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Committed to Improving Student Learning and Achievement at HWDSB

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Committed to Improving Student Learning and Achievement at HWDSB

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) is launching innovative programming to help reach its targets set in the Student Learning and Achievement priority within its strategic directions.


“At HWDSB, we are focused on our long-term goal of having our students start with us in Kindergarten and proceed all the way through school to graduation,” said Manny Figueiredo, Director of Education.

“Graduation is a process that connects all elements of achievement, like reading and mathematics. Although we use data to represent snapshots in time, we are committed to doing the hard work to continue the trend of having more students graduate from our Board.”

Staff are on target to have at least 82 per cent of students who started with HWDSB in 2012-2013 graduate. This is a one per cent increase representing thirty-plus more students from the year prior. A number of factors can be attributed to this increase, such as blending effective teaching practices with the use of technology.

“We are very pleased to see that the trend of our students graduating, or on track to graduate, continues to rise,” continued Figueiredo.


The target to reach at least 75 per cent of Grade 1 students achieving a B (provincial standard or higher on their report card) was not met by June 2017. Students who continue to struggle in reaching this target has led to more intensive supports for schools and students.

“Beginning this past September, we have deployed 48 reading specialists who work directly with students and staff in Kindergarten and Grade 1 to support reading acquisition and to respond to student learning needs,” said Figueiredo.

This year, each high priority school received a dedicated reading specialist to go along with smaller Kindergarten classrooms.

“Providing intensive support to our high priority schools allows for an increased opportunity to work with students and to learn more about their needs,” continued Figueiredo.


Considering the recent announcement of EQAO data, mathematics remains an area of attention, particularly in the elementary panel. Students continue to struggle to reach this target as achievement results for grades 3 and 6 continued to trail the province in 2016-17; the gap narrowed by grade 9.

Working with the Ministry of Education, HWDSB’s Renewed Math Strategy focuses on two key areas of student learning and staff understanding:

  • Knowing how and when to use mathematical operations; and
  • Understanding numbers and what quantity represents.

“Although we know our staff engage our students in multiple ways to demonstrate their learning, our goal is to allow staff to focus on improvement in two specific areas, where they can implement strategies that will develop and enhance student learning. We believe this approach will translate into higher student outcomes,” said Figueiredo.

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Media Contact:
Shawn McKillop, APR
Manager, Communications and Community Engagement
T: 905.527.5092 x2941 | C: 905.515.6227 | smckillo@hwdsb.on.ca

Updated on Thursday, November 16, 2017.
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