Topics covered in this post:
School & Daycare Closed - Nov 13 & 16
Parent Teacher Interviews
Online Daily Screening & Planned Absences
Remembrance Day at JICS
Parent Concern Process
JICS Parent Panel on COVID-19
JICS Parenting Workshop Series: Sibling Strategies
Upcoming November Events
1. School & Daycare Closed - Friday, Nov 13 & Monday, Nov 16
On Friday, November 13, the JICS teachers and staff will engage in a full day of professional development. The School and Daycare will be closed.
In the morning, we will meet with Dr. Nicole West-Burns who is a seasoned professional development consultant with a focus on educational equity issues. For more than a decade, Nicole has worked with educators from several school boards within the province of Ontario to support and guide professional learning promoting equitable educational experiences and outcomes in schools for all students, specifically utilizing the pedagogical framework of Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy (CRRP). From 2013-2019, Nicole was a leader on equity initiatives in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Education. In this work, she served as a key facilitator, co-developing and co-leading provincial work for 39 school boards tied to deepening understandings and practices of CRRP. She is also the co-author of the professional resource Equity Continuum: Action for Critical Transformation in Schools and Classrooms.
The PD morning will be the beginning of a series of professional learning sessions to support our efforts to disrupt and dismantle Anti-Black Racism (ABR) within our own spheres of influence while building knowledge and collaborating as a learning community. We will build understanding of the historical and present day context tied to ABR; have opportunities to be introspective about our own thinking and practice; and work collaboratively to take action on something that is the result of white supremacy and cultural and systemic implications in education leading to the ABR that is present today in our own school and classrooms.
In the afternoon, we will travel to and learn about a new Teaching Lodge on the University of Toronto Campus with JICS parent, Doug Anderson. One of Calls to Action (63) from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission involves Education for Reconciliation. We believe this trip will provide opportunities for members of the Lab school team and the Natural Curiosity team to learn Indigenous knowledge that can inform our work at JICS.
We hope everyone enjoys our Midterm Holiday on Monday, November 16. (School and Daycare closed.)
2. Parent Teacher Interviews (Nov 18, Nov 25)
The Fall interviews are an opportunity for a conversation with your child’s teachers (Homeroom and Team Teacher) who will share initial observations about your child’s academic profile as well as their social emotional development. We welcome your questions about your child and their progress at school and any information you may want to share that will help us to better understand your child and support their school experience.
Interviews are short - usually 20 minutes. Teachers are preparing to describe observations of progress to date and may share information from the specialty teachers. In addition to the two Grade Teachers, your interview time may include one or more of the following: MA intern, Special Ed teacher and/or Chriss or Richard. At JICS, the classroom teachers work collaboratively with the admin team, the specialty teachers, the interns, and the Spec Ed teachers. We meet weekly to discuss the progress and needs of children. Students do not have to be identified on the Spec Ed Caseload to benefit from this shared building of understanding. Our Special Ed teachers spend much of their time in the classroom and offer supports to all children; they provide a long-term multi-year view of the progress and development of children.
Although we set aside formal parent-teacher interview dates in the Fall and Spring, parent-teacher communication is continuous throughout the school year. We welcome and encourage open and honest conversations at any time so that we can work together to best support your child's learning and enjoyment of school.
Below are the links to sign up for your Fall interview with your child’s/children’s teachers. The interview dates are the afternoons of Wednesday, November 18 and Wednesday, November 25.
Nursery East: https://signup.com/go/yzeLhox
Nursery West: https://signup.com/go/DABNXnN
Grade 1: https://signup.com/go/wkLzupi
Grade 2: https://signup.com/go/QDLRVMo
Grade 3: https://signup.com/go/aatWtLb
Grade 4: https://signup.com/go/ffiiwiA
Grade 5: https://signup.com/go/KOfeREZ
Grade 6: https://signup.com/go/cUGWjHT
3. Online Daily Screening & Planned Absences
Please complete the Daily COVID-19 Screening Online Form even if your child has an absence not related to COVID-19 such as a planned absence due to an appointment. The information is vital in tracking symptom patterns and ensuring that proper measures are being followed. Please be aware that while we are not requiring you to fill out the screening form on the weekends or holidays, if your child has any symptoms on these days, we ask that you please follow the recommendations from Toronto Public Health. This means that if your child develops a primary symptom, or two or more secondary symptoms on weekends or holidays, your child should stay home and self-isolate for 10 days and get tested or follow the advice of your health care provider, even if they are feeling better on Monday morning.
