The #KPRisAwesome blog highlights, and celebrates, the joy and excellence found in all of our schools. Great things are happening every day, so check this blog often!
#KPRisAwesome - June 15, 2018
ENSS student's science project taking her to Stockholm
To say that Holly Tetzlaff is an environmental ambassador is an understatement. The East Northumberland SS student’s multi-year mission to prevent people from flushing supposedly “flushables” down the toilet is taking her to Sweden this summer, for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition.
Holly earned the single spot representing Canada in Stockholm with her science project, Now You See it Now You Don't, Flushability Is Not Magic. It also took Best in Fair at Peterborough Regional Science Fair, and bronze in the senior sciences division at the Canada-Wide Science Fair. Holly has perfected her project since then, renaming it Disappearance ≠ Disintegration ~ The Environmental Impact of Pseudo Flushables.
Her interest in the topic began in Grade 8, when she won a gold medal at the Canada-Wide Science Fair. In high school, she founded Red Fish Route (RFR), a winning Caring For our Watershed proposal, which she describes as her solution to the flushability problem.
“RFR is an environmental awareness program which teaches elementary students…that toilets are not garbage cans,” Holly explains. “It promotes life-long, environmentally friendly flushing habits. For the last four years, I have presented to 6,800 plus students in the Lower Trent Conservation Region, on PA days, exam breaks, end of the school year, and at the Tri-County Children’s Water Festival.”
Thanks to encouragement from her teachers in Grade 12, she revisited the “flushables” problem.
“I realized a ‘Fatberg’ - a large mass, consisting of congealed FOG (fats, oils and grease) and other flushables which do not disintegrate like toilet paper – was found clogging the sewer system in London, England, and was the size of 11 double-decker buses,” she adds. “My project looked at the expanding flushable market that is growing and includes refillable toilet bowl scrub brushes, feminine hygiene tampons, and dog feces bags.
“This problem is not getting better; it is getting worse, and it is not just a flushable wipe problem,” she asserts. “Our infrastructure is aging and users are tasking it beyond what our sewer systems were originally designed to handle, human waste and toilet paper. None of the 2018 products I tested, which are all marked as “Flushable,” disintegrated like toilet paper.
“Just because something disappears from your toilet bowl, does not mean it disintegrated or degraded to pass through the sewer system,” she concludes. “Remember, toilets are not garbage cans, and think twice before you flush.”
Inclusive Track & Field Day
Cobourg CI once again played host to the 2nd annual KPR Inclusive Track and Field Day this week, with students from Learning and Life Skills classes across the Board. The inspiring day welcomed athletes from Clarington Central, East Northumberland SS, Crestwood SS, Kenner CVI, Campbellford District HS and Cobourg CI. Comments on social media were positive: “Thank you to all the organizers at KPRDSB, this was again a great success, the smiles on the students faces proved it.” “Best day!”
KPREAA Elementary Track Meet
This was also the week for the annual Kawartha Pine Ridge Elementary Athletic Association Track and Field Meet. A bit of morning rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the Grades 4-8 athletes, their teachers and coaches, and family members who came to cheer them on.
Physical activity for a cause
Meanwhile, students and staff across KPR participated in a variety of physical activities, both during the school day and on weekends, to raise funds for worthy causes. They included Jump Rope for Heart, which raised money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and local Dragon Boat Festivals, in support of breast cancer services.
Learning about democracy
Students at 45 KPR schools learned about civic engagement and the democratic process firsthand by participating in Student Vote last week. Student Vote is a parallel election program that coincides with government elections, allowing students to learn about government and the electoral process, research the parties and platforms, discuss relevant issues and cast ballots for the official election candidates. The results? Province-wide, Ontario’s students would have elected an NDP government with 66 seats, while the PC Party would have been the Official Opposition with 45 seats. For ridings within the KPR area, students favoured the PC and NDP candidates. For detailed results of Student Vote, visit http://studentvote.ca/results/provincial_results/24
Indigenous arts exploration
Harold Longworth PS involved all students and staff in its Turtle Island Indigenous Arts Exploration this week. Students created a variety of projects on the theme of Truth and Reconciliation Through the Arts. The event was inspired by Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations to build awareness and understanding of our shared heritage and the long, rich history and contemporary contributions of First Peoples in Canada.
Education research with Trent University
Roger Neilson PS has become the first public research school in Canada, thanks to a new partnership with Trent University. The partnership will bring educators and researchers together to study how children learn, and share these best practices with all schools. Faculty from Trent’s School of Education will partner with teachers from Roger Neilson to work on projects of mutual interest. “Our work is all about leading, learning and innovating at KPR,” says Director of Education Dr. Jennifer Leclerc. “It’s one of our strategic directions…(and) is all about creating better and more improved learning experiences for all children, including those with special needs.”
Learning about financial literacy
Junior Achievement (JA) Peterborough, Lakeland, Muskoka brought financial literacy learning to students, with a More Than Money presentation at Plainville PS and the Dollars with Sense program at Millbrook South Cavan PS. Thank you, JA!
'Tis the season...
…for schools to participate in a variety of year-end activities, including field trips, fun fairs, talent nights, volunteer teas and more. Duke of Cambridge PS staff agreed to a “pie in the face” event at their fun fair. Many schools, such as Roseneath PS, also took advantage of the nice weather to say thank you to their volunteers.
Awesome events & opportunities
- Campbellford District HS will be the venue for presentations on Social Media & Internet Safety June 18. Grades 4-8 students will come to the school for daytime presentations, and there will be a free presentation for parents, grandparents & guardians at 6:30 p.m. Guest speaker will be Paul Davis, social media and Internet expert. All are welcome to attend the evening presentation.
