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Update on School Re-Opening (Ministerial Announcement – Jan 3)

Archived letter from January 3rd email to the school community


Dear JICS Parents,


As you have likely heard, elementary schools and school-aged daycares will be closed for in-school learning until at least January 17, 2022. We understand this is not the news families or we at JICS had hoped for, but we recognize the critical need to take steps as directed by medical experts and health officials to limit the spread of COVID-19. We also understand that this is not what parents had planned and that this new decision has created anxiety and stress for you. Please be assured that we, at the JICS Lab School, are ready to transition to distance-education. We are committed to providing the best possible learning experience for all students under these circumstances, an approach that thoughtfully takes into account children’s mental health and wellness.


Distance Education

The JICS Lab School teachers are ready to provide distance-education to all children in JK to Grade 6 beginning Wednesday, January 5 (half day). Classroom Teachers will email parents with zoom links and schedule information ASAP.


Each day will begin at 9:00am. Distance-education will consist of mornings only on Wednesdays and modified full days for other days of the week.


The distance-education school day will include a combination of synchronous (with teacher) and asynchronous (independent) learning. In addition, there are movement breaks, lunch, recess, and fresh air times. Classroom Teachers will provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences. Depending on the age of the children, your child/ren may require some adult support at home.


In addition to each Classroom Teacher, each grade cohort will have a new Intern (2nd year MA student) and Teacher Candidate (1st year MA student) to assist with the learning experience along with the Specialty Teachers (Visual Art, French, Music, Drama, Library, Health/Phys Ed).


Daily Screening and Rapid Testing Program

We will not require parents to complete the JICS Online Daily Student Screening Form for children in JK to Gr 6 during distance-education, but we do ask that you continue with the Rapid Antigen Testing Program (Wednesdays/Sundays) and input results in Thrive.


Nursery Classes

Our Nursery class is exempt from the ministerial school closure order and thus the Nursery Team will welcome the return of the children on the morning of Wednesday, January 5, 2022. Before-School Daycare is not available, and Afternoon Daycare will be open for registered Nursery children until 4:30pm during the next two weeks. The ministerial order prevents the ICS Daycare from providing their services to school-aged children (JK to Gr 6). Nursery children are required to complete the JICS Daily Screening each morning before they can be admitted into the school.


School Building/Office

The Admin Team will be in the JICS building each day. Please do not hesitate to be in touch by email or by phone. The school office will be open each day from 9:00am - 3:00pm. Please enter the building from 45 Walmer Road (where you will complete a COVID self-screening) with PPE and maintain physical distance while in the building.


Vaccination

We strongly recommend that all parents have their child/ren (5 years of age and older) vaccinated as soon as possible. The University of Toronto requires and monitors that all faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in full accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.


In-Person Learning

When we are permitted to return to in-person learning, we feel confident that we are taking the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our community:

  • JICS Daily Screening

  • Rapid Screening Program

  • Masking (KN95 for faculty/staff)

  • Vaccination requirements

  • Saliva PCR tests

  • Enhances cleaning and sanitization measures

  • Air quality (HEPA filtration system)

  • Cohorting.

We are deeply disappointed not to be welcoming all the children back into the school this week. While we are hopeful that 2022 will be a better year for all, the high COVID numbers and this setback is certainly disheartening, frustrating, and disappointing. With that said, the students are looking to us, parents and teachers, to instill a positive attitude, hope, and confidence in their hearts. We look forward to seeing them online, reconnecting and continuing our journey of learning together.


Thank you for all your support and encouragement.


Sincerely,


Richard Messina | Principal

DR. ERIC JACKMAN INSTITUTE OF CHILD STUDY

LAB SCHOOL