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"All Parents" Meeting, Lunch & Learn, and JICS Clothing

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

JICS at a Glance

The purpose of our new "JICS at a Glance" section is to ensure parents and caregivers are receiving the most important information and deadlines. We highly encourage families to continue reading the full post to learn more about our school community, opportunities for family involvement, what our students are learning, and more.

Topics covered in this post:


1. Message from JICS Parents' Association

PA "All Parents" Meeting

Monday, October 23rd

7:00-8:30 pm on Zoom

Dear Parent Community,

All JICS parents are invited to join the first “all parents” meeting of the Parents’ Association on Monday, October 23 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm. On the agenda for the meeting:

1. Introduction to the PA and goals for the year;

2. Overview of Parents Education events currently being planned for the year;

3. Overview of the budget and current financial situation of the PA;

4. Other updates from our principal, Richard;

5. Class rep's reports on social happenings for their cohort;

6. Opportunities to volunteer;

7. Reminders.

The meeting will be held virtually. Please use this Zoom link to join:

Please find the zoom password in this week’s POST email.

Sincerely yours,



2. Lunch & Learn with Ellie

Parent Ed - Lunch & Learn

Supporting the development of empathy and perspective taking

Thursday October 26th, 1-2 pm over Zoom

Parents, please join for a lunch and learn next week! I will be talking about the connected social emotional skills of empathy and perspective taking and how as a parent you can understand and support this with your child. I will also share a bit about the Roots of Empathy program and how it is running at JICS.

There will be a 30 min recorded talk, following by 30 min of questions and discussion, not recorded. Please RVSP HERE - a Zoom link will be sent to your registration email shortly before the event begins. This has been a wonderful way to join together and share with the parent community. Here is a list of topics presented so far and that are accessible as recordings HERE. As always don't hesitate to reach out if you have suggestions or questions.

Warmly, Ellie

Lunch & Learn 2020 - 2021

  1. October 27, 2020 Sleep a Foundation for Family Wellness

  2. November 26, 2020 Sibling Strategies - Peaceful Solutions to Conflict

  3. December 15, 2020 Parenting in the Digital Age, Supporting Your Relationship with Your Child and their Tech

  4. March 16, 2021 - Mindful Parenting - Cultivating Compassion and Awareness

Lunch & Learn 2021-2022

  1. October 21, 2021 - Social Media and Protecting Your Child's Sense of Self

  2. December 2, 2021 Emotion Coaching - Responding to your child, a developmental perspective

  3. January 27, 2022 Riding the Waves: A review of recent literature on predictors of parental burnout and parental resiliency during the pandemic

  4. March 31st, 2022 Pathways to Positive Masculinity - Denia Anderson MSW Intern

  5. May 19, 2022 - Where is Your Water Bottle, Understanding and Supporting Your Child with Executive Function - with Nick and Judith

Lunch & Learn 2022 - 2023

  1. October 4th, 2022 - Helping Kids Manage Disappointment and Suffering

  2. November 22, 2022 - A Deficit of Rest, the mental health benefits of creating space for calm and rest - with Christel

  3. January 31st , 2023 - The Pursuit of Perfect, when perfectionism has a hold on your child

  4. April 18th, 2023 - Supporting Your Child Through Transitions - Strategies to Avoid Meltdowns

  5. May 30th, 2023 - School Home Collaboration - JICS Approach to Supporting Children's Behaviour - with Chriss and Richard


3. JICS Clothing - Sale Ends October 27th

Time is running out to purchase JICS clothing designed by Toronto mural artist, Al Runt. The Parents’ Association have devised a “Pay What You Wish” option for both children and adult items. Don’t miss out! To purchase JICS clothing, please click here.


4. Parents' Association (PA) - Have you donated?

Our Parents’ Association exists to enrich the experience of JICS students. If you have not had the opportunity yet to make your PA donation for this year, please read more about this year’s plan here. Every JICS parent is a member of our Parents’ Association. It is only through financial contributions that the PA is able to support the school. Thank you to those who have donated. Our community has raised $17,540.65 of $36,000.00 total.

Click HERE to make your contribution! Due date is October 27.


