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Staffing 2019-2020 & Outreach Information

Staffing 2019-2020

We are excited to announce the staffing for the 2019-2020 school year:

Gr 6 – Ben Peebles

Gr 5 – Zoe Donoahue

Gr 4 – Robin Shaw

Gr 3 – Michael Martins

Gr 2 – David Orsorio

Gr 1 – Raadiyah Nazeem

SK – Carol Stephenson

JK – new hire; Specialist Assistant Cecilia Yeung

Nursery – Norah L'Esperance; RECE: Kenisha Peter and Naomi-Ruth Weerasooriya

Art – Tara Rouseau

Music – Suzanne Schwenger and Russell Hersen

French – Tania Debss and Christel Durand

Library – Krista Spence

Physical Education – new hire

Special Ed – Judith Kimel and Nick Song

Drama – Sarah Murray

We are very much looking forward to the staffing model shared above. This is an opportunity for new professional relationships within the Early Years, the Primary and the Junior Grade Divisions and an opportunity for professional growth and collaboration in a dynamic, research-based, intentionally-diverse learning environment that promotes exploring new ideas, perspectives, and approaches. At JICS, all staffing decisions are carefully made with the best interest of the children in mind.

In June, we will say goodbye to Thelma Akyea, our current Grade 3 teacher. We will remember her uncommon understanding of each child along with her compassion and deep pedagogical and curricular knowledge. We hope to continue our relationship with Thelma as a mentor to our MA teacher-candidates and as a collaborator on joint research projects.

Also, we want to thank Jessica Ray Willett for her work as our Physical Education teacher from February 2019 to the end of this school year. Jessica Ray seamlessly entered our community and continues to provide a robust Phys Ed experience for the children.

As you know, we have begun the hiring process of a new Junior Kindergarten teacher and a Physical Education teacher. Our hiring committees are composed of teachers, parents, Lab School and OISE administrative staff. The focus of these committees is to hire experienced, exemplary teachers who understand the JICS culture and are eager to join our community. We look forward to welcoming two new teachers who share our passion and deep respect for children and who are eager to collaborate and build knowledge about “how children learn best” with the existing JICS teachers.

Combined-Grades returning to JICS in September 2020

Many JICS parents have heard me speak about a return to combined grades at JICS which had been a practice at the Lab School for many years (most recently, at Grade 5/6). Combined classes, which are made up of half of one grade and half of another, have many benefits that we have appreciated. Studies show that children in combined classes have more opportunities for emotional and social growth and we have seen the way these mixed-grade classes provide new opportunities for relationships, mentorship, building responsibility, and recognizing diversity. Students develop confidence and important social skills when they have opportunities to interact with peers who are not in the same grade. We are aware of the fact that we are a small school with only one cohort per grade and, while this provides many benefits including a sense of cohesion and security, it can also, at times, result in some tension. One of the things we have valued about our combined-grade classes, when we have had them, is the opportunity they provide to shift the groupings of the children and offer them a chance to explore new social dynamics.

After much thought, we have decided to return to combined grades in September 2020 and to position the combined grade experience at Grade 4/5. This will allow Zoe Donoahue (Grade 5) and Robin Shaw (Grade 4) to take the time next year to research and design the optimal learning experiences for combined Grade 4/5 classes the following year. They are two of our most experienced teachers with deep knowledge of pedagogy and child development and they look forward to working collaboratively.

At JICS we believe that “all ideas are improvable” and we thank you for your trust as we continuously examine what it means to provide exemplary learning experiences for your child.

Day of Pink at JICS

We will be celebrating Day of Pink this Friday, April 12 at an assembly (JK to Gr 6). On this day we will be recognizing the importance of diversity and raising awareness, in developmentally appropriate ways, to stop homophobia, transphobia, and all forms of bullying.

We ask that children wear something pink. This can be an article of clothing or something they have created. More information about Day of Pink can be found here.

JICS Outreach!

In the past week, JICS has hosted visitors from near and far.

Designated as AERA President, Dr. Amy Well’s “First-choice” Visit Site during the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2019, educators, researchers and administrators from around the world toured our school to see first-hand the exemplary teaching and research happening onsite on April 5.

Visits continued on April 8 with JICS hosting a day focused on Knowledge Building which included members of the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ontario Principals’ Council. A highlight was the extraordinary panel of Grade 6 JICS children answering audience questions!

Tuesday had another contingent at JICS to see and participate in Lesson Study, a professional development model from Japan. JICS was an early adopter in North America and has been cited for how we have evolved and deepened the process to best suit our and our children’s needs. (Thanks to the SK children sharing their learning with us!)

To top it off, JICS hosted Dr. Greg Wells Tuesday night. The auditorium was packed for his lively, insightful, and inspiring talk on his new book “The Ripple Effect: Sleep Better, Eat Better, Move Better, Think Better”. Thank you for your donations – $2500 was raised which will be shared equally between Sick Kids Hospital and the JICS Diana Rankin Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund!

JICS – dedicated to improving public education in Ontario and beyond!


Tuition Support GalaWe need your help to increase the economic diversity of our student population for the benefit of all students!

Tickets: $165

In support of the Diana Rankin Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund

Date: Wednesday, May 8th, 2019. 7:00 pm – Late.

Location: The Fifth, 225 Richmond Street West

Games Day NEW DATE: Tuesday, June 4

Games Day was scheduled for Wednesday, June 5. It has come to our attention that June 5 is Eid-al-Fitr and members of our community who are Muslim will be celebrating this important religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. To us, growing and learning among individuals who share divergent life stories, and appreciating their respective cultures, is an invaluable aspect of a true education. We have rescheduled Games Day to be on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 4. Please mark your calendars. More information about this event (JK – Gr 6) will be sent closer to the date.

Upcoming Dates to Note:

April 12 – Final Day of Winter Internship (JK to Gr 6)

April 17 and April 24: Parent-Teacher Interviews (Nurs/JK/SK, Gr 4/5/6) * At the Lab School, parent-teacher interviews may include, in addition to the classroom teacher, a teacher from the Special Education department, a member of the JICS administration and/or an MA Student.

April 19 & April 22 – Good Friday & Easter Monday (School and Daycare closed)

May 1-3 – Grade 5 & 6 class trip to Montreal

May 8 – Tuition Support Gala! Please support economic diversity at JICS.

May 20 – Victoria Day (School and Daycare closed)

May 23, 7:00pm - Music Night in JICS auditorium

May 24, 9:30am – Grandpals Day (more details coming soon)

May 28, 6:00pm – Hot Dog Night (Family Fun Night) in JICS school yard

NEW DATE: June 4 pm– Games Day

June 13 – Grade 6 Graduation Ceremony and Reception

June 14 – Final day of school. School closes at noon.

June 17 – June 28 – Daycare “June Camp”

For more important dates, please refer to our School Calendar



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