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PA Meeting, Day of Pink, Outreach

Topics covered in this post:

students painting banner for the wonderful welcoming week of pink

chag Pesach kasher vesame’ach! Happy Passover!
May your Easter basket be full of joy, happiness, and peace!

1. JICS Parents' Association (PA) Meeting

Tuesday, April 26 | 6:00pm

6:00 Join us for our final “All Parents” PA Council Meeting to learn about PA initiatives, Principals’ school report, PA budget and plans for the remainder of the year (including Hot Dog Night).

7:00 JICS Playgound Design Presentation. PLANT Architects Inc will present the drawings of the new JICS playground which will begin construction immediately after the end of the school year.

Please RSVP for the zoom link


2. Tuition Payment 2022-2023 School Year

The second tuition payment is due on April 20, 2022. This payment is non-refundable and represents 50% of the balance tuition balance. Please make your cheque payable to The University of Toronto.

Nursery 2022-2023 Tuition is $17,311

  • A non-refundable deposit of $5,000 was paid at the time of acceptance.

  • 50% balance due April 20 = $6,155.50 (non-refundable)

Full Day (JK to Grade 6) 2022-2023 Tuition is $26,897

  • A non-refundable deposit of $5,000 was paid in January 2022.

  • 50% balance due April 20 = $10,948.50 (non-refundable)

Shama is available in the school office each school day, 8:00am to 4:00pm. She is happy to receive post-dated cheques in advance of April 20.

The final tuition payment is due September 1, 2022.

All eligible JICS Lab School children must be fully vaccinated for the 2022-2023 school year and provide proof of vaccination.


3. International Day of Pink | April 13

The JICS GSA & the Wonderful Welcoming Week of PINK

The 2021-2022 school year saw the beginning of our GSA – the JICS Gender and Sexuality Alliance. It is a club where students who identify within the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community and students who support them can come together to be themselves in a safe and welcoming space. We began the year with students mainly from Grade 6, and were able to open membership to all of Grades 4 and 5 in the Spring term, thanks to relaxed gathering rules among cohorts. Attendance has been wonderful with many students from each of the junior grades coming out to support the group.

GSA students hard at work designing Pride buttons for an end-of term fundraiser we have planned.

This week, many schools are celebrating the International Day of Pink. The GSA wanted to distinguish it from the similar Pink Shirt Day, which takes place in February. Additionally, they felt their great enthusiasm could not be contained or limited to a single day of festivities. So, this week has been our inaugural Wonderful Welcoming Week of Pink. The GSA wanted it to be a celebration, much like an early Pride. Students were encouraged throughout the week to wear pink, rainbows, or any other bright colour that made them happy. The goals of the week were to celebrate our diversity and for all classes to learn more about our GSA.

The Grade 6 GSA members did an incredible job planning and preparing for the celebration, which included leading a school-wide assembly on Wednesday, April 13th.

A very large banner was designed and painted:

Students in the GSA developed scripts and a beautiful PowerPoint to share with the school. We read Juliàn is a Mermaid and shared a beautiful video entitled Love Has No Labels, also chosen by the Grade 6 students.

The Wonderful Week of Pink has been truly wonderful, thanks in large part to the leadership of our dedicated Grade 6 GSA members. A huge thank-you as well to the essential support provided by teachers Tara Rousseau, Ben Peebles and Bee Kingstone-Faria, and Vice-Principal Chriss Bogert.

children in the GSA with Pride flags and a banner reading The Wonderful Welcoming Week of Pink


4. COVID-19 Update

There have been 4 positive cases reported to the school since our last Parent Info POST (Thursday, April 7). Thank you for the vaccinations, the daily screenings, and for the weekly rapid testing – they are helping to keep in-person learning in place and our community safe.


5. Hot Dog Night

Mark your calendars for Hot Dog Night on June 7 (June 8 rain-date)!

The children, who remember this annual event (last held in 2019), shouted with glee when we announced its return at a school assembly. This is a parent-organized and parent-run JICS community event. Thank you to Katie Pearson and Mark Hendricks for co-chairing the planning committee. All Grade 1, 2, 3 parents (and any parents in upper grades with HDN experience) are asked to help. More details coming soon.


6. Russell Sprout Online Record Release Party

We are very fortunate to have Russell Hersen as the Grade 1-6 music teacher at the Lab School. As an award-winning professional musician (Folk Music Ontario Children’s Musician) and an educator trained theory, harmony and Dalcroze Eurythmics from RCM with a BFA in Music from York U, Russell brings a passion for music and a wealth of knowledge to the program. We take great pride in announcing the release of his newest recording “Together.” Russell is known professionally as “Russell Sprout” and on Tuesday, April 26 at 1:00pm the JICS children (SK to Grade 4) along with 1000 students from 30 schools will take part in the online record release “party.” The performance will include a live band featuring John Showman on fiddle, and Juno winning, Grammy-nominated Ken Whiteley playing a variety of cool instruments. Other special guests, the Furries, will help with all the actions and dancing. The concert includes songs about kindness, mental and physical health, and about Canada. Parents are welcome to attend: (click on the button at the top "Click for live stream"). The music for this performance is funded by the Recording Industries Music Performance Trust Fund in cooperation with Local 149, Toronto, Canadian Federation of Musicians.