- Dr. Ross Tilley PS in Bowmanville will officially open its Tilley Spirit Garden at Westside Park, June 21 at 2:30 p.m. The Spirit Garden is a partnership between KPR, the Municipality of Clarington and Alderville Black Oak Savanna, through the Adopt-A-Park program. Tilley is the first school to have taken the initiative to create a pollinator and medicine garden with the municipality. Students designed the garden with input from a landscape architect and Anishnaabe consultant Kim Wheatley. For information, contact teachers Brenda MacNaughton or Kirsty Wise at 905-623-3841
- Students from Bowmanville HS will once again #CommuteWithKindness on Thursday, June 21. Students in Rhonda Story’s SOLE (Students on the Leading Edge) class will surprise commuters on the GO Bus and Train from Bowmanville to Union Station with acts of kindness. The students will leave in two groups from the GO bus stop across from the Metro store on King Street in Bowmanville, the first group leaving at 8:34 a.m. and the second at 9:08 a.m. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to check back often for the latest news @ KPR. Have something you'd like included in a future blog? Email it to email@example.com
#KPRisAwesome - June 8, 2018
Trustee Cathy Abraham elected to provincial post
KPR Trustee Cathy Abraham has been elected president of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association. She had just concluded her second term as one of two Vice-Presidents for the provincial organization when she became the first KPR trustee ever to serve as its president. In the province-wide position, she will continue to advocate for public education on behalf of all students. Also last weekend, KPR Trustee Angela Lloyd was elected Vice-President of the association’s Central East Region, and Trustee Jaine Klassen Jeninga was elected to the Program Working Group.
Courtice Secondary School, Courtice North Public School partner in protecting environment
Over the past 27 years, Bruce Balsdon’s students have built hundreds of bird houses, bridges, outdoor classrooms, picnic shelters and community trails for the benefit of the environment and their community. Most recently, his construction technology students have worked with Kim Durst’s Grade 5 class just down the road at Courtice North PS to build and install butterfly boxes and bee hotels.
Building on long-standing partnerships Bruce has built with Ontario Power Generation and the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, the Pollinating Partners project is a unique environmental and community initiative. Its goal is to increase the number of pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes throughout the Courtice area, to help revive the health of bees, butterflies and other pollinators. The project paired the elementary and secondary students in constructing the wooden bee hotels and butterfly boxes earlier in the spring. The classes then worked together to install the pollinator-friendly structures in and around the Darlington Energy Complex, waterfront trail, Coutts Pond and Enniskillen Conservation Area.
The students also worked together to help plant more than 1,100 pollinating plants at Darlington.
Along the way, the students learned about energy production and about why pollinators are so important for the continued health of our natural environment.
Bruce and his students agreed they have enjoyed the entire Pollinating Partners experience. Taking a quick break from teaching the students safe construction techniques, Grade 11 student Ahatijan Para declared, “the kids are fun.” The project “also teaches the kids the techniques they need to get into construction,” noted fellow construction student Emma Brown.
Asked what her students thought of the project, Kim replied, “They love it! They’re engaged, and it’s a great learning opportunity.” The hands-on learning was a practical follow-up to the Grade 5s’ studies about the importance of protecting their natural environment. The students also researched native bee and butterfly friendly plants, then put their knowledge to work by helping to plant them at OPG.
Thanks to them, the site is now a certified Monarch Butterfly Waystation.
Happy Canadian Environment Week!
In honour of World Environment Day, Canadian Environment Week and the 50th Anniversary of outdoor education at KPR, this week’s photo gallery focuses on KPR students who are learning about, and in, their natural environment in Northumberland County.
Super Hero Day
Now here’s a photo we couldn’t resist: wonderful things were happening on Super Hero Day at C.R. Gummow PS in Cobourg.
Super Heroes of a different sort
When Kenner CVI held its first Sarah’s Drive for Hope last week, the response was awesome. Kenner added 81 new names to the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Registry during the event, which Kenner plans to repeat annually. Over 80 diseases and disorders can be treated with a life-saving stem cell transplant. Canada has hundreds of patients waiting for a stem cell donor match, but only 1 in 2 find a match. If you are between the ages of 17 and 35 and would like to register to be a stem cell donor, visit http://onematch.ca
Learning about skilled trades
Grades 7-8 students from schools across KPR had a great time learning about the skilled trades at Fleming College’s Trades Camp. At the same time, they got to try their hand at projects such as building camp chairs and making copper vases.
Indigenous Culture Awareness
East Northumberland SS students were treated to a full day of activities to increase their awareness of, and appreciation for, the rich culture, history and perspectives of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Meanwhile, Courtice SS students’ celebration of Indigenous culture included recreating works by famous Indigenous artists such as Maxine Noel. Check out information on Canada’s National Indigenous History Month in June. KPR also has a wealth of resources online.
Congratulations go to:
- Adam Scott CVI student Holden Petreman, who had his first book, Missions of Change, published
- students and staff at Thomas A. Stewart SS (above right) and Westmount PS, for receiving Tobacco-Wise Peterborough Awards from Peterborough Public Health; both schools were recognized in the Cessation or Prevention category for outstanding programs to prevent students from starting to use tobacco products, and supporting them in quitting smoking and remaining tobacco-wise
- Dhruv Pathak, Grade 10 student at Kenner CVI, who made it to the Canadian Geographic Challenge National Finals in Ottawa
- Grade 8 students at Prince of Wales PS, whose spirit and participation earned them a grand prize in Transit Quest from the Healthy Kids Community Challenge and Active and Safe Routes to School Peterborough
- Cobourg CI student Jacob Dejong, who won an iPad Mini and case from Chartwells for the input he offered on the cafeteria at his school.
