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Spring News from the Lab School

Dear Parents and Guardians,


Professor Clare Kosnik will be completing her three-year term as Director of the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study on June 30, 2018. Please join me in thanking Clare for her extraordinary contributions during her term as Director.

As OISE Dean, Glen Jones reported: “Under her leadership, JICS and the Lab School have continued to produce award-winning research and educational practice. She has led JICS through its periodic review under the University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process, including a thorough self-study and external review. Professor Kosnik also shepherded the Institute through the construction of its new building, ensuring that MA-CSE faculty and students, as well as Lab School teachers and pupils, remained connected with each other and with the high-quality teaching and research activities for which the JICS is renowned. Thanks in large part to Professor Kosnik’s leadership, JICS is moving forward with a renewed commitment to its mandate to provide evidence-informed, integrated research and practice oriented toward excellence in education, teacher education, and child study, in an expanded facility that will allow the Institute’s activities to thrive and serve the broader community”. Many JICS parents have come to know Clare and her deep understanding of the Lab School and her passionate commitment to developing relationships with the children, teachers, staff, and parents. She will be missed by all. OISE is currently initiating the process that will lead to the appointment of a new Director for a term that will begin on July 1, 2018


It was wonderful to see so many of you at Art Night last night. I invite you to personally thank Tara and the Art Night Committee for curating a beautiful display of the children’s artistic work. Tara spends many hours after school and during the weekend to prepare for this cherished annual event. Last night, many parents expressed their appreciation for the staggered entry times and the “gallery walk” format which allowed families to observe the art together, giving children the opportunity to explain the process and meaning of their work in our spacious new building.

In addition to all the work completed as part of our Art Program, we hope you viewed the representative sample of beautiful photographs of the items created by the children with Artist-in-Residence, Kelly Jazvac who as you may remember invited JICS students to artistically repurpose a once loved object, taking before and after photos. A book is being made with each child’s photographs and this book will be available for sale to parents soon!

In order to have the incredible enrichment of visiting artists, musicians, performers and to purchase large ticket items such as our school piano and drum sets, we rely on parent donations to the Jackman ICS Patrick Harvie Arts Fund. We hope you will consider making a donation in any quantity toward the Fund to continue to enrich the Arts programming at Jackman ICS. Please make cheques payable to Jackman ICS Parents’ Association, specifying Patrick Harvie Arts Fund in the subject line and leave at the front desk. Or to donate now online (specify Patrick Harvie Arts Fund) use this link. All donations will receive a tax receipt. If we gather enough donations, we will continue the artist-in-residence program next year with a new artist!


After many weeks of preparation under the direction of JICS teachers, Christel and Tania, the Grade 5, 6 and the Grade 1, 2 classes performed their delightful French plays to the parents. (Grade 3 and 4 will present soon.)

The children’s enjoyment and their comfort with the language was evident during their performances! Although each group from each class performed the same play, the individuality of every student/group came through! Please feel free to express your gratitude to our French team for their dedication to your children: Christel and Tania


On Tuesday, we invited back our Grade 7 graduates. This is an annual evening event in which we have the JICS alumni answer questions of our Grade 6 students about the transition to a new school. It was so sweet to see how the graduates were reassuring our sixes that making new friends is easy and offered tips on how to deal with the increased homework load.


JICS Director, Clare Kosnik; Grade 5 teacher, Tanya; and I will attend the American Educational Research Association annual conference in New York, April 13 to 17. During our time there, we will be attending sessions to deepen our understanding of child development and connecting with international researchers. Clare and I will present a session entitled: Rethinking Teacher Education Structure: Interplay Between Academic Courses and Practice Teaching.

During part of the March Break, JICS teachers: Norah, David, Carol, Ben and I attended the Canadian Study Group in Reggio Emilia. We learned about the world-famous Reggio early years program and visited many schools. It was a very enriching experience for us and we would happily speak to anyone about our learning there.


Our resource, Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: The importance of Indigenous perspectives in children's environmental inquiry, has received its first customer review on! We are blushing! To read the full review click here.

This resource is designed for parents and teachers alike. To purchase your copy from UofT Press, click here.

All the best,




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