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Trent University & Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board Announce Groundbreaking Research School Partnership

June 14, 2018

Roger Neilson Public School announced as site of new research school, a Canadian public elementary school first

Dr. Cathy Bruce and Dr Jennifer Leclerc speaking with students
Dr. Cathy Bruce, Dean of Trent University's School of Education & Dr. Jennifer Leclerc, Director of Education for KPRDSB

Peterborough’s Roger Neilson Public School has been selected as the site of Canada’s first public elementary research school – the outcome of a new partnership between Trent University’s School of Education and the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB).

This new research school will bring educators and researchers together to learn more about how children and youth learn, and to explore best practices for teaching and learning.

“This will be the first publicly funded elementary research school in Canada,” said Dr. Jackie Muldoon, provost and vice-president of Trent University. “Roger Neilson will be a place where educators and their research partners from our School of Education can collaborate on projects of mutual interest.”

Dr. Cathy Bruce, dean of Education, Teaching and Learning, added: “Research projects at the school will start gradually, as we build a vision, a framework and procedures for this new collaboration. Although research schools may be sometimes referred to as laboratory, or lab, schools, which can conjure up images of experimentation, these schools are not about experimenting, but are about exploring best practices and further innovations in education that are based on a bedrock of solid research evidence. Our research school, like others, will strive to always place excellence in student education first and foremost.”

“KPRDSB and Trent University have been partners in education for many years, and we look forward to this new and highly innovative phase in our work together,” said Diane Lloyd, chairperson, KPRDSB.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and teachers to be engaged in innovative learning. Over time, we hope to apply these best practices within classrooms across our school board,” says Dr. Jennifer Leclerc, director of education for KPRDSB, about the collaborative project.

Denise Humphries, the principal of Roger Neilson Public School, adds, “The expertise and resources available to Roger Neilson by way of this partnership are a tremendous boost to the community and to our important work with students.”

To manage the number and range of research projects, Tara Flynn has been appointed as research director on the project. Ms. Flynn has been working as research staff at the School of Education since 2007, and is currently serving as the director of research for the Trent Math Education Research Collaborative.

Teacher education is a key feature of the research school. Through this partnership, Roger Neilson will commit to taking teacher candidates from the Trent School of Education B.Ed. program for teaching placements on a regular basis.

About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

About Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board is a public English language school district in the greater Peterborough region, reaching to the Kawarthas in the north, south to Lake Ontario and running east-west from the edge of the City of Oshawa to the edge of the City of Kawartha Lakes. It has over 70 elementary school and over 15 secondary schools and adult learning centres. With a clear mission to educate students “to excel in learning, to succeed in life and to enrich our communities”, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board offers a dynamic and responsive learning environment, teaching excellence, and respectful practices with a goal of creating pathways for success in life. The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board has had a cooperative research relationship with the Trent University School of Education since 2003, when the Education program at Trent first began.

Kate Gennings, communications and media relations officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6180 or

Sonia Wilson, manager, marketing and outreach, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, 705-742-9773, ext. 2094 or toll-free at 1-877-741-4577 or