Awesome events & opportunities
- Harold Longworth Public School in Bowmanville will welcome students, families and community members to its Turtle Island Indigenous Arts Exploration, Tuesday, June 12 from 5:30-7 p.m. Students are currently working on a variety of arts projects for the event, based on Indigenous stories, techniques, and styles. The theme of the evening will be Truth and Reconciliation Through the Arts, as the event has been inspired by the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to build awareness and understanding of our shared heritage, and the long, rich history and contemporary contributions of First Peoples in Canada. For further information, please contact Vice-principal Paul Hamel at 905-623-3682.
- Clarington Central SS’s musical theatre program is staging Cabaret, June 6 - 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door ($10 for students/seniors and $15 for adults). The musical theatre program includes student cast, student pit orchestra, and student production team. For more information, contact Melissa Wotherspoon at 905-697-9857.
- The 7th Michael Baird Golf Classic will take place July 5, with funds raised to support the Lunch Buddies program at Clarington Central SS. The event will start with lunch at noon, followed by golf at 1 p.m. Organizers also are seeking prize donations. For details and registration, call Michael Baird at 905-242-0419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on CCSS’s Lunch Buddies program or to make a donation, contact email@example.com.
- The First Rider program for new, young school bus riders will be back this summer. All young children who will ride a school bus for the first time this September are invited to attend a free First Rider session with their families, August 24-25. The successful annual program is offered by Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario (STSCO) and local bus operators. It will be held Friday, August 24 from 3-6 p.m., and Saturday, August 25 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Clarington Central SS in Bowmanville, Northumberland Mall in Cobourg and Lansdowne Place in Peterborough. Pre-registration is not required. Each session includes a safety video and a 10-minute ride on a school bus for children and their parents or guardians. Further information is available from STSCO at 1-800-757-0307 or www.stsco.ca.
- Families can once again get free admission to 18 provincial attractions for up to two elementary school-aged children with the 2018 Fun Pass. For details and to download and print coupons, visit Ontario.ca/FunPass
Remember to check back often for the latest news @ KPR. Have something you'd like included in a future blog? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
#KPRisAwesome - June 1, 2018
Honouring Our Special Olympics Athletes
The pride and excitement were palpable when student athletes from five KPR high schools gathered at the Special Olympics Ontario School Championships in Peterborough this week.
Eager, enthusiastic athletes, coaches and volunteers joined over 1,000 of their peers from across the province at several competition venues. All KPR athletes distinguished themselves in demonstrating teamwork, dedication, perseverance and support for one another, and all deserved hearty congratulations for their efforts.
“I’m feeling good,” said East Northumberland SS soccer player Natalie McComb. Meanwhile, teacher and coach Kim Leger could be heard in the background cheering on her team with cries of “nice job, nice job,” before later adding, “I love these kids!”
“I love this,” agreed both Campbellford DHS basketball player Harmony Dunstan and her coach, Anne Stendzis. “One student last night told me, ‘Mr. A., this is great, you’re a lot more fun when you’re not at school’,” coach Patrick Assinck added with a grin. “We’ve really built a connection.”
“They are just so excited,” Crestwood teacher Karen Bird noted of her floor hockey athletes. “The Special Olympics are so meaningful…and we love to see them come together as a team.”
Adam Scott CVI teacher and coach Kathryn Campbell said the event was her “last hurrah” before retiring. “This (event) gives them the opportunity to challenge themselves against other students. They always have a good time,” she said. “It’s also a way for them to stay active.” Student Rory Feeley agreed the Special Olympics offered “a good opportunity” for her classmates to experience a variety of sports. “I always tell people to have fun,” she added.
Meanwhile, Kenner teacher Linda Takacs proudly encouraged her students to talk about their participation in a Special Olympics flag raising at City Hall and in the opening ceremonies. “I was there cheering on” fellow students, noted track and field athlete Pety Keating, who humbly declined to mention her own gold medal win.
Kudos go to the teams and individual athletes who earned awards in their divisions at the provincial championships, including:
- Adam Scott CVI – Gold in basketball and Bronze in soccer, plus three Track & Field Medals for athlete Rory Feeley (Gold in shot put, Silver in 50 m race, Bronze in standing long jump)
- Crestwood SS – Gold in floor hockey
- Campbellford District HS – Gold in basketball
- East Northumberland SS – Silver in soccer
- Kenner CVI – Six medals for athletes Brian Davis (Gold in 50 m race, Bronze in shot put), Pety Keating (Gold in 50 m wheelchair race), Darron Victor (Silver in 50 m race), Allison Arndt (Silver in shot put) and Rosalee Parent (Silver in running long jump).
Just one look at the proud, happy faces of the athletes showed how much participation in the Special Olympics meant to them.
Remember to check back often for the latest news @ KPR. Have something you'd like included in a future blog? Email it to email@example.com
#KPRisAwesome - May 25, 2018
Official Opening of Lakefield District Public School
Students, parents, staff, trustees, Curve Lake First Nation and government representatives, school council and community members and child care partners joined together to celebrate the official opening of Lakefield District PS, following extensive renovations. The evening celebration included a student video, performances by the student band and Red Path Singers, school council presentation on creation of the school logo, and official ribbon cutting. The school’s motto is Maawndookaazag – Together – Ensemble, reflecting the unique nature of the school, which offers programming in Ojibwe, English and French Immersion.
Keeping up with newest technologies to engage students
More than 200 educators from throughout Ontario and New York State met at Bowmanville High School May 5-6 for two days intensely focused on using the latest technologies to improve student learning.
