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Diwali, School Closures, Parent-Teacher Interview Sign-up and PA Funds

Updated: 15 hours ago

JICS at a Glance

While we expect parents read all the important information in the POST, here are this week's highlights:

Topics covered in this post:

  1. Parents' Association Funds Raised to Date: $23,421

  2. Celebrate Diwali with Us at JICS!

  3. Guidelines for Home Symptom Screening

  4. School Closed - Friday, November 10th & Monday, November 13th

  5. Parent Teacher Interviews: November 15th & November 22nd

  6. School-Wide Clothing Swap

  7. Lunch & Learn with Ellie

  8. Halloween Fun

  9. Pride-o-ween Scavenger Hunt on November 1st

  10. Junior Grade "Electives" Photos

  11. Upcoming November Events - Hindu Heritage Month


1. Parents' Association Funds Raised to Date: $23,421

We are just over the half-way point of our fundraising goal of $36,000! The Parents’ Association exists to enrich the experience of JICS students, made possible through your financial contributions. Thank you to those who have donated. We have received donations from 86 families, representing 51.50% of our parent community.

Click HERE to make your contribution!

If you missed the “All Parents” PA Meeting, here is the budget information that was presented, and here for information on the new "Pay What You Wish" donations model.


2. Celebrate Diwali with Us at JICS!

Diwali, the joyous Hindu festival of lights, is a cherished tradition here at our school. Our entire school community eagerly anticipates this special occasion each year, and we are truly grateful for the unwavering support of our parents. This year, we are delighted to announce that we will come together to celebrate Diwali on Monday, November 6th.

In the spirit of this vibrant festival, we kindly request that all JICS children come dressed in colourful and sparkly attire, which may include kurtas, salwar kameez, dupattas, or lehenga choli. Of course, we also encourage everyone to express themselves through their preferred clothing choices throughout the festivities.

While Diwali spans five days in most of India (from November 10th to 14th), the main celebration falls on the third day. At JICS, we aim to decorate the school with vivid decorations, illuminating diyas, and crafting inviting flower-petal rangolis. It is a privilege to have such a wonderfully diverse community, where people from all backgrounds come together to embrace and share in the festivities.

Happy Diwali!


3. Guidelines for Home Symptom Screening

We have noticed a rise in the number of student absences due to illness over the past couple of weeks. To maintain the well-being of all our students and staff and minimize the spread of illnesses, please ensure that you conduct a symptom screening for your child before sending them to school. A child who is unwell may not fully enjoy their time at school and may lack the energy to engage in learning effectively, making it more suitable for them to recover at home. We understand that it can sometimes be challenging for parents to determine if their child should attend school when they are feeling under the weather, so here are some guidelines to assist you.

Please keep your children at home if they exhibit any of the following symptoms, in addition to the Toronto Public Health (TPH) screening:

  • A temperature of 37.8°C or higher and/or chills.

  • Vomiting that morning or the day before.

  • Diarrhea that morning or the day before.

  • Nausea.

  • A rash that may be contagious.

  • Pink eye or eyes that are itchy, oozing, or swollen.

  • Conditions such as impetigo, ringworm, or pinworm.

  • A severe cold with symptoms like a sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, or a persistent cough.

  • Fatigue, with not enough energy to participate in school activities.

When Symptoms Develop During the School Day

Sometimes, children may begin to show signs of illness while at school. In such cases, our staff will assess whether it's appropriate for the child to remain in the school environment. If your child becomes unwell during the school day, we will contact you to determine the best course of action for their well-being. Parents and caregivers will be contacted in the following situations:

  • The child is unable to fully participate in school activities due to their health.

  • They require care that exceeds what we can provide at school.

  • They are contagious and pose a risk to others.

Returning to School After Illness

In general, a child should be free of symptoms or showing significant improvement for at least 24 hours before returning to school (48 hours for symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea). We kindly remind everyone that children returning to school after illness, or those with any residual symptoms like coughs or runny noses, should wear masks while at school.

To those parents and caregivers faced with the difficult decision of keeping their children home when they are unwell, we extend our gratitude for making a choice that benefits the entire school community, and we wish your children a swift recovery. Your commitment to their well-being is greatly appreciated.


4. School Closed - Friday, November 10th & Monday, November 13th

On Friday, November 10, the JICS teachers and staff will engage in a full day of teacher professional development.

