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New Parent Ed, 22/23 Calendar, Asian Heritage Month

children working on an art display collaboratively

Topics covered in this post:


1. Hot Dog Night Planning Meeting

Tuesday, May 17 | 8:00pm

Sorry for the confusion, next planning meeting is on Tuesday May 17 @ 8pm for any parents who would like to attend. RSVP to attend

Hot Dog Night poster - Tuesday June 7th (rain date Wed June 8) 6:00pm-8:00pm. JICS School Yard. Cost: $15 adult, $5 child. Pizza will be served from General Assembly Pizza. If the event is outdoors, masks will be optional (but recommended) outdoors (all JICS staff will be wearing masks outdoors) & mandatory indoors (washrooms and rain date) as per UofT protocols

We’d like to give a big thank you to General Assembly Pizza for their generous donation!

Thank you, Ali Khan Lalani!


2. Parent Education

Lunch & Learn with Ellie & the Spec Ed Team

May 19 | 12:30-1:30pm

Lunch & Learn Parenting Series with Ellie Lathrop & the JICS Spec Ed Team. "where is my water bottle?" A discussion about executive function. Thursday May 19 12:30-1:30pm. RSVP at

“Where’s my water bottle?”: a discussion about Executive Function, what it means, and what it looks like

Executive functioning skills, or our ability to plan organize and manage activities, are essential to all of us. Join Judith, Nick and Ellie for the last lunch and learn of this year and discuss how to understand and support your child with these skills. There will be a 30 min recorded presentation followed by 30 min of (non-recorded) discussion.


Dismantling Anti-Asian Racism: Beyond Performativity, Checklists, and Hashtags with Dr. Mary Reid

May 30th | 6:30-8:30pm

Dismantling Anti-Asian Racism: Beyond Performativity, checklists, and hashtags. With Dr. Mary Reid. May 30th, 6:30-8:30pm. RSVP at

Since the onset of the pandemic, acts of anti-Asian violence and hate have increased significantly. Anti-Asian racism has deep political, social, and economic roots in Canadian history. The contemporary manifestation of anti-Asian hate continues to impact Asian communities, affecting their health, well being and safety. This session aims to educate participants on recognizing and addressing anti-Asian racism, and how to discuss these critical issues with children. The workshop will also delve into actions that support the dismantling of institutionalized oppression and colonization, through cross racial solidarity and ally-ship.

This workshop with not be recorded. We strongly encourage all Lab School parents to join us live for this vital opportunity to learn from Dr. Reid.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Mary Reid is an Assistant Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Mary is a first generation Canadian of Hakka Chinese descent and is a settler on Turtle Island. As an executive member of the Asian Canadian Educators Network (ACENet), she leads the research committee which primarily focuses on examining Asian educators’ and students’ experiences. Her scholarship centers on the model minority myth and its impact on Asian students in STEM classrooms. In March of 2021, she was featured in a CBC article about Anti-Asian Racism. As an integral member of OISE, she recently won the 2022 Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership for her outstanding service in combatting anti-Asian racism, and in 2018, Mary was the recipient of the teaching excellence award.


Natural Curiosity Parent Advisory Committee for Environmental and Indigenous Education

May 16th | 4:00-5:00pm

Doug Anderson working with children in the SK class outdoors showing a child a worm.

Please join us on Monday, May 16th from 4:00 to 5:00 PM ET for the upcoming Spring meeting of the “Natural Curiosity Parent Advisory Committee for Environmental and Indigenous Education”, a small group of honorary advisors with the interest, skills, and expertise to help guide the program's strategic growth and sustainability. All parents with the interest, skills, and professional insights that they would like to share in support of environmental and Indigenous education through Natural Curiosity, are welcome!

In 2021, we hosted a virtual parent think tank to discuss the future of Natural Curiosity (NC), a public-facing program of the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School dedicated to improving environmental and Indigenous learning across Turtle Island.

