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Parent Handbook, First Day, New Info

Topics covered in this post:

  1. A letter from Richard: JICS Parent Handbook

  2. Tuition Balance Payment Schedule

  3. The First Day of School - Thursday, September 9

  4. New Staffing Information

  5. Summer Renovations

  6. Daycare

  7. Connecting


1. JICS Parent Handbook

Dear JICS Families

We hope you are well and that you are enjoying your summer. We are looking forward to welcoming students back to school and we are carefully evaluating protocols and best practices to ensure a safe and healthy school year.

Today we are proud to share with you the JICS Parent Handbook which outlines our plans for the 2021-2022 school year. This is a living document and it needs to be responsive to the evolving nature of COVID-19, the Ministry of Education mandates, and requirements from Public Health. As a school and a community, we must be flexible and adaptable to the inevitable shifts coming our way but at the same time I want you to know that we are confident of the preparation work we have done for school’s reopening. We have taken a multi-layered approach to health & safety measures following guidance from the

COVID-19: Health, safety and operational guidance for schools (2021-2022) Version 2 (Released August 13, 2021), the Ontario Science Table recommendations and information from the University of Toronto to establish a clear plan and update our protocols to create the safest possible environment for our community. On August 17 we received and incorporated information from Toronto Public Health and we await TPH and UofT COVID-19 screening updates to incorporate into the JICS Daily Screening Form before the start of the school year. As we mention above, the Parent Handbook will be re-evaluated regularly and, where required, updated based on public health advice throughout the 2021-22 school year. We have a proven track record of successfully working together to keep our community safe and COVID-free!

Vaccination is our best defense against COVID-19 and is key to providing us the opportunity to resume life at the JICS Lab School as we knew it. We strongly encourage all parents to get vaccinated prior to the start of the school year. We are eager for the time to come when we can celebrate and come together as a community. If you have not yet been vaccinated, you can book now at https://covid-

The Parent Handbook is filled with valuable information (new arrival and dismissal locations and times; ventilation improvements, staffing information; COVID-19 health and safety protocols; etc.) and we require all parents to read it and agree to it.

This year there continue to be necessary changes to our practices but what remains constant is our commitment to providing exemplary education to the students of JICS. We will continue to provide a nurturing environment that promotes child security for every student, based in relationships of trust, caring, and compassion between teachers and students, learning opportunities anchored in inquiry, developmental readiness, and emerging research. In short, a school where children love learning!

In this email, I want to draw your attention to some of the new information in the Parent Handbook. Please ensure you read the Parent Handbook to ensure you have all the necessary information.

  • NEW: The JICS Lab School, following the mandates of The Ministry of Education and The University of Toronto, requires that all faculty and staff provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, in full accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, with rapid antigen testing requirements for any staff who are not immunized.

  • NEW: Wall mounted AERA MAX Professional air purifiers were installed in every classroom and specialty class this summer by the University. These four-stage “true HEPA filtration system” air purifiers remove 99.99% of coronavirus. This is in addition to the existing MERV-13 filtration ventilation in renovated classrooms. Windows are open to increase the flow of fresh air into classrooms.

  • NEW: Arrival time is 8:30-8:45am for JK to Grade 6, 8:45-9:00am for Nursery. Dismissal time is 3:20pm for Kindergarten and 3:30pm for Grades 1 to 6. Also new entrances/exits.

  • NEW: Each grade has its own classroom and its own dedicated gender-neutral washroom.

  • NEW: Specialty subjects (French, Music, Art, Phys Ed, Drama, Library) are taught in designated spaces in the building.

  • Our licensed Daycare will operate before school and after school, including on Wednesdays beginning at 12:00.


2. Tuition Balance Payment Schedule

In keeping with COVID-19 social distancing requirements and minimizing adults in the school reception, we require that the tuition balance cheque payment be delivered to Shama Joshi, school office administrator, between Monday, August 23 to Wednesday, September 8, 9:00am to 4:00pm at 45 Walmer Road. Parents must wear a mask when they enter the building. Thank you for your cooperation.

