Topics covered in this post:
Weekly Whole-School Communication
Must Haves for School
Letter from JICS Parents’ Association (PA) President
Hot Lunch Program
Upcoming September Events
We are only “a few sleeps away” from the start of another amazing year of learning at University of Toronto’s Lab School. We have missed you and we are eager to see the children!
1. Weekly Whole-School Communication
This email communication is the start of our weekly whole-school email “Our Latest News” sent to families each Thursday.
2. Must Haves for School
Students will have limited use of personal storage spaces such as cubbies. They will need to arrive and depart from the school with the materials needed to learn at school and at home. To facilitate this, we ask students and families to plan for the following:
A large backpack
Litter-less lunch (if not registered in hot lunch program) beginning Thursday, Sept 10.
Labelled & filled water bottle
A pair of labelled indoor running shoes that can be left at school for daily physical activity
A pair of personal headphones, preferably with built-in microphone (Gr 1 to Gr 6)
Two labelled masks per day (Masks are strongly recommended for students JK to Gr 3, and masks are mandatory for students Gr 4 to 6, excluding children with a pre-existing medical condition.)
Appropriate outerwear for the day. Students will need to be prepared to be active outdoors in all kinds of weather (rain, snow etc.).
Students will not be required to bring any school supplies, such as pencils and notebooks. These will continue to be provided by the school.
3. Daily Screening
The JICS Lab School appreciates and requires your cooperation. Our school opening is based on the assurance that all persons entering the school premises have taken proper precautions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
As you are aware, the best understanding of the present evidence is that COVID-19 can be transmitted by persons who do not exhibit symptoms. There is no guarantee that COVID-19 will not be contracted by persons entering School premises.
We require that you screen your child prior to arrival at school each day. In addition to daily active screening, please note that all students will be monitored at school for possible signs or symptoms of illness.
We have reproduced the SFO (School Forms Online) “(JICS) Lab School PARENT/GUARDIAN DAILY SCREENING” information here:
As a Parent/Guardian, you must prevent the spread of illness by keeping your child home from school if you or your child experience any of the following signs or symptoms:
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater)
New or worsening cough
Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
New olfactory or taste disorder(s)
Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
Runny nose, or nasal congestion – in absence of underlying reason for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies, post nasal drip, etc.
Other clinical features of COVID-19 can include:
Clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia
Atypical signs and symptoms of COVID-19 should be considered, particularly in children, older persons, and people living with a developmental disability.
Atypical symptoms and clinical features can include:
Delirium (acutely altered mental status and inattention)
Unexplained or increased number of falls
Acute functional decline
Exacerbation of chronic conditions
Atypical signs can include:
Unexplained tachycardia, including age specific tachycardia for children
Decrease in blood pressure
Unexplained hypoxia (even if mild i.e. O2 sat <90%)
Lethargy, difficulty feeding in infants (if no other diagnosis)
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
Information on this syndrome and its temporal association with COVID-19 is still emerging. As such, information on symptoms associated with MIS-C may evolve over time. Please see the World Health Organization (WHO) Case Definition or the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program (CPSP) Case Definition for diagnostic criteria.
Symptoms associated with this MIS-C may include:
Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
If your child experiences any of the symptoms while at school, staff will contact you or one of your emergency contacts to pick up your child immediately. While your child waits for you or your designate to arrive, s/he will be separated from the other children.
As a Parent/Guardian responsible for my child, I agree to the following:
I have read and understood the above information.
I understand the risk of illness associated with placing my child in the School.
Neither my child, nor anyone in my child’s household, nor anyone with whom a member of my child’s household has been in close contact, has tested positive for COVID-19 or had any of the symptoms in the last 14 days. If such symptoms or positive test for COVID-19 occur after submitting this form, I will immediately exclude all of my children from School, and my children will not attend the School until a minimum period of 14 days has passed after the positive test results or the children receive a medical report that they can return to School.
Note: close contact includes living with, providing care, or otherwise having close prolonged contact (within 2 meters) with another person.
Neither my child, nor anyone in my child’s household, nor anyone with whom a member of my child’s household has been in close contact, has traveled to or had a layover in any country outside Canada in the past 14 days. If such return from travel occurs after submitting this form, I will immediately exclude all of my children from School, and my children will not attend the School until a minimum period of 14 days has passed after the date of return to Canada.