KPR Kindergarten to Grade 12 staff members were well represented at the EdTechTeam Kawartha Summit. Participants enjoyed hands-on learning with their choice of more than 40 workshops and keynote speakers at the weekend event, which ran from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. both days. Tweets and messages from Summit attendees spoke volumes: “Thank you for a mind-blowing weekend of learning!” “Can’t wait to use what I've learned!” “Probably some of the best PD I have had in my 28 years as a teacher!” “I loved the Summit! I learned so much. The presenters were friendly, enthusiastic and helpful. I left feeling truly inspired that I could make my classroom a more engaging and interesting place to learn.”
“The Kawartha Summit 2018 was a fantastic opportunity for all educators to learn more about Google Suite for Education as well as other educational tools to enhance student learning and their own professional development,” said Bowmanville HS Principal and event host Jamie Patenall. “From the moment the event began on Saturday morning until the closing keynote speaker on Sunday afternoon, the learning never stopped. The passion demonstrated by the participants at the conference to help our students prepare and solve problems was inspiring.”
Senior KPR administrators who attended were unanimous in complimenting the event, and in crediting Jamie and his team of BHS staff organizers. “The Google Summit was a fantastic opportunity for all staff, regardless of their role, to direct their own learning for two days,” noted Superintendent Greg Ingram. Superintendent Gloria Tompkins agreed: “As educators, it’s important we find new ways to engage students and tap their creative potential. The Google Summit was a wonderful opportunity for staff to explore how technology can open up new possibilities for teaching and learning.”
Director of Education Dr. Jennifer Leclerc also was impressed by the event: “A spirit of excitement and inspiration filled the air for all involved. Special thanks to BHS staff for their vision in bringing this learning to our Board!”
“This was by far one of the best PD opportunities that I’ve ever been able to participate in during my 15 years as a Trustee,” said Trustee Cathy Abraham. “I learned so much about the technology I was using or could be using...I recommend the experience to everyone!”
Special Olympics flag-raising
It’s official: a Special Olympics flag-raising at Peterborough City Hall with Mayor Daryl Bennett got the week – and the upcoming events – off to a great start. Peterborough will play host to the Special Olympics Ontario School Championships May 29 to 31. Athletes and coaches from several KPR high schools will be among more than 1,000 competitors from throughout Ontario, Canada and the United States.
Second in Ontario!
Congratulations go to Clarington Central SS student Dawson Cyr for winning the silver medal in Photography at Skills Ontario 2018. In fact, we’re proud of all of our KPR students who represented us so well at the provincial event!
They've got the beat
Drumlines are gaining popularity in schools across Canada, and several from KPR have distinguished themselves provincially and nationally. The Crestwood SS Drumline’s original piece, focused on Truth and Reconciliation and on honouring the legacy of Gord Downie, earned the Mustangs first place in the Canadian Drumline Association competition. The Colborne PS Drumline earned second place in the Intermediate Class at the British Columbia Provincial Championships and tied for first at the CDA’s Eastern Ontario Regional. And Oakridge Percussion, made up primarily of KPR students, were the BC Provincial Champions in Premier Class and first in the Canadian Drumline Association’s Eastern Ontario Regionals for the fourth straight year.
More medal-winning musicians
Two KPR secondary schools continued their multi-year traditions by earning national medals at MusicFest Canada. The Thomas A. Stewart Jazz Band A won gold, while Jazz Band B and the Jazz Combo won silver awards. In addition, individual outstanding musicianship awards went to students Noah Abrahamse, Steffen Davidson and Roz Shepherd. Meanwhile, Campbellford DHS’s Senior Jazz Ensemble won gold, while the Intermediate Jazz Ensemble earned silver. Campbellford students singled out for individual praise and awards included singer Olivia Rapos and student players Patrick Muldoon, Becca Westall, Ivan Stille and Zoe Saito. Congratulations go to teachers Vince Abrahamse and Dave Noble for the bands’ perennial outstanding showing.
And even more award winners
Other KPR staff and students also are winning awards at school and in the community. Stuart Robertson, Kawartha Heights PS student, was named 2018 Safety Patroller of the Year by Peterborough Police. In Bowmanville, Clarington Central SS students and avid motorcycle racers Matthew Simpson, Jake LeClair and Ben LeClair took all three spots on the podium in the Canadian Superbike Championship at Shannonville. On the employee front, KPR data, research and accountability leader Catharine Tozer was named Outstanding Citizen at the Municipality of Port Hope’s 30th annual Civic Awards Ceremony.
Spring has sprung!
It’s a sure sign of spring: elementary and secondary students throughout KPR have been working with staff to clean up their neighbourhoods, build play structures out of live plants, plant vegetable and pollinator gardens, and take their learning outside. Check out next week’s #KPRisAwesome blog to learn about special partnerships Courtice SS and Courtice North PS have established with OPG and other community organizations for the benefit of the environment.
Generosity in our communities
The KPR community is continuing its year-long tradition of generosity in raising funds for a variety of worthy causes – from tens of thousands of dollars raised by 31 schools for pediatric cancer research through Pedal for Hope, to skipathons for the Heart and Stroke Foundation (Stockdale PS alone brought in $4,475), to $2,432 raised at The Pines Senior PS for The Children’s Make a Wish Foundation. Thirteen students and three staff from Kenner CVI also gave the gift of life at Kenner’s second blood drive of the year, following up last November’s drive involving 15 donors. On May 31, Kenner also will hold its first Sarah’s Drive for Hope, One Match Swab event to add names to the stem cell and bone marrow donor registry.