Nursery 2021-2022 Tuition $16,807

  • Deposit of $5,000 and enrolment fee was paid at the time of acceptance

  • 50% balance paid April 30: $5904

  • Tuition balance: $5904

Full Day (JK to Grade 6) 2021-2022 Tuition $26,114

  • Deposit of $5,000 was paid in January 2021

  • 50% balance paid April 30: $10 557

  • Tuition balance: $10 557

  • Please add enrolment fee payment if applicable


3. The First Day of School - Thursday, September 9

The first day of school has been changed to Thursday, September 9, 2021 (8:50am-3:30pm). This is a different start date from what we have previously communicated (Wednesday, September 8). Members of our community will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah on September 6 to 8 and we want the special first day of school to be experienced by everyone. The JICS Lab School is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strive to continuously examine and improve how to make our school a place that enables all students, staff, and parents to feel they belong. We do not always get things right and we know we need to hear and deeply listen to the voices of our students, parent community and staff, and make sure our diversity and equity efforts are informed by these voices.

Daycare will begin at on Thursday, September 9 (8:00-8:45am, 3:30-6:00pm).

The Nursery children’s entry will be staggered over a few days beginning on September 9. 


4. New Staffing Information

I am delighted to announce that Chriss Bogert’s Vice Principal contract has been renewed for the next 5 years. Chriss provides inspiring leadership and is an instrumental reason for the success of the school. Thank you to the Renewal Committee members who joined me: Jun Cheng (Business Officer), Dr. Rhonda Martinussen (JICS Director), and Ben Peebles (Gr 6 Teacher).

We are very fortunate to have Walker Kitchens be our Phys Ed Teacher this year. Walker was the wonderfully skilled Gr 4 Team Teacher last year and this year we are so happy that every child in the school will learn with Walker. Hiring Committee: Raadiyah Nazeem (Gr 1 Teacher), Ben Peebles (Gr 6 Teacher), Chriss Bogert (VP), Michael Martins (Gr 3 Teacher), and myself (chair).

I am so, so happy to introduce our new office administrator: Shama Joshi. Shama comes to us with incredible skills, experiences, and knowledge and she has a deep sensitivity and respect for children and their needs. Shama will begin on Monday, August 23. Our former school office administrator, Nancy Boudreau will return to help with the transition. Hiring Committee: Chriss Bogert (VP), Nick Song (Special Ed and Technology Teacher), Tory McCracken (Admin Assistant and in-house Supply Teacher), Jun Cheng (Business Officer), Jennifer (OISE HR), and myself (chair). While we set up Shama’s email, please feel free to email Nancy if you have questions or contact the admin team at

Please extend a warm welcome to our newest hire: Saba Akhtar, the fourth member of the Nursery Team (Norah, Kenisha, Debbie, and Saba). Saba brings a Masters in Arts and her references praised her many strengths and thoughtfulness. Hiring committee: Chriss Bogert (VP/chair) and Norah L’Esperance (Nursery Teacher).

Erika Stein will work full-time as an assistant in Kindergarten. Debbie Young will support the SK class on Thursday and Friday pm and Kenisha Peters will support the JK class on Thursday and Friday pm.


5. Summer Renovations

We have been busy sprucing up the school during the summer month.

  • As we mentioned above, every JICS classroom, including specialty rooms, has been installed with wall mounted AERA MAX Professional air purifiers. More info here.

  • The School Office has moved out of Reception to its former home near the Principal and Vice Principal offices.

  • The Art Room was given a make-over with freshly painted walls, refinished wooden floors, new linoleum installed and the addition of a new air conditioner.

  • A new Junior French Room was created on the 2nd floor closer to the Junior Grade classrooms. The Primary French Room has moved into the former Junior French Room.

  • We have big plans for the Reception (painting, new light fixtures, and furniture) to make the space more welcoming. A new video/speaker security system for the front door of 45 Walmer Road will be installed in the Fall.

  • The school was thoroughly professionally cleaned and disinfected.


6. Daycare

Registration information for our licensed Day Care will be communicated soon.


7. Connecting

Please do not hesitate to be in touch if you have questions, need clarification, or would like to share a suggestion. Classroom teachers will be in touch with you in the days ahead. The Admin Team is back in the building full-time beginning August 23 and the teachers will engage in our PD Week beginning August 30.

On behalf of the staff and faculty, I want to share that we are incredibly excited to see you on you Thursday, September 9 and we want to offer a very warm welcome to the new students and families joining us this year. We hope your final weeks of summer are filled with joyful moments and lots and lots of fun.

All the best,


Richard Messina | Principal

Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education | University of Toronto




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