Destiny Discover
HWCDSB School Reopening

HWCDSB School Reopening

HWCDSB COVID-19 updates

As students return to in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has taken all steps possible to create a safe and welcoming learning environment for students and staff based on Ministry of Education guidance and advice from Hamilton Public Health Services.

In developing a return to school plan for HWCDSB staff and students, priority has been given to the following:
• the health and safety of students and staff;
• excellence, faith formation, academics and co-curricular/extra-curricular opportunities;
• equity in educational opportunities – including particular consideration for the preferential treatment for students with special education needs and socio-economic disadvantaged students;
• student and staff wellness (mental, spiritual, physical, emotional);
• flexibility and adaptability to support individual schools in making decisions that best meet the needs and circumstances of their communities;
• ongoing and regular communications with students, families, staff, parishes and community members; and,
• regular and effective consultation with employee group/union representatives.

The HWCDSB's plan for reopening is described in full in our Nurturing Hope: Parent Guide.
COVID-19 School Protocols COVID-19 School Protocols

COVID-19 School Protocols

Provincial school and child care screener

Parents/guardians are expected to screen their child(ren) each day before leaving for school.

An updated provincial school and child care screener was launched on February 22, 2021 that uses single symptom screening criteria. Students with any single new COVID-19 symptom will now be required to isolate until they either test negative for COVID-19, receive an alternate diagnosis for the symptom, or have isolated for 10 days since symptom onset. This is a change from the previous guidance where students with a minor symptom were allowed to return after 24 hours.

Secondary students are reminded that they are required to provide daily validation of their self-screening prior to or upon their arrival at school. Individuals who do not pass the onsite screening procedure will be asked to return home and self-isolate until they meet the criteria for return.

Isolation requirement for household contacts of symptomatic individuals

As of February 12, the Ministry of Health has issued guidance to public health units regarding COVID-19 variants of concern that require all household contacts of symptomatic individuals to quarantine. Household members of a person with new COVID-19 symptoms are now required to isolate as well, pending the COVID-19 test result. This includes siblings of symptomatic students or children of symptomatic parents/guardians. Household members of international travellers who aren’t exempt from quarantine requirements are also now required to isolate for 14-days.

For households with more than one child, the new guidance means that all children in a household will be asked to stay home if a single child fails the screen and all siblings will be sent home if one child becomes ill while at school.

If the symptomatic individual tests positive or is not tested and does not receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional, the symptomatic individual must isolate (including isolating from household members) for 10 days and all household contacts for 14 days from symptom onset.

These updates are included in the provincial school and child care screener.

Attestation Form to Return to School

In consultation with HPHS, the HWCDSB has also developed an attestation form for students who have been away from school. Families whose child was absent from school due to a failed Ontario COVID-19 school screening or illness will be required to complete the form declaring that it is safe for your child to return to child care or school (elementary and secondary).

Please download the form here.

Reporting confirmed cases of COVID-19: COVID-19 Advisory Website

Information on confirmed cases of COVID-19 that involve a student or a staff member in a school setting will be posted in the COVID-19 advisory section on the HWCDSB website. In the interests of privacy, information will not identify the student or staff member that has received a positive COVID-19 test.

If Hamilton Public Health advises that a class, cohort or school should be closed for a period of time, parents, students and staff will be notified immediately. Notice of any closures of classes, cohorts or schools will be posted on school and HWCDSB COVID-19 advisory sections.

HWCDSB Early Years COVID-19 Guidelines

HWCDSB Early Years COVID-19 Guidelines

As families and children continue to access licensed childcare, before and after programs, EarlyON, and begin kindergarten, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has taken all steps possible to create a safe and welcoming learning environment for students and staff based on Ministry of Education guidance and advice from Hamilton Public Health Services.

Schools are working collaboratively with their childcare providers to ensure that communication is shared and plans for a seamless day are co-ordinated. Childcare responses to COVID-19 can be referenced on the Ministry website.

Details regarding how the Early Years Programs are seeking to provide quality program and joy in learning in the pandemic can be found in the Kindergarten section or our website ( ).



Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) – the transportation consortia for the HWCDSB and HWDSB – continues to experience significant delays in student transportation services as a result of the ongoing school bus driver shortage, which has been further compounded this year by COVID-19.

Despite considerable additional funds provided by HWCDSB and the Provincial Government, as well as a complete re-organization of transportation routes and other measures, there is no short-term solution to the bus driver shortage.

