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Thanksgiving Closure, Parents of BIPOC Children Meeting, & JICS at the Movies

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

JICS at a Glance

The purpose of our new "JICS at a Glance" section is to ensure parents and caregivers are receiving the most important information and deadlines. We highly encourage families to continue reading the full post to learn more about our school community, opportunities for family involvement, what our students are learning, and more.

Topics covered in this post:


1. Thanksgiving Closure - Monday, October 9th

In observance of Thanksgiving, please note that our school and daycare will be closed on Monday, October 9. We hope this provides you with the opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones and engage in the spirit of gratitude. Wishing you and your families a warm and joyful Thanksgiving.


2. Thanksgiving Reflection - The Words That Come Before All Else

In her remarkable book, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants, Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, an enrolled member of the Citizens of Potawatomi Nation, explains the concept of the Thanksgiving Address. In the Onondaga language, it is known as the "Words That Come Before All Else." This ancient protocol emphasizes gratitude as the highest priority.

We encourage you to take a moment this long weekend to recite and reflect upon this invocation of gratitude as a family. It serves as a powerful reminder of the abundant blessings we share and the importance of cultivating a culture of gratitude within our school community.

At the JICS Lab School, our mission is to educate children within a framework where gratitude is at the forefront of their learning experience. Let us all embrace this message as we celebrate Thanksgiving.


3. Parents of BIPOC Children Meeting

Thursday October 12, 2023

7:00-8:30 pm on Zoom

Created by JICS parents for JICS parents, this meeting is designed for conversation and advocacy for families at JICS with BIPOC children. All parents of a BIPOC student at JICS are welcome.

The intention of this meeting is to gain a greater understanding of the issues facing our BIPOC children at school, so that we may support them during their time at JICS. As well as discuss how the JICS BIPOC parents can support the teachers and help with the school's cultural celebrations.

To attend, please register here.


4. JICS at the Movies

Monday, October 16, 2023

6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Innis College Theatre

Join us the evening of October 16 for a reception and advance screening of Four Daughters, a critically acclaimed documentary by Oscar Nominated Director Kaouther Ben Hania. The film is in Arabic with English subtitles. This 2024 Academy Awards contender for Best International Feature Film and Best Documentary Feature skillfully merges documentary and drama to explore the heart-wrenching story of two missing sisters in Tunisia and the grieving family they left behind. Get your tickets TODAY!

Your ticket purchase will have a profound impact on supporting economic diversity through the Diana Rankin/Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund (DRMT) which ensures that students from all financial backgrounds have equal access to the outstanding education we offer here at the JICS Lab School—Canada's independent school with a public purpose.


5. National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On Friday, September 29, we came together as a community to acknowledge the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The circle of orange that filled our school gym was a moving sight, as children, teachers, and parents gathered to show their support.

We extend gratitude to the dedicated committee that made this assembly possible, to JICS parent Heather (Haudenosaunee, specifically from the Mohawk nation, Six Nations of the Grand River, and Director of Education for the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund) and her son Nico for delivering the beautiful Thanksgiving Address and to musician Nathan Roy, Anishinaabe from the Wikwemikong First Nation and member of the Grammy nominated Bear Creek Drum Group, for sharing the gift of his singing and drumming with us. Tand member of Bear Creek Singers. The Grade 4/5 (Zoe) students recited the powerful poem My Nieces by Makayla Webkamigad. Additionally, we want to express our appreciation to our teachers for their diligent efforts in educating our children and for your continued commitment to the TRC’s Calls to Action to further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples.


6. Terry Fox Run

We are proud to share the success of our recent Terry Fox Run. Thanks to the dedication of our parent volunteers who helped with route supervision and the enthusiastic leadership of our Grade 3 students, we have raised an impressive sum of $1472.70 dollars toward cancer research. Your support and generosity in this noble cause are truly inspiring.


7. Parent Association Donations Model

From the JICS Parents Association

Our Goals

Our Parents’ Association exists to enrich the experience of JICS students. We do this by building a strong school community and help support school initiatives. We nurture a respectful and inclusive school culture, which means explicitly developing respect for many aspects of diversity, including race or ethnicity, socioeconomic situations, religion, gender, national origin, family composition, physical/health or psychological difference, and political affiliation. In light of this, we have embarked on reconceptualizing how the Parents’ Association collects money in a way that better supports our existing socio and economic diversity, which in turn will help continue in our efforts to build an economically diverse JICS community.

