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Adult Education and Alternative Learning programs removing barriers for learners across the Northwest

14 Sep. 2018

Media Release - September 14, 2018

Adult Education and Alternative Education took centre stage at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board’s September Board Meeting at Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) and Brent Tookenay, Chief Executive Officer for Seven Generations Education Institute (SGEI) presented the SGEI/KPDSB Adult Education Partnership report to the KPDSB Board of Trustees.  The partnership officially began in 2013 following a number of years of varied programs and levels of success by the KPDSB to deliver adult education to the region’s adult learners, specifically those without an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). 

The development of a formal Adult Education Partnership between KPDSB and SGEI provided the opportunity to combine resources and funding, and ultimately has resulted in large increases in enrolment reaching 601 students in 2013 compared to 394 students in 2012.  The partnership currently supports on average around 600 adult learners each year with 256 adult graduates from the program in the past five years.

Strategic improvement efforts by Adult Education staff and programming focuses onoffering learner-centred guidance and support services, providing experiential and culturally relevant learning experiences, and the expansion of adult education programming in communities to continue increasing the opportunities available.  Removing barriers for adult learners is crucial to their success in acquiring their OSSD and staff in the adult education programs strive to find “out of the box” solutions to the unique challenges adult learners face.  Please click here to view a video of recent Adult Education graduates sharing their experiences in the program.

The KPDSB also offers a variety of Alternative and Continuing Education programming, with several of the programming options also available to adult learners.  Lynn McAughey, Adult Education and Alternative Learning Principal, and Tracey Bichon, Student Success & Technology Area Leader at Beaver Brae Secondary School, presented the Alternative and Continuing Education report to Trustees.

Enrolment in Alternative and Continuing Education continues to grow across the region as programming and opportunities expand.  The following programs are offered through Alternative and Continuing Education: 

Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) - SHSMs let students focus on a career path that matches their skills, interests and labour market trends while meeting the requirements of the OSSD. Students receive the SHSM seal on their diploma when they complete a specific bundle of eight to ten courses in the student's selected field, earn valuable industry certifications including first aid and CPR qualifications, and gain important skills on the job through cooperative education placements.  The KPDSB currently offers fifteen SHSM pathways in seven sectors (business, mining, construction, environment, health and wellness, transportation and manufacturing). More than 230 students were enrolled in the programs during the 2017-2018 school year with 61 graduating with the SHSM designation and seal on their diploma.

Dual Credit Programs - Students in a dual credit program participate in apprenticeship training and postsecondary courses, earning dual credits that count towards both their high school diploma and their postsecondary diploma, degree or apprenticeship certification. Dual credits engage students through exposure to college courses and culture while supporting their successful transition to postsecondary education.  During the 2017-2018 school year, 215 day school students and 26 adult learners were enrolled in dual credit programming.  In the 2018-2019 school year, enrolment projections indicate 366 secondary and adult learners enrolled in 24 different dual credit programs across the KPDSB.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) – OYAP allows students to gain on-the-job training and experience in an apprenticeship in a skilled trade while earning credits towards their OSSD.  Students can accumulate workplace hours that count towards both secondary school co-op credits and the requirements of an apprenticeship program. 

Night School and Summer School Programs – Night School and Summer School programs are available to a variety of learners including secondary students, senior elementary students and adult education students as a pathway to success for graduation.  Night School enrolment has grown from 41 students in the summer of 2017 to 214 students for the summer of 2018.  Summer School enrolment has also seen growth, with 513 students participating during the summer of 2018. 

Monteith stated “At the first Board meeting of the year for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, there was a deliberate theme of celebrating adult education, alternative learning programming including youth apprenticeships, and student success. Much of the information was not just exclusive to the last few months but rather the last several years, with personal stories and anecdotes. Having Seven Generations Education Institute CEO Brent Tookenay there as a key partner with the KPDSB only reinforced the synergy that can occur when organizations work together in the interests of Northern Children and Learners.” 

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KPDSB welcomes new Mental Health Co-Lead

24 Sep. 2018

Media Release - September 24, 2018

It is with great pleasure that the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) welcomes Larae Harbour as the new Mental Health Co-Lead. Harbour will join current Mental Health Lead, Candice Kerkermeier.