5. Economic Diversity at JICS

The JICS Lab School is committed to diversity in all forms; however, it wasn’t too long ago that the school was not able to have a wide range of economic diversity because we could not offer financial assistance. Since 2008, JICS has provided needs-based financial support to retain current lab school families through the Diana Rankin/Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund. Thanks to the Muncaster family and other visionary donors, as well as current and alumni Jackman ICS families, for providing this support.

Although funds available limit our ability to respond to every request, we are pleased that approximately $199,337 was awarded for financial support for the 2023-2024 school year.


1. Support for Economic Diversity

Financial assistance is provided for students who could not otherwise consider enrolling at JICS in Grades 4, 5, 6.

2. Support to Retain Current Families

This fund is available for current students entering Grades 3-6 who could not otherwise consider staying at JICS.

3. Indigenous People's Support

This fund makes needs-based tuition support of children of First Nations and Indigenous heritage available.

4. Support for Changed Financial Circumstances

This fund provides one-time support for current families whose changed financial circumstances may jeopardize, in the short term, their ability to keep their children enrolled at JICS.

5. Additional Financial Support

Several additional types of financial support have been introduced to provide needs-based financial assistance for school trips and extra expenses, educational assessments, Day Care fees, tutoring, and unforeseen costs.

The Diana Rankin/Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund Committee is working to actively expand economic diversity at JICS. Unfortunately, the size of the fund limits our reach.

  • Current JICS families in Nursery to Grade 2 who require financial assistance beyond the forms of tuition assistance available through the Diana Rankin/Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund have no other option but to leave the school.

  • Available funds have not enabled us to financially support a child in an earlier grade through to graduation. Partnerships with community centres (e.g. Scadding Court) and schools (Ryerson) have helped us to identify families who are interested in joining the Lab School community in Grades 4 to 6.

  • It is our goal to have a range of economic diversity represented at the school: full tuition, partial tuition support, full tuition support.

How Can You Help?

We hope that every JICS family will consider making a donation (no amount is too little) to the JICS Lab School Diana Rankin/Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund.

All donations will receive a tax receipt.

It is our goal to promote and sustain economic diversity by continuing to provide financial support to current students and offering assistance for families who would not otherwise have the financial resources to attend.

If you are able to make a donation of $25,000 or greater, please consider the JICS Lab School Endowment Fund.


6. Wednesdays - Hot Lunch Now Available

Beginning in November, Hot Lunch will be offered to students already registered in our Wednesday Afternoon Program, JK & SK Creative Play, or nursery daycare. Please find the link to register here.

7. Nursery Class 2024-2025

Shama will soon be in touch with current JICS families who have children (born in 2021) who are eligible for our entry year beginning September 2024. To ensure that your child’s information is in our applicant database, please email Shama ( ASAP. We will host a Nursery Parent Information Session in the new year.


8. Talking About Hard Things - Some Words from Ellie

As a social worker and therapist, it is part of my work to ask about pain, suffering, anger, and grief. I feel privileged when someone I am consulting with can share their experiences, and their emotions with me. As a parent, it can feel very different. I have an urge to protect my daughters from difficult information and experience uncertainty about how to talk about difficult subjects. As the violence of the war in Israel and Palestine is dominating the news and the way that this issue is polarizing communities it can feel hard to know how to talk about these things with your children.

Here are some tips I would recommend for parents in discussing this topic with their children.

1) Start with yourself. Notice what you are experiencing, your own emotional state and worries. If you are experiencing distress, you can model that this is understandable and name what you are doing for your own self-care. Consider what does my child need from me right now? In general, if children feel like their parents are okay, they’re going to be okay.

2) Know your child. Consider your child’s age and specific needs at this stage of development. Younger children may benefit from very simple information, perhaps acknowledging that there are some sad and difficult things happening in another part of the world and that they are safe, and people are doing their best to help. Older children may benefit from a more detailed discussion about what is happening, while also giving them a context for thinking about this. Allow time to answer any questions your child may have and bring in your values as a family.

3) Create space for reflection, as well as setting limits. Stay close to your child’s experience, asking what they have heard and if they have any questions. Validate that it's okay to feel scared, sad, or angry about what they may have heard or seen. Allowing and validating emotions can soothe our nervous system. You may also need to set limits on discussions that happen in your child’s presence or limit the news they are exposed to.

