#KPRisAwesome Updates

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 - 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.”

Check out all of Isobel’s outstanding speech.


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 dean_smith@kprdsb.ca.
  • 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 greg_kidd@kprdsb.ca.
  • 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 mary_walkerhope@kprdsb.ca
  • The Ministry of Education has chosen Equity in Action as the theme for Education Week, May 7-11, 2018. 

Remember to check back often for the latest news @ KPR. Have something you'd like included in a future blog? Email it to judy_malfara@kprdsb.ca

#KPRisAwesome - April 13, 2018

Jersey Day


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: mathew_ansara@kprdsb.ca
  • 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: amy_simmons@kprdsb.ca
  • 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: lynn_davidson@kprdsb.ca  
  • 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 (ryan_richardson@kprdsb.ca), Junior Competitive Floor Hockey for Boys April 18 and Girls April 19, both at James Strath(bern_kelly@kprdsb.ca), and KPR Elementary Gymnastics Meet, April 26 at the Peterborough Sports and Wellness Centre (kristine_hickey@kprdsb.ca).  

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

Remember to check back often for the latest news @ KPR. Have something you'd like included in a future blog? Email it to judy_malfara@kprdsb.ca

#KPRisAwesome - April 6, 2018

So that's what French newscasters look like! 

Charles Bowman Public School Core French teacher Elizabeth Dewell came up with one cool way for students to reinforce their learning. Grades 7-8 students at the Bowmanville school created news, sports and weather reports en français, then shared their newscasts with their classmates.

“This task focused on communicating ideas in the past, present and immediate future tenses in French,” she explains. “The kids did so well. They were so creative, and they had a lot of fun while showing their learning.”

Just check out Julian (left) and Luke, both students in David Zmozynski’s Grade 8 class, for a look at their creative take on professional newscasters!

Wall of kindness at Ganaraska Trail Public School

Meanwhile, Ganaraska Trail PS saw a “wall of kindness” grow quickly in the foyer.  After being encouraged to recognize their peers who committed acts of kindness, students and staff wrote sticky notes lauding the positive actions they witnessed. 

“The results were outstanding,” says Jennifer Sampson, principal of the Port Hope school. “Classes continually came and sat in front of our growing display, while on a daily basis the stickies of kindness were added.  They also enjoyed stopping and reading what others had shared.”  

Stephanie Matheson and Christina Carreira’s Grade 5/6 classes even challenged each other to see who could ‘catch more kindness’,” Jennifer adds.  “Together, in a week, they collected 628 acts of kindness.”

What I did on my March Break...

Does March Break already feel like a distant memory? For many KPR students, staff and parent volunteers, March Break meant going overseas to learn firsthand about history, geography, art, culture, science and much more. These photos chronicle unforgettable trips by East Northumberland SS, Crestwood SS, Port Hope HS, Cobourg CI and Bowmanville HS students to Greece, Costa Rica, and Italy. 


Not just at Christmas


While KPR schools do an outstanding job supporting their communities around the holidays, they don’t limit their generosity to once a year.  At Edmison Heights Public School, teacher Bailey Puckrin organized a recent sock drive to benefit individuals who use the Peterborough Warming Room. Her Grade 4/5 class made posters that went up throughout the school, and all grades brought in enough socks to fill a laundry basket to overflowing.


Every school has one...or three


When Lakefield District PS held a triplets and twins day, it was pretty clear everyone wanted to be head secretary Norma Vatcher. Secretary Celine Grenier (left) and principal Penny Hope donned blonde wigs in honour of their idol, while Norma (right) got a kick out of her copycats.


Awesome events & opportunities

KPR elementary and secondary students will be able to take part in the upcoming provincial election through the Student Vote program. Students learn about government and the electoral process, research the issues, and experience the voting process by holding a vote of their own.  Teachers who involve their classes in Student Vote receive resources, posters and election supplies, all at no charge.  Student Vote is the flagship program of CIVIX, Canada’s leading civic education organization. Ontario schools have participated in 11 Student Vote projects since 2003, with more than 370,000 Ontario students casting a ballot in the last federal election alone. For details and to register for Student Vote, visit studentvote.ca 

Remember to check back often for the latest news @ KPR. Have something you'd like included in a future blog? Email it to judy_malfara@kprdsb.ca


#KPRisAwesome Update, June 26-30, 2017

Welcome to the final #KPRisAwesome update of the 2016-17 school year.  Have a happy, safe and healthy summer break, everyone.  See you back in class September 5, for another year of awesomeness!

Edmison Heights' goodness goes global

  • The wonderful story of the caring and support Edmison Heights PS has offered Syrian refugees has gone global.  Staff from Amnesty International in London, England, visited Laura Smith’s Grade 3 class this week to interview Laura, fellow teacher and Safe Haven for Refugees sponsor Stephanie Benn, students and parents, for a feature on Canadians’ warm welcome of Syrian refugees. The global organization already had been looking at the work of Safe Haven for Refugees, following the success of Randa and Mohammad Alftih and their 4 children, who have been greeted with kindness and generosity by the Peterborough community. In their research, Amnesty International was moved by the story of Laura’s Edmison Heights class, who had raised $5,077.95 in support of reuniting Randa Alftih with her mother, father and two sisters and their families. How awesome is that?!

