April 8, 2020
Dear Families, Community Members and Partners,
On March 13, the Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Review Panel posted an open letter to HWDSB families, communities and partners regarding the postponement of the public panel sessions. This was in response to closures of all publicly funded schools in Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The postponed sessions will delay the Safe Schools Panel’s process and final report however, we have remained committed to this work. The panel and HWDSB have met to revisit the remaining panel sessions, schedule of the report and the panel’s open online survey to ensure the research for the report is thorough and will be submitted in as timely a manner as this unprecedented situation allows.
We can confirm that the remaining public panel sessions will be completed in the fall, with locations and dates determined at a later date, once closures have ended. These sessions include:
- Racialized Community Session
- General Session at Waterdown District High School
There will also be additional panel-only sessions for the following groups:
- Advisory Chairs
- HWPC/PASS leaders
- All staff
- Union Leaders
- Student Senate
The Safe Schools Panel will provide the Consultation Interim Report to HWDSB on May 25, as scheduled, which will detail themes that have emerged to date. The final report will also be discussed at this time to determine the new submission date.
Due to the developing situation of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the panel’s open online survey, which was originally scheduled for April, to now take place in the fall. This is to ensure the survey has a high engagement rate and is reflective of all communities to allow the panel to make the most appropriate recommendations.
The Safe Schools Panel would like to thank each person who has participated. We have received a lot of information and the panel is working hard to create recommendations based on your experiences.
Thank you for your continued support and we will keep you all updated on our progress.
The Safe Schools Review Panel