At HWDSB, we are committed to creating the most effective, innovative learning environments so that every one of our students will reach their full potential in schools and beyond as they prepare for the 21st century.
We undertook accommodation reviews to help make this a reality. The reviews were one way HWDSB could maximize limited resources, by reducing the space we don’t need and upgrading the facilities that remain. Ultimately, this will result in better learning environments for students. We want our students to have quality spaces that support student achievement.
Concentrating our finite resources to create the best learning environments is an effort that goes hand-in-hand with our efforts to provide the best, most engaging programs that prepare them for success.
In reviews of 15 secondary schools, we had an expanded dialogue with our community about the challenges and opportunities our students face. HWDSB has approximately 2,600 extra spaces in our secondary schools, a number expected to reach nearly 6,000 extra places by 2020; this has led to discussion about closing some facilities.
These reviews have been about much more than space, however. We know today’s learners require new approaches, and that we must respond with engaging programs and safe, nurturing and innovative learning environments.
This is why the public dialogue also highlighted the HWDSB Program Strategy we envision for our schools. It is through this Program Strategy that we hope to provide programming that reflects our Board’s strategic priorities of achievement, engagement, and equity.
We are restructuring what we offer, where we offer it and how we can help all students achieve their full potential. We envision a school system in which all students can find what they need at any of our schools. This is about providing a pathway to success for every single one of our students.
In real terms, the Program Strategy will ensure equity of access, opportunity and outcome as each student attends a school with programs that lead to their success. Every school will provide all postsecondary pathways: college, community, university and workplace, and each school will host specialized programs based on a Board-wide view of how best to serve our students.
Our Program Strategy:
- Ensures Academic Excellence so all students achieve their full potential.
- Provides Equity of Access, Opportunity and Outcome (every student in HWDSB is able to attend the school that provides the programs that facilitate their success)
- Provides all pathways (university, college, workplace and community) in every school.
- Offers specialized programs in each school based on a Board-wide view of how to best serve our students.
- Engages every student by honouring student voice and student choice with a wide range of program options to meet the interests and needs of each student.
- Supports effective and seamless transition for each student.
- Promises that all students benefit from effective instruction, and appropriate intervention leading to graduation for every student.
- Creates effective learning environments that are equitable, inclusive, and diverse, bringing together students with different strengths, needs and backgrounds.
These guiding principles will assist administration to implement the program strategy over the next few years. Many of our programs will be offered in all three clusters, while some may only be offered in two clusters or as one system program. Program viability is dependent upon student interest; therefore program placement will be reviewed regularly.
By concentrating our limited resources, placing programs in an equitable and accessible way, and focusing on student voice and student choice, we will create a more responsive system in which students find the programs they need, where transitions are smooth, and where effective instruction and appropriate intervention will lead to graduation for each student.
Our Strategic Directions in HWDSB focus our efforts for our students and communicate the importance of achievement, engagement, and equity. Further, we believe that by knowing our students, their interests, strengths and needs, we can provide engaging programs in effective learning environments leading to improved student achievement.
Please refer to the report below as per the Board approved Terms of Reference and the Accommodation Review Policy
- South Staff Report Presentation (Committee of the Whole Feb 13 2012)
- South Staff Report (COW Feb 13 2012)