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Orange Shirt Day, Curriculum Night, Parent Ed

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

Grade 4s reading a story

Topics covered in this post:


1. Curriculum Night

Wednesday, October 6 | 6:00-7:30pm

A. Why Curriculum Night?

Curriculum Night is the most important parent education event of the year and we expect that all parents will participate. This is your opportunity to learn about what your child’s class will be experiencing and accomplishing this year. Questions you may have about what is taught and how we teach will be addressed. Although it is not an interview about your child (Parent/Teacher Interviews will take place on November 17 & 24), Curriculum Night gives you the fullest picture of the year your child is in, the teachers your child is with, and the expectations and plans for learning at your child's grade level.

B. What is the schedule of the evening?

Curriculum Night 2021, will be on zoom. On Monday, we will email you zoom links to the individual grade presentations.

Overview of Events 6:00 (sharp): Separate Curriculum Presentations for Nursery to Grade 6 6:45 (sharp): Welcome, Introductions of all JICS staff/teachers, COVID protocol updates with the JICS Administration, and special announcements.

C. How will we learn about French, Drama, Special Ed, Art, Library, Phys. Ed. and Music?

Each specialty teacher has produced an information package about their specialty subject, describing the program for 2021-2022. A link to these documents will be shared on Monday (along with the Curriculum Night zoom links).

Special Education: Judith Kimel & Nick Song Primary French (JK – Gr 2): Tania Debss Junior French (Gr 3 – Gr 6): Christel Durand Drama: Sarah Murray Early Years Music (Nurs – SK): Suzanne Schwenger Primary & Junior Music (Gr 1 – Gr 6): Russell Hersen

Library: Krista Spence

Visual Arts: Tara Rousseau

Physical Education & Health: Walker Kitchens


2. Orange Shirt Day

Today we held assemblies to acknowledge Orange Shirt Day and the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. Learn more about the creation of this day here.

In our playground, we organized two assemblies. Nursery to Gr 2 and then Gr 3 to Gr 6 classes gathered and formed a sea of bright orange. We invited Doug Anderson to speak to us. Doug is an alumni parent, co-author of Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition, and a wonderful Indigenous scholar and educator who has been teaching all of our all students outside in the land over the last few years, in our courtyard, on the UofT campus, and by the Humber River. Doug’s message to the students and staff was powerful and inspiring. We invite you to hear that message by watching the video recordings of each of this morning’s assemblies:

During both ceremonies, Teacher-Librarian, Krista read the Thanksgiving Address, from Strong Stories Kanyen’keya:ka: The Thanksgiving Address by Michelle Corneau. We listened for birds and found the maple tree in our neighbourhood to thank. The younger students listened to a lullaby Nehiyaw Tistamāwasōwin (The Cree Lullaby) by Darlene Auger, Sherryl Sewepagaham (Album: Cree Women in Lullaby), while the older students heard Mehcinut by Jeremy Dutcher, featuring old tube recordings of his ancestors songs (Wolastoq First Nation) blended with his own piano playing and singing.

Orange Shirt Day assembly

Doug spoke to both groups about the Beaver pelt and the Bundle. The students are all learning together with Doug this afternoon around the fire in the courtyard and we will share some of this learning with you next week.

During the second ceremony, Grade 4 teacher, Robin shared with us I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe and I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas. The Grade 6s also shared their work on the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, sharing 12 calls and reading them aloud.

Thank you to the assembly committee who made this assembly possible, Krista, Suzanne, Chriss, Robin, and Ben. Special thanks to all the teachers for your work with the children leading up to this day and for your continued commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action to further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples.

The origins of Orange Shirt Day begin with the experience of six-year-old Phyllis Webstad (Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation), who arrived at her first day of residential school, only to be stripped of her new orange shirt—and with it, her sense of self-worth. Phyllis’s story speaks of the brutal legacy of colonialism that dehumanized Indigenous peoples, and her experience has galvanized communities across Canada to recognize the damage that nearly two centuries of residential schools have done to Indigenous children, their families, and the generations who followed them.


3. Orange Shirt Day at the University of Toronto

This year, Orange Shirt Day is especially significant. Work continues on the sites of former residential schools to identify, mourn, and honour the thousands of children buried there. As well, the Government of Canada has declared September 30 the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, affirming its commitment to implementing the Calls to Action identified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s six-volume report (2015).

