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Welcome Back Message 2023

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Welcome Back Message 2023

Dear families,

We hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable summer break. We are excited to welcome students back to class for the 2023-24 school year!

A friendly reminder that Tuesday September 5 is a P.A. Day so the first day of school for grades 1 – 8 students will be Wednesday, September 6. Please see below for the first day of school for kindergarten students. Our school start and end times are 8:35 a.m. – 2:55 p.m. On the first day of school, homeroom teachers will be on the paved area behind the school with signs to greet their students at their designated line up spot that will be painted on the pavement. There will also be school support staff outside to assist families with finding their homeroom teacher. At dismissal, teachers will bring classrooms outside to the parent area.

We invite families to keep up with communications from HWDSB by subscribing to email updates or following HWDSB on social media or visiting our school website.

Please reach out to our school if you have any questions.

Here are some important points to remember as students prepare for the start of the school year:

First Day of School for Kindergarten Students

All children new to kindergarten and/or the school will be invited for a short visit with a parent/caregiver on Wednesday, September 6. We have contacted families to arrange visit times and share details. The first day of school for ALL kindergarten students will be Thursday, September 7.

Staffing Updates

We have some additional staffing updates to share ahead of the first day of school. We would like to welcome the following permanent and Long Term Occasional (LTO) staff that will be starting the school at Helen Detwiler:

  • Class 7A LTO Teacher – N. Lolua
  • Class 45B LTO Teacher & Junior French – M. Danyal
  • Class 23A Teacher – S. Lewis
  • Kindergarten Prep LTO Teacher – R. Bodo
  • Educational Assistant – S. Daggupati

Nutrition Breaks

Our nutrition break times and routines will remain the same this year:

Nutrition Break 1

– 10:15 – 10:35: Junior students go outside, Primary and Intermediate students eat inside

– 10:35 – 10:55: Junior students eat inside Primary and Intermediate students go outside

Nutrition Break 2

– 12:35 – 12:55: Junior students go outside, Primary and Intermediate students eat inside

– 12:55 – 1:15: Junior students eat inside Primary and Intermediate students go outside


If your child qualifies for transportation, please follow the steps listed to access your child(ren)’s information via the online portal. Please keep in mind that last minute changes sometimes do occur and that it is important to re-check the information prior to sending your child(ren) to their assigned pickup location on the first day of school. Go to https://www.hamiltonschoolbus.ca and click on the “Parent’s Portal” on the Home page, OR “Bus Stop Finder” on the landing page. Learn more.

Courtesy Transportation seats may be granted, if there is space on an existing bus run. They are administered through an application process. Requests for courtesy transportation must be submitted to the school, by the parent/guardian each year using the Courtesy Transportation Request Form. Requests are assessed in October, once all eligible students are assigned and operational issues are resolved

Morning Drop-Off and Afterschool Pick-Up Safety Reminders

We must always consider the safety of our children first and be respectful to each other while on school property.  Please remember:

  • No drop off / pick up is to take place in the main Helen Detwiler staff parking lot (closest parking lot to St. Marguerite) unless you have an accessible parking pass.
  • The roundabout area is only for quick drop off / pick up only. There should be NO double parking/dropping off in the Kiss & Ride.  Please ensure that children are only exiting the vehicle when you are stopped at the curb.  DO NOT let children cross into oncoming/moving traffic within the roundabout area.
  • While in the roundabout area, please ensure your children are getting out of the vehicle from the passenger side ONLY.
  • If you are planning on parking at Helen Detwiler, please use the available parking lot that is closest to the field and/or finding a spot on the local side streets.  Please be mindful of all municipal parking by-laws. DO NOT stop or park in front of the school as this is a bus loading zone. The city of Hamilton By-Law officer will be contacted and they will be monitoring traffic during pick up and drop off times.

Thank you for working with the school and the community to keep our students safe!

Responsibility For Personal Electronic Devices

Our school supports access to new and exciting learning opportunities available through the use of digital technology. When bringing a personal device on to HWDSB property, including school busses, or to Board sponsored events, please remember:

  • The secure storage of these devices is the sole responsibility of the owner/user
  • HWDSB does not accept responsibility for lost or stolen personal electronic devices; students bring the devices to school at their own risk

Students will support a positive teaching and learning environment and be responsible when using digital technology and/or personal electronic devices:

  • As learning tools during instructional time, unless authorized to use otherwise by a teacher or principal/vice-principal
  • Outside of instructional time, as well as for health and medical purposes
  • In a way that respects the dignity, rights, and privacy of all students
  • By refraining from inappropriate use, including but not limited to cyberbullying, viewing inappropriate content, and racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or any other oppressive behaviour

Main Entrance Doors

The main entrance doors can become very busy especially during the morning start of the school day. Just a reminder that Front door is for late students and visitors only, please meet your teacher on the back playground each morning for entry

Visitors to School

All visitors must:

  • Enter through the front/main entrance only
  • Make sure to buzz the office before entering, as doors are locked
  • Report to the office and sign in
  • Have a classroom visit pre-arranged with the teacher, school educator or staff, typically outside of instructional time
  • Not enter the hallways or classroom without prior authorization
  • Not allow others to catch the entry door to avoid the risk of students/adults not checking in at the office

Right to Disconnect

Healthy work-life boundaries, including the ability for all employees to disconnect from work after hours, is an important part of maintaining one’s health and well-being. HWDSB has implemented a Right to Disconnect Procedure to support educators, administrators and other HWDSB staff. While all urgent communication will continue to be shared after hours, please note that families communicating with educators and administrators may receive a delay in response to all non-emergency inquiries received after hours.


T. Ro                            S. Laws

Principal                     Vice-Principal

Helen Detwiler School

Updated on Friday, September 01, 2023.
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