Education Week, equity & mental health in action
KPR’s year-round focus on equity and mental health earned a much-deserved spotlight for Education Week and Mental Health Week, as students and staff discussed ways to promote mental health, including physical activity and the importance of showing kindness. Community events on homophobia, Islamophobia, poverty and classism were held over three successive evenings throughout KPR. And Courtice Intermediate and Secondary School, in addition to its mental health celebrations, chose to designate all of May as Indigenous Celebration Month, with a wide variety of activities planned throughout the month.
Awesome events & opportunities
- Looking for information on athletics in our schools? Check out kprschools.ca for details on Kawartha Pine Ridge Elementary Athletic Association (KPREAA) events and high school athletics.
- 2017-18 marks the 50th anniversary of outdoor education programs in KPR. To celebrate this milestone, the Board’s Outdoor Education Centres (Laurie Lawson and Goodrich Loomis OECs in Northumberland, Warsaw OEC in Peterborough County and Wilmot Creek OEC in Clarington) have issued a challenge to our schools. Each Outdoor Education Centre (OEC) will offer two prizes to schools or individual classes that tell their stories of how they are getting their students actively engaged in learning outside, doing something good for the environment, or participating in the David Suzuki Nature Challenge. Submit your entry to the naturalist at the closest Outdoor Education Centre by June 15. Learn more about our OECs and our naturalists.
#KPRisAwesome - May 17, 2018
KPRts Camp - Teaching leadership through the arts
Every spring, almost 200 Grade 7-8 students from throughout the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board come together to discover and develop their innate leadership skills through the arts.
KPRts, an annual experience at Camp White Pine, welcomes students to three days and two nights of arts-focused activities with like-minded peers. More than 30 high school student counsellors – half of whom were previous KPRts campers themselves – work with staff supervisors and practising artists to lead activities in dance, drama, music and visual arts.
Whatever their role, all who participate in the camp are united in their praise for the leadership skills, lasting friendships and positive memories that result. Arts-focused workshops are combined with exciting outdoor camp experiences such as high ropes, biking, archery and more. KPR arts consultant Mary Walker Hope works with a team of 16 educators to plan and supervise the camp.
Clearly, KPRts is sparking students’ imaginations and educational success.
“We see a lot of kids who are incredibly nervous when they first arrive, not talking to anyone,” Mary says. “Eventually, we see them walking arm in arm. They feel safe, they find the place where they can be themselves. This relaxation happens, this eye-opening moment when they realize, ‘wow, I can say that, and no one’s going to laugh at me’. It’s a comfortable and safe place.”
Sydney Stewart, a Grade 12 student spending her second year as camp counsellor, first came to KPRts in Grade 8. “I was really shy, I was quiet, I was terrified,” she says. “It turned out to be an amazing time. I totally came out of my shell, made a lot of friends, and became the leader I am today. I came back a totally changed person.”
Her sister had the same experience, she said. “It was definitely life-changing. A lot of kids come here and find out who they really are.”
Ask anyone else at the camp and you hear the same superlatives: “fantastic”, “special”, “wonderful”, “confidence-building” and more.
Check out photos and videos of this year’s and previous years’ KPRts camps at www.kprts.ca
#KPRisAwesome - May 4, 2018
Excited to cut the ribbon
Students at Ganaraska Trail Public School in Port Hope were excited to cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony for the school’s new junior wing and Kindergarten classroom renovations. Trustees, parents, local dignitaries and community members all took part in the celebrations May 2.
Equity in Action and Mental Health
The first full week of May every year is special for two reasons: it’s both Education Week and Mental Health Week. KPR schools will have a variety of activities May 7-11 to recognize both important events, including this year’s Education Week theme, Equity in Action. The week will include three evening events focused on equity, to which we invite all interested community members; please see the Community Equity Events listing further down in this blog for details.
Individual schools also will shine a spotlight on their year-round efforts to promote well-being, mental health, equity, diversity and inclusion. Here’s a look at the social justice efforts taken last week by Cobourg Collegiate Institute (CCI).
Cobourg Collegiate Institute Introduces Right(s) in Our Backyard Speaker Series
Everyone can take steps to protect human rights and promote social justice, both locally and globally.
That was the message behind Cobourg CI’s inaugural Rights(s) in Our Backyard speaker series, April 23-27. The 10 workshops also were live-streamed across KPR, to reach a wider audience. Speakers discussed steps being taken locally and internationally to advance human rights in all areas, with topics ranging from poverty, Indigenous communities, women’s rights and violence prevention, to the rights of adults with special needs and those in the LGBTQ+ community.
“The whole series was about students being empowered to support whatever area of human rights interests them,” said teacher and organizer Dean Smith. “You can start with small steps. You don’t need to have a high-powered job to have an effect. You can start as soon as you leave this room, and open up your little sphere of influence.”
Alex Neve, Secretary-General for Amnesty International in Canada, underscored “the power of ordinary men, women and young people” to make positive change in their communities, in Canada and around the world.
“We need more voices, louder voices…so that the global chorus of human rights is heard everywhere,” he urged students. “There’s always more to be done. Keep writing letters and signing petitions. Your letter joined up with millions of letters from around the world has an effect. We know it has freed prisoners, ended torture.”
He encouraged students to become involved in social justice locally, provincially and nationally as well. “We have only just begun to face the depths of the crises facing Indigenous communities,” he added, pointing to concerns such as violence against Indigenous women and girls, lack of access to clean drinking water, and more. “There is always more to be done.”
Clearly, his message resonated with students in the audience. Sarah Corbier, in Grade 12, said she has actively promoted social justice “in my daily life”, attending conferences, listening to speakers, creating a Twitter account devoted to human rights, and more. “I have a personal connection to human rights issues, because I am Indigenous,” she explained.
