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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 ( ).

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten Registration

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your child to your school family.

The Kindergarten program in our schools recognizes the uniqueness of each child and supports learners to reach the fullness of their potential. The learning is rooted in faith and grounded in the understanding that every child is capable, competent, and loved by God.

For more on Kindergarten Registration, please visit: ...
Parent Information

Parent Information

The importance of early experiences for your child’s growth and development begins with the understanding that all children’s learning and development occurs within the context of relationships – with other children, parents, family members, Certified Teachers, and Registered Early Childhood Educators. As a family, you are valuable contributors to your child’s learning, and deserve to be engaged in a meaningful way.

Click on a link for more information:

Dress Code (Uniform Policy)

All schools in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic School system have a dress code. While the adopted colours are blue and white, a wide variety of clothing options are available. The specific requirements of the uniform are determined at the local level by the principal in co-operation with the School Council. Some schools have adopted a policy whereby clothing must be crested.

What is Full-Day Kindergarten?

The Ministry of Education has embraced the philosophy of Dr.’s Fraser Mustard and Charles Pascal in creating the Full Day Kindergarten Program. The program itself is strongly influenced by an emergent approach to children’s learning. What does this look like in your child’s classroom? Children learn through process and exploration as they define the environment and world around them. The learning is continual and ongoing. Opportunities are created for your child to explore concepts in literacy and numeracy that are age and developmentally appropriate within their classroom. They are given time to enrich and expand their thought processes while being supported and facilitated by both the Certified Teacher and the Registered Early Childhood Educator in the classroom. Children’s learning is rooted in faith and is supported by Catholic values of compassion and fairness which aid personal and social growth.

Learning opportunities are holistic and integrated throughout the day’s activities. The purpose of Full Day Kindergarten is to establish a strong foundation for learning in the early years, and to do so in a safe and caring play-based environment that promotes the spiritual, physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of all children.

The Early Learning

Kindergarten Team

comprises of a Certified Kindergarten Teacher and a Registered Early Childhood Educator. The team determines the quality of the learning program that young children will experience. Effective Early Learning- Kindergarten Team members are themselves reflective learners who have a passion for the success of the learners in their care and a deep respect for the children’s individual differences. Team members recognize that their own learning is a continuous and reciprocal process they learn from each other, and from the children and families. Early Childhood Educators and Certified Teachers will have the benefit of a collaborative and complementary partnership to support children and families in a high-quality, intentional, play-based learning environment.

(FDELK Program,
Ministry of Ed, 2010)

Personal Belongings

All clothing, backpacks and lunch boxes should be clearly labeled with your child’s name. Please help your child and the classroom FDK team by labeling items with first and last name.

It is important that your child keep an extra set of clothes at school .


Your child's Certified Teacher and Early Childhood Educator will use some form of communication to exchange messages and important information. Please enquire about daily communication.

The school website is a vital source of information for you and your child. Information such as monthly school newsletters can be accessed through this online resource as well as more detailed information about Catholic School Council, program issues, inclement weather, curriculum and Parish information.

Health and Nutrition


To ensure the safety of all students it is your responsibility to notify the school office in the event that your child’s Teacher or Early Childhood Educator need to contact you regarding illness or injury during the school day.

Nutrition Breaks

Lunch and nutrition breaks vary from school to school. Please inquire with your child’s classroom Teacher or Early Childhood Educator for this information. Nutritious snacks and lunches are highly encouraged.


It is the policy of the School Board that before any medication can be administered to your child while at school, a form must be filled out and filed with the office.


Schools strive to be safe environments by addressing all allergies. It is important to communicate any known allergies with the school office when registering or upon diagnosis during the school year.

Daily Schedule

Morning Drop-off and Dismissal

Please contact your child’s school or visit your school website for Bell Times.

Before and after school care is offered at many schools across the system. Please see the enclosed brochure Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Child Care Centres for the names of schools which offer this optional, fee-based service.

Inclement Weather

When schools are closed or buses cancelled due to extreme weather conditions, details will be announced through the following Hamilton and area media outlets:

- 900 CHML / Vinyl 95.3 FM / Y-108 FM
- Oldies 1150 / 102.9 K-Lite / 820 CHAM
- CHCH Morning Live

Bus Transportation

Please contact your child’s school for busing information if bus transportation is required. It is required that all parents and guardians fill out the Transportation Authorization form and return to your child’s school office. All parents will be informed by the transportation consortium as to the location of their child’s pick-up/drop-off points along with times.

In order to introduce students and their parents to the school bus environment and rules, First Rider sessions are held at various locations around the Hamilton-Wentworth region. Sessions are approximately 45 minutes in length. Students watch a video on bus safety and are asked questions related to the information on the video. Students then go out to a real school bus where they go on a ride with their parents. Once the ride is over, the driver shows the students and parents all the safety features on the bus. Students are given an information package with a certificate with their name on it. Parents will receive First Rider dates and locations prior to the summer months in order to plan ahead for participation.

Parental Involvement

We encourage parents and guardians to be a part of the school community!

A variety of opportunities exist to become an active member. Please contact your child’s Teacher or Early Childhood Educator for more information.

If you would like to accompany your child on Field Trips, please be advised you must obtain a Vulnerable Sector Screening from the Central Police Station in Hamilton. You can obtain a Volunteer Letter from the school office.


Forms to complete and return no later than the
1st day of school.

- Pre-school History Form
- Bus Transportation Authorization
- Dismissal Information

Please note, it is the responsibility of the parents to notify caregivers regarding school procedures and bell times.

