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NOW @ HWDSB – Summer 2024

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NOW @ HWDSB – Summer 2024

now @ hwdsb cover photo for summer 2024 featuring student with backpack


Thank you for reading NOW @ HWDSB, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s official newsletter! In this update, you can click the following images and links to read about:

engagement @ hwdsb tile for newsletter now at hwdsb
elementary at hwdsb secondary at hwdsb
Director of Education
Video Message
2024-25 HWSTS
School Bus Registration
Roots of Empathy
Changes to OSSD
Board Improvement
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].

Message from the Director @ HWDSB

In a video message, Director of Education Sheryl Robinson Petrazzini shares updates with the HWDSB community, including various topics from the summer 2024 newsletter. 

Now @ HWDSB  

2024-25 HWSTS School Bus Registration
For students eligible for transportation according to the distance criteria, the completion of a school bus Opt-In Form is required. An email with links to forms was sent to families of eligible students on Wednesday, June 6. The deadline to complete your registration (opting in OR opting out) is Friday, June 14, 2024. 

Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) requires families to complete the Annual Opt-In Form to register for school bus transportation. One registration form for each student residing at the same home address must be completed. Students starting Junior Kindergarten in the 2024-25 school year will be automatically assigned as they do not have an Ontario Education Number (OEN).

If a student is eligible for transportation, but you do not intend to use the bus, please complete the Opt-Out Form. This form notifies HWSTS of your decision to decline transportation and allows us to optimize the available transportation services. 

If you did not receive this email about school bus registration, but feel you should have, please email [email protected]. If you have any questions about transportation, please contact HWSTS at [email protected].  

Continuing Education – 2024 Summer Programs
As summer inches closer, consider registering for one of HWDSB’s Continuing Education programs before time runs out! With a wide variety of summer programs, students can continue learning throughout the summer. Be sure to act fast, as programs including Reach Ahead credit programs and Summer Non-Credit Skill Builder programs have registrations deadlines of Monday, June 10 at 8 a.m. 

Continuing Education has you covered this summer! From activity-based literacy and math programs, learning another language, taking a summer credit course, preparing for secondary school, or Adult English Language programs, there is something for everyone. Click here to learn more.  

Public Health Vaccines and Immunizations
Hamilton Public Health Services has recently confirmed that screening and suspensions for vaccines will resume during the 2024-25 school year. Over the summer, Public Health staff will be sharing letters with families of students who remain non-compliant and providing them with information of support options available including upcoming community vaccine clinics.  

  • Suspension letters will be sent to students with birth years 2017 to 2019 in December 2024 if they are not in compliance with vaccines.  
  • Suspension letters will be sent to students with birth years 2007 to 2010 in March 2025 if they are not in compliance with vaccines. 

For more information about vaccines and immunizations, click here to visit the City of Hamilton website. 

Reminder About Heat Warnings
Hamilton Public Health Services monitors weather forecasts closely and notifies the media and community partners, like HWDSB, of a heat event. During Heat Warnings and Extended Heat Warnings, principals will monitor indoor temperatures in degrees Celsius with Humidex in all classrooms and learning spaces without cooling as measured by a board provided and installed device in each learning space. Once HWDSB has been notified of a heat event, information will be posted on our website and the following precautionary steps will be taken for students. Click here to learn more about Heat Warnings at HWDSB. 

Elementary @ HWDSB  

P.A. Day – June 7
Friday, June 7, is a Professional Activity Day for elementary schools ONLY. The P.A. Day is focused on student evaluation and final report cards. 

Grade 8 Commencement Events
Commencement events offer school communities the opportunity to celebrate each student’s learning journey, achievement and progression to the next phase of their education or career. Elementary Grade 8 commencements will take place between June 20 to 26, 2024. Families can contact their elementary school office if they are looking for more information about their school’s celebration.  

2024-25 Kindergarten First Days
HWDSB schools are looking forward to welcoming new Kindergarten students and families in September 2024! Here is an overview of how the first days will look:  

Tuesday September 3, 2024  Wednesday September 4, 2024
  • All children new to Kindergarten and/or the school and a caregiver are invited in for a short visit. 
  • All children new to Kindergarten begin full day attendance. 
  • All children entering year 2 of Kindergarten begin full day attendance. 

Families will receive additional information from their school closer to the start of the school year. For more information about Kindergarten, click here to visit the Kindergarten page on the HWDSB website.  

