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Trustees approve 2019-2020 budget

16 Jul. 2019

Media Release - July 16, 2019

Trustees met via teleconference on Monday, July 15, 2019, for a Special Board Meeting.                        

Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, presented the 2019-2020 Budget Estimates Report.  The 2019-2020 Budget Estimates contain an in-year surplus of $196,000 on a Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) basis and is in a deficit of $602,000 on a Ministry of Education compliance basis.  The government allows a 1% deficit to offset funding changes and the KPDSB is compliant with Ministry guidelines.  Total budget for the KPDSB for the 2019-2020 school year is $94.8 million.

While 2019-2020 proved to be a challenging budget due to changes mandated by the provincial government, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board stayed true to its commitment to protect front-line staff in schools wherever possible.

Total revenues for 2019-2020 are projected to decrease by $1.1 Million (1.2%) compared to the 2018-19 budget. Changes are due to a decrease in grants for student needs ($1.8 Million) to reflect provincial austerity measures.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrolment for the 2019-2020 school year is projected at 4,706 students.  This includes 2,876 elementary students and 1,830 secondary students.  Enrolment at KPDSB schools is projected to increase in the elementary panel by 95 students, with a decrease in the secondary panel of 98 students compared to 2018-2019 Budget Estimates. Overall, most of the enrolment decline is at secondary schools in Dryden (down 30 students or 5%) and Ignace (down 11 students or 22%).  As a result, there are some teacher staffing reductions in some areas due to declining enrolment.

Most of the budgeted capital activity for 2019-2020 is for two major renovation projects at Ear Falls Public School and Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora.  Other major capital projects include child care spaces at Keewatin Public School and Evergreen Public School in Kenora. 

Overall, staffing is up 0.8 FTE positions from the 2018-2019 budget.  There is an increase of 5.1 FTE front-line staff in the schools and a decrease of 4.3 FTE staff outside the schools.

Findlay stated, “Despite the funding cuts, we made a commitment to protect the jobs of front-line staff in our schools to continue to provide quality programming for kids.  We cut department budgets by 25% and streamlined operations through attrition and reductions in staffing positions outside the classroom.  We are changing the way we do business.  By making cuts in areas that don’t directly impact students, we found savings to protect teaching positions and we will continue to look for more efficient and effective ways to deliver programming to students.”

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KPDSB searches for new Director of Education

19 Aug. 2019

Job Posting - Director of Education

An exciting and rewarding opportunity for a collaborative, visionary and empowering servant leader who is an evidence-based, accountable and an inclusive decision-maker, to lead the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board in putting students first by creating a culture of learning.

A progressive and proud public school board serving beautiful Northwestern Ontario, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) is guided by its vision as a board: “The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board puts students first by creating a culture of learning.” With the largest geographical area of all the district school boards in Ontario, KPDSB has schools in Kenora, Sioux Narrows, Vermilion Bay, Ear Falls, Red Lake, Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Ignace, Pickle Lake, Savant Lake and Upsala, the Board plays a vital role in serving the educational needs of many neighbouring and Northwestern Indigenous communities.

With a broad geographic base, talented front-line staff and passionate teachers, and a committed senior leadership team, KPDSB is focused on improving the overall well-being of K-12 students, with an emphasis on supporting vulnerable populations and Indigenous communities. With this in mind, the Board is seeking a leader with a proven track record of promoting the success and well-being of Indigenous communities, a committed, inclusive educator who will lead the way to help all students succeed by providing innovative approaches that address inequity in education for their communities.

As the Director of Education, you will meaningfully participate in achieving KPDSB’s four strategic goals, namely:

  • Student Achievement: Ensure the necessary resources are provided to all students to increase their individual achievement.
  • Safe and Supportive Schools: Ensure all students and staff have safe learning and working environments, where the academic and mental health needs of the child are met.
  • Innovative practice: Demonstrate effective “Change Ready” leadership.
  • Reconciliation: Ensure all schools and staff are actively engaged in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Given the Board’s significant technological investments to become a leader in Northwestern Ontario in virtual learning, and your experience with cutting-edge instructional practice, you will advocate strongly for innovation in education, including the effective, proactive use of new and emerging technologies. You are committed to the continuous improvement of student learning, and can effectively adapt to the changing landscape of education and implement initiatives that will move the Board toward a successful future.

Passionate about public education, community engagement and student success, you are prepared to establish a proactive communication strategy that will build on positive relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders — staff, students and parents, trustees and unions, and all communities. Your clear commitment to addressing the needs of Indigenous peoples as you enhance student success and well-being will be evident. You will demonstrate political acumen in championing and embedding leading governance practices by working with, and supporting, the Board of Trustees in an open, transparent and trusted relationship.

Setting your own agenda while capitalizing on existing plans, partnerships and strategies, as you transition successfully into this high-impact, highly visible role, you will build trust and credibility with all interested parties and further enhance the KPDSB culture of inclusion. You will also evaluate and optimize the allocation of resources across the Board to maintain fiscal stability in the face of limited government funding realities.

With a track record of success combining Supervising Officer papers with a Master’s degree and system leadership experience working within a school board, with proven acumen in financial accountability in a similarly small to medium system, you are adept at holding yourself and others accountable for actions and deliverables, building a vision and executing a strategic plan for an organization.

You are recognized for your high emotional intelligence, integrity and visibility, and your ability to listen to, engage with, and leverage the diverse perspectives of trustees, educators, support staff, students, parents and community leaders. You are equally known for building staff capacity by providing opportunities and strong mentorship, and for gaining the respect of staff, students, parents/guardians, elders and employee groups through empathetic, consistent leadership.

Informed by research and evidence, you are an assured manager of change, able to strengthen, inspire and motivate the senior management team, and build capacity through focused instructional intervention and family engagement. Having worked successfully in diverse communities and rural settings, with families and community partners to enhance student success and well-being, you are committed to equity and inclusion, and conversant with effective interventions to eliminate barriers to success. Experience in educational leadership in Northwestern communities would be an asset.

To be considered for this career-defining mandate with high visibility, accountability and impact, please send your application, in confidence, specifying the job title in the subject line of your email, by September 19, 2019, to careers@phelpsgroup.ca.

KPDSB is an equal opportunity employer. The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

Phelpsgroup – Toronto

401 Bay Street, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4

Phone: 416-364-6229

 

 

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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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