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Viola Desmond Elementary School Update

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Viola Desmond Elementary School Update

Viola Desmond Elementary School Update

Wednesday, May 19, 2021  

Dear Glen Echo Families,  

We are pleased to update families on the new Viola Desmond Elementary School that is scheduled to open to students and staff in September 2021. 

About the School   

As part of the East Hamilton City Accommodation Review, the Board of Trustees approved the closure of Glen Echo, Glen Brae, Sir Isaac Brock, and Elizabeth Bagshaw elementary schools. On June 19, 2017, the Ministry of Education announced funding for a new $15.5 million, 682 pupil Kindergarten to Grade 8 school. The new K-8 school at the Glen site will accommodate all the students from Glen Echo, Glen Brae, and Sir Isaac Brock, as well as some students from Elizabeth Bagshaw (Zone 4) and Sir Wilfrid Laurier (Zone 3).  

New Name – Viola Desmond Elementary School  

Recently, the Board of Trustees approved the new name of the school based on the input from the Naming Advisory Committee. You can read about the story of Viola Desmond in an article published by the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Once staff and students are together, we will engage the school community in the development of a logo and school colours.  

Transition Supports  

A change like this can be exciting and stressful for students and their families. To support a smooth transition, staff are planning a variety of opportunities for students to build relationships with staff and students from other schools, get familiar with the facilities, honour the closing of their current school, and celebrate the formation of a new school community. 

Bell Times   

Beginning in September 2021, the school will start at 8:45am and end at 3:05pm.   


Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) is starting their annual planning process, which includes finalizing eligibility lists and confirming all boundary changes. In mid-August, eligible families can expect a School Messenger notification and information posted on the HWSTS website about their transportation information.   

Some families may experience a change in bus rider eligibility. According to the HWDSB Transportation Policy 3.10, students will be eligible for transportation services to their in-catchment school when the walking distance exceeds the 1.2km for Kindergarten students and 1.6km for grades 1-8 students.   

School Closing Ceremony  

Virtual school closing slide presentations for Glen Echo, Glen Brae, Sir Isaac Brock and Elizabeth Bagshaw will be showcased for families in these school communities at the end of June. Dates when these presentations will be available will be communicated in the coming weeks.  

Boundary Maps 

The attached map provides a general overview of the changes to the boundaries. 

Future Updates  

Stay connected with updates on the new Viola Desmond Elementary School website. Our website is now available at www.hwdsb.on.ca/violadesmond. We will continue to build our website with information as we build our new school community.  

Parent Portal  

Parents/guardians will keep their active account for each child in their family. The account will move to the new school before the start of the school year. New families can contact the school to be set up for their Parent Portal account. 


We are pleased to announce that Tina Morabito is the principal of Viola Desmond Elementary School effective September 1, 2021. Ms. Morabito is currently principal at Sir Isaac Brock Elementary School and we are grateful for her leadership as we move through the transition of school closure to opening.  


Administration and staff from the different schools will work together, along with families, to support student learning and well-being. For more detailed information or questions about the upcoming transition, please contact your current principal. 

  • Glen Brae Elementary School: Ms. Sandra Constable, 905-560-6732, glenbrae@hwdsb.on.ca   
  • Glen Echo Elementary School: Mr. Mark Tadeson, 905-560-6630, glenecho@hwdsb.on.ca  
  • Elizabeth Bagshaw Elementary School: Ms. Corbin-Harper, 905-561-9520, elizabethbagshaw@hwdsb.on.ca 
  • Sir Isaac Brock Elementary School: Ms. Tina Morabito, 905-561-0814, sirisaacbrock@hwdsb.on.ca   
  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier Elementary School: Mr. Greg Moore, 905-578-4422,  sirwilfridlaurier@hwdsb.on.ca  


Estella Jones 

Superintendent of Student Achievement

Updated on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
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