Similarly, Grade 10 student Jayda Godfrey noted she has “been pretty involved in human rights since I was little, because there’s a lot of inequity.” The grandchild of immigrants from Turkey, Jayda stressed that “it means a lot to me that there are people here in our community, in Canada and around the world” who are actively taking steps to end current human rights violations in that country.
Commenting on the speaker series, fellow Grade 10 student Tia Davis added, “I love how informative it is and how deeply honest it is…It is not fogging reality. I know that, in our area, we are so privileged in what we have….it is good to see how we are affecting other countries and advocating for human rights locally, too.”
Community Equity Events
KPR invites everyone in our communities to attend special Equity in Action evening events coming up next week. All three presentations are free; registration is not required.
Anti-Homophobia: Including Everyone
Monday, May 7
Port Hope High School
130 Highland Drive, Port Hope
Islamophobia: A Teachable Moment
Tuesday, May 8
Duke of Cambridge Public School
47 Liberty Street North, Bowmanville
Poverty and Classism
Wednesday, May 9
Queen Mary Public School
1445 Monaghan Road North, Peterborough
For more information on these events, please click here.
Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School got an early start on Mental Health Week with a variety of events this week. The school’s Well-being Week also included guest speakers, a visit from therapy dogs, well-being and mindfulness activities, a games room, sing-along film presentation and much more. Teacher Barry Driscoll enjoyed a relaxing chat with students in the ball pit.
Ahead by a century
KPR students were Ahead By a Century at this week’s Choirfest in Port Hope. The six school choirs participating in the non-competitive event concluded Choirfest with a moving tribute to the late Gord Downie. Listen to their touching performance of The Tragically Hip’s Ahead By a Century. Participating schools included Camborne, Courtice North, Harold Longworth, Newcastle, Terry Fox and Waverley Public Schools.
Unfortunately, this blog must end on a sad note. Sincere sympathy is extended to the family, friends and all who knew former Peterborough Alternative and Continuing Education program student Eric Rodgers, following his recent death. He will be deeply missed.
#KPRisAwesome - April 30, 2018
Kenner students volunteering at Juke Box Mania
When contestants sat down at Peterborough’s Juke Box Mania fundraiser Friday night, they enjoyed the volunteer efforts of students in Kenner Collegiate Vocational Institute’s culinary program.
Several of Peter Poley and Lisa Dixon’s students volunteered their time to make and serve delicious finger foods at the event, an annual fundraiser for the Community Counselling and Resource Centre (CCRC).
“We like to involve ourselves in the community,” Peter explains. “We just like to help out wherever we can.”
The CCRC organizers were so thrilled with Kenner’s offer to volunteer at Juke Box Mania, they held the official media launch of the “Name That Tune”-type fundraiser at the school.
Members of the media and dignitaries were treated to the goodies that the Kenner students were planning to prepare and serve the night of the event at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.
“We wanted to go with comfort food, so we chose homemade chicken fingers and sweet potato fries,” Lisa says.
Judging from the reaction of everyone sampling the students’ homemade finger foods, everyone at Juke Box Mania was in for a treat.
KPR raises over $5.4 million for Terry Fox
The totals are in and the results are impressive. According to The Terry Fox Foundation, KPR schools collectively have raised a total of $5,437,940.69 for cancer research in the last 35 years. Our top fundraiser is Brighton’s East Northumberland Secondary School, at $1,091,675.89, while the top fundraising KPR elementary school –Terry Fox Public School – brought in $84,367.61. In 2017 alone, our schools raised over $222,000. KPR once again encourages its schools to participate in the 2018 Terry Fox National School Run, scheduled for Thursday, September 27. For further information and to register your school’s participation, visit terryfox.org
Happy Administrative Professionals' Day!
Where would we be without all the #KPRisAwesome support staff in our schools and departments? We’d rather not even imagine the answer! School staffs across KPR and at the Education Centres this week took advantage of Administrative Professionals’ Day to pay tribute to, and thank, our awesome office professionals!
KPR is Awesome
Yard and community cleanups, introduction of reusable school water bottles, and hands-on activities focused on understanding and protecting our environment were the focus of many KPR schools for Earth Week, Earth Month and Earth Day. East Northumberland Secondary School student Holly Tetzlaff found a special way to celebrate Earth Month: her project testing “flushability” of various products took first place at the Peterborough Regional Science Fair. The project, titled Now You See It, Now You Don’t – Flushability Is Not Magic, will take her to the Canada Wide Science Fair in Ottawa next month. In the meantime, check out these photos of what students and staff across KPR did to recognize Earth Week and Earth Day.
Special Olympics qualifiers
Students from secondary schools across KPR are continuing to participate in qualifying events in advance of the 2018 Special Olympics Ontario School Championships, coming to Peterborough May 29 to 31. Students from Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and the United States are expected to compete in five sports: basketball, bocce, floor hockey, soccer, and track and field. For more information about the 2018 Special Olympics Ontario School Championship, visit sooschoolchampionships2018.ca.
