Hosted by the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton. Number of Participants: 20 including youth agencies, Indigenous individuals, educators (retired and current), school board members, and representatives of public health and child welfare. Housing agencies would be an added asset for future meetings.
- The ABACUS program sponsored by the Hamilton Community Foundation, which aims to address factors that directly affect a student’s likelihood to continue their education to the post-secondary level, was discussed given that approximately 24% of children in Hamilton are living in poverty.
- The example of children in foster care being assigned a liaison worker (not employed by the school) was given as a good model for how to ensure children are not getting left behind in that not only children in foster care experience poverty. Expanding this model by hiring and deploying similar staff positions in the school board would be useful.
- The whiteness of authority and issues around seniority were addressed. Effective teams with often newer and more diverse teachers are formed to tackle pertinent issues such as poverty but seniority provisions in collective agreements often disrupt team-building and development.
- School fees and fundraising needs to be addressed as this creates inequity.
- There needs to be more parent engagement and outreach.