Sioux North High School
On Monday, March 18, 2019, our new school in Sioux Lookout, Sioux North High School, opened its doors to welcome students and staff for the first time. On May 22, 2019, we held the official Grand Opening of the new school.
Check out the live stream from the Sioux North Grand Opening:
The new building is home to more than 500 students from diverse backgrounds and a dedicated and passionate staff. At a cost of $30 million, features of the building include:
- Many large window and glass features throughout the building allowing for plenty of natural light and open areas.
- A sizeable multi-purpose cafeteria/auditorium (or cafetorium) with full dramatic arts capabilities, including telescopic seating, integrated lighting, elevated stage, and a sophisticated sound system.
- New, state of the art equipment and spaces for shop classes, science labs, communication labs and food and nutrition programs.
- New furniture throughout the building.
- A large and bright library with a wall of windows including a variety of seating options and work stations for students.
- A gym with a hardwood floor and large windows that fill the gym with natural light.
- A new music room with skylights to allow natural light in and all new instruments to support the music program.
The new school also includes spaces for our partners, including Confederation College and FIREFLY.
To view the time-lapse of the Sioux North construction project, check out the above video at 1:02.
In April 2014, the KPDSB announced, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Education, the allocation of $30 million to build a replacement school for Queen Elizabeth District High School in Sioux Lookout. The architect contract for the new building was appointed to Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture Inc. in July 2014, with the construction contract being awarded to Everstrong Construction Limited in August 2016 following two years of planning and consultations. Official construction of the building, following site preparation, began in the summer of 2017.
A site blessing and groundbreaking ceremony for the new building was held in November 2015. In April 2017, following the work of a naming committee, Trustees approved the new name Sioux North High School for the new school, honouring the suggestion of students on the naming committee to name the school Sioux North. A student logo contest resulted in a new logo for the school.
The Capital Priorities for the next five years for the KPDSB were submitted to the Ministry of Education on September 30, 2019. Our Capital Priority submissions include new school build requests, addition and renovation large capital projects, childcare renovation or addition projects and other large capital projects. Following evaluation of our long-term capital plan (approved in March 2016), as well as ongoing deferred capital renewal requirements, the following met the Capital Priority submission eligibility requirements:
- Valleyview Public School – replacement school on the existing site
- Savant Lake Public School – replacement school on the existing site
The Ministry of Education will now evaluate the submissions and follow up with boards for additional justification questions and provide feedback on the current submissions. If awarded any of the capital priorities, projects are to be completed by the 2023-2024 school year.
Capital Renewal Projects 2018-2020
Approaching the 2018-19 school year, Facilities staff were preparing for the largest volume of capital renewal projects to be undertaken by our Board. Since September 2018, over $13 million in renovations have occurred in KPDSB schools to enhance the learning environment, improve energy efficiencies, and extend the life cycles of all of our buildings. This total does not include the major capital project of Sioux North High School.
Project Update Highlights:
Beaver Brae Secondary School (Kenora)
- On track to be completed ahead of schedule (original completion timeline was February 1, 2020)
- All learning areas are now occupied with the exception of the lower level which is currently under renovation (final phase)
- Many areas are still undergoing items of completion in order to make the spaces fully functional
- Crews are working night shifts to complete the work with limited disruption to students
- To date, the total project budget is tracking below what was expected overall
Ear Falls Public School
Our Kindergarten students at Ear Falls Public School have been keeping the community updated on the school’s renovations in their segment called ‘Kindergarten News’. View one of their newscasts below!
