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NOW @ HWDSB – Spring 2023

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NOW @ HWDSB – Spring 2023

Image of performance clowns with text: NOW @ HWDSB

Proud to be HWDSB!  

Thank you for reading NOW @ HWDSB, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s official newsletter. Thank you to Glendale Secondary School’s Audition-Based Programs of the Arts students for ”clowning around” in this month’s cover photo from Showcase of heARTS.

In this update, you can click the following images and links to read about:

now at hwdsb
elementary at hwdsb secondary at hwdsb
Details about Strategic Planning 2023 Mental Health Week Events and Resources Education Week at HWDSB
Details about Commencement Kindergarten Orientation Coming to Elementary Schools Focus on Youth Applications

We value effective communication with families. This newsletter is one more way keeping you informed. This communication will be published four times within the school year. What is shared in NOW @ HWDSB is a commitment of HWDSB’s Communication Standards.

Questions or comments? Please email [email protected] 

Message from the Chair and Director @ HWDSB

In a video message, Dawn Danko, Chair of the Board, and Sheryl Robinson Petrazzini, Director of Education, touch on topics shared in the Spring 2023 newsletter.

Engagement @ HWDSB

Strategic Planning 2023
HWDSB Trustees celebrated the start of a new path forward with the announcement of the 2023 multi-year strategic planning process to identify future values, priorities, and goals.

HWDSB communities will be invited to give their input into what students will need to improve their well-being, learning, and overall success in the years ahead. Once the feedback is collected, the Board of Trustees will review the themes and approve a new multi-year strategic plan.

Strategic Planning is goal setting and goal-mapping for a school board. The plan must identify goals that are in line with the board’s vision, and should answer three main questions: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? And what do we need to get there? Click here to learn more.

For more engagement activities, please visit our Engage HWDSB project on Strategic Planning 2023.

Co-Design Workshop
In this engagement phase of “Generate,” HWDSB is currently looking for 20 community members to join a Co-Design Workshop to help shape the Board’s new strategic directions.

The Co-Design Workshop is currently scheduled for May 13, 2023, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., with the location yet to be determined. Please go to HWDSB’s website to learn more and apply.

Student Dress Guidelines
Students have the right to express themselves, including through matters of dress, as it is important to mental health and well-being. HWDSB is currently reviewing Student Dress Guidelines through a process that uses principles of anti-oppression, anti-racism, equity, and inclusion.

If you would like to have your say on Student Dress Guidelines, please click here to take the survey or suggest future guidelines on the Engage HWDSB project.

Prom Project Hamilton
On Saturday, April 29, Prom Project Hamilton takes place at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. This ‘pop-up shop’ style event that gives Hamilton students the opportunity to pick out formal wear for special events, free of charge.

Prom Project Hamilton is still in need of alterations experts, and afternoon appointments are still available for shoppers. Click here to make an appointment and/or register as a volunteer.

Wellness @ HWDSB

Mental Health Week
HWDSB is excited to recognize Mental Health Awareness Week from May 1 to 5. Thank you to the Health Action Teams at schools across HWDSB for organizing Mental Health Week events.

We will be sharing stories from HWDSB Mental Health Reps to encourage open conversations and to end the stigma surrounding mental health and well-being. Students, staff and families can also look forward to a We Help Update – Mental Health Week 2023 for resources including groups, workshops and information sessions.

Staff Wellness Fair
At HWDSB, we care about our staff. We endeavor to demonstrate this daily through the provision of a new employee and family assistance program (EFAP) (Homewood Health) and the Spring Into Wellness Fair on May 4, 2023.

This event will include organizations, initiatives, and businesses within the city working to provide equitable, accessible and inclusive support, as well as those who take a holistic approach to wellness.


Education Week
From May 1-5, HWDSB will celebrate Education Week! Schools will be welcoming families into their buildings for open houses and events. Please check your school’s website for a list of potential Education Week events.

After a few years’ hiatus, the HWDSB Art Exhibit will open to showcase a sample of the vibrant, and beautiful artwork from primary artists that will be showcased. Be sure to visit the Education Centre throughout the month of May to view pieces from HWDSB’s talented artists.

HWDSB is pleased to continue our efforts related to commencements in our schools. Commencement is an inclusive way to celebrate the achievements of all the students of the Class of 2023.

Commencements for secondary schools will take place in early June, with the exact date, time and location to be shared with you by your home school. We look forward to sharing this celebration with you and your family. For more information, please visit our web page.

Continuing Education – Summer 2023 Programs
Continuing Education at HWDSB is pleased to offer a variety of summer programs to help keep students learning this summer!

Whether it is activity-based literacy and math programs, learning another language, taking a summer credit course, getting ready for secondary school, or Adult English Language programs, Continuing Education has something for you and your family. Click here to learn more.

