Topics covered in this post:
Daily COVID-19 Screening Online Form - UPDATE
Distance Education: Hybrid Learning & Remote Learning
PA Fees & Donations
Friday Parent "Information Post" Talks
Upcoming October Events
1. Happy Thanksgiving!
School and Daycare closed Monday, October 12.
2. Daily COVID-19 Screening Online Form - UPDATE
The form must be completed each morning (before 8:00am) for each child by an adult.
Please complete the form even if your child has an absence not related to COVID-19.
If the assessment requires your child to stay home, please also email Nancy and your child’s teachers.
Administration will contact families who have not completed the form and notify them regarding next steps for their child.
3. Distance Education: Hybrid Learning & Remote Learning
When we first communicated our plans for Distance-Education “hybrid-learning” model (children at home and children at school) we imagined it would be easier for students at home to participate via livestream in the day-to-day activities at school. Having been back for a few weeks now, we have realized that theory and practice are quite different. With the Lab School’s philosophy and inquiry pedagogy being what it is and what attracted you to us, much of our teaching and learning is active, dynamic, responsive to individual development, and conducted outdoors as much as possible. There is very little traditional teacher-directed learning where the teacher is at the board instructing the whole class. Instead, we are often spread out, with different groups of students working on different activities, and often making spontaneous decisions to change our plans based on the engagement of the students. Thus, we have learned that the way we teach when in-person, does not lend itself to hybrid learning well. The planned livestream moments are not as frequent as we had anticipated, and we know this is a disappointment to some families. With the demands on teachers who are at school working hard to provide engaging and rich learning experiences while incorporating the new safety protocols, in-person learning takes all of our teachers' focus. They cannot be available to students at home in the way that any of us would like.
Students who are required to learn from home (while students are in school) will be provided with some opportunities to participate in livestream moments and with work that they can do as independently (with the support of a parent) with check-ins by a JICS teacher to make sure they are on track. The JICS Hybrid Learning Program varies depending on the grade, how many students are learning at home at any given time and what is happening in their classrooms. The Planning Team (Administration, Grade Teachers, and Special Ed Team) will require to take a few days to plan what is possible for each unique situation. For clarification, let’s refer to the occasion when all the students in a grade and the grade teachers will need to work from home as Remote Learning. Our learnings from the Spring 2020 school closure, along with the new technology devices for each child (Gr 1-6), and the increased teaching staff translate to a readiness and confidence to meet the challenge of Remote Learning. As we watch the current situation in public schools and other independent schools, we realize that this is a reality we will most definitely face. In this situation, students can expect ongoing support from the remote teachers for the school day. (TPH investigates all positive COVID-19 cases related to a school and notifies their close contacts in a school by email. The Communicable Disease Investigator (CDI) will contact the Principal and advise of next steps, i.e. dismiss a case’s cohort(s) for self-isolation.)
We are committed to providing exemplary in-class learning as our first priority because we really believe that students learn best when they are at school, and teachers cannot split their focus between students at school and students at home without compromising the quality for both groups of students. While we are always trying to improve, teachers have been asked to focus primarily on in-person or fully remote learning (if/when that time comes). Our Hybrid Learning program is really a stop-gap measure that we implement out of necessity to help our students who need to be home. With the new criteria for COVID-19 testing, we hope that there will be fewer and shorter absences moving forward and thus less need for Hybrid Learning.
If your child is home healthy for a short time, we remind you that we have collected resources, activities, videos, and apps for parents to use with their child/ren. It is recommended that parents review the various sites and choose what is a good fit for your child. Find them here. For unwell children, we hope they are not engaging in any activities but getting plenty of rest and extra TLC so that they can get better soon.
4. PA Fees and Donations
This is a gentle reminder to those who have not done so already to please pay your PA fees and donations here. These fees go a long way to support the school, especially this year of new costs and needs. Here are a few examples of how PA funds may be used to support this year:
Cohort-specific gym and recess equipment
Musical instruments that are grade specific
Experts presenting Parent Education on timely matters such as COVID-19, parent stress, anti-Black racism
5. Curriculum Night
We are a community of parents and teachers who work in partnership to support and enhance the learning of each student. Our program and teaching reflect our belief that students have different needs at different developmental stages. Our approach is both rigorous and flexible, encouraging the construction of knowledge by teaching students to formulate questions, analyze, and solve problems by sharing their theories, listening to the theories of others, researching, critiquing, taking risks, testing out ideas and building knowledge collaboratively. Thank you for participating in Curriculum Night last night. For parents with multiple children who couldn’t attend each grade teachers’ presentation, we have provided video recordings that will be available beginning October 9 until October 16 here. Please see the Weekly Info email for the password to this page.
6. Parent Education
JICS Lab School Parenting Series
with Social Worker Ellie Lathrop
We all need community and now more than ever. We would like to invite parents and families to join us this academic year for a series of parenting workshops designed to spark discussion, share information and provide helpful strategies.
Our first talk is on Sleep, the foundation for family wellbeing.
This will be a lunchtime chat held on October 27at 12:30pm. More information about how to join this conversation coming soon.
7. Friday Parent Information Post Talks
Join Chriss and Richard each Friday at 9:30-10:00am to ask any other questions or simply to chat! Please archive this zoom link and password for future reference.
Zoom link: https://utoronto.zoom.us/j/82065545911 Password: jicsfamily
8. Financial Support
Jackman ICS is committed to needs-based financial support that will both enable increased diversity and retain current Lab School families. Tuition support is available to current students entering Grades 3-6 in the 2021-2022 school year. The deadline for applications is November 10.
All applications and requests are confidential.
If you are interested in donating to the JICS Diana Rankin Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund or the JICS Lab School Endowment Fund, please see here or speak with Richard Messina. This is a “fundraising year” for tuition support. If you are interested in joining a parent fundraising planning committee, please contact PA Volunteer Coordinators Shamshad and Carolynne.
9. Upcoming October Events
Fri 9 – Friday Parent Information Post Talks 9:30-10:00am
Mon 12 – Thanksgiving. School and Daycare closed.
Tues 13 – Gr 6 and Gr 5 Parents Zoom Meeting “Transition to Grade 7” 6:00pm (details emailed)
Fri 16 – Friday Parent Information Post Talks 9:30-10:00am
Mon 19 – Daycare Board Meeting
Tues 20 – Parents’ Association Meeting (TBC)
Fri 23 – Friday Parent Information Post Talks 9:30-10:00am
Tues 27 – Parenting Series on Sleep at 12:30pm
Fri 30 – Halloween (details coming soon)
Grade 2s learning in the courtyard