NOW @ HWDSB – Fall 2023
Proud to be HWDSB!
Thank you for reading NOW @ HWDSB, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s official newsletter! We also want to thank 2023-24 Student Trustees Thomas Lin and Harry Wang for the featured cover photo.
In this update, you can click the following images and links to read about:
|2023-28 Strategic Directions||Tips for Respiratory Illness Prevention||Grade 7 & 8 Information Nights|
|French Immersion and Focus Programs||Engage@HWDSB||Important Dates|
We value effective communication with families. This newsletter is one more way keeping you informed. Families can also stay connected for the school year by subscribing to your child’s school website or the board website or following HWDSB on social media.
Questions or comments? Please email [email protected].
In a video message, Director of Education Sheryl Robinson Petrazzini shares updates with the HWDSB community, including various topics from the fall 2023 newsletter.
2023-2028 Multi-Year Strategic Plan
HWDSB is excited to share that at the October 2 Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the Multi-Year Strategic Plan for 2023-2028! Together, we charted a revitalized 5-year course for HWDSB with a powerful Mission: To ensure that every student experiences a sense of belonging and engages in dynamic learning to reach their potential and build their own future. Click here to explore the 2023-2028 Strategic Directions.
Thank you to the HWDSB students, staff and community members who shared their input. Your feedback helps us ensure all students feel safe, welcome and included at school. Planning a path forward will reinforce that we are proud to be HWDSB!
I-Think Challenge Kits
To engage students with the new Vision, Mission and Values of the new Multi-Year Strategic Plan, education charity I-Think is working with a designated team at schools across HWDSB engage student voice on the question, “How might your school create a sense of belonging for all students in the progression from elementary school to high school?”
Throughout November, students will work together to develop ideas on how to foster belonging and will present their ideas to their school communities. Students’ recommendations will then be used to inform actions for HWDSB once the plan launches in January 2024.
Continuing Education – 2023 Programs Brochure
Continuing Education kicked off the 2023-24 school year by sharing its latest Programs Brochure! It offers wide variety of programs to help adult learners, as well as elementary and secondary students, achieve their goals. Improve your skills, graduate high school, prepare for future work or education, or learn a language – Continuing Education has a program for you! Click here to learn more.
Winter is coming! During severe weather, the difficult decision to remain open or to close is always made with the safety and security of our students and staff in mind. Click here for more information on severe weather, cancellations and snow clearing.
P.A. Day – November 17
Friday, November 17, 2023 is a Professional Activity (P.A.) Day. All HWDSB elementary and secondary schools will be closed for students.
Wellness @ HWDSB
We Help Update – Fall 2023
Last month, HWDSB marked World Mental Health Day with a new We Help Update for fall 2023. Students and families can explore the tabs below to find mental health resources, supports and events. Special events this month include two Families Worrying Less Together information sessions and an Emotion Coaching webinar. There is also information about the HWDSB Helps Poster Contest that is open for entries from HWDSB students!
Protect Yourself and Each Other from Respiratory Illness
The respiratory infection season is upon us with a combination of concerns including influenza, COVID-19, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) transmitting in the community. During this time, we are sharing information reflective of the most recent public health guidance to help protect each other, yourself and students. Although masks are not required, HWDSB remains a welcoming and inclusive environment where individuals can choose to wear or not to wear a mask. Click here to learn more.
Vaping Prevention Information Night
Families interested in learning more about vaping prevention were invited to join Hamilton Public Health Services (HPHS) experts at Vaping: The Unfiltered Facts. At this virtual information session for parents, guardians and caregivers, attendees learned about local data, health risks and strategies for talking to your child about vaping. Guest youth panelists also shared experiences and insight. For those who could not make it, we have posted a full recording of the session on our website. Click here to watch the video.
Grade 7 & 8 Information Nights
Grade 7 and 8 students and families are invited to visit their future secondary schools and learn more about HWDSB programs at upcoming Grade 7 & 8 Information Nights! This important event series is a combination of school and system-based sessions. School sessions listed below take place at secondary schools, and will focus on programming and activities at the specific locations. Details about information nights for specialty programs are also included below.
Click the drop-down to find a full list of school and system dates. Students and families can also learn more about life in secondary school by watching the recording of last week’s Getting Ready for High School Virtual Information Session.
