinson, Manager, Chronic Disease Prevention, Northwestern Health Unit
“This Healthy Schools Certification for KPDSB schools is more than just about healthy active living. If people take a few minutes to look at the graphics and the data on the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board they will see what the province sees; true leadership, a focus on supporting both students and staff, and a recognition that we need healthy staff to model for healthy students. The Board recognizes the importance of our staff’s personal well-being and is grateful to the Northwestern Health for its leadership and support.” - Sean Monteith, Director of Education, Keewatin-Patricia District School Board
*Please see the accompanying Healthy Schools Certification Board Report for more information.
Ophea is a charitable organization that champions healthy, active living in schools and communities through quality programs and services, partnerships and advocacy, and is led by the vision that all children and youth value and enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy, active living.
Job Posting - Superintendent of Indigenous Education and Reconciliation
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is looking for a strong, dynamic individual with extensive experience in educational administration and strong innovative leadership in the area of Indigenous Education. Please click here to view the job posting.
KPDSB Board of Trustees Approve 2018-2019 Budget
Media Release - June 13, 2018
Trustees met at Savant Lake Public School in Savant Lake on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, for the final board meeting of the 2017-2018 school year.
The June Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Cultural Learning – Aboriginal Hand Drum Making’ was received by Trustees. Savant Lake Public School teacher Hope St. Hilaire and students Deja Neecan, Jaylen Fox and Hailey Belmore shared their learning process to create traditional hand drums with Trustees. With guidance from community elders and volunteers, the students learned about the process for creating their drums, from smudging and finding the perfect stick to make their drum sticks, to securing the hide and preparing an offering. Trustees appreciated having the cultural practices shared with them by the students and congratulated them on their completed hand drums.
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, presented the 2018 Employee Recognition Report. Each June, Monteith publically acknowledges all employees with 25 years of service and retirees for their achievement and contributions to education in the Northwest. The 2017-2018 school year brought with it the retirement of 31 dedicated employees and another 11 were recognized for reaching the 25 year milestone.
Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, and Kathleen O’Flaherty, Assistant Superintendent of Business, presented the 2018-2019 Budget Report. Total budget for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board for the 2018-2019 school year is $96 million which is a slight increase (4%) from the 2017-2018 school year budget. The 2018-2019 budget is in compliance with all Ministry of Education Guidelines and was passed unanimously by the Board of Trustees.
Monteith reflected on the 2017-2018 school year. “The year has been an incredibly successful one, with challenges and unavoidable setbacks at certain moments. We end the year, in strong financial shape, a growing reach into the North resulting in positive impacts and outcomes for Northern children and their families, and a burgeoning sense of pride and accomplishment. The success of the Board is nothing, if not without the strength of its people, its students and its communities. I wish all families and staff a wonderful summer.”
KPDSB Media Release
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.