The re-opening of schools as result of the COVID-19 pandemic will mean a lot of change, sometimes multiple changes on the same issue, and this, understandably may become frustrating. HWDSB remains committed to regular, transparent and detailed communication to ensure that all members of the HWDSB community are aware of the steps being taken for a safe and supported return-to-school. Weekly updates to leaders, staff and families commenced on August 10 and will continue along with important information released as it is known (e.g. adjustment to staggered start for students).
Parents, guardians and caregivers have also played an important role in informing plans. A survey was conducted between June 25 and July 1, 2020 with over 10,000 responses. Overall, the survey results suggest that parents, guardians and caregivers are most concerned about the physical and mental well-being of students and are interested in learning more about the added safety measures and supports that will be implemented. Feedback from this survey was key in shaping the models proposed for adaptive delivery (Scenario B).
Schools will be reaching out to their communities during the days ahead with information about school-specific routines.
HWDSB’s Parent Portal has launched and provides parents, guardians and caregivers a single point of access for:
- Daily student screening
- Notifications about illness or other aspects of the screening process
- Whether a student will be choosing not to attend school in-person this fall
- Class schedule
- Parent/Teacher communication
- Microsoft TEAMS
- The Hub digital learning environment
- School Cash Online – to pay for trips, events and more
- General transportation information from the Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services
- Exclusive information from the school
- Safe arrival
HWDSB employee groups have been involved in the return-to-school planning process. This has ranged from providing feedback to participation on committees. Engagement with all employee groups remains a commitment as plans are further developed and implementation begins.