The HWDSB Educational Archives acts as a resource and museum for school memorabilia, artifacts, photographs, documents and other items for Hamilton and Wentworth County schools dating back to the mid 1800s. It is one of the largest repositories of its kind within Canada, and a testament to the dedication of staff, students and members of the public to preserve the history of education in Hamilton and surrounding areas.

Click here to access the HWDSB Educational Archives.

Elementary @ HWDSB  

For the 2022-23 school year, the Primary and Junior EQAO assessments will continue as digital assessments for students who are learning in person. The EQAO administration window is from May 10 to June 14. Specific details will be communicated by schools, and families can contact principals with any questions.

Kindergarten Orientation
In May of each year, HWDSB elementary schools welcome families and children for Kindergarten Orientation. This event is a fantastic opportunity to get a glimpse into September.

At Kindergarten orientation, you will have the chance to connect with schools’ caring teams of educators, visit your child’s classroom, and learn more about what the program has to offer. Please visit school websites in the coming days and weeks for more information on orientation dates.

If you have not yet registered for Kindergarten, please click here. To view online resources ahead of your visit, see the Kindergarten orientation webpage.

School Immunization Clinics
Hamilton Public Health Services will be attending HWDSB elementary schools to provide vaccinations to eligible students for Hepatitis B, Meningococcal-C-ACYW-135, and HPV. This will be the second visit to each of these schools this year, following a visit in the fall.

To find out more information, as well as discover when Hamilton Public Health Services will be at your home school, please visit the Grade 7 and 8 School Clinics page on its website.

Elementary Learning on Human Development and Sexual Health
HWDSB has informed elementary families that learning on Strand D: Growth and Development and Sexual Health will occur between May 1 and June 16 for the 2022-23 school year. See our previous blog post for more information about the April 25 virtual information night and the exemption form process.

Secondary @ HWDSB 

Technological Education
Ontario’s Ministry of Education recently announced that students entering Grade 9 in September 2024 will be required to earn a Grade 9 or 10 technological education credit as they work to obtain their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The technological education curriculum covers a broad range of sectors, including construction, transportation, cosmetology, manufacturing, computer technology, hospitality, and communication.

We will share more details about the technological education graduation requirement as they become available. In the meantime, students and families can learn more about our dynamic programs below, or visit our website to find a full list of secondary school programs.

DELF Examination
The Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF) is an official international diploma awarded by the French Ministry of Education recognizing the language proficiency of candidates for whom French is a second or additional language.

Current HWDSB Students enrolled in a Grade 12 Core French or French Immersion course from September 2022 to June 2023 will be eligible to present for the DELF examination. Dates and times for the examinations are set by France Education and cannot be changed or altered. For more information, please contact your school.

Mohawk College Tour for Students who require Accessibility Accommodations
On May 10, 2023, from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., students who have an individual education plan (IEP) and have accepted an offer of admission to Mohawk College are invited to the Fennell Campus in Hamilton, Ontario. There will be plenty of information available to students regarding support for both inside and outside of the classroom.

Transportation and lunch will be provided for those who attend. Students and families can contact their schools or email [email protected] for more information about this opportunity.

Project SEARCH Information Nights
Project SEARCH is a unique, business-led, one-year, transition-to-work program for young people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

Interested in finding out how youth with disabilities can get involved in Project SEARCH Hamilton? Attend an upcoming information night to discover more about this unique internship program for the 2023-2024 school year! Please join us online for a virtual information night on April 25 or 26 at 7 p.m.

Community Transition Network – Pathways to Transition Event
The Community Transition Network (CTN) is a group that provides the opportunity for community partners in Hamilton to work collectively to support the transition of youth and young adults with disabilities to adult services and living.  

On Tuesday, May 2, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., CTN will host a Pathways to Transition event in collaboration with HWDSB. The event will take place at the Nicholas Mancini Center (44 Hunt Street, Hamilton). Click here to learn more.

Focus on Youth
The application process for Focus on Youth 2023 student employment will open on Monday, May 1, 2023. The program will take place from July 3 until August 25.

Students are asked to submit their resume and cover letter to [email protected] by Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

Important Dates @ HWDSB

  • April 28 – Student Voice Summit
  • April 29 – Prom Project Hamilton
  • May 1 – Education Week / Mental Health Week
  • May 9 – Celebrating Inclusion 360 Forum
  • May 22 – Victoria Day, May 22 (No school)
  • May 28 and 29 – Access Athletics
  • June 2 – PA Day, Friday, June 2 (Elementary)
  • June 20 – Last day of classes (Secondary)
  • June 28 – Last day of classes (Elementary)
  • June 28 – Last day of school
Updated on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.
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