Letters from the PA President, Deepta Rayner

January 7, 2021

Dear JICS Families,

 

Happy New Year!! I’m sure your little ones are looking forward to returning to school on Monday (and maybe we grownups are looking forward to it too!).

 

I’m so thankful to start off the new year with our wonderful volunteers in PA Executive – Francois, Shawn, Beth, Shami, Carolynne, Casey, Andrew, plus Richard and Chriss. We have a meeting planned for later this month on January 25th and we look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

 

I’m also thankful to our wonderful class reps who have kept us connected over the holidays. While we remain apart, these interactions remain so important and helpful in keeping our community together.

 

Mask Program Update

While there were not enough children registered for the program to proceed, we want to thank Lisa Strug and Andrew Murray for their leadership on this initiative. Although we are not proceeding with the program, conversations with Lisa and Andrew throughout the first term helped clarify best practices.

 

We Filed Our Taxes!

While not the most exciting news, we filed our taxes with CRA in December. Filing on time keeps our organization in good standing as a registered charity. Thank you to Jon Newton and his team at KPMG, who worked with our Treasurer, Shawn Konopinsky, to file these important papers.

 

Sincerely,

Deepta

 

December 17, 2020

Dear JICS Families,

 

It’s the last week of school before the holidays! Thanks to the guidance and leadership of Richard, Chriss, and all the teachers and administrators we made it through the entire term in a most unusual year.

 

As I reflect back on 2020, I’m so grateful to be a part of the JICS community. Even though we haven’t spent a lot of time together in person, there were many times that we were able to gather virtually and bond as a community. We’ve cared for and helped one another, we’ve learned from each other, and we’ve all contributed in one way or another.

 

Some silver linings in 2020 – we learned how resilient each of us can be, especially our children. We have learned the true difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’ and honed our skills at ‘prioritization’. We are now all learners of new things as chefs, bakers, barbers, listeners, builders, crafters, and more!

 

A few items before we close out the year:

 

Masking Program:

Check your email or class WhatsApp group to find the update on the masking program, organized by parents Lisa Strug and Andrew Murray. If you would like to participate in the program, please register here by no later than Saturday December 19th: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LR35CYW

 

Donations & United Way:

For those of you who participate in corporate giving through United Way, please consider donating a portion of your contribution towards the JICS PA. We have a goal of raising $5,600 through the United Way campaign. If we surpass this goal, we’ll assign all additional funds towards Tuition Support.

The JICS PA is registered as the “St. George’s School’s Parents Association” for historic reasons. You should just need the charity name and number to donate. Please contact Deepta Rayner (PAExecJICS@gmail.com) if you experience any trouble donating through your employer.

 

Charitable Information: The St. George's School's Parents Association

Reg #: 119175537RR0001

 

Gift Giving

Please continue to register with Fundscrip. To purchase eGift Cards and regular Gift Cards that are sent to your inbox or your home, click here and be sure to use campaign code “7CUVLT” to direct donations towards the JICS PA.

 

Stay well, Happy Holidays and all the best for the New Year!!

Deepta

 

 

December 3, 2020

Dear JICS Families,

 

If you had asked me on the first day of school if our children would still be attending JICS every day, I’m not sure I would have said ‘yes’. I am so grateful that our community has stayed mindful of our collective health and that has allowed our children and faculty to remain in school.

 

Thanking Teachers and Admin

As a thanks to our teachers and administrators, the PA, on behalf of all parents, sponsored a pizza lunch last week on Wednesday and today they will receive cupcakes from the Lunch Mom. For each of the following two terms, we will continue to find ways to thank our teachers for their hard work and dedication to teaching our children. We thank other grade cohorts and parents (such as the SK parents this week) who have also sponsored staff lunches and treats.

 

Gift Giving

Today, I started holiday shopping with eGift Cards that I purchased through Fundscrip. With every gift card purchased, a portion of the purchase price is donated to the JICS PA. This helps us to cover additional costs for this school year due to COVID, such as extra outdoor equipment for each cohort, so that our teachers don’t have to spend time cleaning the equipment every time a different cohort goes out to play. To purchase eGift Cards and regular Gift Cards that are sent to your inbox or your home, click here and be sure to use campaign code “7CUVLT” to direct donations towards the JICS PA.

 

If you are planning on purchasing Indigo eGift Cards, we receive an even better rate through FlipGive. Please click here to donate 20% of your purchases towards the JICS Library Fund (books, storytellers, and guest speakers, oh my!).