This report inspired U of T’s own 34 Calls to Action (2017), which identify the University’s short- and long-term commitments to six areas of focus, including Indigenous Spaces, Indigenous Curriculum, and Institutional Support and Guidance. The Office of Indigenous Initiatives 2019 & 2020 Annual Report, which will be released shortly on the Indigenous U of T website, highlights progress in these areas as well as challenges still to overcome. Orange Shirt Day urges all of us to acknowledge the unconscionable truths of Canada’s past and to commit ourselves to a new way forward.


4. Islamic Heritage Month

In 2016, the province of Ontario established October as Islamic History Month through the Islamic Heritage Month Act,

proclaiming a month to be Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario will provide all Ontarians, both today and in future generations, with an opportunity to reflect, celebrate and learn about the rich and longstanding Islamic history in the Province and the diverse roles and contributions of Muslim people in communities across Ontario. This new understanding will in turn help combat anti-Islamic sentiment.”

During October, JICS students will have the opportunity to learn about the important contributions of Canadian Muslims to Canadian society, the cultural diversity of the Canadian Muslim community and the importance of learning about each other to foster greater sense of belonging for all.


5. COVID-19 Updates - Rapid Screening Kit Disposal

Thank you for keeping our school safe and open by participating in the JICS Rapid Screening Program, adding another layer of security against COVID in our school.

The administrative time to review our community’s results on Thrive is quite substantial. This process is helped when all families stick with the Wednesday and Sunday evening routine of Rapid Screening and uploading the information on Thrive. We contact families who have not uploaded their information to offer support and ensure everyone is doing their part in our community.

A few parents have asked about the disposal of the used device. We have checked with CDL. In Ontario, everything (extraction tube, swab, specimen device) can be disposed in the garbage; no biohazardous waste containers or disposal is required. If someone has a presumptive positive, it is recommended that the waste products are placed in a sealed bag, into the garbage, to protect all individuals handling garbage. REMINDER: If your child has a COVID symptom, please do not use provided rapid tests. These are for screening asymptomatic individuals only. If you or child develop a possible covid symptom, a diagnostic PCR test is required. We hope these TPH posters will help explain the differences between PCR testing and Rapid screening.


6. Parent Education

Robin Wall Kimmerer Lecture - October 4, 2021 | 7:00pm

Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants (See Sept 2 Parent Information Post – Professional Development) will be giving a virtual lecture through U of T on Monday, October 4, 2021 from 7:00pm – 8:00pm. The title is Restoration and Reciprocity: Healing Relationships with the Natural World

You can register to watch for FREE here:

PFLAG Workshop details (also in text)

PFLAG Workshop – October 14, 2021 | 7:00pm

The first JICS PA Parent Education event of the school year is taking place via Zoom on Thursday, October 14 from 7-8 pm. Please join us for a workshop put on by PFLAG Toronto, which will focus on inclusive parenting and how to create an affirming environment for your child, and children in general, on topics related to gender identity and sexual orientation.

There will be a 30 minute presentation followed by a Q & A/discussion period. We highly recommend that all parents attend. Please RSVP on our events page!


7. Lice Check

The school received a rare, but much appreciated, “all clear” from the Lice Squad on Tuesday. We have future checks booked for January 11 and March 31, 2022. Thank you to the PA for funding our annual lice checks. Thank you to every JICS parent for your donations to the PA! If you haven’t made your yearly donation, you can do it here:


More Photos!

Students in all grades participated in the Terry Fox run last week!


Upcoming October Events

Mon 4 – Parent Education:Robin Wall Kimmerer lecture 7:00pm – 8:00pm. Register

Wed 6 – Curriculum Night, Nursery to Grade 6. Online.

Mon 11 – Thanksgiving. School and Daycare closed.

Tues 12 – Gr 5 & Gr 6 Parent “Transition to Gr 7” Night. Online. (email coming soon)

Thurs 14 – Parent Education: PFLAG Workshop (RSVP)

Mon 18 – Persons Day

Tues 19 – JICS PA All-Parents Meeting. Online.

Wed 20 – Memorial for Cindy Halewood (RSVP)

Fri 29 – Halloween at JICS (details coming soon)


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