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Back to School

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Text: HWDSB Back to School. Images include books and stationary stacked on the left side.

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is looking forward to welcoming students back to school on Wednesday, September 6, 2023.

Click here to read our Welcome to the 2023-24 School Year message!

Families of kindergarten-aged students or families new to area can register their students to HWDSB on the Parent Portal and completing the Online Registration Form here.

Families who have technical issues and are unable to access the Parent Portal independently can contact their child’s home school directly to complete the registration form.

Please note that elementary school offices are closed for the summer and will reopen on Monday, August 28, 2023. School contact numbers and emails can be found on each school’s website under the “Contact” page.

Not sure where to enroll? Find your Home School here.

All new HWDSB students must register for classes by completing the online application or via email using the paper form. New student registrations will be processed when schools re-open on August 28. For full details about new student registration, visit the How to Register.

Kindergarten Registration

Students who are turning four or five in the current calendar year are eligible for the two-year kindergarten program. Visit the Kindergarten page to learn more about HWDSB’s kindergarten program.  

Students who are returning to their registered schools are not required to register again. Teacher and class assignments will shared by schools after schools re-open on Monday, August 28. 

Students eligible for transportation services can register their child through the Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) Parent Portal starting August 21. Learn more about bus eligibility here. 

Students who have moved to a new catchment area will need to register at their new school with their new address. Visit the Find a School page for more information.

Many HWDSB schools host child care programs for children 12 and under. If you are interested in child care, visit the Child Care page to learn more.  

Secondary schools will soon be posting schedules with bell times to their websites. All schools should have timetables sent electronically to students by Monday, August 28. Parent Portal for secondary will also open on August 28.

Back-to-School can be a challenging time for students, staff and families. Students may be nervous or reluctant to return to school, with caregivers worried about their mental wellness.

Visit our We Help – Back to School page for additional resources on how to support your child’s mental wellness during their return to school.

Here are some tips that can help your child/teen have a positive start to the school year:

  • Be kind to yourself – As parents/caregivers, you’ve likely navigated a lot of stressful and draining situations. Take some time to focus on your own mental health and well-being and recognize that you’re doing the best you can.
  • Watch for signs of anxiety – Your child may tell you that they feel fearful or  overwhelmed, or you might notice things like frequent headaches, trouble sleeping, irritability or emotional outbursts. Your child might seem withdrawn, or overly tired or restless.
  • Talk with your child/teen – Talk about what the return to school might be like for your child and what they can expect. Allow them space to express their concerns and help them remember the parts of school that they look forward to the most. Check in with your child/teen regularly, as these feelings may shift and change.
  • Calm anxious and worried thoughts – When your child seems anxious or worried, support these feelings with validation and empathy. Suggest stress relief techniques like a power nap, mindfulness practices, visualizing positive places or experiences, deep breathing, listening to music or getting organized. Address concrete worries by walking the route to school together or supporting renewed connections with friends.
  • Work towards familiar routines – As summer ends, it may help to gradually move back to a schedule more like the one you use during the school year. This may mean going to bed a bit earlier, getting up earlier or eating at more regular times.

Remember as parents/caregivers you know your child best! Families can learn of more tips and resources during the upcoming sessions listed below.

Session Title Date Time Link to Register/Attend
Separation Anxiety in Kindergarten Webinar August 30 7-8 p.m. hwdsb.info/SeparationAnxiety-Aug30
Emotion Coaching Webinar August 31 6:30-8:30 p.m. hwdsb.info/EC-Aug31
Separation Anxiety in Kindergarten Webinar September 7 12-1 p.m. hwdsb.info/SeparationAnxiety-Sept7

I'm a new student. How do I get my bus information?

Students new to HWDSB who are eligible for transportation must register on the Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Portal. Instructions on how to register are available in this blog post.

Students starting kindergarten this year who do not have an Ontario Education Number (OEN) will receive their bus stop information by mail.

I've just moved to Hamilton. How do I register my children for school at HWDSB?

Families new to HWDSB can register for school online or in-person at their in-catchment school.

For in-person registration, please bring the following documents:

For more information visit our How to Register page here.

Where can I find my child's Ontario Education Number (OEN)?

You can find your child’s OEN on their progress reports.

Where can I get an update on waitlists for before and after school programs and child care?

HWDSB provides space for child care organizations to operate before and after school programs within schools. While the Board partners with these providers, HWDSB is not directly involved in their operations and is unable to speak on behalf of these organizations. Please contact your child care provider directly for an update on wait lists.  

Where can I find my timetable for secondary school?

Timetables are available in the Parent Portal.

If you have specific questions about your timetable, please contact the guidance office at your school.

Updated on Thursday, August 31, 2023.
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