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Report Cards, Fall Newsletter, Re-enrolment, & Professional Development and Dissemination

JICS at a Glance

We've condensed the important highlights for your convenience:

Topics covered in this post:


1. Welcome Back

We are thrilled to have our students back this week! The energy they have brought in, buzzing with excitement and happiness, eager to reconnect with friends and teachers, has been truly heartwarming. Although we don't have an exact date for the playground's completion, we've been informed it is on the verge of being finished.

Our Grade 2s and 3s enjoyed some time playing in in the snow this week!


2. Re-enrolment for 2024-2025

Re-enrolment details and forms were sent via email on December 8 for the upcoming school year. To secure your child's spot, kindly submit the completed form along with a non-refundable $5000 deposit payable to The University of Toronto by Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Please take a moment to review our school's values, philosophy, and mission before confirming re-enrolment. Any unclaimed spots will be filled starting January 18.


3. Exciting Progress in Our Tuition Support Fund Campaign

We are thrilled to share a positive update on the ongoing 2023/24 campaign for The Diana Rankin Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund. The response has been phenomenal, and we are delighted to report that our recent "JICS at the Movies" event held on Monday, coupled with the generous Matching Gift from Rajen Ruparell and Priya Pandya, has collectively raised an impressive $118,475 so far. 


This outstanding support from our community brings us within striking distance of our ultimate goal of $190,000. A significant portion of this progress can be attributed to the generosity of current families who have made leadership gifts. Their commitment to philanthropy is truly inspiring, reinforcing the notion that every contribution, regardless of size, plays a crucial role in advancing our mission. 


As we aim to achieve our target, we want to highlight that if every JICS family contributed $500, we would swiftly reach our fundraising goal. Your participation, no matter the amount, is a powerful catalyst for success. 


The Diana Rankin Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund plays a vital role in providing tuition aid to families from diverse backgrounds, aligning with our dedication to fostering an inclusive community at JICS. We invite you to join us in this endeavor by making a donation today. For those contributing $1000 and above, we extend our sincere gratitude and recognition through inclusion in the OISE Dean's Leadership Circle.  


Thank you for being an integral part of our journey towards a more inclusive and supportive educational environment. Together, we can make a significant difference in the lives of our JICS community. 


4. JICS Skate Swap

As the 2024 Winter Skating Season approaches, the JICS Skate Swap is now accepting donations. Our Phys Ed teacher, Mike Martins, has organized skating sessions at Bill Bolton Arena for students in SK and Grades 1 to 6 (specific dates to be announced soon). To participate safely, students will need properly fitted skates and a CSA-approved helmet. There are no rental options available at the arena.


In the spirit of supporting families, we have set up a skate swap at the school. If you have skates or helmets to donate, please drop them off at the reception area. Additionally, parents seeking to borrow equipment can bring their children to try on donated items in the same area.


5. Teacher-Candidates in JK to Grade 6

We are excited to welcome two new teacher-candidates in each class from JK to Grade 6! These candidates collaborate with classroom teachers, enriching our students' learning experiences. This program serves as a stepping stone for them to pursue careers as educators in the public school system after their time here.



6. Teacher Professional Development

Our commitment to providing exceptional learning experiences for our 200 JICS children and effectively mentoring teacher-candidates remains steadfast. We prioritize our public purpose while continuously deepening our understanding of child development and pedagogy through self-directed and whole-group professional development initiatives. Here are highlights from recent endeavors:


Krista Spence, Teacher Librarian:

  • Attended the TDSB EcoSchools & OISE Environmental and Sustainability Education Conference, focusing on "Accelerating Climate Change Education." Sessions included an address from Elder Dr. Duke Redbird and discussions on "Well-being and Climate Change" and "Engaging Students in Climate Change Education" (October).

Jessica Haber, Grade 1 Teacher:

  • Participated in an education session hosted by the Red Urban Nation Artists Collective and the City of Toronto at the Bickford Park Murals (October).

  • Attended a session by the FIRST NATIONS, MÉTIS & INUIT EDUCATION ASSOCIATION OF ONTARIO on "Pedagogical Considerations and Resources for Teaching Treaties in the Classroom" (November).