Roots of Empathy Recruitment
Roots of Empathy is a program for elementary school children that is currently searching for Family and Instructor volunteers. The program’s aim is to increase empathy – the ability to understand how another person feels. Children learn to care for and respect each other, and there is less bullying and aggression. 

Are you a proud parent with a new baby? Will your baby be between two and four months old in October? If so, you and your baby could be a Roots of Empathy Family! The Roots of Empathy Instructor role is ideal for retired educators or existing school volunteers looking for a new opportunity. All candidates are encouraged to apply, however, experience with children is an asset.  

Click here to see our previous post for more information about both opportunities, or contact Lisa Kiriakopoulos at [email protected] to get involved.  

Secondary @ HWDSB  

Changes to OSSD Requirements
The Ontario government is updating the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) requirements and launching consultations with parents, job creators and educators on what skills students need to be better prepared for life beyond the classroom. Click here to read a letter to families from Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education at the time of the announcement. Families can also find a summary of the updates coming in the 2024-25 school year below, which include: 

  • A new financial literacy graduation requirement to ensure students exit Ontario’s school system with both literacy and practical financial literacy skills. 
  • Consulting on important life skills and the return of home economics education. 
  • Ensuring new teachers hold basic competency in math. Teacher applicants to the Ontario College of Teachers must pass the Math Proficiency Test beginning in February 2025. 
  • For the first time in 13 years, a wholesale revitalization of guidance and career education to support students’ understanding of local labour market needs and pathways to good careers. 
  • Up to $14 million in 2024-25 to launch career coaching for Grade 9 and 10 students and to explore new opportunities into STEM and skilled trades. 
  • Return of the student exit survey to benchmark success and garner feedback on the impact of reforms with an emphasis on guidance.

Grade 12 Commencement Events
Commencement events offer school communities the opportunity to celebrate each student’s learning journey, achievement and progression to the next phase of their education or career. Secondary Grade 12 commencements will take place between June 25 to 27, 2024. Families can contact their secondary school office if they are looking for more information about their school’s celebration. 

Hamilton Public Library Opportunities for Secondary Students
Calling all teens! Hamilton Public Library is hosting some fantastic opportunities to get involved within the community. Activities and programs include Free Stratford Festival Workshops, Power of the Pen Contest 2024 and more. Click here to read the full post.  

Engage @ HWDSB

Engage HWDSB
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 HWDSB. 

Board Improvement Check-In
We launched our new Multi-Year Strategic Plan and Board Improvement Plan in January 2024. Since then, we have been implementing strategies to meet our Pillars and achieve our Mission. We know it has been just four months, but we want to check in with you at the end of every school year and at the start of the next one. We feel it is important to describe our progress and direction as well as provide an opportunity to hear your thoughts on how we are doing. Click here to share your thoughts on Engage HWDSB. 

Engagement Policy Consultation
At HWDSB, we recognize the importance of fostering meaningful connections with our community and believe that strong public engagement is essential for achieving our Mission. Our Engagement Policy is committed to promoting an environment of openness and respect in all our interactions to ensure that our engagements are enriching, inclusive and uplifting for all involved. We would love to hear from you! Click here to participate in the Engagement Policy Consultation on Engage HWDSB. 

Trustee Newsletters – Spring 2024
On Friday, May 2024, families received an email from their respective Ward Trustee. In these spring 2024 newsletters, HWDSB Trustees shared Board and community happenings through their message updates. Families could also find a list of important upcoming dates at HWDSB and summer programming happening throughout local communities. To read your Trustee Newsletter online, you can find the link on the “Our Trustee” webpage on your school website.  

Important Dates @ HWDSB

Friday, June 7 – P.A Day (elementary schools)
Wednesday, June 19 – Last Day of Semester (secondary schools)
Thursday, June 20 – Exams Begin (secondary schools)
Friday, June 21 – National Indigenous Peoples Day
Sunday, June 23 – National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism
Thursday, June 27 – Last Day of School (elementary schools)
Thursday, June 27 – P.A Day (secondary schools)
Friday, June 28 – P.A Day (elementary and secondary schools)

The first day of school for the 2024-25 school year is Tuesday, September 3. 

Click here to visit the 2024-25 School Year Calendar webpage. 

Updated on Friday, June 07, 2024.
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