Public consultation is an important part of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s commitment to accountability. HWDSB relies on feedback given to them by parents, staff, students and the broader community so they can make well-informed decisions that result in positive outcomes for students.
A variety of communication vehicles were used to reach out to stakeholders inviting them to participate in the program strategy consultation, including letters, newspaper ads, media releases and social media tools. Childcare was provided at all community meetings and the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion took a lead role in reaching out to diverse communities regarding the consultation.
Several methods were provided to gather feedback on the program strategy. Consultation sessions were held at 13 secondary schools and two elementary schools from April 30 to May 28, 2013. Feedback was also gathered through an online survey and by correspondence sent to the Evidence-Based Education and Service Team (E-Best), Trustees, Superintendents or to the Director of Education. Students could also provide feedback by participating in an online blog. Presentations were also made to HWDSB school-based staff in each of the 18 secondary schools.
Program strategy consultation materials and letters were translated in 15 languages and interpreters were available at every consultation session.
Each of the 13 secondary school consultations were completed in a similar manner. A group presentation was performed by a Superintendent of Student Achievement (SOSA), a representative from E-BEST, and a representative from Accommodation and Planning. The main focus of the consultation was the facilitated group discussions, which were centered on four questions. These four questions asked the public to comment on HWDSB’s program strategy vision, Tier 3 program placements, school boundaries and proposed enhancements to transportation services.
Over 450 individuals attended the Program Strategy Consultation sessions, 244 responses were received on the online survey, 63 letters were received, and students submitted 1416 responses on the student blog. These data were combined and analyzed by members of E-Best using NVivo QSR International PTY LimitedTM software to theme and merge the data. A high level summary of the most common themes can be found attached in the June 10 Executive Report to Standing Committee.
Program Strategy Presentations
- New North
- New South
- Orchard Park
- Sir Allen MacNab
- Sir Winston Churchill