Norah L’Esperance, Nursery Teacher, & Krista Spence, Teacher Librarian:

  • Represented JICS at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference (NCTE) in Columbus, Ohio, a conference dedicated to literacy educators (November).

Christel Durand, French Teacher 

  • Participated in the Annual AIM Institute held in Kelowna, BC. The primary objective of this year's institute was to foster personal connections and reconnections among educators, providing a platform for sharing best practices with like-minded teachers who harbor a fervor for languages and pioneering teaching methodologies. 

Tania Debss, French Teacher 

  • Attended a workshop about outdoor learning: L’éducation en plein air: Apprendre et enseigner dehors en tous lieux et en toutes saisons, by Jean- Philippe Ayotte-Beaudet, professor in the Department of Preschool and Elementary Education in the faculty of Education at the Université de Sherbrooke and holder of the Research Chair on Outdoor Education. 

JICS Faculty:

  • Engaged in a talk on Resilience by Dr. Diana Brecher, Scholar-in-Residence for Positive Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) (November).

  • Attended a workshop by Dr. Laurie Faith, Assistant Professor MA CSE OISE, discussing the Activated Learning (AL) approach, aimed at enhancing self-regulated learning and motivational mechanisms for classroom teachers. This session provided valuable insights into addressing learning and behavioral challenges among students with weak Executive Functions (EFs) (November). EFs are the higher order cognitive processes that support human learning and performance. Her book, Executive Function Skills in the Classroom: Overcoming Barriers, Building Strategies is a must-read and the JICS faculty look forward to continuing our learning with Dr. Faith.

  • Toured the ROM exhibition "Being and Belonging: Contemporary Women Artists from the Islamic World and Beyond." Facilitated by Nadia Dharsee, Gr 6 teacher, the tour was guided by Dr. Fahmida Suleman, the exhibition's curator, and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Suleman shared her profound knowledge and passion for the collection, reflecting defining issues of our time from the perspectives of 25 women artists connected to the broader Islamic world.


7. Dissemination - Serving Our Public Purpos

Since our establishment in 1925, our school has consistently contributed to shaping elementary educational practices and enriching teacher education globally. Here are recent instances highlighting our efforts in knowledge dissemination:


Pre-service Teacher Education:

  • Annually, our faculty shares expertise with teacher-candidates in the Masters of Arts in Child Study and Education (MA CSE) Teacher Education Program at OISE, UofT. Jessica Haber (Gr 1 Teacher) and Marcia Bumbury (Gr 3 Teacher) discussed the advantages of "long-term planning," while Norah L’Esperance (Nursery Teacher) and Nadia Dharsee (Gr 6 Teacher) explored "The Learning Environment." Nadia offered insights from her journey, contrasting classroom setups in the Public School system with her approaches at JICS, covering topics like furniture placement, alternative seating, wall usage, and fostering a sense of belonging for all students. Tara Rousseau (Art Teacher) and Zoe Donoahue (Gr 4/5 Teacher) presented on “classroom management/fostering classroom community” and Walker Kitchens (Gr 2 Teacher) and Raadiyah Nazeem (JK Teacher) shared reflections, recommendations, and strategies for early career teachers.

  • Over six weeks, Michael Martins (Phys Ed Teacher) collaborated with Dr. J Garrett-Walker to enrich the APD2200 “Child Study” course of the MA CSE Program. Their collaboration delved into programming and planning for Health and Physical Education curriculum, engaging 60 first-year teacher-candidates. The candidates explored physical literacy, movement concepts, fitness components, and strategies to foster a safe, inclusive learning environment in Physical Education. The culmination of this effort was the creation of two 'Fitness Festivals,' where teacher-candidates presented their designed activities to Grade 1 and Grade 6 classes at JICS.

  • Chriss Bogert (Vice Principal), serving as a representative of the JICS Lab School, holds a prominent position on the IALS Board of Directors. Actively engaged in fostering collaboration and innovation within the IALS community, Chriss attends monthly board meetings, playing a pivotal role in the planning and execution of various events and initiatives tailored for IALS members.  