- Total completion of the project is expected for December 2019
- All classrooms are occupied and fully functional with ongoing completion of remaining items occurring after hours
- Permanent main office and front entrance were functioning as of September 17, 2019
Open Roads Public School (Dryden)
- Outdoor space to be completed summer of 2020
New Prospect Public School (Dryden)
- Interior fitments completed in spring 2019
- Outdoor space mostly completed fall 2018
- Remaining items to be completed in conjunction with school outdoor space upgrades and landscaping
Sioux Mountain Public School (Sioux Lookout)
- Work completed over summer 2019 for interior Childcare suite and EarlyON program
- Outdoor space to be completed in conjunction with school playground enhancements in spring/summer 2020
Evergreen Public School (Kenora)
- Construction to begin December 2019
- First phase is the expansion of the Childcare area
- Renovations will not interfere with classroom learning spaces or existing Childcare space
- Following phases will provide enhancements to the gymnasium, existing childcare and exterior accessibility and playground components
Keewatin Public School (Kenora)
- Construction to begin end of December 2019
- First phase is the expansion of the Childcare area
- Subsequent phases will commence in the spring of 2020 and continue over the summer and fall as part of the planned comprehensive building upgrade
Future Capital Renewal Works
Facilities and Procurement have begun preparation for the 2019-20 capital renewal project list. We are working on tender packages, contractors have work underway, vendors are supplying product, and schools are being retrofitted with these new upgrades while classes are in session. This school year there is potential to expend a further $10 million in School Condition Improvement (SCI) funding, Childcare capital funding, School Renewal funding and other various approved funding initiatives.
As we upgrade our schools, we are seeing decreased utility costs, increased material durability, and improved indoor environmental quality. This enhances the environment in which our students learn.
Mental Health in Schools
The 2018-2019 school year marked the final year of the three year, 2016-2019 KPDSBs Mental Health and Addictions Strategic Plan. As a result, the 2019-2020 year allows for a year of reflection and review of the work being done across the board related to Mental Health and Well-Being. While reflecting on the many successes and challenges over the past three years, this year also allows for time to gather information related to driving the work forward. An action plan has been created for this school year which includes collecting information from board survey’s, informant interviews and board scans. The information will be reviewed and analyzed and with the help of the Collective Awareness, Advocacy and Learning of Mental Health and Well-Being (CAALM) committee members and the Mental Health Champions a new three-year strategic plan for the 2020-2022 will be created and presented to the Trustees.
Mental Health Champion Model
The Mental Health Champion model continues to be implemented across the KPDSB with Champions identified at every school, as well as within every department. In an effort to building capacity directly in the schools, the Champions receive information on mental health and trauma informed practice on a regular basis. The Champions then share this information with their co-workers during staff meetings. Professional development opportunities have also been provided to the Champions with access to Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and Mental Health First Aid Training.
Staff Mental Health and Well-being
The KPDSB launched a new Employee and Family Assistance Program in April 2019. Morneau Shepell is now available to all permanent staff as well as their families. The services provided are offered in a number of modalities including online, through email, text and phone.
The new three-year Mental Health and Addictions Strategic plan will also include an addendum with a condensed strategic plan for supporting staff mental health.
Student and Parent Engagement
Beaver Brae Secondary School, Red Lake District High School, Dryden High School, Sioux North High School and Ignace High School Jack Chapters are continuing with students creating and organizing events to promote an awareness of mental health. The students have had a great start to the year with cookie drives and smashing pumpkins events.
In addition, Red Lake District High school student, Ramona Quill is an acting student rep on for the Schools Mental Health Ontario (SMHO) Student Reference Group. Ramona along with other students across the province, have been supporting the creation of student specific resources related to mental health. In addition, the group also provides direct feedback to SMHO to ensure student voice is heard. Wellness rooms for students at our high schools have been developed with contributions and donations from multiple community agencies. For more information on mental health and well-being please check out the Mental Health Tabs found on our KPDSB website.
The guiding principles for our Special Education Plan have been gleaned through ongoing consultation with a wide variety of stakeholders and is supported by input from our Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) and other public organizations. The following principles reflect the combined perspective of those stakeholders and will facilitate the implementation of expanded opportunities in terms of educational program and service delivery that focus on student success.
- Stronger partnership between parents, teachers, professionals, staff and the community through ongoing communication.
- Full understanding by all stakeholders of the IPRC and IEP processes, with consistent procedures and timely assessments.
- Realistic teacher/student ratio.
- Multi-disciplinary professional supports.
- Equitable access to specialized programs.
- In-service for staff and administration to ensure understanding of exceptionalities and needs of exceptional students and IEP requirements.
- Continuum of educational opportunities/placements to encourage students to attain full potential.
- Seamless transitions.
Goals of an Inclusionary Model
- Special needs are recognized and met through curriculum, teaching strategies and learning environments, which expand opportunities for students.
- Students’ special needs are addressed by programs designed to focus on individual learning characteristics, progress and success. Establishing the individual students’ program includes identifying and building upon the students’ strengths, to support their individual learner needs.