Harbour joins the KPDSB from Jack.org, Canada’s only national mental health organization that trains and empowers young people to promote mental health and well-being for their peers and each other. Harbour brings a wealth of knowledge in inclusive mental health practice, resource development and stakeholder engagement to the new role.

As the KPDSB enters year eight of the provincial Mental Health Initiative, the Mental Health Co-Leads will focus on implementation of the key priorities within the KPDSB Mental Health Strategy. This includes providing resources to build staff and administrator capacity to support student well-being, partnering with key stakeholders to promote a seamless transition to services and treatment and fostering an environment to lead mentally healthy schools.

Quotes:

“I am thrilled to be joining Keewatin-Patricia District School Board team and Candice Kerkermeier as her Mental Health Co-Lead. The KPDSB has been a leader in mental health and wellness promotion for the past seven years. The KPDSB is championing the voices of students, caregivers, staff and community members to respond to vulnerable students’ needs for care. It’s truly an honor to be a part of this work and to further build pathways to support positive mental health for all students.” – Larae Harbour, Mental Health Co-Lead

“In consideration of the growing needs of our students within the KPDSB, the addition of a Co-Mental Health Lead will allow us to expand the mental health literacy capacity for all staff and students. It is a pleasure to have Larae join our KPDSB team.” - Joan Kantola, Superintendent of Human Resources and Special Education.

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EQAO results released - KPDSB schools achieve historic results

21 Sep. 2018

Media Release - September 21, 2018

On September 19, 2018, the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released the 2017-2018 results for primary and junior assessments in reading, writing and mathematics.

The EQAO results aid us in exploring different aspects of our students learning and understanding some of the factors that contribute to their overall success.  They are another tool staff can use to identify where students are excelling and what areas students may need additional support. 

EQAO Results for the KPDSB

Primary and Junior Assessments - Students at or Above Provincial Standard (Levels 3 & 4)

Grade 3 (Primary) Results

 

2016-2017

2017-2018

Reading

63%

71%

Writing

56%

67%

Mathematics

49%

53%

Grade 6 (Junior) Results

 

2016-2017

2017-2018

Reading

71%

73%

Writing

67%

67%

Mathematics

37%

29%

 

 

 

 

 

* The results above are from the Participating Students results.  EQAO releases All Students results, which are results for all students in the grade, and Participating Students results, which are results for only those students who took part in the assessment. 

Highlights of KPDSB 2017-2018 EQAO Results:

  • Students at Red Lake-Madsen Public School achieved historic results, with their highest results on record in Grade 3 Reading, Writing and Mathematics for students achieving level 3 or 4 on the assessments.  2017-2018 results for Red Lake-Madsen were above the provincial average in all Grade 3 assessments, with 94% of students in achieving level 3 or 4 in Reading, Writing and Math (compared to 77%, 74% and 62% for the provincial averages respectively).
  • Students at Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout also achieved their highest results on record in Grade 3 Reading and Writing, and Grade 6 Reading.  The school’s 2017-2018 results were above the provincial average in Grade 3 Reading (78% of students achieving level 3 or 4, compared to provincial average of 77%) and Grade 3 Writing (76% of students reaching level 3 or 4, compared to the province at 74%). 
  • Evergreen Public School in Kenora had 76% of their students in Grade 3 Writing achieve level 3 or 4, above the provincial average of 74%.  Grade 6 Writing assessments just missed the provincial average, with 80% of students achieving level 3 or 4, compared to 82% at the provincial level.
  • Open Roads Public School in Dryden achieved above the provincial average in all Grade 3 assessments, and Grade 6 Reading and Writing assessments.  88% of students in Grade 3 Reading (provincial average is 77%), 96% in Grade 3 Writing (provincial average is 74%) and 85% in Grade 3 Mathematics (provincial average is 62%) achieved the provincial standard. 

**The results referenced above are from the Participating Students results.  EQAO releases All Students results, which are results for all students in the grade, and Participating Students results, which are results for only those students who took part in the assessment. 