Effective September 28, 2020, HWSTS will cancel routes on a prescheduled rotating basis to address routes cancelled by operators, rotate service on routes delayed more than 60 minutes, and move high school runs that are experiencing delays of 30 minutes to a regular rotation.

Although this solution is not without inconvenience, the planned route cancellation will allow parents and guardians to plan for alternate ways of transporting their children to school and will provide greater fairness by spreading cancellations over many rather than the same routes.

For additional information about your children’s route or to find out their route number, please visit the Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services website.

For a list of impacted schools, please go to our Boundaries & Transportation page.

HWSTS continues to investigate other options to address the ongoing bus driver shortage, including driver incentives and driver recruitment programs.

Families are encouraged to sign up for email notifications of delays and cancellations on the HWSTS website.

Enhanced Health & Safety Protocols and Protection Strategies

Enhanced Health & Safety Protocols and Protection Strategies

The HWCDSB has implemented a number of protocols, safeguards and structures to keep our students and staff safe. Please see our Nurturing Hope: Parent Guide for the Reopening of our HWCDSB Schools for a complete list of health and safety measures that have been implemented in our facilities.

The HWCDSB's COVID-19 Cleaning Procedure is based on the Public Health Ontario – Cleaning and Disinfection in Public Settings document and consultation with Hamilton Public Health Services. A detailed cleaning and disinfecting protocol has been established for dealing with spaces and equipment in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 within an HWCDSB school or site.

Mandatory Masks for All Students

Mandatory Masks for All Students

All HWCDSB students, Kindergarten to Grade 12, must wear a non-medical or cloth mask while at school and on the school bus. The decision to mandate masks for all students was made in consultation with Hamilton Public Health Services and aligns with the city’s mask/face covering by-law that requires individuals to wear a mask or face covering in enclosed public spaces to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, especially when physical distancing may not be possible.

Visit the City of Hamilton’s Public Health Services to learn more about how to properly wear a mask, how masks can reduce the transmission of COVID-19, and other protective measures you can take to stay healthy and safe.
COVID-19 Mask Exemption

COVID-19 Mask Exemption

Consistent with guidance from Public Health, it is understood that for medical or other approved reasons, it may not be possible for some students to wear a non-medical mask at school. Exemptions may include:

• Asthma;
• Sensory processing;
• Hearing/communication;
• Breathing difficulties caused by underlying health conditions;
• Intellectual/development delays that do not allow for the use of a mask; and/or,
• Physical/other: cannot wear a mask without assistance.

Parents whose child meets one or more of the reasons for exemption are asked to contact their child’s school for a COVID-19 mask exemption form.
myClass Learning Management System (LMS) myClass Learning Management System (LMS)

myClass Learning Management System (LMS)

Parent Portal

The HWCDSB has launched the next phase of the myClass Learning Management System (LMS) Parent Portal. The Parent Portal is a one-way form of communication (teacher to parent). Parents/guardians can access the Parent Portal by going to their child(ren)’s school website and clicking on the Parent Portal link.

Parents will receive their own login to the Parent Portal based on the email address they provided to the school when logging into the Parent Portal. Once logged in, they will be presented with a dashboard listing each of their children, JK to Grade 12. When a parent chooses one of their children, the Parent Portal quickly scans the child’s classroom myClass page for information pertaining to that particular child.

Through the Parent Portal, parents/guardians will be able to access:
• digital resources for parents/guardians and students;
• messages posted by teachers in the Activity Feed;
• the classroom calendar of events;
• student assignments; and,
• portfolio artifacts that showcase student work.

The HWCDSB Parent Portal works on all phones, tablets and computers via a web browser so that parents can stay connected wherever they are.

The infographic provides step-by-step instructions on how to get started using Parent Portal. Please use the same email address you provided the school when logging into the Parent Portal.

Mental Health & Well-Being

Mental Health & Well-Being

A complete list of resources and support for parents, guardians and families can be found on our Mental Health & Well-being web page.
COVID-19 Self-Screening Assessment Tool - Contractors & Visitors

COVID-19 Self-Screening Assessment Tool - Contractors & Visitors

All contractors/visitors wishing to come on site must complete this assessment tool. It is recommended that you complete this tool one hour before coming to a HWCDSB site.

At any point that the screening results indicate you cannot visit a HWCDSB site, please inform your HWCDSB contact or project manager.

Click Here to access the COVID-19 Self-Screening Assessment Tool
COVID-19 Information & Resources

COVID-19 Information & Resources

Government of Canada
Province of Ontario
Hamilton Public Health Services

COVID-19 Public Resources are available in a variety of languages on the Public Health Ontario website.