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Tuition Support Fund, School-Wide Clothing Swap, Book Fair & Book Night

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

JICS at a Glance

We've condensed the important highlights for your convenience:

Topics covered in this post:


1. Double Your Impact

We need you; this is an ask for help.

We would not be able to provide exemplary education without all forms of diversity. Economic diversity amongst our students is a deep challenge given our rising tuition costs, limiting access for children hoping to continue at the school next year.

We URGENTLY need to raise the $190,000 required to support families in our community facing financial barriers that will make them UNABLE to continue at JICS. Your gift to the Diana Rankin Muncaster Family Tuition Support Fund is vital for inclusive education which is a cornerstone value for JICS. PLEASE help us have these students back next year.

We are well behind in our effort to meet this goal and have received a generous matching gift of $15,000 from Rajen Ruparell and Priya Pandya for the remainder of 2023, in the hope that we won’t have current students leaving due to economic hardship.

With this gift, any donation from you will be matched up to that level, doubling your impact! Your support TODAY is crucial to make our classrooms accessible, inclusive, and reflective of Toronto’s vibrant tapestry of diverse communities.

Please forward this message to those friends, family, alumni, or companies that can help make a direct impact to JICS and our students. Any donation size helps and donors can be recognized in an upcoming school communication. Donations $1000 and above will be further recognized via the OISE Dean's Leadership Circle.


2. Book Fair

Tuesday, December 5, 12:00-4:30

Wednesday, December 6, 8:30-4:30 and 5:30-7:30

Beautiful books (picture book, novels, graphic novel, non-fiction texts) from Another Story will be available for sale in our foyer with 20% of the sales benefiting the JICS Library. Parents, please support our library while doing your holiday shopping and sending your children to school with some pocket money to make purchases.


3.Book Night Pyjama Party

Wednesday, December 6, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm in our gym.

This celebration of books and stories is designed for Nursery to Grade 6 children and their families. This year’s theme is “How Good it Feels to Find Yourself in a Book” and the evening will be filled with student presentations, a book sale, and fun activities for the whole family.

A message from the Kids Who Care Club: Please bring a non-perishable donation for the JICS Food Drive to Book Night!

Please also bring money to purchase items (hand-made book marks) for our Sick Kids fundraiser!


4. PA School-Wide Clothing Swap

As temperatures drop, many parents are re-evaluating their children's wardrobes, determining what has been outgrown and what is needed. The PA's first school-wide clothing swap will take place on Friday, December 1st (8:15 am to 4:30 pm) in Room 120 next to our reception. Families are encouraged to drop off outgrown clothing and winter gear with Paige in reception now through November 30th. After our swap on December 1st, all remaining items will be donated to families in need.


5. Lunch & Learn with Ellie

Thursday, December 14th

1:00-2:00 PM


Dear Parents,

You are all invited to join for the next Lunch and Learn on Thursday, December 14th from 1-2 pm. We will be discussing: Parenting in the Digital age - Supporting Your Relationship with Your Child and Their Tech. As usual there will be a 30 min talk (recorded) and 30 min of discussion and questions (not recorded). I gave this talk for the JICS community in 2020 and also feel it is such an important area to have conversations around that it is worth bringing back. Looking forward to the discussion.




6. Celebrating All Festivals of Light

Join us in embracing the richness of various festivals of light at JICS! Parent, kindly reach out to your child’s teacher to help us celebrate.

Hanukkah – December 7 to 15

At JICS, the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, known as the Festival of Lights, holds a special place. This cherished holiday predominantly unfolds in homes, emphasizing the lighting of the menorah, adding a candle each night until it illuminates brightly on the eighth night. In remembrance of the legendary cruse of oil, customary foods fried in oil like latkes and the beloved jelly donuts or sufganiyot are savored.

Yaldā Night – December 21

Yaldā Night or Chelle Night is a Persian festival marking the winter solstice, falling on December 20/21. It's a time when kin and friends gather, indulging in food, drink, and poetic readings, especially from Divan-e Hafez and the Shahnameh, extending well past midnight. Fruits, nuts, pomegranates, and watermelons hold significance, symbolizing the vibrant hues of dawn and the essence of life.

Christmas – December 25

Christmas is celebrated religiously by most Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians and forms an integral part of the holiday season organized around it.

