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Graduation, Hot Dog Night, Last Day of School, Final Message for PA President François, and More!

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Topics covered in this post:

JICS students compete in Track and Field meet at Varsity Stadium
JICS students compete in Track and Field meet at Varsity Stadium

1. Hot Dog Night

Hot Dog Night 2023 was a tremendous success. The positive energy, excitement, and appreciation was palpable as we gathered as a community, reconnecting, and making new friends. We are so happy to celebrate with many of the new students and families who will start their JICS journey in September.

Grade 1 Parents, you masterfully, thoughtfully, and magically transformed our school into a lively and colourful carnival, filled with fun activities and yummy food. Thank you, Grade 1 Parent Reps: Azza and Heather and all the amazing Grade 1 parents: Sepanta, Mark, Emily, Tom, Ariel, Chris, Mohammed, Salima, Salim, Denise, Karim, Yana, Ali Khan, Felix, Afsaneh, Marjorie, Jason, Andrew, Cleophee, Scott, Tina, Marco, Nairesiae, Adrian, Radha, Rajeev, Claire, Cillian, Shawn, Monika, Jared, Ewa, Fredrick, Amir, Mishaal, Jennifer, Tyler, Ashley, Sanaz, and Sue.

Thank you to Ali Khan and General Assembly Pizza for generously donating the delicious pizza.

To the many parent volunteers who helped with supervision and clean up, thank you.

We look forward to next year’s Hot Dog Night organized by Grade 1 parents! Please place a hold on June 5, 2024 in your calendar for the first HDN in our new playground!


2. Graduation

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Invited guests, staff, and all children (JK to Gr 5) are gathering for Grade 6 graduation which will take place in the afternoon of Thursday, June 15 and will feature an original play performed by our Grade 6s as a gift to the school community. Many thanks to Sarah Murray, our Drama Teacher, who directs the play, teachers: Nadia, Krista, Nick, and Judith, the Gr 6 parents who have arranged a reception following graduation for Grade 6 families, and the Grade 5 parent-volunteers who help the reception run smoothly.


3. Last Day of School

Friday, June 16, 2023

We will start the day with a final school assembly of the year. The school day ends at noon, and the Day Care is open 12-6pm. JK to Grade 5 children will gather in the front yard of 45 Walmer Road at 11:50 to “clap out” our Grade 6 Graduates – please join us if you can! Day Care children will proceed to Day Care. There is no hot lunch program on Friday.



4. Final Message for PA President, François

Dear JICS parent community,

It is with mixed feelings that I write to you today. This message to you will be my last as President of the JICS Parents’ Association. After two years in the role of Vice-President and another two in the role of President, it is now time for me to take a step back from active duties on the PA.

Reflecting on the last four years, I am very proud of what the PA accomplished. It offered hands-on and persistent support to the school in its negotiation of its first ever pandemic (often on a weekly basis). It provided significant value-add to its social life, parent education, and infrastructure development. Crucially, it also worked hand-in-hand with the school’s administration to try to ensure that every single family feels included and at home at JICS. As I shared with the participants in the International Association of Laboratory Schools (IALS) international conference, hosted by JICS earlier this spring, it is my firm belief that a true lab school cannot thrive without a deeply involved and collaborative parent community. A parent community that acts, and is treated by the school, as an essential partner. As far as this ideal goes, I think the current synergetic relationship between JICS and its PA is nothing short of a model to be emulated—in large part thanks to the openness and commitment of our Principal, Richard Messina, and Vice-Principal, Chriss Bogert, who are ex officio members of the PA Executive, and to whom I wish to express my profound gratitude.

Of course, none of what we accomplished would have been possible without a dedicated team of parent volunteers, which I also wish to thank sincerely:

  • Shawn Konopinsky, who will also be stepping down at the end of this academic year, provided three years of stellar financial management as Treasurer of the Association. Through relentless and detail-oriented work, Shawn introduced a series of sound and efficient systems that greatly facilitated the PA’s daily operations and readied it for future contingencies. His successor, Allen Yi (who has already proved himself as a class rep and by spearheading the development and rollout of the PA’s new swag line), will be taking over an organization that is very well-managed thanks to Shawn’s efforts.

  • Sanaz Mazinani and Marjorie Spencer, our two fearless Volunteers Coordinators, turned countless social and school events into resounding successes (with this year’s Games Day as their latest exploit!). They will be replaced next year by Lisa Taharally and, hopefully, one more praiseworthy parent (whom we hope will raise their hand over the summer—this role is truly enjoyable and places its occupant right at the heart of the school’s life).

  • Julia O’Byrne and Kerry Thompson, our two Parent Education Coordinators, who worked in close collaboration with the school Vice-Principal, Chriss Bogert, to offer you a stimulating line up of education opportunities throughout the year. Their tireless work and innovative ideas helped keep us abreast of the latest thinking related to parenting and child education in key areas. Their successors, Claire Battershill, Juliana Klein, and Ann-Marie Williams will have big shoes to fill, but also have the benefit of a collaborative school administration that is eager to work with them in developing an ever more responsive and cutting-edge set of parent education opportunities for next year.

  • Andrea Russell, who as a new parent at the school contacted me even prior to her child’s start to volunteer for the PA, discharged her duties as the PA’s Communications Officers with unmatched energy. Not only was Andrea a diligent manager of everything website, posters, and minutes-related, she also consistently went beyond the remit of her role to support the PA and contribute innovative ideas. Amongst her many initiatives was the recent organization of a “thank you breakfast” for JICS staff whose spirited participation in the IALS conference ensured its resounding success. I am thrilled that Andrea accepted to step up her involvement next year, as she becomes the PA’s next Vice-President. I wish her the best of luck in this important (and prolonged!) commitment.

