Topics covered in this post:
Early Pick-Up Requests
Student Masks in JK to Gr 3
Photo Day - Sept 22
Lice Check - Sept 24
Terry Fox Run
Message from JICS Social Worker
Message from Parents' Association
New Crossing Guard
Upcoming September Events
1. Pick-Up Procedures
In order to maintain the safety of the dismissal plan (staggered times, specific exits, designated supervisors) dismissal time and exit location will not be changed to accommodate playdates or alternative pick-up arrangements. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that all children are picked up on time and at their exit location. We thank you for your support and understanding.
2. Early Pick-Up Requests
We understand that on occasion, children need to be picked up early for appointments. Please notify the classroom teachers and Nancy in advance when possible. Parents are required to wait in reception for the child/ren to be brought to reception. The child/ren cannot return to school that day for safety reasons. NEW INFO: In order to protect the staffing of the safe dismissal process, no “early pick-up” can take place after 2:30pm (11:30am on Wednesdays).
The teachers are ready to start teaching at 9:00am promptly and the teachers/staff on duty need to transition to their teaching spaces. NEW INFO: Please make plans to arrive at school from 8:30 to 8:55am. Thank you. The school building will be closed to late children at 9:00am. There is no late entry for any child (after 9:00am) during the 2020-2021 school year for safety reasons. There is no entry or re-entry for any child outside of the 8:30-8:55 arrival time.
4. Student Masks in JK to Gr 3
In the JICS Parent Handbook we stated: Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear masks at arrival and when in common areas inside the school. The September 15, 2020 updated “COVID-19 Guidance: Elementary & Secondary Schools” document from Toronto Public Health state: Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will be strongly recommended to wear masks in indoor spaces. We have updated the Parent Handbook with this new information. While still optional, we encourage you to have on-going conversations with your child explaining how wearing masks, along with frequent hand-washing and disinfecting, help keep them and others safe when indoors. If you have a strong preference for your child to wear, or not wear a mask indoors, please inform your teacher directly.
The guidelines also state that masks are strongly recommended in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Teachers of children in JK-Grade 3 will be using their judgement about this and encouraging children to put on their masks at certain times when physical distancing is harder to maintain, such as coming to the carpet for a story.
There is no change regarding students in Grade 4 – 6. They are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school with exception for those with a medical condition.
5. Photo Day – Sept 22
Focus on Children Photography have taken the necessary safety measures for this year’s photo day which will take place Tuesday, September 22. Please dress your children in bright colours! Only individual photos of each JICS student will be taken and the class photo will be a composite made of the individual photos. Focus on Children Photography will provide each student with a unique online code for parents to view their photos and place their order. This online order is provided via a secure system. Ordered photos will be distributed to children at school when they arrive.
6. Lice Check – Sept 24
The Lice Squad will conduct a lice check on Thursday, September 24. The checks will take place in each classroom with appropriate health and safety measures. Thank you to the JICS Parents’ Association for funding the annual lice checks!
7. Terry Fox Run – A letter from the Grade 3s
Next week, each class JK to Grade 6 will be participating in the Terry Fox Run at Jean Sibelius Park on Kendal Avenue. To ensure distancing, each class will be running the Terry Fox Run at a different time and/or different day during the week of Monday, September 21st to Friday, September 24th. The Grade Teachers will be in touch with the exact timing of the run so parents can come and support if you are available!
We ask for everyone to please bring at least $1.00 or more, to donate to cancer research. You can donate directly to the Terry Fox Foundation Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Donation Page.
The Grade 3 Students
8. Message from Ellie, JICS Social Worker
Dear JICS parents and community,
Hello! I'm hoping that as you read this you and your family are well and that the first few weeks of school have been good.
This is a year like no other. I started at JICS in April, at the height of the pandemic, and was working from home. Since September I'm excited to be here at the school in person and am here Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm really looking forward to meeting you or getting to know you and your kids a bit and collaborating together this year. In addition to individual consulting and some groups for the kids, I'm going to be offering a JICS Parent Education Wellness Series. We will start with a Zoom workshop on Sleep, as it is one of the foundations of wellbeing. (I know in my life if I don't sleep, nothing feels right!). Stay tuned for details about the time and date. If you have specific concerns about your child or ideas about how I can best support the JICS community, please don't hesitate to reach out. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all moments of rest and kindness.
Warmly, Ellie Lathrop, MSW, RSW
9. Distance Education
Parents are inquiring about distance education when their child is absent. Please note that remote learning accommodations will be made for students who have a medical situation or family circumstance that necessitates an extended absence due to COVID-19. The student’s teacher will work together with the administration and family concerned to shape the appropriate at-home program. Should the extended absence be due to the child being ill, the focus for the child is on resting and getting better. The Grade Teachers will work to ensure the student is effectively caught up once the child has fully recovered and back in school.
10. Message from Parents’ Association
Dear JICS Families,
What a wonderful start to the new school year! I’m sure you’ll all agree that the JICS faculty have made our children feel safe and comfortable from the very first day of school.
All JICS Families are automatically members of the Parents’ Association. We are a volunteer-led not-for-profit registered charity, allowing us to issue receipts for donations to advance our purpose: To provide resources and programs that advance the education of students and to build, foster, and support the JICS parent community.
At the beginning of the school year, we collect fees and donations to help ensure that every child and family is supported. Here are a few examples of how PA funds will be used to build our community this year:
- Access to a Social Worker for our children 1 day per week (JICS supports 1 day per week, for a total of 2 days per week)
- Additional playground equipment for each cohort required due to COVID safety measures
- Lice screening 3x per year
- Parent Education events
While some expenses have been eliminated due to limitations on gathering as a group, other costs have risen to ensure the safety and health of our children. Please note that we’ve made no changes to the fees and donations we are requesting compared to last year. Please click here to pay your PA Fees/Donations.
As this is an unusual year for many families, we have provided options to pay for ‘fees only’ or ‘fees + recommended donation’. There is an option to donate a different amount from what is recommended as well. Sometimes families decide to donate an additional amount with a specific intention (e.g. classroom grant or library book purchases). Please connect with us via email at PAExecJICS@gmail.com to let us know how you would like these additional funds directed. Whatever your decision may be to pay fees and donations this year, you continue to be a valued member of the JICS Parents’ Association.
Next week, we are hosting a parent social on Tuesday evening to welcome all families back to the new school year. Please RSVP on the event page for this event to receive the Zoom link.
11. Water Testing
Each year, Ontario schools and daycares are required to test their water for lead particles. Standing and flushed water samples from faucets throughout the Lab School were taken on September 14, 2020. The results we received from the labs at SGS Canada Inc. indicate that the drinking water in our school is completely safe to drink. We also follow Ontario Ministry regulations by flushing our plumbing on a regular basis.
12. New Crossing Guard
Please say hello and thank you to Madhu, the new crossing guard at Walmer and Kendal. Madhu will help children and their families cross safely before and after school.
13. Upcoming September Events
Fri 18 – Rosh Hashanah (begins at sundown)
Sat 19 – Sun 20 – Rosh Hashanah
Mon 21 – Fri 25 – Terry Fox Run Week (details from Grade Teachers)
Tues 22 – Photo Day (details coming soon), PA September Social (RSVP)
Thurs 24 – School-wide Lice Check (details coming soon)
Sun 27 – Yom Kippur (begins at sunset)
Mon 28 – Yom Kippur, start of MA internships/practicum
Wed 30 – Orange Shirt Day (details coming soon)