JICS at a Glance
We've condensed the important highlights for your convenience:
Topics covered in this post:
1. Parents of BIPOC Children Meeting
Tuesday January 30th
7:00 - 8:30pm
Room 120 JICS
Created by JICS parents for JICS parents, this meeting is designed for conversation and advocacy for families at JICS with BIPOC children. This meeting will be in-person at JICS and all parents of a BIPOC child are invited to attend.
2. International Holocaust Remembrance Day
The United Nations General Assembly officially designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the JICS Lab School, our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond a single day, as we address various forms of hate and oppression in developmentally appropriate ways throughout the entire year. These designated days serve as poignant reminders of our ongoing dedication to creating an environment that fosters learning and growth for our students and families. We continuously examine and reinforce our commitment to ensuring that our school remains a safe haven for all students, staff, parents, and community members.
3. African Heritage/Black History Month
February marks Black History Month in Canada, inviting Canadians to engage in festivities and events that honor the rich legacy and achievements of Black Canadians, both past and present. At JICS, we integrate the celebration of Black History Month into our curriculum developmentally across grades and showcase it through whole-school events such as assemblies involving community members. Our commitment extends into specialty classes like Library, Music, and Visual Arts. We encourage parents to contribute suggestions to help our students gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of Black Canadians and their indispensable role in the community. Feel free to reach out to your child’s teachers with your ideas.
4. Carnival Spice & Everything Nice
On Thursday, February 15th, we are thrilled to host the Carnival Spice & Everything Nice dance group, providing our students with an enriching experience about Caribbean Carnival traditions through dynamic performances. Ngoma, Swahili for dance, will be showcased in a performance piece that seamlessly blends modern and traditional forms of Caribbean Folk and African dance. Following the performance, our students will actively participate in a mini dance instructional workshop. To delve deeper into the Caribbean carnival experience, additional information is available from CBC Kids.
5. Letter To Daycare Parents
Dear Daycare Parents,
Our daycare billing program will be changing from Sandbox to Procare, effective Wednesday, January 31st. Parents have been sent a notification requiring you to verify and update necessary student information. Please do so by Friday, January 26th at noon. If you have not received the notification or require more information, please contact Anne Marie immediately. Thank you.
6. Enhancing Public Education: Fulfilling Our Commitment
Throughout this month, we have underscored the profound impact of the JICS Lab School on elementary educational practices and the global standard of teacher education. Today, we are happy to highlight another significant achievement: Natural Curiosity
Initiated by the JICS Lab School, Natural Curiosity (NC) stands as an innovative environmental and land-based inquiry program, bridging the crucial gap between environmental and Indigenous education. NC extends professional learning opportunities to educators across Turtle Island (North America) through webinars, workshops, walking tours, and communities of practice, supporting their efforts to integrate Indigenous perspectives into children's environmental inquiry.
Central to the program is the resource Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children's Environmental Inquiry, offering a robust four-branch framework for teaching and learning that nurtures children's curiosity, relationships, and reciprocity with the natural world. Notably, over 30,000 copies of the Natural Curiosity books (Editions 1 & 2) have been distributed and sold, with 30 universities and colleges incorporating the resource into their teacher education programs. More than 13,000 educators have participated in Natural Curiosity professional development through in-person and virtual workshops, webinars, and conferences.
This Fall, the Natural Curiosity Team continued its commitment to knowledge mobilization with noteworthy highlights:
Conducting the NC National E-Course for 75 preservice and early career educators across Canada, emphasizing the integration of environmental inquiry and Indigenous perspectives into teaching, generously funded by the Trottier Family Foundation.
Launching a 6-part hybrid learning series for 50 educators in CIS Ontario schools, exploring the NC 4-branch pedagogical framework and associated Indigenous lenses through inquiry and Indigenous ways of knowing.
Leading Cultivating Curiosity Through Connection: Nurturing Inquiry and Land-Based Learning for Early Childhood Educators, an outdoor learning day focused on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for 150 Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) in collaboration with Five Counties Children's Centre and the City of Peterborough. The event connected NC's four-branch pedagogical framework and Indigenous lenses to "How Does Learning Happen" (the Ontario early years resource).
Hosting Aki Kinomaagewinan: Engaging Educators and Youth in Indigenous Land-Based Learning Through Natural Curiosity, a retreat for 50 educators centered on Indigenous approaches to plant medicines and gardening. This event, in partnership with ENAGB Indigenous Youth Agency at the Humber Teaching Lodge, featured Joseph Pitawanakwat, Dr. Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing, and Dr. Debby Danard, generously funded by the Johansen Larsen Foundation.
Co-developing and co-leading an online series, Season 2: Learning from the Land with the Outdoor Learning Store, engaging over 1,000 participants in transformative discussions and practices.
As we continue our journey of enriching education through initiatives like Natural Curiosity, we invite parents and community members who share our passion to consider contributing to the future of NC outreach opportunities. Your support can help us expand our reach and impact even further. If you are interested in contributing or learning more about how you can support Natural Curiosity, please contact the Reesa Barkhouse, Senior Development Officer of the NC Team at email@example.com or make a donation here. Together, we can foster a transformative educational experience for children across Turtle Island.
7. Enriched Playground Experience at JICS
We couldn’t be happier with the revamped JICS playground, a dynamic and engaging play space thoughtfully crafted to captivate and challenge children aged 2 to 12. Tailored rules and age-specific expectations have been provided for each grade. On the expansive hard-surface spaces, children are relishing spirited games of soccer and four-square or running up and down the accessible ramp. Meanwhile, others are immersing themselves in the new imaginative play zones, such as the sandbox and hidden nooks that spark creativity.
The older children are embracing challenges presented by the "whale tail climbing shed" and the robust orange boomerang structure, each at their own pace. An accomplishment for Nursery to Grade 6 children has been conquering the wood "volcano/mountain/castle” mound with triumphant calls echoing as they proudly announce their achievements to the teachers on duty.
At JICS, we cherish self-directed outdoor play, empowering children to cultivate judgment skills through three key questions they are encouraged to ask in their play:
Is it safe?
Is it kind?
Is it inclusive?
Diverse play options abound, including climbing, spinning, and sliding. To further enrich the experience, we've introduced loose parts like blue building blocks, new sleds, and shovels, encouraging children to assess risks and challenge themselves, under the watchful eye of supervising adults. The playground stands as an optimal space for meaningful play and growth, fostering a sense of achievement and camaraderie among all participants.
Enjoy these photos of our first week!
8. Upcoming January Events
Thur 25 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena – Grades 1, 2, & 6
Fri 26 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day at JICS
Tues 30 – 7:00-8:30 Parents of BIPOC Children (in person) meeting
Wed 31 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena – Grades 1, 2, 3
9. Upcoming February Events
Black History Month
Thur 1 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena – Grades 4/5 and 6
Thur 8 – Parent Ed: Lunch & Learn with Ellie 1:00-2:00: The Social Lives of Children: How to Support Your Child Through the Ups and Downs of Friendship
Fri 9 – Lunar New Year Celebration Day at JICS
Fri 9 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena - SK
Wed 14 – Valentine’s Day
Thur 15 – Carnival Spice & Everything Nice Dance Group demonstration and dance workshop
Fri 16 – Mid-Term Holiday (School closed, Daycare open)
Mon 19 – Family Day Holiday (School & Daycare closed)
Fri 23 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena - SK
Wed 28 – Pink Shirt Day/Anti Bullying Day