: May 24, 2018
When it comes student well-being, who better to ask what’s best for students than the students themselves? That, in fact, is the focus of a Student Wellness Forum hosted by the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School at the Nicholas Mancini Centre, 44 Hunt Street, Hamilton from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Friday, May 18 and 24, 2018.
“The focus of these forums is to facilitate student voice and engagement specific to wellness and mental health promotion within the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board,” says Mental Health Lead, Jennifer Fortino.
She adds that not only are the sessions designed for students, but they’re completely student-led. Two secondary students – Mitchell Barlow, Student Council President at Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School and Juliana Giannini, Secretary of the Student Council at Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School – will host the sessions while another 18 students will serve as table facilitators.
The first session on May 18 will be attended by close to 100 elementary students from 45 schools throughout the system. On the 24th, 75 secondary students from the board’s seven Catholic secondary Schools will come together for a full morning of meaningful discussion on wellness, focusing specifically on what wellness is and how schools and the board support mental well-being. Feedback from the Student Wellness Forum will be used to inform the HWCDSB’s Mental Health and Addiction Strategy and Action Plan.
“One of the key goals of the day is to help students understand the importance of Student Voice in education,” says Assistant Superintendent of Education, Julie Angiolillo. “As the target group that is most impacted by education policy decisions, students should be involved in board visioning and planning.”
The format for the day will include break-out sessions where students can brainstorm, share ideas, cluster priorities and group share. A graffiti wall will also be set up where students can post their thoughts and ideas.