Click here to view all Grade 7 & 8 Information Nights
List of School-Based Sessions
List of System-Based Sessions
|French Immersion (Sherwood and Westdale)||Tuesday, November 29, 2022||6 – 7 p.m.||Sherwood and Westdale secondary schools||75 Palmer Road, Hamilton, Ontario L8T3G1 (Sherwood)|
|Audition-Based Arts Program (Glendale)||Wednesday, November 29, 2023||6 – 8 p.m.||Glendale Secondary School||145 Rainbow Drive, Hamilton, Ontario L8K4G1|
|Self-Paced/Self-Directed Programming (Westmount)||Thursday, November 30, 2023||6 – 8 p.m.||Westmount Secondary School||39 Montcalm Drive, Hamilton, Ontario L9C4B1|
|ArtSMART (MacNab)||Tuesday, December 5, 2023||6 – 7 p.m.||Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School||145 Magnolia Drive, Hamilton, Ontario L9C5P4|
Elementary French Immersion 2024-25 Application Process
The French Immersion program at HWDSB is specifically designed for parents who do not speak French, but want their children to speak both official languages. French Immersion is a great way of acquiring excellent language skills in French. The program is open to HWDSB students starting in Grade 1. To be eligible for 2024-25 entry, your child must have been born in 2018. The deadline to apply is December 1. Click here to learn more.
Elementary Focus Programs 2024-25 Application Process
The Elementary Focus Programs (Hockey Program at Tapleytown, Mandarin Transitional Language Program/中英文过渡项目 at Cootes Paradise, Scholastic Arts and Global Education [SAGE] Program at Strathcona, Scholastic Arts and Global Education Quest [SAGE Quest] at Kanétskare and the Sports Academy [Basketball and High Potential] Programs at R.A. Riddell) are now accepting applications for the 2024-25 school year. The deadline to apply is December 1. Students currently learning in these programs do not need to reapply. Click here to learn more.
OYAP Level 1 Apprenticeship Information Night – November 14
HWDSB co-op programs are now accepting applications to the Accelerated Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) Level 1 Apprenticeship Electrician, Plumber, General Carpenter, Automotive Service Technician, Truck and Coach Technician and Welder training programs. Students and families can visit the Mohawk College Stoney Creek Campus on November 14 at 6 p.m. to meet the OYAP recruiter and learn more about the program. Click here to view the flyer.
Climate Day of Action – November 16
On October 26, students and staff from all 13 HWDSB secondary schools gathered at the Education Centre for the 2023 Eco Summit. The event allowed students to begin planning action items to deal with the climate emergency, with the first being the Climate Day of Action on Thursday, November 16.
On this Climate Day of Action, secondary schools will host student-led activities and programming during school lunch hours to help increase student awareness of the climate emergency. Students can check in with their home secondary school to learn about their school’s Climate Day of Action event.
2024-25 International Baccalaureate Application Process
International Baccalaureate (IB) is a Grade 11 and 12 university preparation program recognized in over 140 countries, including universities in Ontario and Canada. Students study up to six challenging subjects that instill a global perspective with cross-cultural understanding. Before applications open for the 2024-25 school year, interested students and families are invited to the HWDSB Education Centre for an IB Information Night on December 6 at 6 p.m. Click here to learn more about the 2024-25 IB Application Process.
Engage HWDSB is an online space where students, families, staff and communities can learn more about work at HWDSB, share their voice, and follow processes as they happen. Visit www.engagehwdsb.ca/ to share your feedback on projects, policy consultations and initiatives at our Board. Check out these current projects for school communities and have your say:
- Flamborough Centre and Mary Hopkins Accommodation Strategy
- Gatestone and Shannon Koostachin Boundary Review
Fundraising Policy Review
The Fundraising Policy Review is another current feedback opportunity on Engage HWDSB. HWDSB’s policies are reviewed every few years, and when we want to make changes to a policy, we bring it back to the community for input. Share your thoughts on a policy that directs fundraising activities within the Board. The deadline for feedback is November 22, 2023. Click here to learn more.
November 8 – Indigenous Veterans Day
November 9 to 30 – Grade 7 & 8 Information Nights (School Sessions)
November 11 – Remembrance Day
November 16 – Educational Assistant Appreciation Day
November 16 – Climate Day of Action
November 17 – P.A. Day (All HWDSB Elementary and Secondary Schools)
November 19 – Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week
November 20 – Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 23 – Emotion Coaching Webinar for Caregivers
November 28 to December 6 – Grade 7 & 8 Information Nights (System Sessions)