More reasons why #KPRisAwesome

  • Hillcrest PS student Paige Palmer and her classmates built a rain garden at Lions Park in Campbellford, after Paige finished third in the Lower Trent Region Conservation Authority’s #CaringForOurWatersheds contest. Paige, teacher Sheila Potter, and 30 of Paige’s peers worked hard to create the garden, which is designed to absorb and purify storm water so that fewer pollutants are washed into the watershed.

  • Bowmanville HS students were a hit when they rode the GO bus and train from Bowmanville to Union Station and back for #CommuteWithKindness Day. Rhonda Story’s Students On The Leading Edge (SOLE) Leadership class performed random acts of kindness, asked trivia questions about GO’s 50th anniversary, and handed out treats, apples, stuffed animals and other mementos.  Students Emily Jackson and Rylie Osborne also represented their classmates in a radio interview about their efforts to make the morning commute more pleasant for Metrolinx riders.

  • Here’s your daily dose of cuteness: check out this video created by Dr. Ross Tilley PS teacher Fiona Lasenby’s Kindergarten class as a love song to Canada. Boom de ya da!
  • Speaking of great videos: watch as students at this year’s KPRts & Leadership Camp showed the variety of artistic endeavours in which they participated this year.

  • KPR schools played host to two provincial government announcements this week.  Education Minister Mitzie Hunter visited Chemong PS to make an announcement on rural education.  Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi visited Port Hope HS and Dr. M.S. Hawkins Senior PS to announce KPR schools would be receiving $2.1 million for school repairs and renewal.  The work will include projects to make schools more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

  • The Class of 2017’s spring graduation season kicked off Monday at PACE @ PCVS (Peterborough Alternative and Continuing Education at Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School). Congratulations go to all students who are celebrating their graduation milestone at all of the commencement ceremonies:
    •  June 27-28: Northumberland Centre for Individual Studies (CIS), Clarington CIS, Cobourg CI, Port Hope HS
    • June 29: Adam Scott CVI, Bowmanville HS, Campbellford DHS, Clarke HS, East Northumberland SS, Thomas A. Stewart SS
    • October 27: Crestwood SS
    • November 3: Clarington Central SS, Courtice SS, Kenner CVI, Norwood DHS.

  • Bowmanville HS’s expanded breakfast program earned positive coverage in the local media for its inclusive approach in feeding about 300 students each day. “It’s nice that there’s no stigma about coming in here. People who have food come in. People who don’t have food come in,” Sharon Little, teacher and organizer, told Clarington This Week.  The breakfast buffet includes bagels, fresh fruit and vegetables, yogurt, homemade baked goods, cereal, and often hot breakfasts such as waffles, grilled cheese and more. The Learning Strategies class shops for groceries, Family Studies students prepare hot breakfasts, and student volunteers earn community involvement hours for their help. Funding comes from the Metro Green Apple School Program, staff’s Friday jeans fund, and the Durham Child Nutrition Project.  Principal Jamie Patenall offers kudos to Sharon and fellow teachers Ange Porretta and Melanie Parkin for providing food for the students each day, and to secretaries Robyn Stabler and Stephanie Doyle, for looking after the snacks in the office between periods. (Photo by Ron Pietroniro, Metroland)

  • The McEachern family was proud to win the Lift Lock Custom Skate board built by Peterborough Alternative and Continuing Education (PACE) program students. Craig McEachern won the draw for his children Mathew, Christopher and Georgie. Thanks to the support of Thin City Skate Shop, PACE staff and students, and the community, ticket sales for the custom skate board raised more than $350 for Kawartha Food Share.

  • In honour of National Aboriginal Day, Mary Adams’ Grade 6 class at James Strath PS learned in depth about the outstanding contributions of, and challenges faced by, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada. The students responded to their learning through the arts, to show what they learned, wondered and felt.  Some students created art expressing their sadness and anger at learning about residential schools; others responded to Indigenous education champion Shannen Koostachin’s call for safe schools for all Indigenous children; and another danced her feelings about the injustices in the memoir Fatty Legs.  Their teacher sends many thanks to KPR arts consultant Mary Walker Hope for her guidance and support.

  • Clarington Central SS students raised $750 for Canadian Mental Health Association Durham by staging their own play, "(im)perfect", for two nights. The play about mental health was written, directed and produced by CCSS Grade 12 student Candice Russell. Candice also recently performed in an international poetry slam in Toronto, finishing in 11th place. Not surprisingly, she is pursuing studies in the theatre at university.