I agree to the screening requirements and to accurately carry out the daily screening. Misrepresentation regarding the information provided to the JICS Lab School could result in exclusion of the child from the School.
Upon request by the JICS Lab School, I consent to providing copies of my child’s COVID-19 test results to the University of Toronto Occupational Health Nurse.
This agreement remains in effect for the duration of the 2020/21 school year.
4. Letter from JICS Parents’ Association (PA) President
Dear JICS Families,
On behalf of the JICS Parents' Association, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all parents, guardians, and families of students at Jackman Institute of Child Studies for the 2020-2021 school year. All families at JICS are automatically members of the JICS Parents’ Association.
Our children have an interesting year ahead! While things are certainly different this year, we want you to know that the PA is here to support you and your families.
This year, the PA will focus our efforts on the following three themes:
Support the learning and well-being of our children
Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion
Parent Engagement and Education through virtual events (until it is safe to meet in person)
Fundraising by the PA provides necessary resources to continue improvements to our school and learning opportunities for our children. The PA runs one large fundraiser in the fall through PA fees and donations. Your PA fees include the following benefits (more details to come):
Access to a Social Worker (2 days per week; 50% shared cost with JICS)
Lice screening (3x per year)
New Phys. Ed and playground equipment to enable safe and healthy distanced play
One of our parents, Lisa Strug (mom to Leo – G4 and Blair – G6), is a Senior Scientist with the Genetics and Genome Biology program at SickKids Research Institute. If there is enough interest, Lisa has graciously offered to help implement a masking program at JICS so that our children do not need to be handling dirty masks and bringing them back and forth from school.
The cost would be ~$15/week and children would receive a clean cloth mask in the morning on entry to the building and another on entry after lunch outdoor play.
Dirty masks are dropped in a bin, cleaned commercially and returned to the school for reuse.
The masks are 3-ply reusable face masks that provide a snug fit in child and youth sizes with breathable layers of fabric that are designed for daily use and adhere to the recommendations arising from recent scientific studies.
Please click on this poll and let us know if you are interested in participating or not. There is no commitment here, as we are just trying to determine whether we should move ahead with the program for JICS: https://www.strawpoll.me/20876458
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Lisa directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, Please reach out if you have any questions or ideas, or if you want to get more involved with the Parent Association. We would love to hear from you!!
President, Parents' Association
5. Hot Lunch Program
Dear JICS Parents,
Hope you have had a great and safe summer! I am happy to announce that hot lunches will resume at JICS on Monday, September 14th!
Online ordering for September and October is now available! Simply fill out the online form at:
and then check out with Interac e-transfer or credit card.
NOTE - THIS SIGN-UP IS FOR September and October ONLY to allow us to be more flexible with ongoing health and safety protocol changes. Assuming all goes as planned this Fall, I will send a reminder in late October for sign ups for November & December.
LUNCHES WILL NOT CURRENTLY BE OFFERED ON WEDNESDAYS, as there will be no afternoon programming.
MENU CHANGES - You may notice that the menu is slightly different this term (see attached). We will still be packing lunches on-site but kids will not be coming up to the serving station this Fall, so meals cannot be easily modified. So we decided to go with a "fan favourites" menu for these first two months. Again, assuming all goes well these first few months back, we will look at adding more options in November.
We are SO looking forward to getting back to serving your children lunches in a few weeks!
The Lunch Mom Team
Tricia Tait (aka "The Lunch Mom")
5. Upcoming September Events
Mon 7 – Labour Day (Holiday)
Tues 8 – Day 1 for Cohort A (12:00-12:15 dismissal)
Wed 9 – Day 1 for Cohort B (12:00-12:15 dismissal)
Thur 10 – Daycare begins; Day 2 for all students JK to Gr 6 (3:00-3:15 dismissal)
Mon 14 – Wed 16 – Nursery staggered start days
Mon 14 – Hot Lunch Program begins
Thur 18 – Rosh Hashanah (begins at sundown)
Fri 19 – Rosh Hashanah
Mon 21 – Fri 25 – Terry Fox Run Week (details coming soon)
Tues 22 – PA September Social (details coming soon)
Sun 27 – Yom Kippur (begins at sunset)
Mon 28 – Yom Kippur, start of MA internships/practicum
Wed 30 – Orange Shirt Day (details coming soon)