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Vaccines, Professional Development, Parent Ed

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Principal in safety vest

Topics covered in this post:


1. COVID-19 Update - Vaccination

Now that a COVID-19 vaccination for children has been approved in the US, Canadians are anticipating a similar approval from Health Canada. Please read these three references from Toronto Public Health:

Data presented from medical and government sources (Center for Disease Control, Health Canada, Ontario Public Health, Toronto Public Health) have identified vaccination as an effective strategy in reducing the impact of the COVID-19 virus. We expect within the next 2-3 weeks that students 5-11 years of age will be approved by Health Canada. We will request documentation of vaccination status from JICS families of our students.


2. Public Purpose

Each year, 14,000 researchers meet for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference. This is the largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research. AERA is a showcase for ground-breaking, innovative studies in an array of areas – from early education through higher education, from digital learning to second language literacy. It is where to encounter ideas and data that will shape tomorrow’s education practices and policies, and where to connect with leading thinkers from around the world. Although thousands of research paper applications are submitted, only a fraction are accepted to the conference. We are proud to share that JICS Grade 3 teacher, Michael Martins’ research with Leanne Ma, OISE, entitled Discourse, Visualizations, and Metacognition: Designs for Enhancing Knowledge Building in Primary Science has been accepted by AERA 2022, held in San Diego, CA, (April 22-25, 2022). In their study, scientific visualizations are investigated as ways to support knowledge building discourse and learning about forces and structures. Students were engaged in using and applying both static visualizations as well as dynamic visualizations to deepen their planning and understanding of effective bridge building. Through the scientific process, children hypothesized, experimented, researched, and collected data to inform further iterations of bridges which were being constructed.


3. Hanukkah

November 29 to December 6

The eight-day festival of Hanukkah has become a beloved and joyous holiday at JICS. It is also known as the Festival of Lights. Much of the activity of Hanukkah takes place at home. Central to the holiday is the lighting of the menorah, to which one candle is added on each night of the holiday until it is ablaze with light on the eighth night. In commemoration of the legendary cruse of oil, it is traditional to eat foods fried in oil. The most familiar Hanukkah foods are latkes and the favourite jelly donuts or sufganiyot. We invite parents to share their tradition of celebrating Hanukkah with us at JICS. Please contact your child’s teacher.


4. Teacher Professional Development

In order to provide exemplary learning to the 200 JICS children, effectively mentor teacher-candidates, fulfill our public purpose, and to continue to learn and deepen our understanding of child development and pedagogy, teachers and staff engage in self-directed professional development. These are learning opportunities that are in addition to those provided to all teachers/staff collectively such as last week’s PD Day. Here are some examples:

  • JICS Teacher-Librarian, Krista Spence is currently taking an AQ course through the Education Faculty at Wilfred Laurier University entitled, First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Peoples: Understanding Traditional Teachings, History, Current Issues and Cultures with Colinda Clyne (Anishinaabe kwe, Kitigan Zibi), Curriculum Lead for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education, Upper Grand District School Board.

  • JICS Early Years Music Teacher, Suzanne Schwenger joined the 2021-22 Pedagogy: Professional Learning Community Course at the Royal Conservatory of Music. This group meets monthly to support ongoing professional learning in music pedagogy using the Orff Approach and shares resources on music teaching for elementary students. Suzanne is also completing a practicum at the Royal Conservatory of Music in the Early Childhood Smart Start program for young children, age 0-6 years.

  • JICS Administrative Assistant, Victoria Sandić (McCracken) took a 10-week course to obtain a certificate in Digital Marketing with Brainstation from March 2021 to June 2021. The course, built and taught by industry experts, covered marketing strategy foundations, search engine marketing and optimization, digital marketing analytical tools, social media marketing, and email marketing. Victoria shared her learning with the JICS staff by pitching a marketing strategy to help the Lab School fulfil its public purpose. Keep an eye on our social media channels for new and exciting content!

  • JICS Junior Grades French Teacher, Christel Durand participated in “The Global Mindfulness Summit 2021” with speakers: Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dr. Amishi Jha, Richard Davidson, Dr. Vivek Murthy and Rhonda Magee.

  • JICS Grade 1 teacher, Raadiyah Nazeem, JICS Special Education teacher, Judith Kimel, and JICS Vice-Principal, Chriss Bogert attended a webinar with the Center for Social Thinking, What’s a Friend, and Do I Really Need Friends? This course covered topics such as general social expectations tied to friendship across different developmental ages; visual frameworks, teaching scaffolds, and practical strategies to help students understand and engage in relationship development; the role of metacognition in making and keeping friends; and tips for managing social anxiety and developing relationships.

Photos from the Staff PD Days last week


5. Parent Education Events

Rabia Khokar

November 23 | 7:00-8:30pm (Zoom)

Building Inclusive and Equitable 'Bookshelves' with Rabia Khokar

Join teacher, Education and Equity Consultant and PhD student, Rabia Khokar for an interactive presentation entitled Building Inclusive and Equitable ‘Bookshelves’. RSVP here


November 24 | 8:00pm (Zoom)

COVID Vaccines for Kids

Our friends at The Mabin School are inviting us to join Sick Kids Hospital panelists to discuss: COVID Vaccines for Kids. Sign up here to receive the Zoom link.

Poster for What I Need From You: Emotion Coaching Through a Developmental Lens workshop

December 2 | 12:30-1:30pm (Zoom)

Lunch & Learn with Ellie

Join Lab School Social Worker Ellie Lathrop for another Lunch and Learn workshop: What I need from you: emotion coaching through a developmental lens. Learn what children of all ages find helpful and supportive as a parental response when they are dealing with difficult emotions. RSVP here


6. Photos!

Grade 4 Architectural Designs Display


7. Upcoming November Events

Hindu Heritage Month

Tues 23 – Parent Education Event | 7:00-8:30pm | Building Inclusive and Equitable 'Bookshelves' (RSVP)

Wed 24 – Parent Teacher Interviews

Wed 24 – Parent Education Event | 8:00pm | Covid Vaccines for Kids (Sign up here)

Tues 30 – Giving Tuesday


8. Upcoming December Events

Thurs 2 – Parent Education Event 12:30-1:30 Lunch & Learn with Ellie (RVSP)

Mon 6 – Last Evening of Hanukkah (Nov 28-Dec 6)

Thurs 9 – Last day of Block 1 placement & Fall Internship (JK to Grade 6)

Mon 13 to Fri 17 – Report Cards mailed home (Nursery to Grade 6)

Fri 17 – Last day of Fall Term. School ends at noon. Daycare open until 6:00pm

Mon 20 – Winter Holidays begin (Dec 20 to Jan 3). School and Daycare closed.

Sat 25 – Christmas Day

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

Tues January 4 – Winter Term begins. School arrival starts at 8:30am (Daycare opens at 8:00am)


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