Play to a Child is Learning

Recognize The Value of Play

Children learn to play and play to learn. By exploring, discovering, experimenting, and questioning children find their place in the world. Through play, children develop language skills. They recognize and learn how to interact with others, all while having fun.

Suggestions to help foster your child's early development through play:

- Sing nursery rhymes with your child. Use as many action rhymes as possible, such as “This Little Piggy Went to Market” or “Pat-a-Cake”.

- Provide magnetic letters and numbers to use on the fridge.

- Have a dress up box with old clothes, hats, and jewellery to encourage dramatic play. Provide props.

- Encourage your child to experiment with drawing, painting and playing with clay. Talk about his/her creations.

- Play “I Spy” looking for colours and shapes.

- Invite your child to explore with water. Collect different size jars and pour various amounts and compare them. Make guesses together. How many small jars of water will it take to fill the largest jar?

- Use hand puppets and finger puppets to tell and retell stories.

- Display your child's name and create opportunities for your child to practice using different materials such as sand, whip cream, or finger paint.

- Have fun making or drawing a grocery list and go shopping together.

- Set the table together. Your child can sort and count out the items needed and then check to see if everyone has each item.

- Encourage your child to draw shapes with large pieces of chalk on the sidewalk.

- Bake together. Allow your child to use various measuring containers and spoons.

Preparing for the First Day of School

The first day of school is a wonderful experience as well as a milestone for both children and parents alike. There are many simple things you can do to help prepare your child for this new adventure.

Here are some tips to make the first day of school smooth:

- Practice walking to school or to the bus stop with your child before classes begin. If you will be driving your child, drive the route together several times.

- Make frequent visits to the school. Pack a picnic lunch and let your child play on the school ground.

- Gradually adjust bedtime and morning hours to fit the expected schedule a couple of weeks before school starts.

- Talk to your child about the routines to be expected, including school hours and pick-up times.

- Do a trial run before kindergarten begins. Have your child wake up, get ready, and get to school as if it were the first day of school.

- Ask your child to share his/her feelings about starting Kindergarten.

- Before bed, ask your child to visualize a positive first day at school, including their classmates and teacher.

- Allow your child to pick out a school bag they like and to help with preparations, such as packing healthy snacks. For especially nervous children, allow them to pack something special from home in their school bag. It may be a family photo, a book or small stuffed toy.

- Consider making a special necklace or key chain your child can bring along as a reminder of you on the first day of school.

- Be conscious of how you feel. Whether you’re enthusiastic or apprehensive, children can pick up a lot from how their parents behave. Be positive and try to keep any concerns about separation from your child guarded.

Coming Home after First Day

Celebrate your child’s first day of school as a special accomplishment.

After the big event, ask about his/her feelings and experiences. Ask specific questions to generate conversation. Encourage your child to share information about the teacher, the classroom, activities and classmates.

Have your child draw a picture of the first day of school.

Be sure to praise your child’s independence and courage.

I am Special!

Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes the one who sent me. For the least among you all, that is the one who is great.

LUKE 9:48

City of Hamilton Public Health Check it Out clinics

City of Hamilton Public Health Check it Out clinics: ...

Learn More

Catholic Education

Catholic Education

Catholic Education in Hamilton-Wentworth enables all learners to realize the fullness of humanity of which Our Lord Jesus Christ is the model. Students regularly participate in liturgies, masses and the sacraments, and Catholic teachings and Gospel values are authentically integrated across all curriculum areas and throughout all aspects of school life.

Religious Education ...

Ontario Elementary Curriculum ...
Eye See…Eye Learn

Eye See…Eye Learn

How Well Can Our Children See?

HWCDSB encourages all Junior Kindergarten students to have a comprehensive eye exam this year through Eye See…Eye Learn program-- a FREE childhood health awareness program.

All children up to 19 years of age are eligible for an annual OHIP-insured eye exam by an optometrist. Simply present the child’s health card at the time of the exam.

Children starting JK and born in the appropriate year, qualify for a pair of complimentary glasses.

Please visit this website for details:
French Immersion

French Immersion

There are five elementary schools in which the French Immersion program is offered from Kindergarten to Grade 8: Bienvenue

- Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Elementary School
- St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School
- St. Eugene Catholic Elementary School
- St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Elementary School
- St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Elementary School

French Immersion is not offered until Senior Kindergarten. Therefore, a child may complete Junior Kindergarten at their local Catholic school and then be bussed from their home school to the closest French Immersion site for grades SK to 8.

Additional Information on French Immersion: ...
Children with Special Needs

Children with Special Needs

The philosophy of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic School Board is to meet the needs of all children and to help them to develop a fullness of humanity in a Catholic Community. All students, regardless of special talents or challenging needs can grow and they can best grow by attending their neighbourhood school along with their brothers and sisters.

Additional Information on Special Education: ...
Child Care

Child Care

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District school Board is committed to providing high quality and inclusive childcare that meets the needs of our families and their children.

For more information on child care, please visit: ...
Dental, vaccine and vision information as your child starts school

Dental, vaccine and vision information as your child starts school

It is important for children to go to a dentist and to have an eye exam before starting school.

Under the Immunization of School Pupils, children must receive certain vaccines before they attend school. Parents are responsible for reporting their child’s vaccines to their local public health unit.

Vaccines can be reported by:
Calling: (905)546-5250;
Fax: (905)546-4841

See attached flyer for information about:
- dental health and the free Healthy Smiles Ontario dental program
- how to report your child’s vaccines to Public Health
- free eye exams and free glasses

Welcome to FDK Video

Whether you are new to HWCDSB or interested in getting to know what kindergarten is all about, watch our FDK Welcome Video!