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Picture Day, PA, Terry Fox

Topics covered in this blog post:

  1. Monday is Picture Day!

  2. Message from JICS PA President

  3. Call for Parent Volunteers: Thursday, Sept 26 – Terry Fox Run

  4. Teacher Summer PD Experiences

  5. Upcoming September Events


1. Monday is Picture Day

Please dress your child in bright colours and send a comb or a brush if possible! Individual and cohort photos will be taken.


2. Message from JICS Parents' Association President

Dear JICS Families,

What a wonderful way to kick-off the new school year at Tuesday evening’s Parent Social! We had a great time meeting new and continuing families, as well as many classroom and specialty teachers. A special thanks to PA Vice President, François, for organizing the event – the wine and cheese were delicious! For the parents who missed it, we’ll catch you next time at the PA event in October.

Reminder to pay your PA Fees/Donations. These fees go a long way to ensure that every family is supported. Here are a few examples of how PA funds are used to build our community:

  • Lice screening (3x per year)

  • Parent Social (September 10th, 2019 – thanks for coming out!)

  • Parent Education events

  • Babysitting for events held in the evenings for parents (Parent Social, Curriculum Night, Parent Education events, PA meetings, etc.)

  • Classroom grants (up to $500 per teacher for unique purchases to enhance the learning)

  • Artist-in-Residence Programming

  • Access to a Social Worker for our children (1 day per week)

We have a number of volunteer opportunities available for parents who are looking to get involved for a few hours this term or later in the year. Sign up here.

Finally, we have great casual wear for you and your family to wear with JICS pride. Get your school wear at the JICS Shop online.

Warm regards,



3. Call for Parent Volunteers for Thursday, Sept 26 - Terry Fox Run

Parents in Gr 1-6 are requested to help with our annual Terry Fox Run on Thursday, September 26, 8:50am-10:30am. Volunteer parents will be invited to attend our JK-Gr 6 Assembly in the gym at 8:50 am and then exit the assembly early to stand in a designated spot on our running route to Sibelius Park and back to JICS. Parents help to cheer on the “runners” and ensure they stay safely on route. (A map with volunteer names and locations will be provided.) Please sign up here.

Parents of JK and SK children are welcome to “run” with your child. Please be in touch with your child’s teacher if you are interested in participating.


4. Teacher Summer Professional Development

During the summer months, many JICS teachers took the opportunity to continue their professional development by reading research and educational books and attending courses. At JICS, we cultivate a “learning culture” amongst the staff by providing the opportunity for teachers to enroll in courses and subsequently share their newly acquired understandings with the Lab School staff at our Wednesday Afternoon Meetings. Here are some of our learning experiences we look forward to learning more about and will benefit the children:

Christel (French Teacher, Junior Grades) attended the Academy of Mindfulness Teaching International Training in the Netherlands and received a Mindfulness Trainer Certification for children and adolescents (ages 4 to 19) and Mindfulness Trainer Certification for Teachers and Parents. This evidence-based program designed by Eline Snel is based on the mindfulness training for adults by Jon Kabat Zinn and adapted for children aged between 4 and 19.

Nick (Special Education Teacher) completed the Special Ed Specialist (part 3 of 3 courses) Additional Qualification Course for teachers. This course was based on enhancement of professional knowledge, ethical practice, leadership, and ongoing learning.

Suzanne (Music Teacher, Early Years) completed the Smart Start Foundations Course: Early Childhood Music Education Program (age 0-6) developed by the Royal Conservatory based on principles of neuroscience and using musical activities to support fundamental cognitive skills. Suzanne also took a course through the Royal Conservatory and Native Canadian Centre (Spadina) on Celebrating Canada's Indigenous Cultures. Indigenous music educator, Sherryl Sewepagaham from Alberta, introduced an engaging repertoire, always in its cultural context, that works in the elementary classroom through song, games, drama, movement and instruments. Local indigenous artists, including drum circle facilitator Michele Perpaul of the Spirit Wind Women's Hand Drum Group, joined for parts of the course to bring an Ontario perspective.

Michael (Grade 3 teacher) completed the Special Education Part 2 Teacher Additional Qualification Course at OISE which covers program design practices for students with special needs, and the role of formal and informal assessment in learning. He also attended a workshop on Promoting Adaptive Anxiety in Children with Dr. Alex Russell through Sick Kids Centre for Community Mental Health Learning Institute. Dr. Russell discussed the role of anxiety in our daily lives and ways to promote children's emotional resilience.

Marcia (JK teacher) taught a Pre-Kindergarten Summer School through the TDSB. This half day program was developed to prepare students in high need areas for kindergarten. Marcia also taught the Kindergarten Teacher Additional Qualification Course Part 1 online with ETFO (Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario). Lastly, she facilitated a 3-day workshop on Early Years Math in Barrie also with ETFO.

Raadiyah (Grade 1 teacher), David (Grade 2 teacher) and Stephanie (JK associate teacher) each completed the Reading Part 1 Additional Qualification Course. In this course, teachers deepen their knowledge and skills to help students learn to read, write, and learn. The research about how we learn to read was studied and exposure to innovative procedures and materials to help students learn to read and write.

Nadia (Phys Ed) is in the process of becoming a Certified Yoga Instructor with Cosmic Yoga for kids, a story-based approached to teaching kids yoga.

Carol (SK teacher) began the exciting work of writing a book on Kindergarten Math with co-authors Dr. Joan Moss and Dr. Julie Comay.


5. Upcoming September Events:

Mon 16 – Photo Day

Wed 18 to Fri 20 – Grade 5 & 6 Trip to Sandbanks Provincial Park

Thurs 26 – Terry Fox Run 9:15am (JK to Gr 6)

Mon 30 – Orange Shirt Day & Rosh Hashanah




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