From the Boardroom - Your 'at a glance' Review of the May 15, 2018 Meeting

We Thinkers Program


Mental Health Strategy
Sue Devlin, Mental Health Leader provided a presentation on the board's mental health strategy.    A few highlights from Devlin's report include: 
  • Lunch and learn sessions for teachers focused on mental health topics such as anxiety, oppositional behaviors, substance abuse, trauma and the developing brain.
  • Relationship-based schools continue with creating a culture of providing caring, compassionate and empathetic adults and teachers to support students.
  • The MindUP program has recently added six new classes.  The 32-week program helps students with focusing and attention, improved self-regulation, resiliency to stress, gratitude and positive mindset.
  • A Power and Play Grant through the Northwestern Health Unit focused on getting students off their screens and involved in art and yoga. 
  • The FRIENDS program has launched with three classes in the system.  The program is available to classes from Kindergarten to Grade 12.  The program is a social, emotional and resiliency skill-building program proven to reduce anxiety and provide students with tools and strategies to successfully navigate life's challenges.
  • The results from the Health Action Team Survey are in.  173 staff responded to the survey and 74% are concerned with overuse of electronics and sleep as main issues.  Staff also indicated they want clear pathways to mental health supports inside and outside of the board.  Educators indicated they want more professional development on mental health issues and topics.
  • Devlin is a member of Kenora's Risk Table.  The Risk Table includes 30 community partners that focus on helping clients of acutely elevated risk.  64 % of referrals are youth and often involve the police.  The Risk Table has applied for a grant to hire a social worker to ride with the police to assist with cases of intervention.
  • A variety of tip sheets for parents will be available.  The supports focus on anxiety and stress, sleep, the first day of school and the dealing with the morning rush.

St. John School
Corinna Glazier, Principal, Cory Litman, Learning Resource Teacher and Shawna Lamme, Grade 1 Teacher provided a report on the initiatives and programs happening at St. John School.  

Grade 1 students, Kayden and Aubrey, provided a report on the We Thinkers Program, being piloted in Lamme's class.  The program helps students be proactive with self-regulation and recognizing their emotions. The program has a common language and goals that are fun for students.  A few of the goals include put your body in the group, whole body listening, group plan, what does the face tell you?  The program supports students with being proactive and in charge of themselves. 




Resignation of Chris Moorley
The trustees accepted a motion for the resignation of Chris Moorley for the purposes of retirement with regret.  Anne Sweeney shared that Moorley began her career as a teacher at Mount Carmel School in 1987. After working at Mount Carmel as the Learning Resource teacher for 6 years, she moved to Our Lady of the Valley School in 1993.  At Our Lady of the Valley School she was the Learning Resource Teacher and was also a grade 3, 4 and 5 teacher.  When Pope John Paul II School opened Chris moved to the new school as a Learning Resource Teacher for 7 years.  For the last 5 years, Chris has worked out of the Catholic Education Center in all schools as the Special Education Coordinator.

The Trustees wished Chris all the best in her retirement.

Vice Principal at Pope John Paul II School and Early Years Announcement
Phyllis Eikre announced that Jamey Robertson, Innovation and Creativity Coordinator has accepted the position of Vice Principal at Pope John Paul II School.  Marnie Buffet, Learning Resource Teacher from St. Louis School has accepted the position of Early Years Lead.  Both will begin their new assignments at the start of the new school year in September 2018.  Read the full release here.   Click here to read more.

2018 – 2019 Grants for Student Needs
Alison Smith, Superintendent of Business Services provided a report on the highlights of the 2018 – 2019 Grants for Student Needs (GSN).  The Ministry of Education's investment to Ontario's publicly funded education system will increase, with total funding from $23.91 billion in 2017 – 2018 to $24.53 billion in 2018 – 2019.  Per-pupil funding is projected to increase in 2018 – 2019 to $12,300 – an increase of 9.4 per cent since 2012 – 13.  
Smith reported that a notable investment within the GSN is in the area of special education.  The funding is increasing to address current wait lists for assessments and supports for students.  The funding will provide Kenora Catholic with four new positions to create a multi-disciplinary team to build capacity and support teachers, education assistants and staff to adapt to the unique needs of students.  The group will work together to identify gaps and provide increased special education and mental health services. 

2018 Catholic Education Week Report
Mariette Martineau, Religious Education and Family Life Coordinator provided a report on Catholic Education Week for 2018.   The theme for 2018 is Renewing the Promise.  Martineau explained that Kenora Catholic expanded the theme to be Renewing the Promise – Love is Alive at Kenora Catholic.

During Catholic Week, there were displays located at each parish to profile and celebrate the schools as well as pulpit announcements about the activities happening in the schools. 

Students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 wrote messages of inspiration and love and thank you cards and sent them to all Christian organizations of faith in the community. 
Martineau highlighted the various activities and initiatives from each of the schools.  St. Thomas Aquinas High School participated in the province-wide Christian Service Project to raise awareness of the importance and access to clean drinking water in Canada and around the world.  The school raised $600 through a walk-a-thon, which provides 24 people with clean water for life.  Click here to read more.
OCSTA Annual General Meeting and Conference Report
Phyllis Eikre, Director of Education provided a report on the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association Annual General Meeting and Conference. The 88th annual conference was held on April 26 – 29th in Kitchener-Waterloo and the theme was Stewards of the PromiseClick here to read more.
2018 Community Consultation Report
Phyllis Eikre provided a report on the 2018 Community Consultations that were held on May 2nd in Red Lake and May 3rd in Kenora.  Eikre shared that the focus of the consultations was to provide families, staff, alumni, retirees and community partners with an opportunity to provide feedback on a variety of topics.  Topics included community partnership opportunities, capacity planning, educational programs, services and capital and budget planning.  The board and senior leadership is very pleased with the turnout and results of the consultations.  The Executive Council Team will be collating and analyzing the data and identifying trends.  The information will inform the board's short and long-term planning. 
Year End Celebration
Phyllis Eikre identified that the Year End Awards and Retirement Celebration will be hosted on Tuesday, May 29th at 6:00 p.m.   The event is an opportunity to celebrate the director's awards of excellence, years of services award and retirees.  Click here to read more.
Student Trustee Report
Student Trustee Matthew Favreau provided a report on the notable accomplishments, humanitarian activities and events happening at St. Thomas Aquinas High School during May.   You can watch Matthew's video presentation here:


Special Education Advisory Committee Report
Trustee Anne Sweeney provided a report on the Special Education Advisory Committee Meeting of April 20th.  The meeting was hosted at St. Thomas Aquinas High School where the committee received presentations from Andrea Batters and Danielle Grossett, Learning Resource Teachers.  The two presented on a new team approach, working with students across grade levels to provide consistent, supportive strategies and build relationships.

The committee also viewed a video presentation entitled Life Skills for a Meaningful Future that profiled a day in the life of a Brandon, a member of the Kenora Catholic family.  Brandon is a student at St. Thomas Aquinas High School who is receiving alternative education programming to help build community relationships and life skills for his future.   
Next Board Meeting
The next Board Meeting of the Kenora Catholic District School Board is scheduled for Tuesday, June 19th at the Catholic Education Center with Video Conferencing available at St. John School in Red Lake.    Everyone is welcome to attend.