 

Finally, many of you parents have been purchasing JICS gear through our online store. Get your orders in soon as we are selling out quickly on the most popular items! Paige is helping us with delivery to your child’s backpack. Thanks Paige!

 

Donations

For those of you who participate in corporate giving through United Way, please consider donating a portion of your contribution towards the JICS PA. We have a goal of raising $5,600 through the United Way campaign. If we surpass this goal, we’ll assign all additional funds towards Tuition Support.

The JICS PA is registered as the “St. George’s School’s Parents Association” for historic reasons. You should just need the charity name and number to donate. Please contact Deepta Rayner if you experience any trouble donating through your employer.

 

Charitable Information: The St. George's School's Parents Association Reg #119175537RR0001

 

If you would like to donate directly to the Tuition Support Fund, please click here and select the Diana Rankin / Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund.

 

Thanks,

JICS Parents' Association Executives

 

November 26, 2020

Dear JICS Families

 

Brrrrrrr - It’s cold outside! How to keep warm??? JICS toques and hoodies! Find these and more at the jicsfamily.com/shop. Get yours while we still have inventory!

We have also re-introduced the Fundscrip program, available at jicsfamily.com/shopandsupport. Here, you can buy gift cards from hundreds of stores (grocery, gas, apparel and more) and a portion of each purchase will be donated to the JICS PA to support the sports and outdoor equipment our children are playing with this year. Please consider this option if you are purchasing gift cards this holiday season.

We thank you very much for your support!

 

Warm regards,

Your Parents’ Association Executives

October 22, 2020

Dear JICS Families

We had a great turnout at the PA meeting on Tuesday! For those of you who missed it, we recorded (most of) the meeting and you can watch or listen to it here. You can view the slides from the meeting here.

 

In this note, I’ll highlight a few items that were discussed:

Fees+Donations Update

  • Everyone is a member of the PA regardless if you contribute or not

  • We are roughly $7K away (27%) from our fees+donations goal of $26,850; For those who have already contributed, we thank you!

  • For those who are able but just haven't had the time, please do so to help us reach our goal to fund important initiatives, please click here.

 

Merchandise / Shop & Support

The are other ways to contribute outside of fees+donations:

 

Lunch Program Update

  • Due to COVID, there are restrictions on how the hot lunch program can be carried out, primarily food is presented to children in reusable containers, where both hot and cold items are separated by a divider

  • The Lunch Mom is providing enough food that children have extra portions, as they cannot currently go back for seconds or thirds like they would have last year

  • Some children are reporting they are still hungry after lunch, however about 50% of food goes un-eaten

  • It has been observed that some children do not like to eat the cold foods that have been warmed by the hot foods they are next to, and vice versa

  • Many parents (approx. 70%) support a trial of separation of cold/hot items to see if children will eat more of the foods they are provided at lunch, however this will produce plastic waste that we are trying to avoid as an eco-school community

  • Today, Chriss will be discussing with some of the children during lunch why they may still be hungry after lunch and ask if they have ideas about how to improve the lunch program given the serving constraints of COVID

 

Stay tuned for meeting minute updates and approvals over the next week.

 

Have a fun and safe weekend everyone!

Deepta

 

October 15, 2020

PA Meeting

The PA will be holding a meeting open to all JICS families on October 20th at 6pm. This is your opportunity to learn about the PA financials, this year’s PA goals, fundraising efforts, and reports from class reps.

Please register and provide any questions you may have in advance here.

PA Fees & Donations

To all families who’ve paid their PA Fees and Donations, thanks so much. So far, we are at about 80% of our goal of raising $23,250. For those who have not yet, please click through to this link to pay your PA Fees/Donations. These fees go a long way to ensure that every family is supported with access to a social worker, equipment to keep our children active, and parent education events.

 

Staying warm as the weather cools

As the weather starts getting chilly, we have sweatshirts and toques for you and your family to wear with JICS pride. Get your school wear at the JICS Shop online. Your purchased items will be sent home with your child within a few days of purchase (huge thank you to the JICS Staff who will help with order fulfillment while our parent volunteers are unable to enter the school).

