Keewatinook Okimakanak School Board partners with Keewatin Patricia District School Board

Year 1 No. 29 — Friday, October 28, 2016

The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) and the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Board of Education (KOBE) are pleased to announce the signing of a new partnership agreement to enhance educational services and opportunities for students and staff. The agreement was signed with KO Chiefs’ representation and senior leadership together, prior to their meeting with senior officials at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and Ministry of Education senior staff.

The new partnership agreement is guided by shared principles, including: the belief that all students deserve high quality, exemplary education experiences and outcomes; the recognition that each organization has inherent strengths and expertise that can be shared and leveraged for the mutual benefit of all students and staff; and acknowledgement of the definition of education as it relates to KOBE territory schools with respect to their inherent right and autonomy over education.

Areas of focus identified in the partnership agreement include new teacher support and capacity building, 21C teacher and learning supports, special education, literacy and numeracy supports, adult education, and principal mentoring and capacity building. Also included in the agreement is a pilot project starting in Dryden that will see students from KO communities’ transition into area high schools where they will be provided with academic programing to meet their needs in a safe environment.

Sean Monteith, KPDSB Director of Education, said “This formal agreement with Keewaytinook Okimakanak Board of Education and the Northern Chiefs that represent its six communities, reflects not only two years of tireless and committed work behind the scenes; it also represents the best in partnership in Northern Ontario, unprecedented in scope and relationships. With this signing, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board now opens itself to the schools and staff of KO. It is truly a historic day for all who believe in Northern Children.”

Darrin Potter, KOBE Director of Education, added “We are excited about the shared experiences this partnership will provide for students and staff in both boards. First Nations’ Education has too long been disadvantaged by funding levels and opportunity. We are hoping this agreement will give our students added support to reach their potential as any student should, regardless of where they live.”