Message from Social Worker, Thank you JICS Parents, School Closure, Message from Chriss

March 26, 2020

Topics covered in this post:

  1. Message from JICS Social Worker, Laura

  2. Thank you, Parents

  3. School Closure

  4. Internet Safety at Home

  5. Message from Chriss

  6. Newsletter

  7. Financial Support

  8. Upcoming April Events

1. A Message from JICS Social Worker, Laura

 

It is completely understandable and normal to feel some anxiety right now, and it’s important to acknowledge this for ourselves and for our children. Please read the message from Laura, the JICS Social Worker:

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you are all doing well in spite of everything going on.I just wanted to reach out and let everyone know that I am available for support.

Please don't hesitate to reach out for any questions, concerns or tips for your children during this time.

 

You can reach me at lauragordin@gmail.com or laura.gordin@jackmanics.onmicrosoft.com and we can set up a way to communicate in a way that is comfortable for you.

 

In the meantime, please take care.

 

Tip:

The technique below will take you through your five senses to help remind you of the present. This is a calming technique that can help you or your child get through tough or stressful situations

 

2. Thank you to JICS Parents

 

Thank you, JICS Parents, for your encouragement, appreciation, and feedback as the teachers work with you to provide learning experiences for your child/ren. You have shown understanding during a challenging and stressful time. Your patience, compassion, and adaptability as parents in the midst of the school closure is inspiring. Like many of you, the JICS teachers are working from home while tending to their own personal situation (young children, elderly parents, loved ones with a compromised immune system…). Each of us, parents, teachers and staff, faces unique challenges as individuals but united, we will emerge a stronger and more resilient community.

3. School Closure

 

Premier Doug Ford has stated that students across the province will not be returning to school on April 6, as the province first hoped. We are ready to continue our on-line learning for as long as necessary. With information changing daily, we need to be flexible and in constant contact.

 

You can reach us at:

Richard Messina richard.messina@utoronto.ca

Christine Bogert chriss.bogert@utoronto.ca

Nancy Boudreau nancy.boudreau@utoronto.ca

Tory McCracken tory.mccracken@utoronto.ca

4. Internet Safety at Home

 

It’s wonderful to see how JICS children are eagerly embracing the online learning experiences being offered to them by the teachers. This week we’ve seen many examples of their enthusiasm for school and their determination to seize this opportunity to connect, to engage, and to try their very hardest to learn in a completely new way.

 

As parents and teachers, this puts us in a bit of a conflicted space as we usually want to reduce the time our kids are spending in front of screens, not add to it. We suggest that now, during the COVID-19 crisis, is not the time to worry about quantity, but to focus on quality and safety instead.

 

If your children are using devices that are connected to the internet, please monitor their use, protect them as needed, and help them to make safe choices. We understand how tricky this can be when parents are also trying to work at the same time, and we’d like to offer guidance. To help us help you best, please send your questions or concerns about internet safety in the home to VP Chriss Bogert chriss.bogert@utoronto.ca. Look for more information during our school closure to continue to support you with this challenge.

 

Our Teacher Librarian and Technology Integrator, Krista Spence, teaches our students about being good digital citizens in Library classes. She offers these tips for parents at home:

 

  • Discuss usage expectations (follow teacher’s instructions/links), limits & time frames

  • Monitor the use of the device as in many applications, one click leads to the internet

  • Make a plan for what to do if they need help or if something unexpected happens (e.g. close or leave the device, and tell an adult)

  • Don’t share private information

  • Keep a list of usernames/passwords

  • Remind children to be kind when online chatting with their friends

  • Ultimately let what you know is best for your own family guide you around setting expectations and boundaries for technology use in the home

 

Here are some resources that may help:

 

Common Sense Media is a fantastic resource for guidance. They have many resources to help you in guiding your child to be a good digital citizen. You can also check the ratings and reviews of various movies, books, apps and video games, to see if the content is appropriate for your child. They have recommendations by age and advice on a variety of topics. Here is a link to a page about Coronavirus Resources they created to support families at this time.

 

Media Smarts is another fabulous website with Tip Sheets and Guides to support parents. Here is a current article written to help kids and parents learn about staying connected with friends during this time of social distancing.

 

And lastly, we offer Thom Powers’ (artistic director of DOC NYC) suggestions for documentaries that children might enjoy recently posted in this Wall Street Journal Article when you do need to use screen time as a coping tool.

 

And a recommendation from Chriss, whose own children loved to watch How It’s Made, now in it’s 24th season.

5. Message from Chriss

 

We hope you will show this video message from Vice Principal, Chriss to your child! 

6. Send a Photo!

 

Please send us a photo of your child/ren engaging in learning at home. This can be an activity designed by the classroom or specialty teacher or a learning opportunity you have provided. We will post them in next week’s Post for the children to enjoy and help create a sense of connectedness. Send photos to Tory (tory.mccracken@utoronto.ca).

7. School Newsletter

 

The JICS School Newsletter is a great way for your child to feel connected to the school. The password information was shared in Richard’s email on March 21, 2020.

8. Financial Support

 

Jackman ICS is committed to needs-based financial support through the Diana Rankin/Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund. We understand that many JICS families are facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. As you know, the next tuition payment is scheduled for April 20, 2020 representing 50% of the tuition balance for 2020-2021 school year. Families who are not able to meet this requirement, please be in touch with Richard to explore possibilities. As the impact from COVID-19 deepens, we anticipate an increase in requests for financial support. If you have the means to help, we strongly encourage donations to the Diana Rankin Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund. Our goal is to retain every child by providing support for any current family whose changed financial circumstances may jeopardize, in the short term, their ability to keep their children enrolled at Jackman ICS.

9. Upcoming April Events

 

Tues 7 – Daycare Board virtual meeting 5:30-7:00

Wed 8 – Passover begins 

Fri 10 – Good Friday

Mon 13 – Easter Monday

Wed 15 – Parent/Teacher Interview day

Mon 20 - Fri 24 Earth Week

Wed 29 – Parent/Teacher Interview day

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

Enjoy some photos of the signs of Spring around the school:

 

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