BRAVO, Russell!


7. JICS Outreach

In celebration of Earth Month, we are delighted to present the teacher webinar: Natural Curiosity in Community: Sustaining Environmental Inquiry Beyond Earth Month, taking place on Wednesday, April 27, 7:00pm. Raadiyah Nazeem (Grade 1 Teacher, JICS Lab School) and Krista Spence (Teacher-Librarian & Land-Based Education Resource Teacher, JICS Lab School) join the Natural Curiosity Team to address the questions:

  • How can we design, grow, and sustain meaningful inquiries that bring students more deeply and actively rooted in their outdoor spaces and community, guided by the question of how Indigenous and diverse perspectives can ethically inform this learning process?

  • How can the lens of community broaden our definition of environmental education, and be activated through student agency to empower an understanding of their role and responsibility to one another, and to the natural world?

Using examples and resources from their exemplary teaching practice, Raadiyah and Krista will explore the potential of community-focused inquiries as a catalyst for all learners to engage in experiential and integrated learning about food, water, waste, plants and animals, stories, treaties, and all that binds us in the integrated nature of the environment and communities in which we live.

On February 17, JICS JK teacher, Marcia Bumbury presented a webinar for Natural Curiosity titled “Exploring Race and Equity in Inquiry-Based Outdoor Learning.” Marcia discussed the importance of incorporating equity and anti-racism into our environmental inquiry practice and shared grade-specific experiences and ways to address barriers that prevent racialized students from accessing nature-based learning opportunities. Interested parents can view the presentation online.


8. International Association of Laboratory Schools (IALS) 2022 Conference

North Alabama | April 6-8, 2022

Last week Richard Messina and Chriss Bogert travelled to Florence, Alabama to attend the annual International Association of Laboratory Schools conference which was being hosted by the Kilby Lab School at the University of North Alabama.

educators at Kilby Lab School

The conference included an opportunity to network with colleagues from Lab Schools across the globe, attend workshops, and visit the Kilby Lab School as well as the Florence City Early Childhood School.

Richard joined a panel for Lab School Principals, and a second panel to share about international collaborations. He presented about our long-standing partnership with Kobe Shinwa University in Kobe, Japan:

Chriss presented about the IALS Research Collaboration that she has been chairing this year. Chriss serves on the IALS board and Richard is member of the IALS international committee.

When Richard and Chriss visited the Kilby Lab School, they gave the Director, Dr. Eric Kirkman, a copy of Natural Curiosity as a gift. The international visit was being covered by a reporter from a local newspaper, the Times Daily, and we made the paper as well as the local tv news the next day!

It was announced at the conference that the JICS Lab School will be hosting the 2023 conference in Toronto! We will be joined by co-hosting schools George Brown College School of Early Childhood, The Mabin School, and UTS. The dates are April 26-28, 2023. We are very excited for this honour to showcase the exemplary “cultures of learning” in our Toronto laboratory schools and to highlight the work of JICS students and teachers for the IALS community.


9. Parents' Association Contributions to the Lab School

Your donation to the PA supports the school in many ways. In Grade Four, 35 new racially-diverse novels and picture books have been added to the classroom collection.

photo of books representing diversity


10. JICS Read-a-thon

The total raised for the annual JICS Library fundraiser has jumped to $2904.00 in online donations! The deadline for donations and completed forms is tomorrow. Thank you for your support and donations! Your donations will be used to replace lost and broken books, purchase new books, and support authors, illustrators and storytellers to visit with students. If you have not had a chance to make your donation, please see the following links:

Additional information for parents:


11. New OISE Dean

Erica Walker, new Dean of OISE

Professor Erica Walker will be the new Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and thus the Dean of JICS, for a five-year term. Professor Walker comes to UofT from the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is currently appointed as the Clifford Brewster Upton Professor of Mathematical Education and the Director of the Edmund W. Gordon Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME). The JICS Lab School faculty is looking forward to welcoming Dr. Walker. We are excited that she will be a professor in the OISE Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning with a research interest in STEM and that she comes to us from Columbia University which also has a lab school we have visited many times. Read more about Dr. Walker


10. Upcoming April Events

Ramadan begins (until May 1)

Fri 15 – Passover begins at sunset (until April 23)

Fri 15 – Good Friday. School & Daycare closed.

Sun 17 – Easter

Mon 18 – Easter Monday. School & Daycare closed.

Wed 20 – 2nd Tuition Installment due date (see Fees Information page)

Wed 20 – Parent Teacher Interviews

Fri 22 – Earth Day

Fri 22 – Orthodox Good Friday

Sun 24 – Orthodox Easter

Tues 26 – 1:00pm Russell Sprout Online Record Release Party

Tues 26 – 6:00 pm PA Council “All Parents” Meeting. 7:00pm New JICS Playground Design share. (RSVP coming soon)


13. Upcoming May Events

Tues 3 – Eid-al-Fitr (begins at sunset on May 2)

Tues 3 – Meeting for Parents of BIPOC Children. 7:00-8:30pm | RSVP

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


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