Archived from December 15th email to the school community
Thank you for your understanding and flexibility with the school closure announcement.
The email sent last night must have come as a shock, causing concern, stress, doubt, and for some, relief. This is certainly not the way we had planned to end the term.
As you know from our Statement on the Ontario School Closure created in May 2021, the best interest of children is our highest priority. We strongly believe in in-person learning for the social/emotional well-being of all children and that schools should only be closed as a last resort. The firm decision to close the JICS Lab School involved all levels of leadership at the University of Toronto, the UofT Office of Environmental Health & Safety, and information from the Toronto Public Health investigation.
This is an example of how unique the JICS Lab School is. My neighbourhood public elementary school has 11 active COVID cases and I know of independent schools with similar situations. The JICS Lab School is not a public school nor an independent school. All decisions, ultimately, are tied to our unique place as a laboratory school within a university setting, a position we benefit immensely from as it affords us the necessary autonomy to serve our public purpose. Please consider reviewing the 2022-2023 re-enrolment form to determine if our values, mission, and approaches continue to meet your needs.
I am sorry that we are faced with this challenge and understand how complicated this is for parents. And I want to thank you. We have benefitted from a long COVID-free streak at JICS due largely to your support with the safety protocols we have in place: morning screenings, the Rapid Antigen testing, etc. I also want to acknowledge the incredible work of Toronto Public Health who are responding to new COVID data by the hour and providing us with invaluable guidance. I want to thank the teachers and staff who are devastated by the closure but have quickly responded in order to do what is best for the children. Lastly, I want to thank the children – each day they teach us what is important and what we need to do to ensure they thrive.
I hope your holidays are safe and healthy.