Letters from the PA President, François Tanguay- Renaud

September 16, 2021

Dear JICS Parent Community,

We would like to invite you to our first parents social of the year. It will be held online on Tuesday, September 21, from 7:30pm to 8:15pm. It will be an opportunity to meet and greet this year’s Parent Association executive, as well as connect with Richard and Chriss, who will say a few words of welcome. Please connect with us over Zoom using this link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/74811720991?pwd=bS9vZGNqMnJzdlZqd0pjVTRMWmhsdz09

(RSVP here to receive email reminders with the Zoom link)


We look forward to seeing you there!


We would also like to remind you that we would greatly appreciate it if you could make your annual PA contributions this week, if you have not yet made them. Please click on the following link to do do: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/st-georges-schools-parents-association/events/2021-22-jics-pa-annual-membership-fee-donation/


Very best regards,

The PA Executive

September 2, 2021

Dear JICS parents, My name is François Tanguay-Renaud (preferred pronouns he/him), and I am the President of the JICS Parents’ Association (PA). I am the father of Yohan in grade 2 and, in my day job, a professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School.


I am writing to you today to welcome you warmly to this new academic year, as well as to our Parents’ Association, of which you are all members. No doubt, considering the evolving pandemic, the 2021-2022 academic year again promises to be one like no other. Yet, at the PA, we are committed to supporting the school and, chiefly, you as parents, in continuing to negotiate related challenges constructively. We are also committed to continuing to nurture the growth and health of our community, through several initiatives, some of which I will briefly discuss below.


Your PA is currently headed by a spirited team that includes Megan Pearson (VP), Shawn Konopinsky (Treasurer), Communications Officers (Andrew Cain and Chloe Leon), and two Volunteers Coordinators (TBD). This team works in close concert with Richard and Chriss. The PA also supports a network of class representatives (two per class), whose role is to provide a more direct link between you and the PA, as well as to cultivate a sense of community in your class(es)—you should be hearing from them soon, if you haven’t already! Finally, this year’s PA features two Parents’ Education Coordinators (Julia O’Byrne and Kerry Thompson) who have keenly undertaken to organize a series of thought-provoking educative events for you, on issues of relevance to our community.


At this early point, in any “normal” year, I would be inviting you to join me and others for a parents social gathering at the school. While it is our hope that such general gatherings will become possible later in the year (as more information about the course of the pandemic becomes available), we will not be hosting an in-person school-wide event this September. Instead, you will soon receive an invitation to an online “PA Meet & Greet”. Class reps will also be invited to think creatively about organizing safe social events for their respective classes (as some classes have already started to have), bearing in mind public health guidelines.


This year, aside from funding regular lice checks(!) and supporting a plethora of cultural, educational, and fun activities at the school, one of your PA’s main objectives will be to bolster the ongoing conversation taking place at the school about how it can best realize its commitment to anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our focus will be on how this commitment can best be translated in and championed by the parent community. You will soon be receiving through your class reps a series of survey-style questions related to this issue, which will help orient our work. It is our hope that you will support us by responding promptly, and with an open mind and heart!


Now, none of our work would be possible without you. As in previous years, we are asking all parents to pay a $25 PA membership fee, and encouraging you to make an additional suggested donation of $150. We would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to make your contributions in the coming week. While the amounts listed are those we deem necessary to carry out our mandate adequately, we do recognize that not all families are similarly situated. Thus, for those who, for whatever reason, do not feel comfortable with the suggested donation amount, you can opt to pay the $25 fee, and specify any donation amount that you feel comfortable in contributing.


To make your contributions, please click on the following link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/st-georges-schools-parents-association/events/2021-22-jics-pa-annual-membership-fee-donation/


While we are still some time away from United Way season, note also that you or your organization can contribute to the PA through the United Way, by directing your donations to the St. George’s School Parents’ Association, Charitable Registration #119175537-RR0001. The PA is also a registered charity with Benevity. If you wish to make a donation in this ways, please contact the PA Treasurer, Shawn Konopinsky (jicstreasurer@gmail.com).


Finally, note that that another very important way of contributing to the school and the PA is in volunteering. As alluded to above, we are still looking for two Volunteer Coordinators, who will join our dynamic executive team. As such, these two individuals will participate in the PA’s ongoing planning and gain unique insight into the school in the process. Since in-person events are not yet on the agenda at the school, the workload of these Coordinators is likely to be quite reasonable this year. However, being ready to integrate parents in organized activities is an important part of what the PA does, and it is crucial that we fill these two positions promptly. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact me at francoistr@gmail.com!


Have a fabulous back-to-school, and hopefully we soon get to say hi (from a reasonable distance!) at pick up and/or drop off :)