2023/2024 PA Donations: PWYW (Pay What You Wish)

*Donations are eligible for a tax receipt.







Selecting this option presents a (more) inclusive opportunity to enable all of our community members to contribute in a way that best fits their current finances.

These are the at cost donations. If everyone made this contribution amount, the PA could cover its costs, which include teacher and staff gifts. We suspect many of our parent community will fall under this pricing.

This option presents an opportunity to enable another family to make a contribution using the equity range. *Each additional increment of $125 above the listed contribution in the opportunity option, would allow one additional contribution to be made within the equity price range.



$226 or more

A fee comparison to last year:

In the previous school year, families were asked to donate $175 to the Parent’s Association, as well as $150 per child for class gifts, for a minimum contribution of $325 (if you only have one child). By comparison, this year’s bundled rate at the Equity (at cost) level is significantly lower than last year.

The Facts:

Our tuition fees are used to pay for the general operations of the school.

Every JICS parent is a member of our Parents’ Association. It is only through financial contributions to the PA that we are able to support the school with its purchases and initiatives, which works to benefit our students by linking JICS and its families. This is what we forecast for how every dollar will be spent in fiscal 2024:

- Approximately 19% - The Parent Social, recently held on September 19th

- Approximately 4.5% - Complimentary babysitting, when available

- Approximately 4.5% - Three lice checks, for all students and teachers

- Approximately 20% - Parent education initiatives (E.g., seminars and expert-led presentations)

- Approximately 9% - Grade 6 graduation activities

- Approximately 23% - Teacher and staff appreciation gifts and activities

- Approximately 10% - Support for various school Events (e.g. popsicles for Terry Fox Run)

- Approximately 10% - General and Administrative

What’s New:

This year, contributions toward teacher and staff gifts have been centralized with this new financial model.

Each teacher and staff member in the JICS community who interact directly with our children, will receive an equal monetary gift at the beginning of our winter break and in June.

This replaces our previous practice of having class representatives collect money from individual families, decide how it will be distributed, who will be included, and what to purchase. It adds anonymity to the money collection process and ensures all our teachers and staff are equally valued.

We understand that this may not be the preferred method for some of our community members. Having considered and combined many options and suggestions, we recognize that we need to start somewhere, and we hope that this is a good place to start with what is bound to be a shifting model. With this, we are also committed to allowing it to change over time, as we evaluate the details that will continue to tailor this shift towards meeting the needs of our distinct community. Like one of the founding principles of JICS, we believe that this process of inquiry will be driven as much by curiosity, discourse, assessment, and reflection. It is only by trying in our pursuit of improvement that we will eventually come to a model and mission that holistically encompasses our parent community.

We recognize that there will be parents and/or class communities who may wish to acknowledge their child(ren)’s teacher(s) at the winter and summer breaks. This remains an option, and we leave individual gifting up to your discretion. Please ensure class community acknowledgements are homemade/sentimental, and do not require additional fundraising. We have heard from many teachers that some of their most cherished gifts have been homemade items from children, including cards, cooking and baking. Last year, one class created a homemade book of pictures and memories from the year and another class created a book of “coupons” to be used by the teacher when they needed support or a resource. Just food for thought!

The Honest Truth

As we continue to look through an equity lens, we recognize that there must be a willingness to risk a shift away from a financial model that has been reliable and successful for the PA for many years. We take this risk with some uncertainty as well as with hope that we have considered a model that will both honour our community, while also meeting our financial goals. With this in mind, we ask that you please consider what your family can contribute this year. Each donation is per family.

What’s Next: Click HERE to make your contribution!


8. JICS Clothing

To purchase JICS clothing, please click here.


9. Upcoming October Events - Islamic Heritage Month & LGBT History Month

Mon 9 – Thanksgiving Day. School and Daycare closed.

Tues 10 – Grade 5 & 6 Parent Meeting: Transitioning to Grade 7. 6:00-7:30pm. More info will be emailed to parents.

Thur 12 - Parents of BIPOC Children Meeting 7:00-8:30 pm on Zoom

Mon 16 – “JICS at the Movies” More info coming soon.

Mon 23 – PA “All Parents” Meeting. 7:00pm.

Tues 31 – Halloween





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