We hope everyone enjoys the Midterm Holiday on Monday, November 13.

The Daycare will be open on November 10 and 13 (8:00am to 6:00pm). Please contact Anne Marie, Daycare Director if you are interested in registering your child:

Information about the school calendar for 2023-2024 can be found on the JICSfamily website.


5. Parent Teacher Interviews: November 15th & 22nd

We're excited to invite you to our Fall Parent-Teacher Interviews, where you will have the opportunity to engage in a conversation with your child's teacher. During these discussions, teachers will share their observations concerning your child's academic progress and social-emotional development. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have about your child's learning journey at school and to provide any information that can help us gain a deeper understanding of your child's needs and enhance their school experience.

Our parent-teacher interviews are designed to be concise, typically lasting 20 minutes, and are conducted in person. Your child's classroom teacher may also incorporate insights from our specialty teachers.

In addition to the classroom teacher, your interview may include one or more of the following individuals: teacher-candidate/intern, Special Education teacher, or Chriss or Richard. At the JICS Lab School, we take a collaborative approach, with our classroom teachers working closely with the administrative team, specialty teachers, interns, and Special Education teachers. We meet regularly to discuss each child's progress and needs. It is important to note that students do not need to be formally identified on the Special Education caseload to benefit from this collective effort. Our Special Education teachers are actively involved in the classroom, providing support to all students and offering a long-term, multi-year perspective on their development and progress.

Please be aware that these interviews are meant to be an in-person, adult-only experience to ensure open and candid discussions about your child's development.

While we set aside specific dates in the Fall and Spring for formal parent-teacher interviews, we want to emphasize that parent-teacher communication is an ongoing process throughout the school year. We welcome and encourage open conversations at any time. By working together, we can best support your child's learning and ensure their enjoyment of school.

To sign up for your Fall interview with your child's teachers, please use the links provided below. The designated interview dates are Wednesday, November 15 and Wednesday, November 22. If these dates do not align with your availability, your child's teacher may have additional days and times available, so do not hesitate to reach out to them to make alternative arrangements. Your participation in your child's education is highly valued, and we look forward to these discussions.


6. School-Wide Clothing Swap

As temperatures cool, many parents are sorting through your children’s wardrobes, sifting through what has been outgrown and determining what is needed.

The JICS PA is excited to host its first school-wide clothing swap on Friday, December 1st (8:15 am -.4:30pm)

Families are invited to drop off outgrown clothing and winter gear with Paige in reception now through November 30th.

Following our swap on December 1st, all remaining items will be donated to families in need.


7. Lunch & Learn with Ellie

If you missed last week’s parent education session, Supporting the development of empathy and perspective taking, we invite you to watch the recording. Please send Ellie your suggestions for future Lunch & Learn sessions here.


8. Halloween Fun

Enjoy the photos of our spooky day. The day was filled with goblins, ghosts, and other excitements. Thanks to JICS music teachers, Suzanne and Russell, for leading us in Halloween songs at our assembly and to Paige in reception for transforming the school’s entrance.


9. Pride-o-ween Scavenger Hunt on November 1st

The JICS GSA wanted to have a Pride celebration during first term, and what better time to celebrate than right around Halloween. Halloween marks the end of LGBTQ+ History Month, the beginning of Trans Awareness Month, and is an event that has been an important celebration within the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community for almost a century, if not longer. Classes took turns on Wednesday morning following clues around the school.

The GSA students worked very hard on each part of the scavenger hunt and its promotion. Lillian and Naomi wrote the clues. The Banner, Poster, and Comics Committee included Alban, Atlas, Charlotte T.,George, Hunter, Leah, Milo, Sam, Sihi, Silvia, Simon, and Tasha. The Hat and Pumpkin making and Decorations Committee included Georgia, Grayson, Isaac, Leah, Sloane H., and Silvia.

Please enjoy some photos of their process and artwork, and the JKs having a blast doing the scavenger hunt!


10. Junior Grade "Electives" Photos

Here are the final pieces designed by the students in our Hat Design elective!

Students in the Baking elective enjoyed making muffins this week.


11. Upcoming November Events - Hindu Heritage Month

Mon 6 – Diwali Celebration at JICS

Thur 9 – JICS 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.

Wed 15 – Parent/Teacher Interviews

Wed 22 – Parent/Teacher Interviews

Tues 28 – Giving Tuesday




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