Topics covered in this post:
Happy Pride Day!
Statement from the JICS Lab School regarding Islamophobia
Last Day of School
Student Device Drop-Off
Games Day - June 14
Music Night 2021
A Message from JICS PA President
Upcoming June Events
1. Happy Pride Day!
At JICS we believe it is vitally important for all children to be seen and affirmed and for them to know that they are surrounded by people who love them unconditionally. Thank you for celebrating Pride Day with us today and for all that you do to make JICS 2SLGBTQIA+ community members feel and know they belong.
“Pride is a celebration of diversity, equality, and freedom -and everyone is welcome to enjoy it."
Quote from Robin Stevenson's book, Pride
2. Statement from the JICS Lab School regarding Islamophobia
Our hearts are heavy with news of the horrifying attack on a Muslim family in London, Ontario. Four lives and three generations of a family taken and one young boy now orphaned. We pray for this family and their loved ones.
These events are felt personally, and in different ways by our students, staff, and parent community at JICS. We recognize that there are many feelings being experienced - an increased sense of vulnerability and reactions of sadness, insecurity, anger, and grief. It is our responsibility to stand up and do whatever it takes to end racism, hate, and oppression of all kinds. To the Islamic JICS community, to Muslims across the country and around the world, we are walking with you in spirit as you go to and from your places of work, school, and worship.
While we do not always get things right, the JICS Lab School is committed to equity and inclusion, and we acknowledge the importance of addressing racism in developmentally appropriate ways with the children throughout the year. As we continue to serve our students, these acts of violence are critical reminders of the urgency to remain focused and committed to the changes that need to happen for our students and families. We strive to continuously examine our commitment to how we make our school a safe place for all community members. We know we need to hear and deeply listen to the voices of our students, parent community and staff, and make sure our diversity and equity efforts are informed by these voices. We invite you to reach out and inform us about your experiences, thoughts, concerns, suggestions.
In our sadness and anger, let us work towards change and hold each other accountable for taking a stand against individual and systemic acts racism. Let us work together to make a difference and fight against all forms of hate as we strive to change the future in the lives of our community and beyond.
3. Last Day of School
Our last day of school is next Friday, June 18 at noon. We want to thank all JICS families for your support and encouragement during this unusual year. We are currently updating the Parent Handbook 2021-2022 as we await Ministry and TPH guidelines and we will share it with parents ASAP.
4. Student Device Drop-Off
Grade 1-6: please drop off your devices to the school reception on Monday, June 21, 12:00-5:00pm. Please clearly label your child’s device with their name and grade (e.g. Richard Gr3A). All devices will be reformatted for 2021-2022 school year. Children are unfortunately not permitted in the building, and we ask that all adults pre-screen, wear appropriate PPE, and maintain social distancing when entering the reception. Teachers will have any remaining personal items ready for pick up at that time as well. More information will be sent by your child’s teacher.
5. Games Day
Monday, June 14
The Grade 6s have been hard at work designing fun and exciting games for all to play this year. In preparation for Monday, we ask that each student gather their materials prior to the Games Day events.
To view the items you will need, click here: Games Day Equipment List 2021
Beginning at 9:15, JK, SK, Grade 1, and Grade 2 will join together for their Games Day session. At 10:30, Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 will join together for their Games Day session. The link will be sent out by your classroom teacher for you to join.
We welcome all members of the JICS community to wear their most vibrant coloured clothing, hats, or hair on Monday. Have fun and get ready to play, play, play!
6. Music Night 2021
If you missed our wonderful celebration of music last week, you can view the recording here.
Huge thanks to all the children, Suzanne, Russell, Paige, Tory, Nick, Deetpa and François, and all the JICS teachers and staff for your contributions.
7. A Message from the JICS Lab School Parents’ Association President
Dear JICS Families,
With the warmer weather, longer days filled with sunshine and more people getting fully vaccinated, I hope that you are finding yourselves a little more optimistic these days.
If you enjoyed Music Night last week – what a treat it was to see our children and teachers perform! Thanks to Tory and Nick for putting it all together and to Russell and Suzanne for putting the programme together!