How do you choose just three volunteers to honour among the thousands who willingly offer their time and talents to benefit our students? It was a tough choice, but KPR did just that when it presented KPR Accolades awards this week to three outstanding volunteers. Congratulations and sincere appreciation go to the following volunteers nominated by school staff members:
Dawn Chapell, Dr. Emily Stowe Public School
Julie Chatten, Lakefield District Public School
Jeff Snow, Dr. M.S. Hawkins Senior Public School and Port Hope High School
Awesome events & opportunities
- Be A Change Maker is the theme for KPR’s annual Student Leadership Conference, May 2 at Fleming College in Peterborough. Grades 8-11 student representatives from across the Board will participate in the day-long conference, where they will explore leadership skills and opportunities, and develop strategies for maintaining inclusive, positive and active school climates. Keynote speaker Drew Dudley, founder of Day One Leadership, will open the event. Students will then participate in their choice of workshops, planned and led by Student Trustees Dakota Livingston and Lindsey Keene and members of the KPR Student Leadership Group. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Six KPR elementary schools will participate in Choirfest, May 2 from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Port Hope United Church. The non-competitive celebration will conclude with the choirs joining together to sing The Tragically Hip’s Ahead By a Century, as a tribute to the late Gord Downie. Participating schools include Camborne, Courtice North, Harold Longworth, Newcastle, Terry Fox and Waverley Public Schools. Admission is free. Spectators are asked to bring a donation to the Northumberland Fare Share Food Bank. For additional information, call Ian Jack or Karen Wood at Newcastle Public School, 905-987-4262, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Crestwood Secondary School Drumline will introduce its competitive program, called Secret Path, at an open house in the Crestwood SS gymnasium May 5, from 3-4 p.m. The Secret Path is a drumline arrangement of Gord Downie’s music, with a focus on truth and reconciliation. The drumline, made up of 30 students, will compete with this unique piece at the Canadian Drumline Association Championships in May. For details, email melanie_foulkes@kprdsbca
- Enrolment opens May 2 for Fresh From the Farm: Healthy Fundraising for Ontario Schools. The program offers schools the opportunity to raise funds by selling Ontario vegetables and fruit to the community. For details on this provincial program, visit www.FreshFromFarm.ca
#KPRisAwesome - April 20, 2018
East Northumberland Secondary School student fights hate
Isobel Flindall is on a mission to prevent hatred and promote acceptance.
The East Northumberland Secondary School student’s devotion to this important cause spurred her to participate in Speakers Idol 2018. When teacher Deanne Patenall heard about the competition sponsored by the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies in Toronto, she recommended it to Isobel. In the end, Isobel’s three-minute speech placed her among the top five finalists.
The seventh annual competition challenged students to discuss how they would envision applying Simon Wiesenthal’s famous quote, “Freedom of speech is not freedom to propagate hatred,” to create positive change in the world.
“My speech included my thoughts about the difference between free speech and opinions, and hate speech,” she says. “It also stressed the fact that Canada is not as inclusive and hate-less as everyone makes it out to be, and that education would make the most effective tool in fixing this.
“Often hate is built off of misunderstandings and misconceptions about a specific group of people, and education can help prevent these misunderstandings and misconceptions,” she explains. “Also, education on things that have happened in the past, such as genocides, can help people recognize warning signs and prevent repeating the past.”
Her speech, which clearly resonated with the judges, included the following counsel: “If you have the privilege not to be a target of hate, then use it to help those that are.”
Happy National Volunteer Week!
KPR is fortunate to have thousands of volunteers who willingly offer their time, talent, skills and caring for the benefit of students. At next week’s Board meeting, three outstanding KPR volunteers will be recognized with KPR Accolades Awards. Wondering who these #KPRisAwesome people will be? Stayed tuned to next week’s blog!
Wanted: your input
Wanted: your comments on the KPR Board’s new, draft policy on Safe, Caring and Restorative Schools. The draft policy has been updated to reflect changes in legislation and to stress our continued emphasis on school environments that are safe, welcoming, respectful and inclusive of all. KPR encourages parents, guardians, students, staff and community members to review the draft and send us their comments by Friday, June 1. To see the recommended policy and leave comments, visit the link on our home page at kprschools.ca or visit http://safecaringpolicysurvey.kprdsb.ca/ All schools also have paper copies for those who do not have Internet access. If you require an alternative format for review and comment, please call 705-742-9773, ext. 2001, and we will be happy to accommodate you.
What makes us smile?
How can you not smile when reading these comments from Mary-Ellen Moore’s Grade 2/3 students at Courtice North Public School? When she asked her class to name the things that made them smile, they came up with this wonderful list.
Video production stars
Camiren Mercer’s and Max McDonald’s second place finish in video production at recent Skills Ontario qualifiers has won them a berth at the Skills Ontario provincial competition in Toronto May 8. They will be joined by fellow Clarington Central Secondary School students Jillian Crawford Bourke and Ethan VandePol, who earned one of only three province-wide wild card spots as the second team from CCSS. Seven different colleges recently hosted the culinary, video production, welding and individual carpentry qualifiers. A total of 16 students from CCSS, East Northumberland Secondary School, Kenner Collegiate Vocational Institute and Port Hope High School will make up Team KPR in the provincial finals.
Awesome events & opportunities
- Hillcrest Public School will celebrate its 50th anniversary Saturday, April 21, starting with an open house from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and an assembly to follow. For details, check out the Hillcrest PS 50th Anniversary page on Facebook or call 705-653-1430.
- Also on April 21 from 1-4 p.m., Heads up for Inclusion and the Amigos program present Conquer the Mic at James Strath Public School. The inclusive showcase will include youth of all abilities showing off their talents in music, dance, spoken word and more. For more information, visit headsupforinclusion.ca or call 705-876-0383, ext. 202.
- Cobourg Collegiate Institute will host 10 presentations April 23-27 to increase awareness of social justice advocates working to advance human rights locally and internationally. The CCI Library/Learning Commons will be the hub for all of the presentations, which also will be live-streamed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/kpr-welcome. For details, email email@example.com.
