Letters from the PA President, François Tanguay- Renaud

September 1, 2022

Dear JICS parents,

 

I hope this finds you well and that you have all had a rejuvenating summer. My name is François Tanguay-Renaud—I am Yohan’s father and, for the second year, president of the JICS Parents’ Association (PA). I am writing to you today on behalf of the PA to welcome you (or welcome you back!) to JICS for the 2022-2023 academic year.

 

After more than two years of pandemic disruptions, it feels wonderful to know that our children will be starting school in person on Tuesday, September 6 (except for some of our nursery kids), and that teachers and staff are ready and excited to receive them. On behalf of the parent community, allow me to thank them for all the work they have invested over the summer to make this possible.

 

At the PA, we have also been working hard to ensure that the upcoming year is a successful one. Our main objective for the year is to help support—and, where the pandemic stood in its way, rekindle—the sense of community that is so central to the ethos of the school. To this end, we are planning a series of events aimed at bringing parents together.

After a two-year hiatus, we are pleased to announce that our traditional Fall in-person Parents Social is making a comeback on September 15, 6-8pm (along with all the food, wine, smiles and laughter). Please make sure to follow the link in the school’s communication about it to RSVP (babysitting will be available). We very much hope to see you there.

 

This event will be followed by our first of three all-parents PA meetings for the year to be held, virtually, in the second half of October (date TBD). You will also be invited to participate in a variety of parents education events, which will investigate themes related to child development, education, parenting, as well as equity, diversity, and inclusion. During the Fall, your class reps will be entrusted with the task of organizing, with your help, class-specific breakfasts and socials for parents. And then there will be many opportunities for you to volunteer in school activities (watch this space in the coming weeks and months for related announcements).

 

To be sure, parents’ involvement at the school is key to nurturing its sense of community and unique family feel. Thus, I encourage you to raise your hand and join in the fun whenever you get a chance. Please note that the PA Executive is still looking for one other Volunteers Coordinator, to join the wonderful Sanaz Mazinani. Volunteers Coordinators are full members of our dynamic PA Executive team, and help with organizing parental involvement in school activities. If you are interested, please contact me at francoistr@gmail.com.

 

In addition to Sanaz and myself, other members of the PA Executive team for this year include: Megan Pearson (Vice-President), Shawn Konopinsky (Treasurer), Deepta Rayner (Past President), Kerry Thompson and Julia O’Byrne (Parents Education Coordinators), Andrea Russell (Communications Officer), as well as Richard and Chriss (our fearless Principal and Vice Principal). These individuals are joined by two class representatives per grade, who act as links between the Executive and the wider parent community. We are still looking for one class rep for the nursery class, and two class reps for the Grade 6 class--again, if you are interested, please contact me at the email above.

 

In addition to organizing social and educational activities, the PA acts as a sounding board for the school administration on a variety of issues. It also assists the school with fundraising, and contributes to financing initiatives that could not see the light of day without its support. For this and the rest of its endeavours, the PA relies on our annual fees and donations. This year, more specifically, your contributions will help fund many important services for our children, including:

  • A dream list created by the teachers and curated by the PA Executive for items that would enhance our kids' learning experience and exceed the school budget;

  • Continuation of our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) action plan for the parents' community and in support of the school's educational mandate;

  • Topical speakers and panels for the parent community, arranged by the Parent Education Committee;

  • Lice checks;

  • Social events!
     

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. All parents remain members of the PA irrespective of whether they choose to make the suggested donations or not.

 

To make your contributions, please click on the following link:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/st-georges-schools-parents-association/events/2022-23-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 (under the name "Jackman ICS Parents' Association"). If you wish to make a donation in such ways, please contact the PA Treasurer, Shawn Konopinsky (jicstreasurer@gmail.com).

 

Although you will hear more from me as the year progresses, and I have already taken enough of your time today, let me conclude by mentioning that under the leadership of Allen Yi (JK class rep), the PA is currently developing a new line of clothing (swag) for the school in collaboration with a local artist. We hope to have something to present to you on that front before long. In the meantime, you will have seen via the school blog that we are selling whatever remaining items we have in stock from the old clothing line (on a pay-what-you-want basis). I encourage you to support us by getting hold of whatever remaining items suit your fancy in the school lobby.

 

On this note, I wish you and your families the very best for next week and the coming year, and I look forward to greeting you in person at drop off and/or pick up.

 

Very best regards,

François

François Tanguay-Renaud

DR. ERIC JACKMAN INSTITUTE OF CHILD STUDY

LAB SCHOOL