Topics covered in this post:
Donations to Support Economic Diversity
JICS Lab School Endowment Fund
Parent Education: Sick Kids Panel "COVID-19 & Kids"
Parent Education: Get Curious about Natural Curiosity
Parent Ed: Powering Down
Lab School Dissemination: Lighting the Fire
School Office Hours
PHOTOS: Distance Education
PHOTOS: Grade 6 Art
Upcoming January Events
Upcoming February Events
1. Donations to Support Economic Diversity
Diversity among students in education directly impacts their performance. Research studies show that students work and learn better in a diverse environment, enabling them to concentrate and push themselves further when there are people of other backgrounds working alongside them. This promotes creativity, as well as better education, as those with differing viewpoints are able to collaborate to create solutions.
There are numerous aspects that play into diversity in a classroom setting. Race, religion, gender, economic background, and learning styles are all notable factors. As we conduct our Nursery intake admission interviews for 2021-2022, we recognize how fortunate we are as a school to have a robust and diverse database of applicants.
Yet, the biggest challenge we face is economic diversity and we thank the JICS families who have generously contributed to the JICS Diana Rankin Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund. This expendable fund, named in honour of a JICS parent who passed away while her children attended the Lab School, helps to retain current JICS families (Gr 3-6) who are experiencing financial challenges and welcome new families (Gr 4-6) to considering joining our community.
If you have not yet donated, the Tuition Support Committee is challenging you to donate $250 per child (or more) which represents 1% of the 2020-2021 tuition toward ensuring economic diversity at the Lab School. To date, we have raised $100,000 and require an additional $50,000 to reach our goal and to safeguard our ability to meet the need of our community for the next two years. Thank you for your generousity!
Due to the pandemic and the stress it has caused us all, we have decided not to host an online version of our biennial Tuition Support Fundraising Gala or Auction. If you were waiting to make your donation, please know we would appreciate receiving your gift now as we want to ensure we are meeting all the requests for support.
Here is the link to donation webpage: https://donate.utoronto.ca/give/show/40
2. JICS Lab School Endowment Fund
Should you be blessed to be able to make a more substantial donation ($25,000+), please note the JICS Endowment Fund has recently expanded its purview to include mental health, Indigenous education, diversity/inclusion/equity/anti-racism, along with providing economic diversity beyond what is possible by the expendable Diana Rankin Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund. Our goal for the Endowment Fund is $5 million. Currently we have $255,000. The Fund will allow us to admit children in Nursery and Kindergarten and support their tuition costs until graduation, something that is not possible currently.
3. Parent Education: Sick Kids Panel "COVID-19 & Kids"
The Mabin School has kindly invited the JICS community to take part in an incredible opportunity to hear from 3 of the principal authors of the Sick Kids Report on COVID-19.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO, Dr. Jeremy Friedman, Paediatrician-in-Chief, and Dr. Michelle Science, Infectious Disease Consultant will each share their thoughts on COVID-19 and how to keep children safe during the second wave. The session will be recorded. Sign up here.
4. Parent Education: Get Curious about Natural Curiosity!
More about Haley: Haley Higdon is a guest on Turtle Island and is the Director for Natural Curiosity. She has her BEd and MA in Child Study and Education from the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study at UofT. She has spent the last four years working as the managing editor for the development and creation of Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry. Haley has extensive experience in supporting educators with incorporating environmental inquiry into their practice.
What is Natural Curiosity anyway?
As Indigenous education becomes increasingly prioritized across Canadian curricula, more educators are seeking ways to pursue an authentic process of Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and history in collaboration with their students. In 2018, the NC team at the JICS Lab School published Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition – a four branch framework of environmental inquiry that presents tangible entry points, rooted in reconciliation and stewardship of the land. These branches dynamically combine the processes of inquiry-based learning, student engagement, and experiential and integrated learning – processes that are central to the JICS philosophy – with concepts of sustainability and reciprocity, deepened through an Indigenous lens, articulated by Doug Anderson.
The NC team has distributed 27,000+ copies of their educator resources to date. NC has been cited in 12+ academic journals, is used in 14+ colleges and universities and 27+ school boards, and has been shared 53+ times at conferences and other presentations. In their 11th year, the NC team is working diligently to deliver Natural Curiosity across Turtle Island, connecting with thousands of educators online and disseminating exemplary practices from the Lab School to improve and support public education.
“Natural Curiosity takes the important step of highlighting broader societal obligations such as those laid out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
— Deborah McGregor, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law, School & Faculty of Environmental Studies, Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Environmental Justice, York University
RSVP on our events page for the Zoom link!
5. Parent Education: Powering Down
If you missed the January 21 Parent Education Session “Powering down, a digital fog, or igniting curiosity? Ways to support children's use of technology” with Dr. Alexandra Makos, OISE, UofT you can view it here. Thanks to Casey and the Parent Education Committee!
Click below to download a list of articles of interest, Ted Talks, and apps & games recommended by Dr. Makos.
6. Lab School Dissemination
Lighting the Fire: Enriching Environmental Learning Through Indigenous Perspectives
On January 14th, Grade 2 teacher David Osorio and JICS Parent Doug Anderson presented at Natural Curiosity's brand new 2021 #EmbracingTheShift webinar series, Embracing the Shift: Sharing Our Pandemic Stories of Connecting to Land and Children’s Natural Curiosity. David and Doug shared about their yearlong collaboration of connecting students to local nature, through story, inquiry, and other heart-centred approaches to education that bridge Indigenous and Western ways of knowing. We want to thank Doug and David for the rich learning that they gifted the Natural Curiosity community. We are incredibly proud of this work and grateful to them both for sharing their stories and inspiring the many educators who attended the webinar. Please find a link to the webinar recording here: https://www.utpguidancecentre.com/Natural-Curiosity-Webinar-2021-Part-1.html.
7. School Office Hours
During distance education, the school office/reception is open 8:00am to 3:00pm.
8. Photos of Distance Education
Send Tory (firstname.lastname@example.org) a photo or two of your child/children learning from home and/or enjoying a “recess break” to include in next week’s post.
9. Photos of Grade 6 "Laundry" Art
10. Upcoming January Events
Fri 29 – Friday Parent Information Post Talks 9:30-10:00am (Zoom link)
11. Upcoming February Events
Thurs 4 – Parent Ed: Sick Kids Panel "COVID-19 & Kids" RSVP here
Fri 5 – CANCELLED Friday Parent Information Post Talks 9:30-10:00am
Tues 9 – Parent Ed: Get Curious about Natural Curiosity 7:00-8:00pm RSVP here
Fri 12 – Midterm Holiday – No school: Nursery to Grade 6
Fri 12 – Lunar New Year
Mon 15 – Family Day – No school: Nursery to Grade 6
Fri 19 – Friday Parent Information Post Talks 9:30-10:00am (Zoom link)
Tues 23 – Daycare Board Meeting 5:30-7:00pm
Fri 26 – Friday Parent Information Post Talks 9:30-10:00am (Zoom link)