Hispanic Heritage Month

October is the designated Hispanic Heritage Month in Ontario.

The Hispanic community is one of the fastest growing communities in the province, with Ontario being home to more than 400,000 first-second and third-generation Canadians of Hispanic origin. At the Halton Catholic District School Board, our largest newcomer population is Hispanic!

Each year, during the month of October, peoples of Hispanic origin come together and pay tribute to their shared culture. Celebrations are held around the world, such as Hispanic Day, the Day of the Cultures, and the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity.

This month, HCDSB recognizes the dynamic community that has made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of the Province of Ontario. Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the outstanding achievements and contributions of Hispanic people in our province, and around the world.

See how we are virtually celebrating our Hispanic community by visiting the Board website.

Gligoric, JulianaHispanic Heritage Month
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HCDSB Celebrates Islamic History Month

In 2007, the Parliament of Canada proclaimed October as Canadian Islamic History Month in recognition of the significant contributions the Muslim community has made to Canadian society.

Muslim-Canadians contribute to the prosperity and heritage of our country through their outstanding achievements in many fields, including literature, mathematics, science, sports and the arts.

Islamic History Month gives Canadians the opportunity to reflect on and learn more about the history of Islam in Canada and the cultural diversity of Canada’s Muslim community.

Throughout October, we invite you to learn more about the fascinating heritage of Canada’s Muslim citizens. Together, let’s celebrate the people that make our communities so unique! Happy Canadian Islamic History Month! 

For a list of Islamic History Month activities to do at-home, please visit our Board website.

Gligoric, JulianaHCDSB Celebrates Islamic History Month
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HCDSB Marks Rowan’s Law Day

On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, the Halton Catholic District School Board will be marking Rowan’s Law Day to raise awareness about concussions.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head, face, neck, or body that can cause a sudden jarring of the head. Even what seems to be a mild bump to the head can be serious.

Research indicates that a concussion can affect a student’s school performance in both cognitive activities (school work) and physical activities (physical education program/interschool activities). Research also indicates that engaging in cognitive and/or physical activities, while a child has a suspected and/or diagnosed concussion, can worsen concussion symptoms and delay the student’s recovery.

What is Rowan’s Law Day?

In May 2013, 17-year-old Rowan Stringer died as the result of head injuries sustained in a game of rugby. In March 2018, the Ontario government passed Rowan’s Law, designed to protect athletes and to educate about the dangers of head injuries.

The health and safety of our students is our priority, and on September 30th, we hope to increase awareness about the dangers of concussions. Together, we can help our students prevent, recognize and respond to concussions.

For more information on our concussion protocol, visit our Board’s website.

Gligoric, JulianaHCDSB Marks Rowan’s Law Day
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Start of School for Secondary Students

The first day of instruction for students was originally planned for Tuesday, September 8, 2020. We are now delaying the start of school for secondary students by one day, with the first day of instruction now taking place on Wednesday, September 9, 2020.    

Why Are We Delaying the Start of School for Secondary Students?   

Delaying the first day of school by one day will allow staff to rehearse the new health and safety protocols, and adapt their practices to ensure an organized transition for students. It will also facilitate the set-up of the learning management systems and resources for remote learning. 

Secondary schools will start instruction on Wednesday, September 9th in their Week 1 schedule, with all grades (9-12) beginning in Period 1, with Cohort A at school.   

View the Sample September Schedule for ALL Secondary Students HERE.

Special Education 

Students in the self-contained Life Skills classes in our secondary schools will begin in-class instruction at school on Tuesday, September 8 and attend school daily thereafter.

Adapted Instruction in Our Secondary Schools

For more information about the Secondary Schools Adapted Delivery Model, visit our Return to School website.

Updates and Additional Information 

We will continue to share information and updates with parents directly via email, as well as post updates on our Return to School Plan website and through our social media channels: 

We will also keep updating the FAQs on our website for more information about the return to school.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support. 

Gligoric, JulianaStart of School for Secondary Students
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Return to School Plan & Survey Now OPEN

The Return to School Plan is now available for review on HCDSB’s Return to School website: http://bit.ly/HCDSB-ReturntoSchool. Please note that information and updates will continue to be added to this website as they become available. 

You may also find it helpful to review the FAQs on our website for more information about the return to school.

‘Intent to Return to School’ SECONDARY Survey

To help us plan for September, we are asking families to decide whether their children will attend in-class instruction at school or participate via remote learning

Important notes before you begin the survey: 

  • You are asked to submit a separate survey response for each child
  • You will need to provide your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) in order to submit a response to the survey. The OEN number can be found on a recent report card.  
  • There are two (2) separate surveys – one for elementary students; and one for secondary students. If you also have one or more children enrolled in an HCDSB elementary school, you will have received a separate email with the link to the Intent to Return to School ELEMENTARY Survey.  
  • We encourage you to review the Return to School Plan BEFORE you complete the survey so that you have a good understanding of the options available for your son or daughter. 

Respond to the Intent to Return to School SECONDARY Surveyhttp://bit.ly/Intent-to-Return-to-School-SEC

This survey will remain open for responses until 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support.

Gligoric, JulianaReturn to School Plan & Survey Now OPEN
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Ministry of Education Releases Guide for Safe Reopening of Schools in September

On Thursday, July 30, 2020, the Minister of Education announced that all HCDSB secondary schools will open in an adapted model with enhanced health and safety protocols in September, 2020.  

This means students will return to school in class cohorts of approximately 15 students, on alternating schedules. 