The 2017-2018 school year brought with it a focus on a handful of schools to support teachers and students, resulting in historic achievements for some schools, including Red Lake-Madsen and Sioux Mountain. By using the 2016-2017 EQAO results and other assessment data, additional human resources and professional development opportunities were provided to identified focus schools.  Increased regular school visits by central support staff and networking between staff to share best practices can also be attributed to gains made in the provincial assessments.  Following these successes, the number of focus schools for the 2018-2019 school year has been expanded. 

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “Overall we are very pleased with our results and improvements in most areas.  Of particular note are some of the historic increases in achievement on these provincial assessments amidst some of our most challenging circumstances.  The credit to these improvements must be given to the leadership in schools and most particularly our classroom teachers everywhere, who exhaustively give day in and day out of themselves.  We recognize there continues to be more to do, particularly in math, but in the meantime, we will celebrate these gains, and assess what we have changed and why it is working.”

***Please note that EQAO results for some schools with smaller class sizes are not released to protect the personal information of students in those classes.  Either all or some of the assessments for the following schools will not be publicly released: Ear Falls Public School, Crolancia Public School (Pickle Lake), Ignace Public School, Keewatin Public School, Lillian Berg Public School (Vermilion Bay), Savant Lake Public School, Sioux Narrows Public School and Upsala Public School.

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Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, visits KPDSB’s Four Directions

03 Oct. 2018

Media Release - October 3, 2018

Staff and students of Dryden High School (DHS) were honoured to welcome Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, to Dryden High School today.

Minister Bennett spent most of her visit with DHS staff and students in the Four Directions space, an innovative approach focused on student success and graduation from secondary school for Indigenous students.  The Four Directions approach has received national attention as graduation rates improve for Indigenous students, with the goal being to closing the graduation gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.  Minister Bennett also met with Board Administration and was welcomed by members of the Board of Trustees.

Four Directions provides intensive support to First Nation, Métis and Inuit students and their families with the goal of seeing each learner through to graduation. Four Directions staff assist with leading and implementing programs, and connecting students and families to support services within the school and the greater community to increase each learners network of support throughout and beyond high school. Dryden High School was the first school within the KPDSB to implement Four Directions, celebrating a 41% increase to 80% of Indigenous students graduating in four years after four years of coaching. Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora will celebrate their first graduating Four Directions class this June, followed by Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout in 2020, and Red Lake District High School in 2021.

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board remains a strong advocate for northern children and their families, with an unwavering focus on reconciliation and supporting the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Minister Bennett stated “Dryden High School’s Four Directions program is an inspiring example of the critical role our schools can play in reconciliation. By increasing the graduation of high school First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, as well as the retention, and their transition from elementary school to high school, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is demonstrating how we all can work together to build a stronger future for Indigenous Peoples and Canadians alike.”

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “While we have been visited by dignitaries and officials before, we are particularly proud to welcome and host the Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations to the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and specifically to our Indigenous Student Graduation Coach program. Having Minister Bennett here to meet with staff and students on the front lines, only validates what many of us have felt for a number of years now and that is that our efforts to close graduation gaps and improve educational opportunities for Indigenous students is reconciliation in action, very much a real effort in the KPDSB. With critical partners such as the Northwestern Health Unit, we welcome all First Nation students and their families to our schools, and we will stop at nothing until that gap is finally closed.”

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KPDSB celebrates staff on World Teachers’ Day

05 Oct. 2018

Media Release - October 5, 2018

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is celebrating teachers and educators across the Board area today for World Teachers’ Day.

World Teachers’ Day is day to celebrate and thank our teachers for the work they do with the children, youth and adult learners in our communities.  Our teachers do more than teach academics.  They are an empathetic ear, a guiding light, a shoulder to cry on, a source of inspiration, and so much more.

Sean Monteith, Director of Education, stated “While today is the day of the year that we officially recognize our world class educators, our teachers, it is even more important to recognize their heroic efforts each and every other day of the year. We don’t need just good teachers in the KPDSB, we need the best and that is exactly what we have. As Director of Education, I want to publicly acknowledge our elementary, secondary, special education, and adult education teachers this World Teachers’ Day.”

Thank you to all of our teachers across the KPDSB for always putting our students first.

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