As I approach my four-month mark with the Board, this is a good time for pause and reflection. Arriving at KPDSB in the fall, I knew we have a history of innovation, valuing learning, and supporting communities and students. As part of my first one hundred days, I committed to visiting each of our schools. In meeting staff and students, our schools’ deep commitment to students, learning recovery, and resilience became quickly evident. Staff, students, and communities have been welcoming and eager to share the rich teaching and learning happening across all of our schools.
KPDSB is as unique as each of its communities, but our commitment to rebuilding and recovery after the pandemic is evident across all contexts. Our literacy strategy encompasses our response to the Right to Read inquiry and was implemented prior to the release of the Right to Read findings. We are refocusing our classrooms to pay attention to phonological awareness, decoding, and phonics while maintaining instruction in comprehension and rich text experiences. Staff are committed to learning as we continually improve our practices. Educators from across our Board attended our Summer Literacy Symposium in August, immersing themselves in supporting evidence-based literacy practices that are evident in our schools and classrooms. We continue to build our math strategy, basing our work on research and evidence-based practices. Our literacy and math strategies are focussed on helping our students access the skills necessary to follow their chosen post-secondary pathway, whether that be the workplace, skilled trades and professions, or university.
KPDSB continues to be a leader in creating unique spaces, partnerships, and opportunities for our students to experience a variety of future pathways. We continue to grow and support Specialist High Skills Majors on our secondary campuses and expand the number of dual credit and experiential learning opportunities. We continue to seek solutions to include our most remote schools in these opportunities, including adding an itinerant tech teacher. We also added five dedicated Pathways teachers to ensure a healthy and smooth transition for our students into high school.
Leadership development continues to be an area of focus for KPDSB. We will welcome our staff into our ‘KP’ PQP Part I and Part II courses which we are running in partnership with Lakehead University. This will help our new leaders develop networks and support within our Board while grounding their learning about leadership in our unique KPDSB context.
Throughout this year, we continue to ensure mentally healthy schools and support students as we recover from the pandemic. In addition to mentally well schools, we continue to support physically healthy schools through upgrades and construction projects, including the remodelling of Keewatin Public school. Additionally, our Finance, Human Resources, Facilities and Information Technologies divisions continue to support our students and schools by ensuring our buildings, staff, and technology are well supported.
Above all, our staff and leaders are committed to ensuring our students can achieve, know they are valued, trust their educators, peers, and all in their school communities, and hope for their future. Please take a moment to read about the efforts, programs, and practices supporting our students and communities to envision a bright future.
Director of Education