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New Winter Term State Date

JICS Winter Term new start date: Monday, January 11, 2021


December 21, 2020


Dear JICS Parents,


As you have likely heard, Ontario is moving to another full lockdown. Elementary schools will be closed for in-school learning until Monday, January 11, 2021. The JICS Lab School will remain closed for the Winter Holidays until Friday, January 8, 2021 and will reopen for the Winter Term on Monday, January 11, 2021. In response to the ministerial order, the Before and After School Daycare will also remain closed until Monday, January 11, 2021.


The safety of our students, teachers, and staff has been our top priority since our reopening in September. Our policies and procedures along with your support have allowed us to maintain continuity in learning while significantly reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19.


Remote Education (learning from home)

The school is committed to providing exemplary in-class learning as our first priority because we truly believe that students learn best and feel their best when they are at school. Should the ministerial school closure order be extended beyond January 4-8, 2021, JICS will provide remote learning to all students beginning Monday, January 11, 2021. If this comes to pass, parents/caregivers will have an opportunity to pick up an electronic device for use during online learning. The date for picking up devices will be communicated in advance of January 11th.


While we learned much from our Spring 2020 experience regarding effective remote learning techniques and strategies, we do not feel it is beneficial for children, parents, and teachers to engage in the psychological stress of remote education (learning from home) for only one week. That is, if the closure is limited to January 4-8, 2021, we feel it is best for the children to experience this as an extended holiday rather than triggering memories for them of an emotionally and psychologically stressful time last year when they could not be with their friends or teachers at school.


While we hope that the Provincial measures reduce the spread of COVID-19 and that we will be allowed to physically open our school doors on January 11, 2021, we will be ready beginning that day, with remote learning if necessary.

I understand that these decisions will be disappointing for some. Please trust, however, that our decisions are grounded in our firm belief that we are supporting the long-term wellbeing of the children and their teachers. We thank you for your understanding.


You will receive more details from me early in the New Year. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions. I will be accessing email intermittently, but please know I will reply as soon as possible.


We look forward to 2021 and believe that brighter days are ahead.

Wishing you safe, happy, and restful holidays.


Sincerely,

Richard


Richard Messina | Principal

Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education | University of Toronto

416-934-4509 | richard.messina@utoronto.ca

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