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Staffing News, Ministry of Ed Curriculum Changes, School Repairs

Grade 5 Teacher

We are delighted to share a staffing update for September 2018. As usual, we received a strong list of applicants in response to our ad for a new Grade 5 Teacher. Joining us in September will be Mary Jane Miller. Mary Jane is an exemplary and very experienced teacher who has worked in elementary school settings for over 20 years. She has taught French Immersion and every grade from Kindergarten to Grade 6. This year, she taught Grade 4/5 and the previous year Grade 5/6 at Givins/Shaw Junior Public School. She has been a Math Lead Teacher, Literacy Resource Organizer, Teacher-Researcher and she was a Course Director and Coordinator (2010 – 2013) of the Primary/Junior Program for teacher candidates at York University. She is well known to the JICS Practicum Team for her work as a mentor to teacher-candidates from the JICS MA CSE Program and has a reputation for her highly-engaging and rigorous programing. Mary Jane is an exceptional educator who loves to think, read, be part of research, reflect with others, change, and grow. The JICS teachers are looking forward to learning from her, and with her, and we know that the children will love her!

We want to take this opportunity to thank the hiring committee members: Grant McCutcheon (past president of the PA), Dr. Rhonda Martinussen (JICS Director, OISE), Chriss Bogert (VP), Judith Kimel (Special Ed teacher), and Robin Shaw (Gr 4 teacher); Richard Messina (Principal) chaired the hiring committee. The committee members vetted the applications, created a short-list for interview, contacted references, interviewed the applicants, and observed them in their current classrooms before making their decisions. Thank you to the parents who emailed qualities and strengths for the new hire. We know that the JICS children and parents will be thrilled with our selection. We will host an opportunity for Gr 5 families to meet Mary Jane in the last week of August (details coming soon).

New Assistant Nursery Teacher

We are delighted to inform you that we have hired Naomi-Ruth Weerasooriya (RECE) to be the new Nursery Assistant Teacher. Naomi will be joining Norah and Kenisha in the Nursery program beginning September 17, 2018. She will work in the school office in the afternoons. Some of you will know Naomi as she has been a supply teacher in our Nursery and Kindergarten classrooms since 2016. Naomi has worked with children and families for the past 10 years in recreation, special needs, hospital, education, home, and research settings. She has extensive experience at various child care centres, and has supervised George Brown field placement students. Please join us in welcoming Naomi!

Ministry of Education: Cancellation of Curriculum Writing Sessions

In light of the recent news of the cancellation of the Truth and Reconciliation curriculum writing sessions by the Ontario Ministry of Education, we are encouraging our community to voice our concern. These important sessions were meant to enhance Indigenous perspectives in Ontario public school classrooms. We hope you will write to your MPPs, as well as to the Ontario Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, to urge them to reconsider their decisions. Here is a sample letter:

Dear MPP,

My name is (Insert name) and I am a constituent in your riding. I am writing this email as a parent and as a witness and supporter of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I have recently been made aware of the cancellation of the curriculum writing sessions. Of particular concern is the cancellation of the TRC session, meant to support teachers as they take on their duty of bearing witness and facilitating the Calls to Action of the TRC. I would like you to stand up and represent me by voicing my concern towards the provincial leadership. Primarily, I would like to know what commitment the Ontario Ministry of Education has towards enacting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and secondly provide explicit next steps.

Thank you for your work to make opportunities in education equal for all children.

Ministry of Education: Reverting to 1998 Health Curriculum

Ontario public schools have been mandated to revert to teaching the former Health Curriculum developed in 1998, which did not include topics such as same-sex marriage and online safety which was included in the 2015 updated version. Progressive, inclusive and discussion-based health curriculum will always be the priority of the Lab School. We believe that JICS and all Ontario students deserve a curriculum that reflects their diversity and the needs of our time.

New School Yard Paving

The tarmac surface of the school playground has been replaced this week. The surface was damaged last summer during the demolition and renovations. The costs for this work were fully covered by the construction company. (see photo above!)

School Calendar 2018-2019

Here is our year at a glance calendar:

We will adding important events and dates to note on the monthly school calendar throughout the summer. Please check the website for updates!

The new school garden is blooming! Thanks to our volunteer families for watering these plants all summer.

The new school garden is blooming! Thanks to our volunteer families for watering these plants all summer.



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