4) Share examples of helpers. Seek out or share examples of things that people are doing to help, advocate and act. We know that is a way to mitigate worry, feelings of helplessness and distress.

For further information and a break down of suggested tips for each developmental stage I would recommend this article in Parents magazine by Beth Ann Mayer, published on October 12, 2023.


Ellie Lathrop


9. A Message from U of T on the Conflict in the Middle East

Please click here to read President Gertler’s message to the University of Toronto community on the conflict in the Middle East.


10. Halloween

Parents, please join our JK to Grade 6 Halloween Celebration Assembly on Tuesday, October 31st, at the witching hour of 9:00am, in our enchanted gym. Our talented music teachers, Suzanne Schwenger and Russell Hersen, will lead us all in some spooky songs and together we will make some Halloween magic!

For our little pumpkins in the Nursery, there's a morning of magical activities awaiting them in their own cozy classroom!

Children (and parents) are all invited to dress up in costumes.

The school doors will open at 8:35am as usual and the children are asked to make their way to the classroom. Once everyone's accounted for, each grade will fly/slither/float into the gym together.

There are many internet articles that provide helpful and culturally sensitive Halloween costume advice. Search: Halloween culturally insensitive costumes.

We are looking forward to making some wonderful memories on this special day!


11. Halloween Candy

With Halloween and the winter holidays fast approaching, we want to share ways that can help make our school a safe and more inclusive place for students with food allergies. We prefer that students do not eat candy while at school. We avoid sweet treats, preferring wholesome snacks whenever possible. However, there is a place for sweets in our diets and parents may choose to occasionally pack individual portions in student lunches or snacks from home. Students are not permitted to share candy, treats, or gum with others. In preparing your child’s lunch and snack, please be certain that all ingredients listed are free of nuts and nut warnings.


12. Prime Minister Award for Teaching Excellence

Sarah is the egg!

Sarah Luongo, a former teacher seconded to the JICS Lab School, is a recipient of the prestigious Prime Minister Award for Teaching Excellence. Sarah dedicated her teaching talents to the JICS Lab School from 2015 to 2018, where she spent one year as our Physical Education instructor and an additional two years as a Grade 2 teacher. Following her tenure at JICS, she returned to the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Seconded teachers like Sarah bring their wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Lab School for periods ranging from one to four years, after which they return to their respective school boards. This commitment aligns with the JICS Lab School's policy to maintain a balance of university-appointed and seconded educators. Our institution places great emphasis on learning alongside and from exceptional teachers from the public education system, a tradition we've upheld for many successful years.

Seconded educators enrich our academic environment with their unique perspectives, diverse experiences, and best practices. They play a vital role in shaping and inspiring the development of our faculty. Currently, our seconded teachers include Nadia, the Grade 6 teacher in her second year, and Jessica, our Grade 1 teacher in her first year. The process of reintegrating seconded teachers into the public-school system underscores our commitment to fulfilling our public service mission at the JICS Lab School.


13. Photos from the Cross Country Club Running Meets


14. Playground Construction Updates - Photos


15. Upcoming October Events - Islamic Heritage Month & LGBT History Month

Mon 23 – PA “All Parents” Meeting. 7:00pm, Zoom

Thurs 26 - Lunch & Learn with Ellie, 1:00 PM over Zoom, REGISTER HERE

Fri 27 - JICS Clothing Sale Ends

Fri 27 - PA Donations Due

Tues 31 – Halloween


16. Upcoming November Events - Hindu Heritage Month

Wed 8 – Due date for JICS sibling registration for Nursery 2024-2025 (email coming soon)

Thur 9 – Remembrance Day Assembly (JK to Gr 6)

Fri 10 – PD Day. School closed. Daycare open to registered users.

Fri 10 – Due date for applications to Apple Financial for 2024-2025 tuition support

Sun 12 – Diwali

Mon 13 – Midterm Holiday. School closed, daycare open to registered users.

Tues 14 – JICS Diwali celebrations

Wed 15 – Parent/Teacher Interviews (sign-up info coming soon)

Wed 22 – Parent/Teacher Interviews (sign-up info coming soon)

Tues 28 – Giving Tuesday





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