Kwanzaa – December 26 to January 1

Kwanzaa, an annual celebration honoring African-Canadian and African-American culture, culminates in a communal feast called Karamu, often on the sixth day. Crafted by activist Maulana Karenga, this celebration echoes African harvest festival traditions. Symbolic elements include a mat (Mkeka), a Kinara (candle holder for 7 candlesticks), Mishumaa Saba (seven candles), mazao (crops), Mahindi (corn), a Kikombe cha Umoja (unity cup), Zawadi (gifts), a Nguzo Saba poster, and the black, red, and green bendera (flag).

Our commitment to fostering a culturally diverse and respectful environment for children is unwavering. We continuously seek to expand our understanding of the world's beautiful diversity. Parents, we warmly invite you to enrich our learning by sharing your identities with us, be it now or at any time during the year. Your contributions are invaluable in shaping our inclusive educational experiences.


7. School Closure Due to Weather

In case of adverse weather conditions or potential school closure, parents' concerns are addressed through accessible information channels:

For updates, please refer to the University of Toronto Campus Status webpage (St. George Campus) at Additionally, our JICS Twitter feed, conveniently located on the right side of our website at, will provide real-time information.

It's important to note that the JICS Lab School follows the operational status of the University of Toronto. If the University remains open, our school will also remain open


8. JICS Food Drive by the Kids Who Care Club

The Community Outreach Branch of the JICS Kids Who Care Club invites you to donate the JICS Food Drive!

We are collecting non-perishable items for the month of November to donate to the Avenue Road Food Bank. They are presently serving upwards of 500 families each week and are constantly in need of donations. They especially need canned vegetable, fruits, soups, and proteins; dried pasta and rice; cooking oils; sundries like toothpaste, shampoo; and canned food for dogs and cats.

Please bring your donations to the reception at 45 Walmer Road by December 15th at the latest. Thank you for supporting the JICS Kids Who Care Club Food Drive!


9. Dissemination

The mission of disseminating our work is integral to our role as a laboratory school. Here is an example showcasing how our faculty members are actively contributing to the enhancement of public school education:

Carol Stephenson, SK teacher, and Richard Messina, principal, have been invited to play pivotal roles in the 5th Global Forum on the Future of Education and Skills 2030 (E2030) in Bucharest, Romania, scheduled from December 5 to 8, 2023. This prestigious event, organized annually by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in different cities, will revolve around the theme "Implications of the Use of Generative AI for Teaching and Learning: Towards the OECD Teaching Compass" and will draw upon JICS’ expertise in inquiry-based approaches. Hosted by the Ministry of Education of Romania, this forum represents a culmination of months of collaboration between Carol, Richard, and the OECD, particularly in supporting the OECD’s partnership with the Ministry of Education in Japan.

While past iterations of the OECD’s E2030 initiatives focused on student-centered learning, this specific Forum aims to enrich teacher development through inquiry-based learning methodologies.

We extend our gratitude to parents for their unwavering support toward our public mission. This opportunity not only allows us to expand the global footprint of the JICS Lab School but also reinforces our connections with the OECD.

During this period, Chriss Bogert will step in as the acting principal from December 4 to 8.


10. Making Paper with the Kids Who Care

This week, the Kids Who Care Club began an initiative to reuse scrap paper to make recycled paper. See their process below!


11. Gymnastics Club - Photos

The primary Gymnastics Club is lucky to have some awesome student leaders -- view some photos of some group stretching and cartwheel practice below!


12. Go Books! Community & Clubs in the Library

13. Playground Updates - Photos


14. Upcoming December Events

Fri 1 – PA Children’s Clothing Swap

Tues 5 – Book Fair 12:00-4:30

Wed 6 – First Day of Wednesday Afternoon Program (Winter Term)

Wed 6 – Book Fair 8:30-4:30 and 5:30-7:30

Wed 6 – Pyjama Book Night 6:00-7:00

Thur 7 – Hanukkah begins at sunset (Dec 7 to 15)

Mon 18 to Wed 20 - Term 1 Report Card distribution (Nursery to Grade 6)

Wed 20 – Last day of Fall Term. School ends at noon. Daycare open until 6:00pm

Thur 21 – University of Toronto closed. School and Daycare closed. Winter Holidays begin.\

Thur 21 – Winter Solstice, Yaldā Night

Mon 25 – Christmas Day

Tues 26 – Kwanzaa begins (Dec 26 to Jan 1)


15. Upcoming January Events

Mon 8 – Winter Term begins. Daycare opens at 7:45. School opens at 8:35.





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