 

Warm regards,

Deepta

October 8, 2020

This is a gentle reminder to those who have not done so already to please pay your PA fees and donations here. These fees go a long way to support the school, especially this year of new costs and needs. Here are a few examples of how PA funds may be used to support this year:

  • Cohort-specific gym and recess equipment

  • Musical instruments that are grade specific

  • Experts presenting Parent Education on timely matters such as COVID-19, parent stress, anti-Black racism​

Deepta

September 24, 2020

Dear JICS Families,

Thanks to all who were able to attend the “Parent Social” on Tuesday evening. It wasn’t the same as previous years, but it was truly great to see so many familiar and new faces without masks! In case you missed it, this note is a summary of what we discussed.

 

Overview

  • All JICS families are automatically members of the Jackman ICS Parents’ Association, a registered charitable organization.

  • The purpose of the PA is to provide educational resources and programs that advance the education of the students, and to build, foster, and support the JICS parent community – for more info on who we are and what we do, please go to www.jicsfamily.com/about-the-pa

Fundraising

  • The Fall is typically when the PA does its biggest fundraising and we are currently asking families to contribute to fees ($25/child) and donations ($150/child) to help with several key priority areas: please pay your PA fees and donations here.

  • Thanks to those who have already contributed - We are currently only at 20% of our goal, and every contribution will go a long way this year.

Parent Education

  • This year, we will focus on leveraging the fact that our events will be virtual and we will be reaching out to JICS faculty and guest speakers both within and outside of the GTA (or even outside of Canada) to inform us on various topics, including: COVID, Racism, Emotional Wellness and more.

Getting Involved

  • A number of parents asked how they could contribute to the PA or the broader JICS community. Please connect with Carolynne Hew at carolynnehew@gmail.com

  • We received a question about the best way to thank all the teachers and admin for their tireless efforts over the summer months preparing for our children’s safety and learning this Fall – please share ideas with your Class Reps.

  • We will also be working with the Class Reps to explore ways to engage with parents and families over the coming months to create community.

 

A few words of thanks, in advance, to our PA Exec and Class Reps:

  • Francois Tanguay-Renauld – for planning the parent social

  • Carolynne Hew and Shami Bee – for helping to ensure we have enough parent volunteers when needed

  • Andrew Cain – for making sure we are all connected and communicating

  • Casey Dabiet – for coordinating parent education events throughout the year

  • Shawn Konopinsky – for keeping our budget and finances in order

  • Beth Corcoran – for your guidance and mentorship

  • Richard Messina and Chriss Bogert - for your leadership at the school, ensuring all families are welcome and that everyone can participate

  • All the Class reps – for engaging each cohort of parents!

 

Warm regards,

Deepta

September 3, 2020

Dear JICS Families,

 

On behalf of the JICS Parents' Association, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all parents, guardians, and families of students at Jackman Institute of Child Studies for the 2020-2021 school year. All families at JICS are automatically members of the JICS Parents’ Association.

Our children have an interesting year ahead! While things are certainly different this year, we want you to know that the PA is here to support you and your families.

This year, the PA will focus our efforts on the following three themes:

  • Support the learning and well-being of our children

  • Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion

  • Parent Engagement and Education through virtual events (until it is safe to meet in person)

Fundraising by the PA provides necessary resources to continue improvements to our school and learning opportunities for our children. The PA runs one large fundraiser in the fall through PA fees and donations. Your PA fees include the following benefits (more details to come):

  • Access to a Social Worker (2 days per week; 50% shared cost with JICS)

  • Lice screening (3x per year)

  • New Phys. Ed and playground equipment to enable safe and healthy distanced play

One of our parents, Lisa Strug (mom to Leo – G4 and Blair – G6), is a Senior Scientist with the Genetics and Genome Biology program at SickKids Research Institute. If there is enough interest, Lisa has graciously offered to help implement a masking program at JICS so that our children do not need to be handling dirty masks and bringing them back and forth from school.

  • The cost would be ~$15/week and children would receive a clean cloth mask in the morning on entry to the building and another on entry after lunch outdoor play.

  • Dirty masks are dropped in a bin, cleaned commercially and returned to the school for reuse.

  • The masks are 3-ply reusable face masks that provide a snug fit in child and youth sizes with breathable layers of fabric that are designed for daily use and adhere to the recommendations arising from recent scientific studies.

Please click on this poll and let us know if you are interested in participating or not. There is no commitment here, as we are just trying to determine whether we should move ahead with the program for JICS: https://www.strawpoll.me/20876458

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Lisa directly at lisa.strug@sickkids.ca.

Finally, Please reach out if you have any questions or ideas, or if you want to get more involved with the Parent Association. We would love to hear from you!!

Regards,

Deepta

DR. ERIC JACKMAN INSTITUTE OF CHILD STUDY

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