  • All the class reps, who contributed to make this year socially vibrant for parents in all grades and acted as key conduits between the PA Executive and the parent community, also deserve special thanks. These are Anika Mehta (nursery), Azza Al Sajdi (nursery and grade 1!), Preeti Taneja and Allen Yi (JK), Salim Dharssi and Lisa Taharally (SK), Heather Payne (Grade 1), Patricia Armstrong and Mindy Budhdeo (Grade 2), Paul Miskew and Bram Atlin (Grade 3), Noam Tomczak and Emma Hunt (Grade 4/5Z), Allison Chris and Norm Ng (Grade 4/5B), and Andrew McDonald (Grade 6). As this year winds up, we would be grateful if outgoing class reps could coordinate with parents in their grades to appoint class reps for next year.

  • A special shout out also goes to the grade 1 parents for their unrelenting efforts in making last night’s Hot Dog Night a success, and to grade 5 and 6 parents in charge of organizing graduation.

Last but not least, I want to thank my partner-in-PA-administration, Megan Pearson, who now completes her two-year term as Vice-President, and will be stepping into the role of PA President at the end of this academic year. I could not think of a better person to take on the presidency. From day one with the PA, Megan has provided sound and thoughtful leadership, proving herself to be an administrator particularly sensitive to the needs and aspirations of all school and parent constituencies. Megan brings with her prior experience as a teacher at JICS and with three (and soon to be four) children at the school, her commitment to the institution is unquestionable. I wish her and her team continued success for the years to come.

To be sure, there is a saying that one never truly leaves JICS when one has been part of it and touched by its magic. One could perhaps extend that to the PA presidency. As the Constitution of the Association contemplates, an outgoing President is asked to remain as member of the Executive for another two years, in the hands-off role of “Past President.” This role is defined as one of “mentorship” and “advice and support to the Executive.” So, I guess one is never truly done with the PA! Just like for our outgoing Past President, Deepta Rayner, who no longer has children at the school, yet will happily return at the end of June to lead an end-of-year “thank you” tea tasting for the school’s administration, teachers and staff, in her quality of tea sommelier!

As the 2022-2023 academic year draws to a close, allow me to wish you all a bright and lovely summer. I look forward to seeing again those with children remaining at the school as well as new families in September. I also wish the very best to those who are departing at the end of year.

Sincerely yours,

François (Tanguay-Renaud)


5. Lost and Found

We have boxes and racks full of children’s clothing that is not labelled but needs to return home. Please take the time to check our lost and found items in the basement foyer of 56 Spadina. Ask Paige for directions!


6. Report Cards

Report cards will be posted online and available to download as a PDF beginning Friday, June 23.

Log into your SFO account ( to download. Report cards are available on your account temporarily, so you must download them and save copies in a safe place. Should you require a printed copy or a digital copy of a past report card, please reach out to the School Office.

Download Instructions:

  1. Go to: and log into your SFO Account

  2. Click on FAM Access Module (menu bar, top left)

  3. Click on your child’s name under Academic Year 2022-2023

  4. Go to Grade Reports

  5. Download Fall and Spring reports as a PDF

  6. Save in a safe place


7. Staff PD Week

Monday, June 19, 2023 to Friday, June 23, 2023

The week after school ends is filled with planned professional development opportunities and meetings for classroom and specialty teachers.


8. The GSA's Fundraiser for Rainbow Railroad

Throughout the year members of our GSA, or Gender and Sexuality Alliance, have been doing small things in our school to make it more inclusive for LGBTQ2SAIP+ people and also just having a nice place to be fabulous! For Pride Month we decided to fundraise for Rainbow Railroad during a school event we are having (Hot Dog Night). We are selling homemade Pride buttons and collecting the cash donations, as well as online donations.

QR Code for Rainbow Railroad Fundraiser
QR Code for Rainbow Railroad Fundraiser

We chose Rainbow Railroad because we feel that it is really important for people in the LGBTQ2SAIP+ to be safe and to be themselves. Rainbow Railroad is an organization that helps people in the LGBTQ2SAIP+ community who are living in places that are dangerous for them. Rainbow Railroad provides resources to help people move to places where they are safer.

This is the final call for donations. Your support is needed!


9. Track and Field Meet at Varsity Stadium

Last Friday was a beautiful and hot day out on the track! The JICS Track and Field Team hosted a track meet against The Mabin School at Varsity Stadium. The runners from both schools participated whole-heartedly and the morning was filled with smiles and cheers. It was a fantastic way to cap off our running club season.

Thank you to Mike for organizing the event and for the teachers (Judith, Walker, Nick, and Alyssa) who were there to organize and run the events for the children. Also, thank you to the parents who came out to support!

Being the end of the season, we will no longer have morning practices. We hope to see the Grade 4 & 5 runners back next season, and we wish the Grade 6’s good luck in running for their next schools!!!


10. Photos from the Week at JICS

a. Nursery Trip to the High Park Children’s Garden


b. Other Photos from the Week


11. Upcoming June Events

Canada's National Indigenous History Month & World Pride Month

Thur 15 – Grade 6 Graduation

Fri 16 – Last day of school. Noon dismissal. (Daycare open until 6:00pm)

Mon 19 – Juneteenth (USA)

Mon 19 to Thur 29 – Daycare June Camp

Fri 23 – Report Cards posted online

Fri 30 – UofT President’s Day (all UofT closed, including JICS building)





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