- Thirty-one KPR schools will support pediatric cancer research again this year, through Pedal for Hope. KPR schools have played a major role in helping the Pedal for Hope campaign raise well over $2 million since its inception in 2005. The Pedal for Hope team’s stops at our schools will begin April 23 at Westmount Public School and Kawartha Heights Public School, and conclude Friday, May 11 at Ganaraska Trail Public School, Millbrook South Cavan Public School and North Cavan Public School.
- KPR teachers, principals and vice-principals will be joined by their peers from many other school boards when Bowmanville High School hosts the EdTechTeam Kawartha Summit May 5-6. A wide variety of workshops on using the latest learning technologies, such as Google Apps, will run from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5, and 7:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Sunday, May 6. Registration and scheduling details are available at http://edtech.team/Kawartha2018
- Mark your calendar: KPR invites two parent members from each of our school councils to the annual Trustee-School Council Dialogue, May 22 at 6 p.m. at Baxter Creek Golf Club. Dinner and carousel discussions on timely issues in public education will be included. For details on the event, supported by the Parent Involvement Committee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- KPR’s fifth annual KPRts and Leadership Camp will take place May 9-11 at Camp White Pine in Haliburton. Participating Grade 7-8 students will spend time with professional artists in all disciplines. For details, contact email@example.com
- The Ministry of Education has chosen Equity in Action as the theme for Education Week, May 7-11, 2018.
#KPRisAwesome - April 13, 2018
Everyone in the KPR family is deeply saddened by the tragic accident in Saskatchewan involving a bus carrying Humboldt Broncos hockey players and coaches. When Director of Education Jennifer Leclerc encouraged schools to support national Jersey Day and honour the Humboldt Broncos by wearing their favourite sports jerseys April 12, the response was positive and immediate. Those without jerseys donned the Broncos’ colours, green and yellow, for the day.
National Coach of the Year!
Teacher, coach & national Male Coach of the Year Dave McCully, in centre in both pictures, is surrounded by his fellow Adam Scott coaches and students.
The only one surprised at David McCully’s being named Rugby Canada’s Male Coach of the Year is Dave himself. The man described as “one of the brightest rugby minds in Canada” by a former player even insisted on having his teacher/coach colleagues in on the interviews about his accomplishment. He’s adamant that they share in his success.
Dave, a teacher at Adam Scott Collegiate Vocational Institute, has played rugby since he was in Grade 10, and has coached rugby extensively at several KPR high schools as well as in the community. “I do genuinely love the game,” he says. “In coaching, I love the idea of helping people understand that we only achieve something great when we are committed to a group bigger than ourselves. You have to have a commitment to the team.”
In announcing Dave as the national Male Coach of the Year, Rugby Canada described him as “an ambassador for the sport of rugby” and “an instrumental factor in developing (Peterborough’s) minor program to one of the largest in the country.”
His colleagues at Adam Scott agree. “He has certainly made me a better coach,” says fellow teacher Sandy Keay. “He makes the players a part of all decision making.”
“It is an absolute pleasure to coach and work with him,” agrees fellow teacher Darrell Wright. “He brings a team atmosphere. His passion, drive and care for other coaches and players set him apart. Inspirational is an easy word to use when describing him.”
His students concur. “At every day of practice for the last four years, Mr. McCully has been out there, all fired up, bringing great energy and atmosphere to the team,” says Grade 12 student Ben Charron, who was new to the sport when he joined the rugby team four years ago.
“I felt very welcome. Everyone is out there supporting you,” notes fellow Grade 12 Jack Oatway. “Mr. McCully is like a little energizer bunny.”
Day of Pink
Students and staff across KPR focused on the importance of kindness, respect and inclusion for Day of Pink April 11. Their pink clothing also demonstrated their commitment to preventing bullying, homophobia and transphobia.
Going to the Royal Wedding
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot on May 19, Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School student Faith Dickinson will be there. Faith, who previously received The Diana Award’s Inaugural Legacy Award from Prince William and Prince Harry, established the charity Cuddles for Cancer when she was only nine years old. Cuddles for Cancer makes fleece blankets for people with cancer and others who need comfort, including returning soldiers.
Awesome events & opportunities
Spring is shaping up to be as busy as ever at schools across KPR. Here are just a few of the many awesome events and opportunities coming to our schools and area, and the people to contact for more information.
- Bowmanville High School presents Noises Off, a comedy about a troupe of actors putting on a play, April 11-14 at 7:30 p.m. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prince of Wales Public School is holding a community battery recycling drive on Wednesday, April 18. There will also be a small plant sale to raise funds for an outdoor classroom, as well as an Earth Day cleanup that day. Contact: email@example.com
- Bowmanville High School School Council and Guidance Department invite families to a free viewing of the award-winning film Screenagers – Growing Up in the Digital Age, April 26, from 6-8 pm. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cobourg Collegiate Institute presents Shrek The Musical, April 25-28. Contact: 905-372-2271.
- Several Kawartha Pine Ridge Elementary Athletic Association (KPREAA) events are on tap: Intermediate Competitive Badminton April 17 at Peterborough CVS (email@example.com), Junior Competitive Floor Hockey for Boys April 18 and Girls April 19, both at James Strath(firstname.lastname@example.org), and KPR Elementary Gymnastics Meet, April 26 at the Peterborough Sports and Wellness Centre (email@example.com).
Registration still open for Google Summit
More than 200 educators from across Ontario will converge on Bowmanville High School May 5-6 to learn about the newest ways to engage Kindergarten-Grade 12 students through technology in the classroom. The EdTechTeam Kawartha Summit will allow teachers and administrators to share meaningful, practical ways to use a variety of Google Apps and other online tools. All interested educators are welcome. Registration and scheduling details are available at http://edtech.team/Kawartha2018
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