As a result of this valuable conversation, we formed the “Natural Curiosity Parent Advisory Committee for Environmental and Indigenous Education”, a small group of honorary advisors to help guide the program as we implement new strategies for growth and sustainability, sales and marketing, and fundraising. This committee meets through the seasons, for 1-2 hours at a time, as the NC team brings forward focused questions for your guidance and input. See the May 4th Parent Information Post to read about the many accomplishments of the Natural Curiosity program.


3. School Calendar 2022-2023

The holiday calendar for the 2022-2023 school year is now available to JICS families. You can find it in the “News and Events” section of the website and it will be included in the 2022-2023 Parent Handbook when it is published.

You will note that the first day of school and daycare will be Tuesday, September 6, 2022. This is a change from our regular practice of beginning the school year on the Wednesday following Labour Day.


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. SickKids School Community Survey

SickKids provided the JICS Lab School with PCR COVID-19 tests. Here is a message from them to our community.

SickKids logo in a pride flag heart.

Dear JICS Parents

Thank you for your participation in the SickKids COVID-19 Saliva PCR Test Kit Program. Your feedback is important to SickKids!

We kindly ask that you follow the link below and complete the short survey below (approx. completion time 5-10 minutes).

At the end of the survey there will be an opportunity to enter your name in a draw to WIN 1 of 2 $100 Starbucks gift cards. 

Please complete the survey by May 24.


6. Art at JICS

Grade 1: Sculpting Wild and Domestic Local Animals

Students chose animals that they connected with to first draw, and then sculpt. We referred to our lessons that scaffolded animal drawings by breaking down the animals into composite shapes, helping students to build their animals piece by piece. They noticed the differences between imagining a 2-dimensional drawing and a 3-dimensional sculpture.

Once the animals were sculpted, students painted backdrops that illustrated the habitats they felt best for their animals. Students who chose domestic animals made backdrops that reflected their own back yards, and those who chose wild animals painted fields, forests, and skies. Sculptures were fired, painted, and then the class designed a habitat display with felt, fabric, stones, and other scavenged natural elements.


Grade 3: Sculptures inspired by the life and work of Augusta Savage

Students learned about the life of Augusta Savage, an acclaimed sculptor and art teacher active during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and beyond. Savage began her career sculpting animals and miniature figurines and moved into portraiture. As a teacher in Harlem, she was celebrated and beloved. Some of her students, such as Jacob Lawrence and Norman Lewis, became famous artists themselves.

During this project, Grade 3 students learned the basics of sculpted portraiture, designing their own busts. They then had the option of choosing favourite animals to sculpt as well.


7. Lost and Found

We invite parents to visit our “Lost and Found” collection located in the lower foyer. Please wear PPE when you arrive and Paige, at reception, is happy to provide you with directions. We thank Paige for sorting all the un-labelled material.


8. COVID-19 Update

Rapid Testing

We thank you for continuing to test each Wednesday and Sunday. There have been 6 positive cases reported to the school since our last Parent Info POST (Thursday, April 28). Please continue to indicate in the JICS Daily Screening that the most recent (Wed/Sun) test has been completed, and inform the school office of any positive results.


9. Upcoming May Events

May is Asian Heritage Month

Mon 16 – Natural Curiosity Parent Advisory Committee for Environmental and Indigenous Education| 4:00pm | RSVP

Tues 17 – Hot Dog Night Planning Meeting | 8:00pm | RSVP

Thurs 19 – Lunch and Learn with Ellie & Spec Ed Team | 12:30-1:30pm | RSVP

Mon 23 – Victoria Day Holiday. School and daycare closed.

Fri 27 – Music Day | details coming soon

Mon 30 – Dismantling Anti-Asian Racism with Dr. Mary Reid | 6:30-8:30pm | RSVP


10. Upcoming June Events

Canada's National Indigenous History Month & World Pride Month

Wed 1 – JK to Gr 6 Games Day (rain date: June 3) | details coming soon

Tues 7 – Hot Dog Night (rain date June 8) | 6:00-8:00pm | Tickets coming soon

Thurs 16 – Grade 6 graduation

Fri 17 – Last day of school | Noon dismissal

Fri 24 – Report Cards mailed home


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