Multiple strategies will be employed to ensure our schools are healthy and safe for students and staff, including:

  • Self screening 
  • Adapted school environments 
  • Hand hygiene 
  • Masking
    • Students in Grade 9 to 12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school. 
    • Medical masks will be provided for teachers and all other school staff. 
    • Reasonable exceptions to the requirement will be put in place. 
  • Cohorting 
  • Distancing 
  • Limiting visitors in schools

More information is available in the Ministry of Education’s Guide to reopening Ontario’s schools.

Option of Remote Learning

Parents and guardians will make decisions regarding in-person attendance for their children and will have the option of remote learning if they do not wish to send their child(ren) back to school in September. In August, we will be sending out an Intent to Return to School survey to all parents and guardians. 

Our Goals As We Prepare to Transition Back to School

  • Ensuring protocols are in place so that students and staff are healthy and safe. 
  • Providing an enhanced online/remote learning experience for students who continue to learn from home.  
  • Assessing student learning gaps and developing plans to provide appropriate intervention, where needed. 
  • Maintaining a focus on mental health supports for students and staff returning to school and those who will  continue to learn and work from home.

More Information

In August, families and staff will be receiving additional details about the return to school plan.

For answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) and updates, please visit HCDSB’s Return to School website.

Gligoric, JulianaMinistry of Education Releases Guide for Safe Reopening of Schools in September
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Return to School Options ~ We Want Your Feedback

In preparation for the return to school, we are taking into consideration what the current COVID-19 situation may look like in September by planning for all potential scenarios. 

As we await further direction from the Ministry of Education, we are seeking parent feedback about some of the options we are considering. 

Let Us Know What You Think

An invitation to submit feedback has been sent to parents and guardians through email. Please check your email for the link to the online feedback form(s). 

 if you did not receive the email from the Halton Catholic District School Board, please contact comments@hcdsb.org.

The online forms will remain open until Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

The feedback gathered will be shared with our Return to School Planning Committees and will be used to finalize our return to school plans once we receive further direction from the Ministry of Education and Public Health officials in August. 

Your perspective is critical to our planning. Thank you for your time.

Gligoric, JulianaReturn to School Options ~ We Want Your Feedback
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Donate Your Empty Bottles to Food4Kids Halton!

Food4Kids Halton is a not-for-profit organization that provides healthy food packages for at-risk children who have limited access to food.

From June 22 to July 9th, Food4Kids Halton will be available to collect empty bottles from families in our community. If you have empty bottles (wine, beer, coolers, liquor bottles or cans) Food4Kids Halton will take them! 

For more information and to find out ways to donate, please visit: https://www.food4kidshalton.ca/

Gligoric, JulianaDonate Your Empty Bottles to Food4Kids Halton!
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We Want Feedback from Our Community – Multi-Year Strategic Plan Monitoring Survey

In September, 2016, the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) launched a new multi-year plan. Each year, the Director of Education reports back to the Board of Trustees on the specific steps undertaken across our school system that align with the goals established in our strategic plan. 

Focus on Our Students: Strategic Plan 2016-2021, provides direction that guides the decisions and actions that shape us as a school board – who we are, what we do, and why we do it.

As the fourth year of our multi-year strategic plan comes to an end, we are gathering feedback from the HCDSB community to monitor our efforts this past year.

Submit Your Feedback!

An invitation to submit feedback has been sent through email to parents, staff and secondary students in the HCDSB community. Check your email for the link to the survey!

This survey will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 26, 2020.

All of the feedback gathered will be shared with our Board of Trustees at a future meeting. Please note that all information collected will remain anonymous; no individual names will be shared.​

More Information

For more information about the Multi-Year Strategic Plan, please visit the HCDSB website.

Gligoric, JulianaWe Want Feedback from Our Community – Multi-Year Strategic Plan Monitoring Survey
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Silence is Not an Option

A statement from our Director of Education, Pat Daly, on our commitment to creating safe, welcoming and inclusive school communities across HCDSB.

Like many of you, I was both saddened and outraged to learn of the situation in Minnesota last week that resulted in the death of George Floyd. 

We have all read the reports on social media in disbelief as the disturbing details began to emerge, and with heavy hearts we have watched the outcry that has resulted, not only in Minnesota, but around the world. 

Words fail us, and yet, now more than ever, silence is not an option. 

Events such as this are a sobering reminder of the tremendous responsibility we hold to one another. It is not enough to speak up today about racism elsewhere. We need to recognize that racism exists everywhere, even in our own communities – and we need to work together to put an end to it. As members of a Catholic faith community, we believe that we are all wonderfully made in the image and likeness of a God who created us and loves us unconditionally – just as we are. We are called to know, love and celebrate one another. And we are called to honour the inherent dignity in each other by treating one another with compassion and respect. 

We are committed to the work of equity in our district. We undertake this commitment by building welcoming and inclusive schools and creating culturally responsive and relevant pedagogy in our classrooms. We have made some progress, but our work is not done. 

To our students, families and staff – you have our commitment that we will keep doing all we can to ensure our Catholic schools are places where you feel a positive sense of belonging and know that you are valued, respected, accepted, and safe. 

We hold close in your thoughts and prayers all in our community who are suffering during this time. Let us be sources of peace, comfort and healing to one another as we work together to create a world that is free from all forms of racism, discrimination and hatred. 

Pat Daly 
Director of Education

Gligoric, JulianaSilence is Not an Option
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