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COVID-19 Update, Learning Activities, Self-Isolation

Topics covered in this post:

  1. COVID-19 Update

  2. Learning Activities

  3. Self-Isolation

  4. School Administration

  5. School Cleaning

  6. Expected Date of Return

  7. Field Trips/Events: Cancelations

  8. Questions

  9. Upcoming March Events

  10. Upcoming April Events


1. COVID-19 Update

We certainly are in challenging and uncertain times. With the outbreak of COVID-19, over the past few weeks we at the JICS Lab School have been focused on the wellbeing of our students, our families, our teachers and staff, and our communities. This includes working to ensure we continue to provide you with the information and support you need for your child’s learning during the two-week post-March Break school closure (March 23 to April 3).


2. Learning Activities

Each classroom teacher will share activities that our students can engage in during the school closure beginning on Monday, March 23, 2020. The imposed “social isolation” to help “flatten the curve” is very challenging to a school with a vibrant “social constructivist” learning culture. At JICS, our research and experience inform how we teach and we understand that children learn best when they are working collaboratively, on an authentic problem, each contributing to the creation of new knowledge that is of value to the community. When children are separated from one another, whether that be in desks in rows, or the challenge we are currently facing with the 2-week school closure, the learning will be different. With knowledge of this challenge, the JICS teachers are meeting this week and will email developmentally appropriate activities and learning opportunities as options for the children until we can safely come together again. Depending on grade level, learning opportunities may be shared directly with students on the online platforms they are familiar with using in class, while notifying parents by email of each new posting.

We encourage parents to continue to read or have their child/ren read during this time – our hope is that we will reach an all-time high in terms of participation and pages read in this year’s Read-athon!


3. Self-Isolation

On March 13, 2020, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health announced that “anyone who has travelled anywhere, outside of Canada, should self-isolate and avoid contact with others for 14 days.” We are requiring that all JICS families and faculty/staff self-isolate (not attend JICS) for 14 days beginning the day of return from travel outside the country. If at any time you develop fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, even mild symptoms, self-isolate, avoid contact with others and call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for further instructions. We recognize that these requirements result in significant adjustments to regular routines and present significant challenges for JICS families. Thank you for your understanding and help in delaying the spread of the virus.


4. School Administration

During the 2-week school closure, JICS School Administrative staff, including Richard and Chriss, will be on site unless we are notified that the University is closed. Many of you have reached out to us personally and we encourage and welcome you to do so. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. ​


5. School Cleaning

We are proactively taking advantage of this break to thoroughly clean the school facilities and will practice the same level of thorough hygiene upon our return. The University has taken necessary precaution to disinfect touch points, washrooms, and all other surfaces in the JICS building with electrostatic sprayers that are negatively charged.


6. Expected Date of Return

Information is arriving daily and we need to anticipate the unexpected. At present, we know that our first day of the Spring Term will be Monday, April 6 and we will communicate confirmation of this information or any changes to our return date. Day care will open at 8:00am and the school at 8:45am. Only children who have been in the country for a minimum of 14 days and show no symptoms of COVID-19 can attend. Please notify Nancy Boudreau if you are required to self-isolate. Our priority is not to panic, be alarmist, or single out any of our families but to respond accordingly as information becomes available from Toronto Public Health and ensure the health and well-being of your children, your family, and our faculty and staff and our families.


7. Field Trips/Events: Cancelations

JICS is currently exploring the cancellation of field trips and the Grade 5/Grade 6 overnight trip to Ottawa. All JICS community events during the school closure will be cancelled until further notice. Communication regarding JICS and PA events will follow.


8. Questions

We appreciate that these are very uncertain and stressful times. You may be feeling anxious. This article from the Globe and Mail may prove helpful. Please send any questions that you may have to Richard or Chriss. Your questions will provide helpful guidance for our future communications.


9. Upcoming March Events (Read-athon Month):

Mon 16 - Fri 20 – March Break (week 2) School and Daycare closed.

Mon 23 – CANCELLED Spring Term begins

Tues 24 – CANCELLED Parent Education Event: Robbie Case Memorial Lecture with Dr. Herb Ginsberg, Columbia U. 6:00pm

Wed 25 – CANCELLED First day of Wednesday Afternoon Program-Spring Term

Thurs 26 – POSTPONED School-wide lice check, courtesy of the JICS Parents’ Association

Thurs 26 – CANCELLED Parent Education Event: Robbie Case Memorial Lecture with Dr. Doug Clements, University of Denver 6:00pm

Tues 31 – POSTPONED Grade 6 & Grade 7 Reunion “Pizza Night” to learn about transitioning to new school 3:30-5:30pm


10. Upcoming April Events:

Wed 1 – POSTPONED Gr 1 Parent Breakfast

Fri 2 – POSTPONED Parent Ed “Coffee and Conversation” Engaging Families in Preparing JICS Students for the Future. 8:30-9:30. Room 120

Mon 6 NEW - Spring Term begins. Daycare opens at 8:00am; School opens at 8:45am

Tues 7 – Daycare Board meeting 5:30-7:00 Room 120

Wed 8 – Passover begins

Wed 8 - NEW - First day of Wednesday Afternoon Program-Spring Term

Thurs 9 – Last day of teacher candidate Winter Internship and Block 3 practicum placement in JK-Gr 6

Fri 10 – Good Friday. School & Daycare closed.

Mon 13 – Easter Monday. School & Daycare closed.

Wed 15 – Parent/Teacher Interview day

Mon 20 – PA Meeting 6:00pm

Mon 20 - Fri 24 Earth Week

Wed 22 – Fri 24 POSTPONED International Association of Lab Schools Conference at JICS

Fri 24 – NEW - School Open (PD Day cancelled) Wed 29 – Fri 1 Gr 5 & Gr 6 Ottawa Trip

Wed 29 – Parent/Teacher Interview day

Thurs 30 – JK Parent Breakfast

Thurs 30 – 2nd tuition payment due (50% of balance). Make cheque payable to University of Toronto (3rd payment due September 9th).


Grade Five Artists: People Sculpted from Wire

The Grade Five study of human anatomy through wire has become a tradition here at the

school. Each sculpture represents an extended and extensive journey in the acquisition of techniques and the putting if theory into practice. As always, the student works are each unique, and a reflection of their interests, resilience, and ingenuity. This year has seen a strong representation of support and love for our city's champion basketball team, the Toronto Raptors. Each piece is accompanied by the artist's voice, giving further life to the work. Enjoy these photos of this stunning collection!




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