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Secondary Student Success Updates

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Update for January 20, 2021

Dear secondary school families,

Please see the following updates on learning for secondary schools at HWDSB.

Student Success Days

To support student achievement and well-being, students struggling to earn their credit will have an opportunity to use the days, previously scheduled as exams days, at the end of Semester 1 as Student Success Days (January 25- 28, 2021). Keeping students on track to earn credits and progress to graduation is a priority.

By the end of the day Friday, January 22, teachers will connect with students who would benefit from the additional supports provided on the Student Success Days. Attendance for students who have already earned the credit is not required.

All students may submit outstanding assignments up until noon, Thursday, January 28. Student Services staff will be available for appointments for students (timetable adjustments, etc.) daily during the Student Success Days.

Educators will not introduce new learning activities on the Student Success Days.

Semester 2 Timetable

Semester 2 begins on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Due to the current direction from the Ministry of Education, schools in Hamilton remain in remote learning mode up to at least February 10.

Secondary schools will start Semester 2 with all classes delivered remotely in 75-minute periods with regular lunch breaks.

When we receive direction to resume partial in-person instruction (adaptive mode), HWDSB secondary schools will again move to a rotational model, the same as schools used in Semester 1.

Educators will help students navigate these schedule changes. Please also see the Semester 2 calendar and rotation on the HWDSB website at hwdsb.info/sem2adaptive

If the Ministry extends remote learning for Hamilton beyond February 10, we will adjust timetables and communicate to all students and families.

Thank you for helping to support student learning at HWDSB.

Update for January 11, 2021

Learning at HWDSB

Secondary Student Success Update (December 2020)

Secondary schools continue to support student learning through an adaptive delivery mode. The alternate day rotational model includes the combination of in-person at-school instruction and remote learning. At this stage in the school year, an update is shared.

Learn more about key dates of the Semester One, Secondary School Year Calendar dates, here.

Semester One Mid-Term Marks

Students have entered the final quarter of the semester as of December 11. Semester One mid-term marks indicate that students are not having the same success at this time of year. Strategies are in place to support students in earning their credits.

Exam Cancellation and Student Success Days

In the interests of student achievement and well-being, HWDSB has cancelled examinations for the 2020-21 school year. The five days at the end of the Semester One, January 25- 29, 2021, previously devoted to final exams, have become Student Success Days to provide dedicated time for Credit Rescue.

Credit Rescue is a strategy that allows students to focus on demonstrating the learning need to earn the credit. Credit Rescue activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Submitting tasks/assignments not currently complete;
  • Performing tasks to demonstrate achievement;
  • Submitting a portfolio of tasks improved based on the feedback provided earlier in the semester;
  • Re-taking an assessment or assessments (e.g. test) that were below 50%.

During Student Success Days, no new learning activities will occur during the week. All students are welcome to participate.

Classroom Interventions

Classroom teachers will play a key role in supporting students to be successful. Teachers may adjust the tasks and evaluations that students need to complete to demonstrate their understanding of the overall expectations of the course.

Teachers will use their professional judgement to assess and evaluate their students’ demonstration of the curriculum expectations, and may weigh the value of some evaluations over others.

Classroom teachers will be in contact with parents whose student  need to complete credit rescue activities during student success week. Mid-term marks are available in the Parent Portal.

Strategies to Maximize Student Achievement

Secondary teachers spent time during a recent Professional Activity Day looking to maximize student achievement. Some schools spent the time analyzing student mid-term mark data and developing student success plans for the rest of the semester.

Actions coming out of this work include teachers focusing their teaching on the “big ideas” of the curriculum and reducing the number of activities and tasks needed to complete the curriculum’s requirements. Other staff focused on Assessment and Evaluation strategies and what the final 30 per cent of each course would look like with the cancellation of a formal exam week.

Changes in teaching practice, based on teachers’ experiences this fall, is also being reviewed to further engage and support students when they are learning from home.

Student Success Interventions

Each secondary school has a Student Success teacher (SST) dedicated to supporting students with their well-being and academic needs. This teacher works closely with the school principal and vice-principal, as well as the Student Services department heads, to support students. During the last quarter of each semester, student success teachers will work with their colleagues to create individualized plans for students. Depending on the needs of the student, these plans may include:

  • Holding “Check-in” appointments to monitor progress and coach students to success
  • Contacting students and their parents/caregivers to discuss well-being, attendance and academic progress
  • Collaborating with classroom teachers in creating credit rescue plans
  • Re-timetabling to adjust a student’s course load and focus on classes where the student can earn the credit
  • Enrolling students in part-time studies or system programs
  • Contacting the Early Leaver Re-engagement Specialist to connect with students who have completely disengaged with school
  • Accessing community well-being, medical, or academic supports
  • Beginning to plan for the next semester by adjusting timetables

Parent Involvement

Parents, guardians and caregivers will be notified about what is being done to support their child as part of Student Success planning, especially if a student’s course or timetable is being adjusted or a credit is at risk.

Questions or concerns can be directed to your child’s teacher or Guidance Counsellor.

Updated on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.
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