4. Remembrance Day at JICS
The children, JK to Gr 6, will gather online on Wednesday to recognize Remembrance Day under the leadership of the Grade 5 students and teachers. The assembly will include songs of peace, a reading of “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae, and a minute of silence.
5. Diwali Celebrations
We are looking forward to celebrating Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights on Thursday, November 12! Thank you to the parents who have connected with your child’s teacher to enrich our celebrations. We welcome children to wear saris and kurtas as we gather online to light our brass lamp and dance together!
6. Parent Concern Process
In our day-to-day communication with parents, we strive to resolve issues as they arise. However, from time to time a parent may feel that an issue has not been addressed or resolved in a satisfactory manner and may wish to pursue the matter further. All issues should be addressed initially at the level closest to the event in an effort to achieve resolution. The resolution of a concern should proceed from Classroom Teacher (the involved homeroom or team teacher)/ Specialty Teacher to the Principal as needed. In consultation with the Principal, a mediated solution process may be arranged in exceptional circumstances.
(2020-2021 JICS Parent Handbook)
Parent chat rooms serve many purposes: sharing PA information, organizing social events, creating community, etc. As a public forum, they are not designed to discuss issues regarding the school, JICS staff members and/or any member of the JICS community. It is not respectful, kind, or productive to use chat rooms to discuss members of the JICS community who are not themselves present.
Employing a chat room to problem solving fosters an “us versus them” dynamic that is the opposite of the collaborative respectful relationship we build between parents and the school, and between all members of our community, to share knowledge, build understanding, and improve our work with students. We teach children a similar message when we speak about being respectful and about the lasting dangers of inappropriate use of chat rooms and social media.
We ask JICS Parents engaging in group chats to determine whether their contributions are kind, respectful, informed, inclusive and in the spirit of what the chat room was intended. Please consider the impact on others. Parent bystanders have a responsibility to intervene when a misstep has taken place to remind the contributors of the Parent Concern Process outlined in the JICS Parent Handbook. At school, we teach children about the important role of the bystander in speaking up when they see unkindness taking place. We expect no less from all members of our community. Please refer to the JICS Family Website to read the JICS Code of Behaviour: https://www.jicsfamily.com/behaviour-code.
7. JICS Parent Panel on COVID-19
Join us on Thursday, November 19 from 7:00pm - 8:30pm to listen to a panel of four JICS parent experts in a discussion about their work in COVID-19 followed by a question and answer session. RSVP to receive the Zoom link and submit your questions!
Parent panelist will include:
Allison Chris: Associate Medical Officer at Toronto Public Health and Adjunct Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
Shawna Irons: Family physician working in general practice, obstetrics, sexual health, addictions and COVID assessment centre.
Ian Randall: ICU physician in the Toronto Western Hospital Intensive Care Unit and a cardiac anesthesiologist with the University Health Network.
Lisa Strug: Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Associate Director of The Centre for Applied Genomics, Professor of Statistical Sciences and Computer Science and has a status appointment in the Division of Biostatistics at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
Please submit question in advance through your RSVP or directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be opportunities to ask questions through the chat during the panel.
8. JICS Parenting Workshop Series with Ellie Lathrop: Sibling Strategies
Next parenting workshop with Ellie will be
Sibling Strategies: peaceful ways to handle conflict.
Our relationship with our sibling is one of the longest ones most people will have in their life. Let's join together to discuss strategies to support and foster the connection between your children. We will be talking about ways that parents can address conflict, rivalry and upset about who got the biggest piece!! Looking forward to the conversation.
We will have a 30 min talk that will be recorded and 30 min of open discussion with parents to allow time for questions. The discussion and questions will not be recorded.
Thursday November 26th from 12:30 -1:30
If you would like to share your questions about parenting siblings in advance, please email Ellie: email@example.com
RSVP for the zoom link
The Gr 6 students are collecting funds to support the work of UNICEF. Families can donate:
online at the JICS UNICEF fundraising website: https://fundraise.unicef.ca/halloween-heroes-2020/jackman-ics
cash in the UNICEF donation box made by the Gr 6s in each classroom.
by scanning the QR code on the posters on the fence and windows of the school.
10. Happy Halloween
Enjoy the photos of our special day last week.