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New Playground Opening, New Arrival and Dismissal Procedures, & Parents of BIPOC Children Meeting

JICS at a Glance

We've condensed the important highlights for your convenience:

Topics covered in this post:


1. Exciting News: Playground Opens on Monday!

Excitement is in the air as we have been eagerly awaiting the grand opening of our brand-new playground! We are thrilled to announce that the playground will officially open its gates on Monday, January 22. Witnessing the joy on the children's faces as they engage with the new features will undoubtedly be a highlight.


To ensure a smooth transition, we have planned a phased-in introduction on Monday, commencing at 9:00 am for each grade. This will allow everyone to get acquainted with the playground in an organized manner.


A heartfelt thank you goes out to Leah Scherk, OISE Manager of Space Planning, Facilities, and Services, as well as the dedicated and talented teams at PLANT Architect Inc. and Marant Construction Ltd., along with the University of Toronto, for their unwavering commitment to completing this project. We also extend our gratitude to the children and parents for your patience throughout the process.


2. New Arrival Information for Grades 4-6

In response to feedback from Junior Grade Parents who expressed a desire to reconnect with the “Walmer-side community”, we have relocated the arrival of Grade 4-6 children to Walmer Road. Please note that there will be no arrival on Spadina Road beginning Monday. A gentle reminder to all, the space in front of the school is a no-parking zone from 8:30 to 8:45 am to facilitate a smooth and efficient kiss-and-drive system. Your cooperation in adhering to this brief restriction ensures the safety and convenience of our school community. Thank you for your understanding and support.


3. New Arrival and Pick-Up for Nursery

Nursery Parents, be on the lookout for communication from Norah regarding new arrival and pick-up arrangements.


4. New Dismissal Information for JK to Grade 6

Starting this Monday, all students will be dismissed from the schoolyard at 3:30 pm. We encourage caregivers of JK and SK students to connect with their children before this time to ensure a smooth dismissal process. Chriss and Richard will stand at the playground gate to ensure that all children are safely paired up with their respective caregiver.


We can't wait to witness the laughter and play that will fill our new playground, fostering a sense of community and joy for all. Thank you for your continued support and patience as we enhance the JICS Lab School experience for our students.


5. Parents of BIPOC Children Meeting

Tuesday January 30th

7:00 - 8:30pm

Room 120 JICS

Created by JICS parents for JICS parents, this meeting is designed for conversation and advocacy for families at JICS with BIPOC children. This meeting will be in-person at JICS and all parents of a BIPOC child are invited to attend. 


6. Enhancing Public Education: Fulfilling Our Commitment

In last week’s POST, we highlighted numerous ways in which the JICS Lab School has significantly influenced elementary educational practices and elevated the standard of teacher education worldwide. We are thrilled to share yet another noteworthy accomplishment.


Dr. Jennifer Wemigwans, Assistant Professor in the Adult Education and Community Development program at OISE, University of Toronto, collaborated with JICS teachers to co-author a recently published journal article: "The Haudenosaunee Ohén:ton Karihwatéhkwen Thanksgiving Address: Moving Beyond the Havoc of Land Acknowledgements." This article seeks to challenge the prevalent practice of opening gatherings with a Land Acknowledgement, which can sometimes come across as mere "empty gestures of performative allyship" (Blair, K. 2021). The piece advocates for a critical re-evaluation of this practice, arguing that engaging with the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address and the act of giving thanks provides a more meaningful foundation for Indigenous Knowledge education in elementary school-aged children. A limited number of copies of this article are available in our school office.


7. Historic Legacy Opportunities - Leaving an Enduring Impression!

Our gratitude knows no bounds for the extraordinary generosity exhibited by the parents and friends of the JICS Lab School. In a city teeming with educational choices, you have chosen to entrust your child/ren to the Lab School, recognizing our commitment to advancing public school education through ground-breaking research, teacher education, and the delivery of exemplary education to our 200 JICS children. Your trust in us and your unwavering support of our public purpose at the University of Toronto are invaluable, and we express our deepest appreciation.


As valued members of the JICS community, we are excited to share three momentous opportunities that have emerged at the Lab School, each capable of leaving an indelible mark for generations to come.


1.The Playground

The JICS playground is set to open in the coming days as a vibrant and stimulating play space designed to captivate and challenge children aged 2 to 12. Featuring collaborative sport areas, imaginative play zones, and hidden nooks like a secret garden, the playground offers a myriad of play options. With robust structures for climbing, spinning, and sliding, this fully accessible space aims to provide optimal opportunities for meaningful and developmentally responsive outdoor play experiences. This $1,000,000 naming opportunity allows a JICS family or a group of families to imprint their legacy on the School, emphasizing the significance of uninhibited childhood play.


2. The Courtyard

Tucked amidst the urban hustle of downtown Toronto, our courtyard stands as an outdoor classroom and a natural oasis. Amidst tall buildings and Victorian homes, the sounds of the city are replaced by birdsong and the soothing trickle of a waterfall. This $300,000 naming opportunity supports JICS students in forming connections with nature and serves as a model for public schools, addressing the "nature deficit" prevalent among children. The courtyard, featuring a forest therapy trail, a tallgrass prairie, and more, is a space for Indigenous teachings and a testament to the possibilities in a small urban setting.


3. The Book Nook

Envisioned as a light-filled, multipurpose space between Grade 4/5 and Grade 6 classrooms, the Book Nook embodies key JICS values: well-being, knowledge creation, collaboration, diversity, and community building. Valued at $250,000, this naming opportunity transforms the area into a hub for clubs, projects, small group meetings, and self-directed study. It also houses a curated collection of Junior Grade novels, reflecting the diversity of our community. This opportunity empowers a JICS family or a cohort of parents to shape the growth and leadership of our students, fostering their imagination beyond JICS.


For detailed information on these historic opportunities and to explore the transformative potential of naming gifts, kindly contact our Senior Development Officer, Reesa Barkhouse, at or 705-978-3610.


8. JICS Skate Swap

We are currently accepting donations of gently used skates that have been outgrown. A big thank you to everyone who has already contributed! We are especially in need of larger child-sized skates.


If you are still on the lookout for used skates, check out alternative sources such as the Facebook Marketplace and Goodwill/Variety Village/thrift stores.


9. Upcoming January Events

Wed 24 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena - Grades 3, 4, & 5

Thur 25 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena – Grades 1, 2, & 6

Fri 26 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day at JICS

Tues 30 – 7:00-8:30 Parents of BIPOC Children (in person) meeting

Wed 31 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena – Grades 1, 2, 3


10. Upcoming February Events

Black History Month

Thur 1 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena – Grades 4/5 and 6

Fri 9 – Lunar New Year Celebration Day at JICS

Wed 14 – Valentine’s Day

Fri 16 – Mid-Term Holiday (School closed, Daycare open)

Mon 19 – Family Day Holiday (School & Daycare closed)

Wed 28 – Pink Shirt Day/Anti Bullying Day



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