Topics covered in this post:
1. Eid Mubarak!
Blessed Eid to you and your family. May Allah’s blessings be with you today, tomorrow, and always! As the fasting month of Ramadan came to an end, Muslims from around the world celebrated Eid al-Fitr, the “festival of breaking the fast”.
2. Hot Dog Night Planning Meeting
Wednesday, May 11 | 7:00-8:30pm
Please RSVP here for the zoom link to the planning meeting with co-chairs, ICS Parents Katie Pearson and Mark Hendricks. Parents in Grades 1*, 2, 3 (and any in other grades) are asked to volunteer to plan and run this beloved community event. Please contact Katie to volunteer. (*The ICS tradition is for Grade 1 parents to plan and run Hot Dog Night. Our Grade 2 and 3 parent cohorts did not have this opportunity due to the pandemic.)
3. Art at JICS
Grade 5 Wire Sculptures Informed by the Study of Human Proportions and Anatomy
By unanimous vote from our Grade 5s, the tradition of human wire sculptures has begun anew. Students began by sketching more articulated skeletons in their gesture and figure drawings, gaining a fuller understanding of human proportions. From there, they chose a character to build, and a setting. It is a very involved project, and the students are very proud to show off their work.
JK: Looking at the Art of Jean Michel Basquiat
This exploration of the art of Jean Michel Basquiat took place in both the classroom and the art studio. In Art, students enjoyed the storybook, Life Doesn't Frighten Me, with words by Maya Angelou and art by Basquiat. Students examined how Jean-Michel painted human figures, how he included the skeletons. Students also learned a little bit about the significance of the crown, a repeated motif in Basquiat's artwork, often used to show respect and love. In the classroom, students enjoyed the storybook, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe. The students painted pictures and placed a crown on their artwork.
We had a simple guessing game to fairly decide who would be traced by their classmates. Then the groups got to work.
Once we traced the outlines, we looked again at the paint colours chosen by Jean Michel. We settled on mixes of black, purple, and dark blue.
After the paint was dry, we looked once more at how jean Michel drew his people. Students noticed that they could see lines and bones, so they added detail to the silhouettes with oil pastels.
4. Fulfilling our "Public Purpose" with Natural Curiosity
In addition to providing the best possible educational program for children on site, the ICS Lab School disseminates its knowledge and findings with the public school system with the aim of improving education for everyone.
Natural Curiosity is a resource for educators that was developed by the Lab School. Since its initial launch, Natural Curiosity has gained widespread implementation in schools, school boards, and ministries of education across the country and internationally. As environmental education and a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report are a priority for schools everywhere, the resource continues to be in high demand. The following are some recent examples of how we are fulfilling our public purpose with Natural Curiosity:
1. Lab School NC Webinar
We are so proud of the success of the April 27 webinar “Natural Curiosity in Community: Sustaining Environmental Inquiry Beyond Earth Month” by Raadiyah Nazeem (Grade 1 Teacher, JICS Lab School) and Krista Spence (Teacher-Librarian & Land-Based Education Resource Teacher, JICS Lab School). We strongly encourage and invite JICS parents to view the webinar to learn about exemplary lab school teaching practices and see recent examples of learning from current JICS students.
2. Natural Curiosity and UNESCO
The UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), in New Delhi, India was established with the support of the Government of India and is an integral part of UNESCO. It is the first and only category 1 Research Institute in Asia Pacific and focuses on achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7 towards education to foster peaceful and sustainable societies. Please see the powerful opinion piece published in the newest issue of UNESCO's Blue Dot Magazine referencing our Natural Curiosity Program.
3. Natural Curiosity and the Ontario Science Centre
Join Joseph Pitawanakwat of Creators Garden and Haley Higdon of the ICS Lab School’s Natural Curiosity Program as they explain “The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in STEM”. Indigenous science, including Anishinaabe plant-based medicine, and its relationship with western knowledge systems is explored. Learn how meaningful relationships between educators, students and the natural world can facilitate understanding of Indigenous perspectives.
4. Natural Curiosity and OISE
Natural Curiosity will be the first team funded under OISE’s new Sustainability Fund. This micro grant will allow us to continue our work in developing awareness of Indigenous perspectives in environmental inquiry, and its importance to Sustainability and Climate Action for the thousands of students at OISE.
5. More Lab School NC Webinars
Exploring Race and Equity in Inquiry-Based Outdoor Learning highlighted the work of Marcia Bumbury (Junior Kindergarten Teacher, JICS Lab School) and Mike Kumbhani (Grade 7/8 Teacher, Upper Grand DSB), attended by 140+ educators.
Back to School: Planning for Inquiry workshop with Lab School Teachers Mike Martins and Zoe Donahue, was sold out and attended real-time by 60+ public school educators.
5-part instructional video series featuring Lab School educators and partners in Indigenous and environmental education. This self-guided learning program has now been accessed by 945 educators globally.