As you may have heard, we are seeking 2 volunteer coordinators for next year. Please send a quick note to PAExecJICS@gmail.com if you’d like to know more about these roles. In addition, if you have not yet chosen your Class Reps for the fall, now is a great time to sort that out.
Wishing you all well! Deepta
8. Ask Ellie!
Dear JICS families, Sending you all kind thoughts as we are in the last few weeks of school. As I think of the last week, the words "both and" come to mind. It has been both wonderful (Music Night YAY!!) and devastating (with the news of a Muslim family in London who were targeted in a hate attack). I think in their own ways the kids are feeling this too, they are both excited about year-end fun things and tired of online school and missing friends. In Week 6 of Ask Ellie, we have a valuable question about supporting kids in dealing with social exclusion. As well as our weekly smile.
My child is 11 this year and they have had great friends at school. However outside of school there have been some really painful experiences for them where friends have just stopped inviting them to play. When I ask my child about this, they say it is fine, but I can see that it is hurtful. I am struggling to know how to support my child with this behaviour from their "friends". I feel powerless to help.
Dear Feeling Powerless to Help,
Thank you very much for this thoughtful question. This is an important topic. So often we imagine that bullying as something that is physical. We know that being told "you can't play with me" or other forms of relational aggression are equally or even more hurtful. It is a fundamental human need to feel connected and be in relationship with others. At the same time, kids are trying to figure out relationships and sometimes when a child is left out, it is unintentional. It is so hard as a parent to see your child hurt and feel stuck with how to help them. It is significant that your child has great friends at school. Here are a few things you can do to support your child in coping with these experiences.
Acknowledge and deeply validate that their feelings make sense. "It really hurts to be left out, and it is understandable if you are feeling sad, or angry about this." Even if your child is not expressing these emotions directly, finding a quiet moment to reflect to them and try to attune to how you imagine they might be feeling is helpful. Allow space for silence and let them know that if they want to talk about it, you are there. Before moving to reassurance or how to cope, make the time and space to have your child name their feelings, if possible.
Identify that being left out is not okay and is hurtful for anyone. Normalizing your child's feelings and describing that it is an understandable response to a difficult situation can help your child feel that they are not alone.
Remind your child that this is something that happened to them and does not define who they are. It will be important to find ways to reconnect your child with their strengths and affirm their self-worth.
Resist the urge to intervene. There will likely be a strong parental urge (think mama/papa bear) to rescue and fix the situation for your child. Slow down, find a place to vent and do not call the other parents or take action on your child's behalf. Make space to let your child decided how they would like to proceed and what would feel supportive for them. This develops your child's sense of competence and confidence. You can help your child think about ways to problem solve but follow their lead and aim to ask and listen more than offering ideas.
Find ways for your child to maintain or develop connections with other friends (at school, in the neighbourhood or other contexts). Reflecting with your child about the other relationships they have can help them take a larger perspective.
As a parent, you are attending to what your child is experiencing and thinking deeply about how best to support them. This is helpful and protective. Let your child know that you are with them and you can figure this out together. You can lend your child your hope in these moments, and this can help them feel safe and secure. The school community at JICS strives to make it a safe and inclusive place where children can all feel a sense of connectedness and belonging and there are explicit conversations about this at every developmental stage. Having these ongoing conversations with your child about how they are feeling and what is happening in their friendships is a good pro-active practice to keep this conversational door open.
Thank you again for this question. Wishing you and your family well and sending you warm thoughts. Don't hesitate to reach out if it is helpful to have a 1:1 conversation.
What musical instrument is found in the bathroom?
A tuba toothpaste
SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS!
Looking forward to your questions, parents, kids, teachers and all. Email me at
9. Upcoming June Events - PRIDE Month & National Indigenous History Month
Fri 11 – Parent Information Post Talks. 9:30 - 10:00am (Zoom link)
Thurs 17 – Grade 6 Graduation (pm)
Fri 18 – Last day of school. Noon dismissal.
Mon 21 – National Indigenous Peoples Day
Mon 21 – Gr 1-6 Device Return and pick up of material 12:00-5:00pm
Fri 25 – Report Cards mailed home