KPDSB: Trustees honoured at last meeting of current Board, receive reports on enrolment, special education and capital projects
November 15, 2018
Trustees met at Dryden High School on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, for the final board meeting for the 2014-2018 Board of Trustees.
KPDSB staff and administration recognized the important contributions of several members of the 2014-2018 Board of Trustees who will not be returning to the Board for the 2018-2022 term. Board Chair Dave Penney was recognized following 33 years of service and dedication to students and staff in the Northwest. Trustee George Seaton was also recognized posthumously through the presentation of a gift on behalf of the Board of Trustees and staff to Phyllis Seaton (George’s wife) for George’s unwavering commitment to improving outcomes for youth for the past 40 years. Trustees Dave Wilkinson and Lesley Barnes were also recognized for their efforts and work with the Board.
The November Kids Come First presentation titled ‘Connecting for Student Success – Open Roads Public School’ was received by Trustees. Principal Tanis Oberg and First Nation, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) Family Support Worker Adi Lang were accompanied by current and former Open Roads students and their families who shared their experiences at the school and the impact of the FNMI Family Support Worker position. The unique role of the Open Roads Family Support Worker is to make connections with students and their families so that they feel that they can be successful not only at school but within the community. The FNMI Family Support Worker is able to provide a wide variety of supports, depending on individual needs of families, including acting as a liaison between the family and the school by providing one point of contact, supporting regular attendance through constant open communication, connecting families with school/board and community services, and supporting families through any transitions they may be experiencing, whether that’s into or out of the school, or between classrooms/programs.
Joan Kantola, Superintendent of Human Resources and Special Education, presented the 2018-2019 Special Education Plan. The plan guides the work of schools and the Board in terms of supporting and enhancing special education services. Areas of focus for the plan include providing programs and services in the student’s home school wherever possible (including appropriate accommodations and modifications), promoting a focus on inclusive practices in schools and respect for differences and diversity, providing a range of placement options for students, and collaboration with curriculum central support staff to ensure support for the development of quality programs and provision of services for all students. Kantola also shared that the Board’s Special Education Advisory Committee is looking for new members, interested individuals are encouraged to visit this link for more information.
Richard Findlay, Superintendent of Business, presented the 2018-2019 Enrolment Report. Enrolment continues to show an upward trend overall in the KPDSB. Elementary schools reported an increase of 37 students in total from the 2017-2018 school year, with secondary schools reporting a decrease of 23 students Board-wide. A highlight in the enrolment picture was Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora with an increase of 30 students between the elementary and secondary panels, resulting in the addition of one full classroom and an additional teacher at the elementary level. Overall, the Board’s total enrolment for the 2018-2019 school year is 4,841 students (projections for the year were 4,827).
Findlay also presented the 2018-2019 Capital Projects Report. Using School Condition Improvement funding, the KPDSB has 28 million in capital projects for this school year. As Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout nears completion, the total renovation of Ear Falls Public School takes centre stage. At a cost of $5 million, construction at the school will see the total renovation of the building split into two phases. Phase 1 is set to begin in February 2019, with Phase 2 beginning in May 2019. The project is expected to be complete by September 2019. Also listed under Major Capital Projects is a renovation to Beaver Brae Secondary School’s technology wing. The total cost of the technology wing renovations will be $6 million and will upgrade the welding, transportation, Grade 7/8 technology, communications and hospitality rooms/spaces. Construction will begin in February 2019 with project completion anticipated for February 2020 (certain areas will be ready well before that date). To view the capital projects report, please visit this link.