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New Dismissal Routine, PA "All JICS Parents" Meeting, Asian Heritage Month, Photos, and More!

Two students climb a tree together
Climbing trees in the park during recess

Topics covered in this post:


1. New Dismissal Routine (Walmer Road)

After carefully examining the safest way to assure that all children are paired up with their caregiver at the end of day, we have changed the dismissal procedure at Walmer Road.

As you may have noticed, we are requiring that all caregivers/parents remain on the sidewalk and children gather in their cohorts on the front yard until a match between child and caregiver is made and the child will then walk out to the sidewalk. Nursery parents picking up at 3:30 are permitted to enter the yard and school to pick up their child.

We thank you for your understanding.


2. Walmer Road Gate

If you are entering or exiting the school from Walmer, please ensure that you close the fence gate (a slide bar and latch) behind you as the front yard is now part of our recess playground.

Picture of front gate to JICS
Please close the middle latch and orange slide

3. Parents’ Association (PA) “All JICS Parents Meeting”

Monday, May 8, 2023 | 7:00 – 8:00pm on Zoom

Link to the zoom meeting will be in the "Weekly Info" Email from Thursday, May 4, 2023.

At this important meeting, the PA will be discussing upcoming plans and finances and the School Administration will provide a general update about the school. It is also the meeting to vote on the new slate of applicants for 2023-2024 Parents’ Association Executive positions. We hope all parents will attend as a quorum (25 parents) is necessary.

Many PA executive members will be stepping down in June. Please help us in thanking the following parent volunteers who will soon complete their service:

  • François Tanguay-Renaud, President

  • Megan Pearson, Vice President

  • Shawn Konopinsky, PA Treasurer

  • Deepta Rayner, Past President

  • Kerry Thompson and Julia O’Byrne, Parents Education Coordinators

  • Andrea Russell, Communications Officer

  • Sanaz Mazinani, Volunteers Coordinator

  • and all Class Representatives

The school is better thanks to your support. You worked hard to ensure that the 2022-2023 year was a successful one. You rekindled the sense of community that is so central to the ethos of the school with the many thoughtfully planned events (socials, parent education speakers) that brought parents together. Your fundraising enriched the children’s learning experiences.

On Monday, we are delighted to announce that Megan Pearson will take on the role of President and that François Tanguay-Renaud will provide support as Past President.

The 2023-2024 PA Exec will have a new:

  • Vice-President

  • Treasurer

  • Communications Officer

  • Volunteers Coordinators

Thank you to those who have indicated interest in the Exec positions and to those who are considering becoming a parent class rep for 2023-2024. Volunteering with the PA Executive provides unique insights into the workings of the school, allows one to be part of conversations with the school administration about many aspects of its day-to-day life, and provides great opportunities to contribute to a thriving parent community. In addition to organizing social and educational activities, the PA acts as a sounding board for the school administration on a variety of issues. It also assists the school with fundraising, and contributes to financing initiatives that could not see the light of day without its support. More information about the JICS PA can be found here.

Link to the zoom meeting will be in the "Weekly Info" Email from Thursday, May 4, 2023.


4. Asian Heritage Month


The month of May is an opportunity for all to learn more about the many achievements of Canadians of Asian descent who, throughout our history, have contributed so much to Canada. Asian Heritage Month has been a focus of celebration in many communities across Canada since the 1990s. In December of 2001, Senator Vivienne Poy proposed a motion that was adopted by the Senate of Canada, designating May as Asian Heritage Month nationally. During May of 2002, the Government of Canada made this motion official by signing a declaration to designate May as Asian Heritage Month.


Who is of Asian Descent?

The definition of "Asian" may be inclusive and broad, and applies to people who come from or whose ancestors come from:

  • East Asia - China, Hong Kong S.A.R., Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan.

  • South Asia - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

  • Central Asia - Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

  • Southeast Asia - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.

  • Western Asia - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.


What Can We Learn?

Like all cultures, Asian heritage is a diverse and ever-changing concept that has varied meanings to the different communities and generations. During Asian Heritage Month we are invited:

  • To celebrate traditional as well as contemporary Asian-Canadian culture, which includes poetry, dances, sports, music and art;

  • To learn about the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of the diverse Asian heritage that makes up our Canadian communities;

  • To understand the historical journeys and ongoing struggles of diverse Asian communities;

  • To recognize individual and institutional racism both past and present, that have impacted the lives of many groups; and

  • To engage with students through lessons and discussions of prominent past events, current issues of racism and discrimination that continue to impact the many Asian communities living in Canada and to bear witness to the resistance and resilience of such groups.