  • Chriss Bogert chairs the IALS Research Collaboration, a role that bore fruit in the 2021-2022 period with the publication of IALS member schools' research on pandemic learning. This valuable contribution found its place in a Special Edition of the IALS Journal, published in December 2022. This year, the IALS Research Collaboration is focussed on learning about designing research to center children’s voices. In this capacity, Chriss leads a committee responsible for organizing a monthly Zoom forum. This forum serves as a platform for international members to engage in discussions, share insights from research conducted in other Lab Schools, develop ideas, enhance their research skills, access support for their research processes, identify collaboration opportunities, and receive assistance in crafting manuscripts for the next special edition of the IALS journal. 

Kobe Shinwa University, OECD and JICS Lab School Partnership:

  • Kobe Shinwa University, in collaboration with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and JICS Lab School, has forged a robust partnership aiming to promote inquiry-based teaching within Japanese education, as mandated by the Ministry of Education. This collaboration was initiated following an invitation extended to Carol Stephenson, Senior Kindergarten Teacher, to showcase her innovative work with students during a workshop organized under Project Infinity by OECD. Building upon this foundation, a dedicated team comprising Carol Stephenson, Elizabeth Morley (JICS Principal Emeritus), and Richard Messina (Principal) consistently engages with representatives from Kobe Shinwa University and the OECD. Their collective efforts are directed towards supporting the integration of inquiry-based teaching methods into Japanese schools, aligning with the Ministry of Education's directives.

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conexiones 2023 Annual Convention:

  • Krista Spence (Teacher Librarian) and Norah L’Esperance (Nursery Teacher) presented on grounding Indigenous learning and utilizing Indigenous knowledge to teach about climate change at this convention in Columbus, Ohio (November).

Publication Highlights:

Global Forum on the Future of Education and Skills 2030 (E2030):

  • Representing Canada, Carol Stephenson (SK Teacher) and Richard Messina (Principal) participated in the 5th E2030 in Bucharest, Romania (December). The forum, hosted by the OECD, focused on "Towards the OECD Teaching Compass in a VUCA world." Carol and Richard contributed to designing this compass, aimed at navigating educational landscapes amidst uncertainty and complexity, integrating generative AI into educational policies.

SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant between JICS and YAAACE:


The JICS Lab School serves as a setting for observing theoretical and research-based ideas in practice. In the Fall of 2023, we welcomed visits by educators and researchers from schools around the world, including representatives from:

  • Faculty of Psychology and Child Education at Baika Women’s University, Osaka, Japan

  • Keio University, Tokyo

  • Stanford University, California

  • UTS, The Linden School, and The Mabin School, Toronto

  • Seneca College

  • Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board


8. Report Cards

Term 1 (Fall) Report Cards are now available for a limited time.

Log into your SFO account ( to download your child/ren's report card(s).

Download Instructions:

1. Go to: and log into your SFO Account

2. Click on FAM Access Module (menu bar, top left)

3. Click on your child’s name under Academic Year 2023-2024

4. Go to Grade Reports

5. Download Term 1 report as a PDF

6. Save in a safe place


9. JICS Fall Edition Newsletter

Our JICS Newsletter serves as a window into the wider school experiences, offering insights you might not have come across otherwise. A special thanks to Krista for her dedicated work in publishing it! Crafted to be enjoyed by both parents and children, we highly recommend taking a peek at the captivating Fall Newsletter together.


To access the Fall Newsletter, use the password provided in the December 19th Parent Information Post email. It's a fantastic opportunity to share and explore together!


10. Upcoming January Events

Mon 15 – Nursery Parent Information Session for 2024-2025

Tues 16 – Lice Check (Thank you, PA!)

Wed 17 – Re-enrolment form and deposit due

Wed 24 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena - Grades 4/5 and 6

Thur 25 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena – Grades 1, 2, 3

Fri 26 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day at JICS

Wed 31 – Skating at Bill Bolton Arena – Grades 1, 2, 3




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