Natural Curiosity in the Early Years with Krista Spence (Teacher-Librarian & Land-Based Education Resource Teacher, JICS Lab School) and Norah L'Ésperance (JICS Lab School Nursery Teachers) was attended by 100+ educators.
Lighting the Fire: Enriching Environmental Learning through Indigenous Perspectives during COVID-19 highlighted David Osorio (Grade 1 Teacher) and Doug Anderson (Indigenous Advisor and Author of Natural Curiosity) and engaged 113 educators.
A COVID-Look at the Indigenous Lens on Natural Curiosity highlighted Krista Spence (JICS Lab School), Doug Anderson (Indigenous Advisor and Author of Natural Curiosity), and Maria Vamvalis (Natural Curiosity Coach). 234 public school educators across North America attended live.
5. Natural Curiosity Parent Advisory Committee for Environmental and Indigenous Education
May 16th | 4:00-5:00pm
Please join us on Monday, May 16th from 4:00 to 5:00 PM ET for the upcoming Spring meeting of the “Natural Curiosity Parent Advisory Committee for Environmental and Indigenous Education”, a small group of honorary advisors with the interest, skills, and expertise to help guide the program's strategic growth and sustainability.
Registration info coming soon!
6. JICS Lab School at AERA Conference
Each year, 14,000 researchers meet for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference. This is the largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research. AERA is a showcase for ground-breaking, innovative studies in an array of areas – from early education through higher education, from digital learning to second language literacy. It is where to encounter ideas and data that will shape tomorrow’s education practices and policies, and where to connect with leading thinkers from around the world. In April 022, the conference was held in San Diego, CA. Although thousands of research paper applications are submitted, only a fraction are accepted to the conference. We are proud to share that a paper co-authored by Michael Martins (Grade 3 JICS teacher) was selected:
Discourse, Visualizations, and Metacognition: Designs for Enhancing Knowledge-Building in Primary Science
Authors: Leanne Ma & Michael Martins
Session Info: Thinking Like a Scientist: Enhancing STEM Learning Experiences
In the study, scientific visualizations are investigated as ways to support knowledge building discourse and learning about forces and structures. Students engaged in using and applying both static visualizations as well as dynamic visualizations to deepen their planning and understanding of effective bridge building, as well as promote discourse. Through the scientific process, children hypothesized, experimented, researched, and collected data to inform further iterations of bridges which were being constructed.
7. Lost and Found
We invite parents to visit our “Lost and Found” collection located in the lower foyer. Please wear PPE when you arrive and Paige, at reception, is happy to provide you with directions. We thank Paige for sorting all the un-labelled material.
8. COVID-19 Update
a) Rapid Testing
We thank you for continuing to test each Wednesday and Sunday. There have been 6 positive cases reported to the school since our last Parent Info POST (Thursday, April 28). Please continue to indicate in the JICS Daily Screening that the most recent (Wed/Sun) test has been completed, and inform the school office of any positive results.
b) Vaccination Update for eligible students (182 students)
We currently have no information about the vaccination status of 38 eligible children. All eligible ICS Lab School children must be fully vaccinated for the 2022-2023 school year and provide proof of vaccination. Current JICS data: Not yet vaccinated 3.3% One Dose 7.1% Two Doses 68.7% Unknown 20.9% If you have not updated your child’s vaccination status, log in to your SFO account to update the school on your child’s status. At the end of the form, you will find a link to upload the vaccination certificate as well. Please be sure to submit the SFO form. https://sfo.inresonance.com/oise-utoronto/index.php
c) TPH Mobile School Vaccine Clinic
Toronto Public Health is hosting a vaccine clinic at St. Joseph College School, 74 Wellesley Street W. on May 10, 3:30-8:30pm. JICS Parents can schedule an appointment for children 5 years of age or older. Walk-ins are welcome.
9. Parent Education
SAVE THE DATES! (More information and registration coming soon)
May 19th | 12:30-1:30pm
Lunch & Learn with Ellie & the Spec Ed Team
“Where’s my water bottle?” – a discussion about Executive Function, what it means, and what it looks like
May 30th | 6:30-8:30pm
Anti-Asian racism speaker, Dr. Mary Reid (OISE professor)
10. Upcoming May Events
Wed 11 – Hot Dog Night Planning Meeting | 7:00pm | RSVP
Thurs 19 – Lunch and Learn with Ellie & Spec Ed Team | 12:30-1:30pm | RSVP coming soon
Mon 23 – Victoria Day Holiday. School and daycare closed.
Thurs 26 – Music Day | details coming soon
Mon 30 – Parent Ed: Anti-Asian Racism speaker | 6:30-8:30pm | RSVP coming soon
11. Upcoming June Events
Canada's National Indigenous History Month & World Pride Month
Wed 1 – JK to Gr 6 Games Day (rain date: June 2) | details coming soon
Tues 7 – Hot Dog Night (rain date June 8) | 6:00-8:00pm | Tickets coming soon
Thurs 16 – Grade 6 graduation
Fri 17 – Last day of school | Noon dismissal
Fri 24 – Report Cards mailed home