Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is proud to be part of the Ontario education system in which students consistently place at or near the top in reading, math and science when compared to other jurisdictions in Canada and worldwide.
In this context, we have made student achievement our first priority. We know that HWDSB has many wonderful achievements worth celebrating as our students excel in scholarship, athletics, the arts and community service. HWDSB must know these students, and respond to them.
We are also aware that we have vulnerable students in our schools: those who are not living at home, those who are caring for a parent, those who are disengaged at schools and all those having difficulty learning. We must also know these students – know what they are experiencing, what they require, and how best we can help.
We take this responsibility extremely seriously, as we strive to become a welcome and inclusive place for all of our students, who bring with them diversity regarding their ethnicity, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender and disability. So we provide a variety of high-quality programs and supports for those who need them.
In the report that follows, visitors will learn more about the Strategic Directions guiding our work, and the priorities that we pursued in 2009-10 and continue to pursue today. We are implementing these directions in many ways and we confidently expect them to have profound effects.
For example, as we implement a kindergarten to Grade 2 early literacy initiative, we know this is important for our students and their families; but also important to our local knowledge-based economy.
We are engaging our students in social justice initiatives such as Hana’s Suitcase, which will train and nurture them as they grow into the citizens of the future. We are developing schools where all students can achieve. Education is an important route that can move students out of poverty and into prosperity.
In all of this work, trustees play an important role as the representatives of the public around the Board table. We are elected because we want to make a difference; and trustees do make a difference as trustees are the only elected officials whose mandate is children.
None of this important work could be completed without our wonderful staff, supportive parents and all our community partners working in areas such as child care, social services, health, nutrition, after school programs and more.
We also work closely with our municipal partner through the Joint City of Hamilton and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Liaison Committee. We are improving communication and collaboration with the City of Hamilton, to align with Hamilton’s goal of ensuring the city is the “Best Place to Raise a Child.”
We are proud of our past work, but we know that much more remains to be achieved. Thank you for joining us in this important work and for helping our students connect with the joy of learning.