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Happy Passover and Happy Easter!

Topics covered in this post:

  1. Happy Passover and Happy Easter!

  2. Staffing Information

  3. Welcome, Ellie Lathrop

  4. Provincial Financial Assistance

  5. Diana Rankin Muncaster Tuition Support Fund

  6. Video Message from Richard

  7. Letter from Parents' Association

  8. Public Purpose: Natural Curiosity

  9. OISE Stay @ Home Club

  10. JICS Has Got Talent

  11. Read-a-Thon Forms

  12. Long-Distance Photos

  13. Upcoming April Events

  14. Wake-up Your Brain Challenge


1. Happy Passover and Happy Easter!

We wish everyone a lovely long weekend.

JICS “distance education” is closed Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13. We look forward to connecting with you on Tuesday!


2. Staffing Information

We are delighted to announce that Norah L'Ésperance will remain at JICS next year as our Nursery teacher! She and her family are postponing their plans for a year abroad for more certain times.


3. Welcome, Ellie Lathrop

Our new social worker on staff, Ellie has prepared a video to introduce herself to you and your child/ren. Please feel free to contact Ellie ( directly if you or your child might benefit from some help to navigate this stressful time. Here is the Rudy video! Also explore the parent website resource Covid With Kids developed by a group of GTA colleagues for families during the COVID-19 pandemic. This website includes structure/activity ideas for kids, mental health resources, tools for parents to self-regulate, parenting/connecting with/talking to/understanding kids during COVID, and other local resources. Thanks, Ellie!


4. Provincial Financial Assistance During School Closures

The Ontario government is offering direct financial support to parents while Ontario schools and child care centres remain closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age. Click here for more information.


5. Diana Rankin Muncaster Tuition Support Fund

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.


6. Video Message from Richard

Richard emailed out a video message on April 7, 2020. It is here if you haven’t seen it.


7. Letter from Parents’ Association

Dear JICS Community,

This message was originally sent out by our Class Reps earlier this week and repeated here in case you missed it.

First and foremost, I hope that you and your families stay safe and healthy through this new global reality. Thank you to each and every one of you for taking your role seriously and living by the rules that will benefit all of us.

Please join me in expressing sincerest gratitude to the school administration, the teachers and the support staff for working tirelessly on solutions that will ensure the continuity of our children’s JICS experience. This new way of teaching requires a new level of commitment from all involved and we are truly grateful for the dedication the administration and teachers are showing to making this effort successful and smooth.

I have been hearing from many families since this term has started and know that there has been a steep learning curve managing work, supporting the e-learning of our children and supporting other family members too. To all you parents and caregivers, you are doing an amazing job at juggling multiple conflicting priorities!

Over the next few weeks, the PA will be preparing for the final months of the school year. Please complete this survey to provide us with candid feedback about how we can help our community stay connected while apart in the coming weeks. Maintaining our community strengthens us as individuals. These are stressful times, and we’re stronger together.

For families who participate in the hot lunch program, we have been in touch with Tricia at The Lunch Mom (thanks to François!). Tricia has committed to reimburse any parent who asks for reimbursement and has paid for the spring term right now, minus the credit card fees. If parents are willing to wait, she will reimburse the full amount, including the credit card fees, when we know if and when school will resume for sure. For more information, please visit the COVID-19 notice on The Lunch Mom website.

Finally, I’m sharing a video to share how one family in New Zealand has found a way to boogie during the lockdown.

Stay safe and healthy,

Deepta Rayner, JICS PA President


8. Public Purpose: Natural Curiosity

The JICS Lab School is Canada’s independent school with a public purpose. Our mission is to improve public school education through our research, teacher education, and dissemination of our exemplary approach. Learn about our most successful and the far-reaching impact of our publication “Natural Curiosity” which was featured in a recent OISE article.


9. OISE Stay @ Home Club: Kate piques your Natural Curiosity

OISE wants to keep the community connected and the learning experience thriving during this COVID-19 pandemic. The OISE Stay @ Home Club, taking live on the @OISEUofT Twitter feed, is a live show (that is subsequently recorded and shared) that features many alumni and friends of OISE/UT, who lead interactive lessons – for children and adults alike! This morning’s session had JICS ties!

  • Club session #2 – Kate piques your Natural Curiosity How do we find community during a time of isolation? On April 9th, Kate Barrett from JICS Natural Curiosity Program will walk you through a simple activity that can help the children in your lives access a different kind of connection – one with the natural world. Learn how simple outdoor activities like "hug a tree" can help children discover a sense of connection and relief during these challenging times.

Mark your calendars for future LIVE Club Sessions:

  • Club session #3 – Michael colours your world Monday, April 13, 2020, 11:00 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

  • Club session #4 – Matt catches a tune Friday, April 17, 2020, 11:00 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.


10. JICS Has Got Talent

Hey all you super, fun, creative, talented people out there – we need you! We want to invite all members of the JICS community to send us video clips of you sharing your talents. Anything goes! Sing, dance, play an instrument, tell a joke, do a magic trick, recite digits of Pi, juggle, balance, hoola hoop, skip, whistle, bake a masterpiece, paint, draw, do a handstand, plank while singing, recite poetry, repeat tongue twisters, build an amazing structure, etc etc. Whatever your talent is, we want to see it! Individual or group entries welcome.

Talent videos can be filmed with phones or cameras and should be no longer than 1 min in length. Information regarding how to submit your videos will be coming soon. Stay tuned and start practicing!


11. Read-A-Thon Forms

The deadline for Read-a-thon online forms has been extended. Please submit forms using this link by Friday, April 17! Please submit one per child.


12. Long-Distance Photos!

Enjoy these photos of children engaging in learning at home. Keep them coming for future posts! Send photos to Tory:

The SKs' Structures Challenge was to build a theatre with stage, backdrop and seating - check out this fantastic theatres!


12. Upcoming April Events

Wed 8 – Passover begins

Fri 10 – Good Friday - school closed

Mon 13 – Easter Monday - school closed

Mon 20 - Fri 24 Earth Week

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

JICS Lab School

45 Walmer Rd

Toronto, Ont.

M5R 2X2

Attention: Nancy Boudreau


Wake-Up Your Brain Challenge

Here’s Carol’s “Wake Up Your Brain Challenge” and some of the SK responses below! We hope you and your family try these little routines to get you on your feet moving after sitting too long working or looking at a screen.




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