  • Paul Anderson, a Grade 5 teacher at Edmison Heights PS, challenged his students to make this year’s Pedal for Hope the best ever.  His students went above and beyond what he had hoped, raising $5,162.15 for pediatric cancer research.  This brought the school’s Pedal for Hope total to over $21,000.

  • Congratulations go to the Student Council at Kawartha Heights PS, for achieving their goal of giving $1,000 to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Peterborough Regional Health Centre.  The students raised the funds with frozen yogurt and candy gram sales.

  • Highland Heights PS’s enthusiastic response to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation’s Caring Kids Challenge helped the school to become the #1 fundraiser. Hospital Foundation representatives visited Highland Heights to thank the school for raising $1,779.15 for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

  • Three students from Cobourg CI are taking part in the YMCA French Summer Work Exchange program this summer.  Martha Cooper (Grade 11), Rissa Jopling (Grade 11) and Maddy Grundy (Grade 12) are headed to Chicoutimi, Quebec, from July 1 to August 12 to live and work in French.  The YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange is a unique national exchange program that brings together youth from various communities across the country to improve their second official language skills, and gain important employment experience.

  • Roger Neilson PS Principal Tony Lajoie offers sincere thanks to Nurse Scrap Metal, for its donation of $700 from the Crushing for a Cause initiative.  The funds will support educational opportunities for all students, such as trips, Scientists in the Classroom programs, and guest speakers.

  • Congratulations go to retired North Shore PS teacher John Kempt and Thomas A. Stewart SS teacher Michelle Staude, on receiving the Loran Scholars Foundation’s Teachers Building Leaders Award.  They were both nominated by former student Nicole Raymer. The award recognizes teachers who provide early inspiration, guidance and opportunities for growth for Loran scholars.

  • Seventeen ENSS athletes and two future Blue Dragons competed at the Royal Canadian Legion District F track and field meet in Oshawa, a qualifying meet for the RCL Provincial championships in July.  ENSS’s Sam Hall, Jared Hall, Tristan Flatt and Jacob Gilbert were named to the District F team, to compete in Windsor.

Awesome opportunities:

  • The First Rider program for new, young school bus riders is back. All young children who will ride a school bus for the first time this September are invited to attend a First Rider session with their families. The successful, annual program will be held Friday, August 25 from 3-6 p.m., and Saturday, August 26 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at three locations: Clarington Central SS in Bowmanville, Northumberland Mall in Cobourg, and Lansdowne Place in Peterborough. The children will learn about school bus safety and have the opportunity to ride in a bus.  Further information is available from Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario at 1-800-757-0307 or at www.stsco.ca
  • Mark your calendars: KPR’s annual Parent Conference focusing on child and youth mental health will return Saturday, October 21.  Keynote speaker Sara Westbrook will open the day discussing the habits of resilient families.  A choice of workshops, displays by organizations that support families, and free child minding once again will be part of the event, to take place in Peterborough. Stay tuned for details.
  • Families: start saving for your child’s post-secondary education, at no cost to you.  KPR has partnered with SmartSAVER to encourage families to open no-fee Registered Education Savings Plans, to access government education grants.  Through the Canada Learning Bond, the federal government offers $500 to help families start saving for education after high school. The program also allows an eligible child to get $100 every year until they turn 15 years old, to a maximum of $2,000.  For details, see the link on the banner of our home page at www.kprschools.ca, or visit StartMyRESP.ca/KPRDSB
  • James Strath PS is seeking nominations from the public for its new Stories of Success Wall, to be unveiled this fall.  The first inductees will be announced at the school’s 25th anniversary celebrations, October 20. For information, email kristine_hickey@kprdsb.ca or trish10pjf@gmail.com
  • The province is helping families celebrate Ontario's 150th anniversary by expanding the Fun Pass for 2017.  The Fun Pass includes coupons that give elementary school-aged children free admission to 18 provincial attractions, such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, and more. This year, the Fun Pass will allow two kids to get in free when accompanied by a paying adult or senior. Families also will get $5 off the regular price of a daily vehicle parking permit at most Ontario Parks day-use areas. Ontario parents can access the Fun Pass online at Ontario.ca/funpass.
  • Do you know a special teacher? Check out the 9th annual Toronto Star Teacher Award. Send your nomination to Teacher Award Nomination, One Yonge Street, 4th Floor, Toronto, ON M5E 1E6.   You can also submit your nomination online at: thestar.com/teacheraward  Deadline is June 30, 2017.
  • Nominations also are welcome for the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship, which recognizes Ontarians who have made outstanding contributions to community life.  Deadline is July 17. For details, visit ontario.ca/honoursandawards or call 1-877-832-8622.

Check out KPR’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Calendar to see important dates coming up this month and beyond.

Share your #KPRisAwesome news!  Email judy_malfara@kprdsb.ca

#KPRisAwesome

smilinig student

The #KPRisAwesome campaign highlights, and celebrates, the joy and excellence found in all of our schools. Great things are happening everyday! Learn more.