- School staffs share responsibility and accountability for the continuous, careful monitoring and evaluation of the academic, social and emotional development of each child.
- All resources of the school, family of schools, special education and the community are made available to support the child.
- The school and community accept and share ownership for the education of all students attending our schools. Special Education Plan 2019 – 2020 5 /
- The school and its community and parents continue to work collaboratively towards a vision of all children as part of the school culture. This requires processes and resources designed to develop commitment, involvement and informed support by all.
- Special education is committed to provision of progressive, supportive, exemplary and educationally sound supports and services, which will enable our learners to become reflective, articulate, confident, fulfilled individuals, whose potential for learning is continually challenged.
Recreation & Wellness
Canadian Tire Jumpstart
KPDSB has had an on-going relationship with Jumpstart Charities which helps kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation in an effort to provide inclusive play for kids of all abilities. Our schools have received funding to support youth with our hockey academy, basketball, outdoor education, swimming and dancing. Individual students are also supported as part of this program that makes sure no one is left out. We appreciate this partnership for all students who need it!
OPHEA Healthy Schools
KPDSB remains committed to making our schools the healthiest places. We are the only board in Ontario to register all of our schools as a healthy school in 2018/19. This program celebrates and recognizes school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community. We had all of our schools complete the program where we focused on healthy eating, physical activity, mental health, personal safety and injury prevention and improved physical literacy in HPE classes. Tyler Greenwood, a BBSS teacher was recognized with a special OPHEA award called the The Don Young Innovator Fund as he looked at health and physical education and mindfulness, as well as how to incorporate physical literacy into his classroom.
“For the second year in a row, all 20 schools in Keewatin Patricia District School have committed to making their school communities healthy and happier through Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification! Since 2015, KPDSB has shown an inspiring dedication to comprehensive school health that is only possible through school and school board level leadership and action. They are one to watch when it comes to making positive change in their community.”— Sarah Christie, Bilingual Projects Leader, OPHEA
Partnership with NWHU
NWHU and KPDSB – Making Healthy Food Accessible Together
We know that healthy food helps students learn and reach their full potential at school. Education matters—there is a link between levels of education (years of schooling or the number of degrees obtained) and health. The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) and KPDSB have a shared goal to increase student awareness and access to healthy food, and provide hands-on experiential learning that supports healthy eating. In the 2018-19 school year, the following healthy eating programs were offered:
All schools access funding to offer a healthy meal or snack program at school, free of charge for all students. Programs are community-driven initiatives, often run by volunteers and supported by NWHU. Each program is tailored to the particular needs of local children, youth and families. In 2018/19 schools received over $133,000 to purchase healthy food and beverages, and approximately 2,100 students were using the program on average per day. NWHU also bulk purchased healthy food for schools including apples, carrots, whole wheat baking mixes and more.
All elementary schools received two servings of fresh fruit or vegetables per student delivered to their school each week from January to June, 2019. The goal is to Increase consumption and awareness of fruits and vegetables among elementary school students in Northern Ontario, and provide resources to children and their families around the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption and regular physical activity for good health and the prevention of chronic diseases. Approximately 2,900 students participated in NFVP in 2018/19. Schools were surveyed on the program impact, and 97% agreed that it increased fruit and vegetable consumption among students!
YTC is a cooking program that focuses on increasing vegetable and fruit intake, and encourages lifelong healthy eating habits in young people. The goal of YTC is to help youth develop the skills and confidence to prepare healthy and tasty recipes. NWHU provides training for leaders to implement the program in classroom or community settings. In 2018/19, 13 new staff were trained (bringing the total number of KPDSB staff trained to 24). Several YTC programs ran in classroom settings with support from NHWU.
Nutrition on Weekends (NOW)
NOW is a targeted program to increase food availability and nutrition on weekends for students experiencing poverty. Other goals include improving school attendance and educational outcomes, support healthy growth and development, and reduce the occurrence of chronic disease related to undernourishment. NWHU provides program guidance and financial assistance through grants, and it is implemented in locally by schools and community partnerships. Approximately 35 students in 3 different communities benefitted from the NOW program in 2018/19. Additional funding was secured for program expansion in 2019/20.