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Parent Info Night and Alumni Echo Newsletter 2020

Topics covered in this post:

  1. Parent Information Night

  2. Alumni Echo Newsletter 2020 Edition

  3. Letter from PA President

  4. JICS’ Public Purpose – Inspiring Others

  5. Parent Education: Webinar

  6. Social Worker, Ellie

  7. Daycare Grandmother

  8. Call for Parent Volunteers

  9. UNICEF Message to Children

  10. JICS Has Got Talent

  11. Long-Distance Photos

  12. Upcoming May Events


1. Parent Information Night

On Thursday, May 14 at 7:30pm Richard and Chriss look forward to a zoom call with all JICS parents. We will provide an update on the school and our plans moving forward, as well as provide an opportunity for parents to ask questions. Parents are encouraged to send questions in advance. A zoom link will be emailed early next week.


2. Alumni Echo Newsletter

Dear JICS Parents,

We are delighted to share with you the 2020 edition of the Alumni Echo, a colourful glimpse into our wonderful school for JICS alumni and friends. This issue highlights some of the fascinating research taking place here, and its relevance to the wider educational community. We celebrate our outdoor spaces, with an eye towards intentional inclusion of Indigenous ways of knowing, and learning and play spaces reflecting the latest research in what is best for children to thrive. We have a wonderful story of parent philanthropy, and a poignant tribute to our long-time teacher and friend, Cindy Halewood.

We hope that our new issue will remind current JICS families that these strange times are temporary, and brighter days full celebration, and hugs, are on the horizon. We want to thank JICS parent, Tracy Pryce for her valuable contributions to this edition and Becky Stewart for the new beautiful design. Past editions can also be found on the Lab School Alumni page of our website.


Tara Rousseau

Visual Arts teacher

Alumni Echo editor


3. Letter from PA President

Dear JICS Community,

This year, for #TeacherAppreciationWeek, we have an extra big shout out for our JICS teachers. Under extraordinary circumstances this spring, you have shown us your dedication to your craft and to our children, you have taken school online and given togetherness a whole new meaning. On behalf of all of the JICS families, we thank you!

By now many of us have settled into new routines. I wanted to follow up with you on news from the parent survey conducted by the JICS PA…

Regarding Parent Education events, you’ve told us that you are interested in:

  1. Helping children learn at home

  2. Health and Wellness at home

We are currently looking for a date or dates to host the parent education events listed above.

Regarding community building, we heard from many families that you would like to have an opportunity for parents to gather. I know that many class reps are planning a virtual class breakfast or happy hour and encourage you all to attend if you are able. In addition, we are planning a virtual PA meeting, likely towards the end of this month. Some families have asked for how to get in touch with families in other grades. If you haven’t already, please be sure to check the school-wide directory when you log into School Forms Online (SFO) at

As we are well into the final term of the current school year, we look towards the coming school year and our volunteers for the JICS PA. Thanks to all current PA Executives for their support this year! Starting in July, we will have 4 vacancies on the PA: Treasurer, Parent Education, Volunteer Coordinator and Communications. If you have an interest in any of these roles, please reach out to the PA at

To all the mothers in our community, enjoy your day this weekend. I'm sure it will be unforgettable - Happy Mother’s Day!

Wishing all of you health and strength!

Deepta Rayner

JICS PA President


4. JICS’ Public Purpose – Inspiring Others

In honour of Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8, 2020), OISE has featured JICS Grade 1 teacher, Raadiyah as one of 5 outstanding OISE alumni from our MA-CSE program to celebrate teachers and all that they do!

The Robertson Program for Inquiry-based Teaching in Mathematics and Science creates, demonstrates, and disseminates inquiry-based teaching models for mathematics and science by focusing on teacher and student inquiry. Their goal is to help teachers become more reflective practitioners who strive to deepen their own knowledge of mathematics and science. During COVID-19 JICS Kindergarten teachers, Carol and Marcia have been regularly featured in their Instagram account.

Please find here a link to the latest edition of the Natural Curiosity newsletter, Making the Shift. This edition was designed in response to the current COVID-19 crisis by Natural Program leaders Rosa Na and Brenda Simon. Three of our teachers, Carol, Raadiyah, and David are highlighted sharing their experiences with shifting their environmental inquiry practice to a distance learning model.

We are very proud that Raadiyah, Carol, Marcia, and David have been selected to represent the Lab School and help others in education to be inspired.


5. Parent Education: Webinar

The recording of the Psychology Foundation of Canada’s May 6 webinar “A Parent’s Guide to Staying Sane During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Dr. Steven Stein” is available here. Dr. Stein provides a wonderful combination of strategy and tactics for parents.


6. Social worker, Ellie

We are grateful to the JICS PA Association for funding the social worker position at the Lab School. Please feel free to contact Ellie directly if you or your child might benefit from help to navigate this unprecedented time.


7. Daycare Grandmother

Join us in congratulating ICS Daycare Director, Anne Marie who on Monday became a grandmother for the first time. Beautiful Jaxen was born to Anne Marie’s daughter Elisa and her partner Mark.


8. Call for Parent Volunteers

The Music Night Planning Committee is exploring ways to produce an evening celebrating music that can take place while the school building remains closed. If you have skills related to video production, please be in touch with Suzanne or Russell.


9. Message to Children from UNICEF

JICS has a long history in supporting the work of UNICEF. Here is a video they have created thanking children for their contribution during the pandemic.


10. JICS Has Got Talent!


11. Long-Distance Photos!

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


12. Upcoming May Events

Thurs 8 – Cindy Halewood Memorial – postponed (new date TBD) Thurs 14 – Parent Information Night 7:30pm – Zoom link in email

Mon 18 – Victoria Day. School holiday Thurs 21 – Music Night – postponed (new date TBD)

Tues 26 – Hot Dog Night (TBD)




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