At JICS, growing and learning among individuals who share widely divergent life stories, and appreciating their respective cultures, is an invaluable aspect of a true education. Nurturing a respectful and inclusive school culture means paying close attention to individual experiences, our curriculum, admission work, and our daily lives at the Lab School. We partner with families to help children broaden their view of themselves and others by ensuring that they encounter mirrors of their own background and experience, as well as windows of difference. We invite parents to enrich our learning by sharing their culture and identity with us. If interested to help, please be in touch with your child’s teacher.

It is important to recognize that Asian Canadian history is part of Canadian history and like Black History Month is not only highlighted during a particular month but integrated as much as possible throughout the school year. We thank parents for your support and for sharing your expertise to enrich out learning.

Asians in Canada have a long history in the labour movement. Asian migrants and Asian Canadians have faced discrimination, exploitation, and danger in many of Canada’s workplaces. Even today, many of our Asian communities experience racism and Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination on individual and institutional levels. Workers of Asian descent have demonstrated resilience and have organized in order to disrupt laws and practices that were racist and discriminated against certain minority groups.


Helpful Links to Resources:

Thanks to The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario for the information above.


5. Lost and Found

We invite parents to visit our “Lost and Found” collection located in the large stairwell and basement near SK. Paige, at reception, is happy to provide you with directions. We thank Paige for sorting all the un-labelled material.


6. JICS Hot Dog Night 2023

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | 6:00 – 8:00pm

Poster for JICS Hot Dog Night on June 7

Join us for our cherished annual JICS Hot Dog Night event!

This year we will be serving BOTH hot dogs and pizza. We have plans to celebrate the year with fun, games, and an opportunity for children to play and for parents and teachers to connect!

About the event:

What: casual community celebration with food and games. Please note that Hot Dog Night is a dry event this year.

Who: all JICS families and teachers

Where: Lab School gym (and surrounding areas)

When: Wednesday, June 7th 6:00-8:00pm

Cost: $15 for adults, $5 for kids, or a maximum of $40 for the whole family

Please purchase your tickets online and in advance to avoid line-ups and delays and to benefit from early bird pricing. Early purchase will also help the organizers plan for food and activities. Please save your confirmation email to present at the door for entry (proof of purchase will be electronic to avoid paper waste).

Please note tickets will also be sold at the door cash only at a cost of $20 for adults, $8 for children.


7. International Association of Lab Schools (IALS) Conference at JICS

Photo of IALS members on stage at Jackman ICS
Dr. Eric Jackman, Professor Erica Walker, Patricia Chorney Rubin, Chriss Bogert, Nancy Steinhauer, Rosemary Evans, and Richard Messina presented at IALS conference opener. Perry King/OISE

We are proud to share the OISE/UofT article about the IALS Conference that took place on April 26-28 at JICS. We are receiving many letters and emails of appreciation from the 200 participants, and we are excited about future research collaborations and connections. Thank you, JICS parents for supporting our mission and purpose as a lab school.


8. Photos from the Week at JICS

Rukhsana Khan Visit for Canadian Children's Book Week

On Wednesday, award-winning children’s author and storyteller Ruhksana Khan lead a series of workshops for the students from Nursery to Grade 3. She is the author of many books, including 'The Roses in my Carpets', 'King for a Day', and 'The Silly Chicken.' You can learn more about her on her website here.

It was a fantastic experience for the students. Thank you Rukhsana! And thank you Krista for organizing the visit. As a reminder, these author visits are made possible by all of the amazing fundraising from the Read-a-thon.


Other photos from the week


9. Upcoming May Events

May is Asian Heritage Month

Tues 2 to Fri 5 – Grade 6 Trip to Quebec City

Wed 3 to Fri 5 – Grade 4/5 Trip to Ottawa

Mon 8 – JICS PA All Parents Meeting. 7:00pm

Wed 10 – Parent/Teacher Interviews (sign up info here)

Wed 17 – Parent/Teacher Interviews (sign up info here)

Mon 23 – Victoria Day (School and Daycare closed)

Wed 24 – Art & Music Night (more info coming soon)

Thur 25 to Sat 27 – Shavuot

Tues 30 – Parents of BIPOC children meeting (more info coming soon)

Wed 31 – Games Day (more info coming soon)


10. Upcoming June Events

Canada's National Indigenous History Month & World Pride Month

Wed 7 – Hot Dog Night (Info and Tickets)

Thur 15 – Grade 6 Graduation

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

Mon 19 to Thur 29 – Daycare June Camp

Fri 23 – Report Cards mailed home





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