Letters from the PA President, Megan Pearson
2023/2024 PA Donations Model
October 5th, 2023
Dear JICS Families,
Our Parents’ Association exists to enrich the experience of JICS students. We do this by building a strong school community and help support school initiatives. We nurture a respectful and inclusive school culture, which means explicitly developing respect for many aspects of diversity, including race or ethnicity, socioeconomic situations, religion, gender, national origin, family composition, physical/health or psychological difference, and political affiliation. In light of this, we have embarked on reconceptualizing how the Parents’ Association collects money in a way that better supports our existing socio and economic diversity, which in turn will help continue in our efforts to build an economically diverse JICS community.
2023/2024 PA Donations: PWYW (Pay What You Wish)
*Donations are eligible for a tax receipt.
A fee comparison to last year:
In the previous school year, families were asked to donate $175 to the Parent’s Association, as well as $150 per child for class gifts, for a minimum contribution of $325 (if you only have one child). By comparison, this year’s bundled rate at the Equality (at cost) level is significantly lower than last year.
Our tuition fees are used to pay for the general operations of the school.
Every JICS parent is a member of our Parents’ Association. It is only through financial contributions to the PA that we are able to support the school with its purchases and initiatives, which works to benefit our students by linking JICS and its families. This is what we forecast for how every dollar will be spent in fiscal 2024:
- Approximately 19% - The Parent Social, recently held on September 19th
- Approximately 4.5% - Complimentary babysitting, when available
- Approximately 4.5% - Three lice checks, for all students and teachers
- Approximately 20% - Parent education initiatives (E.g., seminars and expert-led presentations)
- Approximately 9% - Grade 6 graduation activities
- Approximately 23% - Teacher and staff appreciation gifts and activities
- Approximately 10% - Support for various school Events (e.g. popsicles for Terry Fox Run)
- Approximately 10% - General and Administrative
This year, contributions toward teacher and staff gifts have been centralized with this new financial model.
Each teacher and staff member in the JICS community who interact directly with our children, will receive an equal monetary gift at the beginning of our winter break and in June.
This replaces our previous practice of having class representatives collect money from individual families, decide how it will be distributed, who will be included, and what to purchase. It adds anonymity to the money collection process and ensures all our teachers and staff are equally valued.
We understand that this may not be the preferred method for some of our community members. Having considered and combined many options and suggestions, we recognize that we need to start somewhere, and we hope that this is a good place to start with what is bound to be a shifting model. With this, we are also committed to allowing it to change over time, as we evaluate the details that will continue to tailor this shift towards meeting the needs of our distinct community. Like one of the founding principles of JICS, we believe that this process of inquiry will be driven as much by curiosity, discourse, assessment, and reflection. It is only by trying in our pursuit of improvement that we will eventually come to a model and mission that holistically encompasses our parent community.
We recognize that there will be parents and/or class communities who may wish to acknowledge their child(ren)’s teacher(s) at the winter and summer breaks. This remains an option, and we leave individual gifting up to your discretion. Please ensure class community acknowledgements are homemade/sentimental, and do not require additional fundraising. We have heard from many teachers that some of their most cherished gifts have been homemade items from children, including cards, cooking and baking. Last year, one class created a homemade book of pictures and memories from the year and another class created a book of “coupons” to be used by the teacher when they needed support or a resource. Just food for thought!
The Honest Truth
As we continue to look through an equity lens, we recognize that there must be a willingness to risk a shift away from a financial model that has been reliable and successful for the PA for many years. We take this risk with some uncertainty as well as with hope that we have considered a model that will both honour our community, while also meeting our financial goals. With this in mind, we ask that you please consider what your family can contribute this year. Each donation is per family.
What’s Next: Click HERE to make your contribution!
Selecting this option presents a (more) inclusive opportunity to enable all of our community members to contribute in a way that best fits their current finances.
These are the at cost donations. If everyone made this contribution amount, the PA could cover its costs, which include teacher and staff gifts. We suspect many of our parent community will fall under this pricing.
This option presents an opportunity to enable another family to make a contribution using the equity range. *Each additional increment of $125 above the listed contribution in the opportunity option, would allow one additional contribution to be made within the equity price range.
$226 or more
Welcome Back JICS Families!
August 31st, 2023
Hello JICS Community,
My name is Megan Pearson and I am fortunate to be the incoming President for our Parents’ Association (PA). On behalf of the “executive” team, I would like to welcome you to what is shaping up to be another beautiful year at the JICS Lab School. And, an especially warm welcome to the families who are new to our community; we are so happy you are joining us.
I assure you that I will be more succinct in forthcoming messages, but as we return to another year together, there is a lot to cover. If you are inclined to skim, may I gently insist that you skim the bolded sentences (please).
As the PA, it is our work to support JICS, its public purpose, and its teachers and staff in continuing to create a safe and thriving learning community for our children. In this vein, we strive to be responsive to the needs of our various community members and to ensure the alignment of our goals with those of the school. While we do have an “executive” team who works collaboratively with the Lab School’s leadership team, we are all an equal part of the Parents’ Association, and there are many ways to contribute, if you are able.
Through various initiatives and events, this year we will focus on:
Continuing to build a collaborative, responsive, and engaging community that is equitable and diverse
Continuing our support of, and collaboration in diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives
Working in concert with community members to support JICS, as it prepares to recognize its centenary year 2025!
I think it is worth noting that our tuition fees go toward the general operations of the school. It is only through financial contributions to the PA that we can enrich the school with purchases like school yard play equipment, musical instruments, software and electronics and babysitting services during school events. This year, to further our equity, diversity, and inclusion work, and to better uphold our efforts to realize an economically diverse JICS community, the PA will be exploring new models of fundraising that are inclusive of all families. We value all definitions of wealth and means of contributing, and we are excited to work together to build a great year of programming at JICS! Next week’s message will have more information on how you can support the PA.
In the meantime, you can register here for our first social of the season! Mark your calendars for September 19th, 6 – 8pm in the JICS auditorium. Fully catered, and complete with a beautiful (and complimentary) selection of adult drinks, it’s sure to be a great way to (re)connect! Register here for complimentary babysitting at the school. The children will be provided with a pizza dinner.
Finally, thank you in advance for your efforts to help us enjoy another wonderful year together. A special thank you to our classroom representatives as well, as you are an integral part in helping our community in all our efforts.
We are still in need of:
2 classroom representatives for the Grade 1 class
1 parent to represent the Grade 5 half of Robins’ 4/5 class.
1 additional Volunteers Coordinator.
AND, to our incoming nursery families, please consider being a classroom representative. The time commitment is minimal, your support is monumental, and it is a great way to get to know the group!
If you are interested in any of the above roles, I am happy to give you more information. Please email me. I look forward to hearing from you so that we can fill these spaces in support of one another.
Welcome back and see you soon!
For more information about the PA, please visit https://www.jicsfamily.com/about-the-pa. The website will soon be updated to reflect our most current team of volunteers and means of contribution.